"Back in the Saddle Again"
Written by Linda Loiselle Guzik; directed by Kevin Dowling

Lorelai, Rory, and Emily are at the table for Friday night dinner by no one is eating. Apparently they’ve been waiting for Richard for a long time and Lorelai is sick of waiting. Emily and the girls discuss the various hobbies Richard has been testing out now that he’s retired. Emily catches Lorelai trying to eat a piece of candy and stops her. Richard finally arrives and tells the others that they don’t have to wait for him to change clothes before they start eating. Emily disapproves and makes the girls wait until he gets back. Lorelai and Rory go to Luke’s and try to jokingly make a customer leave so they can have his table. Lorelai thinks that something in the diner has changed and finally discovers that Luke has a new special on the chalkboard. Rory is surprised, since his four-slice French toast has been on the board since she was born. Lorelai asks Luke about the new omelette and he tells her that she wouldn’t like it. It’s three eggs with bacon, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and oregano. Lorelai decides to try it with a side of bacon, even though there’s bacon in the omelette. She winds up getting ingredients removed from her omelette until she winds up with just eggs and cheese. Luke accuses her of doing that on purpose. Lorelai thinks that Luke spent a lot of time on the sign, but Rory notes that the handwriting is Jess’. Lorelai is surprised that Rory knows Jess’ handwriting; Rory explains that he vandalized her book (see “Nick and Nora/Sid and Nancy”). They discuss margin-writing as Dean arrives. Lorelai invites him to eat with them and Dean orders the special omelette, accidentally offending Luke.

At Chilton, Rory’s business class splits into groups to get ready for an upcoming business fair. Of course, her group consists of Paris, Louise, and Madeline, as well as a guy named Chip. Brad also joins the group (he has returned to Chilton because his psychiatrist thought it would be good for him to face his fears) Rory explains to him that they have to come up with a product geared towards high schoolers. The group also needs to pick a parent who’s in a business to advise them. Everyone suggests Lorelai, but Rory doesn’t think she’s right for the assignment. She agrees to ask her so that Paris doesn’t try to overthrow her as the group’s leader. At the inn, Lorelai interrupts Sookie’s meringue-whipping to bring her a box that she thinks contains her wedding invitations. Unfortunately, the name on them is Susie St. James. While Lorelai is on the phone with the place that made the invitations, Michel comes in and reminds Lorelai that he has the next day off because his mother is coming to visit. Lorelai gives her condolences, but Michel is happy because he doesn’t get to see her very often, and because she’s not Emily. Lorelai passes the phone to Sookie, suggesting that she not get hysterical, but her advice is ignored. Rory arrives and asks Lorelai if she wants to be the advisor for her business project. Lorelai obviously doesn’t want to but agrees to help out if the group has no other choice. She suggests that Rory ask Richard, since he was a businessman and has time now that he’s retired.

Rory heads to her grandparents’ house and tells Richard about her class project. He tells her that the circumstances aren’t spectacular for him to help out. Emily meets up with them and, after Rory leaves, asks what she was there about. Richard fills her in and Emily wonders why he didn’t accept. She says that she doesn’t know what to expect from Richard anymore, since he’s switching hobbies so quickly and now has turned his back on Rory. She tells him that she’s disappointed in him. Back in Stars Hollow, Lane complains to Rory about an aptitude test she took which says that she would be perfect for a job in sales. Rory teases her and tells her that she’s taking the test too seriously. Lane says that this was the fourth time she took the test, and it came up sales all four times. Dean meets up with them and invites Rory to come to his softball game when she and Lane are done shopping. Rory thinks that she should do her homework instead, since she and Dean are supposed to do something that night. He suggests that she do the homework during the game, but she’d rather do it at home and go see his game the next week. At the inn, Michel gets Lorelai to sign a bunch of papers, though she’s not sure what she’s signing. His mother Giselle arrives, surprising Michel, who thought he was supposed to pick her up at the airport. She says that she wanted to come early and get presents for him. Giselle meets Lorelai, who would like to have Giselle as her own mother. Michel doesn’t want to introduce his mother to Sookie, though.

Richard winds up going to Chilton to advise Rory’s group, telling her that they don’t need to rush on his account. She introduces him to her group and they start brainstorming ideas. Louise wants to make a lipstick Lo-Jack, which Madeline supports. Rory tries to be diplomatic by saying that they should come up with something for both genders. Madeline suggests a locker robot, but Rory points out that they’d actually have to build a robot. Madeline thinks that Brad looks like he would know how to. Paris comes up with a much better product, a First-Aid kit that can fit in a locker. Richard gets her to think deeper and she notes that teens will buy the kits if they’re decorated to their tastes. Richard challenges her idea, then tells her that he agrees that it’s a good one. Richard gets into the project, getting the group to discuss finances. Rory returns home to find Lorelai lost in a book about Mötley Crue and ignoring the phone. Lorelai says that she knows who’s on the phone - Dean, who has left a dozen messages on the answering machine. It turns out to be Richard, though, who wants to talk to Rory about moving her group’s next meeting to his house. Lorelai brags that she was right about Richard being a good fit with her group. She tells Rory to check the answering machine so they can delete all of Dean’s messages. Dean has left a message every 15-30 minutes, 14 before Lorelai stopped answering the phone. Rory notes that it’s excessive and Lorelai asks if they had a fight. She thinks that Dean feels insecure, even though Rory spends all of her spare time with him. She wishes that things would go back to the way they were. Lorelai tells her to try to stick things out.

At the inn, Giselle and Michel enjoy each other’s company. Lorelai is surprised to hear from Giselle that Michel ate pasta at lunch, since he’s Mr. Low Carb. Rory and her group head to the Gilmores’ house without Paris; Rory thinks that they should have waited for her. It turns out that she’s already at the house, setting up things for the first meeting of the StyleAid Corporation with Richard. Rory gets to be the chairman of the board, since she’s the group leader. Paris gets everyone started on looking at their presentation booklet and introduces the RX-2002. Everyone is impressed with the details put into the product. The group wants to market in magazines and stores, but Richard suggests that they start in schools. Emily comes in to check on everyone and Richard tries to get her to leave, since she’s interrupting the meeting. Pleased, Emily points out to Rory that he’s happy. At Lorelai and Rory’s, Dean washes Rory’s car. Lorelai makes him come inside for a soda and a talk. She tells him that she knows things are a little off between him and Rory and he might be trying to hold on too hard. Dean asks if this means that Lorelai thinks he’s losing Rory. She admits that she does think this and suggests that he give Rory some space. She promises that if this doesn’t work, Dean can wash her car, too. At the inn, Sookie yells at the invitation people, then tells Lorelai that she’s decided to spread the news about the wedding through verbal communication instead.

Michel comes in and blasts Lorelai for telling Giselle that he doesn’t eat carbs. Apparently the basis of his relationship with his mother is that he doesn’t tell her any details about his life. Now Giselle knows that Michel is hiding things and she’s asking him all sorts of questions. Michel hates Lorelai for turning his mother into a mother. This makes Lorelai feel better. At the business fair, Paris tells Rory that, after looking at the other groups’ projects, she thinks theirs is the best. Richard agrees that every other project in the room is worthless. Headmaster Charleston approaches and learns that Richard was Rory’s group’s advisor; they discuss Richard’s retirement. Minutes later, Headmaster Charleston announces the winning group - it’s not Rory’s. Richard is outraged and vows to talk to Headmaster Charleston about the oversight. He blasts Headmaster Charleston, noting that he has years of experience in business and knows that Rory’s group’s project was the best. Headmaster Charleston tells him that they’re not quite in the real world yet, so Richard can’t say what would win in the real world. Richard claims that he’s only upset on the students’ behalf, but Headmaster Charleston points out that he’s the one making a scene. Lorelai and Rory head to Friday night dinner, talking about Richard’s outburst. Lorelai thinks that he gets taller when he’s angry. She assures Rory that she didn’t do anything wrong. Rory asks her not to talk about Chilton, work, school, or retirement.

Emily tells the girls that Richard was upset after the fair and hasn’t talked to anyone since he’s gotten home. Rory tells her what happened at the fair and Emily wonders why he’s making such a big deal over a school project. Lorelai suggests that Richard speak to a psychiatrist, but Emily protests that Gilmores don’t do that. Richard comes downstairs, acting normally, and says that he’s been doing a lot of thinking, thanks to Rory. He’s realized that he doesn’t want to be retired anymore, since it’s boring and he has no idea what to do with himself. He’s decided to start his own business, possibly consulting or teaching. Lorelai and Emily are both shocked. On the way home, Lorelai and Rory discuss the great rolls they had at dinner (Lorelai took four with her). Rory gets a page from Dean and tells Lorelai that it’s actually the first in two days. She’s happy that he’s not smothering her anymore. Lorelai asks if they’re going to hang out that night, but Rory wants to spend time with Lane. Her mother is out of town, so her grandmother is staying with her, but she falls asleep by 6, so the girls are going to take a risk and sneak out to go to Luke’s. Lorelai tries to talk her out of this but drops her off at Lane’s, asking again if she wants to call Dean. Lorelai arrives home to find Dean sitting on the front porch. “She likes Jess, doesn’t she?” he asks.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “We’ve been waiting forever.”
Emily: “We have not been waiting forever.”
Lorelai: “Forever. Godot was just here. He said, ‘I ain’t waiting for Richard,’ grabbed a roll, and left.”

“Thank God I have the perfect son. If you had been ugly, I don’t know what I would’ve done.” - Giselle to Michel

Madeline: “He looks like he should know.”
Brad: “I’ve never built a robot.”
Louise: “But you’ve tried, haven’t you?”
Brad: “Yes, I have.”

Lorelai: “You’re da%$ lucky to have that magnificent woman in your life. You know that, don’t you?”
Rory: “It’s whispered in my ear every night when I’m about to go to sleep.”
Lorelai: “Well, you won’t let me write it in your underwear anymore.”

Michel: “Yes, well, you know what happens when you assume.”
Lorelai: “What?”
Michel: “I don’t know. Something about a donkey - it’s a stupid American phrase.”

Emily: “Next thing you know, you’ll be suggesting I go to a psychiatrist.”
Lorelai: “Too many comebacks - I cannot pick.”

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