"The Ins and Outs of Inns"
Written by Daniel Palladino; directed by Michael Katleman

Rory and Lorelai enjoy Friday night dinner, which Emily says is from the new cook’s native country (“one of those little ones next to Mexico”). The girls wonder what interesting place Richard is in tonight, but he happens to be in Akron. Rory doesn’t like that he’s unhappy, so Emily tells her she knows how they can make him feel better. Lorelai tries to warn Rory that she doesn’t want to go any further. Emily tells her that she’d like to have an oil painting of Rory done for Richard’s study. Rory agrees and Lorelai asks Emily not to make her sit for the painting. Emily argues that Rory said she would, but Lorelai tells her to use a photo instead. Emily says that Lorelai doesn’t want Rory to do it because she had a bad experience when she sat for her painting. Rory wonders why she’s never seen this portrait. Her mother and grandmother explain that it was never finished. Three different painters started and all quit because Lorelai wouldn’t stop scowling. Lorelai says that she was going for a Billy Idol look. Rory agrees again to sit for the painting and Lorelai offers to teach her the Billy Idol. At Luke’s, Lorelai and Luke discuss her plans for her future inn with Sookie. Jess approaches with coffee and mentions to his uncle that it’s 7:45. He wonders if he’s going to school or if Luke wants to “openly defy child labor laws.”

After Jess leaves, Luke asks Lorelai if she has a site in mind for the inn. She tells him it’s the “Rachel property” (see “Emily in Wonderland”), then apologizes for bringing her up. Lorelai wonders if Luke’s father taught him all about business. Luke says that he didn’t, so he had to dive into his own business on his own. Lorelai notes that she and Sookie will be doing the same thing. He asks if she wants to claim her lunch as a business expense. She notes that she’s not paying for it anyway and he tells her that she’ll do just fine in business. At the inn, Lorelai and Sookie discuss names for the inn; Michel is unhelpful. He warns that most businesses go under within two years, but Lorelai wants to make those two great years. Michel delivers the title search results on the other inn, which happens to belong to Fran, the owner of Weston’s Bakery. Lorelai decides to call her. Outside his market, Taylor is shocked to find a chalk outline of a body. Lorelai and Sookie meet up at Weston’s and talk to Fran about the Dragonfly Inn, which belonged to her parents. They tell her that they want to buy it, which surprises her. She tells them that she wishes them luck in starting their own inn, but she can’t sell them the property because it’s the only thing she has left connected to her family. Lorelai tries to ask her tactfully what happens to the place when she dies (without actually using those words), but Fran still won’t sell. She notices that they look sad and offers them cupcakes.

Rory and Lane spot a crowd outside of Doose’s Market and go to see what’s going on. Taylor complains to a policewoman that a crime was apparently committed outside of his store but the police don’t know anything about it. Bootsy, the guy who runs the newsstand, thinks that there were two crimes - someone was murdered and the body was stolen. Rory and Lane meet up with Dean, who says that he told Taylor the outline looked fake, but Taylor didn’t believe him. Lane gets grossed out by Rory and Dean’s affection and leaves. The policewoman tells Taylor that the outline is probably a prank, but he doesn’t know who would be so twisted as to do something like that. Rory spots Jess across the street, smirking. At the inn, Rory chastises Lorelai for not writing her purchases on the back of the inn’s receipts. Lorelai says that if she’s ever audited, she’ll use her feminine wiles to get out of it. Sookie says that she dreamed about them and Fran the night before in which everyone was old but Fran looked the same. Rory tries to get Sookie and Lorelai to stop talking about Fran like they want her to die, since they’re supposed to like her. Michel arrives and advises everyone to look busy, since their boss Mia is there. The girls are excited about this news and run out to see her. Mia apparently can’t understand Michel (or at least pretends that she can’t), which Rory has some fun with.

Rory, Lorelai, and Mia head to Luke’s; he’s happy to see her, too. Jess meets Mia and, of course, doesn’t care who she is. The girls talk about Luke as a kid, since Mia knew him then, Apparently he carried grocery bags for people, rode a skateboard, and was a Trekkie. (He denies this.) Taylor arrives and tells Luke that witnesses have placed Jess near the market around the time the chalk outline was probably drawn. He was also apparently seen buying chalk two days earlier. Luke denies that Jess caused any trouble and Taylor storms out, saying hello to Mia on his way. Mia realizes that it’s been almost exactly 15 years since Lorelai showed up at the Independence Inn with Rory and asked for a job. She had no skills, recommendations, or experience, but she looked determined, so Mia gave her a job as a maid. Rory asks Mia to move back to Stars Hollow or visit more often, but Mia says that Lorelai is running the inn fine without her. Lorelai is saddened to hear how much Mia depends on her. Back at the inn, Lorelai tells Sookie that she didn’t think to tell Mia that they want to open their own place. Emily calls and complains that Rory won’t pose for the oil painting in an acceptable manner. Rory says that it’s awkward and Lorelai tells Emily to pick a simpler pose. Emily wanted a throne and a swan, which reminds Lorelai of Siegfried and Roy. Emily says that Lorelai would probably just have Rory in a chair with a book; Lorelai thinks that that sounds fine, since it’s a natural pose for her. A swan honks and Emily says that they won’t use it after all.

Lorelai wonders how to tell Mia that she and Sookie want to leave the inn. Sookie suggests getting her drunk first. Lorelai laments that she’s going to let down the one person who’s always been there for her. Mia and Michel fix a problem together and Mia is happy that she can finally understand him. Lorelai decides that this isn’t a good time to give her the bad news. Sookie accuses her of being a chicken. Lorelai, Rory, and Mia head to a town meeting; Rory worries about Taylor warnings the last time about them being late. Mia wants to be late, since she hasn’t been to a town meeting in two years and wants some controversy. The group meets up with Luke (who informs them that they’re actually two minutes early) and Lorelai suggests that the get some pie before the meeting. The girls act like groupies and Luke decides that he’ll bring up the possibility of more police protection. The group arrives at the meeting, which has started early so that everyone could discuss “the Jess situation” without Luke. (Mia is excited by the controversy.) Taylor tells Luke that the meeting is his fault, since he ignored the situation, and that Jess’ prank caused him to lose business. Apparently Mrs. Lanahan (the woman who did the inaugural walk at the stoplight in “Red Light on a Wedding Night”) bought a head of lettuce somewhere else and is now telling people that it’s better than Doose’s. Luke offers to pay for the lettuce, but Taylor isn’t satisfied. He points out that Jess also stole the bridge fund and Babette’s gnome (see “Nick and Nora/Sid and Nancy”). Other townies chime in with thinks Jess is done and Lorelai adds that he controls the weather and wrote the screenplay for Glitter.

Bootsy tries to speak up and winds up in a fight with Luke; they’ve apparently been enemies since first grade. Taylor announces that everyone agrees that Stars Hollow was a better place before Jess arrived. “So this half of the room gets the tar and the other half gets the feathers?” Luke asks. He says that he’s lived in Stars Hollow his whole life, longer than anyone else there (except Bootsy, who’s five weeks older) and has never been a bother to anyone. Lorelai steps up and says that everyone should give Luke a chance to work things out before they go too far. Luke announces that he was going to stay open late so people could come in after the meeting, but now he’s changed his mind. After the meeting, Mia is still happy about the excitement, but Lorelai thinks that “the whole town needs a field trip.” Rory heads off to see Dean, who’s been assigned to scrape the chalk off of the pavement, and Lorelai decides to tell Mia that she and Sookie want to open their own inn. Mia takes the news well, pointing out that obviously Lorelai wouldn’t run the place forever. She promises to help in any way she can, then asks if they have a time frame. She’d like them to start their own place as soon as possible because that would give her a reason to sell the Independence Inn. Lorelai isn’t thrilled by this news. The next day, Lorelai tells Sookie about her conversation with Mia. She worries that the inn will be sold to a chain and the place will lose its charm. She implies that maybe they shouldn’t jump into getting their own place just yet. They argue about putting their dream on hold and Lorelai admits that she doesn’t think Sookie is completely reliable. Sookie decides to leave before she gets emotional and Lorelai holds that against her, too.

Rory and Dean hang out in Stars Hollow and Dean heads to the market to pick up his paycheck. Jess approaches Rory and she chastises him for making the whole town get on Luke’s case. She tells him that everyone in town knows that he drew the outline and accuses him of not caring about Luke’s feelings. He thinks she thought the prank was funny. Dean returns and Rory introduces him to Jess. Jess mentions that Rory never said she had a boyfriend. Lorelai and Rory head to Friday night dinner, wondering if Richard is still in Akron. Lorelai hopes that he’s in Boise now. Emily excitedly shows them the oil portrait, and Rory says that it’s freaky to see herself up on a wall. Emily criticizes Lorelai for not showing much enthusiasm, so she promises to write a love song for the chandelier. Emily leaves and Lorelai goes after her, telling her that the painting really is nice. She explains all about her bad week and Emily accepts her apology. Back in Stars Hollow, Luke covers up Lorelai’s chuppah (see “Red Light on a Wedding Night”) so that it won’t get destroyed if it rains. He shows her that the goat from the chuppah (which they named Gilbert) broke and she asks him to fix it. He tells her that Sookie stopped by the diner and when he asked her about the inn, she changed the subject to women’s basketball, something he never thought she was interested in. Lorelai tells him about their argument and he tells her that he thinks they’re ready for their own place.

Lorelai says that when she has to do things, she does them, but she doesn’t have to leave the Independence Inn and risk everything. Luke says that, in that case, she can stay where she is. Lorelai laments that if she leaves the inn, she won’t have a “memory home,” since the inn was more of a home to her than her parents’ house ever was. He tells her that she’s just scared, as everyone else is when faced with something like this. He tells her that he got sick and passed out the first day he opened the diner. He tells her that she just has to “jump in and be scared and stick with it until it gets fun.” He admits that it took a year before the diner got fun, and there’s not button to push to make everything perfect and easy. Lorelai decides that she’s ready to jump. At the inn, she talks to Sookie and apologizes for their fight. Sookie tells her that she still wants to move forward with the inn, but Lorelai can’t freak out again, because Sookie wouldn’t be able to handle losing her best friend and business partner. Lorelai promises to hold it together and not give up on their dream. They agree again that even if they fail in two years, those two years will be great. Emily arrives in the lobby, wanting to meet Mia, who basically raised Lorelai after she left home. They talk about family and Mia says that she treated Lorelai the way she would want her own daughter to be treated. Emily says that she would have wanted her to find someone who would send her home. She asks if Mia has any pictures from back then and Mia promises to send them to her. At Luke’s, Lorelai and Rory talk about their relief that Lorelai has worked things out with Sookie. Nearby, Luke learns that Jess fixed the broken toaster, though he won’t admit that he did. He and Rory share a knowing look.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “Lorelai, would you like me to put a mirror in front of you so you can look at yourself while you have this conversation?” - Emily

Mia: “And you’re both too beautiful.”
Lorelai: “Yes, that’s true. We often feel guilty monopolizing the amount of beauty we’re in possession of.”

“I just have to cancel everything I have scheduled for the next three months ‘cause I’ll still be laughing my a%$ off.” - Lorelai

Mia: “There was a phony murder?”
Lorelai: “Yeah, the town’s too dull to work up a real murder.”

Lorelai: “Hey, if I cry, will it freak you out?”
Luke: “Totally.”


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