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.

“Thank you for last night”

LORELAI: Hi.
MAX: And thank you for last night.
LORELAI: It was a good night, wasn’t it?
MAX: Several novels will be written about it.
LORELAI: I say we do it again, and next time, I’ll be the gypsy queen.

It must be the morning after Max and Lorelai’s first date since they reunited, so it’s Sunday 22 April. Their entire conversation shows that if nothing else, the sexual side of their relationship works great.

A nice side effect is that Sookie sees Lorelai look happy, so immediately decides that she must be as well, just as she thought she must have ennui from being around Michel.

Lorelai and Rory

Lorelai comes into Rory’s bedroom at her grandparents, and they make up their fight, with Rory emotionally apologising for her behaviour the day before. Lorelai lets her know that she has spoken to Dean, and knows about the “I love you” that didn’t get returned.

Rory confirms Dean’s story, but for some reason doesn’t tell her mother that Dean sulked and got angry with her rather than being kind and understanding, or that he seemed to partly blame Lorelai for the problems in their relationship.

This may be because she is hoping to get back with Dean, and doesn’t want her mother to know about it, or because she genuinely doesn’t realise how badly Dean behaved, and completely blames herself for what happened.

Lorelai lets Rory know that she has set her a poor example in relationships, and that she hasn’t thought enough what she’s supposed to be teaching her. She tells Rory that she is still learning too, and that she wants Rory to know how to say “I love you”, even if Lorelai herself can’t say it yet.

This was an unusual moment on a teen drama series, where the mother admitted how clueless she was and that she didn’t have everything figured out either. Amy Sherman-Palladino was always trying to explain to the television executives that Lorelai was a different kind of mother, and Rory a different kind of daughter.

Lorelai and Max

Max asks Lorelai why she didn’t tell Rory that the two of them were back together – again, pretty presumptuous, as all they have done so far is talk on the phone. Lorelai says she didn’t want to upset Rory when she was grieving her break up with Dean, but she could have easily said she didn’t want to make Rory think they were back together before making sure of that herself. This makes more sense to me.

Max then demands to know why Lorelai hasn’t told friends such as Sookie yet, and she says it just never came up. Max thinks this is weak, since it seemed to come up naturally for him, and he’s already told a few people. (Mind you, if Sookie hasn’t been told about Max, surely seeing he and Lorelai together in this episode would be something of a heads up – she certainly doesn’t seem surprised by it).

The scene is meant to be one where Lorelai realises how she can’t commit, but it seems perfectly normal for them to keep their reunion private a while longer. They still haven’t been on one date together (!), Lorelai has a child going through a difficult time, and the headmaster at Chilton wasn’t exactly thrilled that Max and Lorelai were a couple anyway. It really seems more sensible for him to be more discreet, rather than for her to be more open.

Rory’s Fight With Lorelai

Rory, fresh from an unresolved argument with Lane over not telling her that her science partner was Dean, now confronts her mother about getting back with Max without telling her. Lorelai says she was just trying to protect her feelings after her break up with Dean, but Rory does not press her on why she felt the need to share Rory’s private life with her on-again off-again boyfriend.

Instead Rory decides to attack her mother for her lack of commitment and constant breaking up with boyfriends after just a couple of months. It seems out of the blue, but in fact Rory must be very angry with her mother for setting her such a poor example when it comes to maintaining relationships. On some level, she must be angry that she couldn’t say “I love you” to Dean, and at least partly blames her mother for that.

“It looks like you’re dressing him”

(Rachel walks into the diner and stares at them. Luke looks up and sees her.)
LUKE: Oh hi.
(Lorelai looks up and sees Rachel.)
LORELAI: Oh hi. Uh, this is not what it looks like.
RACHEL: It looks like you’re dressing him.
LORELAI: Then this is exactly what it looks like.

Rachel has already picked up that Luke has feelings for Lorelai, and has cleverly befriended Lorelai, perhaps partly to keep an eye on her, or to make Luke even more taboo for her. She cannot feel comfortable with Lorelai picking out clothes for Luke to wear, and helping him get dressed, as if she is already his wife.