RORY: She’s [Sherry’s] very up on traffic flow and rush hour and all that.
LORELAI: She’s Rand McNally.
Rand McNally, publishing and technology company that provides mapping for both electronic gadgets, and for educational purposes, well known for producing school atlases and road maps. William Rand opened a printing shop in Chicago in 1956, and two years later hired Irish immigrant Andrew McNally; the two men founded Rand McNally & Co in 1868. The first Rand McNally map appeared in a 1872 railway guide, and their first road map was published in 1904.
Lorelai and Rory left Boston at 6 pm, on Sherry’s advice. That means it would be around 8 pm when they get back to Stars Hollow and egg Jess’ car.
LORELAI: “Take the deviled eggs!” How many times did the woman say it? And then her drunken friends hear it and they’re all shouting, “Take the deviled eggs!”
Devilled eggs (also known as stuffed eggs, Russian eggs, salad eggs, or dressed eggs)are hard-boiled eggs that have been shelled, cut in half, and filled with a mixture of the egg yolks, mayonnaise and mustard. They are generally served cold as a side dish, appetiser or a main course at parties. The dish’s origin go as far back as ancient Rome, but the modern version can be found in a 1896 cookery book by Fannie Farmer.
The instruction to “Take the devilled eggs” is where this episode’s title comes from. Lorelai and Rory have a two hour drive to get home, and the eggs have already been out on the table (we see them when Sherry and Lorelai are talking by the cake). Every episode of this show is a salmonella outbreak waiting to happen! Luckily nobody eats these disgusting old eggs – they were only thrown on a car.
LORELAI: I can see the flames, I can smell the smoke . . .
In the film Annie Hall, previously discussed, Duane is Annie’s brother, played by Christopher Walken. Duane has fantasies of steering his car into oncoming traffic in a fiery, glass-filled explosion, and when he offers to drive Annie (Diane Keaton) and her boyfriend Alvy (Woody Allen) to the airport, Alvy is a nervous mess.
LUKE: Hey, wave a flag and sing “God Bless America”, please?”
“God Bless America”, patriotic song written by Irving Berlin during World War I in 1918 and revised by him in the run up to World War II in 1938. The later version was notably recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song. It takes the form of a prayer for God’s blessing and peace for the nation.
It is often sung in patriotic contexts, and following the terrorist attacks in September 2001, Celine Dion performed it on a television special, and her version was released on a benefit album called God Bless America, which debuted at #1.
Dirk Squarejaw, a reference from the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000, previously discussed. It’s a name given by the show’s commentary to one of the characters in the 1950 sci-fi film, Rocketship X-M.
I’ve always thought Lorelai and Rory must have been fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as their own way of watching film and television mimics it. Now it seems as if Jess is a fan too. The parallels between he and Lorelai are getting positively spooky.
JESS: I’ve been working there twelve hours a week for the past few months to get extra money for the car.
Walmart, previously discussed. There is a large Walmart Supercenter in Hartford, which might be where Jess has been working [pictured]. How he’s been getting there without a car for months is a mystery – if he was taking the bus back and forth, you’d think his path would have crossed with Rory’s at some point, or someone would have noticed him at the bus stop. Perhaps he’s been getting a lift with someone.
Luke really isn’t taking enough notice of Jess as a guardian. Jess has been working out of town for months, either getting lifts or catching the bus, and done a course in order to get certification to drive a forklift. Jess’ dedication and work ethic is commendable – Luke’s lack of interest in his life isn’t. What if Jess had been doing something dangerous or illegal all these months?
When Luke asks Jess what his Walmart discount is, he responds with 15%. In real life it is 10%.
It’s been shown several times over that Jess is Lorelai in teenage boy form, and here is another parallel between them – like Lorelai, Jess is beginning his working life while still in his teens, and isn’t afraid to work hard in a blue collar job to pay the bills, just as she did.
JESS: My own good? Can we be a little more Totalitarian here?
Totalitarianism, a form of government that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual and group opposition to the state, and exercises an extremely high degree of control and regulation over public and private life. In totalitarian states, power is often held by dictators
Like Lorelai, Jess likes to criticise anyone who tries to cramp his style in over the top political terms. Lorelai calls them Nazis and Fascists, Jess calls them Totalitarian.
LORELAI: Thank you for finally being on my side for something.
RORY: Mom, I’m always on your side.
A really harsh comment from Lorelai, who is obviously at a very low point, emotionally. Rory has almost Stockholm Syndrome levels of support for her mother – Lorelai has done some really terrible things to Rory (like kissing her teacher at work in front of other students, or letting her freak out over the fact they had termites), and received nothing but kindness and forgiveness in return.
LORELAI: Two syllables, repeating consonants. Rory . . . .Gigi.
RORY: Oprah, Uma.
Rory references the 67th Academy Awards in 1995, which were hosted by David Letterman. He made a joke about Oprah Winfrey and actress Uma Thurman, by introducing them to each other:
“I’ve been dying to do something all day and I think maybe we can take care of this. Oprah? Uma. Uma? Oprah”.
The joke is simply that they are two women with unusual names. The punchline to the joke was, “I feel much better. Have you kids met Keanu?”. (Meaning actor Keanu Reeves, who, like Winfrey, was a presenter at the awards – Uma Thurman was nominated for Pulp Fiction).
The joke was considered so random and ridiculous that hardly anybody laughed – perhaps in desperation, Letterman kept repeating the joke, and even tried it again with different celebrities (Signourney Weaver and Quincy Jones). Although the awards ceremony got good ratings, Letterman was flayed by the press.
David Letterman was named one of the worst hosts of the awards, and ratings on his own show suffered and never recovered. It further damaged his relationship with Oprah Winfrey, who he was already in a bit of a feud with (they officially made up in 2005).
Lorelai is really stretching things to say Rory and Gigi are identical names. A bunch of names have two syllables, and repeating consonants are not that unusual (Nina, Lily, and Poppy would also fit, for example, and does anyone really think Nina is identical to Rory?).