[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.
While Luke is serving customers at the diner, Kirk and two young boys come in, ordering old fashioned soda shop drinks. It soon transpires they were sent by Taylor, making a point how necessary such a soda shop is, which Taylor wants to install in the space next to the diner, owned by Luke. Kirk already works for Taylor, and the two boys are presumably in his Boy Scout troop.
Black Cow: Traditional name for a root beer float, which is root beer with vanilla ice cream. In some areas, the ice cream has to be chocolate in order to be called a black cow, and others say brown cow instead. (Root beer is a North American soft drink made using the root bark of the sassafras tree, or the sarsaparilla vine, Smilas ornata). Frank J. Wisner, owner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Brewing, is credited with creating the first root beer float in 1893. The North American fast food chain A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats.
Chocolate Phosphate: Traditional soda fountain drink, which is chocolate syrup and acid phosphate added to club soda. Acid phosphate is a mixture added to drinks which gives it a slightly tart flavour, and aids carbonation – a partially neutralised solution of diluted phosphoric acid made with salts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s recently come back into fashion as a mixer for soft drinks and cocktails.
LORELAI: Hey, maybe instead of going to college, you should drop out and I could quit my job and we can form an all-girl band with Lane, you know, like Bananarama.
Bananarama, English pop group, formed in 1980 by Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward. Their success on both pop and dance charts saw them listed in the Guinness World Book of Records for achieving the world’s highest number of chart entries by an all-female group. Between 1982 and 2009, they had 30 singles reach the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart, including “Shy Boy” (1982), “Cruel Summer” (1983), and “Robert de Niro’s Waiting” (1984). They performed on the 1984 charity record, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. They had eleven singles reach the top 10 in the US, including their #1 hit, a cover of “Venus”, (1986).
PARIS: What the hell did Romaine mean when he was going on about weeding out the hyper-intense in the interview process? He stopped just short of calling me by name, I’m losing it!
Paris also freaks out over the college panel, even having to run home and throw up out of anxiety. She’s especially upset that Mr Romaine mentioned weeding out “the hyper-intense” during college interviews. In a future episode, Paris will indeed miss out on a place in her first choice of college because of her hyper-intense interview.
Note that Rory has a cell phone for the first time in this scene – previously, she always used a pager. Don’t get attached to the cell phone, she will revert to using a pager in the very next episode. It’s possible that Paris called Lorelai’s phone, and Rory was borrowing it; Lorelai has lent Rory her phone before.
RORY: It’s not due for weeks, and I already have my essay topic picked out … Hillary Clinton … She’s so smart and tough and nobody thought she could win New York but she did and she’s doing amazing, and have you heard her speak?
DEAN: Only when you’ve played me the thousands of hours of C-SPAN footage you taped.
RORY: She’s a great speaker, strong and persuasive, with a wonderful presence, and even those suits of hers are getting better.
C-SPAN, Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. Cable and satellite television network created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the US federal government, as well as other public affairs programs.
Note that Dean has to watch hours of C-SPAN footage taped by Rory, but she wouldn’t watch BattleBots with him until he went to her debutante ball as her escort. Maybe she also pays him back in some way (or she considers just going out with Dean enough of a big favour?).
LORELAI: Oh, they want a picture. How about the one of us sticking our heads through the carved out holes of Johnny Bravo and SpongeBob Squarepants?
Johnny Bravo, animated romantic comedy TV series created by Van Partible for Hanna Barbera which aired on the Cartoon Network from 1997 to 2004. The series focuses on Johnny Bravo (voiced by Jeff Bennett), a dim-witted Elvis-esque womaniser who lives with his mother. Episodes revolve around Johnny asking women on dates, although his advances are usually comically rejected, sometimes violently. The comedy derives mostly from celebrity guest star appearances and pop culture references, as well as adult humour – you can see why Rory and Lorelai would be fans of the show! Johnny Bravo helped launch the career of Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy – you can see why writer Daniel Palladino mentions it, as he worked with MacFarlane.
SpongeBob SquarePants, animated surreal comedy TV series created by marine science educator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon, based on an unpublished educational comic book Hillenburg created in 1989 to teach his students about undersea life. The show revolves around a cheerful yellow sea sponge called SpongeBob SquarePants who lives in the fictional city of Bikini Bottom, beneath the real-life Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Here he works as a cook at a fast food restaurant called the Krusty Krab, and interacts with other undersea characters. The show first began in 1999 and is still running, having won numerous awards and inspired an acclaimed Broadway musical, which opened in 2017.
Rory and Lorelai presumably had this photo taken during one of Stars Hollows many festivals. Note that Lorelai immediately suggests sending Harvard a photo of both she and Rory together, as if they are one person, or as if Lorelai will be attending Harvard by proxy.
JESS: Seemed to me like you’re still pretty together. I half expected you to break into a barn and put on a show.
Jess is referring to the 1950 musical film Summer Stock, directed by Charles Walters, starring Judy Garland, and previously mentioned. In the film, Judy Garland’s character, Jane, owns a farm, and one day her actress sister Abigail (played by Gloria DeHaven) breaks into her barn to rehearse with her fiancé, theatre director Joe (played by Gene Kelly), along with their theatre troupe.
Jane reluctantly allows them to go ahead, and inevitably gets sucked into the action by taking part in their show, including their big song and dance numbers. By the end, Jane has dumped her boring farmboy fiance Orville (played by Eddie Bracken), and winds up with Joe, while Abigail has, slightly implausibly, been smitten with Orville. The film was a box office success, and is iconic in popular culture, often referenced in songs and music videos.
Note that Jess likens Rory and Dean to a couple who break up to find different partners – this is essentially what ends up happening.
JESS: I’m sorry, did I hear from you at all this summer? Did I just happen to miss the thousands of phone calls you made to me, or did the postman happen to lose all those letters you wrote to me? You kiss me, you tell me not to say anything . . . very flattering, by the way. You go off to Washington . . . then nothing. Then you come back here all put out because I didn’t just sit around and wait for you like Dean would’ve done? And yeah, what about Dean? Are you still with him? ‘Cause last time I checked, you were, and I haven’t heard anything to the contrary.
While popping into Doose’s Market to buy food for a second dinner after Friday Night Dinner (because the meal Emily provided was either insubstantial, or they were too upset to eat very much), Rory runs into Jess while shopping (he’s apparently buying one can of something). She lets him know she’s surprised and not exactly thrilled he found a girlfriend over the summer vacation, and Jess absolutely lets her have it.
Jess makes it clear he’s not going to put up with being badly treated, the way Dean often seems to allow. Rory kissed him, told him to keep quiet about it – as he says, not exactly flattering – then goes to Washington, not calling or writing to him in the interim (again, there seems to be some sort of fiction that Rory went straight to Washington from the wedding, which definitely didn’t happen, and couldn’t have happened). Then she comes back to Stars Hollow, clearly still with her boyfriend, Dean.
Jess doesn’t know that Rory tried to write to him while she was away, but didn’t know what to say, and that she tried to come to the festival in town without Dean, all dressed up, hoping to see him. But even if he did, I’m not sure it would radically alter his position. Rory still didn’t contact him, and she didn’t break up with her boyfriend – I think Jess is making it clear that he doesn’t want to keep flirting with Rory until she ditches Dean. Which is pretty honourable, considering how much cheating goes on in this show, with very little angst over committing it.
Note that Rory and Jess in this scene mirror Christopher and Lorelai earlier in the episode, with Rory taking the same position as her father – she wishes things could be different, but isn’t willing to do the work necessary to get there. Like Lorelai, Jess says that until things change, he’s not interested. Unfortunately, Rory resembles her father emotionally far too much at times.
When Rory comes out of the supermarket, Lorelai asks if she’s done (shopping), and Rory says angrily, “Oh, I’m done”. Needless to say, she is very far from being done with Jess!
Emily debates whether to order Caesar salad or Cobb salad for lunch at Luke’s diner.
A classic Caesar salad [pictured] consists of whole leaves of romaine lettuce and croutons, dressed with lime juice, olive oil, coddled eggs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Its creation is attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who had restaurants in Mexico and the US. He is said to have invented the salad in 1924 at his restaurant Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico, when a busy Fourth of July left his kitchen depleted. He used what ingredients he had on hand, adding flair by tossing the salad at the table. In 1946, the salad was introduced to New York by Gilmore’s (!) Steak House, who added anchovies into the mix. Although Cardini disapproved, anchovies are now usually added. Lemon juice is also typically substituted for the lime juice.
Cobb salad is a classic American garden salad usually made from chopped salad greens, tomato, crisp bacon, fried chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette. The ingredients aren’t mixed together, but laid on the plate in neat rows. There are various stories as to how it was created, one being that it was invented in 1938 by Robert Cobb, the owner of the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood, where it became a signature dish. The legend goes that Cobb hadn’t managed to eat until nearly midnight, and made the salad out of leftovers he found in the kitchen.
Coddled eggs are eggs that have been gently poached in a ramekin in a bain-marie, cooked just below boiling point. There is a risk of salmonella from eating them unless you are careful, hence Emily’s concern about ordering the Caesar salad. In the end, she orders the Cobb salad, where the eggs are hard boiled instead.
Note that Emily’s worry about the coddled eggs is basically the same conversation that Lorelai had with Sookie about mussels when they went out to dinner on their double date with Jackson and Rune. In both cases, Lorelai pleads with them to choose something else from the menu, in almost the same words.