Gilmore Girls 1.04 "The Deer Hunters"


Gilmore Girls 1.04 “The Deer Hunters”
Original Air Date: October 26, 2000 (Recap date: November 12, 2007)
Photos & Discussion


Gilmore Girls Episode Recap:

Lorelai and Rory go for school supplies – ‘serious’ school supplies for a serious school. Nothing purple. Though Lorelai does manage to throw in some ‘whacky’ neon erasers and Post-Its.

Rory is seen running on and off the bus in front of Chilton with her many many bags of supplies. Rory receives her first paper back in her English class – and she received a ‘D’.

Max Medina says “Look at the large red circles around various parts of your paper as friendly reminders that to err is human, and that here at Chilton, we try to beat that humanity right out of you.”

Coming up on Friday is a Shakespeare test worth 20% of the class grade. A hard test – with no make-ups. Paris and her friends are laughing at Rory’s ‘D’. Tristan goads Rory to see if she likes him.

The Inn/Sookie get a glowing review in ‘Four Star Dining’. Sookie gets hung up on her ‘perfectly fine risotto.’ Rory sits eating chocolate.

Lorelai tries to get Rory to hang out with her, but Rory is very stressed and studying. Another reversal of adult/teen roles with Lorelai whining for food and attention.

Rory visits with Lane to study. Mrs. Kim sells the table right out from under the girls. Rory misses her old school – says Chilton is hard. Dean had been asking after Rory. Poor Rory is just degrading herself when Lane says Dean thinks of her as a smart girl.

Sookie is still hung up on the review of her risotto. This is the magic risotto that revived her mother to live for 3 more years. Sookie doesn’t even berate Jackson for giving her the wrong mushrooms.

Parent-teacher conference at Chilton. The parents are questioning Mr. Medina about including Marlowe in the curriculum when he’s not on the Advanced Placement test. Lorelai arrives late, and her ‘difference’ is looked down upon by other parents. They are rude to her. Max talks to her (and flirts with her) on the break about Rory. Her paper comes up – and Lorelai did not know about it. She leaves to go console Rory.

Luke brings Rory pie after she throws her pencil in frustration. Rory is ashamed of her grade. Telling Lorelai about her grade would have been humiliating. She thinks she sucks and cannot do it. Lorelai braces her up – that self-pity is worse than any grade. That she will catch up – she has her mother’s stubbornness.

Paris comes quoting Shakespeare to the studying Rory. Rory cries with the cruelty of it.

“You’re going down”

Sookie has prepared dozens of risotto recipes to prove hers is good, and confronts the waiter that served the critic for clues.

Lorelai and Rory have a study session. Lorelai thinks she’s ready – she is flawless in her recall of information. But Rory is not yet confident. She stays up, while Lorelai falls asleep on the couch. When Lorelai wakes up, she finds Rory asleep at her books on the table. She goes to join her there.

They oversleep, again. Lorelai gives her the keys and Rory runs out the door. Rory calls Lane looking for a set of her notes. While on the phone, a deer runs into her not-moving vehicle.

“Oh my God, I just got hit by a deer!”

Rory runs to see if he’s ok. But she’s running way behind. it’s 8:15 before she makes it to Chilton, which is 10 minutes late. Mr. Medina says Rory has missed the test and must leave. She flips out and ends up totally reaming out Paris for being a jerk. And then yells that her name is Rory to Tristan. Nice breakdown.

Sookie finds the receipt for the reviewer’s meal and thinks that the risotto was not as good because he ordered the wrong wine. Jackson is pleased to have the old Sookie back.

Lorelai is called down to Chilton. Rory tries to prepare Lorelai for the meeting by telling her about her breakdown, but Lorelai goes in to handle it. The headmaster and Mr. Medina are both there. The headmaster thinks they are making excuses. He tries to get Lorelai to leave, but she perks up with how hard ‘we’ have studied and they are ‘just one person’. Then Lorelai dumps on the school as being snotty and fostering kids to be mortal enemies.

The headmaster points out that the Gilmores like to throw fits. That Rory threw a fit of her own, though less manic, that morning. The headmaster does agree that their high standards force competitive children, but that is the way it is. He suggests that perhaps the pressure is too much for Rory and that another outburst from either of them will not be ‘on the options list’. He is ‘subtly’ saying she should quit.

Sookie has a plate of risotto and a glass of wine, and is at the door of the food critic. She says she doesn’t care about the review, but wants him to try the dish with the wine. She wants personal satisfaction.

Rory and Lorelai go searching for the rogue deer. Lorelai suggests that perhaps, at 16, she should not have to study so hard. She says it would be ok with her if Rory decided to leave Chilton. She says she has to worry if Rory is losing it in class. Lorelai is also concerned that maybe she is putting too much pressure on Rory – did going to Harvard start with Lorelai or with Rory?

The conversation seems to make Rory determined to see it through. She sees her failures in a new light. That she will catch up. Rory also thanks Lorelai for throwing her own spat with the headmaster.

Mr. Medina leaves a message that he talked to the headmaster. Rory can do some extra credit work to help make up for the missed test. He also says it was a ‘pleasure’ to see Lorelai again.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why does Rory take her ‘D’ so personally? She seems to think it reflects on her whole character, as seen when she degrades herself as not the ‘smart girl’ Dean is impressed by.
  • Why was Paris so cruel to Rory before the test? After Rory’s grade, you’d think she would no longer feel threatened
  • Did Mr. Medina give Rory another chance because he likes Lorelai? Or because he felt the rules unjust?

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15 thoughts on “Gilmore Girls 1.04 "The Deer Hunters"

  • November 12, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    i feel that paris was still jealous of rory even after she got a D. She still felt threatened by the new girl in the school. I think that maybe Mr. Medina did like Lorelai and bended the rules based upon his feelings. Rory is used to getting good grades and doing well in school. Now that she is in a new school with higher standards, she is overwhelmed at first by everything. She is shocked by her first bad grade and gets worried about her future at Chilton. I think that is perfectly understandable. She could have also been upset because it ruined her image as the “perfect girl” towards her mom, friends, Stars Hollow community, and Dean her first boyfriend.

  • November 12, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    the old gilmore girls episodes were definitly better than the new ones. not saying i dont like the new ones, but they were soooo gooooood back then. i love gilmore girls. i really really really hope that they make the movie. that would be awesome!

  • November 12, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Number 2.Paris still jealous of Rory,cuz she is smart and dont like new girl at the school.I feel that Paris think she is really better than Rory,cuz Paris is so smart and laugh at Rory for get “D”.
    Number 3.I feel that Mr.Medina start like Lorelai and he think she is so funny,when she talked him in the class,but kinda flirt her after talk to Rory.
    Lorelai make me laugh this episode and I love it.

  • November 12, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    I love how they both flip out (Rory’s was the best because it’s not a normal thing). It’s just great.

  • November 13, 2007 at 6:21 am

    this was definitley one of the best episodes ever.
    i still love how rory didn’t hit a deer, a deer hit rory. you don’t hear of that very often.

  • November 13, 2007 at 7:00 am

    In this episode we learn about Rory’s character. Nothing shows a person’s true colors more than how they recover from a failure. Her freak-out is justified by the amount of stress build up over the past week, not to mention entertaining for us. But Rory picks herself up and is determined to keep trying. Even Lorelai offers her an out, but Rory doesn’t take it. She wants to keep trying.

    Two other parts I love about this episode is when Lorelai finds out Rory got a D on her paper. Lorelai immediately knows why Rory was in such a strange mood. Lorelai knows how this will affect Rory. The other part is when the headmaster tells Lorelai about Rory’s fit. There too Lorelai knows how out of character that is for Rory, which means something major is going on. Both of these scenes further cements how close they are and how in tune they are with each other.

    You can tell Max likes Lorelai, but I don’t think he negotiates the extra credit for Rory because he likes Lorelai. I think he really does want Rory to succeed. However, after Lorelai’s el douche’ comment, how can he resist her!

  • November 13, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Lauren/Lorelei had one of her finest moments w/ Max Medina & Headmaster Charlton referring to him as Il duce! And the introduction of Max as a possible suitor was sweet.

    You can feel Paris’ insecurity as she constantly attacks Rory because she is well aware that Rory Gilmore is going to be her greatest adversary and she & her group puppet friends cannot handle it.

  • November 13, 2007 at 9:35 am

    The devotion shown to Rory by Lorelai in this episode is great. Knowing that Rory got a D and studying with her till all hours. And, I love, when they fall asleep and Lorelai brings the blanket into the dining room and puts it around both of them and they both sleep on the table. The way Lorelai stands up to the head master is great. Most of all, her telling her daughter, I just don’t want you to happy, but dancing in the forest happy. And, if Chilton is going to break her spirit and who she is. It is not worth it. The devotion and love shown in a funny way is why Gilmore Girls is such a good show.

  • November 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    This is one of my all-time favorite episodes. I think Rory was so freaked out because academics are such a huge part of what makes up her identity, and she’d always done well in school, so seing a “D” had to have been a complete shock. When I first saw this episode I identified so much with Rory because I probably would have been as devastated as she was had I gotten a “D.”

    I love the interactions with Max and Lorelai, and Lorelai calling the Headmaster “Il Duce” is priceless.

    Such a great episode!

  • November 13, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    I luv when Tristan is again hitting on w/ Rory. Just too bad that she so dense and got poor taste for choosing that boring Dean…

  • November 16, 2007 at 5:13 am

    I always liked that scene head shot of Paris leaning over to talk to Rory as she sat on the bench. I am glad to see you captured that still to display on your recap. It would make a good poster (showing my age).

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  • April 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I liked Jackson-Sookie in this episode and felt it was more telling than the previous one about their coming relationship.

    – Why does Rory take her ‘D’ so personally? She seems to think it reflects on her whole character, as seen when she degrades herself as not the ‘smart girl’ Dean is impressed by.

    Watching this again, I was struck by how easily she first gave up on it and it was Lorelai who talked her around. (It brought stolen yachts to mind.) Although, by the end Rory herself is starting to say that she can do it.

    – Why was Paris so cruel to Rory before the test? After Rory’s grade, you’d think she would no longer feel threatened

    It does come across as cruel. Particularly as it’s all of them – Paris, Louise, Tristan, the Headmaster and even Max seem very unfair in this episode right until the end, I did wonder whether it was a bit out of character and more about creating a “crowd” effect. That said, Paris was sometimes cruel.

    – Did Mr. Medina give Rory another chance because he likes Lorelai? Or because he felt the rules unjust?

    I think the latter. Not least because Lorelai had thrown his comments about Rory back in his face and there was a sense of if he meant she could do it then he ought to do something too (in this case convincing the Headmaster to let her do extra credits). Also, neither Max nor the Head could quite tackle Lorelai’s point about the school fostering enemies – so perhaps they took it on board as well.


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