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.
LORELAI: Give me another analysis or I’ll put your Taylor hula-hooping dream into a whole other context.
RORY: I told you, Taylor was supposed to be Dean. I could tell by his freakishly thick head of hair.
Rory had a dream while she was in Washington, apparently sexual in nature, about Taylor hula-hooping. She knows that Taylor was actually a stand-in for Dean, suggesting that she sees Dean as rather boring and irritating, like Taylor. Dreaming of hula-hoops can be indicative of a situation where you keep going around in circles – just as Rory’s relationship with Dean keeps going around the same old circle.
The dream suggests that Rory can’t see any way of breaking free of the dull routine she’s in with Dean. And nothing has changed, because although Rory has a stack of letters from Dean, sent from Chicago, where he’s on vacation, she is trying to write a letter to Jess – having got no further than writing Dear Jess.
We can see Dean’s return address on the envelopes: 106 Don Ridge Drive, Chicago IL 60620. This isn’t a real address – Don Ridge Drive is in Toronto, Ontario, a little nod to Gilmore Girlsfirst being filmed in Canada. The zip code is that of central Chicago – primarily made up of poor African-American neighbourhoods. It seems like an unlikely place for the Forester family to stay with family or friends.
There is a Ridge Drive in Chicago Ridge, a suburban village of around 14 000 people on the outskirts of Chicago. That actually seems far more believable as the area where Dean grew up.
Rory’s address in Washington is 1765 Harring, Washington DC 2005, which is entirely fictional, and doesn’t even look like a proper address, having no building name or street designation. It sounds vaguely like the Hotel Harrington, Washington’s oldest operating hotel, which is centrally located, and within walking distance of landmarks such as the White House, the Capitol, and the Smithsonian. This is certainly the area that Rory would have been staying in.
Season 3 begins with one of the most teasing, and notorious cold opens in the show. Lorelai is shown being woken up by a barrage of alarm clocks, wandering downstairs in a pretty pink nightgown, to find that Luke is making her breakfast, and trying to force her to drink decaf coffee.
At first the viewer might think that Lorelai and Luke somehow got together during the offscreen summer break, or that at least their friendship has got back on track and blossomed to the point that Luke is now cooking her breakfast in her kitchen, and offering to pick up household supplies for her.
But then Luke starts talking to Lorelai’s belly, because she’s pregnant! And she and Luke are having twins, no less. We know she can’t possibly be that far into a pregnancy after only a few weeks, and sure enough, not long afterwards she wakes up in the middle of the night with a start.
Lorelai immediately phones Rory to discuss her dream, and Rory gives the most obvious explanation: Lorelai wants to be with Luke and have his babies. But as Rory goes on to say, the dream is linked to Lorelai being upset about Sherry being pregnant with Christopher’s child, and Lorelai being lonely for Luke’s company (and missing his food!). The dream puts all these things together, and suggests a way to resolve all this tension – have Luke’s babies!
The (joke?) names Luke and Lorelai have for their unborn twins in the dream is darkly amusing. First, they were Sid and Nancy, a reference to the year-ago episode when Luke and Lorelai got into another terrible fight. Lorelai’s subconscious may be saying, “You got into a bad fight with Luke before and you worked it out, so you can do it again this time”.
Even darker, Lorelai says in the dream that the twins are named after child murderers Leopold and Loeb. Could this be an unconscious wish for Sherry’s baby to not exist, as if Lorelai’s pregnancy could cancel it out? Leopold and Loeb were the names of the Rottweilers owned by the parents of Lorelai’s repellant date chosen by her mother, Chase Bradford from Hartford. Just as Sid and Nancy link the twins to Luke, Leopold and Loeb seem to link them with Christopher, as if Lorelai’s unconscious has made her pregnant to both men at once.
At any rate, dreaming of being pregnant with twins suggests a conflict between Lorelai’s conscious and unconscious, and that she has two separate but related sources of stress in her life: the failure of her relationship with Christopher to get off the ground because of Sherry’s pregnancy, and the failure of her friendship with Luke. The twins may symbolise that on an unconscious level Lorelai is attracted to both Christopher and Luke, and at this point, deep down wants both of them.
And one final thing: dreaming about being pregnant is also due to the stress of not having Rory there, her “baby”. The dream overcompensates by giving her two babies to replace Rory. Lorelai is missing Rory even more than she misses either Christopher or Luke.
For some reason, Rory goes through the front hallway cupboard and finds her Dean box. Upon discovering that Lorelai didn’t throw it away after all, she is actually pleased, and kisses Lorelai to say thanks. She goes through the box, now ready to explore her memories and feelings of Dean, rather than push them away.
The items she is shown examining are her dress from the winter formal that she attended with Dean; Colonel Clucker, her stuffed toy rooster that Dean picked up the first time he was in her bedroom; the box of cornstarch she accidentally stole after Dean kissed her; and the home-made leather bracelet that Dean gave her for her sixteenth birthday.
Colonel Clucker may be a callback to the dream about Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded by Colonel Sanders, that Lorelai discussed with her. Perhaps Lorelai’s dream was mildly precognitive, especially as Rory found her Dean box at the back of the hall cupboard? Rory’s dream may have been precognitive as well, since her dream was about accepting her emotions – or perhaps it just showed she was psychologically ready to find the box, and so she did.
LORELAI: I had the weirdest dream last night. We were in our house, but it wasn’t our house, it was a Kentucky Fried Chicken. RORY: I’m hooked. LORELAI: I had to get dressed, but my clothes were in the back. And the guy manning the giant oil vat would not let me though. RORY: Oh my God! That’s so weird. When you said oil vat, that just reminded me, I had this dream last night we were swimming in a pool, only it wasn’t water, it was like oil or honey or something.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (since 1991 branded as KFC) is a fast food restaurant chain specialising in fried chicken with a secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices. It is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s. It was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1930, who sold his chicken from a roadside restaurant in the Great Depression, with the first franchise opening in 1952.
There are several KFC outlets in Hartford, and two in Wallingford, near where Stars Hollow seems to be located.
Dreams often link food and sex, so I wonder if Lorelai’s dream of a fast food outlet is trying to tell her that she is moving too fast with Max, and perhaps that the relationship is cheap and unsatisfying because it’s mostly based on sexual attraction?
The fact that Lorelai doesn’t seem to have any clothes on in the dream seems telling, and also that a man is stopping her from putting her clothes on (in the back of the store!) could signify that on some level she feels that the passion she has with Max is stopping her from finding a relationship that is deeper and more meaningful (with Luke).
The name of the man who is stopping Lorelai from getting her clothes turns out to be someone she once knew named Jim Dunning, which sounds rather like, “I’m done in”. In a way, her relationship with Max has already come as far as it can.
Both Lorelai and Rory dreamed of oil on the same night (Lorelai’s featured a man in charge of a vat of cooking oil, while Rory went swimming in what seemed to be oil, or perhaps honey). Both of them seem to want things to go smoothly in their lives: Lorelai dreaming of cooking oil may mean she wants a transformation in her life, while Rory is obviously exploring her emotions.
LORELAI: Oooh – Oompa-Loompas! RORY: My mom has a thing for the Oompa-Loompas. LORELAI: I don’t think finding them amusing constitutes a thing. RORY: No, but having a recurring dream about marrying one does.
In Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, the Oompa-Loompas are small humans who work in Willy Wonka’s factory. Played by actors with dwarfism, they have orange skin and green hair, and wear baggy white overall shorts.
Lorelai’s rich dream life was an ongoing feature throughout the run of Gilmore Girls. Perhaps in this case the dreams were brought on by the feeling that she was “married” to Rory, by choosing her over a man (as the Oompa-Loompas are child-sized).