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Episode: A Tale of Poes and Fire ...

Original Airdate: April 15, 2003

In the diner, Lorelai and Rory work on pro-and-con lists to help decide between Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Kirk's new plan is to sell t-shirts with humorous topical headlines of something he's witnessed around town. Today's t-shirt reads, "Babette ate Oatmeal." When Luke finds out that Rory's been accepted to all three schools, he gives her an awkward hug, but questions the needs for pro-con lists, since Harvard has been her choice for years. Rory leaves for school and Luke tells Lorelai that Jess is employee of the month at Wal-Mart, even though this honor seems tiny in comparison to Rory's. Lorelai congratulates him warmly and Luke says he's going to the ceremony at Wal-Mart in Jess's honor.

At the Inn kitchen, Lorelai finds Sookie trying to get a stray cat to eat. Sookie and Jackson have become very nurturing toward all living things, even trying to save spiders. In the lobby, members of the Edgar Allen Poe Society are checking in, to Michel's great disdain. Lorelai makes cute references to the works of Poe with the guests, all of which fall flat.

At the Wal-Mart meeting, the store manager speaks glowingly of Jess's reliability and out-of-sight production. Jess is not pleased to see Luke and goes back to work. The manager speaks highly to Luke of Jess's willingness to work more than 40 hours a week. Luke does not understand how Jess can go to school, work at the diner and put in so many hours at the store.

At the Poe Society's recitation of "The Raven" at Miss Patty's, Lorelai and Rory continue to talk about pro-con lists. Dean is there with Lindsey, who doesn't seem pleased to see Rory; even so, Rory says Lindsay was nice in fourth grade. Lorelai asks Luke to borrow a pen for the pro-con list, and Nicole loans her one, noting that she'll need it back. Rory observes that Nicole "has a little Lindsey attitude going." Miss Patty asks why Rory wastes time on pro-con lists when Rory's been devoted to Harvard since she was 6. A second Poe Society member has also arrived to recite the Raven and the audience has to listen to another performance.

Outside Miss Patty's, one of the Poe impersonators talks to the girls as if he were Poe, and the other impersonator comes up to correct him on a Poe fact. Kirk's latest topical t-shirt reads "Faux Poes Foes" but they're not selling much better than the Babette shirts. Dean and Lindsay talk awkwardly with Lorelai and Rory. Dean's been accepted to Southern Connecticut State and the girls congratulate him, but Lindsey cuts the visit short. Rory goes home to watch Billy Joel in "Charlie Rose" and Luke tells Lorelai what he's found out about Jess's work schedule. He wants to believe that Jess is still going to school, since Jess knows he must graduate to continue living with Luke. Lorelai points out that Jess is very busy with Rory on weekends, but sees that Luke wants to believe the best, and apologizes for having said things that might have cast doubt on Jess's truthfulness.

Rory wakes Lorelai with a call from Tobin at the Inn saying that the fire alarm has gone off. It's not a false alarm, and Lorelai and Rory arrive at the Inn to find firefighters and multiples engines responding to the call. Sookie and Michel assure her that everyone is safe and Lorelai is relieved. The fire chief tells her the structure is stable and that they can re-enter in 24 hours. Lorelai sets Sookie and Michel to work getting breakfast for the guests and finding accommodations for those who need to stay in town another night. She sends Rory to entertain the guests' children with a sock puppet show. Lorelai catches Michel calling a B&B to inquire about employment opportunities for himself.

Sookie and crew take over the kitchen at Luke's Diner as the Inn guests fill the tables. Luke agrees to the plan only after his guests agree to cancel their existing order for Sookie's gourmet breakfast. Rory has to get to school, so Lorelai tells the guests' children to ask the nice man in the baseball cap and flannel shirt to continue the sock puppet show after breakfast.

At Miss Patty's, Patty and Babette are "helping" Michel set up the emergency operations location. There are no accommodations in the area and all but Michel offer to put up stranded Inn guests at their homes. Rory insists that she will give up her room so that Lorelai can stay in her own bed.

At Chilton, one of the teachers congratulates students who have been accepted to colleges and makes references to one person already accepted at Harvard. Rory asks Louise and Madeline if they're heard from Paris - but the girls haven't missed her in the five days she's been absent. Rory goes to Paris' home with school stuff and finds Paris wallowing in front of soap operas. Paris hasn't told her parents about Harvard, hasn't called her boyfriend, and blames herself for her rejection because of a segment of her application interview in which she sounded like a meth addict (she tape-recorded the interview). Rory encourages her to build a "life plan" that involves going on one of the many fine colleges that would love to have her. Paris agrees to come back to school and tells Rory "Thanks."

Lorelai settles guests at her house, and talks again with Rory about forgetting the pro-con list since Yale leads the list. Rory says her room is plastered with Harvard souvenirs, and insists that her choice must be right for "both of them." Lorelai assures her that what is right for Rory is right for her. Rory leaves to stay at the Kims' house, and an unexpected couple shows up. Lorelai gives them her own room and begins to wander the streets in search of a place to sleep. She calls Rory, who encourages her to wake Luke up and stay there. Luke agrees to give her shelter.

Lane ends her nightly phone call with Young Chui and Rory's questions make her realize that Young Chui is in love with Lane, though their courtship was supposed to be a sham to make both sets of parents happy while they saw the people they really wanted to be with. Jess shows up at the window, and gets defensive when Rory asks him about work and school, especially since Lorelai has taken an interest. Rory offers to help him if he gets behind, but he assures her that he has it covered and asks her to come outside. Mrs. Kim enters the room with a cricket bat and Jess goes away.

In Luke's apartment, Lorelai takes the bed and Luke takes the couch. Nicole calls but Luke doesn't mention that Lorelai's spending the night. It turns out that he talked about Lorelai on their first date and since then, she's been a sore point with Nicole. Lorelai explains that if Luke continues to talk about other women on first dates, he'll always be a mountain man. As he sets the alarm clock, a feeling of deja vu overtakes her and she tells him about the dream she had in which they were married and expecting twins.

The next morning, there seems to be a grudging but friendly respect between Sookie and Luke in the kitchen. Jess leaves early "for school" and Lorelai gets word from the fire chief that staff can re-enter the Inn. She tells the Inn guests that their belongings will soon be available. The Poe Society presents her with a stuffed raven.

Lorelai and Sookie meet Michel and the fire chief at the Inn. The chief is startled when he hears Lorelai talk about opening the Inn for dinner, and gently advises them to wait until they're inside to make plans. Entering the devastated interior, the three look about in shocked silence. The stray cat is there and seems to be the only thing that's been unharmed. Lorelai pets it wordlessly.

At home, Rory walks into her bedroom to find it decorated with Yale banners, Yale posters, a Yale sweatshirt, her Yale pro-con list, and Kirk's latest topical t-shirt: "Rory's going to Yale!"

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