“Twice a week”

LANE: Twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday nights at six o’clock, I could come and practice here …

SOPHIE: Please, go home.

LANE: I can’t. I can’t go home until you say yes. I have to rock, I have to! Please, I’m so begging you – let me rock!

Lane begs and pleads and cajoles and bargains, and finally gets Sophie to agree to let her practice twice a week at the music store in the evening. It’s an incredible gift Sophie has given Lane, apparently touched by her overwhelming need to live a musical life and with no one to help her.

Rory gets opportunities handed to her on a platter, while Lane has to beg a virtual stranger to let her practice drums. She’s not getting free lessons, she will have to teach herself, but at least she is going to be allowed to touch some actual drums on a regular basis.

According to Lane, her mother goes to Bible group alone on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6 pm. In “It Should’ve Been Lorelai”, Lane has to accompany her mother to Bible class every Saturday morning, but Bible class and Bible group seem to be two different things. Perhaps Bible class is for instruction, while Bible group is for discussion. Throw in Thursday evening hymns, and most of the week seems to be taken up with religious activities.

Notice how Lane pleads with Sophie as if in the throes of passionate prayer. I can imagine Lane has prayed constantly for any chance to play music, and after many years, her prayers have been answered.

“I wanna go to New York some day”

LANE: So, you’re from New York, huh?

SOPHIE: Yes, I am.

LANE: I wanna go to New York someday.

Previously, Lane said she wanted to live in Philadelphia, but that might have been just to have something to reply to Rory. Now she says she wants to go to New York – but it might be just to keep Sophie talking. It’s not actually possible to tell whether Lane has any ambitions to leave Stars Hollow at all.

Like Sophie, Carole King was born and raised in New York City, and like Sophie, she moved to the country. She moved to a ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho in the 1980s, only selling up a few years ago. Between New York and Idaho, she lived in L.A during the 1970s.

Rory’s Letter to Dean

DEAN: What happened? What’d you do to your arm?

RORY: [hands him an envelope] Here.

DEAN: What is this?

RORY: Just read it.

Rory waits for Dean to come home from Chicago that evening, sitting on the porch, in a mirror image of when Dean waited fruitlessly for Rory to come home from Friday Night Dinner. When his dad brings Dean home, presumably from the airport, Rory hands him a letter where she has written down what happened to the car.

It’s a quick way to avoid lots of superfluous dialogue, but it makes Rory look a little cowardly that she couldn’t talk to Dean directly. Are we meant to think that she was too scared to talk to Dean, or that she didn’t feel confident Dean would listen to her all the way through?

Dean does read the letter all the way through, while yelling and kicking a duffle bag, which seems a bit threatening. However, once he is assured that Jess has really and truly left town, he just asks Rory to join he and his family for dinner. Later they watch TV with Dean’s sister, Clara.

It seems odd that Dean doesn’t have any other questions or comments about the accident or about the car – he seems to think the only thing wrong with his relationship with Rory was Jess, and now he’s gone, they can get back to normal.

Rory didn’t seem to have met Dean’s family in the first six months or so of them dating, but she is obviously very familiar with them now.

“Tomorrow afternoon”

LORELAI: Okay, Dad, I’ll tell you what. Tomorrow afternoon after my business class, I will come to your office and we’ll get you unpacked, we’ll get you settled, and we’ll find you someone as good as Margie, or at least cheaper.

Realising that Richard has no idea how to set up his office, Lorelai offers to help him get started and find a secretary, kicking off the main event of this episode. We learn that Lorelai’s business class is now on Saturday afternoon.

White Lines

This is the song Kirk dances to in his film – Miss Patty did the choreography.

White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It) is a 1983 song by hip hop artist Mel Melle, written by Melle and Sylvia Robinson, and released as a single. On original release, it was credited to Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, but by that stage Flash and Melle had stopped touring together and were in a legal disagreement.

Originally it was an ironic celebration of the cocaine-fulled party lifestyle, but for commercial reasons was abridged with the “don’t do it” message to warn against the dangers of cocaine. It has an unofficial music video directed by Spike Lee and starring Laurence Fishburne. The song went to #9 on the US Hot Dance Club Play charts, but did best in the UK, where it made #7 on the charts.

Lorelai says that Kirk raps in the film (presumably to the song), but we never hear that happen. Kirk also tells Lorelai he needs to keep the word “damn” in his film to maintain his street cred, but we never hear him say that, either.

Persimmons

LORELAI: Hey, why isn’t Jackson here?

SOOKIE: Oh, he’s singing to his persimmons tonight. They’ve been a little sour lately.

Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of tree in the genus Diopyros. Technically the fruit is a berry, although not often thought of that way. The most commonly cultivated is the Oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki) – one of the most commonly human-grown fruit trees on Earth, and first cultivated in China more than 2000 years ago, then spread to Japan and Korea in the Middle Ages. It was introduced to southern Europe and California in the 1800s.

Jackson may be growing American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) [pictured], native to the eastern states of the US, and very hardy in cold weather. They’re harvested in the fall, and eaten fresh or used in baked goods and steamed puddings. Jackson’s persimmons are months away from harvest, so no wonder they are sour! The fruit is very astringent or even bitter unless it is fully ripened.

The previous year, Jackson danced to his watermelons and threw his back out.

The Fountainhead

RORY: Really? Try it. The Fountainhead is classic.
JESS: Yeah, but Ayn Rand is a political nut.
RORY: Yeah, but nobody could write a forty page monologue the way that she could.

The Fountainhead, 1943 novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand, and her first literary success. The novel is about a ruggedly individualistic architect named Howard Roark, who battles against conventional standards and refuses to compromise his ideals. Rand said that Roark was the embodiment of her ideal man, and the novel reflects her views that the individual is more valuable than the collective.

Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript before Bobbs-Merrill took a chance on it, and contemporary reviews were mixed. However, it gained a following by word of mouth, and eventually became a bestseller. It has had a lasting influence, especially among architects, business people, conservatives, and libertarians. It was adapted into film in 1949, and turned into a stage play in 2014.

We here learn that Rory attempted to read The Fountainhead when she was ten, without success, but tried again when she was fifteen and liked it. Jess is taken aback by her recommending a text beloved of right-wing libertarians and “political nuts”, but Rory says she enjoys it as a piece of literature. The Fountainhead is absolutely full of characters having lengthy monologues where they clearly explain their philosophies, plans, and ideals.

The character of Howard Roark (allegedly based on architect Frank Lloyd-Wright) is a brooding man of few words, rather like Jess. Could Rory be recommending the book to Jess for that reason, to let him know that she likes a book where the protagonist is like Jess? A literary flirtation, like Jess annotating her copy of Howl?

Jess’ later career has a few things in common with Roark – neither of them graduate because they can’t be fettered by a conventional curriculum, both believe themselves to be misunderstood, both would prefer to take any paying job rather than compromise their creative integrity, and both become successful in their chosen fields.

More eye-raising is the character of Dominique, Roark’s love interest, and said to be his perfect match. Their first sexual encounter is so rough that Dominique describes it as a “rape”, and yet comes back for more, again and again. It’s a risque (or even plain risky) thing for a teenage girl to recommend to a boy she likes, and if this is a flirtation-by-literature, Rory seems to have suggested that Jess make things physical, even without her explicit consent.

Lorelai’s Bid-on-a-Basket History

LORELAI: Well, last year Roy Wilkins bought it and I got my sprinklers fixed for half price … And this year my rain gutters are completely clogged, and I thought if I could get the Collins kid to bite, I’d get that taken care of.

We learn that the previous year, in 2001, a man named Roy Wilkins bought Lorelai’s basket at the fundraiser, and she was charming enough to him that he fixed her sprinklers and only charged half price for it. This year, she was hoping that “the Collins kid” might buy her and be inveigled into cleaning her gutters for cheap or free.

“The Collins kid” could be in his early twenties, I don’t suppose Lorelai would picnic with a literal child? Although considering how the town laughed at her for going on one date with someone in his early-to-mid twenties, you’d think she’d be wary of that now.

It sounds as if since becoming a homeowner, Lorelai has been using the Bid-on-a-Basket Fundraiser as a way to get free or cheap home repairs or home maintenance done. Hmm, you know who is really good at handyman stuff? Luke! And now she’s having a picnic with him.

Christmas in the Bahamas

LORELAI (to Richard): You and Mom, you always go out of town this time of year.
RORY: Last year it was the Bahamas.

Last year we discovered it was Richard and Emily’s annual tradition to hold a Christmas party in mid-December. This year we discover another tradition: they go out of town around Christmas time (presumably after the party, but possibly before).

I’m not sure whether they actually go away for Christmas, or if they travel in the week or so before Christmas, and get back in time for the 25th. Richard and Emily spoke about only seeing Lorelai and Rory at Christmas and Easter, so did that just mean attending the Christmas party each year? As that was attended by their friends, it doesn’t seem as if they spent much time together as a family at all, even in the holidays. Perhaps they meant the entire Christmas season – the party, and then Christmas itself.

Richard and Emily went to the Bahamas in December 2000, after Richard had been hospitalised for an angina attack. As Christopher’s parents, Straub and Francine Hayden, live in the Bahamas, it seems very likely the Gilmores either stayed with them, or visited them, during their vacation. It was only a couple of months later that Christopher’s parents come to Hartford just as Christopher arrives for a visit to Stars Hollow, suggesting it was a plan that the elder Gilmores cooked up to bring Lorelai and Christopher together – with devastating results.