Above screenshot: Gilmore Girls. Below photo: Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA/Getty Images

“Written In The Stars,” season five, episode three, originally aired 10/5/2004 

After four seasons of buildup, against all possible odds, the Luke and Lorelai relationship starts out so promisingly, it makes it even more maddening to consider what happened to them later. But for now, let’s just waft in the considerable romance of Lorelai and Luke’s first date, in which he takes her to Sniffy’s Tavern, the adorable restaurant of Maisie and Buddy, and reveals the horoscope he’s been carrying around in his pocket for eight years. The dinner conversation is both revealing and endearing, as Luke talks about how the couple helped him build his own restaurant. So telling how Luke remembers every moment of their first meeting. She’s his Ava Gardner. All the Sinatra references thrown around this episode are solid; also the Liz Taylors (Asher is Paris’ Mike Todd).

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Amy Sherman-Palladino giveth, and she taketh away. This episode also introduces us to the terrible Life And Death Brigade, and the first appearances of Logan, Finn, and Colin. They’re so terrible I wonder if ASP developed a F. Scott Fitzgerald-like fascination with the idle rich at one point, because it’s just a stumper why to bring these obnoxious characters in at all. They’re even introduced in such an annoying manner, with Colin immediately being shitty to Marty, and Logan offering a healthy dose of heaping condescension. And Logan’s T-shirt and seersucker blazer combo is miles worse than any shirt that Marty could ever wear.

The only upside of Logan’s appearance is that it leads to the end of the horrible, horrible Rory and Dean reunion. He was so mad at her just last week, and now just lets her into his house without a word. I get kids, and hormones, so as we see the next episode, they just want to have sex all the time, but the only good part about Logan is that it means Dean will soon be riding off into the sunset forever.

“Tippecanoe And Taylor Too,” season five, episode four, originally aired 10/12/2004

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And not a moment too soon, because the absolute worst part about “Tippecanoe And Taylor Too” is Rory and Dean’s fruitless search for a place to bone. Again, they’re only 19, which just makes all of Dean’s family members invading so awkward. It’s so clear after all the anguished longing of season four, Rory and Dean v.3, like Rory and Dean v.2 (post-first breakup) and v.1, don’t have a whole heck of a lot in common, and very little to actually talk about when they’re not talking about their feelings for each other.

Maybe they fare even worse posited against Lorelai and Luke, who fall so effortlessly into this new relationship. Luke standing up for them in the town meeting, Lorelai quickly clueing in that Luke needs to get to bed early and hates champagne—as we always suspected, the two are perfect together. At least for awhile. Let’s enjoy this while it lasts.

Even Lane and Zach seem like a better bet than Dean and Rory: At least they have music in common. I love that Lane’s straightforward declaration to Zach was exactly like something Mrs. Kim would have done. She’s her mother’s daughter after all.

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Despite the election rally hijinks (and how hilarious was Melissa McCarthy hamming it up asa political wife), I still find it hard to feel sorry for Taylor at all. Yes, the town is his whole life, but he has to get that his constant needling and nitpicking, just to give himself this perceived position of power, has to be super-annoying for everyone else. Well, if he didn’t get it, maybe he does after the election. But the snide way he predicts his own return just negates all of that momentary sympathy; he knows that no one else can run the town like he can, of course. But why does he have to be such a dick about it?

Stray observations

  • Watching Gilmore Girls again in such quick succession, it becomes pretty easy to spot an Amy Sherman-Palladino-written episode straightway (the former episode here) and an episode written by a one- or two-off (the latter). “Tippecanoe” was the first of only two GG episodes for writer Bill Prady, who went on to co-create The Big Bang Theory with Chuck Lorre.
  • “No, Rory, this great man was no brought down by my vagina.” Never change, Paris.
  • Also, Emily and Paris is an unbeatable combo.
  • No surprise at all that Luke is a Scorpio.
  • This week in Gilmore entitlement: Taking over your boyfriend’s diner/place of business to push your friend’s political campaign
  • Best Gilmore outfit: Lorelai’s cute dress at the segmented Friday night dinner.
  • Worst Gilmore outfit: Rory’s dumb flower sweater.
  • Ha, Madonna Louise the maid; Madonna’s full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone.
  • Weirdly, this is not my first listen to the theme from The Greatest American Hero this week.
  • Sometimes I get the feeling that Todd Lowe is freaking out on the inside because he’s actually paying guitar with Sebastian Bach.
  • LOL’ed at Kirk’s speculation that even Taylor’s vote for himself was not a lock: “Hatred for Taylor runs pretty deep.”
  • “See you next week when everyone gets fingerprinted for the government.”
  • In actual next week: I haven’t seen it in a really long time, but I’m pretty sure I hate “We Got Us A Pippi Virgin” because all of the Luke/Lorelai vs. Rory/Dean reasons stated above. Or maybe it’s just the BopIt.

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