Change is in the air in Stars Hollow in the third season of Gilmore Girls. The small town has so many constants–as small towns tend to–and the setting makes the evolution of its residents stand out all the more. Rory is poised to graduate from Chilton and the college application game brings about all sorts of anxieties and pressures, and that’s on top of her Jess and Dean feelings. Lorelai’s emotional state is driven by what’s happening with her daughter, but she also faces ups and downs with Christopher and Sherry’s relationship and the Independence Inn. In short, things get more complex, more emotional, and more entertaining.
Season three is one of the most consistent and strong of all of them, and I’m excited our supercaffeinated recaps have brought us here. Let’s visit our old friends, shall we?
Airing It Out
Season two ended with situations, shall we say, for Lorelai and Rory. Lorelai and Christopher started a thing and had to the end the thing because of Sherry’s pregnancy, and Rory kissed Jess. Oops. The second episode of the third season, “Haunted Leg,” got back to those issues and stuck the landing. The Lorelai and Christopher fallout was particularly notable. Christopher got tired of being ignored by Lorelai and Rory and showed up uninvited at Friday night dinner. Whatever Lorelai does wrong–and she screws up somewhat frequently–I hate seeing her hurt, and the fight between her and Christopher was so raw and painful.
The crescendo of their argument made an impression, but it wasn’t the only important part. Emily saw firsthand what sort of anguish Christopher caused her daughter, and she got protective. She didn’t get warm and fuzzy about it because those words don’t apply to Emily Gilmore, but she did shoo Christopher away. Aww.
And Rory. Well, she had to face her conflicted thoughts about Jess. She still didn’t act upon them because she’s floating down the river of denial, but it was important for Jess to call her out for not writing and sending mixed messages. Rory’s been acting selfish, and even though Dean often annoys the snot out of me, he doesn’t deserve it.
Favorite quote: “By the way, I think you might be the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen… outside of a really filthy magazine.” – Kirk
What Could Have Been
Poor Lorelai. Every part of the Christopher-Sherry-baby combo is terrible for her. She was thisclose to having it all with the man who fathered her child and who has maybe been the man she’s waited for. It was perfectly awful for her to get stuck going to Sherry’s baby shower in “Take the Deviled Eggs.”
And how could Sherry be so idiotic? Sherry never seemed mean, just too well-meaning. Some people in her shoes would use the occasion to be manipulative and inflict more pain on Lorelai, but I can’t quite tell if Sherry went that far or was unintentionally super insensitive. She not only pressured Lorelai into coming to the shower, she also thanked her for putting Christopher back on the right path. Yowch. This helped set me against Sherry along with her obnoxious baby shower (I don’t like any sort of showers besides ones involving rain or the hardware in my bathroom).
The event led to one of my favorite mother-daughter bonding moments of the entire series, though, as Lorelai and Rory worked out their anger by throwing deviled eggs leftover from the shower at Jess’ car.
Favorite quote: “Green is the new pink!” – Sherry
Dancing and Dean
It’s time for yet another charming Stars Hollow event: a 24-hour dance marathon! It sounds fun in theory—and I love the idea of getting dolled up—but the dancing part, I could do without. Lorelai had her eye on the top prize in “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” and dragged Rory into the contest. This episode often finds its way onto “best of” lists for Gilmore Girls and for good reason: It brought a hard to watch ending for Rory and Dean.
Rory has been on the fence about Jess. Well, that’s not true. I think she was totally into Jess but wrestling with the fact Dean was the safer and maybe better choice. Love is hard, kids—especially when you’re a teenager. Rory acted cruelly towards Dean for most of the dance, and I was embarrassed on her behalf. Dean was eventually the one who had to end it, and I respect him for doing so. Like he said, he’s been strung along for too long.
The way Rory fell into Lorelai’s arms after the breakup crushed my heart, even with Kirk running laps with his trophy in the background.
Favorite quote: “Sookie, he’s a produce man. They’ll never find the body, but the squash’ll be especially chatty that year.”
Which episodes or scenes would you highlight from the first third or so of season three of Gilmore Girls? Share your picks in the comments or come talk to me on Twitter—gold stars if you send me Gilmore Girls gifs.
If you’re excited about Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival, catch up on everything we know so far.