Title: Gilmore Girls S6.E01 “New and Improved Lorelai”
Gilmore Girls S6.E02 “Fight Face”
Released: 2005
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 30
Cups of Coffee: 7

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

Here we are at Season 6! Every week, I use a header image of the Gilmore gals together, and from the beginning I fretted about what I’d do once we reached Season 6, and we have to go SEVERAL EPISODES without a shared scene between Lorelai and Rory. Fortunately, this week we get one teeensy weensy scene with both of them, so my concerns are delayed – but I’m getting nervous, I have to tell you. 

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.
Emily gets a new maid. 

Onto the episodes!

6.1 “New and Improved Lorelai”

Luke and Lorelai are engaged! In fact, that sweet dearie replies “yes” to her proposal before she even gets it out. They decide to celebrate but have no booze on hand, so they give Taylor the news first so he’ll open up Doose’s and sell them a case of lukewarm Zima (or as Luke calls it, “chick beer”) for toasting. Luke gets a ring and everything, they have a sleepy, post-coital discussion about the Twickham house and kids (Lorelai wishes Luke had told her about the house before buying it, and she thinks “kids would be good,” which makes Luke smile the biggest, handsomest smile ever), and it looks like this is really happening! Everyone is happy!

Well, Lorelai’s joy is of course somewhat tempered by her estrangement from Rory, who is firmly ensconced in the pool house, which of course Emily is already redecorating. Richard cashes in a favor with one of his buddies, a big-time lawyer, and everyone assumes Rory will get nothing but a slap on the wrist, thanks to her sterling record and prestigious representation. But the judge looks down on spoiled rich kids thinking they can do whatever they want (Team Judge!), so Rory gets THREE HUNDRED HOURS of community service and a year of probation. It’ll also go on her record and stay there for five years, when it will finally be stricken if she keeps her nose clean. Emily is aghast, Richard is furious, and Rory can’t believe that Lorelai didn’t show up for her trial. Tough love, baby. 

Paris administers her own dose of tough love to Rory, telling her “No! You don’t take time off!” upon hearing the news. When Rory counters that Einstein took time off from school, Paris gets a HELL YES from me when she replies, “Yeah. After he discovered three laws of physics.” Rory makes me want to throttle her when she tells Paris that she doesn’t have to defend herself because, “I’m a grown up! I’m independent! I’m on my own!” Are you serious, Rory? Your grandmother is driving you around, her maid is drawing you a bath and you’re living rent-free in her pool house. You also still owe your grandparents money for the tuition you’ve squandered. You are the actual opposite of independent. Paris goes to Lorelai and tries to convince her to “pull some of that Super Mom crap” and force Rory back into school (and Luke agrees with her) because Paris needs Rory. “Rory has been my only real competition since she showed up at Chilton. She’s the only one who’s ever challenged me. She’s my pace car.” Aww. Well, Paris, consider yourself in the lead. 

Especially because Rory’s spending her time partying with Logan’s wastrel friends, who are celebrating her loafish convict status. Logan, however, seems a little disappointed in the New Rory, and I love him for that. 

Finally, after Emily goes to Lorelai’s house to pick up Rory’s things and is furious that Lorelai isn’t there to help her and hasn’t packed anything up (and Emily leaves several angry notes and voicemails to that effect), Lorelai throws all of Rory’s stuff into a laundry basket, lets herself into Richard and Emily’s bedroom in the middle of the night, throws the basket on the bed and tells them that she’s done. She says she’s not even mad that they betrayed her: “You were just being you. You couldn’t help it.” She tells them the fable of the scorpion and the frog, and I have to say, that’s a pretty apt, mature approach to what Emily and Richard have done here. ” You guys must be pretty jazzed though, huh? I mean you finally did it. You finally got a shot at getting the daughter you’ve always wanted. Rory! Here! Right under your roof. Excellent! Now you get your do over. A new and improved Lorelai. Congrats. Very well played.” And then, as Richard and Emily sputter, Lorelai tells them that she really has no intention of helping them figure things out with Rory. “I’m out. You’ve won. She’s all yours. Of course, the laundry basket I’m going to want back.” DAAAMN. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

I love sleepy, sexy Lorelai and Luke in bed (and I always enjoy shirtless Luke). Logan’s pretty cute with Rory, too, and I appreciate that he’s being reserved about her newfound layabout status, instead of celebrating it. (Also he got a haircut and looks great.) But the flirtiest, best moment of the episode is when Luke and Lorelai toast their engagement under the gazebo with their stupid, warm chick beers. It’s a legendary kiss. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Luke, frantically searching through Doose’s shelves for alcohol: “Nothing! No wine, no beer, no cooking sherry! It’s like Dylan Thomas just blew through town.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode/Lorelai’s craziest outfit


Outfit MVP

This is the morning after the proposal, and she looks so breezy and happy and stylish! (Well, she doesn’t look particularly happy in this picture, but take my word for it.)

Kirk insanity

Luke actually buys Lorelai’s engagement ring from Kirk, who has a collection of beautiful, authentic, heirloom rings he’s amassed by befriending lonely old women. OF COURSE HE DOES. “Really old women need companionship, Luke. They are really old. Most people they know are dead. So when someone comes along, and they are not dead and they’ll listen to their stories and care about their dosage, they are grateful.”

Michel madness

Michel’s disgust with the sweaty cyclist leaning on the concierge desk at the Dragonfly is nothing short of epic. 

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lorelai, comforting Paris in the midst of her Rory-free freakout: “Paris, listen to me. You are a very smart, driven young lady. You can be anything you want. Except a diplomat.”

Random observation

I think it’s interesting that everyone, save Lorelai, is completely wigging at the fact that she’s not babying Rory anymore. Rory can’t believe it, Emily and Richard can’t believe it, Luke and Paris can’t believe it, and Babette nearly has a heart attack at the news. Lorelai maintains a completely nonchalant demeanor – until she’s alone in Rory’s empty room after her confrontation with Emily and Richard, and she starts to cry and hurls her water bottle at the mirror. 

6.2 “Fight Face”

Lorelai, She Who Fears Change, is of course starting to lose it at the idea of moving out of her home and into the Twickham house, and Luke, being the greatest man alive, decides he agrees with her. The Twickham house is too big, and Lorelai lives in a great house, a house that she loves and he likes. So he decides her house just needs to undergo a little improvement and expansion so they can both fit in there. He’s interviewing an architect when Liz overhears him and guilts him into hiring the terminally unemployed TJ, who almost passed his contractor test. TJ accidentally sledge-hammers a giant hole in Lorelai’s house and a bunch of other hijinks ensue, but they all involve TJ and you guys probably know by now that I don’t like to spend a whole lot of time writing about TJ (unlike episode writer Daniel Palladino, who clearly loves him). 

You will soon learn, however, that I DO like to spend a lot of time writing about Paul Anka, because he is my favorite!! Lorelai is wandering around a pet fair (despite everyone‘s concerns that she should never be allowed to have pets after a whole series of animal deaths), and her loneliness gets the better of her and she ends up adopting the cutest, shaggiest dog ever. Paul Anka is seriously my favorite TV dog of all time. He always looks so placid, but Lorelai has so many off-screen stories of his neuroses and fears and freak-outs, which I can only assume are just projections on her part because this is the calmest dog on the planet. Also he has the best name and I want him. 

Meanwhile, Rory is still loafing about, and it’s starting to concern Richard and Emily. That’s understandable, but the thing that sets off Emily’s radar – that she caught Rory fraternizing with the help, dear me – is not understandable. They decide Rory needs a job, so Emily hooks her up with the DAR. The job sounds perfect – easy, flexible hours, she can work from home – but she’ll have to join the DAR. Oh Rory. This is a slippery slope. Rory’s community service also starts this week, and she is naturally very timid in her orientation, surrounded by much tougher-looking people than herself. Emily tries to give her hilarious tips on surviving prison that she had Richard’s assistant print out from the Internet, and she even gives Rory cigarettes for bartering. AMAZING. 

Rory, feeling lonely, goes to visit Luke at the diner, and he accidentally spills it that he and Lorelai are engaged. Rory’s heartbroken that Lorelai didn’t tell her, and later, when Lorelai’s driving down the street and spies Rory picking up trash, she pulls over and they get into a sarcasm-laden argument on the side of the road. Tell me what you think – I think Lorelai wins this little skirmish. 

Lorelai: “Repaying your debt to society, I assume?”

Rory: “That’s what this is.”

Lorelai: “System already hardened you?”

Rory: “So, I guess congratulations are in order.”

Lorelai: “So, how are things at the new digs?”

Rory: “You guys set a date yet?”

Lorelai: “Grandma redecorate the pool house yet?” (hah! does she know her mother or what?)

Rory: “Be sure to send me a picture.”

Lorelai: “Be sure to send me a change-of-address card. Grandma can print them out for you, with a little fleur-de-lis.”

Rory: “I’m not supposed to be talking to outsiders.”

Lorelai, walking away: “Fine.”

Rory, shouting at her retreating back: “You and Luke getting engaged and not telling me about it? You hurt me.”

Lorelai, without turning around: “Back at you.”

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

I cannot get over the fact that Luke so easily and cheerfully abandons his dreams of the Twickham house just to keep Lorelai happy. He is wonderful. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference


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


Lorelai’s craziest outfit

I didn’t mind this outfit until I saw her feet and realized she was wearing pink cowboy boots. There’s definitely nothing wrong with pink cowboy boots – I’m for them! But with the shirt and jeans, the whole thing’s just a little too Hee Haw

Outfit MVP

Gah, this dress is pretty. I want it.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Lorelai, cooing at a cute, tiny pig at the pet fair: “Well, I’m feeling a little guilty because of the you-L-T I had yesterday.”

Random observation

When Lorelai’s getting antsy about the Twickham house, Sookie quite naturally assumes she’s about to pull a Lorelai and bolt from the engagement. But I believe Lorelai when she says that she’s committed to Luke and happy they’re engaged – her anxiety is purely about moving out of her beloved home, and of course about her fight with Rory. 

So that’s it for this week! Next week the lovely Mandy J will be subbing for me while I’m at SXSW, so give her a warm welcome! She’ll be covering “The Ungraduate” and “Always a God Mother, Never a God,” so meet her back here next Wednesday morning!

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: do you think Lorelai’s doing the right thing, completely washing her hands of Rory like this? Or do you agree with Luke (and Paris, and Richard, and Emily) that she’s making a mistake? 

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.