‘Gilmore Girls’ Rewind: Season 4, Episodes 1-8

Originally aired September 23, 2003 – November 11, 2003.

Well, well, well: little Rory is all grown up. This season marks a departure for the show. The creators and writers have to find a way to balance Rory’s college life and relationship with with Lorelai/Stars Hallow. Unlike her time at Chilton, Yale is undeniably a more vital role in her life. No longer can she run home to mommy with every problem.

Gilmore GirlsExcept that’s what happens in the first batch of episodes from the Yale years.

A lot goes down in these eight episodes, mostly dealing with Rory’s adjustment and the new inn. But I find the minor character stories finally be flourishing now that there is more time for them.

Lane’s band is coming to the forefront in these early episodes, except they’re a member short. Dave Rygalski (Adam Brody) left for college in California – a subtle nod to Brody’s role in The OC. The remaining musicians are looking for a replacement guitarist, which is where Sebastian Bach, that’s right, the guy from Skid Row, comes into play. I think it’s absolutely hilarious Bach is in Gilmore Girls, but it does make for some interesting storylines.

Meanwhile, Sookie and Jackson find out the sex of the baby. Well, Sookie does and Jackson doesn’t want to know. It’s a cute little plot that doesn’t go very far. However, seeing Sookie’s transformation this season has been pleasing. It turns out everything in the Gilmore world isn’t as happy go lucky as it seems. She begins to freak out about the impending birth of little Davey; in fact, she even goes as far to claim she’ll be a terrible mother. Of course things return to normal when Lorelai talks her down from the freak out. Still, the brief moments we hear an expecting mother say she doesn’t think she wants to be a mother was a pretty real moment.

Then there’s Dean. He gets married in the fourth episode and it’s a little painful to watch. With Jess gone, it would have been beautiful to see he and Rory work things out and begin a long distance relationship. But things cannot go as smoothly for Rory as we like. She watches from a distance as Dean blissfully walks out of the church with his new bride. What is even more painful is that she doesn’t know that the night before that Dean drunkenly tells Luke that he thinks Rory is amazing and misses her. (Note: this episode features future New Girl star Max Greenfield as a buddy of Dean.)

Speaking of Luke: he got married. Then divorced. Except not. He and Nicole went on the cruise and despite Lorelai joking about marriage, he actually does it. In the first episode back he tells Lorelai that he and his bride are getting divorced because it was all a mistake. Through a series of hoops and tricks, however, Luke and Nicole decide to remain married, but not be married. Instead they will start dating again.

See why this season is so great? I can talk about so much without talking about the actual Girls. But here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening in their lives.

Lorelai is going to open the Dragonfly Inn with Sookie and Michel. There are a lot of problems with it that are simply put into the plot to give something for Lorelai to do. She’s also been flirting with Digger, the son of the man that forced Richard into retirement. Digger is now joining Richard’s firm and is becoming a new potential love interest for the elder Gilmore.

Rory on the other hand isn’t worried about love. She’s trying to survive Yale where it turns out Paris is also going and is Rory’s roommate. What I love best about Rory’s time at Yale is that she’s actually a journalist. We get to see her acting out her dream instead of just talking about it.

Clearly a lot is going on. And that’s a good thing.

One last note: “The Festival of Living Art” won the show’s only Emmy Award, for Outstanding Makeup for a Series (non-prosthetic).

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