Title: Gilmore Girls S7.E03 “Lorelai’s First Cotillion”
Gilmore Girls S7.E04 “S’wonderful, S’marvelous”
Released: 2006
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 26
Cups of Coffee: 6

Last week, on Gilmore Girls

We’ve reached Week 55 of our Gilmore Girls Rewatch Project. We’re well and truly ensconced in Season 7 now, and it’s time to put to rest any lingering hopes that Lorelai and Luke might reunite any time soon. She’s in Christopher Land now, and there’s nothing we can do about that. 

So let’s resign ourselves to the inevitable, 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!

7.3 “Lorelai’s First Cotillion”

It’s Friday night dinner time, and Lorelai is awfully dreading telling her parents that she and Luke have broken up. Of course, Emily suspects after, as Rory puts it, “the house debacle,” but Lorelai’s still convinced they’re going to say something terrible and make her feel two inches tall. Instead, they both seem totally unfazed; they politely offer their regrets and change the subject. Lorelai can’t handle this, so she tries her hardest to force a fight, but Emily and Richard aren’t biting. Good for them! But so flustered by their lack of reaction, Lorelai realizes that every decision she’s ever made has been an act of rebellion when it comes to her parents – instead, perhaps, of what she really wants to do. She starts wearing her hair differently and questions her allegiance to Pop-Tarts – and, one presumes, questions her preference of schlubby diner owner Luke (who has, by the way, re-opened his diner and is now wearing a new baseball cap, sigh) over the polished Christopher Hayden of the Hartford Haydens, whom her parents always wanted her to marry. Though this is never made explicit, I’m pretty sure that’s where this whole Pop-Tart thing is going.

But so far this is all in Lorelai’s head. Emily’s too busy grooming a group of very polite young women for an upcoming cotillion, including my favorite, Charlotte, an idyllic little girl who is the height of good grooming and manners. I never would have thought I’d be the type of person to care if a ten-year-old girl is the height of good grooming and manners, but then I met Charlotte and was so wholly charmed, I’ll never go back to uncouth little rugrats again. The cotillion plot is cute, not least because Lorelai sees in one particular little girl a young version of herself, a goofy kid who just can’t get the whole cotillion etiquette thing down because she’s too busy cracking wise.

Meanwhile, Rory’s missing Logan BAD, and she’s fretting that the lack of intimacy forced by long distance is killing their relationship. Paris, who’s now Rory’s boss in the SAT prep course side-gig, gives Rory some unusually good advice on sexting. Rory consults Henry Miller and sends a sext to Logan (encouraged by Lane, who’s busy reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting and trying not to tell Zack about the baby), and doesn’t hear back for a couple of days, so she starts to wig. Finally, she calls him to ask if he got the message, and it turns out he responded, but she didn’t see it. She’s so relieved and tells him, “Whoa, yours is really good,” and Logan tells her to keep this whole sexting thing up. “I miss you, Rory.” Rory tells him she doesn’t have her books with her, and he just replies, “You don’t need your books, Ace.” Cute, sexy little subplot with these two, and a good way to present the long-distance relationship.

Back to Lane. She finally tells Zack about the baby, and he’s so buffaloed that he sort of pretends he didn’t hear her for a couple of days, even offering her a beer in his cluelessness. When she finally gets him to talk about the baby, Zack says slowly, “Brian might be freaking out a little bit.” Lane realizes what’s going on and tells Zack that she’s also freaking out. Zack asks timidly: “So, you’re not all psyched about being knocked up?” Lane cracks me up with her response: “Are you kidding? This baby sucks!” Zack looks so relieved, and so in love with Lane, and they share a warm, adorable embrace. 

Finally – Lorelai returns from the cotillion to find Chris at her house, having just returned from dinner with Rory. Rory gives them time alone, and Lorelai apologizes for not returning his calls after The Incident. She asks if he wants coffee, and he gives her a speech, possibly inspired by how totally gorgeous she looks in her cotillion dress: “I love you. I know the other night didn’t mean for you what it did for me, but I don’t regret it and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened – not just because it was great, which it was, but because it was right. It was so right, Lor, and you may not see that right now, but I do. And if I have to wait until we’re both 80 years old for you to see it, then I’ll wait. I’m not going anywhere. This is it for me. You’re it for me, and I can’t pretend to feel any less than I do. I’m sorry. I just can’t.” He leaves, and she looks thoughtful – and then ends the episode with a phone call to him. “Hi Chris.”

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

Sexting subplot! Plus Michel and Lorelai share a platonically flirty little dance at the cotillion (more on that below), and of course Chris’ eyeballs practically leap out of his skull when he sees Lorelai in that dress.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

These are harder to come by without the Sherman-Palladinos, possibly the biggest departure from their seasons. Charlotte’s parents to Lorelai: “Charlotte told us you were a card. She also told us that you were a delightful dining companion, like Noel Coward and Slim Keith rolled into one.” I don’t even know who those people are, to be honest, but they’ll have to do.

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

She’s catering the tea for the cotillion girls, and earns Emily’s ire when she makes tiny little PB&J finger sandwiches. Emily: “They’re ten, they’re not animals! This is a proper tea, Sookie. I’m not interested in circus food.” I want the tiny PB&Js!!

Lorelai’s craziest outfit

If you take into account the knee-high patent leather boots she wears with this outfit, she looks just like Hot Santa.

Outfit MVP

Lorelai and Emily tie in their cotillion outfits – they both look stunning.

Kirk insanity


Michel madness

Michel just dies when he sees all of the polite little girls in their hats at the Dragonfly for tea time: “Oh, my god, I love them. They are like Madame Alexander dolls come to life!” So he blackmails Lorelai into taking him to the cotillion, cashing in one of the IOUs she’s written in miniature Post-Its at his desk. His delight in all of Emily’s society never ceases to amaze me, and he’s such a charming cotillion companion for Lorelai. I love their dance, and all of his exchanges with Emily!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

After Charlotte greets Lorelai and Rory at the door, Lorelai asks Emily, “Why is she taking our coats and pouring us drinks? Did you win her in a poker game?”

Random observation

Just to reiterate my observation about Chris and the Pop-tarts, because it had never occurred to me before. Luke is the Pop-tart, something Lorelai really adores, but she’s starting to doubt all of her instincts because her knee-jerk rebellion of her parents’ lifestyle hasn’t helped her thus far. Chris is the fancy breakfast Emily would have chosen for Lorelai, and now Lorelai’s wondering if she never gave Fancy Breakfast a chance just because it’s what Emily wants.

7.4 “S’wonderful, S’marvelous”

We’ve now jumped forward six weeks into Chris and Lorelai’s budding relationship, which is going really well, though it’s understandably cause for concern to everybody who knows and loves Lorelai – in particular Sookie and Rory, who both warn her to be careful. She and Chris are spending all of their time together, though they haven’t slept together yet, and it seems like they’re really happy – even though they’ve hated every single movie they’ve seen on their succession of dates. So Chris plans a surprise date for Lorelai and I have to admit, it’s really good: he takes her to a barn where he creates a makeshift drive-in movie theatre, showing Funny Face, one of Lorelai’s favorite movies, and bringing Slurpees, candy and popcorn. Everything seems perfect, and then it gets perfecter. 

Richard calls Rory to give her some news: he’s now a visiting lecturer at Yale for a semester! Rory’s pleased, and Richard and Emily are both so thrilled. So when Richard is out having dinner with the dean, and Emily gets pulled over for using her cell phone while driving after a drink or two, she doesn’t call Richard when she goes to jail – no, she calls Lorelai, because she doesn’t want to interrupt Richard’s meeting. This is, clearly, Lorelai’s greatest day EVER. Emily is in a murderous rage, and Lorelai is just pure glee from head to toe. 

Afterward, as Chris walks Lorelai to her door, he sort of annoys me by saying: “I feel I may have gotten overshadowed a bit. I mean how’s my little barn movie supposed to compare with your mom in jail?” Ugh, what a crybaby. But Lorelai placates him by telling him that he’s one of the only people who gets how thrilled she is by Emily’s stint as a jailbird. “You just get it, and you make everything fun, and it’s so nice to be with someone who understands you.” She invites him in to re-consummate their relationship, and I guess I know where she’s coming from – for so long, Luke was blind to Lorelai’s needs. He acted like he didn’t understand her at all, and he wasn’t fun for months. She needs this, even if it’s a really bad idea. 

Luke, meanwhile, is watching April for two weeks while Anna’s in New Mexico for her mom’s surgery, and he’s so happy about it. April takes him to Target (his first time EVER) to get some decorative items to brighten up his crummy little apartment, and it all seems innocent until she starts talking about how he can now bring a woman over for dinner – like, for instance, her recently single biology teacher. It’s cute that she wants to fix him up (and so refreshing that it’s not with her mom, whom even April seems to know would be a terrible girlfriend), but I like Luke’s response: “I guess you know Lorelai and I broke up. Sometimes that happens, you know? Sometimes it doesn’t work out between people, and it’s nobody’s fault. But I want you to know I’m okay, and you don’t have to take care of me. I’m here to take care of you. Okay?” Not bad, Luke. (Except it was totally your fault.)

Finally, Rory’s working an art gallery event for the paper, and she meets two quirky girls who become fast new friends: Lucy and Olivia. And Lucy’s played by the always-winsome Krysten Ritter! They’re perky and fun and very gregarious, and Rory seems happy to make some new friends in Logan’s absence. 

How many times do I have to drink?


How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?


Flirtation quota

Lor and Chris are majorly, majorly flirting, and Logan’s so cute when he calls Rory while she has Lucy and Olivia over and seems relieved to hear that the party she’s throwing is of the all-girl variety.

Best/most dated pop culture reference

Lorelai, on their most recent cinematic failure: “Let me bottom-line it for you. Snakes are gross. Snakes are scary and slithery, and do you know where snakes do not belong? They do not belong on a plane.”

Sookie’s best dish of the episode

Gourd soup! Lorelai’s grossed out, but I am intrigued.

Lorelai’s craziest outfit/Michel madness


Outfit MVP

She chose a sexy LBD for her surprise date.

Kirk insanity

Kirk’s suffering from dame troubles – namely, his mom and Lulu are growing competitive for his attention. Gross, Kirk. Team Lulu!

Best Gilmore Gal witticism

Emily, with chilling resolve when the police officer asks her to blow into the breathalyzer: “Young man, I don’t know where that’s been, but I can say with absolute certainty it won’t be going anywhere near my mouth.”

Random observation:

A few readers last week said they blame Chris for swooping in on Lorelai when she’s so vulnerable post-breakup, and I understand that perspective, but I also think Chris never really understood how serious it was with Luke and Lorelai. He never saw them the way we saw them, so to him, this is just one more relationship that didn’t work in Lorelai’s long history of Wrong Men. Chris, in his mind, will always be the only One for Lorelai, so it would never even occur to him that she’d be devastated after a breakup with someone else. 

That’s it for this week! Meet us back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “The Great Stink” and “Go Bulldogs!”

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: do you blame Christopher? Do you feel sorry for him? Do you actually like his relationship with Lorelai? Lay it on me!

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.