“You’re not talking to me”

RORY: Uh, you’re not talking to me.
MADELINE: I’m not?
LOUISE: Tristan.
PARIS: PJ Harvey.
MADELINE: Oh yeah.

This conversation is a nice reminder of the events of last season which caused Paris to (once again) hate Rory, and force Louise and Madeline to join her in solidarity. It is typical of Madeline that she can never remember why she is supposed to hate Rory – partly it’s ditziness, but also a genuine liking for Rory; Madeline is noticeably always pleased to see her. And Paris’ reasons for hating Rory are so silly that’s it’s no wonder Madeline can’t remember them.

Twinkies

LORELAI: Uh, uh, well, pens are very nice, but I just bet there is a fabulous fancy dessert just sitting out there in that kitchen of yours.
EMILY: As a matter of fact there is. Twinkies.
LORELAI: What?
EMILY: Well, Rory told me that was her favorite dessert.

Twinkie is a brand of snack cake formerly owned and made by Hostess Brand. First invented in 1930, they were conceived as a sponge cake filled with banana cream; when bananas were rationed during World War II, the company switched to vanilla cream, and it proved so popular that it remained the predominant flavour.

Emily’s cook Antonia makes her own Twinkies to reproduce Rory’s favourite dessert – of course Emily could never just buy a box of Twinkies. Home made Twinkies are more difficult to make than Beefaroni, but well within the range of a competent home cook. A professional like Antonia would have no problem, but oddly enough doesn’t make them ahead of time, so the Gilmore girls never get to try them.

Emily supplying Rory with her favourite foods, even though her choices must have made her grandmother shudder, is a callback to when Emily served Lorelai and Rory pudding, one of their favourite desserts. Lorelai was so impressed by Emily’s effort that she must have thought she’d try it again.

Corona

LORELAI: Uh, well, I’ll have a white wine and Dean’ll have a beer.
DEAN: What?!
LORELAI: Corona, right?
DEAN: No, I don’t want a beer!

Corona Extra is a brand of Mexican pale lager produced by Cervecerio Modelo, first made in 1925. It is the top-selling imported beer in the United States.

All three Gilmore females take a slightly malicious pleasure in torturing Dean by pretending that he wants to drink beer. It’s a callback to the night of Rory’s winter formal, when Emily questioned Lorelai about Dean, including asking if he drank.

You can’t help feeling there’s a bit of payback for accidentally keeping Rory out late on the night of the dance, which led to an almighty family row. You can see Rory as either joining in with it, or trying to defuse the situation with humour.

Mencken’s Chrestomathy

EMILY: Richard, don’t you dare get on that phone. They’ll be here any second.
RICHARD: I’m not getting on the phone. I’m going to give Rory that first edition of Mencken’s Chrestomathy.

Mencken’s Chrestomathy was earlier discussed as a book that Richard called Rory about after they first bonded at Richard’s country club. A first edition is difficult to find and would most likely cost more than $100 today.

The special family dinner may be Friday June 1, meaning that the school year just finished for Rory, and they are celebrating the end of her first year at Chilton, and the success she attained during it.

Balkans

RORY: You should get married in Italy.
LORELAI: All the way from home, same topic. There’s tons of stuff going on in the world. Big stuff.
RORY: Like?
LORELAI: Balkans.
RORY: That was ages ago. Read a paper.

Lorelai is referring to the Yugoslav Wars, a series of ethnically-based wars and insurgencies that took place in the Balkans, those countries in and around the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey.

Lorelai may be referring specifically to to the Kosovo War, which went from 1998-1999 – hence Rory saying that it was ages ago (two years ago from the time of this episode). Insurgencies in the area continued longer, and there was still armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001 when this episode aired, not ending until August, so possibly Rory has not kept up with international events either, or doesn’t think of Macedonia as part of the Balkans.

It’s interesting that Lorelai immediately mentions a war during the conversation about her marriage proposal; a possible sign of things to come. This parallels Rory mentioning the war in Lebanon just before she broke up with Dean.

Everybody Needs a Little Sanctuary

After receiving her daisies, Lorelai walks past the Town Troubadour, who is singing this 1998 song by Grant Lee Buffalo. The rival Troubadour walks by, and the Town Troubadour gives a little nod, indicating that he can join in, which he does. Hence the two troubadours mend their quarrel – this episode is all about ending arguments and bringing people together.

Everybody Needs a Little Sanctuary is from the band’s album Jubilee, previously mentioned. The song uses the metaphor of bees in their hive to evoke the sweetness of love (a slight callback to Rory’s dream about swimming in honey), and mentions the queen, as if Lorelai is the “queen bee” of Stars Hollow. It is another song about love bringing safety and security: like Rory with her boyfriend Dean, Lorelai seems to be most attracted to Max as a safe place to be.

A Thousand Yellow Daisies

MICHEL: Daisies no less. As if I would order these pitiful little things. Foul things, these daisies. And just a notch up from weeds. And look how many. I mean, there must be at least …
LORELAI: A thousand of them. A thousand yellow daisies.
(Pan around inn’s lobby, which is filled with daisies. Lorelai walks into the middle and them and looks around.)

There are clearly way more than a thousand yellow daisies in this scene, which sounds impressive but would really just be a few bunches of flowers. You can make it work by understanding it as one thousand pots of daisies, but in reality they probably just kept putting out daisies until it looked like a huge number of flowers.

Daisies can symbolise love, fertility, and the return of someone’s affections, while the yellow colour is cheerful, vibrant, and a sign of being quick-witted, rather like Lorelai herself. Daisies are sacred to the Virgin Mary, which is a callback to the Gilmore surname itself. More generally, daisies symbolise motherhood, so Lorelai’s choice of flower can be read, “Love me, but remember I am a mother first”.

The name daisy literally means “day’s eye”, and daisies can symbolise the marking of time, and the progress of the sun throughout the day and the year. This makes it the perfect flower for Gilmore Girls, a show which is all about time.