Let The Games Begin originally aired November 19, 2002. The teleplay is by Amy Sherman-Palladino, and the episode was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Sheila Lawrence. This episode was directed by Steven Robman.
We open this episode with Lorelei and Rory slowly walking to Luke’s after the 24-hour dance marathon. It took them so long to get there that it’s time for Rory to go to school. Jess and Rory see each other, and are all awkward. Lorelei, of course, has to explain to Luke that Rory and Dean are not together, and that Jess and Rory are now together. Luke thinks it’s a good idea, and hope Rory will be a good influence on Jess. Lorelei thinks it’s time Rory had a Jess.
At Friday night dinner, Emily isn’t happy with the salad, because walnuts keep appearing in it, no matter how many times she has the maid re-do it. Rory and Richard go into the kitchen for some soda (Rory) and ice (Richard). He tells her he’s going to visit Yale one weekend, and he asks Rory if she wants to come. Rory, being Rory, agrees to go. When she tells Lorelei, however, Lorelei wants to go back inside, because she thinks Richard is up to something.
Rory stops by Luke’s after school one day, but things are still weird between her and Jess. And, of course, the trip to Yale, in which Emily and Richard talk about their time there.
And then…they arrive at the main administration building, where we learn that Richard has set up an interview with the Dean Of Admissions. Lorelei isn’t happy, and even Emily is surprised. And this is when Richard starts talking about how Lorelei doesn’t understand the college admission process, because she never went to college. It’s his job to make sure that Rory knows her options, because Rory’s education isn’t something that is going to be left to chance. Lorelei goes outside to call a cab, and Emily follows her to tell her that applying to Yale could make Rory look even better to Harvard.
Rory finishes her interview, and isn’t happy that she didn’t have time to prepare. She would have worn something different and would have had her transcripts and letters of recommendation ready if she had known. And she tells Richard that she would have gone through with the interview if he had just asked her, because she wanted to do it right.
She and Lorelei go back to Stars Hollow, where they eat tacos at the diner. Jess and Rory make up excuses to leave, and Luke tells Lorelei about the ground rules he has for Rory and Jess. Lorelei, however, tells him that they’re totally together at the moment, and Luke decides he has to go looking for them.
After Rory meets up with Jess, she goes to talk to Dean. She apologizes for treating him horribly and for doing the things he said she did. She’s surprised that he hasn’t told his mom yet, and answering the door with his mom being really nice to her would have been weird for Rory knowing that his mom is going to hate him soon. And his sister is going to hate her when she finds out they’re not together. Dean makes a snarky comment about how horrible it is that someone doesn’t like her, but they both hope that one day, Dean doesn’t hate her anymore.
The episode ends with Rory and Lorelei looking at Yale brochures.
Even before I knew who wrote the episode, I knew Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote it, because there are some issues between Lorelei and Richard.
I normally love Richard, but he made me so mad in this episode! I agree that Rory needs to look at all of her options, and not just focus on Harvard, but then again, we don’t see her think about other schools. We just see her focus on Harvard, so it’s pretty one-sided.
I don’t think Richard went about it the best way, and I really think Rory would have down the interview if Richard asked her. Plus, it’s an interview for an Ivy League school, and that’s not something you just spring on someone, especially someone like Rory, who needs to go in really prepared.
I thought Richard went a bit overboard when he was talking about how he’s in a better position to help Rory because he went through the college application process. It totally makes it sound like he’s better than Lorelei because he knows what Rory is going through. And that you can’t understand the process if you don’t go through it. I kind of agree that Rory has a good chance of getting into Yale since Richard went there, but wouldn’t Chilton be offering support and guidance? Unfortunately, his good intentions didn’t go over well, and I think he could have gone about it a little differently. Also, I know Lorelei is insistent that Rory is going to Harvard, but I think she also needs to be a little more open to the idea that Rory could apply to other schools.
Oh! Rory applying to Yale, which makes her look better to Harvard. That seems a little off to me. Like, why and how would Harvard know if someone’s applied to Yale and Princeton?
And Rory talking to Dean…when he made the snarky comment about people not liking Rory…I was all, Go Dean! Because Rory is so worried about people hating her, and it was actually kind of nice to see him point it out that not everyone is going to like her.
None for this episode
The Donner Party, the Wiffenpoofs, Perry Como, Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs, Oprah’s book club, Romeo And Juliet
I really liked this episode, and I feel like this one opens up the possibility of Rory thinking about colleges other than Harvard. No ASP episode is complete without tension between Lorelei and her parents. This episode gets 4 mugs of coffee.