Rory Finds Her Dean Box

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.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

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.

Oompa-Loompas

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).