The Wedding is About to Begin

We get to see guests gathering for Sookie and Jackson’s wedding, which is being held at the Independence Inn. Everything looks pretty and romantic, with lots of colourful spring flowers everywhere. However, there’s plenty of quirky little details to provide some fun, including a sing-along around the piano.

Note that Lorelai and Rory are wearing blue bridesmaid dresses – the colour Lorelai predicted she would wear to Sookie and Jackson’s wedding on their very first date. We also see Jackson and his groomsmen striding across the lawn in their kilts.

Sookie and Jackson are going to be married under the chuppah that Luke made for Lorelai and Max’s wedding. So if you’ve been unhappy about the chuppah being relegated to a piece of garden decoration, here you go – it’s finally fulfilling its purpose. Decorated with flowers, it really does look very nice. Hopefully someone shows Luke a photo.

You might also notice that the minister performing the wedding ceremony is wearing a tee-shirt with a photo of Sookie and Jackson on it. They clearly went a little nutso with the photocopying from Jackson’s cousin. The minister isn’t either of the two ministers we’ve already seen in Stars Hollow, and is possibly from Jackson’s home town, as his family seemed to be more concerned about the religious conventions being followed (such as getting the children christened).

Some fans are disappointed that we never get to see Sookie and Jackson get married, or even walk down the aisle. However, the show is about the Gilmore girls, and everything is focused on their dramas, not that of side characters.

Tough Love

DEAN: Why don’t we just bring [Lorelai] something out?

RORY: No. She and Luke have been in this fight for too long, she’s gotta do this.

DEAN: You’re cruel.

RORY: Tough love, baby.

Tough love is the act of treating a person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. It is thought that the phrase originated with the 1968 book Tough Love by Christian community activist Bill Milliken, who worked with at-risk youth to keep them engaged with the education system.

Dean describing Rory as “cruel” seems quite apt, considering the dishonest basis of their relationship at this point.

“Oy with the poodles already”

LORELAI: Huh. You know what I just realized? Oy is the funniest word in the entire world … I mean, think about it. You never hear the word oy and not smile. Impossible. Funny, funny word.

Oy, a Yiddish interjection expressing surprise and dismay. Often combined with vey, an interjection expressing distress or grief, to make oy vey (“oh no, woe is me”, more or less).

With the, a characteristic in Ashkenazi Jewish mode of speech in the US, meaning “in regard to, about, in the manner of”, generally in a disapproving tone to suggest that it’s too much or too often eg “You’re always with the jokes”, “Enough with the new house talk”.

Poodle, a curly-coated game dog which probably originated in Germany, first bred to retrieve wildfowl from water after hunting. It’s German name Pudel means “splash”, and it’s related to the English word puddle.

Already, a characteristic in Ashkenazi Jewish mode of speech in the US. At the end of a sentence, it expresses a frustrated impatience with a situation which should have been dealt with long ago eg “Will you two stop fighting and get a divorce already?”.

So Lorelai’s catchphrase means (roughly translated), “Oh no, there is a surfeit of poodles – this situation needs to be dealt with immediately, as it should have been rectified a long time ago!”.

Fans are divided as to whether Lorelai’s off-the-cuff catchphrase is actually funny. It’s certainly very Jewish.

Jessica Hahn

LORELAI: Instead, I got pregnant. I didn’t finish high school, I didn’t marry your father and I ended up in a career that apparently Jessica Hahn would think was beneath her.

Jessica Hahn (born 1959), model and actress. She accused televangelist Jim Bakker of rape while employed as a church secretary. After the 1987 scandal, Hahn posed nude for Playboy, appeared in several television shows, including Married … with Children, and was a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show on radio in the 1980s through to the 2000s.

Shih Tzu

LORELAI: Rory, I was supposed to graduate from high school. Go to Vassar. Marry a Yale man and get myself a proper nickname like Babe or Bunny or Shih Tzu.

A shih tzu is a breed of toy dog originating from Tibet. They have a short snout, large round eyes, long coat, floppy ears, and a playful, friendly disposition. Their name translates to “lion” in Mandarin, and the breed is considered sacred in Buddhist mythology.

“Twice a week”

LANE: Twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday nights at six o’clock, I could come and practice here …

SOPHIE: Please, go home.

LANE: I can’t. I can’t go home until you say yes. I have to rock, I have to! Please, I’m so begging you – let me rock!

Lane begs and pleads and cajoles and bargains, and finally gets Sophie to agree to let her practice twice a week at the music store in the evening. It’s an incredible gift Sophie has given Lane, apparently touched by her overwhelming need to live a musical life and with no one to help her.

Rory gets opportunities handed to her on a platter, while Lane has to beg a virtual stranger to let her practice drums. She’s not getting free lessons, she will have to teach herself, but at least she is going to be allowed to touch some actual drums on a regular basis.

According to Lane, her mother goes to Bible group alone on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6 pm. In “It Should’ve Been Lorelai”, Lane has to accompany her mother to Bible class every Saturday morning, but Bible class and Bible group seem to be two different things. Perhaps Bible class is for instruction, while Bible group is for discussion. Throw in Thursday evening hymns, and most of the week seems to be taken up with religious activities.

Notice how Lane pleads with Sophie as if in the throes of passionate prayer. I can imagine Lane has prayed constantly for any chance to play music, and after many years, her prayers have been answered.

Antichrist

RORY: Oh, right, Jess is the Antichrist, I forgot.

Theologically, the Antichrist is a prophesied figure who sets himself up as a false Messiah, but popularly understood to mean anyone who is an opponent of Christianity, with the motive to destroy or damage the church. It’s also used colloquially to mean a person or thing which is fundamentally evil, and an enemy of everything which is good.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

The hymn they are singing at the Kim house when Lane arrives.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus is a Christian hymn written by Irish-Canadian poet Joseph M. Scriven, a preacher in the Plymouth Brethren movement. He wrote it in 1855 to comfort his mother back in Ireland after hearing she was terribly ill, and only received credit for it in the 1880s. The tune was composed by American attorney Charles Crozat Converse.

Although sometimes criticised for its sentimentality, the hymn remains popular. It has been recorded many times, including by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Glen Campbell, and Amy Grant. The song features in the film, Driving Miss Daisy, previously discussed.

Lane looks absolutely flushed with happiness as she joins in with the hymn-singing, thrilled with finding her calling in life. It’s a reminder too that Lane has always grown up around music – just not rock music. It feels as if Mrs Kim has unknowingly been bolstering Lane’s passion all this time!

In “Kiss and Tell”, Lane mentioned that it was Sing Your Favourite Hymn Night at the Kim house on the day that Dean first kissed Rory, again linking hymn night with first love. That seemed to be a Thursday evening, suggesting it is Thursday now, and a week after the car accident that Jess and Rory had. (Of course, the Kims could have changed their hymn night in the interim). It’s clearly not night time, but “hymn night” actually seems to be held in the late afternoon (or early evening in the winter months, as it gets dark earlier then).

Hava Nagila

The song which plays when the rabbi doll is moved so Rory can get pizza money.

Hava Nagila is a modern Jewish folk song traditionally sung at Jewish celebrations. It was composed in 1918 to celebrate the Balfour Declaration and the British victory over the Ottomans in 1917; there are competing claims over who wrote the simple lyrics, but the tune is a traditional Hasidic religious song. Hava Nagila translates as “Let us rejoice”, and the song is all about being happy.

Notice that the photo from Rory’s sixteenth birthday party is across from the rabbi doll with nodding head, and just behind it is the monkey lamp that Lorelai swapped for Baccarat candlesticks she received as a gift from Emily.

Mickey Hargitay

BABETTE: I met this guy once – gorgeous, tan, looked just like Mickey Hargitay. We had coffee, he gave me a pamphlet. Next thing you know, I’m wearing a muumuu, playing a tambourine, jumping up and down at the airport.

Miklós “Mickey” Hargitay (1926-2006), Hungarian-born bodybuilder, actor and the 1955 Mr Universe. He was married to actress Jayne Mansfield from 1958-1964, and they made four films together, including Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957). He is the father of actress Mariska Hargitay.

Babette sometimes alludes to the terrible experiences she had with men before fortunately meeting Morey, which she has no compunction about sharing with Rory. The previous season, she told Rory about the time she got pushed out of a car, and this season she tells Rory about how she was lured into a cult! For such a bright and bubbly character, she has a very dark past.

I think the cult that Babette is describing are the Hare Krishnas, who tended to recruit new members at airports in the 1970s, and often used tambourine music and dancing to attract interest. They didn’t actually wear muumuus, but Babette might have thought their orange robes looked like muumuus.