In S1E18, Emily is freaking out at Richard because Richard’s mother, Lorelai, offered to give Rory her trust fund early. Richard refuses, and Emily says, “Now you listen to me. I don’t care if she demeans me and looks down on me. I don’t care if she thinks I’ve tarnished the Gilmore name. I don’t care if she thinks I’m the whore of Babylon!”
“The Whore of Babylon” refers to an evil figure from the book of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, in the Bible. Her full name according to the New International Version of the Bible is:
“Babylon the Great / The Mother of Prostitutes / And of the abominations of the earth.”
Catchy title, right? Some different interpretations of the Whore of Babylon include: the Roman Empire (because it persecuted Christ-followers), Jerusalem (referring to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70), and the Roman Catholic Church (Luther and other post-reformation theologians believed this).
In S1E18, Sookie is trying to reassure Lorelai about Gran giving Rory trust fund money. Sookie says, “Rory’s like the most unmaterialistic kid in the world!” Lorelai responds, “No, it’s not about what she would buy. I don’t care if she buys a house or a boat or the Elephant Man’s bones! It’s just that… you know, it’s about the freedom.”
“The Elephant Man” refers to Joseph Merrick, a man born in the late nineteenth century who developed severe growth defects including thick lumps and bony growths on his head, hands, and feet. He was an exhibit at a freak show as a young man until he was admitted to the London Hospital, where he lived until his death at age 27. It is believed Merrick had Proteus syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes overgrowth of body parts. Merrick’s story was made into a movie called “The Elephant Man” in 1980, starring John Hurt as Merrick.
In S1E18, Lorelai is ranting to Sookie about how Emily told her that Rory would leave if Gran gives her the trust fund money. Lorelai says, “God, I know this is crazy. I have my mother’s voice stuck in my head. It’s like that annoying Cranberries song.”
The Cranberries are a rock band from Ireland who rose to fame in the early 90s. “That annoying ‘Cranberries’ song” is likely “Zombie,” which everyone seems to hate.”
“Zombie” was released as the lead single The Cranberries’ second album, “No Need to Argue.” It was received well in Europe, reaching No. 1 on several European charts. Take a listen and decide for yourself:
In S1E18, Lorelai is talking to Sookie about Gran offering Rory a trust fund. Lorelai sees that it’s getting late and says, “I have to change and go to tea with Gran and the cast of ‘Gaslight.'”
“Gaslight” is a 1944 movie (based on a 1938 play) starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. The story is about a murderer who marries a woman and then convinces her that she is going insane just to access the woman’s aunt’s fortune. He manufactures strange situations and then tells the woman that she must be imagining things. In the end, the woman finds out what’s happening and tortures her husband briefly before having him arrested.
In S1E18, Lorelai tells Sookie that her grandmother has offered to give Rory her trust fund early to pay for Chilton, but Rory doesn’t know yet. Sookie suggests, “Page her and have her call my cellphone and we can sing the money song from ‘Cabaret.’ You can be Liza, I’ll be Joel.”
Cabaret is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1966. Sookie is talking about the 1972 film adaptation though, starring Liza Minelli and Joel Grey. Minelli’s character is a singer at the Kit Kat Klub in pre-World War II Berlin, and Grey is the Master of Ceremonies at the same club. “Money Money” is the song Sookie mentions.
In S1E18, Rory asks Paris about the notecards she had in her pocket. Paris tells Rory that they’re talking points for the date, and Rory says, “Can I suggest that you leave this one about the Spanish Inquisition out?”
The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478 with the purpose of ensuring that recent Jewish and Muslim converts to Catholicism were practicing correctly and not secretly maintaining their old religions. The exact number of people killed in the inquisition is elusive, but estimates are in the thousands.
In S1E18, Richard’s mother Lorelai is talking to Rory’s mother Lorelai (so confusing) about how she borrowed money to pay for Rory’s school. Lorelai the elder says, “You know Shakespeare once wrote, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'”
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is a quote from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. It is advice given by Polonius (King Claudius’ advisor) to his son Laertes before Laertes departs for Paris. Read here for a good summary of the whole play.
In S1E18, Rory is telling Lorelai that she “did a little matchmaking” and got Tristan to ask Paris out on a date. Lorelai reponds with a bad accent, “Lucy, how many times have I told you not to butt into other people’s business?”
The television show “I Love Lucy” has already been covered in this blog many times: here, here, and here. Desi Arnaz, like his character Ricky Ricardo, was from Cuba, hence the accent.
In S1E18, Lorelai is teasing Emily for giving her a present that had initially been a gift from Richard’s mother to Emily. Lorelai says, “What would Miss Manners say about this?” Emily replies, “If she met your grandmother, she’d understand.”
Miss Manners is the pen name used by Judith Martin. She writes a column, carried by hundreds of newspapers, about the rules, history, and theory of etiquette. She began “Miss Manners” in 1978 and received a National Humanities Medal in 2005 for her work.
In S1E18, Madeline and Louise are discussing Tristan’s usual “type.” Louise says, “Tristan usually likes his girls bad.” Madeline tells Paris, “Looks like we’re going to have to do a Pink Ladies makeover on you.” Louise adds, “Turn you from a sweet Sandy into a slutty Sandy dancing at the school fair in high heels, black spandex, and permed hair.”
“Grease” is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1972. It was made into a movie in 1978 starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The story follows two groups of high school students in 1959: the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. Both groups consider themselves rebels, but Sandy, a new student, is accepted into the Pink Ladies despite being a “good girl.” In the end, Sandy ends up getting a makeover to impress Danny Zuko, a member of the T-Birds. She ditches her skirts and sweaters in favor of black leather and spandex and shows up at the school fair singing “You’re the One that I Want.” Danny actually earned himself a letterman’s jacket to impress Sandy, too, but he quickly takes it off when Sandy shows up.