“How dare you put this on me?”

LORELAI: I was just thinking, you know, all these years, no matter what my relationship status has been, whether I’ve been dating or hibernating or whatever, I think I’ve always had you in the back of my mind – you know, the prospect of us being together. But this prospect was sort of indefinitely on hold while you, you know, found yourself and, uh, got your personal life together so that you could really be there for me and especially for Rory. But you and I have been so linked in my mind that I think I have unconsciously sabotaged every decent relationship I’ve had, including the one with Max, because I was waiting for you, and I shouldn’t have been. And now that I see that, and I see you settling down with Sherry, I think I can move beyond it.
CHRISTOPHER: Good, I’m really glad this is good for you Lorelai.
LORELAI: It is. Chris?
CHRISTOPHER: How dare you put that on me?

After seeing Christopher again, and being confronted by Emily’s beliefs that Lorelai belongs with him, Lorelai has a realisation that she has been waiting for Christopher to get his life together so that he can be with her, and with Rory. She believes that she has unconsciously sabotaged any relationship she’s ever had, because she was waiting for Christopher. Now that Christopher is with Sherry, she thinks she can get over Christopher and move past it.

When she shares this self-insight with Christopher, he is furious, saying that Lorelai is blaming every failed relationship on him (she wasn’t, but you can’t help thinking that Christopher has a lot to do with the fact Lorelai is incapable of holding down a relationship for more than a few months).

Of course, what really upsets Christopher is the realisation that he could have been with Lorelai all this time, if he’d only made more effort. Now he’s made the effort to show her he’s capable of being responsible, and instead of making Lorelai want him more, she’s ready to give him her blessing and move on. His badly-thought out plan is coming unravelled!

Lorelai really puts up with a lot of crap in this episode. She has Sherry show up unannounced and then rather creepily try to bond with Rory while telling Lorelai she won’t be involved in their lives. Then she’s unfairly abused by Emily, and by Christopher, who also embarrasses her in public in the process. She tries so hard to rise above it and do the right thing, and doesn’t get any understanding or compassion for it.

The Barrymores

CHRISTOPHER: So, quaint evening of theater last night.
LORELAI: Ah yes, the Gilmore family players rival the Barrymores for their sophisticated dramatic productions.

The Barrymores are a famous family in the acting profession. The patriarch of the family was Herbert Blythe, known professionally as Maurice Barrymore (1849-1905), a British stage actor. His children were Lionel (1878-1954), Ethel (1879-1959), and John Barrymore (1882-1942), who all became famous American actors of stage, screen, and radio. All three were inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, and Ethel’s six decades on stage earned her the title “The First Lady of American Theatre”.

John Barrymore is the grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore (born 1975). The Drew family after whom she is named are related to Maurice’s wife Georgiana Drew, and they also have strong acting traditions.

[Picture shows Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore circa 1930s]

Legal Man

This is the song which plays during the secret CD drop-off into Lane’s bag. It is Belle and Sebastian’s 2000 debut single, and was later included on their 2005 compilation album, Push Barman to Open Old Wounds. The song went to #15 in the UK, #4 on the UK Indie charts, and #9 in Scotland. It was most popular in Canada, where it went to #4.

The lyrics of the song humorously chime in with Rory’s plan to make it all happen, and even the time of year.

Refer to our discussions, confirm the terms of our love affair
I exercise all options, and I know I’ll see you there …

Not withstanding provisions of clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4
Extend contractual period, me and you for evermore

You’re the legal man, you’ve got to prove that you’re no liar
I’ll render services that you may reasonably require

L-o-v-e love, it’s coming back, it’s coming back
L-o-v-e love, it’s coming back, it’s coming back

Get out of the city and into the sunshine
Get out of the office and into the springtime

Rory’s CD Plan

Rory has co-opted Kirk and Michel to help her with the CD drop off to Lane. While Kirk distracts Mrs Kim with idle chit-chat, it is Michel’s task to jog past, secretly slipping the CD into Lane’s bag. Unfortunately, Rory forgot to tell Michel about the revised time, so the poor man was left to jog around the square for an hour waiting for Lane to show up. He is understandably miffed.

Roping Kirk into a zany scheme is a natural choice, but it’s a surprise that Michel, who can barely be bothered doing his actual job some days, is apparently willing to help Rory and Lane out like this in his free time. Perhaps he always goes jogging on Saturday morning anyway, but even so he stuck it out for over an hour until everyone else arrived. Lord knows how Rory managed to persuade him.

I feel as if the writer, Daniel Palladino, was almost forced to choose Michel as the only person in Stars Hollow who is young and fit enough to be credibly kept jogging for an hour. It’s interesting that Rory never considers asking her boyfriend Dean to be involved. Maybe he works on Saturday morning.

If this scene does connect with the Elton John song “Rocket Man“, then Michel is in the role of the “rocket man” who is “lonely out in space on such a timeless flight”, and “burning up his fuse out here alone”. And as he feared, “I think it’s gonna be a long, long time”!!!!!

Kim’s Antiques Opening Hours

KIRK: I won’t take up much of your time. I was just wondering what your store hours are.
MRS. KIM: For people who come to buy things, come with cash, it’s ten to six, Sunday through Friday. For people who wander around, blocking aisles, touching things with dirty hands, never buying or asking for eighty percent off, we’re closed.

The opening hours of the antiques store are 10 am to 6 pm, every day except Saturday. The Kims are Seventh Day Adventists, so Saturday is the Sabbath, and they don’t work on that day. Their piety must lose them a lot of business, being closed for half the weekend. By the way – only wanting to be paid with cash sounds as if they are tax dodgers.

“Zero hour”

LORELAI: So should it have been me?
RORY: Huh? Oops, sorry! Zero hour – I have to go. I’ll be right back. [leaves]

A possible allusion to Elton John’s 1972 song, “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be a Long, Long Time)”, composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

It might seem a bit of a stretch, but the song begins:

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour 9 am

Rory packed Lane’s CD ready for the drop-off the night before, and it was originally timed for 9 am, before being changed to 10 am to accommodate the reverend’s handball. The song was inspired by the 1951 Ray Bradbury story, “Rocket Man” from The Illustrated Man, which seems on-brand for Rory, and science-fiction is constantly alluded to on the show. It was also one of the songs recorded by William Shatner on his spoken-word album, previously discussed. Rory planned to buy the album for Lorelai’s birthday.

“Rocket Man” was the lead single from Elton John’s album Honky Château. The song went to #2 in the UK, and #6 in the US, becoming one of Elton John’s biggest hits, and a staple at his concerts. John played the song at the 1998 launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Rolling Stone has it listed as one of the greatest songs of all time.

Note that Lorelai never receives an answer from Rory as to whether Lorelai and Christopher should be together.

Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller, Producers

RORY: Yeah. Oh, and later I pictured you marrying Matthew Broderick, and we lived in New York in this great apartment in the village and we would talk about his Ferris Bueller days.
LORELAI: Just think how easy Producers tickets would be to get.

Matthew Broderick (born 1962), actor who began his career in theatre in the 1980s, winning a Tony Award for his role in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. His first starring role in a hit film came in the 1983 WarGames, where he had the lead role as a teenage hacker.

Broderick had the lead role as the charming school truant in the 1986 teen comedy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [pictured]. Directed by John Hughes, the film is a joyful love letter to the city of Chicago, and about three teenagers seeking the best “day off” from school ever devised. It was the #10 film of 1986, and praised by critics. It is considered one of the greatest teen movies of all time.

The Producers is a musical with music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, adapted from Brooks’ 1967 film of the same name. It is about two theatrical producers who plan to get rich by fraudulently overselling interests in a Broadway flop. Their scheme becomes complicated when their play is an unexpected success. The Producers opened on Broadway in 2001 and closed in 2007. Lorelai is apparently having trouble getting tickets for the musical. It went on tour in the US in September 2002, arriving at the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford in August 2004, but Matthew Broderick was not in the touring version.

Rory imagines living in New York in the village with her mother and Matthew Broderick. In 1997, Broderick married actress Sarah Jessica Parker. They live in the West Village in New York City, suggesting that it was after this date that Rory fantasised about Matthew Broderick as her stepfather, so around the age of 14-15. (Broderick and Parker actually spend more time at their second home in Ireland).

Rory’s imaginary stepfathers include a man-child who lives in a fantasy world, and an actor famous for playing both a slacker and a scammer. Not very different from her real father, then …

Pee-Wee Herman

RORY: I also pictured you with Pee-Wee Herman.
LORELAI: Wow.
RORY: Yeah. We lived in his playhouse and we’d be talking to Chairry and Captain Carl would be walking by.

Pee-Wee Herman, fictional character portrayed by comedian Paul Reubens (born Paul Reubenfeld 1952). The child-like Pee-Wee Herman developed as a stage act and then appeared in a feature film before becoming the host of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, an Emmy-winning children’s show that was broadcast from 1985 to 1991.

Chairry was a puppet armchair, voiced by Alison Mork, which would hug Pee-Wee when he sat down in her. Captain Carl was one of a host of human characters in the show; he was a sea captain played by Saturday Night Live comedian and actor, Phil Hartman (1948-1998). The show had a lot of big stars on it, and guest appearances by a host of celebrities.

Rory would have watched the show as a preschooler, apparently looking to the child-like Pee-Wee Herman for a possible father substitute.

Ricki Lake Show

RORY: I feel like I’m on the Ricki Lake show.
LORELAI: Go Rory, go Rory.

Ricki Lake, popular daytime talk show which aired from 1993 to 2004, hosted by actress Ricki Lake, who had first gained fame appearing in John Waters’ films such as Hairspray. The show, aimed at a Gen-X audience (like Lorelai), focused on guest’s personal problems and “true confession” style interviews.

Rory feels as if she’s being interviewed about her feelings about her father as if on Ricki Lake. Lorelai chants, “Go Rory, go Rory”, because the audience would chant “Go Ricki, go Ricki” to encourage the host. Lorelai and Rory seem to be fans of this trashy TV show.