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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Jess Is Back

And Meredith still hates him!

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: Jess Is Back

Follow along the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

Other stuff happens this week, but I can't even be arsed to include it in the headline because we all know the real headline here is that Jess Mariano, crush of many but friend to no one, has returned. And he's still being an utter jackass. So let's hop to, 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!

4.10 "The Nanny and the Professor"

Rory and Paris (and Glenn! Poor, high-strung Glenn) have been inducted into the Yale newspaper, and that means silly hats and lots of the wonderful Doyle. Their first night they're supposed to act like servants to the upper-classmen, so Rory's forced to lie for Paris when she sneaks off to bone Asher. Paris really REALLY wants Rory to notice that she's boning Asher, but Rory refuses. She does everything short of sticking her fingers in her ears and singing LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU to avoid acknowledging that her friend is sleeping with her 60-year-old professor. (Yes, Rory also learns this week that Asher Fleming is teaching her Contemporary Political Fiction class, and unless there was a last minute prof change, I can hardly imagine that Ultimate Type A Student Rory Gilmore didn't research who was teaching her class before enrolling.)

Meanwhile Lorelai enjoys a romantic evening at Digger's posh apartment, but after some real good sexin' he asks her to sleep in the guest room. RECORD SCRATCH. Lorelai is highly offended until Digger manages to sweet talk her into understanding that he's just an extraordinarily light sleeper, but he really truly wants her to be there the next morning so he can make her breakfast. This doesn't bother me: I'm also a terribly light sleeper, and if I thought I could get away with asking my husband to sleep in the guest room, I would. Digger's guest room is FANCY, too, with deluxe Kiehl bath products and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, loads of DVDs and a floating TV, so Lorelai gets over the affront and learns to enjoy it - and he does flatter her lots and make her cheesy eggs the next morning. He also asks Lorelai to tell her parents about them, but she refuses because duh. It's Lorelai. She later finds out from Emily that Digger brought a dumb lady who neglected to wear underpants to a work function, but when she confronts him Digger points out that he wanted to bring Lorelai, but since Emily and Richard would be there, he couldn't. "I have no interest in spending a second of my time with any other woman but you. And Eartha Kitt." Pretty smooth, Digger. Also, Digger's beagle Cyrus is my favorite. He shuffles "a little to the left" when Digger gives the command. FAVORITE.

Finally, Lane's working at Luke's now! Luke is dismayed at how efficient she is at everything because it makes him look bad. 

How many times do I have to drink?

7.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Digger says a lot of sweet things to Lorelai - how often he thinks about her, how beautiful and sexy and funny she is, how he wants to spend all of his time with her. Obviously we are all Team Luke Forever And Ever, but it is my duty as your Flirtation Journalist to report the facts as I see them.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, flummoxed upon learning that everyone knows the plural of "cul-de-sac" is "culs-de-sac": "Okay. So Mariah Carey is out with some friends and she's had a couple cocktails, she glances down from the roof and says, 'Oh, look at all those culs-de-sac'?!" 

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She makes some light, crispy pizzelles that are "pieces of heaven shaped like cookies," according to Tobin, the former night manager of The Independence Inn who has recently converted back from a brief stint in Mormonism and is now working as Davey's nanny.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

This isn't a great pic, but this shirt has a pretty insane pattern spattered across the front, sleeves and back.

Outfit MVP:

Also Lorelai! I love this dress.

Kirk insanity:

Kirkless.

Michel madness:

In his jealousy over Tobin's becoming Davey's nanny, Michel decides rather poorly to babysit Davey. And then this happens:

But after they rescue Davey, Michel and Lorelai share a really sweet moment when she tells him, "We like Tobin. We're addicted to you." Seconded!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Rory, fretting over Asher and Paris: "This guy's risking everything - his job, his reputation!" Lorelai: "Yes, well...he'll always have Paris." GOLD.

Random observation:

Dammit, I just can't hate Digger. I cannot. KIEHL'S PRODUCTS, YOU GUYS. A beagle who obeys quirky commands! Lots of matter-of-fact compliments! CHEESY EGGS. I wouldn't mind that date, is what I'm saying.

4.11 "In the Clamor and the Clangor"

Old Stan Somebody Or Other has perished, and Lorelai, Rory and Sookie are all very sad about it. Stan loved the old church bells that rang out through Stars Hollow before mysteriously breaking many years before, so he bequeathed the funds to restore the bells - which chime every fifteen minutes, all day every day. Surprise surprise, Luke is crotchety about it. But not as crotchety as he's gonna be - Lorelai catches him surveying paint samples and finally gets it out of him that he moved in with Nicole to a townhome in Litchfield a couple of weeks ago. Lorelai maintains the pretense that she's only upset because Luke never tells her anything, and she nearly starts to cry in the middle of the diner, then flees. Yes, I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH HIM, LORELAI. Later Luke shows up to shovel the snow off her walkway (that hot, grumpy mensch) and yell at her for making him feel guilty. "I OWE YOU NOTHING," he shouts in a very true statement leaden with meaning. Lorelai, if it bothers you so much when Luke is in a relationship with another woman, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, YOU BEAUTIFUL IDIOT. Instead, she mopes:

Finally, she marches over to Luke's and asks him if he wants to help her break the bells. He grabs his toolbox and they break into the church for a caper! Turns out, Luke actually broke those damn bells the first time around. But Lorelai's more interested in what she learned as she followed Luke to grab his toolbox: he's barely living with Nicole, as all of his stuff is still in his apartment. He tells her that she always passes judgment on every part of his life, and in particular his relationship with Nicole (truth.), and then they have an exchange that is FRAUGHT WITH TENSION:

Lorelai: "I wasted a week of my life adjusting to the idea that you had moved only to find out that you haven't moved!"

Luke: "How much adjusting did you have to do? Nothing's changed! I still see you everyday, I still cook your food, I still serve your coffee. What do you care?"

Lorelai, tearfully: "I care."

Luke, voice growing deeper: "Why?"

Lorelai: "Because I don't want you to move."

Luke, very serious: "Why? Why don't you want me to move?"

AND THEN STUPID REVEREND SKINNER BARGES IN BEFORE SHE CAN ANSWER. Not that she'd answer truthfully anyway, seeing as how she can't even be truthful with herself about her feelings for Luke. gah gah gah!

Oh yeah, other stuff happened this week! Big stuff with Lane, actually: the band bags a gig at CBGB at 1am on a Tuesday, and Lane's so excited and so afraid Mrs. Kim will prevent her from going that she just sneaks out. The gig ends up getting canceled, so it was all for naught, and when Lorelai finally calls Mrs. Kim to let her know where Lane is, Mrs. Kim's house is already filled with the cops, the fire department and her entire church's prayer circle. Lane crashes with Rory for the night and then goes home to have an honest talk with her mom - who has finally done some inspecting in Lane's bedroom and discovered her stash of contraband music, clothes, makeup, books and more music. Lane tells Mrs. Kim that she wants to be honest with her about who she is, and she wants to keep playing in the band, but she doesn't want to move out or disrespect her. Mrs. Kim tells her if she wants to live that life, she has to move out - so, crestfallen, Lane pops back up on Rory's doorstep. I'm proud of Lane for finally showing the courage to be herself with her mom; I just wish Mrs. Kim had responded better.

Finally, remember that guy who rejected Rory in the laundry room? He's been going around the dorms complaining about his stalker, and of course Rory thinks he's referring to her, because Rory's used to Stars Hollow where everyone is constantly referring to her. She confronts him loudly in the cafeteria and he tells her he meant his other stalker. She is embarrassed, as well she should be.

How many times do I have to drink?

13.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota:

GOOD GOD THAT BELL SCENE. It's not only smoking hot, it's also full of meaning and import. There's an ocean of emotion between these two, and their platonic facade is starting to crack big time. Also: that look Luke gives her when Lorelai knows the difference between a flat-head and a Phillips screwdriver? MELT.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, Rory and Sookie ponder who will die next, after Stanley. First they posit Hank, and then he falls and they feel guilty. Next they think it could be Kirk, who of course also falls (into the funereal flower arrangement), to which Lorelai intones, "We are the Witches of Eastwick."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

About Stan's weekly lunch at the Independence Inn, Sookie: "That was a total waste because he couldn't eat dairy, or salt, or meat, so he basically just came in every week for a salad, with no oil and no mushrooms. [sniffling] He hated mushrooms."

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

Thank lordy she loses this hat before all of the romantic tension starts to rise, because no way is Luke taking her seriously in that thing.

Outfit MVP:

I love love love Lane's CBGB ensemb.

Kirk insanity:

Kirk contracts tinnitus from all the bell-ringing, and he looks up what celebrities share his disease. "William Shatner is likewise afflicted." Lorelai: "Kirk and Captain Kirk?" Kirk: "The irony wasn't lost on me."

Michel madness:

No Michel this week, so I saved a tidbit from the last episode to share. Michel: "As long as super low rise jeans are in fashion for men, I must stay trim or I'll die." Lorelai: "How low we talkin' here?" Michel: "I've had to wax."

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

As Luke expounds with knowledge on how the bells work, Lorelai: "You must have been the top of your class at hunchback school!"

Random observation:

With Rory at Yale, the show relies heavily on phone calls between her and Lorelai to keep them in constant contact, and it works! Gilmore gab translates very well to over-the-phone scenes, and I love seeing how close they still are even though they don't live in the same town anymore.

4.12 "A Family Matter"

Lorelai's in the diner when she sees a "mystery woman" enter and immediately drive Luke up the wall. This is Liz, his hippy-dippy sister and mother to Jess. She's here to tell Luke that she's found a new boyfriend - different from her other boyfriends, she promises! - and a new job (selling jewelry on the Ren Faire circuit). Luke is not impressed. In fact, he is crotchety. I like Liz, but I suspect that might be an unpopular opinion.

Lorelai has invited Digger to Stars Hollow for the day, and after accidentally infuriating Luke by tailgating him and laying on the horn, Digger spends much of the day on his phone for business calls even though he promised to take the morning off. I like this side of Digger much less than the cheesy egg-cooking side, but Lorelai doesn't seem to mind so much, and she later tells Rory that he makes her laugh, which is sweet. Not snow-shoveling sweet, but sweet enough for now. Digger is still urging Lorelai to tell her parents (very mature of him), and she finally agrees - until Emily makes a crack at Friday night dinner about Lorelai and Digger being a couple and then literally cannot stop laughing for several minutes. Lorelai chickens out.

Lane's been settling in at Yale, taking care of the housekeeping and mother hen-ing all the girls (especially Tana, who needs it most. I love Tana!). Paris' boyfriend Jamie has arrived to spend his birthday with Paris, and she keeps blowing him off for Asher, which is really sad. Rory tells Paris she can't keep treating Jamie like this, so Paris dumps him in the coldest way possible. Poor Jamie, but also poor Paris - she finally admits to Rory that she's bad at this stuff, and Rory tells her she just wants her to be happy. Paris is happy with her 60-year-old professor, and mazel tov to them! (I'd totally date Asher, for the record.)

A day after Luke mentions to Liz that he stole Jess' car to keep him in school, Jess shows up. I might hate Jess more in this scene than any other, as he snarls and snivels and doesn't say bupkis to thank Luke for everything he did for him. In FACT, he tells Luke he wasn't good at being Jess' guardian, and if you need more reasons to support my hatred for Jess, congratulations, you've found some. He sleeps in his car outside the diner, and Rory sees him there and wigs, heading straight home (who can blame her?). Lorelai enters the diner and allows Luke to vent mightily about Jess and Liz, but then gently nudges him to not let Jess sleep in the car because it's freezing outside. Luke wakes him up and says he's staying at Nicole's so Jess can sleep in the apartment, then he watches from around the corner to make sure Jess gets inside, like a GOOD GUARDIAN might do. Just so we're clear: I still hate Jess. Cool? Cool.

Finally: Rory realizes that Lorelai's been buying groceries instead of eating out, and she canceled her movie channel and magazine subscriptions, so it appears she's having money troubles. Lorelai denies this, but come on: she bought bread.

How many times do I have to drink?

11.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota:

Some cuteness with Digger, nothing to write home about.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, warning Rory that Jess is going to stick around in Stars Hollow for a day: "Danger, Will Robinson."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

Sans Sookie.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

She's dressed very sanely the entire episode.

Outfit MVP:

I love this skirt Rory's wearing far too much.

Kirk insanity:

Lorelai shares a table with him when Luke's is crowded, and he keeps urgently insisting that he has a girlfriend (Lulu!). So naturally, Lorelai goes to great lengths to flirt with him and make him uncomfortable.

Michel madness:

Missing Michel.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

When Paris refers to her relationship with Asher as "a May-December romance," Rory counters: "This is not May-December, this is May-Ming Dynasty."

Random observation:

I'd just like to state, once more with utmost clarity, that I hate Jess so much in this episode.

--

So there you have it! Next week we're covering "Nag Hammadi Is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospel," "The Incredible Sinking Lorelais" and "Scene in a Mall," all of which are excellent, so meet me back here next Wednesday morning!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: how do you feel about Liz? Obviously, we all want to throttle T.J., but am I alone in thinking Liz is kind of great?

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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