"A Tale of Poes and Fire"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Chris Long

Rory and Lorelai are at Luke’s, trying to figure out where Rory will go to college (see “The Big One”). She’s deciding between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and Lorelai thinks that they would be horrified by Rory’s sloppy pro/con lists. Kirk arrives with T-shirts, explaining that from now on, he’s going to print daily shirts with a headline about something he’s observed in town. Today’s says “babette ate oatmeal.” “I’m keeping it real,” he explains. He tries to sell shirts to the girls but Luke reminds him that there’s no soliciting in the diner. The girls tell Luke about Rory’s acceptance into the three colleges and he gives Rory an awkward hug. He wonders why they’re making lists, since she’s always wanted to go to Harvard. He suggests that she put the school in the pro column that best teaches how to make decisions without pro/con lists. Rory heads off to school, though Lorelai points out that they can do whatever they want now that she’s gotten into college. (She suggests truffle-hunting.) After Rory leaves, Luke tells Lorelai that Jess was chosen as employee of the month at Wal-Mart. Luke was invited to a ceremony they’re having for Jess; he’s going, probably especially because Jess would hate for him to be there. At the inn, Lorelai finds Sookie taking care of a stray cat who hasn’t been eating. Sookie notes that ever since she got pregnant (see “The Big One”) she and Jackson have become more nurturing.

A bunch of people from the Edgar Allen Poe society arrive for the weekend and Lorelai tends to them, trying to show off her Poe knowledge. One of them, Fred, tells her that it’s just a hobby - “we’re not Trekkies.” Luke heads to Wal-Mart for Jess’ ceremony; Jess, of course, refuses to give a speech. Afterwards, Luke teases Jess, who ignores him and goes back to work. Luke meets Jess’ supervisor and learns that he’s been working more than 40 hours a week. Luke wonders how that’s possible, since he’s supposed to be at school during the day. At Miss Patty’s studio, a man dressed as Poe recites The Raven and Lorelai tells Rory that she should put Yale’s drama department in her pro column. The girls spot another man dressed as Poe, then Dean and Lindsay (see “Face-Off”), whom Rory claims not to have a problem with. Lorelai bothers Nicole and Luke, who are across the aisle, for a pen so Rory can add to her pro list. Miss Patty wonders how many “nevermore”s are left in the poem. She tells Rory that she doesn’t even need a pro/con list, since she’s always wanted to go to Harvard. After the first Poe finishes the poem, Miss Patty tells the girls that both Poes got mixed up about what they were supposed to perform and both came ready to do The Raven. “If the Poes start fighting, does that punch a hole in the space/time continuum?” Lorelai wonders. The second Poe gets up to do The Raven and the girls debate leaving. Lorelai wishes she’d brought a flash for the nevermore drinking game. Lorelai and Nicole share a look and Rory and Lindsay share a look, causing Lorelai and Rory to note that the vibe in the room is “very Poe.”

After the performances, Poe #1 tells Rory that he’s heard she’s considering going to Harvard. He tells her that he went to West Point but had to leave after he was court-martialed in 1832. Poe #2 corrects that it was actually 1831 and the two start arguing. Kirk tries to sell shirts that read “Faux Poes foes,” but they’re not selling much better than the first shirts. Rory introduces Lorelai to Lindsay and Dean congratulates Rory on getting into Harvard; he himself got into Southern Connecticut State. After Rory leaves, Luke approaches Lorelai and tells her that Jess has been working at Wal-Mart fulltime. He thinks that Jess must be working a lot on the weekends, but Lorelai says that he’s always with Rory then. Luke doesn’t want to believe that Jess is skipping school; he says that Jess knows that one of the rules of getting to live with Luke is that he do all of his schoolwork. Kirk asks Poe #2 how he can have a career as a Poe. Poe #2 tells him it’s a hobby, not a career. Kirk knows, but he still wants to know how he can make it a career. In the middle of the night, Rory wakes Lorelai up to tell her that someone called from the inn - the fire alarm is going off. They race over as the fire is being put out and make sure that everyone is okay (they are). Fortunately, they should be able to get back into the inn in about 24 hours, but until then, they’ll have to figure out how to run things and take care of the guests. Lorelai puts Rory in charge of entertaining kids, though she has no idea how to do that. Sookie heads off to get food and Michel calls up another inn. Lorelai thinks he’s securing accommodations for the guests, but he’s actually trying to get a job.

Lorelai, Sookie, and the inn’s kitchen staff take over Luke’s to cook breakfast for the inn’s guests. They tell him that there was a fire (and that Sookie’s pregnant, since he didn’t know), but he thinks it’s ridiculous that they’ll be cooking different things in the diner at the same time. Lorelai gets the customers’ support by offering a better breakfast than what they would get from Luke. He accepts the fact that he’s not going to get Lorelai to leave him alone, then heads upstairs. Lorelai finds Rory trying to entertain the kids with a puppet show starring her socks. Rory has to go to school, so Lorelai sends the kids to the diner and tells them to bug Luke for a puppet show. Michel has set up the inn’s temporary headquarters at Miss Patty, and she and Babette are helping him out. Michel wants Miss Patty to shorten the greeting she gives when she answers the phone; she argues that she was Ricardo Montalban’s secretary for six months and he never complained. Michel doesn’t know who Ricardo Montalban is. Lorelai and Rory arrive and the group tries to figure out where to put the Poe society if they decide to spend another night in Stars Hollow. They decide to take people into their own homes and find other townies who will do the same. Rory tries to get Lorelai to keep her own room, since she’s already stressed out as it is.

At Chilton, Rory realizes that Paris has been gone for five days; Madeline and Louise didn’t notice. Rory heads to Paris’ house with some schoolwork and Paris asks Rory if she got into Harvard. Rory admits that she did. Paris says that she hasn’t told her parents about her rejection yet. She’s upset because she thinks Harvard was her destiny, then blames her parents for not sending her to prestigious preschools. She has also found the spot in her interview that she thinks sealed her doom. Rory tells her to tell her parents about the rejection, find out what other colleges she did get into, and call Jamie. Of course, she has to start by getting out of bed. Paris agrees that she needs to deal with things, but first she wants to finish watching her soap opera. Lorelai and Rory put Fred and his family up at their house; Rory will be spending the night at Lane’s. Lorelai looks at Rory’s pro/con list again and says that Yale is clearly where she should go. Rory thinks that all of the Harvard memorabilia on her walls says something. She wants to make sure that her choice is right for both her and Lorelai. Lorelai assures her that it will be. Downstairs, Lorelai tries to get information about Jess out of Rory, but Rory thinks he’s just working part-time and still going to school. After Rory leaves, the Hatlestads, a family from the inn who weren’t with the Poe Society, drop by, wanting to spend the night as well. Lorelai has no choice but to let them stay.

Lorelai calls Rory at Lane’s and tells her that, thanks to the Hatlestads’ arrival, she has no place to sleep. Rory tells her to go spend the night at Luke’s. Lorelai worries that he’ll make her eat a veggie burger. She heads over anyway and throws stones at his window, yelling, “Luke! Stella!” After some yelling back and forth (which disturbs a neighbor), Luke comes down to let Lorelai in. At the Kims’, Lane talks to Young Chui (see “Face Off”), who has broken up with his girlfriend. She tells Rory that she and Young Chui are still pretending to date because he doesn’t think it’s time to “break up” yet. He’s been calling every night and Rory thinks that he’s in love with Lane. Lane worries that he won’t “break up” with her so she can date Dave. Jess stops by Lane’ s window and Rory tries to make sure that he’s still going to school. He assures her that everything is fine. Mrs. Kim approaches with a bat and Lane pretends that Jess came by to borrow something. In Luke’s apartment, he and Lorelai make up the bed, bantering over where to tuck the sheets in. Lorelai then says she should be on the couch instead. Luke says that she can’t nag him to give her the bed, then change her mind and take the couch. “I’m pretending to try to be polite,” she explains.

Nicole calls and, after Luke talks to her, Lorelai notes that he didn’t tell her Lorelai was spending the night. Luke admits that Lorelai has become a sore point between them, possibly because he talked about Lorelai a lot on their first date. Luke sets his alarm clock and Lorelai tells him about the dream she had where he had set a bunch of alarm clocks for her (see “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days”). She adds that they were married and she was pregnant with twins, but things turn awkward and she stops sharing. Later that night, Lorelai leaves the apartment, disturbed by Luke and Jess’ snoring. In the morning, Lorelai and Rory note that Luke and Sookie are sharing the kitchen and working well together. Jess heads out, claiming that he’s going to school. Lorelai gets a call from the fire chief and announces to everyone that the inn is open again. After she and the staff check the place out, the guests can return. Fred gives Lorelai a stuffed raven on behalf of the group; she tells him it’s the nicest dead bird she’s ever gotten. Lorelai, Sookie, and Michel head to the inn, making plans to open in time for dinner. They don’t realize how much damage the fire has done. Rory returns home to find that the Harvard memorabilia on her walls has been replaced by Yale memorabilia.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Michel: “The Hatlestads are not with the Poe Society.”
Lorelai: “Why didn’t you tell me that?”
Michel: “If I had thought to, I still would not have.”

Babette: “What does pushing that F3 button do?”
Michel: “Annoy me to no end.”
Babette: “What about the F4?”

Luke: “You tuck a bed in on both sides?”
Lorelai: “Yes, and then I slip down into it like I’m in a straightjacket or something.”
Luke: “Oh, you must feel right at home there.”

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