When Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Tristan (Chad Michael Murray) are cast as Romeo and Juliet in a school play, a jealous Dean (Jared Padalecki) insists on attending every rehearsal, forcing Rory to beg Tristan not to tell Dean about the time they shared a kiss, while Lorelai (Lauren Graham) has to put up with Luke's (Scott Patterson) teasing after she dates a much younger guy
When Lorelai arrives home from the video store, she finds Sookie and Rory gleefully eyeing a late-arrival wedding present and hoping they'll be allowed to rip that baby open. Lorelai wants to return it as soon as possible, but there's no return address, so the only thing to do is rip it open. She does, reluctantly, and finds a state of the art ice cream maker inside. Rory and Sookie think Lorelai should keep it (pointing out that there could be some statute of limitations on returning gifts that arrive so late), but Lorelai refuses. She didn't get married, so she doesn't deserve to keep a wedding gift. Now, she just has to figure out who sent it. At Chilton, Rory and the rest of the students are given an assignment to pick a scene from Romeo and Juliet and perform it with their group. Rory and Paris, plus sidekicks Madeline and Louise, have been assigned Act Five, the death scene. How appropriate. Of course, Paris is still being a first-class witch to Rory and it gets even worse when they all spot Tristan, who just came back to school after yet another suspension. Rory didn't even know Tristan had been suspended, to which Paris responds, "yeah, right." And Paris just might get into the Guinness Book of World records for holding a grudge.
That night, Lorelai is calling everyone on her wedding guest list to find out who the mysterious gift giver is and must endure horrifying conversations with evil relatives. Geez, is this really worth it? Well, maybe, because it will give Lorelai closure. Rory comes home and tells her mom about the whole Shakespeare thing and mentions that she volunteered Lorelai to make the costumes. That's all well and good, but Lorelai must consult with Paris on all details, which makes the job less than desirable. When Lorelai bolts for class, Rory gets a call from Henry. He's using Rory to call Lane because Lane's mom is such a psycho. Rory puts Henry on hold, dials Lane's digits and gets her on the phone. She then connects the two lovebirds. It's all quite romantic. At her business class, Lorelai has quick and witty banter with a cute blonde named Paul, who clearly has a thing for her. She lends him her notes and he asks her out to dinner. Hmmm. This could get interesting. The blonde cutie, though, gets dissed when Lorelai claims she's super busy in the next couple of weeks. He handles it pretty well and tells her that if her schedule opens up, she should give him a call.
The following day, Rory meets up with the Chilton gang to begin rehearsals. Paris is running the show like a dictator and totally freaks out when Tristan arrives and announces that he is part of their little group. See, he got to pick which group he joined and all the other groups contain ex-girlfriends, so here he is. Paris is annoyed and quips, "So, we're being punished for our good taste?" Louise interrupts and announces that Tristan should be their Romeo, but Paris disagrees. She's the director, after all. But could she be letting her personal feeling get in the way of her professional decisions? Seeing how the only other guy in the group tends to vomit when he speaks in front of a lot of people, Paris is overruled and Tristan is officially Romeo. Paris swears, however, that if he screws this up for her, he'll pay dearly for his mistake. After he leaves, Paris decides that Rory has to be Juliet. She's chaste and she'll look great dead. Well, this ought to be interesting. Lorelai finally decides to donate the ice cream maker, now named Fernando, to the inn. But Sookie points out that they already have an ice cream maker, one that makes ice cream for the whole inn, while Fernando could only make some for, well, Lorelai and Rory. All this conversation is really a prelude to something else. Meaning that Sookie is worried about Lorelai and her emotional state. Is she really over the engagement and, if so, why hasn't she been on any dates? Lorelai points out that it takes time to get over something as big as an engagement. And Sookie points out that it's time to get back out there. Well, it just so happens that Lorelai was asked out on a date but turned it down. Why, Sookie demands to know? Every guy doesn't have to be the-special guy. He could be a transition guy. Lorelai decides that's an excellent idea and agrees to call him.
Later, Rory gets a call from Paris in a tantrum over the fact that the space she reserved to rehearse in is being overrun with other groups. And because she wants to keep their interpretation a secret, Paris looked around for another space and found one right in Rory's town. Miss Patty's Place. Rory is not pleased, she want to keep her school life and home life separate. Now, Rory's life is a complete nightmare. Why? Tristan is coming to her town, and he'll probably see Dean and he most likely spill the beans about the kiss. Remember, the one that Rory and Tristan shared when Dean and Rory were on their little break? So, if Tristan says something to Dean, then it will look like Rory was keeping it from Dean. Which she was. So to avoid the whole mess, Rory's got to tell Dean the truth. To ease the pain, Lorelai suggests that Rory practice the kiss speech on her. Lorelai plays Dean as Rory spills her guts. Talk about a bad idea! As the pseudo conversation continues, it become evident that telling Dean will potentially ruin the great relationship that Rory has worked so hard to have. Sometimes honesty is not the best policy. Because this will only make Rory feel less guilty and hurt Dean a whole lot. So, relax, be calm and everything will be fine. And then Lorelai heads out to her big date.
That night, everyone arrives at Miss Patty's for rehearsal. When Paris asks of Tristan's whereabouts, Rory realizes her worst nightmare is coming true. Tristan is at the market buying smokes and finds Dean stocking the shelves. Uh-oh. Tristan begins to antagonize Dean immediately and informs Dean that Rory is his Juliet. Turns out, Dean didn't know this little tidbit. Guess there a lot of things Dean doesn't know. Anyway, Rory arrives and drags Dean outside to apologize. He hates that Tristan is playing Romeo to her Juliet but he knows it's not Rory's fault. At Luke's later, Lorelai tells Rory about her date. She'll never go out with Paul again, but it felt good to get dressed up and have a date. Rory tells Lorelai about her night and the fact that Dean is still safely in the dark. But for how long? He stops in and invites himself to Rory's next rehearsal, even though Rory really doesn't want him there. Ultimately, Dean is going do whatever he wants so there's no point in arguing. At Chilton the next day, Rory tries to talk to Tristan about what happened between them. She asks him to keep their kiss a secret because things are going really well for her and Dean right now. Tristan believes Dean will find out anyway because when they kiss on stage it will be oh-so obvious that it's not the first time. Rory becomes more and more exasperated with Tristan until he agrees to keep his mouth shut. When Rory thanks him (because after all the kiss meant absolutely nothing) it seems for a brief second that Tristan is a little sad and hurt. So, Rory tries to see how he's doing, asking him about his suspension and why he's hanging out with some of Chilton's bad seeds. He doesn't really warm up to Rory's dime-store psychoanalysis and decides to bail pronto.
The next day, Rory and Lorelai are chowing down at Luke's and talking about tonight's doomed rehearsal when Paul walks in with his parents. He looks a lot younger right now, clean-shaven with a baseball hat. It doesn't help that he's with his folks. Rory can barely keep from laughing. She always wanted a younger brother. Haha, very funny. Paul's visit does accomplish one thing, it makes Rory laugh and not think about rehearsal for a few minutes. At rehearsal, Tristan is about to kiss Rory while Dean watches from the back. Just before he leans in to kiss Rory he stops and starts to spill the beans about their first kiss. Paris starts freaking out, Rory takes five and everyone has to cancel their plans for the night because rehearsal is going last all night long. Rory then asks Dean to leave because she can't get the scene right with him standing there. He reluctantly leaves but makes no mention of Tristan's gibberish about the kiss. Then, Rory confronts Tristan but he isn't interested in being scolded. Besides, he's got to go meet some friends. Meanwhile, Lorelai is getting the severe cold shoulder from Luke about her date with Paul. Lorelai thinks he's just kidding, but he's not. He's completely serious, but we have no idea what he's so mad about. Sookie knows exactly what the reason is. Luke has had to watch Lorelai become engaged and then un-engaged and then go out with some random guy, leaving Luke to believe Lorelai will date anyone but him.
The big night arrives, and Rory is ready to be the best Juliet she can be. It is half of her grade after all. Unfortunately, Tristan is nowhere to be found. Paris is beside herself. How will she get into Harvard if she fails Shakespeare? The two go looking for Tristan and when they find him it's bad news all around. Tristan got busted with his buds last night and now he's being shipped off to military school. He can't be Romeo. And worse, Rory will most likely never see him again. She tells him she is genuinely sorry and they say their goodbyes. Tristan would like to kiss her but can't because Dean is watching their every move. He leaves, and Paris must step into his shoes as Romeo. After leaving Chilton, Lorelai heads over to Luke's to talk to him. She tells him that he is very important to her and she is thankful that he is always there for her, and she will always be there for him. And things are back to normal between them. For now.
- Last appearance of Tristan Dugray
- Macbeth by Shakespeare
- Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
- Richard III by Shakespeare
- The Mourning Bride by William Congreve
- Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw in reference to "By George, I think she's got it."
- The Shining
- Bringing Up Baby
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- On the Town
- Mystic Pizza
- The River Wild
- Sookie – A Musso Lussino 480!
- Lorelai – Somebody sent me a fascist ice cream maker?
- Lorelai – Okay, once again, I bring up the fact that this is a wedding present, and as I am not getting married, neither God's law nor Emily Post's allows me to keep this.
- Sookie – It's true. I saw it on Martha Stewart
- Teacher – One group did their scene as the Mafiosi. Another set theirs during the Roman Empire. And my favorite, the climactic last scene was set during the final days of the Sonny & Chershow.
- Paris – Why don't they just sew our sides together and rename us Chang and Eng?
- Lorelai – So, um, judging by your Billy Graham impression, I am guessing that you didn't send me an ice cream maker.
- Paul – The Twilight Zone marathon was on all week.
- Rory – Hey.
- Madeline – Hey.
- Louise – We're the Monkees.
- Paris – Okay. Now I want everyone to read the chapters on acting. I photocopied out of Houseman's memoirs tonight.
- Lorelai – Have you seen my bag with the beads and the fur, kind of looks like Stalin's head?
- Lorelai – Okay, you know what Vanna? I'm gonna need a few more vowels here.
- Lorelai – The Actor's Studio will go nuts. You'll have James Lipton asking you what your favorite swear word is.
- Lorelai – He's never seen Ab Fab
- Tristan – Yeah, I think somehow I'll recover from the great romance between you and the Beave
- Lorelai – I mean it. Today is the day we finally spring for The Powerpuff Girls shotglasses
- Luke – Doogie Howser was a doctor at sixteen.
- Lorelai – Doogie Howser was not real.
- Lorelai – This is incredible. I go on one stupid date and suddenly I'm the female Jerry Lee Lewis