Lorelai reads a really old Entertainment Weekly on her couch as Rory comes home. Lorelai says she talked to Headmaster Charleston, and now has a solution to Rory's application anxiety. Blah blah babbling, and then finally Lorelai tells Rory that she got a name of a Harvard graduate with whom Rory could set up an alumni dinner. Then she'll have a connection at Harvard. Rory says it sounds a little weird. Lorelai says she'll go, too, and that the worst that could happen is they blow the free meal. Rory admits she has some questions, so Lorelai says they should call him right now. His name is Darren Springsteen. Lorelai tells Rory to ask if he's got a brother named Bruce. Rory calls. "It's ringing," she says. Then she promptly hangs up the cordless phone. Rory is uncharacteristically panicked about having to call this alumnus to talk with him. "I'm not good at these things!" she whines. The phone rings. Lorelai and Rory worry that Darren has just Star 69ed them. The answering machine picks up. Lorelai's changed the outgoing message to something stupid about Lane's band. It's someone calling about the ad. Lorelai dials Darren's number again. Rory begs to do it later, holding the phone as it rings. Then once the phone picks up, Rory makes this weird whining noise and tosses the phone to Lorelai who makes a baby voice as she pretends to be a semi-stupid Rory asking to have dinner with this grown-up man. I'm really hating this episode. Lorelai makes plans for lunch on Saturday. "You're no Danny Gans," Rory says as Lorelai hangs up the phone. Rory's suddenly very happy and giggly about it. She kisses Lorelai and thanks her as we finally get another commercial.
As Rory and Lorelai walk to the front door of Darren's house (did they drive there, or is he just outside Stars Hollow?), Rory explains the difference between "alumni," "alumnae," "alumnus," and "alumna." Darren answers the door, and I can see the Jeep in the background, answering my question. Lorelai introduces herself. Darren calls Rory his family's "raison d'être." Darren and Lorelai small-talk about Stars Hollow and their charming little pumpkin mishap. Rory gives Darren her records. "Rory in a bag," Lorelai explains. Darren says he'd rather just talk this afternoon, and get to know each Rory. "You're a very nice alumni," Lorelai says as Darren leaves the room. Rory corrects her that the word is "alumnus," and Lorelai curses.
Lorelai and Rory meet Marie, Darren's wife and all-around perfect suburban lady. She offers them iced tea or water. They both take iced tea. Isn't this all so interesting and important to the advancement of the scene? Darren and Rory discuss his modern art collection. He loves Hockney and Klein, but doesn't have a Diebenkorn, so she shoudln't ask him where it is. Lorelai jokes that he stopped her just in time. Ho ho ho. Darren shows off his Zoltan Kemeny. Darren asks Rory what her interests are. Blah blah blah Russian authors. Rory says she's into Gogol and is reading Dead Souls. I Google Gogol to make sure I'm spelling it all correctly. Lorelai goes on about how Rory was reading that book when her Harvard application arrived, adding that their television is really more of a funny little table to put their Chai tea on. Darren says he loves television and watches lots of sports. He asks Rory if she likes sports. As Rory says she doesn't, Lorelai says that Rory does. Lorelai says they follow certain things. "We enjoy various aspects of certain sporting endeavors," Rory tries to explain. Lorelai says they wouldn't be able to answer any follow-up questions. Darren says he collects sports memorabilia as well.