Directing and writing credits:
Written by Daniel Palladino, directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Before I started really diving into the credits of each episode, I didn't realize how uncommon it is for Amy and Dan to work together as writer and director. The only other episode directed by Amy and (co) written by Dan (and Amy) is "Partings," the Season 6 finale. There are plenty of episodes both written and directed solely by Amy or Dan, but only two in the whole series where they split the roles. Personally, I think they make a good team. I prefer Amy's writing and direction, but I love Dan's flair for townie shenanigans.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
Lorelai somehow manages to only commit two fashion sins this episode. When she talks to Rachel about Luke's absence, we catch a glimpse of her bedazzled belt buckle. I can't believe I'm defending something so hideous, but at least the buckle is only adorned with plain, fake Swarovski crystals and not an offensive Chinese symbol.
Later, in preparation for her date with Max, Lorelai wears a flattering black dress with white polka dots and a cute little wrap sweater. For her, it's a great outfit! But oh dear (Tim Gunn voice), what is going on with her hair? I honestly think her situation is the result of some supremely lazy Topsy Tail action. LG needs to stop channeling Lizzie McGuire.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
At the beginning of the episode, Lorelai wakes up Rory because she's annoyed that she's able to sleep through Luke's hammering racket. What. The. Hell. I would kill someone if they did this to me. Whenever people try to say that Lorelai isn't a selfish twat, this is one of the scenes I direct them to as proof of their wrongness.
The phone scene with Max and Lorelai also deserves a mention because it is truly vomit inducing:
Max: And thank you for last night.
Lorelai: It was a good night, wasn't it?
Max: Several novels will be written about it.
Lorelai: I say we do it again, and next time, I'll be the gypsy queen.
Max: Do you know the more I see you the more I want to see you.
Lorelai: Same here.
Max: It's like a vicious circle.
Lorelai: It's an achy feeling.
Max: Like withdrawal pains.
Lorelai: Totally distracting.
Max: Completely wonderful. Oh, I gotta go.
Lorelai: No, don't!
Lorelai: I gotta go.
Max: This would be another example of a vicious circle.
Lorelai: So we should both go.
Max: We definitely should.
Max: Hang up...
Lorelai: No, you hang up!
Max: Vicious circle.
Lorelai: Bye! (hangs up)
Max and Lorelai, what you're describing is horniness. This whole conversation could be summed up with, "Fucking you last night was fun and I can't wait to do it again." Boom, done! Efficiency FTW.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
None. Lane is actually the one who treats Rory like shit in this episode. Whenever Rory goes into the market to look for Dean, Lane eats all of her fries. Unacceptable, even for someone who is forced to subsist on a diet consisting mainly of soy and flaxseed.
Best literary or pop culture references:
Madeline: So I've decided I'm now completely into Judy Garland. Did you see the TV movie? Pretty intense.
Louise: I think they used my mother's medicine cabinet in that.
Madeline: She was the Courtney Love of her day.
Apt comparison, Madeline.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
I live for the battle of the troubadours. Dave (Gruber) Allen, aka Mr. Rosso from "Freaks and Geeks," is the best and I enjoy him on "GG," both as the second troubadour and the fruit and vegetable stand guy. He's made appearances on so many random shows, from "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," to "Love."
In "Partings," Amy and Dan's final episode, DGA makes another appearance as a troubadour, in town to showcase his talent after the original town troubadour gets swooped up to tour with Neil Young ("heart of gold, my ass").
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Rory: But... What's wrong with her?
Louise: Nothing's wrong with her Mary.
Rory: Mary? Oh no, not this Virgin Mary thing again.
Louise: Not virgin. Typhoid.
Could Louise have actually paid attention in class for once? I'm dubious, but this is an A+ academic burn.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Rory is reading "Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette" by Judith Thurman, as evidenced when Tristan snatches her books at the end of the episode. In Season 2, when Lorelai makes the best decision of her life, it's mentioned again:
Rory: Do you need a book?
Lorelai: Um, that Colette biography.
Rory: I lost your place in it.
Lorelai: That's okay. I have to start over anyway.
Best song of the episode:
I hate that PJ Harvey's "One Line" is wasted on such a dumb teenage romance, but it's pretty epic when it plays as Rory and Dean makeout. I definitely wouldn't have started listening to PJ Harvey if it weren't for this scene, so I need to show some respect.
For "Gilmore Girls" and the Gilmore girls, this episode is a big one. Dean and Rory get back together, Max proposes to Lorelai, and Luke almost comes to terms with his feelings. Or at least, I think he probably would have had Max not walked through the door and ruined a nice moment. I appreciate the long game this show plays when it comes to Luke and Lorelai. There are countless moments through the first three seasons where it seems like maybe things are finally going to happen for them, but something (or someone) always gets in the way. It's clear from the first episode that they're going to end up together, but how/when isn't obvious until Luke's self help tape works its magic and then 🎆 💫 😭. All the feels.
But until Luke sees her face, we have to deal with losers like Max. And Christopher. And coffee guy, burrito boy, Jon Hamm, Digger, etc. It's really an uphill battle for Lorelai. I started binging "Brooklyn 99" over the weekend because I guess I have no life, and this exchange between Diaz and Boyle made me laugh:
Diaz: I'm still super mad at you.
Boyle: Mm, like how you're still super mad at "Gilmore Girls" for how the finale went down?
Diaz: I just want to see Lorelai happy, and shut up!
Diaz would like "Gilmore Girls." I bet she hardcore identifies with Paris.
As much as I rag on Lorelai for her horrible outfits, immaturity, and narcissism, I, too, want her to be happy. She's flawed and often annoying as hell, but somehow still likable. I would never be friends with her in real life, but I probably wouldn't hate her as a work acquaintance or my boyfriend's mom. She's quippy, dammit! And I think she does care about other people, even if her actions sometimes suggest otherwise. As I've mentioned in every single one of these recaps, she needs massive amounts of therapy, but I think deep down, she knows this.
With all that being said, my hatred for Max comes less from his deeply irritating personality quirks and more from the fact that he's just not right for Lorelai. HE'S SO BORING. He's not funny and doesn't have a good sense of humor. What do he and Lorelai even have in common? Lorelai is lowbrow brilliant and Max thinks he's highbrow brilliant but is really not even noteworthy enough to make it onto the approval matrix. Lorelai would tire of his constant need for validation almost immediately and all of his pedantic nonsense (3 papers at breakfast) would go from cute to cause for strangulation as soon as the sex got stale.
Just think about their Luke argument. As soon as things get really heated, Lorelai's inclination is to break up to avoid further dumbass fights about nothing, whereas Max's immediate impulse is to get married. This tells you everything you need to know about how much each party values the relationship and who is the desperate/needy one. I don't want to belabor my point, but just read Max's speech after the 1,000 yellow daisies proposal:
Max: Don't say anything, okay, please. You were right last night. I shouldn't have proposed to you like that. It was stupid. It was the wrong place, and the wrong time, and I kicked myself the entire night for doing it. But you were wrong about something too. I didn't propose to you because we were fighting. I proposed because I love you. We're in a bad pattern Lorelai and we have to break it. And other than that murder suicide thing you were talking about, which would be illegal and messy, I can only think to be impetuous.
Max: No, listen, I woke up this morning and I realized that I have studied and talked about great literature all my life and those stories are replete with characters that let opportunities slip by. But what I teach is more than just literature, its lessons in life. And if I don't follow the tenants of those lessons, I'm not the man I thought I was. The man I want to be.
This isn't a Jane Austen novel, dude. You don't need to marry a woman to avoid letting an opportunity "slip by." You can act like a mature adult and figure out a legitimate way to work through real problems instead of just slapping a Band-Aid on them and pretending they're a non-issue. Instead of reading Proust and Henry James, I think Max should dive into some Sylvia Plath and Joan Didion. He needs to stop reading so much antiquated shit and fantasizing about how things used to be when women needed men for security (aka money) and starting a family wasn't a choice but an unavoidable default option. He's a goddamn literal nightmare and I can't wait until the episode when Lorelai rips his heart out and abandons him days before their wedding.
P.S. Fuck Rory and Dean's relationship, too.
- In my attempt to find articles about "Gilmore Girls" from when it originally aired, I stumbled upon [Michael Ausiello's TV Guide interview] with Amy and Dan, conducted right after they decided to leave the show. Margot Kidder must be a regular SP reference, because she's mentioned in this episode and the interview.
- Lane's side braid is cute.
- Rory has a purple Caboodle! Caboodles were the shit when I was a kid and I totally regret throwing mine away:
(This ^ is a rando 💜💕 from Google image search, but I wish I owned it.)
- Brand name food spotted in Doose's Market: Morton Salt, Spam and Spam Lite (gross), Iams Dog Food, A1 Steak Sauce, Nutella, Log Cabin Syrup, and Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup. This market is basically a Brooklyn bodega.
- Rory asks Lane to swear on the life of the lead singer of Blur, but Lane responds with, "On the soul of Nico, I swear to you that I have not seen Dean with another girl." Does this mean that she rejected Rory's original choice/that the lead singer of Blur isn't sacred enough?
- Taylor: Watch out Morey. After that anatomically explicit epithet your wife yelled at me earlier, you're both on probation.
Dying to know what Babette said to Taylor.
- Tristan thinks PJ Harvey is a man. What a dipshit. Rory is best when she's mean to Tristan.
- Ring pops are disgusting. No matter how careful you are, they always make your hand sticky. And who the hell trades red for purple? I had a friend in high school who everyone teased mercilessly and sometimes people would actually call him "grape flavor" because NO ONE LIKES IT. Do you get the joke? We were mean...
- "So not to be blunt, but is that over?"
"So not to be blunt, but go fuck yourself."
- Lorelai: Okay, well, did you date like casual nothing type dating or did you date like get down, soul train kind of a dating?
Lorelai, please don't pretend you know dick about soul train. So embarrassing...
- 1,000 yellow daisies? More like 10,000 yellow daisies.
- I love the final shot of the town square covered in twinkle lights.