“She likes Jess, doesn’t she?”

[Lorelai pulls up to the house and finds Dean sitting on her front porch]


DEAN: She likes Jess, doesn’t she?

Dean has done what Lorelai suggested, and only sent Rory one pager message in two days – presumably the one she gets as they drive into Stars Hollow is to ask how the Business Fair went, and he is considerate enough to wait until Rory is likely back from her grandparents’ place.

Lorelai suggests that Rory should call Dean back, as a tacit reward for his “good behaviour”, but Rory says she’ll call him the next day. She’s heading over to spend time with Lane, and they might even sneak out to Luke’s. Mrs Kim is away at an antiques fair, and Lane’s grandmother, who must be Mrs Kim senior, her father’s mother, is babysitting, but conveniently goes to bed at 6 pm – this might explain other times Lane has mysteriously been able to go out late at night, such as Madeline’s party.

Lorelai returns home alone to find Dean sitting on their porch, waiting for Rory. (So much for not turning up uninvited any more!). Seeing that Rory isn’t with her mother, a depressed Dean gives voice to his worst fears as he says, “She likes Jess, doesn’t she?”.

He understands what Rory has not given herself permission to feel. And yet, despite knowing that Rory’s affections are now otherwise engaged, he continues to try to hold onto her, in exactly the same way that Lorelai told him he shouldn’t.

Elvis Costello

RORY: I’m hanging out with Lane tonight … Yeah, we have some serious CD listening to do. We’re way behind on all the Elvis Costello reissues coming out.

Elvis Costello, professional name of Declan MacManus (born 1954), Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter and record producer, previously mentioned.

Beginning his career in the pub rock scene of 1970s London, and later associated with punk and new wave, Costello’s critically-acclaimed debut album My Aim is True was released in 1977. His first three albums are listed on Rolling Stone’s Greatest of All Time; Armed Forces (1979) contains his highest-charting single, “Oliver’s Army”, which went to #2 in the UK. Elvis Costello is known for his clever lyrics, and music drawing on a diverse range of genres. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

In real life, only Elvis Costello’s first album, My Aim is True, was re-released in 2001. The next big re-issue of his eleven albums to that point didn’t occur until 2006. Unless Rory is simply lying to Lorelai, she and Lane are listening to all Elvis Costello’s albums thus far in preparation for the major re-issue they assume, or have heard, is coming soon.

Who’s the Boss?

RICHARD: I think thirty five years of experience will qualify me to teach a course or two at that local business college of yours.

LORELAI: Oh my God. It’s Who’s the Boss?, the later years.

Who’s the Boss?, an award-winning sitcom which aired from 1984 to 1992. The series starred Tony Danza as Tony Micelli, a former baseball player who relocates to Fairfield, Connecticut to work as a live-in housekeeper to divorced advertising executive Angela Bower, played by Judith Light, and her son Jonathan, played by Danny Pintauro.

Tony had a daughter named Samantha, played by Alyssa Milano, and in Season 4, Tony goes back to school, enrolling at the same college his daughter would subsequently attend. By the later seasons, they are studying at the same institution.

Although it received lukewarm reviews, Who’s the Boss? was one of the most popular sitcoms of the mid-to-late 1980s, consistently rating in the top 10. It is still in syndication worldwide.

“This whole week”

RICHARD: This whole week, this whole experience with Rory and the locker first aid kit – that is a damn good idea, by the way, no matter what those yarnheads at that school of yours say. Anyway, this whole week made me realize something – I don’t want to be retired.

When they were first discussing the Business Fair, Rory said they had three weeks to prepare for it. Yet Richard, who helped them develop and market a product right from the beginning, says that he worked with them for a week.

Richard retired in December and finished at work in January, being restless and miserable ever since. Now in April, he decides that he’s had enough of retirement and wants to return to working life in some capacity. After a winter of discontent, Richard is ready to emerge in the spring to begin life anew.

“Nothing but politics and religion”

RORY: Please help me out tonight – no mention of work or Chilton or school or retirement.

LORELAI: Nothing but politics and religion, got it.

A joking reference to the old saying never to discuss politics or religion in company, as these topics can lead to some heated arguments. Lorelai means that these supposedly contentious subjects are far preferable to discussing work, school, or retirement with Richard.

“It’s for the children”

RICHARD: This has nothing to do with me, it’s for the children!

CHARLESTON: But they’re not the ones who are causing the public scene right now, you are.

Yet another public meltdown by a disappointed Gilmore when they don’t get their own way. Richard has been stressed and unhappy for at least the past seven months, and Rory’s group not winning the Business Fair after all their hard work is the final straw.