“Your head is much too big for a veil”

EMILY: Your head is much too big for a veil. You might consider a tiara.
LORELAI: Um, a tiara?
EMILY: That’s what I wore.

A callback to Emily believing that Lorelai had a head that was too big for her body when she was a child, with Lorelai’s first sentence supposedly being, “Big head want dolly”. Apparently Lorelai’s head is still “much too big” to wear a wedding veil.

Emily suggests a tiara instead, and says that’s what she wore as a bride, perhaps indicating that she also thinks of her own head as “too big”, and may be projecting that onto Lorelai. While neither Emily nor Lorelai have enormous heads, they both would look good in a tiara, so Emily’s taste may simply be correct.

Emily does not overtly indicate that she understood or forgave Lorelai after her apology, but answering her original question is a tacit admission that their fight is over. Emily is even worse at talking about her emotions than Lorelai is, but both women are trying to connect in their own ways. Lorelai smiles at her mother’s response, as if this tiny effort was the best she was hoping for.

“I don’t know how to tell you things”

LORELAI: I’m sorry.
EMILY: All right, you’re sorry.
LORELAI: I don’t know how to tell you things Mom. Um, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but we don’t communicate very well. When something good happens to me, I’m just afraid you’re gonna make me feel bad about it. And when something bad happens to me, I’m always afraid you’ll say “I told you so.” I’m not sure if that’s always fair, and I’m sure I share part of the blame for this circle we get into, but you think your words don’t have any effect on me, but they do. And, I just didn’t want to feel bad about this, so I waited. And I really didn’t mean to hurt you.

Lorelai apologises to Emily for her part in their fight, explaining that she’s scared to tell Emily anything, good or bad, for fear of how she will react. She makes it clear it wasn’t done as a deliberate act to hurt Emily.

Emily makes no sign that she is even listening to Lorelai, and continues writing the letter she was working on when Lorelai interrupted her. As Lorelai pours out her heart to her, the most Emily does is turn her head away: is she ignoring Lorelai, gathering her thoughts, or does she look away for fear that the sight of Lorelai’s face will cause her own tightly controlled feelings to pour out?

Elizabeth Taylor

LORELAI: Hey Mom. I was in the neighborhood, ’cause there’s that wedding dress place on Willow. Elizabeth Taylor bought one of her dresses there.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was a British-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. Beginning her career as a child actress in the 1940s, including a part in Lassie Come Home, previously mentioned, she became one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. She successfully continued her career in the 1960s, including as the female lead in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, previously discussed, for which she won the Best Actress Academy Award. She remained a well-known public figure for the rest of her life, and is regarded as one of the great screen legends.

Elizabeth Taylor was famous for her many marriages, marrying eight times to seven men. Her marriages were to hotel heir Conrad “Nicky” Hilton in 1950, British actor Michael Wilding in 1952, producer Mike Todd in 1957, singer Eddie Fisher in 1959, Welsh actor Richard Burton in 1964, and then again in 1975, Republican politician John Warner in 1976, and construction worker Larry Fortensky in 1991 (ending in 1996). None of her marriages lasted a long time (she was widowed about a year after marrying Mike Todd), and this is another hint to us of the probable fate of any marriage between Lorelai and Max.

Elizabeth Taylor did not buy any of her wedding dresses in Hartford, and only had a traditional white wedding dress for her first wedding to Nicky Hilton [pictured]. It was made by MGM costume designer Helen Rose (who also made Grace Kelly’s wedding dress), and was a gift to Taylor by the studio. Her other wedding dresses were stylish gowns, with the most “wedding like” of them being for her last wedding, to Larry Fortensky. It was a pale yellow floor-length lace gown by the designer Valentino, and given to her by him as a gift.

“Wedding dress place on Willow”

LORELAI: Hey Mom. I was in the neighbourhood, ’cause there’s that wedding dress place on Willow.

There are a few streets named Willow in the Hartford area, but none of them are in the sort of upmarket shopping district you’d expect a bridal store to be. I think for now we have to accept it as a fictional place – and it’s not impossible that Lorelai has invented it to explain her presence at her mother’s house.

At the beginning of the episode, Rory took Lorelai wedding dress shopping, but we never saw the results of that expedition. It’s still not clear if Lorelai’s bought her dress yet, or has bought the dress but is still to choose a wedding veil for it. It provides bookends for the episode, with Lorelai’s daughter helping her with her wedding outfit at the beginning, and her mother helping her at the end, so that all three generations of “Gilmore girls” take part in Lorelai’s planned wedding.

Final Party Scene

As we leave Lorelai and Max’s engagement party, the camera pans around so we can see what everyone is doing.

Miss Patty is dancing with Kirk; it is unclear at this point if they have only known each other for a few months, or if the show has already retconned Kirk as Miss Patty’s former student. A strange little moment takes place when Miss Patty looks up at Kirk as if she is going to say something, then seemingly thinks better of it and looks away again with a mysterious expression. You would almost think that she was about to suggest that the two of them become closer – you might remember that when Miss Patty met Kirk in Cinnamon’s Wake, she said she would date him if he had a better haircut. (And in The Break Up Part 2, Kirk had apparently been told gossip by Miss Patty between 10 pm and 6 am, which is interesting).

Rory and Dean, sitting on a bench together having resolved their argument. Rory has her head sleepily on Dean’s shoulder, and Dean kisses the top of her head.

Lane leaving for the airport with her parents, and surely extremely late by now, with a comically huge suitcase she wouldn’t actually be allowed to take on the plane in real life.

Lorelai and Max dancing together. Max smiles lovingly down at his prospective bride, but Lorelai is looking over his shoulder at Luke, who is walking towards the party.

Luke and Lorelai wave and smile at each other; Max doesn’t see this as they are doing it behind his back. Luke sits down on a bench, next to three of the little girls dressed as brides who did the tap dance in the gazebo. Coincidentally or not, Luke will have important relationships with three women in the show before Lorelai (Anna, Rachel, and Nicole).

Jackson and Sookie

Jackson tells Sookie he isn’t ready for marriage yet, but is willing to move in with Sookie. She doesn’t take him seriously – or does she cleverly pretend not to take him seriously?

We know that Sookie is basically a Relationship Jedi Master, so possibly she doesn’t want to turn down Jackson’s offer of moving in, but neither does she want to say yes, because she really does want to be Jackson’s wife, not his live-in girlfriend. Nor does she want Jackson to move in with her out of a sense of obligation, or to keep her happy.

By jokingly refusing to listen to Jackson’s offer, Sookie leaves the question of marriage up in the air, so that it can be revisited later. Her strategy pays off when she and Jackson get married in the next season.

It seems very reasonable that Jackson isn’t ready for marriage – he and Sookie have only been dating for about five months. Lorelai and Max have been dating for about two months since they got back together, and we know how that’s going to turn out, so it really does look as if they are rushing their marriage plans.

It’s interesting that just as Lorelai hits the dreaded “two month mark” in her relationship with Max, he conveniently has to go to Toronto for six weeks. If he hadn’t gone to teach summer school, would their relationship have survived much longer? Lorelai’s past behaviour suggests it wouldn’t.