SHERRY: I’m lying in a bed. God knows what’s gonna happen … And she goes back to work. I would love to go back to work, but I can’t because I have to stay here … She’s not here. None of my friends are here. Christopher isn’t here. No one is here. No one but you. Thank God you’re here, Rory. I don’t think that I could do this by myself because this wasn’t supposed to happen until next week. I wrote it down. I wrote it down. I wrote it down!
Sherry is frightened and worried at being left alone to give birth, and seizes on Rory as the one person who can help, in the most inappropriate way possible. Rory is barely eighteen and still at school, with minimal practical skills of any sort, having travelled alone by public transport in midwinter at night for more than four hours! Yet somehow she is now the designated assistant to Sherry.
For someone who was so gung-ho to have kids, Sherry’s suddenly got very cold feet on the idea, and says she would prefer to be at work. (Yes, at night. Everyone works at night, apparently).
Sookie tells Lorelai that she complimented Jackson on a frog tee-shirt he wore while they were dating, so he bought her a frog figurine to celebrate six months of going out. There was another one for Christmas, and he told his family to buy her frog figurines for every occasion. Now she has a frog collection.
She tells this depressing story as if it is a cute anecdote. Sookie was so smart about relationships when she was single, and usually gave Lorelai good advice. Then she became incapable of even telling her boyfriend, later husband, that she didn’t love frogs all that much. They are a symbol of her inability to communicate with Jackson.
RICHARD: These are our guests, Natalie and Douglas Swope.
EMILY: You two have met.
LORELAI: Yes, at the auction.
NATALIE: Good to see you again.
The show seems to have committed to the new timeline where Lorelai and Natalie Swope first met at the auction in “Eight O’clock at the Oasis”, supposedly about six weeks previously. However, when Natalie was visiting Emily in “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore”, she asked after Lorelai, who she remembered very well even though she hadn’t seen her since before she had Rory (as Lorelai is said to have attended the Christmas party at Richard and Emily’s every year, this in itself doesn’t seem very likely – did Natalie never attend one of the parties?).
We meet Natalie’s husband, Douglas, in this episode. Again, surely he and Lorelai would have met in the original timeline, but obviously not in this one, as he wasn’t at the auction. Douglas is played by John Aniston, the father of Jennifer Aniston. He had roles on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and The West Wing, as well as a long-term connection with Days of Our Lives.
LORELAI: I’m still . . . uh, these allergies really just hit me like a ton of bricks.
EMILY: I’ve never heard you mention allergies before.
In a future season, Lorelai needs allergy medication, and has old packets stored at home, so it seems that she really does suffer from allergies (even if she’s making it up right now). Or they changed it so that Lorelai actually has allergies.
RICHARD: I’d given her my pin, I’d introduced her to my parents … The date was set, invitations mailed out.
Although Emily denies that Richard was ever actually engaged to Linny Lott, he claims that a wedding date had been set and invitations mailed out, which sounds pretty solidly engaged to me.
In a former episode, Richard said he almost married a woman named Lucinda Lester, until Emily set her sights on him, due to his prowess at fencing reminding her of her celebrity crush, Errol Flynn.
Although it’s possible that Richard almost married two women with the initials LL he met in college, this does feel like a retcon, with Lucinda becoming Linny. Emily claimed Lucinda had a moustache, something she never says about Linny or Pennilynn.
Richard’s ex is called “Linny Lott” in this episode. Later she is called Pennilynn Lott. Linny sounds like a reasonable nickname for Pennilynn, but mysteriously, she is never again referred to as “Linny”.
Emily criticises Linny as too meek and mousy, with a rambling, discursive style of speech. Later, Richard’s mother has a quite different assessment of her, and this does not seem like a very good description of the woman we later meet.
SOOKIE: All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, Jackson announces he wants four in four … Four kids in four years.
Sookie and Jackson, an adorable couple while they were dating, became immediately annoying once they were married. Now Jackson, formerly rather sweet and snuggly, gets some pretty creepy ideas. This icky one is that Sookie should give birth to four of his children within four years, and he takes Sookie’s dubious, “Oohh .. kaay” as consent.
As tends to be the case, mostly for script reasons, Sookie tells Lorelai about her problems with Jackson rather than discussing them with him. Lorelai rightly tells Sookie that she won’t have a good marriage unless she learns to communicate with Jackson, however, Sookie and Jackson continue having major communication problems throughout their marriage.
It’s possible she means that although she wants to be a mother, she doesn’t particularly care for babies, and considering having an abortion in a shaky relationship is normal. However, it does sound like Sherry simply misrepresented herself to Rory (and Christopher?).
Lorelai and Rory must be stunned to hear that Christopher is a “baby person”. Really? Either Christopher really does feel as if he missed out on Rory’s babyhood, or that’s the story he’s telling Sherry. Maybe both Sherry and Christopher have been dishonest with each other.
The fact that Sherry doesn’t see herself as a baby person is a foreshadowing of what occurs after she becomes a mother.
SHERRY: Oh, go shopping some other time and come play with us. Please? There’s just a bunch of people in there that Rory doesn’t know, and having you here would make her so much more comfortable … I meant to extend the invitation to both of you. I just wasn’t sure if you’d . . . Well, you know, there’s lots of food, and booze for the lucky non-pregnant ones, and cake . . . it’ll be fun … I’ll block your car with my stomach.
When Lorelai goes to drop Rory off at Sherry’s baby shower, Sherry is waiting out the front for them, and immediately pressures Lorelai into attending as well, despite how uncomfortable the idea is for her. There’s some guilt tripping on how Rory would like her to be there, some bribery in the form of food and alcohol, and finally just threatening to block her car so Lorelai would have to run Sherry over in order to leave. The baby shower is more or less torture for Lorelai, and this is the beginning of it.
It’s a bit weird that before, Sherry didn’t want to have any relationship with Lorelai, and now she’s insisting that Lorelai come to her baby shower. I guess pregnancy has changed her. Lorelai, of course, doesn’t care for the idea of Sherry either shutting her out or inviting her in!
NATALIE: There she is, the Cobra … This woman gets her way or she squeezes ’til you comply.
Emily’s friend is Natalie Swope, played by Judy Geeson. You may remember her as one of the ladies from Emily’s tea party on the patio in “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore”. Emily introduces Natalie and Lorelai as if they are strangers, even though Natalie asked after Lorelai and seemed to remember her quite well in the previous season, despite not seeing Lorelai since she was a teenager (although, as Lorelai and Rory attended Emily’s Christmas party each year, this doesn’t seem plausible).
Natalie refers to Emily as “the Cobra”, because she squeezes people (puts pressure on them) until she gets what she wants from them. There are various snakes called cobra, but only those in the genus Naja from Asia are true cobras. They are notable for being able to rear up off the ground and flatten their necks to appear larger. They don’t attack prey by squeezing them, however – that’s pythons and boa constrictors. Cobras have highly venomous fangs instead, and all species are capable of delivering a fatal bite to a human.
Lorelai sometimes seems selfish and unreasonable in the way that she instinctively refuses her mother’s requests, but Emily’s reputation as domineering and manipulative, determined to get her own way at no matter what cost to the other party (the auctioneer is actually ill in this episode, but Emily has forced him to turn up and work) provides a good reason for that. She has no wish to be one of the Cobra’s many victims, and what seems like a reasonable request may well turn out to be something more sinister.