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'Gilmore Girls' recap: An explosive episode about forgiveness

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “Forgiveness and Stuff” | Aired Dec 21, 2000

Last week’s especially explosive episode of Gilmore Girls is followed up by this onetime midseason finale titled “Forgiveness and Stuff,” which is, appropriately, all about forgiveness (and stuff). The episode begins in the aftermath of Rory’s accidental sleepover with Dean, and Rory and Lorelai are still in the middle of a fight, avoiding each other while both working on the annual Stars Hollow Christmas Pageant.

They both steal cautious glances at each other from across Miss Patty’s studio, while Lorelai fits a persnickety Kirk for his wise man costume, and Rory deals with another one of Taylor’s over dramatic tirades. Thanks to Narcolepsy Boy (Dean’s new nickname, as Rory later mentions to Lane), tensions are still high.

Later, while Lorelai is at work, Emily calls to inquire about her attendance at the Gilmores’ Christmas dinner. Lorelai reveals that she will be a little late to the party because she can’t get out of work early, and Emily pounces, uninviting Lorelai and asking her to just send Rory alone instead. Lorelai is shocked—her attendance has always been mandatory for every past Christmas shindig, including the year she had German measles.

“Lorelai, let’s be honest here. I’m not too happy with you right now and I assume you’re not too happy with me,” Emily snaps. The residual feelings from their recent blowup are clearly still in effect.

Rory gif

So Rory heads off to hang out with Emily and Richard while Lorelai settles in to order a pizza at home. While sitting in the kitchen, Loreali hears a knocking sound coming from Rory’s room. It turns out to be Dean tapping on the window, hoping to find Rory, but ultimately being met by Lorelai. He offers up a heartfelt apology in attempt to get back in Lorelai’s good graces, and their brief conversation seems to show signs of hope for reconciliation. It also serves as a reminder that such a mature, kind, good-looking, well-mannered 17-year-old dude could really only exist on television. Gotta love Narcolepsy Boy.

With the pizza M.I.A., Lorelai heads down to Luke’s to grab a burger, while venting about the Dean Situation. Lorelai gets a call on her cell phone, which she misses thanks to Luke’s strict “no cell phone” policy. Taylor and his group of carolers come into the diner in an attempt to bully Luke into giving them free hot cocoa. Lorelai listens to her phone messages only to discover devastating news: Her dad collapsed and he’s in the hospital. Lorelai freaks out and tries to call a cab, but she’s too hysterical to function. Luke steps up and immediately closes the diner to drive her himself.

When they reach the hospital, Emily is in the middle of a hardcore meltdown, arguing with the hospital nurse and questioning the quality of Richard’s care. Lorelai is easily able to diffuse the tense situation, and Emily acknowledges her skill and Grace in dealing with difficult people (she’s had a lot of practice at home, am I right?) The moment of peace lasts for only a brief moment: Emily immediately questions Lorelai about Luke and whether or not the two of them were coming to the hospital from a night out together (UGH, if only!). Despite Emily’s abrasive confrontation and the fact that he hates hospitals, Luke sticks around to provide moral support to Lorelai and Rory. In a heartwarming moment, Lorelai basically tells Luke that she thinks he’s hot. “You don’t look so good. That’s not what I meant. You know, you always look good. I mean, you always look … healthy.” #Swoon.


Richard is transported to a room, but Lorelai hesitates to visit him. Luke proves he knows Lorelai better than anyone else by calling her out for avoiding her dad. But despite Luke’s urging, Lorelai finds a reason to stay away while Rory and Emily visit with Richard. Emily stays later to share a tearjerking conversation with her beloved husband. It’s one of Emily’s few vulnerable moments, and it only proves the strength of their relationship. The show may be called Gilmore Girls, but patriarch Richard Gilmore is certainly just as emotionally crucial as the ladies.

Rory goes to find her mom at the jammed coffee machine and Lorelai spills the details of Dean’s visit earlier in the night. The two reconcile in classic Gilmore Girls fashion. Lorelai is just looking out for Rory’s best interest, and Rory just made a dumb mistake.

Lorelai musters up the courage to see her dad, and the doctor enter with news that Richard is going to be totally fine. Lorelai excuses herself and heads out to the hallway, where she breaks down crying almost immediately. Luckily, Luke is there to comfort her.

With Richard stable and everything settling down, there’s only one relationship left to be mended. Emily and Lorelai convene in the hallway, dressed in red and green respectively (polar opposites on the color wheel, but complementary nonetheless) to address forgiveness (and stuff). They never quite explicitly forgive each other, but in their mother-daughter way, seamless return to their normal, quippy dynamic. In the Gilmore family, that’s just as good, if not better than, an apology.

Miscellaneous Musings

In this week’s edition of Celebrities Who Guest-Starred on Gilmore Girls Before They Became Famous, we have:

Jane Lynch as the hospital nurse who goes toe-to-toe with Emily Gilmore. Anyone else really wanna see a Sue Sylvester/Emily Gilmore showdown now?

Jane Lynch guest starring on Gilmore Girls

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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