"Forgiveness and Stuff"
Written by John Stephens; directed by Bethany Rooney

Miss Patty organizes a living nativity scene at her studio while Lorelai hems Kirk’s costume. Rory informs Taylor that the baby Jesus’ arm is missing again, so he alerts everyone else. Rory suggests that they get a new doll that’s actually a boy, but Taylor notes that it doesn’t really matter, despite the fact that it has a bow. He says that this doll has been the baby Jesus every year since 1965, then orders Rory to find the arm. Lorelai accuses Kirk of flinching; he admits that he is because she’s already stuck him with a pin. Miss Patty summons Taylor with the news that the woman playing their “before” Mary is about to give birth, so they need to find another pregnant woman in Stars Hollow. Rory and Lorelai exchange a look, thinking about their fight at the end of “Rory’s Dance.” Lorelai comments unhappily that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as a dog walks off with the baby Jesus’ arm. Later, Lane meets up with Rory at the gazebo and Rory laments that she and Lorelai still aren’t talking. She also hasn’t spoken to Dean since their night at Miss Patty’s. She reveals some of the Christmas presents she’s bought for people, including a copy of Metamorphosis for Dean. Lane isn’t impressed, commenting, “I know I’ve always dreamed that some day a guy would get me a really confusing Czechoslovakian novel.” She thinks the book will send the wrong message, remembering the time she got perfume for her mother and scared her into sending Lane to Bible camp. Lane suggests that Rory find out what Dean got her and go from there.

At the inn, Michel tries to control the Christmas decorating process. Emily calls Lorelai to discuss Christmas dinner, but Lorelai isn’t thrilled about going. Emily gets fed up and tells Lorelai just to send Rory instead. At home, Rory tries to get Lorelai to go with her, thinking that Emily didn’t really want her to stay away. Rory accuses her of acting immature and Lorelai replies that she’s not acting. Rory reminds her about the apple tarts she looks forward to every year, but Lorelai still won’t give in. She gets Rory to leave, calling after her to bring her home a tart. Rory heads to the party, where Richard and a business associate discuss a possible future boss. His business associate warns him not to get himself worked up and Emily asks them to stop talking about work. Rory apologizes to Emily about the night of the dance. Emily doesn’t want to talk about it at the party, but Rory begs her not to be mad at Lorelai. At home, Lorelai orders pizza and gets upset when it doesn’t get delivered in a timely fashion. She eats a bag of salad instead. She hears someone knocking on Rory’s window and goes into the bedroom to find Dean outside. She says that Rory isn’t home, but she’ll mention that Dean “tapped.” He apologizes for the way everything turned out and promises that nothing happened with him and Rory. He wants to know where he stands with Lorelai. She tells him that she was Rory’s age when she got pregnant. She assures him that she doesn’t hate him, though she’s thought mean thoughts about him, and lets him know that he can use the front door.

Lorelai heads to Luke’s, passing a bell choir that doesn’t seem to have its music down. In the diner, Luke asks Lorelai if she’s forbidden Rory to see Dean; he thinks she’s crazy for not doing so. He has always thought that Dean looked like trouble, but Lorelai argues that she was the one who thought he was trouble and Luke thought she was crazy for that. Luke goes to get her a burger but Lorelai wants to see a menu, since she’s in the mood for something different. She wonders why Luke doesn’t offer a holiday special and tells him about her parents’ Christmas party, which is two weeks early. She laments being uninvited and admits that she cares because she enjoyed going and feels bad about being away from Rory when they’re usually together at the party. After being reminded that she comes to Luke’s every day, Lorelai orders a burger. The Christmas dinner begins but Richard is still thinking about his annoying possible future boss. Emily lies to her guests that Lorelai couldn’t make the party because she’s sick. At the diner, Luke brings Lorelai a Santa Burger (a burger with ketchup and cream cheese, made to look like Santa); she finds it both gross and touching. Her cell phone rings and Luke tries to kick her out, since he hates having cell phones in the diner. He tells her that it will disturb the customers, so Lorelai takes a poll. She winds up in the minority and has to go outside to check her message. Taylor and some Christmas carolers enter, wanting to sing for some hot chocolate. Luke, of course, refuses. Lorelai runs back in and announces that Richard collapsed and is in the hospital. Luke closes down the diner and takes Lorelai to the hospital.

In Luke’s truck, Lorelai complains that he’s not driving fast enough; Luke says that the people driving faster than him aren’t being safe on the icy roads. Lorelai complains that Rory didn’t leave a very detailed message, so she has no idea what’s going on. She worries that Richard is dead and Luke tries to assure her that he’s not. Lorelai wonders if she’s supposed to be remembering all of the great times she had with her father, but she can’t think of any, since they were never close. She thinks that Luke will make a great dad someday and Luke replies that Lorelai is a great mother. She says that she’s not so great as a daughter. At the hospital, Emily bugs a nurse for information. Rory asks if she’s learned anything and Emily complains that the hospital is run like the CIA. Rory considers calling Lorelai again, but Emily thinks she’s too busy to care what’s going on. After she’s left Rory, she calls Lorelai herself. A nurse tries to get Emily to fill out some forms and Emily goes off on her. Luke and Lorelai arrive and try to find Emily; Lorelai thinks that there’s some sort of intuition that will lead her there. She hears Emily yelling at the nurse and they finally meet up with each other. Lorelai tells the nurse that she’ll fill out the paperwork if the nurse goes to find someone who can fill them in on Richard’s condition. Realizing that her other option is to stay and continue letting Emily yell at her, the nurse agrees. Emily starts to tell Lorelai what happened with Richard, then wonders if Luke is there because he and Lorelai were on a date. Lorelai tells her that they weren’t and they head off to find out what’s going on.

Rory encounters Luke, who tells her that he brought Lorelai to the hospital, but they weren’t on a date. She confides that she doesn’t want Richard to die and he encourages her to tell him that when she sees him. Rory and Lorelai finally meet up and Rory says that she’d like to do something helpful. Lorelai assures her that Richard will be fine and Rory notes that she was just getting to know him. Rory heads off to get coffee and Luke notes that Lorelai is being very brave. He tries to get her to think positive thoughts, but he doesn’t get very far. Emily returns to reveal that Richard is about to be taken to a room and Luke suddenly starts looking a little green. He admits that he’s not great around hospitals and Lorelai tells him to go home. She says that Luke doesn’t look great, though he usually looks good, and accidentally sets off an awkward moment between them. Richard is taken to his room and Emily goes to see him while Lorelai goes to look for Rory. Rory returns with chicken soup and Pez, since the coffee machine was jammed, and Lorelai tells her to go see Richard while she makes a phone call. Luke notes that Lorelai is avoiding going to see Richard and accuses her of being afraid. In Richard’s room, Rory reads him the Financial Times, then hugs him and leaves. Emily says that Rory really likes Richard and he replies that she has good taste. In the hall, Luke tells Rory that Lorelai has gone in search of coffee, and he’s just sharing at his shoes. Richard tells Emily that they need to talk - he wants to make sure she knows where all of their important documents and information are. Emily refuses to talk about the possibility of him dying. She demands that he let her die first and he relents.

Rory finds Lorelai by the jammed coffee machine, where she learns that Dean stopped by the house. Rory asks if Lorelai was mean; she denies that she ever is. She says that Dean said nothing happened with him and Rory, who reiterates the fact. Lorelai says that she knows, and that she is sure she can always trust Rory. She just wants Rory to be aware of how scared she was when she realized Rory hadn’t come home. Rory promises that nothing like that will ever happen again, but Lorelai tells her not to promise, since she’s her mother’s daughter and things can happen that no one planned on. Rory says that she hated going to the party without Lorelai, who hated not going with her. After Lorelai asks about the apple tarts, Rory lies that they didn’t have them this year. Lorelai calls her bluff and Rory admits that she’s lying. Emily runs into Luke, who bonds with her, since he lost his father. He admits that he’s kept his father’s hardware store the same way it used to look, even though it’s a diner now and he doesn’t think his father would appreciate the effort. Emily asks what’s going on between Lorelai and Luke; he tells her they’re just friends. “You’re idiots, the both of you,” Emily tells him. Lorelai and Rory return and Luke announces that Emily called him an idiot. The doctor informs Richard that he just had angina and will be okay after an overnight stay. Luke comforts Lorelai, who thanks him and asks him to take Rory home. She tells Rory to go call Dean and Rory leaves with Luke. Emily and Lorelai decide to head to the cafeteria together after Lorelai announces that she’s staying. Later, Lorelai goes to the diner and gives Luke a baseball hat for Christmas. They turn out the lights and watch the annual Christmas procession rehearsal together.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “I can live without the apple tarts.”
Rory: “You’ve made up songs after eating five of them with lyrics that contradict that last statement.”

Emily: “I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?”
Richard: “Yes, Emily. You may go first.”

“You’re idiots, the both of you.” - Emily to Luke


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