Mother and Daughter’s Dating Lives Intersect

Lorelai and Rory run towards each other, like parallel lines which finally cross at some point due to the curvature of the earth. They excitedly jump up and down, both with wonderful news to share. Rory has got back with Dean! Lorelai has had a proposal from Max! Their dating lives converge while both are at their peak, and all is joy, all is light, all is love. The promise of Stars Hollow is fulfilled, and lovers are reunited at last.

This is an oddly complete resolution to a season, which ties everything up into a neat package and gives a fairy tale happy ending to both our protagonists. The reason is that they were not sure if Gilmore Girls would be renewed for another season, and if if this was to be last episode ever, they needed it to also be a possible finale of the show. Of course the show was renewed, and from then on season finales tended to end on cliffhangers, leaving many questions unanswered.

Rory and Dean Reunite

While Rory is arguing with Tristan, Dean appears. He has slowly put together the pieces of the puzzle: Rory came to his house, and made a speech in public about how hard it is express your feelings. From this he correctly deduces that Rory wants to see him, and really does have feelings for him, so he drives to her school to confront her.

Why he didn’t just go to her house is not clear – maybe he was scared to see Lorelai, or word had got around that Luke was spending all his free time, and some time that wasn’t free, hanging around Lorelai’s house. It also seems to have taken him a long time to ponder the two bits of information and arrive at the correct result, as it’s more than a week since the town meeting now.

Luckily security at Chilton is really lax, and nobody tells Dean to get off school property or go find somewhere else to park rather than the main courtyard in front of the building. And luckily Rory happened to come right to where he was waiting, and he even got to rescue her from creepy Tristan.

Rory is glad to see him, and touched to discover that he has a Rory box of memories, the counterpart to her Dean box of memories. She is finally able to say, “I love you“, although she can’t help adding, “… you idiot”, and she kisses Dean.


“We should get married”

MAX: We can’t keep getting this close, just to have something completely derail us again. And frankly there’s only one thing I can think of that could solve it.
LORELAI: Break up.
MAX: Ugh.
LORELAI: Well, I’m not interested in a murder-suicide kind of thing.
MAX: We should get married.

With the honeymoon period already fading, Lorelai and Max are back to squabbling. Max picked up that there was something between Luke and Lorelai (it seemed as if Luke was just about to confess his feelings to Lorelai before Max came in). Then Lorelai got jealous that Max dated other women while they were apart, and told him that she had sex with Rory’s father on her parents balcony.

When Max says only one thing can solve it, Lorelai immediately suggests that they break up. But what Max has in mind is marriage. The fact that the next option on Lorelai’s list was murder-suicide (suicide always seems to be the default option to relationship problems) shows that she was not ready for this at all.

Lorelai says that Max’s proposal was not romantic enough, and only offered as a way to stop them from fighting. She doesn’t mention that they have only been dating a very short time (about three weeks) since they reunited, and that their relationship is based on little more than physical attraction and sexual compatibility. These would be factors of more concern.


Rachel Leaves

(Rachel picks up her luggage and walks out from behind the counter.)
LUKE: So you’re leaving, huh?

After waltzing into town on a whim in March, Rachel is now out of there after putting in a full seven weeks or so as Luke’s live-in girlfriend and diner assistant. (You can see that she is taking the leather camera case that Luke bought her and Lorelai chose). It’s amazing how little we actually learn about her (not even her surname, or how she came to Stars Hollow in the first place to become Luke’s girlfriend).

Rachel was never a real character, just a plot device. She came to Stars Hollow to remind Lorelai about the Dragonfly, an old inn that now becomes part of Lorelai and Sookie’s goals for the future. She also arrived to help Luke understand that he has feelings for Lorelai, and that he is definitely over Rachel, who he had long held a torch for (in fact, he more or less admitted to Lorelai that he has been in love with a fantasy all these years).

Amazingly, one thing Rachel didn’t come to do was to help Rory with her journalism career. It’s almost unbelievable that Rory got to meet a real-life photojournalist, and one who is also young, cool, and travels the world for her job, covering important political stories, just as Rory longs to do, and not once do we see Rory ask her for advice, or any interaction between them at all, apart from Rachel bringing them food and drinks in the diner.

This would have been the most incredible opportunity for Rory to talk to a freelance journalist, ask about the perks and downsides of the job, managing the day-to-day aspects of such work, the difficulties of travelling to distant and even dangerous locales, the need for being independent and organised, or even the publications that Rachel has sold stories to. It shows a lack of keenness for her future career that is truly disappointing.

Dean and Clara at the Town Meeting

Dean brings his little sister to the town meeting, even though he has never been to a meeting on his own, and town meetings don’t seem like something a little girl would enjoy as an outing (they probably aren’t suitable for little girls either, as Taylor tells us that the insults bandied around by disgruntled townsfolk can sometimes be pretty adult-oriented).

The only reason Dean has to attend the meeting is to see (stalk, spy on) Rory, and the only reason he has to bring Clara with him is so that she can confirm that the girl who came to door was definitely Rory – he already saw Rory running away, but only from the back. Clara already said she recognised Rory from photos Dean had in his room, so this is to make completely sure before he takes any action.

It all works out as Dean hoped: Rory is at the meeting with Lorelai and Max, and even stands up and makes a speech about how it’s hard to express your true feelings without looking like an idiot. The speech appears to be targeted specifically at him (it is), so that Dean knows that Rory did return his feelings, but was unable to tell him. To seal the deal, Clara identifies Rory as the girl who came to their house, so he knows that Rory has come looking for him, and she’s been stalking him too.

Rory Finds Her Dean Box

For some reason, Rory goes through the front hallway cupboard and finds her Dean box. Upon discovering that Lorelai didn’t throw it away after all, she is actually pleased, and kisses Lorelai to say thanks. She goes through the box, now ready to explore her memories and feelings of Dean, rather than push them away.

The items she is shown examining are her dress from the winter formal that she attended with Dean; Colonel Clucker, her stuffed toy rooster that Dean picked up the first time he was in her bedroom; the box of cornstarch she accidentally stole after Dean kissed her; and the home-made leather bracelet that Dean gave her for her sixteenth birthday.

Colonel Clucker may be a callback to the dream about Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded by Colonel Sanders, that Lorelai discussed with her. Perhaps Lorelai’s dream was mildly precognitive, especially as Rory found her Dean box at the back of the hall cupboard? Rory’s dream may have been precognitive as well, since her dream was about accepting her emotions – or perhaps it just showed she was psychologically ready to find the box, and so she did.

Rory Shows Emily the Potting Shed

(Rory opens the door and walks in. Emily looks in from the doorway.)
RORY: I know it’s looks small, but it’s really pretty. Come on. See, we had our bed right over there, and Mom put up this really pretty curtain around the tub so that it looked like a real bathroom. And we would just sit outside at night when the Inn would have parties, and we’d just listen to music and feed the ducks and . . . (Emily walks away) Grandma? Grandma wait, what’s the matter?

This is the potting shed next to the duck pond at the Independence Inn that Lorelai and Rory lived in when they first moved to Stars Hollow, as they had no money for accommodation (like the Holy Family, there was “no room at the inn”, and they were put in an outbuilding, so Baby Rory was just like Baby Jesus).

The shed is sturdy but rustic, and is stocked with gardening tools and plants, like any potting shed: it isn’t clear if those things were there while Lorelai and Rory lived there. Their bed is no longer there (they must have shared a single bed together), but the bath has been left, including the curtain that Lorelai put around it to serve as a bathroom wall. Lorelai mentioned that it has rosebud wallpaper, but the shed is painted white inside and doesn’t look as though it’s got the kind of walls that you could easily wallpaper.

It looks impractical for bringing up a baby, and we learn later that they moved to Stars Hollow in the autumn, so it would have been very cold as well (we don’t know what they used for heating). We don’t know how long they lived in this temporary accomodation, but long enough for Rory, who was only a baby when they came to Stars Hollow, to have some memories of it, and long enough that the weather became warm enough for them to sit outside at night. I would guess at least a year, and possibly two. Who looked after baby Rory while Lorelai was working is unknown.

This is the first time that Emily has ever seen the potting shed, and she is clearly distraught to discover the conditions her daughter and granddaughter lived in. Lorelai told Sookie that her parents visited them a few times at the inn while Rory was a baby, but they never saw where they slept at night. Lorelai was probably clever at keeping them away from the shed, but their lack of curiosity is surprising. Perhaps they were scared to push it in case Lorelai ran even further away.

In this case, it is Emily who runs away, too upset to spend any more time with Rory or even say a proper goodbye to her. This incident serves as a device to keep Emily at a distance from Stars Hollow. Emily was having a good time with Rory, and was fitting in well with the townspeople, finding that she had things in common with Mrs. Kim and Michel. By showing her in the potting shed, it explains why Emily doesn’t visit Stars Hollow more often in the future.

Where they lived between the potting shed when Rory was a baby/toddler, and moving into their own house when Rory was eleven, is a complete mystery and never mentioned. Perhaps Lorelai saved up enough money to rent a cheap apartment for them, but renting would make it hard to save for a house. They could have lived in a friend’s house (with Sookie?), but if so, nobody ever refers to it.

In real life, it wouldn’t be legal for anyone to live in the potting shed under Connecticut zoning laws, but I’m not sure that would stop Lorelai anyway – rules were made for non-Gilmores!

Boo Radley

LORELAI: You want him [Rune] to live here?
SOOKIE: No! Well, what about the old potting shed?
LORELAI: The old potting shed? That’s where Rory and I lived when she was a baby. It has memories and little rosebud wallpaper. I don’t want Boo Radley touching my rosebud wallpaper.

Arthur “Boo” Radley is a character in To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1960 novel by American author Harper Lee. He is a recluse who has been isolated from the townspeople since he was a teenager, and many rumours surround him. Boo Radley was apparently based on a real life neighbour of Harper Lee when she was a child. In the 1962 film version, he is portrayed by Robert Duvall [pictured].

Lorelai is saying that Rune is the town weirdo, like Boo Radley. The fact that she sees him this way shows that on some level, she is starting to accept him as a resident of Stars Hollow. (She can’t help it – she loves Stars Hollow, and on some level, everyone who lives there, even Rune).

It’s notable that after this Lorelai appears kind and friendly to Rune, a man she dislikes, who has been nothing but insulting to her, and is spreading rumours that imply she is his ex-girlfriend. Is she just being loyal to Sookie, or is there some fellow feeling with Rune, the black sheep of his family who has come to Stars Hollow with almost nothing? She gives Rune the same start she was given – an entry-level job at the inn, and some very basic free accommodation.

This is also the first we hear of Lorelai and Rory living in the potting shed at the Independence Inn, which will be important later in the episode.

“Old abandoned inn”

LORELAI: What is that?
RACHEL: It’s an old abandoned inn I ran across when I was exploring the other day.
LORELAI: This is the Dragonfly. I totally forgot about this place.
RACHEL: Well, it doesn’t look like it’s been operational in years.

Apparently when a business hasn’t been open for many years, you just forget that the building it was in exists … even when your goal is to open your own inn one day. Good thing Rachel came to Stars Hollow to remind Lorelai it’s still there! It’s amazing how many coincidences surround this woman.