The episode ends with Rory back in the dining hall at Chilton, peacefully reading and listening to her Walkman. She hasn’t been made to socialise after all, and the headmaster has been forced to back down and realise that Gilmore girls have to follow their own rules.
Another girl asks if she can sit with Rory, and she takes her own book out and starts reading in silence. Rory smiles at this confirmation she is not the only person at Chilton who likes to read at lunchtime, and now she isn’t a weird loner any more. She has a lunch friend, just as Mrs Verdinas insisted she find.
According to the credits, this girl is named Lisa. She’s played by Connecticut actress Madeline Zima, who already had quite a lengthy CV at this stage, and was most famous for playing Grace Sheffield in The Nanny.
Lisa was one of the other girls who was going to be inducted by the Puffs at the same time as Rory and Paris, although she is never introduced to the viewer and never speaks to Rory that we see (they might have spoken off-screen). She is the girl wearing blue and yellow checked pyjama pants with a grey tee shirt and a blue cardigan.
Possibly Lisa was also told to find some friends, rather than sit and read at lunchtime – although if so, couldn’t Headmaster Charleston or Mrs Verdinas have simply introduced Rory and Lisa to each other, suggesting that they have something in common? You know, like a normal school? Lisa was never shown eating lunch with the Puffs, so presumably she was recruited some other way, or that occurred after Rory and Paris joined the table, and was therefore offscreen.
Do not expect to ever see Lisa again, or hear her mentioned. Did she and Rory ever speak to each other and become real friends? Did they show each other the books they were reading? Did they have anything else in common? These questions are never answered.
In an episode that doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, it finishes with a character that remains an enigma.
EDIT: This article was heavily edited with the kind assistance of Sarah M, who was able to identify Lisa as one of the girls at the Puffs induction ceremony, something I was unable to do.