Lorelai's at the front desk when Rory calls on her way to class, asking for help to get into an economic mood. "Uh, supply and demand! Profit margin! Pork bellies!" Lorelai attempts, but Rory is still dreading the class, which she only signed up for because Richard was teaching it: "I'm not naturally Econ-crazy." Lorelai asks whether anyone really is. "Oh, yeah," says Rory. "First thing I learned last semester. People find the Gross National Product endlessly fascinating." Lorelai agrees that this is weird. Rory asks if there's been any word from Christopher, causing Lorelai to go into immediate placation mode, saying that he came by and that they argued again, but that everything will be fine. Rory, however, has somehow matured into an actual adult in the span of two days, and will not let Chris off the hook. She insists that she is on Lorelai's side -- not just because Lorelai's in the right and Christopher is completely overreacting to the Luke character reference, but because she always will be on her mom's side, not matter what. "Even if I cut off your hair while you were sleeping?" asks Lorelai. "Would you be on my side then?" Rory says she would, no matter what, and asks how Lorelai is really feeling. "Oh, uh, good. Fine," says Lorelai. "You know, medium. Rare. Medium rare. Well, rare. More like sashimi." Aw. Lorelai says it's tough, because Christopher tends to avoid conflict when things get complicated. (I'll spare you my "pffft! Pot! Kettle! Black!" rant about conflict-avoidance in this couple.) Rory tells Lorelai to call if she needs anything. "I will," says Lorelai. "I've got you on speed dial." Rory is amazed: "You programmed your speed dial?" "Oh, no," Lorelai assures her. "That's metaphorically speaking. I can dial really fast, though." Cute.
In class, Rory is thrown off-balance when she meets Richard's substitute, Tucker Culberson, who is cute with a capital K, all the way down to his studious blazer and glasses. "Oh, well, hello, Professor Culberson," says Rory, downright red-faced with attraction. She blinks like Scarlett O'Hara as he explains that he's only a grad student, TA-ing for Richard. I can't say I blame Rory for the insta-crush. I am married to a TA; there's just something about all that corduroy. It's irresistible! She flubs through their conversation with a megawatt smile and practically giggles her way to her seat. Very cute. Alexis Bledel is so damn fresh-faced, it's like she's made of ice cream.
Back at the CrapShack, Christopher is watching a basketball game (which I just now realized is my alma mater, Alabama, against Kentucky, Roll Tide) on his new flatscreen when Lorelai comes in. They get right into it. Christopher says he's been thinking about things and that she's right, he shouldn't have taken off. She cuts him no slack, agreeing, "You're right, you shouldn't have." Christopher says that Lorelai needs to understand that when he read that letter, it made him crazy, but Lorelai can't take any more of that and snaps that it wasn't a letter, it was a character reference so that Luke could get custody of his kid. "Don't do that!" Chris yells. "Don't make me think this is all in my head!" Strongly, Lorelai insists that it is: "I chose you. I married YOU." Christopher says that it's not that simple, and finally tells her about the fight he had with Luke at the gazebo. When Lorelai freaks that Christopher didn't tell her before, he says it's not something she's exactly proud of: "I mean, this is what it's come to. I'm fighting the guy in the street." Lorelai says that if she had known, she could have been more sensitive. Christopher says that it's so much more than that, and spirals that their problems are his problems. He shouldn't have pushed Lorelai to marry him. She was engaged to Luke and needed time to disengage. He goes through the ridiculous history of their relationship: they were too young to get married when Rory was born, too ill-fated to end up together when Sherry got pregnant, etc. Lorelai desperately argues that all of that may be true, but that they're together now: "We'll work this out." Christopher lowers his head: "I don't think we can. I don't know what else to do." Lorelai is shocked: "We can work on this." Christopher doesn't see it that way: "Work on what? Work on you thinking that I'm the man you want to spend the rest of your life with?" He says that he's been asking Lorelai to marry him for twenty years (really?), and now that they're finally married, he still feels like he's asking her. "That's terrible," says Lorelai quietly. "I'm sorry if you feel that way. That's not how I feel! I'm IN this." He says that he wants to believe her, but instead of continuing to talk about it, he says he needs to get back to his mom's to see Gigi. HUH? A three-minute conversation about the imminent demise of a twenty-three-year relationship and...that's it? Dude, sack up! He leaves, saying that they'll talk more tomorrow. Well, yeah, it wouldn't be hard to talk more, considering that you've hardly talked at all.