Alright, folks. I’m back. As I explained in the first post for this series, though I’ve never seen Gilmore Girls in its entirety, there are certain things I’m aware of simply because I pay attention and fans are very vocal when it comes to Rory’s love life. I knew as soon as Jess appeared that he was going to be the undoing of Rory and Dean’s relationship. I prepared myself to dislike him for getting in the way of a couple I had really grown to love.
But, that’s not what happened. Though I am pretty devastated at where Rory and Dean are headed, I was much more taken by the way the whole story felt so true to early experiences of love. My heart breaks for Dean as Rory slowly pulls away without even recognizing it. I found myself feeling angry with Rory for some of the choices she was making–particularly deciding to have her most impulsive moment on the day of her mother’s graduation–but then the show so deftly reminded me how young Rory is and how confusing all of her feelings are to her. By the end of her long speech to her mother demanding she be punished for all of eternity, my anger (and Lorelei’s) was replaced with deep empathy and the desire to give the girl a hug.
Rory, like so many teenagers her age, thought her first boyfriend was her forever boyfriend. Despite all the ways in which they are different, specifically their different ambitions and visions for the future, Rory and Dean both believed their relationship was the real deal. It often takes someone with whom we are more in sync to make us realize the challenges of being with someone with whom we have so little in common. Rory is completely thrown by the idea of having feelings for someone who isn’t Dean, and the realization that she’s going to hurt him is devastating.
The truth is, it is impossible to get through life without hurting people we care about. That Rory is falling out of love with Dean is not something she can avoid. She is inevitably going to hurt him (and truthfully, already has) and that sucks, but it’s also okay. The issue is that she has made some choices that hurt him far more than necessary because she’s been in such denial of what was happening to her. My hope for season 3 is that she comes to terms with her emotions quickly and puts a swift end to her relationship with Dean, rather than continuing to reassure him all is well when it so clearly is not.
My sense is that I will eventually grow to like Jess. I already enjoy his scenes with Rory and appreciate what they bring out in each other. However, the fact that he’s an ass to everyone else really doesn’t do it for me. Rory is a sweet girl. She has a goodness to her that I don’t want to see tainted. If Jess can find a way to be a truly decent human being, I think he could be a really good fit for Rory. Being wonderful to just Rory isn’t enough, though.
So that’s where I’m at. Dean will always have a place in my heart (assuming they don’t turn his character into someone insufferable; the 14 phone calls in three hours was a low point). I can understand why so many fans love Jess, but I wouldn’t add my name to his team roster just yet.
Come on back after season 3 and we’ll see where I’m at.
Bonus: Checkin in with Lorelei:
So, I got over the Max thing, but I was reaaaally feeling Christopher this season. I loved the idea of their love story working out after all these years.