January 29, 2023•279 words
My wife and I did a watch-through of Gilmore Girls a few years back (like, five years-or-so ago). One guy I loved spotting was a waiter at Luke's Diner; an Asian man hustling about, often in the background of other Stars Hollow community events, but was never given any lines. He always added a little something to the scenes in which he appeared. In season 4, something incredible happened and I started taking note: He finally spoke!
"Hey Luke, coffee?" (from season 4, episode 15)
Hoo-boy! Smart stuff, Palladinos (née Sherman for the lady in the funny hat).
How does one bring the character more out into the open after that? Simple: You don't. You wait another two seasons, and then let him deliver this chestnut:
"It's on its way!" (from season 6, episode 16)
And so the network tells you that you can have one more season to wrap up the whole shebang. Even Luke's chef/cook was given a name (Caesar) and small chunks of dialog throughout the series; will we finally hear more from the waiter? Will we finally learn his name?! Well, yes and no. Give him a throwaway line in the last episode of the series, but please don't call him out by name:
"Hey Luke! Got the turntable. What's next?" (from season 7, episode 22)
Bless your heart, Robert Michael Lee, for playing the role of Stars Hollow's nameless waiter with dignity and grace... and without even being credited for all your appearances on the show.
This coffee's for you.
(I tried to do screenshots of all these moments, but Netflix doesn't like that apparently. I regret the omission.)