Gilmore Girls 4.09 "Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out"


Gilmore Girls 4.09 "Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out"
Original Air Date: November 18, 2003 (Recap date: February 25, 2008)
Photos, Recap & Discussion


Discussion Questions:

  • Do you think Luke is truly happy with Nicole? Is that his true reason for smiling?
  • Why doesn’t Lorelai want to rock the boat with Emily?
  • Is Lorelai enjoying toying with Jason? Do you think she likes him or the flattery?
  • Why does Lorelai invite herself to the game?
  • Why does Luke have faith in Brennan? Isn’t he usually more impatient than that?
  • Why do Richard & Emily laugh at Fig Newtons?
  • Is Emily jealous of Pennilyn Lott?
  • Why does Richard like Marty?
  • Why did Richard hide his friendship with Pennilyn?
  • Does Lorelai call back Jason because she wants to anger Emily, or because she no longer cares if she angers Emily?
  • Are Jason and Lorelai compatible? What went wrong, or right, on their date?
  • Does Rory like Marty, even a little?
  • Why does Paris make out with the professor?

Gilmore Girls Episode Recap & Photos:

Lorelai and Rory are mocking Jessica Simpson. The diner is full, so they hover very directly in front of some tables to persuade their occupants to move. So, they succeed in grabbing two tables, push them together, and decide if Luke will be mad again about them hogging the tables. Lorelai and Rory schedule some time together before Rory goes into finals hibernation mode.

Instead of being mad, Luke comes over offering them pumpkin pancakes. Happy and excited about his cinnamon butter. Lorelai tries to provoke him to notice. Lorelai asks why he’s so chipper. Luke says he finally hired some new help – a weight’s been lifted.

Rory digs for dirt about Jason. Lorelai says he’s called and sent gifts – but she’s not sure about going on a date with her father’s partner. Someone from her ‘hood’. Though not her type, he does intrigue Lorelai. Lorelai also says she wants to keep things quiet now that they are sort of settled between herself and her mother. Rory recognizes the new hire as someone she went to junior high with. Someone not so bright. Brennan.

Richard is at Yale having lunch with Paris and Rory, telling them about the time he threw one of his roommates out the window. He asks about their plans for the Harvard/Yale game. "The what?" asks Rory. Richard has attended them all for the past 32 years. They got Rory a ticket to come with them. Paris is in awe when Asher Fleming comes up to say hi to Richard. Paris is a fan of his work. Richard introduces the girls, and Paris digs for an interview. Paris realizes after that she came on a little hard.

Lorelai smiles to herself at Jason’s message, about his not giving up and not ‘growing some’ as other men would have with her constant rebuttals, and his attempt again to ask her out. Lorelai calls him back. Her tone is one of ‘letting you down’, but Jason interrupts telling her the great dinner reservations he got for them. Lorelai says she’s tempted, but that working for her father, being hated by her mother, and coming from her world… not the best things. She does not find him repulsive, but still says she’s sorry. He decides to go anyway – the restaurant is ‘hot’ and he wants to know why.

The neighbors are plaguing Richard & Emily again – want to put out garish Christmas lights and decorations. They bring up the Game, which Lorelai didn’t know about. When Richard says all of Yale will be there, Lorelai asks to go. They are surprised, then need to go un-invite a guest so that she can come. Rory tells Lorelai she was saving her by not telling her about the game – Lorelai gets to hang with Rory, but was mistaken about how long a game lasts.

Lorelai bemoans the early hour the next morning as they wait for breakfast at the diner. Brennan takes their order by memory – something which annoys and concerns Lorelai. Lane comes in to bring back a box of doughnuts that were supposed to be bagels – he can’t tell the difference. When Kirk asks for a napkin, Brennan gives him a used one from his pants. Lane sits down to wait for her bagels and says it’s not fair – she would have loved to work for Luke. It’s a Mrs. Kim approved place. Brennan has forgotten Lorelai’s order.

Lorelai goes to Luke to talk about Brennan, suggesting to Luke that he has lost the spark in his eye since he hired Brennan. She has had enough of wrong orders, bad food, and the same t-shirt of a band he doesn’t know. Instead, Luke just tells Brennan not to give people butt napkins. Luke says he has faith in Brennan – meanwhile, Brennan can’t even figure out which coffee is which.

Richard and Emily are head-to-toe in Yale merchandise, and are horrified that Lorelai wore red (Harvard’s color). Emily drapes her in her coat and blue scarf. They laugh at the Fig Newtons that the girls brought. The girls are astounded that they are there so many hours before the game. Richard explains the ‘rituals’. Like the visit to Dan, the original Yale bulldog. They pull out the flasks and have a toast. First they cheer to Dan, and then to Rory. Then Richard starts to sing the bulldog song. They then move on to a tailgating party.


Sophisticated tailgating, with barbeques. And, in Emily’s case, a trailer with caterers. Emily moves on to making Bloody Mary’s. Richard introduces Rory to some of his friends. So proud of her. Emily asks about Rory’s hoodlum – Jess. Lorelai says he seems to be gone for good. That Rory is stoic like Richard. Paris hunts down Rory to take her picture – a ‘win’ photo and a ‘lose’ photo. Too bored to stick around and watch it.


Pennilyn Lott, Richard’s college sweetheart, stops by to say hi. Emily is very polite. But looks stunned when Lorelai calls Pennilyn her ‘almost mommy.’ Emily says they do not talk to Pennilyn Lott – they meet in passing once a year, and that’s it.

There is a huge line at the bakery – Luke says hi to folks as he passes by, and tells Kirk he has the cheese he likes. Luke clues in that something is going on, especially when Miss Patty just says it’s a nice day for pie. Weston’s does not serve lunch, but they are there. They hate Brennan. Luke makes them feel guilty for not giving Brennan a chance – Luke is trying to teach him a skill, and they are not letting him have a chance. Luke says, then, that from now on every day is a ‘nice day for pie.’

But Luke is proven wrong – Brennan is rocking out on the diner tables. Seeing that, Luke asks for 10 minutes to deal with it.

The current Dan comes traipsing through the parking lot. Emily feeds it a ‘Y’ cookie. Rory introduces Lorelai to Marty, who came to say hi. "Oh, naked guy" says Lorelai. Richard overhears and asks about the nickname. Richard then says he was naked for a whole month at Yale, as a statement against the new dress code. After that, he was quite popular with the ladies.

"One night in a hallway does not a true naked guy make, my friend."

Richard encourages Rory to go to the party that Marty was inviting her to. Richard likes Marty. Lorelai runs into Pennilyn at the restroom and they chat. They go back to the trailer where Richard is making more to drink, and is a little on the affectionate side with his wife. At least until he is distracted by the Whiffenpoofs. He goes to join in the singing.

Emily is, meanwhile, in less of a good mood. Asks Richard why Pennilyn knows that Lorelai is opening an Inn. Right in front of the Whiffenpoofs, Richard is put on the spot. Being accused of infidelity. As Richard says "I told her," Lorelai tells the singers to run. Richard says he had lunch with Pennilyn. And they have been having lunch once a year since he and Emily were married. And that Pennilyn hid it from her husband too for the last 39 years.

Emily takes out her anger on Lorelai, getting mad at Lorelai for talking with Pennilyn and for coming in the first place. Lorelai leaves – calls Jason. Asks if he still has those reservations.

At the trendy restaurant, Lorelai is in awe that Ted Koppel is there. Jason has booked a private room. It’s a little quiet for Lorelai. She is intrigued by the people in the main area. She keeps hearing "yaaay" when the door opens. Lorelai brings up that everything is going on ‘out there.’ Lorelai thinks it’s fun, Jason thinks it’s noise. Lorelai brings up that the point of a trendy place is the atmosphere, which is ‘out there’.

Lorelai calls it the Ebola room, she feels quarantined. Jason suggests they leave, not being keen on Lorelai’s idea of eating at the bar. The night didn’t quite work out. They are just about to give up and drive home, but Lorelai’s hunger kicks in. She asks him to pull off the highway. To go to Taco Barn. Jason doesn’t want to order anything. So Lorelai doesn’t want to eat if he won’t. So next they go to a supermarket. Gets annoyed when he runs an errand during their food trip. That is, until she sees the toothpaste and realizes she needs that too. Jason makes some kind of deal with the stock boy to go to the stock room and look for the mini Pringles that Lorelai wants.

They set up a romantic dinner outside on the bench with candles, and complete it with the fun flask. Jason asks how it was that Lorelai changed her mind about their date. Jason asks if whatever Emily did that night, she’d do the next night. Lorelai says there is a good possibility.

Rory calls to see how the date is going. Lorelai says she ‘might’ like Jason. After getting her coffee, Rory sees a very interesting sight. Paris making out with Asher Fleming.


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10 thoughts on “Gilmore Girls 4.09 "Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out"

  • February 26, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I think Jason needed to realize that Lorelai was more into the social part before reserving that room.

  • February 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Why does Paris make out with the professor?

    That might be the most ridiculous question I have ever seen.

  • February 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    it is a ridiculous question and completely ridiculous!! I’ve never understood why Paris ends up dating a professor 40 years older! 40 years! EWWWWW!! that is creepy and gross and not to mention wrong. Shouldn’t Asher be fired or sued or something like that?? Can you do that?

  • February 27, 2008 at 8:21 am

    I liked this episode, it included lots of emotions. I hated that Emily blamed Lorelai for the whole Pennilyn Lot thing. That was so not fair. And I kind of liked the fact, that Lorelai decided to date Jason out of protest but when they got to the Restaurant I got so mad at Jason, because he didn´t understand Lorelai at all (at first). And I think it´s really weird, that Paris is having an affair with a professor, that´s so… yuck…
    But I liked the episode!

  • February 27, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Wonder Y – the question has more to it. What motivates Paris to seek out an older guy? I personally think that since Paris was starved for parental love growing up that she is transferring all those extra feeling to Asher. So he is able to offer her something more than Jamie, simply by being an older man in her life.

  • February 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I love Lorelai in this episode. She invites herself to the game because she doesn’t want to be left out. I loved it when she met Pennilyn and goes: “Oh my god, you’re my almost-mommy,” that line is so hysterical. But of course I hate how Emily blames Lorelai for Pennilyn and Richard.

    I love comparing Lorelai/Jason first date with Lorelai/Luke first date because Lorelai seemed so miserable with Jason but so happy with Luke. In her first date with Jason, he failed to know what kind of person she is. He only thought how HE wanted the date to go. He didn’t want to be in the restuarant atmosphere, he wanted to flash his money to Lorelai to impress. Obviously, that kind of thing makes Lorelai feel uncomfortable. Jason didn’t attempt to make conversation while they were there. Later when they were driving and Lorelai wanted tacos Jason didn’t want to order any mostly because he considered it to be cheap food. Then when they went to the grocery store all he did was whine and complain. Lorelai even started picking up a Luke-like attitude with the whole situation. When Jason asked Lorelai to watch his pink cocconut balls, and Lorelai says: “Not on a first date, mister…” it strikes me as ironic because on her first date with Luke she had sex. The theme to Lorelai/Jason relationship is excitement, rebellion and unfortuantely business and money. The business and money is what separates them the most. Lorelai doesn’t care so much about those things in comparison to people and Jason often choses those things over people. Jason doesn’t get to know Lorelai in a way a real committed person should. The first date just foreshadows that for me.

  • February 27, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I just mad and hate it Emily blames Lorelai for Pennilyn and Richard.That not Lorelai’s fault.I love part of Lorelai ask Pennilyn for are you get pony for me and I was laugh,that so funny.

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  • June 9, 2018 at 1:49 am

    I figured Richard and Emily laughed at the Fig Newtons because of the history the cookie has. They were named after a place in Massachusetts, which is where Harvard University is located, and they fought to be the states cookie and lost.


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