Gilmore Girls

Season 4 Episode 12

A Family Matter

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 03, 2004 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
253 votes

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Episode Summary

Luke has his hands full as family members return to Stars Hollow. Lane busies herself at Yale by being the suite's Helpful Hannah; Lorelai agrees to accompany Jason on an office furniture shopping trip on his morning off. Rory becomes concerned that her mother is having financial problems; Lorelai and Rory discover Jess sleeping in his car in the freezing cold.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Another great installment!

    Gilmore Girls season 4 continues to be that good. This time didn't happen so many things but the episode was entertaining as usual.

    Lorelai and Jason continue hiding their relationship from Emily and Richard. They are encouraged at this by Emily's reaction to the thought of them as a couple. I liked that Lane is in the dorms because she can bring more interesting stories there as she is one of the most entertaining characters. It was also really funny to see Paris kicking off Jamie and her conversation with Rory was as funny as usual.

    Luke's sister and Jess's mother comes to town. She seems really funny character and a very broad-minded woman. Jess also comes to Stars Hollow. It is always nice to see Jess because he was one of the greatest characters of the show and the show was amazing with him in it. Rory found him sleeping in the car out in the freezing cold. I liked the reaction on her face when she saw him and when they met.

    The best part of the episode for me was the one when Rory suspected Lorelai of having financial troubles. It was so sweet that she showed that she cares about her and I felt so sad for Lorelai at that mind.moreless
  • Luke's sister comes to town leading to Jess's return as well. Paris has trouble with Jamie. Another brilliant one.

    It was really interesting to finally see Luke's sister who of course is Jess's mother. She actually seemed like an entertaining character and I hope to see more of her. Jess's return was good as I always liked him as a character. Rory's reaction was as expected, I can't wait to see how they act around each other, after how he left.

    Lorelai and Jason continue to hide there relationship, not very well as there almost caught by Emily on the phone twice. This was amusing and I guess I'm warming to him, I'd still prefer Luke though. Strange how he kept calling Luke, Duke, that could get annoying. Emily's amusement at them being a couple was humorous. I liked how Lorelai let Mrs Kim know that Lane was alright.

    Just as I thought, I loved Lane being in the dorm. It was funny but could get even better as it goes on. Paris was harsh to Jamie but it was still funny to see her dump him on the phone so quickly. Also how she brought Rory into the situation was funny too. I'm surprised she chose the professor over Jamie, I think she'll regret it in no time.

    I look forward to see how all the storylines continue!moreless
  • Lorelai almost tells Emily about Jason and Jess returns for the car

    A mysterious woman comes to Luke and he sends her upstairs. Lane is in the group, getting coffee, styling Tanna... Jamie is in town, she is sleeping with the professor and now Jamie is there.

    Jason took a morning off to do some shopping with Lorelai. He was tail getting Luke on the way to Lorelai, he was scared lol

    Poor Jamie, is his birthday, Paris doesn't want to see him, Rory tried to protect Paris without lying too much and at the end Paris breaks up!!! Poor guy.

    The mysterious woman was Luke's sister, Liz. When he told her Jess' car was in the garage I knew he was coming back to get it...

    The scene when Jason is talking to Emily on the phone and he starts waving to Lorelai so she could stop talking, it's hard to keep a secret lol

    Lorelai says she is going to tell Emily the Jason thing but she can't lol, she chicken's out. When Emily says Lorelai and Jason would be perfect for each other, Lorelai just got scared lol

    And Emily laughing, I think I never saw her laughing like that before.

    Jess is back, the car broke down and the cops caught him. He came back for the car, Rory saw him.

    Rory noticed some changes, no TV channels, bread, food in general, no take out, no magazines, the lights are low, she suspects Lorelai is having money problems. I didn't believed Lorelai when she said no and I was right, she is saving..moreless
  • Luke's sister Liz comes to Stars Hollow. Luke tells Liz that he has Jess's car. Liz tells Jess, and Jess returns to get his car. He and Rory continually bump into each other all over town, and Jess runs away. In the ened, he tells Rory that he loves her.moreless

    I really loved this episode because I loved all the episodes with Jess in them, and I was upset to see him leave. So when he returned, even for this singular episode, I was very excited. If you are like my mother and are not a Jess fan, then beware.

    Because I'm such a huge fan of Rory and Jess, this review is going to focus mainly on this aspect of the episode. Things are very akward in this episode between Jess and Rory because a year has passed since Rory's outburst with no contact in between. Rory reveals that, despite everything he did, unintentianally, to hurt her, she still cares about him as a person when she asks if he might freeze to death sleeping in the car. This, of course, is partly because that is the kind of person Rory is. Rory and Jess continue to bump into each other all over town, each time ending with Jess running away. Rory does not know what to make of this. In the end, she and Jess have a confrontation, with Rory screaming at Jess, asking him what he will say to try to apoligize for the things he did. After an akward pause between the two, Jess simply says, "I love you." Then he gets in his car and drives away, headed back to California. Rory is shocked and dumbfounded.

    I loved this simple little twist.It opens up so many new possiblities and twists.

    Of course, there is more to this episode, but that's the Rory/Jess side of it.moreless
  • Jess returns...

    Luke has his hands full as family members return to Stars Hollow: Liz for her high school reunion, and Jess for his car; Lane busies herself at Yale by being the suite's Helpful Hannah; Lorelai agrees to accompany Jason on an office furniture shopping trip on his morning off, but the press of international business calls keeps getting in the way; Jamie's in town, and Paris keeps avoiding him; Lorelai and Jason agree that Emily and Richard need to be told about their relationship, but Lorelai just can't bring herself to do it after Emily mocks both Jason and the idea that he would ever hit it off with her daughter; Rory's finally speaking her mind on Paris's romantic entanglements backfires when Paris decides she has a future with Asher and breaks up with Jamie; Rory becomes concerned that her mother is having financial problems; when Lorelai and Rory discover Jess sleeping in his car in the freezing cold after an argument with his uncle, Lorelai intercedes on his behalf with Luke, who relents and allows Jess to come inside while Luke spends the night in Litchfield.moreless
Sean Gunn

Sean Gunn

Kirk Gleason (Episodes 44 - , recurring previously)

Keiko Agena

Keiko Agena

Lane Kim

Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop

Emily Gilmore

Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel

Rory Gilmore

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham

Lorelai Gilmore

Edward Herrmann

Edward Herrmann

Richard Gilmore

Jason Dugre

Jason Dugre


Guest Star

Brandon Barash

Brandon Barash


Guest Star

Joe J. Garcia

Joe J. Garcia


Guest Star

Olivia Hack

Olivia Hack

Tanna Schrick

Recurring Role

Emily Kuroda

Emily Kuroda

Mrs. Kim

Recurring Role

Kathleen Wilhoite

Kathleen Wilhoite

Liz Danes

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Paris calls Rory "Mary" and says she is a prude. This name is a reference to Season 1, when Rory's private-school peers called her Mary, as in the Virgin Mary.

    • After Luke tells Jess to sleep in the apartment because it's freezing out, he gets into his truck, turns it on and immediately drives off. If it was indeed as "freezing" out as the characters portrayed it to be Luke would have had to warm his car up for at least a few minutes before being able to drive anywhere without stalling out.

    • After Lorelai talks to Emily on the phone, her hair keeps changing between 'on the shoulder' and 'behind the shoulder.'

    • When Rory leaves Yale, she is wearing a different skirt than when she arrives at her grandparents'.

      Correction: She changed skirts when she came home to surprise her mom so they could go to dinner together.

    • As Rory is in her dorm room talking to Lorelai, Lane is in the background alternating between wearing and holding her coat as the shot changes.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (Every table at Luke's is filled)
      Lorelai: Hey, Kirk. May I?
      Kirk: May you what?
      Lorelai: Sit with you.
      Kirk: Here?
      Lorelai: Yes.
      Kirk: I have a girlfriend.
      Lorelai: I'm not flirting with you, Kirk.
      Kirk: Oh. Then have a seat.
      Lorelai: Thanks. (she sits) I love that shirt.
      Kirk: It's an Arnold Palmer.
      Lorelai: That was flirting.
      Kirk: Oh, man.
      (Luke arrives to take their order)
      Luke: So, you two an item now?
      Kirk: I have a girlfriend.
      Luke: Double dipping. You dog.

    • Luke: I didn't kick you out, you got yourself kicked out.
      Jess: Nice spin, you should work for Bush!

    • Lorelai: Were you supposed to meet me here?
      Rory: No, I'm a surprise.
      Lorelai: As was your conception.
      Rory: I'll just be two minutes.
      Lorelai: As was your conception.

    • Emily: He said that Times Square just keeps getting cleaner and cleaner. They didn't stumble upon one prostitute the whole night.
      Lorelai: Oh yeah. I heard the Disney Company had them all killed.

    • Tanna: His father was instrumental in conducting research showing that neurons in the brain fire actively during REM sleep - with the exception of nerve cells involved with the transmitter chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine.
      Paris: I'd forgot the first part of that sentence by the time you finished, but I say jump him.

    • Jason: ...barring some sort of Star Trek-like cloaking device - which was problematic in every incarnation of Star Trek - I remember Kirk complaining about it, I remember Picard complaining about it - they will see us, and we'll get caught.
      Lorelai: I'm very uncomfortable dating a Trekkie.

    • Lorelai: Are you doing like a Mrs. Robinson thing with my mother?
      Jason: Yes. I was visiting Richard one day and he stepped out and Emily lit a cigarette and did that triangle thing with her thigh.

    • Jason: ...the box with the checks is in the drawer by the floor.
      Lorelai: The vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true.

    • Lorelai: Able to be proactive where ever there is activity of a pro nature.

    • Rory: That had all the tact of a Nazi storm trooper.

    • Lorelai: Was she at the professor's again last night?
      Rory: Yes, but she claims she was up all night cramming.
      Lorelai: Well, she was.
      Rory: Oh, ick!

    • Luke: Didn't that Tolstoy guy say something about families?
      Lorelai: Probably.
      Luke: It was some famous thing he said, something like 'All families are unhappy,' or happy on the surface, or unhappy in the same way.
      Lorelai: Sounds a little incomplete.
      Luke: Well, maybe he couldn't finish the thought because he was too busy dealing with his stinking family!
      Lorelai: Do the Hallmark people know about you? Because you're a natural.

    • Jess: You stole my car! Coop should have arrested you! Why didn't he arrest you?
      Luke: Free doughnuts.

    • Lorelai: And suddenly, he ran into a phone booth, ripped off his shirt, and became 'Proactive Man!'

    • Paris: I'm not denying that we've got a May-December romance going on here.
      Rory: This is not May-December. This is May-Ming Dynasty.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Luke: Didn't that Tolstoy guy say something about families?

      The quote Luke is talking about by Leo Tolstoy actually goes: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." and is the opening line to his novel "Anna Karenina".

    • Lorelei: So, danger, Will Robinson.

      This is a line taken from the famous film Lost in Space.

    • Paris: Whoo, whoo! Good Morning Vietnam!

      Robin Williams who is a DJ assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam says this in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam."

    • Lorelai: The vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true!

      This is the tag line of a famously hilarious exchange between the characters played by Danny Kaye and Mildred Natwick in The Court Jester.