Title: Gilmore Girls S5.E17 “Pulp Friction”
Gilmore Girls S5.E18 “To Live and Let Diorama”
Released: 2005
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 23
Cups of Coffee: 4

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

It’s Week 40 of our Gilmore Girls Rewatch Project, and I am loving these two episodes. The long national nightmare of Luke and Lorelai’s estrangement is behind us, and we are treated to a Season One-level load of quirky townie goodness. So let’s hop to!

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. 

Onto the episodes!

5.17 “Pulp Friction”

American Travel Magazine is doing a photo shoot of the Dragonfly Inn because it’s been named one of the Top Ten Inns in Connecticut! Gosh, I’m proud of these girls. Everything at the Inn seems dandy, especially with the Inn’s resident dandy, Michel. He’s returned from a trip to Los Angeles where he went on The Price is Right and won over $100,000 in cash and prizes! Well, mostly just the one prize: a gigantic RV that is delivered to the inn the day of the shoot – and Michel doesn’t know how to move it. The photo shoot is rescheduled and Lorelai is PISSED. She goes off on Michel, calling him “a super colossal hindrance” which is totally fair considering what a terrible employee he is, but then he gets pouty and she feels bad and does her best to make it up to him by trying to help him find a buyer for the RV.

She’s also spending her time going shopping with Rory, trying to find herself a pretty new dress to wear on her back-together date with Luke! She’s excited and nervous, and when Luke picks her up, he is too. It’s really cute how awkward they are at first, and Lorelai gives Luke a hard time for a Reggae Fever CD she finds in his truck (rightfully gives him a hard time, I might add), but what’s really bothering her is that they spent any time apart. “Well, all I can say is, you’re lucky I’m back in your life, because clearly you were lost without me. I mean, it’s a miracle you’re even still alive…right?” That last “right?” is sort of timid and hopeful, and Luke smiles warmly at her and replies, “You bet.” DAMMIT YOU TWO STAY TOGETHER FOREVER.

While Rory’s out shopping with Lorelai, she spies Logan on a date with another girl. At first dismayed, she eventually plays it pretty dang cool and decides she’s ready to date around, too. Logan seems impressed by how casually she’s taking it, until he sees her at a party with Life & Death Brigader Robert and realizes he isn’t taking it casually. The party is for Finn’s birthday, and it’s Quentin Tarantino-themed. Finn’s Vincent Vega. I want to go to this party.

Rory looks AMAZING as Gogo from Kill Bill because, as Lorelai points out, she already has the skirt from her Chilton days. Logan (dressed as Pulp Fiction‘s Butch) is going mad seeing Rory there with Robert (“dead extra number two”), and he keeps trying to make out with her and get her to leave with him, even though he also brought a date (the blood-spattered bride from Kill Bill – seriously, no Reservoir Dogs here?). Rory keeps her cool and Logan ends up wrapped around her finger, calling her constantly after the party and setting up multiple dates. Rory is very pleased with herself.

Finally, Emily is crushed when Rory shows up to Friday night dinner without Lorelai, because she assumed after last week that everything would be fine. She decides that Luke must never have reconciled with Lorelai the way she instructed, so she goes back to the diner to insult him some more instead of just, you know, APOLOGIZING and resolving the argument the way a normal human would. Luke calls Lorelai, who runs to the diner to rescue him, and in the process ends up SCREAMING at Emily: “Mom! Please hear me. If I want your input in my life in any way, shape or form, I will ask for it. Until then, do us all a favor and shut up!” It is AWFUL to watch. Although Emily was in the midst of saying appalling things to both Luke and Lorelai, I can’t get behind the way Lorelai speaks to her here. The whole scene sucks and I feel terrible for Luke, who’s just trying to stay out of it. Emily looks stunned and storms out, and Lorelai sits in shell-shocked silence. Ugh ugh ugh.

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

I love seeing Rory gain the upper hand with Logan (as fleeting as it may be). And she flirts with Robert just enough to be friendly, without appearing to lead him on just to make Logan jealous. She handles the whole situation very well, I must say. Also Logan takes Rory on a date to a play and then sneaks her into the empty dining hall for cereal and ice cream. She is so excited, and he smiles at her: “You’re an easy girl to please.”

As for Lorelai and Luke? God, it’s so nice to see them sharing another witty diner repartee again:

Best/most dated pop culture reference

When Lorelai brings in Weston’s coffee to Luke’s, he is affronted: “You bring an enemy coffee cup in here on the day of our reconciliation?” Lorelai, in a passable Godfather voice: “At least I didn’t ask you for a favor on this, the day of your daughter’s wedding.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She makes a hundred baked goods for the travel mag shoot: a cake on every table in the dining room, a plate of fresh-baked cookies in the living room, a basket of cupcakes for the reception desk.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

It’s not crazy, per se, and of course she’s rocking it, but I don’t care for this pink sparkly number she wears for the big date, especially with the even-pinker cardigan.

Outfit MVP


Kirk insanity

He’s collecting all the pink and blue ribbons from Luke and Lorelai’s breakup, and Lorelai is pleased (though not surprised) to learn that there are far more pink ribbons than blue. Kirk also decides, with Luke’s ill-timed advice, that it’s time to move out of his mother’s house so he and Lulu can have some QT (that’s quality time, not Quentin Tarantino). And then of course he ends up sleeping naked in Luke’s boat in Lorelai’s garage, and then crashing, also naked, in Michel’s RV.

Michel madness

Well, I repeat…Kirk ends up crashing naked in Michel’s RV. But also he returns from his LA trip boasting of his new botox and the veneers he had done by Nick Lachey’s guy.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

I don’t know why, but it makes me laugh so hard when Lorelai’s trying to sell Michel’s RV and she brags about “the beautiful maple-ish paneling.” Michel sniffs, “I didn’t know about the maple-ish paneling.”

Random observation

Lorelai is amazingly uncool about Rory’s assertion that she and Logan are just keeping it casual even though they’re sleeping together. She’s trying so hard to pretend she gets it when Rory says “Mom, it’s college,” but she tells Luke later that it bothers her that she can’t use her mom card whenever she thinks Rory’s making a mistake. “It’s different. She’s on her own. She’s making her own decisions. My ‘mom card’ is looking a little flimsier, and I don’t know how much to say to her. If she doesn’t want to hear it, she doesn’t have to take it. She doesn’t have to call, or come home.” It’s very interesting because of course that’s how Emily feels about Lorelai: that she’s making a mistake with her life, and that Emily, as her mother, knows better. And Lorelai responds to Emily in exactly the way she fears Rory might one day respond to her: with no respect and zero interest in her mother’s input.

5.18 “To Live and Let Diorama”

Old man Twickham’s finally kicked the bucket! Everyone in town gets together to say goodbye to him for the fiftieth and final time, and then Taylor is in charge of making a temporary Stars Hollow Museum out of Twickham’s beautiful home, per his will. Luke, meanwhile, is acting drastically out of character: he willingly attends a town meeting and then volunteers to help get the museum in working order. He works as Taylor’s right hand man and never grumbles in spite of all of Taylor’s nonsensical instructions and maddening overbearance. He tells Lorelai he’s volunteering because Twickham was like a father to him, and he tells Taylor it’s because Lorelai is making him. But the real reason? Luke has always wanted Twickham’s home, and after the museum (with its INSANE light-up mannequin diorama display which Lorelai and Sookie of course find delightful) closes, he wants to make an offer on the home…because HE’S READY TO START A FAMILY!!! Taylor considers it, and Luke keeps it quiet from Lorelai, although he seems pleased when she says “Wow. I just never really looked at this place before. Those columns, and that brick. It’s beautiful.” Squee! (SPOILER – sigh.)

The Dragonfly Inn’s been chosen as the cover for American Travel Magazine! It’s really exciting – and oh man, Luke is so excited for Lorelai – but things get a little messy when it comes time for Lorelai to give the interview. She’s doing a great job and the reporter seems pleased, especially when Lorelai goes on an Emily-bashing tangent of epic proportions. For instance: she calls her worse than Mussolini and Stalin! Rory frets about it when Lorelai tells her later, and she explains to Lorelai that if she never said “off the record,” then it isn’t. Sure enough, the writer wants to include it in her piece – so Lorelai, after some soul-searching, asks her to forgo the interview and the cover. Crappy business decision (and shouldn’t she have run it by Sookie first?), but good daughter decision.

Oh, and super randomly, Dean shows up to help with the museum construction, and he spends the entire episode glaring at Luke. Luke finally confronts him and asks if it’s about the Great Bop-It Crisis Of 2004, and Dean pouts a lot about Rory and tells Luke that Lorelai’s going to do the same thing to him that Rory did to Dean. “They want more than this. Don’t you see that? And all you are is this. This town, it’s all you are, and it’s not enough. She’s going to get bored, and you can’t take her anywhere. You’re here forever.” GAH SHUT UP DEAN. Go back to listening to Metallica and hunting demons in that sweet-ass Impala with your brother who is also named Dean! And Luke: STOP TAKING THE ADVICE OF A TWENTY-YEAR-OLD FLOPPY-HAIRED DOORMAT.

Meanwhile, the woman who broke Dean’s heart is feeling a little heartbreak herself, as Logan’s attention has wandered. “Logan and I were hot and heavy, had a good two weeks, then it became about voicemails, then crickets,” Rory tells Paris, who is suffering her own Doyle-related angst. They both decide to stop being pathetic and get out and do something.

“Something” ends up being drinking a ton of Miss Patty’s Founders Day Punch in the backyard of the Twickham museum with Lane, who is mourning the fact that she saw Zack talking to Sophie when he was supposed to be out with the guys. Yes, I mean Sophie the music store owner (played by Gilmore Girls theme song singer Carole King!), who is obviously way too old to be Zack’s other woman, but Lane’s all nervous he’s going to leave her because she won’t have sex with him until they’re married.

So yeah, all of these brilliant, badass ladies are made into sad piles of mush by the combination of negligent boys and too much alcohol. Lane actually confronts poor Sophie (it turns out Zack just wanted to play the banjo in secret), Paris stumbles around shoeless asking for change like a hobo (don’t ask), and Rory ends up sobbing on the bathroom floor as Lorelai strokes her hair. “Why doesn’t he like me? Why doesn’t he call me? What did I do?” Lorelai looks concerned, and I blame Miss Patty’s punch. (Read my recipe here! Make your own so you, too, can vomit and sob on the bathroom floor!)

How many times do I have to drink?

18, dang!

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

I can’t get over how thrilled Luke is about the magazine cover for Lorelai. “Hey, there she is, the woman of the hour! I am blown away by this! You’re going to be on the cover of a magazine! That’s a big deal!” He did research on all of the different writers so he could give Lorelai advice on who should interview her. YOU GUYS. THAT IS THE ACTUAL CUTEST. Also she gooses him several times during the mannequin show.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

About Twickham’s final moments, Lorelai: “And I just got my good-bye in. He was about to close shop for the day but we got in, told him good-bye and that we’d miss him, we left and then apparently he just closed his eyes. Muttered something about Lori Loughlin and that was that.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

Trail mix? More importantly, we can all feast on her tangible glee at the light-up mannequin presentation. “I can’t get enough!”

Lorelai’s craziest outfit/Michel madness


Outfit MVP

At least Lane’s wearing this kickass deconstructed blazer when she humiliates herself in Sophie’s shop.

Kirk insanity

He’s still looking for a place to sleep and Stars Hollow is sharing the responsibility of sheltering him. My favorite is when he’s crashing at Lorelai’s and she treats him just like a mom: “Grab your jacket, it’s chilly, Kirk. Finish your breakfast first. Kirk. Do not turn that TV on!” eee so cute.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

When Paris asks Rory how old Kirk is, Rory: “You’d have to cut him open and count the rings.”

Random observation

I’ve read a lot of people listing this episode as an example of why Logan’s bad for Rory: he makes her weak and pathetic when she’s usually so strong. And I concede: drunk, pathetic, sobbing Rory is no fun to watch. But guys, you remember college, right? Surely I’m not the only strong, independent woman who remembers drinking too much and sobbing over some undeserving boy once or twice or a dozen times? Lane and Paris are no better here – it happens. Booze + boys make a deadly combination, even to the heartiest of twenty-year-olds.

So that’s it for this week! Meet us back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “But I’m A Gilmore!” and “How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?”

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: anyone else agree to let Rory off easy for her crying jag, or do you think, like Lorelai, that it’s a symptom of something more insidious than typical college-aged drama?

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.