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.

Lorelai and Christopher Kiss

Christopher comes downstairs from his room at the inn – where he could have been staying all the time to visit his daughter Rory – and talks to Lorelai, who is still fussing over the wedding preparations. They kiss, and with very little thought involved, go upstairs to have sex. For a wonder, neither of them have been drinking this time!

Yes, Lorelai is happily trotting upstairs to have sex with someone else’s boyfriend, but if this offends you in some way, you can be assured she is going to be punished for it out of all proportion. This is a show that likes to punish people who have sex. Maybe even Christopher gets punished, not that the thought is likely to anguish anyone terribly much.

“Why did you put me through all that?”

TAYLOR: Why did you put me through all that hoohah at the town meeting if your vegetable business was just temporary?

TROUBADOUR #2: Actually, you put yourself through it, Taylor. You put yourself through it.

The vegetable stall sub-plot comes breezily to a close with Second Troubadour telling Taylor that he was only doing it on a very temporary basis, selling off all the excess produce from his garden in a few days to make a bit of extra money. How he managed to grow such a large amount of vegetables and fruit all at once is something of a headscratcher, although its superior quality is plausible, since home grown produce is nearly always better than that sold in supermarkets.

It seems that apart from making money, his motivation was to get revenge on Taylor for not allowing him to become a Town Troubadour in Stars Hollow. By setting up a rival fruit and vegetable business across the street from Doose’s Market, he took business away from Taylor and made him panic. And as he says, Taylor “put himself through it”, he knew enough of Taylor to understand how to push his buttons. Why he originally wanted to be a Troubadour in Stars Hollow remains a mystery.

The sub-plot of the bountiful spring harvest is to underscore the death of Louie Danes, who is “harvested” by the Reaper, and buried in the soil, part of the natural cycles of time and the earth.

“You called him Duke”

RORY: People are different once you get to know them. If you’ll remember, you weren’t too fond of Luke when you first met him.
LORELAI: That’s not true.
RORY: You called him Duke for two years just to make him mad.

A meta-reference to the fact that in the original pilot of Gilmore Girls, the Luke character was named Duke. Amy Sherman-Palladino, the writer for this episode, jokes that must’ve been the teasing nickname Lorelai gave him at first. Luke’s character was originally meant to be a woman named Daisy, so the change from Daisy to Duke seems like a Dukes of Hazzard reference.

Apparently Luke and Lorelai didn’t get along when they first met, and it took two years for Lorelai to call him by his correct name. This sounds awfully similar to the plot line where Tristan keeps calling Rory “Mary” when he first meets her, as a flirtatious tease.

In the world of Gilmore Girls, someone getting your name wrong is a sure sign they secretly like you! As Tristan was originally slated to be Rory’s boyfriend (before the actor went to a different show), it also seems to be a sign you are destined to end up together.

“You were not talking fast enough”

PARIS: I was listening to the CD I burned of the cassettes I made of our mock debates against the make-believe team and I realized that you were not talking fast enough.

Presumably a meta comment about the show, which required the actors to speak their lines very quickly. Scripts were about twenty pages longer than the average hour-long series, which meant the actors had to talk faster than usual to get it all in.

The show hired a dialogue coach named George Bell to help actors adjust to the breakneck pace, just as Paris is coaching Rory to up her word per minute speed.

The show’s motto? “Life’s short. Talk fast”.

Jackson and Sookie Get Engaged

JACKSON: I think we should get married … Soon.
SOOKIE: Are you pregnant?
JACKSON: What do you say? Sookie?
SOOKIE: Yes! I say yes. Oh my God, we’re getting married!

In typical Gilmore Girls fashion, a marriage proposal comes out of a fight, and the wedding is scheduled to happen as soon as possible.

Sookie seems to have packed the basket expecting or hoping for a proposal, because there’s a vase of roses, candles, champagne, and even what looks like a tiny wedding cake with white icing. She may not have been quite so surprised by the proposal as she acts. Is it possible that Sookie deliberately ignored Jackson’s hints about moving in together because she was holding out for marriage?

PSATs

While Lorelai is doing her homework for business school in the diner, Rory comes in, clutching her PSAT results. It’s four-thirty, but somehow Rory is already back from school, which gets out at 4.05 pm and is forty minutes away, gone home to get their mail, and walked to the diner to meet her mother, all within twenty-five minutes. But let’s ignore yet another time zone issue.

The SAT is a standardised test widely used for college admissions in the US, in use since 1926. Originally the Scholastic Aptitude Test, its name has changed several times, and by now it isn’t an acronym of anything – everyone just knows that SAT means the test to get into college.

The PSAT is the Preliminary SAT, which high school students take in early to mid-October – Rory probably took hers in the period between Presenting Lorelai Gilmore and Like Mother Like Daughter.

Taking the PSAT is said to improve your scores when taking the SAT, and furthermore, the top scorers are rewarded with scholarships, so they are considered to be very important.

Results of the PSAT are usually mailed out perhaps six to eight weeks after the taking the test, so in the real world, Rory would have already had her results by late January.

The Shakespeare Project

PROFESSOR ANDERSON: Believe it or not, Shakespeare probably never intended his plays to be read by students sitting at desks more concerned with getting As than with the fate of Macbeth. His plays were meant to be experienced, lived. So with that in mind, together with my third period Shakespeare, you’ll be split up into five groups and each group will assume responsibility for one act of Romeo and Juliet, which will be performed a week from Sunday. You will nominate the director, you will cast the scene, rehearse the scene, and interpret the scene in your own individual manner.

This is the main plot of this episode, revolving around the group project that Rory’s class is doing for English Literature (?). Her new teacher is Professor Anderson, according to the credits, so she no longer has Mr Medina, like at the start of this year. I’m not sure if he’s just conveniently faded out of the picture (like Mr Remmy did), or if Professor Anderson is teaching English instead.

Professor Anderson references Macbeth, previously discussed, a callback to it last being mentioned when Rory had to do a project outside class with Paris, Madeline and Louise. The project is focused on Romeo and Juliet, previously mentioned, a play which has become a touchstone for Gilmore Girls.

Jess the Prankster

POLICEWOMAN: Everyone’s accounted for Taylor. It looks like this is just an elaborate prank.
TAYLOR: But it looks so real. Where’d they get the police tape?
POLICEWOMAN: Kids have their ways.

TAYLOR: Who’d be depraved enough to pull a stupid prank like this?
POLICEWOMAN: Hard to say.
[Rory sees Jess standing across the street smirking as he watches the crowd]

The police officer reassures Taylor that the chalk outline and police tape is just a prank. Somehow, she knows that a child or teenager is responsible. To be fair, Rory also knows – Jess isn’t exactly being subtle here. The police officer seems to be remarkably blasé about someone stealing police tape from the police station. The bizarre way the police behave makes me think that they were in on the prank with Jess, either overtly or tacitly. It’s actually the only way this scene makes any sense.

Once again, one of Jess’ pranks is connected with Rory – it takes place outside the grocery store where her boyfriend works, at a time when he’s doing a shift, so that there’s a good chance of her seeing it. It seems to be a calculated move to get her attention and show off to her, as well as encroaching on her boyfriend’s territory.

In line with the autumnal colours of this episode, Jess wears a dark red tee shirt – Dean is also wearing a red sweater in a bright tone, as if Dean and Jess are the light and dark attractants for Rory (or the public and the private). Red is love and passion, but also aggression and danger, like a red rag to a bull. Both Jess and Dean wear grey sleeveless jackets over their red tops, as if in partial concealment of their feelings. There is nothing on their sleeves – yet.

Jess’s top is a vintage 1980s tee shirt with a Tasman Empire Airways Ltd logo on it – the former name of New Zealand’s flag carrier airline (since 1965, Air New Zealand Ltd). The show keeps connecting Jess with travel, journeys, and flight.

The fire truck going past is also bright red; in fact notice how many things in this scene bear the colour red. It’s a callback to when Rachel was telling Lorelai about her distress in discovering Luke’s romantic preference for Lorelai with the fire department in the background. It’s another painful love triangle situation marked with sinful scarlet, bloody red.

The poster in the background announces another Autumn Festival, nearing the anniversary of Rory and Dean’s first kiss. This suggests that the date is Tuesday 30th October, the day before Halloween. Yes, I know it looks bright and sunny, but that’s because we’re in TV Land, not the real Connecticut!

Does the big number 7 on the fire truck mean that Jess is blessed with luck in his endeavour? Or does it represent the seven days of the week, and the great wheel of time?. It might be a sign that Jess’ time has come. So much can change in just one year.

NOTE: Thank you to reader M for pointing out that the red vehicle is a fire truck or fire engine, not a bus as I incorrectly stated!

“It never does”

RORY: Feels like we’ve been gone a long time.
LORELAI: You know what’s weird? Every time I leave town, even for just a little while, I always expect everything to look different.
RORY: And it never does.
LORELAI: It never does.

Lorelai and Rory were in Portsmouth for Monday and Tuesday night, so today is Wednesday and they’ve been gone for two or three days.

Their dialogue is a comment on the unchanging timelessness of Stars Hollow, providing a stable base for Lorelai and Rory.