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'Gilmore Girls' recap: Rory's walk of shame

Season 1 | Episode 9 | “Rory’s Dance” | Aired Dec 20, 2000

This week on Gilmore Girls, Richard is in Prague, so it’s just the eponymous gals at Friday-night dinner. Emily mentions the upcoming formal she read about in her Chilton newsletter because she, of course, wants to know all the details of Rory’s plans for the dance. Unfortunately for Emily, Rory is less than thrilled by the prospects of attending the Chilton formal, and declares that she has no plans to go. She dodges Emily’s cross-examination by excusing herself to grab a Coke, leaving her mom to fend for herself. Emily is convinced that Rory’s lack of enthusiasm is a product of her upbringing with Lorelai, but Lorelai assures her that “Rory’s disdain of formals is totally her own.”

But Lorelai isn’t quite as sure of herself as she lets on. Later in the car, she questions Rory about why she doesn’t want to go to the dance even though she’s never actually experienced one (with the exception of one midnight viewing of Sixteen Candles). Rory stays firm in her belief that dances suck, but admits she doesn’t know whom she’d go with anyway. “I don’t know,” Lorelai suggests, “maybe the guy who hangs out in our trees all day waiting for you to come home?” (Dean, get your suit and tie ready!) Lorelai’s constant questioning comes from a place of genuine concern—she doesn’t want Rory to miss out on life because she’s too shy or afraid. It takes a lot of convincing, but Rory finally agrees to go to the dance.

As it turns out though, agreeing to go was only half the battle. The other half includes actually asking Dean, who, in Rory’s mind, exists in a nebulous gray area between more-than-a-friend and full-on boyfriend. Though Dean’s feelings for Rory become more obvious to us with every puppy-dog stare and awkward encounter, Rory still isn’t totally sure where they stand. When she works up the courage to ask him, he hesitates at first. But Dean can’t say no to Rory, and he gives in almost immediately.

And so, armed with a homemade dress from Lorelai and a head full of hairspray, Rory is ready to take on her first school dance with Dean by her side. While she’s waiting for him to show up, Emily arrives at the house to take photos and see Rory off and finds Lorelai glued to the couch with a back spasm. Her good ol’ maternal instincts kick in and, despite some kicking and screaming from Lorelai, she invites herself to stay for the evening.

lorelai gilmore

Rory and Dean make a splash at the Chilton dance: Dean catches the eyes of a few girls and Tristan can’t stop staring at Rory. As they dance and enjoy themselves, Rory starts to realize that maybe dances aren’t so bad after all (especially not with a date like Dean). Things start spiraling out of control when Paris accidentally reveals that she brought her cousin as a date and Dean gets into a fistfight with Tristan over Rory.

Back at home, Emily takes care of Lorelai, making her toast with bananas and tucking her in when she falls asleep on the couch. Lorelai whispers, “Thank you, Mommy,” and as she falls asleep the look on Lorelai’s face is one full of a love we’ve never seen before. It’s the show’s best bonding moment between this mother-daughter duo yet.

Rory and Dean grab a cup of coffee and talk over the night’s events, particularly his altercation with Tristan. “I don’t know how I feel about this whole situation,” Rory explains. “Having my boyfriend defend my honor. It’s weird.” Instantly she regrets her word choice. It’s the first time she’s used the b-word in relation to Dean, and she hopes it doesn’t freak him out. She starts to backtrack until he shuts her up (“You’re seriously babbling right now”) and confirms that yes, the consensus is that he’s her boyfriend if she wants him to be. And, of course, Rory does.

The newly official couple wanders into Miss Patty’s studio, and they sit down on one of her beanbag chairs to read. It’s been a long night for both of them, and they accidentally drift off to sleep. They wake up the next morning to find Patty and a bunch of 60-plus women from her morning yoga class surrounding them. Rory never made it home.

rory gilmore

She runs through Stars Hollow as fast as she can, but it’s not fast enough. Emily and Lorelai wake up to find that Rory never returned from the dance, and flashbacks from Lorelai’s high school years cause Emily to assume the worst. She and Lorelai get into a huge fight, erasing all the progress they made the night before. Rory makes it home and tries to explain herself, but it’s too late. Emily has made up her mind, and there’s nothing Lorelai or Rory can do. Emily is furious at Lorelai, Lorelai is furious at Rory, and Rory is furious at herself. One of the season’s most romantic episodes instantly becomes one of the most heartbreaking. I guess that’s the nature of love.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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