"Merry Fisticuffs"
Written by David S. Rosenthal; directed by Jackson Douglas

Christopher and Lorelai are in an unfamiliar house, preparing for their days and acting like a perfect married couple. It turns out they’re just acting to see how the house they’re looking at feels to them. They’re pleased by their performances and the feedback from a real estate agent, and Lorelai says she can’t imagine a better house. However, Christopher guesses that she wants to stay in Stars Hollow and tells her they’ll stick with her house. Lorelai heads to her parents’ house and learns that Emily has hired an apparently great party planner named Randall to organize her and Christopher’s wedding party. Lorelai, of course, doesn’t take the situation seriously and tells Emily that she doesn’t need a huge production. Randall and Emily don’t listen. At the diner, Kirk tries to sell Miss Patty some wrapping paper, telling her the stuff she bought from the middle school was a rip-off. He would know because he’s selling the same paper for 20 percent less (of course, the money is for him, not for the new gym, which is what the kids are raising money for). He even chases a kid out of the diner, saying that it’s his territory. Liz comes by with Doula (see “Knit, People, Knit!”) and Kirk tries to sell her wrapping paper. They talk about April and Anna, whom Luke has been trying to work things out with over the phone. Liz advises Luke to get a lawyer to help work out the custody issues. She then leaves Doula with Luke for a little while so she can have some time to herself.

Randall, Emily, and Lorelai try again to come up with a party theme, but Lorelai is still unhelpful. Rory calls and Lorelai tries to pretend that something’s happened to someone so she can escape. Rory refuses to play along, but Emily can hear her through the phone anyway and busts Lorelai. Rory tells Lorelai she’s looking forward to the party and wants to make sure Lorelai has a good time as well. She also wants Lorelai to be a party of the organization. Rory says she can’t have dinner with Lorelai and Christopher that night as planned, since Logan is in town for a couple of days. However, he’ll be at the wedding party, which puts Lorelai’s guest list into the double digits, to her delight. Emily calls Lorelai back to the invitations, vetoing her suggestion that they just send evites. At the market later, Lorelai complains to Christopher about all the time she had to spend picking invitations. She puts Pop-Tarts in her cart and Christopher discreetly puts them back on the shelf. He also tries to get her to put Cap’n Crunch back since they already have Froot Loops at home. Lorelai continues complaining about all the party details, including a wine tasting, and Christopher offers to meet her for it. The two get to the checkout line and Lorelai warns that Taylor’s niece, Bonnie, will take forever to check them out. Christopher sends Lorelai outside while he takes care of the groceries. There, she runs into Luke, who’s taking Doula for a walk and they share a nice moment with her. Of course, Christopher winds up interrupting it.

Rory and Logan eat in the cafeteria at Yale, Rory wanting Logan to eat there at least once, since he never did when he was a student. She also has an extra family pass from parents’ weekend (see “Go, Bulldogs!”) and plans to pretend that Logan’s her brother so he can use it. A friend of Logan’s ruins her plans by noting that Logan is really Rory’s boyfriend. She tells Logan he left her hanging, but he teases that she was working the system well by herself. They run into Lucy, who’s on her way to class and can’t eat with them, but who invites them to dinner the next night. Marty shows up and Lucy learns that he and Logan have known each other for years. Lucy notes that that means Rory has probably met Marty before and just doesn’t know it. Marty quickly ushers her out, leaving Logan to wonder why Lucy doesn’t know that Rory and Marty used to be friends. Rory explains what happened and Logan asks why she went along with Marty’s claim that they’ve never met. Rory says part of it is that she thinks Marty still likes her, and part is that he and Lucy are so great together. Logan asks why she thinks Marty still likes her and she tells him Marty said she was beautiful. Logan asks why she hasn’t mentioned that they’ve been spending time together, since she doesn’t usually keep secrets. He thinks Rory should tell Lucy about Marty sooner rather than later, but Rory is mostly worried about the four of them having dinner together.

In bed at home, Christopher tells Lorelai that they should have a baby; it’s something they’ve discussed, and Lorelai seems to want more children. He notes that their last child came out pretty well, and Lorelai says that a lot of work went into making Rory who she is. Christopher thinks parenting will be a lot easier this time around, since they’re older and actually together. Lorelai wants to wait a little while, since they just got married and Gigi is still in Paris. Christopher can’t figure out why she’s so hesitant, since they have financial stability; he wonders if she thinks their relationship isn’t going to work out. She says that’s not the case but she just doesn’t think they need to rush having a baby. He says she’s right but obviously isn’t happy with the decision. At the diner, Kirk tells Luke that he’s outsold all the middle-schoolers, some of whom then show up to “talk” outside. Luke calls Anna to ask where April is, since she’s supposed to come by, and Anna announces that April isn’t coming - Anna won’t let her. She’s upset that Luke came by and basically threatened her, and now expects her to let April come over. Lorelai, Christopher, Emily, and Randall check out a ballroom, Christopher acting like a jerk and not in the mood for Lorelai’s jokes. Lorelai objects to the idea of reciting vows, since it’s a wedding party and not a wedding ceremony, but Christopher sides with Emily.

Lorelai accuses them of ambushing her, and Christopher gets fed up and says the party is about their love for each other. He’s not sure why he’s there since his opinion obviously doesn’t matter; Lorelai is going to do whatever she wants with her life - including with their possible children - no matter what. Emily thinks Lorelai is pregnant, and Christopher doesn’t like Lorelai’s reaction to the question. He tells her she planned a big wedding with Luke, so he’s not sure why she’s so against having one with him. He thought this party was about both of them, but he’s seen that it’s really just about Lorelai. Luke meets with a lawyer and decides that he wants partial custody of April. The lawyer tells him he’ll have to take Anna to court for that, and he most likely won’t win since he hasn’t been in April’s life for 12 years, and it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t by choice. The court will decide what’s best for April, and that will probably be for her to be with Anna. The lawyer tells Luke to make a case for himself, which will include digging up dirt on Anna’s past and possibly attending an anger-management class to try to negate his own arrest record (see “Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin’ the Twist”). Luke doesn’t want things to get ugly; he just wants what’s fair. The lawyer warns that custody battles often get ugly, and even though he’ll spend a lot of money and probably still lose, he needs to fight if he really wants to see April - and he needs to do it quickly because it’ll be even harder if Anna takes April to New Mexico.

At dinner with Marty, Rory, and Logan, Lucy tells a story about being late to an audition because of a car accident but bringing the cop along to prove it. Logan tells her it’s “the best dedicated-to-my-craft story” he’s ever heard. They talk about Rory driving to her professor’s house to replace the last page of a paper she’d accidentally written in the wrong font, and Logan says that the professor is just one of many people who’ve had crushes on Rory. The conversation turns to Marty’s many jobs, and then Logan asks how he and Lucy met. Lucy says he stalked her - she was playing Portia in a production of The Merchant of Venice and kept seeing him in the front row. One night she told him that if he came back, he’d better have either flowers or a knife, so the next night he came back with both. Logan tells Lucy that Marty introduced him and Rory (which isn’t entirely true - see “Written in the Stars”, announcing that he can’t be a part of the lie anymore and revealing that Rory and Marty have known each other since freshman year. Lucy is understandably upset about her boyfriend and good friend lying to her and leaves with Marty right behind her. Rory blasts Logan for his announcement and tells him he humiliated Lucy. Logan thinks Lucy’s humiliated because Rory and Marty lied to her, and he just told her the truth, which was what she needed to hear. Rory still doesn’t agree, so Logan decides to head back to the city instead of home with her.

Rory calls Lorelai at the inn (where she’s counting soaps and asks Rory to remember what number she was on) to lament that boys suck. Lorelai tries to assure her that they get better when they get older, but she has to admit that things just get more complicated. Rory fills her in on what happened at dinner and says she thinks Logan is jealous of Marty, which she finds ridiculous. She’s been trying to call Lucy, who won’t answer her phone, and Lorelai says she just needs time to cool down. She invites Rory to come home, but Rory thinks she’ll just go over and try to talk to Lucy in person. Chris has a drink at the bar where he had his man-date with Jackson, then heads outside just in time to see Luke pulling up to the diner. The two men make eye contact and stalk towards each other. They have a nearly silent fistfight, which neither man seems to win, then go their separate ways. Rory goes to Lucy and Olivia’s room, but Olivia tells her that neither of them wants to see Rory right now. Emily surprises Lorelai at home, wanting to talk about her and Christopher’s marriage: “Christopher is immature, often foolish, and a little lacking in common sense. He doesn’t always make the best choices.” Lorelai thinks she means that he made a bad choice in marrying Lorelai. Emily continues that she likes Christopher and she likes the two of them together, but the marriage isn’t going to be perfect. Marriage isn’t about being happy all the time, and the two of them need to make compromises. If Lorelai isn’t willing to do that and be serious about her marriage, things won’t work out.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Randall: “My dear, every party’s a production. If it’s a lousy production, it’s a lousy party and everyone leaves by 8:30.”
Lorelai: “What about that as a theme? ‘Everyone leaves by 8:30.’”

Luke: “Aren’t the kids selling the wrapping paper to help raise money for a new gymnasium?”
Kirk: “Yeah.”
Luke: “Well, why are you?”
Kirk: “To raise money for myself. I’m not a school, Luke. No one’s raising money for me.”

Rory: “I have an extra family pass from parents’ weekend.”
Logan: “Oh, so when your parents came, they got to eat real food?”
Rory: “Mm-hmm. I’m gonna tell them that you’re my brother and that you’re gonna get your meal comped.”
Logan: “I don’t mind paying for my mushy meat.”
Rory: “No, that’s not the issue. I mean, I know how to work the system.”
Logan: “Oh, you do.”
Rory: “Yeah, you know me - I can be crafty.”
Logan: “You can make a necklace out of macaroni, but this is high-stakes deception.”

Kirk “I’m destroying those Stars Hollow Middle School kids. Destroying - outselling them by three or four times. I think it’s safe to say they won’t be getting their new gym anytime soon.”
Luke: “You must be very proud.”
Kirk: “I am. Sure, there’s been an increase in prank phone calls, but so what? I can answer the phone all day long.”
Luke: “I’m sure.”
Kirk: “And so they’ve ordered pizzas to my house day and night. You know what? I love pizza. Bring it on. They think they’re intimidating me, but I’m not scared.”
Luke: “12-year-olds don’t scare you.”
Kirk: “Not at all.”

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