In an ELLE Magazine Q&A, Gilmore Girls' Scott Patterson revealed his favorite Luke Danes scene, and it's sure to incite some LOLz. "Pushing my nephew Jess into the lake," the actor said. "Number one moment, probably in my life." Good one, sir; it was hard proof that the diner owner was not going to take any of the angsty teen's nonsense lying down. Iconic. And yet it makes me want to flashback to their complicated relationship, and really examine who more successfully trumped the other.
Truth is, Luke and Jess clashed hard because (aside from Jess's overt rebelliousness) they were too similar, grumps with a certain fondness for, and attraction to, Gilmores. And while A Year In The Life has seen them soften and allow their similarities to bring them closer, the Danes-Mariano saga had them butting heads for several seasons, always trying to get one over the other. Who ultimately triumphed in this familial back-and-forth? That is the question, and it's a question that I am happy to dig up the information to answer.
Feel free to watch the interview with Patterson below to learn more about his Gilmore Girls preferences, and then scroll down to revisit the struggle between the cantankerous kin.
Again, we can't undersell this moment, it is nothing short of iconic. Jess has already made his mark as a troublemaker in Stars Hollow in, what, 48 hours our less? So he and Luke bicker, with Jess essentially huffing about how he just wants Luke to leave him alone. Message received... and then this happens, without Luke even breaking his stride.
Luke Attempts To Get Jess To Quit Smoking
Jess is turning Luke's apartment into an episode of Mad Men (the early years) and Luke is 120 percent done. He pulls out just about every method in the book, from nicotine patches to herbal remedies to pictures of rotting lungs. It isn't a huge plot point necessarily, although it is worth mentioning that we don't really see Jess smoking again. Actually, my memory is a bit fuzzy on that, but I'm pretty sure we don't see Jess chain-smoking in that arrogant teen I-hate-my-dad way again.
Jess Shows Up In The Luke's Uniform
After he shows up in inappropriate work attire i.e. a Metallica tee (gross shirt, good band) and Luke berates him, Jess comes back in more... fitting apparel. Luke is unamused, although the rest of us get a kick out of it.
Jess Is So Disruptive That He Almost Forces Luke To Move
This kid can only sleep with music blasting, and Luke's left scrambling for a new place, watching TV in the diner, having night terrors about animated boxes, et al. This teenager really ruins his entire bachelor living situation for a time.
Luke Makes A Room For Jess
And then Luke, completely Over It, comes into the apartment, takes out a mallet, smashes the wall, announces it's Jess' new room, and tells him to finish up. Don't mess with the bull, kid, you'll get the horns.
Jess Asks To Come Back To Stars Hollow
For his own reasons (his own, bookish, blue-eyed reasons) but this is a very, very humbling moment. Look at Jess in this scene. He really has to swallow his pride hard, and it looks like it hurts.
Luke Finds Out That Jess Was Attacked By A Swan
A vicious, vicious, swan. And Jess, for certain, is never able to live it down. A lot of magical things happen in that lake.
Point: Luke (and the Swan)
Luke Finds Out Jess Works At Walmart
Not as good as the swan, but he is tickled by the idea of Jess as a wholesome, All-American boy just trying to make some side-cash to finance a car. Really, he loves every minute of it. This will pass.
Luke Finds Out Jess Has Been Skipping Out On School To Work Extra At Walmart
Dun dun dun. I have to say, Luke majorly effed up here. No matter how sneaky Jess is, there's no way this should've gone unnoticed for so long.
Point: Jess (but really no one, I don't think anyone really benefited from the Jess-ditches-school saga)
Luke Gets Jess Arrested
Welp, Jess hijacked his own car, and Luke reported it stolen. Luckily it was dismissed as a "family matter" and everyone ended up (relatively) unscathed.
Point: Luke (but only accidentally)
Jess Tosses Luke's Hat Away
Luke loves that hat. Jess just throws it off-screen like it's a child's plaything. Rude.
Luke Danes, hands down. While Jess, particularly during his James Dean phase, was a perpetual thorn in Luke's side, Luke was always swinging back with a mallet in hand.
It's good for Jess that the two have more or less stopped their family feud... for now.