Gilmore Girls

Season 4 Episode 14

The Incredible Sinking Lorelais

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 17, 2004 on The WB
out of 10
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Episode Summary

When Trix returns to town and berates Lorelai and Richard for being financial failures, Richard angrily sets his mother straight, to Emily's delight; Lorelai and Sookie explore ways to ease their financial crunch and raise money to pay their construction crew, one of whom is now Dean; Janet and Paris go head-to-head over the constant presence of Janet's boyfriend in the suite; Lorelai and Rory play an increasingly frustrating game of telephone tag; after Paris, Tanna, and Janet complain about close quarters in the suite, Lane moves out of the dorm and in with Lorelai, and gets her job back at Luke's; Lorelai and Sookie have a heated discussion about sharing the responsibilities of opening their inn; Rory is distraught when one of her professors tells her to drop a class because she can't handle her course load; Lane runs into her mother and receives a frosty reception; at the end of a very long, hard day, Lorelai and Rory still can't manage to connect, and end up taking solace in the arms of the married men in their lives, Luke for Lorelai, and Dean for Rory.moreless

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  • Lorelai and Rory can't reach each other, Trix returns. Quite a sad ending......

    Lorelai leans on Luke for support, Rory does the same with Dean. The whole not getting to each others calls was interesting but hard to watch as you know that they were finding things difficult. Rory is having trouble with her course load, Lane has to leave and of course she can't talk to her mother. At times some things were funny, like Paris being annoyed about the room mates boyfriend being around too much or when Rory was swiping the cards.

    Her and Dean seem to still have feelings for each other, that seems obvious. But he was nice to give her a shoulder to cry on. As for Lorelai, Sookie and Michel let her down and she feels like she's doing everything. It was sad to see her fight with Sookie and hard to watch Trix talk to her like she was failing. Even Emily defended her daughter. Trix is not a nice person and the sooner she goes the better.

    Lorelai finally breaks down while talking to Luke and she mentions about asking for a loan but she says not to discuss it. I bet he does it, after all he cares for her an awful lot. Also Lane sees her mother but she doesn't talk to her like that's who she is, she ends up staying with Lorelai. So things look like there getting bad but hopefully will be fixed!moreless
  • Both Rory and Lorelai realize they can't do everything they've set their hearts on.

    When Trix arrives at the Gilmore household, she is on the attack about lunch, the 'nuts' and Richard's borrowing money. Richard reacts badly and yells at her. This will be important in an upcoming episode.

    Rory is frantic at school and goes to talk to her professor about a paper. He tells her she's doing too much and needs to drop a class. Rory can't believe it and feels she has to keep up with what her grandfather did. Lorelai can't pay Tom because her money is running out. Rory and Lorelai keep missing each other's phone calls at they find themselves in a panic. At the end, both girls are in tears, being consoled by Luke and Dean.moreless
  • A painful episode to watch, but with excellent acting

    This was a brilliant episode, but very frustrating to watch, as it was frustrating for Lorelie and Rory not being able to get in touch with each other. Beyond that, Lorelie and Rory are feeling like failures, each for a different reason. Rory goes to see her game theory professor, confident that she has an "A" as usual. But he tells her that he feels she has "padded" her paper with information from other courses, which is a sign that she has taken on too many classes. He asks her to drop his course, and says that he gave her a "D" on her paper. Rory is devestated, especially because her grandfather when he was at Yale took five courses, and now she feels as if she can't do it. She really needs to talk to her mother, but can't get hold of her. And Lorelei is experiencing serious mony problems at the Dragonfly, and is also feeling like she has to do everything, that there's no one she can count on. Rory weeps in Dean's arms and Lorelie weeps in Luke's arms, but they really need each other. Great acting by Lauren and Alexis.moreless
  • Lorelais just can't get to each other's calls. They need each other so much!

    I loved this episode as much as I hated it, it was great but the fact that they couldn't find each other was terrible, they need each other like oxygen and now it's impossible The Inn has the first book lol on a gum.

    the horses are so beautiful.

    They just can't seem to find each other, the second one is going to pick up, the other hangs up... Dean is working in the Inn now.

    That scene when Emily calls Lorelai and she starts getting dressed so Emily doesn't know she is naked lol

    And the money is running out, Tom has to talk with them and Lorelai apologies to him.

    The other girls are getting tired of Lane and Lane is leaving. Sookie doesn't show up to see a sink or something like that and Lorelai has to run out the hairstylist. They have the first big fight.

    Lorelai invites Luke to dinner, there's a motive behind that...

    Lane sees her mother for the first time since she was kicked out.

    A visit to a teachers office ends up badly for Rory and she needs her mother...

    Trix is there and she almost immediately knows that Lorelai is with money problems, just looking at her. And Richard screaming with Trix about money.

    At least both Lorelais found someone to comfort them, Rory found Dean and Lorelai, Luke.

    They just needed each other and they just couldn't seems to find each other. Luke is great, he will said yes to the 30 thousand dollars even if she said not to talk about it. I hope next episode they can get together...moreless
  • Gilmores can't catch eachother's calls when in need! Rory's teachers on her case for a D paper. Lorelai is running low on money, and turns to Luke for help. Gran is in the picture, which doesn't help. There is also a spat between Lorelai and Sookie!Cry!moreless

    This was an excellent episode, however, as an owner of the seasons, one may find that it is really called the Incredible Sinking Lorelais. NOT shrinking. But that's okay, other than that, it's a real tear-jerker at the end! It's simply at a time where nothing seems to be going right for either of them! I do appreciate the fact that Lorelai remains strong for the most part of the episode, like many other episodes, until of course her break down. Everyone was perfectly in character. On the other hand, though, I find it rather hard to believe Alexis Bledel's crying scenes throughout the seasons, although I am glad that they happened with Dean, at least for this one particular break-down. The Gilmores were due for a break-down.. they rarely happen, but it's what makes them more real.moreless
Thomas Redding

Thomas Redding

Prof. Gilbert

Guest Star

Sarah Zinsser

Sarah Zinsser


Guest Star

Patty Malcolm

Patty Malcolm


Guest Star

Olivia Hack

Olivia Hack

Tanna Schrick

Recurring Role

Biff Yeager

Biff Yeager


Recurring Role

Ethan Cohn

Ethan Cohn

Glenn Babble

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • In this episode, Dean tells Rory that he "finally" got his own cell phone. However, in the season 2 finale, the episode of Sookie and Jackson's wedding, Paris calls Rory on Dean's cell phone.

    • When Rory gets out of Professor Gilbert's office to call her mom, she hangs up while Lorelai's voice mail is playing. Later when Lorelai goes to check her messages she says that there is a hang up referring to the call Rory made, but Rory didn't even make it to the end of the voice mail.

    • Lorelai wants to take Luke to Silvano's in order to ask him about the loan.
      In season 5, "Pulp Friction", Luke will take her there for their first date after they reconciled.

    • In this episode, Trix berates Richard for not stepping in to help Lorelai when her business is in trouble as she did for him when he was first starting out. Richard points out that he paid back the loan in just a couple months. This is ironic because in season one Trix wanted to give Rory her trust fund early when she learned that Lorelai was borrowing the money for Chilton. She said then that borrowing money from family was inappropriate and should not be done.

    • This episode has a timing error in regards to when Lorelai, and Emily are to be having lunch with Trix. Emily calls Lorelai while she is at Jason's house and tells her that she expected to be at a luncheon with the family the day after tomorrow (or in two days) and that she needs to get her hair cut.
      The following day we see Lorelai at the inn desperately trying to make a hair appointment.
      The next day we see her hair appointment interrupted and she is forced to wear a hat for the rest of the day.
      It is not until the next day that she has lunch with Trix, even though Emily specifically told her it would be the day after tomorrow (two days later) and it is actually three days later.

    • While Rory is at her job in the cafeteria, she is suppose to be swiping cards but is reading instead. Glenn comes in first and she swipes his card but she goes back to her reading. When the other students come in they start swiping their cards themselves. Some swipe with the magnetic strip facing away from the camera and some swipe with the magnetic strip facing the camera. Clearly, the magnetic strip must face only one way to work in those machines.

    • During the lunch with Trix, the distance at the table between Lorelai and Emily and Emily and Richard changes through out the scene.

    • When Rory is talking to Dean she says, "Everything's falling apart." That is the exact same thing she said to Richard at the end of Season 5.

    • Trix's hair changes noticeably, at dinner, when Richard is setting her straight. Her pompadour starts out at the left, then switches to the right, and then returns to the left again as the shots change. In addition, the background is different and Trix's rings change hands which indicates that the film has been flipped for a few seconds.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Paris: Oh good. You're all here so we can clear this up. I found this lying around and it must belong to one of you because who else would have clothing here? I ask you. (She holds up Klee's jersey) Anyone? Anyone?
      Janet: Paris-
      Paris: Anyone?
      Janet: You know, maybe I misspoke. It may not be a shirt. Anyone lose a car cover? Anyone? Anyone?
      Janet: Knock it off!
      Paris: I'm just trying to find a nice way to tell you that your behemoth boyfriend is getting a little too comfortable around here. And I speak for everyone.
      Rory: Leave me out of this.
      Tana: Me too please.
      Paris: I just don't want to walk into our bathroom and find him sitting on the john shooting up steroids.
      Janet: He does not take steroids.
      Paris: You mean that unsightly girth is nature given? He must curse God nightly.
      Janet: Enough.
      Paris: And the shirt! Stick a pole in it, Cirque du Soleil could start selling tickets.
      Rory: He's big, Paris. She got it.
      Paris: Why does he have his name written on the back? So it's easy to check when he forgets it? Although if he checks it while he's wearing it he'd have top look in a mirror...and then he'd probably think his name was Dlobeelk and get confused all over again.

    • Jason: What are you doing?
      Lorelai: I'm getting undressed.
      Jason: You were already undressed.
      Lorelai: Well my mother called.
      Jason: So?
      Lorelai: So, I can't talk to my mother naked.
      Jason: How would she know?
      Lorelai: She'd know.
      Jason: What is it like a superpower? She can hear naked people?
      Lorelai: Yes she can. She can hear sin, and depravity and all sorts of lustful things.
      Jason: Boy, do I wish I could get bitten by that radioactive spider.

    • Luke: I mean you look distracted.
      Lorelai: Distracted, no. Well, maybe...yeah. Distracted, okay, sure. I'm very distracted.
      Luke: Anything I can do?
      Lorelai: You know there are very few times in my life when I find myself sitting around, thinking "I wish I was married," but today, I mean...I'm happy. You know? I like my life. I like my friends,.I like my stuff. My time, my space, my TV.
      Luke: Yeah, sure.
      Lorelai: But every now and then, just for a moment, I wish I had a partner, someone to pick up the slack. Someone to wait for the cable guy, make me coffee in the morning, (voice breaking) meet the stupid sink before it gets sent back to Canada.
      Luke: What happened?
      Lorelai: I just thought I had everything under control, but I didn't, and the inn is just falling apart. This has been my dream forever and I have it, and it's here, and I'm failing and I can't handle it. I just spend every minute running around and working and thinking. And I thought I would have help, but Sookie has Davey, and Michel has Celine and I'm...I can't do it all by myself. And I don't even have time to see my kid, and hell, forget see her, just even talk to her. And I miss her. And I sat there in my parents' house just listening to my grandmother basically call me a charity case, and I couldn't even argue with her. I couldn't even say anything, because I am. I'm running out of money, and I don't know what do do about it, and I was gonna, I was gonna ask you for $30,000 at dinner tonight. That's how pathetic I am.

    • Glenn: Hey, Rory, if you're gonna completely ignore me, I'd might as well go hang out with my ex-girlfriend. The same thing.
      Rory: Oh, sorry, Glenn.
      Glenn: Everyone's gonna be sorry one day. Everyone!
      Rory: You really gotta stop watching Taxi Driver, Glenn.

    • Sookie: (about the horses) Ooh, I love them.
      Lorelai: With an unbridled passion. Good one, huh?
      Sookie: I love horse humor.

    • Lorelai's answering machine: Hey, I've got nothing cute to say for my message. …Oh, puppies. There, that's cute. Now leave yours.

    • Richard: (turns and sees Lorelai for the first time) Lorelai, have you been there the whole time?
      Lorelai: Yes, I have.
      Richard: Well, I didn't see you.
      Lorelai: Well, I had my cloaking device activated, so -

    • Paris: I'll tell you my problem, Andre. Last time you sat on our couch, your mesomorphic frame carved a four-foot crater in it. I felt like I was sitting in a bucket. Janet: You're so full of it, Paris. Paris: Kids were skateboarding up and down it. Gandalf the Grey is still falling down it. It was a big hole. Kleebold: What does mesomorphic mean? Paris: It means you've got a fat ass, pal. Janet: Just ignore her and sit, Klee. Paris: Do not sit, Klee.

    • Sookie: We're up and running!
      Michel: But you wrote it down on a gum wrapper.
      Lorelai: So?
      Michel: It's embarrassing. This is an historical document.
      Sookie: Who cares what she wrote it down on?
      Michel: Big Red wrapper.
      Sookie: Juicyfruit would have been better?
      Michel: Well, I'm going to go out and get a value pack for when things really start getting busy around here.

    • Ed: I've been waiting for ten minutes.
      Luke: Sorry, not even close to the record.

    • Lorelai: Sorry for making you get all dressed up.
      Luke: That's okay, it's good for me to do once in a while. It reminds me why I'm not an accountant.

    • Tom: She might be inside. She likes to slip in through the back door and scare a bunch of guys with nail guns.

    • Lorelai: You're hiding from my grandmother, aren't you?
      Jason: She is scarier than Nick Nolte's mug shot.

    • Mrs. Kim: Hello, Lane.
      Lane: Hello, Mrs. Kim. I'm staying at Lorelai's.
      Mrs. Kim: Wear socks.
      Lane: Okay.

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Rory: I cannot for the life of me read my own handwriting. Seriously, if I had this analyzed, Charlize Theron would be playing me in a movie...cuz I'd be a serial killer, and pretty girls like to get fat and play serial killers...cuz they win an Oscar...I'm sorry, should I go on, or...?

      Rory is referring to the 2003 movie Monster in which Charlize Theron played serial killer Arlene Wuornos, winning the Oscar for Best Actress.

    • Paris: Nice addition, Potsie.

      Potsie was the dimwitted friend to Richie Cunningham on Happy Days

    • Paris: Not that Brobdingnagian twit's.

      Brobdingnag is an island from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels where all the inhabitants are giants.

    • Paris: I'll tell you my problem, Andre. Last time you sat on our couch, your mesomorphic frame carved a four-foot crater in it. I felt like I was sitting in a bucket.

      Andre is a reference to Andre the Giant, a famous wrestler.

    • Sookie: Are you suddenly on super fantastic terms with your parents?
      Lorelai: As close as the one-armed surfer girl and the shark, absolutely.

      Bethany Hamilton is an award-winning surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack when she was thirteen. Despite this, she still managed to continue surfing competitively.

    • (Discussing their dwindling finances.)
      Lorelai: ........We could drop the horses.
      Sookie: Desi and Cletus, over my dead body.
      Lorelai: Well, the upkeep is astronomical. Maybe if we dropped one of the horses.
      Sookie: And who's making that choice Sophie?

      Sookie is referring to the novel Sophie's Choice by William Styron in which the main character Sophie is tormented by a choice she was forced to make while in Auschwitz. A sadistic Nazi doctor ordered her to to choose which of her two children would be taken to the gas chamber and which would be allowed to live in the concentration camp.

    • Lorelai : Livin' on a prayer, baby!

      This refers to a Bon Jovi song Livin' On a Prayer as she is wearing hat with Bon Jovi's name.

    • Jason: Boy, do I wish I could get bitten by that radioactive spider.

      A reference to the original origin of Spider-Man.

    • Rory: You got to stop watching Taxi Driver, Glen.

      Taxi Driver is a 1976 Scorsese film starring Robert De Niro about a Vietnam Veteran who was disgusted with the world around him, and it caused him to lash out.

    • Paris: Gandalf the Grey is still falling down it.

      Gandalf the Grey is the main heroic wizard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He dies by falling down a canon in the Dwarf Mountains.

    • Episode Title: The Incredible Sinking Lorelais

      This episode's title is a spoof of the film The Incredible Shrinking Man made in 1957. The movie was about a man who kept on shrinking.
      The title may be also an allusion to the title of the CD Incredible Shrinking Dickies released by The Dickies in 1979.