"Nick and Nora/Sid and Nancy"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Michael Katleman

Lorelai eats breakfast at Luke’s while Rory panics over the idea of being late for her first day back at school. Lane enters and reveals that she’s found a great record store near Chilton; she gives Rory the address and a list of albums she wants. Lorelai goes to the counter to get donuts for later but is beaten there by Taylor and a group of Boy Scouts. They’re celebrating finishing the first part of their outdoor survival training; Luke says that means that Taylor “had them sit under a tree and glue rocks together for two hours.” Lorelai tries to get her donuts but the kids blast her for cutting in line. Everyone is disappointed when Luke has to answer the phone. While he fights with the person on the other end, Lorelai sneaks behind the counter to get her own donuts. One of the Scouts tattles on her and Taylor uses her as a lesson not to break the rules of society. Luke finally tells the person on the phone to make the arrangements and they’ll finish fighting later. Lorelai asks him if he’s okay and he asks if she has a sister. One of the Scouts says that he does and Luke gives him his sympathies. Later, Lorelai runs into Luke outside the diner. He’s carrying a bunch of shopping bags, which she doesn’t offer to help him with at first. When she does offer, he rejects her until she wears him down. They head up to Luke’s apartment and Lorelai notes that he’s bought a bunch of foods he doesn’t like. He tells her that his nephew is coming to stay with him. His sister Liz is too busy to deal with him and his father is out of the picture, so Liz wants him to come to Luke to get straightened out.

Lorelai thinks that Luke is generous for doing this and suggests that he find out if his nephew is a troublemaker. He complains that Liz is the problem; she left town as soon as she could, even though their father was sick and his business was in trouble. Luke blows up a bed for his nephew, Jess Mariano, as Lorelai wonders how Jess feels about the situation. She asks Luke if he’s ready for this; he thinks he is but Lorelai warns that it’ll be a big change. Luke says that he has to take care of family and Lorelai offers to help him out if he needs it. As she heads out, she makes sure that Luke has an extra set of sheets. He tells her that he does, but after she leaves, he has to go get some. At Chilton, Rory runs into Paris, Madeline, and Louise, who are apparently still upset with her over the whole Tristan/P.J. Harvey thing (see “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”). Rory asks for a few seconds with Paris and tells her that things between them don’t have to be this way. She reminds Paris that since they’re working on the newspaper, The Franklin, together and will be taking classes together, they should find a way to coexist peacefully. Paris thinks she’s scared because she’s the editor of the paper and Rory isn’t. Rory replies that if Paris wants to waste time figuring out how to make Rory miserable, she’s free to do so, but Rory wants to make things good for everyone. As Madeline and Louise join them, Paris says that they’ll work out how to coexist peacefully. She reminds Rory that the first meeting of the newspaper staff is that afternoon at 4.

Luke greets Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) and shows him to their apartment. He’s completely unimpressed. Luke goes back to work and Jess takes off to look around town. At Chilton, Rory arrives at the meeting and learns that it actually started at 3:15. The faculty advisor isn’t pleased. Paris tells Rory that, since she’s late, most of the good assignments have been handed out. Rory is left to cover the paving of the new parking lot. After the meeting, Rory acts enthusiastic about the article, telling Paris that she’ll do the best article on paving ever. If Paris gives her an assignment about the new copper plumbing, she’ll do a good job on that, too. She makes it clear that no matter how awful Paris is to her, she won’t quit the paper. As she leaves the room, she runs into Max and, as Paris watches, they awkwardly go their separate ways without talking. Lorelai heads back to the diner and asks if Jess is there, since she wants to meet him. Luke tells her that he went out and she’s surprised that Luke didn’t ask where he was going. Luke doesn’t think it’s a big deal - the town is too small to get lost in. Lorelai points out that Luke is responsible for Jess now, and if he robs a liquor store, it’ll be Luke’s fault. Jess returns and meets Lorelai, who tells him that she has a daughter around his age. Jess doesn’t care and goes upstairs. Lorelai invites the two of them to dinner the next night with her, Rory, Sookie, and Jackson. Luke thinks that would be nice and thanks her.

Rory enters and complains about Paris and her wicked ways. “Her insistence on holding onto this stupid grudge that is based on nothing and will never ever end shows an amount of commitment that I would’ve never thought possible,” she says. “I’m beginning to admire her.” Lorelai asks if she ran into Max and Rory lies that she didn’t. Lorelai calls her bluff and Rory admits that she saw him in the hallway but walked away because she thought Lorelai would have wanted her to. Lorelai says that she doesn’t want Rory to be cut out of Max’s life because of her, especially since he teaches at her school. Outside, Lorelai tells Rory about the dinner the next night. Rory asks about Jess and Lorelai tells her that he’s not very cheerful or talkative. Upstairs, Jess smokes on his new bed as Luke asks him questions. Jess counts down, wondering when they’ll get to 20. Liz calls to make sure he got there okay and Jess notes that he’s been there since 10 in the morning. He doesn’t want to talk to her, so Luke pretends that he’s helping him out with something. After Luke gets off the phone, Jess asks him if he wants to play poker. Luke tells him about the get-together at the Gilmores’, mentioning that he can meet Rory and get to know some people. At Chilton, Rory shows up early for the next Franklin meeting to make sure that Paris doesn’t get the better of her again. Madeline and Louise talk about Tristan, who is dating someone new. Madeline asks Paris if she can write a gossip column for the paper; Paris gives her a sarcastic answer she takes seriously.

The meeting starts and the faculty advisor praises everyone’s articles, especially Rory’s paving piece. Rory says that she owes it all to Paris. The faculty advisor suggests that Paris give Rory something more substantial to write about next time. As the group starts to work on their layout, Paris approaches Rory and congratulates her on her good work. She says that since Rory is one of the best writers, she deserves to write one of the better pieces. She wants Rory to write a profile of the teacher voted most popular last year. Rory happily accepts, then learns that the teacher is Max. Paris asks her pointedly if there’s any reason why she wouldn’t want to do the piece; she pretends that she thinks Max and Lorelai are still together. Rory announces that she’ll take the interview. At the Gilmores’, Sookie and Jackson cook a bunch of different foods for the get-together. Lorelai goes to get Rory, who is still upset about her assignment. Luke and Jess arrive and Luke confesses to Lorelai that the inflated bed popped while he was on it. Lorelai introduces Jess to Sookie and Jackson, who rave about a lemon that Jackson grew. Jess finds Rory in her room and notes that she has a lot of books. She offers to loan him her copy of Howl, but he doesn’t accept. Once Jess figures out how to open a window in the room, he invites Rory to bail on dinner with him. She tells him that there’s nowhere to go (the 24-hour mini mart is about to close), and Sookie made a bunch of good food, so they have to stay. Jess reluctantly accepts.

Jess goes to the kitchen and snags a beer, then sneaks out the back door. Lorelai finds him outside, taking the beer from him. She tells him it’s obvious he doesn’t want to be in Stars Hollow and advises him that the “my parents don’t get me” thing has been done before. She tells him that Luke is a great guy who wants to help him out, so Jess should at least attempt to make the situation okay. “What, are you sleeping with him or something?” Jess asks. Lorelai and the audience wish that they had a cream pie to throw at him. She tells him that he can’t talk to her like that in her house, then orders him to stay out of her fridge. Back inside, Lorelai tells Luke that Jess is getting ready for his Breakfast Club audition. She says that Jess is more messed up that they thought and she just tried to talk to him about not screwing things up. Luke decides that he doesn’t want Lorelai’s help, but she thinks that he does. Luke says that she’s being condescending because she feels like an expert at raising a teenager. He points out that she got pregnant when she was a teenager, which means that her judgment isn’t spectacular. Lorelai wishes she had a pie to throw at him, too. She tells him that he’ll never have to hear her opinion on anything again. The next day, Lorelai and Rory stand outside the diner, since Lorelai refuses to go inside. Rory tells her that they’ll starve without the diner and tries to convince Lorelai that her fight with Luke wasn’t that bad. Lorelai says it was (it was Sid and Nancy rather than Nick and Nora) and tells Rory to go get her breakfast. Rory thinks that Luke will know what she’s doing. Lorelai says that he can’t prove that the food isn’t all for Rory.

Rory goes inside and orders two coffees and two cherry Danishes. Luke immediately knows that half of the order is for Lorelai, so he tells her he’ll give her one of each and she has to eat them there where he can see her. Rory tells him that the fight was stupid and they should take advantage of Danish day and make up. Unfortunately, she gets stuck with only half of her order. Outside, Rory tells Lorelai to go make up with Luke. Lorelai asks for half of her breakfast. Rory says she’ll give her just the Danish, but Lorelai doesn’t think there’s a point to a Danish if she doesn’t have coffee. Rory leaves for school and Lorelai tries to get a random kid to go in and buy her a Danish. Luke gets a call from Taylor, who tells him that Jess has done something. Luke says that if Jess claims he didn’t, Luke believes him. At Chilton, Rory heads to Max’s classroom and they awkwardly prepare for his interview. They start out with Max’s full name; his middle name is Arturo, after a butcher who gave his mother extra large lamb chops while she was pregnant with him. They start talking about Max’s former desire to be a clown, which leads Rory to tell a story about going to the circus with Lorelai as a kid. Rory tells him that she really wanted him to be her stepfather. He replies that he really wanted to be her stepfather. Luke waits for Jess outside of Stars Hollow High and tells him that Taylor called to report that he took money out of the donation cup at the market, which contained money to repair the bridge. He asks if it’s true and Jess says it’s not, though Luke isn’t convinced. Jess tells him to stop trying so hard and leave him alone. Luke says he will. On their way over the bridge on the way home, Luke pushes Jess into the lake.

Lorelai arrives home and complains to Rory that it’s impossible to get a decent cup of coffee in or around Stars Hollow, other than at Luke’s. Lorelai spots the article she’s working on and Rory explains that she’s doing a profile on Max. She explains that Paris assigned her but admits that it wasn’t that bad, since they got the chance to talk about some things. Lorelai thinks the article is good, though Rory admits it’s not as great as her paving article. After Rory leaves, Lorelai comments, “I sure know how to dump ‘em, don’t I?” Luke arrives and announces that he pushed Jess into the lake. He admits that Lorelai was right and Luke is in over his head. He rants that he doesn’t even like kids because their hands are always sticky, even if they haven’t been into anything sticky. Lorelai tells him that he can do this, he just has to work on it. Babette arrives and asks if Lorelai has seen her garden gnome, Pierpont. Luke assures Babette that she’ll see the gnome again soon. On his way out, he tells Lorelai that he’ll see her tomorrow and will have a Danish ready for her. At his apartment, Luke tosses a bunch of stuff at Jess to get him to stop smoking, then takes his cigarette from him. He tells him that he’ll go to school, come home, help out in the diner, do his homework, and go to bed. Oh, and Luke wants to know where Pierpont is. On the weekends, Jess will do chores and pre-approved activities. He won’t steal, he’ll pay Taylor back, he’ll graduate from high school, and he’ll return the gnome. Jess tries to protest, but Luke tells him that he won’t let him fail on his watch. Jess leaves, only saying that he’s going out. “Well, at least I asked,” Luke says to himself. Downtown, Jess runs into Rory and tries to charm her with a magic trick. He gives her back her copy of Howl, which he both “borrowed” and marked up. She’s surprised to learn that he’s read it a bunch of times. As she walks off, she calls him Dodger and he realizes that she’s referencing Oliver Twist. They’re entirely too pleased with themselves.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Madeline: “Hey, Paris, what do you think about me writing a gossip column for the Franklin?”
Paris: “Huh. I don’t know. That’s a hard one. I mean, this is the Franklin, a newspaper that’s been around for almost a hundred years. There have been at least ten former editors of the Franklin that have gone on to work at the New York Times. Six have gone on to the Washington Post. Three are contributing editors at the New Yorker. I think one even went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. But never mind them. I could be the first editor in the history of the Franklin to introduce a column exclusively devoted to who Biffy’s boffing today. Quandary. You know, I’m gonna have to get back to you on that one.”
Madeline: “Okay.”

Lorelai: “Okay, don’t concentrate too hard. Boys like ‘em dumb, right, Jackson?”
Jackson: “If you can navigate yourself around a tree, keep on walking.”

“Jackson grows fruit and then scares people with it.” - Lorelai

Luke: “I am in so far over my head that I can’t see my own hat.”
Lorelai: “Try turning it around.”

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