Original Airdate: November 12, 2002
Lorelai is in Luke's diner, looking out the window. Signs outside promote the upcoming 24-hour dance marathon. Luke is helping her choose a dance partner from the passing males, because Lorelai really wants to beat Kirk and win this year. She tells him the story of how she came THIS close to winning it the year before, although Luke tries to stop her by saying that he's already heard the story.
Taylor comes into the diner and asks Luke to set up a coffee stand at the dance marathon. Luke says he'll charge a buck a cup. Taylor is miffed and tells Luke that this is a charity event. He then makes Luke mad by saying that they're now raising money for a tarp to cover a bridge renovation, which is what the previous eight dance marathons were for. Luke reiterates that he will not donate free coffee, and Taylor leaves the diner in a huff.
At the Elder Gilmores' residence, Lorelai, Rory, and Emily are eating dinner. Lorelai is acting especially wacky, which annoys Emily. Lorelai explains that she's just in a good mood because she found a dance partner and tells Emily about the dance marathon. Emily is pleased that Lorelai is participating in a charity event; Lorelai is just excited about the big trophy that's at stake. Lorelai's partner is Stanley Appleman, a new guy in town who works at the hardware store and used to be part of Riverdance. Score for Lorelai!
Lorelai's cell phone rings (to the displeasement of Emily) and she goes into the other room to answer it. It's Stanley Appleman, and he's bailing. Apparently Miss Patty showed his wife a picture of Lorelai, and the wife now thinks that Lorelai wants to sleep with Stanley. There's an Elizabeth Taylor/Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds equation involved. Lorelai returns to the table, bummed. Back to square one.
Rory, Paris, Madeline, and Louise are at Chilton. Paris and Rory are discussing the Franklin's 75th Anniversary issue while Madeline and Louise kiss some guys. Paris breaks them apart and tells them that they have to work on the Franklin on Saturday. They complain, but Paris demands it. She and Rory walk outside, and suddenly Paris sees Jamie across the courtyard. She's stunned, because she hasn't seen or heard from him since their date in Washinton three months ago, and she's already written his name in her revenge notebook. Paris walks up to him and asks what he wants. He tells her that he came to see her, and she lays into him for not calling. He admits that he really liked her but thought he didn't need a "distraction" this year. Paris says that she doesn't need a distraction either and shakes his hand. He doesn't let go of her hand. He continues to say that he realized that he couldn't concentrate on things anyway because he's always thinking about her. He then asks if she's free for coffee. Rory says that they're done, so Jamie picks up Paris' books and walks off. Rory tells Paris to go get her books.
Later at Lorelai's house, Dean, Rory, and Lane all sit on the couch while Lane calls Dave and hangs up as soon as he picks up the phone. Dean is confused, and Rory tells him that she used to hang up on him all the time when they first met. Dean is still confused but decides to stay out of the conversation when they tell him that it's a girl thing. Lane is glad that Dave is at home (and not out with a girl), until Dean points out that he could be at home with a girl. Lane decides to call again and listen to the background noises. Lorelai comes home and asks to talk to Rory in the kitchen. Dean sits next to Lane who picks up the phone and starts dialing again.
In the kitchen, Lorelai tells Rory who she's picked to be her dance partner: Rory. Rory is totally unwilling, because she cannot dance, and this is Dean's first dance marathon and they had plans to sit and watch. Lorelai begs, and Rory finally says that if Paris agrees to call off the Franklin meeting on Saturday, Rory will dance with Lorelai.
At Chilton the next day, Paris walks in late. The teacher is stunned when he hears that Paris overslept. Rory decides to take a chance and asks Paris if they can move the Saturday Franklin thing to next Saturday. Paris says yes. Elated, Madeline and Louise rush off to secure dates. Rory wants to know what happend with Jamie yesterday that has put Paris in such a good mood. Paris tells her about their wonderful coffee date and all of the nice things that Jamie said about her. She's in disbelief that Jamie likes her when he has his pick of prettier college girls. They decide that Jamie must be special, or Ted Bundy. Paris asks Rory not to mention this to Madeline or Louise, and Rory agrees not to.
At the crack of dawn the morning of the dance marathon, Lorelai and Rory walk down the street dressed in vintage clothing. Rory is still half-asleep and asks to lie down on the sign-up table. Sookie runs up to them, also dressed in vintage clothes. Rory goes to say hi to Lane at Miss Patty's. Sookie tells Lorelai about a problem she's having: the night before, the subject of children came up and Jackson told her that he wants four kids in four years. And Sookie said okay, even though she only wants two kids, at most. Lorelai tells Sookie that she needs to tell Jackson this, but Sookie is afraid of starting their first fight.
Rory is across the street talking to Lane, who's stirring a bucket of eggless egg salad. Mrs. Kim comes up and makes sure that Rory has a copy of her pamphlet "Dancing for the Devil," an illustrated look at the effect of dancing on your chances of spending all eternity in hell. Rory does, and Mrs. Kim makes her promise to take one to her mother.
Inside the Stars Hollow High gymnasium, the dancers listen as Taylor reads the rules of the competition. One rule is that you can use your yellow emergency card to leave the dance floor and you will not be disqualified, providing that your partner remains moving on the floor and you're back within ten minutes. There are three minutes left until it starts, so Lorelai and Rory go to get some coffee from Luke. The official coffee isn't ready yet, but he pulls out a special thermos just for them.
Taylor tells everyone to get back on the floor. Kirk and his partner walk up to Lorelai and Rory. They exchange frigid greetings, each knowing that the other is their main competiton. Rory tells Lorelai that Kirk has very little in his life, and if they take away the dance competition, they strip him of his last piece of dignity. This doesn't bother Lorelai; she just wonders if he'll cry. Then Taylor begins the countdown and the dance marathon has begun!
Six hours into the marathon: Kirk and his partner dance past Lorelai and Rory. Kirk makes a disturbing comment about dancing around Lorelai's prostate body with the trophy. Lorelai and Rory dance over to Dean, who's been watching for a while. They all watch as a couple on the dance floor have a fight and storm off in opposite directions, disqualifying themselves. Kirk dances by and flips his partner. Lorelai tells him that this isn't the Olympics, but as soon as he's out of earshot begs Rory to let her flip her. Jess and Shane walk across the dance floor and onto the bleachers. Rory watches as they kiss.
Fourteen hours in: Everyone is tired and is dancing very slowly. Rory is resting her head on Lorelai's shoulder. Lorelai sees Kirk coming and prods Rory. They dance livelier until he passes by. Jackson and Sookie dance up to them. Jackson is acting weird and demands to know what Lorelai thinks of his hair. Then Taylor blows a horn, signaling all of the dancers to run a circle around the gym. As they run, Jackson says that when he married Sookie, he didn't realize that he'd also married Lorelai. Sookie tells Lorelai that Jackon's mad at her, so he's taking it out on Lorelai. Jackson walks off the dance floor and Sookie follows. Lorelai notices Kirk running right behind them, practically on their heels. Taylor sounds a horn and says that everyone gets a ten minute break. Several people, including Lorelai and Rory, collapse on the gym floor. Rory starts moving her leg around. She's trying to kick Lorelai but she can't reach. They stand up and Rory says she'll go get them some sandwiches.
At Miss Patty's, Jess walks up to Lane's sandwich table. She hands him a sandwich and tells him to go away. He remarks that Rory's not dancing with Dean and asks if there's trouble in paradise. Lane says there's nothing wrong with Rory and Dean.
Rory and Dean walk up to the sandwich table. Rory and Jess exchange snide comments until Shane walks up. Rory snaps at Shane, who snaps back. Dean tells Rory to get her stuff so they can go. They leave, and Jess tells Shane he's going to go get a soda.
Lorelai walks up to Luke's coffee table. She asks if he's seen Sookie and Jackson. A minute later, they walk up to the table. Jackson tells Lorelai that there are some things that she doesn't have a right to have an opinion on, namely, how many kids he wants and how often he wants to have them. After finding out what this all means, Luke agrees with Lorelai and Sookie that four kids in four years is crazy. Jackson is angry that everyone has an opinion on his personal affairs, and storms off the dance floor. Sookie runs after him.
Twenty-three hours in: Taylor is at the podium, babbling to Miss Patty. He falls asleep and she tries to take his megaphone, but he wakes up and calls for the guards. On the dance floor, Lorelai and Rory are giggling over knock-knock jokes when Lorelai's heel breaks. Rory points out that buying vintage shoes to wear to a dance marathon wasn't smart. Lorelai runs over to the sidelines and grabs Dean. She brings him over and drapes Rory over him. She intructs him to keep her moving for ten minutes.
Lorelai goes over to Luke's coffee table and asks him to fix her shoe. He goes to get some glue from the diner. Sookie walks up to Lorelai and tells her that everything is fine now, and Jackson is totally open to anything Sookie wants. Now Sookie just needs Lorelai to tell her what she wants. Lorelai says that she's staying out of it, and Sookie goes home to figure out what it is she wants.
Luke returns with the glue. He tells Lorelai that he didn't mean to sound as anti-kid as he did earlier when they were all talking; if he ever met the right person, it would be a discussion. A short one, but a discussion nonetheless. Lorelai too says that if she met the right person, another kid would be nice. They stare at each other for a moment, then Luke tells her that her shoe will be ready in a minute.
Over at Miss Patty's, Dave walks up to Lane at the food table and asks for a sandwich. She asks what he's doing there, and he says that he wanted to see what the dance marathon was like, talk about the band issues, and -- he missed her. Lane is elated and says that she definitely missed him too. Mrs. Kim comes up and starts interrogating Lane, but Dave cuts in and says that he doesn't know Lane; he just heard people talking about the sandwiches and thought he'd come in and try one. She hands him a sandwich; he takes a bite and asks for another one for later. He tells her that his parents would love these sandwiches, but they're in private bible study at the moment. He asks how long they'll be serving the sandwiches. Mrs. Kim says that in twenty minutes the bread won't be good anymore. Dave says that if for some reason he's not back within twenty minutes, he'll be over on the church steps waiting for his parents to get out of bible study. Lane gets his underlying message, and he leaves. Mrs. Kim hopes he comes back because he seemed hungry.
Back on the dance floor, Dean and Rory are still dancing. Jess and Shane are sitting on the bleachers. Rory can't ignore Jess's prescence and keeps talking about him, especially when Jess and Shane start to kiss. Jess overhears part of it and they start to fight back and forth. He finally tells her that if she's bothered by his presence, she can just ignore him and start paying attention to her boyfriend. Dean breaks in and says that he's not her boyfriend anymore. He says that Rory's into Jess and Jess is into Rory, and it's so obvious that everyone can see it. He says that he's tired, but he's over it, so they can go ahead and be together. He grabs his jacket and leaves. Taylor, still drunk at the podium, yells that Dean doesn't have a yellow card.
Rory is sitting on the bridge as Jess walks up to her. Jess says that Dean is a total jerk for breaking up with her in front of everyone. Rory says that Dean isn't a jerk; he was right about everything. Jess doesn't answer for a minute and she tells him to go away. Finally Jess says that Dean was right about all of it and asks if she's definitely broken up with Dean. She says yes. Jess says that he has to go take care of something and leaves.
Back at the dance floor, Kirk, his partner, and one other couple are the only ones left. The woman of the other couple collapses, and Kirk starts screaming that he's won. He wakes Miss Patty up, who tries to wake Taylor up. Miss Patty blows the horn and announces that they have a winner. Lorelai rushes back onto the floor, yelling that she's still standing, she was using her yellow card, and where's Rory? Miss Patty tells her that Rory ran off the floor a little while ago. Lorelai is confused and Kirk is thrilled. Miss Patty announces that for the fifth year in a row, the marathon winners are Donna Delain and Kirk.
Lorelai sees Rory across the dance floor. She asks her what happened and where she went. She then sees that Rory is crying. They hug while Kirk runs around the gym with his trophy, the "Rocky" themesong playing in the background.