...especially since Emily chooses this moment to walk in. She insists that Richard come out and participate in the party, but he refuses. She demands to know what's going on, and Lorelai has to explain that "it's Rory." Richard feels like they've lost her. Emily doesn't get it. She says they got Rory out of the pool house, and runs down a litany of passive-aggressive tactics she'll use to keep Rory under their direct supervision, forever. They haven't "lost" her, she says: "We have not failed until that girl comes home pregnant. Then we've failed." Here it is, I think, rubbing my hands together. The big showdown. How I wish Lorelai had have stood up, grabbed a piece of burning wood from the fireplace, and held the whole place hostage until they bowed down and admitted their culpability in the whole mess. Unfortunately, Lorelai walks out -- REALLY unfortunately, since the next thing Richard does is to admit that the minute they went against Lorelai, they lost Rory. Richard is mad about more than the sex thing. He's mad about the DAR job, and Rory's wasting time planning parties and doing frivolous things. He doesn't want that life for her, he says. Emily sees the truth: "You mean my life," she says. "You don't want her to be me." Richard insists that's not what he meant, but clearly it is, and Emily knows it. Robotically, she turns and walks out, saying it's time to cut the cake.
At the gifts table, Lorelai runs into Rory again. Face to face, they are a bit sad and nervous. Lorelai tells Rory that her drink is disgusting. Rory agrees, and says that her mom looks skinny. Lorelai says it's the construction diet, and has to explain to Rory about the remodeling going on in the house. She also tries to casually announce that she got a dog, but Rory goes on immediate alert, panicking, "He's alive?" Lorelai says he's fine, yes, and by the way, she's not discussing the hamster anymore. Rory makes sure that Lorelai has asked Babette to double-check that Lorelai feeds him every morning. They continue to make nervous small talk, until they are interrupted by the cake and the chorus of "Happy Birthday." Lorelai stands back, tears in her eyes, until she is joined by Luke, who comes over to lead her out.
On the drive home, he tells her she can pull linked sausage out of him, if she wants. Thank God for Luke (and his sausage).