Sookie and Jackson’s Wedding

This episode is centred around Sookie and Jackson’s wedding day, and the first shot is the poster the couple are using for the celebration. It’s a huge blown up photo of Sookie and Jackson against a field of flowers (possibly a standard photography studio background?), with Sookie holding a wedding cake, and Jackson in a Hawaiian shirt holding a bunch of bananas. It’s typical sweet goofiness from this so-far adorable couple.

Note that the wedding date is prominently displayed as May 19 2002, changed from the earlier May 15. And May 19 really was a Sunday in 2002! This is the first time we’ve got a rock-solid date for anything that actually fits into a real world time frame.

If you keep an eye out, you will see other photos of Sookie and Jackson used on decorative throw pillows and what not in this episode – I imagine that Jackson’s cousin with the printing business was called in to do these, and he quite likely made the poster as well.

“This whole week”

RICHARD: This whole week, this whole experience with Rory and the locker first aid kit – that is a damn good idea, by the way, no matter what those yarnheads at that school of yours say. Anyway, this whole week made me realize something – I don’t want to be retired.

When they were first discussing the Business Fair, Rory said they had three weeks to prepare for it. Yet Richard, who helped them develop and market a product right from the beginning, says that he worked with them for a week.

Richard retired in December and finished at work in January, being restless and miserable ever since. Now in April, he decides that he’s had enough of retirement and wants to return to working life in some capacity. After a winter of discontent, Richard is ready to emerge in the spring to begin life anew.

“While I was getting the car”

RORY: You actually got Grandma to steal a bathrobe?

LORELAI: Although I did catch her trying to return it while I was getting the car.

What car? They went to the spa in a hired limo. Perhaps Lorelai means while she was phoning for a car to collect them, or meeting the car? Or she meant to say while she was getting in the car?

Emily panicked and tried not to go through with stealing the bathrobe, but Lorelai seems to have stopped her. That seems to be enough to satisfy Lorelai, who actually appears pretty pleased with how her time at the spa with her mother turned out (probably because they came home early).

Maraschino Cherries

LORELAI: Hey, will you go get the ice cream and make sure they give us a ton of maraschino cherries?

A maraschino cherry is one that has been sweetened and preserved, They are preserved in a brine solution containing sulphur dioxide and calcium chloride to bleach them, then soaked in a mixture of red food colouring and sugar syrup.

The name comes from the Marasca cherry from Croatia, a type of Morello cherry; cherries preserved in marasca liqueur were known as “maraschino cherries”. They became popular in Europe in the 19th century, but because the supply of cherries was limited, they were a delicacy reserved for royalty and the very wealthy.

Maraschino cherries were introduced to the US in the late 19th century, where they were served in fine bars and restaurants. Because they were scarce and expensive, by the turn of the century other cherries such as the Royal Anne were substituted, and flavours like almond extract added. Alcohol was already becoming rare as a preserving agent, and when Prohibition arrived, became illegal.

Maraschino cherries are used in certain cocktails, and are used to decorate foods such as cakes, pastries, fruit salad, and baked ham. In the US, they are an essential addition to ice cream sundaes, leading to the expression, “the cherry on top” to mean the finishing touch which makes a good thing perfect.

Another mention of Lorelai’s love of cherries, this is at least the third one. Note that Rory is going to get rocky road ice cream sundaes to take home and eat with the movie, and they are walking. Even on a chilly night, how are the sundaes not going to melt on the way home? Do they live only thirty seconds walk from the centre of town?

A possible slight contradiction – in Season 1, Lorelai says Rory doesn’t like rocky road cookies, but now she’s happily ordering rocky road sundaes. I suppose it’s plausible she doesn’t like rocky road in cookies, but enjoys it in ice cream, although it sounds unlikely to me. She might have changed her mind, also.

The Bathroom in Luke’s Apartment

When Jess comes out of the bathroom, we can see it is now in a different direction. After being located just beyond the kitchen area from the first season until now, the bathroom in Luke’s place has moved to the other side of the apartment near the bedroom area. It remains there for the remainder of the show’s run.

Compare to the bathroom at Lorelai and Rory’s house, which was permanently replaced by a walk-in closet later in Season 1.

“What’s the white stuff?”

JESS: What’s the white stuff?
LUKE: I think it’s cheese – or cream.
JESS: And the green stuff?
LUKE: I think it’s … best picked off.

This is another “mirroring” scene for Jess and Luke, showing them side by side, dressed alike, and gazing at their soup with the same expression of confusion and distrust. It doesn’t make a lot of sense though. Luke runs a successful diner – surely he can tell the difference between cream cheese and cream? And why is he so horrified by fresh herbs? (I think it’s sage, but I’m not sure).

Luke is always telling Lorelai and Rory off for eating meat and junk food, advocating a healthy plant-based diet. It’s nonsensical that he would be unable to identify a herb and unwilling to eat it, or look disgusted by a bowl of butternut squash soup. I mean, if he hates meat, and he hates vegetarian food, what exactly does Luke eat?

Luke’s Program to Turn Jess Around

Give up smoking

No stealing

Pay people back for what has been taken

Attend school and graduate high school

Work in the diner after school until the diner closes

Homework will be done between the diner closing and bedtime

Weekends are for chores and pre-approved social outings

I wonder whether Luke’s plan of only allowing Jess to attend school, work at the diner, do homework at night, and chores on weekends, is an indication of how his father brought him up. It certainly gave Luke a strong work ethic, although it also drove Liz away. It might explain why Luke seems to lead a rather joyless existence, with a distrust or even dislike of having any fun.

Jess’ response is to immediately make like his mother and leave, and when Luke asks where he is going, he says, “Out”. Yes, he’s done a Liz and gone off to do “God knows what”.

Luke mutters, “Well, at least I asked”, showing that he’s not expecting to become the world’s best parental substitute overnight.

(Note that Jess is wearing a completely different outfit in this scene – because his other clothes got wet when Luke pushed him into a lake).

Max in the Kitchen with the Gilmores

We are treated to a scene where Max cooks dinner for the Gilmores in Stars Hollow; he has already been shown to be an excellent cook earlier in the show. There are comic bits to demonstrate how quirkily undomesticated the Gilmore girls are – Lorelai cuts Max with a knife any time she tries to help cook, and neither Lorelai nor Rory can identify their own broiler (grill), even being alarmed to find it is “on fire”. Rory finds the smell of food cooking to be “weird”, in a good way.

Incidentally, we seem to have somehow skipped a day, Gilmore Girls style. Rory and Dean planned to watch The Holy Grail together that night, but instead she is having dinner and a movie with Lorelai and Max. We know it is the same day, because Rory is still wearing the exact same clothes.

We might also wonder what happened to Friday Night Dinner with the elder Gilmores, as it’s a Friday. The same thing happened in Christopher Returns (also written by Daniel Palladino) – when Christopher stayed over with Lorelai and Rory, Friday Night Dinner just disappeared without comment.

At least this time there’s a possible explanation: it’s summer, and Richard and Emily may be spending their vacation in the house they rented on Martha’s Vineyard.

“Tomorrow’s our anniversary”

RORY: Max is staying over.
DEAN: Really?
RORY: First time. And to kind of celebrate, he and my mom wanted to go on a double date.
DEAN: But tomorrow’s our anniversary.
RORY: No it’s not, it’s on the twenty-fourth.
DEAN: No, that was our old anniversary. We broke up, and got back together on the sixth. So using the twenty-fourth wouldn’t be an accurate account of how long we’ve been together.

This is the point where we learn Rory’s birth date, as Rory and Dean date their relationship from the day after her birthday, when Dean gave her a bracelet in Rory’s Birthday Parties. According to this scene, that happened on October 24, so Rory’s birthday is October 23.

(That means their anniversary dinner should have been on the 24th day of a month too, January 24, but although it actually happened in March, it doesn’t fit the timeline of events to be March 24.)

In real life, October 23 2000 was a Monday, not a Friday as in Gilmore Girls (so October 24 2000 was a Tuesday, not a Saturday).

We also learn that Rory and Dean were reunited on Friday May 6 2001 – we know it was a Friday, because Rory was at school, and the next day was a weekend. In real life, May 6 2001 was a Sunday. May 6 doesn’t fit the timeline we are given in the show, where Rory and Dean are shown getting back together around mid-May.

As Dean is preparing to celebrate their monthly anniversary on August 6, the next day, it must be August 5 in this scene. It is the same day as the previous scene Rory had with Lorelai (she is wearing the same clothes) which seemed to be a Friday. As Max is coming for the weekend, Friday seems to be correct. In real life, August 5 2001 was a Sunday.

Rory and Dean’s conversation tells us that Max and Lorelai’s wedding is planned for Saturday 20 August 2001 – two weeks and one day away.

(Rory and Dean decide they will celebrate their “anniversary” twice a month, on both the 6th and the 24th.)