It is indeed storming the next day as Lorelai and Rory drive through town. Rory complains that no one is picking up their phones, which will make it hard for her to find them to say goodbye. "We'll track 'em all down," Lorelai promises, but as they pull up the square, they realize they won't have to. The whole town is there, under a huge tent, cheering and waving good luck signs. "I think you're gonna get to say goodbye to everybody," Lorelai says, and from the tent, Jackson and Zach run out with huge umbrellas. Even THAT is making me cry. The husband of Lorelai's best friend and the husband of Rory's best friend? SOB. I am getting ridiculous over here. I'm supposed to be a mean ol' recapper! But, but...y'all. I'm giving myself a sinus headache. "Did you...?" Rory asks her mom, amazed. Lorelai shakes her head. "No," she says, "I didn't do a thing." They arrive at the tent to the cheers of the whole town -- everyone is there, clapping and yelling about how they love her. The camera lingers for a moment on Sookie, tears in her eyes, and moves to Luke, looking on proudly. Kirk steps out, in his capacity as town sash presenter, to present her with a Rory Gilmore sash, which he also made as, you know, town sash maker. "Kneel before me!" he says, officially, but when Rory cringes, he allows her to merely bow her head. "I got the material from one of Mother's nighties," he says, and Rory's subsequent "ew" is drowned out by the cheering throng. Even the Grandparents are there, standing at a remove. Emily is sure to get in a complaint about the last-minute nature of the party, but Richard and Lorelai ignore her. "I can't believe they did this all for her," Lorelai says, looking at the party, but Richard says he thinks the party is for more than just Rory. "I think it's a testament to you and the home you've created here," he says, causing me to cry like I have never cried before. "I regret...that you needed to..." But of course Emily can't let him finish. "Oh, please, don't become one of those 'I had a heart attack, let me express my every thought' types," she groans. SHUT UP, EMILY. I AM TRYING TO CRY, OVER HERE.
Even in the face of her scorn, Richard rises above the Gilmore tradition of coldness toward Lorelai and says what has needed to be said for seven seasons. "It takes a remarkable person," he says, choking up, "to inspire all of this." Lauren Graham absolutely kills me as she squeaks out a "Thanks, Dad," with tears in her eyes, and I have to just throw away the thesaurus, because I have run out of ways to describe myself, and other people, crying. Emily can take no more. "That's enough," she snarks. "It's not as if the two of you are saying goodbye." And of course, neither of them hugs their daughter, which makes me very mad, but I expected no more.