Rory returns to her apartment post-holiday to find Paris surrounded by charts and spreadsheets. Paris dispenses with the usual reunion pleasantries and gets right to business: "This is the game plan for what I call Operation Finish Line." She explains that she and Rory only have five months left before they must leave Yale and face the bitter, cold shoulder of real life. "You're the green marker," she says, pointing to one of the charts. "Green was a random choice, not a subtle comment about how inexperienced you are with real-life matters. Then again, maybe it was." I love Paris. Rory is somewhat surprised to see that Paris has her down to apply for an Oceanography fellowship. Pointing out that she knows nothing about Oceanography is pointless, of course. "It's a defensive move," says Paris, "like Monopoly." She carries the metaphor, explaining that when landing on St. James Place, one must purchase it, even if one does not want it, just so that no one else can buy it: "Am I getting through to you?" Rory: "Well, you're making me want to play Monopoly." Paris is undeterred by the size of her list. She says that, since there are two of them, they should easily be able to cover everything and report back on progress every Friday at 5 PM. "There's something to look forward to at the end of the week," says Rory. Getting harangued by Paris, followed by several hours of exposure to the emotional hostage crisis of Friday Night Dinner? That should get Rory ready for real life quite nicely.
At Sookie and Jackson's, Davey is excited to see that Lorelai has brought along her magic socks for their playdate, while Sookie is freaking out non-stop about which sweater to wear to the ski lodge. "Is she okay?" Lorelai asks, and Jackson casually says that she is, but when Sookie nearly has a meltdown about leaving Davey behind, Lorelai gives her the curious eyebrow. When Jackson shoves Sookie out the door, Lorelai grabs up Davey, tells him to kick the magic socks, and they head off to the imaginary jungle. Aw. I want some magic socks. I could get to Trader Joe's so much faster that way.
Richard is at his office door, saying goodbye to a visiting student. "I'm supposed to tell you that you can also query me by email," he jokes, "although, to be honest, I check it about as often as I do the daily racing form." Cute, but the kid doesn't get it, which is sad. Aren't all these Yalies supposed to be clever? Rory is waiting for Grandpa outside, and comes in now to meet him. She discusses Paris's Operation Finish Line with him, saying that Paris would like to meet with Dean Kerrigan and, she supposes, it wouldn't hurt for Rory herself to meet him, as well. Grandpa happily says that shouldn't be a problem. He sees that Rory's upset, thinking she's nervous about reaching the end of the semester. She tells him about the Lucy debacle, and he sweetly comforts her: "I wouldn't worry about it. You're a person of great heart, and great character. That combination will always win the day." OR, I add, in my mind, if that doesn't work, you can steal a boat.