Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy
Season 2, Episode 5
Original airing: October 30, 2001
My Rating: 78
So now that Lorelai’s love life drama is done, it’s time to stir things up with Rory. Jess is interesting character in the show. He’s the first person to arrive in Stars Hollow who seems utterly immune to its charms. We had Emily, who thought this a bit quaint and perhaps below her, but appreciated her time in the antique stores. And we had Rachel, who wanted to enjoy the life, but couldn’t quite settle in. But we haven’t had someone like Jess who seems to find every inch of the town revolting.
Naturally, he’s totally in to Rory and displays this interest in a typical bad boy manner. His attempt to be slick with the magic trick was an excellent teenage boy moment. I loved Rory shooting that one down. And it’s very interesting to see the potential for them to bond over books. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about him stealing and defacing her copy of Howl, but the thought is kind of sweet? Regardless, I think this is some excellent set up for dynamic action between Rory, the new bad boy, and her jealousy-driven boyfriend. I am very interested to see Jess and Dean’s first interactions.
Jess’ arrival also really mixes up the Luke and Lorelai situation. I found it completely believable that Luke is so thrown by all this that he lashes out at Lorelai. He’s a very capable guy and her unsolicited advice does come across as pushy. This is one of their more realistic fights and had a great build through the episode. And not too many story lines get to have two pay offs. Luke pushing Jess in to the lake was absolute perfection. And the final pay off of Lorelai getting a Danish on a non-Danish day was adorable.
Jess and Lorelai’s scene on the back porch was interesting. I love her slick retrieval of the beer and I thought she did a great job of trying to connect with him based on their common situation of alienating parents. I guess he’s just not ready to hear it, which is fine. The visual of her smashing his face in to a pie was excellent.
I loved that this episode gave us an excuse to see Sookie and Jackson cooking together. They are at their most adorable when in their element.
I was really happy that in the midst of all this new boy drama, there was some great stuff happening at Chilton. I really appreciate that this whole episode gave Rory a rounded story so it wasn’t all about Jess’ attraction to her. Her interactions with Paris were great. While I think Paris’ grudge is just as ridiculous as Rory describes it, having Rory step up to the plate is an excellent response. And Paris’ deviousness knows no bounds. She certainly does have commitment.
Max and Rory’s scene was perfect. Those two sentences really summed up the broken engagement. Lorelai did what was best for her, and that’s a good thing. One shouldn’t get married if one isn’t ready. But her actions definitely had an effect on her nearest and dearest and it was very nice to have an actual moment in the show reflect that.
My only real issue with this episode is the ridiculousness of Paris’ feud. It leads to good things by forcing Max and Rory together, but its basis is way too flimsy. For this to feel realistic, she should be upset about something more recent. It seems like Rory could have easily alienated her over the summer in some manner. All this is supposedly coming from Rory’s non-date with Tristan, three months ago. Sure, teenagers can hold grudges, but she’s a very intellectual young woman and this just makes her look stupid.
My top moment was Max and Rory’s conversation. Their admittance of the loss they are feeling was incredibly touching and sweet.
The Bottom Line:
This was a great episode and did a fantastic job of setting up some potentially really interesting storylines. Rory’s time on the paper looks to be very dynamic and Jess’ introduction will obviously shake things up with Dean. It will also be interesting to see if his presence ends up driving Lorelai and Luke closer or further apart. I’m very excited to see where things go from here.