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Gilmore Girls: Season Four

Season Four of WB's popular family dramedy Gilmore Girls held strong, leading off with Lorelai and Rory (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) returning from a mother-daughter backpacking trip through Europe and preparing for Rory's freshman year at Yale. In the season premiere, "Ballrooms and Biscotti," which aired September 23, 2003, the gals catch up on Stars Hollow goings-on — Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) is well-along in her pregnancy and confides the baby's sex to Lorelai (even though Jackson refuses to know, saying that "the old way" was good enough for Ricky Ricardo and Dick Van Dyke); they find Luke (Scott Patterson) and Taylor fighting after Taylor installs a plate glass window looking from his soon-to-open ice cream parlor next door into Luke's diner; and a long chat with Luke informs Lorelai that, during a summer cruise, Luke proposed to his longtime on-off girlfriend Nicole, married her, and now they plan to divorce. The rest of the season was similarly hectic, fun, and plot-dense — Lorelai borrows Luke's truck (even though she can't drive a stick-shift) to help Rory move to Yale, where she discovers that one of her roommates is former nemesis Paris (Liza Weil) who arranged to room with Rory because her life-coach, Terence, told her that their journey is not complete (Paris tells Rory that Terence has done a lot to help her people skills, using their new roommate, Tanna, as an example — "The old Paris would have been bothered by your penchant to hover. It would have made her want to wring your neck until your eyeballs popped out. But now, I accept it because I can't control everything.") Meanwhile, Lorelai and Sookie continue to renovate the Dragonfly Inn, Emily (Kelly Bishop) goes typically overboard and outfits Rory's dorm room with expensive furniture, a plasma-screen TV and sound system, embarrassing Rory, Lorelai begins secretly dating Jason "Digger" Stiles (Chris Eigeman), Richard's (Edward Herrmann) New assistant and son of Richard's hated rival, Dean (Jared Padelecki) gets married even though he still loves Rory, Paris gets "special attention" from one of her professors (Michael York), Rory's annoying grandmother (Marion Ross) dies, Richard and Emily's marriage flounders, and Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) tries to regain Rory's affections. The season ender, "Raincoats and Recipes," finds Lorelai and Sookie preparing to open the inn, Luke tries to tell Lorelai how he really feels, and Rory expresses her deep feelings for Dean. Warner's DVD release of Gilmore Girls: The Complete Fourth Season continues the tradition of good packaging and excellent quality — gorgeous full-frame transfers, excellent DD 5.1 audio, and an attractive book-like package. All 22 episodes are included, plus another "Your Guide to Gilmore-isms" booklet on the gals' pop-culture references, extra scenes added on two episodes, the on-screen factoids feature "Gilmore Goodies and Gossip: Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist," a montage of romantic season-four moments and a "Stars Hollow Challenge" trivia quiz.
—Dawn Taylor

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