TV / Gilmore Girls

'Gilmore Girls' Season 3, Episode 12: Lorelai Out of Water

. 10 min read . Written by Lindsay Pugh
'Gilmore Girls' Season 3, Episode 12: Lorelai Out of Water

Directing and writing credits:
"Lorelai Out of Water" is directed by Jamie Babbit, written by Janet Leahy. Babbit has directed a bunch of previous episodes:

"The Road Trip to Harvard" - Lorelai wears a Harvard bucket hat, there's at least one "Twin Peaks" reference, and girls silently feud with someone named LaDawn.
"Dead Uncles and Vegetables" - Luke's uncle dies, Lorelai wears a racist shirt, and the town hippie opens a vegetable stand just to fuck with Taylor.
"Lorelai's Graduation Day" - We are reminded for the first of three times that Daniel Palladino and Seth MacFarlane are friends.
"Take the Deviled Eggs..." - Sherry does nothing wrong, but Lorelai is still a total dick.
"That'll Do, Pig" - Emily wears a chic af Burberry cardigan, Gran tests everyone's patience, and Clara reminds me why I never want to have children.

Leahy has been involved with "Gilmore Girls" as a consulting producer since Season 2, but this is the first episode she's written. Along with "GG," she's worked as a writer/producer on "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne," "Mad Men," and "Boston Legal."

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Lorelai's fishing outfit is baffling, but expected. The moment fishing was mentioned, I knew we would eventually see her sporting waders and a vest. Lorelai is like every theater kid I pretended to like in high school. She's so fucking extra and I guess some people think it's cute, but I find it obnoxious. There is no way she has room in her house for her ridiculous collection of ugly hats.

The pose is sassy, but the outfit gives me secondhand embarrassment.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
I hate that Lorelai pretends to love "the great outdoors" even though she doesn't know dick about camping or fishing. What I like most about Lorelai is her unabashed commitment to living her truth and saying whatever the fuck she wants, even if it offends someone. She might be an asshole, but she's usually an authentic asshole and I find it admirable.

Lying to Alex Lesman, a dude who isn't even attractive, about enjoying something she clearly hates is pathetic and beneath her.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Sookie is the one who lets Lorelai down this time by giving her shitty advice. This exchange about the Alex Lesman fishing lie makes me rage:

Lorelai: I like him, but I’m not sixteen. I don’t lie to guys to make them like me. I just got stuck when he said fishing and camping, and I was trying to be nice and not say, 'Fishing? Great – cold, wet, and smelly. My three favorite things after those witches from "Macbeth."
Sookie: Honey, we all do it. When Jackson and I first started dating, we went to this pickling festival, and he wore a shirt with a giant frog on it. So I’m trying to make conversation and I say, "Hey, cute frog." And he says, "You like frogs?" and I say, "I love frogs!" So, for our six-month anniversary, he gives me a frog figurine.
Lorelai: Aw.
Sookie: And then when Christmas came, he gave me another frog figurine. And then he told his family what to get me, and all of a sudden ...
Lorelai: Your frog collection!
Sookie: I’m the frog girl.

I will never defend Jackson for lying about his vasectomy, but I now understand why he and Sookie's relationship got to the point where he was able to convince himself it was okay. A lie like this might seem minor at the beginning, but just look how it can spiral. Do you want to receive frog figurines for the rest of your goddamn life, Sookie? Just tell Jackson you lied about liking frogs and be done with it. And stop giving Lorelai relationship advice. You are the least qualified person in Stars Hollow, ffs.

Best literary or pop culture references:
I love that Lorelai names her fish Jayne Mansfield. Although ... if she keeps her in the bathtub for much longer than one night, her death will definitely be as untimely at the real Jayne's.

(Sidenote: did you know that Mariska Hargitay is Jayne Mansfield's daughter? She was actually in the car with her mother during the fatal crash.)

Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk is once again seen working at Stars Hollow Beauty Supply. His nail polish display is on-point and he insists that Rory and Lane let him know how they like their free samples. I would hire Kirk; the dude knows his shit and is 100% professional.

Taylor, on the other hand, is busy making Luke and Tom suffer as he renovates what will soon be the soda shoppe. While he is a finnicky nuisance, I must admit that I like his construction scarf.

I think Tan France would approve.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Never stop calling out misogyny, Paris.

Headmaster Charleston: Enough! This behavior will stop this instant. It is disgraceful, especially from the political leaders of this campus. Now, I’d like to know what is actually driving this recent rash of infighting. Oh, goody, I get to guess. Well, let’s see, perhaps you’re arguing over the same boy?
Paris: Sure, we’re girls, so we could only be arguing about a boy, right? Sexist, white-haired –
Headmaster Charleston: Paris, are you muttering?

I can't wait until the college years when we get to watch Paris eviscerate men on the regular.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
We see Rory with "Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette" by Judith Thurman a few different times this episode. She carries it when she's with Lane, discussing prom while walking through Stars Hollow. Later, she reads it before the student council meeting begins.

I don't understand why Rory isn't always carrying a book. I don't think I was ever without one from ages 5-25 and I wasn't even an Ivy League super smarty.

Best song of the episode:
The only song we hear is Ho Kyung's rendition of "Ave Maria," a song far too religious for my taste.

This episode annoys the fuck out of me from the opening scene. Since the Gilmores have agreed to let Lane conduct band practice in their garage (which we've never seen before, btw), they are forced to clean out all of their junk. Among the detritus is a headless baby doll, pink lawn flamingo, about 200 junky lamps, and oh yes, HUG-A-WORLD. The Gilmores are all, "omg look, it's so faded, ahhh memories" while I am internally screaming because we just saw Hug-A-World on their couch in Season 2, Episode 13. Did the writers think we would not remember? I never forget! (I guess it helps that I've seen these episodes 5,000x.)

Over at the diner, Luke finds out firsthand how stupid it is to willingly conduct business with Taylor. His construction on the soda shoppe isn't supposed to affect Luke, but it most certainly does. Luke should have known better but instead, he let Lorelai's desire for ice cream and candy convince him to deal with the devil.

My husband is perplexed by Taylor's tool belt and can't understand why he wears it hiked up to his man titties. Personally, I think the higher placement complements his scarf and is a deliberate style choice. If I could have one piece of clothing from this show, it would be the marled grey cardigan that Taylor wears constantly. I bet the pockets are full of used tissues and Werther's Originals, but that's nothing a good dry cleaning wouldn't fix.

Back at the Gilmore residence, it's time for Lane's first band practice in the newly decluttered garage. Check out the outfit Lorelai chooses to wear:

Inappropriate cold weather wear? Check. Fugly hat? Check. Corduroys? Check.

Zack creepily hits on Lorelai several times and the one-sided sexual tension is so thick that Rory makes a Pamela Des Barres joke. I wonder if it's her striped gloves that have him so horned up he can barely focus on anything else. Zack looks like the type of guy who spends his weekends sitting immobile on the couch, eating cheese puffs, and using his boxer shorts as a napkin. He disgusts me.

In order to prevent the band from growing suspicious about their relationship, Dave treats Lane like a misogynistic dickhole in front of everyone ("I know you’re a girl, but I need you to play like a guy"). Of course, no one but Rory gets upset, which makes my previous critiques of Zack and Bryan's idiocy/uselessness feel even more justified.

Lorelai's main storyline this episode is mildly rage-inducing. During her first date with Alex (coffee tasting) she insinuates that she loves spending time outside and agrees to go fishing with him on Saturday. Instead of admitting that she's never actually been fishing but is willing to give it a try, Lorelai panics and after some horrible advice from Sookie, attempts to teach herself how to fish using a stack of textbooks at the diner (Rory's idea). Luke sees her, takes pity, and offers to show her some basic techniques.

Not only does Luke put up with her inane yammering and moronic outfit, he also provides a kiddie pool full of trout so Lorelai can practice small-scale at her house before embarrassing herself in public. I think it's sweet that Luke is always willing to help Lorelai, but annoying that he can't muster up the courage to tell her how he feels. Lorelai has to be at least partially aware that Luke's been crushing on her forever and I do sometimes think she uses this information to manipulate him into acting more like a boyfriend and less like a friend. I wish these two could just have a frank discussion about their feelings, but alas ... we have 32 episodes to go.

After Lorelai admits that she's learning to fish to impress a dude, Luke seems to realize how dumb it is to sit around and pine for her when she's clearly out there in the world, tapping some d whenever the mood strikes. He summons up all of his courage and asks Nicole, the lawyer who is handling Luke and Taylor's lease agreement, out on a date. Nicole doesn't really have a personality (and unfortunately, that never changes during her time on the show) so it's hard to feel excited for Luke, but I am happy to see him making emotional progress.

Just what SH needs ... another bitch who has no clue how to properly tie a scarf.

While Lorelai deals with her fishing problems, Rory finally spends some quality time with Lane and suffers the repercussions of her fallout with Paris at Chilton. Lane's cousin, James, is getting married at the Kim house on Saturday, so she and Rory run some errands in preparation. Typically, Rory is the only non-Korean at Lane's family events, but Mrs. Kim has invited Dave to play at this weekend's ceremony. Lane hopes that this is a sign of her mom's acceptance and that with a little arm-twisting, she can be convinced to allow Dave to take her to prom. Good luck with that, Lane! Everyone knows Mrs. Kim never wavers on religion or ethnicity.

In typical fashion, Lane finds out at the end of the wedding that Mrs. Kim has already arranged a KOREAN prom date for her. This is her sad little sales pitch for Lane's prospective suitor:

"Yiung Chui works for his father who builds Adventist hospitals. Young Chui will go to college at Loma Linda University. Then he will return to work for his father building Adventist hospitals."

Riveting! Mrs. Kim should thank her lucky stars that her awful parenting techniques didn't lead Lane to a heroin addiction.

The end of the episode is uneventful. We find out that Lorelai's date was a success and that her fish, Jayne Mansfield, is currently living in the bathtub (until they wake up in the morning and find her dead). The most exciting thing is that we actually get to see the inside of the Gilmore's bathroom. This is one of the few times we catch a glimpse of it before Lorelai remodels the entire second floor of the house in Season 6.

Spoiler alert: the bathroom is just as tacky as the rest of the house.

I know these past few episodes have been boring, but rest assured: the next few are more eventful. Stay tuned for Lorelai and Christopher flashbacks, swan vendettas, the first appearance of Lindsay, and more ugly hats.

Random observations:

  • So far, we know for sure that Lorelai has Powerpuff Girls shot glasses and stationery. I bet she also has day of the week underwear.
  • Alex's kids are named Hillary and Jeff, which tells you everything you need to know about his boring-ass life.
  • Alex looks like young Stephen King combined with young Stephen Hawking with just a dash of strung-out Johnny Depp.
  • Fake Cesar is in this episode. Where the hell is Aris Alvarado?
  • Lorelai sets Rory's alarm for 5:45 AM on the morning of her fishing date with Alex. Her rationale for this asshole move? "My alarm is just not as reliable as your scream." I would murder someone if they did this to me.
  • When Alex shows up at the Gilmore residence holding a bag of "coffee and doughnuts" it is very clearly an empty bag. THIS IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE.
  • I yelled at my husband for multitasking during this episode and this is what he said: "Oh, I'm paying attention. I'm fully angered by this episode. If I paid any more attention, I'd have an aneurysm. My multitasking is a safety mechanism."
  • A cup of Luke's coffee is $0.75, which seems fair.
  • Lane doesn't like Jess and Rory doesn't like the Smashing Pumpkins. I understand the former, but am baffled by the latter. Not even "Siamese Dream" or "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"? What kind of monster didn't love those albums in high school?