True

This 1983 pop song plays while Emily tells the company the touching story about her love for Richard just before they got married, right through until Lorelai phones Christopher.

True is the title track to the third album by British new wave band Spandau Ballet. The song was written by Gary Kemp, and although it sounds so romantic, was written about his platonic relationship with Clare Grogan from Scottish band Altered Images, previously mentioned. It contains tributes to both Marvin Gaye and Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita.

True went to #1 in the US, and was #1 in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. It has been voted both one of the favourite #1 hits of the 1980s, and one of the worst songs of all time. Like Altered Images’ Happy Birthday, the song features on the soundtrack to the teen movie Sixteen Candles.

Spandau Ballet have a following of gay fans, thanks in part to the androgynous image favoured by 1980s new wave bands, and are vocal supporters of LGBT rights.

“Billy Jack” Movie

This is the movie that Lorelai and Rory watch with Max. It is one of their favourites: they have it on home video, and have watched it more than ten times; Rory says you cannot watch a Billy Jack movie too many times.

The movie they are watching is The Born Losers, the first of the “Billy Jack” films. It is a 1967 action film which was directed and produced by Tom Laughlin, who also stars in the title role. The film introduces the character of Billy Jack, a mysterious Green Beret Vietnam veteran who is of partial Navajo Indian descent.

The plot involves Billy Jack coming down from his peaceful abode in the Californian mountains to a small town, where he gets into several violent confrontations with the Born Losers motorcycle gang, and must protect others. It is loosely based on a real incident in 1964, when members of the Hells Angels were arrested for raping five teenage girls in Monterey, California.

(Incidentally, this was also the impetus for Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thomson, his first book, published in 1966. Could this have been the book that the motorcycle-loving Dean lent to Rory?)

Made on a shoestring budget, the film was a commercial success, and led to several Billy Jack sequels being made. It received generally negative reviews, mostly because of the violence, of which the show gives us a little taste.

The way that Lorelai and Rory watch The Born Losers with Max is a callback to them watching The Donna Reed Show with Dean.

In both cases, the male guest had to provide the food (Max cooked, Dean brought pizza), doesn’t get any choice in what show or movie is watched, and isn’t allowed to comment or voice an opinion on it. He can’t even hear it properly because the Gilmore girls talk all the way through it, which drowns out what they are watching. Any attempt by the male guest to assert his opinions, or even ask what is happening onscreen, is roundly attacked by Lorelai and Rory.

Just as watching The Donna Reed Show led to Rory and Dean having a major argument, watching The Born Losers prefaces a fight between Lorelai and Max.

It demonstrates to us how Lorelai and Rory watch their favourite movies and TV shows – they have a love-hate relationship with the medium, are celebratory and critical at the same time, and both focused on what they are watching, and easily distracted from it. Their viewing style is deeply ironic, taking a pleasure in bad taste which is considered “camp”. They are also highly participatory, giving a running commentatory on the show while adding their own dialogue to it.

You can tell that Lorelai and Rory are used to watching things together, and their viewing habits seem to have been formed as a way to exclude others. They both seem to take a malicious pleasure in forcing Dean and Max into the role of clueless outsider.

Quotes for the Wedding Invitations

Rory selects three quotes for Lorelai to choose from, one of which will be printed on the wedding invitations.

The first one is: “What is love? It is the morning and the evening star.” – Sinclair Lewis

This is a quote from Sinclair Lewis’ 1927 novel Elmer Gantry, a scathing satire on fundamentalist religion. The title character is a religious hypocrite and a fraud. Lorelai obviously knows very little about Sinclair Lewis, who she describes as “sappy”. In fact the Nobel Prize Winner was known for his biting wit and critical eye on American culture and materialism. The quote itself is from the title character, who is being entirely insincere. Rory may have read Elmer Gantry partly on Richard’s recommendation – Sinclair Lewis was a favourite author of H.L. Mencken, and he attended Yale, Richard’s own alma mater.

The second one is: And all went merry as a marriage bell. But hush! Hark! A deep sound strikes like a rising knell!” – Lord Byron

This is from Lord Byron’s 1818 long narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Semi-autobiographical, it describes a world-weary young man, looking for distraction by travelling through foreign lands. It made its author immediately famous. This section of the poem is about a grand party in Brussels, which is brought to a disastrous and sinister end by the Battle of Waterloo.

Lorelai’s comment is, “Byron and Lewis, together again”. She may be referring to Matthew Gregory (“M.G.”) Lewis, the author of the 1796 Gothic romance The Monk. He and Lord Byron were friends, and travelled together. Rory may have read Byron’s poem because it is mentioned in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It seems like Rory to want to follow up on a literary work that is referenced in another.

The last quote is: “We have buried the putrid corpse of liberty.” – Benito Mussolini

The whole quote is, “The Truth Apparent, apparent to everyone’s eyes who are not blinded by dogmatism, is that men are perhaps weary of liberty. They have a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer the virgin, chaste and severe, to be fought for … we have buried the putrid corpse of liberty … the Italian people are a race of sheep.” It comes from Writings and Discourses of Mussolini, a twelve-volume work published between 1934 and 1940.

The choice of Mussolini seems to be a callback to Lorelai calling Headmaster Charleston “Il Duce“, the title of Fascist dictator Mussolini. She said this to Max during an argument they were having about Rory’s education in The Deer Hunters. Amazingly, this is the quote which Lorelai chooses, an apparent acknowledgement that her freedom is now at an end.

As you can see, all the quotes are completely inappropriate for wedding invitations. The first one is an insincere summing-up of love by a hypocrite and fraud, the second one is about a celebration which ends in disaster, and the third one equates marriage with the death of Lorelai’s liberty, said by a fascist dictator, and referencing a fight between Lorelai and Max.

What message is Rory trying to send with her choice of these quotes? They suggest a deep cynicism in her about marriage in general, and Lorelai and Max’s wedding in particular.

A Connecticut Yankee

RORY: Hey, Henry?
LANE: Called him.
RORY: And?
LANE: He likes me. He’s perfect. I’ll never see him again. You’ll read about it in my novel, A Connecticut Yankee in Busan.

Lane is parodying the title of the 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain. The novel is a satirical fantasy about a 19th century American engineer who is mysteriously transported to 6th century Britain in the time of the legendary King Arthur. It may be a novel that Lane and Rory once read for English class at Stars Hollow High.

At least Lane and Henry have finally spoken to each other, and everything went well – just as Lane is about to be shipped off to Korea for several weeks.

“I mean it Timmy, no falling down the well”

LORELAI: Call me when you get home, and please be careful.
RORY: I will.
LORELAI: I mean it Timmy, no falling down the well.

Lorelai is referencing an old joke relating to the television show Lassie, earlier discussed.

In the show, Lassie would bark to give warning of danger, with her human friends apparently understanding exactly what she was saying. Thus it was parodied as, “Woof, woof!”, “What’s that, Lassie? Timmy’s fallen down the well?”. The joke relates to the 1957-1964 period, when the little boy on the show was Timmy Martin, played by Jon Provost (who called his memoirs Timmy’s in the Well: The Jon Provost Story).

In actuality, Timmy never fell down a well, although he suffered a number of similar situations, such as falling in a lake and getting trapped in an old mine, a pipe, and down a badger hole. The list of Timmy’s perils is very long, and includes wandering onto a minefield and being exposed to radiation, not to mention more mundane concerns like tigers and bears. Lassie did once get stuck down a well herself, though.

Rory’s Summer School Classes

RORY: Oh, Henry, hi. Nice to see you.
HENRY: You too. What classes are you taking?
RORY: Shakespeare, physics, obscure Russian poetry.

Rory got a D for her first English Literature assignment, so it makes sense for her to enrol in two Literature classes to improve her grades further. One is the ubiquitous William Shakespeare, while the other is “obscure Russian poetry”, which doesn’t sound like a real subject. Possibly Rory is being facetious, and the subject is actually Nineteenth Century Russian Poets, or Modern Russian Poetry, or something like that. It may seem obscure to Rory, but probably isn’t – Chilton seems to cover the classics rather than anything left-of-field.

Rory has also enrolled in Physics, quite possibly towards credit in the next academic year, as she didn’t study Physics at Chilton in her sophomore year (Biology and Chemistry were her science subjects).

Henry is taking Trigonometry at summer school – just like Lane, this is his worst subject (an aversion of the stereotype that people of Asian heritage are gifted in mathematical subjects). Rory offers to help Henry with Trig, but we never see if she actually does so. It seems plausible enough since they’re both at summer school and Rory has experience in helping Lane with the subject.