The Road Trip to Harvard – Season 2: Ep. 4

Aired: October 23rd, 2001

Written by: Daniel Palladino

Directed by: Jamie Babbit

Guest Starring:
Liz Torres – Miss Patty
Susan Ruttan – Bed & Breakfast Wife
Nancy Lenehan – LaDawn
Brian Reddy – Bed & Breakfast Husband
Sean Gunn- Kirk Gleason
Karl T. Wright – Professor

Places in this Episode:
Highway
Hayden’s Nut House
The Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast
Harvard University
Emily and Richard’s House
Luke’s Diner

Summary: Lorelai and Rory continue on their road trip and find a Bed & Breakfast called the Cheshire Cat.  They visit Harvard University and Rory is enamored with the idea of attending Harvard.  Lorelai, on the other hand, realizes how many of her dreams she has let slip by.  After returning to Stars Hollow, she really begins to grieve and process breaking off her engagement, but also excitedly moves toward her dream of opening an Inn. 

Smile in a Cup for this Episode — Although some dreams or relationships must come to an end, there is always a sweet hope that rises from the hurt.  It’s how we harness the pain to bring forth something beautiful that matters. 

Keeping Count–

Cups of Coffee in this episode: 5 + all the people in Luke’s who got a free cup 🙂

References to Literature, Movies, or Pop Culture – ACDC, Hootie & the Blowfish, Behind the Music, Freud, Nicolas Cage, Alice in Wonderland, Anarchy in the U.K., Hello Kitty, U2, “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves”, David Lynch, Brown University, MTV, Harvard University, Henry James, John Adams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Yo-Yo Ma, Fred Gwynne, Herman Munster, Tuesdays with Morrie, Who Moved My Cheese?, Happy Days and the Valley Girls Song, Elvis Costello, Marquee, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Lewis and Clark

Noteworthy Lorelai-Luke Moments:

  • Luke’s face when he hears the wedding is off! He completely changes his tune with Kirk out of excitement. “In fact, everyone’s coffee’s on the house today.”
  • Luke beats himself up for leaving the chuppah on Lorelai’s lawn. “Hey, we’re closing early. Chew it or loose it.” Haha!
  • Lorelai says she will keep the chuppah because Luke made it and it’s beautiful. He even offers to help her move it to where she wants in her yard. 
  • “How are you taking it?” He is intentional and knows Lorelai’s heart so well. 
  • Luke encourages Lorelai in her Inn dream and says he believes she can do it! He even offers to help her with his business experience. 

Observations & Questions:

  • Sookie worked so hard on the wedding cake! She is such a loving, humble friend. “You were a good cake, Clyde.” 
  • Yikes — “Hello there. Would you like to ring the bell?” “Umm what?” 
  • Upon first sight of a cat, I would have been hitting the road. 
  • When you stay in B & B are you Rory and Lorelai avoiding awkward small talk, or do you love joining in with all the group festivities? I mean, they really committed. They skipped a meal in order to avoid the people. 
  • “Satanic forces are at work here.” Haha!  – Emily would be appalled if Lorelai left that in the guest book. 
  • I too cringed and inwardly yelled at Lorelai when she folded up the map the wrong way. 
  • La la la music plays as Lorelai and Rory stand in front of Harvard. This is such an iconic Lorelai Rory scene.  We see just how selfless and loving Lorelai is as one of her dreams is left unmet, yet she rushes to spur on Rory’s dream of Harvard.
  • Lorelai realizes the pain she has from not pursuing her dreams to attend college, and maybe even Harvard. She has such pride in watching Rory, though!
  • Rory is perky when answering questions in class, definitely in contrast with her “classmates”. 
  • All the Harvard memorabilia. Perhaps this is when Rory redecorates her room with Harvard dreams.
  • The la la la music plays as Lorelai walks under the chuppah and is fully beginning to grieve her broken engagement. 
  • I am so proud of Emily’s nonchalant attitude towards Lorelai’s news about the wedding.  She seems to know that Lorelai must be deeply hurt. I love the game of — what did Emily buy Lorelai as a wedding gift?
  • Lane made it back from Korea! 
  • Yay! Lorelai has decided to move forward with opening the Dragonfly Inn. The episode ends with her and Sookie talking about making plans over the phone.

Gilmore Girls Recap

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