Gilmore Girls

Season 6 Episode 9

The Prodigal Daughter Returns

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 2005 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
559 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Luke becomes jealous when Lorelai receives a phone call from Christopher. Luke makes a big deal about being honest with each other, but when he discovers that he has a daughter he never knew about, he is unsure of how to tell Lorelai. After Rory moves into Lane's apartment, re-enrolls in Yale, and scores herself a job, Rory and Lorelai take the first steps towards reconciliation.moreless

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  • im too upset to be happy

    Yes I know that Rory has finally come back to her mother, yes I know she's now going back to Yale and has a great job, and yes I know that Lorelai and Luke had quite a memorable fight/ make up moment, but I am still way too darn upset to call this episode the best of the season. I had just started ***ching the Gilmore girls last month and got hoocked in it just with the first episode i watched. Now i'm here and I hate that the writers needed the urge to give Luke a long lost daughter! what is up with that? Him having a daughter absolutely ruins everything. Everything was back to normal, Luke and Lorelai were gonna get married, but now because of that stupid girl, we will never get to see Luke and Lorelai marry each other! ughh.. i know it wasnt the girl's fault, it was just bad timing. I also know that Christopher is coming back, and that bums me so much. WHY???? why did luke need a daughter?!! it's not fair. :(moreless
  • Lorelai and Rory FINALLY reconcile and Luke discovers a life changing secret.

    I really enjoyed this episode. Luke really shot himself in the foot with his whole hissy fit about the Christopher thing. He is angry with Lorelai for not being honest with him about Christopher, although there was not much for her to be honest about. I think he overreacted a bit, and by the end of the episode he found out he has a long lost daughter! Was not expecting that, but now he has to have a difficult conversation with Lorelai or face being a huge hypocrite!

    I actually felt sorry for Emily in this episode, although scenes between her and Lorelai always manage to be funny and moving at the same time.

    Rory has finally seen the light, thank God for that, although she's still a little annoying, (as is Zack, why is Laine with him? But anyway....)

    In conclusion, an enjoyable episode which moved the story along. It was inevitable that something as big as Rory coming home had to overshadow Luke's news and stop him from telling Lorelai about his daughter there and then.moreless
  • Rory gets her life back on track and Luke discovers he has a 12 year old daughter. She's back, the Luke thing was out of the blue but was done in a very Gilmore girls way.moreless

    So I'm not going to say much but she's back, Rory finally decides to go back to Yale, gets a part-time job as a writer and moves back in with Lorelai for the time being. It was great to see her so focused and making up with everyone she should. Emily was upset but I don't care, she deserves all she gets.

    Christopher called, does this Mean he'll be back in the girls life again soon? The way lUke found out about his daughter was amusing, you could think it was a joke but no....Luke Danes has a 12 year old daughter. How will he tell Lorelai?

    Rory and Lorelai's reuion was brilliant, they apologised, hugged and things are on the mend. Can't wait to see more!moreless
  • Well where to start! Lorelai and Rory finally reconcile! Luke discovers that he has a 12yr.old daughter. and Lane has some trouble with the band and Zach.

    OMG! This is one of the best episodes of the entire series!! Lorelai and Rory are finally back together after the longest time apart!! Luke finds out that he has a 12 year old daughter named April, which in my opinion sucks! Everything with Lorelai is gonna go spiraling down the drain! Besides I find April's character to be somewhat annoying!! Zach gets jealous that Brian is writing a song called Lane and gets him in a crappy mood. Right before a gig where there will be record people Zach freaks out and he and Lane break up. Rory moves back in with Lorelai. This is one of the episodes that can be watched millions of times, it is thoroughly revealing and foreshadows the episodes to come.moreless
  • One of the best!

    This episode is by far, one of the best. It is cleverly plotted and shows that Rory is realizing her mistakes. She moves out of the pool house and in with Lane, enrolls in school again, looks for a job, and my favorite, re-unites with Lorelai after a long awaited parting! It is clear that Rory took a great long detour that took her off the main road, but in this episode, she is starting to come back to the main road! I especially love the part at the end when Lorelai and Rory are talking about how Rory's getting a job and going back to Yale, then she pulls into the driveway and they run to meet eachother, throwing their cellphones to the ground!moreless
Deborah Cresswell

Deborah Cresswell

Audrey Moreno

Guest Star

David Sutcliffe

David Sutcliffe

Christopher (Voice Only)

Guest Star

Inger Jackson

Inger Jackson

Customer #1

Guest Star

Alan Loayza

Alan Loayza


Recurring Role

Tanc Sade

Tanc Sade


Recurring Role

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Belleville

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Luke tells Lorelai that he's not sure whether he can handle having Christopher around, she says he'll always be there because he's Rory's father.

      Yet, in "Say something", while Lorelai is trying to reconcile with Luke she tells him that she can cut Christopher out of her life.

    • In this episode, the writers once again put in counterbalance a happy event with some trouble to come. Lorelai reconciles with Rory but at the same time we see Luke hiding from Lorelai his knowledge about his daughter. We can only assume that things will get sour between them.
      This is a recurrent dramatic tool used in the show.
      In season 1: Lorelai & Max get back together but Dean breaks up with Rory. In season 4: Lorelai & Luke share their first kiss while Richard & Emily split up.
      In season 5: Emily & Richard renew their vows but there is a new rift between Emily and Lorelai and Luke and Lorelai break up. In season 6: Lorelai & Rory get into a terrible fight but Luke & Lorelai get engaged.

    • In this episode, Rory is persistent and secures a job as a writer at a newspaper. This job is never mentioned again, and Rory soon goes back to work at the Yale Daily News, a volunteer run student paper, which clearly takes up a large portion of her time. So what is the point of getting this job in the first place?

    • When Lorelai and Emily are in the plane, Emily says she lost Rory just like she lost Lorelai. Lorelai responds...

      Lorelai: You didn't lose her like you lost me. She was never supposed to be there in the first place. She was always supposed to be at school. She just went back where she belonged. And you didn't lose me.

      At this point, Lorelai doesn't know yet that Rory has gone back to school. All she knows is that Rory has moved out of her grandparents house.

    • During Lorelai's house warming dinner with Sookie and Jackson, Sookie tells Lorelai that she can't believe she didn't do anything to the kitchen. They did change the kitchen however. The kitchen used to have hardwood floors and they changed them to large yellow and white tiles. The table and chairs are different too.

    • When Lorelai is at the diner talking to Lane, her napkin goes from under the knife to closer to the edge of the table under her cup.

    • When Lorelai and Rory are hugging and the camera is moving around them, the shadow of the camera can be seen.

    • When Lorelai tries to come in her house at the beginning of the episode, she can't because Luke put a chain on the door and had it latched. At the end of the episode when Rory is in the driveway and Lorelai runs outside to meet her, the chain and latch is not on the door.

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Richard: (looks in box) Wait, this is my tennis racket.
      Colin: (to Finn) I told you she wasn't pointing at that closet!
      Finn: Then which closet was she pointing at?
      Richard: Take this stuff upstairs.
      Finn: Can't we just take it? I'd tell it about you every day and show it a picture of you on Christmas!

    • Luke: They're gonna get cold.
      Lorelai: Are they different?
      Luke: Different than what?
      Lorelai: They seem different.
      Luke: They're nachos, now eat them.
      Lorelai: You used baked chips.
      Luke: What?
      Lorelai: You did, didn't you; you used baked chips and low fat cheese.
      Luke: I did not use...low fat cheese.
      Lorelai: HA!
      Luke: How can you tell!?
      Lorelai: How could you lie?
      Luke: They taste the same!
      Lorelai: (sighs) Oh the trust. Luke how are we gonna make it if you're constantly trying to keep me healthy?
      Luke: Fine, die at 60.
      Lorelai: Bring me a doughnut while I wait!

    • Sookie: How do you like the house?
      Lorelai: It's uh...great!
      Sookie: It uh, is? Why do you hate it?

    • (Luke hands Lorelai a glass of wine)
      Lorelai: Mmm, what an odd reward system you have!

    • Lorelai: Mom?
      Emily: I'm in the cockpit!
      Lorelai: Add that to the list of things I never thought I'd hear my mother say.

    • Lorelai: It's not your fault.
      Emily: That's right, it's not my fault! I did nothing but take care of her. I bought her clothes, I got her a job, I guided her. I threw her parties, I introduced her to new people, new things. And then she should have heard the way she talked to me. You would have been very proud.

    • Luke (off screen): Lorelai?
      Lorelai: No. Land shark. Candygram. Here's Johnny. Ugh! Luke, open the door!

    • Lorelai: It's not the same thing, Mom--what happened with Rory. It's not the same.
      Emily: I lost her just like I lost you--it feels remarkably similar to me.
      Lorelai: You didn't lose her like you lost me. Rory was never even supposed to be here in the first place. She was always supposed to be at school--she just went back where she belonged. And you didn't lose me.

    • Lorelai: (on the phone) Yes, hello.
      Rory: Mom?
      Lorelai: Rory!
      Rory: I got a job!
      Lorelai: What? Where?
      Rory: At the Stamford Eagle-Gazette! It pays less than I'll spend on gas to get there, but it's a job! A writing job!
      Lorelai: Yes!
      Rory: And I'm going back to Yale! I already called them and talked to my dean and it's all arranged. I just have to find someplace to live, but who cares? I'll figure it out!
      Lorelai: And this is what you want?
      Rory: Yes.
      Lorelai: Are you sure?
      Rory: Yes.
      Lorelai: Oh, Rory!
      Rory: I moved out of Grandma's house.
      Lorelai: Yeah, I know, I heard!
      Rory: Are you home?
      Lorelai: Oh, no, I'm not, I -
      Rory: Okay, I know you're home, but, can I come over?
      Lorelai: Yes, yes, come over!
      Rory: 'Cause I'm staying at Lane's, and I don't know if you want me to, but -
      Lorelai: Tell Lane you're moving out and get your butt over here right now!
      Rory: Well, okay, if you insist.
      (Rory pulls into the driveway. Lorelai looks out the window and sees her car)
      Lorelai: Oh my God.
      Rory: What?
      Lorelai: You look just so much more silver than I remember!
      Rory: Now come on! Is it too much to expect after a lengthy separation to get some sort of heartfelt greeting?
      (Lorelai runs out the front door as Rory get out of her car. They run toward each other and hug)
      Rory: Oh, I'm sorry!
      Lorelai: You're sorry, I'm sorry.
      Rory: I was so mixed up.
      Lorelai: I should have pulled you out of there.
      Rory: I was stupid!
      Lorelai: No, I was stupid!
      Rory: I was more stupid!
      Lorelai: Uh, boy, time to get you back to Yale!
      Rory: I love you, Mom.
      Lorelai: Oh, kid, you have no idea.

    • Lorelai: I am happy. I'm just sad at the same time. What, you've never been with a woman before?

    • Lorelai: (To Luke) What?
      (Luke snorts)
      Lorelai: Oh, nice snort.
      Luke: I didn't snort.
      Sookie: People in Kansas talk funny!

    • Lorelai: (about Luke and the flames of the grill) No, he blows them out with his man-breath.
      Sookie: And then he challenges them to an arm-wrestling contest.
      Lorelai: And then he insults the flame's mother and then sleeps with his girlfriend.

    • Luke: No secrets.
      Lorelai: Cross my heart and hope to die.
      Luke: Oh, I hate that saying.
      Lorelai: No secrets.
      (They kiss)
      Lorelai: Luke.
      Luke: Yeah?
      Lorelai: When I was in fifth grade, I told everyone Eric Estrada was my boyfriend and we used to make out on his motorcycle.
      Luke: Shh.

    • Lorelai: I don't hear anything.
      Luke: Exactly.
      Lorelai: OK, Simon...Garfunkel.

    • Luke: (on their way into the bedroom) Close your eyes
      Lorelai: I'm not scared of it anymore, Luke.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke) Last time we were over, Sookie breast-fed Martha during appetizers. They owe us.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke on Rory's return) Don't skimp on the fries. We don't want to lose her again.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke) Rory's back! She's back at home, she's back at school, she got a job, and she did it all on her own. She's picking up her things at Lane's, and then we're pulling a major all-nighter. We need burgers, fries, doughnuts, onion rings, and anything else you can think of. Oh! I'm going to go next door to Doose's and pick up some ice cream. (kisses Luke and takes his hands) She's back. We can set the date. We can get married now, because Rory's back!

    • Lorelai: (to Emily) You never lost me.

    • Lorelai: (throws a ball for her dog) Hey, Paul Anka. Ah, that's it. Let it have a head start.

    • Luke: I haven't seen Anna in about...
      April: 12 years?
      Luke: Yeah.

    • Emily: Just let me buy my plane, Lorelai. Let me be frivolous and shallow please.
      Lorelai: Okay.

    • Lorelai: Tell you what, Zack, I'll give you $40 for Rory and you give me $1,200 for my garage.

    • Lorelai: More books.
      Michel: What is it wrong with people? Don't they know the written word is dead?

    • Lorelai: (to Luke while sitting on his lap) I want a Barbie, and a pony and roller skates, and some roller skates for the Barbie and for the pony...

    • Lorelai: (to Luke about his bachelor pad) See, once we're married, you won't be able to run away to your clubhouse anymore. You'll have to join a rotisserie baseball club just like all the other men.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke as he walks away) Enjoy Wisteria Lane, you major drama queen!

    • Jackson: Did I miss something?
      Sookie: Always, honey.

    • Sookie: (about Luke's grandmother's bedroom furniture) Maybe if you stripped the wood?
      Lorelai: Lit a match.
      Sookie: Maybe throw on a little gasoline.

    • Lorelai: Nice of you to let her crash on your couch.
      Lane: She's small, how much room can she take?
      Lorelai: Did she bring her books?
      Lane: Good point.

    • Richard (when he sees Colin & Finn in his house) Who the hell are you?
      Finn: If I knew that, I could dismiss my therapist.

    • Emily: (to the maid) If you expect that muffin to fly back to the kitchen, you better go and get a cape.

    • Luke: I got another surprise for you.
      Lorelai: Really, where?
      Luke: Upstairs, in the bedroom.
      Lorelai: The bedroom? What could it be?

    • Lorelai: Luke, there's a chain on my door. (to herself) That's funny because I don't have a chain on my door.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (13)

    • Jackson: I crown thee, Burger King.

      This may not be intentional, but Burger King is a major fast food franchise.

    • Lorelai: Go back to Wisteria Lane you major drama queen!!

      This is a reference to the place where all of the women from "Desperate Housewives" live. All of the women are drama queens and Lorelai was comparing them to the way Luke was acting.

      Lorelai also says: 'Wrap yourself in a towel and trip over a hedge on your way out!'

      This refers to one of the most memorable moments in Desperate Housewives history. In Season 1 Episode 3 ('Pretty Little Picture') Susan Mayer locks herself out of her house wrapped only in a towel. Trying to climb in through a window, she ends up falling, naked in to a row of bushes.

    • Lorelai: No. Land Shark. Candygram. Here's Johnny. Ugh! Luke, open the door!

      Land Shark and Candygram are references to a very famous skit from the first season of Saturday Night Live. The land shark (played by Chevy Chase) is always trying to use various ploys to get into someone's house, including "Candygram". "Here's Johnny" is a reference to The Shining starring Jack Nicholson. The line is said while Johnny is hacking his way through a door with an axe. That in itself was an allusion to Ed McMahon's introduction of Johnny Carson during his run on "The Tonight Show"

    • Lorelai: When I was in fifth grade, I told everybody that Erik Estrada was my boyfriend and that we used to make out on his motorcycle.

      Erik Estrada played Officer Francis Poncherello on the 1970s show CHiPs.

    • Lorelai: I think they enjoyed watching a show for once that didn't have Laa Laa playing the guitar.

      Laa Laa is a character on the TV show Teletubbies.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke) Wrap yourself in a towel and trip over a hedge on your way out.

      Refers to a scene from Desperate Housewives.

    • Lorelai: I'll wake up in the morning, look in that mirror and think I'm that kid from Mask.

      Mask is a movie about Rocky Dennis, a boy with a skull deformity that causes excessive bone growth on the bones in his face, making him appear disfigured.

    • Lorelai: (to Lane) You're giving me a Valerie Cherish and I don't wanna see that!

      Valerie Cherish is the character played by Lisa Kudrow on the HBO show The Comeback who often says, "I don't wanna see that."

    • Lorelai: (to Sookie regarding her wanting to go to China) Say hello to Yao Ming for me.

      Yao Ming plays basketball for the Houston Rockets and is Chinese.

    • Lorelai: Okay, Simon...Garfunkel.

      Lorelai is referring to the song The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel.

    • Sookie: Saturday night?
      Lorelai: I hear it's alright for fighting.

      This is a reference to lyrics from the Elton John song Saturday Night:
      Don't give us none of your aggravation
      We had it with your discipline
      Saturday night's alright for fighting
      Get a little action in

    • Lorelai: Bernado.
      Sookie: Riff.

      Bernardo and Riff are the leaders of the two warring gangs in A West Side Story.

    • Episode Title: The Prodigal Daughter Returns

      The title is a reference to the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. The story is that he asks for his inheritance early, before his father dies, and goes off to live the high life, only to return, completely broke, to his father's open arms.