Dean and Donna Reed

Dean makes himself unpopular with Lorelai and Rory when he says it seems nice that Donna Reed likes cooking for her family and that she seems happy to do so. Even the most ardent Dean fan must feel at this point that he and Rory are not perfectly suited to each other. He receives short shrift from the two Gilmores, and in the end is stifled into silence, with a “Hey, I’m not saying anything”.

Apart from showing a serious discrepancy in the values of Rory and Dean, it also demonstrates how Lorelai and Rory don’t allow the men in their lives to have any say in things. When Dean first came to a movie night at their house, he was basically told he wasn’t allowed to choose the movie, and had to run any suggestion past Lorelai (as he picked an inappropriate movie, it didn’t seem unjustified at the time).

But now he isn’t even allowed to voice an opinion on what the Gilmores are watching. It raises the question of what role Dean has in Rory’s life: is he just there to bring pizza, look handsome, kiss her, tell her she’s pretty, phone her fifty times a day, and agree with everything she says? Even Donna Stone got to do a lot more than that!

Lorelai Finds Madeline and Louise

LORELAI: Hey. I am not even going to begin to tell you how completely insane it is to take off with anyone you don’t know, or drink things that you don’t know what’s in them, or act like you have a clue when you don’t, but so help me God if you ever pull a stunt like this again, it will not be around my kid! Do you understand me?

Any illusions Madeline and Louise might have had that Lorelai was a “cool mom” who would buy them booze and let them mess around with older guys they just met is instantly dispelled in this scene. Lorelai is not naive about what young men might do in this situation, and basically tells them that they could have been date raped if she hadn’t come after them.

Most of all, Lorelai cannot tolerate Rory hanging out with girls who might lead her astray or get her into danger, so we know that Rory’s friendship potential with Madeline and Louise is now greatly reduced. It becomes obvious in this episode that Paris is Rory’s destined best school friend, as she isn’t boy-crazy, enjoyed staying at the concert with Rory, and clearly respects Lorelai.

“If I was missing”

PARIS: I wonder if I was missing if my mom would come looking for me like that.
RORY: Paris, you know she would.
PARIS: Yeah, or at least she’d send somebody.

Paris grows ever more impressed with Lorelai during this episode, admiring her tenacity in being prepared to knock on every apartment door until she finds the right one, and Lorelai’s obvious motherly concern for Madeline and Louise.

“You take them”

Seeing that Rory seems to be getting on fairly well with Paris, Madeline, and Louise, Lorelai offers to give the four girls her concert tickets, and she and Sookie will buy cheap tickets when they get there. It’s a generous offer from Lorelai, considering that she is a huge fan of The Bangles and Sookie has obtained excellent seats for them.

Some fans get upset that Lorelai gives away the concert tickets to virtual strangers without consulting Sookie (who earned them), but Sookie only got the tickets for Lorelai, and had given them to her – they were Lorelai’s tickets to do with as she wished. It would have been polite to ask Sookie first, but Lorelai is impulsive by nature, and Sookie never seems upset about the ticket situation.

It seems silly to give the tickets away because we know Madeline and Louise skip out on the concert, but Lorelai doesn’t know that’s what’s going to happen. In hindsight, it would have made more sense to just take Paris with them, but at the time, Rory thought that there was more friendship potential with Madeline and Louise.

“Big sister”

LOUISE: I find your mother completely fascinating.
RORY: Funny – so does she.
LOUISE: It’s almost more like having a big sister.

Amy Sherman-Palladino reportedly wrote Lorelai and Rory to have a relationship that was more sisterly than like mother-and-daughter. Sherman-Palladino had a sister who died very young, and her imaginings of what their relationship might have been like (best friends who looked alike) was part of the basis for that between Lorelai and Rory. She also thought that if she ever had a child, she would want to be more like a friend than a parent, so that was another imagining which went into the relationship between Lorelai and Rory.

“I can’t eat dairy”

PARIS: I can’t eat dairy.
LORELAI: Okay, one [pizza] with cheese, one without. Cokes?

Paris later becomes quite an admirer of Lorelai, and I think this might have been the very beginning of it: her breezy acceptance of Paris’ dietary needs, and immediate problem solving. Lorelai works in the hospitality industry and is used to difficult customers, so she can easily handle Paris. That in itself is probably a refreshing change for Paris, and gets their relationship off to a good start.