Gilmore Girls

Season 3 Episode 14

Swan Song

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 11, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Emily pressures Rory into bringing Jess to a Friday night dinner which turns out to be an unqualified disaster. Lorelai, Alex, Sookie and Jackson go to New York for the weekend. Jess gets a black eye in an altercation with an opponent he is too embarrassed to reveal. Zack and Brian realize that Lane and Dave are hiding something from them, but miss the mark on the true nature of the secret. Rory and Jess have their first argument.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Rory takes Jess to a Friday night dinner with Emily, Lorelai is away and worries about something. Another brilliant one.

    A Jess and Rory relationship episode. Here we get the message that Jess really likes Rory and they actually bond at times. I liked the opening scene when Emily guilt's Rory into taking Jess to the dinner the next Friday, it was amusing how she spoke about Dean and how uncomfortable it would be if she invited him to an event. Inviting the boyfriend over to Friday night dinner was brilliant last time (Dean in the episode Sadie, Sadie ...) and this was just as good.

    It was nice how Rory persuaded him to go, with the book. Jess's jealousy is great and shows his like for Rory, when he tells her on the phone to tell him things. It was entertaining seeing both Lorelai and Rory walking in on the other one kissing, both awkward and both made jokes, Lorelai's deja vu was amusing.

    The subject of sex comes up and Rory claims she's too busy to think abut that stuff, when away Lorelai still worries anyway and nearly calls her. The dinner itself was great, it was strange seeing Emily so nice to Jess, and he was even late. In there first real couple fight, Jess turns up with a black eye and Rory straight away thinks Dean.

    It was good to see Emily trying to make conversation while Rory was annoyed at Jess, he was a bit harsh in the study but then storms out. The morning was great, when Emily complained about Jess on the phone even though Lorelai thanked her for being nice. Lorelai and Alex are still on, how long will that last?

    Rory and Dean are friends and she asks him about Jess, he says he didn't do it. Luke finally finds out that a swan gave Jess the black eye much to his amusement, that was a funny scene when they went to find the swan, Luke knocked some sense intro the stubborn Jess.

    They make up when Jess apologise in his own way, saying they'll be more Friday night dinner events, they kiss and make up. Then at home, Rory tells a speechless Lorelai that she may be thinking of sex with Jess at some point, it was awkward but a good mother/daughter moment.

    Brilliant episode.moreless
  • So sweet...

    It's been so long since my last Gilmore Girls episode...

    Emily in her way "forces" Rory to take Jess to dinner and it couldn't be worse...

    I was surprised by Emily's reaction to Jess' black eye, she just acted like she didn't even see it... And at the table, always so nice, it was weird.

    Everything is going well, Alex and Lorelai are OK, they go to NY with Sookie and Jackson...

    And all that mystery around Jess' eye, the real story is so funny that he would be mocked every day lol. He was bitten by a swan! a beautiful white swan!

    And he lies to Rory about this so she would tease him!

    One more thing, those band members are really stupid! Every clue in front of them, the whole Lane/Dave thing, and they didn't get it!!!moreless
  • This was a fun episode...

    so my favorite parts of this episode have to be the scenes with Lane's band.... they are too funny!! When Lorelai accidentally says that Dave and Lane would only want to play love songs and then she makes some weird excuse and the Zach and Brian actually buy it. and then the encounter with Mrs. Kim... such awkward times. soooo funny. Jess got beaked which was funny but he and Rory had a really big fight which was bad. Jess was too embarrased to tell anyone except Luke why he got a black eye, so Rory automatically assumed he got into a fight with Dean. But in the end Luke gave Jess some advice and everthing worked out... Rory and Jess were maaad cute in the end.moreless
  • Lorelai goes out of town with alex and she is worried about rory.

    i thought that this was a really good episode. i think that it was really weird that emily kept track of how many weeks it was sinse rory stoped mentioning dean and i thought that it was nice of emily that she would invite Jess over after she hears about rory dating him. i thought that it was also nice of emily to be so understading when he shows up late and with a black eye. she did not seem to mind that he even when he left the dinner and rory wanting to stay after he left her there. i thought that it was really great that lorelai went to new york with alex jackson and sookie and she was concerned about leaving rory home alone with jess and about the dinner a her parents house. i thought that it was caring of alex to remind lorelai that she should not call rory to check on her. i thought that it was really predictable of emily to attack lorelai about the whole jess situation the night before and how she should not let rory date him. i thought that it was really funny to find out that jess got his black eye from a swanmoreless
  • Poor Jess gets attacked by a swan!!!

    Emily wants to meet Jess so she asks Rory to invite him over to friday night dinner. Lorelai decides to spend the weekend with Alex, Sookie & Jackson in New York leaving Rory & Jess (who shows up with a black eye) to fend for themselves.

    And there I was thinking that he actually got into a fight with Dean just like Rory did. and then Jess tells Luke that it was a Swan, and of course Luke didn't believe him & thought it was funny.

    And I can't foget about Mrs Kim when she saw Dave in the car with the other and then warning him that Lane had a crush on him...if only she knew the truth!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

Yanic Truesdale

Yanic Truesdale

Michel Gerard

Billy Burke

Billy Burke

Alex Lesman

Guest Star

Emily Kuroda

Emily Kuroda

Mrs. Kim

Recurring Role

Liz Torres

Liz Torres

Miss Patty

Recurring Role

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Belleville

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • In Season 3, Episode 14, "Swan Song, in the scene where Rory is talking with Emily while waiting for Jess to arrive for Friday night dinner, when the doorbell rings and Rory goes to get up, you can clearly see she is wearing boots. In the rest of this scene, however, she is wearing formal dress shoes, when clearly she has not had time to change her shoes between getting up from the couch and walking to the front door.

    • Funny thing that Luke advises Jess to talk to Rory about how he feels while he is unable to do it himself when he's in a relationship.

    • In this episode, when Rory and Jess walk away from the bench you can see an ambulance in the reflection of Luke's diner. It might be there for safety reasons, but it is most likely an ambulance from the ER set since it is right behind Luke's.

    • With this episode, Rory changes her hair from its former straight-flat look to a permanent wave more like Lorelai's.

    • Mrs. Kim meets Zach, Dave and Brian in the street when she warns Dave about Lanes crush on him. The station wagon the boys are driving has the same Connecticut license plate that Lorelai's Jeep has, 937 G5R.

    • When Lorelai comes back from her trip, it's still bright out, and Rory is about to go get take out. In the next scene, Rory walks by the diner with the food and it's dark outside.

    • When Lorelai goes through her post-its, you can see a yellow post-it on the table next to her. Then, in the next shot it's in her hand, but it was too fast for her to have picked it up.

    • In the scene where the band is eating in Lorelai's kitchen, when Zach asks why Dave and Lane would want to play only love songs, you can clearly see a bag of Rold Gold pretzels in the left of the frame. However, when the shot switches to Lorelai, she is holding the same bag of pretzels and she sets it down on the table.

    • When Jess leaves Emily's house, he leaves so quickly that he never got his coat. They never show Rory give it back to him later in the episode.

    • After Mrs. Kim finishes talking to Dave and the guys, she walks away and they switch to a shot of Brian. When they switch you can see Brian's window rolled up half-way with the reflection of the camera in it.

    • When Lorelai is putting on her bunnyranch shirt, the shot turns to Rory and when the shot turns back to Lorelai her shirt is on, but there wasn't enough time for her to have put it on.

    • While Luke and Jess are out on the lake, if you look at the bottom of the boat, you can see that the boat isn't actually in the water but on a black metal frame.

    • When Jess reaches for the book to give to Lorelai, the first shot shows him reaching behind Rory and then the next shot shows him reaching in front.

    • While Rory's in her bedroom at Richard's and Emily's house and talking on the phone with Lorelai, the position of her watch on the nightstand changes as the shots change.

    • At the end of the scene where Lorelai returns from New York, the reflection of the camera can be seen as Alex gets in his car.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Rory: Ok, what's the packing crisis?
      Lorelai: That's the thing. I have no packing crisis. For the first time in my life, there is no packing crisis.

    • (After seeing a show in New York)
      Jackson: So, good show.
      Lorelai Yeah! Alex, thank you for getting us those tickets.
      Sookie: Great production value.
      Jackson: Oh, amazing! I mean the way they do the lighting on these things!
      Sookie: It's magical! It is magical.
      Alex: This is the worst piece of crap I have ever seen.

    • (Jess comes down the stairs with a black eye)
      Luke: Whoa! You're Petey the dog.
      Jess: Please don't get into this.
      Luke: This have anything to do with the fact you snuck in last night?
      Jess: I did not sneak in. Can we just work, please?
      Luke: Fine, start cleaing some stuff. (phone rings, it's Rory)
      Luke: Hey Rory, hold on. (to Jess) It's Rory.
      Jess: I'm not here.
      Luke: What?
      Jess: Get a clue, Columbo; I don't want to talk to her.
      Luke: You don't want to talk to Rory? (Jess ignores him) Yeah Rory, he's someplace. He'll call you back. Bye. (hangs up, grabs Jess by the the collar and drags him into the storeroom)

    • Rory: Anything else you want to tell me?
      Dean: (Pauses, confused) Corn's two for a dollar?
      Rory: Jess has a black eye. Any idea where he got it?
      Dean: That would be an extremely long list.

    • (Miss Patty and Kirk rehearsing for her new show, "Buckle up, I'm Patty")
      Patty: ...and I saw the great Bette Davis. She walked up to me, sized me up, and said to me with that regal mouth of hers, "Doll, ya don't got the high notes but ya sure got the gams!"
      Kirk: How bout if she says, "Doll, you've got the gams but I've got a body in the trunk of my car"?
      Patty: Why would she say that?
      Kirk: Because she's a murderer. I think it works.

    • Dave: You guys don't say anything.
      (Mrs. Kim walks over to the car)
      Mrs. Kim: Hello David.
      Zack: (giggling) "David"?
      Dave: (interrupting him) Hello Mrs. Kim.
      Zack: You know, Lane is a great dr-
      Dave: Girl. Did you want something, Mrs. Kim?

    • Lorelai: (reading her appointment notes) I also have "resha plabasham."
      Rory: What?
      Lorelai: I don't know. I can't read it.
      Rory: Shouldn't you change your system?
      Lorelai: Hey, my system works.
      Rory: Yeah, tell that to the guy who calls tomorrow because you missed your "resha plabasham" appointment.

    • Lorelai: (about Emily's manipulative tactics) She's like Lyndon Johnson with the Senate. Effortless.

    • Brian: All our songs are pretty much about property destruction and a general dislike of right-wing causes.

    • Zack: (biting into a chip) Man! This crunch just now sounded like the drum fill in "Baba O'Riley."

    • Luke: What are you doing? Where are you going?
      Jess: I'm gonna do a little beaking myself.
      Luke: Jess... Not the ladle! That's a brand new ladle. (Luke pauses to think as Jess ignores him) Take the baster.

    • Jess: The swan is the real story. It hangs out by Larson's dock. I was just walking by and the thing came out of nowhere and 'bam' it beaked me right in the eye.
      Luke: It beaked you?
      Jess: You still don't believe me.
      Luke: I just never heard anyone use the word beaked as a verb before.

    • Lorelai: I heard dinner with Jess was bad. I'm sure it could have been a lot worse. I mean you keeping calm was really, really nice. Thanks.
      Emily: How could you let your daughter be with that abominable thug? First he arrives late. How disrespectful is that? Then he's rude to Rory, rude to me. Oh and that attitude. I wanted to slap that monosyllabic mouth of his. And God forbid they're in another accident together or his heap of a car breaks down. And Lord Jim has decided cell phones are beneath him and they're stranded in the middle of nowhere. How can you let this happen? He had a black eye. He belongs in jail.

    • Emily: The roast looks perfect. Oh Jess, do you eat meat? I forgot to ask you.
      Jess: I'm a carnivore.
      Emily: Good, I don't see how anybody could resist meat.
      Jess: That's why we have teeth.
      Emily: That's how I feel.

    • Jess: No, 84 was jammed.
      Emily: We knew that too. There was something with a big rig. Oh, those things just scare the life out of me. And apparently all the men who drive them are hopped up on bennies and goofballs.

    • Emily: So, we'll have lamb for dinner and Jess will come.
      Rory: So everybody will be nice to everybody?
      Emily: Yes, very nice.
      Rory: Really, really nice?
      Emily: Of course, It'll be nice. That's what I said.
      Rory: Good, nice will be nice.
      Emily: And a nice night it will be.
      Lorelai: Well, not so nice for the lamb.

    • Emily: Just bring Jess over for dinner one night. How about next Friday?
      Rory: Oh, I don't know.
      Lorelai: Oh yeah Mom, that might be hard to arrange.
      Emily: It's perfect timing. Richard will still be out of town.
      Lorelai: He works Fridays doesn't he?
      Rory: Yeah, that his usual night. Friday night. It's a bad night.
      Emily: Oh, ok. Perhaps I'll meet him some day. Perhaps at Rory's graduation. That's good. That way we'll all meet him at once. Myself, Richard, Gran and maybe even some of my D.A.R. friends and that priest...
      Rory: You know what Grandma, now that I think about it, I think Jess does have next Friday night off.

    • Luke: Hey. Find it okay?
      Lorelai: Yeah. I found everything -- including a couple coupling.
      Luke: Oh, Rory and Jess?
      Lorelai: No, Ben and J. Lo. Yes, Rory and Jess.

    • Rory: We need a signal.
      Lorelai: A kissing signal?
      Rory: Something to avoid this.
      Lorelai: Okay, um, how 'bout I shoot off a flare when I'm outside necking with a boy?
      Rory: You know what I mean.
      Lorelai: Or I could bang on the door and yell, "Hey, we're necking out here!"
      Rory: I still say we need a signal.

    • Lorelai: Hey, you know what Gran needs?
      Emily: What?
      Lorelai: A fella.
      Rory: With or without an umbrella.

    • Jess: I was attacked by a swan. Okay, you happy? A stupid swan.

    • Jess: (about the swan) He's vicious I'm telling you.
      Luke: Yeah, his butt's terrifying.

    • Mrs Kim: David, who are all these unwashed boys?

    • Brian: (to Dave) It's okay man. You're Christian! You didn't have to hide that from us. There are cool rockers that are Christian.

    • Luke: Being jealous of Dean is pointless. You're just going to drive Rory away. If you want to have a relationship with someone, you're going to have to learn to open up your mouth and say something.
      Jess: Give it a rest, Dr. Phil.

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode marks the final appearance of Billy Burke as Alex. The character will be mentioned once again in "Keg! Max!" (3x19). This is the only one of Lorelai's relationships which doesn't have an official ending.

    • German episode title: "Blauäugig", meaning "Blue-eyed" (a play on words, since in German a black eye is a blue eye (Blaues Auge)).

    • Music:
      "In a Young Man's Mind" by the Mooney Suzuki
      "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra

    • Jess and Rory's Book List:
      The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton

    • Yanic Truesdale (Michel), Edward Herrmann (Richard), and Liza Weil (Paris) do not appear in this episode.

    • In this episode Emily asks Jess if he eats meat and when he responds he does, she says she can't understand why anyone couldn't eat meat. This is an in-joke seeing as the actor playing Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) has been a vegetarian since birth.

  • ALLUSIONS (12)

    • Lorelai: I also found a couple coupling.
      Luke: Who, Rory and Jess?
      Lorelai: No, Ben and J-Lo. Yes, Rory and Jess.

      Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were a highly publicized couple at the time of this episode, named "Bennifer" by the press. They called off their engagement in 2004.

    • Luke: (to Jess about the swan) Does it act all peaceful and Bambi-like and then suddenly attack like the rabbit in Monty Python?

      The rabbit is from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which King Arthur and the knights of Camelot are trying to enter a cave but a peaceful white rabbit is guarding the entrance. One of the knights steps forward after being warned by a magician. The knight is then killed by the rabbit who is then showing to the rest his blood baring teeth.

    • Lorelai: Hey, you know what Gran needs?
      Emily: What?
      Lorelai: A fella.
      Rory: With or without an umbrella.

      This dialog is an allusion to the song "A Fella With An Umbrella" sung by Peter Lawford for Judy Garland in the movie "Easter Parade"

    • Lorelai: It's like a Dean Martin roast.

      Dean Martin hosted a series of celebrity roasts on NBC from 1973 to 1984. Over the past 20 years, the roast format has become generalized as any event in which the guest of honor is showered with insults from their peers.

    • Miss Patty: Kind of like what Elaine Stritch did on Broadway, but without the bitterness.

      Elaine Stritch starred in her own one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty in 2002.

    • Lorelai: I came up here for a book. It's one of Luke's.
      Jess: Well, if it doesn't have Encyclopedia Brown in the title, that narrows it down a lot.

      Encyclopedia Brown is a boy detective in a series of children's books.

    • Lorelai: I knew each piece of clothing I had to bring, down to the Spice Girls necklace I plan to wear Saturday morning for breakfast because we agreed to keep it a little whimsical.
      Rory: So, not your Jonas Salk necklace.

      Jonas Salk was a scientist who developed a vaccine against polio.

    • Lorelai: You're guaranteed a great Norma Desmond-style breakfast.

      Norma Desmond was the extravagant and melodramatic has-been actress in Sunset Boulevard.

    • Luke: (seeing Jess' black eye) Whoa! You're Petey the dog.

      Petey, the dog on The Little Rascals, had a unique marking around his eye that looks like Jess' bruise.

    • Jess: Get a clue, Columbo.

      The title character in the TV show Columbo was a detective.

    • Title: Swan Song

      Swan Song is the name of a Dorothy Parker poem.

    • Lorelai: Oh, Rhett, is that you?

      This is a famous line from Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell's 1936 Civil War novel which was made into a movie in 1939 starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.