“He knows all and sees all”

CHRISTOPHER: Okay, why is that man staring at me?
RORY: That’s Taylor Doose. He owns the market. He knows all and sees all.

A reference to God, who the Bible says is omniscient many times over. For example, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3); “God looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens” (Job 28:24); and “We know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20) are just a few examples. They are often summed up as, “He knows all and sees all”, and can be jokingly applied to anyone who seems to know everything.

Christopher (David Sutcliffe)

In a mild cliffhanger ending to the episode, Rory’s father Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), who has been living in California for some time, unexpectedly arrives in Stars Hollow.

We at once understand why Lorelai loved him as a teenager, but rejected him as a husband and co-parent to their daughter. Christopher is good-looking, charismatic, and rides a cool motorcycle, but is clearly unreliable and immature – it’s hard not to cringe when he yells at Lorelai to take her top off in front of their teenaged daughter.

It’s also obvious that Rory adores her father. The way she eagerly runs to him for a hug demonstrates the longing she must have felt to have a father in her life – even an unsatisfactory one like Christopher. While Lorelai knows what Christopher is like, Rory still has stars in her eyes over him: just as Lorelai must have had seventeen years ago.

Lorelai once said that Rory’s boyfriend Dean reminded her of Christopher, but now that we actually see Christopher for ourselves, there isn’t a strong resemblance. Interestingly, David Sutcliffe does look a little bit like Nathan Wetherington, the actor who played Dean in the original Pilot.

(Christopher looks astoundingly clean and refreshed for someone who has just ridden his motorcycle for 3000 miles; the bike is very clean as well).

Motorcycle

LORELAI: Kill me and bury me with that bike.
RORY: What is it? A Harley?
LORELAI: That is a 2000 Indian, 80 horsepower, 5 speed close ratio Andrews transmission, and I want to get one.

Indian is a brand of American motorcycle, first produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts, until the company went bankrupt. Initially made by the Hendee Manufacturing Company, their name was changed to the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company in 1928.

The rights to the Indian name were acquired by a succession of companies after the bankruptcy. In 1998, the Indian Motorcycle Corporation of America was formed from a merger of nine different companies, and in 1999 they began making Indian motorcycles in Gilroy, California (a hint as to who is riding the bike). The company went bankrupt in 2003, but rights to the name have again been acquired by a succession of companies, and they are still being made.

Rory wonders if the motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson, often just called a Harley. Harley-Davidson have been making motorcycles since 1903, first manufactured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; they are the main rival company to Indian. Rory clearly has far less knowledge of motorcycles than her mother, and possibly knows of Harleys through motorcycle-loving Dean, who may yearn for one of these Midwest-originating bikes.

Andrews makes parts for motorcycles, including transmissions, and have been supplying Harley-Davidson since 1972. They were also supplying Indian, at least in the early 2000s.

Lorelai’s lust for the motorycle explains why she was so worried that Rory would be attracted to a boy who rode one – she assumed it would be a case of like mother, like daughter. This soon turns out to be correct. In fact, Rory jumps on the back of her father’s bike with suspicious ease, making us wonder if Dean kept his promise to Lorelai to never let Rory on his motorcycle.

“Do you have feelings for this man?”

EMILY: Why do you treat me like I don’t have a clue in the world as to what is going on in your life? Now I’m asking you, as a favour, if you have any respect for me at all as your mother, just tell me. Do you have feelings for this man [Luke]?
LORELAI: I don’t know. Maybe I do. I haven’t given it much thought. Maybe I do.
EMILY: Thank you. I’m glad you were finally honest with me. Now we can discuss what on earth you could possibly be thinking.

Although Sookie has been trying to persuade Lorelai that she likes Luke as more than a friend, it is Emily who finally forces Lorelai to openly admit she might have feelings for him. There is some poignancy that she chooses to open up to her mother before her best friend – and possibly that’s because she knows Emily will slap her down for it, rather than be given encouragement as Sookie would. On some level Lorelai doesn’t want to be pushed toward Luke, she wants to be pushed away, and Emily obliges.

Madrid and Cervantes

RICHARD [of his upcoming trip to Madrid]: I think there’s a nice edition of Cervantes in it for you.
RORY: Gracias.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) was a Spanish writer regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s greatest novelists. His best known work is Don Quixote, earlier discussed – it is sometimes thought of as the first novel, and is a literary classic.

Richard’s comment suggests that whenever he has to travel to a foreign city on business, he tries to buy Rory a book there by an author associated with that city – Cervantes lived and worked in Madrid for most of his life. We know Richard has already bought her something from Prague, quite possibly a book.

Rory simply replies, “Thank you” in Spanish.

(Richard’s trip to Madrid will be on the 12th of March, suggesting it is now Friday 2nd March. It could be Friday the 9th, but in that case it seems more likely that Richard would have simply said he left on Monday).

Houdini

RORY: Each of us have to follow a chick through its entire growth process. Everything has to be logged. Eating habits, sleeping habits.
LORELAI: Houdini habits.

Harry Houdini, born Erik Weisz (1874-1926) was an Austro-Hungarian born American illusionist and stunt performer, known for his sensational escape acts. An international star, Houdini was a headline act in vaudeville for most of his career, and for many years the highest-paid vaudeville performer.

Joan and Melissa Rivers

EMILY: Lorelai, you’re being morbid.
LORELAI: I’m being morbid? … Joan and Melissa Rivers here think I’m being morbid.

Joan Rivers, born Joan Molinsky (1933-2014) was an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host. She was known for her controversial comedic persona, which was often viciously insulting towards celebrities and politicians. Actress Melissa Rivers (born Melissa Rosenberg in 1968) is her daughter, who worked alongside her mother on several occasions.

Joan and Melissa Rivers appeared as themselves in the 1994 television movie Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story, which we learn in the next season is favourite viewing for a mocking Lorelai and Rory.

In the film Joan and Melissa recreate the anguish they went through after the suicide of Joan’s husband and Melissa’s father, Edgar Rosenberg – who had often been the butt of his wife’s jokes during her comedy routine, and whose death was also milked for humour by Joan.

Lorelai equates Richard and Emily’s glee at getting their hands on their dead acquaintance’s house at a good price as being in a similar vein of poor taste.

Joan Rivers was one of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s favourite comedians, and her later TV show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is about a female comedian in the 1950s who is partly inspired by Rivers.