Donna Reed — Season 1: Ep. 14

Aired: February 22, 2001

Written by: Amy Sherman-Palladino & Daniel Palladino

Directed by: Michael Katleman

Special Appearance: Edward Herrmann – Richard Gilmore

Guest Starring:
Jared Padalecki – Dean
Sally Struthers – Babette Dell
Michael Winters – Taylor Doose
Sean Gunn – Kirk
David Stufcliffe – Christopher Hayden
Mike Gandolfi – Andrew

Places in this Episode:
Gilmore House
Luke’s Diner
Emily And Richard’s House
Stars Hollow Square
Babette’s House
Doose’s Market

Summary: After watching the Donna Reed Show, Rory and Dean get into an argument about the expectation that wives should have homemade meals waiting on their husbands each day. To reconcile,  Rory dresses like Donna Reed and presents Dean with a meal she has made.  At the same time, Lorelai helps Luke pick out paint for his diner, and then calls him to help her rescue Rory’s missing chick. She begins to process that she may have feelings for Luke, just as Christopher, Rory’s dad, rolls into town on his motorcycle. 

Smile in a Cup for this Episode — It’s always best to be yourself. There is nothing wrong with trying new things, but never lose sight of who you truly are.  Do not compromise self for pleasing others. 

Keeping Count–

Cups of Coffee in this episode: 4

References to Literature, Movies, or Pop Culture — The Donna Reed Show, Sex and the City, The Music Man,  Lewis Carroll, Paul & Linda McCartney, Foo Fighters, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bon Jovi, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Houdini 

Noteworthy Lorelai-Luke Moments:

  •  Lorelai talks Luke into letting her help him paint the diner.  He only agreed so he could spend time with her!
  • Luke shares with Lorelai that the restaurant hasn’t been painted since his dad was alive and it was a Hardware Store. He reveals more about why he opened the diner. 
  • Lorelai grieves her lack of connection with her dad, and Luke encourages her that she has built that with Rory. 
  • Taylor and his posse ruined a perfectly good kiss! And then Lorelai ran for the hills. 
  • Lorelai calls Luke to help her look for Rory’s chick. 
  • Lorelai admits that maybe she does have feelings for Luke! FINALLY. 

Noteworthy quotes:

“As a man, I will do what the man is supposed to do. Take out the trash.” – Dean 

AMEN.  I despise taking out the trash. 

Observations & Questions:

  • Lorelai and Rory’s commentary for the Donna Reed show is hysterical.  Does anyone else like to make up their own story from TV shows or movies?
  • Emily and Richard are deeply offended when Lorelai suggests they could travel to Europe in any class other than first. 
  • I am interested that Chilton provided chicks for the students to watch. For some reason they seem “above” that sort of assignment.  
  • Do they roll their TV out to watch? It’s over behind a chair beside the fireplace. 
  • Rory made Dean appetizers, dinner, and dessert.  Are those cheesy ritz crackers? 
  • “Well?” – Rory
    “What can I say?” -Dean
    You can say, thank you for going completely out of your comfort zone and making me all of this delicious food because I whined about you not meeting my expectations. 
  • Babette has a matching spice rack with salt and pepper shakers! I wonder if she gifted those to Lorelai or vice versa. 
  • “Donna Reed would have never forgotten the rolls. They’re gonna make me turn in my pearls.” – Rory
    I can relate to Rory in this moment. I too have felt the need to perform and be the best hostess, only to find I forgot one part of the meal. I also have frantically tried making them late. Dean does redeem himself by explaining he didn’t want her to be Donna Reed, and that he is happy with her. 
  • Rory, you cutie. Of course she researched all about Donna Reed.
  • Luke and Dean running into one another was such a perfect scene. 
  • Luke’s smirk made me cackle when Rory came out of the house dressed like Donna Reed. 
  • Sookie is screaming  “I told you so!” when Lorelai tells her that Luke thought she was inviting him over just to see him vs. finding a baby chick. “Why did you call him?” “My point is, you called Luke.”
  • Emily still opens her own door. 
  • Emily is not going to drop the conversation about why Luke was at Lorelai’s house.  “It seems like this man is always around when you’re in trouble.” 
  • Christopher is just so likeable. No matter how much I dislike it and feel like he butts in, I just can’t help but like him. 
  • Last words of the episode — “Christopher.”
    Gilmore Girls Recap

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