Directing and writing credits:
This is the first episode in the series not written by ASP. Credit goes to Joanne T. Waters, and it is the only episode of "GG" she is credited with writing. In fact, she has written exactly three episodes of television: This episode of "GG," an episode of “To Have & to Hold,” and an episode of “Dawson’s Creek.” I don’t know if this is common in the industry, but it surprised me.
Adam Nimoy directed. It is his first and only episode of "GG."
Most batshit crazy outfit:
There were so many to pick from in this episode, but the obvious and most odious is Rory’s golf attire. She brings it up and acknowledges that she didn’t know what to wear, but I have no idea why she possibly settled on this outfit.
Three-quarter length pastel button ups and tacky plastic digital watches were all the rage in 2000, so I can’t fault her those, but the pants are another story. High-waisted but short-hemmed, somehow both straight and wide-leg, it looks like she borrowed them from Richard’s closet that morning.
Then there’s the hat. Why Emily would suggest pairing that outfit with that hat is one of the great questions of our times.
Silver and bronze medals awarded to:
- Gloria’s dog, in its purple sweater and what I am quite certain is a gift bow on its head
- Mrs. Shales, mother of the twin brides, who wears white to their wedding
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Unable to process Rory’s positive experience with Richard, Lorelai lashes out at her for borrowing her sweater. As an only child, I’m prone to being bad at sharing, so I get it. Instead of leaving it at a simple ask-before-borrowing request, however, Lorelai goes on to insist that the reason she’s so annoyed is that Rory has bigger boobs and thus stretches out sweaters. Come on, Lorelai.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
While it may not live up to 'treating-like-shit' standards, I was peeved when Lorelai asked Sookie: “Do I have to put on my strawberry costume to get your full attention?”
Okay, Lorelai, you’ve been on your dumb rant for too long now. Maybe ask Sookie why all the excitement over strawberries instead of continuing to make it about your problems.
Best literary or pop culture references:
“Oh no — not being attacked by a band of swans. Was it an all-boy band? Kind of a scary, feathery NSYNC kind of fiasco?” – Lorelai to Michel, upon learning of his childhood swan trauma.
When I asked my boyfriend to watch this episode with me and told him what to be on the lookout for, I did not actually expect him to be into it. I was delightfully surprised when he piped up, “There’s your pop culture reference,” after hearing this line.
“That Madonna and Sean Penn should get remarried?” – Rory’s answer to Lorelai asking, “So you know what I was thinking?”
I truly had no idea they were ever married, but did learn that in 2016, she jokingly offered to remarry him to raise money for charity.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
“Cinnamon is stuck under our front porch again. Can I borrow some vegetable oil and a shoe horn?”
Babette’s pop-overs with odd requests are a delightful kind of weirdness, but as a cat lady, I have to say, this one seems ill-conceived.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
“You can use her old golf clubs. They’re upstairs gathering dust along with the rest of her potential.” – Emily to Rory, referring to Lorelai’s golf clubs.
No one has better insults than Emily Gilmore. That woman is the definition of rapier wit.
“To me, you are the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon.” – Michel to Lorelai, who has been serious prattling.
I have stolen this insult innumerable times in the last seventeen years.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
- "Peyton Place" by Grace Metalious
- "A Mencken Chrestomathy" by H.L. Mencken
Best song of the episode:
While we don’t technically experience it, there’s discussion of Shania Twain's “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” being played on a harp that fascinates me. I scoured the depths of YouTube for longer than I care to admit trying to find proof of its existence, but alas, came up empty.
This episode sets up an uncomfortable underlying dynamic that continues throughout the show, one that Emily says point blank: Lorelai is totally controlling of Rory. It’s a sneaky kind of manipulating control, based largely on guilt and the whole 'mom-as-best-friend' dynamic, which is unhealthy as fuck.
Speaking of Emily, this is a fantastic Emily Gilmore episode. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have fallen in love with her character. Despite having less in common with her than many of the other characters, I find her to be the most relatable.
Boyfriend agreed that Emily is the best, and added:
“Lorelai just tried to deliver one-liners, a small portion of which were funny. That’s my reaction. Lorelai’s lines are overwritten. The other characters' dialogue seems much more natural.
I guess another thing I was thinking every time her grandfather was on the screen was that he’s dead now. I mean, he looks so young, too young to be a grandfather, and he’s dead now.”
He makes a few good points. Especially in the early episodes, Lorelai’s quippiness feels forced. I’m not sure if it becomes more natural in later episodes, or if we just get used to it.
Michel, on the other hand, whose dialogue this episode is almost all one-liners, nails every one. Jackson and Sookie’s lighting round back-and-forth is fantastically written, and a credit to their chemistry and talents. The episode also gets the audience better acquainted with oddly paired Babette and Morey and inappropriately flirty (and handsy) Miss Patty.
The episode is light on Luke, but the four lines he does have are so very Luke that his 36 words feel like more.
After the Chilton-heavy tones of “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton,” this episode brings back the ensemble cast that makes Gilmore Girls one of the most well-rounded — if not diverse — shows of the early aughts.
- The original Lorelai, Richard’s mother, who later appears in the series and several key story arcs, is discussed in the past-tense in this episode. I guess writers back then didn’t count on repeated Netflix rewatchings and assumed the audience would safely forget they had once portrayed her as dead. Which was a fair bet, considering I did until now.
- One of my favorite things about the early episodes of "GG" is that Sean Gunn plays several bit parts before becoming Kirk, one of my favorite characters. In this episode, he is a snarky swan wrangler.
- In the final scene, both Lorelai and Rory are left with their coats on when they enter Richard and Emily’s house. That is so not Gilmore etiquette.
- “Fez? What the hell is in Fez?”
- Boyfriend, who is absurdly well traveled, could actually answer this for me: “I’ve been to Fez… We did a one hour walking tour in the 110 degree heat through old town. And the end of the tour was at a tannery. The way they [tan hides] is they soak them in vats of urine. The overwhelming smell of urine in 110 degree heat made you want to vomit. I didn’t vomit, though.” I suspect I would have vomited.
- This more broadly sets up a running theme throughout Season One, in which Richard slips Rory money “for Fez” on multiple occasions. Though she later travels, Fez never comes up in subsequent seasons.