"The Deerhunters"
Written by Jed Seidel; directed by Alan Myerson

Lorelai tags along while Rory shops for school supplies, an activity she could perform professionally. She announces that she wants serious paper, which sends Lorelai into a routine about how serious the other supplies are. At Chilton, Rory has to make multiple trips to get all of her things off of the bus. In her English class, her teacher Max Medina (Scott Cohen) hands back papers and Rory is disappointed to see that she’s received a D. He warns that the test they’re facing later in the week will be difficult and will be worth 20 percent of their final grades. Paris and Louise announce that they got As (Madeline got a B) and taunt Rory about her bad grade. Tristan approaches and calls Rory “Mary” (see “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton”), which doesn’t make her day any better. He starts to ask her about her personal life and she asks him to stop pestering her. At the Independence Inn, Drella and Michel bicker and Lorelai has to break things up. She then runs to the kitchen to share a review of the inn’s food with Sookie. Rory arrives, begging for chocolate, and Lorelai and Sookie read Sookie’s excellent review. She’s disappointed, however, over the fact that her risotto is described as “fine.” Lorelai wants to celebrate the review, but Rory has to study and Sookie isn’t in the mood.

At home, Rory studies in the kitchen while Lorelai tries to lure her into the living room to watch the news. She tries to convince her to take a break and get some food, but Rory gets fed up with her persistence and tries to send her to her room. Rory promises to goof off that weekend if Lorelai lets her study now. Lorelai accepts, but when she asks about ice cream, Rory heads to her room for some peace and quiet. Later, Rory goes to Lane’s, navigating through Mrs. Kim’s antiques until they meet up. Rory shares her Snickers bar, since Lane is stuck with an unappetizing, low-calorie snack, and complains about how much she has to learn about Shakespeare for her big test. The girls get moved when Mrs. Kim sells the table they’re sitting at, then the next table they want to use. She also notices the Snickers bar and Rory has to take back her “chocolate-covered death.” Lane mentions that Dean asked about Rory at school and that he seemed impressed to learn that she was at Chilton. At the inn, Lorelai warns Drella not to play any heavy metal or rock on her harp. In the kitchen, she tells Sookie about the differences between Chilton and Stars Hollow High, but Sookie is distracted over the fact that the reviewer only thought her risotto was “fine.” Apparently, the risotto is so special that when Sookie’s mother ate it on her deathbed, she lived another three years. Jackson arrives and tells Sookie that he doesn’t have her exact order; he’s shocked when she doesn’t complain and even more shocked when he finds out about the “fine” risotto.

That evening, Lorelai arrives late to a parent-teacher meeting at Chilton, making a bit of a fool of herself in front of the other, more refined parents. She overhears a mother noting that Rory must be a scholarship student and immediately turns defensive, having to be stopped by Max. Lorelai and Max chat a little about Rory and Lorelai’s B-52s shirt, which she had to change into after a coffee accident in her car. Max lets it slip that Rory got a D on her paper and realizes why she was so uptight earlier. She heads off to be with her. Rory tries to study at Luke’s, where she receives pie because she was turning violent against her writing utensils. Lorelai arrives and fills Rory in on what she’s learned, apologizing for acting stupid when Rory was stressing out. Rory laments that a D at Stars Hollow is worse than an F at Chilton, and she got a D at Chilton. Lorelai tries to encourage her and promises to help her study for her big Shakespeare test. At Chilton, Paris catches Rory reading and tries to psych her out by quoting a sonnet and telling her, “You’re going down.” At the inn, Sookie confronts Lorelai with risotto, having made a bunch in order to find out what’s wrong with it. She’s made 40 different recipes and concluded that hers is better than all of them. She summons the waiter who served the reviewer three weeks earlier and tries to find out what happened, but the waiter is nervous and wants to leave.

Lorelai helps Rory study all evening, finally getting her to a place where she feels a little more confident. She sends Lorelai to bed, but she wants to stay up for support. Later that night, Rory is still studying and Lorelai is asleep on the couch. The next morning, Rory wakes up and realizes that she’s overslept, has missed her bus, and is dangerously close to being late for her test. Lorelai starts to get ready to drive her to school, then realizes that she can’t because she has a meeting. She tells Rory to drive herself, so Rory heads off, calling Lane to ask her if she left some of her notes at her house. Lane leaves her closet, where she was listening to music her mother forbids, but she can’t find the notes. Suddenly there’s a bang and Rory exclaims that her car was just hit by a deer - she was stopped at a stop sign and he hit her and ran off. She gets out to look for him but, unable to find him and running very late, she has to leave. When she finally arrives at English class, Max tells her that she’s too late and will have to wait in the library until the other students are done with their tests. Rory begs to be allowed to take the test, but Max can’t let her. Paris calls her a loser under her breath and Rory flies off the handle, blasting her for always trying to show Rory up. As Max escorts her out of the room, Rory passes Tristan and yells at him, “And for the last time, my name is RORY!”

At the inn, Sookie celebrates when she discovers the reason the reviewer didn’t enjoy the risotto - he drank wine with it that changes the flavor of the dish. Jackson arrives with zucchinis, which Sookie proclaims too small, and Jackson happily announces that it’s good to have her back. The celebration ends when Lorelai gets a phone call and has to go to Chilton to get Rory. Rory explains what happened and Lorelai goes to ask Headmaster Charleston to let Rory take her test. He refuses as well, telling her that he has to follow the rules. Lorelai tries to get Max to give in, but he won’t, either. Lorelai finally goes off on both of them, complaining that the school makes people feel inadequate when they’re not. Headmaster Charleston notes that Rory threw a similar fit earlier, which surprises Lorelai. He agrees that the school sets “impossible standards” but adds that that’s how things are done at Chilton. If Rory can’t handle it, she shouldn’t be there. As Lorelai and Rory head home, Sookie heads to the reviewer’s house and makes him eat her risotto with the appropriate wine. Rory and Lorelai drive past the place where Rory was hit by the deer and Rory makes her mother stop so they can look for it. Lorelai mentions Rory’s fit and tells her that if she wants to go back to Stars Hollow High, she can. Rory thinks that Lorelai believes she won’t succeed at Chilton, but Lorelai just wants her to be happy. She wonders if Rory’s dream of going to Harvard is really because of her. Rory assures her that it isn’t and decides that she’ll just catch up with her classmates and do better. She thanks her for standing up to Headmaster Charleston for her. At home, Lorelai and Rory plan to head to Luke’s, but not before Lorelai listens to phone message from Max telling Rory to fight hard and adding that he enjoyed meeting Lorelai.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Max

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Rory: “Lorelai, go to your room!”
Lorelai: “Wow, smart girls are mean.”

Chilton father: “What’s exciting about a test?”
Lorelai: “Do you play golf?”
Chilton father: “Yes, I do.”
Lorelai: “You explain yours, I’ll explain mine.”

Michel: “There is a man with a funny accent on the phone asking for you.”
Lorelai: “Really? Did you guys exchange the secret handshake?”


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