Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Gilmore) walks through the streets of Stars Hollow, Connecticut and arrives at Luke’s Diner, where she begs the owner, Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) for coffee. He continues to feed her addiction. Some guy passing through on his way to Hartford hits on Lorelai and joins her, despite her protests that she’s meeting someone. Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) arrives and joins Lorelai, asking for lip gloss. Lorelai heads to the counter to get Rory coffee and spies the guy from earlier hitting on her. Lorelai informs him that Rory is her daughter and Rory asks, “Are you my new daddy?” The guy attempts to pick up both Gilmores but runs off when Lorelai tells him that Rory is only 16. Lorelai heads to work at the Independence Inn, where her coworker Michel Gerard (Yanic Truesdale) messes with someone on the phone and Drella the harpist (Alex Borstein) is mean to the guests. Rory arrives, looking for stamps, and Lorelai gets Michel to look at her French paper. Rory heads to school with her best friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena), who waited until she left the house to put on a Woodstock ‘99 T-shirt. Rory wonders when Lane is going to tell her strict parents that she listens to “evil” rock music, but Lane doesn’t think it’s a good idea. She mentions that she has to go to a town hayride with a potential doctor her parents want her to date. In class, Rory takes pleasure in doing her work while other girls gossip about her. At the inn, Lorelai rescues her best friend Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy), the inn’s accident-prone chef. Lorelai praises Sookie’s peach sauce and tells her that it will be a big hit when they achieve their dream of someday opening their own inn.

After school, Rory and Lane go to Lane’s house, which doubles as Mrs. Kim’s (Emily Kuroda) cluttered antique store. Rory mentions that Mrs. Kim doesn’t like her or Lorelai, but Lane notes that she just doesn’t like unmarried women. Mrs. Kim feeds the girls healthy snacks and makes sure that no girls at school have gotten pregnant recently. At the inn, Lorelai shares the good news with Sookie that Rory has been accepted to Chilton, a prestigious private school which will serve as a nice stepping stone to Rory’s dream college, Harvard. Rory arrives and Lorelai breaks the news to her by giving her a new uniform. Michel tries to be a slacker until Lorelai threatens to fire him; even then, he only does a half-hearted job. At home, Lorelai talks to someone at Chilton about the expensive tuition, promising to figure out a way to pay it. That night, Sookie tries to help her figure out how to get money. She suggests that Lorelai talk to her parents, but Lorelai refuses. Lorelai fixes Rory’s skirt as Rory mentions how much she likes the fact that she’ll be going to private school. Lorelai pays a visit to her mother Emily (Kelly Bishop), telling her she’s just stopping by on her way home from her business class. Lorelai’s father Richard (Edward Hermann) arrives and is surprised to see Lorelai there, since it’s not a holiday. Richard quickly realizes that Lorelai needs money; she explains that Rory has been accepted to Chilton and she needs money to hold her spot. She promises to pay her parents back and Richard immediately offers to write a check. Emily provides a condition - Lorelai and Rory have to come to dinner every Friday night and call once a week to update them on their lives. If Lorelai agrees, she’ll come to dinner the next night and receive her check then. Lorelai accepts the deal, asking Emily not to tell Rory about it.

Rory cleans out her locker at Stars Hollow High, telling Lane how great it will be to wear a uniform every day and not have girls criticizing her clothes. After Lane leaves, Rory gets some help with dropped belongings from a new guy named Dean Forrester (Jared Padalecki). Rory babbles as she explains that her real name is Lorelai - she wanted to follow the male tradition of naming boys after their fathers. Dean mentions that he’s looking for a job and Rory suggests that he check with Miss Patty, the town dance teacher, who might know of something for him. She agrees to show him the way to her studio. Rory gives Dean a mini tour of Stars Hollow and he admits that he’s been watching her a little. He thinks that she has great concentration, because she can read without being bothered by anyone around her, but she wonders if that’s just because she’s self-centered. Later, Rory meets up with Lorelai at Luke’s and learns that they’re going to Emily and Richard’s for dinner the next night. After a few moments of grumpiness, Rory admits that she’s not sure she wants to go to Chilton after all - Hartford is half an hour away and they can’t afford the school. Lorelai promises that she’s handling everything, but Rory is still stubborn about switching schools. On their way out of the diner, Rory spots a miserable Lane on the hayride. Rory and Lorelai pass Miss Patty (Liz Torres), who tells Rory that she thinks she found a job for Dean at Doose’s Market. Rory tries to avoid discussing Dean with Lorelai, but Lorelai has figured out that he’s the real reason Rory wants to stay at Stars Hollow High. Lorelai begs Rory to talk to her about Dean, mentioning that she likes guys as much as the next person; she has to, since she got pregnant when she was 16. She reminds Rory that she’s the sensible one and she should figure out the best thing to do. She finally puts her foot down and announces that Rory is going to Chilton whether she wants to or not.

At the inn, Sookie has accidentally made something explode and ruined a stove. Lorelai is still upset about her fight with Rory, since they hardly ever fight. Rory arrives, having been summoned by Lorelai to work for a little while. That evening, Rory and Lorelai head to the Gilmores’ for dinner, agreeing to be civil during the meal. The family toasts Rory’s acceptance to Chilton and share a slightly awkward meal. Richard mentions that Rory’s father Christopher called recently and is possibly about to become very successful. Lorelai grows upset and leaves the room after Richard says that Christopher is smart and Rory must take after him. Emily goes to get her and Lorelai wonders if every Friday night dinner will consist of her parents attacking her. She also wonders why Richard was praising Christopher when he didn’t like him back when Lorelai got pregnant. Emily says that both of them had bright futures and Lorelai says that they retained those futures by not getting married. Emily disagrees, believing that they should have stayed together and Christopher should have agreed to work for Richard. She blasts Lorelai for taking Rory away and shutting her parents out; Lorelai argues that she started out as a maid at the Independence Inn and now runs the place. Rory overhears Lorelai mentioning that she got the money for Rory’s tuition from Emily and Richard, as well as Emily replying that Lorelai gets to keep her pride by not telling Rory the truth and Emily gets to see her daughter and granddaughter every week. Lorelai and Rory leave, heading back to Luke’s Diner, where Rory reveals that she overheard the conversation. She thinks Lorelai was brave to ask for help and announces that she’ll go to Chilton. Luke chastises Rory’s order and warns her that she’ll turn out like her mother. Rory says that it’s too late and proceeds to try to dodge Lorelai’s questions about Dean.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Lorelai, Luke, Rory, Michel, Drella, Lane, Sookie, Mrs. Kim, Emily, Richard, Dean, Miss Patty

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Rory: “I’ll tell all the ladies what a stud you are.”
Michel: “I believe that memo has already been sent.”

“This is it. She can finally go to Harvard like she’s always wanted and get the education that I never got and get to do all the things that I never got to do and then I can resent her for it and we can finally have a normal mother-daughter relationship.” - Lorelai

Rory: “You’re happy.”
Lorelai: “Yeah.”
Rory: “Did you do something slutty?”
Lorelai: “I’m not that happy.”

“People are particularly stupid today. I can’t talk to any more of them.” - Michel

“Red meat can kill you. Enjoy.” - Luke

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