"Teach Me Tonight"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Steven Robman

In the checkout line at Doose’s, Lorelai complains about crossword puzzles, which she says make her feel dumb. Rory suggests that she not do them, but Lorelai says that would make her dumb and a coward. She notices that there’s a new bag boy; Rory explains that he’s subbing for Dean, who’s out of town. Lorelai thinks that the new guy, Marty, is ambitious and wants to take Dean’s job. Rory says that Taylor would never get rid of Dean, since someone stole the stepladder and Dean is the only tall person left working there. Lorelai suspects that Dean hid the ladder to make himself invaluable. “You need to start napping in the afternoons,” Rory tells her. The girls greet Taylor, who is working at the register because he likes to keep an eye on the take a penny bowl. The girls note that Movie in the Square Night is approaching but aren’t thrilled that Taylor has chosen to show The Yearling yet again. He’s tired of hearing them complain about this every year and Lorelai encourages him to pick a different film. Taylor refuses and tells Lorelai to do it instead. Lorelai is excited to have received Taylor’s crown and immediately wants to go home and start the movie-picking process. Rory is happy to get to help and wonders if she gets to borrow the crown. At home, Rory and Lorelai brainstorm movies, including The Wizard of Oz, Rocky, and The Sting. Lorelai is overwhelmed by all the choices they have.

The phone rings and Rory asks Lorelai to get it, then realizes that it’s 6:45 on Wednesday, which means Christopher is calling. They chat briefly, but Christopher has to go. He declines to speak to Lorelai (who he last saw and fought with in “It Should Have Been Lorelai”). After Rory gets off the phone, she asks Lorelai why she and Christopher aren’t speaking to each other, but Lorelai won’t tell her. At Stars Hollow High, Jess arrives late for a test and tries to borrow a pencil from Lane. Luke gets summoned in to see the principal and learns that Jess is a stereotypical apathetic high school student. He has also possibly stolen all of the school’s baseballs. Luke promises to talk to Jess about his grades, but the principal wants him to either help him with his work or find him a tutor. If he doesn’t, Jess will be held back. At Luke’s, Rory and Lorelai narrow their movie list down to 75. Lorelai suggests that they have a marathon and show a bunch of films back to back. Taylor brings the girls a binder of movies they can choose from in order to get a good deal. Unfortunately, the movies are horrible. Luke arrives home and tries to get Jess to do some schoolwork, then asks what he would want to do with 500 baseballs. He warns that Jess might wind up repeating his grade, but Jess doesn’t seem to care. At home, Lorelai decides that they’ll have to show The Yearling again.

Luke shows up with some brownies; he accidentally put in too much cocoa powder and knew that Lorelai would be the only person who could handle them. He then goes to see Rory, who’s studying, and asks her to tutor Jess. She agrees to start that night. Luke fills Lorelai in on the plan and Lorelai thinks that Rory only agreed to help because she’s a nice person who has a hard time saying no. She’s not sure that the arrangement is the best idea. Luke thinks that Rory is a good role model for Jess and promises not to take up too much of her time. Back at the diner, Kirk approaches Rory and Lorelai and announces that he’s an aspiring filmmaker. (In his soul, he is a guy who directed a bunch of episodes of The Facts of Life.) He’s finishing up a short film he’s been working on for five years (he can have it done by Movie in the Square Night if he hurries) and would like to screen it for the town. Lorelai promises to think about it. After Kirk leaves, Rory tells Lorelai she can’t watch the film without her. Lorelai tries to stall Rory before her tutoring session, though Rory promises that they’ll just be at the diner. She requests that, if Dean calls, Lorelai tell him she’s with Lane. Lorelai isn’t comfortable with lying to Dean, so Rory tells her to say that she’s studying, which is the truth. Jess arrives for the session, asking Rory if they’re going to sing any Schoolhouse Rock songs. Lorelai finally leaves so they can start.

Rory tries to tutor Jess while he does magic tricks. Jess wants to know where Dean is and notes that since he’s in Chicago, he must now know that Rory is tutoring him. Later, Rory gets frustrated when Jess writes down the lyrics to a Clash song rather than something about Shakespeare, but she gets distracted along with him when he makes her guess which song it is. Rory wonders why Jess agreed to the tutoring just because Luke wanted him to do it, since Jess never does what other people want him to do. Jess suggests that they go get ice cream and then finish studying. Rory points out that there’s ice cream in the diner, but Jess wants a cone. Rory gives in and tells Jess he can drive (that’s right, the car Dean made for her). In the car, he makes her take the wheel and she worries about him killing her. She asks him why he doesn’t just ace his classes, since he has the ability to. Jess doesn’t want to waste his time in high school, since he doesn’t plan to go to college. He has no plans for the future, which contrasts greatly with Rory’s big ambitions. Instead of going back to study, Rory agrees to drive around for a little while. Later that evening, Lorelai gets a call from Rory - she and Jess were in a car accident and she’s at the hospital.

Lorelai hurries to the hospital and threatens to go Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment on a nurse if she doesn’t let her see her daughter. Rory is fine, except for a fractured wrist, though Lorelai wants to make absolutely sure. Rory laments that the car isn’t in great shape but Lorelai assures her that it doesn’t matter. Lorelai asks if the ambulance Rory was brought to the hospital in used its siren; she hopes that Taylor was already in bed. While Rory is getting x-rays, Lorelai runs to Luke’s and demands to talk to Jess. She fills Luke in and tells, “That little punk nephew of yours almost killed my kid tonight.” She blames Luke, since he let Jess come live with him and wouldn’t listen when everyone said he that was trouble. She adds that he tried to push Jess and Rory together and kept saying that she would be good for him without wondering what he would be for her. Luke says that he had an obligation to take Jess in and starts to go look for him. He tells Lorelai that he’s sorry about what happened to Rory, since he cares about her as well, but at least Lorelai knows where she is. They tell each other where to go and Luke heads off. Lorelai starts crying as she sees Rory’s car get towed away. She pulls out her cell phone and calls Christopher. Luke finds Jess on the bridge; Jess tells him that he made sure Rory was okay.

Lorelai takes Rory home and makes sure she has everything she needs for the night. Lorelai opts to sleep in a chair by Rory’s bed. Rory tries to apologize but Lorelai won’t listen to her. Sometime during the night, Christopher joins the two in the room. Lorelai wakes up and tells him that Rory’s okay; he vows to hunt Jess down and do bad things to him. The two talk about their fear over Rory’s accident and make up over their fight. Later that week, Lorelai, Rory, Christopher, and Sookie head downtown for Movie in the Square Night and yet another showing of The Yearling. Lane joins them and gives Rory an Emily the Strange sticker for her cast. Rory tells her about the accident (an animal ran in front of the car, Jess swerved to miss it, and the car hit a pole) and Lane asks if she’s told Dean yet. Rory says that she’ll tell him the next day when he gets home. She adds that she hasn’t seen Jess since the previous night, Christopher is in town, and Luke and Lorelai are fighting. She thinks that everyone just needs time to cool down. Lorelai, Sookie, and Christopher find seats and discuss the fact that Jackson isn’t coming to the movie because he’s singing to persimmons. Lorelai announces that there’s a “pre-movie treat” - it’s Kirk’s bizarre short film, which involves Kirk meeting his girlfriend’s father and dancing and is impossible to do justice to in words. Sookie decides that Jackson needs to be there to see this; Lorelai assures her that if he doesn’t arrive in time, they’ll replay it after the movie.

Christopher tells Lorelai that Stars Hollow is like a big out-patient institution. She’s glad that he stayed for the movie; he wishes that he could stay longer. Rory arrives and her parents cover her eyes so she doesn’t have to watch Kirk take his shirt off. Christopher is just as disturbed and leaves to get popcorn. At the end of the movie, Miss Patty tells the girls that she did the choreography. She goes to talk to Babette, who shares the news that after the accident the night before, Luke took Jess to the bus station and sent him back to his mother. Miss Patty can’t believe that Luke would kick Jess out, but Babette thinks that he wanted to go. Miss Patty wonders what they’ll do for entertainment now. Nearby, Lorelai and Rory overhear the conversation and do some wondering of their own.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “Ooh, I got it! Arthur.”
Rory: “Yes!”
Lorelai: “Or Sophie’s Choice.”
Rory: “Very similar.”

Rory: “Our town does this big movie festival outdoors every year and this year Mom gets to pick the movie.”
Christopher: “Oh, yeah? How’d she get that gig?”
Rory: “She ticked off the guy that usually does it and he quit.”
Christopher: “Sounds about right.”

Jess: “Pick a card.”
(Rory throws the deck on the floor)
Jess: “Huh, well, that just made the trick a little bit harder.”

“…And I’m gonna need a picture of this Jess so I don’t accidentally rip the head off the wrong kid, ‘cause that would be bad.” - Christopher

Rory: “Everyone just needs time. Maybe I’ll try to call him tomorrow.”
Lane: “Tomorrow. Oh, yeah, that’s plenty of time. No one will still be mad then.”
Rory: “Sarcasm does not become you.”
Lane: “Maybe not, but it does sustain me.”

“This town is like one big out-patient mental institution.” - Christopher


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