Originally aired November 18, 2003 – February 24, 2004.
The first part of this season really allowed for minor character growth, and that continues. I’ll touch on Lane and Paris, but this batch of episodes have a lot of juiciness surrounding Rory and Lorelai.
Let’s start with the juciest: Jess is back. Rory hasn’t seen or heard from him in months and the kid has the nerve to show up in her town! He’s brought back because his mother Liz comes to Luke seeking advice. While Jess just wants to get his old clunker of a car and leave instantly, he finds out leaving Stars Hallow isn’t quite as easy. Everyone in town is mad at him and rightly so. The awkwardness of Rory and Jess running into one another is played perfectly in these episodes until in culminates in Rory confronting him. Jess simply says that he loves her and walks away. Possibly for good this time.
Her love life is basically non-existent here, but Lorelai’s sure is picking up. She’s dating Richard’s business partner Digger, who’s real name is Jason, but I like the nickname. I don’t really care about how their relationship unfolds. I just think it’s funny that the show decided to give her a steady boyfriend simply because it took the sexual tension away from Lorelai and Luke for a season. In season three it was hot, hot, hot between them. The actual plot of Lorelai having to hide the relationship is a sufficient twist, but I can’t help but want to scream at her for not realizing he’s not even close to being perfect for her.
My favorite episode of this batch was “The Incredible Sinking Lorelais” in which both Lorelai and Rory are having the worst weeks ever, but can’t seem to get a hold of one another. Lorelai turns to Luke for a loan, but has a meltdown before asking. He loans her the money for the inn, but that isn’t what is important. Notice how I said that Jason isn’t perfect for Lorelai? Why wasn’t she able to talk to him about her terrible week? No, she turns to Luke because they are meant to be together. Similarly, Rory turns to Dean. I’m not a fan of him getting married and feel it was a way to subdue the relationship between the two high school sweethearts. I mean, knowing what comes eventually makes me wish that Dean just dated some other basic girl. But, alas. This is life and life is messy.
Another great episode is when Emily bumps into the girls at the mall and goes on a shopping rampage. Just something funny and was nice to see her be HBIC.
Let’s get on to two of Rory’s friends. First: Lane. She and her band are doing well. Lane is happy. She decides to sneak out for a gig that doesn’t actually happen, which results in her getting kicked out. This opens up a world of plots for the character. She stays at Yale for a bit, but in the final episode of this grouping, moves in with her bandmates. I love this decision and really don’t remember exactly how stories develop for the character.
Then there is Paris. She’s dating her first boyfriend long distance and it is going well enough. Until she meets Asher Flemming, a professor who is Rory’s grandfather’s friend/age. It’s a secret, creepy affair, but it gives the character (who is annoying, but perfectly so) a story that allows her to explore emotions.
Relationships are clearly a focal point again. But it doesn’t seem forced. They’re doing a good job of blending all of the aspects of the show together.