Lorelai’s Graduation – Season 2: Ep. 21

Aired: May 14th, 2002

Written by: Daniel Palladino

Directed by: Jamie Babbit

Special Appearance: Edward Herrmann – Richard Gilmore

Guest Starring:
Jared Padalecki – Dean
Milo Ventimiglia – Jess Mariano
Jackson Douglas – Jackson Belleville
Seth Mac Farlane – Zach
Mel Rodriguez – Raul
Ralph P. Martin – Bus Driver

Places in this Episode:
Stars Hollow Square
Sookie’s House
Doose’s Market
RIchard and Emily’s House
Gilmore House
Lorelai’s College Graduation
New York City

Summary: Lorelai is graduating and Rory encourages her to participate in the ceremony.  Rory invites her grandparents, without her Mother’s knowledge, and then actually misses the ceremony herself because she is in New York with Jess. 

Smile in a Cup for this Episode — Loving someone can, at times, look like laying aside our own hurt to allow others to feel heard and known.

Keeping Count–

Cups of Coffee in this episode: 3

References to Literature, Movies, or Pop Culture – Tonto, Michael Landon, Ramble On, John Bonham, Shea Stadium, The Beatles, George and Ringo, John Nash, Vassar, Yale, Jessica Hahn, Mick Jagger, David Lee Roth, What Color is your Parachute, The Graduate, The Bangles, Hummels, High Fidelity, The Go-Go’s, Belinda, Woody Allen, Annie Hall, Shaun Cassidy, Kinko’s, Ermenegildo Zegna, Pup ‘N’ Taco, Marcus Schenkenberg

Observations & Questions:

  • I LOVE Sookie’s apron. Give me all the chicken things!
  • Jackson is still wearing the pajamas with photos!
  • Rory and Lorelai’s best friend relationship is forefront as Rory is encouraging Lorelai to participate in her graduation. They are speaking more as girlfriends than mother and daughter. Rory’s pride and excitement for Lorelai is precious.
  • Beatrice is Emily’s new maid. She has made quite the spread here.
  • Rory did a phenomenal job proposing the graduation invitation to her grandparents. 
  • I completely forgot that Jess called Rory! I was not prepared for that heart drop. Rory is so giddy that Jess called, but ends up so confused. Leave it to Jess to remain aloof. 
  • Christopher’s gift is so intentional and perfect. Why Christopher? Why? “ This is not a funny gift. I think you’re awesome, Lor. With everything you do, and the way you’re raising Rory. You’re super woman.”  My heart cannot handle how perfect and wrong he is for her. 
  • Rory has lost her mind. Only a boy… okay, only Jess… could make her skip school and travel to New York City. 
  • Jess is delighted to see Rory. I can’t get over how naturally they work together. 
  • Jess secretly loves and misses Luke. Sweet. 
  • Ahhh… I can’t handle that look out the bus window between Jess and Rory. La la la music played in the background. 
  • If I were Rory, stuck on the bus, I would have been sobbing at the thought of disappointing my mom and best friend. 
  • One of my top favorite Gilmore scenes of all times (and the one that makes me cry without fail) is the teary exchange between Richard, Emily, and Lorelai. They are so proud to see her reaching her dreams. The beauty of this moment almost overshadows the huge disappointment of Rory missing the ceremony.
  • Emily and Richard are elated that Rory wanted a graduation picture with them.  Here is another huge step into their redemptive story. 
  • I actually hate this episode — because I feel too much shame and hurt for Rory letting Lorelai down. I inwardly feel everything within my being yelling “skip this episode!”.
  • “Maybe, honey, you’re falling for Jess.” – Lorelai
    “No, I love Dean. Dean is my boyfriend. He’ll always be my boyfriend. That’s it. Forever.”
    Rory is fighting so hard to deny these feelings she has for Jess.
  • Rory’s list of making this up to Lorelai:
    – You get total control of the remote and stereo for as long as you want.
    – Total control over takeout food choices
    -a special surprise present everyday for a month. 
  • Lorelai shows so much grace to Rory. Although Rory hurt her and left her feeling neglected, she puts aside her feelings to help Rory process through her emotions.

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