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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Three Birthday Parties, A Cat Funeral And The Magic Risotto

Rory turns 16 and fails a test while Lorelai scores a date. 

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Three Birthday Parties, A Cat Funeral And The Magic Risotto

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

It's week two of our rewatch project, and Gilmore Girls is settling into the show it will become: lots of schooling, lots of flirting, lots of screwy townie action and lots of impossibly sweet bonding between Mother and Daughter. Kirk is even finally called Kirk, although he's still not quite the bastion of absurdity we will grow to know and love. And we haven't even met Taylor yet! But patience, my friends: there will be more Taylor action than we can handle soon enough.

Let's dive in, but first! A reminder of our drinking game rules:

The Gilmore Girls Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

Lorelai or Rory drinks coffee.

Emily gets flustered by Lorelai's bizarre sense of humor.

Sookie is controlling about food.

Paris is controlling about anything.

Michel snubs a customer.

Luke is crotchety.

Taylor has an absurd scheme for Stars Hollow.

The girls acquire massive amounts of food and then fail to take even one bite. 


Drink twice every time:

Kirk has a new job.

You see a town troubadour.

You see a moment from the credits.

Mrs. Kim says "We appreciate your business."

On to the episodes! 

1.04 "The Deer Hunters"

Rory's having some trouble catching up at Chilton, receiving a D on her English paper in Mr. Max Medina's class. Lorelai finds out in the parent-teacher conference, after earning the ire of all the snooty Chilton parents for her wacky ways, and after some grade-A flirting with the very cute Mr. Medina. She realizes Rory must be freaking out over her first ever D, so she spends the next week helping Rory study for her upcoming Shakespeare test, worth 20% of her grade.

After an all-night cram sesh, Rory and Lorelai both oversleep (again!), and Rory drives to school in a frenzy, getting hit by a deer at a stop sign. 

She's late to class, and Mr. Medina won't let her take the test. A sleepless Rory totally wigs out and yells at everyone, including Paris for being such a jerk and ChaMM for being such a ChaMM. Lorelai is summoned to the school and she further wigs out, calling Headmaster Charleston "Il Duce" and Chilton itself "a rotting, stodgy rathole." It's great. Mr. Medina's super attracted to angry Lorelai, as are we all, and Rory's allowed to do some make-up work. We learn about her and Lorelai's lifelong obsession with getting Rory into Harvard, and Lorelai worries she's put too much pressure on Rory, but Rory promises that Harvard and Chilton are her idea, and she's not ready to give up on them yet.

In Independence Inn news, Sookie gets a rave review as the chef, but the reviewer dares to call her magic risotto "fine." She joins Rory and Lorelai in the wigging out wings, but eventually discovers that the food critic ordered the Riesling with her risotto, which is evidently comparable to drinking battery acid. She shanghais the critic at his house with her risotto and the appropriate wine pairing, because she is a lunatic and I love her. 

How many times do I have to drink?

18 drinks. 

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

7.

Flirtation quota:

We don't see Dean this episode, but Lane informs Rory that he asked about her at school and he was impressed to discover that she's at Chilton now. Rory does not appear displeased at the news. She does appear displeased every time ChaMM ambush-flirts with her (duck, it's a ChaMMbush!), because that girl has taste. Max and Lorelai do some quality flirting at the parent-teacher conference (inappropes!), and he leaves a very cute message on their answering machine. 

Most dated pop culture reference:

Upon learning that Rory was too humiliated to tell Lorelai about her bad grade, Lorelai says, "Oh, honey. You once told me that you loved Saved by the Bell. What could be more humiliating than that?" Hah! 

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

Why the magic risotto, of course! We learn that Sookie once made this risotto for her mother on her death bed, and her mother lived three more years.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

She spilled coffee on her blouse on the way to the conference, so she rocked this B-52's shirt under her suit jacket. Max didn't seem to mind.

Kirk insanity:

No Kirk in this episode, gah. We're still building up to him.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Lorelai, trying to ease some of the Harvard pressure off Rory: "I'll still love you, even if you can't support me in my old age in the fabulous manner to which I plan on growing accustomed."

Random observation: 

We see a little more of Lane's stifled existence in this episode. Mrs. Kim's antique store/house is an austere place to live, and Lane ekes out a modicum of freedom by hiding a bunch of CDs under the floorboards and lava lamps in her closet. Shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior!

1.05 "Cinnamon's Wake"

Morey and Babette, Lorelai's kooky neighbors, have been having a little trouble with their cat Cinnamon's dyspepsia, particularly after Morey shares his clams from the ever-peripheral Al's Pancake World with the old broad. When Cinnamon later departs this mortal coil, Morey blames himself, but the Stars Hollow vet assures him, "It wasn't your fault, Morey. In human years, this cat was 260 years old." Because Morey and Babette don't have children and Cinnamon was their baby (and more to the point, because Stars Hollow is nuts), the entire town comes together for Cinnamon's wake. (Get it?) We get a chance to see, amidst all of this goofiness, how beautifully in love Morey and Babette are, and it warms my heart.

In boy news, Lorelai runs into Max at the Chilton bake sale, and after trying to snub him briefly for the whole deer/test incident, she agrees to go out for coffee with him. After some further hesitation considering what a bad idea it is to date Rory's teacher, she decides to give it a shot because Max is hella smooth.

BUT she forgets to tell Rory about it in all the Cinnamon hubbub - and she forgets that Max is coming to pick her up for their first date during the wake, so she has to reschedule with him. Max is far more understanding than any man has a right to be when a woman stands him up because she's at her neighbor's cat's funeral. And Rory, after seeing Max at their doorstep, is far more understanding than any girl has a right to be when she learns her mother is dating her English teacher.

In further boy news, Rory runs into Dean at the wake, after he rides her Chilton bus with her for a couple of blocks just to flirt with her, and her general spazziness leads him to believe she's not interested. In a masterfully manipulative boy move, he vows to leave her alone. She blurts, "I am interested!" and runs away, because this adorable child has no idea how to play it cool. 

How many times do I have to drink?

10.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

4.

Flirtation quota:

Lots of Dean and Max action, who both commit the ultimate TV sin by calling Rory and Lorelai by their full names as a strange flirting technique I will never understand. This also applies to TV proposals. "Meredith Borders, will you marry me?" "Why are you using my full name, you weirdo? Do you see any other Merediths here?"

Most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, trying to justify her date with Max: "You can't always control who you're attracted to, you know. I think the whole Angelina Jolie/Billy Bob Thornton thing really proves that."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She makes Roquefort puffs for Cinnamon's wake, competing with Luke's crowd-pleasing burgers, and I die of hunger.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

Stop this pleather/polyester/banana clip combo right now, Lorelai Gilmore! (See, that's when it's appropriate to use a person's full name. Full names are for scolding, not flirting.)

Kirk insanity:

Hey, his name's Kirk now! Finally! He's the Assistant Manager at Doose's Market (drink for new job!), but he's still not really our Kirk. He and Miss Patty allegedly meet for the first time at the market, when we all know good and well that they've known each other since she was teaching him to dance when he was a tiny nutbar.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

When Lorelai's trying to explain Max's arrival to Rory, and she starts with, "That man is your teacher," Rory replies, "Mom, I'm a little behind in school, but not so behind that I don't know who the teacher is."

Random observation:

We get some glimpses of one of my favorite parts of Gilmore Girls this week: the friendships between Lorelai and Sookie and Rory and Lane. Those Gilmore gals have the best friends ever, and the show always pays tribute to the wonderful, supportive, hilarious thing that a friendship between women can be.

1.06 "Rory's Birthday Parties"

Rory's turning sixteen and everyone wants to throw her a birthday party. Emily plans an exhaustively formal affair and invites all of Rory's frenemies from Chilton - without Rory's knowledge. Rory is PISSED. Lorelai, however, has been getting along with Emily for the first time ever, since Emily serves pudding at Friday night dinner and asks Lorelai to help her buy something Rory will actually like. Rory, after dealing with Paris and ChaMM's general unpleasantness, blows up at Emily at the party, but she apologizes and invites Richard and Emily to her other birthday party, the next night at her house.

Lorelai's thrown a crazy Stars Hollow affair, and Richard and Emily get to see some of the life she and Rory have lived without them. It makes Emily sad and introspective, but also sweet, and it seems like the three generations of Gilmore girls might be making some progress.

Also making progress? Rory and Paris, when they find out they both want to go to Harvard, and Rory promises Paris that she has zero interest in ChaMM. (Good girl.) Rory and Dean have some forward momentum, too, when he gives her a bracelet he made for her birthday, and they hold hands. Lorelai sees this and panics, because Rory hasn't told her anything about Dean yet.

And technically, Rory gets three birthday parties, because Luke gives her a coffee cake and balloons at her diner table first thing in the morning. That dude is so sweet when he's not being super duper grouchy.

How many times do I have to drink?

10.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Dean makes a sweet bracelet for Rory out of a medallion he found, and she swoons. Also this:

Lorelai and Luke do some heavy duty flirting when he shows up at Rory's birthday party anticipating her need for extra bags of ice, and Emily takes notice. And even Emily gets some flirty action when Richard tells her how nice she looks. 

Most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, teasing Rory: "And Justin is so dreamy. He can't marry Britney. I'll just cry and cry and cry!"

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She makes a cake with Rory's face on it! (Pic at the top of the page)

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

Ahh, this insanely patterned shirt with the fuzzy leopard print collar needs to be burned tout de suite. (Also, credits moment: drink!)
 

Kirk insanity:

We're still in those black days when it's possible to have a Kirkless episode, or as I like to call them, the Dark Ages of Stars Hollow.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Lorelai, waxing nostalgic over Rory's birth: "And while some have called it the most meaningful experience of your life, to me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite."

Random observation:

The morning of Rory's birthday, Lorelai climbs in bed with her and they have an adorable conversation about Rory's birth and how much Lorelai loves her, and this exact conversation is replicated in a dream Rory has in Season 6 in which Madeleine Albright (the real one!) takes the place of Lorelai.

(Future season spoiler in this video, newbies beware!)

And onward we move, hopefully in the direction of a world where Our Kirk actually exists. The next three episodes are all major winners: "Kiss and Tell," "Love and War and Snow" and "Rory's Dance," so I can't wait to see you back here next Wednesday!

And a question for you, FYA readers: Would you rather have Luke or Sookie cater your cat's funeral? I can never decide!

Follow along the rest of the Rewatch Project here

Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith is the managing editor of Badass Digest, Fantastic Fest, The Alamo Drafthouse and Birth.Movies.Death. She's shorter than you might think.
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