Gilmore Girls Rewatch Recap: “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton” (Ep. 01×02)

I was all whacked out on Demorel.

Well, episode one was delightful, but Gilmore Girls is the type of show that only gets better with age. So, let’s move on to recap #2! (Here’s the Pilot recap, in case you missed it!)

We open on a cute little scene with Lorelai and Rory discussing Rory’s first day at Chilton, which is the next day. Lorelai is painting Rory’s toenails, and all I can think is that this must’ve been a little awkward for two actors who barely knew each other. Anyway, Lane then runs onto the porch, and her entrance quickly breaks up this little gabfest. She’s got a new CD, and Lorelai really loves the band XTC, whom I’ve never heard of.

I think sometimes this show just wants to remind us that Lorelai is really, really young, even though she has a teenage daughter. Message received.

Uh-oh. It’s the next morning, otherwise known as Rory’s first day at Chilton, and Lorelai overslept because her fuzzy alarm clock didn’t purr on time. I hate when that happens. Also, Lorelai’s wearing Paul Frank pajamas, which really takes me back for a moment.

Lorelai's furry clock didn't purr.

Lorelai’s furry clock didn’t purr.

Lorelai had a whole big morning planned that would make Rory’s first day of school absolutely perfect, but that’s quickly thrown out the window. I think we can all empathize with her plight. I know I sure can. All of her laundry is at the cleaners, so she dons a pair of cutoff shorts, a pink babydoll tee, and some cowgirl boots for this occasion. Also, her hair is in that sort of messy ponytail that happens when you don’t have time to smooth out bumps and wrap elastic properly. You know what I’m talking about; we’ve all been there.

Lorelai's awesome Chilton outfit.

Lorelai’s awesome Chilton outfit.

The next scene is one of the iconic moments from the opening credits. Rory and Lorelai stare up at Chilton, realizing for the first time just how huge and imposing the institution really is. Lorelai gives Rory her best first day pep talk and attempts to send her on her way. Rory insists that Lorelai come inside and meet the headmaster, though. Lorelai argues, but Rory won’t let her off the hook, so she puts on her coat and walks inside. She takes a long time to button up the coat, which is a major oversight, in my opinion. I would’ve been struggling into that thing in the car, where no one could see me, then belting it with a knot that would never come undone. But that’s just me.

Lorelai, with coat still unbuttoned, runs into another Chilton parent, a single father who definitely seems interested in her romantically. I’m assuming the Daisy Duke outfit she’s wearing has something to do with his attraction, but the show never explains. The guy seems nice enough, but he’s somewhat creepy, and he reminds me a bit of Kramer from Seinfeld for some reason. Lorelai and Rory tell him goodbye, and he says he’ll tell his daughter, Julia, to look out for Rory in school. We never hear anything else about Julia for the rest of the series. Sorry. Spoiler alert.

Lorelai seems a bit smitten, which makes me question her taste in men. As the Gilmore girls walk to the headmaster’s office, they pass lots of students, but three of them are obviously more important than others. These three girls turn around and scowl at our favorite mom and daughter. I guess they don’t like cowgirl boots.

As they introduce themselves to the headmaster’s secretary, Lorelai gives a wonderfully manic speech and shares a bit too much information about herself. (Lauren Graham was definitely settling into character by this point. This speech is awesome.)

I was all whacked out on Demerol.

I was all whacked out on Demerol.

Inside the headmaster’s office, they find the headmaster…and Emily Gilmore, Lorelai’s mom. Apparently, she and the headmaster are friends, and Emily didn’t want to miss Rory’s first day of school.

After a bit of persuasion from the headmaster and Emily, Lorelai removes her coat. (The room is supposedly quite warm. I don’t care what my tyrannical mother or the pompous headmaster said; my coat would’ve stayed on until someone pried it off my overly warm, dead body.) Oh, goodness. I just noticed that Lorelai’s shorts have slits cut up to here. I love that she took the extra time to put on a necklace, though.

This meeting is incredibly short, and nothing important really happens here, though the scene is very amusing. As they walk to the parking lot, Emily tells Lorelai that her clothing is completely inappropriate. She also explains that she came to the headmaster meeting because she wanted the school to know that Rory was a Gilmore.

Maybe I’m a bit of a snob, too, because I think everything Emily says here makes perfect sense. In fact, I would’ve been even more appalled by Lorelai’s clothes, though I’ve worn some outfits in the past that were equally embarrassing. And it is important that people at Chilton know Rory is a Gilmore. Is that pretentious? Yes. But Chilton is a pretentious school that’s full of pretentious people. Rory will never survive in that environment without a bit of help.

Rory stays behind in the headmaster’s office, and they discuss her resume as he looks over her past activities and credentials. (Two notes here: 1. I want the headmaster’s office in my own home. He has a fireplace and a mahogany desk. 2. I definitely did not have a resume in high school. I didn’t have a resume until I was looking for my fifth job. Even then, it wasn’t impressive.) The headmaster is interviewing Rory a little harshly. I mean, didn’t she already get into Chilton?

At the conclusion of the interview, he tells Rory that he knows her grandparents well and that they serve excellent lobster puffs at their parties. (I have never had a lobster puff nor do I wish for one.) He then tells her that his relationship with her grandparents won’t benefit her in any way. Chilton is an incredibly difficult school, and Rory will have a lot of trouble keeping up since she’s so far behind already. She may fail out, but if she makes it through, it’s well worth the effort. Fair enough.

Rory cracks a joke here, “So you like the lobster puffs, huh?” It probably wasn’t the best idea under the circumstances, but we all do stupid things when we’re nervous.

Rory hands her student file to the administrator and fills out the necessary paperwork to start school. I feel like this is the stuff that Lorelai should’ve stuck around for, but I’ve never gone to a ridiculously haughty prep school, so what do I know? A student aide hands Rory’s file to the three important students we saw earlier, who are sitting on the ground outside the window like the weirdos they are.

Paris and her goonies. Who does this?

Paris and her goonies. Who does this?

Why do mean girls in movies and television shows go to so much effort to be mean? Do people really do these types of things? I mean, they had to sit outside the window in the dirt in their school uniforms, waiting for Rory to come along so they could read her file. Doesn’t that seem a bit ridiculous?

Lorelai heads directly to Luke’s from Chilton, and she is literally begging him for coffee. He decides that this is a good time to tease her and tells her that he’s out of coffee. The little exchange between them is pretty funny.

As he gives her the coffee, he says, “Do you wanna know what this stuff does to your central nervous system?”

“Oo, do you have a chart, ‘cuz I love charts.”

“Forget it. Kill yourself.”

You just know that Luke thinks this outfit is hott.

You just know that Luke thinks this outfit is hott.

She tells him that she’s been at Chilton all morning, and he asks why she’s dressed the way she is. She tries to explain the fuzzy clock situation, but he doesn’t understand, so she leaves.

Lorelai picks up her clothes from the cleaners and runs into Ms. Patty, who is just hilarious. She asks about Lorelai’s attire, and that’s Lorelai’s signal to leave.

She heads home, fumbles her way inside with her clothing and coffee, and struggles to find the phone before it stops ringing. It’s her mother, who says that she’s going to buy Rory new school clothes. They argue for a second about this, but Lorelai eventually allows her mother to buy Rory a coat.

Meanwhile, Rory’s in her first class at Chilton, which appears to be some sort of English/History hybrid course. I honestly think it looks pretty interesting, but I can see why the teacher’s lecture would be terrifying to a new student who’s already behind.

A really cute boy walks in; he looks a lot like Chad Michael Murray. (Spoiler alert: he is Chad Michael Murray, but on GG they call him Tristan DuGrey.) He’s obviously interested in Rory, and like many high school students, he decides to show his affection by teasing her mercilessly. We see a bit of that here, but it picks up later on.

Tristan DuGrey aka Chad Michael Murray

Tristan DuGrey aka Chad Michael Murray

Paris meets Rory outside the classroom and attempts to intimidate her. It doesn’t have the effect she’d hoped.

Sookie’s discussing the latest peach delivery with the produce guy, Jackson, at the inn. Lorelai shows up to work all dressed up nicely in her skirt suit. She gripes about her day to Sookie for a bit. Michel tells Lorelai that she has a phone call at the front desk.

It’s her mother again. She bought Rory a parking spot. Rory doesn’t have a car, but I guess little technicalities like that don’t matter to Emily Gilmore. Oh, wait. Emily wants to buy Rory a car. Lorelai hates the idea, and the conversation is dropped until a later date.

Oh, goodness. Tristan is already teasing/putting the moves on Rory. He’s calling her “Mary.” What a douche.

Back at the inn, Lorelai diffuses a fight between a grumpy old man and a young guy who works at the inn. Then Michel tells her that someone’s waiting for her at the desk. It’s the single father from Chilton this morning. He wants a date with Lorelai. She refuses because she has some morals, and dating a parent at her child’s school doesn’t line up with those morals. (I’m so relieved that she says no. I can’t stand this guy, though there’s no real reason why. He just skeeves me out.)

She does like him, though, which concerns me. Michel finds him disgusting, though. Maybe Michel and I should be friends.

(Okay, I just have to say that Drella and her harp annoy me. I mean, some of what she says is a bit funny, but she and her harp don’t really fit into the story at all. Just my opinion.)

Back at school, Rory accidentally smashes Paris’ history project. (Paris is the leader of the mean clique of girls who were hiding in the bushes earlier.) Rory apologizes, but Paris already hates her, so… When the teacher gives Paris an incomplete for the project, Rory tries to make amends by taking the blame. But Paris still hates her.

Paris Geller? More like Paris Glarer. Amirite?

Paris Geller? More like Paris Glarer. Amirite?

Lorelai heads back to Luke’s for more coffee before she picks up Rory from Chilton. She tells Luke about the father from Chilton, and Luke obviously thinks dating him would be a bad idea. His reasoning isn’t quite the same as Lorelai’s though. (i.e. he loves Lorelai and doesn’t want her to date anyone else.) Lorelai may be starting to see that Luke has feelings for her; she also may like it. But now she has to head home because an unexpected installer guy is there to hook up DSL internet. Turns out that her mom ordered the DSL for Rory. She sends the installers packing. (Why? I mean, free DSL is awesome.)

Rory answers questions in class just to tick Paris off. Brava, Rory.

Lorelai confronts her mother about the DSL (they’re at the hair salon, of all places). She gives another little rant about her mother’s interference in her life. And, I mean, I know Emily Gilmore is a meddler. And I would be mad that she did all these things without asking, but is buying Rory school uniforms, a parking spot, and a DSL internet connection really so bad? She didn’t actually buy her the car yet; she was willing to discuss that. From her point of view, she’s waited 16 years to be close to her granddaughter (and daughter, for that matter). If it were me in that situation and I had the money, I’d probably want to buy Rory everything she needed, too.

Lorelai’s waiting for Rory, while drinking more coffee, of course. They greet and hug like they’ve been separated for years. They discuss their awful days on the way home. Lorelai explains the term “Mary” to Rory (The boys are comparing her to the Virgin Mary. Classy. Do boys really do this? Never mind; I just remembered high school.)

That night, Lane, Rory, and Lorelai are hanging out and eating pizza. Lane has to run home, change clothes, and pretend like she’s hungry for dinner.

Lorelai asks Rory if she thinks Luke is cute. Rory tells her that she can’t date Luke because they need his food. If they broke up, where would they eat? They continue walking home as they pass the diner.

We see Luke walk outside and watch them leave; he’s obviously been waiting for them to come by before closing up for the night. After they walk by, he flips the sign to “closed” and shuts the door. I mean…how sad and cute is that? He looks so wistful!

This moment is poignant, y'all.

This moment is poignant, y’all.

The end!

My favorite funny lines from this episode are:

“This is the last time I buy anything just because it’s furry!” -Lorelai about her alarm clock

Elderly Woman: Oh, excuse me, sir. Can you tell me where we can find the best antiques?
Michel: At your house, I’d guess.

Emily: But there are five days in a school week.
Lorelai: Really? Are you sure? Because my days-of-the-week underwear only go to Thursday.

Ms. Patty: Oh, ladies, what do I see? Naked girls. No, no, keep those leotards on. This is not Brazil.

Emily: (to Lorelai, who’s wearing her cowgirl getup) Do you need a ride, or is your horse parked outside?

Lorelai: (to Headmaster Charleston’s secretary) Hi, I-I’m Lorelai Gilmore. This is my daughter, Lorelai Gilmore, because I named her after me. I was in the hospital, all whacked out on Demerol. Never mind. Um, but we call her Rory. It’s short for Lorelai, but she’ll answer to either one or even “hey, you,” depending on the… Uh, is the headmaster here?

Lorelai: I need coffee in an IV!
Luke: I can give you herbal tea and a balance bar.


Obviously, Lorelai won the Best Outfit Award this week with her ridiculous first day of school attire.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next recap. We’ll discuss world news and politics. Just kidding; we’ll talk about Lorelai’s infatuation with floral home decor.


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