Originally aired November 19, 2002 – February 18, 2003.
Rory and Jess are finally together. And he’s a terrible boyfriend. It’s clear there wasn’t much for the show to do once the triangle subsided and the writers begin focusing on different storylines. The result is for the better. Instead of the heavy focus on Rory’s love life we get to see Lorelai’s love life and relationship with her parents begin to blossom and unfold. Also Rory’s school life begins to take a more central role.
The first episode after the Rory/Jess thing focuses on Richard’s determination for Rory to go to Yale, not Harvard. After all it would be easier for the show if she went to a school closer to home, wouldn’t it. It’s one of the first Gilmore family centric episodes in this batch. Another great one, which actually felt out of place, but was necessary for the show in the long run, was the flashback episode detail Lorelai’s pregnancy. Being able to see her relationship with her parents really put a lot of things into perspective.
Loerlai’s love life gets a jolt when she meets Alex (played by Revolution‘s Billy Burke). He’s a sweet guy, but totally doesn’t work for her. Still, it is nice to see Loerlai doing something other than complaining about her mother. It is really her interactions with Luke that are important. Whenever she is in a relationship (as he is too at the moment with Taylor’s lawyer) you could see the disappointment in their eyes. It sucks knowing that they take forever to realize their feelings, but it also is one of those great hopes knowing love will find its way.
While all of that is going on, Rory’s Chilton life gets rejuvenated. It all stems from Paris, who went from being an enemy to a friend back to an enemy of Rory all because of some sneaky girl who was jealous of Rory and Paris. The plots at the school may be a little weak at times, but it gives the show a break from the same ol’ same ol’ that has been occuring for a bit.
Another wrinkle in the plots is Lane and Dave’s band. I sort of feel that the character got screwed over because they didn’t know what to do with an over protected Korean girl. Secret boyfriends are boring, but at a drum set and some guitars and everything is good. Giving Lane this arc was vital to making the character relevant again and not just a running gag.
Of course the show still has some Jess drama. He’s a crappy boyfriend, but somehow you still root for him. Except when Rory and Dean are together trying to be “just friends.” Then you want Dean to win Rory’s heart. It’s a love triangle without being a love triangle. And it works. Jess may or may not be jealous. Dean may or may not be trying to win Rory back. It’s intriguing. Even more so when you see Rory’s reaction when she discovers Dean has a girlfriend. So Rory may or may not want to be with Dean?
It was a good batch of episodes and we’ve seen the show on an upswing. Now it just feels like it’s waiting to get to the college years to usher in a new batch of plots.