Cardigan Man is sans cardigan and sans upright mobility. He's in a wheelchair, leg propped up in a cast of some kind, and he's wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt. Everything has changed over the hiatus! You'd think they'd be more creative than this, but Lorelai asks Taylor whether he's figured out who put that banana peel on his doorstep. Taylor says he's got a few suspects. Lorelai asks about all the activity on the town's mall. Taylor has invented the First Annual Stars Hollow End-Of-Summer Madness Festival. "You finally found a way to fill September, didn'tcha?" Lorelai asks. Taylor says this is going to be very exciting. He's got a band coming in from New York. Food, games, wildness. He's ordered the best banner of all time. "Taylor, you're on fire!" Lorelai says. "Oh, I love this banner!" Taylor growls. He turns his electric wheelchair around to begin badgering some other Stars Hollow Townie, leaving Lorelai alone in front of Luke's. She looks through the window as the strummy-strummy-la-la heartbreak song hums quietly in the background. Lorelai pouts as she watches Luke take some other girl's order ("Dirty!"). She walks away as Taylor keeps harping on the unseen Townie.
Washington. Paris is harping on Senator Barbara Boxer, who is trying to be polite to Paris by smiling nicely. Paris: "Do you really think it looks good to have the American Secretary of the Treasury traveling around with Bono? I mean, I know apparently he's a saint, he's going to save the world, yada yada yada, but my God! He never even takes the sunglasses off. We have an image to maintain. Don't we? I mean, aren't we at least trying to pretend we're the superpower in this world? I mean, why don't we just send Carson Daly over to the Middle East next time Cheney goes, huh?" Don't think they won't, Paris. "Or, hey! Hook up Freddie Prinze Jr. with Colin Powell next time he meets with NATO. I mean, hell! Let's hear what Freddie has to say, right?" Barbara interrupts Paris to introduce her to Republican Doug Ose from California. She says that Ose and Paris would have a lot to talk about. She's actually pretty funny with her quick "You don't? Great." Ose looks terrified, and gives a quiet "Uh, Barbara?" Paris sizes Ose up and says, "Let's take a walk."
I don't know what's up with this next guy, but he's not exactly...how do I say this? He's not good. He makes some small talk with Rory about the fact that it's their last day. He asks, "So, in your opinion, how was our nation's capital?" Rory says that getting to see Archie Bunker's armchair in the Smithsonian was a really big deal to her. "Yes, there are times when this country's priorities are exactly right," the guy says in one of the worst line readings in this show's history -- all hurried and stilted like he's trying to get off the screen as quickly as possible. In fact, everyone in the room watching the show with me turned to go, "Who's this guy and what's up with his bad acting?" He asks where Paris is. Rory says that the last time she saw her, Paris was "beating the will to live out of our nation's representatives." "She's a hammer, isn't she?" Stilted Joe says. "Actually, she's the entire tool box," Rory counters. Paris storms up to the buffet table, commenting that she always catches the most interesting representatives right when they have to use the bathroom. Uncle Stilty's got a name: it's Jamie. They have a small conversation about how they're going to be on the same side of the debate this afternoon. Paris, loading up at the buffet table, doesn't notice that Jamie is hitting on her. "God, I love this," she says. "You don't realize how unqualified most of America's youth is until you gather them all up in a room and make them speak." Paris is the best thing since Alex P. Keaton. Jamie is asking Paris out to dinner for a "victory" celebration after the debate. Paris is still noting strategy, pointing out that one of her opponents has asthma and the other one cries. Paris stuffs a sandwich into her mouth as she agrees to dinner. Jamie stiltedly touches her on the elbow and says he'll see her at 7 PM. He walks away, unnatural smile taped to his face. Rory walks up to congratulate and coo with Paris over her date. Paris didn't know she was being asked out on a date. "Did I accept?" she asks. Rory tells her that she did. "I'm going on a date," Paris says again. "Aw, man!" she whines. "I can't believe this. I finally get asked out on a date and I missed it?" Liza Weil got a tan over the summer. She's got this bronzy glow about her. She's also starting to look a little too womanly for high school. "Was it a good ask-out?" she asks Rory. "Wish I'd been there." Paris lets it all sink in that she's got a date, tonight, with Jamie: "A Princeton man. I can overlook that." Paris still can't believe she's got a date. She wiggles with pride. Congressman Ose walks out of the bathroom, spots Paris, and jumps back into the bathroom.
Independence Inn. Kirk is explaining to Michel that cows never wrinkle. Kirk says that he did some research and found out the secret to cows. Lorelai enters, looking for something, and Michel tells her that Kirk is just about to explain the difference between humans and cows. "Other than one's a cow?" Lorelai asks. Michel tells her to shut up so that Kirk can continue being Kirk. "Hay," Kirk explains. Cows eat hay and people don't, so it must be the hay that keeps them so wrinkle-free. Kirk has developed a line of skin care products called "Hay There." Lorelai says they already have a line of beauty products at the Inn, and don't need a new one. Kirk offers to leave several sample cases. Lorelai points out that cows eat grass, but Kirk says that "Grass There" wasn't as catchy. "So sad not to have a cocktail in your hand every time he comes by, huh?" Michel asks. Lorelai answers the phone. It's Emily, who has just gotten back from Martha's Vineyard, and can't believe that Lorelai hasn't called the house yet, since she promised to call once they got back into town. This launches into a very lengthy, wordy argument about how the day just started, so technically Lorelai hasn't done anything wrong yet by not calling because there's lots of day left in which Lorelai could have called, but Emily still hated coming home to a house that didn't have a welcome in it from Lorelai. Eventually, Lorelai backs down and apologizes. She then lies to Emily and says that Rory isn't coming back into town until Saturday. This launches into another long bit about how Emily was sure that Rory was coming back on Friday, and that it was written into her calendar, and even Richard thought that Rory got back on Friday. She wanted Lorelai and Rory to bring Christopher to dinner with them. Lorelai lies again that Christopher is away on business, but that she'll send their regards. Emily tells her to make Christopher come the next week instead: "I want to see the three of you together." "Yes," Lorelai mopes. "That would be a nice picture." Lorelai stares into space as we go to commercial. Doesn't it seem strange that suddenly her parents want Lorelai with Christopher? How excited they are just because they kissed for a day? I don't really get it. ["They did establish in the pilot that at least Richard likes Christopher a great deal." -- Wing Chun]