"Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Rob Berlinger

Just after the end of “Welcome to the Doll House,” Richard tells Lorelai that he doesn’t like what Rory has become. She’s joined the DAR, is running around to different events, and is too caught up with Logan. He says that they need a plan for her and Lorelai points out that they did have one, but Richard and Emily changed it (see “A House is Not a Home”). Richard doesn’t think that Rory will ever go back to college. He suggests either telling her that her trust fund, which she would receive upon turning 25, is contingent on her going back to Yale, or bribing her with a townhouse or car. Lorelai just thanks him for the dollhouse. Richard reminds her that Rory will be turning 21 in a few days and needs to have something to work towards. Lorelai tells him that she doesn’t want to bribe Rory (she doesn’t think it would work anyway); she wants her to get herself back to school. She adds that Rory will ask for help when she wants it, and when the time comes, she’ll be ready to help her. Later, Luke struggles to bring the dollhouse inside as Lorelai complains that it’s Richard’s fault that Rory still isn’t back at Yale. She says that it’s just like her parents to double-cross her and then get upset when she won’t help them undo the double-cross. Lorelai shares the plan that she and Rory always had for her 21st birthday - they would go to Atlantic City, drink martinis, and play 21 when Rory turned 21. They would then take the winnings and buy 21 things, and then there was something about 21 guys that’s no longer appropriate. She doesn’t think that Rory remembers the plan, but Luke assures her that she must. She finally tells Luke that the trick to moving the dollhouse is taking off the roof.

Rory dreams of the early morning scene from “Rory’s Birthday Parties,” only with Madeleine Albright in Lorelai’s place. Lorelai runs into Babette and Morey outside the market, where they’ve bought a bunch of Halloween decorations. Babette notes that Lorelai’s traditional caramel apples aren’t very scary. Rory and Logan make out at the pool house, late for their dinner reservations but not caring much. They’re interrupted by Emily, who sends Rory out of the room so she can ask Logan if he’s made any special plans for Rory’s birthday. He doesn’t, so she announces that she’s going to throw Rory a party. After she leaves, Logan notes that he didn’t even know Rory’s birthday was coming up. She admits that she didn’t want to talk about it because her plans with Lorelai won’t be happening. Logan suggests that he take Rory to Atlantic City, but she would rather just have the party and then move on. In the main house, Rory samples cakes as Emily pressures her to pick out invitations. While discussing the guest list, Emily asks if they should invite Lorelai. Rory decides that they should and gets her focus back. Lorelai arrives home to see Babette and Morey setting up a huge gallows in their yard to hang Morey from. Inside, Lorelai tells Luke that she’s decided to do something new for Halloween - a skit in which she’s a mad scientist who kills Luke and pulls link sausages out of him. Luke promises to help with the set-up but not participate. Logan drops Rory off after their date and Richard catches them making out in the car. He heads inside and tells Emily, who thinks that Rory is about to have sex, so they should have a talk with her.

At the inn, Sookie and Lorelai try to figure out which kind of sausage would be best for Lorelai’s Halloween skit. Lorelai receives an invitation to Rory’s party but is sure that it’s really from Emily, via Richard; she thinks he wants to get her involved in a plan to manipulate Rory. Rory goes to the main house for dinner and finds herself alone with a reverend who wants to talk to her about waiting before she has sex. She has to admit to him that that ship has already sailed. She then suggests that he might like The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The next day, Rory returns from performing community service to find a bunch of stuff for her party in the pool house. Emily suggests that she move into the main house until things are back to normal. Rory gets upset when she learns that Lorelai hasn’t RSVP’d for the party yet. She calls the diner and has a conversation with Lorelai through Luke to find out if she’s coming to her party. Lorelai tells her that she’s coming. She and Luke are both stunned that she called; Luke is also stunned that she was so mad that she yelled and swore. “Yeah, but she called,” Lorelai says with a smile. At 4:03 on the morning of Rory’s birthday, she and Lorelai both lie awake in bed. As the party begins, Emily encourages Rory to try the special drink created for and named after her. Logan arrives and after Emily acts coolly towards him, Rory tells him it’s probably because she found out they’re having sex. Lane and Zach appear and meet Logan for the first time; Lane approves of his hotness. Luke and Lorelai are next, both of them nervous about attending the party. Emily greets them, much to their dismay.

Paris and Doyle arrive at the party with the news that Paris is the new editor of the Yale Daily News. Rory spots Luke and Lorelai, who share some polite conversation with Rory, Paris, and Doyle. Later, Lorelai laments the fact that her and Rory’s original plans went down the drain. Lorelai chats with a couple of DAR women and Luke admits that he doesn’t know what the DAR is. He goes to get a drink and runs into Rory, telling her that it’s nice that she invited Lorelai. She replies that she’s glad Lorelai and Luke both came. Luke gives her a pearl necklace that belonged to his mother, which she finds touching. She introduces him to a DAR woman as her future stepfather, which he in turn finds touching. Outside, Emily approaches Lorelai and makes small talk with her. She notices Lorelai’s engagement ring and tells her that congratulations must be in order (though, as Lorelai notes, she doesn’t officially congratulate her). Lorelai finds Richard alone in his study and he lets her know that he knows it’s his fault that Rory is on the path she’s on. He’s especially upset that she’s having sex, though Lorelai points out that she was having sex before she moved into the pool house. Emily interrupts and Richard tells her that they’ve lost Rory. Emily replies that they haven’t failed her until she comes home pregnant. After Lorelai leaves the room, Richard tells Emily that he doesn’t like that Rory is only planning parties and doing other frivolous things. Emily takes this as a person attack on her own similar life. Back in the dining room, Rory and Lorelai make some progress and fill each other in on some updates in their lives. They’re interrupted by the appearance of the cake. Luke notices that Lorelai is upset and decides that it’s time to leave. On the way home, he tells her that she can pull link sausages out of him if she wants to.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Richard: (re: Rory) “I don’t like what I see in that girl.”
Lorelai: “My eyes?”

Richard: “Impossible girl!”
Lorelai: “My Native American name, I believe.”

Lorelai: “Caramel apples aren’t scary.”
Luke: “Well, what’s scary is you opening your house up to a mob of insane sugar-laced kids wearing masks that conveniently hide any identifying features.”

“I can’t believe Rory’s turning 21. It seems like just yesterday she was crying because you told her Charlotte Brontë couldn’t come to her sleepover because she’s dead.” - Sookie

Reverend: “You know, Rory, being a young lady comes with many gifts. Your virtue, for example, is a gift. A precious gift. Possibly the most precious gift you possess. “
Rory: “Uh-huh.”
Reverend: “You want to give this gift very carefully. This is a gift you can give to only one man. Once you give it, it’s gone. You can’t re-gift it. If you give it away too soon, to the wrong man, then when the right one does come along, you have no gift to give. You’ll have to buy him a sweater.”

“It’s like drinking a My Little Pony.” - Luke, re: the Rory drink

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