Original Airdate: October 30, 2001
Lorelai and Rory are at Luke's. Lorelai is eating while Rory tries to hustle her along; it's Rory's first day of school and she can't be late. What if her new locker doesn't work, sending her whole day into chaos?
Lane walks in and gives Rory the address of a great record store near Chilton, then gives Rory a huge list of CDs to purchase for her. Lorelai goes up to the counter to get donuts as Taylor walks in with a group of Boy Scouts, who form a line and start placing jumbled orders. Luke is annoyed by the boys; apparently he had a bad Boy Scout experience as a child. Lorelai starts to place her donut order, but the phone rings. Lorelai and the kids moan as Luke goes to answer it. Luke tells them all to pipe down.
Luke seems upset by what he hears on the other end of the phone call. Lorelai goes behind the counter and gets her own donuts. Taylor and the Boy Scouts are shocked at the blatant rule breaking. Luke hangs up the phone and Lorelai asks if everything's okay. He asks her if she has a sister; Lorelai doesn't but one of the Boy Scouts does. Luke gives him his sympathies.
Later on, Luke walks toward the diner with an armful of shopping bags. One falls on the ground. Lorelai, who's walking by, stops to help. At first Luke refuses her help, but after much persistence on Lorelai's part agrees to let her help him. She carries a box of Frosted Flakes while he carries the rest of the cereal. She's confused as to why he's bought Frosted Flakes. Since when does Luke eat Frosted Flakes? The rest of the bags also include foods that normally you wouldn't catch Luke purchasing. Lorelai demands to know what's going on, but Luke is vague. He finally admits that his sister Liz is too busy to handle her son, so she's sending him to Luke. Apparently, the son has also been getting into some trouble, and Liz thinks Luke can straighten him out. Lorelai is skeptical on this point. Her skepticism grows when she finds out that the boy is seventeen and staying indefinitely. She wants to know exactly what trouble the kid has been getting into. Luke is convinced that it's just the bad influence of his nutjob sister.
Luke starts inflating an air mattress for Jess, the nephew. Lorelai tells him that Jess needs a bed, not a raft. She offers to help Luke with this but he is convinced that he can handle it. Before she leaves, she asks him if he has extra sheets. He assures her that he does, but as soon as she leaves he grabs his keys and heads out to buy sheets.
At Chilton, Rory and Paris talk about the Franklin. Paris is the editor and it's obvious that she really hates having Rory on the committee. Rory tells her that The Franklin could be really good this year, but she and Paris need to get along, not necessarily as friends, but just coexist. Paris tells Rory that there is a meeting after school at 4 o'clock.
Luke is waiting at the bus stop for Jess, who seems to be a boy of few possessions and words. He gives one-word answers to all of Luke's attempts at conversation. Luke's shows him the diner, the temporary bed, and the Frosted Flakes. Luke leaves to go back to the diner. Jess says he'll see him at ten, when Luke closes up, and starts to leave. Luke says that Jess will need keys. Jess assures him that he doesn't need keys and leaves.
Rory is sitting outside a classroom, reading a book. She's early for the four o'clock meeting. Suddenly she hears voices from inside the classroom and goes inside. Several students and a teacher are sitting around a table. The teacher informs her that the meeting had started at 3:15. Rory takes a seat. She has already missed picking the story of her choice, so Rory is left with covering the re-paving of the school parking lot. This is yet another one of Paris' sneaky plots to make Rory miserable, but to Paris' astonishment, Rory confronts her and explains that whatever crappy assignment Paris gives her, she'll make it the best story ever, and she's not going to back down or quit.
Rory leaves the room and walks down the hallway. Max is walking towards her from the other direction. They stop in front of each other, then both turn around and go the other way. Paris watches from the classroom window.
Lorelai goes to Luke's to get the scoop on Jess and possibly meet him. Luke doesn't even know where Jess is, so Lorelai starts giving him a parenting lecture when Jess walks in. She tries to talk to him and tells him that he should meet Rory, who could show him around town. Jess doesn't say a whole lot and leaves again. Lorelai has a brilliant idea and invites Luke and Jess over for dinner at Lorelai's house tomorrow night, for Sookie's cooking. Luke accepts.
Rory comes into the diner and sits next to Lorelai. She vents to Lorelai about Paris and how much she hates her. Lorelai asks if Rory happened to see Max at all. Rory beats around the bush but finally admits to their awkward scene. Lorelai tells Rory that she doesn't need to avoid Max on Lorelai's account. As they walk home, Lorelai informs Rory of their next night's dinner plans.
At the next newspaper meeting, the teacher announces that Rory's article on the school parking lot was very touching and she should be given an assignment with more depth to it. Paris then gives Rory a new story, which is a profile on the teacher that was voted most popular last-year. It happens to be Max Medina. Rory is taken aback, but accepts.
When Luke and Jess come over to the Gilmores' for dinner, Jess once again doesn't say much. He goes into Rory's bedroom. She introduces herself and tries to be friendly. He goes over and looks at her bookshelf. She asks him if he reads, and he says not much. He goes over to the window and asks if it can open so the two of them can bail. Rory tries to convince him that there's nowhere to bail to in Stars Hollow and Sookie went to a lot of trouble to make dinner special. Rory goes into the living room, and Jess takes a beer from the fridge and sneaks out the back door.
Lorelai goes into the kitchen to get bread and doesn't see Jess. She goes out the backdoor to find Jess on the porch with a beer. She snags the beer, and makes an effort to be nice to Jess. She tells him that she knows what he's going through, but Jess doesn't care and continues being rude. Lorelai's pissed.
Lorelai goes back inside and tells Luke that Jess is more screwed up than they thought. She's trying to help, but Luke resents her interference. They get into a big fight and Luke leaves.
The next morning, Luke gets a phone call from Taylor, who tells Luke that Jess has done something bad. Luke doesn't believe it, but agrees to talk to Jess.
Rory is at Chilton and goes to see Max Medina for the interview. They start the interview, and mid-way soon Rory stops to tell him that she really wanted him as a stepfather. He tells her that he wanted to be her stepfather too.
As Luke and Jess are walking across the bridge, Luke tells Jess that Taylor called and accused Jess of stealing the money from the "repair the bridge" donation cup. Jess says that it's not true, and Luke believes him. Luke and Jess exchange some words, and Luke gets frustrated and pushes Jess into the lake.
Luke, a complete basket case, goes to Lorelai's house and tells her about how Jess stole the money and how he got so frustrated that he pushed Jess into the lake. Just then Babette comes running over to Lorelai's house and tells them that one of her gnomes is missing. Luke immediately suspects Jess.
Luke runs back to the diner and lays down some rules, which include returning the money and the gnome. After the lecture, Jess leaves.
Luke, who is a complete basket case, comes over to Lorelai's house and tells her about how Jess stole the money and how he got so frustrated that he pushed Jess into the Lake. Just then Babette comes running over to Lorelai and tells her and Luke that one of her gnomes is missing. Luke suspects Jess, so he runs back to the diner to lay down the law to Jess, and it includes returning the money and the gnome. After his lecture, Jess leaves.
Jess walks down the street, sees Rory and goes over to her. He gives her a book, which she realizes is her own; he stole her book. He's written in the margins and it's obvious that he's read it before. About forty times, according to Jess. Rory says that she thought he didn't read much. "What is much?" Jess counters. They say goodnight. Rory calls Jess "Dodger". Jess thinks a second and realizes the Oliver Twist connection. They both walk away, smiling.