Directing and writing credits:
Directed by Gail Mancuso, written by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Mancuso also directed "Red Light on the Wedding Night" and I wrote a little bit about her career in that post.

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Here's a picture of her with the Emmy she won for "Modern Family" in 2014

In Sherman-Palladino news, here's a good article about her and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Vulture. This snippet tells you a great deal in a small amount of words:

As she hangs a ukulele back on the wall, I ask her why she likes Minnie Mouse so much. “I just love Disney. I’m a child. I love Hello Kitty. I love anything that’s got a face. It’s like all my lamps have faces on them,” she says, gesturing across her office to a swooping floor lamp that, lo and behold, has a face peering out of its stem.

Is this how she rationalizes Lorelai's crazy clown pillow? I prefer all of my inanimnate objects to NOT have faces, so I guess this is where ASP and I wildly differ. If someone gifted me, say, a Hello Kitty waffle iron, I wouldn't turn it down, though.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Lorelai follows up the Cavalier King Charles turtleneck from the previous episode with this fuckery:

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I love cats, but mainly because I think they're the most metal animal on the planet. They're indifferent toward everyone and everything, except violence and Temptations treats. Their surliness makes me smile and I'm happy to support it. Lorelai, on the other hand, is clearly in favor of cat torture. Just look at that cat on her shirt. Chances are good that she murdered the person that dressed her up in a crown and diamond necklace moments after that horrible photo was taken.

To make matters worse, Lorelai pairs this feline atrocity with a gross, shrunken pink zip-up hoodie, layered under a pale blue puffer coat. This outfit is equal parts Claire's, Fashion Bug, and dELiA*s. Rory's is also bad, but in a "wow, you don't understand how to dress your body" kind of way.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Lorelai is way too involved in the minutiae of Rory's life. She drops everything to search frantically for Dean's missing bracelet (who cares?) and delivers a scathing speech to Jess that is totally weird because she's an adult and should have zero stakes/interest in teen romance drama.

I understand that Lorelai wants Rory's relationship with Dean to last because he's safe and boring, but she needs to remove herself from the equation. Her involvement only makes things worse and like I've said before, it's sad that she doesn't realize it. It's way more fun to date the bad guy your mom disapproves of than the insecure dipshit who washes your car every-other-day in a desperate ploy for approval.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
None. Both are missing from this episode, but we do hear in passing that Lane has been praying for the safe return of Rory's bracelet.

Best literary or pop culture references:
Lorelai: Well, I think I’m finally ready to get a tattoo.
Rory: Oh please.
Lorelai: I am.
Rory: You’ve been saying that for the last five years.
Lorelai: I know, but I mean it this time.
Rory: Fine, what are you getting?
Lorelai: Mel Brooks.

If you're only going to get one tattoo, I think Mel Brooks is a pretty worthy candidate. As Lorelai says,

"The Two Thousand Year Old Man," "Young Frankenstein," "Silent Movie" – you don’t think Mel has earned the right to have his face on my butt?

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Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, a power couple for the ages. His laughing face would look great on an ass cheek.

My husband said he's also ready to get a tattoo. When I asked what he's going to get, he said, "a bird with goggles." If you knew him, you'd be like, "yep, that sounds about right."

Stars Hollow weirdness:
Miss Patty is seen about town, riding shotgun in a "Miss Patty's School of Ballet" golf cart, and smoking a long cigarette while leading what appears to be an adult exercise class.

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Who is this older lady? She looks classy and I wish we saw more of her.

And walk, and walk, and pump your arms and walk. And shoulders back, tuchus in, think about that double chin and walk, and walk, and walk, and tummies tight, and walk. Match me sweetheart.

Later, Kurt haggles over a $0.65 book at the town fundraiser and I appreciate the writers laying the groundwork for his quarter of a million dollars in savings circa Season 6.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Michel: Well, I mean, I'll say I'll cover the desk, but how will you know if I'm actually doing it?
Lorelai: I trust you, Michel.
Michel: I mean, it's just as possible I say I'll cover the desk, and the moment you've stepped away I'll put some fruit on my head and join a conga line somewhere.
Lorelai: I believe you looked for the bracelet.
Michel: And while I'm shaking it to the Miami Sound Machine, the phones here – they would ring and ring and ring, and no one to answer, no one to assist.

Yanic Truesdale's dry, sardonic delivery here is A++.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
At the festival, Rory picks up "Inherit the Wind" by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke. The book Kurt haggles over is "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel. Whenever Lorelai catches Jess coming out of Rory's room, he claims he just wanted to see if she had a copy of "Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger.

Best song of the episode:
Jess can only sleep with loud music blaring. When we see him snoozing in this episode, he's listening to "Price Yeah!" by Pavement.

Thoughts:
The most notable, "ugh, wtf," moment of this episode is when Lorelai confronts Jess after Rory finds her bracelet. If she really felt the need to say something to someone, she could have mentioned it to Rory. She could have said something like, "Hey Rory, I saw Jess come out of your room minutes before you found the bracelet. FYI, I think he took it to see how long it would take you to notice its absence. He's a manipulative punk and you probably shouldn't trust him." Instead, Lorelai gives a sanctimonious little speech to Jess that makes her look like a fool.

Lorelai: Oh, don’t whatever me, you little jerk. You let Rory run around completely panicked, thinking she lost her boyfriend’s bracelet. She was miserable, do you understand that?
Jess: I didn’t take it.
Lorelai: I’m sure you’re jealous of Dean because he’s great and Rory’s madly in love with him, but you taking the bracelet didn’t hurt Dean, it hurt Rory. That bracelet is the most precious thing she owns. She never takes it off. It means everything to her. And you stealing it was unbelievably cruel.
Jess: The most precious thing she owns?
Lorelai: Yes.
Jess: If it’s the most precious thing she owns, why did it take her two weeks to figure out it was gone, huh? You might wanna reevaluate how madly in love she is. I wouldn’t start calling him son yet.

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If it's cold enough for a coat, you need to wear some tights, Lorelai.

I understand she wanted to let Jess know that a) she doesn't like him and b) she's not blind to his bullshit, but why? What does this conversation accomplish? It's not as though her knowledge of his shittiness is going to convince Jess to stay away from Rory. She can support Dean until she's blue in the face, but talking about Rory's love for him doesn't make it real.

I don't like that Jess found Rory's bracelet and held onto it for two weeks, using the time it took her to notice its absence as a litmus test for her feelings toward Dean. His actions are deceptive and annoying, but not criminal. It's not like Jess stole the bracelet from her room in an attempt to make Dean mad and sabotage their relationship. Lorelai needs to take a chill pill and focus on her own life instead of obsessing over Rory's. She needs to let her daughter act like a teenager, make bad decisions, and figure out her own shit without interfering.

As previously mentioned, I get that Lorelai likes Dean because he's predictable and a nice guy, but what if Rory had stayed in a relationship with him? Her college experience would have been even lamer than it actually was, with weekends spent driving to Stars Hollow to see her loser boyfriend, destined to live in the same sad, small town for the rest of his life. At least Jess is interesting and has the personality of someone who will fight like hell to avoid complacency. I'd rather my daughter date someone like that than someone with zero original thoughts or ambitions.

Random observations:

  • "I'm getting pancakes with a side of pancakes" is a phrase that's quickly worked its way into my breakfast ordering lexicon.
  • High school Lindsay would have definitely tried to touch Jess's penis. He likes Björk, introduces Rory to The Shaggs, and reads Punk Planet (along with actual novels). Adult Lindsay thinks Jess is a monosyllabic brat who needs to watch a YouTube video about how to actually clean rain gutters. As far as I can tell, he spent a few hours on the roof, fucking around haphazardly with a spatula.
  • Seriously, what the hell do Rory and Dean have in common? He's bored at the Buy A Book Fundraiser and she balks at the suggestion that they watch "Lord of the Rings" again. They compromise and decide to mock "Autumn in New York" instead, so I guess they at least have shared hatred in common?
  • The thought of Luke sleeping in a single bed fills my heart with sadness.
  • Yet again, we see Lorelai with a copy of Jane Magazine. Is ASP friends with Jane Pratt or just a fan? Is this a paid advertisement? I can't find any satisfying answers on the Internet.
  • Lorelai's outfit at the end of the episode is almost kind of chic, but ruined by the fact that she chose to pair the skirt, which is on the shorter side, with a pair of patent leather mid-calf boots and bare legs. Close, but no cigar.
  • Cold egg rolls are great. Idk what these two morons are blathering on about.

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Morons ^

  • Jess's references are legitimately all over the place. I know he reads a ton, but I find it hard to believe that he's familiar with both Euell Gibbons and "Bye Bye Birdie."
  • After some careful consideration, I think the best dressed character on "Gilmore Girls" is Luke. He always wears basically the same thing, but uniforms are cool, I support his love of flannel, and everything fits him relatively well. The backwards baseball cap is also useful for hiding his burgeoning bald spot, so it's a smart choice.

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This shot is from Season 5, Episode 19: "But I'm a Gilmore!"