At Friday night dinner, Emily and Richard are infuriated at the Richmonds who handed out king-sized chocolate bars for Halloween. They feel that they have made the whole neighborhood look bad and found it extremely embarrassing. Of course, Lorelai makes light of their angst but they plan to take the issue to the homeowner's association and failing that, go to the neighbors with a petition. Rory deftly changes the topic by asking how Richard's work is going. They, in turn, inquire as to how school is going. Lorelai voices her concern that Rory is taking five classes but Rory reassures all that she can handle it and that she likes to be busy.
Emily has arranged a photographer to record the beginning of the partnership between Richard and Jason. As always, her attention to detail is impeccable. Richard apologizes to Jason for the photo session and he patronizes Emily by suggesting it is a "cute idea". Emily is annoyed with the condescension and responds that when "the financial papers call for an official photo, it'll be downright darling". Richard attempts to placate Emily by telling Jason that Emily is always right when it comes to situations as this. Jason leaves to take the signed documents to the lawyers. Emily asks Richard if he has any preferences for their launch party. Richard defers to her judgment. Emily asks her for a guest list and suggests maybe a Russian theme would be nice.
At the Dragonfly, Lorelai is dealing with Tom regarding making the barn into stable for the horses. She is of course asking him to keep the costs reasonable. Kirk is attempting to sell her some mailboxes for the Inn and Lorelai tells him she'll be with him in a minute. As she finishes up with Tom, Sookie shows up. She is excited about a call from Emily, which immediately sends up red flags for Lorelai. Sookie tells Lorelai that Emily has hired them to cater Richard's Launch party. Lorelai is panicked because she hadn't told her mother about their catering business yet and knew Emily would be angry that it was hidden from her. Lorelai reluctantly agrees to cater the party but knows there is trouble ahead. Kirk approaches Lorelai politely and Lorelai apologizes telling him she forgot about him. Of course, this is nothing new for Kirk. He proceeds to give Lorelai a sales pitch on his one-of-a-kind mailboxes. Through the course of their discussion, Kirk asks Lorelai how much she and Sookie would charge to cater a two-person dinner. Lorelai finds out that he has a dinner 'appointment' with his brother's ex-girlfriend with whom he has a crush. Lorelai tells him that it sounds like a date to her. She gives him advice on where to take Lulu and he asks Lorelai for advice on how to dress. They make an appointment to meet later to pick out something nice.
At Yale, Rory has a huge amount of studying to do and her roommates are making it difficult for her to concentrate. Paris is fighting with Jamie, Janet is exercising on a trampoline and Tanna is watching TV. In frustration, Rory stormed out of the dorm.
At Lorelai's house, Sookie is baking hundreds of broccoli tarts forcing Lorelai to taste them. Lorelai explains to Sookie that she loves her cooking but cannot eat another tart and will beat her to death with it if she forces her to eat one more. Sookie is worried because Emily is so picky and she wants things to be perfect. Sookie is also concerned because they haven't heard from Emily regarding the menu so she asks Lorelai to call her. Lorelai doesn't want to call but Sookie insists. Reluctantly, Lorelai calls her mother. Needless to say, Emily is irritated that Lorelai didn't tell her about her catering company but takes a passive aggressive approach to dealing with Lorelai's oversight. In order to mollify Emily, Lorelai spins a tale about sending her a flier regarding her catering company. Lorelai continues to mince words with her mother until Emily can take it no more…
Emily: You must think I'm a complete idiot.
Lorelai: No, Mom, I don't.
Emily: There is no flier. You're making it up to cover for the fact that you once again neglected to tell me about an important event in your life.
Lorelai: Mom, I swear there's a flier.
Emily: Shame on you for swearing there's a flier. That's the worst possible thing you could do.
Lorelai: Liv Tyler grew up her entire life thinking Todd Rundgren was her real father. You think that might knock this out of first place?
Emily: I tell you, if I saw this kind of behavior from some other company I was hiring, I would fire them on the spot.
Lorelai: Then fire us, Mom.
Emily: Excuse me?
Lorelai: You are not hiring your daughter and her friend, you are hiring a professional catering company. This is not a favor, it is a business transaction, and I must insist that you treat us exactly as you would any other person off the street.
Emily: As you wish.
Lorelai: Thank you. Now I'm sorry, but we're very busy with preparations for your event, so I'm gonna have to hang up now. Goodbye, Mother.
As Lorelai attempts to recover from her mother's call, Sookie timidly reminds her that they still don't know what to include in the menu. At that moment Rory rushes in hoping to study in her bedroom but finds it full of broccoli tarts. In frustration, Rory leaves again.
Kirk comes into the diner and begins check things out. On Lorelai's advice, he plans to take Lulu to some place he feels comfortable. He has decided that Luke's is that place. Luke approaches him cautiously, trying to figure out what he is up to. Kirk asks to reserve three tables. Luke tells Kirk he doesn't take reservations. Kirk explains to Luke that he has a date with Lulu so Luke agrees to set up a special table for him.
Lorelai and Sookie are at Lorelai's parent's house preparing to provide a test meal for Emily. Lorelai foresees humiliation will be a large part of what is to follow. Sookie tries to placate her concern by reminding her of the paycheck at the end of the event. Lorelai's fears are realized when the maid asks them to use the service entrance.
At Yale, Rory still is unable to study in her dorm room because of her roommate's antics so she heads out into the quad and finds a comfortable tree and opens her books. She is delighted because she gets so much studying done.
Sookie and Lorelai are standing around attending to Emily's test meal. She is adjusting and sniffing and tasting and writing notes about her adjusting, sniffing and tasting. Lorelai is becoming more and more exasperated with her mother's affectations. Finally, Emily compliments Sookie on her wonderful food and gives them the job. Sookie is ecstatic but Lorelai is frustrated with the taste test that her mother insisted they provide and begins to vent…
Sookie: We did it, we got the job! What a score! We landed a whale.
Lorelai: Yeah, we always had the job, Sookie. The whale was just toying with us. She was swatting us with her tail and hosing us down with her blowhole because that is the whale's M.O. - humiliate and rip apart every other fish in the sea until there's nothing left but a bloody pile of chum.
Later, Lorelai bounds into Luke's still fuming about her mother. She notices Kirk at a table talking to a video camera and asks Luke what Kirk is doing…
Lorelai Hm. For what?
Luke: His date. He's doing a test run - talking, eating, making conversation. Then he's gonna go home and review the tape and adjust from there.
Lorelai Boy! You ever think about how many different ways Kirk could get kicked out of the Army?
Luke: What a poor slob. He's pathetic.
Lorelai He likes a girl. That's sweet.
They continue to debate the sanity of their strange fellow townsman but both Luke and Lorelai seem to feel somewhat protective of him.
Emily is working on preparations for the launch party when Richard walks in with his guest list. He is confident that Emily has everything under control and is impressed with the florist she has chosen. Jason has dropped by to get the keys to his office. Emily asks Jason for his guest list to the launch party but Jason tells her he doesn't think that is the way to go. To Emily's utter horror, Jason tells her that he has organized a trip to Atlantic City. He is able to convince Richard that it is something different which may set them apart from other companies. Emily is forced to cancel her plans for her cocktail party.
At Yale, Rory walks up to her study tree to find a guy sitting there. She attempts to talk him out of using the tree but he is unmovable. She leaves in disappointment.
Lorelai answers her door to find her mother standing there. After her standard barbs at Lorelai's clothing, they sit in the living room. Emily becomes a bit subdued when she tells Lorelai she won't need their catering services anymore. She explains that she will pay any expenses they have incurred. Lorelai is angry and disappointed and doesn't hesitate to show her attitude. Emily agrees with her that it is wrong for her to cancel but it is out of her control. She tells Lorelai that her table was beautiful and that the food was wonderful but she explains that Jason has organized a trip to Atlantic City. Lorelai detects a note of regret in her mother's voice. Emily feels obsolete and is hurt that her efforts for the launch party were cast aside.
Kirk and Lulu are at Luke's for their date. Lulu seems oblivious to Kirk's strange behavior and Kirk is oblivious to the fact that she seems to like him, the perfect couple.
At Lorelai's house, Lorelai is on the phone while Sookie is throwing away broccoli tarts bemoaning the lost income from the launch party. Lorelai continues trying to make her call but gets an answering machine. As Sookie continues her rant, Rory comes in complaining about losing her study tree. Lorelai seems to snap. She tells Rory she's in college now and she's smart enough to figure things out and she should just find another study spot. She tells Sookie that Davey will live for a while longer without the mini van. She gets up and storms out of the house.
Lorelai enters Jason's office ready to do battle. She rebukes him for canceling her mother's launch party and making her feel obsolete. She complains that he embarrassed her mother and got her fired. Jason responds that he didn't know about the launch party. He tells Lorelai that he didn't know that she and her mother were so close. He then, quite remarkably, asks her out to dinner. Lorelai is astounded by the invitation. She asks him why he thinks she would ever go out with him after he insults her mother and gets her fired. He suggests that she might go because it would seriously upset her mother. She looks at him thoughtfully and says with a smile…
Lorelai: Yes, my mother would hate it…a lot…you suck.
At Yale, Rory tries to use her study tree but the same guy is there. She says…
Rory: I know. Look, I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry about the other day. I got a little wound up because I do that sometimes. I get too structured and too serious and I just have to adjust, you know, because we're in college and college is about change, and you have my study tree, so yeah, I just. . .I have to be okay with that and just learn to kind of go with the flow. So I just wanted to tell you that, and I'm sorry if I interrupted you again.
His response seems apathetic to her plight so she pulls out a twenty-dollar bill and waves it at him in payment for the spot. He takes the twenty and leaves. Rory settles into to the tree and begins to study.