Population Control in Europe

PARIS: . . .shouldn’t even be taken into account. This dovetails nicely into my feelings about population control. It’s a little hot in here, can we do something about that? Anyway, population control has been dramatically successful in most European countries to the detriment of some, especially Italy, which is experiencing a marked drop.

The birth rate declined in Italy in the 1970s, which, coupled with postwar mass migration, led to a rapidly ageing population. However, recently the birth rate has grown significantly, and since the 1980s, Italy has attracted migrants, particularly from Eastern Europe and North Africa, helping their population grow.

Paris’ interest in population control does seem to continue – her beliefs verge on eugenics, and in A Year in the Life, she is head of a fertility clinic.

“She screwed up”

MAUREEN: Listen, I know the invitation said that we were all gathering at the C-section next week, but Sherry just went into labor … She screwed up, she’s in labor, and she wanted me to call all the girls and beg them to get down to the hospital ASAP.

Sherry’s best friend Maureen calls Rory while she’s in the middle of a meeting for the school newspaper. Rory is back to having a cell phone again, and is able to take the call. Maybe she used a pager in between these two calls because her phone was charging.

Maureen tells Rory that “Sherry screwed up” by going into labour a week before her C-section is scheduled, a phrase that gets repeated again and again. It’s meant to underline how hopelessly ignorant Sherry’s friends are about childbirth, that they don’t understand that babies don’t necessarily arrive on schedule. How they can not know this? It’s in movies and on TV shows (like this one!). You can see that Sherry will receive little or no support from her friends after having Georgia.

Because this is the week before February 7th, we know the main events of this episode take place on Friday 31st January 2003.

During the call, Maureen refers to Rory as a “child”, something which Rory never confirms nor denies. In fact, although she is still at school, she is 18 (turning 19 that year) and an adult now.

“You’re a good kid”

DEAN: Tom, I brought over the nails you asked for.
TOM: Good. Get the guys’ lunch orders, will ya?
DEAN: Already done.
TOM: You’re a good kid, Dean. You hardly bug me at all.

As Taylor’s employee, Dean is now helping Tom the Contractor, who is doing the renovations for Taylor at his new business. Tom seems quite impressed with Dean’s attitude, and in a later season, he ends up actually employing Dean.

“Think long and hard”

HEADMASTER: Ms. Gilmore, you will not be quitting the student council, is that clear? …The student body has elected you and therefore you will fulfill your commitment. And in the future, I would advise you to think long and hard about accepting any responsibility if you intend to run away from it at the first sign of conflict.

Rory doesn’t quite take this advice on board – she has some spectacular moments of running away from responsibility at the first hurdle in later seasons.

“We’ll have it in an Italian restaurant”

LORELAI: Do you want me to talk to her? You know, arrange a sit-down? … Come on. We’ll have it in an Italian restaurant. You’ll get up, go to the bathroom – thanks – and come out shooting, and then I’ll send you to Italy.

RORY: Well, I do wanna go to Italy.

A reference to a famous scene in The Godfather, previously discussed. After Michael Corleone takes out a corrupt chief of police at the restaurant, his family send him to Sicily for his protection.

Later on, Rory does get to fulfil her dream of going to Italy, travelling there with Lorelai, and then again with Emily.

Trix Announces She’s Moving Back to Hartford

RICHARD: So, Trix, let’s talk about the Hartford house. Do you have a new tenant lined up yet?

TRIX: Yes, I do … Me.

To Emily’s horror, Trix announces she is moving back home to Hartford. She’s getting older, London is too damp, and she has some vague health problems. The savvy viewer will detect here that the writers are planning to bump Trix off eventually, and making sure that they don’t have to send all the characters off to London for her funeral.