"Kiss and Tell"
Rory's first kiss, guys! (Everyone take a moment for collective warm fuzzy sighs of happiness).
No big surprise that "Kiss and Tell" is all about relationships and growing up. Dean, ever a romantic, kisses Rory near the soda fridges in the local supermarket where he is a bagger. Naturally, Rory's reaction is supremely awkward. She doesn't say anything, just runs out clinging to a box of cornstarch and goes to find Lane. Lane's mother overhears Rory's story, and Mrs. Kim tells Lorelai that her daughter's been kissing boys where people buy their food (the horror!). Lorelai is upset that Rory didn't tell her about the kiss so she goes off to stalk him in the grocery store. We get our first extended Lorelai and Luke scene, after which Lorelai confronts Rory about Dean. Lorelai thinks she's being helpful by inviting Dean to a movie night, but Rory fears being seen as lame for having her mother around. Finally Lorelai and Dean have the required, "Don't hurt my little girl," conversation, and she gives him her motherly blessing. Sort of.
This episode shows us that both Rory and Lorelai are growing up and changing. Rory hits a bunch of teenage firsts in this episode (first kiss, first date) while Lorelai struggles with the idea of her little girl getting older. The thing that seems to bother Lorelai the most isn't that Rory is dating. It's that Rory has secrets of her own now. Luke pinpoints exactly what Lorleai's problem is -- she's freaking out because she's not ready for this yet.
Lorelai seems to often walk the line between mother and best friend on this show. At times she's intensely maternal, slaying dragons for her daughter whether they be in the form of stodgy headmasters or her own mother's Junior League ambitions. During other moments she seems to be playing the child (see the horrible, ridiculous fight from "Kill Me Now"). She hates being left out and sometimes comes off as hating that her daughter might have an inner life of her own. And yet there are lovely moments like the one at the end of this episode with the two Gilmore girls gossiping about Dean after he leaves movie night. It's simple, sweet, and shows the strength of the mother/daughter bond. My hope for the show is that we're going to simultaneously see the growth of both characters throughout the series run.
Pop Culture References
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Way We Were, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Elsa Klensch, James Dean, General Hospital, Liz Phair, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake
“I got kissed… and I shoplifted.” –Rory
Luke: You’re not going to kill the bag boy.
Lorelai: Why not?
Luke: It’s double coupon day. You’ll bring down the town.
Reasons Luke is Bound to Break Julia's Heart <--- a new feature moving forward because, let's be totally honest here...
Lorelai runs into Luke when she's stalking Dean in the grocery story. Immediately he pinpoints why Dean bothers her so much: having a boyfriend and keeping secrets from her mother means that Rory is growing up. You are absolutely right, Luke. You know her so well! Oh god, this show is going to torment me with the "Will they? Won't they? Why did they screw it up?" tension for seasons, isn't it?
-I had no idea that Dean was also Sam Winchester on Supernatural. Mind. Blown.
-I want a Sookie in my life who just shows up with random desserts. Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't complain because one of my coworkers brought in whipped pumpkin dip and cinnamon graham crackers on Wednesday...
-The Lorelai/Dean conversation when Rory steps out during movie night was one of the best Lorelai moments we've seen so far. It would be really easy to write Lorelai as the scary mother who just threatens Dean with bodily harm if he hurts her daughter. Instead, she tells Dean that the whole town of Stars Hollow loves Rory, and lets him figure out on his own how much trouble he'll be in if he's a jerk to her. Even better, Dean earns Lorelai's respect by standing up to her and promising not to hurt her daughter.
"Love and War and Snow"
"Love and War and Snow" hits so many of the right buttons for me. So much so that I'm not even doing a recap. Let's jump in:
1) The episode opens up with a town meeting whether no one can get along or get a word in. Randomly Luke starts picking a fight with the mayor about a reenactment of a seemingly non-significant (?) battle or something or another that happened in Stars Hollow during the Revolutionary War? Just go with it.
I do journalistic things in my day job, and this reminded me so much of Community Board meetings here in New York City. I mean, the last one I went to was about whether to allow a methadone clinic in one neighborhood so maybe not quite that intense...
Just watch this clip from Parks & Rec while I regain my train of thought.
2) Snow! It's nearly November, and a sick little part of me is excited for the first snowfall of the year. I feel you Lorelai. I love the first snow of the year.* I love the cleanness of the snow and the possibility it brings. I love the crisp air and my intense desire to wrap myself up in a blanket with a book and stare out the window. And you're right, Lorelai. The clothes are better.
Snow is also the background for one of my favorite romantic TV moments. I tried to find a YouTube clip of the Matthew and Mary moment from Season 2 of Downton Abbey (you know what I'm talking about, fans) but everything has a spoilery title to it. As I've mentioned before, we're keeping The Gilmore Girls Project as spoiler free as possible even when it comes to other shows.
3) My writer friends will tell you that snowed in romances are some of my favorites -- so much so that they've told me to just write the damn things myself and stop asking for books written to order.** How convenient is it that Max shows up in Stars Hollow right before a snow storm so he kind of has to maybe stay with Lorelai who happens to be solo that night because Rory went ahead to her grandparents' house and is snowed in up in Hartford? It's super convenient, except for the tiny complication of Lane also being at the Gilmore house. Speaking of which...
4) I feel for Lane in this episode, guys. She is all of the teenage angst rolled into one. She touches the hair of the boy she likes and is so embarrassed she runs (there are a lot of teen girls running away from boys in Gilmore Girls). Then she feels like she's losing touch with Rory who seems to be wrapped up in her own happiness with Dean. Even Lorelai's got a man in the house during this snow storm. All of this angst leads to a really lovely moment between Lorelai and Lane late in the episode.
5) Oh Max (formerly known as Mr. Good Hair). He's kind of a gamma isn't he? He's alphaish to let Lorelai know what he wants, but he's beta enough that he's willing to sit back and let her take the lead, especially in her own house. And he's fairly adorable sprawled out on the couch with a book on his chest the next morning. But obviously Lorelai needs to end up with Luke. Obviously.
So this episode wraps with Lorelai dating Max, Rory still dating Dean, and Rory promising to be a better friend to Lane. Hooray!
Jane Austen, Hunter S. Thompson, Charlotte Bronte
Reasons Luke is Bound to Break Julia's Heart
Oh god, guys. This show is setting me up to break me. Luke hands out coffees to the reenactment soldiers even though he finds them morally reprehensible. Then he spots Lorelai kissing Max on the street (because of course), and he just looks so crushed. After they had such a good moment in the last episode! Ugh.
-Lorelai listens back to a voicemail from Max over and over again in the beginning of this episode prompting the question: has texting ruined that part of dating? The part where you save and relistened to messages because the relationship was still new and you were excited to hear their voice. I love the immediacy of texting, but there's something about that voicemail scene that makes me a little nostalgic.
-Lane reminds me of a couple people I knew in high school who seemed completely out of sync with the people around them. They wanted more. The knew that the world was bigger than what they were being shown (in Lane's case Korean Bibles and boys her parents set her up with). I hope that she winds up being that type of character who heads off to college and only comes home for holidays.
*Or at least I did until I became a journalist. Sadly, there are no snow days in news. Instead, those are the days you often work the hardest. There's a strange, sick sense of satisfaction in that which makes me begrudgingly enjoy them (albeit in a very different way).
**Obviously that defeats the purpose of having friends to write books for you.
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