"The Hobbit, the Sofa, and Digger Stiles"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Matthew Diamond

Lorelai visits Rory at school, taking her a new rug and a care package. She’s surprised that Rory subscribes to the Stars Hollow Gazette. Rory doesn’t have time to get coffee because it’s shopping week, when students try out classes before picking which ones they want to take. Rory has picked more than 50 classes to try out and is obsessed with school. She tries to hide the time her first class starts but Lorelai knows that she wants to get there early. Apparently she did the same thing in elementary school and dragged Lorelai into it. Suddenly Lorelai realizes that Emily was there; she can tell because the room smells like “guilt and Chanel No. 5.” She notes that the coffee table is in a different place, but Rory reminds her that she has three roommates (the third is Janet) and they could have moved things around. Rory heads to class early and her teacher comments, “Freshmen.” Lorelai and Sookie deal with inn paperwork at Sookie’s house; Lorelai won’t divulge the amount the work on the inn will cost them until after Sookie has the baby. Jackson is wiring the house so that the baby monitor functions as an intercom. Sookie suggests that she and Lorelai do some catering until they can open their new inn. Lorelai doesn’t think she’s qualified, but Sookie points out that she organizing a lot of events at the Independence Inn. Sookie has already booked a kid’s birthday party and she wants to try things out and see how they go. Rory returns from class to find a bunch of new furniture and appliances in the suite. Her roommate Tana (see “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale”) is unobservant and has no idea where it all came from.

Emily calls and Rory realizes that she bought the furniture. Rory thinks that the gifts might make her suitemates uncomfortable. Emily tells her that she should never underestimate the value of having the upper hand. Rory explains to Tana that Emily sent over the furniture; Tana wonders if she installed the fireplace, too. That evening, Lorelai calls Rory and complains about her hardships. Rory tells her what Emily did and Lorelai says that she wins. Rory complains that Emily is invading her privacy. Lorelai can’t believe that Rory is so surprised by her grandmother’s actions. She notes that this was inevitable since Rory borrowed money from Emily. She tells Rory that she can tell Emily she doesn’t want the gifts, but she thinks Emily will say she’s hurt. Rory replies that she will probably have to keep the gifts. Lorelai notes that she’s lucky - Emily targets everything about her, but she just gives Rory furniture. Richard comes home and Emily tells him that Digger Stiles (aka Jason Stiles), who works at his old company, called him. Richard thinks that Digger’s father wants Digger to harass him. Emily says that she invited Digger to dinner the next night. At Yale, Paris tells Rory that the first party of the year is going to be on their floor. She wants Rory’s opinion on leaving their door open so that people can hang out in the suite. Rory isn’t sure about this but says that they can still go to the party. Paris accuses her of being selfish and says that she hates college.

At Lorelai’s house, Lorelai and Sookie plan for the Lord of the Rings birthday party they’re catering. Lane comes over with some supplies; she’s cranky because she was busted for wearing a bracelet to class. Paris calls Lorelai and tells her that Rory isn’t adjusting to college well. Rory takes the phone from Paris and tells Lorelai, “I’m rooming with a Stephen King novel.” Lorelai encourages her to go to the party and get to know people in her building. She doesn’t want Rory to spend the whole evening in her room with a book. Rory finally agrees to let Paris open the suite door for the party, though she won’t do it for Paris’ benefit. Later, Tana borrows Rory’s Chilton uniform for the party. Paris wants the suite to have a theme but Rory refuses. Paris says that this is her chance to be a new person and show people that she can be fun. At the birthday party, Lorelai bugs a kid for a ring; he thinks she’s crazy. She deals with other kids for a while and Sookie fixes food. Digger (Chris Eigeman) arrives at the elder Gilmores’ for dinner, which doesn’t thrill Richard. Digger announces that he wants to go into business with Richard. Richard declines, saying that Digger’s father is his main competition. “Not yet. But with me, you could be,” Digger replies. Richard can’t believe that Digger wants to go up against his father’s company, especially since he’s been groomed to take it over. Digger explains that he wants to be his own person, shed his nickname, and tick off his father. Richard is impressed that Digger hates his father that much and invites him to have a drink.

While Digger heads off to use the phone, Richard fills Emily in; she encourages him to accept the offer. At the birthday party, Sookie redecorates the tables and plans to put out a chafing dish. Lorelai tells her she can’t do that, since the kids could get hurt. Lorelai is surprised at the food Sookie has made, since it’s not exactly suited for children. Paris makes the rounds at the dorm party and tells Rory that their suite is the best. Rory tries to read, then winds up going out to the party, where she encounters Madeline and Louise. Madeline has already dropped out of Mills and has been hanging out with Louise at Tulane; they’re heading to parties at a bunch of different schools. Rory is approached by twins who try to give her a nickname and tell her that Emily told them to look Rory up. Rory isn’t thrilled. Later, Paris tells Rory that she doesn’t think she’s having fun. Everyone has a group - Janet (Katie Walder) has fellow runners, Tana has fellow nerds, and Rory has her grandmother’s “obligation friends,” but Paris doesn’t fit in anywhere. Rory suggests kicking everyone out and going to bed. Paris declines until a guy asks her to pierce his ear. Rory pretends to be upset about this but is glad that Paris is getting rid of the twins. At the birthday party, Sookie has trouble dealing with kids. Lorelai wants to know where the kid food is; Sookie thinks that macaroni and cheese made with jalapeno-chipotle cream sauce is adequate. Even the cake is too elegant for kids, so Lorelai sends someone to the market to get a bunch of junk food. She tells Sookie that she has to think about what an eight-year-old would like.

Sookie yells at a girl, who starts crying, and she realizes that she doesn’t have any idea how to be a mother. She’s worried that things will turn out horribly since she doesn’t know how to take care of a child. Lorelai tries to get her to calm down, telling her that there are plenty of people who shouldn’t be parents but Sookie isn’t one of them. In the middle of the night, Rory encounters a naked guy named Marty (Wayne Wilcox) sleeping on the floor in the hallway outside the suite. When he wakes up, he’s not happy that he’ll be known as “naked guy” from now on. Rory promises not to say anything and notes that no one may have seen him. Rory heads to Friday night dinner, telling Lorelai that she’s going to talk to Emily about the gifts. Lorelai tells her to wait for the right moment. Richard announces his new business partner, but when Emily learns why Richard wants to go into business with Digger, she’s not supportive anymore. She says that Digger’s father, Floyd, raised him and doesn’t deserve to be paid back this way. Richard and Emily leave the room to argue about the situation and Lorelai clucks at Rory like a chicken. Rory says that it wasn’t the right time to confront Emily, but she didn’t chicken out. Lorelai just clucks at her again.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: “You do know that if you weren’t so pretty, you would’ve gotten the crap kicked out of you every day of your life.” - Lorelai to Rory

“Technically, it’s to celebrate the first week of classes, but I’m anticipating the themes quickly degenerating to, ‘Hey, walking works - let’s drink.’” - Paris, re: the first party of the year

Lane: “Horn of Gondor, Legolas’ bow, and a cape.”
Lorelai: “Cape for who?”
Lane: “”There’s 4,000 people in that movie who wear capes - you can’t pick one?”

Lorelai:Lord of the Rings is all about the love.”
Kid: “Nuh uh, it’s about the destruction of all mankind.”
Lorelai: “And who doesn’t love that?”

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