RORY: They’re not going to see our pro/con lists.
LORELAI: What if they subpoena them?

Subpoena, a writ issued by a government agency, most often a court, to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure.

Naturally Rory is busy making up pro-con lists to decide whether to accept Harvard or not.

“Rioted through town”

LORELAI: If you’d won, you could’ve rioted through town trashing storefronts and torching police cars like they do in L.A.

Lorelai is presumably thinking about the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles which began after a jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department charged with using excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King. She makes it sound as if the riot was an excess of high spirits caused by winning a sporting match. Lorelai has a way of saying these uncomfortably racist-sounding things.

The Distillers

JESS: I got tickets to the Distillers … For tonight. I would’ve been here sooner, but I had to wait in line. So we should probably get going. I mean, we don’t wanna miss anything, right?

The Distillers, punk rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1998 by Australian-born vocalist and guitarist Brody Dalle. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2000, and their most recent album was 2002’s Sing Sing Death House, which reached #29 on the US indie charts. Its single “City of Angels” went to #13 on the UK rock charts.

In real life, the Distillers did not perform at a concert in Connecticut in February/March of 2003. They played The Big Day Out at the Green in Glasgow, Scotland on March 24 2003, which seems to be their first gig for that year. However, on February 14 2002, the Distillers played at Toad’s Place, a nightclub in New Haven, Connecticut, which may be part of the inspiration for this scene.

The timeline for this seems questionable. Jess went to Rory’s place at 7.30 pm, where Lorelai gave him a talking to. He then apparently drove to Hartford or New Haven, in order to line up and buy concert tickets. He somehow has time to then drive back to Stars Hollow, and catch Rory just as she is leaving the hockey game, which would have finished no later than 9 pm.

Now he and Rory are going to drive to Hartford or New Haven again, getting there around 10 pm to watch the concert. This doesn’t seem to be possible, especially as Rory is shown getting home when Lorelai is still up and having a late night meal in the kitchen.

I suppose if the Distillers were the last act on the bill, and played a very short set of 30-40 minutes or so, then perhaps Jess and Rory could have got out around midnight and made it back to Stars Hollow by 1 am, and Lorelai could still be awake and having a midnight snack then. It seems like a lot of driving around and a lot of money spent for such a short time, though.

The alternative explanation is that Jess had in fact already bought the tickets and arrived at Rory’s house ready to surprise her when Lorelai jumped down his throat. In that case, his story about waiting in line is just that – a story. However, that doesn’t explain where he went afterwards, unless he just sat in the car park and waited for Rory to come out. I find this whole plotline pretty confusing.

When Rory comes home from the concert, she doesn’t tell Lorelai where she has been, or anything much about her night. Can Lorelai not smell smoke on her, or notice any other sign that she has been at a concert? (Cigarette bans in clubs and places of entertainment would not be passed in Connecticut until May 2003).

There is no sign that Rory enjoyed her night out with Jess. When we see her alone in her room, she lies on her bed with a pensive and enigmatic look on her face which gradually becomes sadder and sadder. Her expression doesn’t say “I’ve had a great night out at a cool concert with my boyfriend”, it says, “My ex-boyfriend has found someone new and my boyfriend isn’t living up to my expectations”.

In fact, all the signs point to Rory not being over her break up with Dean, and not being exactly happy with Jess.

Organ Grinding

LORELAI: Now we just have to figure out how we’re gonna pay for it. Hey, how good’s your organ grinding?

An organ grinder is a novelty street performer who plays a street organ or barrel organ, a French-German automatic mechanical pneumatic organ designed to be mobile enough to play its music in the street. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, they were played as a means of begging for money, while circumventing laws against outright asking people for money.


PARIS: And in regards to the student council meeting –

RORY: Oh, you mean the one where you tried to impeach me because you haven’t been properly diagnosed yet?
PARIS: If you’ll just allow me access to my briefs

Paris refers to legal briefs, a written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should prevail. (In the UK and Commonwealth, the word refers to papers given to a barrister when they are instructed).

Rory tells Paris that she is insane for trying to impeach her; comically, Paris responds by acting as if she is preparing to defend herself in a legal trial.


NICOLE: I’m not IRS.

IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. It is responsible for collecting US federal taxes, and is an agency of the Department of Treasury.

Jess assumes that Nicole is at the diner to investigate Luke’s taxes, or provide an in-house audit. These audits can be selected randomly, so Jess is not implying that Luke necessarily did anything wrong when filing his tax return.


PARIS: I move to put to a vote the impeachment of Rory Gilmore.

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body or other legally constituted tribunal initiates charges against a public official for misconduct. In the US, impeachment at the federal level is limited to those who may have committed “Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”—the latter phrase referring to offenses against the government or the constitution, grave abuses of power, violations of the public trust, or other political crimes, even if not indictable criminal offenses.

The US House of Representatives has impeached an official 21 times since 1789: four times for presidents, 15 times for federal judges, once for a Cabinet secretary, and once for a senator. Of the 21, the Senate voted to remove 8 (all federal judges) from office.

The four impeachments of presidents were: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, Donald Trump in 2019 and again in 2021. All four impeachments were followed by acquittal in the Senate. An impeachment process was also commenced against Richard Nixon, but he resigned in 1974 to avoid likely removal from office.

As the student advisor says, school councils don’t have the authority to impeach anyone.