Yet Another Confusing Timeline

This is an episode written by Daniel Palladino, so it’s time for … another confusing timeline! This one is a bit more complex than simply having no Friday Night Dinner on a Friday, or Rory wearing her school uniform on a Saturday morning, so bear with me, as I know many fans have real trouble wrapping their heads around this one.

The talk at the high school is on a Thursday at 4 pm, so it’s an after-school event (it’s amazing how many important events schools hold out of hours and on weekends in the Gilmore Girls universe). Luke tries to cancel over the phone, and Lorelai tells him that the careers talk is being held the next day, so we know that it’s Wednesday at this point.

We then cut to Rory and Lane walking down the street together, so school is over for the day. Rory is in her school uniform, and Lane is wearing tan trousers and a denim jacket over a striped red sweater. They go into Stars Hollow Beauty Supply to buy the bleach and purple dye for Lane’s hair, and are served by Shane, wearing a brown lace-up blouse with a pattern of roses on it.

We then cut to Lorelai and Luke; Lorelai is helping Luke get dressed up for the careers talk at the school, so we know it is now Thursday, and presumably some time around 3.30 pm. Jess is already home from school, and he has Shane stashed in the closet, so whatever time she starts work at the beauty store, it hasn’t begun yet.

We then cut to Rory preparing to bleach Lane’s hair (for some reason they are doing it at Lane’s house, where she fears her mother coming home and finding them, instead of doing it at Rory’s house). Rory has changed out of her uniform into jeans and an orange sweater, and Lane is now wearing blue jeans and a striped green sweater.

Rory and Lane must have bought the hair dye from Shane on Wednesday afternoon, because it’s now Thursday afternoon, they are wearing different clothes, and Shane isn’t at work yet.

When Lane panics about her purple hair, she sends Rory back to the beauty store to buy black dye. Rory is wearing a denim jacket over her orange sweater, and Shane is now at work, out of the closet, and wearing a different brown blouse – this one does up with a drawstring and has a wide scoop neckline.

Then we see Stars Hollow after the talk at the school, so it’s presumably some time after 5 pm. Rory and Lane are now wearing different outfits – Rory is in blue jeans and a denim jacket, with a turquoise tee shirt, and Lane is wearing a dark red V-neck sweater with blue jeans. But let us assume that they changed their clothes because they smelled of bleach and dye or something, and also assume that Rory keeps a change of clothing at Lane’s house or brought one with her, because there’s been no time for her to go home and get changed.

Then Jess and Shane walk past them – Shane is still wearing the brown blouse from work, now with a brown jacket over it. So Shane was at Jess’ place around 3.30 pm, where she hid in his closet. She then went to work at the beauty store, selling Rory the black hair dye. Then by around 5 pm, she’s finished at the store, having put in a full hour’s work for the day.

I guess this sort of makes sense – if it’s an after-school job, she might only work there from 4-5.30 pm, but who is working at the store the rest of the time, and why couldn’t they work that extra 90 minutes per day? Another possibility is that Shane has already left school, works full-time at the beauty store, and simply sneaked out of work to see Jess, closing the store for half an hour or so.

This timeline almost fits, except for the fact there’s simply not enough time for all these events to take place. Rory doesn’t get out of school until 4.05 pm, and has a 40 minute bus ride home, yet somehow she is bleaching Lane’s hair around 3.30 pm, and has already had time to change out of her uniform. And Lane gets her hair bleached, dyed, then dyed again, all in the space of, at most, two hours (rather than days). But these quibbles are pretty much par for the course on Gilmore Girls, and nothing out of the ordinary for its usual wacky timeline.

So there you have it, this is how Shane managed to be hidden in the closet, and at work to sell Rory the black hair dye. It requires an awful lot of suspension of belief, and the usual rubber-band timeline, but the viewer can just manage to comprehend it. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible in the real world, but by Gilmore Girls standards, it’s almost coherent. Almost.

“That girl’s a freak”

[Jess and Shane walk past Rory]

SHANE: That girl’s a freak.

Shane manages to give Rory the same insult Lorelai said about Shane, which is either quite a coincidence, or Shane heard Lorelai and has been waiting for a chance to get her own back.

Jess has presumably just met Shane as she got off work at the beauty store. They are both wearing matching outfits – brown jackets over brown shirts – as if to underline that they go together. However, note that Jess doesn’t walk alongside Shane, he walks ahead of her. He couldn’t be making it clearer that he doesn’t see Shane as his equal, but as someone who’s “tagging along” with him. He is the leader and the dominant person in the relationship.

Also note that Jess only has eyes for Rory, and although they are currently on bad terms, he cannot stop himself from giving a faint smile as he walks past. Shane turns around to look at Rory, and I think her intuition is telling her that she is someone that Jess likes, or someone that could be a threat.

The show, like Lorelai, Rory and Jess, is not very kind to Shane, a girl who actually doesn’t do anything wrong except be pretty, blonde, and go out with Jess. Although the title of this episode is ostensibly about the two different plots – Lorelai has to give a talk to a “class” while Lane “dyes” her hair – it can be read another way. Rory is the girl with “class”, while Shane is the one who dyes her hair platinum blonde, meaning that she can’t be “classy” like Rory.

Lorelai Gets Accosted by the Stars Hollow Moms

As Lorelai and Luke leave the school after their talks, Debbie Fincher leads a posse of concerned mothers, presumably other members of the PTA, who are appalled to hear what happened during Lorelai’s talk. Not appalled enough to put a stop to it or anything, but appalled nonetheless. It’s all to drive home the point, yet again, that Lorelai is a “cool mom” and not like any other mother around.

I am not sure how Debbie managed to get all these women together at once so quickly – were they all hiding around the corner, just waiting for Debbie to come fetch them? Did Debbie leave early in order to round the other mothers up? I suppose we are meant to presume that their lives are so empty that they have literally nothing better to do.

Note that the Stars Hollow moms all dress alike in the same kind of brown patterned cardigan, and all wear blonde bobbed wigs. It’s the episode for bad wigs, this one.

According to the credits, the other two mothers besides Debbie who speak to Lorelai are called Jan and Lois, played by Julie Wittner and Merry Simkins.

Lane’s Purple Hair

Lane’s purple hair is very obviously a cheap wig – it doesn’t fit properly and looks a different style to her real hair. The whole hair dyeing plot in this episode is not possible in real life. You can’t bleach black hair blonde, then dye it purple all in the matter of a couple of hours (it would take days). It also isn’t possible that Mrs Kim wouldn’t have smelled the bleach and hair dye while working in the antiques store on the ground floor.

However, none of this really matters much, as after a very short celebration of her bold new look, Lane has a crisis of confidence, and insists that Rory dye her hair black, so that her mother won’t find out what she did. This is, of course, only adds to the implausibility of the episode.

Trust God

[Lane takes off her Dead Kennedys shirt; underneath is a shirt that says Trust God]

DAVE: Trust God – is that a band?

LANE: No. My life.

Right from the start Dave knows that Lane is a Christian, and that she has to hide her love of rock music from her family. She makes no attempt to laugh off the shirt or pretend that it’s a band name, or some kind of ironic joke. Whatever Dave feels about Lane, he will have to accept who she is if they are to have a chance together.

Note in the background a plaque reading Stars Hollow – 1779 – Stellae Caverna. It gives a Latin translation of Stars Hollow, and confirms the town’s foundation date as 1779 (even though that’s contradicted by other information).

Dead Kennedys and Jello Biafra

LANE: But how’d you know I was me?

DAVE: The Dead Kennedys shirt was a tip off.

LANE: Good thinking. Hey, uh, isn’t it a drag that Jello Biafra isn’t singing for them anymore?

Dead Kennedys, punk rock band formed in San Francisco in 1978 with its classic line-up of Jello Biafra (lead singer), East Bay Ray (guitar), Klaus Fluoride (bass), and D.H. Peligro (drums). One of the defining hardcore punk bands, their lyrics were usually political in nature, satirising political figures, authority, popular culture, and punk itself. From 1978 to 1986 they attracted controversy for their provocative lyrics and artwork. They released four albums and one EP before disbanding acrimoniously in 1986.

Jello Biafra (born Eric Boucher in 1958), former lead singer and songwriter for the Dead Kennedys. In the mid-1980s, Biafra became an active campaigner against the Parents Music Resource Center, a committee formed in 1985 with the goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music, via labelling music with Parental Advisory stickers. Biafra’s campaigning culminated in an obscenity trial between 1985 and 1986, which resulted in a hung jury.

In 2000, Biafra lost a legal case initiated by his former Dead Kennedys bandmates over songwriting credits and unpaid royalties. In 2001, the band reformed without Biafra. Although Dead Kennedys have continued to perform live over the years, they have not released any new material since the release of their fourth studio album, Bedtime for Democracy, in 1986.

[Picture shows Dead Kennedys in the early 1980s; Jello Biafra is second on the left]

“I have a list of suspects”

LORELAI: Hey Taylor, how’s the leg?

TAYLOR: It’s just fine.

LORELAI: Still haven’t found out who put that banana peel on your doorstep, huh?

TAYLOR: No, but I have a list of suspects.

Now that Jess is back in town, surely he is pretty high up on on the suspect list?

Note that the dress Lorelai is wearing is very similar in colour and design to the pink lace-trimmed nightgown she wore in her dream. Either the dress she was going to wear got into her dream, or she decided to wear something that reminded her of her dream.

The Wedding is About to Begin

We get to see guests gathering for Sookie and Jackson’s wedding, which is being held at the Independence Inn. Everything looks pretty and romantic, with lots of colourful spring flowers everywhere. However, there’s plenty of quirky little details to provide some fun, including a sing-along around the piano.

Note that Lorelai and Rory are wearing blue bridesmaid dresses – the colour Lorelai predicted she would wear to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding on their very first date. We also see Jackson and his groomsmen striding across the lawn in their kilts.

Sookie and Jackson are going to be married under the chuppah that Luke made for Lorelai and Max’s wedding. So if you’ve been unhappy about the chuppah being relegated to a piece of garden decoration, here you go – it’s finally fulfilling its purpose. Decorated with flowers, it really does look very nice. Hopefully someone shows Luke a photo.

You might also notice that the minister performing the wedding ceremony is wearing a tee-shirt with a photo of Sookie and Jackson on it. They clearly went a little nutso with the photocopying from Jackson’s cousin. The minister isn’t either of the two ministers we’ve already seen in Stars Hollow, and is possibly from Jackson’s home town, as his family seemed to be more concerned about the religious conventions being followed (such as getting the children christened).

Some fans are disappointed that we never get to see Sookie and Jackson get married, or even walk down the aisle. However, the show is about the Gilmore girls, and everything is focused on their dramas, not that of side characters.

Jess’ Tee-Shirt

LUKE: I was crazy, and now after all that has happened, after all the chaos and havoc that you have wreaked, you’re seriously standing there wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a butt with hands that are flipping me off, telling me you wanna come back?

Although Luke says that Jess is wearing a tee-shirt depicting a butt with hands giving people the bird, this is not visible in the scene. It looks as if Jess is actually wearing two tee shirts, a grey one over a black one, topped with a dark windbreaker jacket.

Lorelai Invites Christopher to the Wedding

Lorelai invites Christopher (another woman’s boyfriend!) to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding, as her “plus one”. At last her interest is piqued when he casually accepts this invitation, and she asks him if maybe he should run this plan past Sherry.

Christopher tells her that Sherry is out of town (as if that has somehow negated her very existence), and that they haven’t been getting on very well lately. Before she left on a business trip – more evidence that it was Sherry’s business trip they were on before, not Christopher’s, by the way – they agreed that they would take this time apart as an opportunity to do some thinking about their relationship.

This is all Christopher’s narrative of course, we don’t know if all, or any, of this is true, or if Sherry would have a different version of events. However, Christopher says he had already decided that he is going to start looking for an apartment so he can move out. Even though Christopher and Sherry are not actually broken up yet and Christopher has not told Sherry he’s moving out, nor has he made any moves to do so, Lorelai is now perfectly satisfied about taking Christopher to the wedding.

Note that Christopher hands Lorelai his coat to put over her bare shoulders, and that she sits increasingly closer to him during this scene, as he tells her about Sherry. She keeps her leg crossed away from him though, as if not ready to be completely vulnerable to him. We also get another reminder that the wedding is on Sunday, in case we’ve forgotten about it.