Rory’s Summer School Classes

RORY: Oh, Henry, hi. Nice to see you.
HENRY: You too. What classes are you taking?
RORY: Shakespeare, physics, obscure Russian poetry.

Rory got a D for her first English Literature assignment, so it makes sense for her to enrol in two Literature classes to improve her grades further. One is the ubiquitous William Shakespeare, while the other is “obscure Russian poetry”, which doesn’t sound like a real subject. Possibly Rory is being facetious, and the subject is actually Nineteenth Century Russian Poets, or Modern Russian Poetry, or something like that. It may seem obscure to Rory, but probably isn’t – Chilton seems to cover the classics rather than anything left-of-field.

Rory has also enrolled in Physics, quite possibly towards credit in the next academic year, as she didn’t study Physics at Chilton in her sophomore year (Biology and Chemistry were her science subjects).

Henry is taking Trigonometry at summer school – just like Lane, this is his worst subject (an aversion of the stereotype that people of Asian heritage are gifted in mathematical subjects). Rory offers to help Henry with Trig, but we never see if she actually does so. It seems plausible enough since they’re both at summer school and Rory has experience in helping Lane with the subject.

 

“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.