Kim Family Weddings

The Kim family are planning a wedding for Lane’s cousin James, said to be “quiet and skulky”, so the family arranged a marriage for him with a girl from Korea who “doesn’t speak a word of English”.

This sounds absolutely awful for the young woman, coming to a country where she doesn’t speak or understand the language, to marry someone she’s never met. Amazingly, Rory and Lane express zero sympathy or concern for her, Rory even quipping that she hopes they make air holes in the box she’s shipped out in, as if she’s an animal.

Dave will be playing at the wedding, and during the conversation, it turns out that Rory has attended many weddings at the Kim household – so many that Lane says she is accepted as an honorary member of the family. We don’t see Rory and Lane together that much, so this is a nice way to tell us that in fact they are very close and have shared many important times that aren’t shown onscreen. It doesn’t really gel with the way Mrs Kim treats Rory in the show – certainly not like a family member (mind you, she’s not very warm to her actual family members).

Notice that the book Rory is carrying in this scene is Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman. Rory is shown reading this book all the way back in “Red Light on the Wedding Night”, so eighteen months later she is either still reading it, or is re-reading it. Although re-reading books is common, is re-reading biographies all that common, I wonder? I feel as if they are getting a bit lazy in finding new books for Rory to read (or be shown reading).

“You cheated on me!”

JACKSON: You cheated on me!
SOOKIE: No.
JACKSON: Oh my God.
SOOKIE: I just flirted accidentally!

Sookie makes Jackson’s favourite meal and puts his favourite album on, so of course he reaches the obvious conclusion – she’s been unfaithful to him. Sookie doesn’t help matters by acting as guilty as if she had been, and says that she “flirted accidentally”, even though Lorelai told her she didn’t. The episode ends miserably for the temporarily feuding couple.

Jackson’s Favourite Dinner

Lamb chops with Sicilian olives, rosemary, and garlic

Warm potato and chorizo salad (chorizo is a type of spicy Spanish pork sausage)

Cornbread (a quickbread made with cornmeal with origins in Native American cuisine)

Home made beef jerky (lean meat cut into strips and then dried)

Fried marshmallow pie (this only seems to exist as a Gilmore Girls-inspired recipe, suggesting Sookie invented it! It has been created as small hand-held pies with fried marshmallow filling inside flaky pastry, covered in glaze)

Note the specification of Sicilian olives, in line with the themes of the Mafia and betrayal in this episode, suggesting that Jackson feels really wounded.

Rory Eats Lunch Alone

[Rory sits alone in the cafeteria. A paper airplane that says “Leper” lands on her table. She tosses it aside and puts on her headphones.]

Once again, Rory is left to have lunch by herself, listening to music, because of her fight with Paris. Although she tells Lorelai that she doesn’t mind eating by herself, she goes to bed extremely early, because she says that having nobody to talk to all day is “tiring”. I think that Rory really means is that it is “depressing”, and she ends this episode feeling lonely and unhappy.

Notice that the Blood Drive is taking place in the cafeteria behind her – the one which Rory tried to have held elsewhere to get back at Francie. Just another little slap in the face for her, as she has truly given “’til it hurts”.

Fencing Class

In this episode, Rory, Paris, Louise, and Madeline have a fencing class. This may remind the viewer that Richard Gilmore was a keen fencing athlete when he was at Yale – something which Emily found very attractive about him.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the James Bond film Die Another Day had come out the previous year, in 2002, directed by Lee Tamahori, and starring Pierce Brosnan as the title character.

It has a notable fencing scene in it [pictured], where James Bond has an unexpectedly aggressive fencing bout with the villain, Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens. The fencing instructor in the film is played by Madonna, one of Lorelei’s favourite celebrities (she also sings the film’s theme song). Less than a month after this movie’s release, UK fencing clubs saw an increase in the number of people interested in taking up the activity.

Die Another Day was a box-office smash, and the #6 film of 2002. It received reasonable reviews at the time, but is now considered one of the worst of the films in the series. It was heavily criticised by Pierce Brosnan.

The fencing instructor at Chilton is played by Teigh McDonough, whose background was in the Chicago theatre scene.

“Talk to the hand”

FRANCIE: Rory came to me and said she wanted to talk about some things . . . you know, policy, the prom, the senior gift, et cetera. So of course I said, “why don’t we talk about them at the student council meeting with Paris?” And she said she wanted to do this without Paris. She said Paris is just too wrapped up in that boyfriend of hers to care about any of this. I didn’t know what to do, so I went, and then I found these, and I’m just so upset. I mean, I would never intentionally do anything behind your back, Paris. And I promise, the next time Rory tries to get me to, I’m just gonna say, ‘Talk to the hand’, you know what I mean?

Talk to the hand, slang from the 1990s, a sarcastic way of saying the person doesn’t want to listen. More or less telling them to shut up. Often accompanied by holding the hand out with the palm towards the speaker, as if physically stopping the person from continuing.

Francie’s story about Rory is fanciful and accompanied by the most flimsy of evidence. Even if it were true, all she is claiming is that Rory spoke about the prom without involving Paris, which already happened at the supplementary meeting, and Paris wasn’t that bothered.

The fact that Paris falls for this farrago of lies tells us that Rory is more important to her than she has let on, and that she is far more insecure than she likes people to know. Also, plot drama!

Bob Merrimam

ANSWERING MACHINE: Ms. Gilmore, it’s Bob Merrimam, your mother’s lawyer. I’m calling about the little matter of this lawsuit she’s involved in. We’d like it if you could give a deposition . . .

The voice of Bob Merrimam is supplied by Seth MacFarlane, friend and colleague of Daniel Palladino from Family Guy. Seth MacFarlane had already had a role on Gilmore Girls.

Bob asks Lorelai to give a deposition in support of her mother’s case against Gerta, the unfairly dismissed German maid. This is where the episode title, “I Solemnly Swear” comes from, because that’s the beginning of the oath taken in legal contexts.

Lorelai Gives Emily Advice

LORELAI: You need to develop a defense mechanism for dealing with Grandma.

EMILY: What are you talking about?

LORELAI: You just need a system, a new mindset.

Faced with Emily’s mounting hysteria at the prospect of Trix seeing Lorelai’s house and workplace, Lorelai gives Emily some advice in dealing with Trix. Instead of feeling hurt and upset by Trix’s criticisms and putdowns, she should find amusement in them – perhaps even encourage them. Lorelai is frank about the fact that it is how she copes with Emily’s criticism and hurtful comments. Although taken aback, Emily does actually take Lorelai’s advice on board, and puts it into practice that very night.