Toss back your preferred method of caffeine delivery because it’s time to recap the seminal episodes of the middle of Gilmore Girls’ first season. We’ve gotten to know Lorelai, Rory, and Emily, and we’ve settled into the offbeat and delightful rhythm of Stars Hollow. We’re watching Rory experience the heartache and joy of dating her first boyfriend and settling in at a new school, and we’re seeing Lorelai flirt with one of Rory’s teachers. Oops.
Choosing the highlights for these supercaffeinated Gilmore Girls recaps is reminding me how great season one is and how well it holds up over time. Though the fashion, music, and other items date the series slightly, the situations and dilemmas are relatable in any day and age. Let’s dive in.
(To read Part 1, click here)
The men Rory and Lorelai date and/or love define different eras of Gilmore Girls. We’re in the Dean and Max years. “Love and War and Snow” brought Max firmly into the picture and tied it into Lorelai’s obsession with snow. For a brief time when I lived in a place with winter, I tried to channel Lorelai’s feelings about snow. It didn’t work because freezing precipitation is terrible, but watching a marathon of Lorelai’s “snow is great” episodes while I was stuck indoors helped. This one was always my favorite. There’s the cute scene where Lorelai curled up on the couch and listened to Max’s message over and over again. I adore Luke, guys, but Max was terrific.
This episode hit a few important points. It showed us a glimpse at the challenges Lorelai faced in the love department because of Rory. We got to know Lorelai’s self-imposed set of dating rules. Besides focusing on the budding Lorelai and Max romance, the story also showed one of Rory’s flaws—her selfishness in regards to Lane, which comes up again throughout the series. She got caught up in her own life and neglected poor Lane. It worked out, but I was very disappointed in Rory.
Favorite quote: “It was the snow. You know how I get, it’s like catnip.” – Lorelai
While You Were Sleeping
Ahhh, remember school dances? I wish I could go against the stereotype and say I have delightful memories of homecomings and proms, but I can’t. I liked the part where I got a new dress and an updo held in place by dozens of bobby pins, but that was about it. Rory, overall, had a lovely first dance experience in the episode called “Rory’s Dance.”
This installment was packed with so many big and small moments. It brought Emily into Lorelai and Rory’s home and the different setting put her in another light. She often came across as so fierce, but here we saw a softer side as she insisted on taking care of Lorelai when back issues left her immobile on the couch. The bananas on toast thing was disgusting, but Emily making the dish was sweet. Of course, just when you thought Emily was being delightful, she had a terrifying/maddening freak-out when Rory didn’t come home as scheduled.
Rory and Dean falling asleep while reading after the dance was apple pie-level innocence, like the rest of their relationship, but it meant she didn’t come home. This caused the first real fight we saw between Lorelai and Rory. Since the two had an unnaturally close relationship, it sort of felt right. It was important to see that they weren’t perfect.
Favorite quote: “It certainly is not fine. This is not a drive-thru, she’s not fried chicken.” – Emily
And You Thought the Gilmores Were Bad
Oh, Christopher. Rory’s dad arrived in Stars Hollow in the aptly titled “Christoper Returns.” His appeal was immediately apparent. He was charming, he had a motorcycle, he was the “cool” parent even though Lorelai was the very definition of the word. The story very quickly established Lorelai’s warm if slightly exasperated tone towards Christopher, and Rory’s complete infatuation with her father. It was all too easy to picture them as a happy family, which is what Richard and Emily wanted when they found out Lorelai was pregnant.
The arrival of Christopher led to a painful Friday night dinner with the Gilmores and Christopher’s parents, Straub and Francine. It was hard to watch. Straub and Francine were spiteful and cruel on a level that trumped anything we’d seen from Emily. The events of the evening highlighted Richard’s feelings about what happened to Lorelai when she was a teenager to a degree we hadn’t witnessed before before. It was here that you got a greater understanding of how deep the roots of their argument reached, and it hurt.
The plot also scratched at the surface of Lorelai and Christopher’s baggage and unresolved feelings. It was clear we hadn’t seen the last of him–and not just because of the whole being Rory’s dad thing.
Favorite quote: “Long ago, a single-celled organism crawled out of the primordial ooze, and that pretty much led to Dean.” – Lorelai
Are you rewatching Gilmore Girls with me? Tell me about your favorite moments in the comments or come talk to me about all things Gilmore on Twitter.
If you’re beyond excited about Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival, catch up on everything we know so far.