Lorelai Apologises to Emily

Emily goes to to the kitchen to get more bread (wherever is the cook or the maid during these dramatic kitchen scenes? Do they just happen to be on a break in the middle of a meal, or in the toilet? Is there another food preparation or storage room somewhere? Even weirder, are they just out of shot and actually present the whole time?).

Lorelai apologises to Emily for not trusting her motives in helping, saying that she isn’t used to people doing things without strings attached. Emily immediately realises that Lorelai is talking about her and Richard, but Lorelai continues thanking her, saying she didn’t have anywhere to turn and was all out of ideas, and that she doesn’t know what she would have done without Emily. Hm, maybe she needs to thank and apologise to Rory as well now?

Emily thanks Lorelai, and then gives her parting shot – with a wicked smile, she tells her the DAR will be holding all their meetings at the Independence Inn from now on. She leaves, seemingly without the bread she supposedly came in for. Emily wasn’t joking either. A year later, there is mention of the DAR meetings still being held at the inn.

Of course, the DAR would have been free to book the Independence if they wanted to anyway, and Emily has organised things so that the inn Lorelai manages gets more business. It’s up to the viewer whether she has really taken revenge on Lorelai, or is trying to give her even more help. Or both!

Note how beautifully this scene is composed and shot, and that here is the colour red again to indicate strong emotion. Lorelai in red with a red light on her hair, vase of red flowers, red strawberries on the cake, little red desserts, red grapes, a red pepper in the fruit bowl (slightly oddly). Only Emily remains in cool blue and silver, her emotions under control.

Work Starts on the House

The show ends with another Friday Night Dinner – not the one immediately after the Thursday night scene at Stars Hollow High School, but the following one, more than a week later. Lorelai tells Emily that work began on the house the previous morning, so that we know they have already done the termite fumigation, and everything is on track for their house to be fully repaired.

Getting a house’s foundation repaired usually takes about three days, so it might be be finished over the weekend. Even allowing for extra time because the damage was so extensive, we can feel confident that Lorelai’s house will be completely fixed by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest (in time for the next episode!).

Be True to Your School

This is the song that the Town Troubadour is singing at the end of the scene, just as Rory and Lane walk off together, and most people are leaving.

It was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the Beach Boys, released as a single from their 1963 album Little Deuce Coupe. It is an early example of a concept album, as all of the tracks are about cars in some way.

The song talk about being proud of your school, and not letting people look down on it, and specifically refers to cheerleading as part of showing school spirit. Each line of the song’s coda begins with “Rah rah”, like a cheerleading chant. The show focuses so much on Chilton, Rory’s school, and this is rare chance for Stars Hollow High School to be showcased.

The Troubadour seems to singing the song for all the school, but especially the cheerleaders, and perhaps Lane in particular. She hasn’t had much to be proud of, with golden girl Rory getting all the plaudits, so being able to feel proud of her cheerleading and her school seems pretty important. It’s the first time Lane has made a deliberate choice to break away from Rory and start leading a life of her own – and it’s something involving music, which she loves. It might be only “one step step beyond”, but it’s a significant one.

Rory and Lane Make Up

Rory and Lane make up their fight very quickly, with Rory saying that cheerleading seems fun, and that she can see that Lane is stamping her own personality on the team, rather than giving up her personality in order to fit in (which is possibly what Rory feared). Lane assures Rory she is the same person she always was, and they go for coffee.

I wonder if Lane really is unchanged, though? She went through a pretty rough time after Rory went to a new school and got a boyfriend, and she actually seems happier and more confident since starting cheerleading.

Exene

LANE: I want you rest assured that I remain me. I mean, Nico-obsessed, Exene wannabe with forty Korean bibles under her bed. I just bounce a little more.

Exene Cervenka (born Christene Cervenka in 1956), is a singer, artist, and poet, best known as lead singer of the Californian punk band X, founded in 1977.

This comment from Lane doesn’t sound quite in character to me. Lane always wanted to be a drummer, not a singer, and she was usually a fan of British punk rather than American. It feels as if the writer has calculated girl who likes punk = likes punk band with a girl singer, rather than thinking of what Lane as a character would most admire.

John Waters

RORY: So the music selection, yours I assume?
LANE: Yeah, there was a bit of an education process going on.
RORY: I liked it. Very John Waters.

John Waters (born 1946), filmmaker, actor, writer and artist. He rose to fame in the 1970s making transgressive cult films such as Pink Flamingos (1972), often starring his childhood friend and muse, the drag queen Divine. His films became more mainstream in the 1980s, and his 1988 musical Hairspray became an international success and was turned into a Broadway stage musical. His most recent film in 2002 was the box-office failure, Cecil B. Demented (2000). All his films are set in his home town of Baltimore, Maryland.

Rory is probably suggesting that the cheerleader routine had the same surreal, kitschy appeal as a John Waters film.

One Step Beyond

This is the song which Lane and the other cheerleaders perform their routine to. It was written by Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster, and he released it as a B-side in 1964.

The version Lane is using is the cover version by English ska band Madness, the title track of their 1979 debut album. The single went to #7 in the UK, and #76 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in the US. It had its greatest success in France, where it went to #1.

Lorelai and Rory Make Up

When they see each other at the school, Lorelai says that they got a loan, without disclosing that Emily helped her by co-signing for it. (Shades of the Pilot, when Lorelai asked Emily not to tell Rory that they were paying for Chilton).

Rory apologises for telling Emily about the termite situation, even though if she hadn’t, nothing would be different. And Lorelai does her usual song and dance about what a great provider she is and doesn’t need or want any help, even though Emily is the person who actually sorted everything out.

Lorelai kept saying that she would fix the problem herself, and even now insists that she never needed any help, but what exactly was her plan? She couldn’t get a loan from a bank, or even a loan shark. She refused loans from both friends and family. So what was she going to do?

It’s hard to see how this problem would ever be resolved unless she got help from Emily – which, thanks to Rory, she didn’t even have to ask for. But Rory receives no thanks, and actually apologises for helping!

And yet Emily is supposed to be controlling mother. Hmm …

Mallomars

LORELAI: I got your note.
RORY: Yeah, well pinning it to the Mallomars is always a safe bet.

Mallomars are graham cracker biscuits overlaid with marshmallow, then coated in dark chocolate. First introduced in 1913, they are manufactured by Nabisco and produced in a factory in Ontario, Canada (like the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls). They are a seasonal item, only available from October to April, so it fits that Lorelai and Rory are eating them in the middle of winter.

Jackson once gave Lorelai a recipe which sounded very much like home made Mallomars with jam instead of marshmallow.

Minutemen

TAYLOR: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new uniforms of the fabulous fighting Minutemen.

The Stars Hollow basketball team is called the Minutemen. They are patriotically named after the Minutemen from American history – civilian colonists who independently formed their own militia groups during the American Revolutionary War, so called because they were ready to fight at a minute’s notice. They were among the first to fight during the war, comprising perhaps a quarter of all troops. Generally young, they provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that could respond immediately to threats.

We knew of the Minutemen way back in Series 1, Episode 1, in the Pilot. When Rory is talking to Dean for the first time at school, there is a sign outside the high school saying Go Minutemen, listing them as the champion team of the 1997-98 season.