"A Family Matter"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Kenny Ortega

As townies decorate for the annual Firelight Festival, Lorelai heads for the diner and discovers it packed with people. She calls Rory at Yale, then tries to get Kirk to let her sit with him. He declines, since he has a girlfriend. She assures him that she’s not flirting with him and he lets her sit, but he rethinks his decision when she does start flirting. Rory tells Lorelai that Lane is still with her (see “In the Clamor and the Clangor”) and hasn’t talked to her mother since she was kicked out. Lorelai feels bad for Mrs. Kim, thinking that she’s lonely without Lane. Lane brings coffee to Rory and her suitemates; Paris is grumpy and Lorelai guesses that she was with Asher all night. Luke appears at the diner and complains about the Firelight Festival. He asks Kirk if he and Lorelai are a couple now. Lorelai tells Rory that Digger has the day off, so she’s taking him shopping for office furniture. She notes that since he’s never been to Stars Hollow before, she gets to show him around. Luke tries to remind Lorelai of his no cell phone policy, then says hello to Rory. “How does it feel to be a stepdad?” he teases Kirk. Rory thinks that Lorelai stopped talking so that Luke wouldn’t hear her talking about Digger. Lorelai tries to eavesdrop on a conversation between Luke and a woman at the counter while Lane plays housekeeper in the dorm. The girls try to decide who the mystery woman is but can’t before Luke sends her upstairs. Lorelai goes back to making Kirk uncomfortable.

Lane does Tana’s hair and the suitemates compliment her housekeeping abilities. Tana hopes that a boy named Chester notices her. Jamie calls, wanting to get together with Paris while he’s in town, but she makes up excuses for being unable to see him that night. She uses Lane’s presence as an excuse, telling him that Lane is on drugs, something Lane doesn’t want spread around. In Stars Hollow, Luke gets frustrated with a tailgater and lets him pass. Lorelai waits for Digger at home, not happy to see him on the phone in his car. He finishes his Japanese business call and they head off to go to some estate sales. Digger would like some coffee first, since he’s been up since 5, and suggests “Duke’s,” the place he’s heard so much about. Lorelai tries to convince him that it’s closed (at 8 in the morning on a Friday) because Luke is Jewish. He notes that it’s pretty early for sundown and convinces her to take him to the diner. In the jeep, Digger conducts more business via cell phone, then complains to Lorelai that he’s horrible at taking mornings off. At the diner, he spots Luke’s truck and announces that he’s not in the mood for coffee anymore. Now she’s in the mood, though, so she still wants to go. Digger admits that he tailgated Luke earlier, though he notes that Luke was only driving 20 miles per hour. Lorelai tells him that the speed limit is 12. Luke sees the two of them outside and Digger tries to get Lorelai to leave and take them to the place with the second best coffee in town. Unfortunately, it’s right next door. Digger asks her to take them at least 50 yards away from “Duke’s.”

Jamie shows up at Yale and asks Rory to tell him what’s going on with Paris. Rory tries to dodge the subject and doesn’t tell him about Asher. He lets her know that it’s his birthday. At the diner, the mystery woman comes back downstairs and Luke tries to get Kirk to stick around so he doesn’t have to deal with her. The woman turns out to be Luke’s sister Liz (Kathleen Wilhoite); she looks around in his closet and finds some pot she misplaced as a teenager. He worries about throwing it out, since he doesn’t want the garbage man to see it, but she notes that he’s the one who sold it to her. The siblings haven’t seen each other in three years and Luke wants to know why Liz is suddenly back in Stars Hollow. She reveals that it’s her 20th high school reunion. Luke guesses that Liz has a new boyfriend who she thinks is better than any other guy she’s been with. He notes that she always dates guys who wind up taking her money and things when they eventually leave. Then she calls Luke and cries for him to bail her out. Liz changes the subject to her new job making jewelry, especially to sell at Renaissance Faires. Luke doesn’t care and asks if she’s talked to Jess lately. Liz says that he’s with his father (see “Here Comes the Son”); Luke accuses her of giving up on him. He admits to stealing Jess’ car (see “Happy Birthday, Baby!”) and hiding it in their father’s old garage to try to force Jess to straighten out. Liz heads off to stay with her friend “Crazy Carrie,” whom she claims Luke once made out with (he denies this).

Lorelai and Digger head to the Kims’ antique shop; Digger is on the phone again and Lorelai is providing commentary for his end of the conversation. He realizes that he missed driving by the lake and asks if they can drive by it again. Inside, Lorelai tells Mrs. Kim that Lane is at Yale with Rory and is fine. She tries to get Digger off the phone and is shocked to learn that he’s talking to Emily. After they hang up, she wonders if Emily and Digger have a Graduate-style thing going on. He tells her that Emily wants him to come to a charity function at a hotel the next night. Lorelai answers her phone and Digger yells that she’s a hypocrite, since she tried to get him off the phone. Emily is on the other end and hears the yelling but doesn’t recognize Digger’s voice. She invites Lorelai to the same charity function. After they hang up, Digger tells Lorelai that eventually they’re going to be found out. Lorelai doesn’t want to let her parents know about their relationship because they’ll screw it up. Digger tells her that he’ll keep up the secret relationship, but Lorelai feels guilty and decides that she’ll tell her parents that night. At Yale, Rory forces Paris to talk about her two boyfriends situation. She tells Paris that Jamie showed up and she needs to choose between him and Asher. Paris realizes that she hasn’t been fair to Jamie, so she calls him and tells him that they have to break up. “That had all the tact of a Nazi storm trooper,” Rory comments.

In Stars Hollow, Luke discovers that Jess’ car is missing from his father’s garage. At Yale, Rory packs to go home for the weekend; Paris thinks she wants some time away from her. She admits that she let things go too far with Asher before she did anything about Jamie because she didn’t know where things were heading. She adds that she thinks Asher might ask her to go to Oxford with him during the summer. Paris says that she never wanted to hurt Jamie; she knows she’s not always nice and she hopes that Asher never sees that side of her. Rory tells her that she just wants her to be happy. She heads home, where Lorelai tells her that she’s planning to tell Emily about Digger at Friday night dinner. Rory considers this brave and Lorelai thinks it’s mature. Rory is surprised to see actual food in the house, including vegetables. At dinner, Emily complains about Digger, saying that he’s a kiss-up and she’s never completely comfortable around him. “You two would be perfect for each other,” she tells Lorelai. Lorelai is offended that Emily would say that after talking about how annoying he is. Emily starts to laugh over the idea of Lorelai and Digger together; Lorelai wonders why the concept is so funny. After dinner, Rory suggests that she drive home instead of Lorelai. A cop named Cooper goes to the diner to tell Luke that his stolen car was found broken down on the highway a couple of hours earlier with the driver in it. There was nothing they could do, since the driver is the owner - Jess. Cooper has brought Jess and the car to the diner so Luke can deal with the situation himself.

After Cooper leaves, Luke blasts Jess, who blasts Luke right back for stealing his car. He adds that it broke down because Luke didn’t take care of it properly. Luke wonders if thinks worked out with Jess and his dad, then mentions that Jess didn’t keep in touch with him. Jess reminds him that he kicked him out, but Luke argues that Jess got himself kicked out. He says that he tried to give Jess a good life but Jess didn’t care about it. Luke thinks that Liz told Jess about the car, but he denies this. Jess tries to find a place to stay while he waits to get his car fixed. Luke tells him to do it quickly and warns him to stay away from Rory while he’s in town. Jess winds up deciding to spend the night in his car. Lorelai and Rory get hot chocolate at Taylor’s soda shop; Rory objects to Lorelai calling it “ho cho.” Lorelai calls Digger and admits that she chickened out and didn’t tell her mother about their relationship. As she makes excuses and tries to convince him that the timing will be better in the future, Rory spots Jess’ car, then sees him in the back seat. She and Lorelai discuss him, wondering if Luke knows he’s there and is just letting him sleep in his car, even though it’s freezing outside. Rory doesn’t want to deal with it, so she goes home, but Lorelai heads into the diner to talk to Luke. She learns that the mystery woman is Liz and tells him that Rory saw Jess but is over it. Luke complains about his family, adding that he’s tired of helping people who don’t try to help themselves. Back at home, Lorelai fills Rory in on everything; Rory says that Jess being back isn’t a big deal. She notes that their movie channels are gone and asks if Lorelai is having money problems. Lorelai pretends that nothing is wrong. Luke goes out to Jess’ car and tells him he’s going to Nicole’s, but Jess can stay in the apartment. He watches from around the corner as Jess goes inside.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Liz

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “There are no empty tables at Luke’s.”
Rory: “And I can do what about that?”
Lorelai: “Well, I was hoping you’d developed mind control powers since I last saw you and you could will people to leave.”
Rory: “No. If I could do that, I’d be using it to play the ponies or something. Your table would be low on the list.”
Lorelai: “Selfish!”

“Luke is the most complicated guy I know who also owns a Doobie Brothers record.” - Lorelai

Tana: “How good do I look?”
Paris: “Would a comedic reply crush you?”
Tana: “Probably.”
Paris: “Terrif.”

Tana: “His father was instrumental in conducting research showing that neurons in the brain fire actively during REM sleep, with the exception of nerve cells involved with the transmitter chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine.”
Paris: “I’d forgot the first part of that sentence by the time you finished, but I say jump him.”

Lorelai: “When did you get up?”
Digger: “5.”
Lorelai: “Wow, they have one of those in the morning, too?”

Paris: “I’m not denying that we’ve got a May-December romance going on here.”
Rory: “This is not May-December, this is May-Ming Dynasty.”

Lorelai: “Were you supposed to meet me here?”
Rory: “No, I’m a surprise.”
Lorelai: “As was your conception.”
Rory: “I’ll just be two minutes.”
Lorelai: “As was your conception.”


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