"Christopher Returns"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Michael Katleman

Rory and Lorelai make up their couch for Christopher, who has just arrived in Stars Hollow (see “That Da%$ Donna Reed”). Rory wants him to stay for a couple of weeks, but Lorelai reminds her that she knows that Christopher is always in and out. Rory notes that he’s never been in Stars Hollow before, so that must mean something. Christopher returns from a bad shower and Rory learns that he’s broken up with his most recent girlfriend. Rory heads off to study and Christopher tells Lorelai that she’s great and he wishes he could see more of himself in her. Lorelai asks him why he’s there and he admits that he’s making some changes in his professional life. Lorelai doesn’t have much faith in Christopher, however. He tells her that he wants to be in Rory’s life more if Lorelai will let him. She tells him that she’s never kept him from seeing their daughter. Rory comes back in and asks Christopher if he wants to go see her “friend” Dean play softball the next morning. They head to the game the next morning; Luke is pitching and he and Dean engage in a little trash talking. Kirk heckles them both from the stands. Rory tells Dean that the games last until everyone gets tired and they decide that whichever team gets a run first wins. Dean comes over and meets Christopher; they bond over motorcycles. Dean heads back to the game, where he and Luke agree that the next run wins the game.

At the inn, Lorelai interrupts a rare pleasant moment between Sookie and Michel. It ends when they start arguing over why they usually argue. Sookie asks for news on Christopher, but Lorelai admits that she isn’t sure how she feels about him being there. He’s always been in her life and it’s hard to be angry with him. However, she’s not sure he’s really going to be a big part of Rory’s life now. Rory gives Christopher a tour of Stars Hollow, explaining that Al’s Pancake World doesn’t actually serve pancakes - he switched to international but didn’t change the name because he’d already had napkins made up. His international dishes switch from time to time; he recently tried food from Paraguay. Miss Patty approaches and is happy to meet Christopher, whom she obviously finds attractive. Christopher also meets Taylor and Jackson, who thinks he looks more like George Clooney than Brad Pitt. (Andrew would go with Billy Crudup.) Christopher tells Rory that he’s getting her out of Stars Hollow, since everyone there is crazy. Knowing that she likes books, he offers to buy her something. She wants the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, but it’s huge and expensive. He tries to pay by credit card but it’s declined, so he says that he’ll come back for the book tomorrow. Outside, Jackson spreads the word about Christopher, then runs off when he sees him.

Lorelai goes to Luke’s, where he tells her that Rory was at the softball game that morning with some guy. Lorelai tells him that it was Christopher. He and Rory enter and Christopher gets a call from Emily. She talks to Lorelai, telling her that she’s invited Christopher’s parents over for dinner on Friday with the girls and Christopher. Emily notes that all of them haven’t been together since Christopher and Lorelai were kids, and his parents, Straub and Francine, haven’t seen Rory since she was a baby. The girls and Christopher reluctantly head to Friday night dinner, letting themselves in; Emily isn’t happy about that, even though she gave Lorelai a key. Richard and Christopher immediately start discussing business. Emily says that Rory has inherited Christopher’s musical talent; Lorelai corrects that neither of them has any musical talent. Christopher protests that he plays the guitar, but Lorelai says that he only knows the opening of “Smoke on the Water.” Richard announces that he’s a Chuck Berry man, a declaration that surprises Lorelai. Emily remembers Lorelai and Christopher putting on a show as Lucy and Schroeder from Peanuts and singing “Suppertime.” Straub (Peter Michael Goetz) and Francine (Cristine Rose) arrive and Rory tries to figure out what to call them, since she doesn’t remember the last time she saw them. Lorelai cracks a joke that no one laughs at and Straub tells her that she’s the same as she’s always been. Rory greets her grandparents with a curtsy and her mother teases her.

The four grandparents discuss retirement, then Christopher’s business possibilities. Straub notes that, at 16, Rory is at a dangerous age for girls. Emily and Richard boast that she’s very smart, but Rory is too awkward to make any intelligent conversation. Out of the blue, Lorelai announces that she hates President Bush, which sets off Straub and Francine. Straub calls Lorelai out of control and asks her what she’s been doing with her life, other than “hating successful businessmen.” Lorelai tells him that she runs an inn and Straub says that it’s nice that she’s found her calling. He asks her if her life is everything she hoped it would be and warns that she might not want to be so proud about saying that she works at a hotel. He says that if she’d gone to college, as her parents had planned for her and they had planned for Christopher, she might be somewhere other than in a “blue collar” position. Straub adds that he wouldn’t care about Lorelai derailing her life if she hadn’t dragged Christopher down with her. Lorelai sends Rory out of the room as Richard tries to mediate, telling the Haydens that “a mutual mistake” was made but everything has turned out. Straub says that he doesn’t care how good a student Rory is - Lorelai having her ruined Christopher’s future. Furious, Richard demands that Straub apologize, telling him that Lorelai has become very successful. The Haydens start to leave and Richard tells them that he’s kicking them out. After they leave, Lorelai tells Christopher that she feels 16 again.

Lorelai follows Richard to his study and thanks him for standing up for her. He tells her that he didn’t do it because she needs to be protected but because he doesn’t sit by while a Gilmore is being attacked. However, he doesn’t want her to think that this makes up for everything that’s happened in the past 16 years. He had to tell his colleagues and friends that his only daughter was pregnant and not going to college, even though she was the smartest in her class. Then Lorelai ran off and cut her parents out of her life. Lorelai sarcastically suggests that he adopt Christopher, since he loves him so much. Richard tells her that he hated Christopher for getting his daughter pregnant, but instead they tried to arrange for the two of them to get married. Christopher was willing to do so, but Lorelai didn’t want to. She says that it’s not what she wanted but Richard argues that people sometimes have to sacrifice. “I feel indescribably sad for you right now, Dad,” Lorelai replies. Emily finds Rory in the kitchen and tells her, “None of this means anything.” She assures Rory that even through all of the night’s talk of disappointments, Rory’s existence has never been a part of that. Christopher finds Lorelai on the balcony outside her old bedroom and they recall how much time they used to spend out there. They drink a little and Christopher says that even if Lorelai hadn’t gotten pregnant, he still wouldn’t have made it through Princeton. Lorelai doesn’t believe that, but Christopher says, “That’s why you’re you and I’m not.” At his diner, Luke waits for Lorelai to come over to paint.

Lorelai and Christopher start to get friendly on the balcony, but Lorelai decides that this isn’t a good idea. In the car on the way back to Stars Hollow, Rory asks where her parents were but they don’t tell her. At home, Christopher heads to bed as Rory notices that Lorelai’s clothes are a little messed up. Lorelai takes her to the kitchen to talk about the night’s events; she tries to convince Rory that all of the comments were directed at her, not Rory. Rory doesn’t think that the Haydens want to get to know her, but Lorelai says that they can’t get out from under their pride. She assures her that she and Christopher have no regrets about having her. The next morning, Lorelai remembers her arrangements with Luke and rushes over to the diner in her pajamas. He tells her it’s okay that she didn’t show and guesses that Christopher was involved in her last-minute plans. Back at home, Christopher wants to talk about what happened the night before. After discussing everything, he announces that he wants to marry Lorelai. She thinks he’s insane, but he points out that they’re already a family. They argue about their levels of maturity and Christopher says that he wanted to get married when Lorelai was pregnant. She says that they never would have made it and Christopher says that they’re not too young anymore. Lorelai tells him that they don’t know each other as adults yet; she calls his suggestion to get married and then get to know each other “very Fiddler on the Roof.” She asks how his business really is and he admits that it’s not great. Rejected again, Christopher says that it might be easier to stay away than see Rory all the time and know that he can’t be with Lorelai.

Later, Christopher gets ready to leave and Rory has to act as a messenger between him and Lorelai. After he leaves, Rory asks Lorelai if Christopher wanted to marry her. She says that crazier things have happened, but Lorelai says that Christopher wants things he’s not ready for. Rory says that he could have changed and that he does love Lorelai. She agrees and says that she’ll probably always love him as well, but Christopher isn’t ready to handle both of the girls full-time. She decides that they won’t put all of the blankets from the couch away just yet. Luke arrives at his diner to find that Lorelai has finished the remodeling on her own. He’s grateful for her work, but refuses to budge on the subject of curtains and tablecloths.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Straub, Francine

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “Oh, hi, where were you?”
Christopher: “Well, we saw Al’s Paraguayan Pancake House, we were stalked by several townspeople, and apparently I look like Billy Crudup.”
Lorelai: “You do not.”
Christopher: “Take it up with Jackson.”

Emily: “Lorelai, Christopher’s in town!”
Lorelai: (gasps) “What? I didn’t know! Although, coincidently, I’m sitting across from an amazing Christopher hologram.”

Lorelai: (sighs) “I’ve gotta see my parents.”
Christopher: (sighs) “I’ve gotta see my parents.”
Rory: “Ladies and gentlemen, the drama king and queen of Connecticut.”

“Rory, I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening and I know you’ve heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear: you, young lady, your person and your existence have never ever been, not even for a second, included in that list. Do you understand me?” - Emily


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