Title: Gilmore Girls S3.E19 “Keg! Max!”
Gilmore Girls S3.E20 “Say Goodnight, Gracie”
Gilmore Girls S3.E21 “Here Comes The Son”
Released: 2003
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 23
Cups of Coffee: 10

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

We’re very nearly done with Season Three, and things are going a little haywire around Stars Hollow. Fisticuffs ensue, running away commences, idiotic engagements arise!

So let’s hop 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.
Emily gets a new maid. 

On to the episodes!

3.19 “Keg! Max!”

I’m allowed to hate Jess now, right guys? RIGHT GUYS? 

So it’s the first gig for Lane’s as-yet-unnamed band, at a house party – at Kyle’s house party, actually, the adorably brace-faced little weirdo played by Chauncey Leopardi (what a name!), who pops up here and there in future episodes as Dean’s friend. (He also played Alan in Freaks and Geeks and Squints in The Sandlot.) Everyone’s very excited about the gig, but Dave is starting to get pretty fed up with Young Chui and Lane’s fake relationship, and it’s causing some tension. Their first set goes great, but then Dave gets mad at Lane for allowing Young Chui to fall in love with her and continue being her fake boyfriend. Lane finally snaps under the oppressive parentage of Mrs. Kim and downs a beer and a half, and then she calls her mom! She tells Mrs. Kim that she drank beer at a party at which she’s been drumming in a rock band and that she’s in love with Dave Rygalski. Dave hears and panics, hanging up the phone, but too late – the damage is done! We’ll see how bad that damage is in the next episode, but Lane’s feeling it already – she ends the party vomiting in the bushes. 

Jess is supposed to take Rory to Stars Hollow High’s prom, and he’s only a little bit Grumpy Rebel about it, which is nice. But then he’s called into the principal’s office and told that he’s flunking out and therefore isn’t allowed to attend the prom. Jess is shocked – shocked! – that Stars Hollow High could dare to flunk out its most brilliant and absentee student, and he gets all “Thanks for warning me!” about it before the principal reminds him that they tried to warn him dozens of times and he just didn’t give a shit. So he arrives at the party in an incredibly foul mood and won’t tell Rory what’s wrong. She finds him in an upstairs bedroom and tries to cheer him up, and he attempts to distract himself by making out with her. He starts moving pretty fast, reaching for her belt buckle in spite of Rory’s protests, and honestly? It’s really upsetting. She finally shouts at him to stop and he gives up in the cruelest way possible, acting disgusted with her. Rory starts to cry and runs out of the room, and seriously, I HATE JESS SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. He fails out of school because he’s an irresponsible, self-absorbed flake, he spends the entire night taking it out on his girlfriend, and then he tries to make himself feel better by pushing her to have sex with him when she isn’t ready, and THEN when she stops him he blows up at her. This is inexcusable, despicable behavior, the very root of all of my bad feelings about Jess. This scene upsets me so much that nothing but this gif could make me feel better. 

Rory, still crying, runs right into Dean on the staircase, and he tries to comfort her. As Jess runs out to apologize (too little, too late, you little punk), he sees Rory and Dean and mutters, “Figures.” Then Dean loses his temper, throwing a well-deserved punch Jess’ way, and they fall into an all-out fistfight, breaking a bunch of furniture in Kyle’s house and ending up rolling around in the yard as poor Rory tries to stop them. Only the arrival of the cops can break them up, and I honestly don’t like either of these macho jackasses right now, but at least Dean was always a gentleman to Rory, even if he was clingy and boring. 

In Lorelai news, she and Rory have no idea how to spend their Friday nights now that Friday night dinner is off the table, and she’s dismayed to discover that her parents are throwing parties while she and Rory sit in the dark on the couch. She gets a letter scolding her for her paucity of participation in Chilton parent activities, so she grudgingly attends a booster club meeting where she runs into – you guessed it! – Max. He treats her with polite distance, which is of course unacceptable to Lorelai because dammit, he’s supposed to be in love with her! She corners him in his classroom and is pretty inconsiderate to his feelings here, considering she broke his heart. It’s clear that Max wants to keep his distance because every time he’s around Lorelai, he does something stupid (like kiss her), and she keeps forcing him to be near her despite his obvious discomfort. But she finally gets it when he tells her (very nicely, because this is Max, after all) that he never wants to see her again, and while she looks hurt, she also seems to understand that this is what he needs. Bye Max!

And as if that weren’t awkward enough for Lorelai, fire-induced layoffs at the Inn mean they’re short-staffed, so she’s doing the night’s turndown service. Of course, she forgot she told Luke and Nicole they could stay there to get some privacy from Jess, and now she’s tasked with turning down their bed. It’s all very uncomfortable and embarrassing and I feel for her, even though she of course makes it even weirder than it needs to be. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

I refuse to list Jess in this section. And Lorelai and Max certainly aren’t doing any flirting as long as he’s maintaining his 10-foot-minimum rule. 

Thank goodness for this: Sookie accidentally touches Luke’s butt while he’s investigating the fire damage at the Inn, and he overhears Lorelai and Sookie discussing how shapely it is. “It’s all positive!” Lorelai counters when he tells them to stop talking about it. Later, Lorelai says: “No, Luke, thanks for doing this. It’s exactly what the contractor said. We just wanted a guy with a good butt’s opinion.” Sookie adds, “Yeah, Tom has a terrible butt.” hah! Luke is so uncomfortable. Then, when Lorelai offers for him and Nicole to stay at the Inn for free, she says, “It’s my way of saying thanks for parading that nice butt around here.” More jokes about how great Luke’s butt is, please!

Best/most dated pop culture reference

During the most awkward turndown service ever, Luke reminds her that they’re not paying so she doesn’t need to cater to them, and Lorelai mutters, “No, no, but this is where you start paying – in sweat.” Nicole knows the quote – Debbie Allen in Fame – and Lorelai seems a little disgruntled that her romantic rival (not that she’d ever admit it) caught one of her obscure pop culture references.

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

How can the woman be asked to cook a meal while she’s so preoccupied with fondling Luke’s nice ass?

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

Lorelai, you are no Samuel L. Jackson. Lose this Kangol hat immediately. 

Kirk insanity

We  hear that he’s in charge of the Friday night video trivia at the pizza place now (drink!). 

Michel madness

This is where he adopts Pau-Pau and Chin-Chin! He is in love! Pau-Pau fell into her water bowl so he had to blow-dry her. Also “the Chow book said they need love and stimulation or else they’ll murder you later on.” Chow Chow daddy Michel is my favorite Michel. 

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

I just love Lorelai’s advice to Rory upon her first big high school house party: “Your shoes okay? You got good traction?…Well, there’ll be liquids of various textures and disgustingness. You eating there?…Do not eat chips out of a communal bowl. You might as well stick your hand in a toilet. If you’re desperate, offer to be the person who replenishes them with new bags and grab a handful out of the new bag and dump the rest in the communal bowl.” Brilliant! 

Random observation

I honestly think Jess is complete scum here. There is no legitimate excuse for his behavior. 

3.20 “Say Goodnight, Gracie”

When Lorelai learns that Rory’s party was broken up by the cops, she’s proud. But when she further discovers that the cops broke up the party because Jess and Dean were fighting over Rory, she is overwhelmed.

Luke is less pleased when he has to pay a bunch of money for Jess’ tornado of destruction (Dean, of course, has already worked out a payment schedule), and he’s extra displeased when he learns that Jess’ dad is in town and wants to meet him. Jimmy’s a loser who walked out on Jess and his mom seventeen years ago, but now he wants to make amends. Luke goes to his hotel room and tells him off in the coolest way possible, saying he’s doing his best to make sure Jess graduates and Jimmy’s just going to screw it up if he sticks his head in now. (And sure enough…) Luke doesn’t tell Jess about it, so when Jimmy approaches Jess and introduces himself, Jess is furious with Luke for keeping it from him. He tells Luke he’s not going back to school and continues to show nothing but disdain for the man who has turned his life upside down so he could care for Jess for the past two years, and can we be done with Jess already? I am so ready for him to be gone. 

Well…he is. He and Rory go the entire episode without speaking (although they both make a few halfhearted attempts before chickening out), and Rory spills everything to Lorelai, even admitting that she became “that girl” who just lets her boyfriend treat her like dirt, and she’s finally grown sick of it. She’s heartbroken and furious and I feel so awful for her – particularly when Dean corners her to tell her that HE AND LINDSAY HAVE GOTTEN ENGAGED BECAUSE THEY ARE IDIOTS. Rory thinks they’re idiots, too, but while I’m polite enough to not say that to Dean’s face, Rory does. She reminds him that college is quite a commitment, that he and Lindsay haven’t been together that long and that there’s no reason for them to get married this young (ALL GOOD POINTS), and Dean grows angry at her lack of support. He talks some 100% true smack about what a crappy boyfriend Jess is and tells Rory to have a nice life, then lumbers off. Poor Rory is suffering a rough week with the fellas. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Kim has been giving Lane the silent treatment since her drunk dial, when out of nowhere Dave Rygalski shows up and wins all of our hearts for 100,000 years. I will not even attempt to do this scene justice with mere words; only YouTube can properly contextualize Dave’s wonderfulness. 


Lane’s not the only one whose dreams are coming true. Fran from Weston’s bakery – also known as the sweetly stubborn owner of the Dragonfly Inn – passes away, and after Lorelai and Sookie grieve an appropriate twenty seconds or so, they start looking at their options for purchase. At the funeral they struggle to hear what’s going on with the Dragonfly, when they’re directed toward Fran’s family attorney – played by Melissa McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone! – and they hit him up for details as he’s carrying poor Fran’s casket. Look, it’s gauche, but these ladies have been chasing that dream for years, and they have every intention of recapturing the Dragonfly’s glory days as an inn. It’s better than letting some corporate suits march in and turn it into a dentist’s office just because Lorelai and Sookie were too polite to make a move first. Ben Falcone tells them that if the check clears, the Dragonfly is theirs. IT’S ALL HAPPENING – and what convenient timing with the Independence in ashes!

And finally, as Rory takes a later bus than usual to Chilton the following morning, she sees Jess sitting at the back of the bus. She sits next to him and they make strained small talk. He tells her he can’t go to prom, and she doesn’t look surprised. At her stop, she asks him if he’s going to call her, and he says he will – then as she exits the bus, he pulls out his duffel bag from under the seat. Good riddance, you little pip squeak.

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

No one but Lane and Dave get to flirt this week, which is only fair because their flirtation is so planet-shakingly significant that all other flirty efforts would tremble and shrink in comparison.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Well it’s hard to imagine THIS was unintentional:

I call this piece “The Ungraduate.” 

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She makes some chocolate muffins so delicious that the guests want her to teach a cooking class. Hard to do when the Independence doesn’t have a kitchen, but Sookie’s willing to work around that for a compliment.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

Nice mourning bucket hat, Lor.

Kirk insanity

Oh no big, he just drops Fran’s casket and manages to pin himself under it. Rory: “Man, it’s bad enough this had to happen, but his pants splitting on top of it?” Lorelai: “Yeah. I hope he never takes too close a look at his life.”

Michel madness


Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lorelai, joking with Rory about the party: “Did they bring the paddywagon?” Rory: “Yeah, but then we snuck out the backdoor of the speak-easy and headed straight for the Algonquin.” 

Random observation

Lorelai’s missing her parents, although she’d never admit it. She calls her mom just to say hi, but Emily is still very angry with her. While last week I came down on Team Lorelai, I’m starting to see more of Emily’s point of view, as she reminds Lorelai that before Friday night dinner their entire relationship consisted of Emily tricking Lorelai into talking to her on the phone. They’re both so stubborn – they’re spiting themselves more than each other with this rift.

Also – we finally meet Caesar at Luke’s!

3.21 “Here Comes The Son”

Let’s make this quick, shall we? Half of this episode was intended as a backdoor pilot for a new Jess spinoff called “Windward Circle.” It features East Coast Teen Rebel Jess Mariano as he travels to wacky Venice Beach, California to get to know his father Jimmy (played by Melrose Place‘s Rob Estes), Jimmy’s girlfriend Sasha (a bleached blonde Sherilyn Finn from Twin Peaks and Dawson’s Creek – and who also pops up in Gilmore Girls Season 6 as the awful mother to one mouthy, bookish little Rory stand-in named April), and Sasha’s daughter, who is a quiet, bookish little Rory stand-in named Lily. The whole thing is very cornily fish-out-of-water; in fact, the below image tells you everything you need to know about what “Windward Circle” would have been:

Sasha and Jimmy know everyone on the boardwalk, Jimmy runs a hot dog stand, Sasha has lots of pets, Jimmy isn’t ready to be a dad, Jess is trying to find his way, blah blah blah. The show would have been excruciating and I’m glad it never took off – the studio says it’s because of budget concerns with filming in Venice Beach, but I think it’s more likely that not even Jess fans would want to watch this show. So let’s move on!

Back in Stars Hollow, where things we actually care about are happening: Rory is freaking out. (Almost as much as poor Lane, who has the unbelievably strict Seventh Day Adventist college life to look forward to. Separate parks for boys and girls!) She has one hundred million things to do before graduation, and even though she’s already been accepted to Yale, she’s panicking about finals because she wouldn’t be Rory otherwise. So when Luke comes over to tell Lorelai that Jess split, Lorelai is reluctant to share the news. Luke tells Lorelai sadly that he failed Jess, which gives me one more reason to want to punch Jess in the face. Lorelai is absolutely right when she counters, “You did not fail him. You supported him, you defended him, you gave him a chance, and if he chose not to take it, there’s nothing more you could do.” But Luke of course doesn’t believe her, and it breaks my heart. 

Rory’s going to panic even more when she learns what Lorelai already knows: she hasn’t qualified for Yale financial aid. Apparently, that $75,000 check that Richard gave Lorelai last week and that Lorelai promptly returned to her parents to reimburse them for Chilton? It’s disqualified Rory from any sort of tuition assistance. Lorelai’s keeping that from Rory, too, because the girl certainly has enough on her mind.

In the midst of everything else going on in Rory land, Emily is wigging over what to wear to graduation, so she forces Rory to come over and help her choose. And we finally get to meet the wonderful stylist Miss Celine, played by Alex Borstein who also played the grouchy harpist in the first few episodes of the series. She’s one of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s best friends, and she’s married to Jackson Douglas, who plays Jackson on the show. She was originally supposed to play Sookie, but her MadTV commitments got in the way. I love Miss Celine – she’s so grand and dramatic and she talks about dressing celebrities from seventy years ago, yet she looks utterly ageless:

When Lorelai goes to pick Rory up from Richard and Emily’s, she attempts to be cordial but Emily is still giving her the cold shoulder. Emily makes up some elaborate excuse to get out of inviting Lorelai to stay for dinner, which Lorelai promptly debunks using an unsuspecting Richard, and she storms out, declaring to Rory that she is finally DONE with her parents. Emily sniffs to Rory that she has no idea why Lorelai made such a scene, and Rory replies abruptly, “I think you’re being really stupid” before stomping off. Emily is flummoxed. Gah, Rory doesn’t have enough going on that she has to be in the middle of you two crazy broads?

Finally, Luke’s bizarre behavior forces Lorelai to spill the beans to Rory about Jess, and her reaction crushes me. She’s silent, resigned, quietly devastated. I hate you, Jess. Rory’s so bogged down in Jess stuff and her crazy schedule that she neglects to tell her mom the huge news: she’s Chilton’s valedictorian! Right now she’s just viewing it as one more speech she has to write, but Lorelai’s tearful reaction touches Rory, and okay, it also makes me cry. 

Oh wait! This most important thing also happens: Lorelai gave Paris some advice and they shared the world’s most hilarious hug.

Love this!

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

It’s not quite flirtation, but when Luke confides in  Lorelai about Jess and she sticks up for him so fiercely…sigh. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Two! Lorelai, about Lane’s college brochure: “Every kid in that brochure was awkward and panicked. It looked like the Academy Award audience during Michael Moore’s speech.”

And Paris, discussing her college choices with Lorelai: “Princeton’s a good school, but Jamie goes there…He goes there, and if I go there, it’s going to look like I went there just to be with him. Suddenly I’m Felicity without the hair issues and I’m not terribly comfortable with that.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode/Kirk insanity/Michel madness

Oh we’re too busy meeting the zany townies of Venice Beach to spend any time with the far superior zany townies of Stars Hollow.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

She looks hot, because she is hot, but this leopard print dress topped with a floral cardigan would be a nightmare on anyone else:

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lorelai and Rory are planning their Europe trip.

Lorelai: “When we’re in Spain, we need to know how to say ‘Does Antonio Banderas live near here?’ When in France, ‘Does Johnny Depp live near here?'”

Rory: “When in Rome, ‘Does Gore Vidal live near here?'”

Lorelai: “You know, you look like me, yet my ways are completely lost on you.”

Random observation

Aaaand now I’m back to being on Team Lorelai in her argument with her mother. She has made several conciliatory gestures – calling, dropping by – and Emily continues to treat her like garbage. Emily is creating the distance and blaming Lorelai for it.

And that’s it! Next week we’re giving the Season Three Finale, “Those Are Strings, Pinocchio,” its very own post, and my good friend and yours Mandy J is going to cover it for me since I’ll be out of town. So drop back by here next Wednesday morning and join her for a cry-fest during Rory’s graduation speech!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers:

We hate Jess now, right? Officially? And did anyone actually want “Windward Circle” to become a real show? I promise we won’t taunt you in the comments if you say yes. 

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.