Gilmore Girls

Season 6 Episode 8

Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 08, 2005 on The WB
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Rory is pleasantly surprised when her old flame Jess appears at her grandparents’ house and reveals an amazing development in his life. Rory agrees to go to dinner with Jess, and when Logan unexpectedly joins them, an ugly confrontation develops, leaving both Rory and Logan to face the choices they have made, and Jess finally encourages Rory about going back to Yale. Emily is concerned about Rory's sudden evasiveness and tries to exert some parental discipline. Meanwhile, Luke agrees to sponsor a local girls’ soccer team and Lorelai channels all her concerns about Rory into caring for her dog, Paul Anka.moreless

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  • The last episode of you Gilmore Girls you need to watch

    Honestly speaking - this is the last episode of GG you need to watch.

    I personally have recently stopped watching at the beginning of Season 4 to (spoiler alert) avoid the car wreck that is Rory and Dean ruining Lindsay's life. And Rory never really caring about it or facing any consequences, like Dean does.

    But if you do manage to make it through Season 4/5 alive and still be able to see the goodness in others, make this your last episode.

    Jess comes back, grown up and accomplished, and he delivers a swift blow to Rory's illusion that she's "finding herself" by working at the DAR and living at the Gilmore Mansion.

    The ending scene between her and Emily is invigorating and relieving, and set to an Italian medley that crescendos and accelerates with the same emotional intensity as their high-pitched exchange.

    Think of this as ASP's best and final work, before she systemtically sets the land mines of (spoiler alerts) long-lost lovechilds, Jackson lying about his vasectomy, Lane getting married to a jerk and then getting pregnant with twins her first time that all work together to kill the Gilmore Girls and bring about the Gilmore Ghosts.

    After this, create your own ending based on the events in this episode: Luke and Lorelai set a complications-free marriage date for next year. Rory breaks up for good with Logan and drives to Philadelphia for Jess's book party, where they make love together and start dating. Rory moves out of her grandparent's mansion and has a serious heart-to-heart with her mother, where they speak at a normal pace and truly listen to each other. Rory then re-enrolls in Yale, asks for a job at the Stamford Gazette, gets it and actually works there part-time, and starts her journalistic and scholastic ambitions anew. Dean moves far, far away. Sookie and Jackson only have as many kids as both explicitly and mutually consent to. After the break-up, Logan disappears and his parents send out a search party to no avail - he's split to Nepal, where he finds himself before starting BitCoin with Colin and Finn. Rory continues her counseling sessions, and begins asking others about themselves, resulting in a better relationship with her mom, Lane, Jess and basically everyone around her. A Hep Alien song gets featured in a Police biopic, launching them to success and a world tour, including a stop in California, where Lane reunites with the still-amazing Dave Rygalski. Paris's money troubles change her, and she decides to commit herself to a career as a doctor for underserved, marginalized communities in the inner-city - finally putting her Brazilian/Spanish to good use.

    And Michel comes out as gay, and no one bats an eye.

  • OMG!!! This has been what I have been waiting for!

    I cannot express how much I am loving Jess right now! I'm not sure if the whole fight with Logan meant that they are broken up and if they are then they may still get back together, but I'm so glad everything came out. What Jess said to her was exactly what I was feeling and I'm exstatic the ASP brought Jess back to say that.

    The whole thing with Luke and his soccer team was cute but it was kind of a fiiller, and so was the whole thing about the paint color. However, Lauren Graham gave an excelent performance in that last scene when she and Luke and Paula Anka were in Rory's old room. I think everything she was saying about not knowing what to do about Paul Anka was really about Rory's situation.

    And although this episode was so exciting, I cannot wait till next week. If you saw the preview you know that Rory and Lorelai reunite!!! Plus Luke and Lorelai can set a wedding date. But I cannot begin to imagine what Luke's secret is that could hold back the relationship. All I know is that I will not be able to wait until then!

  • Jess comes to town to show Rory his book. Logan is jealous and intrudes on their plans to go to dinner. Luke sponsers a girl soccer team and him and Lorelai are shocked to see the girls use physical violence and win their game.moreless

    Jess has returned! After going out and drinking, Rory gets to the Gilmore Mansion to find Jess waiting for her. Jess tells her that he has written a book and they make plans to go out to eat. Logan comes home from a business trip early and invites himself along on their plans. Logan drinks too much and belittles Jess's accomplishments. Rory and Jess talk and he asks her why she dropped out of Yale and she doesn't seem to have an answer. Logan and Rory have a shouting match, and we start to see how hard Logan's dad is pushing him. After Rory won't leave with him, Logan leaves the bar. Emily and Rory haven't been getting along since she was forced to move into the Mansion, and they also have an argument, after Rory doesn't go to the Mansion after her fight with Logan. Luke sponsers a girl soccer team and is shocked at their soccer moves.moreless
  • Jess returns to visit Rory and she finally sees what a mess shes made with her life. Thank god, it seems we have the old Rory back. Excellent episode!

    I think everyone must be thinking, thank god for Jess! This is the episode we've been waiting for, Rory realises what she's become and starts to question her life as it is. Throughout we can see she is irritated by Emily's annoying behaviour as she seems to always follow her around.

    Jess arrives and Rory is happy to see him. We hear that he has written a book which delights Rory. But Jess seems confused about her new life but not much is said in there first meeting. It is obvious that Jess has grown up. Later, they have dinner but Logan arrives and is obviously not comfortable with the situation.

    He invites himself along and is the biggest jerk you could know at dinner, mocking Jess and putting him down. This makes Jess leave, Rory runs after him and this is where it all goes down. Jess tells her she's being stupid, dropping out of Yale, dating a jerk like Logan etc.

    He is horrified and she says she doesn't know what has happened. He leaves but then she gets it, she has a huge row with Logan because she complains about her life, I loved this scene, it just clicked with her. But then she appears to have left her grandparents, she's staying with Lane.

    She attends a DAR function which Emily forced her to and Emily confronts her and Rory isn't having any of it, she stood up to Emily - pure brilliance. Highlight of the season so far - I think Rory's back!??

    Paul Anka is sick which upsets Lorelai but it is clearly Rory that is saddening her - this was a sad scene. Brilliant episode.moreless
  • Jess convinces Rory to go back to Yale.

    Jess convinces Rory to go back to Yale. Only he could do that, no one else. She wasn't who she used to be. She was living a life that wasn't hers. Hence the alternate reality. So, thank you jess for making Rory see the error of her ways. Rory/Jess forever.
John Henry Canavan

John Henry Canavan

Soccer Dad

Guest Star

Elisabeth Abbott

Elisabeth Abbott


Guest Star

Lucy Butler

Lucy Butler


Guest Star

Alan Loayza

Alan Loayza


Recurring Role

Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

Babette Dell

Recurring Role

Tanc Sade

Tanc Sade


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Lorelai tells Luke that Paul Anka has never been sick, but that is not true. In season 6, episode 3, "The UnGraduate", he was sick when he ate chocolate while Luke was taking care of him.

    • In this episode we find out that Finn is Australian. During their drunk talk at the pub, they mention INXS, and Finn says that they are his countrymen.

    • When Rory returns to her grandmother's just in time to see Jess arrive, she had just come back from dropping off Logan, Finn, and Colin after the bar in New Haven had closed. Bars close very late at night, so it would be around three in the morning when Jess arrives for a surprise visit. Now why would he come so darn late?

    • When Lorelai tries to convince Luke that it would be a good idea to sponsor the soccer team, she points out that it would be "free advertising". Luke sponsoring the team would NOT be free - he'd have to pay for the jerseys, and, therefore the advertising.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Lorelai: Wow, they can make a movie about this someday! You know, the reluctant, handsome diner owner sponsoring a team that goes all the way to the national finals, and you know who would play you?
      Luke: Who?
      Lorelai: Tobey Mcguire!
      Luke: He's way younger than me.
      Lorelai: But his career is hot, go with Tobey.
      Luke: What about that Vito Morganstern?
      Lorelai: Sure... Or Viggo Mortensen. Or Donald Sutherland.
      Luke: Too old.
      Lorelai: We'll dye his hair.
      Luke: He's got jowls!
      Lorelai: You're picky!

    • Emily: Young Lady I insist that we go somewhere and talk right now.
      Rory: Grandma, I am sorry, I can't.
      Emily: There's a kitchen here. We'll go there.
      Rory: No, I'm not going to the kitchen with you. We'll talk later.
      Emily: Must they play those damn guitars?
      Rory: They're balalaikas.
      Emily: They're too loud.
      Rory: They're Russian and they're not miked. That's their volume.

    • Lorelei: Bobcats 37, Humanity nothing.

    • Man: Shut up!
      Finn: God has spoken to me! Rather rudely.

    • Rory: Jess, wait.
      Jess: We shouldn't have done this.
      Rory: He's just in a bad way lately.
      Jess: He's a jerk!
      Rory: He was. In there, definitely. I'm so sorry.
      Jess: I read that guy the second I saw him. I should have begged off.
      Rory: Well, I didn't want you to!
      Jess: He'd better not come out here.
      Rory: Please, Jess. He had a lot to drink. He's tired from traveling. This isn't him. I swear.
      Jess: What the hell is going on?
      Rory: I told you, he's tired! And his family's bugging him right now -
      Jess: I mean, with you! What's going on with you?
      Rory: What do you mean?
      Jess: You know what I mean! I know you. I know you better than anyone! This isn't you.
      Rory: I don't know.
      Jess: What are you doing? Living at your grandparents' place? Being in the D.A.R.? No Yale - why did you drop out of Yale?
      Rory: It's complicated!
      Jess: It's not! It's not complicated!
      Rory: You don't know!
      Jess: This isn't you! This! You going out with this jerk, with the Porsche! We made fun of guys like this!
      Rory: You caught him on a bad night.
      Jess: This isn't about him! Okay? Screw him! What's going on with you? This isn't you, Rory. You know it isn't. What's going on?
      Rory: I don't know... I don't know.

    • Lorelai: I tried so hard. I have a list of things that he's afraid of on the fridge. And I try to do the right thing. I should not have socialized him at Kirk's doggy day care the other day. I should have taken him to the best doggy day care in the country, even if it was in Seattle. That's where I should have taken him.
      Luke: He's fine hanging with Kirk.
      Lorelai: I did this wrong. I did this all wrong! How could I have let this happen? How did I not see it coming? How didn't I step in and do something? And why can't I fix these things?
      Luke: (rubbing her neck) Hey.
      Lorelai: I'm a bad mother!
      Luke: You're not a bad mother.

    • Soccer Girl: She went one way, and her knee went the other!

    • Jess: So yeah, I just wanted to show you that....and tell you that I couldn't have done it without you.
      Rory: Thanks.

    • Rory: Jess, you've got such a great brain. I knew that if you could just sit down and stop shaking it around that you could do something like this. I knew it, I knew it!
      Jess: I know you did.

    • Logan: Well, you have got to be free tonight, my dear. 'Cuz I am getting the group together for a blow out. Do not tell me your working.
      Rory: I can make some time for you. (sees Emily) Oops...evasive maneuver.
      Logan: What?
      Rory: My grandmother.
      Logan: She coming at you with a knife or something?
      Rory: it's one thing to be forced to live in the big house, but now the big house is feeling Tom Thumb tiny. My grandmother is everywhere.
      Logan: The older generation. They have their own methods of ubiquity.
      Rory: I'm positive that they are at least five of her wandering around the property like she's a Cylon.

    • (While discussing Logan's newest business trip with his dad)
      Rory: So where is he dragging you this time?
      Logan: A paper in Omaha. What state is that in again?
      Rory: Nebraska.
      Logan: Uh...corn, farm
      Rory: Oh, and they love condescension in Nebraska, too, so hit them with that as soon as you disembark.

    • Rory: (talking about Jess) He's doing something. I'm not! Look at me! I'm living at my grandparents
      Logan: Temporarily.
      Rory: And I'm out of school. I'm in the D.A.R.! I don't even have a job.
      Logan: Again, temporarily.
      Rory: All we do is party and go to clubs. This isn't me. You can do anything you want. YOU have doors opened for you.
      Logan: Hey, don't pull me into this!
      Rory: I'm not!
      Logan: Yes, you are. You said all I do is party and go to clubs. I gave you one month to party and do whatever you wanted. Guess what? That month's over. When I ask you out, you can say no. I'm not forcing you to do anything with me. I don't have doors opened for me, all I see is one door and I'm being pushed through it.
      (No one speaks)
      Logan: Come on, let's go.
      Rory: I don't want to go.
      Logan: OK fine. (puts down money on table close to them) That should pay for the food and the cab too.

    • Emily: Young lady, where were you? I was worried. I called everyone from your address book and no one knew where you were!
      Rory: You mean you called everyone from my private address book after you took it out of my room?
      Emily: Yes. And half the numbers were disconnected. You have friends from high school in there! You know what? I'm going to throw it out. And you know what else? I'm tired of you sleeping 3 nights a week at Paris'.
      Rory: You will NOT throw out my address book and I am NOT sleeping 3 nights at Paris'. I'm sleeping 3 nights at Logan's.

    • Emily: Don't you dare take that tone out on me, young lady!
      Rory: I'm sorry, Grandma, but you're forcing the tone out!

    • Rory: (to Logan) I can't believe you were such a jerk to him, Logan. He's finally doing something! He wrote a book and you mocked him!

    • Emily: When your father gets home, we're going to talk about the house rules and we're going to be on the same page, once and for all.
      Rory: You mean my grandfather.
      Emily: You know what I meant.
      Rory: Well, I'd have to be living at the house to have house rules.
      Emily: What does that mean?

    • Emily: You're grounded!
      Rory: You can't ground me! I'm 21! Grandma, I go wherever I want, whenever I want.

    • Emily: (angrily) You're becoming more like your mother every day!
      Rory: You're becoming more like my mother's mother every day!

    • Jess: Isn't school in session?
      Rory: Mm-hmm.
      Jess: Why aren't you living on campus?
      Rory: Because I'm not going.
      Jess: You graduated already, Doogie?
      Rory: No, I'm just taking a little time off.

    • Lorelai: (to Paul Anka, after he "picks" colors for her) You've got the Queer Eye, my friend.

    • Lorelai: Why? Did I say I didn't like red?
      Luke: I think your exact words where "Better dead than red".
      Lorelai: 'Cause I'm liking red now.

    • Lorelai: (about Paul Anka) He's very anal when he misbehaves.

    • Lorelai: Where do we go if we feel like making out in the middle of the game?
      Luke: I don't think they'd mind if we did it right here in front of them.
      Lorelai: Cool.

    • Luke: I want my girls to look good.
      Lorelai: Listen to Daddy Warbucks.

    • Lorelai: "L" is for Lorelai.
      Luke: "L" is for Luke's.
      Lorelai: Hey, our names have the same first letter.

  • NOTES (9)

    • French episode title: "Une Rory, Deux Prétendants", meaning "One Rory, Two Suitors".

    • Young actress Kyle Chavarria, who plays soccer-playing Megan in this episode, is well-known for her portrayal of Laura Ingalls in the 2005 Disney miniseries Little House on the Prairie.

    • Edward Herrmann(Richard) does not appear in this episode.

    • This is the first time we see Jess since the episode "Last Week Fights, This Week Tights" in season 4.

    • This episode drew 5.84 million viewers.

    • Despite Milo Ventimiglia previously saying the only way he'd ever return to Gilmore Girls was if Jess were being killed off, Milo returned when Amy Sherman-Palladino offered his character, redemption.

    • Music:

      -"Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley" by Kingston Trio Played at the pub.
      -"All My Life" by The Point Music playing when Jess, Rory and Logan are at the bar.
      - "Russian Folk Music" by Kalinka

    • This isn't the first time Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) and Matt Czuchry (Logan) have worked together. Matt once guest starred in Opposite Sex, a show Milo starred in in 2001.

    • Jess being in Philadelphia is probably an injoke. The actor, Milo Ventimiglia, was on American Dreams last year, the setting of which was Philadephia.


    • Lorelai: I think the Lollipop Guild wants to speak to you.

      This is a reference to the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz who sang a song to Dorothy proclaiming that they represented the "Lollipop Guild."

    • Rory: It's one thing to be forced to live in the big house, but now the big house is feeling Tom Thumb tiny. My grandmother is everywhere.

      Tom Thumb is the name of a traditional hero in English folklore who was no bigger than his father's thumb. The name is often adopted for people or objects of small stature. Also, General Tom Thumb was the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton, a dwarf who achieved great fame under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum.

    • Rory: I think she's a Cylon.

      Rory refers to her grandmother as a Cylon, from the TV show Battlestar Galactica. Cylons are "robots" that look and act like humans -- there are multiple identical copies of each Cylon model.

    • Lorelai: Bend it like Beckham!

      Lorelai is referring to the soccer movie Bend it like Beckham about an 18 year old Sikh girl who rebels against her parents' traditionalism by joining a pro ladies soccer team.

    • Luke: I want my girls to look good.
      Lorelai: Listen to Daddy Warbucks.

      This is a reference to the classic Annie cartoon by Harold Gray from the 1930's. They later became famous due to the popular 1982 movie. Annie is an orphaned girl who is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy munitions industrialist, Oliver Warbucks (aka Daddy Warbucks).

    • Jess: (to Rory) You graduated already, Doogie?

      Jess is referring to the TV series Doogie Howser M.D. about a child genius who was already a doctor by the age of 16.

    • Lorelai: (to Paul Anka after he "picks" colors for her) I think you've got the Queer Eye my friend.

      Lorelai is referring to the TV series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

    • Episode Title: Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out

      The title comes from the Beatles' song Back in the USSR.