"Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers"
Written by John Stephens, Linda Loiselle Guzik, and Joan Binder Weiss; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

As the people of Stars Hollow prepare for the annual founders festival, Miss Patty tells her students the story of how the town got its name. Dean greets Rory after school and complains that Anna Karenina, which she wants him to read, is depressing. She says it’s one of her favorite books and he agrees to try it again. Dean comments that he thought Christmas was a big deal in Stars Hollow, but people are making an even bigger deal of the founders festival. He then asks Rory to try to get out of Friday night dinner so they can celebrate their three-month anniversary. (He remembers the day because it’s three months from her birthday, when he gave her her bracelet.) He’s arranged things for Friday instead of Saturday (when the anniversary should really be) because he has to work on Saturday, and he’s planning something special for them. Rory feels bad that she missed their two-month anniversary, but Dean assures her that it was good. At home, Rory catches Lorelai with a box of Hamburger Helper; she wants to cook something other than soup. Rory finally lets her, though she plans to get have a fire extinguisher nearby. Lorelai says that all of the love and stars around for the festival are making her cranky. Rory guesses that she hasn’t heard from Max since their breakup (see “Paris is Burning”) and thinks that that’s really why Lorelai is cranky. Rory asks Lorelai to help her get out of Friday night dinner, but Lorelai doesn’t think that Emily will go for it. She agrees to help anyway and calls Emily, begging her to let Rory out of dinner. Emily easily relents, so Lorelai tries to get herself out as well but fails. “The world is officially coming to an end,” Lorelai comments.

At Chilton, Tristan makes out with a girl named Summer, causing Madeline to pine for a boyfriend. Paris complains that the couple is blocking her locker; Rory arrives and has the same problem. Rory asks Tristan to move and he does, saying hi to Paris in the process. (Summer only tells her that she should try bangs.) Madeline invites everyone to a party at her house on Saturday and Rory says she’ll consider coming with Dean. At the inn, Lorelai has to pass a bunch of happy couples to get to the kitchen, where she finds Jackson and Sookie kissing. In the lobby, she learns that even Michel has a date for Saturday night. Lorelai heads downtown, narrowly missing getting hit on the head by a papier-mâché star. She goes to Luke’s for coffee and he notices that she’s in a bad mood. She says that nothing caused it and he tells her that that means she’s crazy. Nearby, Taylor and Miss Patty argue over the reason the two lovers who founded the town built a fire. Lorelai complains that no one will talk about anything other than the founders festival and Taylor chastises her for not celebrating the founding of Stars Hollow. Luke joins in the complaining and tells Lorelai that it’s nice to have someone to hate the festival with. She says that she’s planning to spend the next day despising everyone who says, “Hey, how’s it going?” Just then, Luke’s ex-girlfriend Rachel (Lisa Ann Hadley) enters the diner and says, “Hey, how’s it going?” (There’s more on Rachel in “Concert Interruptus.”) She explains that she came back to Stars Hollow on a whim and apologizes for not giving Luke any notice. She meets Lorelai and lets her know how much she loves the Independence Inn. Lorelai leaves (“to go sit in a closet or something”) and Rachel and Luke are left alone to be awkward together.

At home, Lorelai helps Rory get ready for her date and complains that she made a fool of herself in front of Rachel. She’s frustrated that everyone is in love; she misses Max and hasn’t been happy having to deal with family stuff and Christopher coming to visit (see “Christopher Returns”). She admits that she had a dream about Max the other night but won’t tell Rory about it until she’s 21. The girls talk about Rory’s date, which Lorelai thinks will be like the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. Lane arrives, finding it hard to believe that Rory and Dean have already been together for three months. They decide to meet up later at the festival, which Lane is going to because her mother has set her up on a date with a future chiropractor…and his family. Dean arrives and Lane asks Rory to tell her everything about the date. Lorelai asks her to bring home a meatball to commemorate the dinner. Lane asks Lorelai if she can hang out for a while, but Lorelai tells her she has to go to Hartford, and she doesn’t think Lane should keep a bunch of prospective in-laws waiting. Lorelai heads to Friday night dinner and rambles about Emily’s figurines; Richard makes her sit down with her hands in her lap so she doesn’t break anything. The doorbell rings and Emily brings a guy named Chase into the living room. She explains that she decided to invite him to dinner at the last minute and Lorelai quickly realizes that she’s being set up. She notes that this is probably while Emily was so amiable in letting Rory skip dinner. Lorelai says that she can find her own men but Emily laughs this off. Emily finally shuts her up by pointing out that Rory is celebrating her three-month anniversary and Lorelai hasn’t had a relationship that lasted that long in a while.

Dean and Rory finish dinner at the restaurant, which they really enjoyed. Dean is confused, however, as to why Rory has ordered a meatball to go. He notes that Rory looks cute while she’s eating, which she doesn’t think is possible. He tells her that there’s a second phase of the evening and she says that that sounds official. At Friday night dinner, Emily gets Chase to talk about himself, but Lorelai isn’t impressed. Rory and Dean head to the founders festival and he asks her what book she brought with her. She tells him that she actually brought the fiction issue of The New Yorker. Mayor Porter begins the festivities by talking about how he met his wife of 43 years at the founders festival. Taylor asks him to point her out, but she’s in Bridgeport, playing Bingo. The town starts to light the bonfire and Rory tells Dean that she’s ready for the second phase of the date. He tells her that they’ll miss the lighting but Rory tells him that it always takes a while. At dinner, Chase keeps talking about himself and announces that he can ask a few questions and determine when a person is going to die. Lorelai wants him to ask Emily the questions but Emily declines. Emily sends Chase and Lorelai to the living room together but Lorelai excuses herself and goes upstairs. There, Richard catches her trying to sneak out the window of her old bedroom. She apologizes for the fight they had the week before (see “Christopher Returns”) and begs him not to make her go back to the boring guy. He calls downstairs to Emily that Lorelai isn’t there, then lets her leave.

Dean takes Rory to a salvage yard and shows her a car that he’s building for her. She’s, of course, thrilled with the present. She tells him that she’s having one of those moments that’s so perfect that “you almost feel sad because nothing can ever be this good again.” They kiss and Dean tells her that he loves her. She responds, “I love the car,” but can’t say that she loves him, too. She says that she needs to think about it, but he tells her that it’s something she should just feel. Dean asks if she wants to discuss it with Lorelai first and Rory replies that it’s not easy for her because after Lorelai told Christopher she loved him, she got pregnant. Dean doesn’t like this logic and says he’ll take her home. At the festival, Jackson and Sookie get a couple more seconds of screen time by telling each other that they’re having a good time. Rachel takes some pictures and joins Luke on a bench. He asks her if she’s going to tell him why she’s there; she notes that he doesn’t seem happy to see her. She asks what’s going on with him and Lorelai and he says that they’re just friends. After Rachel leaves, Lorelai joins Luke and he fills her in on some of the events she missed. They talk about Rachel, but Luke isn’t sure what’s going to happen with her. Lorelai thinks that Rachel likes him but he notes that she has a short attention span. He says that she left before and he survived, so there isn’t really anything more horrible that could happen. He goes to check up on Rachel and Lorelai comments that it’s nice that he has someone to check on. Lorelai heads home and calls Max, listening to his answering machine message. Rory arrives and tells Lorelai that she and Dean just broke up.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Rachel

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Miss Patty: “This, boys and girls, is the story of true love. A beautiful girl from one county, a handsome boy from another. They meet and they fall in love. Separated by distance and by parents who did not approve of the union, the young couple dreamed of a day that they could be together. They wrote each other beautiful letters. Letters of longing and passion. Letters full of promises and plans for the future. Soon the separation proved too much for either one of them to bear. So one night, cold and black with no light to guide them, they both snuck out of their homes and ran away as fast as they could. It was so dark out that they were both soon lost and it seemed as if they would never find each other. Finally, the girl dropped to her knees, tears streaming down her lovely face. ‘Oh, my love. Where are you? How will I find you?’ Suddenly, a band of stars appeared in the sky. These stars shone so brightly they lit up the entire countryside. The girl jumped to her feet and followed the path of the stars until finally she found herself standing right where the town gazebo is today. And there waiting for her was her one true love, who had also been led here by the blanket of friendly stars. And that, my friends, is the story of how Stars Hollow came to be, and why we celebrate that fateful night every year at about this time. Now, we still have a little time left in our story hour. Who wants to hear about the time I danced in a cage for Tito Puente?”
Kids: “Me!”
Miss Patty: “It was the summer of ‘66….”

“What a shame Elizabeth Barrett Browning wasn’t here to witness this. She’d put her head through a wall.” - Paris, re: Tristan and Summer

Lorelai: “I was almost crushed by a papier-mâché star. How’s your day?”
Luke: “Well, it’s looking pretty good now.”

Chase: “So, Lorelai, are you a member of the DAR?”
Lorelai: “No, I’m not. D-A-R-N. (giggles) See, uh, that’s like darn, ‘cause it was a play on DAR. Boy, these carrots sure are tiny.”


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