Episode: Back in the Saddle Again ...
Original Airdate: April 23, 2002
At Lukeís Diner, Lorelai and Rory notice that something has changed, something significant. He has removed the classic French toast special and replaced it with an omelet special. Oh the horror! Roryís been ordering the French toast since she was born. Whatís a Gilmore girl to do? Lorelai tries to order the omelet, but Luke is skeptical that sheíll like it. She persists but not without changing the omelet ingredients completely. It serves Luke right for trying to introduce something different.
When Rory tells Lorelai that she recognizes the handwriting on the chalkboard featuring the specials as Jessís, Lorelai wonders just how she knows Jessís handwriting so well. It turns out that Rory lent him a book, and he wrote in the margins. Very interesting. Just then, Dean unexpectedly drops by to say hello, and Rory doesnít look so jazzed to see him. Lorelai invites him to join them, and he checks with Rory to see if thatís okay. She hesitates ever so slightly, but of course Dean can join them. He doesnít need to even ask. He sits, orders the omelet special, and a shot of Rory shows she looks uncharacteristically uncomfortable.
Later at Chilton, Rory is leading a group about an upcoming business fair. Theyíre supposed to come up with a product thatís geared toward high school kids. Later, a boy named Brad joins the group which also has Paris, Louise, and Madeline as members. It seems heís been away from Chilton (for some sort of psychiatric reason), but now heís back and quite enthusiastic. Rory is nice to him, of course, while Paris is her usual self. After she insults Brad, she reminds Rory that they need to find an advisor, a parent who runs a business that can help them with their project. And it looks like Lorelai fits the bill, much to Roryís chagrin.
At the inn, Lorelai rushes into the kitchen to show Sookie her wedding invitations. Unfortunately, Sookieís name is spelled wrong. They printed Suzie instead. Lorelai gets on the phone to help fix the problem, while Michel announces that his mother is coming to visit. Isnít that special? Being happy about a visit from oneís mother is a totally foreign concept to Lorelai. When Lorelai hands off the phone to Sookie, she freaks out. These people are ruining the most important day of her life!
After school, Rory arrives at the inn and asks Lorelai about being the parent advisor on her economics project. Lorelai agrees but then suggests that Richard (the retired business tycoon) would be perfect for the job. Plus, it might be just the thing Richard needs to make his life a little more interesting now that he is retired. Rory heads over to her grandparentís place to pop the question. Richard seems reluctant to do it, heís awful busy etc, etc. So Rory leaves without the advisor she needs. After Rory leaves, Richard tells Emily how he declined Roryís offer. Emily is furious that Richard would disappoint Rory. Emily can deal with the moping and the other crap thatís occurred since Richardís retirement; however, denying their granddaughter such a service is unforgivable.
Later, Rory and Lane are walking in Stars Hollow, and Lane is freaking out because she took a career aptitude test and discovered that sheís perfect for a career in sales. Rory gently explains that these tests donít mean anything, but Lane is still quite disturbed. Itís the fourth time sheís taken it and itís the fourth time the test said sales. The girls run into Dean, who asks Rory to watch his softball game. She declines because they have plans tonight and sheís got philosophy homework to contend with. Dean suggests that she do her homework at the game, but she doesnít want to. A fight almost breaks out, but instead Dean shuffles away looking defeated.
Michelís mother, Gisele, arrives at the inn, and itís a complete love fest. And after a few moments, itís clear where Michel got his personality. However, Gisele is much more charming than her son, complimenting Lorelai in the first few seconds they meet.
At Chilton, Richard accompanies Rory to her business fair meeting. Seems Emilyís comments made him change his mind. He is introduced to the group and then observes as everyone pitches some ideas for their potential product. Louise suggests a lipstick LoJack, in other words, a tracking device for lost lipstick. That idea is discarded quickly, leaving Madeline to suggest a locker robot. But that means someone would actually have to build a robot. Next? Paris jumps up and presents everyone with a detailed proposal of her idea, something that no teenager should be without. A first-aid kit specially designed to fit inside a locker with minimum space destruction. Richard questions Paris on why a teenager would buy something they could get a drugstore or get for free from the school nurse. Ah, thatís easy. The way to a teenagerís wallet is packaging. Put it in a leopard print and itís a done deal. Itís all about style and they would create a style for every taste. After Richard hears the entire pitch, he absolutely loves it. And he digs his heals in for some real planning, telling the group to cancel their dinner plans because theyíre all going be there for a while.
When Rory gets home, she finds out that Dean has been calling all afternoon. Oh boy. Just then the phone rings, but itís Richard. He wants to move the business-fair meetings to his house because it will be more comfortable with infinitely better snacks. See, Lorelai was right. Richard is really enjoying being the parent advisor. Then, Rory clears the answering machine of Deanís messages. There are ten in all, and each one gets more pathetic than the next. This is a bad sign. This boy needs a hard lesson in love. Rory doesnít like whatís happening between them, but Lorelai explains that all relationships go through a rough patch and she should ride it out and see what happens.
The group arrives at Richardís house only to discover that Paris is already there. It looks like Richard and Paris are cut from the same cloth. Theyíve prepared a fancy board room to have their first official meeting of the Style-Aid Kit. Rory takes her place at the head of the table, and Paris informs the group of their latest development. She shows everyone the actual product, which includes a deluxe edition. Everything is going so well. They have a great product, and Richard is smiling for the first time in a while.
When Lorelai arrives home later, she discovers Dean hard at work washing Roryís car. Oh dear. Lorelai invites Dean in for a soda and a little lecture on his over-eager attitude. She gives him a little advice. Maybe he shouldnít try so hard or hold on too hard to Rory. The best thing to do is give Rory some space. Let her come to Dean for a change. Dean is slightly suspicious, but is grateful for the advice. He agrees to back off a little.
At the Friday night dinner, Richard announces that his experience with Roryís group has made him realize that he doesnít like being retired. He has decided to go back to work. He will go into business for himself. Maybe heíll consult or teach. Who knows? But all he knows is that he hasnít felt this good in a long time. And he owes it all to Rory. On the way home, Rory gets a page from Dean. But wait. Itís the only page Roryís gotten from him in two days. However, when Lorelai suggest Rory use her cell to call him back, Rory declines. Sheís hanging out with Lane later anyway. Theyíre going to listen to CDs, maybe head over to Lukeís. Lorelai doesnít understand why they would go to Lukeís. Sheís clearly worried about the possibility of Rory hanging out with Jess but wonít come right out and say it. She drops off Rory at Laneís place and heads home, only to find Dean on their porch. He looks up at Lorelai and says, ďShe likes Jess, doesnít she?Ē It just about breaks Lorelaiís heart to hear him say it, but Lorelai canít deny it and just watches Dean walk off into the night.
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