At The Grandparents', Rory and Emily are also sitting down to breakfast. There's about one-third the pastry we normally see. Emily is pissed. A member of her DAR chapter left a note at the HQ to the effect that the foliage around the office was looking a little peaked. Emily's taking it as a personal attack, seeing as how she's the president and the foliage is her responsibility. "Again," Rory says, trying to talk her off the ledge, "it's not exactly Martin Luther nailing the ninety-five theses to the door." Nice try, Rory, but can't you see that this note is implying that Emily has no control over the office? "Constance Bedderton," Emily says with disdain. Ever since a Christmas party last year at which Emily commented that Constance's husband sells used cars -- "which he does; he calls them pre-owned, but they're used" -- Constance has had it in for her. Hilarious. Kelly Bishop looks fantastic in this scene, by the way, like she's somehow lost fifteen pounds between episodes. Hair: perfect. Looks like she's about to run in the Miss Texas pageant. (All the hair in this episode is excellent.) She's also toned down the harpy a few notches, and I am really glad. Emily was originally a character I hated to love, but for a while now, she's been one I loved to hate. I enjoy her still bitchy, but tamer, shrew. Rory comes up with a plan to be Emily's eyes and ears at the DAR office and keep a lookout for any sinister plots by Constance Bedderton to overthrow Emily's reign as prez.
Cut directly to Rory and what now appears to be her backup band, The Road Crew. We won't find this out until late in the hour, but apparently a few months have passed since we saw her last, and in those few months, Rory has gotten a handle on her fight face. She's not so mad anymore. As a matter of fact, she's turned these people into a bunch of sweet and tender hooligans only Morrissey could love. She's the head lawbreaker now, apparently, walking among them, encouraging their progress. She's even got ol' rockstar Liza, with whom we saw Rory pushing and shoving last week, on a smoking-cessation program. Liza begs for a fix, but Rory stays firm: "No: we agreed, not until the end of your shift." Liza laments that, in spite of wearing, like, nine nicotine patches at once, she's still jonesing. Rory tells her to sit down and drink some water, and then consults with the crew supervisor, who clearly regards Rory as the one in charge. She gives him a funny rundown of the crew members' needs, including my favorite: "Sanderson got a little grumpy towards the end of the day, but it's just because he wants to be noticed, and he is by far our best spearman." Now, I do not mind at all that Rory is handing out orders. She comes by the pushiness quite naturally, after all, and I'm just glad to see the character doing anything with confidence, rather than making all kinds of missteps based on her own self-doubt. So, yeah, it's annoying that she's seemingly Everybody's Favorite All-American of Community Service, but what makes Rory a good character (when she is good, and not irritating) is that she does the whole lemons-to-lemonade equation better than most. As the chain gang breaks for the day, Liza asks Rory if she'd like to join "the girls" for pizza. A floppy-haired dude strolling by says he'll go, but is shot down for not being a girl. Rory also has to decline: she has a three-hour shift at the nursing home. Liza can't believe how much community service Rory got stuck with: "What the hell'd you do?" (If they're all palsy by now, wouldn't this have already come up?) Rory: "I shot a man in Reno." Awesome. I'd shoot T.J. just to watch him die, so I appreciate the reference.