Original Airdate: May 14, 2002
Lorelai and Rory are walking to a mysterious new breakfast place, because Luke is still mad at Lorelai and she doesn't want to risk going back there. Rory's complaining that her feet hurt. Lane runs up to them and asks if she can practice drumming on their pots and pans again. Lorelai says sure, because it's not as though they use them for anything else. Lane runs off again. Rory notices that they're not walking towards any businesses, and Lorelai tells her that they've arrived. Rory looks at where they are and tells Lorelai that she has no shame.
Lorelai and Rory are sitting in Sookie's kitchen, eating huge breakfasts. Rory feels guilty about making Sookie cook for them. Jackson is leaning against the counter with his eyes closed, moaning. Sookie explains that he's not much of a morning person. As a joke, Lorelai suggests that they put aspirins at every place setting instead of Jordan Almonds. When asked what he thinks about that, Jackson just moans. Sookie says that Lorelai's question will register after a few days. Yes, days.
Back at the house, Lorelai is studying and complaining that she hates her books and they hate her. In addition to all of the hatred, every time Lorelai gains knowledge, some past knowledge leaks out of her head in order to make room for the new knowledge. Lorelai is just thankful she's graduating soon and asks Rory what she sees in learning and knowledge. Rory reminds her that she's a minor and therefore it's mandatory, but besides that, it's fun. Rory then asks Lorelai if her graduation will have a ceremony. Lorelai finally admits that there is one. Rory is excited and tells Lorelai that she has to be in it. Lorelai is unsure, but Rory convinces her that she's earned it. Lorelai even begins to get a little excited about it, especially when she remembers that she'll get a tassle. They talk about who they'll invite and decide on Sookie and Jackson. Lorelai balks when Rory mentions Emily and Richard; she humiliated them and they'll never forgive her, and they won't want to come. Rory leaves it alone for now.
The next day as they walk around Stars Hollow, Dean tries to explain the concept of skeet shooting to Lorelai and Rory. They don't understand, so he just tells them that he made it all up. When they reach the market, Lorelai says that she needs some stuff, so she'll meet them back at the house. Inside the market, she runs into Luke and starts babbling. She asks him if they can talk about what happened, but he says that he has to get back to the diner.
Later, Rory shows up at her grandparents' house. She called and told Emily that she had something she wanted to discuss with them in person. They go into the dining room, which is set with an English tea service. Richard jogs in; he's run all the way from his office to hear what Rory has to say. Rory starts a very official "proposal" about Lorelai's graduation and how she wants them to come. She hands them tickets and says that she has time for a scone before her bus.
Later at Lorelai's house, Lorelai is sitting on the couch with a drink, celebrating the end of school, while Rory reads a life planning book that Lorelai got from the college. The phone rings, and Rory gets up to get it while Lorelai gets another drink. It's Jess. Rory goes into her room with the phone and shuts the door, telling Lorelai that the music is too loud. They don't say much at all, and it doesn't last very long because Jess is calling long-distance from a pay phone.
The next morning, Rory's getting her backpack ready for school while
Lorelai tries to decide what to wear to her graduation. Rory gives her some tips. Lorelai is impressed, and Rory tells her that she learned it all from her. Rory tells Lorelai that she has some newspaper stuff after school, but she'll be to her graduation no later than six, and then they'll go out to dinner afterwards.
Paris and Rory are walking towards Chiltron. Paris is rambling on and on about an advisor that she almost made cry and almost felt sorry for. She's so into her story that she doesn't notice when Rory turns around and goes back out the gates.
At the Independence Inn, Lorelai is in the kitchen where Sookie surprises her with a graduation hat cake, complete with tassel. Sookie then shows Lorelai pictures of her own high school graduation. Christopher calls Lorelai's cell phone and asks if she's gotten his present, a basket that he put together himself. Lorelai is mystified and asks Michel if a basket came for her. He tells her that he put it in the lobby, so she goes to find it. She pulls out a savings bond, a youth hostel card, a job-hunting manual, a DVD of "The Graduate", an application to join the armed forces, and a necklace in a velvet box. She says the pearl almost looks real, and Chris tells her that it better look very real, since it is. He says she's Superwoman with raising Rory and all the things she does. He tells her to have fun at graduation and reminds her to take lots of pictures. Lorelai moans that she forgot the camera; Christopher tells her to look in the basket. Lorelai pulls out a disposable camera.
Next we find Rory getting off a bus and then asking for directions to Washington Square Park, which is where Jess told her he usually hangs out. She has to ask several people before someone actually answers her. She walks in the direction someone tells her and finds Jess sitting on a bench in the park reading. Jess doesn't seem surprised to see her. They start walking around the city. Rory says that she feels very urban and that she's no stranger to "The Big Apple". Jess is amused, especially when she tells him that she gave someone at the bus stop a withering stare. They then go for lunch at a hot dog stand, which Rory says is delicious. Jess asks about Luke, and Rory tells him that he's good and offers to say hello for him. Jess then tells her that he's going to take her to a really awesome record store. He heads for the subway, and Rory worries that she won't be able to take her hotdog there.
Lorelai arrives at the graduation ceremony hours early to get a gown without wrinkles or mysterious stains on it. She's looking through the gowns when someone walks by the room she's in. Out of the corner of her eye, she thinks maybe it's her mother. She looks at a couple more gowns, and then goes off to find the mystery lady. In the auditorium, Emily's cameraman Raul is setting up filming equipment. When Lorelai sees this, she wonders how Emily knew about the event, then realizes that Rory told her. Emily and Raul are totally taking over the community college. Lorelai goes to get a coffee.
Rory and Jess are at the record store. It's packed full of records and the owner knows everything about every record in there. Rory finds a a Go-Gos record signed by Belinda. The Go-Gos were Lorelai's favorite group as a teen and this would make a perfect graduation present.
Rory and Jess are at the bus station. Someone asks Rory for directions. She's thrilled that she's been taken for a native, even though she points him in the wrong direction. Rory gets on the bus, and Jess asks her why she came. She ditched school and everything, and that's not a Rory thing to do. Rory tells him that it's because he didn't say goodbye. They say goodbye.
Lorelai is fixing her make-up when another girl, Liza, comes up and asks to borrow her mirror. Zach, the girl's boyfriend, walks up and they start bickering. They invite Lorelai to go to pizza afterwards, but she declines since she already has plans with Rory. Then they start talking about some rich woman out there setting up professional film equipment. Zach and Liza talk about how much they hate rich people, and Lorelai goes along with it.
Rory is sitting on the bus, but it's not moving and they're still at the station. She asks the bus driver why and he tells her that there was an accident that shut down the interstate and he doesn't know when they'll be allowed to get going again.
Sookie and Jackson come into the graduate check-in room. They gush about how awesome Lorelai looks, and Jackson shows off his new suit. Liza and Zach continue to talk about how much they hate people with money. Lorelai continues to go along with it, confusing Sookie and Jackson. A lady comes in carrying a box and asks Lorelai to pick out a corsage. Lorelai won't take one until the lady tells her Emily will just come back herself if she doesn't choose. Liza and Zach are mad that Lorelai's the "rich girl". Lorelai tries to explain her situation, but they don't believe her. They accuse her of not wanting to go get pizza because that's "below" her and say that Jackson's suit "drips money". Jackson tells them that it was 30% off.
Lorelai's pager goes off. It's Rory, saying that she'll be late but not to worry. Lorelai is worried, of course. Sookie and Jackson tell Lorelai that they'll save Rory a seat.
On the bus, Rory is getting really nervous. The bus is making a lot of stops, and the guy next to her is spitting into a can.
Lorelai is called up to get her diploma. Raul and his film crew rush to her to get every angle. When she looks at her parents, her
mother is crying and her father has a dreamlike stare on his face. She
smiles and moves her tassel to the other side of her cap.
After the ceremony, Richard and Emily give their congratulations and prepare to leave. Lorelai stops them and asks them to do the traditional parents-flanking-the-graduate pose. Raul uses the disposable camera that Chris gave her to take the picture. Richard hands Lorelai an envelope, telling her to use it for something fun, and they leave.
Sookie and Jackson come up to Lorelai. Lorelai's surprised that Rory hasn't shown up yet. Sookie tells her that Rory called and said that she's hung up and will meet her at home. Sookie asks Lorelai if she wants to go out to eat, but Lorelai says that she'll just go home to Rory. Suddenly, the aspirins instead of Jordan Almonds thing registers with Jackson. Sookie's amazed; this is the longest anything's ever taken. Jackson is worried that his family won't get the joke. Sookie tells him to calm down.
At Lorelai's house, Rory is waiting out front when Lorelai pulls in. After establishing that Rory's not hurt or sick, and neither is Lane or anyone else like that, Lorelai tells Rory that she's really hurt; she's the reason she did the graduation ceremony in the first place. She tells Rory that she should have gotten out of whatever it was that kept her. Rory tells Lorelai that she cut school and went to New York to see Jess. She starts talking about all of the ways Lorelai should punish her. Lorelai is stunned that Rory did all of this. Rory says that she must be sick or ill, because she would never do this otherwise. Lorelai tells Rory that it's possible that she's falling for Jess. Rory refuses to believe this and tells Lorelai that she'll be with Dean forever. She then remembers that she left Lorelai's present on the bus. She decides that she'll go to her room and to bed without supper, the classic punishment. Lorelai still wants to go out to dinner with her best friend; Rory may not deserve it but Lorelai does. Rory says that she'll go take a shower and then they can go out to dinner, Rory's treat, and then they'll come home and Rory will have a horrible night of sleep. Lorelai says that it sounds great. Rory apologizes again and goes inside.