"The Great Stink"
Written by Gina Fattore; directed by Michael Schultz

Lorelai packs a bag, getting ready for Paul Anka’s first night at Christopher’s place. Christopher thinks that all of Paul Anka’s specificities are ridiculous, but Lorelai warns that he’ll be able to sense Christopher’s attitude and it will stress him out. After all the packing, Lorelai almost forgets to take Paul Anka with her. Logan calls Rory at their apartment to ask her if she’s watching the meteor showers that are happening. She doesn’t know anything about them and is tired after spending all day in the library. He tells her to go up to the roof to take a look, and when she does, she finds Logan there waiting for her. He’s in town for a brief business trip (he’s leaving at 10 the next night) to meet with the owners of the website he and his team are trying to buy. She’s thrilled he’s there (and that he’s brought food). At his apartment, Christopher catches Lorelai looking at his Tivo, which contains shows like The View and Sabado Gigante. He blames the nanny. They start talking about Gigi, and Christopher reveals that Sherry has sent him a long letter that’s surprisingly humble. Christopher thinks her claims about being sorry for leaving are honest. Lorelai is happy that he’s shared the letter with her, since openness is something new for their relationship. On the roof, Rory and Logan talk about London (which she says he’s not allowed to get tired of), and she wonders if he’ll get to stay in town longer if his meeting goes really well. They talk about the deal and she pretends to be wooed by his business talk.

In the morning, Logan wakes up early to have breakfast with his team and she teasingly calls him a work dork. He invites her to meet him for dinner in Manhattan after his meeting. At the inn, Lorelai, Michel, and Sookie notice a horrible smell that’s only made worse when they open a window to try to air out the inn. The three head to the town square, where everyone else is annoyed and confused by the smell as well. Taylor has called an emergency town meeting to discuss it, but Lorelai decides she’d rather deal with the smell forever than risk running into Luke at the meeting. At the meeting, everyone else learns that the smell is from tons of pickles spilled after a train derailment nearby. The townies are mad that they weren’t told sooner; Taylor explains that they didn’t smell the pickles before because the odor was being blown towards Woodbridge, but now the wind has changed direction. The townies want to know how long it will take for the pickles to be cleaned up, but Taylor says it’s a matter of pride and Stars Hollow doesn’t need to take responsibility. The pickles are from Ohio, the railroad company is based in Delaware, and the pickles are in Woodbridge, so Taylor doesn’t think the cleanup is his problem. The townies disagree. Taylor notes that the cleanup will cost $2,500, but no one thinks that’s too much money and they all agree to pay. In a park, Lorelai and Christopher enjoy the lack of pickle odor and talk about their plans to attend Friday night dinner together. Christopher mentions that he talked to Sherry this morning and she says she’s changed a lot. She’d also like Gigi to come visit her in Paris for a couple of months. Christopher wouldn’t go with her, instead sending the nanny to take her.

At the Yale Daily News, the reporters argue with Rory over her decision to have Paris be in charge of putting out the paper while Rory is out with Logan. Bill thinks the job should be his, since he’s the managing editor to Rory’s editor-in-chief, but Paris points out that she’s gotten the paper out many times while Bill never has. Logan calls Rory to let her know that the deal has gone through, then asks her again to come out to dinner to celebrate with him. At the inn, Michel tells a guest about the pickle situation, encouraging the person to wait until the next night to come to the inn. Lorelai begs Michel to unchain the door and let her in, since the pickle smell is seeping into her pores. Michel is also wearing a surgical mask because he’s not sure the pickles aren’t really some sort of chemical weapon the government is testing on them. In the kitchen, Sookie tells Lorelai that she tried to combat the smell with the scent of apples and cinnamon, then cheese and breads and chocolates, but eventually she decided to just embrace the pickle smell and match it with the smell of pastrami. Lorelai isn’t hungry, since she filled up on Lunchables with Christopher and Gigi (“don’t judge what you do not understand,” she tells Sookie). She tells Sookie about Christopher’s letter from Sherry and about him wanting to send Gigi to Paris to see her. Sookie is surprised that Lorelai didn’t tell him she thinks that’s a crazy idea. Lorelai is a little confused about her relationship with Christopher and the differences between it and her relationship with Luke, and she has to remind herself that Christopher isn’t Luke.

Rory calls and learns of the pickle smell; Lorelai tells her that since Rory isn’t in Stars Hollow right now, they’ll celebrate next year on the pickle-day anniversary. Rory tells Lorelai she won’t be at Friday night dinner because she’ll be out with Logan. Lorelai tells her she’s bringing Christopher, so she won’t be alone with Richard and Emily. They decide that their news was more important than Lorelai’s information about the pickles, so they start over and briefly redo their whole conversation. Rory meets Logan at a restaurant and quickly learns that they won’t be dining alone - they’ll be with Logan’s coworkers, Phillip, Nick, and Bobbi. She’s not very happy about it. In Christopher’s car, Lorelai and Christopher bicker about his music choices, and he suggests that they go away for a weekend together. He worries that she’ll want to go to Dollywood, but she really wants to visit an ice hotel (which is exactly what it sounds like). He finally realizes that she’s not a huge fan of his agreement to send Gigi to Paris. She doesn’t think Gigi should go see Sherry when she doesn’t even remember her, but Christopher wants her to know her mother. Lorelai thinks it would be better for Christopher to take Gigi to Paris rather than having her go with the nanny. She’s also sick of hearing about Sherry’s letter, and Christopher thinks it’s because she’s threatened by Sherry. Lorelai says she just wanted to be able to express her opinion without being jumped on. They decide to drop the subject and try to enjoy themselves…at Friday night dinner, not usually an enjoyable experience.

At the restaurant, Rory suffers through more business talk and the story of how Bobbi settled the deal by threatening to walk out if the parties couldn’t figure things out. Bobbi tries to engage Rory in conversation about school, then gushes over how much fun Logan is. At dinner, Lorelai and Christopher are silent as Richard and Emily laugh over Richard’s recent discovery that there’s a band called Franz Ferdinand. Emily suggests that the four of them play tennis together sometime, and Lorelai is so distracted by being frustrated with Christopher that she agrees. Christopher talks about how he used to dislike lamb but likes it now, emphasizing his point that people change. Lorelai just scoffs and Richard and Emily keep talking about food preferences. Lorelai says she doesn’t like radishes because she finds them threatening, getting in a dig at Christopher. After a toast to the reunited couple, Emily talks about the troublemaking activities they used to engage in as teenagers. Finally, Lorelai pulls Christopher aside and tells him that he’s changed, and his leaving Rory when he was a teenager isn’t like Sherry leaving Gigi when she was a grownup. She believes that he thinks when Lorelai is criticizing Sherry, she’s really criticizing him, but that’s not how she feels. “Thanks for telling me how I feel,” he says sarcastically.

In Manhattan, Rory and Logan leave the restaurant and he realizes that something is wrong. She admits that she wanted to spend the evening alone with him, and adds that she didn’t realize Bobbi was a woman. Logan teases her about being jealous, and she says that she just felt excluded all night. She also thinks that Bobbi calling them an adorable couple was an implication that they won’t last. Logan promises that there’s nothing going on with him and Bobbi. Rory is really just frustrated that she doesn’t get to see Logan much anymore, so Logan assures her that he misses her. Back at Friday night dinner, Emily and Richard keep talking about tennis while Lorelai and Christopher ignore them. Christopher announces that he knows he’s not Sherry, then asks Lorelai to come to Paris with him. She’s very happy and they tell her parents about the trip. Lorelai is also sure to let them know that they won’t be playing tennis together. Rory arrives just in time for dessert - and for Lorelai to show everyone Emily’s mug shot (see “S’Wonderful, S’Marvelous”). In the car on the way home, Lorelai and Rory take control of Christopher’s radio, and the three are disheartened to discover that the pickle smell still remains in Stars Hollow.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Rory: “Ooh! A 2003 red something. Oh, I bet it’s very oaky and corky and full of fruity legs.”
Logan: “Know a lot about wine, do you?”
Rory: “Not so much, but the label’s pretty.”

Paris: “I’ve done this a thousand times and you’ve never done it, Bill. Experience.”
Bill: “Experience that led to a mutiny. It’s not like anyone ever gave Captain Bligh another ship after the Bounty.”
Paris: “Of course they did, multiple ships, and by the time he died, they promoted the guy to rear admiral. Do you think the British Royal Navy ruled the world in the 19th century by letting that much natural talent and leadership capability go to waste just because a few whiny complainers wanted more breadfruit and less scurvy?”

Bill: “There was an insurrection, a revolt, an uprising. She was deposed.”
Paris: “See how wordy he is? He overwrites. Plus, he’s always been weak with gerunds.”

Rory: “A train full of pickles? Who knew there was such a thing?”
Lorelai: “Well, pickle-train conductors, for one. Sounds so fun. I would’ve been the greatest pickle-train conductor. Can you see me - ‘All aboard, you pickles!’”
Rory: “Hmm. Clearly you missed your calling.”
Lorelai: “Well, luckily, there’s you. You’re young, you’re clever. You’re our great pickle-train-conducting hope.”

Lorelai: “What are you guys gonna do with your precious remaining hours? Or don’t I want to know?”
Rory: “Mom!”
Lorelai: “Well, because you might be farming rutabagas or something, and I wouldn’t want to know ‘cause - boring.”

Lorelai: “Bring-bring. Hi, Rory. How are you?”
Rory: “Hi, Mom. Logan’s in town.”
Lorelai: “Oh, my goodness. That’s wonderful.”
Rory: “We’re farming rutabagas.”
Lorelai: “Oh, you’re a filthy child. I will disown you. Bringing your father to dinner. Pickles, pickles, pickles, smell, pickle-train conducting.”
Rory: “Alas, alack.”
Lorelai: “Good talk.”
Rory: “The best.”

Lorelai: “You get to wear parkas and fur hats.”
Christopher: “‘Get to’?”

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