Lorelai's (Lauren Graham) concern over the fact that she can't afford to repair her home's extensive termite damage turns to anger when Rory (Alexis Bledel) tells Emily (Kelly Bishop) about their problem and Emily again offers Lorelai a loan.
Lorelai is drinking coffee at Luke’s when Rory arrives with her PSAT scores. As Lorelai tries to tell her daughter that these are not as important as the real thing, Rory announces that she got a 740 verbal and a 760 math. Almost a perfect score! You’d think Rory would be super psyched, but instead she is a bit bewildered. She wants to know how she scored higher in math, when verbal is her thing. Maybe she didn’t study hard enough. Maybe she got cocky. No, she just needs to chill out. It’s a great score. To celebrate, Lorelai tells Rory they will get all dressed up and go to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rory digs the idea and decides to invite Lane, although she’s been kind of hard to reach lately.
The next morning, Lorelai wakes up in a fabulous mood, pours herself some coffee and heads out on the porch. Her perfect morning is disrupted when her foot goes right through the wood on the porch. Turns out, termites have infested the entire house. Kirk, the jack of all trades, arrives to tell them what to do. He thinks this is super serious. The whole house could come down at any minute. Lorelai thinks he’s overreacting, but the fact remains that Lorelai needs $15,000 to fix her termite infestation. Where can she get that much money? At school, Rory eats lunch at the same table as Madeline, Louise and Paris. They’re not sitting together, but Rory can hear Paris asking the girls about their PSAT scores. Of course, Paris is just asking her friends so that she can gloat about her own scores. And what did Paris get? Well, she got a 750 math and a 730 verbal. And what did Rory get? Rory won’t give up the goods because it’s personal. And this drives Paris absolutely crazy. She just has to know if she did better than Rory; otherwise, she’ll never be satisfied with her own scores.
That night, Lorelai wakes up Rory because she thinks she can hear the termites chewing the wood away. Lorelai wants to sleep at Sookie’s, but Rory think her mom is imagining the whole thing. When Rory tries to go back to sleep, she too starts to freak out and the next thing you know, the Gilmore girls are walking to Sookie’s house for a good night’s sleep. Sookie is psyched because she thinks they’re all going have a slumber party. But since it’s already midnight, the three girls just make a few milkshakes. Lorelai tells Sookie that she tried to call the bank about a loan, but the bank just laughed in her face. Turns out, Lorelai is a bad risk, or as she puts it, one of the biggest losers in Stars Hollow. Ouch. As the girls talk, Lorelai and Rory hear a huge thud in Sookie’s closet. Want to bet Jackson is hiding out in there? He is, but he refused to come out because his pajamas are too embarrassing. When he finally emerges, Jackson is wearing a pair of pajamas that have pictures of himself as a high school wrestler all over them.
When Rory goes to visit Lane, her Mrs. Kim kicks her out because she thinks Rory is going to bring termites into their house. Unfortunately, Lane isn’t there, but Rory gets chased down the block by Lane’s Mom and a hose anyway. Of course, the termite news has spread all over town by now and everyone is just dying to know Lorelai and Rory are going to do. Back at home, Madeline calls Rory with a made-up story about her doing an article comparing Chilton’s PSAT scores with those of other prep schools, in an attempt to get Rory to reveal her scores. Rory wasn’t born yesterday, and knows that evil Paris is behind the whole thing. Paris gets on the phone and demands to know Rory’s scores. And Rory promptly hangs up on her. Meanwhile, Lorelai’s attempts at a loan become more and more futile, so Rory suggests the unthinkable, asking Emily and Richard for the money. But Lorelai just can’t do that, it will come at too big of a cost.
At the Friday night dinner, Emily can sense that Lorelai is tense and wants to know what’s wrong. Rory spills the beans on the termite infestation, and Lorelai is horrified. Emily gets up to write out a check, but Lorelai refuses to accept it. Emily is offended. Lorelai would rather have her house fall down than accept help from her own mother? Yes. After dinner, Lorelai refuses to even look at Rory. She is so upset that Rory went against her wishes and drives that point home really hard. Lorelai said that Rory had no right to bring up the problem in front of Emily. And boy is she mad! It’s pretty rare to see Lorelai blow up like that. This is pretty serious stuff. Later, Rory meets up with Dean and she’s acting all moody over her fight with Mom. Rory gives Dean the lowdown, and he cautiously tells her that she can be just as stubborn as her mother. Dean assures his girl that they will make up soon enough and then they head out for a cup of coffee. But not before Rory sees something shocking; Lane in a cheerleading outfit. She decides to bolt without saying anything. As for Lorelai, she’s still begging banks for money and getting turned down flat. Michel suggests that she offer the bank officer a lap dance.
Back in the termite infested Gilmore house, Emily calls to report that she has recently spoken to a friend who just happens to be the president of the First National Bank. And if Lorelai wants to talk to the president, she can meet him on Thursday at 3:15. Lorelai thanks her Mother, but refuses to go. Yet, she quickly changes her mind when a call to another bank ends in one more disaster. After having coffee, Rory says goodbye to Dean with a rather passionate kiss and when it’s over, immediately spots Lane across the way. They meet up by a bench and discuss Lane’s recent decision to become a cheerleader. Lane says she kept it quiet because of what Rory might say. Rory is totally judgmental. They used to make fun of cheerleaders! But Lane just wanted to try it because, Rory isn’t around as much as she used to be. Plus, she has Dean now and well, Lane doesn’t feel like she has to justify this to anyone! Back at the Gilmore house, Luke is looking under some wooden boards to help Lorelai see what is actually going on. Luke says there is indeed damage, but it’s not that bad. He even says he can find a couple of friends to fix it and Lorelai can pay them back in monthly installments. Okay, but who would Lorelai make the check out to? Well, Luke. Which means he would be fronting her the money, and she can’t accept the offer.
With no other choice, Lorelai is left to go to the Which First National Bank to meet with Emily’s friend, Miles. Even better, Emily just happens to be there too! At first, Lorelai turns around to leave because she feels humiliated, but Emily follows her and insists that Lorelai keep her appointment. She agrees on one condition, that Emily sits in on the meeting but can’t say a word. Inside the bank, Lorelai meets Miles, and the meeting begins. Lorelai explains her situation, but Miles keeps engaging Emily in the conversation. So, Lorelai tells Miles to treat her like any other person walking in from the street. He agrees, looks at her paperwork and promptly tells her that he cannot help her. The only way to get the money is if someone would co-sign the loan with her. And who might that person be? Emily, of course, is going to co-sign and the deal is done. When it’s over Lorelai wants to know what she owes Emily. But Emily quickly responds with nothing. Lorelai owes her nothing it all. Emily just wanted to do something nice for her daughter. Is that so wrong?
That night, there’s a pep rally going on in downtown Stars Hollow with a bonfire and everything and Rory shows up to see Lane in all her cheerleading glory. While she waits for the festivities to begin, Lorelai shows up to make peace with her daughter but not before making her point clear. Rory has to respect Lorelai’s decisions. Lorelai has never let Rory down before and Rory needs to trust her. Then, the fight is officially over. Next, Lane and her fellow cheerleaders come out and do their routine to the song “One Step Beyond” by Madness. Rory is proud of her best bud and tells her exactly that after the show. And since coffee keeps a cheerleader perky, they head to Luke’s for a make-up cup. At the Friday night dinner, Lorelai tells Emily about the work on the house, but Emily is still upset. So Lorelai follows her mom into the kitchen for a little talk. She apologizes to Emily for doubting her motives with the loan. Lorelai really appreciates the help, and Emily accepts the apology. Oh, by the way, Emily will be having D.A.R. meetings at the inn from now on. Lorelai doesn’t mind, does she?
- “Lorelai – You are not seriously sitting there
Emily – No, it's a hologram. Lifelike, isn't it?”
- —Family banking
- Lane becomes a cheerleader, something she at first abhorred.
- Lane and Rory have their third fight on the show.
- que sera sera | DORIS DAY
- be true to your school | GRANT LEE PHILLIPS
- one step beyond | MADNESS
- Fiddler on the Roof by John Stein
- Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene
- The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
- The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by José Saramago
- Madeline – Boys. A Nancy Drew mystery.
- Lorelai – Aw honey, it's not the amount of places that turns you down that matters, it's the quality of the place that turns you down that matters. And when you've got Jacko's Loans and Stuff not wanting your business, you know it's time to hang out with the Coreys.
- Lorelai – Oh, you think I don't know that? You think I sit around all day swapping witticisms with Robert Benchley at the Algonquin?
- Lorelai – Cause I'm Tony Soprano?
- Lorelai – You will say nothing, you will do nothing, you will sit in the corner and offer no opinions and pull a full-on Clarence Thomas.
- Lorelai – (to Emily) I swear, one of these days, Alice. Pow! Right to the moon!
- Rory – I liked it. Very John Waters.