"Scene in a Mall"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Chris Long

Lorelai heads to the diner, where Luke makes sure that she’s okay after the events at the end of “The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais”). She assures him that she’s fine, thanks to him, and asks if she can work on her laptop in the diner. Kirk arrives with a dog bag, explaining that he’s taking care of Lulu’s dog Buster while she’s out of town. Lorelai plus her laptop into the fax line Luke never uses; apparently he put in the line because she encouraged him to but then never got a fax machine. Lorelai explains that she and Rory have been communicating through e-mail lately, calling it “a return to the romantic days of letter writing.” Luke isn’t happy about having to crawl under the phone line. Luke finally realizes that if Kirk has a dog bag with him, there must be a dog in it. Kirk tells him the dog is at home but Lorelai hears him “talking to his man purse.” At Yale, Paris freaks out over everything Rory touches, since she’s sick. Lane calls and tells Rory that she has a new apartment, which she’ll be sharing with Brian and Zach. Back at the diner, Lorelai starts to leave and Luke gives her a check for the $30,000 she told him she was going to ask for in “The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais.” She tells him that they didn’t talk about a repayment schedule or interest or anything else, but he just wants her to have the money. Lorelai writes out a tentative contract on a napkin and thanks him.

Lorelai heads to Friday night dinner and learns that since the cook burned the food, they’re going to go out. Richard and Emily bicker about Lorelai’s wardrobe and their choice of restaurants for dinner. Emily also wants Richard to shave the mustache he grew recently. She tries to rush everyone out the door, telling Lorelai that Rory isn’t coming to dinner because she’s sick. Lorelai pretends that she knew about Rory’s ailment. Back at home, Lorelai calls Rory and tells her that their closeness has degenerated into an e-mail relationship. Rory can’t believe that in all their correspondence she forgot to mention that she was sick. They banter about being unable to reach each other on the phone, and then Lorelai mentions that she had to endure Friday night dinner by herself. They make plans to meet up at the inn and go window-shopping at the mall. Luke spots Kirk outside the market with a bunch of dogs; he explains that people were impressed by how he dealt with Lulu’s dog and have asked him to watch theirs. He’s playing a tracking game with them where he cuts one dog loose and makes it look for the others. Rory heads to the inn and chats with Tom, then teases that Dean looks like one of the Village People. He makes sure that she’s also okay after “The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais.”

Lindsay and her mother Theresa arrive with Dean’s lunch as he lets Rory do some hammering. Theresa and Lindsay’s big news of the day is that they found a new dry cleaner. Dean tells Rory that Theresa is teaching Lindsay how to cook. Lorelai arrives and pretends to mistake a construction worker for Rory. After they leave, Lorelai tells Rory that Lindsay brings Dean lunch every day. At the mall, the girls enjoy some free samples in the food court, then start window-shopping, making mental notes of things they’d like to buy when they have money. Lane heads to her mother’s house to get her things; her aunt Jun has brought Lane’s cousin Christine over to help her pack. Christine is quiet until they get up to Lane’s room, where she babbles about all of the secular things Lane is into. Lane finally tells her that she’s not Yoda or the Dalai Lama, so Christine needs to stop looking to her for advice. As Lane finishes up and leaves, Jun tells Christine to get away from her. Rory and Lorelai keep window-shopping but decide that they’re bored. They try actually going in a store but that just makes things worse. On their way back to the food court for more free samples, they spot Emily on an upper floor. Lorelai suggests hiding from her but Rory says that they have to say hello. Before they can make up their minds, Emily sees them and tells them to come up to her floor.

Emily notes that the girls were supposedly busy; they admit that they’re playing hooky. Emily tells the girls to follow her instead of leaving the mall. Rory notes that she’s aggressive today. “I think the passive part of her personality is playing hooky,” Lorelai replies. Lane, Brian, and Zach unpack in their new apartment, where Lane panics because they don’t have any plates, cups, or utensils. “We’ve got three stereos and no forks,” she notes. They also have little shelf space, no curtains, and no fridge. Brian plugs in a nightlight and Zach challenges that the Sex Pistols don’t use one. He also doesn’t like the idea of sharing bunk beds with Brian or having Brian’s Futurama action figures everywhere. Lane tells the guys that there’s an entire extra shelf for them, but they tell her that they’re saving it for her. She’s happy about this and tells the guys that things are going to work out. Lorelai and Rory chase Emily around the mall, trying to keep up as she goes on a spending spree. She tells the girls to start picking things out for themselves, saying that Richard will be paying for everything. Lorelai notes that Emily has lost her mind and warns Rory not to get sucked into the craziness. Emily orders Lorelai to get a diamond watch, which Lorelai quietly makes sure she can return later.

Later, the girls discuss the dresses Emily has bought them (apparently she bought Lorelai a Vera Wang wedding dress when she wasn’t looking). When they reach the Manolo Blahniks, Lorelai transforms into Gollum and has a hard time resisting. Things reach a breaking point when Emily tries to get Venetian glass apples and Lorelai tells her that she’s already spent enough money on things she doesn’t need. Emily takes offense to being called crazy and starts yelling about Richard’s new life and mustache and Digger and Pennilyn Lott (see “Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out”). She yells that she wants a job application and Lorelai quickly ushers her to the food court, where she’s never been before. They head off to get a bunch of different kinds of food and meet up at a table as Lorelai deals with ad problems over the phone. “I had no idea so many different kinds of foods came on sticks,” Emily comments. She also discovers that she likes Orange Juliuses. After Rory leaves to get napkins, Emily compliments the way Lorelai handled the ad issues. Lorelai replies that she learned from her. Emily doesn’t think she’s ever done anything substantial. Lorelai encourages her to have a meaningful talk with Richard and clear the air with him. Rory returns and Emily tells her that she was just admiring Lorelai’s life. “Oh, I do that daily,” Rory replies.

That evening, Luke goes to an arcade for change and finds Dean there. He confides that he sneaks out sometimes since Lindsay and Theresa don’t like him to be around when they’re trying to clean up after dinner. He gets distracted when he sees Rory and Lorelai outside. Luke heads to the diner, where the girls look over the things Emily bought them. They want to return most of it but decide that they need to keep something for Emily’s sake. They wind up fighting over the free tote bag they received with a purchase. Kirk enters with a dog, distressed over the fact that he can’t remember its name or who it belongs to. He’s been putting random syllables together in an attempt to find out the dog’s name. The girls decide to make trips to the mall a weekly event but can’t find another day they’re both free. Lorelai serves them pie (against Luke’s wishes) as she assures Rory that things between Emily and Richard will be all right. At the elder Gilmores’ house, Emily and Richard eat dinner and share meaningless small talk.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Emily: “And please shave that mustache, I beg of you.”
Richard: “I want to see what it looks like fully grown, Emily. That was the agreement.”
Emily: “Well, it looks like a caterpillar now. In two weeks it’ll look like a bigger caterpillar.”

Lindsay: “So are you working here?”
Rory: “No, that was illegal hammering. Completely nonunion. Come the revolution, I shall be shot.”

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