Lorelai walks into the room where the panel will be held, and finds Christopher, waiting. He kisses her cheek in a semi-awkward hello. She tells him he looks nice, and he foreshadows that he thinks his current haircut cost him more than all the haircuts he'd had in his life, combined. "Well," Lorelai says, "it was worth it. It looks very, very...short." Rory comes up, calling, "Mom! Dad!," and they stand up to greet her, forming a nice, backlit family tableau that seriously pisses me off. Do not be trying to get Lorelai and Christopher back together. I can't take that. Although, if they started making out right now, it might redeem both this scene and this episode, which are both lukewarm (not to be confused with Warm Luke) and lame. They bang the "cute family" anvil a bit harder: Christopher tells Rory she's going to do great, and Lorelai tells her she's a natural. "Just remember," Lorelai adds, "if you don't do well, we will stop loving you." They sit down as the panel starts, and Lorelai offers Chris some Milk Duds. The moderator introduces the panel of Ivy League journalists, and I fall asleep for a second.
When I wake up, the moderator is asking the panel to respond to the ethical temperature of journalism "in a post-Judy Miller era." This bugs for about nine reasons, one of which is that I have never heard Judith Miller referred to as "Judy," but we don't have time to think about it, because the bowtied editor of the Princeton paper leaps in pompously to interrupt. The dude takes the stance that all sources should be guarded at all costs, considering the struggles upon which the rights of the free press were established. Here's where the scene goes wrong: when he finishes, Rory jumps in, saying that while she agrees that confidential sources are the greatest and most important tool of the free press, she can't see how the people on this panel are qualified to make any kind of statement about the struggles of reporters pressured into giving up their sources, because they are only in college and couldn't presume to know what they'd do if faced with that pressure. Okay...what? First of all: this is a panel asking you, the people on the panel, what you think about certain issues in the field of journalism. If you're going to answer every question by saying you're not qualified to answer, then don't bother being there. Secondly: HUH? The Princeton guy -- obnoxious though he may be, and Judith Miller's own ridiculousness notwithstanding -- is RIGHT. Therefore, I cannot figure out the smug faces of Rory and her proud parents in the audience. I guess they're proud that she's speaking well; I don't know. "We created her," Lorelai says, smiling broadly. Chris: "Out of thin air." Well, if that's what the kids are calling it these days.