"The Reigning Lorelai"
Written by Jane Espenson; directed by Marita Grabiak

The Gilmores have Friday night dinner together, though Lorelai isn’t thrilled to be served escargot. Emily remembers how her friend Sweetie, who died the day before, loved escargot. Lorelai wants to know where Sweetie’s nickname came from, so Emily makes up a story for her. Richard tells Emily that he won’t be able to go to the funeral, so she tells him it’s not that important for him to be there. At the diner, Lane serves customers and has to contend with Kirk. Lorelai arrives and learns that Luke is outside, having what looks like a serious talk with Nicole. Kirk tries to read their lips but doesn’t do a very good job; he wonders if they’ve switched to code. At Yale, Doyle accuses Rory of plagiarizing an article (though he won’t use the word “plagiarism”) because she used popular phrases. Doyle is also upset that the newsroom is too calm; he thinks it’s the “breeding ground for the next Jayson Blair.” Glenn is happy that he’s no longer Doyle’s whipping boy. At Sookie’s, she and Lorelai go over paperwork while Michel tries to set Sookie’s TV to tape a dog show. Emily calls Lorelai and tells her that Trix passed away. Everyone is in shock, including Richard, who has fallen apart and is asking for what Emily thinks is turtleneck soup. Sookie suggests that he means mock turtle soup and offers to look for a recipe. Emily rushes off to make funeral arrangements while Michel and Sookie promise to take care of inn business. Lorelai accepts Michel’s offer of a hug, but it’s awkward for both of them.

Lorelai heads to her parents’ house with the soup, which makes Richard cry. He talks about how great his mother was and how he regrets that the last time they talked, they fought (“The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais”). He tells Lorelai to remember that she will only ever have one set of parents. Lorelai goes to get a spoon and Emily asks her to get Richard to eat more than just soup. She tells Lorelai that Trix’s arrangements will have to be altered because she made them 20 years ago and some of the people she wanted involved with the funeral are no longer alive. Richard suddenly starts complaining about Trix’s obituary, which doesn’t include mention of her travels or charity work. Emily promises to take care of it, though she’s not pleased that it’s one more thing she’ll have to worry about. Lorelai leaves to get coffee and pastries so she and Emily can go through all of Trix’s things. She calls Rory at Yale and tells her that Trix died; Rory is upset but worries when she can’t seem to cry. Emily and Lorelai go to Trix’s house and go through her paperwork. Emily makes sure that someone wraps up bar glasses so that Richard’s cousin Marilyn can’t walk off with them. She explains that half of Trix’s ashes are supposed to be placed on the mantel, so she’ll always be watching and judging Emily.

Lorelai asks for more information on her grandmother and learns that Trix and her husband were second cousins. Lorelai is suitably grossed out. Emily finds a copy of a letter Trix wrote to Richard the night before his wedding telling him that he should marry Pennilyn Lott (see “Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out”) instead of Emily. Emily announces that she’s done planning the funeral and wants nothing more to do with a woman who hated her. “Find a box, throw her in, we’re done!” she says, then heads off to get a drink. At home, Lorelai and Rory take over the process of going through the paperwork as Lorelai fills Rory in on what happened with Emily. She adds the fact that Trix and her husband were second cousins, which creeps Rory out as well. Lorelai wonders what Trix meant when she said that she wanted to be buried in fresh clothing. Rory offers to use the database in the newsroom at Yale to get information to rewrite Trix’s obituary. Lorelai and Sookie go to the elder Gilmores’ house, where Emily, who has given the maid the day off, is drinking, smoking, and reading The Crimson Petal and the White for her book club. “I think she broke,” Sookie says to Lorelai. Digger arrives and gets a big tearful hug from Richard. Lorelai tries to talk Emily into helping her out with arrangements; Emily suggests that she call Pennilyn and get her to help. Digger tells Lorelai that he won’t be at the funeral, since he’ll be uncomfortable, so she tells him to tell Richard he was there.

Rory does research on Trix at Yale while talking to Lorelai on the phone. Doyle catches Rory using the database for something personal, so she tells him that she’s researching her grandmother’s life for her obituary. He tries to connect with her by talking about his own late grandmother, who he still misses, and she admits that they weren’t that close, and it was her great-grandmother, not her grandmother. Doyle tells her to finish the obituary anyway and gives Rory’s piece on the new parking rules to Glenn. Glenn is unhappy that his month of torture lasted an entire month while Rory’s only lasted three days. At the diner, all of the patrons try to listen to Luke and Nicole, who are yelling upstairs. Luke comes downstairs and takes orders, speaking shortly. Nicole follows, blasting Luke for walking out in the middle of their discussion. They go outside but realize that neither has anything else to say to the other. Nicole leaves and Luke turns to see all of the patrons watching them from inside. Lorelai and Rory head to the elder Gilmores’ house to get ready for the funeral. Emily is tipsy and still in her robe, and Richard is dazed. Lorelai suddenly realizes that she forgot to include underwear with Trix’s clothes for the burial, so she runs out to get a new pair. She babbles a little to the saleswoman, then complains about how crazy her family is.

Rory helps Richard tie his tie, using instructions she printed off of the Internet. She tells him that if he doesn’t think he can give the eulogy, she now knows a lot about Trix’s life. Lorelai returns to the house and Emily, now dressed for the funeral, asks her where she was, since she was waiting for her. After the funeral, everyone gathers back at the elder Gilmores’ house. Rory tells Lorelai that she spotted the Hello Kitty bracelet she put on Trix. Richard’s cousin Marilyn (Marion Ross) tells stories about Trix, then chats with Lorelai and Rory. She asks them about the bar glasses but Lorelai plays dumb. Emily tells a waiter to make sure that Richard gets something to eat. Rory chats with a boy about her age but immediately stops when Lorelai tells her he’s her second cousin. Lorelai chats with the reverend, who’s confused when he learns that she and Trix had the same name. Marilyn calls her “the reigning Lorelai.” Lorelai checks on Emily, reminding her that even though Trix wrote a horrible letter, Richard picked her over Pennilyn. “I can’t believe you wore those shoes to a funeral,” Emily replies. Richard and Emily discuss going against Trix’s wishes and not putting the urn on the mantel. Lorelai catches up with Rory, who tells her that she couldn’t compete with her second cousin’s sister. Lorelai mentions that she’s now the reigning Lorelai, which is a lot of responsibility but is mostly ceremonial. She tells Rory that someday the honor will be hers; she’ll get a cape. Rory doesn’t like the idea of getting the role because it means Lorelai will be gone. Lorelai promises that she’ll step down.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: “I don’t know why everybody in this town always thinks I’m crazy.” - Kirk

Jason: “Hey, I didn’t know you were gonna be here.”
Lorelai: “Oh, yeah, well, the white rabbit ran by. I chased him, fell down a hole, and here I am.”

Emily: “Jason. Your father loves that boy.”
Lorelai: “I know he does.”
Emily: “You know who else would love that boy? Pennilyn Lott.”
Lorelai: “I’m gonna go get started on those thank you cards.”
Emily: “Remember to thank Pennilyn Lott just for being Pennilyn Lott.”

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