“Two previous loans”

MILES: Oh, you’ve taken out two previous loans on this house?
LORELAI: Um, yes.

This explains the difficulties Lorelai has been having in getting a loan – she has already taken two previous loans against her house, and is presumably in the process of paying them back (maybe cut down on the junk food buying?).

It doesn’t explain how she got turned down by a loan shark (fictionalised by Lorelai as Jacko’s Loans and Stuff), as the more desperate and in trouble you are, the more likely they are to loan you money at an exorbitant rate to make you suffer even more. I’d like to think Lorelai herself turned down the loan shark, knowing it was financially irresponsible.

“Stubborn like my mother”

RORY: You were saying that I’m stubborn just like my mother.
DEAN: I was saying that in addition to all of the wonderful amazing qualities that the two of you share there is possibly, on occasion, a similar tendency to dig your heels in.

Rory isn’t that stubborn, being keen to please others as much as possible. If Lorelai and Rory were both equally stubborn, they would fight much more than they do. It’s worrying that Dean considers a meek girl like Rory to be “stubborn” – just how much of a doormat does he actually want?

Lorelai and Rory Fight

Against Lorelai’s wishes, Rory tells Emily that their house is infested with termites, and they have no way to pay for the necessary repairs. Emily immediately gets out her cheque book, only asking to know how much money is needed. Lorelai turns her offer down, and afterwards freezes Rory out, refusing to speak to her or even look at her – this is a foreshadowing of how other, more serious arguments between them will play out.

This again shows how dishonest Lorelai was with Rory when she said they were a “team” and a “democracy” – but with Lorelai able to play the “mom card” whenever she likes, and Rory forced to obey her. Their fight ends with Rory being sent to bed like a naughty child, even though they have Friday Night Dinner at 7 pm. Considering that Lorelai was in no mood to hang around after dinner, it can’t be more than about 9.30 pm.

“I’ve got nothing left to give”

RORY: I think they would say yes.
LORELAI: Of course they would say yes. And that yes would be followed by, ‘Okay, okay, enough already. My God, please stop. I’m a shell, I’ve got nothing left to give.’
RORY: That’s not true.

Rory is correct – this simply isn’t true. Richard and Emily have never hesitated to give money when it’s needed, and seem to go out of their way to never make Lorelai and Rory feel like a burden, or imply there isn’t enough money to go around. It would be more accurate to say they always want something in return for their support, but for some reason Lorelai doesn’t say this, even though it would make sense given how the episode plays out.

“I called the bank today”

LORELAI: So anyway, I called the bank today.
SOOKIE: How did that go?
LORELAI: Well, it – wait, yeah, oh, what’s that? Yeah, they’re still laughing.

The plot of this episode revolves around Lorelai’s house getting damaged by termites and her not being able to raise the money to have it fixed. Even though she’s a homeowner, it turns out later in the episode that she has already taken out bank loans using her house as equity twice before, which is why she’s having trouble getting a loan now.

She does say she always pays backs her debts, and she has a good income from working at the inn, so it seems unlikely that banks would give her no help at all. They have loans specifically for renovation and reconstruction, allowing you to pay the loan back as bills come in, so that you don’t pay any interest on the loan until the project is complete.

Lorelai wasn’t even able to get money from a loan shark or predatory lender, which she fictionalises as Jacko’s Loans and Stuff, possibly because she needed more money than they typically loan.

Financial issues rarely seem to add up on Gilmore Girls, and this is an example of a situation which doesn’t seem quite believable.

Walking to Sookie’s House

Even though it’s the middle of the night, there’s snow on the ground, and they’re in pyjamas, Lorelai and Rory put on coats and scarves and walk to Sookie’s house. In other episodes, they say that Sookie’s house is a long walk from theirs (they seem to have to go through the centre of town to get there), but for some reason they always walk, even when complaining about the distance. Apparently it is both too far to walk quickly, and too close to drive (perhaps a mile???).

In real life, the sets for Lorelai’s and Sookie’s houses were right next to each other, and could be accessed through a door between them. Note that there are still snowmen standing from the previous episode’s contest – apparently they are left up until they melt in early spring.

“You will take them again and do better”

PARIS: Louise, what did you get?
LOUISE: Highlights, just around my face.
PARIS: You will take them again and do better.

Although Paris is correct that you can retake the PSAT, you can only do it once every twelve months. So Louise would need to wait until October 2002 to retake it – by which time, she would have taken the actual SAT, making it redundant. If you want to take your PSATs more than once, you need to start at least a year in advance. I feel as if Paris would know this.

Note that Louise’s results are apparently lower than Madeline’s, and it is actually she who is worse academically than her best friend. Louise seemed to be the brighter one in Season 1, but Paris berates her by saying, “You don’t study, you don’t apply yourself”, as if she knows Louise is capable of doing better, but is simply lazy.

Termites

KIRK: You have termites … Tens of thousands of them. Subterranean, drywood, the whole gamut.

Termites are an insect closely related to cockroaches, and sometimes called “white ants”, although they aren’t ants, or even close to them. They are considered a pest because of their wood-eating habits, and can cause significant damage to wooden structures.

There are three groups of termites: dampwood, drywood, and subterranean, which would be the “whole gamut”. Subterranean termites live underground in nests or mounds, dampwood termites eat wood exposed to rain or soil, while drywood termites thrive in warm environments – which, if you live somewhere cold, means that they live living in your nice warm wooden house!

It seems unlikely that Lorelai has all possible types of termites, but it also seems unlikely Kirk is qualified as a termite expert. She almost certainly has a serious infestation of drywood termites.

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will be, Will Be)

This song plays as Lorelai wakes up happy, gets coffee, goes outside, and falls through the porch. It was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, published in 1955. It was introduced in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, sung by Doris Day. Her rendition went to #2 in the US and #1 in the UK, and the film received the Academy Award for Best Song. It became Doris Day’s signature song, and is regarded as one of the best songs in cinema history.

The song popularised the phrase que sera sera to indicate a sort of cheery fatalism, although the phrase itself was used as a heraldic motto as early as the 16th century. It is an English mistranslation of “what will be, will be” from the Spanish; in Spanish it would be lo que será, será. No such similar phrase is known of in Spanish or Italian, it has always been an English saying.

In The Man Who Knew Too Much, Doris Day sings the song in the hopes that her kidnapped son will hear it. The song’s message of hope is often used in film and television juxtaposed against disastrous events to create a moment of black comedy, of which we see a very mild version in Gilmore Girls. The joke is that Lorelai has no idea what is coming.

(It might seem unusual to go out on your porch in the your pyjamas early in the morning in the depths of winter to drink your coffee, but Lorelai has that special relationship with snow. And they’re actually in California).

Rory’s PSAT Scores

RORY: I got a 740 Verbal and a 760 Math.

In 2001, the PSAT was split into three sections, not two: Math, Writing, and Critical Reading, and the maxiumum score in each section was 80.

Rory seems to have taken the pre-1997 PSAT, which only had two sections, Math and Verbal, and had a maximum score of 800 in each section. No doubt the writer (Linda Loiselle Guzik) based it on her memories of taking the PSAT in high school, not the PSAT then in use.

Rory’s scores are extremely good in both categories, putting her in the top 1%, and making her a virtual certainty as a Merit Scholarship semi-finalist. Somehow she never seemed to receive a Merit Scholarship to help her pay for her college education, and we never hear of it as a possibility.