Jess’ Tee-Shirt

LUKE: I was crazy, and now after all that has happened, after all the chaos and havoc that you have wreaked, you’re seriously standing there wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a butt with hands that are flipping me off, telling me you wanna come back?

Although Luke says that Jess is wearing a tee-shirt depicting a butt with hands giving people the bird, this is not visible in the scene. It looks as if Jess is actually wearing two tee shirts, a grey one over a black one, topped with a dark windbreaker jacket.

Writing Letters to Jodie Foster

LUKE: You know what people told me when I said you were coming here to live with me? They told me I was crazy, they told me I was insane, they told me to start writing letters to Jodie Foster.

Luke references John Hinckley Jr. (born 1955), a college drop-out from a wealthy family who attempted to assassinate president Ronald Reagan. Hinckley was reportedly seeking fame in a misguided effort to impress actress Jodie Foster (born Alicia Foster in 1962), with whom he had been obsessed since the 1976 film Taxi Driver, where Foster plays a sexually-trafficked twelve-year-old child – in the film, the disturbed protagonist plots to assassinate a presidential candidate (it’s based on a true story).

When Jodie Foster began attending Yale University, Hinckley moved to New Haven in order to stalk her, sending her dozens of letters and poems, and leaving messages on her answering machine. Believing that assassinating the president would somehow make him Foster’s equal, Hinckley fired a revolver six times at Ronald Reagan on March 30 1981, as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. Although Hinckley did not hit Reagan, he was wounded when a bullet ricocheted and hit him in the chest. He also wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent, and critically injured a press secretary, who died from his wounds in 2014.

John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, and transferred to psychiatric care. He was released from hospital in 2016 into his mother’s care under numerous restrictions. As of June 2022, Hinckley will be living freely in the community. He has a YouTube channel, where he self-publishes his own songs; they are also available on Spotify and other streaming sites.

Sleepless in Seattle

LUKE: Then what the hell you doing here, Jess? You know, I, uh, I called you six times. Now I didn’t expect you to call me back so we could sit on the phone in bed and watch Sleepless in Seattle together.

Sleepless in Seattle, 1993 romantic comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Nora Ephron, and inspired by the 1957 romance film An Affair to Remember. It stars Meg Ryan as a newly engaged journalist whose heart is touched by a recently widowed architect, played by Tom Hanks, after his young son calls a radio talk show on his father’s behalf.

Sleepless in Seattle received positive reviews, and was a sleeper success at the box office, becoming the #8 film of the year. It is widely considered a classic romantic comedy, and one of the best films of the 1990s. It is credited with popularising the Italian dessert tiramisu in the US.

Jess Returns to Stars Hollow

Luke goes upstairs to his apartment and finds Jess there. Luke’s first question is how Jess got in, because the only entrance is through the diner and up the stairs, and nobody saw Jess come up. Either he was able to time his arrival so that everyone was busy and distracted just as he got there, or he was able to gain entrance by climbing into an upstairs window somehow – neither of which sounds very plausible.

Jess tells Luke that although things are fine with his mother, and he’s not in any trouble, he wants to come back to Stars Hollow and live with Luke. Luke says that things will have to be different, and Jess agrees. Luke informs Jess that Rory and Dean are still together, and to leave them be. Learning that Rory is at Sookie’s wedding, Jess says he needs to take a walk. Rory came all the way to New York to see him, and it looks as if Jess has returned the favour by coming all the way to Stars Hollow to see her …

Note that Luke doesn’t seem to have received an invitation to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding. Perhaps Sookie has left him off the guest list in support of her bridesmaid, Lorelai, since he and Lorelai are still in an argument. Or perhaps he turned the invitation down, pleading work as an excuse, since he is running the diner as usual.

Animal Planet

KIRK: I read an article in the paper recently that said that weddings are an excellent place to meet women.

LUKE: Well, if it was in the paper, it must be true.

KIRK: I hope so, ’cause I’m so damn lonely not even Animal Planet does it for me anymore.

Animal Planet, a multinational pay television channel owned by Warner Bros Discovery, originally a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, launched in 1996. It’s primarily focused on nature documentaries. It is ambiguous whether Kirk is using the channel as company, or pornography – the phrasing suggests the latter.

Sandwich Options at Luke’s

Kirk ponders what lunch to order before Sookie and Jackson’s wedding.

Ham on Rye

An American deli sandwich using (often toasted) rye bread as the outer casing, with smoked ham in the middle – usually with mustard and salad options added.

Patty melt [pictured]

An American deli sandwich using toasted bead as the outer casing with a beef burger patty with melted cheese and caramelised onion in the middle – the whole thing grilled together. Basically a cheeseburger made with bread instead of a bun.

Peanut butter and jelly

A US sandwich with peanut butter and jelly (see jelly, previously discussed). A very basic sandwich, often made for children as a snack. This is what Kirk eventually orders.

Lorelai and Christopher Decide to Be a Family

Based on having a bout of really great sex, Lorelai and Christopher decide they should be a family now (boy, that must’ve been some sex they had!). Lorelai says, “This thing with Sherry is so recent” – mm, so recent it’s not actually over, Lorelai! But when you can downgrade someone’s relationship into a “thing”, I guess it’s easier to justify.

They say it’s the best thing for Rory, but I don’t think either of them are really thinking about Rory too much at all. Neither of them discuss how they will break the news to Rory, and Lorelai doesn’t stress to Christopher that he can’t let Rory down any more, or give her a few minutes of phone time once a week and call it fatherhood.

While Christopher has always been trying to get Lorelai for himself (even getting a girlfriend was apparently part of his plan to win Lorelai back), Lorelai seems to be going along with this because she’s unhappy without Luke’s friendship, and because watching her best friend prepare for marriage to the man of her choice has left her feeling even lonelier. It’s not a great basis for a relationship, let alone a family.

Greg Louganis

CHRISTOPHER: So, should we avoid the subject for awhile or just dive right in?

LORELAI: Call me Greg Louganis.

Gregory “Greg” Louganis (born 1960), Olympic diver, LGBT activist, and author. He won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, in springboard and platform diving. He is the only man, and the second diver, to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic events. He is regarded as the greatest American diver of all time, if not the greatest diver in history.

Salmon Puffs

SOOKIE: So I put on the veil, then I remember I’m serving salmon puffs. Salmon puffs! Okay, completely wrong, so I had to rush over here and try to find another first course, and then I walk in and these daffodils just . . . something snapped, and that’s when you walked in here.

Salmon puffs, an appetiser dish where puff pastry is filled with a mixture of smoked salmon, cream cheese or feta cheese, and flavourings. Compare with lobster puffs, and Roquefort puffs. This show loves puffed food!