DEAN: So, who’s Donna Reed?
LORELAI: You don’t know who Donna Reed is? The quintessential ’50s mom with the perfect ’50s family?
RORY: Never without a smile and high heels?
LORELAI: Hair, that if you hit it with a hammer, would crack?
Donna Reed, born Donna Mullenger (1921-1986) was an American actress and producer, with a career lasting over 40 years, and roles in more than 40 films. She is well known for her role as Mary Bailey in the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life, and in 1953 won Best Supporting Actress playing Lorene Burke in From Here to Eternity.
The Donna Reed Show made her a household name and earned her a Golden Globe for Best Female TV Star, and several Emmy nominations. She also appeared on television in The Love Boat, and as Miss Ellie Ewing on Dallas from 1984-85, her final role.
As Lorelai and Rory only talk about Donna Reed in regard to her role on The Donna Reed Show, it suggests that they are ignorant about her life and career otherwise, or simply discount it. You can’t help but feel that the writer is setting them up as straw feminists.
LORELAI: Think fast [throws them a tee-shirt each]. Tee-shirts for all the girls because I’m the Good Witch of the – hey, aren’t you missing a couple of kids?
Another reference to The Wizard of Oz, earlier discussed. In the film, Glinda the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke) welcomes Dorothy to Oz, gives her the ruby slippers, and sends her to the Emerald City to find the Wizard of Oz. It is also Glinda who helps Dorothy get home to Kansas. She is a rather glamorous and bountiful mother figure, which seems to be how Lorelai sees herself (and she does help/force Madeline and Louise to get home safely).
[Pan to Sookie and Lorelai climbing stairs]
SOOKIE: Did you ever see Everest?
SOOKIE: It’s a good movie.
Everest is a 1998 45-minute IMAX documentary film about the difficulties involved with climbing Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Narrated by Irish actor Liam Neeson, it focuses on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which a group of climbers became trapped by a blizzard near the summit. Everest received good reviews, and made $128 million during its theatrical run – the highest gross of any documentary to this date.
This is the closest that Sookie gets to making a complaint about having to buy cheap seats, as she likens their climb to their seats to struggling up Mount Everest.
RORY: This is Louise, Madeline, and Paris.
LORELAI: Ah, very good girl-group names.
In line with the theme of The Bangles for the episode, although subsequently we learn that Lorelai has a particular interest in all-female bands.
The episode title is a play on coitus interruptus, a method of birth control where the penis is withdrawn from the vagina prior to ejaculation, also known as withdrawal or the pull-out method. In the same way, the concert in the episode is interrupted when Madeline and Louise withdraw or “pull out” of the proceedings.
Amusingly, Lorelai also ruins or “interrupts” the girls’ chance of achieving coitus with the boys they pick up at the concert, giving it another layer of meaning.
This episode marks the beginning of Sookie and Jackson’s relationship, and from now on we can feel completely secure that Sookie’s relationship needs are taken care of, and that any star-crossed lovers dating plot-lines will belong to Lorelai and Rory, the protagonists of the story.
As Sookie was originally going to be played by Alex Borstein (Drella), and Borstein was then married to Jackson Douglas, who plays Jackson in Gilmore Girls, it is likely that that it was always planned for Sookie and Jackson to be a couple eventually.
LORELAI: Hey, you know the one good thing we all learned from this?
LORELAI: [smiling] That I’m a babe.
After the constant flow of insults on her appearance from Rune that night, Lorelai is pleased to receive a hearty endorsement from Todd, a sixteen year old idiot. It’s a tiny bit sad, but shows how badly her vanity was wounded (and how fragile her ego must be).
Although Rory is clearly unimpressed with Todd anyway, his attraction to her mother and to her best friend Lane provides a convenient excuse as to why Dean’s best friend Todd is never shown hanging around with Dean and Rory again.