"Rory’s Dance"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

It’s Friday night dinner time again. Emily tells Rory that Richard is bringing something special back from Prague for her. Rory suggests that when she and Lorelai go to Europe, they stay in Vaclav Havel’s cell in Prague. Lorelai responds that they’ll have to then go to Turkey and “stay in the place from Midnight Express.” Emily notices that Lorelai is playing around with her avocado; Lorelai notes that she doesn’t like it. Emily asks Rory about the upcoming Chilton formal, which Lorelai didn’t know about. Emily criticizes Lorelai for not reading her Chilton newsletter, stating that one of them should be involved in Rory’s academic life. She adds that she gave a donation to save owls on Rory’s behalf, but Lorelai isn’t happy about it. Emily encourages Rory to go to the formal, but Lorelai doesn’t want to pressure her. Emily blames Lorelai for making Rory not want to go. Lorelai denies that she said anything. On the way home, Lorelai asks Rory why she didn’t mention the dance. Rory says that she doesn’t want to go, since she hates dances. Lorelai notes that she’s never actually been to a dance, but Rory says that she can imagine how they are. Lorelai encourages her not to base her opinion of dances on “one midnight viewing of Sixteen Candles.” She points out that she might have a good time with Dean, and she shouldn’t skip the dance just because she’s afraid of asking Dean to go or of attending a social event with Chilton kids or dancing in public. Lorelai wonders if Rory doesn’t join in on some activities because she doesn’t want to do them or because she’s shy. Rory points out that she doesn’t have a dress, so Lorelai offers to make her one.

Rory and Lane walk through Stars Hollow, Rory worrying that Dean will say no when she asks him to the dance. Lane tells her that he won’t, adding that there’s no point in having a boyfriend if she can’t invite him to the dance. Rory denies that Dean is her boyfriend - he’s her “gentleman caller.” Lane asks if Rory has talked to Dean about where their relationship stands. Rory wonders how Lane knows so much about relationships when she doesn’t date. The girls spot Dean in Doose’s Market and Rory chickens out. Lane tells her that she has to do it now because her mother threw out her TV after she caught her watching VIP, so now Lane needs a new form of entertainment. Rory goes in and, since Dean is busy, helps him stock cans while they talk. She tells him about the dance and says that if he wanted to go, she’d go, too. He admits that he’s never been to a dance before because it’s not his thing, and she tells him that she doesn’t want to go anyway. Dean asks what he would have to wear; Rory breaks it to him that he’d have to dress up. She kisses him and thanks him, then leaves. At home, Lorelai works on Rory’s dress but gets attacked by a dressmaker’s dummy. Sookie brings her extra thread and Lorelai tells her that she hurt her back. Sookie offers some painkillers, then leaves. Emily calls and notices that Lorelai is in pain; she lies that she stubbed her toe. Emily wants to talk about Rory’s dance, since she’s upset that she’s not going. She wonders if Lorelai wants Rory to be bitter for the rest of her life because she regrets not going. Lorelai finally tells her that Rory is going and that she’s making her dress. Emily asks why Lorelai didn’t let her buy a dress, then asks Lorelai to take a lot of pictures. Lorelai finally asks her to come over on Saturday to see Rory off.

At Chilton, Tristan buys tickets to the dance from Paris; she asks him who he’s taking. He asks if she’s free, then comments that she wouldn’t be this close to the dance. He compliments her haircut and leaves, running into Rory, who’s in line for tickets. Tristan says that the guy is supposed to buy the tickets and Rory take offense, especially when he accuses her date of being cheap. He asks who her date is but she doesn’t want to talk about it. He admits that he doesn’t have a date and thought Rory would want to go with him. She thinks he’s joking, since he’s not dumb enough to think that she would actually accept his offer. Tristan tells her he’ll go with a girl named Cissy instead and Rory says that she’ll send a condolence card. When Rory reaches Paris, Paris tells her she’s an idiot for being mean to Tristan when he was trying to be nice. Rory tells Paris to go out with Tristan if she likes him that much. Paris challenges that Rory can’t be going to the dance with someone better than Tristan. She predicts that Rory will fake an illness to get out of coming anyway. Rory decides to forego waiting around for her change so she doesn’t have to deal with Paris anymore. On Saturday night, Rory primps in the bathroom, though Lorelai tells her that she’s too young to have anything to primp. She emerges from the bathroom in her nice new homemade dress, complaining about her shoes. Lorelai tells her to wear them for a while until her feet go numb. Sookie arrives with tacos and tells Rory to walk down a staircase at some point that night, since she looks like a movie star and movie stars always walk down staircases. Sookie tries to spray Rory with hairspray but accidentally gets her eyes instead.

Emily arrives, excited about seeing Rory and capturing her on camera. Rory comes in from the kitchen with a napkin draped over her while she eats; Emily doesn’t like this accessory. Sookie leaves, telling Lorelai to call her if she needs help getting up the stairs. Lorelai declines to tell Emily that she hurt her back. Emily realizes that she isn’t moving and Lorelai admits that she had a back spasm. Rory finally makes her real entrance and Emily says that she’s glad Lorelai decided to buy her a dress. Dean arrives, honking his horn outside, and Emily tells Rory that she has to wait for him to come inside and get her. She makes Rory wait until Dean figures out what he’s supposed to do. “He’s not a very bright boy, is he?” Emily asks. Finally, Dean comes to the door and Rory rushes to greet him. Emily makes him come in to meet her, then tells Rory to be home by 11. Over her shoulder, Lorelai mouths to Rory to be home by 12. After they leave, Emily asks Lorelai what she knows about Dean. Lorelai assures her that if she had concerns about him, she wouldn’t let Rory go out with him. She tries to kick Emily out, but Emily doesn’t want to leave Lorelai alone when she can’t do anything for herself. Lorelai tries to prove that she’s okay but fails. Rory and Dean head for the dance, though Rory tries to talk herself and Dean out of going. She can’t decide whether or not to actually go, but after Dean says that she looks amazing, she decides to go. Emily calls home to tell her housekeeper that she’ll be out all night, despite Lorelai’s protests. She goes looking for the candles she got Lorelai last Christmas, but Lorelai admits that she exchanged them for a monkey lamp. Emily isn’t happy.

Rory and Dean arrive at the dance and compliment the nice room where it’s taking place. They decide to dance a little rather than just getting their picture taken and leaving. At a nearby table, Louise announces that she’s bored, but Madeline tells her that they have to wait for Paris to get there. She spots Rory and says that she has nice hair; Louise thinks that she has a nice-looking boyfriend. They approach the couple and Madeline is impressed when she learns that Lorelai made Rory’s dress. Rory introduces Dean to the girls; Louise flirts with him a little but loses interest when he makes it clear that he’s with Rory. Rory and Dean are starting to dance when Paris arrives with her date, Jacob. After Paris and Jacob leave, Dean comments, “She seems fun.” He wonders if a nun will attack him if he kisses Rory; she reminds him that she doesn’t go to a Catholic school. Tristan watches them as they kiss. His date, Cissy, asks him what he wants to do, but he’s only up for making out with her. Emily serves Lorelai a mashed banana on toast, something she used to make her when she was little. Lorelai tells her she’ll eat it, then doesn’t. Emily agrees to heat up a burrito that Sookie left for her. At the dance, Dean heads off to get punch and Jacob approaches Rory and asks her to dance. She declines, so he asks for her phone number. She tells him to go back to Paris, but it turns out that they’re actually cousins. At home, Lorelai and Emily watch Double Indemnity and talk about Barbara Stanwyck. Emily tells Lorelai that she’s done a lovely job with Rory and her dress. Lorelai gives in and tries the banana toast, but doesn’t like it. Emily tries it as well and agrees.

Dean and Rory decide to leave the dance so they can get some coffee and talk. He leaves to get their coats and Paris approaches to ask how many people Rory has told about Paris and Jacob being related. She yells about how Paris can tell everyone about how pathetic she is, but Rory points out that she already has, since everyone has heard the yelling. Tristan introduces himself to Dean, who says that Rory has mentioned him, and not in a nice way. Tristan taunts that Rory needs Dean to protect her, then says that he doesn’t like her. Dean says that it doesn’t look that way to him. He tries to leave, but Tristan stops him. Rory approaches to take Dean away but Tristan keeps taunting them. Dean shoves him and Tristan announces that they’ll take the fight outside. Dean refuses to go and the fight is broken up before it can go too far. Dean tells Tristan that he shouldn’t fight him, because Dean will kill him. He warns Tristan to never come near Rory again, then leaves with her. “Wow. That was good,” Madeline remarks. “Whatever,” Louise replies. Paris checks on Tristan, who walks away from her. Louise decides to ask Paris if she really brought her cousin to the dance. At home, Lorelai has fallen asleep, but when she wakes up she says that the movie isn’t over yet. Emily promises to tell her how it ends. “Thank you, Mommy,” Lorelai replies. Dean and Rory return to Stars Hollow and walk around town, talking about Tristan. Dean says that he likes Rory, but she’s not sure how she feels about that. She thinks it’s strange to have her boyfriend defend her honor, and Dean notes that she used the word boyfriend. She finally asks if that’s what he is and he says he is if she wants him to be. She says that she does, and that’s that.

Rory and Dean wind up at Miss Patty’s studio, which is unlocked. They talk about the dance instructor, who Rory says has “done everything there is to do in show business except set fire to the hoop the dog jumps through.” Dean learns that Rory takes a book with her wherever she goes; to the dance she brought The Portable Dorothy Parker. He reads a little and she thanks him for coming to the dance with her. They read for a little while and then wind up falling asleep. In the morning, they’re found by Miss Patty and her yoga class, who are shocked to see Rory with the bag boy from Doose’s. Miss Patty wakes Rory up and she panics when she learns it’s 5:30 in the morning. She runs off, telling Dean that he can’t come home with her. At home, Emily wakes Lorelai up and tells her that Rory never came home. Lorelai panics and Emily tells her to call the police. Miss Patty calls to let Lorelai know that Dean and Rory were at the studio all night, which upsets Emily. She tells Lorelai that she watched her make mistakes and won’t let her let Rory make the same mistakes. Lorelai tells her to back off, assuring her that Rory isn’t her. Emily asks what kind of mother Lorelai is to let Rory do this; Lorelai shoots back, “What kind of mother were you?” Emily predicts that Lorelai will lose Rory just like she lost Lorelai. Lorelai tells her that even if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, Emily would have lost her because she didn’t have a life in their house. Emily argues that she gave Lorelai a great life but Lorelai threw it away when she got pregnant. Lorelai kicks her out, pointing out that if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, she wouldn’t have Rory. Rory sneaks in and overhears Emily say that that’s not what she meant, but Lorelai kicks her out anyway. Rory thanks Lorelai for defending her, but Lorelai is upset that she was out all night. Rory promises that nothing happened, but Lorelai tells her that she was scared and announces that Rory is going on the pill. Rory tells her that she knows nothing happened - Lorelai is just mad that Rory screwed up in front of Emily. She storms out and Lorelai cries alone in the kitchen.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Emily: “What’s wrong with the tomato?”
Lorelai: “It was fraternizing with the enemy.”

Lane: “Look, have you had the talk yet?”
Rory: “Yes, Lane, babies come from the stork.”

Tristan: “Okay, I’ll confess something to you. I don’t have a date.”
Rory: “Well, I hear Squeaky Fromme is up for parole soon. You should keep a good thought.”

“Someone hit you with a pretty stick.” - Lorelai to Rory

Emily: “Whenever you got sick I made this.”
Lorelai: “Are you sure it wasn’t the other way around?”

“I’m not fighting you. It’d be like fighting an accountant. I’ll call you when I need my taxes done.” - Dean to Tristan

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