Flashback 6

In the hospital, Lorelai shows Christopher his daughter Rory, who is a newborn in the nursery – a clear parallel with Christopher showing her Georgia in 2003. Christopher says that Rory is “pretty”, which Lorelai firmly corrects to “perfect”, in parallel to Christopher saying Georgia is perfect in the present day scene, with Lorelai saying she is “beautiful”, but a “solid second” to Rory.

Although slightly insulting, Georgia literally is Christopher’s second daughter after Rory – it’s as if Lorelai is keen to remind Christopher that Rory comes first.

We already know that Christopher proposed marriage to Lorelai, and she turned it down – a point of conflict between she and her parents, and something Christopher continued to feel aggrieved about well int adulthood. In this flashback, we actually see the proposal. Christopher uncertainly says, “So, I guess we should get married”, and then the scene ends.

We never see Lorelai turn this half-hearted non-proposal down, but can understand why she does so. It’s hardly the stuff of romance, and it’s clear that Christopher doesn’t really want to, and isn’t committed to the idea. Richard’s plan of Lorelai and Christopher marrying and living with the elder Gilmores comes to nothing.

Apparently Christopher was only going to be given a job at Richard’s company once he was married, as that never happens either. Richard feels resentful about his “plan” not working out, and continues to blame Lorelai for that right up to the present day.

99 Luftballoons

The song Lorelai is listening to while waiting to give birth at the hospital.

“99 Luftballons” (in German, “99 Balloons”) is a 1983 song by the German band Nena from their self-titled album. It is an anti-war song, telling the story of a devastating war without victors which was originally sparked by the release of 99 balloons, believed to be UFOs. Written by guitarist Carlos Karges, he was inspired by balloons released at a Rolling Stones concert in West Berlin, noticing that they looked like spacecraft as they changed shape in the air. He wondered what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall into the Soviet-controlled East Berlin.

“99 Luftballons” went to #1 in West Germany, and many other countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. It reached #2 in the US.

An English-language version called “99 Red Balloons” was written by Irish musician Kevin McAlea, and recorded by Nena. It went to #1 in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia, but wasn’t a hit in either West Germany or the US. Australia is the only country where both versions went to #1. The band did not care for the English-language version, and thought the lyrics were “silly”.

Not only was this song popular the year before Lorelai had Rory, it also provides a little callback to the scene in this episode where Lorelai and Rory talk about visiting the Berlin Wall.

Flashback 4

Lorelai is eating a sandwich and watching TV when her labour pains begin. We know it’s a pepper sandwich (I think this means a bell pepper or capsicum sandwich, which sounds weird?), because it was mentioned in an earlier episode. There is a cut, and then we see her at the hospital registry, filling out forms on her own.

She has come to the hospital by herself (presumably in a taxi) and there’s nobody to help her with the paperwork or offer support, not even Christopher. To add poignancy to this, there is a young man standing behind Lorelai with a bunch of flowers for someone, but there is nothing for Lorelai.

Ave Maria

This is the song at James’ wedding, performed by Dave Rygalski, and sung by Ho Kyung.

Composed by Franz Schubert in 1825, it was originally part of his 1825 Op. 52 a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott’s 1810 popular narrative poem The Lady of the Lake, loosely translated into German, where it is known as “Ellens dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s Third Song, in English).

It is often performed and recorded by many singers under the title “Ave Maria” (the Latin name of the prayer Hail Mary, and also the opening words and refrain of Ellen’s song, a song which is itself a prayer to the Virgin Mary), in musically simplified arrangements and with various lyrics that commonly differ from the original context of the poem. It was arranged in three versions for piano by Franz Liszt.

One of Schubert’s most popular works, it has become a fixture at weddings. Although an overtly Catholic song, it is sometimes performed at Seventh Day Adventist weddings, although with a certain amount of disapproval from strict quarters. Apparently Mrs Kim is not as strict in her religion as you might think – perhaps she simply loves beautiful music.

I presume that the pastor performing the wedding service is “Reverend” Melmin (he would actually be a pastor), previously mentioned as helping Mrs Kim select a suitable college for Lane to attend.


MRS. KIM: This is Ho Kyung, she’ll sing with you … Watch the high notes, she’s a runner.

In singing, a run is when a singer starts off at a very high note and drops quickly down the scale on a single syllable. It’s quite a showy move, designed to feature the vocalist’s performance over the music.

You might remember Ho Kyung from the episode, “A Deep-fried Korean Thanksgiving”.

Stars Hollow Beauty Supply Store

Rory and Lane go to buy cosmetics at the beauty store. Kirk is now working there instead of Shane, making this another of Kirk’s jobs (it raises the question, does Taylor own this business as well?). Kirk does have an interest in beauty products, having created his own line of skin treatments, which was shut down by the EPA.

I don’t know whether Shane has left the job at the store, or if she works there on a different shift. If the latter, her shift has changed, as she previously served the counter at the same time Rory was home from school.

Rory Eats Lunch Alone

[Rory sits alone in the cafeteria. A paper airplane that says “Leper” lands on her table. She tosses it aside and puts on her headphones.]

Once again, Rory is left to have lunch by herself, listening to music, because of her fight with Paris. Although she tells Lorelai that she doesn’t mind eating by herself, she goes to bed extremely early, because she says that having nobody to talk to all day is “tiring”. I think that Rory really means is that it is “depressing”, and she ends this episode feeling lonely and unhappy.

Notice that the Blood Drive is taking place in the cafeteria behind her – the one which Rory tried to have held elsewhere to get back at Francie. Just another little slap in the face for her, as she has truly given “’til it hurts”.

Fencing Class

In this episode, Rory, Paris, Louise, and Madeline have a fencing class. This may remind the viewer that Richard Gilmore was a keen fencing athlete when he was at Yale – something which Emily found very attractive about him.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the James Bond film Die Another Day had come out the previous year, in 2002, directed by Lee Tamahori, and starring Pierce Brosnan as the title character.

It has a notable fencing scene in it [pictured], where James Bond has an unexpectedly aggressive fencing bout with the villain, Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens. The fencing instructor in the film is played by Madonna, one of Lorelei’s favourite celebrities (she also sings the film’s theme song). Less than a month after this movie’s release, UK fencing clubs saw an increase in the number of people interested in taking up the activity.

Die Another Day was a box-office smash, and the #6 film of 2002. It received reasonable reviews at the time, but is now considered one of the worst of the films in the series. It was heavily criticised by Pierce Brosnan.

The fencing instructor at Chilton is played by Teigh McDonough, whose background was in the Chicago theatre scene.