"I Solemnly Swear"
Written by John Stephens; directed by Carla McCloskey

Lorelai and Rory arrive at Friday night dinner to hear Emily complaining to someone on the phone. She makes her expensive lawyer leave his daughter’s recital in order to go to his office and fax her something. She explains to the girls that one of her former maids is suing her for wrongful termination. Lorelai isn’t surprised, but she is surprised that this is the first time Emily has been sued by a former employee. Emily complains about the maid, Greta, and the girls learn that she was fired because she walked loudly. Lorelai notes that Emily always seems to find one bad thing about a maid that gives her an excuse to fire her. Emily replies that she pays her maids and deserves to have them perform the way she wants them to. At the inn, Sookie and Jackson fight over produce while Lorelai and Michel revel in the entertainment. They end the fight by saying the love each other and they’ll see each other that night. Lorelai reminds Michel that she and Sookie are going to a course at the learning center the next day on how to run an inn. Michel thinks they’re wasting their time and will be prepared to laugh at them when they get back. At Chilton, Rory talks to Paris about Francie’s “prom coup” (see “That’ll Do, Pig”). Paris has already worked things out - she got a reduced price for the location and will let Francie have what she wants. Rory tries to convince Paris that Francie is a sneak, but Paris blames the faculty advisor. The student council gathers for a meeting and Paris announces that the person who attempted mutiny failed. Madeline freaks out when Francie starts talking about a blood drive. Rory challenges her on setting it up in the cafeteria and manages to get a clueless Paris to deny Francie’s motion.

Lorelai comes home with dinner - it was “grab bag night” at Al’s Pancake World, so she’s not sure what she got. Rory guesses that she has Moroccan (which she apparently always thinks she has) and Lorelai gets “Pan-Asian, with a hint of English Colonial and a few South African influences.” She checks the answering machine and gets a message from Emily’s lawyer, who wants to depose her for the lawsuit. She calls Emily and refuses to cooperate. Emily is upset that Lorelai won’t argue on her behalf, but Lorelai doesn’t want to have to lie. Emily asks her to be loyal to her, since she’s helped Lorelai out a lot. Lorelai finally gives in. She and Rory decide that grab bag night wasn’t such a great idea and head to Luke’s. Sookie and Lorelai attend the class at the learning center; Sookie wonders why Lorelai is taking notes, since they already know everything the teacher has said. Lorelai is actually making a cootie catcher, which she uses to entertain Sookie until they get chastised by the teacher for not paying attention. Towards the end, Lorelai and Sookie realize that they are being given a sales pitch and leave. At the refreshment table, they run into a guy named Joe, who Sookie knows, and his business partner Alex. Joe and Alex are planning to open up their own coffee place and are trying to come up with a name. Sookie and Joe reminisce while Lorelai and Alex try to figure out what they’re talking about. They wind up making up their own memories. Joe and Sookie decide to make plans to get together sometime. After the guys leave, Sookie tells Lorelai that it’s a coincidence that she happened to know Alex.

At Chilton, Rory gets a paper airplane note asking her to write down a time and place for a meeting. When she’s not looking, someone takes back the airplane. Later that day, she meets Francie in the parking garage and learns that Francie wants to call a truce. Francie claims that she never intended for things to go this far and she wants to stop fighting so she can enjoy the rest of her senior year. Rory is surprised that this is happening all of a sudden but agrees to the truce. At the inn, Lorelai makes sure that Michel can handle things while she’s off giving her deposition. Michel admits that he was deposed once - he most likely kidnapped his neighbor’s annoying dog, though he won’t admit to anything. Joe shows up looking for Sookie; they’ve decided to get together as they’d planned. Joe admits that he wanted to ask Sookie out the summer they worked together and is glad that he’s gotten a second chance. Shaken, Sookie leaves the kitchen and tells Lorelai that Joe thinks they’re about to go on a date. Lorelai notes that Sookie is Daisy to Joe’s Gatsby, since he’s been pining for her for ten years. Sookie worries that she flirted with him and wonders what Jackson will say when he finds out. Lorelai thinks that things will be fine, since it was a misunderstanding, and encourages Sookie to tell Joe that she’s married. Back in the kitchen, Sookie fills Joe in. He’s not mad, just a little embarrassed, and tells her that they should double date sometime, if he can find a woman to go with them. After Joe leaves, Lorelai is pleased that things worked out, but Sookie exclaims, “I’m a whore!”

Lorelai complains to Rory about having to give her deposition. Rory tries to help her prepare and accuses her of not taking things seriously. They arrive at the diner just as Luke is leaving to go to the market, since he’s somehow run out of food. Apparently this is because he let Jess do this week’s ordering. The girls place their orders, adding a couple of personal items they’d like Luke to get for them. At Chilton, Francie follows Paris into the restroom and commends her on the good work she’s done as student council president. She says that she doesn’t want Paris to get the wrong idea about her loyalties, then gives her photos of herself and Rory in the parking garage, which she claims she found in her locker. She tells Paris that Rory wanted to meet with her away from Paris because Paris was too busy with Jamie. Francie pretends to be upset and says that she would never intentionally go behind Paris’ back. Rory’s gym class prepares to fence as Paris arrives late. She and Rory fence each other and Paris starts talking about how you can think you know someone, then learn that you’ve been had. She tells Rory that she saw the pictures, though Rory has no idea what she’s talking about. Rory admits that they met once but it wasn’t what Paris thinks. Paris calls her Brutus and Rory explains that Francie wanted to call a truce. She tries to convince Paris that Francie is setting them up and is trying to manipulate Paris. Paris says that she knows this, but that doesn’t change the fact that Rory met with Francie behind her back. Rory says that she was trying to help. Paris tells her to fight like a man, then says that she’s mostly upset that she told Francie about Jamie. “I can’t believe I ever considered you my best friend,” she says.

Rory and Lorelai head to Friday night dinner as Lorelai complains that “Francie is pure evil, so she’ll probably wind up president.” Rory feels awful about hurting Paris, so Lorelai tells her to let Paris stab her. She then suggests a Godfather-like confrontation, complete with a trip to Italy, which tempts Rory. Lorelai notes that Emily is quiet; Emily says that she doesn’t have much to say, so she’ll read to the girls instead. She produces a transcript of Lorelai’s deposition and reads some of her answers to the other lawyer’s questions. At one point she started babbling about fruits and vegetables. Emily is upset that Lorelai couldn’t put aside her antagonism to help her out. At Chilton, Rory eats lunch alone and receives a paper airplane note that reads, “Leper.” Sookie cooks a nice dinner for Jackson and plays Creedence Clearwater Revival for him, which makes him think that she cheated on him. She tells him that she inadvertently flirted. “You ruined Creedence for me!” he says. At home, Rory goes to bed early, telling Lorelai that spending the whole day not talking to anyone is exhausting. Lorelai gets a call from Alex, who explains that he called the inn and got her number from Michel. He tells her that on the weekends, he visits different coffee places to try out their coffee and see the sorts of things they’re doing. He asks Lorelai to tag along in case he needs help deciding which of two products is better. She accepts the offer, since she’s a coffee expert. Alex makes sure that she knows they’re going on a date. They continue the call, discussing possible names for his place.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Emily: “I’m sure the 12 rocket scientists they assemble as a jury of my peers will see it that way.”
Lorelai: “Honestly, Mom, I doubt they’ll be able to find 12 people in the state of Connecticut who haven’t been fired by you.”

Louise: “Or striptease aerobics.”
Rory: “What?”
Madeline: “It’s really big in L.A. You just go through the motions, you don’t actually have to strip.”
Rory: “Do the other people in the gym throw money at you?”
Louise: “Fine, mock, but tell me this - have you ever seen an overweight stripper?”
Rory: “The word ‘no’ seems so wildly inadequate all of a sudden.”

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