About:

Title: Gilmore Girls S6.E09 “The Prodigal Daughter Returns”
Gilmore Girls S6.E10 “He’s Slippin’ ‘Em Bread…Dig?”
Released: 2005
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 29
Cups of Coffee: 8

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

Well, the time has finally come, my friends. No longer shall we gnash our teeth and rend our garments, because at last – AT LAST – our Gilmore girls are reunited. 

Aaaaaaaand we can go right back to the gnashing and rending, because April exists. 

So let’s hop to, 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!

6.9 “The Prodigal Daughter Returns”

Okay, here we go.

After some more terse words between Rory and Emily, Richard comes home to find Colin and Finn moving Rory out of the house without a word from Rory. (This is horribly rude behavior, but we’ll get to that later.) Then Emily goes missing and Richard is frantic. He calls Lorelai, who’s also freaking out because something clearly happened between Rory and Emily, and no one will tell her what. She finds Emily just in the nick of time – right before Emily is about to buy a plane out of sheer unhappiness. Poor Emily. The scene between Lorelai and Emily is one of my favorites of the entire series. Emily starts crying and tells Lorelai:

Emily: “I did nothing but take care of her. I bought her clothes. I got her a job. I guided her. I threw parties for her and introduced her to new people, new things, and she just… The way she talked to me. You would have been very proud. She looked at me just like you used to. With that defiant, ‘who are you to be telling me what to do?’ sort of look. Then she left. Packed her things and moved out when I wasn’t even there to see her go. No thank you, no goodbye. You would have been very, very proud.”

It breaks my heart, and Lorelai’s too. She understands immediately what’s going on here: “It’s not the same, Mom, what happened with Rory. It’s not the same.” Emily replies, “I lost her like I lost you. Feels remarkably similar to me.” Lorelai: “You didn’t lose her like you lost me. She was never supposed to be there in the first place; she was always supposed to be at school. She just went back where she belonged.” And then, as she’s walking out, she turns around once more and softly adds, “And you didn’t lose me.” TEARS.

So where is Rory? Hustling! She’s been staying at Lane’s (to Zack’s increasing resentment, and I love it when Lorelai shuts down his complaints about rent by reminding him that Hep Alien used her garage for band practice for three free years), getting her stuff in order for school and sitting every single day in the waiting room of the Stamford Eagle-Gazette, asking her former editor to give her five minutes of his time. He maintains, unfailingly, that there’s no room for a position there for her, but she never gives up. I love Rory in these scenes! She’s so confident and persistent and brave, going back to the same paper where Mitchum made her feel so small, because she knows it’s the right thing for her. She tells Stuart, the editor: “Look, I have sent my resume to several other papers. I’m not worried about finding a position. I’m worried about finding the right position. The right place for me. I think this is the right place for me.” What moxie – and it works! He finally gives in and hires her. Yay!!

Meanwhile, Luke and Lorelai are working through some stuff. The construction guys have finished updating the house (Lorelai misses them), and Luke surprises Lorelai with his grandmother’s bedroom set – which is just truly, truly heinous.

I’m so proud of Lorelai for her reaction – she haaates it (of course, because she has eyeballs), but she’s trying to rise above her initial instincts because, as she says to Sookie: “Look at everything Luke has done for me. I mean, he bought the Twickham house and then he un-bought the Twickham House, and then he almost bought it again, and then he decided to live at my house because I wanted to live at my house. He has turned his whole life upside down for me. He does everything in his power to make me happy and give me what I want, so can’t I just give him this one little thing?” Of course, the answer is no, but I can’t really blame her for it – the bed is so tiny and uncomfortable and haunted! – and I admire that she’s TRYING.

But as she’s trying, things get much messier. They have Sookie and Jackson over for a housewarming dinner at the newly completed pad, when stupid goddamn Christopher calls and leaves a message that he wants to talk to Lorelai about something. Luke walks in as the message is playing, and without thinking Lorelai automatically stops the machine. Luke gets super suspicious – in light of all of this – that Lorelai and Christopher have been in communication (or maybe even having an affair) and that Lorelai’s keeping it from him, and they end up having a huge, awkward, terrible fight in front of Sookie and Jackson. I actually really like this scene – it makes Luke and Lorelai seem so normal, as they’re trying not to fight in front of their friends, but can’t help it because they’re both so angry. And I understand where they’re both coming from – Lorelai really hasn’t done anything wrong, so of course she feels attacked, but I also see why Luke would be suspicious. Plus Sookie is just so amazing this entire episode – her reaction to the “creepy granny bed” is hilarious (“Right. Luke loves this furniture. Luke loves this furniture. Luke LOVES this furniture?! Has he seen it? Has he seen this? And THAT?”), and later when Jackson thinks Luke and Lorelai’s huge fight is because he said his burgers are better than Luke’s, Sookie just nods solemnly (and a little meanly, I love her): “Yes. It was.”

And the other reason I like Luke and Lorelai’s fight is that it ends very quickly and adorably. Lorelai heads to Luke’s apartment to make up with him, and he admits that he’ll never be okay with Christopher being in her life, but also understands that he always will be. Luke also makes it clear that he’s tired of the fact that they haven’t set a date for the wedding yet, and Lorelai responds with maturity and openness to all of this. They are SO CUTE as she crawls into his lap and they both promise to never keep secrets from one another…ever. 

NEXT SCENE. 

A frizzy-haired little moppet walks into Luke’s wearing the most ridiculous bike helmet ever contrived. She tells him she’s determined to win a science fair project, and she thinks a little drama will do the trick. Her mother, Anna Nardini (we don’t meet her yet, but trust me: ugh) told her that her father could be one of three men, and she wants to do the genetic testing to narrow it down for her project. Luke is one of the candidates. Luke is understandably baffled, but the budding nerd just yanks out one of his hairs and skidaddles. This, ladies and gentlemen, is April. 

Luke finds his way to the science fair in time to learn that he is, in fact, April’s father. He freaks, but she handles it all very calmly. He offers to buy her ice cream and she politely declines. She is Luke’s daughter. Luke has a daughter. Luke does not tell Lorelai about this daughter. 

Do I hate April? I do not. She’s all wide-eyed and smart and precocious, but I find her relatively unannoying. I hate her mother, Anna (SO MUCH), but more importantly I hate what April represents of Gilmore Girls‘ latter seasons. A secret kid is such a flashy, soap operatic storyline on a show that always eschewed the flashy and soap operatic. And I hate who Luke – previously the most stand-up, reliable, loving fictional boyfriend of all time – becomes because of April. That is not April’s fault. That is the writers‘ fault. But we’ll have plenty of episodes to get into all of that later, so today, April is just a smart, frizzy-haired little kid who happens to be Luke’s daughter. LUKE’S SECRET DAUGHTER THAT HE KEEPS FROM LORELAI IN SPITE OF THE PROMISE THEY JUST MADE LIKE TWO SCENES AGO. 

Anyway! Back to happy stuff! Lorelai is pacing a hole in her carpet waiting to find out what’s going on with Rory. Finally the phone rings. Rory, cutely, wanted to wait until everything was in order to tell Lorelai that she’s back at school, back at the paper and out of her grandparents’ house. Lorelai’s reaction is pure joy, exactly the kind of support Rory knew she would get when she called her mom. Rory pulls into Lorelai’s driveway and Lorelai runs out of the house and they have one of the all-time, most legendary reconciliations in television history. THIS HUG IS EPIC. Let’s watch it. 

Let’s watch it again, this time with gifs! 

GOD I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH DON’T EVER FIGHT AGAIN. Tears forever and ever and ever. 

I wish the episode ended here, but it doesn’t. Lorelai bulldozes into Luke’s Diner, so breathlessly thrilled at Rory’s return. She tells him everything and gathers junk food for their upcoming all-nighter as Rory moves her stuff out of Lane’s, and Luke just stands there, frozen, not saying a word because he’s still panicking about April – even as Lorelai runs out of the door saying, “We can set the date. We can get married now because Rory’s back!” Luke still doesn’t say a word.

Sigh. 

How many times do I have to drink?

14.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

5.

Flirtation quota

Luke makes risotto and pours Lorelai a glass of red wine so they can celebrate the completion of their home improvements. What a dreamboat! And later, when they make up, it is pretty much the sexiest make-up ever. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference

When Lorelai goes to Luke’s after their fight, he asks with some degree of chagrin: “So, how are Sookie and Jackson doing?” Lorelai: “I think they enjoyed watching a show for once that didn’t have Laa-Laa playing the guitar.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She makes chicken and dumplings and goose with oyster stuffing, but mostly she makes me laugh. She’s a riot this episode.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

Weird swirly tank top on top of a purple bell-sleeved shirt.

Outfit MVP

Sassy wrap dress!

Kirk insanity

Nope.

Michel madness

Michel, annoyed at having to shelve books in the Dragonfly’s library: “Urgh. What is wrong with people? Don’t they know the written word is dead?”

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

As Luke prepares to show Lorelai his grandmother’s furniture, he brings her into the bedroom and tells her to close her eyes. Lorelai replies: “I’m not scared of it anymore, Luke.”

Random observation

I am so, so happy to have Rory back at home, back at Yale, back at the paper – but I’m VERY disappointed in the way she handled her move from Richard and Emily’s house. She had to know, given Emily’s history with Lorelai, how much it would devastate her to have Rory move out in the same way. It’s unbelievably disrespectful to Emily and Richard after all of their love and support – and to leave Finn and Colin alone in the house, considering how irresponsible and untrustworthy those two idiots are, is almost as bad. 

6.10 “He’s Slippin’ ‘Em Bread…Dig?”

Okay, whew. I had a lot to say about that last one. I’m going to be a little less loquacious for this ep. Lorelai meets up with Christopher to find out why he left the message. Turns out, his grandfather’s dead and now he’s super rich! He wants to buy Lorelai and Rory any or all of the following: a castle, a working cannon, an island, a brewery, a Bentley, a tract of land, a new house, what have you. Lorelai knows well enough to decline on her own behalf, but she passes on his offer to Rory. Rory says she’d love to have Christopher pay for Yale so she can get “out from under Grandma and Grandpa’s thumb.” Lorelai warns her that this will hurt them deeply, and Rory’s all, “You have no idea the hell I’ve been through!” I looove Lorelai’s response: 

She’s teasing, but I also think there’s an important vein of truth running through there: Rory is an adult who chose to live with Emily and Richard, and now she’s complaining about the way they treated her while she accepted their charity. It’s hardly the same as when Lorelai was growing up a stifled teen who had nowhere to escape – not to mention the fact that Emily and Richard have surely mellowed from their war days with Lorelai. 

They meet up with Chris to accept his offer, and he’s thrilled. Sure, cool, I guess. I’m not loving Chris right now, but he’s trying. Much cooler and cuter: how excited everyone is to have Rory back in Stars Hollow. The reactions from Luke, Sookie and Michel are all so lovely! And aside from her continuing status as an ingrate, Rory’s kicking butt, taking care of all last minute details to get herself back into Yale. 

Meanwhile, Luke is still major wigging about April. It’s Thanksgiving and he’s helping Liz cook a dinner for her Ren Fest friends, and he ends up confiding in her. (I love that as soon as Liz hears that April’s twelve, she knows that her mom must be Anna Nardini. That’s a good sister moment.) He tells her that since April and Anna seem fine on their own, he’s not going to worry about being a part of their lives, but Liz knows better – as do we. Later, when Lorelai tells Luke about Christopher, he says “Good for him. He’s been gone most of the time, so he owes you. I’m glad he’s doing it. He’s doing what a dad is supposed to do. He’s taking care of his kid. Good.” And then of course he calls Anna and April. He gets the machine and hangs up, but clearly there’s no way Luke was ever really going to just forget that he has a daughter. By the way – Liz makes no bones about the fact that it’s bad that he hasn’t told Lorelai yet, and he makes some nonsense noise about how they’re on track and he doesn’t want to mess that up. Sure, lying by omission to your fiancée about your long lost daughter is the most effective way of keeping a relationship on track. 

Hep Alien has a big gig this week, and a couple of guys from a record label are attending, so this is their shot! Unfortunately, Zack blows it big time because he’s jealous when Brian writes a song for Lane. Seriously, Zack? You’re threatened by BRIAN? Brian just wrote the song because Zack has written songs about every other female name under the sun, but Zack completely loses it.  He is such a jerk here. He throws out the set list, brings in a rando tambourine player and starts an actual fight onstage. Lane is heartbroken and confronts him afterward, and he says meanly, “Maybe this is why people in bands shouldn’t date.” Poor Lane just quietly replies, “Yeah. I guess so.” 

And there are actually TWO breakups this week. Rory tells Lorelai that she and Logan are just taking a break after their big fight, but then his sister Honor calls to say how sad she is to hear that they broke up. Rory’s like, “We broke up?!” Oh, Logan. You dumbass. 

How many times do I have to drink?

15.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

3.

Flirtation quota

There’s a little cute action between Lorelai and Luke at the Dragonfly’s Thanksgiving dinner, but considering his April panic, it’s subdued. As always, her dynamic with Chris is somewhat flirtier than is strictly appropriate, although it’s all on Christopher’s side this time around. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Liz tells Luke she’s going to start calling him Yakov from now on because he’s such a comedian. Liz has the worst taste in comedians

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She cooks so much this week! She’s working on a massive Thanksgiving meal (the party ends up including all of Liz’s Ren Fest friends, since Liz melted her turkey), but I prefer the giant smorgasbord she made to celebrate Rory’s return. 

She also celebrates Rory’s return by hyperventilating, because she is the cutest.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

There are so many, many things happening in this outfit.

Outfit MVP

I love her Thanksgiving blouse, however! And you can get a good look at Sookie’s turkeys here, too. (Dirty!)

Kirk insanity

One of my favorite parts of the episode is the box of notes Lorelai saved for Rory, things she wanted to tell her while she was gone scribbled on Post-Its and receipts saved in a hat box. Two Kirk tidbits from the hat box: he took up skeet shooting and Tai Chi during Rory’s absence. 

Michel madness

He is SO EXCITED to see Rory! He’s all pleasant and cheerful until he remembers to be surly.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

When Christopher asks Lorelai about the “E word and the R word,” Lorelai jokes, “Please, let’s not discuss evolution or recycling. They’re just too hot-button.”

Random observation

It’s just so wonderful having our girls back together again! I love when they’re primping and gossiping together in Lorelai’s newly remodeled bathroom, and I also very much enjoy seeing Rory meet Paul Anka for the first time. She puts sugar on her shoes and tries to shoo him off the table! Paul Anka makes everything better. 


That’s it for this week! Meet us back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “The Perfect Dress” and “Just Like Gwen and Gavin.” AUGHHH. 

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: what the hell with April? What the hell with LUKE with April? I’m sorry I’m not being more articulate here, I’m just at a loss. I mean, WHY couldn’t we have gotten at least one episode where everything was perfect between Luke and Lorelai and Rory before April had to show up and make everything go haywire?

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.