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Episode: Swan Song ...

Original Airdate: February 11, 2003

Friday night dinner is ladies only, with Richard out of town on business. Emily is describing how Gran made an elevator operator cry and Lorelai suggests that Gran needs a man. Emily turns the conversation towards Rory's love life. Rory admits to her grandmother that she and Dean are broken up and she is now seeing Jess. Emily is hurt that Rory didn’t tell her sooner and uses this to guilt Rory into agreeing to bring Jess for the next Friday night dinner.

The girls, sitting at their kitchen table with papers all over the place, are trying to coordinate their busy schedules so mother and daughter can see each other. Lorelai marvels at Emily's ability to maneuver Rory into bringing Jess to Friday night dinner. The girls decide they should watch “Footloose”.

Rory and Jess are sitting on a bench in town, discussing a book of Rory's. Jess thinks it’s a gift for him, but Rory isn't giving it up because she isn’t done with it yet. Jess calls her a book tease. They walk through town together and Rory asks if Jess’s work schedule is flexible without telling him why. After Jess informs her it is, she asks him to the upcoming Friday night dinner. Jess suddenly remembers he must work so he won't have to go. After a little begging, Rory hands Jess the book and then kisses him. Jess agrees to come to dinner.

As Jess and Rory part ways, Miss Patty peeks out of her studio and insists Rory come inside, no questions asked. Rory goes in and ends up sitting next to Dean. The studio is filled with people who are wondering why they are there. Miss Patty explains everyone has been randomly chosen to be the test audience for her one-woman show. Rory and Dean chat about their predicament while Miss Patty gets ready. Patty then starts her show with a long story of something that happened to her in the past. When Kirk suggests her life story needs rewriting and adds in strobe lights for effect, Patty blows up. Rory and Dean enjoy the show. They walk out together afterwards; talking about the show's highlights, and go their separate ways.

Rory is sitting on her couch studying when she hears something and goes to the front door. She opens it to find Lorelai and Alex making out on the doorstep. After some awkward small talk, Alex leaves to go home and Lorelai comes in. Lorelai suggests that they come up with some sort of a sign. Lorelai also mentions that she and Alex want to go to New York City for the weekend. Rory is fine with that, but Lorelai points out that would leave Rory alone with Jess for Friday night dinner. Rory assures her she doesn't mind, and it might actually be better that way. Jess calls and informs Rory that word on the street (as in flyers attached to telephone poles) is that she and Dean are hanging out. Rory explains that they are just friends and reminds Jess that they have had this conversation before. Jess asks if she can just tell him first before he finds out from anyone else next time.

Lane and the band are hanging out in Lorelai's kitchen following band practice. Lorelai, not knowing that the Lane/Dave romance is a secret from the rest of the band, mentions that Lane and Dave love to do “love" songs. An oblivious Zack asks why. Lorelai quickly creates some excuse about how their names would spell out love if you did some rearranging of letters. Zack and Brian then leave to go break the equipment down. This leaves Lane and David alone with Lorelai, who suggests they come clean with the band; this sneaking around is too complicated. The couple assures Lorelai that it’s really not, and then proceed to make a step-by-step plan of which streets to take, at what time, so no one will see them together.

Lorelai goes into Luke’s for coffee and tells him of her plans to go to Manhattan for the weekend. She complains about having nothing to wear, and Luke is able to mentally put together several outfits of hers he has memorized. They discuss the musical Lorelai is going to see, and Luke offers a book about Manhattan she can borrow that is upstairs in his apartment. Lorelai heads up to Luke's apartment, walking in on Rory and Jess in a compromising position on the couch. An embarrassed Lorelai explains she’s just there to retrieve a book from Luke. Jess grabs the book for her, and Lorelai once again tells Rory that they really need to work out a sign.

Back downstairs at Luke’s, Lorelai yells at Luke for leaving Rory and Jess up in the apartment alone together. Luke assures her that it is okay; he has a system. Every ten minutes he makes up a reason to go up there to get something for the diner, like money or mustard. He then puts it in a box. Every couple days he empties out the box and starts over again. He seems confident in his plan of walking in every ten minutes until Lorelai points out that's about the time it took to conceive Rory. Lorelai leaves and Luke rushes upstairs.

At the Gilmore house, Lorelai calls for Rory to come upstairs and help her. Rory enters Lorelai's room, wondering what the packing crisis is. Lorelai informs her daughter how for once in her life she doesn’t have a packing crisis. The problem is she doesn’t know what to wear for the drive. Rory makes some suggestions and order is restored. When Rory tells Lorelai her plans for Friday night include Jess bringing her home to an empty house, Lorelai suggests that she stay at her grandmother’s. Lorelai makes some good points as to why that might be a good idea, but Rory doesn’t buy it. She assures her mother nothing will happen between her and Jess, that she is way to busy to even think about “it”. Alex arrives to pick up Lorelai.

Emily and Rory are waiting for Jess to arrive for Friday night dinner. Rory is nervous because he is late, but Emily reassures her by pointing out a highway accident that has probably led to Jess being stuck in traffic. When he finally arrives, Rory opens the door to find Jess standing there with a black eye. While Emily checks on dinner, Rory asks how Jess got the black eye. Jess doesn’t want to talk about it, raising Rory's suspicions. Everyone sits down to dinner, where Emily doesn't seem to mind Jess's sarcasm and short answers. She keeps the conversation going with talk of dinner parties and Jess’s job at Wal-Mart. Rory again asks about the black eye. When Emily leaves to get salt and pepper, Rory and Jess start arguing. Rory accuses Jess of getting into a fight with Dean. When Emily returns, Rory asks to be excused with Jess to talk for a few minutes.

They go into the study and continue to argue. It comes out that Rory believes Jess not only fought with Dean, but probably started it, as well. Things escalate when Jess threatens to leave and Rory tells him how he has humiliated her. Jess finally gives up on the evening and walks out. Emily joins Rory at the door, and they hear Jess start his car. Emily deduces he’s leaving but is supportive, putting her arm around her granddaughter and suggesting they have dinner.

In New York City, Lorelai, Alex, Jackson, and Sookie attend a Broadway musical which everyone agrees afterwards was a dud. They stand outside, making up lyrics for their own musical. Jackson and Sookie grab a cab to continue the evening elsewhere, and Lorelai pulls out her cell phone to call Rory. Alex reminds Lorelai that she made him promise to stop her if she called Rory for the wrong reason. Lorelai finally puts her phone away and they leave to join Sookie and Jackson.

Rory awakens the next morning at her grandparents' house to her cell phone ringing. It’s Lorelai, who can't wait to find out how Friday night dinner went. Rory explains what happened and a cherry Emily walks in and offers Rory breakfast downstairs. She takes the phone from Rory to speak to Lorelai and immediately, her demeanor changes. Emily rants about Jess's behavior and how it is all Lorelai’s fault. Lorelai, unfazed, holds the phone away from her ear so she can read the paper.

We see the band minus Lane driving down the street. Mrs. Kim spots them. Dave, panicking, tells Mrs. Kim that Zack and Brian are the other members of his Christian band. Mrs. Kim warns Dave that Lane has a crush on him and to be careful. David assures her that he will.

Rory finds Dean at Doose's Market and asks him how Jess got his black eye. Dean informs Rory that he has no idea, and Rory leaves. Meanwhile, Luke tries to get the story from Jess when he sees his eye. Jess doesn’t want to talk about it. Luke also jumps to the conclusion that he got into a fight with Dean. When Rory calls and Jess says he doesn’t want to talk to her, Luke drags Jess in the back room and demands to know what happened. Jess finally admits it is the result of a swan attack. Luke doesn’t believe him. Jess insists that it was a mean, vicious swan. When Luke laughs at him, Jess storms out with retaliation on his mind, taking a large ladle with him.

Luke and Jess go swan hunting in a boat on the lake. Luke takes the opportunity to advise Jess about dating a Gilmore and tells him that with a girl like Rory, the whole family comes along with her, and avoiding her won't solve anything. Luke reminds Jess that Rory chose him over Dean, and he shouldn't be jealous. They then spot the swan and Luke continues mocking Jess's injury.

Lane and Rory are in Rory’s garage, talking about the fight between Rory and Jess. The band comes in, angry that Dave has been hiding something from them. Lane and Dave brace themselves to be busted on their secret romance, but Zack and Brian instead demand to know why they weren't told that Dave is a Christian. They have no problem with it, only that Dave kept it from them. A relieved Lane joins in, and Dave promises not play any songs by Creed. Lorelai arrives back home, and Rory runs out to meet her when she hears the car. Alex drops off a starving Lorelai, who waited to have dinner with Rory. Rory promises to quickly save her.

Rory is walking back to her house with food in tow. She walks past Luke’s and Jess spots her. He runs out to talk to her. Both apologize -- Rory for not believing Jess, and Jess for not telling her what happened -- and they kiss and make up. Rory asks what really happened to his eye. Jess, still too embarrassed to tell Rory the truth, makes up an excuse that he was throwing around a football with a friend and got hit in the eye. Rory seems to buy it and says he shouldn’t be ashamed of that. He agrees and they start kissing. Rory breaks them up, saying she has to get back home, but tells a frustrated Jess to keep thinking what he’s thinking.

Home at last, Rory rescues a hungry Lorelai. Lorelai is caught off guard when a preoccupied Rory announces that she is not too busy, after all, to be thinking about “it”. Rory asks Lorelai if she wants to know before something happens. Lorelai's biggest fear and proudest moment roll into one as she realizes her daughter respects her and wants to include her in her life. She decides she would rather know, even if it's something she's not happy about. The girls sit back and eat in comfortable silence as we fade to black.
Credit: Rich

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