“Pack your bags”

DARREN: [on answering machine] I just wanted to let you know that I just finished going over Rory’s records here, and no shock, they’re perfect. Rory, you are tailor-made for Harvard. They’re lucky to have you. As far as I’m concerned, you should pack your bags. I’m gonna tell all this to the people in admissions and I’ll give your headmaster a call as well, so take care and we’ll talk again.

There is no way that the alumnus who interviewed a prospective student would tell them to “pack their bags” – there are many, many excellent students who aren’t accepted into Harvard, nobody can guarantee anyone a spot, unless something very corrupt is going on. This goes right up there with Headmaster Charleston telling Rory she deserves to go to Harvard, just after she’s discovered breaking into his office, no less.

However, this is a way to neatly tie up the episode and let the viewers know that Rory will almost certainly be accepted into Harvard, and all her application anxieties are at an end. Although Rory has work for the newspaper to complete, and Lorelai needs to do tasks for the inn, they elect to spend their Sunday hanging out together instead, as if aware that their time together is running short, and therefore more precious.

Jackson’s Plans for Rory’s Room

JACKSON: I have this collection of antique farming tools that my dad passed down to me.

SOOKIE: Pre-Revolutionary War. They’re kind of valuable.

JACKSON: And I’ve got no place to put them. I’ve been looking for the right space.

LORELAI: In Rory’s room?

Sookie and Jackson continue being ridiculously annoying since their marriage. Now Jackson asks Lorelai if he can store his valuable collection of antique farming tools in Rory’s room when she goes away to college, as he has nowhere to put them. Oh really? So where are they now? Because wherever they are, that’s a place he has to put them.

The idea that when a teenager goes away to college their bedroom is now “free space” is ludicrous. Rory will still need to come home, she will need somewhere to sleep, study, and put her things away for at least a few years. And even if Lorelai did decide to use Rory’s room for something else, why on earth would she want to display someone else’s old tools in it?

I think this is meant to be a sad or bittersweet moment when Lorelai realises with a pang that Rory will soon be gone, but it ends up being stupid and irritating instead.

Trust God

[Lane takes off her Dead Kennedys shirt; underneath is a shirt that says Trust God]

DAVE: Trust God – is that a band?

LANE: No. My life.

Right from the start Dave knows that Lane is a Christian, and that she has to hide her love of rock music from her family. She makes no attempt to laugh off the shirt or pretend that it’s a band name, or some kind of ironic joke. Whatever Dave feels about Lane, he will have to accept who she is if they are to have a chance together.

Note in the background a plaque reading Stars Hollow – 1779 – Stellae Caverna. It gives a Latin translation of Stars Hollow, and confirms the town’s foundation date as 1779 (even though that’s contradicted by other information).

Junior College

RORY: Or hey, you can go to college in Boston.

DEAN: I’m going to junior college.

RORY: Boston has junior colleges.

DEAN: But not dorm rooms.

In the US, a junior college is a two-year post-secondary school whose main purpose is to provide academic, vocational and professional education. The highest certificate offered by such schools is usually an Associate degree, although junior college students may continue their education at a four-year university or college, by transferring some or all of their credits earned.

Dean might be planning to attend Goodwin College, a junior college in East Hartford that used to be a school of business. They have student housing available so that Dean would be able to live on campus.

There are three junior colleges in Boston – Bay State College, Fisher College, and Labouré College of Healthcare, which provides training for nurses and is probably not for Dean. Bay State and Fisher are mostly for business and administration degrees. Both Bay State and Fisher do have halls of residence for students to stay in, so Dean isn’t correct about that.

Christiane Amanpour’s Situation

RORY: Christiane Amanpour spends half of her life standing in foxholes in third world countries, and she has a husband and a kid. And she was on C-SPAN last week getting some award, so if she and her husband can make it work, we can.

DEAN: So we’ll have access to the CNN jet?

Christiane Amanpour, previously discussed as Rory’s idol. From 1998 to 2018 she was married to James Rubin (born 1960), former Assistant Secretary of State and spokesman for the US State Department during the Clinton administration, and was an informal adviser to Hillary Clinton. Their son Darius Rubin was born in 2000, so aged two years old at this time. Because of Amanpour’s career, her husband James did spend a lot of time home alone with the baby, keeping in touch with his wife by telephone.

In real life, Amanpour received two awards in 2002. The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was presented to her at Harvard in March, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism was presented to her at Washington State University in May. Neither of those were “last week” from Rory’s perspective, although it’s possible she only saw the broadcast of one of them on C-SPAN the week before.

Christiane Amanpour worked for CNN from 1983 to 2010, so throughout the run of Gilmore Girls. As chief foreign correspondent, she reported on crises from many of the world’s hotspots, and in 2002 had filed reports from the Gaza Strip, famously interviewing Yasser Arafat in his compound by phone.

[Picture shows Christiane Amanpour, her husband James, and son Darius in London, 2003]

“On the train coming home”

DEAN: So you’ll come home, do homework all weekend, then leave.

RORY: No, I can do my homework during the week or on the train coming home to see you, who I will spend my weekends with not doing homework. Plus, we can talk during the week on the phone constantly. Trust me, it’ll feel like I never left.

In real life, it’s a three and a half hour train trip from Boston to Hartford, requiring a change at New Haven. Then Rory would need someone (Dean?) to pick her up from the Hartford station for a thirty minute drive home to Stars Hollow. It sounds very tedious to do regularly – of course, she has to go back again every Sunday, so that’s eight hours of travel every weekend! That does give her free time to study though, I guess.

As it happens, Rory doesn’t go to Harvard in the end, and she has a car by then anyway, so this impractical plan never gets put into operation. It does sound as if she hasn’t thought about it very hard though.

[Picture shows South Station in Boston, from where Rory would need to catch a train. It’s a 15 minute bus ride from Harvard, so add a bit more time on for that].

Do we break up?”

DEAN: What happens when you leave?

RORY: When I leave when?

DEAN: When you leave for Harvard . . . do we break up?

Rory acts as if Dean is being unreasonable to ask this question, but it doesn’t really seem so. After all, Zach and Liza broke up when they left Hartford to attend different universities. A lot of young couples break up when one or both go away to college, being realistic enough to know that long-distance relationships don’t usually work out for teenagers.

It does seem a bit premature to bring it up already – Rory hasn’t even applied to Harvard yet, let alone been accepted. It also comes out of the blue, as the pair of them were kissing, holding hands, and smiling together just seconds previously.

It feels as if Dean is either trying to ruin their last year together, or is pushing Rory for some kind of commitment. He must be feeling pessimistic about their future together, and probably rightly so, when they are headed in very different directions. I do sense a jealousy and possessiveness from Dean in regard to Rory’s education, as if it is taking her away from him.

“I love you”

DAVE: I’m sort of an audio geek, sorry.

LANE: No, don’t apologize, I love you . . . for that, for being that way. I love it.

Lane tells Dave she loves him within a few minutes of meeting (not like Rory, who took months of dating before she could say it to her boyfriend). Rory and Lorelai can see at once that Lane and Dave are a perfect match, meaning that Lane is about to get her own romantic subplot.

Headphone Amp, Grado 125s

DAVE: Well, this is a headphone amp and it just boosts the volume and makes the clarity off the hook, and then these are Grado 125s, which is just really, killer, killer portable sound.

A headphone amplifier, or headphone amp, is a low-powered amplifier that raises the low-voltage signal from an audio device so that it can be converted into sound waves by the speakers inside headphones. It works like the amps used to power full-sized speakers at a lower scale.

Grado 125s [pictured] are headphones made for the home market by Grado Labs in Brooklyn. They are stylish, reasonably priced, and good quality, but apparently not very comfortable to wear.