JOSHUA: Well Richard, it looks like we’re gonna be stuck with you for a while longer. It was just a touch of angina.
EMILY: But you have to watch your diet.
JOSHUA: Yes, that’s going to be very important. No more red meat, heavy desserts and you’re going to have to exercise regularly.

Angina is chest pain or pressure, usually caused by not enough blood flow to the heart muscle. Typically brought on by exertion or stress (such as the trouble Richard was having at work), the pain or discomfort is often accompanied by sweating (which is why he kept turning the heat down). It can be made worse by having a full stomach and by cold temperatures, so a big Christmas dinner helped create the perfect storm for Richard’s angina.

Dr Reynolds’ diet suggestions probably indicate that Richard’s tests showed he has high cholesterol, which is common with angina patients. Gentle exercise is recommended – despite Emily saying “golf doesn’t count”, it would probably be good for him. Almost certainly Dr Reynolds is also going to give him some form of medication.

Due to improvements in modern medicine, the prognosis for angina is quite good, with 92% of patients surviving for five years after diagnosis.

Brooks Brothers

LUKE: It’s a nice tie.
EMILY: It’s Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers are the oldest men’s clothing company in the US. Founded in Manhattan in 1818, Brooks Brothers have outfitted 40 of the 45 American presidents. Their neckties are made in either Britain or Italy. In 2000, Brooks Brothers was owned by British firm Marks & Spencer.

There are a number of Brooks Brothers store near Hartford where Emily might have bought Richard’s tie – their store at the mall in Farmington is only about 20 minutes drive away. However, it is just as likely that she bought it from a department store in Hartford.

“You are your mother’s daughter”

RORY: Nothing like that [she and Dean being out all night] will ever happen again. I swear.
LORELAI: Don’t swear.
RORY: Why not?
LORELAI: Because you are your mother’s daughter.
RORY: What does that mean.
LORELAI: It means things can happen, even when you don’t really mean for them to happen.

Even though Lorelai believes Rory when she says nothing happened between her and Dean, she still doesn’t trust her daughter. That’s because she sees Rory as Lorelai Mark II, and as she doesn’t trust herself, she doesn’t trust Rory. Unfortunately she is setting Rory up to fail at relationships and birth control with her “no matter how hard you try, you will still screw things up” message.


LORELAI: Rory, there are only two things that I totally trust in this entire world. The fact that I will never be able to understand what Charo is saying no matter how long she lives in this country – and you.

Charo (born Maria Martinez Molina Baeza in perhaps 1941) is a Spanish-American actress, comedian, and flamenco guitarist. In the late 1960s and 1970s Charo frequently appeared on American television as a guest star, and she has had a successful musical career in Latin America for five decades.

Her stage persona has an exuberant manner, wears flamboyant costumes, speaks broken English with a heavy Spanish accent, and uses the meaningless catchphrase “cuchi-cuchi” a lot – hence Lorelai’s difficulty in understanding her.

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

This 1971 Christmas song plays while Lorelai and Rory make up their fight at the vending machine.

With lyrics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, set to the tune of the traditional English English ballad Skewball, Happy Xmas (War is Over) was released as a single by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir. Also a protest song against the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard which has charted several times in the UK, and been re-recorded many times.

The song signals that the conflict between Lorelai and Rory has come to an end, and that a happy Christmas is coming now that their war is over.

“You may go first”

EMILY: No! I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?
RICHARD: Yes Emily. You may go first.

In A Year in the Life we find that Emily did not get her way for once, as Richard died before she did. Richard never promised he would only die after Emily’s demise – just that he was giving Emily permission to go first if she wanted to.

Jimmy Hoffa

LUKE: So who are you gonna go find now?
LUKE: How about Jimmy Hoffa? That’ll keep you busy for a while.

James “Jimmy” Hoffa (1913-1975) was an American union leader who was President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1958 to 1971. He had links with organised crime, and was accused of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964. He was imprisoned in 1967, and released in 1971 after being pardoned by President Richard Nixon in exchange for his resignation from the union presidency; he was barred from union activities until 1980.

Jimmy Hoffa vanished in 1975 while on his way to meet two Mafia leaders, and was declared legally dead in 1982. Several people have come forward saying that they know where Hoffa’s body is, or even claiming to have killed him, but their evidence hasn’t been corroborated, or their testimony unable to be proven. The FBI believe that Hoffa was murdered by the Mafia, but the case remains open.