Rory is just now learning that buses make lots of stops. She's so clueless with this that someone has to explain the concept that nobody needs to be let off on the way into New York since they're all going to one place, but this non-charter bus makes lots of little stops on the way home because everybody doesn't live in Stars Hollow. Or Hartford, or wherever Rory skipped school. Rory moans that she should have checked traffic and how buses work. She gives a "note to self," which we stopped doing back when Greg Kinnear did it on Talk Soup, and says that impulsive doesn't work for her. The guy who explains buses then spits into his dip can. Rory has never actually met a redneck before, so she's unclear on the concept of dipping, or carrying a cheap soda can to spit nasty tobacco into. Try accidentally drinking out of one of those, Rory. Welcome to my high-school life.
Lorelai's graduation. The cameraman runs down to Lorelai's aisle for her big moment, to catch all of it on film. Lorelai is embarrassed by all the attention and the big giant camera light. Zack teaches her. Richard complains about how lame the commencement speaker is. I had a professor speak at mine. This is what my graduation ceremony looked like. What? You ask how that's possible when I went to the University of Texas at Austin and the year I graduated they had Matthew McCauhnangghney and Renee Zelleewelleweggergger tell us about how the "real world" is? Well, I'll tell you how it's possible: I graduated in the fall. Graduate in the summer, kids, if you want a big deal. But my tiny graduation was very nice. Small room, could cheer loudly for everyone. It was much smaller than my high-school graduation, which was at the Astrodome. Richard is really unimpressed with the speaker, but I don't see him volunteering to talk. The camera follows Lorelai and stands right behind her. Lorelai's full name: Lorelai Victoria Gilmore. Lorelai takes her diploma and turns around. She makes eye contact with the tearful Richard and Emily. They all share a very nice moment, sixteen years after the fact. Lorelai proudly moves her tassel to the other side. It's handled very well and it gets me all teary, too, even on this second viewing.
After the ceremony, Lorelai finds Emily and Richard. Still nobody's mentioned Rory, which is totally bizarre. "Well, I did it!" Lorelai tells her parents. Emily tells her that Raul got some good footage. Richard complains about how much Raul costs. Lorelai says that she's sure it'll be great. Emily congratulates Lorelai. Lorelai says she's glad they came. Emily takes this moment to say they should leave, and that they'll see her tomorrow night at dinner. Hey, they remembered what day comes after Thursday! They start to leave, but Lorelai asks if they're going to take their picture together like parents and graduates do. Emily marvels at the disposable camera. Lorelai hands it to Raul, and for some reason, Raul doesn't make the "I don't know how to work these things" joke. He snaps the picture. Lorelai still hasn't noticed her daughter/best friend/granddaughter to these people is missing. And hey, Lorelai's gown has pockets. I'm jealous. Raul hands back the camera and Emily says she'll see Lorelai tomorrow. Emily leaves, but Richard says he'll be there in a second. He hands Lorelai an envelope and congratulates her. Lorelai says he doesn't have to do this. "Put it towards something fun," he says. Lorelai takes the envelope and says, "Thank you, Daddy." Richard leaves after a second. Nobody hugs in that family. Sookie and Jackson walk up and say how proud they are of Lorelai. Lorelai asks where Rory is. Sookie says that Rory called the cell and said she got hung up on something and that she'll see Lorelai at home. Lorelai asks if Rory's okay. Sookie says that she's fine, but that she'll see Lorelai at home. Lorelai says it's okay if Rory's okay, but that she should probably go home. She thanks Sookie and Jackson for coming. Sookie asks if she wants to go out to eat. Lorelai says she'll just go home to Rory. They hug goodbye. Jackson stops Sookie at the door and says, "Wait a minute. Aspirins instead of almonds? But we already bought the almonds!" What a pay-off, ladies and gents. So worth the hour wait. Jackson keeps whining about the almonds and Sookie laughs openly at him as she leads him away by the arm. Lorelai has a ton of things to carry.