If this Gilmore Girls episode was named like an episode of Friends, it would be known as “The One Where Rory Gets Hit BY a Deer”. There was a time where I used to hate watching this episode because I felt like nothing happens, plot wise. Even more so because it is a Rory -centric episode and if you’ve read my other reviews, I clearly favor Lorelai over Rory. However, probably around the 7th millionth time watching the episode, I realized we get to see the various dynamics between the characters. To sum up quickly, reality hits Rory in the face when she gets her first “D” on a paper at Chilton. Lorelai meet Rory’s English teacher, Mr. Medina, and then helps Rory study for her next exam. Lastly, Sookie is bummed out when a food critic calls her magic risotto “fine.” Yes, that is all that happens in 42 minutes. Could you imagine the ratings in this day and age of television?
This episode is particularly important because of the introduction to a certain English teacher. Enter Max Medina, the handsome English teacher (why were the teachers never this good looking at my high school?) passing back graded papers. We see that Rory gets a “D” as Mr. Medina announces, “here at Chilton we try to beat that humanity right outta ya,” followed by a Shakespeare exam will take place next Friday which will be worth 20% of the final grade. As on cue, Paris and her minions, Madeline and Louise, can’t help but tease Rory about her horrible grade. Even Tristan pokes some fun at her. I actually find Tristan particularly rude and annoying in this encounter, but that is okay Lucas Scott, I forgive you. Later that evening when Rory is trying to study, Lorelai can’t seem to entertain herself and attempts to get Rory’s nose out the book and out with her to get some ice cream. Rory promises her mother that she will go to the shoe sale with her this weekend if she lets her study now. Once again we see a reverse mother-daughter relationship. Wow, smart girls really can be mean, I mean just look at Paris. All in all, talk about a crappy day for Rory.
The next evening Lorelai attends a parent teacher meeting at Chilton. She walks in late, disrupting the ongoing meeting by rambling about a pothole. Then she knocks over the global that was on display near the door. What a strange place for a global, but hey, whatever floats your boat Mr. Medina. They are discussing an AP test. (Why? It is only September and AP tests are usually in the Spring, but Chilton is Chilton.) Lorelai asks if parents are allowed to come to test, which really is a weird question, but stirs some tension when a woman whispers loudly that Lorelai was probably the mother of a scholarship student. As if woman! You have no idea what Lorelai is going through to afford this tuition! Max calls for a time out with a coffee and break and takes this time to get to the know the new Chilton mom. He sooo likes her, not that he is hiding it. He asks how Rory is liking Chilton and Lorelai shares an embarrassing story about Rory and a Harvard sweatshirt. He ends up revealing he gave her a D on her last paper. Lorelai immediately jumps into high alert for concern for her daughter. She leaves the parent teacher meeting to console her silently hurting daughter. This is where we see Lorelai spring into supermom action, ready to drop everything she is doing to help her kid.
Lorelai finds Rory at the diner studying and eating pie. She confronts her about the D and she decides to help Rory study for her test the rest of the week. The two stay up most of night before test. As a result, Rory wakes up late the next morning missing her bus and has to drive to school in her mother’s jeep because Lorelai had a meeting at the inn that morning. At a stop sign, Rory calls Lane asking if she had seen her missing notes. C’mon Rory! Don’t read notes and talk on a phone while driving a car especially when you aren’t even 16 and have your driver’s licenses yet! While on the phone with Lane, a deer hits the jeep. Yes, you read that correctly, the deer hits the jeep. Rory, being the kind person she is jumps out of the vehicle and goes looking for the deer that ran off to make sure it is okay. Don’t you have a test to get to? Why are you stopped at that stop sign for so long? Eventually, Rory runs back to the Jeep and ends up being 10 minutes late to school. Mr. Medina won’t allow Rory to take the test. Paris makes a snarky comment. That is when Rory loses it and throws a tantrum like a 5 year old in a candy store. In her defense, she was sleep deprived, but wah! Rory didn’t get what she wanted and she may be failing her English class at Chilton. Well, it’s a good thing her English teacher has a thing for her mom because after Hurricane Lorelai blows through Chilton and throws a fit of her own about how Chilton sets impossible standards and makes her kid feel like crap in the headmaster’s office, Mr. Medina leaves a message on the answering machine stating he has arranged for some extra credit work. Also on the message was how it was his pleasure encountering her. If only we were all that lucky. (Would now be the good time to point out how Lauren Graham’s mom characters have her daughter’s English teachers chasing after her? No?) Also on their way home, Rory tries once again to look for the deer that hit the jeep. Lorelai takes this time to let her daughter know that she doesn’t have to go to Harvard if she was doing it for her. Rory assures her mom that going to Harvard is her own dream which she would like to fulfill.
Meanwhile at the inn, Lorelai shows Sookie her raving review by a famous food critic; however, he calls the magic risotto which helped her mother survive an additional three years, “fine”, which send her on a frenzy to find out why. She figures out after harassing some waiter and bumming out for a few days that the magic risotto was not paired with the correct wine. (But I love Riesling wines!) In the end, Sookie brings the magic risotto with the right wine to the food critic’s home to make sure she gets the kudos she deserves.
Rory has a what seems like a giant list of school supplies she needs to buy including three highlighters. Why three you ask? That is just in case one dries, one 1 gets lost, and then she still has one left. Lorelai then proceeds to mock her “serious” legal pads when Rory refuses to buy purple legal pads.
Michel V. Drella
I love that Lorelai has to play “mom” to her employees at the inn as well.
Lorelai’s News Headlines
In an attempt to entertain herself, Lorelai is flipping channels on the TV and come across the news, but who wants to listen to the news when it’s all the same. So she makes up her own headlines. “For our top story tonight, a grisly horrible thing that happened in a small town where not grisly horrible things ever happen. Everyone’s shocked. House slides down hill. Liposuction kills, stay fat.”
Snickers= Chocolate covered death?
Mrs. Kim finds Lane eating a Snickers candy bar which Rory gave to her. She declares it chocolate covered death.
“What in the ‘World’?”
If the phrase “meet cute” was coined back in 2000 when this episode aired, Max and Lorelai’s first meeting could be a contender. She totally had him from first sight.
According to Luke, violent pencil tossing is a cry for pie; however, if Rory had tossed a pen, he would have brought her a trout instead. He is such a good provider.
We learn it took Rory 4 months to learn how to ride bike.
Photos Courtesy of The WB/CW.