“Pack your bags”

DARREN: [on answering machine] I just wanted to let you know that I just finished going over Rory’s records here, and no shock, they’re perfect. Rory, you are tailor-made for Harvard. They’re lucky to have you. As far as I’m concerned, you should pack your bags. I’m gonna tell all this to the people in admissions and I’ll give your headmaster a call as well, so take care and we’ll talk again.

There is no way that the alumnus who interviewed a prospective student would tell them to “pack their bags” – there are many, many excellent students who aren’t accepted into Harvard, nobody can guarantee anyone a spot, unless something very corrupt is going on. This goes right up there with Headmaster Charleston telling Rory she deserves to go to Harvard, just after she’s discovered breaking into his office, no less.

However, this is a way to neatly tie up the episode and let the viewers know that Rory will almost certainly be accepted into Harvard, and all her application anxieties are at an end. Although Rory has work for the newspaper to complete, and Lorelai needs to do tasks for the inn, they elect to spend their Sunday hanging out together instead, as if aware that their time together is running short, and therefore more precious.

Jackson’s Plans for Rory’s Room

JACKSON: I have this collection of antique farming tools that my dad passed down to me.

SOOKIE: Pre-Revolutionary War. They’re kind of valuable.

JACKSON: And I’ve got no place to put them. I’ve been looking for the right space.

LORELAI: In Rory’s room?

Sookie and Jackson continue being ridiculously annoying since their marriage. Now Jackson asks Lorelai if he can store his valuable collection of antique farming tools in Rory’s room when she goes away to college, as he has nowhere to put them. Oh really? So where are they now? Because wherever they are, that’s a place he has to put them.

The idea that when a teenager goes away to college their bedroom is now “free space” is ludicrous. Rory will still need to come home, she will need somewhere to sleep, study, and put her things away for at least a few years. And even if Lorelai did decide to use Rory’s room for something else, why on earth would she want to display someone else’s old tools in it?

I think this is meant to be a sad or bittersweet moment when Lorelai realises with a pang that Rory will soon be gone, but it ends up being stupid and irritating instead.

Trust God

[Lane takes off her Dead Kennedys shirt; underneath is a shirt that says Trust God]

DAVE: Trust God – is that a band?

LANE: No. My life.

Right from the start Dave knows that Lane is a Christian, and that she has to hide her love of rock music from her family. She makes no attempt to laugh off the shirt or pretend that it’s a band name, or some kind of ironic joke. Whatever Dave feels about Lane, he will have to accept who she is if they are to have a chance together.

Note in the background a plaque reading Stars Hollow – 1779 – Stellae Caverna. It gives a Latin translation of Stars Hollow, and confirms the town’s foundation date as 1779 (even though that’s contradicted by other information).

Christiane Amanpour’s Situation

RORY: Christiane Amanpour spends half of her life standing in foxholes in third world countries, and she has a husband and a kid. And she was on C-SPAN last week getting some award, so if she and her husband can make it work, we can.

DEAN: So we’ll have access to the CNN jet?

Christiane Amanpour, previously discussed as Rory’s idol. From 1998 to 2018 she was married to James Rubin (born 1960), former Assistant Secretary of State and spokesman for the US State Department during the Clinton administration, and was an informal adviser to Hillary Clinton. Their son Darius Rubin was born in 2000, so aged two years old at this time. Because of Amanpour’s career, her husband James did spend a lot of time home alone with the baby, keeping in touch with his wife by telephone.

In real life, Amanpour received two awards in 2002. The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was presented to her at Harvard in March, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism was presented to her at Washington State University in May. Neither of those were “last week” from Rory’s perspective, although it’s possible she only saw the broadcast of one of them on C-SPAN the week before.

Christiane Amanpour worked for CNN from 1983 to 2010, so throughout the run of Gilmore Girls. As chief foreign correspondent, she reported on crises from many of the world’s hotspots, and in 2002 had filed reports from the Gaza Strip, famously interviewing Yasser Arafat in his compound by phone.

[Picture shows Christiane Amanpour, her husband James, and son Darius in London, 2003]

Do we break up?”

DEAN: What happens when you leave?

RORY: When I leave when?

DEAN: When you leave for Harvard . . . do we break up?

Rory acts as if Dean is being unreasonable to ask this question, but it doesn’t really seem so. After all, Zach and Liza broke up when they left Hartford to attend different universities. A lot of young couples break up when one or both go away to college, being realistic enough to know that long-distance relationships don’t usually work out for teenagers.

It does seem a bit premature to bring it up already – Rory hasn’t even applied to Harvard yet, let alone been accepted. It also comes out of the blue, as the pair of them were kissing, holding hands, and smiling together just seconds previously.

It feels as if Dean is either trying to ruin their last year together, or is pushing Rory for some kind of commitment. He must be feeling pessimistic about their future together, and probably rightly so, when they are headed in very different directions. I do sense a jealousy and possessiveness from Dean in regard to Rory’s education, as if it is taking her away from him.

“I love you”

DAVE: I’m sort of an audio geek, sorry.

LANE: No, don’t apologize, I love you . . . for that, for being that way. I love it.

Lane tells Dave she loves him within a few minutes of meeting (not like Rory, who took months of dating before she could say it to her boyfriend). Rory and Lorelai can see at once that Lane and Dave are a perfect match, meaning that Lane is about to get her own romantic subplot.

Lane Meets Dave Rygalski

DAVE: Excuse me, Lane?

LANE: That’s me.

DAVE: Okay, great, I’m Dave Rygalski.

LANE: Right, hi. You’re a guitarist.

In this scene, Lane meets Dave Rygalski, who answered her ad because he has a band that needs a drummer. He almost immediately becomes her love interest.

The character of Dave is based on the real life Dave Rygalski, the husband of Helen Pai, producer on Gilmore Girls, who the character of Lane is based on. The real Dave Rygalski has been a writer for Jay Leno and David Letterman, and also plays guitar, just like his fictional namesake. He has been in a few bands, and played some of the music for Lane’s band on Gilmore Girls.

On the show, Dave Rygalski is played by Adam Brody. At this stage, Brody had played Barry Williams in the TV film, Growing Up Brady, and been Greg Brady in an episode of The Amanda Show. Like several other actors on Gilmore Girls, he’d also been in Judging Amy, another show about mothers and daughters set in Connecticut – he played a guy called Barry Gilmore!

There has already been a character named Rygalski on Gilmore Girls – a bank manager in Hartford where Lorelai tried to get a loan was Mr Rygalski. Quite possibly this is Dave’s father.

It seems a bit unlikely that Lane is available to meet Dave on a Saturday night – as a Seventh Day Adventist, she has church on Saturday, and when Lane asked her mother for permission to go out on a Saturday night after church, Mrs Kim told her that after church she should be thinking about what she learned in church. However, perhaps has mother has softened slightly, or Lane is allowed out to see Rory.

Lorelai and Rory Want the Soda Shop

Luke is prepared to fight Taylor to stop him from renting the space next to the diner that Luke owns to set up an old-fashioned soda shop. However, this battle of the titans is over almost before it begins when Luke realises that Lorelai and Rory actually want it.

If any more proof was needed that Luke’s feud with Lorelai is over, here it is – he is caving in public to Taylor to make her happy. The rent that Taylor will be paying him must take quite a bit of the sting out; Luke indicates he will be charging a high amount.

She’s okay with anything I do”

CAROL: So, tell me something, Harvard hair – how bad do you wanna please your parents?

RORY: My mom, and really bad, but it’s not hard to please my mom. She’s okay with anything I do. As long as I’m happy, she’s good.

Not really true – there’s plenty of times Lorelai hasn’t been okay with what Rory wants to do. She didn’t permit Rory to give up Chilton after she met Dean, she was furious when Rory told Emily about their financial problems, and she doesn’t approve of Rory’s attraction to Jess. In the future, Rory will discover that when it comes to her university education, Lorelai will not be “okay” with all of Rory’s decisions, and that Rory just being “happy” is not enough to satisfy her.

More accurately, Lorelai and Rory have plenty of fights and disagreements, some more serious than others, but they always find a way to resolve things, eventually.

Note that Rory repudiates Christopher as her father here – she is quick to say she only has one parent, her mother. She is seriously angry with him for what he did to Lorelai, and to her, and it is a rift which is never really healed. Rory will never go back to being the young girl who yearns for her father and gets excited at the thought of him making one of his all too rare visits.

Lorelai Pretends to be Rory on the Phone

LORELAI: [answers phone in high voice] Hello? Hello, um, this is Rory Gilmore. I believe you were expecting my call . . . Um, oh, well, this is such a wonderful opportunity for me . . . Whatever’s good for you will be great for me . . .

Rory couldn’t go to school on her first day without Lorelai, she needed Lorelai to help her study for a test, and to arrange her first date. Once again, Lorelai steps in and arranges the meeting with Darren Springsteen on Rory’s behalf. She even pretends to be Rory in the process, as if they have finally merged together into one person. This is actually pretty odd, considering she could have arranged the meeting as herself – surely it’s not that unusual for a parent to phone up on behalf of their teenaged child?