About:

Title: Gilmore Girls S4.E04 “Chicken or Beef?”
Gilmore Girls S4.E05 “The Fundamental Things Apply”
Gilmore Girls S4.E06 “An Affair to Remember”
Released: 2003
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 41
Cups of Coffee: 12

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

We’ve reached Week 24 of our Rewatch Project, and that means we’re in our sixth month of watching Gilmore Girls together. To celebrate this milestone, let’s…watch some more Gilmore Girls!

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!

4.4 “Chicken or Beef?”

In true College Freshman tradition, Rory got a haircut! Lorelai does not approve – not necessarily of the haircut, but that Rory didn’t tell her first. Doesn’t Rory know their co-dependent contract has a clause that The Mother must be informed of all hair decisions made by The Daughter beforehand? Rory’s home for the weekend, looking forward to a relaxing two days of reading and laundry – until she discovers that this is the weekend of Dean’s wedding. It’s an uncomfortable situation, so Rory runs over to Lane’s to rightfully chastise her for dropping the bestie ball by neglecting to warn Rory of the impending nuptials. Lane apologizes – she’s been at sixes and sevens with the band since Dave Rygalski left town. SOB. SEEM SADDER, LANE, YOU ARE NOT SAD ENOUGH.

I’m with Zack here. (Also, that’s a super solid The O.C. joke by the great Jane Espenson, the writer of this episode and also a writer on The O.C. – as well, of course, as Buffy and loads of other great stuff.)

Poor Rory keeps running into wedding preparations everywhere, and then she actually runs into the groom himself. They share a sweet but awkward exchange, and Dean very nicely (and ill-advisedly) insists that Rory and Lorelai attend the wedding, now that he knows Rory’s in town. She agrees, sort of, and then frets about it to Lorelai, who wisely leaves the decision to Rory. Rory eventually decides to go, also ill-advisedly. But the night before the wedding, for Dean’s rather sad bachelor party, Dean and a bunch of dudes (including Kyle and also Max Greenfield – also known as Deputy Leo on Veronica Mars and Schmidt on New Girl!) stumble drunkenly into Luke’s diner after drinking a case of beer in the J.C. Penney parking lot. No, really.

At first Luke’s trying to sober them all up with pancakes when Dean starts to nod off at the counter and mumbles “Rory,” and Luke swings into action. I love him so much for this – he shoos the bachelor party out of the diner and takes Dean upstairs to sleep it off in, ironically, Jess’ old bed. All the while Dean is mumbling about how smart and pretty and shiny-haired Rory is, and then he breaks my heart by asking, “Why didn’t she love me?” Oh, poor Dean. His beer-fueled confession clearly strikes something in the typically unsympathetic Luke, who seems to understand how it feels to foster unrequited love for a Gilmore girl. GAHHH. This scene kills me.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s sent a cease and desist letter to Lorelai before she breaks ground on the Dragonfly, and he makes her jump through all these crazy hoops before he, as head of the Preservation Society, will allow her to begin construction. As Lorelai’s frustration mounts and Taylor’s requests grow increasingly silly, she finally asks him, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” And he comes clean: he wants Lorelai to convince Luke to let Taylor park an ice cream truck outside the diner and soda shoppe. Man, even TAYLOR knows Luke is in love with you, you beautiful, blind idiot! Of course Lorelai gets Luke to agree in seconds, because, you know. Love. So soon Lorelai, Sookie and Michel are taking an adorable sledgehammer picture together on the Dragonfly porch, ready to start construction and finally tackle that dream.

After sending Dean off to his wedding with a hangover remedy health shake (god, I love Luke), Luke runs into Rory and advises her mysteriously – and urgently – not to attend Dean’s wedding. So she watches it from afar, looking sad and wistful as Dean and Lindsay embrace outside of the church.

How many times do I have to drink?

10.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota

I just love how easily Luke agrees to Taylor’s request after Lorelai’s crazy, breathless “business is dirty” rant. Throughout the entire process of finding, buying and opening The Dragonfly, Luke supports Lorelai in a hundred different ways.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Sookie to Michel when he pretends to not remember their phone call from the day before: “You called me! You kept me on the phone for over an hour. I missed the beginning of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and by the time I got back, they were all gay.” I miss that show.

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

Taylor’s shenanigans are keeping them all too busy for sustenance this week.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

Sure, it’s loungewear, but this dragon shirt and track pants ensemb certainly qualifies:

Kirk insanity

Kirk’s gotten a job at a Stars Hollow security firm (drink!) and, without asking, he installs a blazingly loud, hairtrigger alarm system at Lorelai’s house because he’s worried about the “pretty spinster who lives alone.” He eventually turns it off, but Lorelai gives him a kiss on the cheek for looking out for her in his own special Kirk way.

Michel madness

He hates his new job at this trendy new hotel where everyone wears “their jammies” and Bluetooth sets, and he’s hysterical on the phone with Sookie, accusing her and Lorelai of pushing him out of plans for the Dragonfly. Lorelai and Sookie assure each other that of course they want Michel to follow them to the Dragonfly, even if their conversation about how great he is goes exactly like those SNL skits with Kim Jong-Un’s best friends. “He’s the best concierge in the world.” “Absolutely. A little abrasive.” “Kind of impatient.” “But charming.” “And great at what he does, knows the community.” “Willing to go that extra mile.” “Tiny bit obnoxious.”

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lane, after hearing that Rory saw Dean preparing for the wedding, “Oh my god, did he see you?” Rory: “I don’t think so. I do a pretty good idiot run when I need to.”

Random observation

I don’t want Rory and Dean together – I think they’re all wrong for each other. But this episode kills me because most of us know how it feels to see our high school sweethearts get married. Even if you’ve moved on, it still smarts – and Rory has to deal with it much earlier than most people, because Dean got married at 18 like a loon.

4.5 “The Fundamental Things Apply”

I love this episode! Rory’s slowly settling into life at Yale, even as her roommate situation heats up. We finally meet the fourth in their foursome, Janet, a running addict against whom Paris has pitted herself forever. Tana and Rory are just trying to stay out of the way of their wrath. Marty, aka Naked Guy, has worked his way up to nervously flirting with Rory over breakfast, but she tells Lorelai they’re just friends, and she allows herself to be asked out by a guy in one of her classes. Well, at first she pretends to not notice he’s asking her out because “it can’t go anywhere,” until Lorelai points out that she’s IN COLLEGE, and going on dates that can’t go anywhere is the entire point of college! (Well that and, you know, learning.) So Rory agrees to the date, which turns out to be the most horrifically awkward date in the history of mankind. Rory is so bad at dating! So very bad at it!

Lorelai’s very good at it, however. Luke’s been storming around, grumpy about his divorce from Nicole (well, and also grumpy for a very legitimate reason, which is that Lorelai’s been using his diner as her office as she works toward improvements on the Dragonfly):

So Lorelai decides to cheer him up by inviting him to movie night! AHH I LOVE THIS. He’s so adorably, instantly amenable, and he brings over burgers and she offers him beer and they watch Casablanca and Hard Bodies – only two among countless classics Luke has never seen – until he falls asleep on the couch and she covers him with a blanket, and it’s so cute and cozy that I DIE. I am dead now. I died from the cuteness.

Also, Lorelai and Emily are at odds – what else is new? – because Lorelai neglected to tell Emily that Sookie’s pregnant. Lorelai finally hires a designer for the Dragonfly after searching for ages, and it turns out the designer once worked for Emily, so now of course Lorelai thinks she’s off limits because Lorelai is a child. Emily hears about this too, and it’s this whole big thing that remains unresolved at the end, so who knows.

Finally, Rory has a sorta cool exchange with a cute guy in the laundry room, and so she asks him out very casually – and he turns her down. Rory looks stricken. Aww. College is hard.

How many times do I have to drink?

16.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota

Rory tries her best to flirt with Trevor and laundry room guy, and Marty’s trying to flirt with her, but nobody holds a candle to Lorelai and Luke! He talks about how he knows in his gut if it’s right with a woman, and of course it’s so incredibly right with Lorelai. God, the way these two smile at each other. HURRY UP. I AM LOSING PATIENCE.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

I love as Lorelai starts rattling off potential titles for movie night and grows increasing aghast as she learns that Luke hasn’t seen any of them: Casablanca and Hard Bodies, of course, but also ChinatownBonnie and ClydeIt Happened One NightTreasure of the Sierra Madre – and she is especially put out that the man’s never seen Diner. I mean seriously, Luke.

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

Nothin’s cookin’ yet, but she’s selected the very posh Avery stove for the Dragonfly kitchen, so tasty business will be heating up soon.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

This one requires two shots, one close-up and one at a distance so you can absorb the whole experience of this tight, shiny, ankle-length tube dress with an Asian countryside print, a see-through cleavage panel and a mock turtleneck. Also, please note that this wasn’t quite enough look for Lorelai, so she added a leather jacket:

Kirk insanity

Kirkless.

Michel madness

Michel meets Lorelai at Luke’s to go over designer resumes, and he has allowed himself one “crazy day” to eat whatever he wants. He then asks Luke if the chocolate in his cake is Mexican chocolate, and Luke dismisses him with great crotchetiness.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Babette has given Lorelai flower bulbs to plant to help fill the Rory-sized hole in her heart, and she assures Lorelai that, come spring, she’ll have color coming out of her yin-yang. Lorelai: “Did you hear that? I’ll have color coming out of my yin-yang.” Rory: “Well, then maybe you’ll finally get a man.”

Random observation

Am I the only person painfully relating to Rory’s college dating experience? As a freshman, I was so unnerved by the whole dating scene. I had no idea how to go about it – everyone seemed so much better at it than I did.

4.6 “An Affair to Remember”

Richard and Digger are moving forward with their partnership, and Emily’s planning a launch party that sounds rather awesome. It will be Russian-themed with a vodka and caviar bar, and I AM GOING TO THAT. She hires Sookie and Lorelai to cater the party, and she punishes Lorelai a little for not telling her about their catering partnership by making them present a trial run dinner so she can approve the menu and the table setting. Sookie makes one twillion broccoli tarts to prepare. However, when Emily presents the idea of the party to Digger, he says that he’s already invited all of the clients for a free-wheeling trip to Atlantic City because, and I quote, “nothing bonds two businessmen together more than one of them finding the other hungover with a hooker in their bed the next morning.” Gross. Emily is of course appalled, and this is a good time to say that Digger hates being called Digger – his real name is Jason – but we shall always call him Digger because, even though the actor Chris Eigeman is the best, Digger is pretty much the worst. He calls cocktail parties passé and makes Emily, who has spent 36 years throwing parties for Richard, feel small and useless – and the worst part is that Richard then agrees with him. The party’s off, and Emily’s crushed.

Rory’s overwhelmed with schoolin’ and finds it difficult to study amid Tana’s general weirdness and Paris and Janet’s constant warring, so she heads home to use her room, only to find it has become Land of the Broccoli Tart. So she stomps back to Yale where she stumbles on the perfect study tree (I had one of those!). The nook fits her back just right, it’s in the shade, it’s far enough from everything to be quiet but not so far as to be Unabombery… However when she returns the next day, some guy reading a trucker mag has DARED to take her tree, so Rory lays on the ol’ Rory Gilmore charm by essentially implying that the tree belongs to her and he should move. Trucker Mag Boy does not. I don’t blame him.

Emily goes to Lorelai’s house to tell her she won’t be needing her and Sookie’s services anymore, and Lorelai becomes furious that Emily made them go through that whole rigmarole and then canceled the gig – until Emily almost starts to cry, and she admits that she thought Sookie’s food was perfect and the table was beautiful, and she was so looking forward to having them cater the party. She’s sad and solemn as she talks about how Richard doesn’t need her anymore because now he has Digger, and Lorelai is so sweet to her here. It’s touching and crushing at once. Later, as Sookie’s complaining about losing the pay for the gig and Rory’s whining about her stupid tree, Lorelai totally goes off on both of them. I don’t particularly think she needed to yell at Sookie, but it makes me happy when she says this to Rory: “You’re in college now, Rory. If your study plan doesn’t work, then come up with another one. Just figure it out, but stop complaining because you’re not two.” Amen!

Of course what’s really bugging Lorelai is Digger, so she storms over to his office to tell him off for making Emily feel obsolete. He spends the entire exchange smarming over how well she’s grown up since they went to summer camp together, and dammit, my feelings of fondness for Chris Eigeman are all mixed up with my feelings of loathing for Digger. He flirts very cutely and/or obnoxiously with her, I cannot decide, and she plays defense admirably until he points out how much her mother would hate it if they went on a date. Lorelai considers that with glee for a second, before shaking it off and saying to Digger, “You suck.” She’s not wrong.

Epilogue: Rory pays Trucker Mag Guy twenty bucks to give her the tree back – after trying to sweet it out of him to utterly no avail.

How many times do I have to drink?

15.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota

Ugh, Digger. For instance, as Lorelai chastises him for dumping their canoe at summer camp, he says, “Oh, I remember – green t-shirt, no bra. Trust me, I was the hero of Cabin Five for the rest of the summer.” AUGH why am I sort of charmed by him even though he is the actual worst?? It’s such good casting, because on paper there’s no WAY Lorelai would date Digger, but she would totally date Chris Eigeman, because who among us wouldn’t?

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Lorelai lies to Emily that she sent a flier to announce her catering partnership with Sookie, and Emily is duly skeptical. Lorelai swears it’s true, and Emily says, “Shame on you for swearing there’s a flier! That’s the worst possible thing you could do.” Lorelai: “Liv Tyler grew up her entire life thinking Todd Rundgren was her real father. You think that might knock this out of first place?”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She makes broccoli tarts (a twillion of them), roasted asparagus with parmesan, a trio of winter soups (tomato basil, butternut squash and Catalonian garlic), and then a lobster pot pie that looks INCREDIBLE.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

Emily scolds her so much for these pants that I don’t need to say a word. I would like to add that she just throws on a denim jacket and wears this exact outfit to Digger’s office, which may be why he thinks he can hit on her with such abandon.

Kirk insanity

BEST. Kirk has a new girlfriend! Well, a date. His brother’s ex-girlfriend Lulu, on whom he’s always had a crush, is in town, and he arranges a very special evening at Luke’s for her, with champagne and flowers and Duckie impersonations. Luke and Lorelai each separately help Kirk prepare for the date, which is the sweetest, and it seems like it works – Lulu really seems to like him! Also, she is adorable and I love her. This is Lulu: 

Michel madness

No Michel this week, so I will use this space to talk more about Kirk. He also has a new custom mailbox business (drink!), and his mailboxes include, among other things, Condoleezza Rice and that scary ass lamb.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

As Luke and Lorelai watch Kirk tape himself trying out different conversation topics in preparation for his date with Lulu, Lorelai marvels: “Boy! You ever think about how many different ways Kirk could get kicked out of the Army?”

Random observation

One thing I love about early S4 episodes is that Rory doesn’t immediately become the darling of Yale the way she is of Stars Hollow. She gets a taste of what it feels like to be a small fish in a huge, prestigious pond, and after years of being the default town princess, I think it’s good for her. I love Rory, but I think these first few episodes where she doesn’t get everything she wants just because she’s Rory are sort of refreshing. That said, I really like her college wardrobe: all patterned tights and miniskirts and cute sweaters.


There you have it! Next week we’re covering “The Festival of Living Art” (yay!), “Die, Jerk” and “Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out,” so meet me back here next Wednesday morning for the fun!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: am I the only one who feels conflicted about Digger? On the one hand, he sucks, but on the other hand…I sorta like him?

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.