|Terrified Dean might be the best Dean.|
That Damn Donna Reed
Season 1, Episode 14
Original airing: February 22, 2001
My Rating: 72
This episode is great for furthering and confounding the Luke and Lorelai storyline. They are obviously meant for each other with all the little looks and reasons to be in each other’s company. Lorelai can’t possibly be doing all of this completely subconsciously. She’s constantly finding reasons to be around Luke, she lowers the lights, they get all snuggly on the floor – she’s not stupid. And neither are Sookie and Emily. They do a great job of finally forcing Lorelai to accept that she does it fact have an attraction to Luke. I found it entertaining that Sookie tells Lorelai it’s a good thing and Emily basically tells her she’s insane.
So in a way the show succeeds admirably by getting me really hooked on Luke and Lorelai and the kiss that is always hovering five seconds away. Then they go and throw in Christopher who is obviously a bad boy, because he has a motorcycle and makes suggestive comments. It’s easy to see in Lorelai’s face that this is going to put a wrench in the Luke story. While, as a viewer, I hate the idea of Luke and Lorelai being delayed, I can’t fault the story telling. It makes sense and it’s derived from the characters and their personalities. So it’s good story telling! But I’m still annoyed. So bravo, writers.
I wasn’t as pleased with the Donna Reed part of the episode. I’m not sure if the show is just trying to show that Rory can think for herself beyond Lorelai’s influence or that she’ll do anything to make Dean happy or if she’s just exploring her womanhood and all the roles that can present to her life. It’s rather unclear.
The fight sparking Rory’s decision to dress up (where did she get that frock, anyway?) was really poor. Rory does the classic “misunderstanding” fight which is the kind of TV writing I can’t stand. When Dean makes a relatively innocuous comment, she explodes at him in a very personal way. Then he makes a comment that perhaps in this one thing at this one moment, Rory has not really taken the time to form her own opinion independent of Lorelai. Rory takes this to mean that Dean thinks she has no brain and blindly does everything Lorelai wants her to do. Honestly, I think Rory is the one with the issue here. She’s making the fight worse and worse in a very un-Rory, illogical way.
But really, none of this matters, because this episode brought us the moment where Lorelai learns Dean and Rory are playing house at Babette’s. The shock and terror Dean expresses will forever live in infamy as The Best Dean Face Ever.
The Bottom Line:
I really liked the majority of this episode. The show is doing a great job with the classic will-they, won’t-they Luke and Lorelai relationship and the cliffhanger of how Christopher will affect all of that was fantastic.