“Six-thirty in the morning!”

LORELAI: What are you doing?
LUKE: Fixing your porch rail.
LORELAI: That’s right. You are. You’re fixing my porch rail … at six-thirty in the morning!
LUKE: It was the only time I could do it.

The diner opens at 6 am, so what is Luke doing at Lorelai’s at 6.30? Has he just left Rachel and the rest of the staff to cook and run the diner while he wanders off to do handyman work for Lorelai? Or does the diner open later on Sundays?

“Tomorrow night”

LORELAI: All right, we’ll see you tomorrow night.
EMILY: Seven o’clock.

After Lorelai and Rory thank Emily for taking good care of her granddaughter, they inexplicably agree to meet the following night at 7 pm for Friday Night Dinner.

Rory ran away to her grandparents’ house on Thursday evening, and stayed all night there. The following afternoon Lorelai arrived to pick Rory up after school, which was surely Friday (and it would have made more sense for Lorelai to arrive for Friday Night Dinner as usual, knowing Rory would already be there).

But no, it is somehow Thursday again, and they have to wait another day for Friday. Time runs strangely in Gilmore Land …

Up With People

LORELAI: Okay, then just meet me in town around four, and we’ll get some Indian food, and spoil our dinner. What do you say to that?
RORY: Whatever.
LORELAI: Hey, love the enthusiasm. Hey, does Up With People know about you?

Up With People is an educational organisation founded in 1965, intended to inspire young people to make a difference. After training, each UWP group is sent on a tour of various communities to participate in service projects, learn about different cultures, and perform peppy musical stage show productions. They have been criticised for their right-wing politics and cult-like behaviour.

In a later season we learn that Lorelai actually can’t stand Indian food, although Rory loves it. It’s not clear if Lorelai offering to get Indian food is a continuity issue, or if Lorelai is making a huge concession for Rory in order to cheer her up. It’s notable that Lorelai plans to eat a second dinner though – possibly because she intends to eat as little Indian food as possible.

Rory Shows Emily the Potting Shed

(Rory opens the door and walks in. Emily looks in from the doorway.)
RORY: I know it’s looks small, but it’s really pretty. Come on. See, we had our bed right over there, and Mom put up this really pretty curtain around the tub so that it looked like a real bathroom. And we would just sit outside at night when the Inn would have parties, and we’d just listen to music and feed the ducks and . . . (Emily walks away) Grandma? Grandma wait, what’s the matter?

This is the potting shed next to the duck pond at the Independence Inn that Lorelai and Rory lived in when they first moved to Stars Hollow, as they had no money for accommodation (like the Holy Family, there was “no room at the inn”, and they were put in an outbuilding, so Baby Rory was just like Baby Jesus).

The shed is sturdy but rustic, and is stocked with gardening tools and plants, like any potting shed: it isn’t clear if those things were there while Lorelai and Rory lived there. Their bed is no longer there (they must have shared a single bed together), but the bath has been left, including the curtain that Lorelai put around it to serve as a bathroom wall. Lorelai mentioned that it has rosebud wallpaper, but the is shed painted white inside and doesn’t look as though it’s got the kind of walls that you could easily wallpaper.

It looks impractical for bringing up a baby, and we learn later that they moved to Stars Hollow in the autumn, so it would have been very cold as well (we don’t know what they used for heating). We don’t know how long they lived in this temporary accomodation, but long enough for Rory, who was only a baby when they came to Stars Hollow, to have some memories of it, and long enough that the weather became warm enough for them to sit outside at night. I would guess at least a year, and possibly two. Who looked after baby Rory while Lorelai was working is unknown.

This is the first time that Emily has ever seen the potting shed, and she is clearly distraught to discover the conditions her daughter and granddaughter lived in. Lorelai told Sookie that her parents visited them a few times at the inn while Rory was a baby, but they never saw where they slept at night. Lorelai was probably clever at keeping them away from the shed, but their lack of curiosity is surprising. Perhaps they were scared to push it in case Lorelai ran even further away.

In this case, it is Emily who runs away, too upset to spend any more with time with Rory or even say a proper goodbye to her. This incident serves as a device to keep Emily at a distance from Stars Hollow. Emily was having a good time with Rory, and was fitting in well with the townspeople, finding that she had things in common with Mrs. Kim and Michel. By showing her in the potting shed, it explains why Emily doesn’t visit Stars Hollow more often in the future.

Where they lived between the potting shed when Rory was a baby/toddler, and moving into their own house when Rory was eleven, is a complete mystery and never mentioned. Perhaps Lorelai saved up enough money to rent a cheap apartment for them, but renting would make it hard to save for a house. They could have lived in a friend’s house (with Sookie?), but if so, nobody ever refers to it.

In real life, it wouldn’t be legal for anyone to live in the potting shed under Connecticut zoning laws, but I’m not sure that would stop Lorelai anyway – rules were made for non-Gilmores!

Emily and Michel Meet

(They introduce themselves and shake hands)
EMILY: Enchantée. D’où venez vous?
MICHEL: Paris.
EMILY: J’adore Paris. Nous y allons chaque printemps.

Emily says, “Pleased to meet you. Where are you from?”, and Michel says he’s from Paris. Emily says, “I love Paris. We go there every spring”.

In fact, Richard and Emily go to Europe every second year in the fall, and specifically refused to go to Paris in the spring, questioning whether there was anything to see at that time of year.

Emily and Michel instantly hit it off, with Emily pronouncing him a “charming man”, and Michel telling Lorelai, “I just love your mother”. It makes sense that the two people who most enjoy  torturing Lorelai would like each other.

“I work here”

EMILY: Do you spend a lot of time here? [at the Independence Inn]
RORY: Yeah. I work here a couple afternoons a week, and I help out with special occasions. They have a lot of weddings here.

We learn that Rory, on top of her heavy school workload, also works part time two afternoons per week at the Independence Inn. This is different to what Rory told Headmaster Charleston in The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton,  when she said that she sometimes worked at the inn after school, so on weekdays. In the Pilot, Lorelai suggested she might want to help out and “earn some extra money” when Rory had a day off between changing schools, which could mean on top of the usual work she did at the inn, or to suggest that Rory helped out sometimes when she had free time.

It’s possible that Rory took on more regular work at the inn once she turned 16 (in Connecticut, there is a limit as to what kind of jobs a child under 16 may perform, although it is legal to work from 14 onward). As Rory doesn’t get home until nearly five pm from Hartford on weekdays, I can only think the two afternoons she works must be Saturday and Sunday – although it’s Saturday afternoon in this episode and Rory isn’t working, so I don’t know. She also says she works extra hours on the numerous weddings, which would mostly be on weekends anyway.

Maybe Rory works for just an hour or so after school twice a week. We never see her at this regular part-time job, so it’s hard to say how she manages her schedule. The job doesn’t seem too onerous, as it never seems to conflict with homework or social life (nor do we ever see Lorelai and Rory arriving home from work at the inn together). It’s possible that Rory is exaggerating her work schedule to impress her grandmother.