Episode: The Lorelais' First Day at Yale ...

Original Airdate: September 30, 2003

Rory is packing and wondering when she moved from mascara and sunscreen to dozens of indespensible beauty products. Lorelai is looking for the camera so she can capture every moment of this day. Rory asks Lorelai if Luke knows she can't drive a stick, since she borrowed his truck, which is a stick. Lorelai maintains that she can drive a stick and continues to try taking candid shots of Rory, all of which look forced.

Rory comes into Luke's diner and sits at the counter. She says that she's nervous, but one last Luke's fix will help. Luke looks out the window and sees Lorelai backing his truck towards the diner. Apparently she couldn't get it out of reverse after backing it out of the driveway, so she backed it all the way to Luke's.

Luke walks outside and over to the truck. Lorelai tells him that his stick is uncooperative, and he tells her that she doesn't know how to drive a stick. To prove his point, he gets in, drives the truck forward, and parks it along the curb. As they walk back to the diner, he tells her that she can't drive the truck anymore. She insists that he can, and he tells her to have it back by four. He's in a bad mood because of all of the divorce papers. Lorelai and Rory get ready to head out, and Caeser gives Rory her Yale special: sausage wrapped in a pancake tied together with bacon. Luke gives Lorelai a diagram of the shift for the truck. She assures him that she can handle it.

Luke gets a visit from Nicole's lawyer about the divorce. The lawyer asks Luke what he wants from the divorce, but Luke says he wants nothing. The lawyer says that when people say that, it always means the start of a negotiation, but Luke says no, he really doesn't want anything. The lawyer thinks Luke is trying to play him.

Lorelai arrives at Yale before Rory in her Prius, which is packed full of stuff. Lorelai had stood in the empty parking spot next to the truck to save it for Rory, which made some of the "Yalies" mad, apparently. A nice-looking 20-year-old approaches them and asks for their name, which freaks Lorelai out so she starts explaining that some guy in a jacket told her it would be okay to save a parking spot. But the girl introduces herself as Tess, Rory's freshman counselor. She welcomes Rory and gets ready to shake her hand, but Lorelai makes them stop so that she can get the camera ready to take a picture of the scene. Rory is a little embarrassed but Tess says that "they all do this". After Lorelai takes the picture, Tess starts telling Rory about a tour for all new Durfee girls that she's about to give, but Rory has memorized the schedule. Tess notices that they've brought Rory's own mattress. Lorelai starts acting guilty again, but Tess says that it's okay as long as they've made arrangements to dispose of the one that's already there. Lorelai and Rory both affirm that they have. Tess tells Lorelai to get her camera ready because she's about to give Rory the key to her dorm. After she gives Rory the key and leaves, Lorelai and Rory go to see Rory's room. They grab bags and head off. Rory asks if Lorelai really arranged to have the mattress disposed of, and Lorelai says that she really did.

Rory seems doubtful and is reading in her Freshman Handbook about mattress disposal. Lorelai admits that she didn't call anyone to arrange for mattress disposal, but that they can easily dump it in a dumpster or burn it. They walk into Rory's dorm suite and look around. It even has a fireplace. They look into Rory's room, but Rory is distracted because her map ripped. Lorelai makes her go back out and come in again so that she can get some good shots with her camera. They then leave to get Rory a new map.

Later on, Rory is on a tour led by Tess. She's trying to take notes on a small notepad while picking up various student survival tools from tables in the courtyard. Another girl in the tour, Diane, is watching Rory take notes. She makes fun of her and smirks with a friend. Rory is suddenly next in line for her ID picture. She tries to straighten her hair and asks about getting a second picture, but the picture is quickly snapped and Rory has to move on.

Tess leads the girls back to the dorm rooms. Rory goes into her dorm and is followed by a girl from the group, who sits down in the common room. Rory goes into her room and then peeks into the common room at the girl. Lorelai comes into the room and goes back to Rory's bedroom. They speculate about the new girl, then decide to introduce themselves. The girl tells them that she's not so great at speaking, so she's memorized some conversational facts she can whip out at a moment's notice. She tells them that she's adopted and sixteen.

Lorelai and Rory go outside and say goodbye. They're hugging when Lorelai sees someone with a mini-fridge. She wants one for Rory. She then remembers a bunch of other things that Rory might need. She tells Rory that she'll go buy them and be back later.

Later that day, Lorelai enters Luke's Diner to see three scary-looking men from Nicole's law firm talking to Luke. Two are in suits and the third is in golf togs. Luke asks Lorelai to shoot him, but she replies that she likes him too much. The two men in the suits are both named Stein, which makes Luke confused. They want to make a fair settlement in a timely manner, but since Luke wants nothing from Nicole he says that there's no settlement to begin. They're very skeptical. They tell about how Nicole has been with the firm her whole career, and how they're very fond of her and don't want any harm to come to her. Luke says that he doesn't want any harm to come to her either. The lawyers seem puzzled as to why he won't hire a lawyer. Luke says, "Because lawyers waste time and money. They're needless middlemen who slither into situations when people are at their most vulnerable so they can clamp on and suck like leeches until everyone but them is distraught and penniless." "I can see why the marriage went bad," says one Stein to the other. The lawyer in golf togs warns Luke that if he doesn't hire a lawyer, he could end up with nothing. Luke reiterates that nothing is exactly what he wants. The lawyers seem frustrated with this answer and start talking about bringing in more lawyers. "They're going to multiply like the Matrix!" Luke says to Lorelai. He then drags her in between himself and the Lorelai to vouch for his character.

Lorelai talks about how Luke is a hermit who has no other interests besides fishing and baseball, and that when he says he wants nothing, she knows he wants nothing, because when she thinks of Luke, she thinks nothing. One of the lawyers says that Luke's choice of character witness does nothing to lessen their concerns, and if he doesn't respond to them about this matter, they're going to have to "kick it up a notch". Luke says fine, there is something he wants, but he's been holding back. The lawyers are excited to hear about it. Luke tells them about how, under various circumstances, he was forced to see a guy playing musical drinking glasses on three separate occasions, for an hour each, while on the cruise. He wants his three hours back. The lawyers say that they'll have to confer on this and that they'll get back to him.

Lorelai tells Luke that Rory arrived safe and sound, but he can't have his truck back yet. He thinks that she wrecked it, so they go outside and see that it's still fine, although full of stuff again, including the gross Yale mattress. Lorelai wants Luke to store it for her.

Rory is unpacking in her room. Tanna comes in and tells her that another suitemate has arrived. Rory suddenly hears Paris's voice. She goes out into the common room and sees Paris standing there, who tells her that she's going to Yale and they're suitemates. Rory's surprised, and she's even more surprised when Paris gives her a hug. Paris then introduces Rory to Terence, her Life Coach. She explains that she "lost" her Nanny when she opened a pupeseria in Boise. She learned about Life Coaches in an article, and found Terence. "He's here to assist me with whatever I need assistance in, from wardrobe, to diet, to finding me a kick-ass gynecologist." Paris's father made a call so that Paris could share a suite with Rory, because Terence said that their journey together is not complete. Paris says that Terence has also done a lot for her people skills, and cites the example of Tanna, who's been hovering nearby. "The old Paris would have been bothered by your penchant to hover. It would've made her want to wring your neck 'till your eyeballs popped out. But now, I accept it because I can't control everything." Tanna is terrified and shakes her hand wordlessly, then goes into her room.

Luke and Lorelai drive up to Yale. They're still fighting over what to do with the mattress. Tess walks up and asks about the mattress. Luke tells her that they were just driving it around New Haven for a while, and they're taking it back in now.

Lorelai comes up to Rory's dorm. Rory greets her at the door and tells her about Paris and her life coach. Lorelai is in a state of disbelief when Paris herself comes up and gives Lorelai a hug. She says that she and Lorelai have a bit of a journey left to finish as well. She then explains that she's been setting up her "crafts corner" in the suite, because Terence showed her how working with her hands could help her nerves. Tanna, hovering in the doorway, asks where they're going to put the couch. Paris is instantly angry and starts in on Tanna, but is stopped by Terence. She takes a breath and regains her composure.

Luke comes in, dragging the Yale mattress behind. He's been trying to get rid of it, but with no luck because Tess was around. He had to bribe some guy to help carry it back up to the dorm, so he immediately leaves to go help the guy move his things. Lorelai and Rory go out into the hallway to bring the mattress back inside while Paris glues macaroni at her craft station.

Rory and Lorelai say goodbye again in the hallway. Luke is waiting downstairs with the truck. Later, Luke and Lorelai arrive back in Stars Hollow. Luke is griping about the furniture moving he had to do when Lorelai's pager goes off. It's Rory, and the message says "Come back" with exclamation points. Lorelai needs to borrow Luke's truck again, because it would take to long to go back and get the jeep, not to mention that it's out of gas and has been making weird noises. Luke tells her to have it back by seven.

At Yale, Rory is sitting on her bed when Lorelai walks in. She's homesick and panicking. She shows Lorelai her ID card, which has a horrible picture and the name "Ronny Gilmore". She gives Lorelai a hug and asks her to stay the night.

Lorelai, Rory, Paris, and Tanna have been ordering take-out food. They've ordered so much that they're arranging it in geographical order. The point of ordering all of the food within delivery distance is so they can judge the quality of food, speed of service, and the cuteness of delivery guys on a scale of one to ten. Rory points out that they will never eat all of this food. Lorelai walks out into the hallway and calls for all the girls to come into suite five, where there is food and tons of it.

Later that night, the suite is full of girls. The whole floor is getting involved, eating and bonding while music plays. Diane approaches Rory. She says that it's awesome and asks who pulled it together. Rory points at Lorelai, who's wielding a hairbrush and trying to get someone to sing "Can't Hurry Love". Diane and Rory both laugh.

Later that night, Rory and Paris are in the dorm, getting ready for bed. The extra Yale mattress is on the floor. Rory is finishing putting the sheets on her bed while Paris wraps up a call with Jamie. She's listing her complaints, but ending each one with, "but I've accepted it." Jamie seems to be slightly jealous of Terence, but Paris assures him that Terence is back in his room.

Lorelai comes into the room. She's fixed the shower head and is going to sleep on the Yale mattress. She tells Rory that she found some good coffee. Suddenly they hear howling. Apparently the guys' floor has had some fun too. Lorelai howls back, and so does Rory.

The next morning, Lorelai and Rory walk out of Rory's bedroom. Rory is planning to walk around Yale before she has to go to the freshman assembly. They walk out into the hallway and say goodbye, again.

Lorelai walks into Luke's diner. She's two hours later than she told him she'd be, but he told her to get it back three hours before he actually needed it, so it worked out fine. They walk outside to the truck. The Yale mattress is still in the back, and his spare tire is gone. Lorelai promises to get a charity to come get the mattress, and will get the spare tire back or buy a new one. Luke asks Lorelai if Rory is okay. Lorelai tells him that she's fantastic.

The next morning, Rory is in the common room when Diane and some other girls knock. They have white bags and many cups of coffee. They say that they "Lorelai'd" a few places and found the good coffee. They explain that to "Lorelai" means to check places out. The coffee and muffins are to say thanks for the night before, which was the perfect first night at Yale. They invite her to come to the Freshman assembly, and then plan to conveniently lose their IDs so they can have new pictures taken. They sip their coffee and continue to happily chat.

Back home, Lorelai enters the empty house. She stands in the living room and looks very lost and alone.
Credit: GilmoreGirls.org

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