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Episode: New and Improved Lorelai ...

Original Airdate: September 13, 2005

We pick up right where we left off last season: Lorelai proposing to Luke in the diner. Luke only experiences a short moment of surprise before accepting the proposal. Lorelai asks whether he is sure and says he can take some time to think about it, but Luke replies that he doesn’t need any more time; he’s sure. There is an awkward moment when neither of them seems to believe what just happened and they’re considering what to do next. Thankfully, Luke finally comes up with the idea that they should toast. So, they both spring back into motion and start looking for something to toast with. Luke goes into the diner kitchen, and says that there’s nothing appropriate there. Lorelai says they need something sparkly. Luke comes out of the kitchen, and they stand there in silence for a minute. Then Lorelai says she has an idea.

She takes Luke by the hand and leads him towards the door. As they reach it, Luke stops her, and she’s afraid he changed his mind. He reassures her that he hasn’t and asks whether Lorelai is sure she wants to celebrate right away, considering what just happened with Rory, and the state Lorelai was in when she walked in the diner only minutes earlier. Lorelai says she just wants to be happy at this moment. Luke is clearly confused, but agrees. They come out of the diner and into the town square where the bike race is still going on full steam in spite of the late hour. Kirk is rubbing a racer’s thigh, and Taylor is complaining about how lengthy the event is turning out to be. He decides to put an end to it right there and then. He walks over to the trophy stand and says they have to get the tables back by midnight or there will be an extra charge. A race helper remarks that the winners haven’t been presented with their trophies yet. An infuriated Taylor, then proceeds to throw the trophies to the surrounding racers, actual winners or otherwise, claiming that there is no need for an official ceremony anyway, because given the late hour, only the losers would attend it, and he claims they “wouldn’t give a rat’s toochy”.

As he is yelling further instructions to the race helpers, he notices Luke and Lorelai by the market’s door, and yells that the shop is closed. Lorelai announces that she and Luke just got engaged and that they need to get something from the store to toast with. Taylor marvels that he thought there was a better chance of the Beatles getting back together than the two of them getting married. He asks Lorelai whether they were planning to get something alcoholic to toast with. When Lorelai confirms it, he starts telling her in a sympathetic voice that if she needs alcohol to be with Luke… Luke of course overhears the conversation, and interrupts Taylor, who finally lets them in the store. It turns out that the bikers bought out the stock of alcoholic beverages. However, Taylor retrieves a case of Zima from the backroom and says he’ll generously waive the tax on it as an engagement present. He goes back to yelling at the race people while Luke and Lorelai run to the gazebo with the case of Zima. As they are ready to toast, the lights go out as per Taylor’s instructions, and they have to yell at him to put them back on. Then, they can toast and – finally - kiss.

Luke and Lorelai are in bed, post engagement sex. Lorelai is ready to fall asleep and says they should drink Zima and have sex every single night. Luke replies that they will. He sits up in the bed, and tells her that when he mentioned kids earlier [in 522], he didn’t necessarily mean their kids, although he’d be happy if they were to have kids, maybe just one kid for a start, maybe not right away, or maybe no kids at all; maybe just a plant. Lorelai sleepily turns around and asks what he’s talking about. He says it’s nothing, and proceeds to tell her about the Twickham house. He talks about that he bought it, and then turned it down, but that he could probably get it back for them, for them and their kids, the kids they don’t have to have. He says it’s a big house, and it could be filled with kids, but that’s not necessary; they could also get furniture, go shopping for a couch – although he hates shopping, so as far as he’s concerned, kids would just be easier. Lorelai says she loves shopping. Luke sees that she’s very sleepy, and we don’t really know if she’s listening to him. He tells her to go to sleep, and asks if it is really happening. She smiles and answers that, yes, it’s really happening. Luke smiles and lies down to sleep. Lorelai is suddenly awake, and saying that Luke bought a house without telling her, which is a really big thing, and she demands that he keeps her informed of life changing decisions in the future. Luke apologizes about the house, and assures her that he will let her know about things. They both settle back to sleep. Lorelai says kids would be good and Luke smiles happily.

The next morning in the diner, Luke is upgrading everyone’s pancakes to blueberries and being very pleasant with all the customers. Babette and Miss Patty burst into the diner to congratulate Luke, but complain that they found out about the engagement from Eastside Tillie – whoever that is. They demand to hear all the details about the proposal, and get excited imagining how it may have happened: did Luke get down on one knee? Did he hide the ring somewhere? Luke seems a bit embarrassed, and tells them he’s still working on the ring. Miss Patty says that spontaneous proposals are the best. Babette proceeds to tell Luke about how Morey proposed to her, and gets confused about who was on top at the time: Morey? Herself? Stoney Morrisson? … all during a game of twister, of course. Miss Patty interrupts her to get Luke to tell them about his proposal to Lorelai. When he confesses that Lorelai actually proposed to him, all enthusiasm goes dead. Miss Patty laments that they “went modern”. Babette rubs Luke’s shoulder comfortingly saying that he’ll get married anyways. After receiving their sympathetic congratulations, Luke goes back to work.

On the town square, Lorelai passes the town troubadour on her way to the Twickham house. The real estate agent is putting the ‘for sale’ sign back on the lawn, and tells her that the buyer, a toxic bachelor type, backed out. She hands Lorelai a leaflet and describes the house as being great for kids. The conversation is interrupted by Lorelai’s cell ringing. It is Richard, calling to give Lorelai an update on Rory’s situation. He hired a lawyer who once gave Lorelai a doll for her birthday, and he is going to come to the elder Gilmore’s house the next day to discuss Rory’s case. Richard is confused and irritated that Lorelai doesn’t seem interested in what he has to say. He asks whether Lorelai will attend the meeting with the lawyer, but she declines. Before they hang up, she tells Richard to thank the lawyer for the doll he gave her.

Rory is sleeping in the pool house, when Emily bursts into the place followed by her maid. She is holding wallpaper samples and planning to redecorate the room. Before Rory has time to say it won’t be necessary, the maid tears her pillows and covers away from her. Emily tells the maid to draw a bath for Rory, and leads her granddaughter to the living room where a gigantic breakfast buffet has been set up. She has prepared a set of keys for Rory. She also tells her the secret code to the panic room. She instructs her not to tell the maid, because according to her, maids tell their children and when the children grow up, they rob their mother’s former employers. Emily asks Rory if she has moved everything she needed. Rory replies that a lot of her stuff is still back at Lorelai’s. Emily says she’ll take care of it. Rory asks how things went with Lorelai the previous evening, and whether Lorelai was really mad. Emily replies that everything is such drama with Lorelai, but anyway, she’ll calm down eventually, so Rory shouldn’t worry about it. We hear Richard’s voice from the intercom informing them that the lawyer has arrived. Emily answers that Rory and her are looking at fabric samples, and will be at the main house shortly. She then rushes Rory to get ready.

We cut to Richard’s office where Rory is sipping coffee rather uncomfortably while Richard and Charlie Davenport, her lawyer, are joking and reminiscing about old stories. Richard explains to Rory that Charlie was able to get guilty people out of delicate situations many times. They finally get down to Rory’s case. Charlie compliments Richard on having such a bright granddaughter, and says he expects Rory will get a maximum of ten hours of community service. After another round of general congratulations, everyone is confident that the Tuesday procedures will only be a formality. Charlie says he has to go. Rory goes back to the pool house and finds it empty except for the TV and a few armchairs with “sit on me” signs, purposely left by Emily. Rory sits on one of the armchairs to digest the situation.

We cut to later in the afternoon. Rory walks into her room at the pool house followed by Paris, who wonders if Rory is not afraid of sleepwalking into the pool and drowning. Rory replies that she is, now that Paris has mentioned the possibility. Paris walks over to the wardrobe to borrow some clothes as she is going to meet more members of Doyle’s family. She says that she has already met a lot of them, but that Doyle is the tallest of them all. Then, she announces that she and Doyle are moving in together in a two-bedroom apartment near the campus, and offers Rory to share it with them. Rory says she can’t move in with them, as she won’t be going back to school in the fall. Paris jumps to the conclusion that Rory is pregnant. When she denies, Paris worries that she might be sick. Rory says she’s just taking some time off, and leaves the room. Paris goes after her, chasing her for a reason. Rory escapes the conversation by saying that she’s an independent grown-up, and she doesn’t have to justify her decisions for Paris. Paris remarks that she doesn’t have furniture in the house. Rory says she’s just redecorating it to her taste. Paris pauses and says she knows what is going on. Rory replies that she doesn’t know. Logan walks in to pick up Rory for the evening. Paris gives him an angry, piercing look, and leaves. Logan remarks that the vacations are coming at exactly the right time for Paris. As he and Rory are heading out, he asks whether the pool house was robbed.

At the diner, Luke is fighting to get his cash register open, and while he’s still struggling with it, Kirk walks in with a case full of diamond rings. He says he heard Luke might be looking for an engagement ring, or maybe he should talk to Lorelai about it. Luke says he’s the one should talk to about the ring. Kirk says he’s prepared to give Luke a good price, since he’s friend – unless Lorelai is the one paying for the ring. Luke says she won’t be paying for the ring. He thanks Kirk and tells him he’ll be taking care of it himself. Then, as he takes a look at Kirk’s display, he notices a ring that Lorelai might like, and asks Kirk where he got all these rings anyway. Kirk assures him he has a certificate of authenticity for all of them, and explains that he got them by befriending lonely old women, who turn out to be generous when someone listens to their stories. Luke is dumbfounded and asks whether Kirk is serious. Kirk replies that he is; as serious as the heart attack that got him the ring Luke is currently holding. Then, he expresses his deepest sympathies to Luke for being proposed to by Lorelai. He says he understands how upset Luke must be after Lorelai robbed him of the precious moment of proposing himself. He says he is getting worried himself that Lulu might propose to him and rob him of his moment just like Lorelai did to Luke. In fact, he has been avoiding her carefully for the past few days to make sure she wouldn’t make the move. Luke says he’s fine, and that he will have his moment too. The scene ends as they agree on a ring.

Rory and Logan walk into a surprise party Logan organised for Rory, where all of Logan’s friends are wearing striped convict uniforms, and singing “she’s jolly good felon”.

Back at Lorelai’s, Luke is getting tired of sitting in the living room while Lorelai is getting ready to go out, and has been for the past hour and a half. He goes to answer the door. A furious Paris walks in and demands to talk to Lorelai. She says Rory is quitting Yale, probably because of Christopher-Atkins-wannabe Logan, and Lorelai has to pull some super-Mom crap to prevent her from doing so. Luke agrees with Paris. Lorelai says there’s nothing she can do. Paris suggests they should kidnap Rory and talk to her until she listens to reasons. Luke agrees, and says he even suggested it first. Paris explains that she needs Rory at Yale because she needs the competition to be better herself, and that Rory is the only person who doesn’t leave the room until she’s finished saying something. Lorelai regrets that there’s nothing she can do about Rory quitting Yale, but gives Paris her own cell phone number for Paris to call if she needs to talk. Paris thanks her and leaves.

Luke questions Lorelai about her intentions towards Rory. She replies that she intends to do nothing. She says that Rory doesn’t want her help. Luke says that she’s a kid and doesn’t know what she’s doing. Lorelai argues that Rory is not a kid, and knows perfectly what she’s doing. She adds that young people have to be allowed to make mistakes. That she herself made a much bigger mistake when she was much younger than Rory is. Luke says that Rory doesn’t necessarily need to face her problems alone just because Lorelai faced hers alone. Lorelai says that back then, she wouldn’t have listened to anyone’s advice had there been someone to listen to, so she knows it’s useless to try to talk Rory out of her decision. She says she has to go through it alone, and that Lorelai will let her do just that. Luke is surprised that Lorelai is okay with the situation, but she assures him she is, and they leave. As they go out, Luke asks whether Lorelai gave Paris her real number.

The felon party is going on full steam. Quinn and Colin are trying to beat each other with their respective sloth stories. They finally agree that Logan is the actual winner of the contest, as nobody can waste time like he does. Rory says she’s going to rob him of the crown this year, as she is dropping out of Yale. Quinn and Colin drink to Rory, Queen of the sloth. Logan is sitting besides them, disbelieving. After Colin and Quinn leave, he tells Rory he gives her one month before she goes back to school. He says she loves it with the kind of passion that doesn’t go away. Rory says she has reformed, and goes off to the dance floor.

At the dragonfly, Michel is waiting for a sweaty bike racer to finish his praise of the inn to ask him to move his (sweaty) arm from the counter. As soon as the racer moves away, Michel furiously wipes the counter clean. Lorelai talks to the racer away from Michel and offers to fetch an envelope to put his bill in. She walks back to counter for it, and admonishes Michel for his behaviour in front of a highly paying customer. Michel rants against the sweaty racers who made the inn awfully smelly. He also tells Lorelai her mother called earlier. Lorelai acknowledges the message and runs over to manoeuvre the racer out of the inn before he manages to sit down on the lobby couch. As soon as he exits the place, she throws the magazine he was holding in the bin with her foot, and points the spot he was leaning against for Michel to spray and wipe. As she speaks, Michel is already running across the lobby, spray in one hand and wipe cloth in the other.

Emily knocks on Lorelai’s door, and is surprised to be sourly greeted by Michel. The funniest scene ensues, as Emily is trying to figure out what Michel is doing there, and why Lorelai isn’t, while Michel sits on the couch, flips through a magazine and complains sarcastically about having been sent to Lorelai’s house to answer the door like a servant or a dog. Emily goes over to Rory’s room and is appalled to see that Lorelai hasn’t packed any of her things for Emily to take. She asks Michel where Rory’s good clothes are. Michel is still flipping through his magazine on couch. He replies that he doesn’t know about Rory’s clothes, but that he will continue to look for them frantically. Emily is now infuriated, and yells that Rory needs something to wear to court, and that the situation is completely unacceptable. After another sarcastic answer from Michel, she tells him he has been working with Lorelai for way too long. Michel says he can only concur.

In the courtroom, Richard and Charlie joke that the room is very quaint, and reminds Charlie of his early days as a lawyer. Emily is adjusting Rory’s outfit, and worrying that it might look too serious after all. Charlie reassures her that everything will be fine. A clerk announces that the court calls the State vs. Lorelai Gilmore. Charlie wonders who Lorelai Gilmore is, and Rory has to inform him that this is indeed her real name. Everyone sits down, and the judge enters. She tells Rory to stand up. She asks whether she understands that she is pleading guilty to criminal mischief of the third degree in violation of section 178 of the penal code. Rory is desperately looking for Lorelai in the audience, but she’s nowhere to be seen.

She turns back to the answer the judge’s enquiries. The judge reads from her file that an agreement was reached, and that 20 hours of community service were recommended. The court clerk confirms that Rory has no record for any trouble. Charlie confidently explains that Rory’s offence was a one-time youthful indiscretion, that Rory is duly remorseful, and that it will never happen again. The judge says that she sees from the file that Rory attends Yale. Rory says it is correct. The judge says that she understands from the file that the defence is pleading that the offence was a childish mistake. She says that she herself takes the law very seriously, and that she has very little tolerance for rich privileged children viewing the world as their personal playground. She says doesn’t care who Rory is, or who her family is; Rory committed a crime and needs to face the consequences.

She says 20 hours of community service definitely won’t do it. Instead she orders 300 hours of community service to be completed in no more than six months, and one-year probation. Emily, Richard and Charlie are stunned. Rory says that she can’t possibly get 300 hours of community service because she has to find a job. The judge replies that Rory should have thought about it before joyriding on someone else’s boat. Richard says the sentence is outrageous and summons Charlie to do something about it. The judge goes on to explain that at the end of five years, provided that Rory did not commit any more offences, she will be able to petition the court to get the sentence expunged from her record.

At the mention of Rory’s record, Emily is feeling faint, and Richard get up to express his anger against Charlie. The judge tells him to restrain himself. Richard ignores Charlie’s injunctions to calm down. The judge says that if Rory is not satisfied with the settlement, she can always go to a trial where she will face additional felony charges, which could have even worse consequences. Rory tells Richard to calm down and agrees to the community service. As the judge leaves the courtroom, Charlie delivers a soothing speech to Rory, but soon has to deal with a very angry Richard who proposes to hire another lawyer to sue him. Rory asks Richard if he gave Lorelai all the details about the court hearing. Richard says he did, but that Lorelai didn’t show much interest in the matter. While Rory digests this, Richard continues to fight with Charlie while Emily tries to get him to calm down.

Lorelai comes home to find a myriad of notes and messages of complaint left by Emily all over the house. She throws all the notes away and gathers some of Rory’s things in a laundry basket while listening to the messages.

Lorelai barges in Emily and Richard’s bedroom with a bag and the laundry basket in the middle of the night. While Emily and Richard wake up complaining, she says that she’s dropping off the rest of Rory’s stuff. Richard remarks that this is hardly the hour to do that, and Emily says she knows that Lorelai must hate them, but… Lorelai interrupts her to say that she doesn’t hate them, that she knows they did what they did because she knows they simply couldn’t help it. She proceeds to tell the story of a frog and a scorpion crossing a lake: asked by a scorpion for help to cross a lake, the frog first declines for fear of being stung to death. However, the scorpion convinces the frog he will do no such thing, because otherwise they would both die – the frog from the sting, the scorpion downing. The frog agrees to the trip, but in the middle of the pond the scorpion stings the frog. When asked for an explanation, the scorpion says he’s sorry, but it’s his nature to sting and he couldn’t help. Lorelai then points at herself as the frog, and her parents as the scorpion. She says she understands they couldn’t help what they did, and congratulates them on succeeding to get what they most wanted: a new and improved Lorelai. Richard says that this is hardly the case, and that they all want the same thing, namely helping Rory to get back on track. He adds that they will need Lorelai’s help to achieve that. Lorelai says that her involvement in Rory’s business ends with the laundry basket she just dropped of and walks out. Emily and Richard look at each other in disbelief.

Luke is closing the diner, trying to brush off a pleading Kirk. He wants to get back the ring Luke bought because it turns out that Lulu wanted it. Luke refuses to give it back. Babette ends the argument by storming across the square yelling for Luke to confirm the rumour that there has been a rift between Lorelai and Rory. Kirk asks how serious the rift is. Babette says it is said to be very serious. Luke says that there has been a little incident, but that Loralai has everything under control. After Luke walks away Kirk comes closer to Babette and compliments her on her ring.

Lorelai comes back home and gets some water out of the fridge. She turns back to Rory’s empty room, and walks over to it. She looks very sad. She walks in and sits on a trunk at the foot of the bed. On the verge of tears, she throws the bottle of water in front her. She breaks down and starts crying. In the distance, we hear Luke opening the door and announcing that it’s the full moon, and it’s time to go. Lorelai brushes the tears away, takes a second to collect herself, and walks out to meet him.
Credit: Aurélie

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