“Slow and steady wins the race”

DEAN: Let’s take this one day at a time.

RORY: Slow and steady wins the race.

“Slow and steady wins the race” is a proverb from “The Tortoise and the Hare”, a story from Aesop’s Fables – a collection of tales from ancient Greece, attributed to a legendary slave named Aesop.

In the fable, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race, but the arrogant hare takes a nap midway through the race, sure that he has plenty of time to do so and still win the race. He wakes to find the tortoise has already crossed the finish line.

The moral of the story is that flashy overconfidence may be overtaken by conscientious plodding. In the same way, Dean hopes to win Rory back with his steady, reliable ways, while the “flashy” Jess misses out.

“Just checking”

LORELAI: I don’t have very many people in my life who are in my life permanently forever. They will always be there for me. I will always be there for them, you know? There’s Rory, and Sookie, and this town and … you. I mean, at least I think I’ve got …
LUKE: You do.
LORELAI: Good. Just checking.

At the end of the episode, Lorelai lets Luke know that she sees him as someone who will be part of her life forever. She does sort of throw him in after the rest of the town, but nevertheless, lets him know that he is part of the family she has managed to find in Stars Hollow. He confirms he has no intention of leaving. For now, that is enough, and all is harmony between them.

“A lady never kisses and tells”

DEAN: So, did you and Paris actually kiss or was that like a stage thing?
RORY: A lady never kisses and tells.

Very clever, because Rory is not telling Dean about her kiss with Tristan. (A slight callback to Kiss and Tell, the episode where Rory and Dean first kiss, and everyone knows about it).

It was quite obvious that Paris and Rory didn’t kiss, Paris didn’t even pretend to kiss Rory. I’m actually not convinced they could have got a good mark for the project. Two members of their group dropped out at the last minute, they didn’t offer a unique perspective on the play, Paris as Romeo sounds irritated more than anything else, and there’s no tragically romantic kiss. As it was fifty percent of their grade, that doesn’t sound good for their overall result.

“Don’t you understand that Luke is so into you?”

LORELAI: One minute he’s all sweet and building me a chuppah, and the next he’s being a total jerk for God knows what reason.
SOOKIE: For God knows what reason? Come on Lorelai … Don’t you understand that Luke is so into you?

By this point, it’s pretty unbelievable that Lorelai doesn’t realise that Luke has feelings for her. Does she really need Sookie to spell it out for her yet again?


[Paris comes back dressed as Romeo]
PARIS: What are you standing there for? Let’s go. You better start sucking on an Altoid.

Altoids are a brand of mints sold in metal tins. Created by the London business Smith & Company in the late 18th century, they became part of the Chicago-based firm Callard & Bowser in the 19th century. Their advertising slogan is “The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints”. They are less widely available in the UK than in the US, although Marks & Spencer has an almost identical product called Curiously Strong Mints.

Why Rory had to suck on a breath mint when Paris didn’t even kiss her, I don’t know. Paris is very keen on hygiene though, and perhaps she wasn’t convinced Rory was clean enough.

(There is an odd sort of logic to Paris taking over as Romeo, because in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet was meant to marry Count Paris).

Military School in North Carolina

TRISTAN: The police are letting our parents handle it, and in my case that means military school in North Carolina.

A meta comment. Chad Michael Murray, who played Tristan, left the show in order to begin filming the teen drama One Tree Hill (2003-2012), shown on the same channel as Gilmore Girls (The WB); Murray had the lead role of Lucas Scott. One Tree Hill is set in the fictional town of Tree Hill in North Carolina, and mostly filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Amy Sherman-Palladino apparently planned for Tristan to become Rory’s boyfriend in high school/college and her “Christopher”, which, because Chad Michael Murray went to another show, was a role filled by the character of Logan Huntzberger instead. In this farewell episode, you can see the faint beginnings of the tenderness between Rory and Tristan which would have blossomed into eventual love. Anyone wishing to see what would have happened if Logan had been Tristan instead must turn to fanfiction.

In real life, there is only one one military school in North Carolina, and it is Oak Ridge Military Academy, so presumably that’s where Tristan is headed. It was originally founded in 1850, and was one of the first military schools to become co-educational, in 1972. It apparently had a reputation at one time of taking troubled youth, which it is working to overcome.

If Tristan turned up to Chilton in order to say he was leaving for military school, couldn’t he also have stayed to do the scene with them? Does everyone transfer schools on a Sunday night in this universe? (Maybe because they’re boarding schools?).

With Tristan out of the picture, the love triangle between Rory, Dean, and Tristan comes to an end, to make way for a new love triangle, which becomes clear in the very next episode.

“What about Brad?”

RORY: What about Brad?
PARIS: Brad transferred schools.

An explanation for why we don’t see Brad again for a while – Paris terrorised him until he had to move to a different school on the day their Shakespeare project was due. How he managed to transfer schools on a weekend, I don’t know. Even if he was starting at a new school on Monday, having secretly applied to another school as soon as he met Paris, couldn’t he at least have done the scene with them on the Sunday so they didn’t fail?

The Businessmen Scene

[Lane watches Henry in Act 3, interpreted as businessmen with cell phones]
HENRY: I am hurt. A plague on both your houses! Oh, I am sped. What, is he gone and hath nothing?

Henry’s speech is from Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet. He is playing Mercutio, a close friend of Romeo, and a relative of Count Paris, who Juliet is betrothed to. It is he who persuades Romeo to attend the Capulet’s party where he meets Juliet and falls in love with her.

Something of a wild party animal, Mercutio is lively and witty, making him a memorable scene stealer in the play. Romeo refuses to duel with Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, as he now sees Tybalt as one of his kin, through his secret marriage to Juliet.

Mercutio is incensed at the dishonourable way Romeo has refused to fight, and duels Tybalt himself, getting stabbed to death for his troubles. As he dies, he furiously denounces both the Montagues and the Capulets, crying, “A plague on both your houses!”.

A grief-stricken Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge his dearest friend, leading to him being banished from the city, and setting the tragic portion of the play in motion.

“You might want to hold a phone up to your face”

RORY: I think act three is starting up.

LANE: Henry’s act. Um, how do I look?
RORY: You might want to hold a phone up to your face so he’ll recognize you.
LANE: Okay. [walks away]

Quite a bitchy comment to your best friend from “the sweetest kid in the world“. I think we can now assume that Rory has had enough and isn’t going to be helping Lane and Henry any more.

The Caveman Scene

BOY: Ooh, ooh. He jests at scars that never felt a wound. But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

The quote is from Act 2, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, the famous “balcony scene” where Romeo hides in the orchard after the Capulet’s party where he met Juliet, then sees her leaning out of her window. He compares her beauty to that of the sun, moon, and stars.