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Gilmore Girls episode "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" holds a special place for many fans of the show as we see Rory embark on a new academic journey to reach her full potential while her Mother Lorelai comes up against the world she ran away from at 16.
First aired in the year 2000, "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" sets the stage for a new chapter in the lives of the Gilmore women. The episode introduces the prestigious Chilton Preparatory School, where Rory, the bookish and ambitious daughter, embarks on a remarkable academic journey.
Within the halls of Chilton and the vibrant world of Stars Hollow, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino masterfully crafted a universe rich in small-town charm and complex interpersonal relationships. "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" epitomises the series' ability to delve into the minutiae of daily life, showcasing the interplay of emotions, the importance of tradition, and the power of familial bonds.
Here we’re taking a look at the hidden details that make this episode a fan favourite.
Rory: [about the Chilton students] They kept calling me "Mary."
Lorelai: You're kidding me. Wow, I cannot believe they still say that!
Lorelai: Mary, like Virgin Mary. It means they think you look like a goody-goody.
Rory: You're kidding.
Rory: Well, what would have called me if they thought I looked like a slut?
Lorelai: Well, they might have added a "Magdalene" to it.
(Gilmore Girls “The Lorelai’s First Day At Chilton”)
What Happens In The Gilmore Girls Episode, "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton"?
"The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" serves as the second episode of Season 1 in the beloved series Gilmore Girls.
On the morning of Rory's inaugural day at Chilton, Lorelai finds herself oversleeping. Rushing to get ready, she hastily puts on the only clothes she has left - denim cut off shorts and a pink tie dye t-shirt - only to be confronted by her own mother in the headmaster's office. Lorelai's choice of clothing becomes a target for sharp criticism from her disapproving mother and disdainful glances from the Chilton staff.
Rory meets the school's office manager, who familiarises her with the school's culture and the possibility of earning extra credit. A student volunteer passes Rory's file out the window to Paris, Madeline, and Louise. Paris, feeling threatened by Rory's academic achievements, attempts to downplay her accomplishments but shows signs of nervousness.
Rory's day takes a downward turn from there. She receives a three-inch binder filled with a week's worth of notes from a single class and encounters challenging classmates, including Paris Geller, who sees Rory as a rival and asserts her own intellectual superiority. Tristan, a classmate, incessantly teases Rory by calling her "Mary." As Rory struggles to open her locker, she unintentionally disrupts Paris' class project and attempts to answer questions that Paris would typically address, further fueling Paris' anger.
In Stars Hollow, Luke criticises Lorelai for her unconventional choice of attire so she desperately has to change before picking Rory up. Later, Ian, who Lorelai met that morning at Chilton, visits the inn to invite her to dinner. Lorelai declines the offer, citing his status as a "Chilton Dad" as the reason.
At the end of the day, Lorelai picks up Rory from Chilton, bringing coffee as a comfort in a new outfit and they bond over their shared frustrations about their challenging days.
Hidden Details In The Gilmore Girls Episode "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton"
Stars Hollow Has A Population of 9,9,73
The "Welcome to Stars Hollow" sign in the episode "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" prominently displays a population of 9,973, emphasising the small-town charm of the setting.
Sean Gunn Plays Another Character Named Mick Here
Sean Gunn portrays a character named "Mick" in this particular episode, while his iconic role as "Kirk" is established in the remainder of the series.
The A.V. Club Ranked This Episode As The Weakest
While rewatching the series, David Sims of The A.V. Club expressed his opinion that among the early episodes of Season 1, this particular episode is the weakest, as the show was still finding its groove.
Paris’ First Appearance
Liza Weil was initially considered for the role of Rory, but Amy Sherman-Palladino was so impressed with her that she created the character of Paris specifically for her. Paris first appears in "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton".
Jackson’s First Episode
"The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" also marks the first appearance of Jackson.
Luke Kept The Diner Open Just For Lorelai
Luke steps outside when he sees Lorelai and Rory walking past, and he subsequently puts up the closed sign, indicating that he had kept the diner open just for them.
There Is A “Moose Connection”
Lorelai suggests seeking advice from a big guy named Moose. Jared Padalecki, who plays Dean, would go on to portray Sam Winchester in Supernatural (2005), where his character gets nicknamed Moose by Crowley.
Midwest Street Also Hosted The Dukes Of Hazzard
A reference is made to Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) in "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton" which was also filmed on Warner Bros. Midwest Street.
Within the expansive grounds of Warner Bros., Midwest Street stands as the largest backlot set, boasting a rich history of hosting significant events. Recognisable to many, Midwest Street has graced the screens of iconic productions like The Music Man, Rebel Without a Cause, Bonnie and Clyde, as well as beloved television shows such as The Dukes of Hazzard, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, and Grease Live.
Transforming into "Anytown, USA," Midwest Street captivates audiences with its quaint small-town square, adorned with a charming gazebo, a picturesque courthouse, and a steeple church nestled among street-level storefronts.
Lorelai’s Jeep Is Different From The First Episode
Lorelai's jeep in the first episode had a slightly different colour and a hard top, but now it has a soft top, which remains consistent throughout the rest of the series.
Luke’s Sign Is Also Different In This Episode
Luke's sign is nailed to the wall of the diner, whereas in future episodes, it will be hanging.
Is Chilton Actually Worse Than Stars Hollow High?
The social dynamics that Rory hoped to escape from at Stars Hollow High School are only intensified by the more complex conflicts she encounters at Chilton, involving more sophisticated and treacherous minds.
There Is A Harry Potter Reference
Interestingly, there is a mention of the new Harry Potter book in "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton".
There Is A Connection With “A Cinderella Story”
The teacher, played by John Billingsley, also portrays a teacher in “A Cinderella Story”, which stars Chad Michael Murray (Tristan Dugray).
There Is Someone Else Driving Instead Of Lorelai
During the scene where Lorelai takes Rory to her first day at Chilton, there is a continuity error where the passenger seat is empty once they reach the highway, and Lorelai is no longer shown driving (the driver is wearing a cream-coloured shirt instead of a pink shirt).
There Is A Connection With “The West Wing”
Liza Weil (Paris Geller) and Dakin Matthews (Hanlin Charleston) also worked together on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016), reprising their respective roles. They also appeared together on The West Wing (1999) as Karen Larson and Simon Blye, respectively.
"The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton" is one of the early and most captivating episodes of Gilmore Girls that showcases the show’s famous storytelling and attention to detail that has made the series so beloved by fans. From the clever references to classic literature and pop culture, to the nuanced character development and relationships, this episode is a treasure trove of hidden gems which show Rory starting at Chilton.
As we delve into the lives of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, we are reminded of the power of connection, the complexities of adolescence, and the unwavering bond between a mother and daughter. "The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton" effortlessly captures the essence of the Gilmore Girls series, leaving us eager to uncover even more hidden details in the episodes to come.
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