What an elegantly structured episode. Lorelai’s been slightly estranged from her daughter Rory and wants to get back in. She’s been radioactively estranged from her mother and couldn’t care less about that. And that’s boring – if two characters hate each other and won’t see each other, where’s the conflict going to come from?
So the writers use getting to know Rory’s new boyfriend to trap Lorelai back into compulsory Friday dinners with her mother. Similarly, Lorelai’s magazine interview from 3 eps back led to a job offer which is simply a means of exposing Luke’s fear of losing Lorelai. Conflict, again!
The show also had a gripping reminder of how it plays for low stakes (family relationships rather than life & death), as recovering a stolen antique sewing box became a gripping thriller setpiece.