Rory is Delayed on the Bus

Rory has a nightmarish bus journey back to Hartford, which begins with the bus unable to even leave the terminus, as an accident has temporarily closed the interstate. We don’t get much of an idea as to how long that took, but in such cases, the interstate is usually closed for at least an hour or two (sometimes more than a day).

Rory sends Lorelai a pager message to say that she’s been held up, and will try to get to the ceremony by seven, but might be later than that. This sounds as if the bus was delayed from starting for more than an hour. It’s annoying, but Rory can still make the graduation ceremony at this point, even if she misses the first part of it.

The problem is that she soon discovers to her dismay that the bus is making many stops on the way back to Hartford – she caught an express bus in the morning that went directly to New York, but this is a local bus service which picks up passengers and lets them off along the entire route, meaning travel time is much longer.

In real life, buses are often delayed or take longer routes, something Rory may not have known but probably should, since she catches an intercity bus every day to school. Reviews for the New York to Hartford bus service complain of lengthy delays, often taking four hours to arrive, so this is a believable situation. If Rory was delayed from starting by two hours, and the trip took four hours, she might not be getting into Hartford until somewhere between 8 and 9 pm.

Note that Rory’s backpack on the seat beside her looks remarkably flat and empty – did she throw all her school textbooks away while she was in New York???


RORY: Where you going?

JESS: Subway.

RORY: I thought we were gonna walk.

JESS: It’s fifteen blocks. Come on, I think you’ll like it.

The New York City Subway System is a rapid transit system owned by the government of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority. It opened in 1904, and is one of the world’s oldest public transport systems, one of the most used, and the one with the most stations, with 472 in operation. Stations are located throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx.

There is/was a concentration of record stores in the East Village, and the one that Jess takes Rory to could very well be located in this area. If they caught the subway near Washington Square, and got off at the Bleeker Street, Broadway-Lafayette Street, or Second Avenue subway station, that would take them around fifteen blocks into the East Village, saving them about 25 minutes of walking.

It’s amusing that Rory is so prepared to walk for another half hour or so – she’s already had a long walk to get to the park! You’d think she’d be glad to catch the subway.


RORY: I’ll … book the Concorde.

The Concorde, a Franco-British supersonic airliner. Its first flight was in 1969, and it began flights between New York and Paris in 1979, taking just three and a half hours to cross the Atlantic, less than half the usual time. The planes were luxurious, and travelled faster than the speed of sound, flying quicker than the Earth’s spin.

On 25 July 2000, a Concorde crashed in France, on its way to New York. Everybody on board was killed, including four people who were on the ground. It was the only fatality Concorde ever had, but it damaged its reputation. Service was suspended until November 2001 while the crash was fully investigated, and the Concorde was retired, its last flight to New York in October 2003. Rory doesn’t have much longer to book that Concorde!

“It’s still early”

RORY: My wrist hurts and I’m grumpy and I just made a total idiot of myself in there so I just wanna go home.

LORELAI: All right, well, I’ll tell Mom, I’ll drive you.

RORY: No, it’s okay. It’s still early. I can catch my regular bus and . . . you go back in.

How can it be early enough that Rory is still able to catch her regular bus home to Stars Hollow? The scene at KC’s Annex showed Rory and Lorelai in Stars Hollow, and dressed for the party. Rory has already taken her regular bus home from school – that’s how she got home in the first place! She can catch a later bus home, maybe one that leaves around 6 or 6.30 pm instead of between 4 and 4.30 pm, but she cannot possibly catch the same bus home.

“Richard was dead set against letting her drive that deathmobile”

EMILY: It was that car, wasn’t it? The one her boyfriend made. Richard was dead set against letting her drive that death-mobile.

Richard’s concerns about the car now seem pretty valid. Not that a different car would have stopped Jess from swerving to hit a small animal, but a new car would have had airbags and modern safety features that might have stopped Rory from getting hurt at all in a minor accident. It’s also possible Rory would have been more wary of letting Jess drive a new car. And if Lorelai had forbidden Rory from having a car at all, then obviously there would have been no way for Jess to crash it.

Lorelai wouldn’t let her parents buy Rory a new car when she started attending Chilton, which now seems a bit unfair. She allowed Dean, her seventeen-year-old boyfriend, to build her a car instead, which was actually a much bigger gift from him than a new car from her grandparents, with way more strings attached. To an extent, Emily is justified in her anger, and correct that Lorelai, however unwittingly, helped bring the situation about by the choices she made.

Note that Emily calls a dangerous car a “death-mobile”, in a similar way to Lorelai’s description of a black limo as a “Luca Brasi-mobile“.

Beer Bash and Rush Hour

EMILY: Lorelai, there you are. You’re late.

LORELAI: Well, you scheduled this beer bash during rush hour.

A beer bash is slang for an informal party, often organised in the context of a university or office social event. It seems to be used particularly in Commonwealth countries like Canada, and doesn’t appear to be common in the US. Emily doesn’t rise to the bait of having her corporate event described as a “bash”.

Rush hour, the name given to the time of day when traffic is heaviest, the times of day when most people are going to or from work. Unlike its name, it usually lasts more than an hour, and far from rushing, traffic is generally slow.


RORY: Louise, what’s your idea?

LOUISE: A lipstick LoJack.

LoJack is a recovery system for stolen cars that uses GPS to locate vehicles, notifying police of its location and allowing recovery in less than half an hour. The LoJack system was created and patented in 1979 by William Reagan, a former police commissioner. Its name is meant to be the opposite of hijack.

Although we haven’t developed a LoJack system for lipsticks, there are now similar systems in place to find computers, laptops, and phones, and even lost car keys can give off a sound to alert the owner to their position, so Louise’s idea was ahead of its time.

Richard’s Antique Car

The car that Richard has bought to work on is a 1929 Packard Deluxe Eight Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton (type 640), a convertible sedan in a deep dark red colour. The Series Eight sedan was Packard’s best-selling model for many years, making Packard the best-selling luxury car maker, selling twice as many cars overseas as any other in its high price range; it was the number one designer and manufacturer of luxury vehicles from the turn of the twentieth century until World War II. Note the “Flying Goddess” hood ornament, this style used on Packard cars in the mid to late 1920s is considered a rare find in itself.

A classic car of this type would have cost at least $100 000 in 2002 (today it could go for $250 000), so Richard has bought himself a very expensive little hobby – which he will very soon tire of.


SOOKIE: Emilyland?

LORELAI: It’s an upside down world where the Horchow House is considered low-rent and diamonds less than twenty-four carats are Cracker Jack trinkets and Bentleys are for losers who can’t afford a Rolls.

Horchow House

I think Lorelai is referring to The Horchow Collection, a mail order business for luxury goods started in 1971 by Broadway producer Samuel Horchow.

Cracker Jack

A brand of caramel-coasted popcorn and peanuts, well known for containing a mystery item, a toy novelty item of low value. The first lot of Cracker Jack was sold in 1896. A 24-carat diamond is the highest quality there is.


A British manufacturer of luxury cars, founded in London in 1919, and a subsidiary of Volkswagen since 1998.


Referring to Rolls-Royce, a British luxury car business established in 1904 in Manchester through a partnership with Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. It changed a number of times, and in 1998 was bought by Volkswagen. The Rolls-Royce trademark was bought by BMW in 2003, and has no direction connection with the original company.