University of Toronto

LANE: Just don’t let her [Lorelai] change the date [of her wedding].
RORY: Not going to happen. Max is teaching a summer course at the University of Toronto, so if you’re back by the end of the summer, it’ll be fine.

The University of Toronto is a public university in the city of Toronto, Ontario. It is one of the oldest universities in Canada, and is the highest ranked university in the country, named among the best in the world. First founded by royal charter in 1827 and controlled by the Church of England, it changed its name in 1850 after becoming a secular instiution.

The university’s summer programs take place over 3-6 weeks, which fits in with Max being away until early August (so in fact the wedding could be moved up, causing Lane to miss it). Presumably Max is teaching classes in English Literature.

Gilmore Girls was first filmed in Unionville, on the outskirts of Toronto, so this seems like a gesture towards the show’s beginnings (at one time, they considered filming the show in Toronto permanently).

Fireflies

RORY: I called the Fireflies. Do they need troop leaders? Yes. Good, I’ll be a troop leader. Great. The only catch is, it’s summer. Camping season. I need wilderness skills. Why did you never take me camping?
LORELAI: Camping? Are you kidding? I couldn’t get you to step on wet grass until you were three.

The Fireflies are a fictional organisation, perhaps based on the Camp Fire Girls, founded in 1910 as a sister organisation to the Boy Scouts of America. In 1975 it became for both boys and girls, and is now just called Camp Fire. It teaches camping and wilderness skills, just like the Fireflies, and Lauren Graham was a member when she was young. In real life, there are no Camp Fire groups in Connecticut.

The 1997 black comedy film Wag the Dog , with screenplay by Amy Sherman-Palladino’s favourite playwright, David Mamet, uses The Firefly Girls as a replacement for the Camp Fire Girls. This could be an homage (and a slightly naughty one, as in the film the young Firefly Girl receives inappropriate advances from the President in the Oval Office).

If Rory would not step on wet grass until she was three, no doubt that’s from Lorelai’s example – she notoriously hates nature and the great outdoors..

The Construction Foreman

[Rory taps on a man’s shoulder while he’s sawing a piece of wood.]
RORY: Excuse me.
MAN: Hey, you’re touching a man with a saw. You don’t touch a man with a saw. What are you thinking?
RORY: I’m sorry.
MAN: I could’ve hurt myself. I could’ve hurt you. There’s a ton of hurt that almost happened here.

The construction foreman for Rebuilding Together in Hartford, played by Biff Yeager, is named Tom in the credits. He seems to be the same person as Tom the contractor who will later be seen in Stars Hollow whenever anyone needs some building or renovating work done, but it isn’t made completely clear. He doesn’t have a beard, while Tom the contractor does, but he might have grown one. It’s also uncertain whether he lives in Hartford but travels to Stars Hollow when needed, lives in Stars Hollow but took this job in Hartford for Rebuilding Together, or originally lived in Hartford but later moved to Stars Hollow.

“Sending me to Korea for the summer”

LANE: My mother and father are sending me to Korea for the summer to visit my cousins.
RORY: So?
LANE: They’re sending me to Korea and they won’t tell me when I’m coming back.

Mr and Mrs Kim have bought Lane a one-way ticket to (South) Korea for the summer, leading her to panic they never intend for her to come home. This story line was based on an incident from the childhood of Helen Pai, the real life inspiration for Lane Kim. Her parents did exactly the same thing, but as with Lane’s case, it turned out all right.

The American flag in the background is surely a symbol of where Lane’s heart lies, and also shows that she will return home. In Korea, the colour yellow can be symbolic of good luck, so Rory giving Lane the yellow daisies wishes her good luck on her travels.

All in the Family

LORELAI: You know how on All in the Family when Edith would be yapping about something and Archie would pretend to make a noose and hang himself or shoot himself in the head?
RORY: Yeah?
LORELAI: I don’t know. Something about this moment just made me think of that.

All in the Family, previously mentioned, is an American sit-com which aired 1971-1979, based on the British sit-com Till Death Us Do Part. It stars Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, a blue-collar worker from Queens who is prejudiced, but essentially decent. His wife was Edith Bunker, a sweet and rather naive woman played by Jean Stapleton. Among the most popular television programs of its era (at times the #1 show), it is regarded as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

All in the Family is still on American television in reruns to this day, and this is another TV show that Lorelai and Rory may have seen on Nick at Nite.

Sally Struthers, who played Babette on Gilmore Girls, played the Bunkers’ married daughter Gloria Stivic, and went on to have her own spin-off show, Gloria, from 1982-1983. Liz Torres, who played Miss Patty on Gilmore Girls, had the role of Theresa Betancourt, a nursing student who rented Gloria’s old room from the Bunkers in Season 7.

 

“Any other subject in the world for 200”

RORY: Oh! You should walk down the aisle to Frank Sinatra with a huge bouquet of something that smells really good.
LORELAI: Pot roast.
RORY: And you should wear a long veil with your hair up.
LORELAI: Ugh, I’ll take any other subject in the world for 200, Alex.

Lorelai is referring to the game show Jeopardy!, previously discussed. The host is Alex Trebek, and Lorelai mimics the game play of the show, with contestants choosing a particular subject for a certain amount of money (such as $200).

Lauren Graham, who played Lorelai Gilmore, went on Jeopardy! as a contestant in a celebrity episode of the show.

Mother and Daughter’s Dating Lives Intersect

Lorelai and Rory run towards each other, like parallel lines which finally cross at some point due to the curvature of the earth. They excitedly jump up and down, both with wonderful news to share. Rory has got back with Dean! Lorelai has had a proposal from Max! Their dating lives converge while both are at their peak, and all is joy, all is light, all is love. The promise of Stars Hollow is fulfilled, and lovers are reunited at last.

This is an oddly complete resolution to a season, which ties everything up into a neat package and gives a fairy tale happy ending to both our protagonists. The reason is that they were not sure if Gilmore Girls would be renewed for another season, and if if this was to be last episode ever, they needed it to also be a possible finale of the show. Of course the show was renewed, and from then on season finales tended to end on cliffhangers, leaving many questions unanswered.