Boca Burger

MICHEL: Go back to the cooking room.
SOOKIE: Not until you eat these and tell me what you think!
MICHEL: Sookie! I only eat fifteen hundred calories a day. If I eat that, I cannot have my Boca Burger later.

Boca Burger is a vegetarian burger patty made from soy protein and wheat gluten, first manufactured in 1979. Boca Burger products have been owned by Kraft Foods since 2000.

We learn here that Michel eats only 1500 calories a day. One Boca Burger has around 70 calories, while macaroon has over 400 calories and a chocolate praline cookie over 300. Clearly if Michel eats both cookies, as Sookie wants him to, he’s going to have to give up more than a Boca Burger – he will have eaten around half of his daily calorie intake on just two cookies!

Maybe he’s including the bread and salad to accompany the patty, although even that would only be around 400 calories. Or maybe he is calculating the calories of just one bite from each cookie, since he would only need a taste of each to decide which one he prefers.

1500 calories a day is about the lowest amount of food recommended for a man, and it probably wouldn’t be recommended long term, especially for someone who’s already a healthy weight. Even men on calorie restriction diets usually eat around 1800 calories a day, and still lose weight doing so. We never actually see Michel lose much weight on his strict diet, so maybe he’s having a few cheat days.

Lorelai seems to eat as much as she wants while remaining slim, while poor old Michel apparently starves himself just to maintain a normal weight.

A Connecticut Yankee

RORY: Hey, Henry?
LANE: Called him.
RORY: And?
LANE: He likes me. He’s perfect. I’ll never see him again. You’ll read about it in my novel, A Connecticut Yankee in Busan.

Lane is parodying the title of the 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain. The novel is a satirical fantasy about a 19th century American engineer who is mysteriously transported to 6th century Britain in the time of the legendary King Arthur. It may be a novel that Lane and Rory once read for English class at Stars Hollow High.

At least Lane and Henry have finally spoken to each other, and everything went well – just as Lane is about to be shipped off to Korea for several weeks.

Speed Racer

RORY: You’re hungry.
LORELAI: No, I’m not.
RORY: Well, you didn’t eat any of your dinner.
LORELAI: Yeah, well, by the time I could get my jaw off the ground, Speed Racer had taken my plate.

Speed Racer (in Japanese, Mach Go Go Go!) is a Japanese animated media franchise based on a manga about car racing, which began showing on TV in 1967, and was one of the first Japanese cartoons to be localised in English for US television.

The eponymous Speed Racer is a young racing car driver with a deep love of family, and a dizzying array of gadgets to help him defeat the bad guys. It has a goofy over-the-top style and cornball dubbing which almost defined Japanese anime for an entire generation.

The original series was shown in reruns on MTV in 1993, when Rory was nine, and she and Lorelai may have watched it together. There was an American-made The New Adventures of Speed Racer the same year, but it was short-lived, and I feel Rory and Lorelai would have considered it greatly inferior to the 1960s original.

“If you don’t tell them in two weeks”

LORELAI: I will tell them when I’m ready to tell them. You have to accept that because I’m the mother and you’re the daughter, and in some cultures, that means you have to do what I say.
RORY: If you don’t tell them in two weeks, I will.

For years, Lorelai has been running she and Rory’s lives by making all the decisions for both of them (in fact, she’s been shown to be quite controlling, like Emily). Now Rory is a few months off seventeen, she is starting to make her own opinions heard, especially when it comes to her grandparents. These are the first rumblings of what will eventually be a major rift between mother and daughter.

Rory says she will wait two weeks before telling Richard and Emily, meaning she’s quite happy for them to miss Max and Lorelai’s engagement party. Maybe she’s in no hurry for them to meet Dean again.

Henry and Lane

Henry tells Rory that he tried to call Lane once, and Mrs Kim answered, frightening him so much that he never phoned again. This doesn’t quite tally with what Lane told Rory: that Henry rang once and got the answering machine, leaving a message that she listened to again and again before eventually breaking the machine. Perhaps Henry only counts the call where someone answered the phone (which Lane doesn’t know about since her mother took the call).

It is now nearly three months since Henry and Lane first met at Madeline’s party. That’s a long time for Henry to remain interested without doing anything, and he’s taken ages to talk to Rory about the situation. Perhaps he is as unused to dealings with the opposite sex as Lane – certainly they both seem to have made a bit of a mess of this situation.

Rory hasn’t been a real help either; she lives in the same town as Lane and goes to school with Henry, so couldn’t she at least have passed notes and letters between the two of them, or driven Lane into Hartford to see Henry? (Maybe even organised a Trigonometry tutoring class that Lane and Henry could have both joined!)

To be fair, Rory didn’t rely on Lane to fix her relationship problems with Dean, but Rory has a bit more experience with boys, much more freedom, and a generally far easier life than Lane.

Rory’s Summer School Classes

RORY: Oh, Henry, hi. Nice to see you.
HENRY: You too. What classes are you taking?
RORY: Shakespeare, physics, obscure Russian poetry.

Rory got a D for her first English Literature assignment, so it makes sense for her to enrol in two Literature classes to improve her grades further. One is the ubiquitous William Shakespeare, while the other is “obscure Russian poetry”, which doesn’t sound like a real subject. Possibly Rory is being facetious, and the subject is actually Nineteenth Century Russian Poets, or Modern Russian Poetry, or something like that. It may seem obscure to Rory, but probably isn’t – Chilton seems to cover the classics rather than anything left-of-field.

Rory has also enrolled in Physics, quite possibly towards credit in the next academic year, as she didn’t study Physics at Chilton in her sophomore year (Biology and Chemistry were her science subjects).

Henry is taking Trigonometry at summer school – just like Lane, this is his worst subject (an aversion of the stereotype that people of Asian heritage are gifted in mathematical subjects). Rory offers to help Henry with Trig, but we never see if she actually does so. It seems plausible enough since they’re both at summer school and Rory has experience in helping Lane with the subject.


“He’s playing softball”

RORY: Let’s go …Wedding dress shopping …
LORELAI: Uh, you need to see Dean.
RORY: He’s playing softball.

We know from Christopher Returns that Dean plays softball on Saturday mornings, so this looks to be the very next day after the previous episode, and the fight that Rory had with her grandfather. Rory doesn’t seem to be upset any more, so perhaps her grandfather rang her almost immediately after she got home to apologise, as Emily told him to.