Gilmore Girls – Recap – Episode 2

Look, it’s Sookie! If only for a moment. Written and directed by Daniel Palladino (who was very hit-and-miss last season), Fight Face is actually a strange title (in more ways than one) for this quieter than usual episode.

Welcome to community service, Rory. Sorry, no weapons of any kind. The janitor from Breakfast Club says so. Meanwhile, at Luke’s Diner, Luke & Lorelai debate the finer geek points of the latest Star Wars film and the butchering of Bewitched. And as the camera pans over…oh, no – it’s T.J. I mean A.J. It takes him about thirty seconds to make a few “hot” comments about his new sister-in-law to be. Don’t get too comfortable, T.J.

There’s a pet fair in town, and Miss Patty’s got Lorelai on a blacklist. Apparently, she’s had some bad luck in the past with a hamster, a rabbit and a turtle. I’m sorry, but how cute was that pig – is that a good pet for the city?Lorelai then bumps into Liz, who wants to eat her face. “Is that good?” After Liz unknowingly touches a nerve by bringing up Rory, Lorelai impulsively buys the cute shaggy dog.

Speaking of Rory, she’s enjoying taking minutes for Richard & Emily’s busy day ahead. How inspiring. She’s then left alone to mill around their big, quiet, empty house (nice Graduate touch), and makes the mistake of mixing with the help. And a fond farewell to Esperanza.

Luke meets Coco (soon to be Paul Anka), who’s scared of popcorn, dog toys and eating in front of others. Luke then gives his 23 Reasons Why He Doesn’t Like Dogs. Lorelai’s scared of something else – leaving her house.

Rory gets a note. Family meeting. Complete with plenty of awkward silences. She’s going to get a job along with her community service. Oh, well. So much for slacking Rory, you slacker you! The following day she walks into an awful get-together with Emily’s friends where the topic of the day is which of the founding fathers would be the greatest lover. “Oh, dear,” is all Rory can muster. Best line from one of Emily’s friends (regarding Rory):

“I want to miniaturize her and set her on my mantle…”

Welcome to D.A.R., which stands for Terrible Organization Group. If this were a Rory spin-off, the show would be titled Worst Summer Ever!

Looks like the Twickham House is out, and Lorelai’s favorite house (hers) is in. Good work, Luke. Way to read between the lines, or at least the Iggy Pop and painting hints.

I’m glad I know what a “Fight Face” is now. Emily is preparing Rory for mixing with her community service partners. So why wasn’t there advanced warning for Guatemalan maids? “Anyone want a smoke?”

T.J. the Contractor. God no. A terrible idea. Poor Luke. Newly engaged, with Lorelai depending on him while estranged from Rory. Yet he’s still expected to help his little sister’s dolt of a husband out.

So, of course, Luke agrees to help his dolt of a brother-in-law out – because he’s a nice guy. Which would explain the big hole in the front wall of Lorelai’s room, which leaves her speechless. Nice camera shot, with only the sound of birds chirping…and Paul Anka barking.

When Lorelai does regain the ability to speak, her first words are:

“Hole. Hole. Hole! Dirt, dirt. Bad dirt. Hole!”

But after talking (or at least babbling) things out, Luke & Lorelai decide not to kill T.J. Godfather-style.

Later that day, Luke is closing up the diner when Rory walks in. Needless to say, Luke is spooked.

Rory: So, how are people? Are people good?
Luke: Yeah, people are good…

To cut through the awkwardness, Luke blurts out to Rory that he and Lorelai are engaged. Abrupt end to awkwardness.

The next morning, Luke & Lorelai get in a fight over a frisbee that comes around to Rory and the engagement announcement. Luke expresses his dislike of the situation he’s been put in. When Lorelai says she knows, he fires back “…you’ve been acting like you don’t know, like you’re alone in this…” Gotta say, I’m having a hard time convincing myself that they’re as okay as they say they are.

I’ll politely skip past the prison yard brawl (a little too much crammed into the end of this episode after such a subtle beginning), and get right to the final words of Lorelai and Rory’s first exchange since Rory moved into Castle Gilmore…

Rory: You and Luke getting engaged and not telling me about it? You hurt me…
Lorelai: Back at you…