“That girl’s a freak”

[Shane rushes over to Jess at the counter]

LORELAI: That girl’s a freak.

[Jess and Shane start kissing]

Lorelai says that Shane is a “freak” because she kisses her boyfriend in public – something Rory does all the time, and something Lorelai did when she was a teenager! It’s a pretty terrible thing to say about a teenager who is literally right there.

Even though Lorelai doesn’t want Rory to go out with Jess, for some reason she seems miffed that Jess has chosen somebody else, and snipes about Shane (she should be grateful Shane is making Jess unavailable). She may be trying to send Rory the message that only a “freak” would go out with Jess.

Johnny Yune

LANE: We practice for two hours, I’m home in time to watch reruns of Johnny Yune’s talk show on Korean television with my mom, who thinks I hooked up with you guys – which I did, so I’m not even lying.

Johnny Yune, born Yoon Jong-seung (1936-2020), Korean-American actor, singer, and comedian. He began performing stand up in 1964, and got his big break appearing on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in 1979. He was one of the show’s most frequent comedy guests. He is best known for playing the lead role in the 1980s comedy films, They Call Me Bruce, and They Still Call Me Bruce.

From 1989-90, he hosted The Johnny Yune Show, the first Americanised talk show in Korea The show was a hit, but only after a year, Yune decided to leave due to limited freedom of the media.

Mrs Kim is watching reruns of his talk show on KBS America, the local platform for Korean Broadcasting System, South Korea’s national broadcaster.

Band Practice

LANE: Hello Stars Hollow, are you ready to rock?

LORELAI: Let me guess, band practice tonight?

Lane was given permission by Sophie to use the music store to practice drumming two evenings a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 pm (evenings when she knew her mother would be out doing church activities). Lane is now really pushing that generous offer by finding a band that needs a drummer and letting them use Sophie’s music store as a free rehearsal space! It sounds like a pretty awful way to repay Sophie, but maybe Lane already fixed this up with Sophie offscreen. I hope so.

You may be wondering whether this episode starts on a Wednesday evening – it can’t be Friday, because Lorelai and Rory are having dinner at the diner, instead of heading off to Hartford for Friday Night Dinner with Richard and Emily. It appears to be a Saturday, oddly enough, so perhaps Lane also got Sophie to agree to a third evening of band practice per week. How Sophie would have agreed to all these changes to the orginal agreement, I don’t know.

This scene shows how happy Lane is to have finally be in a band and playing music, she is absolutely radiating joy as she bounces into the diner and starts eating Rory’s dinner. Lane isn’t making any effort to keep her activities a secret, and even though Stars Hollow is super gossipy, she doesn’t seem worried about Mrs Kim finding out. Maybe that’s how confident she feels now she’s actually living her dream.

Daffy Duck

LORELAI: Now, this last one’s a little more gory. I’m out hunting … And my gun backfires and my whole face spins around a bunch of times and winds up in the back of my head like Daffy Duck.

Daffy Duck, animated cartoon character created for Leon Schlesinger Productions by animators Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. He first appeared in the short film Porky’s Duck Hunt in 1937, and is a staple character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series. He is an assertive, combative figure whose lisp never stops him from putting forward his strong opinions.

A common gag is for Daffy to get shot in the face (quite often accidentally by himself), and his face spins around so that his bill ends up behind his head.

Republicans

LORELAI: So, I think I’m in touch with the other side …

RORY: With Republicans?

The Republican Party in the US, founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, with an elephant as its symbol, for reasons nobody seems sure about. It shifted towards the right in the early twentieth century and is now a socially conservative party, tending to favour free market economics. It supports lower taxes, gun rights, restrictions on immigration, restrictions on abortion, restrictions on unions, and increased military spending. Since the 1850s it has been the main political rival to the Democratic Party, so when Lorelai says she is in touch with “the other side” (meaning the supernatural realm), Rory asks whether she means the other side of politics. Lorelai and Rory are Democrat supporters.

“Pack your bags”

DARREN: [on answering machine] I just wanted to let you know that I just finished going over Rory’s records here, and no shock, they’re perfect. Rory, you are tailor-made for Harvard. They’re lucky to have you. As far as I’m concerned, you should pack your bags. I’m gonna tell all this to the people in admissions and I’ll give your headmaster a call as well, so take care and we’ll talk again.

There is no way that the alumnus who interviewed a prospective student would tell them to “pack their bags” – there are many, many excellent students who aren’t accepted into Harvard, nobody can guarantee anyone a spot, unless something very corrupt is going on. This goes right up there with Headmaster Charleston telling Rory she deserves to go to Harvard, just after she’s discovered breaking into his office, no less.

However, this is a way to neatly tie up the episode and let the viewers know that Rory will almost certainly be accepted into Harvard, and all her application anxieties are at an end. Although Rory has work for the newspaper to complete, and Lorelai needs to do tasks for the inn, they elect to spend their Sunday hanging out together instead, as if aware that their time together is running short, and therefore more precious.

Jackson’s Plans for Rory’s Room

JACKSON: I have this collection of antique farming tools that my dad passed down to me.

SOOKIE: Pre-Revolutionary War. They’re kind of valuable.

JACKSON: And I’ve got no place to put them. I’ve been looking for the right space.

LORELAI: In Rory’s room?

Sookie and Jackson continue being ridiculously annoying since their marriage. Now Jackson asks Lorelai if he can store his valuable collection of antique farming tools in Rory’s room when she goes away to college, as he has nowhere to put them. Oh really? So where are they now? Because wherever they are, that’s a place he has to put them.

The idea that when a teenager goes away to college their bedroom is now “free space” is ludicrous. Rory will still need to come home, she will need somewhere to sleep, study, and put her things away for at least a few years. And even if Lorelai did decide to use Rory’s room for something else, why on earth would she want to display someone else’s old tools in it?

I think this is meant to be a sad or bittersweet moment when Lorelai realises with a pang that Rory will soon be gone, but it ends up being stupid and irritating instead.

Trust God

[Lane takes off her Dead Kennedys shirt; underneath is a shirt that says Trust God]

DAVE: Trust God – is that a band?

LANE: No. My life.

Right from the start Dave knows that Lane is a Christian, and that she has to hide her love of rock music from her family. She makes no attempt to laugh off the shirt or pretend that it’s a band name, or some kind of ironic joke. Whatever Dave feels about Lane, he will have to accept who she is if they are to have a chance together.

Note in the background a plaque reading Stars Hollow – 1779 – Stellae Caverna. It gives a Latin translation of Stars Hollow, and confirms the town’s foundation date as 1779 (even though that’s contradicted by other information).

Junior College

RORY: Or hey, you can go to college in Boston.

DEAN: I’m going to junior college.

RORY: Boston has junior colleges.

DEAN: But not dorm rooms.

In the US, a junior college is a two-year post-secondary school whose main purpose is to provide academic, vocational and professional education. The highest certificate offered by such schools is usually an Associate degree, although junior college students may continue their education at a four-year university or college, by transferring some or all of their credits earned.

Dean might be planning to attend Goodwin College, a junior college in East Hartford that used to be a school of business. They have student housing available so that Dean would be able to live on campus.

There are three junior colleges in Boston – Bay State College, Fisher College, and Labouré College of Healthcare, which provides training for nurses and is probably not for Dean. Bay State and Fisher are mostly for business and administration degrees. Both Bay State and Fisher do have halls of residence for students to stay in, so Dean isn’t correct about that.

Christiane Amanpour’s Situation

RORY: Christiane Amanpour spends half of her life standing in foxholes in third world countries, and she has a husband and a kid. And she was on C-SPAN last week getting some award, so if she and her husband can make it work, we can.

DEAN: So we’ll have access to the CNN jet?

Christiane Amanpour, previously discussed as Rory’s idol. From 1998 to 2018 she was married to James Rubin (born 1960), former Assistant Secretary of State and spokesman for the US State Department during the Clinton administration, and was an informal adviser to Hillary Clinton. Their son Darius Rubin was born in 2000, so aged two years old at this time. Because of Amanpour’s career, her husband James did spend a lot of time home alone with the baby, keeping in touch with his wife by telephone.

In real life, Amanpour received two awards in 2002. The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was presented to her at Harvard in March, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism was presented to her at Washington State University in May. Neither of those were “last week” from Rory’s perspective, although it’s possible she only saw the broadcast of one of them on C-SPAN the week before.

Christiane Amanpour worked for CNN from 1983 to 2010, so throughout the run of Gilmore Girls. As chief foreign correspondent, she reported on crises from many of the world’s hotspots, and in 2002 had filed reports from the Gaza Strip, famously interviewing Yasser Arafat in his compound by phone.

[Picture shows Christiane Amanpour, her husband James, and son Darius in London, 2003]