I like this episode a lot. And the following episode is one of my favorites in the history of forever so THERE IS A LOT OF LOVE HERE.
First, a summary: Chilton is doing Romeo & Juliet and Rory does hers in a team with Paris, Madeline, Louise, Brad (a fun little shy boy) and, of course, Tristan. Meanwhile, Lorelai has a pre-transition (post-Max) casual date with a boy who looks younger than her and that’s for some reason really awful. Or something.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
I love adaptations of lit classics that take them to other eras. They are usually super silly and fun. Like that time my class did Hamlet set in the 70s and the final battle was a dance-off. Instant hilarity. But of course Paris would do hers in traditional Elizabethan. Paris, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.
I want you to watch this episode (first of all because you should be watching all the episodes, time and time again, in a loop that goes on for eternity, but also this particular one) and look at Rory’s face when Tristan is talking during the first Shakespeare play meeting. She is so unimpressed and grossed out and wondering what the hell is going on. It is excellence.
Once Tristan showed up at that meeting I knew that he was going to be Romeo and Rory was going to be Juliet. It was predictable. But anyone (I am looking at you, Tristan x Rory shippers, about whom I could rant for days because HOW COULD YOU) who thinks it is about anything other than showing the world how ridiculous and possessive Dean is, needs to sit down.
Fernando, the ice-cream maker
Urgh, I hate when friends pressure friends to “move on”. You don’t need to be in a relationship, you don’t need to jump from commitment to commitment, you don’t need to get over things in a certain specific time. Lorelai needs time to get over Max and needs some time to think and be on her own and that is cool. And honestly I would want to and would be super stubborn about a wedding gift that I didn’t go through with as well. I would probably get over it if it was an ice-cream maker (let’s be real), but still…
Re: hooking up while broken up. Again.
I have said this before and will say it again, you can have feelings about your partner kissing/humping/dating others while you were on a break/not together, but they owe you nothing there. YOU WERE NOT TOGETHER. So even if Rory told Dean about the party where Rory and Tristan kissed, he would have no right to get angry or entitled. He would’ve anyway ’cause he is a douche, but he would have no right.
I also want to offer some advice, because the first couple of times I watched this episode I thought Rory should definitely not under any circumstances tell Dean ’cause he would get mad. I was wrong. Or rather, take it from me and my personal experience, if you think you shouldn’t tell your partner something ’cause they will get upset and there is NO legit reason to be upset, that can be a sign of an emotionally abusive relationship. If you fear telling your partner something ’cause they will be angry and yell at you then perhaps rethink your partner. Flash forward to Dean in season 3 (a spoiler ahead) when Jess and Rory crashed the car and Rory’s is super afraid about telling Dean. Same thing.
Back to the play
No, Lane and Sookie, Romeo & Juliet is not one of the greatest love stories. That is not the point of the story. It’s not romantic.
I have noticed that I only “side” with Dean when it comes to class/elitist stuff. When Rory’s grandpa grills him, when Tristan taunts him and mocks him for working at the supermarket. But OMG the testosterone is hilarious. “I hope for Rory’s sake that you’ve got an understudy.” Ooohhh small town white boy, so threatening. “You and Tristan are thrown together a lot in that school. Him playing Romeo to your Juliet: that’s just perfect.” ARE YOU JEALOUS OF A SCHOOL PROJECT, FOR REAL? Urgh. I am yelling at my computer. I am yelling “Leave him! Leave him!” and this is the nth time I watch this. And there Rory is, pacifying him and apologizing. I know she is apologizing about the kiss but she has zero to apologize for. At all. He was the one to leave her, remember? When he had his white boy panties in a bunch over Rory not being ready to say I love you after 3 months dating as a 16 year old?! And by the way, Dean insisting on staying in rehearsals, basically following Rory around and checking up on her, even when she said she didn’t want him to? What the fuck? A b u s i v e.
But I will stop the Dean-bashing for today (and today only) because, as a friend pointed out to me, he is 17 and knows nothing about the world. I will see you in 3 seasons, zero-character-development-Dean.
But since this is Tristan’s last episode, let’s say some things
I never got why Rory seemed to think sort of highly of Tristan, telling him he is smarter than his friends, encouraging him, making excuses for him. Like, why? What did Tristan ever do besides stuck his gross lips on Rory’s to make Rory feel like she owes him a chance? Who knows, maybe he grew out of his ass later on. Too bad we never got to see it. But I’m glad he got pulled out of school because, I mean, c’mon. Paris as Romeo is much better than Tristan as Romeo. That is just truth.
I have some Luke criticism to make. The first joke he made to Lorelai about the amusement park height bar was okay, like a joke between friends. But shaming her and getting upset about her dating is not cute, or romantic, or anything other than fucked up and entitled. You want to date her? Fine, ask her. But he won’t, of course. It’s not Lor’s fault that Luke can’t communicate like a normal human being. He had no right to treat her that way. Hmpppph. Men.
Luke: So, tell me about Romeo & Juliet
Lorelai: Well, it’s so depressing, and everybody dies. But the clothes were so cute.