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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: TJ, Desdemona And Cletus

The Firelight Festival returns and Lorelai and Rory get some comfort in the form of boy hugs.

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: TJ, Desdemona And Cletus

Follow along the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

A quick update: I've been reviewing three Gilmore Girls episodes a week, but from now on I'm going to switch to covering two a week. No need to rush to the end, right?

--

Okay, it's official. We are in the best best best run of episodes now through the end of Season 4. Nearly every moment makes me swoon. I can scarcely stand it! 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!

4.13 "Nag Hammadi Is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospel"

Rory's home for the weekend and she and Lorelai are dealing with a very cold house since Lorelai fixed broke the window. Rory's also dealing with running into Jess all over town - at Westin's, at the book store. Every time Jess sees her he runs away, because he sucks. I mean, he really sucks this week.

Luke's sister Liz introduces him to her boyfriend TJ, who is ultimately the worst. I mean, he's a good guy and he loves Liz and the whole arc of this episode is Luke realizing that TJ isn't so bad, but Michael DeLuise (yes, son of Dom) gives a performance that kind of makes you want to die a little bit. We shall spend the rest of the series skimming over all TJ scenes. But before Luke realizes that TJ isn't so bad for Liz, he tries to implicate Jess in a scheme to free Liz, and Jess responds in the shittiest way possible: "You see, this is your problem. You're going to help people whether they want it or not. You have to fix everything. You have to fix everyone. You think it makes you a good guy, but really, it just makes you a pain in the ass. You make it so that when people fail you, you get to feel like the martyr and they get to feel like not only did they screw up, but they also disappointed you. You interfere and you make everything worse. No one is asking for your help. No one wants your help. Focus on your own life and leave everyone else alone."

GUYS, WE'RE ALLOWED TO HATE JESS NOW, RIGHT? Where the hell does he get off being mad at Luke? Luke, who did nothing but support him? Jess screwed up again and again and Luke never gave up on him. The fact that Jess has somehow turned this around in his head to make Luke the villain and Jess the victim makes me want to punch him in his stupid smirk and/or his stupid pompadour.

But Jess' incomparable heinousness does lend its way to a really great scene: Luke goes to Lorelai's house to fix the window after drinking a few beers because he's so upset by what Jess said. He cuts his hand and babbles, sitting on Lorelai's couch and breaking my heart by saying that he knows he's a burden on everyone. Lorelai bandages his hand with her Barbie BandAid ("Got a handful of Barbie," Luke slurs his way into my eternal affection) and tells him that Jess is wrong: "Jess is an unhappy kid, Luke. He's angry. He doesn't mean the things he says." That may be true, but it doesn't make me hate Jess any less. Lorelai then stomps over to Jess and tells him off for the way he treated Luke, then adds a little extra twist of the knife: "She's over you. She has moved on and she's very happy." Go Lorelai! Go Jess, too - away. Go far away.

Lorelai shares some great moments with both of Luke's relatives this week, as she runs into Liz, who assumes Lorelai is Luke's wife (remember Nicole? Faintly?) because "you look like his type." YEAH she does! Liz gushes about what a great guy Luke is (and her ceaseless adoration of Luke is hands down the best part of Liz), and Lorelai wistfully agrees. "He's one of the good ones. Maybe the good one." Lorelai, listen to yourself! You speak truth - now apply that truth to your own life.

Meanwhile, the Firelight Festival is happening again (need a reminder of our Founders' Day punch recipe?), and Taylor left Kirk in charge! He abuses his megaphone power but other than that, everything goes pretty swimmingly, including a sweet scene between Liz and Luke. She gives him a pair of earrings she made: "You can give them to your wife. Or Lorelai." Now who do you think receives those earrings? Luke and Lorelai later stand near the bonfire and he gives her the earrings - she looks touched, and he tells her Liz wanted her to have them. Lorelai looks a bit disappointed that they aren't a gift from Luke, but we know better.

And finally, Jess and Rory run into each other once more at the Firelight Festival, right before he heads out of town (with an envelope stuffed with cash that Luke left in his car because Luke is the best even though Jess is the worst). She cracks me up by yelling "I get to leave first!" and running away, but Jess eventually catches her and, with great composure and force, she gives him a long overdue reproach. It's wonderful - I love that in the episode in which I hate Jess the most, I get the satisfaction of watching both mother and daughter give this punk what for.

God, I hate him this week. Wait to hit her where it hurts, you sociopath.

How many times do I have to drink?

13.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota:

Every moment between Luke and Lorelai this week is swoon-worthy: even just when he comments that she dressed up for the Firelight Festival and she teases, "Just for you." And I guess Jess telling Rory that he loves her MIGHT count as flirting in some circles, but I view it more as emotional terrorism. Also Emily demands that Lorelai attend an event with her and Richard to help them fill their table, and then she insists that Lorelai and Digger "pretend" to be a couple, so that allows for some cute shenanigans.

Plus we meet Liz's friend Crazy Carrie, who apparently made out with Luke in high school and has never recovered. "Everybody had a crush on Butch Danes in high school." Hah! But also, boy, I believe it.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Carrie's attempt to seduce Luke: "We're all going to the Styx/ REO Speedwagon/ Journey concert next week. We have an extra ticket if you're interested." I WOULD SO ACCEPT THAT OFFER. Luke, unsurprisingly, does not.

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

The Dragonfly Inn staff are MIA this week.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

She's super cute the whole episode.

Outfit MVP:

But not as cute as Rory, who thankfully looks exactly the way you want to look when the boy who broke your heart tells you he's still in love with you. So classy and grownup, with the gloves!

Kirk insanity:

In addition to the megaphone complaint, Babette had this to say about Kirk's duties as Firelight Honcho: "Well, the festival should be quite a shindig. Just watching Kirk trying to get those stars hung was worth the price of admission. You know, he insisted on demonstrating the correct way to hang 'em and treed himself. It took the fire department and two cans of tuna to get him down!"

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

As Lorelai and Digger start to sneak off during Emily's event, Lorelai: "I'm going to make out in the coatroom. Don't eat my chicken." Rory: "That's going on your tombstone."

Random observation:

I love that Liz immediately picks up on the history between Lorelai and Luke, despite the fact that he's allegedly married to some phantom named (finger quotes) "Nicole." There's something so perfectly sisterly about her taking one look at Lorelai and realizing that this is the one Luke wants.

4.14 "The Incredible Sinking Lorelais"

This episode kills me. Rory and Lorelai are both going through an incredibly stressful week, and they're trapped in the saddest, most elaborate game of phone tag - their schedules simply never sync up, no matter how badly they need to talk to each other.

Rory's feeling overwhelmed at school. Her roommates are still at war with each other, and then Lane (who's been living there) accidentally lets it slip to Paris that she knows about Asher, so Paris mobilizes Tana and Janet to get Lane out. Tana and Janet agree that it's a little weird that someone who doesn't even go to Yale has been living in their dorm, and when Rory breaks it to Lane, Lane is completely understanding. Rory, however, is crushed. Then when a professor suggests that she drop a class because her most recent essay isn't up to snuff, she is devastated. This is Rory Gilmore, remember - Rory doesn't have to drop classes.

Lorelai, meanwhile, is buckling under all the work of opening the inn. Michel's still working at the trendy hotel so he can't help much, and Sookie's got her hands full with little Davey. Tom the Sourpuss Contractor tells them the money is running out, and Sookie does not take the news well, so she convinces Lorelai to ask Luke for a loan - something Lorelai does NOT want to do. Plus Trix is in town which means Emily is losing her mind, as usual, and all Lorelai wants to do is get one haircut when she's called back to the inn to approve the sink, something Sookie was supposed to do. Sookie flaked, Lorelai can't get her hair cut, the sink's sent back to Canada, Sookie and Lorelai fight and Trix basically calls Lorelai a failure and a charity case (although she and Richard do fight, which delights Emily to no end.) Lorelai is on EDGE.

Rory goes to the Dragonfly looking for Lorelai, and instead runs into Dean, who's been working there with Tom. She tells him about all of her school stress and how much she misses Lane and how she can't believe she was forced to drop a class and how she needs her mom so badly, and she starts sobbing. Dean just holds her and cradles her head.

Lorelai goes to Luke and also begins to sob, telling him she needs a partner because there's too much on her plate, and admitting that she was going to ask him for a thirty thousand dollar loan. She also cries about how much she misses her daughter, and Luke just holds her and cradles her head.

The episode ends with both Rory and Lorelai sitting forlornly next to their answering machines, listening to yet another message from each other as they both say that there's "nothing much to report." GAH.

In happier news, the horses have been delivered to the Dragonfly Inn! Their names are Desdemona and Cletus. They're super pretty.

How many times do I have to drink?

11.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

1.

Flirtation quota:

Lorelai and Digger have some sexy moments in between all of their business calls, but how can we think about Digger when there's so much HEAD-CRADLING GOING ON??

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, trying to curtail spending: "Well, the upkeep is astronomical. Maybe if we drop one of the horses..." Sookie: "And who's making that choice, Sophie?"

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

Didn't you hear me: she has her hands full with Davey! She's a little bit of a mess in this ep, the poor thing - although I feel worse for Lorelai.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

The front of this outfit is bad, as that's a Bon Jovi baseball cap and the shirt isn't much better, but the worst part of this ensemb is her terrible, terrible hair. Poor gal does need a haircut.

Outfit MVP:

She may not be at the top of her game in other areas this week, but Sookie's coat and hair are so gorgeous here.

Kirk insanity:

Kirkless.

Michel madness:

When Lorelai calls Michel to ask if he can go to the inn to approve the sink, he's too busy geeking out because Celine Dion is in the lobby of the trendy hotel. "I'm not five feet away from her. Oh, my heart is pounding through my chest. She's so beautiful. She's lovelier in person than she is on TV, and so nice. And I have a pimple today. Of all the days to have a pimple. She sneezed! I should give her my hanky." eee so cute!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Emily, about Lorelai's hair: "You looked like the bird lady from Mary Poppins the last time I saw you."

Random observation:

This episode does such a good job of demonstrating how it feels to be so incredibly overwhelmed and stressed. I feel terrible for Lorelai and Rory - but at least they have two strong, handsome men to comfort them in the throes of their crises. Also how great is it that Lorelai and Luke each encouraged one another mid-meltdown two weeks in a row?

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So there you have it! Next week we'll be back with "Scene in a Mall" and "The Reigning Lorelai," so meet me back here on Wednesday morning for that!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: have I been too harsh on Jess this week, or can we agree that he's behaved despicably? Am I the only one who thinks it's awful that he tells Rory he loves her before running off YET AGAIN?

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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