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Image Credit: Netflix/ screengrab

‘Gilmore Girls’: The seven most important episodes from season 4

In season 4, Kirk gets a girlfriend, Lane gets a job, Dave Rygalski is nowhere to be found (*cries forever*), and everyone is broke and stressed out—just like my real life.

I relived the garbage that is Jason Stiles, Dean’s descent into infidelity, and the delight that is Tom the Contractor so that I could narrow down season 4 to the seven most important episodes. Somehow, every episode in season 4 is full of crucial information; picking only seven was harder than Yale during finals week. All this to help prepare you for the upcoming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival.

So refill your coffee, make sure you’re wearing your own socks, and don’t flinch, because here’s season 4.

Episode 2, “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale” (Aired Sept 30, 2003)

Lorelai moves Rory into Yale (with a little help from Luke and a lot from his truck). But getting left at college is hard (especially when Paris is your roommate), and Rory immediately calls Lorelai back so the girls can find the best coffee and hottest takeout delivery guys and spend one last night together before college officially begins.

Image credit: Netflix screengrab

Image credit: Netflix/screengrab

Episode 4, “Chicken or Beef?” (Aired Oct 14, 2003)

Dean extends a last-minute invitation for Rory and Lorelai to come to his wedding. But after a rowdy bachelor party, Dean ends up crashing with Luke and confesses his feelings for Rory, so Luke suggests that it might be best for the Gilmore girls to skip this particular function.

Episode 9, “Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out” (Aired Nov 18, 2003)

The Gilmores run into Richard’s ex-fiance, Pennilyn Lott, at the big Harvard-Yale game, and Emily is furious to learn that Richard and Pennilyn have secretly remained in contact all these years.

After a fight with Emily, Lorelai bails on the game and accepts a dinner invitation from her father’s business partner, Jason Stiles (Chris Eigeman). And Rory sees Paris making out with her 60-year-old professor, Asher Fleming (Michael York).

Episode 11, “In the Clamor and the Clanger” (Aired Jan 27, 2004)

Luke moves in with Nicole, and Lorelai is hurt that Luke didn’t tell her. Mrs. Kim discovers all of Lane’s paraphernalia after Lane sneaks out for a gig with her band without giving Mrs. Kim an alibi. Lane’s attempts at a reconciliation do not go well, and Mrs. Kim kicks Lane out, so Lane heads to Yale to stay with Rory.

Image credit: Netflix/screengrab

Image credit: Netflix/screengrab

Episode 18, “Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!” (Aired April 20, 2004)

A disastrous dinner between the Gilmore and Stiles families ends with Jason and Lorelai’s relationship being exposed—and Floyd Stiles suing Richard and Jason’s firm for all they’ve got. Jason promises to take care of it, but Richard handles it first by agreeing to oust Jason and come back to Floyd’s company so he’ll drop the lawsuit.

Episode 21, “Last Week Fights, This Week Tights” (Aired May 11, 2004)

Luke invites Lorelai to be his date to Liz’s wedding, and they waltz and share a moment on the walk home. Jess (finally) thanks Luke for everything he did for him. And Jess goes to Rory’s dorm—interrupting a visit from Dean—to ask Rory to run away with him. She couldn’t count on him before, but she can now, but Rory turns him down, and Jess leaves—again.

Episode 22, “Raincoats and Recipes” (Aired May 18, 2004)

Lorelai thinks that she and Luke might be dating, but all is nearly ruined when Jason shows up at the test run of the Dragonfly, determined to get back together. But Luke Danes will not be denied and L&L finally share their first kiss (and one of the best first kisses on TV, in my opinion).

Elsewhere, Rory loses her virginity to Dean, who is still married to Lindsay, but “it’s not working,” and “they’re not happy,” says Dean and every man on Ashley Madison. When Lorelai figures out what happened, she and Rory fight—she didn’t raise Rory to be the other woman.

Honorable Mentions and Personal Favorites

Episode 7, “The Festival of Living Art” (Aired Nov 4, 2003)

Stars Hollow hosts the Festival of Living Pictures, and Sookie goes into labor right in the middle of Lorelai’s stint as the Renoir girl. Lane and the band replace Dave (who’s off at college) with Gil (Sebastian Bach), who’s a little older than the rest of the band. And Nicole calls off the divorce so she and Luke can just try dating.

Image credit: Netflix/screengrab

Image credit: Netflix/screengrab

Episode 14, “The Incredible Sinking Lorelais” (Aired Feb 17, 2004)

In a series best (in my opinion), Rory and Lorelai spend days playing phone tag, while each is slowly spiraling out of control. Rory is struggling at school and being urged to drop a class, and Lorelai is spending every waking moment on preparations for the inn, amidst some serious money problems. It all ends with Rory and Lorelai’s emotional breakdowns on Dean and Luke’s respective shoulders.

Episode 16, “The Reigning Lorelai” (Aired March 2, 2004)

Richard’s beloved mother, Trix, dies suddenly, and while they’re going through her effects, Emily finds a carbon of a letter she wrote to her son begging him not to marry Emily. This causes Emily to go off the rails, leaving Lorelai in charge of all of Gran’s arrangements.

Episode 19, “Afterboom” (Aired April 27, 2004)

Luke gets divorced, and Lorelai and Rory discover that Emily and Richard are secretly separated. Jason tells Lorelai that he is suing Richard after his betrayal, so Lorelai breaks up with him. She can’t be with someone who sues her family.

Other Important Tidbits

  • Luke informs Lorelai that he and Nicole got spontaneously married on their cruise, and now they’re getting divorced, in “Ballrooms and Biscotti” (season 4, episode 1).
  • Jason proposes a lucrative partnership between himself and Richard in “The Hobbit, the Sofa, and Digger Stiles” (season 4, episode 3).
  • Luke’s sister, Liz, visits Stars Hollow with her new boyfriend, prompting a visit from Jess, who is cruel to Luke and tells Rory that he loves her before leaving town again in “Nag Hammadi Is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels” (season 4, episode 13).
  • Luke gives Lorelai a loan, Lane gets an apartment with the band, and Emily has a breakdown on a shopping spree with the girls after Richard seems to be starting a new life without her in “Scene in a Mall” (season 4, episode 15).
  • Luke discovers that Nicole is cheating on him in “Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin’ the Twist” (season 4, episode 17).
  • A newly-engaged Liz returns to Stars Hollow. After listening to some self-help tapes (yes, literal cassettes), Luke realizes he has feelings for Lorelai in “Luke Can See Her Face” (season 4, episode 20).

What are your season 4 favorites? Let me know in the comments. I’m standing still until Luke tells me otherwise. Copper boom!

All 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls are streaming on Netflix.

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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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