Lane comes over to give Rory boxes of all her pop culture contraband for safekeeping while she is in Korea for the summer (she fears it might be forever).
Lane leaves her CDs, magazines, books, posters, three sweaters she borrowed from Rory, and one Diva Glam lipstick which is apparently all her make-up, and probably also from Rory. There also seems to be other clothes, and various cloth knick-knacks such as cushions. Rory says she will treat it like it’s her own, which makes sense, because some of it actually is hers.
Lane also gives Rory a “retrieval kit” in a heavy yellow envelope which might help rescue her from Korea. It has the phone number of where she is staying, a map showing her location, a photo of Lane, and a mock-up of what she will look like in six months time (thinner, so she seems to expect that she will lose weight on a traditional Korean diet). It also contains the phone number for the American consulate, and some Korean phrases written out phonetically, such as “Help”, and “Have you seen this girl?”.
RICHARD: I just thought we should touch base, you and I, after that unfortunate incident last week.
RORY: Grandpa, you already called me about that.
This confirms that Rory’s fight with her grandfather was the previous Friday, and that he did already phone her to apologise, most likely the same evening that it occured. We never get to see the apology so don’t know how it went. It’s not known whether Richard apologised for his treatment of Dean, or just for upsetting Rory, but whatever he said, Rory seems to have accepted it and forgiven him completely (Lorelai’s chat with her would have made that easier).
Richard talks to Rory to make sure everything is alright between them, which she quickly reassures him that it is, with a briskly British military, “Buck up, private” (meaning “Cheer up, soldier”).
RORY: When are you going to tell them [Richard and Emily, about the engagement]?
RORY: When’s “soon”?
LORELAI: When the big hand hits the “S” and the little hand hits the “OON.”
A play on helping small children tell the time by showing them where the hour hand and minute hand on a clock are.
RORY: I will be assisting, I will be helping out those less fortunate than myself, I will be getting college credit and this is the end of this particular conversation.
LORELAI: You’re right. It’s a good thing. Nice, keeps your halo shiny.
As becomes increasingly clear during this episode, Rory is volunteering purely for college credit, and doesn’t really care about the less fortunate. She’s not quite as angelic as Lorelai thinks.
The episode title is a pun on “hammers and nails”. In the episode, Rory will learn how to use a hammer to help build a house for charity, while Lorelai is concentrating on her upcoming wedding – including buying her wedding dress and veil.
SOOKIE: You’re gonna be a Sadie.
LORELAI: A what?
SOOKIE: A Sadie. [sings] “Sadie, Sadie, married lady. Meet a mortgagee.”
LORELAI: Funny Girl!
LORELAI: Love it!
Sookie sings from Sadie, Sadie – the song which gives this episode its title. As Sookie and Lorelai’s dialogue makes clear, it’s from the musical film Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand, and previously discussed. Lorelai and Rory have both called each other “funny girl”, and here Lorelai confirms that she loves the film.
In the movie, this song is sung when Fanny Brice, the comedienne and Ziegfield Follies star who is the subject of the film, marries her husband Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif). What Sookie and Lorelai do not acknowledge is that the marriage was a mistake: Nick was a gambler and criminal, and he and Fanny separated after he was sent to prison.
Almost every reference to marriage in this episode, while Lorelai is deciding whether to marry Max, is negative in tone, with a focus on marriages that don’t last. Lorelai doesn’t seem to take notice of these many hints.
With great trepidation because everyone has made it seem like such a big deal, Lorelai tells Luke that Max proposed to her. He has already guessed (or heard it on the Stars Hollow grapevine), and deliberately behaves in a nonchalant manner.
She is already taken aback, when he begins questioning her about what her plans for married life with Max are. Of course she doesn’t have any – she hasn’t even decided whether to marry Max or not, let alone thought about the reality of it.
Luke’s questions, which are quite rude and intrusive, have the effect of making Lorelai realise in a panic that she and Max haven’t had even one conversation about where they will live as a married couple, whether Max expects Lorelai to keep working, if they plan of having children together, or even how they will manage their joint finances.
Incidentally in this scene, you can get a good look at the coffee brand that Luke uses in the diner. It’s Hills Bros. Coffee, a brand from San Francisco sold since the early twentieth century. It was owned by Sara Lee in 2001, and is now owned by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.
Hills Bros claim their coffee has a bold, smooth flavour, but reviews for it tend to say it smells better than it tastes, and is generally pretty mediocre, although very strong and good value for money. Somehow Luke manages to make this average, budget-wise coffee taste amazing – which is quite a feat for someone who doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t approve of it. Perhaps Lorelai and Rory aren’t as fussy about coffee as they think they are, or they are heavily biased by their love for Luke.