RICHARD: There are a lot of nice historical places up there [in Boston]. CHRISTOPHER: Something historical in our price range would be perfect.
Richard might be thinking of the historic Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods in Boston, famous for their rows of Victorian brownstone terrace houses. Such brownstones can cost millions today, and no wonder Christopher is quick to qualify it as “in our price range”.
When we eventually see Christopher and Sherry’s apartment in Boston, it does look like it’s supposed to be a historic brownstone-ish sort of building, but in a retail/dining area, so presumably cheaper. (It’s just filmed on the Warner Bros lot, it’s not a real apartment).
EMILY: So are you living together? LORELAI: Mom, get out the interrogation lamp, why don’t you.
Lorelai refers to the trope in 1950s police and detective TV shows/movies where the police or detective shines a bright lamp into a suspect’s face to make him confess. It was parodied in Get Smart, earlier mentioned, and these days is usually used humorously, if at all.
LORELAI: [The Volvo’s] also excellent for cranking Metallica.
RICHARD: Cranking Metallica? … If that’s some sort of drug reference, it isn’t funny.
Lorelai says that Christopher’s Volvo is excellent for “cranking” Metallica, meaning “listening to Metallica loudly on the stereo”. The car really does have a great stereo system, but Lorelai is teasing Christopher, because Metallica is her favourite band, not Christopher’s.
RICHARD: Everyone thinks that traveling on business is so glamorous but what they don’t realize is that the business traveler never gets to see the places he visits. My last trip to Rome, I spent the whole four days in a conference room by the airport. I might as well have been in French Lick, Indiana.
French Lick is a small town of less than 2000 people in Indiana. It was originally a French trading post built near a salt lick, hence its odd name. It was a spa town in the 19th century, and by the early twentieth century, was known for its casinos, which attracted celebrities. Although its glory days are behind it, it still has a historic hotel resort with a casino and excellent golf facilities.
RICHARD: Uh, what does [Sherry] do? Does she work? CHRISTOPHER: Uh, she’s the East Coast sales rep for L’Oreal Cosmetics.
L’Oreal is a French beauty product company headquartered in Clichy, France, with a registered office in Paris. It is the largest cosmetics company in the world. It was founded in 1919 by chemist Eugène Schueller.
The US headquarters of L’Oreal are in New York City, but they certainly employ sales reps in Boston. Christopher says Sherry is the sales rep for the East Coast, as if they have only one! I’m pretty sure Sherry is only a sales rep for L’Oreal. Christopher loves to talk everything about himself up.
This does bring into question whether this business trip is really for Christopher, or was it for Sherry’s work? It seems like it’s actually her job that would involve travel, not his. Bearing in mind his comment about eating at White Castle (which is in New York), it could be that they were in New York for Sherry’s business, then decided to spend the weekend in Connecticut to see Rory. In which case, they could be staying as close as Woodbury, making their travel time to Stars Hollow even more achievable.
EMILY: So how long have you been with this woman? CHRISTOPHER: Eight months.
Christopher has supposedly been going out with Sherry since July 2001. Something he didn’t bother sharing with Lorelai and Rory until nearly three months later – and only then because they contacted him. Without Lorelai calling him, would Christopher have remained in contact with them at all, or disappeared to Boston to lead a new life with Sherry?
RICHARD: Uh, you wanna narrow that [drink order] down for me? LORELAI: Hooch is hooch, Dad.
Hooch is old-fashioned American slang for hard liquor, which became common during the 1920s and the Prohibition era. It originated in the 19th century, and comes from the Hoochino Indians of Alaska. One small tribe, who called themselves the Hutsnuwu, had a reputation of brewing their own illicit alcohol which was extremely potent (presumably the information on making spirits was taught to them by Europeans, but nobody knows for sure).
CHRISTOPHER: Well, [Max] and I never met. I didn’t even know he existed until late in the game. Hell, I didn’t even know you were engaged until you called me from your bachelorette party. And I wasn’t invited to the wedding – or did my invitation get lost in the mail? LORELAI: Well, you’ve moved a lot this past year.
Lorelai and Max’s relationship moved extremely quickly and they had a significant break from it. When they got back together, they got engaged almost immediately. In fact, Lorelai only seems to call Christopher from her bachelorette party in hopes of getting talked out of it (in which case, mission accomplished).
It is interesting she never told Christopher though, considering that she was going right through her address book to tell distant relatives and the man who did her shower that she and Max were back together. Maybe she didn’t want to get talked out of it that soon. I suspect if she had sent him an invitation, it would have gone to the wrong address, and he would’ve been a no-show (again).
Christopher is getting awfully huffy about this neglect, but by the time Lorelai phones him to say she is getting married, we find out later he is already with Sherry – something which he hid from Lorelai. It looks very much as if Lorelai’s news pushed him into committing Sherry faster than he otherwise would have.
LORELAI: When I invited you to Rory’s debate, was Sherry with you? CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, of course. She’s been with me the whole trip. Why? LORELAI: It’s just that you gave me no indication that she was with you.
Lorelai is quite reasonably suspicious of Christopher’s motives and behaviour. He came into their lives six months ago, only telling them he had a girlfriend just before he left. Once again, he has weaselled his way into their lives without mentioning that Sherry was going to be with him.
Would Lorelai have invited him to Rory’s debate if she knew Sherry was coming too? Probably not. Christopher would no doubt say that justifies his lies of omission, so he can see Rory – although he only seems to want to see her so he can impress Sherry with what a great father he is.
LANE: Bible class has been moved an hour later, all to accommodate the reverend’s handball schedule.
In America, handball is a sport where players use their hands to hit a small rubber ball against a wall; it is sometimes called wallball. The idea is to hit the wall with the ball in such a way that your opponent is unable to do the same without hitting the ground twice, or hitting it out of bounds. The game is played on a small court, similar to a squash court. It is possible that the high school gym is used for handball in Stars Hollow.
The first historical record of someone hitting a ball against a wall with their hand is from Scotland in 1427, when King James I was a keen player. The game in America may go back to the American Revolution, but the earliest mention of the modern game is from San Francisco in 1873.
In the next season, we discover the Seventh Day Adventist pastor is named Reverend Melmim, although in real life, Seventh Day Adventist pastors aren’t actually addressed as “Reverend”.
It seems that even though Lane is grounded so badly she isn’t allowed to leave home, even to attend school, she is allowed to go to Bible class with her mother (and presumably, church). Later in the episode, we discover Bible class is on Saturday morning.
As Mrs Kim told Stars Hollow High that Lane had an infectious disease and was too sick to go to school, letting her out to attend Bible class seems like something the school would get to hear about.