Directing and writing credits:
Directed by Danny Leiner, written by John Stephens. Leiner is probably best known for directing stoner movies like "Dude, Where's My Car?" and "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." He's also responsible for the "Freaks and Geeks" episode where Shia LaBeouf breaks his arm ("We've Got Spirit"). "Run Away, Little Boy" is his only "GG" dalliance. I have basically zero opinion about him.

John Stephens you might remember from other "GG" episodes, like "Emily in Wonderland" and "Forgiveness and Stuff." Apparently, he decided to become a children's author in his post "GG" life, because he has a fantasy trilogy called "The Books of Beginning." It's pretty well-reviewed if you're in the market for that type of thing (or know a child who is). His Random House website is kind of cute (although his top ten movie list is shit) and says that he has a dog named Bug. I picture Bug to look like this:

Chinese-Crested
Should I adopt a Chinese Crested? Look at this little guy!

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Don't get me wrong, I like t-shirts that make bold proclamations. I have a shirt that says "CHAMPAGNE" multiple times and another that says, "Go Fuck Yourself," but they rarely see the light of day. I usually wear them to bed or out for a run as a base layer. I don't wear them to my teenage daughter's reenactment of "Romeo and Juliet."

Lorelai, however, gives zero fucks about appropriate attire. She sports a purple tank top that says "KITTEN" in glitter studs to Rory's play. Propriety be damned!

Lorelai-s-Kitten-Shirt-Run-Away--Little-Boy
At least she kind of covered it up with layers.

And let's not forget Sookie. At the beginning of the episode, she wears a sweater that I assume someone's blind, 90-year-old grandma crocheted for her:

Sookies-Frumpy-Sweater-Run-Away--Little-Boy
Who the hell put this outfit together? Learn how to dress Sookie, "GG" wardrobe department!

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Lorelai needs Sookie to tell her Luke is into her? I don't believe for one second that she's as clueless as she pretends to be.

Lorelai: Although, I gotta tell ya, I am still pretty peeved by how he acted earlier. I swear, that guy runs so hot and cold on me.
Sookie: What?
Lorelai: Well, one minute he's all sweet and building me a chuppah, and the next he's being a total jerk for God knows what reason.
Sookie: For God knows what reason? Come on Lorelai.
Lorelai: What?
Sookie: Don't you understand that Luke is so into you?
Lorelai: Okay, stop.
Sookie: He has had to watch you go from one guy to another, and then the engagement, and then the engagement was off, and patiently he's waited. And now in walks this kid and he says, "My God, will she date anyone else in the world before she'll date me?"

Lorelai is akin to the annoying, skinny friend who whines about how fat she is while everyone else gives her the side eye and wills her to shut her yap.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Both are pretty decent in this episode. Rory helps Lane with Henry and Lorelai doesn't jump down Sookie's throat when she points out the obvious regarding Luke.

Best literary or pop culture references:
Michel: Just hand me the plate.
Sookie: Only if you don't count.
Michel: I won't count.
Sookie: Swear. Raise your right hand and say, 'May Destiny's Child break up if I count these blueberries.'
Michel: Pick another group.
Sookie: Nope.
Michel: I hate you! Hate you!

Michel ... a man after my own heart.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
Everyone gives Lorelai a hard time about going out with someone who is at most, ten years younger than her. Paul, her date, is played by Bryce Johnson, aka Josh Ford from "Popular" and Detective Wilden from "Pretty Little Liars." I used to watch the latter with my old roommate, Christine, and I have to say ... it's pretty convoluted, but fun for the first few seasons.

Detective-Wilden-Pretty-Little-Liars
Paul = Detective Wilden = Josh Ford. I'm so happy I made this connection.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Paris: Excuse me. We reserved this place for 8 sharp and right now my watch says 8:04.
Miss Patty: Well, then tell it to go outside and have a smoke. You can't rush a cool down sweetheart.
Paris: Look, I understand the whole "Mystic Pizza," small town, 'we don't let a clock run our lives' thing, but I come from the big city where money talks and I'm paying good money for this place and I have a schedule to keep.

Paris is really up on her movie and theater references. She's not quite the Paris I know and love forever yet, but she's getting there.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
None, but Madeline is seen reading Jane Magazine, which I appreciate.

Best song of the episode:
No songs - wtf.

Thoughts:
I see this as a companion episode to "Like Mother, Like Daughter." Luke treats Lorelai like shit because he's insulted that she went out with someone so young and not a good match for her when he's available and obviously interested. Of course, he doesn't actually tell her any of this in a straightforward way. In "Like Mother, Like Daughter," Lorelai reacts with the same immaturity when she thinks Ava and Luke are planning to go on a date. It's so silly to have everything cloaked in veiled references when everyone in the town knows these two have the hots for each other.

At the end of the episode, Lorelai lays out the situation for Luke:

Lorelai: Dating, do you have that down?
Luke: Okay, if this is about that kid, then ...
Lorelai: No, it's not about anything, it's just a question.
Luke: Well, I don't know if I have it down. Considering I live with my nephew, I'd say probably not.
Lorelai: I don't have it down either. I've never been very good at it really. I've never even really liked it. Too much 'what if.' I like things I can count on. I mean, uh, actually, with Max, it was the first time I was finally like 'Hey, here it is, that one person who will always be there for me.' And then, I turned around, and it's suddenly 'Oops, wrong, keep moving.'
Luke: Why are you telling me this?
Lorelai: I don't have very many people in my life who are in my life permanently forever. They will always be there for me. I will always be there for them, you know? There's Rory, and Sookie, and this town and ... you. I mean, at least I think I've got ...
Luke: You do.
Lorelai: Good. Just checking.

Essentially, Lorelai uses the old "I don't want to mess up our friendship" excuse, but in a way that's endearing and feels legitimate. Kudos to John Stephens, because this dialogue is well-written and does a good job of putting a temporary pin in the "will-they-won't-they" discussion, while still leaving things open if circumstances change in the future.

While Lorelai's busy with her dating drama, Rory tries to stop Dean from finding out that she kissed Tristan one time when they weren't even together. Maybe I'm a horrible person, but I don't understand why she cares so much about this. I guess it's because Dean has grown into such a whiny, insecure character that she knows if he finds out, she'll have to deal with the repercussions for weeks to come.

If I were in Rory's shoes, I would let Dean discover the truth and hopefully break up with me. I was horrible at ending relationships as a teenager and would typically just drive the dude to the brink of insanity with the hopes that he'd do my dirty work for me. It was usually a successful, although not very healthy, strategy.

The more interesting phenomenon to unpack here is why Rory seems to like Tristan in the first place. I guess she sees flashes of kindness/humanity, but he doesn't respect her when she tells him to stop harrassing her and calling her Mary. Maybe Rory thinks she can change him and is intrigued by the possibility. Or perhaps she likes the challenge of winning over someone who at least initially appears to dislike her. Over time, Rory managed to chip away Paris's harsh exterior and uncover a loyal, caring friend, so there is precedent for this behavior. All I know is that during her last conversation with Tristan, it seemed like Rory wanted to kiss him. If Dean hadn't been creepily/jealously watching them, I think it would have happened.

Random observations:

  • There are some good movie references in this episode: "The Shining," "Bringing Up Baby," and "On the Town," to name a few.
  • Lorelai's burning desire to return the ice cream maker is baffling. Even Emily Post says it's chill for her to keep it!
  • I have never seen a vending machine with actual food. The one at Lorelai's community college has both burritos and apples and there's apparently one at the U of M hospital with popsicles and ice cream sandwiches! Where have these dope vending machines been all my life? I can't wait until the day when weed vending machines are legal. I'll probably be old as fuck before that happens, thanks to that tiny, deranged garden gnome, Jeff Sessions. (Or maybe not.)
  • I hope Tristan and his middle finger ring have fun at military school.
  • Here's how my husband describes Tristan: "He's the kind of guy who buys truck nuts and casually abuses his wife. He thinks he's not racist because he knows a black person." A pretty apt description.
  • I like that Michel is cool about eating pancakes, aka a major carbohydrate bomb, but worried about too many blueberries.
  • This is the first of two James Lipton references in the series. Do you remember the second one?
  • Grapefruit at Doose's Market is $0.89, which seems expensive.
  • To avoid acting as Romeo under Paris's direction, Brad transfers schools. Paris is a bad bitch in the best possible way.
  • It's bullshit that misspatty.net doesn't actually exist. Someone needs to start a fan site.
  • I wish Paris and Rory had actually kissed. I will never stop shipping those two because they're actually perfect for each other and Paris is 10,000x better than any of Rory's douchebag boyfriends.

Run-Away-Little-Boy-Rory-and-Paris-Romeo-and-Juliet
Paris and Rory 4ever. I ship them harder than Grace and Frankie.