A Tale Of Poes And Fire originally aired April 15, 2003. This episode was written by Daniel Palladino and directed by Chris Long.
This episode starts off with Rory and Lorelei working on a pro-con list in Luke’s Diner- the pro-con list that will determine which college Rory should go to. Luke is confused is to why they’re working on a pro-con list when everyone knows it’s going to be Harvard. Kirk is also selling t-shirts that have a topical headline of stuff he’s seen around town.
The Poe Society is in town, and Jess gets Employee Of The Month At Wal-Mart. Luke is confused about how Jess is working a 40 hour shift, and after talking with Lorelei, Luke isn’t sure if Jess is going to school- between the diner, Rory and school, how is he picking up so many extra hours?
The Poe Society is having an event at Miss Patty’s studio and there’s a weird vibe in the room. Lindsay (Dean’s girlfriend) gives Rory weird looks, and Nicole (Luke’s girlfriend) gives Lorelei weird looks. Lorelei tells Rory that Yale has a good drama department, so that’s a pro for Yale. Lorelei needs a pen, and ends up borrowing one from Nicole. Lorelei thinks Lindsay needs to mellow, and Rory points out that Nicole definitely has Lindsay’s attitude. Miss Patty wants to know why they’re wasting their time on the pro-con lists when everyone knows it’s going to be Harvard. Lorelei says that if it’s Harvard, the lists will reflect that.
Then, Lorelei gets a call in the middle of the night that the Inn caught fire, and she and Rory rush over there. No one was harmed, but Lorelei promises to make arrangements, and she, Sookie and Michel get things going. Sookie is cooking for guests at Luke’s, and Michel set up emergency headquarters at Miss Patty’s. The nearby inns are all booked, so some of the townspeople offer up their houses for guests to stay at if they can’t get home.
At Chilton, Rory asks Madeleine and Louise if they’ve heard from Paris, since Paris has missed a few days of school after the meltdown speech. They didn’t even know Paris was absent, so Rory goes to see Paris, to drop off her assignments. Paris is in bed, watching soap operas, and knows Rory got into Harvard. She hasn’t talked to her parents or to Jamie, and knows where she went wrong in her interview. Being Paris, she recorded the interview, and even plays a clip for Rory. Rory, by the way, hates that Paris is torturing herself, and starts telling Paris what to do. Paris says there’s no alternative to Harvard.
Rory and Lorelei are getting Rory’s room for their house guests, and are talking about Rory’s big decision. Lorelei believes the pro-con lists have changed, and that Yale is where Rory should go. Rory isn’t done collecting data, and her wall very much says Harvard. She also knows Lorelei was resistant to Yale, and doesn’t want Lorelei to hate the school she’s going to. If it’s right for Rory, it’s right for Lorelei.
Some new guests show up at Lorelei’s, so she goes to stay at Luke’s. We learn that Nicole is sensitive where Lorelei is concerned, because of Luke’s first date with her, where he kept talking about Lorelei.
The next day, Lorelei gets a call, saying that she can get into the inn. She and Sookie meet Michel and the fire chief at the inn. They go inside to find the inn pretty destroyed. While you see Michel, Lorelei and Sookie at the inn, Rory is in her room, looking at her Yale wall.
What I Thought:
We finally get Rory’s college decision! This is easily the most interesting thing in the episode. I know Harvard is something they’ve wanted a long time, and in particular, Lorelei really seemed to want it. As a fan of the show, I knew Rory would go to Yale, but this time around, it seemed really obvious that once Yale came up, Rory would be going there.
I thought everyone’s reaction to the pro-con lists to be annoying. Yes, Rory has talked about Harvard her whole life, but deciding which college to go to is a really big decision! I actually thought the pro-con lists were an interesting way to think about the good and bad things about each school. And honestly? Just because Rory has talked about one school her whole life doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right school for her. People change, and things change, and sometimes, a school that Rory has talked about her whole life isn’t going to be the right school for her.
As for the inn, which is the other big thing going on…it hit me a lot more this time around. Especially in contrast to Rory’s decision…and it really got me emotionally. The scene at the very end, where you know Rory’s going to Yale, and where Lorelei is in the middle of the lobby…I have no idea how to explain how it made me feel. I definitely felt like Rory’s story had a new beginning, while things at the Inn are up in the air.
I also wanted to touch on the Lindsay/Nicole stuff for a second. I get why Nicole is sensitive where Lorelei is concerned, because it is a very Luke thing to talk about another woman (especially one who is not a relative) on a date with someone. And I did get this vibe that maybe Lindsay and Nicole (okay, definitely Nicole) feel threatened by Rory and Lorelei. I know Rory’s moved on with Jess, but…she was with Dean for a long time, so maybe there’s something going on there that we don’t see.
Courtesy of Michel: “I’m looking for my cyanide capsule, have you seen it?”
Edgar Allen Poe, Trekkies, Gumby
Let’s Rate It:
Overall, I liked this episode. It definitely resolved the college decision, while starting an issue with the inn, leaving it’s future up in the air. I didn’t love it, but it’s what I’ve come to expect for pretty much any Gilmore Girls episode. This episode gets 3 mugs of coffee.