"Hammers and Veils"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Michael Katleman

Lorelai is at home, making a fake veil out of newspaper to see which length she likes the best. Rory takes the opportunity to try to read the articles on her mother’s head. She suggests going to a wedding gown store and trying on a real veil; Lorelai doesn’t want to because the taffeta gives her “cotillion flashbacks.” She admits that she did go to Marry Mimi’s the other day, but she learned that if you don’t order a wedding dress in junior high, you have to buy off the rack. Rory decides to drag her wedding dress shopping and Lorelai is unable to find a good excuse to stop her. At Chilton, Paris, Louise, and Madeline discuss Madeline’s unfortunate need to attend summer school for French so that she can eventually go to Vassar. Paris suggests that she marry rich instead. Rory arrives and Madeline tries to talk to her, but Louise and Paris are still mad about the P.J. Harvey thing (see “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”). Madeline ignores them and tells Rory that there’s a Rebuilding Together activity the next day, where she can help fix up homes and get something to put on her college transcript. Paris tries to talk Rory out of going, since she’ll be there. Rory asks if Paris is going to be mad about her going out with Tristan when she didn’t for the rest of her life. Paris says that she will. Rory replies that she’ll be at Rebuilding Together the next day, whether Paris likes it or not. Henry catches up with Rory and admits that he hasn’t called Lane for a while because he’s afraid of Mrs. Kim. Rory promises to tell Lane that he hasn’t forgotten about her and give her his number.

Rory and Lorelai head to Friday night dinner, discussing Lorelai’s amusement over Rory’s plans to help build a house. Before they go inside, Lorelai takes off her engagement ring. Rory wonders when she’s going to tell her parents that she’s getting married, since the wedding is in three months. Lorelai promises that it will be soon. Rory says that if Lorelai hasn’t told them in two weeks, she will. Emily rushes the girls into the house, explaining that they have to eat quickly because Richard has an early flight in the morning. Lorelai announces that Rory is building a house, but Emily doesn’t seem to be listening. Richard enters and asks Rory to step out of the room with him, which makes Lorelai suspicious. Richard tries to apologize to Rory again for the last week’s horrible dinner (see “Sadie, Sadie,” but she tells him that everything’s okay. They agree that they don’t like fighting. Inside, Lorelai decides to bite the bullet and tell Emily that she and Max are engaged. Emily calmly tells her that she hopes they’ll be in town for the wedding and will definitely send a gift. Back in Stars Hollow, Lorelai tells Rory that what happened with Emily was inevitable and she should’ve known not to tell her. The girls head to Luke’s, where Rory thinks that Luke will cheer Lorelai up. Lorelai says that she’s accepted the situation and doesn’t need Emily’s blessing or permission to be happy. She explains what happened to Luke and he replies, “There’s nothing like a wedding to screw up a family.” She corrects that, “There’s nothing like a family to screw up a family.” Luke obviously hates weddings and doesn’t keep quiet about that fact.

The next morning, Lorelai gives Rory a hammer decorated with pink feathers before she leaves for Rebuilding Together. Rory doesn’t want the girly hammer but knows that she’ll be stuck there arguing about it if she doesn’t just take it and leave. On her way out, Rory runs into Lane, who has brought her a bunch of things to take care of while she’s in Korea (see “Sadie, Sadie”). She also has a “Lane Kim retrieval kit,” which Rory is supposed to use in case she needs to rescue her. Lane accidentally mentions Lorelai’s engagement party, then catches herself and makes sure that Lorelai didn’t hear. Rory says that if she had, she would be grilling them for information, so they’re safe. Lane tells Rory that she called Henry and knows that he likes her. Rory will have to read all about it in Lane’s book, A Connecticut Yankee in Pusan. After Lane leaves, Dean arrives and is surprised to learn where Rory is going. He urges her to blow it off and hang out with him, but she bargains him down to spending that evening together. Rory heads to the construction site and meets a guy who chastises her for surprising him while he was using a saw. He’s also not too impressed with her fancy hammer. Rory reveals that Lorelai once made outfits for all of Rory’s liquid paper bottles. The guy gives Rory some basic instructions and she worries that she doesn’t know enough to build a house that is actually going to be lived in by people. The guy tells her to ask someone next to her if she runs into trouble.

Rory starts hammering and discovers that she’s standing next to Paris. Paris tries to chase her off, since she’s put the whole wall together by herself and doesn’t want Rory’s help. Rory is impressed with Paris’ accomplishment, but Paris has been doing this for a long time. She tells Rory that everyone who applies to Harvard has good grades and test scores, so applicants have to be set apart by their extracurriculars and volunteer work. Paris has been volunteering since she was in the fourth grade and once led a study group in which she was the youngest member. Rory wonders when she was able to have a life; Paris says she’ll have one after she goes to Harvard. Madeline passes by and says hi to Rory, but is quickly quieted by Paris. Dean meets Rory at her bus stop back in Stars Hollow and she tells him that she can’t hang out with him after all. She needs to spend some time figuring out how to catch up to Paris in her extracurriculars. Dean doesn’t think that she has to start immediately, especially since it’s still summer. Rory criticizes herself for being unprepared. Dean isn’t happy that she’s blowing him off, mostly because they just got back together. Rory reminds him that she wants to go to Harvard and he tells her that he’s upset because his girlfriend doesn’t have time with him anymore. She says that he’s acting like a two-year-old and he replies that he doesn’t care about Harvard and just wants to be with her. He tells her that since he’s two, he might grow out of it, then leaves.

In the kitchen, Rory laments the fact that, because Lorelai never took her camping, she has no wilderness skills; therefore, there’s not much she can do in the way of volunteering. Lorelai tries to get her to calm down and suggests that she invite Dean over. Rory says that they’re fighting because Lorelai never took her camping. Lorelai offers to cancel her plans with Max and hang out with Rory, but Rory thinks she can work things out on her own. Lorelai suggests that she call Dean anyway, since he probably just sits in his room, eating Froot Loops and saying Rory’s name over and over. Max and Lorelai go to dinner and he notices that she’s distracted by something. She tells him what’s going on with Rory and he says that he can help her out. He adds that he told his parents about the engagement and they’re very happy. His mother suggested that Lorelai have Emily call her, and then his parents gave him a check. Lorelai says that Max should have mentioned that they’re paying for everything themselves, but the check is only for $35. (It’s the first of four installments, so they don’t spend too much at once.) Max’s mother offered to let Lorelai wear her wedding dress, but Max told her that Lorelai will wear Emily’s dress. Lorelai thinks it’s nice that Max has such supportive and nice parents. Max tells her that she should think of them as her own now, and she agrees. She still can’t believe Emily’s reaction to the engagement news. In the car, Max tells Lorelai that Emily has been through a lot of changes in the past year. He thinks that once they get married, he’ll be able to help smooth things over.

Max and Lorelai arrive at her parents’ house and Lorelai forces Emily to talk. She starts by criticizing her mother for not being able to keep a maid around, then asks her why she didn’t act excited when Lorelai told her about the engagement. Emily says that she’s hysterical, but Lorelai is upset that Emily doesn’t care and has, in fact, never cared. Emily fires back that she heard the news from a stranger (see “Sadie, Sadie”) and was hurt that Lorelai had told everyone else she knew before she told her own parents. Max tries to improve the situation by telling Emily that his parents want to have lunch with her and Richard some time. At the inn, Sookie asks Michel for his opinion on cookies for Lorelai’s engagement party, but he doesn’t care. He refuses to eat any cookies because he limits himself to 1,500 calories a day. Lorelai arrives and Sookie tries and fails to keep her out of the kitchen. Lorelai is touched by all of the baking Sookie has done for her surprise wedding shower. She learns that Sookie invited Richard and Emily and Sookie says that she did; she wonders if they told Lorelai about it. Sookie wonders if Emily mentioned if she would be coming, but Lorelai says that Emily has plans. That night, everyone celebrates in the town square while Lane plays DJ. It’s 8:00 and she has a 10:00 flight to Korea. She promises that she’ll be back for Max and Lorelai’s wedding, as long as they don’t change the date. Rory says that they won’t, since Max is teaching a summer course at the University of Toronto and will be gone for two months.

Lorelai and Max enjoy the attention; Lorelai tells Max that in Stars Hollow, she’s the queen and he’ll be her jester. The two aren’t thrilled that Max will be gone for two months, but they’re sure they’ll still want to get married when he gets back. Rory and Kirk watch as one of Miss Patty’s classes dances, dressed as little brides. Kirk isn’t sure that the gazebo will hold up, but Rory assures him that it will, explaining that she built a house the day before. Dean approaches and he and Rory apologize to each other for their fight. She tries to encourage him to go to a nice college as well and offers to help him organize his extracurriculars; she asks him how his wilderness skills are. Lorelai steals a bullhorn from a dictatorial Kirk and heads to the Luke’s, where he’s filling ketchup bottles instead of celebrating. She asks him to come over, since she thinks he should be there. Back at the party, Jackson gets nervous about Sookie’s topics of conversation and announces that he’s not ready to get married. However, he would like for them to move in together. Sookie thinks he’s joking and walks off, laughing. Rory spots Lane leaving for the airport across the street but doesn’t bother to go say goodbye to her so-called best friend. Luke arrives at the party, exchanging a wave and a smile with Lorelai, and sits down with the bride dancers. Later, Lorelai heads back to her parents’ and asks Emily to help her pick out a veil. Emily tells her that she’s capable of making that decision herself. Lorelai replies that they don’t communicate well, in case Emily hasn’t figured that out. When something good happens to Lorelai, she’s afraid Emily will make her feel bad, and when something bad happens, she’s afraid Emily will say, “I told you so.” She knows she’s partly to blame for that, but that’s the reason she didn’t tell Emily about the engagement. As Lorelai starts to leave, Emily suggests that she wear a tiara instead of a veil, which is what she did. Pleased, Lorelai tells her that she’ll think about it, then leaves.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Rory: “When’s soon?”
Lorelai: “When the big hand hits the ‘S’ and the little hand hits the ‘OON.’”

Lorelai: “I’m an idiot. And, you know, as my mouth was opening my mind was screaming, ‘Don’t do it, I mean it, you’ll regret it!’ But did my mouth listen?”
Rory: “No.”
Lorelai: “No! And it opened and the words came out, and Emily was Emily, and my mouth was stunned. And my mind said ‘I told you so.’ And then my mouth got mad because no mouth likes to have its nose rubbed in it. And now my mind and my mouth aren’t talking, and it’ll be weeks before we can get the boys together again.”
Rory: “Your mouth has a nose?”

Sookie: “Michel, for the rest of their lives, Lorelai and Max are gonna think back on their engagement party and they’re gonna talk about three things. They’re gonna talk about the friends who came, and that special song they danced to, and the cookies that they ate.”
Michel: “Their world is very small, isn’t it?”

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