...Lorelai is saved by the return of the doctor. He shares the bad news that the blockage is worse than they'd hoped, and that Richard will need to go into surgery as soon as possible. As Lorelai and Rory gather up their things to go in to see him, Emily takes a shocked breath. On the way to Richard's room, Emily quizzes the doctor on his educational background. "Mom!" Lorelai interjects, embarrassed, but Dr. Goldstein kindly says it's okay: "I got my B.A. at Yale. I went to medical school at Harvard." Emily turns snottily to Lorelai: "See?!" Lorelai: "See what?"
The party arrives at Richard's room, and as Lorelai steels herself to go inside, Emily gives Richard the update on Dr. G's background. "Well," Richard jokes, "if he does a good job, I'll forget the Harvard part. I'll write that off as a youthful indiscretion." He apologizes to Rory for giving her a scare in class, but she says that she's just glad he's okay and will be more okay after the surgery. Lorelai bumbles through some nervous pleasantries, saying that he looks pretty good. "Well," Richard says, "all in all, I think I'd rather be in Philadelphia." Rory smiles, getting Richard's reference to Ronald Reagan. "Quoting W.C. Fields," Richard adds. Lorelai, of course, can't bring herself to admit how scared she is, so she rambles endlessly on about Philly and cheesesteaks, irritating Emily (who is already irritating Richard about pillows and the size of the room). Mother and daughter get into a snit about pillowcases, bitching to release nervous energy, and finally Richard has had enough: "Tucson," he says weakly, pointing out that although it is awfully dry and people dress horribly there, he would even rather be in Tucson. "Anywhere but here, right Dad?" says Lorelai. "Although...it is awfully dry." Rory: "And so hot!" Emily laughs nervously. They'd all rather be elsewhere. "And you're right about the fashion," says Emily, taking Richard's hands. "Ponchos and all that turquoise. Oh, and men in sandals! Spare me." The American health care experience: Waiting. Irritating. Bloviating. And not communicating.
At Luke's Diner, Zach is happily filling in for Lane, taking over her table-waiting duties. He's very surprised to find out how much he enjoys it. "You're on the inside," Luke says. "Don't let the power go to your head." Loudly, Zach says what's freaking him out is the realization that he could do anything to people's food and they would have no idea and just have to eat it. "Not that I would," he adds, seeing the alarmed faces of some counter customers. Babette comes in to "reluctantly" tell Luke about Richard's heart attack. "Oh my God," says Luke, immediately concerned. "Is he okay?" Babette says she just though Luke would want to know.