This episode starts up super funny but it is also so, so sad and infuriating, and sets up some important plot points. I kind of don’t want to look, but have to. Kind of like a car crash.
The summary: Luke asks Rory to help Jess study because he is failing basically everything. Lorelai exhausts Taylor into giving her the role of choosing a movie for their “Movie in the Square” night, for which Kirk has a (GENIUS) contender. Something awful happens and I cry.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
Lorelai: I hate crossword puzzles, they make me feel stupid.
Rory: Then don’t do them.
Lorelai: But if you don’t do them, you’re not only stupid. You’re also a coward.
Those words have shaped my feelings about crossword puzzles forever, I kid you not.
Waaaaait up, wait up. The book Jess is reading is Slaughterhouse Five. I may have noticed this before but I get excited every time I notice it again.
And, I know Jess has an attitude, and we all get tired of it sometimes. Even me. But I also get tired of no one caring to figure out why. He is not going to class, not caring about his future, doing who-knows-what all day. He is angry, and maybe depressed. And maybe the only person who actually talks to him like he is not a ticking time-bomb is Rory, and that is part of why he likes her, and respects her. Because she respects him too.
That comment Jess made about “I don’t know, maybe I will work at a diner” was so mean, though. Luke wants better for Jess, better than what he has.
I know I have said this before but I will never stop saying it: if you feel the need to lie to your boyfriend about something as silly as tutoring a guy, maybe get the hell out of that relationship. Lorelai giving Rory a hard time about it makes me so, so mad, too. YOU KNOW WHY SHE FEELS THE NEED TO LIE.
Lorelai: Then maybe you shouldn’t be (studying with Jess). If you feel weird enough that I have to lie to Dean…
NO. No. That is completely backwards. She feels weird because she knows her boyfriend is a possessive, jealous, abusive, insecure asshole. True, she shouldn’t lie. But truer than that, Rory is her daughter, Dean is a 17yo boyfriend. Who the hell is Lorelai protecting here? If anything, Lorelai should advise her daughter to not lie, and confront Dean’s insecure fragile self instead.
Now, pay attention. Rory gave Jess the keys to her car and said “You drive”, correct? No one pushed her to go anywhere, or to give anyone the keys? Okay, good.
The car conversation is so important to me. I have friends whose lives have been full of people not believing in them, not trusting in their potential, not giving a single fuck as to what direction they took in life. I have had the opposite: parents who push a little too hard sometimes, who expect a whole lot from me. I don’t know which is worse when its extreme, but my bet is on the first one. When I am depressed, my mom tells me, not because she is my mom, but because she wholeheartedly believes it, that I will do better, that I deserve better, that my brain and my strength will take me places. Jess’ dad gave up on him before he could even say much, Jess’ mom gave up on him a year ago, Luke hasn’t given up but doesn’t really know how to get to him. Lorelai gave up on him before even talking to him, and in spite of Rory telling her time and time again to try to listen. I get him.
I also like, though, how Rory calls him out. She tells him he is stronger than than, which he is. “You could do more.” He can, and he fucking does. And then Rory tells him about her dreams, and I melt because I am still a 16yo sometimes, okay?!
Jess: I’ll help you practice, okay? Tomorrow, you’ll stand in the middle of the street, and I will drive straight at you screaming in a foreign language?
Jess asks Rory if they should drive straight to Luke’s, or turn right and go around the town for a while. He asks, he does not pressure, or just do whatever he wants, yes? He isn’t driving super fast or drunk or trying to make a pass at her while holding the wheel? Okay, good.
Then we cut to Rory calling her mom from the hospital. This is the part where I cry because I cannot yell at anyone, because this is fiction. Not only does Lorelai not give a shit if Jess was hurt (not even for Jess’ health, which she clearly doesn’t care about, but for Luke’s sake), but she automatically assumes, what? That he did it on purpose? That he was high? That the fact that she does not like him makes him a bad driver? Lorelai told Rory to shut up about the details and relax. I get that. But she heard “Jess” and “accident” and suddenly it is his fault. Without hearing what Rory has to say, or what Jess has to say. Dean could have crashed the car. Rory could have crashed the car (hey, remember that time your kid hit a deer? was the deer a little punk, too?).
Lorelai acts like an asshole (blaming Luke for “bringing Jess to Stars Hollow”? REALLY?!!) and I am done. I am glad Luke shut her down. Rory got a small fracture. Jess could have been injured severely, or bled a lot, or died. Lorelai knows nothing yet, and she acts like a dickhead for half of this episode and all of the next. For all she knew, it could have been a mechanical failure in her beloved Dean’s car. Which reminds me… I sometimes think that the writers had Dean build that car just so that Jess could crash it a season later in a symbolic “Jess is crashing all your dreams” kind of thing.
Like, clearly Rory doesn’t do sports. If she had ever done sports, she would have probably had other accidents. Lorelai is so used to Rory never doing anything ever in any way and so Lorelai freaks the fuck out at the first thing and assumes it is automatically someone else’s fault. Even when (SPOILERS) Rory decides to steal a yatch and Lorelai blames the boyfriend. Lorelai acts the way Chris’ parents act about her getting pregnant: blaming it all on everyone else but their own kid.
Then Chris shows up. Randomly showing up in the middle of the night, for once, and the next morning say something about beating up a guy does not make you a good parent. So shush.
But then! One of Gilmore girls’ gifts to the world (which are many, by the way): A film by Kirk.
This is one of the saddest endings to an episode. Jess wanted to go because Rory was the only part of this town he liked, and he knew no one would let him near her. And they were just talking about how Jess knows nobody believes in him. *sobs forever*