“Full Matrix”

LANE: And then she [Janie Fertman] goes, “You’re cheerleader material.” Cheerleader material! Just like that. I couldn’t believe it! I almost went full Matrix on her.

The Matrix is a 1999 science-fiction action film, written and directed by The Wachowskis and starring Keanu Reeves in the lead role.

Set in a dystopian future, it shows that what most humans accept as reality is actually a simulation known as “the Matrix”, created by sentient machines. Some of the freed humans mount a rebellion against the machines, and the film is notable for its highly choreographed fight scenes, influenced by martial arts movies – this is probably what Lane means by “going full Matrix” on Janie.

The Matrix was the #4 film of 1999, received critical acclaim, and won four Academy Awards in technical categories. It is widely regarded as one of the best science-fiction films of all time.

In a later season, Lane takes up Janie’s offer, and does become a cheerleader. In this episode, the lady is probably protesting a little too much about it.

Maven Hughes

RORY: I’m sorry, the oil vat guy [in your dream] was being mean.
(Rory sits down at the table.)
LORELAI: Yes. And we knew him. He used to live in town. He was that guy who used to run the auto body shop before Maven Hughes bought it. Remember him?

Maven Hughes sounds suspiciously like Maybin Hewes, the name of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s mother. You can see Maybin Hewes in the episode Rory’s Dance: when the yoga class comes in to Miss Patty’s and find Rory and Dean asleep, Maybin is the first student to enter (she’s billed as Yoga Woman #1, and in the picture, she’s the one wearing a red tartan scarf).

The auto body shop (garage mechanic’s) in Stars Hollow seems to have gone through a multitude of owners. In The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton, Derek, the valet at the Independence Inn, slightly damaged a car, and Lorelai told him to take it to Musky’s to be fixed. Well, before Musky there was Maven Hughes, and before that there was Jim Dunning, and who knows how many others. In the next season, the ownership of the garage will be settled once and for all.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

LORELAI: I had the weirdest dream last night. We were in our house, but it wasn’t our house, it was a Kentucky Fried Chicken.
RORY: I’m hooked.
LORELAI: I had to get dressed, but my clothes were in the back. And the guy manning the giant oil vat would not let me though.
RORY: Oh my God! That’s so weird. When you said oil vat, that just reminded me, I had this dream last night we were swimming in a pool, only it wasn’t water, it was like oil or honey or something.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (since 1991 branded as KFC) is a fast food restaurant chain specialising in fried chicken with a secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices. It is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s. It was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1930, who sold his chicken from a roadside restaurant in the Great Depression, with the first franchise opening in 1952.

There are several KFC outlets in Hartford, and two in Wallingford, near where Stars Hollow seems to be located.

Dreams often link food and sex, so I wonder if Lorelai’s dream of a fast food outlet is trying to tell her that she is moving too fast with Max, and perhaps that the relationship is cheap and unsatisfying because it’s mostly based on sexual attraction?

The fact that Lorelai doesn’t seem to have any clothes on in the dream seems telling, and also that a man is stopping her from putting her clothes on (in the back of the store!) could signify that on some level she feels that the passion she has with Max is stopping her from finding a relationship that is deeper and more meaningful (with Luke).

The name of the man who is stopping Lorelai from getting her clothes turns out to be someone she once knew named Jim Dunning, which sounds rather like, “I’m done in”. In a way, her relationship with Max has already come as far as it can.

Both Lorelai and Rory dreamed of oil on the same night (Lorelai’s featured a man in charge of a vat of cooking oil, while Rory went swimming in what seemed to be oil, or perhaps honey). Both of them seem to want things to go smoothly in their lives: Lorelai dreaming of cooking oil may mean she wants a transformation in her life, while Rory is obviously exploring her emotions.

Rory Runs Away

After her fight with Lorelai, Rory takes off and catches a taxi to her grandparents’ house in Hartford. This will set up a pattern whereby any time Rory fights with her mother, disagrees with her, or doesn’t trust her to handle a situation correctly, she will turn to her grandparents for help and even sanctuary. This will one day cause a serious rift between mother and daughter.

Lorelai Shows Rory and Sookie the Dragonfly

In an episode filled with women showing each other various living spaces, it ends with Lorelai taking Rory and Sookie to see the old inn The Dragonfly, as something she and Sookie might be able to buy and renovate.

Notably, Sookie speaks of opening a bed and breakfast, even though in the next series, it turns out that Lorelai loathes bed and breakfasts.

Lorelai says it will be a long time before she and Sookie can buy The Dragonfly, and in the meantime the whole thing might fall down (the front door falls off just in the time they are viewing it). It will be more than two years before Lorelai and Sookie buy The Dragonfly, opening a new chapter in their lives.

The set used for The Dragonfly at Warner Brothers studio is the same one used for the family house on The Waltons, previously discussed.

Rachel’s Coffee

(They both take sips of coffee at the diner)
RORY: Huh. Does it taste different to you?
LORELAI: Yeah. It does.

Lorelai has convinced Luke to commit to Rachel, and now she is staying in Stars Hollow. Unfortunately, Lorelai and Rory notice that the coffee tastes different now that Rachel is making it. Uh oh – they need that special coffee as made by Luke!

Viewers can tell that Rachel probably won’t be staying around very long, because no way can the Gilmore girls go without their favourite coffee. It also suggests that, as Luke and Rachel are using the same coffee beans in the same machine, there is nothing particularly “special” about Luke’s coffee, and that what Lorelai and Rory really love is Luke himself.