Lorelai Asks Luke for Business Advice

The purpose of the road trip to Harvard was to allow Rory to see something of college life, and see herself as a future college student. For Lorelai, the purpose of the trip was to stay at a working B&B – and even though she didn’t like it, it was a successful concern with happy customers. She can begin to see herself running an inn, and from this moment forth, begins seeking out Luke as a business mentor.

Her dream of running her own inn begins to firm into a reality, and when she leaves Luke’s, she immediately phones Sookie to let her know it’s time they started seriously working towards their goal.


LORELAI: I have earned the right not to be quizzed about my social life by my sixteen-year-old daughter.
RORY: I thought I was your best friend!
LORELAI: When we’re at a U2 concert, you are my best friend. But right now you are my sixteen-year-old daughter and I am telling you I do not want to have this conversation.

U2 are an Irish rock band, earlier mentioned. It was formed in 1976 and consists of Bono (Paul Hewson), The Edge (David Evans), Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. Their debut album was Boy (1980), and their first #1 album in the UK was War (1983), with singles such as Sunday, Bloody Sunday and Pride (In the Name of Love) establishing their reputation as politically conscious. By the mid-1980s they were globally renowned as a live act, and their 1987 album The Joshua Tree made them international superstars; it remains their greatest commercial and critical success. Their most recent album from Lorelai’s viewpoint is All That You Can’t Leave Behind, released in 2000. One of the world’s best-selling musical acts, U2 have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. They are famous for their campaigns for human rights and social justice.

This establishes Lorelai as a U2 fan. U2 gave a concert in Hartford as part of their Elevation tour on June 3 2001, although in the Gilmore Girls universe it seems to have taken place around mid-May – this was the concert that Tristan offered to take Rory to on a date (with PJ Harvey as the support act). It doesn’t seem plausible that Lorelai and Rory attended the concert, although it is just possible, particularly if they went to the real-life concert rather than the fictional one in the show.

U2’s previous concert in Hartford was as part of their Zoo TV tour, and it took place on March 12 1992 – this is the only other U2 concert that Lorelai could have taken Rory to. Unfortunately, the concert would have been when Rory was eight years old, and later Lorelai says that Rory thought she “discovered” U2 when she was ten; Rory could hardly believe that after attending an elaborately staged concert by the band two years before. It is possible that Lorelai is referring to a purely hypothetical U2 concert.

Lorelai lets Rory know that the idea of them being “best friends” is something of a fiction, being entirely at Lorelai’s convenience. As long as Rory is doing exactly as Lorelai wants, they are best friends; once she deviates from that, they are back to being mother and daughter.

Lorelai Announces a Sudden Road Trip

After talking to Luke in the back yard and receiving the chuppah, Lorelai rushes indoors and suddenly tells Rory to pack – they are going on a road trip. Rory points out that Lorelai and Max are supposed to be getting married the coming weekend, less than a week away.

To surely nobody’s surprise, Lorelai begins crying and says she can’t marry Max. The reason? Because she didn’t want to put on her wedding dress every night, as a besotted Emily did before marrying Richard. Clearly her mother’s story affected her deeply, much more so than she let on at the time. While Emily’s story made Sookie and Rory feel more loving toward their boyfriends, it demonstrated to Lorelai that she didn’t really love Max at all.

Rory instantly accepts Lorelai’s explanation without further discussion, and begins on the practicalities of packing. Her way of showing support is to not add further to Lorelai’s unhappiness by making her feel guilty, and to begin focusing on what Lorelai wants to do instead. If running away is Lorelai’s plan, then Rory will go along with it unquestioningly.

Although Lorelai has known for some weeks at least that her wedding to Max cannot take place, it was her mother who helped her crysallise the reasons for it (and the phone call to Christopher gave her further ammunition against Max).

However, it was Luke giving his blessing to the marriage and apologising to her for his behaviour towards Max that seems to have been the catalyst for her admitting she couldn’t get married. Lorelai was pushed into Max’s arms when Luke reunited with Rachel, and she seems to have got engaged partly to spite Luke when he tried to put her off the idea.

With Luke now backing down and saying he will support her as a friend, all the impetus seems to have been lost, and she has no reason to marry Max. Luke finally discovered the way to make Lorelai change her mind about marrying Max.

Rory Expresses Concern Over Lorelai

When Lorelai gets home from work at the inn, Rory says that she got a call from a Christopher that day, and she knows that Lorelai rang him from her bachelorette party. She wonders why Lorelai would have used her bachelorette party to phone Christopher, and why Lorelai would have let them think she was actually calling Max at the time. Lorelai pleads drunkenness.

Rory lets Lorelai know that she only wants her to be happy, and questions whether she truly is happy to be marrying Max. Lorelai doesn’t answer directly, only saying, “Don’t I look happy?”. Rory’s careful response seems to imply that she is also having doubts about Lorelai’s wedding to Max, or wonders if Lorelai is having doubts.

Both Max and Rory have left an opening for Lorelai to say what is on her mind, and Christopher has given her a list of reasons to dump Max as “unworthy”. It can only be a matter of time before Lorelai breaks.

Max and Lorelai Fight Over Keys

On the morning after their respective bachelor/bachelorette parties, Max comes to see Lorelai at the inn saying that he has to drop his printer off at Lorelai’s house. Rory isn’t home, and Lorelai still hasn’t given Max his own set of keys.

She has apparently promised before to sort out the key situation, and Max is annoyed that it still isn’t done, and it’s less than a week before they are married. Max, who seems to have understood all the red flags correctly, wonders if Lorelai doesn’t want him to have his own keys, or doesn’t want him in her house.

Max snaps at Lorelai that she needs to think about someone other than herself for more than five minutes a day (which is correct, but breaks the #1 rule of actually being Lorelai Gilmore, or any Gilmore, really). The gloss has definitely come off this particular relationship, and Max seems to be having serious doubts about it, or at least is wondering if Lorelai has serious doubts.

Max’s “General” CD Collection

While trying to discover if Max is “worthy” of Lorelai, Christopher asks what his CD collection is like, and gives an “Uh oh” when told he has “kind of a general collection”. Christopher thinks that means “a dozen soundtracks”, and “a generic fifty”. (I can feel Daniel Palladino’s own musical judgements contributing to this section – Palladino was the writer for this episode).

Unfortunately for Max, all Christopher’s derogatory assumptions about Max’s musical tastes turn out to be on point, with Lorelai unable to defend her fiance in any serious way. It may seem shallow and silly, but Christopher’s criticisms of Max’s CD collection seems to make quite an impression on Lorelai (even though she had earlier criticised Christopher’s musical tastes). Is Lorelai so immature that Max’s CD collection is a real problem, or is she clutching at any excuse to dump him?

The Beatles, previously and frequently mentioned, were an English rock band formed in 1960, with their classic line up being John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They are widely regarded as the most important and most influential band in history, and are the best-selling band of all time, with sales of over 800 million worldwide. They have had more #1 albums in the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act, and are the best-selling musical act in the US. They have received seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Score (for the 1970 film Let it Be), and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting. The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with the individual members inducted between 1994 and 2015.

Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman (born 1941) is an American singer-songwriter who has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. He is most famous for his 1960s folk anthems of the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests such as The Times They Are AChanging, and Blowing in the Wind. One of the best-selling musical artists all all time, he has received numerous awards throughout his career, including eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Alanis Morissette (born 1974) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter known for her emotional singing style, giving her the title of “Queen of Alt-Rock Angst”. She brought out two dance-pop albums in Canada in the early 1990s, but gained mainstream success after moving to the US with her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, which sold more than 33 million copies, won the Grammy Award for Best Album, and is her most critically acclaimed work, with hit singles such as Ironic and You Oughta Know. I think this is the “first album” which Lorelai says many people bought in a knee-jerk reaction, including Max, it seems.

David “Dave” Matthews (born 1967) is a South African-born American singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the Dave Matthews Band, formed in 1991. During the early 2000s, his band sold more tickets and made more money than any other act in North America, and nearly all their studio albums have gone to #1 in the US. Matthews has also brought out solo albums, and won two Grammy Awards. Lorelai says “a couple of his things are good”, but I’m not sure which “things” she means, or even whether she means a couple of his albums or a couple of his songs.

Buena Vista Social Club is a group of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. The group’s self-titled album was released in 1997, rapidly making them an international success, with performances in Europe and the US. Wim Wenders made a documentary about them called Buena Vista Social Club, and when it came out in 1998 it received critical acclaim and sparked a revival of Latin American music, helping to increase tourism to Cuba.

Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, anglicised as Enya Brennan, and known as Enya (born 1961) is an Irish singer, songwriter, and musician. Her music career began in 1980 when she joined her family’s Celtic band Clannad, and left in 1982 to pursue a solo career. She has numerous top-selling and critically acclaimed albums, with her 2000 album A Day Without Rain, and its lead single, Only Time, experiencing a great success in the US after the September 11 attacks in 2001, making it the best-selling New Age album of all time. Enya is Ireland’s most successul solo act, and has won seven World Music Awards, four Grammy Awards, and an Ivor Novello Award. She is also known for writing and performing the song May It Be for the 2001 film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

In general, Christopher is putting down music that experienced sudden mass popularity, so that many people jumped on its bandwagon. How this differs from the very popular bands which he and Lorelai favour is not particularly clear, and his music snobbery may seem rather hypocritical. He also doesn’t seem keen on world music.

Lorelai Phones Christopher

While Sookie calls Jackson, and Rory sends Dean a message using her pager, Lorelai slips away to make a phone call as well. Everyone assumes that she is going to call Max, being as struck with the romance of her mother’s wedding as they are, but in fact she secretly phones Rory’s father, Christopher.

It’s interesting that Lorelai begins the conversation by pretending to be a girl named Trixie. Trix is her grandmother’s nickname, and as they are both named Lorelai, the made up nickname has a strange sort of sense.

This is the first time Christopher hears that Lorelai is about to get married, and the viewer can tell that this isn’t welcome news. Lorelai hadn’t even told him that she and Max were together, although he had heard of their relationship through Rory (Rory doesn’t seem to have updated her dad on the coming nuptials, perhaps thinking it wasn’t her place to do so).

Christopher ends by giving her very conditional congratulations, by saying he wishes her well if she has found the right guy, and that he can certainly picture her married – to the right guy. He expresses some doubts as to whether Max is the “right guy” for Lorelai.

Like Luke, he is intent on planting serious doubts in Lorelai’s mind about her decision to marry Max, but is far more successful, as he is naturally more wily and manipulative than Luke. Luke’s clumsy attempts pushed Lorelai into an engagement, while Christopher’s cleverly sown doubts will bear fruit quite soon. The tragedy for him is that he doesn’t know it until it is too late.

Emily’s Wedding to Richard

Emily reminisces about the preparations for her own wedding to Richard. She says that she and Richard have been married for 34 years, so since 1967 – the year before Lorelai was born (it’s interesting that they had Lorelai so quickly, yet never had any other children).

In The Third Lorelai, Emily complained of having received terrible gifts from Richard’s mother Trix for 35 years, so presumably that includes the year between their engagement and their wedding, and they got engaged in 1966.

Emily’s story is very romantic, with her unable to eat for the week before the wedding due to nerves, being weak in the knees and trembling, and thinking of Richard constantly. Each night she would secretly dress in her wedding finery, and glory in how safe she felt – marriage to Richard meant not only being with the love of her life, but gaining complete security as well.

Nearly everyone at the table is enthralled and touched by her story, and Sookie and Rory immediately have to contact their respective boyfriends, as if this love story brings home to them how important security is in a relationship.

Lorelai, however, acts bored and nonchalant, stuffing her mouth with free peanuts while Emily recalls her week without appetite, and even loudly yawning at one point. And while Sookie and Rory are contacting Jackson and Dean, Lorelai doesn’t call her husband-in-waiting Max, but Christopher.

Max and Lorelai Fight

Max tries to do what Dean never bothered to do with Rory – demand to know exactly what role Lorelai sees him having in her life when they are married. He was all prepared to be a good stepfather to Rory (and probably a stricter parent than Lorelai), but is now told that it won’t be necessary – Rory is almost grown, and already “brought up”.

Upon asking what exactly his role in Lorelai’s life will be, it turns out that pretty much all Lorelai sees him doing is the cooking, answering the phone, and servicing her sexually. For some reason, he isn’t satisfied with being her personal chef-secretary-gigolo, and is horrified to discover that Lorelai has given precisely zero thought to how their lives will work as a married couple, even though it’s just two weeks until their wedding.

Anyone can see there are rocks ahead in this union. The fight ends when Max realises he broke Dean’s rule not to discuss anything serious late at night, during the “cranky hour”. Is he already being trained into the sort of dumb obedience that Gilmore girls demand?

At the end of the fight, Lorelai looks miserable and thoughtful. She must surely be realising she is not ready for marriage, and wondering what to do.

Dean’s Advice to Max

During the double date of Lorelai and Max, and Rory and Dean, Max complains about all the food he has eaten – Lorelai and Rory’s response is to rush off and buy ice creams. Dean takes this opportunity to rather patronisingly fill Max in on life with a Gilmore girl. (Dean and Max wear matching stripy shirts to show they are fulfilling the same character functions).

In the nine months since he began dating Rory, Dean has already discovered:

  • Lorelai and Rory don’t take kindly to someone else using the last of the Parmesan cheese (Rory told Emily and Richard in Love and War and Snow that she and her mother put Parmesan cheese on almost everything to make it taste better; perhaps a quick fix for the bland processed food they tend to eat)
  • They get cranky late at night, and don’t enjoy heavy discussions then
  • You have to go with their “bits”, such as when Lorelai decides that the pepperoni on the pizza is angry and the mushrooms have an attitude
  • They want to take every puppy they see home (even though in Paris is Burning, it was only Lorelai who wanted a dog, and Rory prevented her from getting one)
  • They seem crazy, but then you figure out their logic; unfortunately by then they have done two other completely crazy things, and you can never catch up with them
  • They will eat and eat, force you to do the same thing, and then blame you when they feel sick and over-full

The interesting part about this is that it shows (apart from Dean lacking respect for Lorelai’s husband-to-be) is that Dean is not a patsy or an idiot: he knows what being with Rory entails, and apparently accepts what he has signed up for, including the knowledge that Rory’s thinking is quicker than his.

Dean isn’t a victim, although it’s still hard to see what he’s getting out of his relationship with Rory – seemingly just the thrill of being permitted to love a Gilmore girl on her own terms. It’s almost like those medieval tales of courtly love, where the man worships his lady and devotedly performs acts of service for her, while her main role is simply to allow him to love her.

Max is perfectly clueless about all this, and somewhat dismayed to hear about it. Unlike Dean, he hasn’t spent a lot of time with Lorelai and Rory together, and isn’t aware of their relationship dynamics. As a grown man, he’s far less likely to passively accept whatever treatment Lorelai and Rory feel like dishing out to him.