"Let Your Balalaikas Ring Out"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Kenny Ortega

Lorelai looks through paint samples at home while an impatient Luke paces nearby. He notes that all of her shoes are lined up at the bottom of the stairs; apparently Paul Anka has been carrying them down and lining them up perfectly. Luke asks why Lorelai rejected a certain shade of white, but she demonstrates that it doesn’t match Paul Anka. She gets the dog to pick out colors for her by having him lick the ones he likes. He picks dark magenta for everything. At the elder Gilmores’, Emily wakes up Rory, who’s not happy about it. At the diner, Lorelai tries to talk Luke into letting her paint his apartment and he points out that she’s been picking out the perfect colors for every building in town. He threatens to take her paint samples away from her. A couple of girls approach Luke and ask him to sponsor their soccer team. Luke declines, saying that it’s not his thing. After the girls are out of earshot, Lorelai convinces him to change his mind, then picks out a color for the girls’ jersey from her paint samples. Logan calls Rory from Yale to tell her that his father is making him go to Nebraska to visit a paper, so he wants to get her and his friends together to hang out before he leaves. Rory attempts to avoid Emily, telling Logan that the house feels smaller and it seems like her grandmother is everywhere. She finally has a brief conversation with Emily, telling her she might be spending the night at Paris’ again.

At home, Lorelai tries to get Babette to pick a paint color as Luke chastises her for being a bully. Luke orders jerseys for the soccer team, including one for himself, one for Lorelai, and one for Paul Anka. Lorelai is happy that he’s getting into the spirit. Paul Anka tries to get into Rory’s room and Lorelai notes that he’s been lethargic lately. Rory, Logan, Finn, Colin, and a couple of girls hang out at a bar where a folk singer is performing. The guys, of course, act like jerks, and when the bar closes, she has to try to herd them into her car. She arrives home to find Jess (last seen in “Last Week Fights, This Week Tights”) waiting for her. They head into her room and Rory explains that she’s living there temporarily, she’s joined the DAR, and she’s not going to school. Jess tells her that he’s living in Philadelphia and has written a short novel. He’s now traveling around, trying to get independent bookstores to stock it. Rory promises that if she sees it in a store, she’ll put it in the staff recommendations section. The two make plans to have dinner together the next night. Luke and Lorelai attend a soccer game and discover that Luke’s team is pretty vicious on the field. They rush back to Luke’s truck after the game, not wanting the kids to come after them. Jess comes to the elder Gilmores’ house to get Rory for dinner, but before they leave, Logan shows up. After some awkward introductions, he invites himself along.

Lorelai arrives home to find a trail of shoes leading to Rory’s bedroom door, where Paul Anka is lying. Luke eats with the soccer players at the diner, trying to get them to tone things down a little. The girls protest, wanting to play like boys play. Lorelai calls and tells Luke that Paul Anka is really sick and the vet told her she just has to wait for it to pass. Logan, Rory, and Jess share a tense meal with extremely strained conversation. Logan obviously looks down on Jess, who mostly just thinks Logan is a jerk. Jess finally leaves and Rory follows him out to apologize for Logan’s behavior. He tells her that she’s changed a lot and is living a life that doesn’t fit her. She finally realizes that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. After Jess leaves, Rory heads back inside and blasts Logan for being a jerk. She notes that Jess is doing something with his life, but she’s not doing anything. She realizes that her temporary situation could turn into a permanent one and she could make a complete transformation into Emily. Logan thinks he has the right to party his life away if he wants to, especially since his life belongs to his father after he graduates. Rory shoots back that he has every opportunity in the world and isn’t fighting as hard as he claims to live his own life. Logan leaves but Rory stays behind. The next morning, Emily goes to wake Rory up but discovers that her bed wasn’t slept in.

Luke wakes up at Lorelai’s to find that she and Paul Anka spent the entire night in Rory’s room. Luke tries to assure her that he’ll be okay but she’s hurt by how helpless Paul Anka is. She thinks that he was trying to tell her something with the shoes - to put them on and take him to the vet because he felt himself getting sick. Lorelai criticizes herself for not being a better mother and letting something bad happen. Luke tells her to stay home for the morning, then repeats that everything will be okay. Rory wakes up in Lane’s apartment, having spent the night there, and learns that that Emily left a message for her on Lane’s phone. She heads to a DAR function, where Emily tries to pull her aside to talk. She’s upset that Rory came to the event without being inspected to make sure that she was dressed properly. Rory is equally upset because Emily used Lane to bug her. “You are becoming more like your mother with every passing day,” Emily says. “And you are becoming more like my mother’s mother with every passing day,” Rory replies. Emily grounds her and tells her that she can’t spend the night at Paris’ anymore. Rory informs her that she was never staying at Paris’ - she was always with Logan. Emily warns that when her father gets home, they’ll have a serious talk. Rory corrects that she means her grandfather, then lets her know that she won’t be living in the elder Gilmores’ house much longer.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Logan: “A paper in Omaha. What state is that in again?”
Rory: “Nebraska.”
Logan: “Ah, corn, farm animals, football.”
Rory: “Oh, and they love condescension in Nebraska, too, so hit ‘em with that as soon as you disembark.”

Megan: “Bicycle kicks are allowed.”
Luke: “Not on another girl’s head.”
Megan: “She was all up in my grill!”

Logan: “So what are we talking here? Short novel? Kafka length, or longer? Dos Pasos? Tolstoy? Or longer? Robert Musil? Proust? I’m not throwing you with these names, am I?”
Jess: “You seem very obsessed with length.”

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