Another one in which Dean is the fucking worst. It’s a great episode though, so, hang in there. This is a long one, but a review I like a lot.
The summary: The town has its annual Bid on a Basket shindig, which is about women preparing a basket full of food and men bidding on it. Does it sound vaguely sexist and archaic, and heteronormative and all sorts of ugly things? That’s because it is! It’s still fun, though, because Jackson must fight Kirk for Sookie’s basket, Jess outbids Dean, and Lorelai begs Luke to save her from Miss Patty’s matchmaking attempts. Lane gets her heart broken, there is some Gilmore girl fighting, and I get a lot of feelings.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
Let’s do this by pairs of people. Because there is a lot going on.
Lane, Oh Lane
I really appreciate Lane’s really convoluted schemes to go on dates and other fun things behind her mom’s back. The CD’s beneath her wooden floor, her funky room inside the closet, getting Rory to call Henry and her at the same time, planning what time Henry should call a payphone in accordance to her route with the fake date guy, and so many more schemes to come. She’s good at the scheming thing, even better than me! I felt bad when she got dumped, though. It IS kind of shitty to have to hide and scheme so I get why Henry did that, but I also know what having to hide so you can have something resembling a social life, so… le sigh.
When Mrs Kim finds out there is a boy and screams at Lane, gosh, I feel so sad. Lane could have told her mom, but she was afraid, and now it’s over. It’s sad.
Sookie & Jackson
Honestly, Jackson is an idiot. I would not have guessed that what he meant by asking Sookie whether or not he should renew his lease was to hint at moving in together. Jackson is an adult and using his words is a thing that should be happening by now. What kind of person asks if they should move in together by giving second-grader type hints? And then gets his panties in a bunch because the girlfriend didn’t get his weird-ass immature hint and acts all sulky and passive-aggressive during the basket bidding thing? Get your shit together, Jackson.
They talk it out though and then, because Kirk had won Sookie’s basket, Jackson had to pay Kirk and at last, Jackson and Sookie have their super fancy picnic food. And squeeeee!! a marriage proposal that actually makes me smile!
Rory & Jess (& Dean, I guess)
Dean’s (so far) uncalled-for hatred of Jess just makes me like Jess more and Dean less, to be honest. Jealousy does not go well with his already laughable self. Jess is a smartass and he gets on Dean’s nerves doing close to nothing, which I find precious. I can see how fans of Dean could see Jess as a super jerk because he is doing stuff to annoy Dean in a way that Rory either doesn’t notice or sees as unintentional/benign, when they aren’t. I’m not a Dean fan though, so Jess can carry on being a dick for all I care.
Bidding on Rory’s basket was a dick move on Jess’ part, but a great dick move at that. Where did he get $80, though? He probably stole it from Luke’s cash register or something. Jess got to spend alone time with Rory AND ALSO annoy the hell out of Dean, so double points for him! However, let us be clear: he is making moves on a girl who has a boyfriend, which is not super nice. I don’t even think he is definitely, explicitly interested in Rory romantically here, though. He does like her a lot, and has no way of knowing if he has a chance unless he tries. Plus, he doesn’t owe Dean anything. Plus, they’re 17 so, really, who cares all that much. Still, to be fair, he is being a jerk to Dean.
Dean acts like it’s the end of the world and like Jess getting the basket equals Jess getting Rory. One doesn’t “get” human beings, but of course sexist-doormat-Dean would think that Rory and her basket belong to him. “He was messing with me, and it’s the last time, I swear to God.” It’s a fucking basket..! Is Dean really that insecure that he thinks a picnic between Jess and Rory will get Dean out of the picture? Sad.
I am screaming at the screen. (Well, I’m not, but I want to.) Dean speaks for Rory and over her. And, I repeat, it’s only a picnic. He is so possessive and insecure, it is absolutely gross.
Rory: It’s a picnic. We’ll sit, we’ll eat, it’s over.
Who the hell do you think you are, Dean? She is not asking for permission. She is trying to pacify you so you’ll stop making a scene, if anything. And honestly, Rory does not stand up to him enough. At all, actually.
Rory: Dean, you’re my boyfriend. I would never do anything to hurt you.
Dean: Yeah? Well you’re doing it right now.
Such a drama queen. Such an emotionally abusive, manipulative asshole. Such an insecure little wartface. UGH.
Rory: So why’d you do it?
Jess: Do what?
Rory: Outbid Dean like that…
Jess: I don’t know. I guess it started as a joke just to bug him, but then he just got so mad. And he is so tall. And I just was looking at him, and he’s standing there all tall and mad, and I don’t know — it was really funny.
I love how Dean’s tallness is a factor.
A note on authors: Ayn Rand vs Ernest Hemingway is not even a question. I’d go Hemingway (so, Jess’ choice) all the way.
And finally, Jess picks up Rory’s bracelet from the floor. Yup, the one Dean gave to her. This is not even subtle, because this is the episode where Rory begins to drop Dean and fall for Jess. So she leaves the bracelet behind. And I – even with all the jerk moves Jess will make in the future – wholeheartedly approve.
Lorelai & Luke
Miss Patty sets Lor up with guys to bid on her basket. They all look like clones of each other, though. It’s creepy. This part raises the question, though: what would happen if a guy prepares a basket and a girl bids? If a guy prepares and another guy bids? If I bid on Lorelai’s basket? If a nonbinary person does? Like, would the town care or would Taylor have none if it? Lor says it would be pathetic to buy her own basket but, I mean, if it is possible within the rules, my guess is anyone could bid, right?
Anyhoo, back to Luke. I love how he knows exactly what Lorelai would put in her basket. It’s the small things that make this Lor x Luke shipper smile.
I cannot fully express how much I love that Lorelai uses the bid-on-a-basket thing (and all its misogyny) to her advantage, getting dudes who fix things to bid on her basket and then getting home-improvement deals. It’s so so good.
And finally, Lorelai fights with Rory
One thing I cannot ever forgive from Lorelai is meddling so much in favor of Dean and against Jess. Sure, being concerned over your daughter hanging out with a kid who fights and steals is okay, but do you not know your daughter? She is good and responsible and super smart: give her a break. Dean goes crying to Lorelai like an immature dickface was a terrible move, and Lorelai IS taking Dean’s side. Dean is 100x worse at everything and he is an emotionally abusive boyfriend and Lorelai is giving Rory a lecture on something she knows absolute shit about.
Also, I repeat, they went on a fucking picnic, they didn’t flee to Tijuana. Jesus fucking Christ.
I am glad Emily agrees with Lorelai because Lorelai’s is the kind of unreasonable position that Emily would take, and the kind that should scare the hell out of Lor. Honestly Lorelai gets me so upset when it comes to Jess because she knows absolutely nothing. It also seems out of character since she is so chill about everything else, but she is so used to everything around Rory being a bubble that anything remotely resembling real life is scary to her as a mother. UGH.