"Richard in Stars Hollow"
Written by Frank Lombardi; directed by Steve Gomer

Lorelai and Rory head to Friday night dinner on a cold evening. Emily tells them to come sit by the fire so they can talk about something. This immediately makes Lorelai nervous. Emily asks Lorelai if she’s dating someone and if there’s any chance that she’ll get back together with Max. Lorelai says that there’s no chance and Emily asks if anything is going to happen with her and Luke. Lorelai says that he’s just a friend. Emily wonders if Lorelai is going to be single for the rest of her life. She mentions that she visited the family mausoleum and realized that there isn’t much space left in it. There’s only room for Richard, Emily, Lorelai, and Rory. Therefore, if Lorelai ever marries, her husband wouldn’t be able to be placed in the mausoleum after he dies. Emily has been thinking about expanding, but the family that owns the crypt next door won’t consider it. The head of the cemetery suggested that the Gilmores buy an annex, but now they’ll have to decide who to move into it. Emily and Lorelai quickly decide to move Aunt Cecile, who wasn’t very bright and never got the concept of knock-knock jokes. Rory offers to be put in the annex, but Lorelai doesn’t want to be in the main mausoleum with Cecile. Rory just doesn’t want to be responsible for someone being kicked out of her eternal resting place. Lorelai realizes that she’ll probably die first, so they can just throw Rory in with her. Rory would rather be buried alone, but Lorelai says that she’ll take the good CDs and her rock star belt with her. Richard arrives and, when he hears the topic of conversation, offers up Cecile. “This is a cold, cold family,” Rory comments.

During dinner, Lorelai compliments the food but announces that she doesn’t want to know what it is. In her experience, anything she’s eaten that she’s liked but not recognized has turned out to be something gross that she wouldn’t have tried knowingly, like snails. Richard talks about how he’s enjoying retired life and is noticing little things he wouldn’t have noticed before. He’s also discovered a first edition Flaubert in his library, which makes Rory happy. After Richard and Rory leaves the room, Lorelai asks Emily if something is wrong. Emily says that it’s just strange to have Richard home so much. Lorelai says that they just have to find a new routine after having their own separate routines for so long. Lorelai finally gives in and asks what the food she likes is; it’s sweetbreads. At a Franklin meeting at Chilton, Paris worries that the newspaper won’t be good enough to win the Oppenheimer Award for excellence in school journalism. They have one week to come up with a theme and produce a spectacular issue. Rory tries to encourage the other newspaper writers and tells Paris that she’s going to give herself a stroke someday. Richard returns home from a walk and notices that Emily has had three cups of coffee that morning. They banter about what to have for dinner that night. Emily says that she’s going to the dry cleaners and Richard offers to go with her. She says that she should go alone, since she’s going to a DAR meeting afterward. Richard says that he can go to the meeting with her, then a luncheon afterward. He encourages her to cancel a hair appointment she has after that, but Emily tries to convince him to go to the country club instead. He’s never been on a Wednesday afternoon before and decides to see what it’s like.

Lorelai and Rory try to figure out which movies to rent at a video store. They settle on “the worst film festival ever” - Cool as Ice, Hudson Hawk, and Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo. They take the movies up to the counter, where Kirk is working, and Lorelai admits that she doesn’t have her card with her. Kirk is upset that she lost her permanent card, which is an agreement between her and the store that she’ll take care of the card. As Lorelai goes outside to take a phone call, Rory tells Kirk that a couple of kids are looking at a movie that might be a little too mature for them. Outside, Lorelai speaks on the phone with Emily, who wants her to entertain Richard in Stars Hollow the next day so she can get a break from him. He’s apparently so out of control that he now wants to join Emily’s water aerobics class. Lorelai tries to back out but Emily reminds her that she’s paying for Rory’s tuition and co-signed Lorelai’s loan to fix her house (see “Secrets and Loans”). Lorelai gives in. The next morning, Lorelai tells Rory that Headmaster Charleston has been kidnapped and classes have been cancelled. Rory tells her that she has to go to school and won’t look after Richard for her. Lorelai says that the last time she was alone with Richard for a long time was in the car after she screwed up at summer camp. She doubts that she can handle spending an entire day with him. Rory promises to come home right after school and give Lorelai a break. She assures Lorelai that she’ll be fine, but Lorelai thinks it will turn into a Lifetime movie with Nancy McKeon playing her.

Richard arrives and Rory leave for school. Lorelai tries to offer Richard something, but he doesn’t want coffee and she really only has Pop Tarts. He tells her that she doesn’t have to do anything special for him, just go about her day as she normally would. They try to read the newspaper together, successfully dividing the sections between them. The two head to Luke’s, which causes Richard to reminisce about a diner he ate at every morning for three years during college. The couple who ran it always fought and the food was horrible, but he misses it. Richard tells Luke that he likes the diner, but he doesn’t want to order anything, since he ate breakfast at home. Lorelai orders and Richard chastises her for not ordering grapefruit. She complains about not liking it but he tells her that she would be smart to have some. Lorelai goes up to the counter and asks Luke for grapefruit that tastes like a donut. He doesn’t have any but offers to go next door to Doose’s and buy one. Lorelai tells Richard that she plans to give him a tour of the town, then pass him off to Rory while she’s at work. Richard notices that, like Emily, Lorelai has had three cups of coffee. At Chilton, Paris tells Rory that all of the papers that have previously won the Oppenheimer Award featured human interest stories on their front pages. She has decided that they should do a story about small towns - specifically, an expose about Stars Hollow’s “seedy underbelly” (despite the fact that Rory says there isn’t one). Paris is determined to find this seedy underbelly and will be tagging along with Rory as she heads home after school.

Lorelai arrives at the inn and tries to take care of a problem with linens. Richard shows up, having already finished his tour of Stars Hollow, and says that he wanted to see her working. Richard is surprised at what Lorelai wears to work, but Lorelai points out that she’s her own boss, so it’s not like she has to please anyone. Rory calls Lorelai and breaks the news to her that she has to work on the Franklin story, which means she can’t entertain Richard. Lorelai reluctantly tells her that it’s fine. Rory and Paris arrive in Stars Hollow and Paris complains about having to take the bus. Rory points out that they could have driven, since Paris has a car, but Paris thinks that they should “get the feel of the small town world,” which they wouldn’t get in a BMW. She asks where the bad part of town; Rory points it out, saying that there are people who are upset the color of the fence. Paris asks where the local bar is; it’s in Woodbridge. Paris decides that their first stop will be Luke’s. They head inside and Paris tries to blend in by looking at a menu. Luke asks who Rory’s friend is and Rory introduces her as Angela Lansbury. Paris starts asking Luke about truckers and how “it’s pretty common knowledge that diners are breeding grounds for prostitution and drug dealers.” She asks for one of the customer’s stories, but the one she’s chosen is Reverend Nichols. Jess arrives from the upstairs apartment, causing Paris to wonder if there’s a “cathouse” up there. Jess plays along and Luke tells Rory to get Paris out of there.

At the inn, Lorelai and Michel continue to tend to the linen delivery problem, caused by the linen guy, Manny. Manny finally calls and Lorelai flirts with him to butter him up; he says he’ll be there in 20 minutes. Richard is unhappy with the way Lorelai dealt with a business call. Lorelai says that she’s known him for a long time, but Richard says that she should never talk to a business associate that way, especially not one who she employs, because her employees should respect her. Rory and Paris walk through Stars Hollow as Paris complains that Stars Hollow “would make Frank Capra want to throw up.” Rory assures her that they’ll find something else to write about and that they won’t lose. As they pass the video store, Taylor spots Rory and announces that she’s his hero for saying something about the adult videos in the store. Inside, she discovers that almost all of the videos are now behind a Rory Curtain, where kids can’t get to them. Paris decides that this is the perfect story - censorship in a small town. Rory hates the idea, since she doesn’t believe in censorship but Paris is convinced that the story will win them the Oppenheimer Award. Lorelai returns home with Richard begging Rory to be there. She is, and realizes from Lorelai’s tight hug that her day with Richard didn’t go smoothly. Lorelai heads to the kitchen to call Al’s Pancake World and order Chinese food for dinner. Rory offers to show Richard her room and Lorelai promises her $20 if she locks him in there. Rory offers her $30 if she calms down.

Richard studies Rory’s book collection and makes a list of books he wants to add to it. She shows him another stash under her bed and he decides that he should get her another bookcase instead. He notices her Harvard memorabilia, mostly purchased during the road trip to Harvard over the summer. Lorelai enters with the menu for the evening and Richard chastises her for wanting to get too much food. She tells him that they’ll live off of the leftovers for a while. Richard brings up all of the Harvard stuff in Rory’s room and suggests that they not focus too much on just one college right now. He thinks that Rory wants to go to Harvard because she thinks Lorelai wants her to go there. He mentions that he went to Yale and wants Rory to investigate to see if she likes it. Lorelai won’t let him set up an appointment because Rory already has her heart set on Harvard. Richard says that it will be easy to get Rory into Yale, since she’s a legacy and he has donated a lot of money to the school. Lorelai isn’t happy that he’s interfering. A car horn honks and Rory looks outside to see Dean with the now-finished car that he was building for her (see “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”). Lorelai asks Dean if he’ll build her a plane that looks like Shamu.

Richard questions the reliability of the car and refuses to let Rory drive it. Dean assures him that he wouldn’t give the car to Rory if he didn’t think it was safe. He checked it, his father checked it, and Gyspy the town mechanic checked it. He agrees to take Richard to get the car checked out, because he’s adamant that Rory be able to drive it. At the Hewes Brothers garage, Gypsy (Rose Abdoo) checks the car again and assures Dean and Richard that it’s fine. Richard wants it checked as many times as necessary until he believes that it’s completely safe. Dean tells Richard that he can hate him, but he’s not going to battle him. Richard reveals that he doesn’t hate Dean and doesn’t even known him. Richard admits that the last time he interrogated Dean (see “Sadie, Sadie”), he might have been a little too pushy. Dean tells Richard about his parents, then tells him that he loves Rory. Richard finds his honestly admirable. Gypsy announces that something is wrong with the car - the windshield wipers broke. Dean accuses her of breaking them herself and tells her to put them back on. She says that she can’t look at the car anymore and misses her home. Richard says that he’s still not sure if the car is safe, then asks Dean how tall he is.

Back at home, Lorelai suspects that Richard made Dean take the entire car apart and put it back together in front of him. She doesn’t feel sorry for Dean, since she’s the one who’s related to Richard by blood. Richard returns and announces that the car is fine, so Rory can drive it. Lorelai sends her out to pick up their dinner. After Rory leaves, Richard asks Lorelai why she didn’t let him pay for dinner. She says that she didn’t think it was appropriate, since she’s about to go off on him. She tells him that this is her house, her town, and her life, and she has never criticized him while he was working or tried to get him to change any of his habits. He argues that he was offering constructive criticism, but she doesn’t agree. She adds that Rory is her child, so she makes decisions about her life. Richard tells her that he knows why he was “invited” there today. He’s realizing that he knows what it’s like to feel obsolete and doesn’t want Lorelai to ever have to feel that way. Downtown, Rory sees her photo in the window of the video store. Jess arrives and makes fun of her, trying to get her to see the humor in the situation. She doesn’t. Jess tells her that he doesn’t think the photo will be around much longer. She offers him an egg roll to find out what he’s done. He replies that anyone who rents Dumbo or Bambi (the only two videos not behind the Rory Curtain) will get a surprise. Richard heads home and Emily tells him about the nice day she had. He puts a positive spin on his own day, then heads to his office, telling Emily that he’s going to organize his stamps, as he’s been discussing for ages. In the office, he just sits down quietly.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Rory: “I don’t think you’re gonna find anything.”
Paris: “Well, then the worst that can happen is that I spend some time in your town and suddenly have an urge to enter a pie in the county fair.”

Lorelai: “Hey, will you get me an extra bottle of champagne and smack me over the head with it?”
Michel: “Absolutely.”

Luke: (re: Paris) “Rory, how much do you like this person?”
Rory: “Do what you gotta do, Luke.”

Richard: “Getting her in will be a breeze.”
Lorelai: “We don’t like breezes, they mess up our hair.”

Richard: “How tall are you?”
Dean: “Why, you wanna dance?”
Richard: “No, thank you. I appreciate the offer, though.”

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