"Lorelai’s Graduation Day"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Jamie Babbit

Lorelai drags Rory to a new breakfast place, since she’s still on the outs with Luke (see “Teach Me Tonight”). Rory is annoyed that they have to walk so far to get there. Lane joins them and Lorelai points out that she was right about them being followed. Lane wants to practice drumming on their pots and pangs again (see “Help Wanted”); Lorelai says that they don’t have any other use. The girls arrive at their destination, Sookie’s house. Rory feels guilty for making her cook for them. Jackson is half asleep and moaning nearby. Lorelai suggests that they wrap aspirin (for morning after hangovers) instead of Jordan almonds for Sookie and Jackson’s upcoming wedding. Lorelai asks Jackson’s opinion and Sookie says that he’ll give a response in a couple of days. Back at home, Lorelai complains about her business class books, claiming that her brain is full. She has finals coming up and is glad that she’ll graduate soon so she never has to worry about finals again. She also can’t believe that she’s doing all of this voluntarily. Rory realizes that there will be a graduation ceremony, but Lorelai doesn’t want to attend. Rory points out that Lorelai has never been to a graduation ceremony, since she had Rory before she could graduate from high school. Lorelai lets herself be talked into it, mostly because she wants to wear a gown and turn her tassel. She agrees to invite Sookie and Jackson but doesn’t want Richard and Emily to come. She doesn’t think that they would want to come, anyway.

Lorelai, Rory, and Dean walk through Stars Hollow, discussing the concept of skeet shooting, since the girls don’t understand the point of it. Lorelai heads into the market, where she runs into Luke and makes awkward small talk with him. Rory heads to her grandparents’ house and asks them to come to Lorelai’s graduation. She tells them that they don’t have to go if they don’t want to and asks them not to tell Lorelai that they had this conversation. At home, Lorelai tells Rory how happy she is that she’s done with all of her school obligations. Rory notices that she got a book from the college about life plans, which causes Lorelai to ramble about how she’ll pass her future children off to a nanny but let Rory stay by her side. Jess calls and tells Rory that he’s been hanging out in Washington Square Park. They say nothing of importance and hang up. The morning of her graduation, Lorelai worries about what to wear under her gown, since she’s not sure whether the auditorium will be hot or cold. Rory thinks she’s overthinking things and tells her to wear layers. She assures Lorelai that she’ll be at the graduation by 6 and they’ll go out to eat afterwards. Before she leaves for school, she tells Lorelai not to curl her hair, since it’ll get ruined by her cap. At Chilton, Paris tells her about an encounter with her advisor, who wouldn’t endorse her to run for student council. At the inn, Sookie surprises Lorelai with a cake shaped like a cap. She also brought photos of her high school graduation, where she was stoned. Michel says that his graduation was very French and dignified.

Christopher calls to ask Lorelai if she got the present he sent her for her graduation. She goes looking and finds a basket containing a $25 savings bond, a youth hostel card, The Portable Nietzsche, The Graduate, an application for the military, a necklace, and What Color is Your Parachute? She finds humor in the funny gifts and is touched by the necklace. He tells her he’s sorry he can’t be there and wants her to take a lot of pictures. She realizes that she forgot a camera, but there’s a disposable one in the basket. Rory makes a trek to New York and finds Jess in Washington Square Park, because it’s just that easy. She talks about her past visits to the city and, after a boring conversation about nothing, they go to get hot dogs. Jess asks after Luke; Rory tells him that he went fishing (see “Help Wanted”) but didn’t catch anything. They then head to a music store. Lorelai arrives at her school early, wanting to get a nice gown. Emily appears and Lorelai wonders if she’s seeing things. Emily has brought a cameraman with her to film the ceremony. Lorelai asks Emily why she’s there and how she found out about the graduation. Emily is offended that Lorelai thinks her mother wouldn’t come. Lorelai realizes that Rory told her and wonders if she invited the cameraman, Raul, too. Raul and Emily complain about the lighting, but nothing can be done, so Emily tells Raul to act like he’s shooting a documentary. Lorelai decides that she might need some alcohol to get through this.

Jess and Rory look at records in New York and Rory finds a Go-Gos album signed by Belinda, which she knows Lorelai would love. Jess is surprised that Lorelai had time to finish business school when she was probably busy throwing flaming darts at his picture. Jess walks Rory back to the bus station and Rory gives a guy directions, even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing. After she gets on the bus, Jess asks why she came. She tells him it was because he didn’t say goodbye. Back at the school, Lorelai tries to do her makeup in a classroom and meets a bantering couple. They’re breaking up because they’re heading to two different colleges. The guy announces that a rich woman is outside with professional film equipment. Lorelai decides not to mention that that mother is hers. Rory’s bus gets delayed and she has no way of knowing how long it will be until she gets to the ceremony. Sookie and Jackson arrive at the school and Sookie tells Lorelai that she looks like the Statue of Liberty. She mentions that Emily is there and Lorelai asks Sookie to make sure her parents don’t cause any trouble. The guy from the bantering couple announces that Emily has brought a sound guy as well. A woman brings Lorelai a box of corsages for her to choose from. The other students learn that Emily is Lorelai’s mother and taunt her, Sookie, and Jackson for being rich. To add to the irritation, Lorelai gets a page from Rory, stating that she’s running late. On the bus, Rory learns that her mistake was getting on a local bus instead of an express.

Back at the school, Lorelai is taunted again while Richard complains about the commencement speaker. Emily makes Raul get closer to Lorelai, who finally gets her diploma and turns her tassel. After the ceremony, Lorelai meets up with her parents and Emily says that she thinks Raul got some good footage. Emily and Richard start to leave but Lorelai asks them to take a traditional graduation photo with her. Raul takes the picture with the disposable camera Christopher sent Lorelai. Richard gives Lorelai some money before they leave. Sookie and Jackson meet up with Lorelai and tell her that Rory called and will meet Lorelai at home. As Sookie and Jackson are leaving, Jackson finally recalls the aspirin/Jordan almond conversation and says that his family won’t get the joke. Lorelai arrives home and is greeted by Rory, who apologizes for missing the graduation and admits that she went to New York to see Jess. She tries to think of fitting punishments for herself and isn’t quite sure why she did something so impulsive. After Rory goes into a rambling monologue about being flighty and selfish, Lorelai suggests that she might be falling for Jess. Rory denies this, stating that Dean is her boyfriend and they’ll be together forever. Lorelai tries to talk to her about the possibility but Rory just wants to figure out her punishment. She also realizes that she left the Go-Gos album on the bus, so part of her punishment will be to find a new one. Lorelai tells her that they’ll worry about punishments in the morning; tonight, she wants to go out to dinner with her daughter.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “Hey, how many margaritas is too many margaritas?”
Rory: “Um, if you can’t remember where the living room is.”
Lorelai: “Ha, ha, I’m still good.”

Lorelai: “What was your high school graduation like, Michel?”
Michel: “It was dignified, as most French ceremonies are. Poetry was read, a string quartet played, a ballerina performed.”
Lorelai: “You drank some Boone’s Farm out of a boda bag and knocked a beach ball around?”
Michel: “I don’t understand half of what you said.”
Lorelai: “That’s why we work.”

Rory: “…I don’t know, I must have had a stroke or something. What does a stroke feel like?”
Lorelai: “I don’t know. Not good, probably.”

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