Previously: Rory had two birthday parties – one for the rich people in Hartford and one for the down-home folks in Stars Hollow. She also had a sneaky birthday meeting with a boy who gave her a gift – a bracelet that will continue to be important in this story – and held her hand.
Kiss and Tell
Gina: We open in the town square, prepping for one of their adorably ridiculous town festivals (get used to these – there are a lot of them!), with Lorelai bemoaning the fact that she hasn’t had clean underwear in three days. When Rory asks what she’s wearing under her skirt, she replies with, “Not underwear.”(#RoleModelMom) In Connecticut. In October. Without stockings or anything. It could not be more clear that the show was produced in California.
Marines: I never notice weather in TV shows because Florida. But I love that you thought, “no underwear? PFFT.”
Gina: When they arrive at Luke’s, Taylor is pestering Luke about decorating to match the fall festival outside. Luke is pissed about it, and I have to pause here to tell you that Pissed-At-Taylor-Luke is one of my very favorite Lukes. I know this is the first time you’ve met Taylor, but let me be the one to tell you: It is not the last time you will see him, and his shenanigans become more hysterically infuriating and Luke becomes more hysterically infuriated as time goes by. By the time this is all over, Pissed-At-Taylor-Luke will be your favorite Luke, too.
Luke is ignoring Lorelai, and she OF COURSE acts like a petulant toddler about it. Rory, ever the pragmatic teen that she is, shouts that her mother isn’t wearing any underwear, hoping to gain Luke’s attention. He doesn’t flinch, even though Lorelai pretends to be mortified. She gets her own coffee and donuts, pays Luke for them, then he yells about not getting a tip and tells her not to sit on any cold benches.
Rory wanders into Doose’s market, where it becomes abundantly clear that she’s not there for groceries. Floppy-hair Dean finds her, teases her about buying cornstarch, offers her a soda, and kisses her. She runs away.
You might think I’m glossing over some of the details because this is a recap, but no. That is literally how Rory’s first kiss goes. This is the kiss and the boyfriend that she will spend the rest of her life comparing every man to and he kissed her by surprise in a grocery store while he was supposed to be working. So, yay.
Gina: THERE WILL BE SO MUCH DEAN ASLDJSFDLKJDSALFIEFEJF.
Rory runs to Lane’s, tells Lane about her kiss, and runs away when Mrs. Kim maybe/maybe not overhears them. She runs home, obviously wanting to tell Lorelai, but Lorelai is arguing with a dude about their broken fridge and Rory’s kisser’s high fades and the moment passes and She Does Not Tell Her Mother About Her First Kiss. (M: I feel like She Does Not Tell Her Mother is already A THING.) She does, however, proudly display the box of cornstarch she stole from the market.
The next day (or many days later, time means literally nothing in Stars Hollow, so this could be in the past or eight minutes later for all we know), Lorelai goes to Mrs. Kim to get a chair and a lecture. But, yippee for her, she gets a DOUBLE LECTURE! WooHoo!
Nobody else is excited by this? No. Okay, fair. The first lecture is about being irresponsible and selfish and inconsiderate because she paid for a chair (that is ugly and boring, frankly) but didn’t bring it home right away (even though she’s apparently going to carry it home in her own two hands right now? IDK, Lorelai is a dingbat.). In the second lecture, she’s called a Bad Mom because her 16yo daughter kissed a boy.
Lorelai is really mature and calm about this and treats this like the professional interaction that it is LOL NOPE THAT’S NOT HOW LORELAI ROLLS. Lorelai flips out and leaves her ugly little chair in the store again.
Mari: I think calling it a professional interaction is a bit of a stretch. If it were professional, it would’ve been about the chair, but Momma Kim brought it over to personal. And whether or not you think she had a right to or if she handled it well is a different story, this was never professional. Momma Kim doesn’t like Rory and she doesn’t like Lorelai and she had no business or best interest in mind here. She came to fight.
Gina: Okay, fair point. Momma Kim did stick her nose in where it didn’t belong.
Lorelai finds herself in Luke’s, staring out the window at her own daughter talk to Lane. (Rory is conveniently dressed like a Puritan for this scene)
Rory comes in, takes one sip of coffee while they have a very rambly conversation about soap operas and polar ice caps (not a joke, just the facts). Then Rory splits without divulging her kiss story. Lorelai is still calm and rational, realizing that this is neither the time nor the place for a heart-to-heart.
Oh, wait. No. No, of course she’s not.
She sneaks her way over to Doose’s Market down the block and spies on floppy-haired Dean as he “manhandles” the produce. Luke shows up and Lorelai confides in him about Rory’s kiss. Should she be telling people that Rory got kissed, especially since it seems like Rory isn’t ready to talk about it herself? I dunno…
Lorelai is all keyed up and crazy-eyed, mad at Dean for existing.
Luke talks her down off her ridiculous ledge, because he’s Luke and he’s the best. Lorelai confesses that it’s not the kiss itself that bothers her, it’s that Rory hasn’t told her about it.
So Luke is stuck listening to Lorelai wonder where things went wrong, why Rory didn’t tell her this when Rory tells her everything, blah blah blah. Just so we’re clear, we’re seven episodes into this show, and the list of things Rory has hidden from her mother:
- Her crush on Dean in the first episode
- That she got a D on a major paper and is doing very badly at Chilton
- How awful the kids at Chilton are to her
- Her feelings about the birthday party in Hartford
- Dean’s appearance at her birthday party in Stars Hollow
- The source of her now-ubiquitous bracelet (this is an extension of the last thing, but it’s an ongoing omission)
So, sure. She tells you everything. Except for when she tells you nothing, like a normal teenager. This is a common occurrence on this show: Lorelai assumes that Rory will tell her everything, which of course, Rory does not. People also assume Rory is perfect, and she absolutely is not. This becomes an even bigger factor in the revival episodes, in which people are DEVASTATED that Rory is not perfect because they did not pay attention for seven seasons of her normalcy.
Mari: *furiously takes down a note to pay attention to Rory’s normalcy*
Gina: Luke realizes that Lorelai doesn’t actually need him to listen to her, that she’s her own talker and listener and answerer and so they split.
Lorelai makes a very Lorelai decision and just blindsides Rory with, “Kiss any good boys lately?” when Rory gets home that night. We get a semi-awkward, semi-sweet, semi-I’m-the-cool-mom conversation about kissing boys (this is the standard formula for Rory/Lorelai interactions, btw) in which we get the following gem:
Rory: What? No lecture on kissing boys?
Lorelai: No. Why? Did you do it wrong?
Rory: No. *long pause* *muttering* I don’t think so…
I don’t love Lorelai in general, but this is one of those times that I think she does the right thing as a mom. Talking openly with teens about sex and hormones and relationships is super important, and she brings the conversation out into the open, and also sends the message that she doesn’t like Rory keeping secrets from her. I know not everyone has this kind of relationship with their mother, but this is a Good Choice, in my motherly opinion.
Like literally, the next scene.
They go to Doose’s (the next night? The next weekend? I can never tell.) to get junk food. They spy on Dean and talk about how hunky-hunky-cute he is. They leave, and it’s not awkward or awful at all, and Rory runs to the movie store real quick. Lorelai lingers and manages to invite Dean to a movie night (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in case you’re curious).
Rory is painted as the crazy one here, flipping out that Lorelai invited Dean to the house, but I totally side with Rory here. “Our first date is going to be with my mother?!?” Yeah, girl, that sucks.
Lorelai plays dumb, “I was just inviting your friend” as if she has no idea the difference between “friend” and “potential boyfriend”. Rory goes through all the possible scenarios, decides that the least awful option at this point is to actually go through with the fake-mother-movie-date-night thing. I honestly feel bad for her here. There are no good options. Lorelai did a really suck-o thing here and Rory is the one that has to deal with the fallout.
Gina: Agree with all that. Cluelessness all the way on this one. And I honestly have absolutely no idea how I’ll handle my first kid having their first kiss, so for all I know this could be 1000% better than I’ll do.
(This is where I admit that sometimes I hate Lorelai and sometimes I love Lorelai and how I respond to her behavior can change drastically from one viewing to the next. I was obviously on an anti-Lorelai wavelength when I first recapped this. I still absolutely do not love the way she handles things in this episode – other than the scene where she gets Rory to stop keeping her love life a secret, because for real that’s a major issue – but maybe she’s not the most worst thing ever)
The bottom line, as far as our story is concerned: this sucks for Rory.
We cut to Rory having her pre-first-date freakout. You know the one, you’ve had this freakout, too: I don’t have anything to wear, I’m gross, I don’t understand boys because I understand trig and books, etc. Lorelai talks her her down and manages to do another genuinely Good Mom thing. I have many opinions on Lorelai’s mothering, but this episode is a decent snapshot of her being a pretty well-rounded Good Mom, with a few Normal Mom mistakes thrown in for good measure.
Dean comes over for the movie night (after being sidelined by Babbette next door for a few minutes) and Lorelai tries real hard not to be embarrassing, which is impossible because her daughter is sixteen. This is one of two episodes in which it is hinted that there is a bathroom downstairs, though it’s basically impossible.
Dean manages to get into Rory’s bedroom (first “date”, she’s sixteen). She’s CLEARLY uncomfortable with this, but he sort of teases her for being uncomfortable and stays and makes fun of her stuff. I hate Dean. I hate him so much. This scene is one that is only annoying after you’ve watched the show five* times, but it’s really indicative of his personality. Overly confident, unconcerned with her actual feelings.
*Not the correct number. It’s more. (M: Release the numbers!) (G: Eight.)
Sookie drops by, trying to sneak a peek at Dean, Lorelai tries to kick her out, but she manages to be embarrassing and silly and perfect.
Ooh. It’s finally movie night time. Dean makes a comment about how much Rory can eat, and she’s embarrassed. There’s some cute banter between the three of them, Lorelai excuses herself and lets Rory and Dean have some time alone.
Rory realizes she’s alone with Dean, flips out, goes and gets Lorelai (sidebar: Rory says the kiss was yesterday, but that seems impossible, based on how many hours are in a day and how much has happened and how many meals have been eaten, even once you account for Gilmore eating habits).
Lorelai comes back in, Rory “goes to wash her face” in the bathroom that will spend the next fifteen years being a closet.
Lorelai decides to have The Chat with Dean. If you’re a snow on this show, I’m sorry. But I have feelings.
For the rest of the series, Lorelai will talk about how great and respectful Dean is/was. Mostly, this will be in comparison to Jess, with Dean being put on an impossibly high pedestal. This talk? The first real conversation Lorelai has with Dean? IS INFURIATING, once you know how the rest of the series goes.
Dean is such an impertinent little shit. He is S-I-X-T-E-E-N years old, talking to an adult, the mother of the girl he is hoping to date. He is flippant and condescending. He gives Lorelai a blatant “you’re bonkers” expression through the whole thing. Then he leans in aggressively and tells Lorelai that she needs to like him so he can have a shot with Rory. Then he huffs, leans back, and makes a snide comment on how long Rory’s been “washing her face.”
If it doesn’t make sense, based on this conversation, why I hate Dean… I get it. This isn’t a lot. This isn’t even enough to make you dislike a guy or suspect him of being awful. But this is the very beginning of Dean and he is the worst.
And this is how awful relationships happen, right? At first everything is fine, then there’s that one day where things are a little off and you dismiss it because everything else has been fine, and then there’s a day where things are bad, but you can justify it because overall everything is still okay… until everything is awful.
That’s Dean. He’s mostly okay, until he’s sort of not, and then eventually he’s well and truly awful.
Oh, he also says (in a condescending voice) that he doesn’t have a motorcycle, as if having a motorcycle is totally crazy, but in two months we will meet his “best friend” and learn that they “work on [their] bikes together” and a month after that, Dean will try to bond with Rory’s dad by talking about his ’86 Suzuki (don’t brag about that, dude, that sucks). SO MAYBE LORELAI KNOWS WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT, YOU IMPERTINENT ASSHAT.
Mari: I kind of feel silly seeing as how my comment earlier was about not having seen much of Dean, but even being a Snow, this conversation bothered the hell out of me. It WAS impertinent and just pushy and I’m not sure how Lorelai kept it together. And you are right about how each new little thing puts other things into a sharper perspective, because maybe he’s always been a little impertinent? Like jumping on buses and sneaking up on her and kind of making fun of Rory in subtle ways all along?
OMG, GINA. DID YOU JUST RUIN ME FOR DEAN?
Gina: Not to use an overused internet line, buuuuuut… #SorryNotSorry
Dean and Rory have a quick goodnight kiss, Dean says “Thank you”, and Rory goes upstairs to have a late-night convo with Lorelai. She decides to finally tell her all about the kiss and her feelings, and it’s a really sweet moment. We pan out the window, with the Gilmore Girls chatting about their lives, as we will do a dozen more times throughout the show <3
Next time on Gilmore Girls: First snow of the season and Lorelai is excited in S01 E08 – Love and War and Snow.