“Rabbit boiling on the stove”

LORELAI: Oh, well, fine. Just took Mom a whole five minutes before she self-combusted and left the room in tears … She freaked out that you were with Sherry …
RORY: Well, what did she think, that you were gonna come home and find a rabbit boiling on the stove?

A reference to the film Fatal Attraction, previously discussed.

In the film, the stalker, Alex, takes revenge on the married man she had an affair with, and who is now ignoring her. After several threats and following him around, Alex breaks into his house, takes his young daughter’s pet rabbit from its hutch, and boils it on the stove in the kitchen, to be found by Dan’s traumatised wife. From this film comes the phrase “bunny boiler”, to mean a dangerously obsessed spurned woman.

[The picture is a still from the film, but from just before the bunny reveal, as it’s really quite gruesome].

“She was seriously considering single parenthood”

RORY: And the past couple of years she hasn’t even dated anyone unless she thought that for sure it could be a lasting relationship, and she’s got some specific goals now concerning children.
LORELAI: Oh, here we go.
RORY: She wants at least two, and before she met Dad she was seriously considering single parenthood.

Later events will seriously call into question this supposed strong desire Sherry has to have children.

Bruce Springsteen

LORELAI: What’s her music taste?
RORY: Big Bruce Springsteen fan. Seen him like twenty times.
LORELAI: Blue collar roots or is she just slumming?
RORY: Oh, her father owned a shoe store and her mom taught kindergarten.

Bruce Springsteen (born 1949), singer, songwriter, and musician. He has released twenty studio albums, many of which feature his backing band, the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he is one of the originators of the heartland rock style of music, combining mainstream rock musical style with narrative songs about working class American life.

During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics and energetic stage performances, sometimes lasting up to four hours in length. He is nicknamed “the Boss”.

Springsteen had a lengthy, top-grossing tour over 1999 and 2000, the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Reunion Tour. He played five concert dates in Boston in August 1999, giving Sherry several recent opportunities to see her favourite singer live. In 2002, Springsteen began his The Rising Tour, performing in Boston twice in October of that year. Sherry has probably already bought tickets.

Sephora

RORY: She’s a very cautious driver. She doesn’t roll through stop signs, doesn’t speed, she always signals before she turns.
LORELAI: Hm. Commendable, but not the person I want driving our getaway car.
RORY: What are we robbing?
LORELAI: Sephora. We had it all planned out.

Sephora is a French multinational retailer of beauty and personal care products, founded in Limoges in 1970 and now based in Paris. Since 1997, it has been owned by luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (commonly known as LVMH). Sephora opened its first store in the US in New York City, in 1998.

The nearest Sephora store to Lorelai and Rory is the one at the mall in West Hartford. Presumably this is where their imaginary heist would take place.

Sparklers, Kicks

LUKE: You don’t seem your chipper self.
LORELAI: I brought some sparklers. I’ll light them later and do some kicks.

Sparklers are small hand-held fireworks that give off bright coloured flames and sparks. They are especially popular with children, and are responsible for 16% of firework injuries in the US, and 57% of firework injuries in children.

Lorelai saying she’ll be doing some kicks while she holds sparklers sounds like a reference to The Rockettes, a precision dance company founded in 1925, and since 1932, based at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. They are famous for their high kicks, and especially known for both their Christmas show, and annual performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Luke immediately picks up on Lorelai’s low mood, and tries to cheer up by offering to play bagel hockey with her. He might act grumpy, but Luke doesn’t like seeing Lorelai unhappy, and his response is to try to return her to her normal chirpy disposition.

“It should’ve been you!”

EMILY: Christopher gets his life together with that woman.
LORELAI: So, that’s good.
EMILY: It should’ve been you!

Emily is extremely upset when Rory doesn’t come to Friday Night Dinner because she’s having a night out with Sherry. She immediately fears that Sherry will “take Rory away” from them, and is terrified that Christopher and Sherry will obtain weekend custody of Rory. She’s slightly on the old side to be a tug-of-love child at seventeen, and I’m pretty sure you have to pay child support to get even part-time custody of your child, which Christopher has never done.

Emily says she is heartbroken, because she always pictured Lorelai and Christopher being together, so that Rory could finally have two parents. Christopher was never ready to commit and was no kind of provider, but now it looks as if he was capable of settling down and working at a steady job, he just needed to find the right woman.

Completely and cruelly unfairly, Emily now blames Christopher’s general uselessness on Lorelai, saying that if she’d really tried, she could have influenced him to become a better man. Really? At the age of only sixteen, frightened, pregnant, and alone, she should have been responsible for Christopher’s life as well? Lorelai had a baby to care for and support, she didn’t need to take care of Christopher as well (and Rory would have suffered horribly if she did).

Emily is no better than Straub, laying all the responsibility for Christopher’s failure at Lorelai’s feet. It’s a horrible thing to say to her daughter.

Lorelai does admit that she has feelings for Christopher and isn’t happy about Sherry either, but she is trying to focus on doing what’s right, and being happy for Christopher. This unselfishness is roundly condemned by Emily, who goes upstairs to cry on her bed. (Later we find out she did eventually come down to dinner, but sulked all the way through it).

The episode’s title comes from Emily’s outburst to Lorelai, that, “It should’ve been you!”. Note that Emily’s outfit is mostly sad black, with touches of angry red. Lorelai is in grey, trying to remain neutral.

Teepee

CHRISTOPHER: Well, it’s actually gonna come down to whatever we can afford. It might just be a newly built place.
EMILY: With their shoddy craftsmanship? Oh, you don’t want that.
LORELAI: What does that leave them with, Mom – a teepee?

Spelled either tepee, teepee, or tipi. A conical tent, traditionally made from animal skins on wooden poles, with a smoke flap at the top. Historically used by some indigenous peoples of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies of North America, as well as by some tribes in the Pacific North West. The word itself is from the Lakota language, and means “dwelling”. They are still used by such communities, although more often for ceremonial purposes.

In English, the word teepee was often translated as “lodge”. This is a reminder of the Black Lodge and White Lodge from Twin Peaks, set in the Pacific North West, giving yet another connection to the television show in this episode.

Home & Garden Channel

EMILY: You know historical homes are infested with mold, don’t you? … It gets inside the walls and grows out of sight and shoots off spores that slowly kill you and your family.
LORELAI: You should get a show on the Home & Garden Channel, Mom.

Home & Garden Channel, initialised to HGTV. A cable channel devoted to home and garden issues, with a primary focus on real estate reality shows where people buy, sell, or renovate homes. It was launched in 1994.

HGTV is a cheap and cheerful network which people watch to relax and be soothed. A show on the horrors of killer mould doesn’t sound like something they’d produce.