On their way home, Lorelai and Rory notice that the elaborate snowman from the contest has been destroyed, presumably by Jess, who criticised it to Rory as “overdone”, and who wanted Rory’s entry to win. Rory, aka Miss Honesty, claims that she has no idea what happened to the snowman. Really, Rory? No idea at all?
For some reason, Lorelai believes that means she and Rory will win by default, even though there are many other snowmen still in the contest. This seems arrogant to the point of delusion. Their snow-woman was a good entry, but I don’t know if it’s automatically the winner now. The judges could very well take exception to her stroke mouth or even be literal enough to say it’s a snowman contest, not a snow-woman contest. We never do find out if they won the competition or not.
Rather than trudging home through the snow carrying their bags, Lorelai organises a sleigh ride home for she and Rory (and none of their friends, like Luke or Sookie or Dean or Lane … but maybe she didn’t want to seem like she was playing favourites, or the company would only allow one sleigh ride home). I’m not sure how they got to the inn with their bags in the first place. Perhaps someone gave them a lift?
The Bracebridge Dinner was originally going to be held on a Thursday night, and that would mean this was Friday morning, and Rory should be going to school. It’s likely it was moved to the Friday (meaning that it replaced the usual Friday Night Dinner with Emily and Richard), and it’s now Saturday morning and Rory is on her break. It can’t have been a weekend night, because Dean and Lane went to school the same day as the Bracebridge Dinner.
SOOKIE: You just had one grub too many. Just drink lots of water to rehydrate. JACKSON: I will.
I think Sookie is referring to mezcal, a Mexican spirit distilled from the agave plant, similar to tequila, and extremely intoxicating. Some brands include an edible mezcal “worm”, an insect larva which is the caterpillar of a moth, or occasionally the larva of a weevil, both of which naturally infest agave plants. The manufacturers added it in the 1950s as a marketing ploy. I think this is the “grub” Sookie means.
LORELAI: Hey Mom. You didn’t make it back to the room last night. Did you get lucky? EMILY: Could you be any cruder? LORELAI: Yeah, I can be cruder. Hey mom, did you get la- …
Lorelai chooses to take her mother literally and demonstrate that she can indeed be cruder, by beginning to say, “Did you get laid?”. This confirms that Emily and Richard did make up their fight and spent the night in the same room.
LORELAI: So it was the uniform, huh? MISS PATTY: Aw, it’s the Biloxi Naval Base all over again.
Biloxi is a coastal city in Mississippi. There isn’t actually a naval base there – there’s a military base for the air force though. Miss Patty might be thinking of the Naval Construction Battalion Center in nearby Gulfport, about ten miles further down the coast – the cities are so close that they share the same airport, and other facilities, and the air force and naval bases are close together.
Both these military bases provided training to new recruits in the second half of the twentieth century, beginning in World War II. It’s possible that Miss Patty, who seems to have been a New Yorker before she moved to Stars Hollow, entertained the troops at one or both of these bases, perhaps during the Vietnam War, when she would have been in her early twenties.
RICHARD: Oh Emily, I know I’ve done nothing but disappoint you these past few months, what with how isolated I’ve become and all the social engagements I’ve made you cancel, and all the friendships I’ve jeopardized. And you like order, you like lists, you like to know where you’re going or what’s coming. You like all things planned. And then suddenly I impulsively unplan our entire future in one fell swoop. Well, I couldn’t face disappointing you again. I couldn’t face telling you that I’d spoiled the plan. Not now, not at this time of year.
Richard explains to Emily that he couldn’t stand the thought of disappointing her with news of his retirement, especially not at Christmas. Presumably he was going to tell Emily his news by the end of the Christmas holidays, to explain why he was not returning to work.
Note that Emily loves order and lists, just like Rory.
LORELAI: Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Gilmores of our lives.
Lorelai references Days of Our Lives, a very long-running television soap opera which first aired in 1965. The title sequence shows an hourglass with sand trickling through it, while the voiceover says, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”.