Title: Gilmore Girls S1.E16 “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”
Gilmore Girls S1.E17 “The Break-Up: Part 2”
Gilmore Girls S1.E18 “The Third Lorelai”
Released: 2001
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 20
Cups of Coffee: 8

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

We’re on Week 6 of our Gilmore Girls Rewatch Project, and in the next couple of episodes we’ll reach the Season One finale, and that means the tension is escalating, my friends. But what I love about Gilmore Girls is that they don’t do drama like other TV shows. Even in the midst of sweeps, Stars Hollow remains weird, sweet and completely authentic. 

So let’s get to it, but first! A reminder of our drinking game rules:

Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore all with drinks in their hands

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!

1.16 “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”

It’s the annual Stars Hollow Founders Festival, my favorite of all of this town’s many, many celebrations. We’ll see it several more times throughout the series, and I will never cease to wonder what’s in Miss Patty’s famous Founders Day Punch. Because five minutes of Googling informs me the Internet has failed me on that score, I guess that means it’s up to me. Head to the bottom of the post for my recipe for Miss Patty’s Founders Day Punch!

The festival has everyone in Stars Hollow feeling romantic, including Rory who begs out of Friday night dinner to join Dean for a special night he’s planned for their three month anniversary. He takes her to a fancy restaurant, they giggle at the festival together and everything’s going really well when he brings her to a junkyard to show her his big surprise (dirty!): Dean’s building her a car! Rory’s delighted, and they’re firmly mid-cuddle when Dean tells Rory he loves her. Rory, on the other hand, does this for about 25 minutes: 

Dean is not pleased, and even though he bought her tiramisu and three kinds of pasta and is trying to read Anna Karenina for her and he’s building her a motherloving CAR, this is where I stop being crazy about Dean. You don’t say I love you and get pissed if the other person can’t immediately say it back. That’s not cool, dude. Still, I kind of feel for him here – I know he’s embarrassed. He just should’ve handled it better.

Meanwhile, Lorelai is one hella grumpy, surrounded by all this l-o-v-e. She says it’s because she finally realizes how much she misses Max, and while that may be true, I can’t help but notice that she didn’t start missing Max until she screwed it up with Luke last week. She’s chatting with him in the diner, appreciating his general crotchety manner…

…when in walks RACHEL! Remember, Luke’s fabulous ex? And here’s the thing: Rachel is pretty fabulous. She’s nice, she’s very smart, she’s a globetrotting photographer, and Sookie wasn’t wrong when she said that Rachel is an “Elle Macpherson kind of pretty.”

So Lorelai is feeling inadequate with all her talk of Independence Inn coffee pot fiascos, and her mood hasn’t much improved by the time she makes it to Friday night dinner without Rory and discovers her mom is trying to fix her up with the world’s most boring human. When Richard catches Lorelai escaping out of her old bedroom window, they share a really nice moment where she calls him “Daddy” and he smiles his approval that she’s ditching the snoozeball downstairs. It goes a long way toward mending their relationship after last week’s big blow-out. 

She heads home to find poor Rory, who tearfully tells her that she and Dean have broken up. Because she’s the best mother in the world, Lorelai’s only response is to silently hug Rory into the credits. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

Lorelai’s certainly being flirted with by Dr. Tedious, PhD in Actuarial Science, but she hardly reciprocates. She and Luke have a nice exchange about Rachel where it’s clear how much they admire and root for each other, but it’s not really flirting, either. No, Rory does all the flirting this week, making her break-up with Dean feel all the more sudden. I mean, look at this cuteness!

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Paris gets the biggest laugh out of me this week as ChaMM and his new girlfriend make out in front of Paris’ and Rory’s lockers. Rory: “I’m assuming your locker’s in there somewhere also.” Paris: “Yup. Right behind Belle Watling.” So good. 

Sookie’s best dish of the episode, Lorelai’s craziest outfit, Kirk insanity

This episode really did not cooperate with my usual categories. No Sookie dish, no Kirk insanity, and most shockingly – LORELAI DOES NOT WEAR A SINGLE CRAZY OUTFIT. Not one!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lorelai, skeptical that Emily will let Rory out of Friday night dinner: “If there was a runoff between what Emily Gilmore would care about less, a two-for-one toilet paper sale at Costco or your three month anniversary, your anniversary would win, hands down.”

Random observation

I really like that Rachel’s cool. It would be so easy to make us despise Lorelai’s rival for Luke’s affection, but instead we can’t help but like her as she tries to bond with Lorelai and make up her long absence to Luke in any way she can. She and Lorelai actually become friends, and that’s one of the many ways that Gilmore Girls takes the unexpected but ultimately more narratively rewarding route. 

1.17 “The Break-Up: Part 2”

Rory doesn’t want to talk about what happened between her and Dean, so she makes up a mighty list of Saturday errands to keep herself and Lorelai busy, despite’s Lorelai’s urgent – and wise – advise for Rory to spend the day wallowing. They stop at Luke’s and run into the heretofore unseen “6 a.m. crowd,” where Rory can tell that everyone is feeling sorry for her (and Lorelai is shocked to see Rachel covering for Luke while he sleeps in). Luke’s furious when he hears Rory’s been dumped by that punk kid (and he kills me by grumbling, ” I mean, what, does he think he’s gonna do better than Rory? Is he crazy?”), and so when he sees poor Dean approach the diner, he kind of attacks him. IT IS INSANE. But also adorable. But also mortifying for Rory, so Lorelai scurries her along to complete the items on their list. 

After a very productive day, Rory’s feeling a little better until she has a moment to herself to think, so she quickly decides to go to Madeline’s party that night. Lorelai is again wise in advising Rory to bring a wingman in Lane, who is immediately swept off her feet by the only other Korean there, a future pediatrician named Henry who’s active in his church and would be right up Mrs. Kim’s alley. Lane can’t believe she likes a guy her mom would approve of. 

At the party Belle Watling dumps ChaMM in front of everyone, and he acts completely human when Rory talks to him about it. They have a sweet exchange – so sweet that I almost called him Tristin instead of ChaMM here – until he kisses her. Rory’s finally hit by the breakup; she starts crying and hurries home. 

Lorelai is also being hit by her breakup, so she goes over to Max’s where they have hot hot sex and decide to try talking on the phone a few times a week to figure out this whole thing. She comes home to find a pajama-clad, ice cream-scarfing, sobbing Rory who is “ready to wallow now.” Lorelai puts Rory’s head in her lap and calls for a pizza, because she is the greatest mom on the planet. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

Rory and ChaMM flirt and I do not vomit, which I think is some sort of coup onChaMM’s part. (Don’t worry, it won’t last.)

But the real hotness here goes to Lorelai and Max, who are so attracted to each other that they can’t stand next to each other without boning. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Lorelai: “Ha! Jumpback!”

Rory: “Excuse me?”

Lorelai: “Kevin Bacon, Footloose, reaction to the no dancing in town rule that’s revealed to him by Chris Penn, brother to Sean, sage to all.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

So great. Sookie doesn’t get to cook this episode because Jackson’s trying to do something nice and make a meal for her, to which Sookie responds with the unadulterated rage of a true tyrant. (Drink!)

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

I’m not even kidding – two weeks in a row with no sartorial madness by our leading lady. What is the world coming to?!

Kirk insanity

This is where I feel like Real Kirk has finally, 100% been established, the scene where he apologizes to Rory and Lorelai for not warning Rory against dating “that floppy-haired jerk.” He tries his best to be polite and only succeeds in making Rory feel worse, in true well-meaning but ineffectual Kirk fashion. 

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Advising Rory and Lane as they leave for Madeline’s party, Lorelai: “Ooh hey, look in somebody’s sock drawer. Rich people have hilarious sock drawers.”

Random observation

Even though it’s his own damn fault for insisting on instant “I love you” reciprocation, I feel sorry for Dean. He’s had his heart broken by the town sweetheart, so of course everyone is blaming him and siding with Rory. 

1.18 “The Third Lorelai”

Richard’s beloved mother (beloved to him and absolutely no one else), Lorelai the First, is coming to town, and Emily is well and truly wigged. She’s completely panicking, unpacking all of the gifts her mother-in-law (whom we’ll call by Richard’s nickname for her, Trix, to keep things simple) has bestowed upon her over the years. Lorelai the Second is really enjoying her mother’s hysteria, which Lorelai the Third maintains is “mean, mean, mean.” 

When Trix arrives she is every bit as formidable as her reputation suggests, but despite her unfailing disdain for poor Emily, she seems to admire Lorelai for striking out on her own and working hard. She tells Lorelai she wants to give her Rory’s trust fund early to pay for Chilton, and Emily loses it some more upon realizing that the whole justification for Friday night dinners might become a thing of the past. She tries to convince Lorelai that she and Rory won’t be as close once Rory’s financially independent, and as stupid as that is, Lorelai starts to buy it. She then realizes that Emily’s manipulating her and they fight, and Trix overhears and decides everyone involved is too immature to be dealing with that sort of money anyway. She storms off and Lorelai and Emily make up nicely, Emily feeling guilty about losing Rory that trust fund, and later Lorelai casually informs Rory that she lost out on a quarter of a million dollars today. Rory is nonchalant.

Meanwhile, in Chilton news, Rory and ChaMM are pretty awkward post-kiss, but they’re trying to become friendly, and she convinces him to ask out Paris. Paris is thrilled, and she comes over to Rory’s house for fashion and dating advice, and it seems like this friendship has really gotten off the ground – until ChaMM unceremoniously dumps Paris the next day (“You noticed it too right? That we’re sort of more friends material than dating material?”). I knew my slightly warmer than usual feelings for ChaMM wouldn’t last! He also TELLS Paris that Rory suggesed he ask her out, and Paris is mortified that she was sidled with Rory’s rejects. They’re back to being enemies and I’m back to hating ChaMM – all’s right in Chilton!

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

Zero flirting this week! Of course, ChaMM’s trying to flirt with Rory, but she’s placed him firmly in the friend zone. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Louise: “Those who simply wait for information to find them spend a lot of time sitting by the phone. Those who go out and find it themselves, have something to say when it rings.”

Rory: “Nietzsche?”

Louise: “Dawson.”

Rory: “My next guess.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode, Kirk insanity

Another uncooperative week! Early Gilmore Girls is frustratingly uncategorizable. 

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

This Aztec turtleneck and low ponytail are doing her no favors.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

When Lorelai asks Emily where Trix is, Emily: “In the living room scratching the diamond pendant I bought her against a mirror.”

Random observation

I love how utterly unfazed Lorelai is by Trix, while Emily is a total wreck around her. And of course Emily doesn’t bother Rory in the slightest yet drives Lorelai completely bonkers. 

And, as promised…

Miss Patty’s Founders’ Day Punch Recipe

1 cup peach brandy
1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup strawberries
1 & 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 750ml bottle dry champagne
1 12oz can spicy ginger ale or ginger beer
1 teaspoon bitters

Blend together brandy, bourbon, apple and orange juices, strawberries, jam and zest until well incorporated. Pour into an ice-filled pitcher, top with champagne and ginger ale. Stir in teaspoon of bitters and pour into glass. 

My husband and I came up with the recipe together. We wanted something boozy and complex and not too sweet, and this hits the spot! It’s got a very subtle, layered taste and isn’t at all cloying – like Gilmore Girls itself. Perfect for playing the GG Drinking Game!

Possible substitutions: you can use peach liqueur instead of brandy, although that will make it a bit sweeter. You can use two cups of strawberries instead of one cup and the half-cup of jam, although the jam makes for a nicely concentrated taste. You can leave out the bitters if you don’t have any, but really you should just buy some bitters. And make sure you use a spicy ginger ale like Hansen’s, or a ginger beer. Canada Dry won’t cut it.

Next week we wrap up Season One! We’ve got “Emily in Wonderland,” “P.S. I Lo…” and “Love, Daisies And Troubadours,” so be sure to meet us here next Wednesday morning as we finish the season!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: Am I alone in liking Rachel? Any Rachel-haters out there?

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.