"That Da%$ Donna Reed"
Written by Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Michael Katleman

Dean brings pizza to the Gilmores’ house and they invite him to stay and watch The Donna Reed Show with them. Rory and Lorelai give him strange looks when he reveals that he’s brought a salad along with the pizza. They’re also shocked to learn that Dean doesn’t know who Donna Reed is. They tell him that she’s the “quintessential ‘50s mom with the perfect ‘50s family” and they show is a lifestyle and a religion. The girls make up their dialogue, since it’s better than the actual dialogue. Dean thinks that the concept of the family hanging out together and the wife cooking for the husband is nice. He thinks Donna looks happy, but Lorelai and Rory point out that she’s following a script written by a man. Dean realizes that he’s outnumbered and shuts up. The next morning, Lorelai and Rory head to Luke’s, where Rory says that she thinks her brain broke while she was studying for biology the night before. Lorelai tells Luke that she thinks the diner could use a new coat of paint. Luke says that he doesn’t want to spruce the place up, which causes an eavesdropping Taylor to complain that the town beautification committee has never gotten him to change anything. Taylor thinks that if the diner looks rundown, people will leave Stars Hollow. Luke tells Lorelai that painting would be annoying, because he’d have to close the diner for a day or paint in the middle of the night, two ideas he doesn’t enjoy. Lorelai offers to help him paint and Luke finally agrees, which makes Taylor very happy. (That makes Luke unhappy.) Lorelai suggests that Luke drop a gum wrapper in the street outside Taylor’s store later.

At Friday night dinner, Lorelai waxes un-poetic about the wine and Emily and Richard talk about their annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard, which they had to cancel. Lorelai suggests that they go to Paris instead, but they only go to Europe in the fall. They say that they can’t afford to fly first class to Europe right now and are shocked that Lorelai thinks they would fly coach. Back at home, Lorelai mends Rory’s sweater while Rory studies. Babette comes over and announces that she and Morey got a new kitten (see “Cinnamon’s Wake”). They’re going to New York that night and want to know if Rory can come over and house-sit. Rory accepts and Babette tells her that, since they just got cable, Rory “can watch those four girls talking dirty.” After Babette leaves, Lorelai comments that Rory accepted a night away from home fairly quickly. She notes that this will only be the second night they’ve ever spent apart, adding that Paul and Linda McCartney only spent 11 nights apart while they were married. Rory points out that Lorelai will have to be alone a lot when Rory goes to college; Lorelai says that she’ll go, too. (She’s not lying - see “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale.”) She asks Rory if she wants to take a picture of her to Babette’s that night. That afternoon, Dean greets Rory as her bus arrives in Stars Hollow; she has a bird with her for a project. She tells him that she’s house-sitting that night and suggests that he come over for a little while. He starts to leave for work, making a Donna Reed joke, which leads to an argument about their views on the show. Dean thinks that Rory only feels the way she does because Lorelai feels that way. They finally call a truce and go their separate ways.

At home, Lorelai tells Rory that she’s about to leave to go help Luke make some decisions before they start painting. She invites Rory to come get a burger at the diner so she can watch Lorelai wear Luke down, but Rory declines. She shows Lorelai her bird, which is named Case Study Number 12. Lorelai decides to name the bird Stanley, which she changes to Stella when she learns it’s actually a girl. Rory decides to leave the chick at home so that the new kitten doesn’t get any ideas. Lorelai heads to Luke’s and makes some suggestions for new themes for the diner. Taylor and Kirk arrive, trying to settle a bet about whether Luke is actually going to paint the diner. At Babette’s, Rory tries to study but decides to call Dean instead. Lorelai comes up with colors for the diner and dims the lights to demonstrate the ambience. Luke says the diner doesn’t need ambience and he has no opinion about the paint colors. Andrew arrives with a camera and starts taking pictures for the town council so they can make a before and after poster. Luke kicks him out, then tells Lorelai that everything will stay in the diner. He notes that the diner was last painted when his father was alive; he loved the place and spent all of his time in the hardware store. Lorelai asks why Luke opened a diner instead of keeping the hardware store as it was. He says that he didn’t love the hardware business the way his father did, and he knew how to cook, so he went with a diner. Lorelai thinks it’s nice that Luke wanted to be connected to his father; she thinks that he would have liked that. Luke mentions a fabled spot on the wall where his father wrote down an order when he ran out of paper. Lorelai finds the spot and they agree not to paint over it. Outside, Taylor and some others try to get a peek but Luke and Lorelai pretend they’re not there.

Rory goes to Lane’s to borrow a “weird” CD; Lane pulls up her floorboards to look for whichever one she’s talking about. Lorelai arrives home, notices that the chick’s cage is empty, and imitates Marlon Brando by yelling, “Stella!” She searches for the bird and, unable to find her, calls Luke. He hurries over and the two go on a chick hunt; Luke mentions that he wasn’t even sure until now that Lorelai actually had a chick in the house. Dean calls Rory at Babette’s and asks if she still wants him to come over. He’s actually right outside, so she goes to greet him. He’s shocked to see that she’s dressed like Donna Reed. They go inside, Rory acting like a ‘50s housewife and announcing that she’s cooked dinner for Dean. At the Gilmores’, the bird chase continues. Lorelai asks why Luke didn’t think there was really a chick. They get into a convoluted conversation that gets interrupted when they spot the chick again. At Babette’s, Dean thanks Rory for dinner, since his mom is the only person who’s cooked for him before. Rory gets dessert (Jell-o and Cool Whip) from the fridge and realizes that she forgot to make rolls. She decides to make them anyway, lamenting that Donna Reed would never forget the rolls. He calms her down by kissing her. He tells her that he didn’t want her to be Donna Reed and that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Rory says that she researched Donna Reed and discovered that she was a director and producer on the show; she was actually one of the first female TV executives. Rory heads off to do the dishes and Dean offers to take out the trash.

At the Gilmores’, the chick gets recaptured and Luke throws out a broken lamp. He spots Dean coming out of Babette’s house and they trade some small talk. Lorelai comes outside and the three are soon joined by Rory. Rory and Dean try to explain to Lorelai what they were doing and Lorelai and Luke try to do the same. Dean and Luke both leave and Lorelai tells Rory that she’s not surprised she would invite her boyfriend over when she’s house-sitting - she’s just wondering why Rory is wearing an apron. Rory heads back inside and panics when she can’t find the kitten. Lorelai announces that they are officially not animal people. At the inn, Michel and Sookie argue over the fact that Michel wanted an egg white omelette. Lorelai tells Sookie about her crazy, animal-filled night (the kitten turned up asleep in the piano). She says that Luke killed her lamp and Sookie wonders what Luke was doing there. Lorelai mentions that Luke didn’t believe her about the chick before he got there; Sookie thinks that Luke thought Lorelai was trying to lure him over to the house for something else. She admits that when she and Jackson first had sex, she called him over to the house to take care of a bat in the attic. When he arrived, they both knew there was no bat, but they pretended to look for it before “giving up” and having some wine. Lorelai says that she called Luke because she really needed help, not to get him into bed. She says that she didn’t call Sookie because she figured she was with Jackson, and she didn’t call Rory because she would freak out. Sookie points out that, of all the people in town, Lorelai called Luke. She adds that they were going to paint the diner together, too. Annoyed with the conversation, Lorelai leaves.

Lorelai and Rory head to Friday night dinner and find Richard and Emily on the phone with someone about their trip to Martha’s Vineyard. They tell the girls that they bought property that belonged to a man who just died. Rory wants to go up for a weekend, but Lorelai wants to make sure she can get some Valium from Sookie first. Lorelai tells Emily about Rory’s apron, but she doesn’t get the joke, so Lorelai tries to drop the subject. She jokes that Rory is going to be a maid, like Lorelai used to be, but Richard and Emily aren’t amused. They decide to talk about Stella and her escape instead. Rory brings up Luke’s rescue and Emily wonders how Luke got involved. Lorelai again tries to drop the conversation but has to admit that she called him. Emily notes that Luke always seems to be around when Lorelai is in trouble. He was at Rory’s birthday party (see “Rory’s Birthday Parties”), he came to the hospital with her when Richard was sick (see “Forgiveness and Stuff”), and Lorelai always talks about him. She asks if Lorelai has feelings for Luke, but Lorelai isn’t sure. Back in Stars Hollow, Lorelai and Luke look over their paint and decide to start the remodeling on Friday. (Lorelai says she’ll get out of Friday night dinner.) Lorelai meets up with Rory and they head for the market to get some fruit, since Lorelai thinks she’s either getting scurvy or a cold. A guy rides by on a motorcycle and Taylor and the girls complain. After Taylor goes back inside, Lorelai expresses her love for the bike. The motorcycle driver swings back around and tells Lorelai to take her shirt off. After a minute, the girls realize that it’s Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), Rory’s father. He explains that his parents are back in Connecticut and he’s there to see them, so he decided to see the girls on his way. Rory invites him to stay with them and Lorelai reluctantly agrees. Rory heads off on Christopher’s motorcycle and Lorelai sighs her ex’s name.

WELCOME TO STARS HOLLOW: Christopher

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “Do you come bearing pizza?”
Dean: “I’m not an idiot.”

Lorelai: (as Donna) “You know, Daughter, there’s nothing more satisfying that washing windows - oh, no!”
Rory: (as Mary) “What? Did I miss a spot?”
Lorelai: (as Donna) “No, I just had an impure thought about your father, Alex. Funny - I don’t know why I had it. It isn’t the second Saturday of the month.”
Rory: (as Jeff) “Hey, I heard you had an impure thought.”
Lorelai: (as Donna) “I must now sublimate all my impure thoughts by going into the kitchen and making an endless string of perfect casseroles.”

Lorelai: “I love to paint.”
Luke: “You do?”
Lorelai: “Yes, I do.”
Luke: “You love it?”
Lorelai: “I want to marry it.”
Luke: “You have strange passions.”
Rory: “She likes washing dishes, too. She’s multi-faceted abnormal.”

Lorelai: “Luke? Stella got out and I don’t know -- do I put seed on the floor? Do I make cheeping sounds? Or do I pull a Lucy Ricardo and walk like a chicken so she thinks I’m her mother?”
Luke: “Who the he$# is this?”
Lorelai: “What do you mean, who is this? It’s Lorelai. Who else would call you looking for her baby chick?”
Luke: “You’re right. I’m the idiot. Go on.”

Lorelai: “Don’t step on her!”
Luke: “She cut right in front of me.”
Lorelai: “Okay, well, she’s being graded, so let’s not squash her.”
Luke: “Well, then tell her to watch where she’s going.”

Lorelai: “Well, maybe there was a hole in the floor and she crawled through it and fixed it.”
Luke: “So, she’s a super intelligent chick with great physical and deductive skills?”
Lorelai: “Yes.”
Luke: “Oh, this is not a chick I want to find.”

Dean: “What are you doing here?”
Luke: “What are you doing here?”
Dean: “You first.”
Luke: “I’m looking for a chick.”
Dean: “Yeah, me, too.”
Luke: “You are not.”
Dean: “Well, neither are you.”

Lorelai: “The both of you are going directly to Hell, I hope you know that.”
Richard: “Well, at least we’ll be well rested.”


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