With great trepidation because everyone has made it seem like such a big deal, Lorelai tells Luke that Max proposed to her. He has already guessed (or heard it on the Stars Hollow grapevine), and deliberately behaves in a nonchalant manner.
She is already taken aback, when he begins questioning her about what her plans for married life with Max are. Of course she doesn’t have any – she hasn’t even decided whether to marry Max or not, let alone thought about the reality of it.
Luke’s questions, which are quite rude and intrusive, have the effect of making Lorelai realise in a panic that she and Max haven’t had even one conversation about where they will live as a married couple, whether Max expects Lorelai to keep working, if they plan of having children together, or even how they will manage their joint finances.
Incidentally in this scene, you can get a good look at the coffee brand that Luke uses in the diner. It’s Hills Bros. Coffee, a brand from San Francisco sold since the early twentieth century. It was owned by Sara Lee in 2001, and is now owned by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.
Hills Bros claim their coffee has a bold, smooth flavour, but reviews for it tend to say it smells better than it tastes, and is generally pretty mediocre, although very strong and good value for money. Somehow Luke manages to make this average, budget-wise coffee taste amazing – which is quite a feat for someone who doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t approve of it. Perhaps Lorelai and Rory aren’t as fussy about coffee as they think they are, or they are heavily biased by their love for Luke.
LANE: My mother and father are sending me to Korea for the summer to visit my cousins.
LANE: They’re sending me to Korea and they won’t tell me when I’m coming back.
Mr and Mrs Kim have bought Lane a one-way ticket to (South) Korea for the summer, leading her to panic they never intend for her to come home. This story line was based on an incident from the childhood of Helen Pai, the real life inspiration for Lane Kim. Her parents did exactly the same thing, but as with Lane’s case, it turned out all right.
The American flag in the background is surely a symbol of where Lane’s heart lies, and also shows that she will return home. In Korea, the colour yellow can be symbolic of good luck, so Rory giving Lane the yellow daisies wishes her good luck on her travels.
RORY: What’s your name?
Clara (Scout Taylor-Compton) is Dean’s younger sister. Dean earlier alluded to having “sisters”, and Clara is one of them, although we never directly hear of any other. She seems to be around eight or nine years old, since she is still in the Brownies.
It is very strange that Rory has apparently never been to Dean’s house before, or met his family, even though they live in a small town and dated for several months. It’s even odder because Dean knows her mother very well, and visits her house often.
It makes her look like a detached and rather selfish girlfriend, that she expects Dean to always come to her, and to fit in with her life, rather than both of them making an effort. Or perhaps Dean has rather weirdly kept her away from his family, in which case she seems to have passively accepted it rather than argued against it.
Notice that the Forester’s front door has a friendly “Welcome” sign on the front door decorated with a red rose – a sure sign that Dean would welcome Rory’s visit, and her love, if only she knew.
RACHEL: We were supposed to meet for lunch, but he didn’t show.
First Luke leaves the diner just as it opens, and now he’s skipping coming home for lunch with Rachel in order to do work on Lorelai’s house. No wonder Rachel is suspicious and resentful, and seems hurt and upset. Notice that this is a slight echo of Madeline being “out to lunch” – by skipping lunch, it shows Luke is losing contact with his life with Rachel.
Notice that in the background the Stars Hollow Fire Department is holding a fundraiser – a sign that problems have reached emergency levels in Rachel and Luke’s relationship. Lorelai is wearing red to match the fire engines, showing the source of the emergency.
LORELAI (on phone): Mrs. Kim? It’s Lorelai. Is Lane there? Well, do you know where she is? Huh. That’s unbelievable, you always know where she is.
Neither Lorelai nor Mrs. Kim knows where Lane is, but the viewer can hazard a pretty good guess that she is studying with Dean for their science project, either at school or at Dean’s house. Lane told Rory that she and Dean had to get the project finished by Monday, and they didn’t do very well at Lane’s as her mother made things difficult, and then Rory wandered in unannounced. It makes sense that they would have picked somewhere else to study together.
(Lorelai gets Luke to try on the clothes she bought for him with his credit card)
LORELAI: I just wanna make sure it all fits. Turn around. (Luke turns around.) Uh huh, uh huh.
MAN AT COUNTER: Hey Fabio, I need the ketchup.
Fabio (born Fabio Lanzoni in 1952) is an Italian-born American model and actor. He has appeared in several commercials, television shows, and movies, and became recognised as a model of the cover of multiple romance novels in the 1980s and ’90s. He was also famous for appearing in “I can’t believe it’s not butter” commercials. He was once known as “the most beautiful man in the cosmos”, and often considered very vain about his appearance (his catchphrase was, “Don’t hate me for being Fabio!”)
No prizes for guessing why Lorelai is so pleased to see Luke turn around …
The man at the counter is Joe (Brian Berke), who is also the pizza delivery guy in Stars Hollow.
LORELAI: You’ve got a little bag there.
LUKE: I know that.
LORELAI: It’s got a cat paw stamped on it and a little catnip bow.
Le Chat Club (pronounced Le Cat Club) is one of Stars Hollow impossibly twee gift stores. Luke buys Rachel some potholders that make a meowing noise for her birthday, which demonstrates how little he knows her (and that he isn’t so great at choosing gifts). Interestingly, both Lorelai and Rachel have their birthday in April.