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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Renoir, Ted Koppel And Baby Davey

Sookie gives birth, Rory incites rage and Lorelai goes on a date.

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Renoir, Ted Koppel And Baby Davey

Follow along the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

It's Week 25 of our Rewatch Project and I just love this run of Gilmore Girls episodes. Season 4 is hitting its stride and delivering us slowly but surely to one of the greatest season finales of all time, so let's boogie, shall we?

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.

Emily gets a new maid.

On to the episodes!

4.07 "The Festival Of Living Art"

It's festival season in Stars Hollow again (which is...every season), and this week the town has very little time to throw together a Festival Of Living Pictures after Competing Cute Town Woodbury suffered some flooding and had to drop out. Everyone's pitching in - Miss Patty is stage manager, Taylor is the host, Lorelai's designing the costumes - but at first Lorelai isn't allowed to be the Renoir girl again, as she was when Stars Hollow hosted the festival seven years ago, because the last time she flinched. The nerve! But Taylor's trying to woo Rory into posing as Antea in Parmigianino's "Portrait of a Young Girl Named Antea," and she refuses unless Lorelai can be the girl in Renoir's "Dance at Bougival." It works! Kirk is very pleased to be Jesus in "The Last Supper," and everything appears to be going well until Lorelai's anxiety sets in - will she flinch again?

Lane, meanwhile, has her hands too full with the band to participate, as they're knee-deep in auditions with several different terrible guitar players, attempting to replace Dave Rygalski. (SOB. He cannot be replaced.) Finally, they meet one terrific guitar player named Gil who fits right into their sound - and he's played by Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame! Unfortunately Zach is unnerved by Gil's general oldness, but Lane eventually lays down the law and brings Gil into the band. Yay, Gil! This is Gil. He's no Dave Rygalski, but he will do.

Finally, Sookie's about ready to birth and she and Jackson reveal to Lorelai that they've hired a midwife named Bruce to assist. Bruce is her last name, but with those shoulders, she totally looks like it could be her first name, too. She hates Lorelai because she suspects some skepticism, but Lorelai really is trying to be supportive of the whole midwife thing. Jackson's brother Beau, PLAYED BY NICK OFFERMAN, is less supportive. Jackson's given Lorelai a pager that will go off when Sookie goes into labor, and it can't come soon enough because the poor woman is going nuts. The entire town keeps commenting on her size, she wants some booze and she is ready to get that kid outta there. Finally, FINALLY the pager goes off - right as Lorelai's posing as the Renoir girl. But to her credit, she doesn't flinch! She stays perfectly still until the curtains draw closed, and then hauls ass off to Sookie.

How many times do I have to drink?

7.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Very little flirting this week, except when Rory refers to Lorelai as the "queen of segues," and Luke replies, "She's the queen of somethin'." It's cute, it's crotchety, it's all we got this week. And THEN Nicole shows back up, wanting to pause the divorce and go back to dating Luke, so UGH. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai shows her baby box to Sookie, including the Teen Beat magazine she was reading when she went into labor, "with a special feature on who's hotter - Andrew McCarthy or Emilio Estevez." While I'm always and forever Team Andrew, Sookie and Lorelai both agree on Emilio, " 'cause he was kind of nasty." 

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She's too busy trying to LITERALLY JIGGLE THE BABY OUT OF HER WOMB. But she makes me laugh so hard when she frets that she's suffering an elephant gestation period. Lorelai: "Why would Baby think you're an elephant?" Sookie: "Because he's tiny and stupid and floating around in a sack of fluid. He doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground." Oh man, so funny. 

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

It's kinda hard to tell, but this jacket is nuts. It has silver puffy lining on the shoulders and a rainbow waistband and cuffs.

Outfit MVP:

This is a new category, suggested by Nymeria in the comments of last week's post, and I think it's a great idea because some of the ensembles on Gilmore Girls are actually quite cute, Lorelai's crazy hats and culturally insensitive shirts aside. This week goes to both Lorelai and Rory in their fancy Living Pictures costumes: 

Kirk insanity:

He is of course taking his job as Jesus far too seriously, remaining in character throughout the week and alienating the poor guy chosen to play Judas. 

 

Michel madness:

Sans Michel. 

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

I love how pleased Rory and Lorelai are with Rory's plan to get Lorelai cast as the Renoir girl. Lorelai: "Well, look at you folding your laundry all haughty and powerful." Rory: "Bada-bing all over his nice Ivy League suit." Lorelai: "Rory, you couldn't do that. Come on! It would be embarrassing, it would be manipulative and can you do it tonight?" Rory: "I think I'll wait until the Antea costume is perfectly fitted to my specifications. Then we won't have no surprises." Rory's mob accent is killer. 

Random observation:

This is the first Gilmore Girls episode I ever saw, so I have deep, warm feelings for it. It's just a lovely little episode with no drama, only cuteness. 

4.08 "Die, Jerk"

Emily's still angry with Digger about the Atlantic City trip, and he's trying to worm himself back into her good graces - and into Lorelai's. With one of them, at least, it seems to be working, as he gets himself invited to Friday night dinner and spends the entire night surreptitiously sussing out Lorelai's idea for a perfect date, a charade with which Lorelai seems only too happy to comply. Richard and Emily are none the wiser, but Rory's onto them.  

Lorelai seems to be more open to Digger's advances after discovering that Nicole is back in Luke's life, and girlfriend is unhappy about it. Lorelai thinks her dismay is because Luke didn't tell her, that he's closing her off as a friend, but obviously we know what's really bothering her. So does Nicole, who is awfully smug when Lorelai panics upon running into Nicole at the diner. Her newly blonde hair and stupid smug smile make me like her a whole lot less, and I already didn't like her all that much. 

In people I do like news, we get a Dave Rygalski subplot, hooray! (Although of course no Adam Brody to be found as he's too busy being adorable as Seth Cohen on The O.C.) He and Lane are still long-distance dating, and Lane wigs when her mom gives her a jug to mail to Dave as a gift. It's just a nice gesture on Mrs. Kim's part, but Lane thinks she's implying that it's time for Lane and Dave to get married, as this is Lane's "marriage jug," the jug Mrs. Kim told her would one day go to her husband. She and Dave fight about it because they're both so unprepared for the marriage jug, but Dave seems a little more so than Lane. Lane finally tells Mrs. Kim that she can't send him the jug, and Mrs. Kim has no idea what the hell a marriage jug even is - she probably just made it up to get Lane to stop crying as a kid. I love Mrs. Kim. 

Finally, Rory's in a trial period for the Yale newspaper, and her new editor Doyle is a toughie. DOYLE! He's played by Danny Strong, who played Jonathan on Buffy, and he is so great. This is Doyle. 

He doesn't run two of Rory's columns in a row because they're too bland and bereft of opinion, so when she's supposed to review a lousy ballet, she really rips the ballerina a new one. (As Richard says with supreme pride, "You eviscerated that girl. You honestly sliced her open and ripped out her guts.") The ballerina writes DIE JERK on Rory's door, and of course everyone assumes at first that it's one of Paris' many enemies. 

Although Tana cracks me up by offering as a possible motive for their vandalism, "I'm exceedingly dull!" But of course it's revealed after the ballerina confronts Rory in the cafeteria that sweet little Rory Gilmore incited the death threat. Rory feels terrible at first, but Doyle eventually convinces her that this is the job, and she's doing it well. The episode ends with Rory preparing to eviscerate a Yale folk singing group next. 

How many times do I have to drink?

11.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Digger and Lorelai are making all sorts of eyes over the dinner table, and she's looking more than a little impressed that he's so good at manipulating her mother. But I'm going to choose to consider Lorelai's terrible reaction to Luke and Nicole's reconciliation as flirting, or at least as incontrovertible truth that SHE AND LUKE ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER JUST HURRY UP ALREADY.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

About the crappy ballet, Lorelai says, "Man oh man. If Vincent Gallo could just see this, he'd feel a whole lot better about Brown Bunny."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She's making baby food because SHE HAS A BABY NOW! Welcome little Davey to the fold. This is Davey: 

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

Oh, I am not a fan of this pink shirt.

Outfit MVP:

I am, however, a fan of this pink dress. 

Kirk insanity:

Kirkless.

Michel madness:

He sneezed so he's not allowed into Sookie's house for the Dragonfly meeting, because she's afraid his French cooties will get Davey sick. He sits on the porch and pouts and then spazzes when he's approached by a bug.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Lorelai, playing it ever so uncool about Luke and Nicole when he says they're just "going with the flow": "Oh, that's so strum your sitar, dig the Maharishi, pass The Owsley, summer of love, flower power, hippy-dippy, I can't stand it." 

Random observation:

Digger wouldn't have a chance in hell right now if Luke hadn't reunited with Nicole. 

4.09 "Ted Koppel's Big Night Out" 

Digger's still wooing Lorelai, sending flowers and candy and calling every day, but she's keeping her distance out of respect for her parents, shockingly. Things have been going well and she wants to keep the peace, so despite the fact that she clearly likes him, she keeps rejecting his advances. 

Richard takes Rory and Paris out to lunch at the Yale cafeteria and Paris flirts roguishly with him. A colleague of his, Asher Fleming, drops by, and Paris asks for (well, demands) an interview with the accomplished novelist. This is Asher:

At lunch Richard invites Rory to the upcoming Yale-Harvard football game that he and Emily attend every year. She tries to save Lorelai from the injustice, but Lorelai actually wants to attend so she can hang with Rory. Of course, they both end up regretting it when they realize how early they have to arrive:

But when Richard and Emily arrive, all decked in Yale attire and bearing flasks - YES FLASKS - the girls perk up. Turns out football is fun! They fancy-tailgate with a chef and a maid and Emily makes some kickass Bloody Marys and the whole thing looks entirely awesome. Marty even drops by and wins over the whole Gilmore clan, before the party's brought down a bit when Pennilyn Lott, Richard's ex-fiance that he dumped for Emily, drops by. Emily gives her the cold shoulder and tells Lorelai that she isn't to speak to Pennilyn, but later Lorelai runs into Pennilyn in the bathroom line and makes some small talk. Pennilyn mentions that she heard Lorelai is opening an inn, and Emily overhears and grows stony. She demands to know from Richard how Pennilyn knows about Lorelai's inn, and Richard finally admits that he and Pennilyn have secretly been getting lunch together once a year for THIRTY-NINE YEARS. That is so, so wrong. Of course the lunch is innocent, just two friends catching up, but Richard's been lying to Emily for the entire duration of their marriage! She is aghast, as anyone would be, and after Richard walks off she turns her frustration onto Lorelai, blaming her for speaking with Pennilyn and adding, "You weren't even supposed to come. It was supposed to be your father and me and Rory. You weren't supposed to come!" Lorelai is crushed and leaves to call Digger, accepting his invitation for a date that evening. 

Digger takes her to a fancy, hoppin' Chinese restaurant where they see Ted Koppel, and Lorelai's thrilled by the spectacle until they're ushered into a private room Digger reserved like a weirdo. The date gets so awkward for some time here: Lorelai doesn't like the private room, Digger refuses to eat at the bar, so they leave and then Lorelai tries to go through a taco drive-through but Digger doesn't want to eat fast food and then Lorelai refuses to eat without him, and they're both grumpy and starving and being super stilted - and yet somehow this date is salvaged! They go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of prepared food (plus a few items they need like razors and paper towels), and he bribes a stockboy to let them into the back room to find Lorelai's favorite kind of chips and then they eat outside with Emily's flask and a candle, and they both seem very happy with this turn of events. 

Meanwhile, Rory's stuck at the game with Richard and Emily who aren't speaking to one another, and as she finally escapes, who does she see but Paris...making out with Asher Fleming in a dark corner of the campus! Oh Paris. You are the best. 

Also: Luke's finally hired some help, and he's in a highly jovial mood because of it, making pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon butter and just behaving in a generally delightful manner - but everyone in town loathes the kid he hired, Brennan, because he's an incompetent nutbar. At first Luke sticks up for him, until he sees Brennan standing on one of the diner tables playing air guitar, and then he gives him the old heave-ho. 

How many times do I have to drink?

12.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Marty sure does seem to enjoy hearing that Rory's told her mother about him, and he does a great job of charming Lorelai, Richard and Emily - and Rory can't help but notice. Digger and Lorelai are far more overtly flirty, however, with lots of entendres and the like. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

The episode opens with Lorelai quoting Jessica Simpson: "Twenty-three is old. It's almost twenty-five, which is, like, almost mid-twenties." Rory adds: "It seems a little wrong that Jessica Simpson is alive and well and Roy got eaten by his tiger."

Sookie's best dish of the episode/Michel madness:

Nope.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

It's not her worst offense ever, but it's a stripey velour hoodie over a shirt with nonsense writing, and she had it topped with an ugly leather jacket right before this scene.

Outfit MVP:

These cuties with their Yale gear are my favorite. Why oh why does every trip they take to Yale have to end badly?

Kirk insanity:

He's one of the townspeople turning on Brennan, after Brennan delivered him a "butt napkin."

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Nothing any Gilmore says this week makes me laugh so hard as Paris as she flirts with Richard: "You are a honey-tongued devil, aren't you, Dick?" SO AMAZING

Random observation:

It's interesting that their first date indicates how very little Lorelai and Digger have in common - and yet it sort of works. As Lorelai says to Rory, "Well, he's completely not my type, but he does have a thing and the smarts and he does keep up." He certainly does keep up with Lorelai. 

--

So there you have it! Next week we're covering "The Nanny and the Professor," "In the Clamor and the Clangor" and "A Family Matter," so meet me back here next Wednesday morning!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: who's your favorite new character this week? Gil, Doyle, Davey, Bruce, Beau or Asher?

Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith is the Editorial Director of BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH. and the Alamo Drafthouse, and the Social Media Director for Fantastic Fest.
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