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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Love, Crazies And Troubadours

Meredith's BFF and GILMORE GIRLS expert Mandy J. joins us for a special Season One Finale edition!

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Love, Crazies And Troubadours

Follow along the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

We're on Week 7 of our Rewatch Project, and that means we've reached the Season One finale!

And for this very special occasion, I've invited my friend Mandy Jeronimus, Ultimate Number One Gilmore Girls Superfan, to join me. Mandy actually introduced me to Gilmore Girls way back when, and she's going to join in to commemorate every season finale with me! Plus she'll be subbing on the weeks I have to go out of town, so please give her a big FYA welcome! Mandys love FYA. 

So let's get to it, 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!

1.19 "Emily In Wonderland"


This episode is one of my favorites! (I know. I say that a lot.) I love what a great sport Emily is the whole time that they are antiquing. She's so fun when she's allowed to be a part of things. I mean, Teriyaki Joe's? My grandmother would NEVER... 

As for Rachel and Lorelai, she's totally still being kind and friendly, but observation: women are such a unique species. I'm pretty sure that Rachel already knows that Lorelai and Luke have...chemistry. However, despite that, Rachel still confides in Lorelai about her relationship. Women are always confiding in each other, even when strangers. I've even offered advice (and BEEN offered advice) in the bathroom. This is one of Lorelai's classier moves to give her legit advice, from the heart. She'd be breaking the girl code if she didn't. As an aside, WE MEET THE DRAGONFLY!!! Also, I want a bookstore that shows old timey sci-fi movies SO MUCH!

Then, the fight: This is one of the fights that Lorelai and Emily have where I am firmly on Emily's side. She could've outright yelled at Lorelai right there at the Independence Inn about how they lived in a potting shed, or she could've even said something cutting in front of Rory. However, instead she simply made Rory a beautiful room all her own and while some of the poster choices were off base, they were clearly chosen thinking about Rory. (My grandma once gave me an anonymous yellow hat and wrote my sister a check in front of the tree for Christmas, so I can't really relate.) Instead of letting it be what it was, which was Emily trying to overcompensate for not having been able to take care of Rory back in the potting shed days, Lorelai gets snarky and basically provokes Emily into yelling at her.


I love this episode, too. I think it's one of the absolute best of Season One, if not the best. Emily in her running shoes, flirting in French with Michel, having the time of her life - I love it! Rory is such a sweetheart here, so truly overjoyed to show her grandmother around on a Saturday. I'm also happy to see the Return Of Rune, who will now become the worst handyman the Independence Inn or any other inn has ever seen. 

And Rachel and Lorelai's exchanges here are SO good. They both seem so kind and mature, and like they really admire one another. Lorelai's clearly sad and uncomfortable about losing Luke to Rachel, but she also knows that she had her chance, and that Rachel could very possibly make Luke happy, so she doesn't want to stand in the way. Mandy, I feel so conflicted about this - I may need to ask you advice next time we're in a bathroom together.

I'm also enjoying the exchanges between Lane and Rory this week, as Rory first comforts Lane about Henry and Lane in turn comforts Rory about Dean. One of the reasons Mandy and I love this show so much is that it offers the best representation of lady friendships ever, and as besties who love it, that means a lot to us.

An aside: Lorelai and Kirk in the movie theater, Lorelai blabbing and Kirk's phone going off, would make the BEST Alamo Drafthouse Don't Talk PSA ever. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota:

MANDY - Lorelai and Luke in the storeroom. She handles his pickles. Heh.

MEREDITH - Dirty! I also like when Rachel corners Luke into complimenting Lorelai's gorgeous eyes. "They're placed good." Way to play it cool, dude.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

MANDY - While not a "reference," per se, Kirk's ringtone! I totally remember that tone!  

MEREDITH - I also love love love Lorelai and Rory's Charlie's Angels plates. It took them a long time to find the whole set, but they have three Tanya Roberts!

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

MANDY - Orange muffins (still warm!) with cinnamon butter? Oh, Sookie! (Is it quite symbolic that I think Jackson's jam would be delicious paired with Sookie's orange muffins?)

MEREDITH - Now I'm starving. Thanks a lot.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

MANDY - Hardly a contest. Her graffiti shirt is LITERALLY saying a lot.

MEREDITH - Ye gods, won't someone think of my poor beleaguered eyeballs? 

Kirk insanity:

MANDY - I quite enjoy his demand for silence to "cleanse his mental palate." I'm pretty sure that palate is already pretty sparkling, Kirk ol' buddy.

MEREDITH - He has to achieve calm before enjoying a motion picture, Mandy!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

MANDY - "N Sync or 98 Degrees?" "What kind of sick joke is this?"

MEREDITH - I love when Lorelai's complaining about the complex Emily gave her about her "unusually large head" as a child. Lorelai: "The best thing about it was that she would tell me constantly. My first complete sentence was, 'Big head want dolly.'"

Random observation:

I think it's kind of special and amazing that Rachel brings Lorelai to the Dragonfly Inn. It's also incredible to me that we see the Dragonfly, the very same building that will (spoiler!) one day be Lorelai and Sookie's inn, years before that actually happens! This show played the long game from day one, and that's one of the reasons it's so fantastic. I love watching Rory and Lorelai daydream on the picnic blanket as Sookie critiques the kitchen facilities of this ramshackle old building with so much potential. 

1.20 "P.S. I Lo..."


Rory's still incredibly sad about Dean, and during a round of her and Lorelai's hilarious game "1,2,3, He's Yours," she just gets sadder. And then she gets mean. And then she gets meaner. She is SO grumpy lately, and Lorelai's typical quirky, intentionally-annoying thing isn't helping for once.

When Max approaches her after class and spills the beans that he and Lorelai have reunited, and after she realizes that Lane's been hiding the fact that Dean's her lab partner so Rory wouldn't get upset, well, Rory gets upset. She blows up at Lorelai and spends the night at Richard and Emily's, without leaving a note so Lorelai is of course frantic and Emily is of course pretty smug (but understandably so). But they make up in gorgeous fashion, when Rory finally admits to Lorelai (after Lorelai shanghaied poor Dean at Doose's) that she and Dean broke up because she didn't say "I love you" back, and Lorelai gives her fantastic advice and forgives her for everything, no questions asked. Best mom ever. 

Weirdest friend ever, however - she goes shopping for Luke to help him pick out the perfect present for Rachel, and then she buys him a ton of clothes and dresses him and Rachel walks in and IT IS SO WEIRD. I'm cringing thinking of it. Luke does look good, though!


So, first observation: it's totally inappropriate for Max to ask Rory about how boy-sad she is after class. The thing that gets on my nerves about Max is that he tries too hard sometimes. Just ask Rory if everything is okay. If she doesn't want to talk about it, say "Well, okay. If you want to talk, though, let me know." Instead, he gets all sensitive sweater vest guy about it.

Lorelai is overcompensating for obviously liking Luke by shopping for Rachel for Luke. Also, unlike Meredith, I love that Lorelai Pretty Womans Luke. I just wish there'd been a shopping montage!

I know that I should be concerned that Lorelai and Rory were fighting, but I LOVE that she ran to her grandparents' house, rather than Lane's or something.  It makes me really happy when Emily's worth is validated like that. It makes her feel so great, especially in light of the last episode.

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota:

MANDY - This is a really flirtful episode. The 1, 2, 3 game is at least a flirting vehicle when no one is around with whom they actively want to flirt. (Plus, it's Luke flirty. "Technically, Luke is #3.") Also, Lorelai and Max get fuh-LIRTY over the phone. I mean, pantslessness and underwear colors are discussed!

MEREDITH - I love that Luke is #3 and that makes him Lorelai's pick! I can't help but think she did that a little bit on purpose, at least subconsciously. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

MANDY - Lorelai, regarding Luke's black-on-black suit: "Regis does it." Luke: "Okay, you've won me over now."

MEREDITH - When Rory and Lorelai are playing "1,2,3, He's Yours" and 1 is an old man, Lorelai says no, "Because I'm not Anna Nicole Smith." When 2 is a young kid, Lorelai says no, "Because I'm not Mary Kay LeTourneau."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

MANDY - Sadly, no Sookie cooking (Sooking?), but I have to give a tip of the hat to Emily's lunch for Rory of a roasted lamb sandwich and homemade streudel. I'd eat the h-e-double hockey sticks out of that!

MEREDITH - Hear! Hear! Let's all stay the night at Richard and Emily's!

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

MANDY - The purple pants with the magenta printed shirt and blue blazer? It's just...too many.  

MEREDITH - My mom actually pointed out how much purple there is on this show. I'd never noticed before, but now I see it everywhere!

Kirk insanity:

MANDY - Kirk, where arrrrre youuuu???

MEREDITH - Why hath you forsaken uussssss???

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

When Lorelai sees the meowing kitty potholders Luke bought Rachel, Luke: "It's a present." Lorelai: "For someone you hate?"

Random observation:

Even though Rory's a real Bee this episode, I kind of like it. This is the first time we get a glimpse that she's a normal, hormonal teenager. Sometimes, even the sweetest kids are jerks to their moms, especially when boy trouble abounds. 

1.21 "Love, Daisies And Troubadours"

MEREDITH - We've reached the finale, and it is so good. Luke's been avoiding Rachel by fixing all sorts of not-all-that-broken stuff at Lorelai's house. It feels like there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but I can't quite find it. Lorelai urges Luke to spend some time with Rachel, and he sort of tries, but when Rachel splits, telling Luke that she can tell he's in love with Lorelai, he doesn't fight all that hard. And then he heads straight to Lorelai's, where she's looking gorgeous, getting ready for her date with Max. And then this happens. 

Luke and Max have a major pissing contest (Luke: "I do a lot of little things around here for Lorelai." Max: "We won't be back until late." Meredith: "You guys are being gross."), and then Luke leaves and Lorelai and Max have a huge argument basically about who boned more people while they were separated. Max ends the fight by proposing, which Lorelai wisely ignores, telling him a real proposal should have, you know, intent, and also a thousand daisies.

Meanwhile, Rory's been sort of stalking Dean, trying to reunite with him and being really bad at it, until she actually stands up at a town meeting (involving a dispute between two troubadours! Drink four times!) and makes a rambling speech that is sort of directed at Dean. He comes to Chilton and sees ChaMM (ugh) flirting with her and almost leaves, and Rory stops him in the cutest way possible. 

They make out for a hundred days, ChaMM pouts, I celebrate. (I know we're not supposed to like Dean anymore, but their reunion is so cute.) 

And then Max sends Kirk with - you guessed it! - one thousand yellow daisies to Lorelai's work, and it's really sweet. She calls him and he tells her not to answer yet, but she seems awfully happy about it all. And then that last scene, it kills me - she and Rory spot each other from a distance and RUN to each other to share their great news, and we go to the credits as they jump up and down like joyful idiots in the middle of Stars Hollow square, and I'm crying just thinking of it because I LOVE THESE LADIES SO MUCH. 


Ew, ChaMM is back. And low-grade shame on Lane! She and Rory are splitting fries when Rory goes into Doose's. Then, when Rory comes out, Lane has totally polished them off. That's a BFF communal food party foul!

This is a great Paris episode. I love that Paris is the kind of teenager that uses words like "rube." She is also the queen of the teenage freezeout. I mean, THIS is the picture I have in my head, whenever I think of Paris:

Now, for the proposal. First rule of thumb, Max: a shouted proposal is a poor one. The flowers technically make up for it (if anyone proposed to me by filling a room with fresh flowers, I'd be obligated to say yes even if I didn't love them), but he then messes it up by finishing it off over the phone. OVER THE PHONE, MAX??? Why not BEEE there?

This brings us to Rory and Dean, who do the opposite. You'd think that the teenagers would be the ones to get back together via email and/or text (or pager messages in this era), but Dean classes it up by actually driving to Chilton to talk to her. It's also a classy move that he doesn't totally storm off without letting her explain that ChaMM was bully-flirting by stealing her books.

How many times do I have to drink?

15! So many troubadours - including Dave (Gruber) Allen from Freaks & Geeks!

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

1, I think? This was a crazy low coffee episode, I guess to make room for all the troubadours. Plus those Gilmore Girls are high on love this week!

Flirtation quota:

MANDY - Perhaps THE most flirtatious "previously on Gilmore Girls" clips we've ever seen. Basically a montage of every flirty scene from season one. It only continues throughout the episode, too, what with a proposal, the whole Luke and Max "man contest" in the foyer at Lorelai's, even ChaMM's teenage version of pulling Rory's pigtails. It's Flirtation City, population, uh, whatever the population of Stars Hollow is!

MEREDITH - 9,973!

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

MANDY - Rory calls Lorelai "Margot Kidder Gilmore" when she's acting cray cray.

MEREDITH - About Judy Garland, with whom she is now obsessed, Madeline: "She was the Courtney Love of her day."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

MANDY - Sookie, where have you been the last two episodes? Not a speck of food!

MEREDITH - We're hungry, dammit!

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

MANDY - She always takes a wrong turn in Blouseville. Raise your hand if you're questioning your shirt choices!

MEREDITH - And your polyester slack choices!

Kirk insanity:

MANDY - Finally! Floral Delivery Kirk. Technically, he "delivers" the proposal to Lorelai, too, so he is also the "proposal surrogate."

MEREDITH - Drink twice for the most variously employed gentleman of Stars Hollow.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

MANDY - Not a "witticism," per se, but Lorelai's whole "what a proposal should be" speech gets me every time.  

MEREDITH - I love her response after Luke and Max's pissing contest. "Just wanted to make sure you two were through swinging those things around. Someone's bound to lose an eye."

Random observation:

We've finished Season One! It starts off just a bit rough, honestly. I love it, but early episodes aren't entirely grounded in what the show will become. But by this episode, it's been a nonstop homerun of eight or nine fantastic episodes. 


And I am so excited to dive into Season Two next week! We're covering the first three episodes - "Sadie, Sadie," "Hammers and Veils" and "Red Light on the Wedding Night" - next Wednesday morning, so meet us back here for the sophomore season of Gilmore Girls!

And thanks a million, Mandy, for joining me. Your insights were peerless, as always. 

We leave you with a question, dear FYA readers, and it's a big one: what's your favorite episode of Season One? 

Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith Borders is a brewpub owner and freelance writer/editor living in Houston. Her dog's middle name is Hermione, and she makes purse decisions based almost entirely on their capacity to hold books.