Follow along the whole rewatch here!
Say hi again to our old pal Mandy J! She's helping me out while I'm out of town and, as you can see, she's got it pretty well wired. -Meredith
I’m back, gang, and just in time! Rory is bidding farewell to Chilton, and we get to watch, albeit through happy tears. More on that later.
First things first. Let’s review the 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.
Emily gets a new maid.
On to the finale!
3.22 “Those Are String, Pinocchio”
Lorelai and Rory stumble into Luke’s, nearly crushing themselves under the weight of their backpacks for Europe. This trip is already going badly, and it hasn’t even begun! They collapse into chairs at Luke’s and take a break. Luke comes over to them just in time to see Lorelai taking her shoes off. I know you’re friends, Lor, but it IS a restaurant!
Apparently, her agony is short-lived, as she and Sookie stand outside of the Dragonfly seemingly hours later, anxiously awaiting Luke’s appraisal of the condition of it. They’re ready for the worst, but aside from some minor issues, Luke gives the purchase his approval!
As we head back to Chilton, the seniors are taking their turns filming their goodbyes for the senior video. This scene actually has little to do with the rest of the episode, but I mention it because Paris calls the girl yammering on about how she’ll miss the janitors “marooned,” and I just love old timey slang! Let’s all make it a point to bring this word back, k?
The deafening sound of crickets emanates from the Independence Inn. They have a total of ONE, count him, ONE guest. Sookie is bored because she has no one to cook for, Michel is grossed out to touch his towels and Lorelai just tries to reassure them that the Inn isn’t closing.
She’s saying it to reassure herself just as much, though. In fact, when the owner’s son finally stops showing the “Armani posse” around, he confides that Mia is leaning toward selling. Heavy business, and the end of one of several eras for the Gilmore Girls!
Lorelai shows up with champers at Sookie and Jackson’s house, because, HOORAY! The Inn is closed, and they lost their jobs! Say what? Sookie and Jackson are as confused as the rest of us.
Lorelai is trying to “think positive,” especially because to top it all off, without her income, she can’t swing the loan for her part of the Dragonfly! Huzzah for challenges?
Lorelai tells Rory that she’s not buying the Inn because of money. Rory tells her to just use the money they got from Richard, but Lorelai tells her that because they didn’t get financial aid for Yale, she’s using Richard’s money for Rory’s tuition, instead. Not if Rory has anything to say about it!
In one of my favorite scenes of this entire season, Rory goes to Richard and Emily and asks them to give her the money for Yale. In exchange, she will pay them back after she graduates, and she will reinstate Friday night dinners. They hardly seem to care about how/if they are paid back, but look at their faces when they hear about Friday night dinners!
With that settled, it’s graduation day! Remember those tears of happiness I told you about? It’s time for Rory’s valedictorian speech.
In the MULTITUDE of times I’ve watched this episode, in every mood from deliriously overjoyed to decidedly meh to despondently depressed, Rory’s graduation speech never ceases to make me cry. I can’t recap it properly using words, so I present the clip to you, for your repeated watching “pleasure.” (By “pleasure,” I mean crying for sport.)
I mean, even RICHARD mists up! As we all (Lorelai included) wipe our eyes, Rory and Lorelai take one last look at Chilton, and remark, “It’s not so scary anymore.” It certainly is not. Farewell, Chilton! We’ll think of you fondly at Yale.
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
I’m beginning to wonder if Meredith has me recap the decaffeinated episodes on purpose. NO COFFEE AT ALL!
Luke tells the girls that he’s taking Nicole on a cruise. Lorelai gets snippy, which I am counting as flirty because JEALOUS! To top it all off, Luke has a dream where Lorelai asks him not to propose on the cruise! Carry the one, do the math, and figure out that you should get together already, you two!
Also, Rory KIND OF flirts with Jess when he calls after her graduation and refuses to talk. She knows it’s him, though, and does all the talking, admitting she probably loved him, but he STILL says nothing and just lets her hang up. Oh, that GUY!
Best/most dated pop culture reference:
One of my favorite recurring subplots crops up again, when Nanny and her kids come to watch Paris graduate. While complimenting the children on how wonderful they look, Paris tells Nanny’s son something in Portuguese, in a complimentary tone about his appearance, ending with “Antonio Banderas.” Muy guapo! (Or, whatever the Portuguese equivalent of that phrase is.)
Sookie’s best dish of the episode:
Thanks to the fire, Sookie has no one to cook for…and the world just became a darker place!
Lorelai’s craziest outfit:
Oh, boy! This dress could be seen from space. Take off your glasses, Richard. Best not to see it too clearly.
Ask Kirk about Ed McMahon’s dog and his tragic exposure to mold. Apparently, he’s a mold inspector now! Also, he runs away from a mouse, but that’s not insanity. That’s just good, sound thinking!
Michel rants about how he pulled towel duty, and when there’s only one guest, he knows that they’re HIS mites on the towels, and how he should’ve been a dancer. Ew, Michel! Just…ew! About the mites AND the visual of Michel in tights.
Best Gilmore Gal witticism:
Lorelai, when Jackson suggests Creedence Clearwater Revival for happy music when they “celebrate” the Inn closing: “Right energy, too hillbilly.”
So, a couple of thoughts on Rory asking Richard and Emily for the Yale money. I think it was a hella classy move on her part. She knew that she could turn to them, but also came up with mature and reasonable terms under which she promised to pay them back. Her willingness to be humble enough to ask for help so that both her dream AND Lorelai’s could come true is just the coolest move she’s ever made, and I’m as proud of her for this idea as Richard and Emily are. Why does Lorelai have to throw such a tantrum when Rory tells her, though? Does it hurt THAT MUCH to do Friday night dinners? Minor boo to you, Lor…
Also, boo to not getting Christopher back in town for this episode! He really should’ve been at Rory’s graduation.
So that's it! Meet Meredith back here next Wednesday morning as she takes on Season 4 with the eps "Ballrooms and Biscotti," "The Lorelais' First Day at Yale" and "The Hobbit, The Sofa and Digger Stiles."
And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: what's your favorite episode of Season 3?