RICHARD: So, Trix, let’s talk about the Hartford house. Do you have a new tenant lined up yet?
TRIX: Yes, I do … Me.
To Emily’s horror, Trix announces she is moving back home to Hartford. She’s getting older, London is too damp, and she has some vague health problems. The savvy viewer will detect here that the writers are planning to bump Trix off eventually, and making sure that they don’t have to send all the characters off to London for her funeral.
FRANCIE: I saw her walking off with . . . who was that, her brother?
LOUISE: Paris doesn’t have a brother.
FRANCIE: Really? Well, she certainly seemed to know him.
Jamie is hanging around Chilton, being a distraction to Paris again and giving Francie an opportunity to take her down a peg. Princeton doesn’t go back after the Christmas break until mid-January, suggesting this episode takes place in the first half of the month.
However, it’s something of a mystery what he is doing in Hartford, which is a fair distance from Philadelphia. Is he staying with Paris, since she spent Christmas with his family? And why is Chilton letting him turn up during the school day? Don’t they have any security? Why are they letting Paris leave with him? What ever happened to Chilton being a really strict school?
DEAN: I don’t know, Rory. Maybe . . . maybe, um . . . is there a way we could be friends? … If you want to.
RORY: Oh, I want to. I really want to. But –
DEAN: Don’t ask me how I’m gonna deal with him. I have no idea.
Although Rory was initially reluctant to have coffee with Dean, and refused to eat anything, by the end of this scene they are chatting easily, and she is smiling and sharing his custard pie. When Dean asks if they can be friends, she says she really wants to, with Jess being relegated to a “But – “.
Rory was friends with Jess, which gradually damaged her relationship with Dean until they broke up (again). Now she agrees to be friends with Dean while going out with Jess – what could go wrong? Of course, Dean is very much wanting it to go wrong, in order to cause Jess the same sort of problems he believes Jess caused him.
It does feel typically unfair that just as Rory is starting to feel more relaxed and confident with Jess, Dean worms his way back into the picture. Because drama.
[Rory, Lane and Lorelai are walking through Stars Hollow. They cross a street]
LANE: Are you serious? …We can really rehearse in your garage?
LORELAI: In exchange for the promise that you never pose naked on the cover of Rolling Stone no matter how much trouble your career is in.
Rolling Stone magazine has quite a tradition of musicians and actors posing nude or semi-clad on their cover. A few examples are John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1968, Madonna in 1991, The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, and Blind Melon in 1993. Most recently from the perspective of this episode, Christina Aguilera had appeared nude on the cover in November 2002.
In this episode, Lane’s problems finding a rehearsal space for the band are solved when Lorelai generously allows them to rehearse in her garage. Given how noisy bands can be while rehearsing, this is an extremely kind offer on Lorelai’s part.
LANE: Really? After all this – the marathon hymns, the weak punch, the crabby Koreans, you still wanna go out on a date with me?
[Dave nods, then kisses her] DAVE: I’ve gotta go . . . but I’m gonna call you tomorrow.
Lane and Dave puts into place what I assume to be another step in their plan when Lane says she needs to run after Dave to return his Bible. Did Dave really bring a Bible with him, and purposefully leave it behind, or did Lane prepare and plant the Bible in advance?
Either way, one or the other had the genius idea of having Dave inscribe the Bible: This Bible belongs to God, but is being used by Dave Rygalski. Mrs Kim reads this, and it immediately convinces her that Dave is a solid young Christian man, and allows Lane to go after him.
This episode is the one where Dave and Lane kiss for the first time, and begin dating (Rory kissed and began dating both Dean and Jess around Thanksgiving, too, and it was when Lorelai went on her first date with Max – November, it’s dating month on Gilmore Girls!).
Lane is so excited by what happened that when she pages Rory to tell her all about it, she can only write bible kissbible, which Rory says is a great band name.
LANE: That is not Dave Rygalski … I mean, not the one that I’m in a band with. That is Dave Rygalski, local Christian guitar player that my mom and I met very briefly and innocently at the dance marathon, and that I coincidentally ran across again when I found his ad seeking Christian guitar accompaniment gigs up on our church bulletin board.
Lorelai and Rory notice that Dave is playing guitar at the Kim’s Thanksgiving dinner. Lane quickly explains that she has set up another zany scheme, whereby Dave came all the way to Stars Hollow at five in the morning in order to have a five minute conversation with Mrs Kim and eat faux egg sandwiches. Lane then put a fake ad up for Dave on their church bulletin board, and pretended to find it in front of her mother.
This is the kind of thing Henry couldn’t put up with (and who could blame him?), but Dave willingly goes along with it, in the faint hope that Mrs Kim might let them date some day. He obviously really likes Lane.
LORELAI: My heel just broke off. Damn, these are brand new shoes, too.
RORY: They were made in 1943.
In the final hour of the marathon, the heel breaks off one of Lorelai’s vintage shoes. The rules of the contest didn’t require participants to wear shoes, and as they have less than an hour to go, Lorelai and Rory could have kicked their shoes off and finished the marathon in bare feet.
Instead Lorelai uses her yellow emergency card, which allows her a ten minute break to get her shoe repaired. During this time, her partner must stay on the floor and keep moving. However, Rory has been dancing for twenty-three hours, and is far too exhausted to stand upright and keep moving on her own.
Lorelai gets Dean to hold onto Rory and keep her moving until Lorelai returns. We know that Dean doesn’t care for dancing, but this is the third time in three seasons he dances with Rory – the other two times were at her school dance, and for her debutante ball (including the dance practice before the ball). There isn’t much involved this time, all he has to do is keep her upright, and he soon says he’s quite enjoying the experience.
When Taylor announced the rules, he never said it was possible to get someone else to dance with your partner during their break if they were physically incapable of standing without assistance. However, he never says it is actually forbidden, either. As usual, Lorelai is very ready to exploit a loophole in the rules if it is to her advantage. (And Kirk has been shown to be playing dirty as it is).
EMILY: You spend five seconds with a person and if they say one wrong thing, you turn on them and never give them a second chance … You are extremely judgmental, Lorelai.
Hmm … I wonder where Lorelai gets that from, Emily?
Emily is incensed that Lorelai cancelled her date to the concert with Peyton, since she had a terrible time on their dinner date, and they were obviously unsuited to each other. However, Emily doesn’t care about any of this, she cares that Lorelai rejected her friend’s son, therefore making Emily look bad by association (somehow). I feel as if Lorelai should have seen this coming … has she never met her mother before?
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.