Directing and writing credits:
"Raincoats and Recipes" is directed and written by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Despite all of the Rory/Dean fuckery, it's one of my favorites of the season. I wish ASP and Dan could clone themselves and write/direct everything.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
I have no clue what I was wearing when I lost my virginity (probably running shorts), but I can assure you that it wasn't as ill-fitting as Rory's Shelli Segal dress. I don't understand why anyone would want a horizontal row of sequins cutting across the widest part of the body. Since the dress is low-cut, Rory has layered a champagne-colored silk and lace camisole underneath that looks like something Miss Havisham pulled straight out of her vagina. The little pink ballet shrug is another big miss. Why are the sleeves puffy at the bottom and adorned with more sequins? I prefer my sequins either full force or nonexistent.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
After fucking Dean, Rory acts like a snotty, childish brat when Lorelai gently points out her bad behavior. She goes immediately on the defensive without pausing for a minute to realize that maybe her mom has some excellent points. We'll discuss in more detail later.
The moment Rory loudly makes mac 'n' cheese and does laundry circa 3A is also an offense deserving of corporal punishment.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Early in the episode, Rory stops by Lane's apartment to catch up and play video games. The entire conversation is about Rory (typical) and her boy drama. I'm actually disappointed that Lane doesn't once remind her that Dean is about as appealing as an old potato you find under the sink. If she were a good friend, their conversation would have gone something like this:
Rory: You know, when I was with Dean, I always knew that no matter what happened, he would be there.
Lane: Because he was boring as fuck and had no life or interests outside of you. Please describe his personality to me. It's impossible because he literally does not have one.
Rory: It was more than that. He's -- well, he was so ... um, I was safe, and he was so nice to me.
Lane: Don't you want someone who will actually challenge you and help you grow as a person? Do you want to stagnate and end up as an unemployed journalist with only one published writing credit to her name?
Rory: I think I really blew it there, you know? I didn't appreciate it.
Lane: There was nothing to appreciate. You dodged a major bullet. Have you seen his bangs lately? Don't waste your time again.
As for Lorelai, she racks up some good karma points for reminding Sookie about her anniversary. It all evens out because she makes Sookie examine Kirk's ass wound in the next episode.
Best literary or pop culture references:
This is the sassiest, bitchiest Broadway burn ever delivered on this show:
Taylor: Most of them are small infractions, but it's the little things -- the details -- that distinguish the Barbra Streisands from the Roslyn Kinds.
I'm sorry, Roslyn! He's not wrong.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk has night terrors and an obsession with wood; Babette (accidentally?) flashes Luke her tit; Miss Patty's phone picks up other people's conversations; Taylor brings his own comment cards to the Dragonfly's test run. Oh, and for the record, Kirk and Lulu have gone to Bonetown, they just haven't slept together.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Rory and Lane take Graham Sullivan and James Spader to task.
Lane: He was that bad?
Rory: James Spader in "Pretty in Pink."
Lane: You could have just stopped at "James Spader."
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
L. Frank Baum's "The Scarecrow of Oz" and Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus are visible on Rory's bedroom bookshelf the night she and Dean make bad decisions.
Best song of the episode:
I love Lou Reed but can't in good conscience go with "Satellite of Love," so it's gotta be Grant Lee Phillips' "Lily-A-Passion." The first two lines always get stuck in my head:
Hey, she's a piratey soul
Full a' vinegar and glitter ✨
Amy and Dan spent 3+ seasons building Rory up as a golden child with endless promise, only to see it all come crashing down after a string of bad decisions (starting with this one) in college. During the rest of the series (especially in AYitL), we'll watch Rory slowly regress despite her fancy education and immense privilege. It turns out that being book-smart doesn't always equate to success in the real world. Who knew?!
As much as I hate it, this character development makes sense to me. Rory never had a consistent father-figure in her life and craves male validation. S4 is the only time we ever see her without a boyfriend. Paris, Tana, and Janet are all coupled up, and even Lorelai is starting to build something legitimate with Luke. Aside from classes and the occasional extra-curricular club meeting, Rory doesn't create that many opportunities for herself to meet new people. The dudes we do see her consider are either bro-douches (Graham Sullivan) or just as socially awkward as her (Trevor).
Instead of doing the hard thing and trying to put herself out there, Rory backslides into the big dumb arms of her small-town high school boyfriend. Even though he's married, Dean has clearly been pining for her since their break-up in S3. Why the fuck else would Luke weirdly approach her on the street the day of Dean's wedding, begging Rory not to attend? Even before he started giving her crystal-clear signs, she must have known that he still had feelings for her.
Rory bypasses all of the scary stuff that comes with trying to meet dudes in college (bad dates, rejection) and embraces the safe option. She knows deep down that it's fucked up but refuses to admit that she made a mistake. She tells Lorelai, "He's not a married guy. He's Dean -- my Dean." It's all incredibly delusional and sad, but not exactly mysterious. Rory got what she needed (to have a guy make her feel "special") but somehow didn't foresee the possibility of a messy public divorce and vitriol from the Lister family. It was an ill-conceived plan crafted by a child masquerading as an adult.
If I were in Lorelai's position, I would have reacted similarly. The situation is that Rory goes home, after flirting with Dean all day, to grab some CDs. Dean shows up at the house, he and Rory fuck, and are forced to hastily dress and make up some bullshit excuse when Lorelai unexpectedly makes an appearance. After Dean leaves and Lorelai realizes what's happened, she gives Rory a much-needed reality check.
Rory: He's in love with me, not Lindsay.
Lorelai: Does Lindsay know that?
Rory: She's not good for him, okay? She lets him quit school and work himself to death and -
Lorelai: No, Rory, uh-uh, you can't be one of those girls who blames the wife for forcing the husband to cheat.
Rory: He wasn't cheating.
Lorelai: He was cheating, Rory. He was cheating, and you were cheating with him. There's no other way to spin that, kid.
It's a shame that a great day for Lorelai is forever marred by Dean's penis. The inn's test run goes off without a hitch. Even Taylor enjoys himself! At one point, Lorelai smiles at Sookie and says, "This is gonna work." It's a nice, quiet moment of shared success. Despite several potential disasters (the elder Gilmores rift, Jason's unexpected appearance), everything remains under control.
After a long string of flirtatious hangs (don't forget about the waltz) and a misunderstanding involving Jason, Luke and Lorelai finally kiss! In true Stars Hollow fashion, they're eventually interrupted by a screaming, naked, night terror-fueled Kirk.
As I've mentioned before, I love the early episodes in Luke and Lorelai's relationship. We see Luke grow so much as a person (he even brings Lorelai flower) and legitimately try to be a good, considerate partner. As self-centered as she can be, it's obvious that Lorelai is really into Luke. She's so anxious/nervous that she's become theatrically clumsy and can't stop running into things (tables, doors). Let's all savor these nice moments before the horrible vow-renewal episode and April Nardini shitstorm.
- Lorelai's pajama top prominently features a Pomeranian face. Where can I get one?
- Rory was so broke at the end of the year that she had to "dip into Paris' green tea stash." I wish we could see exactly how that backfired.
- Michel is the only sane character on this show. After talking to Kirk, he sighs and says, "There are all sorts of chromosomes missing from that man."
- Lane once caught Zack and Brian dipping chips into her vanilla-almond body lotion. They should be euthanized.
- Rory re-wears her cardigan with the little gold chain in this episode. You might remember it from her urine mints date with Trevor.
- Board games featured in this episode: Life (Kirk and Lulu), Yahtzee (Luke and Babette), and Backgammon (Tom and Rory).
- The elder Gilmores irritation with one another has reached a fever pitch. I'm firmly on Team Emily.
- Thankfully, Dean and Rory used a condom (Trojan Man joke + raincoats reference). Kudos to the show for actually mentioning this.
- The episode ends with Rory calling Dean's phone and breaking down when Lindsay answers.