Rory and Jess at the Festival

The viewer is quickly made aware that although Rory hasn’t felt able to write to Jess over the summer, she is hoping to see him at the End of Summer Madness Festival. It is three hours before Dean is due home, and she is apparently planning to make the most of them. She insists on going to the festival in town, even though she’s only just got home from the airport, and changes into a nice dress. Lorelai insists on calling this “changing for Dean”. The Dean who isn’t there.

However, her plans are scuppered when she finally catches a glimpse of Jess – and it turns out that instead of spending the summer pining over her, he’s got a girlfriend (a blonde one, so you just know she’s stupid and awful!). Did he hope that Rory would see them and get the message that Jess Mariano is not some sap you can toy with, then toss aside while you waltz off to Washington for the summer? If so, message received.

Jess is kissing his girlfriend up against a tree, in flagrant view of the whole town. It’s very similar to the way Dean and Rory used to kiss against trees and shelves in the market, which must have been difficult for Jess to witness, so he seems to be getting his own back. Rory is getting a tiny taste of what Jess has been through for the past few months.

Rory and Lorelai almost immediately get into a fight at the festival when Lorelai says it’s lucky she didn’t throw “everything” (ie Dean, he’s everything now) away for Jess. She brushes Rory’s feelings for Jess away as a “little crush”, until Rory tells her mother that she kissed Jess at Sookie’s wedding while there with Dean. Lorelai is indignant on Dean’s behalf, conveniently forgetting that she herself slept with a pregnant woman’s boyfriend at the wedding, and doesn’t really have much high moral ground to stand on.

It is set up in the story, and repeated several times, that Rory went away for the summer, and therefore has had no contact with Jess since the wedding. The trouble is, the wedding wasn’t at the start of summer vacation, Rory still had two or three more weeks of school left. And she didn’t go to Washington for the summer vacation, only for the last six weeks of it. That makes at least eight weeks that she and Jess were in Stars Hollow together and somehow managed not to talk to or even see each other.

It doesn’t seem plausible – Stars Hollow is a small place. Presumably Rory was avoiding Luke’s diner in support of Lorelai, and busy with school, and getting prepared for Washington, but I can’t see how she avoided Jess for six weeks straight unless he was also determinedly avoiding her. If so, suggesting that he was very hurt and confused about being unexpectedly kissed, told to keep quiet about it, and then seeing that Rory and Dean were still together as if nothing had happened.

“Sherry’s pregnant”

CHRISTOPHER: Sherry’s pregnant … She just found out and she called me as soon as she found out, and that was her calling to tell me that she found out.

Christopher comes to see Lorelai who is standing on the bridge, waiting for him (another mention of bridges as significant emotional spaces). He tells her that Sherry has called him on his cell phone to tell him she has just discovered she is pregnant – I presume she used a home pregnancy testing kit, as it’s a Sunday.

Oddly enough, Lorelai says, “Women all over the world will line up to see that tiny little woman fat”. Sherry isn’t a tiny little woman, she’s only a few inches shorter than Lorelai, and Lorelai is slim as well. It makes Sherry sound like a stick-thin five foot tall waif, which she isn’t. Not to mention the bizarre thinking that equates being pregnant with being “fat”.

Apparently all the terrible problems Christopher and Sherry were having were not enough to stop them from having (unprotected?) sex. It does beg the question, did Sherry even know they were supposedly having problems and Christopher was thinking of moving out? Maybe all she did was go away on business for a month or so, and Christopher used that as an opportunity to weasel his way back in to Lorelai’s life, telling her some story about how he and Sherry were practically broken up.

As a huge slap in the face to Lorelai, Christopher is going back to Sherry because she’s having a baby. Christopher was never around while Rory was growing up, and he’s apparently never forgiven himself (zero evidence of that, but whatever). He can’t make that mistake again, so it’s back to his girlfriend that he doesn’t love, so he can be a father to their child. (This is actually a terrible basis for a relationship).

It doesn’t make any sense, because he could still be a good father to his second child without going back to Sherry (and I bet while telling her nothing of what he’s been up to with Lorelai in the interim). For that matter, he could have been a good father to Rory while not being with Lorelai all this time.

Notice that when Rory questions why her dad has a work phone call on a Sunday, he responds, “Hey, I have a lot of responsibility now”. Little did he know how true those words would turn out to be!

Paris and Rory Win the Election

Paris rings Rory on Dean’s cell phone while they are at Sookie and Jackson’s wedding to tell her that they have won the election. It’s a rather strange scene, because it shows Paris at Chilton, with what looks like students and teachers busily counting the votes for the school President elections.

But the election was on Friday, and it’s now Sunday – have they been counting votes all weekend? Couldn’t this have waited until Monday? And why does it take all weekend – surely Chilton doesn’t have that many students?

Also, they clearly haven’t finished counting votes, they are still working at it. And this isn’t a recount either, because the scrutineers are taking the votes straight from the original boxes. How does Paris know she has won already? Is there a tally board up somewhere, so Paris can see that she already has an unbeatable lead?

And Paris says the real clincher was that they got the votes from the school band, which was always a wild card, as the academic clubs were something they could count on. Do all the clubs vote en bloc, or does each particular club get one collective vote (which is obviously very undemocratic?). And how does Paris know all this? Isn’t the voting a secret ballot?

The Wedding is About to Begin

We get to see guests gathering for Sookie and Jackson’s wedding, which is being held at the Independence Inn. Everything looks pretty and romantic, with lots of colourful spring flowers everywhere. However, there’s plenty of quirky little details to provide some fun, including a sing-along around the piano.

Note that Lorelai and Rory are wearing blue bridesmaid dresses – the colour Lorelai predicted she would wear to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding on their very first date. We also see Jackson and his groomsmen striding across the lawn in their kilts.

Sookie and Jackson are going to be married under the chuppah that Luke made for Lorelai and Max’s wedding. So if you’ve been unhappy about the chuppah being relegated to a piece of garden decoration, here you go – it’s finally fulfilling its purpose. Decorated with flowers, it really does look very nice. Hopefully someone shows Luke a photo.

You might also notice that the minister performing the wedding ceremony is wearing a tee-shirt with a photo of Sookie and Jackson on it. They clearly went a little nutso with the photocopying from Jackson’s cousin. The minister isn’t either of the two ministers we’ve already seen in Stars Hollow, and is possibly from Jackson’s home town, as his family seemed to be more concerned about the religious conventions being followed (such as getting the children christened).

Some fans are disappointed that we never get to see Sookie and Jackson get married, or even walk down the aisle. However, the show is about the Gilmore girls, and everything is focused on their dramas, not that of side characters.

Jess Returns to Stars Hollow

Luke goes upstairs to his apartment and finds Jess there. Luke’s first question is how Jess got in, because the only entrance is through the diner and up the stairs, and nobody saw Jess come up. Either he was able to time his arrival so that everyone was busy and distracted just as he got there, or he was able to gain entrance by climbing into an upstairs window somehow – neither of which sounds very plausible.

Jess tells Luke that although things are fine with his mother, and he’s not in any trouble, he wants to come back to Stars Hollow and live with Luke. Luke says that things will have to be different, and Jess agrees. Luke informs Jess that Rory and Dean are still together, and to leave them be. Learning that Rory is at Sookie’s wedding, Jess says he needs to take a walk. Rory came all the way to New York to see him, and it looks as if Jess has returned the favour by coming all the way to Stars Hollow to see her …

Note that Luke doesn’t seem to have received an invitation to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding. Perhaps Sookie has left him off the guest list in support of her bridesmaid, Lorelai, since he and Lorelai are still in an argument. Or perhaps he turned the invitation down, pleading work as an excuse, since he is running the diner as usual.

Lorelai and Christopher Decide to Be a Family

Based on having a bout of really great sex, Lorelai and Christopher decide they should be a family now (boy, that must’ve been some sex they had!). Lorelai says, “This thing with Sherry is so recent” – mm, so recent it’s not actually over, Lorelai! But when you can downgrade someone’s relationship into a “thing”, I guess it’s easier to justify.

They say it’s the best thing for Rory, but I don’t think either of them are really thinking about Rory too much at all. Neither of them discuss how they will break the news to Rory, and Lorelai doesn’t stress to Christopher that he can’t let Rory down any more, or give her a few minutes of phone time once a week and call it fatherhood.

While Christopher has always been trying to get Lorelai for himself (even getting a girlfriend was apparently part of his plan to win Lorelai back), Lorelai seems to be going along with this because she’s unhappy without Luke’s friendship, and because watching her best friend prepare for marriage to the man of her choice has left her feeling even lonelier. It’s not a great basis for a relationship, let alone a family.

Sookie Freaks Out

Lorelai comes downstairs to get some post-coital snacks for she and Christopher to share, and finds Sookie having a pre-wedding meltdown in the kitchen. We get to see Sookie’s wedding dress and veil, and the wedding cake, which is multi-tiered with a stunning swirl of sugared spring flowers over it.

Sookie quickly gets over her wedding jitters, because of course, she and Jackson are Meant to Be. It’s actually really nice to see the best friend in a romantic comedy-drama get to find love and have the wedding of her dreams, when so often this role is doomed to nothing but comic dating disasters, or kept single so as to be permanently on hand for the main character.

Lorelai and Christopher Kiss

Christopher comes downstairs from his room at the inn – where he could have been staying all the time to visit his daughter Rory – and talks to Lorelai, who is still fussing over the wedding preparations. They kiss, and with very little thought involved, go upstairs to have sex. For a wonder, neither of them have been drinking this time!

Yes, Lorelai is happily trotting upstairs to have sex with someone else’s boyfriend, but if this offends you in some way, you can be assured she is going to be punished for it out of all proportion. This is a show that likes to punish people who have sex. Maybe even Christopher gets punished, not that the thought is likely to anguish anyone terribly much.

Lorelai Invites Christopher to the Wedding

Lorelai invites Christopher (another woman’s boyfriend!) to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding, as her “plus one”. At last her interest is piqued when he casually accepts this invitation, and she asks him if maybe he should run this plan past Sherry.

Christopher tells her that Sherry is out of town (as if that has somehow negated her very existence), and that they haven’t been getting on very well lately. Before she left on a business trip – more evidence that it was Sherry’s business trip they were on before, not Christopher’s, by the way – they agreed that they would take this time apart as an opportunity to do some thinking about their relationship.

This is all Christopher’s narrative of course, we don’t know if all, or any, of this is true, or if Sherry would have a different version of events. However, Christopher says he had already decided that he is going to start looking for an apartment so he can move out. Even though Christopher and Sherry are not actually broken up yet and Christopher has not told Sherry he’s moving out, nor has he made any moves to do so, Lorelai is now perfectly satisfied about taking Christopher to the wedding.

Note that Christopher hands Lorelai his coat to put over her bare shoulders, and that she sits increasingly closer to him during this scene, as he tells her about Sherry. She keeps her leg crossed away from him though, as if not ready to be completely vulnerable to him. We also get another reminder that the wedding is on Sunday, in case we’ve forgotten about it.

Sookie and Jackson’s Rehearsal Dinner

LORELAI: But if you’re gonna be in the area Thursday night, you can come with us to the dinner.

CHRISTOPHER: But it’s Sookie’s rehearsal dinner.

LORELAI: Oh, she would love it. She’s cooking for a thousand. It’ll be fun.

Sookie and Jackson’s wedding rehearsal dinner is on Thursday, and Lorelai invites Christopher to it, since he already offered to take Lorelai and Rory out to dinner that night. The Gilmore girls are strangely un-curious about how and why Christopher is suddenly so available for outings with them, and neither bothers to ask where Sherry is, or why she isn’t coming too.

Note we get another day of the week reference to keep us on track. The wedding rehearsal is Thursday, the elections are Friday, the wedding is on Sunday. Got it?