“You’re officially a part of this town now”

RORY: You facilitated it, you made it happen, so I guess that means that you’re officially a part of our town now.

JESS: Hey, wait a minute.

Having pestered, nagged, and occasionally dragged Jess into helping Luke by working at the diner, just as she gave him a scolding and inspired him to fix Luke’s toaster, Rory now tells him that he is a part of the town. As well as helping Luke, it feels as if Rory was also trying to rehabilitate Jess, or improve his reputation. Jess seems slightly alarmed by this, and rejects the idea that he’s part of Stars Hollow – he’s always seen himself as “on the road”, a freewheeling drifter who’s just on his way through.

Luke worries that he and his uncle Louie were parallel to each other, but in fact it is Jess who is most like his great-uncle, Louie Danes. Both are unpopular in town, and considered to be rude, antisocial pains in the backside, given the cold shoulder by the good folk of Stars Hollow. Maybe like Louie, the town would soon turn forgiving should Jess actually die – a plot line Milo Ventimiglia urged upon the writers of Gilmore Girls, to no avail.

Of course, by roping Jess into helping out, Rory has ensured that she and Jess have spent most of the week (was it a week?) together, and working together respectably in public as well, so that everyone can see they are friends. Notice has exaggeratedly Rory addresses Jess as “friend” and “buddy” while she teases him, letting everyone know that she and Jess are just good friends.

What Dean thought about this volunteer work, we don’t know – he isn’t seen or mentioned in this episode. Since the Bid-on-a-Basket Festival, Dean only shows up in order to play the jealous boyfriend, never to just spend time with Rory or to help her out.

Birch Grove Spa

EMILY: I wanted to know if you’d like a gift certificate for a weekend at the Birch Grove Spa.

A fictional spa. In real life, there are several luxury spas in Connecticut where Emily and Lorelai could have gone. The Mayflower Inn in Washington Depot, which provided inspiration for the Independence in Stars Hollow, has luxury spa facilities [pictured], but I think they were introduced at the inn a year or two after the date of this episode.

Yankees, Mets

LORELAI: I mean, I could answer the door wrapped in cellophane but unless I was wearing a Yankees cap . . . ugh, he wouldn’t even notice.
LUKE: Geez.
LORELAI: Oh, don’t be embarrassed Snuffy, I’m just teasing. It’d be a Mets cap.

The New York Yankees and the New York Mets are the only two major league baseball teams in New York City – The Yankees are based in The Bronx, and the Mets in Queens.

Lorelai really is teasing – Luke always wears a Yankees cap, because Scott Patterson played for The New York Yankees. They are by far the more successful team as well, being quite possibly the most successful US professional sports team of all time.

[Picture shows a vintage navy blue Yankees cap, similar to Luke’s].

“Amen, sister friend”

RORY: That is the closest to a farm that I ever wanna get.
LORELAI: Amen, sister friend.

As far as I’m aware, “Amen, sister friend” is 1990s American slang to give encouragement or validation to a female friend, with “sister friend” implying a bond as close as sisters. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

It’s interesting that Amy Sherman-Palladino, the writer, uses this phrase, since she conceptualised the relationship between Lorelai and Rory as partially based on her imaginings of what a relationship would have been like with her dead sister, that she never knew.

“You called him Duke”

RORY: People are different once you get to know them. If you’ll remember, you weren’t too fond of Luke when you first met him.
LORELAI: That’s not true.
RORY: You called him Duke for two years just to make him mad.

A meta-reference to the fact that in the original pilot of Gilmore Girls, the Luke character was named Duke. Amy Sherman-Palladino, the writer for this episode, jokes that must’ve been the teasing nickname Lorelai gave him at first. Luke’s character was originally meant to be a woman named Daisy, so the change from Daisy to Duke seems like a Dukes of Hazzard reference.

Apparently Luke and Lorelai didn’t get along when they first met, and it took two years for Lorelai to call him by his correct name. This sounds awfully similar to the plot line where Tristan keeps calling Rory “Mary” when he first meets her, as a flirtatious tease.

In the world of Gilmore Girls, someone getting your name wrong is a sure sign they secretly like you! As Tristan was originally slated to be Rory’s boyfriend (before the actor went to a different show), it also seems to be a sign you are destined to end up together.

Historical Places

RICHARD: There are a lot of nice historical places up there [in Boston].
CHRISTOPHER: Something historical in our price range would be perfect.

Richard might be thinking of the historic Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods in Boston, famous for their rows of Victorian brownstone terrace houses. Such brownstones can cost millions today, and no wonder Christopher is quick to qualify it as “in our price range”.

When we eventually see Christopher and Sherry’s apartment in Boston, it does look like it’s supposed to be a historic brownstone-ish sort of building, but in a retail/dining area, so presumably cheaper. (It’s just filmed on the Warner Bros lot, it’s not a real apartment).

Puppy on the Christmas Card

LORELAI: I recognized you from your Christmas card.
CHRISTOPHER: Which I’m sure you mocked mercilessly.
LORELAI: Did not. Others, yes, but not yours. You guys were cute, and the puppy was cute.

Lorelai didn’t mock their card nearly as much as others, although she did say that Sherry looked like Tammy Faye Bakker. She so clearly doesn’t resemble Tammy Faye that I wonder if they had even cast an actress for the role at that point? Perhaps Sherry had a make-over for the photo shoot with a touch of Tammy Faye glamour to it.

The puppy is never seen or referred to again. Did they even have a puppy? Maybe they rented one for the photo shoot. Hopefully they didn’t get a puppy for Christmas and give it away in the New Year.

“She must be a witch”

SOOKIE: Plus she’s been sitting for an hour and her dress is perfect. Not a wrinkle? How does she do that?
LORELAI: She must be a witch.

Mädchen Amick went on to play a witch named Wendy Beaumont in the 2013 television series, The Witches of East End.

Sookie mentions to Sherry how smooth her dress looks, and Sherry says it’s the fabric. Sookie responds with scepticism, as if she’s convinced that Lorelai is right, and Sherry actually is a witch.