Run Away, Little Boy
Season 2, Episode 9
Original airing: November 27, 2001
My Rating: 57
I really liked several of the plotlines in this episode. My guess is that this episode was created to highlight Chad Micheal Murray as Tristan since he was starring in a new show on the same channel. I feel like the episode did a decent job telling a most likely mandated story from a producer or other high up muckety-muck.
Tristan’s return to the show has him acting out and being a jerk to Rory. This felt quite proper considering their last interactions were rather hostile and his interest in her was completely unrequited. I firmly believed in his motivations to torture Rory and Dean and be as difficult as possible. I also liked that despite all of this, Rory tried to be decent and straight with him. And in the end, this was enough for Tristan to seek Rory out to explain why he was leaving school. I really liked that he owned up to his actions at the end.
I wasn’t an overall fan of the Dean side of things (see The Bad), but I did appreciate that he recognized that the situation was not Rory’s fault. This was a rare moment of maturity and not what I expected from him given past circumstances.
I really liked the advice Lorelai gives Rory concerning her kiss with Tristan. I think not telling Dean is the right move since it would only serve to hurt Dean and relieve some of Rory’s (unnecessary) guilt.
I was also really proud of Rory for standing up to Dean during the rehearsal and sending him away. I wish the show had focused on this a little more as we don’t often see her asserting herself against Dean’s jealousy.
The rest of the Romeo and Juliet plot was very cute. Paris’ over-the-top directing style added a lot of humor and Brad was a particularly fun addition. He wanted Tristan to be Romeo more than anyone and I love him chasing Tristan out of Miss Patty’s.
The secondary plot of Lorelai reentering the dating pool was quite well handled. The impetus of the belated wedding present to show that Lorelai is still nervous after her break up with Max was clever. It showcased well that Lorelai has dealt with losing Max, but not so much with her fears of another failed relationship. Getting her back out there to remember that dating can just be fun was a good story. All of the humor derived from dating a younger man was pretty entertaining as well.
Luke’s response to Lorelai dating again was spot on. I loved the reaction shot of him overhearing the news. His rather bitter teasing was a great response. Their conversation at the end was really good and very necessary. It’s nice to finally have a peak into Lorelai’s head about why she’s always pretending she doesn’t have an attraction to Luke.
A moment htat must be mentioned is Sookie and Michel’s battle over the pancakes. This exchange was hysterical and his return at the end of the scene to snag the pancakes was a great callback.
Finally, I like the continuation of Lane and Henry’s relationship. It’s nice to see they are still finding a way to connect.
The biggest problem here is that we didn’t need this episode. Tristan was pretty effectively removed from Rory’s life in the season one finale when she made up with Dean right in Tristan’s face. As I mentioned above, my guess is this episode was used as a pseudo backdoor pilot to possible bring fans of Gilmore Girls over to One Tree Hill.
The other issue here was the ongoing issue of Dean. This episode yet again showcases the fact that Dean and Rory’s relationship is not a healthy one. Dean is controlling and jealous. He forces his way in to rehearsals essentially stating that he doesn’t trust Rory to handle herself. When Rory is opposing him, she does so with averted eyes and crossed arms. She spends a lot of time worrying about how to keep Dean from being upset about something that is entirely not her fault. This would all be fine as a story telling device if anyone else on the show realized it was happening. The continuation of people like Lorelai singing Dean’s praises with this backwards portrayal of his character isn’t doing poor Dean any favors.
The part of the Lorelai story I didn’t like was during her conversation with Sookie about Luke. Sookie points out again that Luke is obviously crazy in love with Lorelai. This is pretty much a known fact as we have had Sookie, Emily, and Rory point this out to Lorelai in past episodes, basically since the beginning of the show. And yet, Lorelai acts as if this idea is brand new to her and completely absurd. Her denial is getting a little ridiculous.
Some minor inconsistencies also bother me. One was Lorelai eating burgers at the diner three days in a row, once of which is apparently for breakfast. Dean asking if Paris and Rory kissed when they very clearly didn’t made him look foolish. And, finally, this seems to be the third time that Rory is taking a Shakespeare class. If she was in college and majoring in English literature, I wouldn’t be bothered by this. But the fact that she’s in high school makes the excessive focus on Shakespeare classes seem a bit silly. It’s starting to look like the writers are being lazy and can’t find other topics for the students to study.
I really liked that Tristan finally took some responsibility for his actions at the end of this episode. He’s been a bit back and forth in his tenure on the show concerning his level of jackassery. I like him best when he’s being truthful and treating Rory with respect. So the fact that he comes to her to tell her why he’s leaving was a good end for his character, in my opinion.
The Bottom Line:
For an unnecessary episode, I think the show did a decent job. Lorelai’s story was particularly good and gave some much needed context to her stance on Luke as a friend. Dean was over-done, as usual, but there was an abundance of great moments coming from the supporting cast to make up for it.