Directing and writing credits:
In somewhat standard fashion, ASP writes and directs the S5 premiere. The pilot and Palladino-less S7 opener are the only exceptions to the norm. While I understand it, I totally resent her for leading us deeper into a third take of Rory and Dean's long, consistently tedious romance.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
GET A FUCKING HAIRCUT, DEAN. Does he walk around constantly bumping into things? There's no way he can see with those ridiculous bangs.

Is Dean a secret stoner? This whole outfit screams early aughts slacker.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Everything Rory does is disgusting. She collapses in tears after Lindsay answers Dean's phone, but still bones him again later at Miss Patty's. She's shitty and mean to Lorelai, who simply points out that Dean is married, and Rory made a mistake. Nothing is worse to me than a lack of accountability for very obvious failings.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Once again, Lane is the one who disappoints me. I know she's naive about sex and finds it all very mysterious, but she has to at least understand that it's not cool to fuck someone else's husband. After saying dumb shit like, "Dean loves you," she seems to realize that she's out of her depth and advises Rory to talk to Lorelai. In Lane's defense, she did cancel band practice to listen to Rory's bullshit problems. She might not always give great advice, but she makes the time.

Lorelai makes Sookie examine Kirk's ass wound, so ... major points lost for her.

Best literary or pop culture references:
The show has done a pretty good job of establishing that Emily Gilmore is a musical fiend. After Rory agrees to go to Europe with her, she exclaims, "It'll be just like 'Gigi.'" As I remember it, "Gigi" is a musical about a bunch of creepy older men with boners for little girls. Maybe Emily just means that they're going to vacation in Europe and become the object of every man's affection? I'm now completely unsure of what she's trying to say and feel like I need to rewatch "Gigi" to decode it.

Maurice Chevalier (middle) even sings "Thank Heaven for Little Girls."

Stars Hollow weirdness:
Where do I begin? Kik's previously established night terrors come out in full force during the first night at the inn. He runs naked past a kissing Luke and Lorelai, right into some rose bushes. Sookie, bless her heart, is forced to pull thorns out of his ass.

Michel claims that the inn offers a bunch of bougie services - seaweed wraps, facial peels, Watsu massage, etc. - and gets burned when Taylor takes him up on a complimentary shoeshine. Paw-Paw and Chin-Chin feast on his loafers (size 6.5, narrow) as soon as they're abandoned in the hallway.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
This is one of my absolute favorite elder Gilmore exchanges:

Emily: I am going to Europe, Richard. I am going to Europe, and I'm going to have a marvelous time. I'm going to get up at 10:00, and I'm going to have two glasses of wine at lunch every single day.
Richard: Only prostitutes have two glasses of wine at lunch.
Emily: Well, then buy me a boa and drive me to Reno because I am open for business.

Fuck yeah, Emily! Go to Europe, flirt with anyone you want, and tell Richard to enjoy a long, dry summer with his valet.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Rory mentions "Daisy Miller," a book by Henry James, and the inspiration for the episode title. Lorelai calls Luke (en route to the Renaissance fair) Dean Moriarty, a reference to Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."

Best song of the episode:
After letting Dean stick his penis inside of her, Rory decides that Sammy Davis Jr.'s "The Candy Man" is their song. It's not the best, but it is memorable 🤮

Who can take the sunrise… sprinkle it with dew 🎶OMG ... is the dew a euphemism for cum?

Richard and Emily's marital discord is the best part of this episode. After tapping out early on the inn's test run, we see Emily rushing around the house, frantically searching for her (Louis Vuitton) "European luggage." Can you imagine being so wealthy that you have special luggage for your travels to Europe? While searching, she and Richard toss around some of the saltiest barbs this show has to offer. Edward Herrmann and Kelly Bishop are the two best actors on "GG" and shine brightest when the nastiness is cranked to a 10.

While Emily rummages around the basement, Richard heads upstairs and accidentally locks or jams the door. After freaking out and shouting at Richard to let her out, Emily decides to climb out the window, losing her skirt in the process. The whole scene ends with a visit from the po po, followed by the dissolution of a marriage. Emily might take on most of the traditional wifely duties but make no mistake ... gf is not a doormat.

Richard: Do you know what, Emily? If nothing else, this display tonight demonstrates clearly that you are no longer the woman I married.
Emily: The woman you married was your partner. You listened to her. You consulted with her. You respected her. So, you are right, Richard. I am definitely not the woman you married.

Later at the inn, Emily, Lorelai, and Rory have lunch together. Emily announces the separation and invites Rory to come to Europe with her. I'd like to go on a bougie, all-expenses paid trip to Europe. I'd happily do whatever the fuck Emily wants in exchange for a first-class ticket. In an attempt to get her mind off Dean, Lorelai pushes Rory to accept and is shocked when she complies.

Unbeknownst to Lorelai, Rory has been feeling the guilt since the moment Lindsay answered Dean's phone (although, please note that this did not stop her from banging him again). On her way to the inn for lunch, Rory walks past the butcher shop and sees Lindsay frantically engaging in the most inane conversation I've ever heard about roast beef. How does someone use 3 meat thermometers and still fuck things up? If the 8-year-olds on Master Chef Jr. can do it, a grown-ass woman shouldn't have a problem. Anyway, the point of this scene is to show that despite Dean's claims that the marriage is over, Lindsay is clearly still trying desperately to please him.

Instead of talking to Dean about her Lindsay concerns, Rory does the most Rory thing ever and skips town. Lorelai is supportive of the decision, but understandably flummoxed. This seems the first time where she realizes how entitled and bratty Rory has become. S1 Rory would have never acted this way.

Rory's Le Tigre polo gives me major high school flashbacks.

In the midst of this fuckery, Lorelai focuses on wrapping up the test run smoothly and trying to suss out her feelings for Luke. There's an adorable scene where they each slip away from their respective hectic environments to talk on the phone. Luke clearly feels extremely vulnerable and seems to be bracing himself for rejection the entire time. Luckily, Lorelai tells him that their kiss was great and that "If one of us had been a frog, it would have had some seriously impressive consequences."

The end of the episode sweeps Luke off to the Renaissance fair in Maine with the flimsiest excuse ever: Liz and TJ broke some limbs in an accident and need help running their booth. How much physical stamina does one need to successfully run a jewelry stand? Thankfully, Luke decided to finally take the plunge and buy a cell phone. After leaving Lorelai 5 weird messages on her machine, they finally connect and have more cute moments. I didn't realize it at the time, but Luke's number was apparently once functional. Viewers could call it and hear a recording of Scott Patterson trying to raise funds for Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

With Rory in Europe and Luke in Maine, what will Lorelai do with her summer? The Palladinos know how to keep a woman on the edge of her seat 😏

Random observations:

  • Richard and Emily's rich acquaintance du jour: Petal (?) Huffington. Emily notes that she's obsessed with the police blotter. "It's like heroin to her."
  • Cheating 101: clean your penis and don’t be paranoid about your phone. If Dean doesn't have some kind of undiagnosed brain damage, there's no explanation for his behavior.
  • Sookie refers to Davey as "short stack," an exceptionally cute nickname for a baby.
  • The direction of this episode is weird. It starts with the same events from the previous episode, but from a different perspective. There's one shot of Rory and Dean through a lace curtain that does not adhere to the visual language of this show at all.
  • Sookie is excited about the possibility of Luke and Lorelai dating because it means she's "not gonna die alone." Not everyone needs a partner to feel happy or fulfilled ... points lost for Sookie.
  • Is there a cigarette machine in Luke's stockroom? I assume it's just decorative unless Caesar has a bad habit we don't know about.