I Can’t Get Started

At the end of the episode, Sookie and Jackson’s wedding is about to begin, as we hear the strains of their wedding song, “I Can’t Get Started”, previously discussed.

The episode nears it conclusion with a shot of Rory and Lorelai, locked in their own secret relationship difficulties, neither sharing them with the other, as they have to focus on the wedding. Rory has secretly kissed another boy while on a date with her boyfriend, and still looks shellshocked by her own action. Lorelai is heartbroken over being dumped by another woman’s boyfriend, who is going back to be a father to their unborn child – something he could never muster the energy for when it came to Lorelai’s daughter.

The song “I Can’t Get Started” is written from the perspective of someone who is successful in every possible outward way, yet they don’t have a hope of beginning the relationship that they want. In the same way, Lorelai is a successful mother, homeowner, community participant, and businesswoman; Rory is a successful student, journalist, debater, and now Vice-President elect at a prestigious private school. However, success in romance is eluding them. It’s the complete opposite to the end of Season 1, which concluded with both Lorelai and Rory infatuated with their respective partners, and bubbling over with happiness and excitement.

You’re Just in Love

The song Miss Patty and Babette together at the wedding, while Morey plays piano. It’s a popular 1950 song by Irving Berlin, first performed by Ethel Merman and Russell Nype in the Broadway musical Call Me Madam; Merman later reprised her role for the 1953 film version, featuring the song as a duet with Donald O’Connor [pictured]. The song has been recorded several times, most successfully by Perry Como and the Fontana Sisters, who reached #5 in the charts for 1950.

The lyrics of the song give the message, You’re not sick, you’re just in love – a callback to Rory crying that she must be “sick” to have cut school to see Jess in New York. Now Lorelai has done something even more questionable, and the song is telling the Gilmore girls (and Jess?) that they’re not sick in the head, they are simply in love.

I Can’t Get Started

This is the song that Sookie has chosen for her wedding, and is playing it for Lorelai, Rory, and Michel to hear.

“I Can’t Get Started” is a 1936 popular song, composed by Vernon Duke with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was introduced in the film Ziegfield Follies of 1936, performed by Bob Hope and Eve Arden. The 1937 version by jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan went to #10 in the charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1975.

Sookie is playing Ella Fitzgerald’s version, which was included on her 1953 album, Sweet and Hot. It’s also on her 1973 live album, Newport Jazz Festival: Live at Carnegie Hall. This album also includes her song, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”, which was previously used as an episode title on Gilmore Girls.

Lorelai protests that the lyrics are far too depressing for a wedding song, being about a relationship that will never get off the ground:

I’ve flown around the world in a plane
I’ve settled revolutions in Spain
The North Pole I have charted, but I can’t get
Started with you

Around the golf course I’m under par
And all the movies want me to star
I’ve got a house, a show place, but I get no
Place with you

You’re so supreme, lyrics I write of you
Scheme, just for a sight of you
Dream, both day and night of you
And what good does it do?

In 1929 I sold short
In England I’m presented at court
But you’ve got me downhearted, cause I can’t get
Started with you

You’re so supreme, lyrics I write of you
Scheme, just for a sight of you
Dream, both day and night of you
And what good does it do?

It’s been chosen as the title of the episode, so we know that the season will end with at least one romantic whump!

“Tomorrow afternoon”

LORELAI: Okay, Dad, I’ll tell you what. Tomorrow afternoon after my business class, I will come to your office and we’ll get you unpacked, we’ll get you settled, and we’ll find you someone as good as Margie, or at least cheaper.

Realising that Richard has no idea how to set up his office, Lorelai offers to help him get started and find a secretary, kicking off the main event of this episode. We learn that Lorelai’s business class is now on Saturday afternoon.

The Hungry Diner

After his fight with Lorelai, and Jess going back to New York, Luke has closed the diner and gone fishing – something which has never happened before. Lorelai and Rory are forced to eat breakfast at a rival business we have not heard of until now called The Hungry Diner. The diner has a dark pink colour scheme, in contrast to the blue colour scheme of Luke’s Diner.

They are immediately miserable because The Hungry Diner makes people wait in line to be served, the menus have pictures on them, the coffee is undrinkable, and the coffee cups are tiny. It turns out that it is Michel’s regular breakfast place, because they make low-fat egg white omelettes (like the one Sookie refused to make him). Michel is reading a copy of GQ magazine, previously discussed.

Even though there was a big crowd of people waiting to get into Luke’s, The Hungry Diner is still mostly empty. Nobody else seems to have gone there, so either there is yet another place to have breakfast in Stars Hollow, or they all refused to eat out until Luke returns.

Car Song

This song plays while Jess and Rory are in the car, driving back from buying ice cream cones (because Luke’s only serves ice cream in bowls, which doesn’t count).

“Car Song” is a 1995 song by Britpop group Elastica, written by Justine Frischmann, the band’s lead singer. From their self-titled debut album, it was only released as a single in North America and Australia in 1996, and went to #106 in Australia, while it charted on the US Alternative Songs Chart at at #33, and #14 on the Canadian Alternative Rock Chart. The song was well-reviewed, described as sexy and charming.

The song is about having sex in a car, to make it clear where Jess and Rory’s minds are going, and the subtext of them being in a car together. Although there’s no suggestion that they actually had sex in the car offscreen, or even kissed, their car trip is a symbolic lovemaking experience as it is so emotionally intimate. Compare it to the first time Rory was in the car with Dean, when she couldn’t even tell him how she felt, after dating for months.

Here we go again
I’m riding in your car
Let me count to ten
‘Cause it’s gone way too far
Up my street to nowhere
You know what detours are
Here we go again
And it’s gone way too far

The lyrics are a good description of what’s going on – they’ve taken a detour on a street to nowhere (driving aimlessly), and going around in circles (“here we go again”). And although they’ve gone nowhere much, they have “gone way too far” – because they should never have got in the car to begin with.

New Bag Boy

LORELAI: Oh, hey, look, new bag boy.

RORY: Oh yeah, that’s Marty. He’s subbing for Dean while he’s out of town.

Dean is suddenly visiting his grandmother out of town in this episode – doesn’t he have to attend school? Considering how upset Dean was at the end of the last episode, it’s possible he has gone to stay with his grandmother to have a break from Stars Hollow and Rory, or to think things through.

Teach Me Tonight

Teach Me Tonight, previously discussed.

This jazz standard is the perfect title for an episode all about an evening of tutoring. The lyrics say:

Did you say I’ve got a lot to learn?
Well, don’t think, I’m tryin’ not to learn
Since this is the perfect spot to learn
Oh, teach me tonight

Let’s start with the A B C of it
Roll right down to the X Y Z of it
Help me solve the mystery of it
Teach me tonight

The sky’s a black board
High above you
If a shooting star goes by
I’ll use that star to write I love you
A thousand times across the sky

One thing isn’t very clear, my love
Should the teacher stand so near, my love?
Graduation’s almost here, my love
Come on and teach me tonight

A very romantic “hot for teacher” song, making it clear how strongly this student feels about his tutor – and that his feelings are returned. As in the song, this episode takes place close to the end of the school year – although not literally near graduation.

Intra-school Business Fair

RORY: There’s going to be an intra-school business fair in three weeks. Each group has to come up with a consumer product that’s geared toward high school kids … So we pick our product and we make a prototype of it, then we use our imaginary million dollar budget to mass produce, market, and distribute it, and we’ll present all of this at the fair.

Rory quickly tells their group, and the viewer, what’s happening in this episode. Their Economics class has put them into groups to compete against the other Economics classes at Chilton at a business fair. They have to think of a product that high school students will buy, make a prototype that can be displayed, then use a fictional million dollar budget to manufacture, market, and distribute it, presenting it at the fair to be judged.

And the business fair is only three weeks away, so they need to get started immediately, yet somehow, they don’t seem to do that. A lot must happen behind the scenes.