Directing and writing credits:
"He's Slippin' 'Em Bread... Dig?" is directed by Kenny Ortega, written by Daniel Palladino. Ortega previously directed these episodes:
- "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" - Why didn't Dean and Shane end up together? In real life, they would have indulged in at least one revenge fuck.
- "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving" - What song would you request from Brad, the Nordstrom pianist at Emily's Thanksgiving dinner? I'd go with something from "A Chorus Line" as a nod to Kelly Bishop.
- "Face-Off" - One of my favorite "Gilmore" theories, that Kirk is Taylor's illegitimate son, is discussed in this recap.
- "A Family Matter" - I would happily let Lane crash at my house if she did some light dusting and brought me coffee each morning.
- "Written in the Stars" - "This great man was not brought down by my vagina, okay?"
- "You Jump, I Jump, Jack" - Richard somehow doesn't have a stroke when Luke shows up to golf wearing jeans.
- "Emily Says Hello" - TJ is in this episode 😑
- "Come Home" - Miss Celine is in this episode 🤗
- "Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out" - Jess is the unofficial winner of the Rich Man's Shoe dick measuring contest.
A majority (6/9) of these Ortega-directed episodes were written by one of the Palladinos. They also brought him on for "Bunheads," so I think it's safe to say that they enjoy and respect his work.
As for Palladino news, I'm sure you've all seen this by now:
Most batshit crazy outfit:
I can't imagine having Huntzberger money and wearing a nylon slip skirt with an untucked, short sleeve satin button-down shirt to Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe Honor was already several vodkas deep when she got dressed.
Lorelai's top in the lunch with Christopher scene reminds me of several unfortunate choices I made circa sophomore year of college. My friends pulled together their Forever21 resources to create a communal closet, so I don't think either of these were actually mine, but yikes. I guess this was a popular neck and sleeve cut in the early 2000s.
You already know how I feel about these idiotic skinny scarves that will soon be covered in pancake syrup.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory has the nerve to tell Lorelai that she doesn't know what it's like to live at Emily and Richard's house. Did she somehow forget the origin story of her own birth and Lorelai's sixteen-year estrangement from her parents? This comment proves how self-centered Rory has become in her twenties.
Rory: You don't know what it was like to be living there. I had maids, but sometimes my waffles still got a tiny bit cold.
Lorelai: Hello, oppressed one, class of eighty-five!
Rory: But you got out.
Lorelai: No, no. You were only there for three months. You're not in my league. We can't swap war stories yet.
Rory: They had their Reverend come over to talk me out of having sex. They never did that to you.
Lorelai: Five times they did that to me! The last time they triple-teamed me with a priest, a rabbi and a Mormon missionary. I made so many jokes that night, I should have had a microphone and a brick wall behind me. And I never got a forty thousand dollar sex house.
With each passing episode, I find it more difficult to muster up any positive feelings for Rory. With her on the tracks, the trolley problem's ethical dilemma evaporates.
The most annoying Lorelai moment is when she whips out her hat box with all of the notes she wrote for Rory during their estrangement. It's all very "I could have called you and repaired our relationship like an adult, but here’s my box of mistakes!" This is something Rory should discuss in her upcoming therapy session with Dr. Shapiro.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Both women are surprisingly decent — dare I say good? — friends. Sookie loses her shit when she finds out that Lorelai and Rory are reunited. She knocks a bowl of mushrooms out of some poor kitchen employee's hands, screeching, "This means you can set a wedding date. No impediments!" Why is Sookie so obsessed with Luke and Lorelai's impending nuptials? Is she all caught up on "Dark Shadows" or something? Anyway, I give Lorelai friend points for not telling Sookie to piss off.
After years of neglect, Rory finally shows some genuine affection for Lane. She seems legitimately excited about the band's new music, spouting off favorite songs by name and proving that she wasn't lying when she said, "That tape you gave me of your new stuff was awesome!" She even agrees to set her "crack pipe aside for the night" to serve as Hep Alien's "D. A. Pennebaker" during the world's most depressing showcase. No amount of un-jinxing can cancel out the bad luck brought by a man with extreme confidence and an I.Q. of eighty.
When Rory calls Paris to announce her return to Yale with a drumroll, the harsh response is everything I wanted it to be: "You really had to drum roll that? Of course you're coming back. What are you going to do without a college degree? Drive a forklift?" What I like most about Paris is that you always know where you stand with her. If she's not impressed, girlfriend 👏🏻 will 👏🏻 not 👏🏻 fake 👏🏻 it.
Best literary or pop culture references:
Everyone deserves a hypeman like Gil, who describes Zack's shitty little riff from "Stella" like this:
"It's got a nice Fountains of Wayne meets the Shins crossed with Odyssey-era Zombies, and a mix of early Who and mid-to-late-era Replacements vibe to it."
Gil, sweetie ... no. Good effort, though!
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk's latest hobbies are skeet shooting ("What if you accidentally hit a real pigeon?") and doing tai chi. The WB actually paid Sean Gunn to come in and shoot a brief, wordless tai chi scene in a colorblocked windsuit.
Sadly, they did not pay for footage of Babette's cats' meow-rendition of "Ring of Fire." (Bullshit.)
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
I wouldn't use one of my three genie wishes on this, but okay.
Sookie: Oh my God! What if what I'm wishing for is actually coming true?
Lorelai: Quick! Wish for a Sephora to be built within walking distance.
This reminds me of S2 when Lorelai notes that she wouldn't want Sherry driving their getaway car:
Rory: What are we robbing?
Lorelai: Sephora. We had it all planned out.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
I was an English major in college and somehow managed to avoid reading "Beowulf," which I intend to continue doing for the rest of my life. I don't blame Lorelai for putting it down after three minutes.
Liz uses Martha Stewart's "Holidays" during her dinner prep. At one point, she remarks, "Look at Martha's hands! They're so white!" Which ... yes? Was she expecting them to be some other color?
Christopher offers to buy Rory some Oompa Loompas with his dead grandfather's money. He could be referencing Roald Dahl's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," but we all know he's only seen the movie adaptation. And not even the original movie with Gene Wilder, but the shitty 2005 Tim Burton movie. Christopher is definitely the type of douche who thinks that Johnny Depp is the OG Willy Wonka.
Best song of the episode:
Paul Anka's "Eye of the Tiger" plays during the inn's Thanksgiving dinner at the end of the episode. NGL, he does right by Survivor.
Now that Rory has re-enrolled at Yale, Lorelai can start loving and supporting her again. I wonder if she'll ever realize that her relationship with Rory is only good when she calls the shots. As soon as Rory deviates from Lorelai's wishes (with Jess, Dean round 2, Yale) the chummy mother-daughter dynamic dissipates.
On several occasions, Lorelai has told her parents that she pulled away from them after Rory's birth because she felt like they were trying to control her. Every time she flips out on them throughout the series, it's because she feels like they're exerting too much influence over her or Rory. There's the Thanksgiving dinner in S3 when Lorelai has a tantrum because she believes that Richard manipulated Rory into applying at Yale. When Emily tries to orchestrate a Christopher rekindling at her vow renewal in S5, Lorelai shuts her out entirely. Then, of course, there's the whole estrangement at the beginning of this season after the grandparents ignored Lorelai's plan to stop Rory from dropping out of school.
If Lorelai went to therapy instead of making fun of it, she would understand that despite the cool mom facade, her parenting method isn't far off from Richard and Emily's: do your best to exert as much control as possible and when that doesn't work, withhold your love. It's emotional abuse 101 and Lorelai will never break the cycle if she can't recognize it. But I digress! Now that Rory is back on her overachiever bullshit, business as usual can resume.
When the two show up for breakfast at the diner and Rory asks what's new with Luke, he turns into a stuttering mess of suspicion. Rory asks Lorelai, "Did I inadvertently step into something there?" and her response is basically 🤷🏼♀️ It's not Lorelai's responsibility to decipher Luke's unexpressed emotions, but I am surprised that she doesn't have an inkling that something is up, especially after she shares the backstory of the infamous Christopher answering machine message from the previous episode.
It turns out that in the latter half of the message, Christopher tells Lorelai that he has something important to discuss with her that is "an absolute one hundred percent positive thing" for both her and Rory. At this point, my husband interjected with, "The only good news you'll hear from Christopher is that he took out a life insurance policy and is going to commit suicide." Unfortunately, the situation is not quite that appealing.
When he and Lorelai meet up at a diner called Pardue's to discuss the news, Christopher announces that his grandfather, a man who sexually harassed nurses until his final hour, has died. Don't worry, though, it's one of "those un-sad deaths ... like Buddy Hackett." And on the upside, the old man left Christopher a shit ton of money that he now wants to share with Rory and Lorelai.
At first, Lorelai is hesitant but promises to talk it over with Rory. During their conversation, Rory quickly decides that she would like Christopher to pay for Yale instead of the grandparents. I wish I knew the struggle of choosing between multiple people who desperately wish to give me the gift of financial freedom.
Before dinner at the inn (with Liz and all of her Renaissance people because her turkey "exploded"), Lorelai explains all of this to Luke and braces herself for pushback. Instead, she gets this reaction:
Luke: I think that's great.
Luke: Yes. I think that's absolutely great.
Lorelai: You heard the part about how I got together with Christopher?
Luke: Absolutely. You had to, to talk about this. He's her dad. He's her dad. If he's got something, he should be sharing it, good for him. He's been gone most of the time, so he owes you. I'm glad he's doing it. He's doing what a dad is supposed to do. He's taking care of his kid. Good. Good.
This is a big departure for the man who, just last episode, said, "I'm never going to be okay with Christopher being in your life." Not that Lorelai could have predicted April, but I would have at least expected some follow up questions about what made Luke change his mind. Maybe she didn't want to push her luck and was just happy that he didn't storm out of the inn in another immature bout of rage.
Unbeknownst to Lorelai, Luke has been thinking about April (and his obligation to her) all day. Instead of just talking to her about it, he decides to confide in Liz for her best crystal-based advice. You know you're making mistakes when even Liz is immediately like, "Why the fuck haven't you told Lorelai about this yet?" What's worse is that the Christopher conversation makes Luke realize that he does want to be in April's life, so he calls the Nardini house from the inn kitchen but hangs up when he reaches their annoying answering machine message.
Rory also takes a mood-altering phone call at the inn. Honor Huntzberger calls to ask how she is after her break up with Logan, something Rory was unaware of until this moment. Earlier in the episode, she admitted to Lorelai that they weren't talking, but described it like this: "I think we just needed a little break, at least I did. It's more like a hiatus." It turns out that when you don't actually communicate with each other, misunderstandings are bound to happen.
The other big plot point this episode is almost too upsetting to discuss. Zack, AKA tepid bong water, screws over Hep Alien at their big showcase. As the band prepares their set list, Lane realizes that Zack has written songs about many women — Melissa, Maureen, Stella, Lorraine, Colleen, Rebecca — but never her. When she points this out, he's weirdly like, "Ummm, nothing good rhymes with Lane" and says that maybe he can try using her Korean name, which is (I think) Hyun-Kyung. I'm not sure if we're supposed to read this as Zack questioning the relationship or just feeling nervous about the upcoming showcase, but I think it's even simpler than that: Zack is an insecure little man child who likes to play weird mind games with Lane because nothing else of interest is happening in his pathetic ass life.
When sweet, empathetic Brian writes a song for Lane instead, Zack immediately gets pissy. He then arrives at the showcase with a stupid, wireless Gwen Stefani mic and a last-minute addition tambourine player named Joel, who is actually played by Joel Gion, the IRL frontman (and tambourine player) for The Brian Jonestown Massacre. I'm not sure what kind of insane power play Zack is trying to orchestrate, but he completely destroys Hep Alien's credibility in front of the label guy. After aiming his inarticulate rage at Brian in the form of a low kick, Gil tackles him to the ground and the show ends before it even begins.
When Lane confronts Zack about his outburst at the end of the episode, he says, "This is what it is, okay? Maybe this is why people in bands shouldn't date" and then they break up. The fact that the writers chose for them to get back together after this fucking nonsense is truly unforgivable. To me, this is even worse than April. Worse than S7. Worse than the dumb musical episode of "AYitL." WORSE THAN THE LAST FOUR WORDS.
- The Paul Anka "sugar toe" thing is yet another example of Lorelai at her most insufferable.
- If you're wondering whether Liz has a cross necklace, yes ... she does.
- There is a bottle of Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 2 in Lorelai's snazzy new two-sink bathroom. The label isn't fully visible, but could this be product placement? (This show already name-dropped the brand in S4.) I'm not 100%, but it looks like Rory is using one of Chanel's setting powders, which must have been an Emily Gilmore upgrade.
- Why did Luke get rid of his penny scale outside of the diner? It was still there in the first episode of the season.
- Lane mentions "Waiting for Guffman," which makes me think of this shit rendition of the song that inspired this episode title from S3.
- In the millionth reference to "The Godfather," Sookie tells her sous chef to "Godfather it up for me" during haché sauce preparations.
- When Luke sees the mess from Liz's pathetic Thanksgiving dinner attempts, he says, "It's like Mötley Crüe's been here." Do we think Lorelai made him read "The Dirt" when they first started dating?
- The episode title is a reference to Ondi Timoner's 2004 documentary, Dig!, which follows the friendship and subsequent rivalry between The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The Hep Alien fight scene was modeled after a scene in the film that takes place at L.A.'s Viper Room, AKA the place where River Phoenix OD'd.
- Christopher says that he spent some of his inheritance money on "a new bike" and "a giant audio system," but I think he forgot to mention a new glass coffee table and a kilo of cocaine. His behavior at the diner reminds me of Charlie Sanders in this Key & Peele sketch: