Home > The Gilmore Girls Companion > ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revisited Vol. 5: Foreshadowing

‘Gilmore Girls’ Revisited Vol. 5: Foreshadowing

Rather than dipping into the unpublished bits from The Gilmore Girls Companion for today’s GilmoreNews.com discussion topic, I thought I’d concentrate on the subject of foreshadowing in Gilmore Girls that Arieanna brings up.

I think Amy Sherman-Palladino’s plotting of the series was so skillful that, unlike a lot of shows, her foreshadowing doesn’t hit you over the head, it sneaks up on you. And Arieanna’s question of “Was Dean Obsessive” is an excellent example of this.

Dean’s Obsessive Tendencies

While it’s hard not to love Dean, it’s also hard not to notice some obsessive tendencies he has early on. Though his following Rory around is kind of cute and puppy-love like, it also sets the stage for what is to come.

Building Rory a car is a grand gesture, and one in keeping with the intensity of young love. Yet the degree to which he is unable to understand where Rory is coming from when she can’t reciprocate his “I love you” results in a flash of anger that brings “Fatal Attraction” to mind.

He’s jealous of Tristin, he’s jealous of Jess (and rightly so in this instance), and his Rory obsession borders on a type of possessiveness that, though built on love, can be jarring at times. Think of the smug way he explains Lorelai and Rory’s little quirks to Max Medina (2.3): “Never get into a heavy discussion late at night ‘cause that’s when they’re at their crankiest…” He rattles these facts off like baseball stats; nowhere in his conversation is there a hint that he understands that at the end of the day, EVERYBODY is at their crankiest.

Even during his bachelor party, a drunken Dean is obsessing over Rory, muttering his dedication to her to a bemused Luke.

When he sleeps with, then tries to date, Rory as a married man, we can’t really be all that surprised.

Dean and Donna Reed

Perhaps one of the cleverest bits of Dean foreshadowing has to do with his championing of the Donna Reed ideal (1.14). He’s grown up with a mother who was happy to be a homemaker, and who still cooks when she’s off from work — it just seems “nice,” he tells Rory defensively, setting off a temporary tiff between them.

However, once he marries Lindsay, he gets the whole Donna Reed lifestyle, where he works all day and Lindsay and her mother do the cooking and clean up afterward. “Lindsay and her mom kind of like me out of the way when they’re cleaning up,” he admits when Luke finds him spending a lot of time at Joe’s Game Gallery (4.15). He married “Donna Reed,” only to discover that what he really wanted was Rory, in all her can’t-cook goodness. (To be fair, he knew that was who he wanted; she dumped him for Jess.)

The interesting thing is that there’s volumes of foreshadowing to be found in every major character on Gilmore, and more interesting still, pairs of characters. Luke & Dean, anyone?

  1. February 25, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Oh I never thought about that! How Dean “married “Donna Reed,” only to discover that what he really wanted was Rory, in all her can’t-cook goodness.”

    Interesting 🙂

    And Dean’s possessiveness is one of the reasons why I disliked him and found him annoying. He would do something cute and I’d forget but then he’d act really clingy and I’d go “Ah, I remember!”.

    • February 25, 2011 at 6:32 am

      He really was the “tries too hard” guy, wasn’t he? And do we even need to bring up on how he discussed their relationship with Rory’s mom? I really felt for him, but that seemed like one of those things you just don’t do.

      • February 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

        I actually didn’t mind that! I thought it was quite cute in theory, but like you said, he just came off as jealous. Not attractive.

  2. zoran
    February 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I think that with Dean and others, it was all part of the characters’ basic personality that became more and more apparent with every passing episode. The writing would simply add to the existing example, I guess. To go as far and call it foreshadowing, in the sense that it was already plotted out to the dot, would be too much credit for the people involved. I stand to be corrected. This is only my oppinion and you, Aaron, might know better. I just don’t quite belive in it.

    • February 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      I think we’re probably saying the same thing in slightly different ways, Zoran. From what I’ve seen covering various TV shows and movies over the years, if you come away with a certain idea from an image or piece of dialogue, that was usually the director’s/writer’s intention.

      What pushes me even further in that direction is knowing what a stickler for detail Amy was during Gilmore. Between what I’ve heard from the Gilmore writers and her insistence that actors deliver lines absolutely as written, I have a hard time believing there was very much left to chance.

  3. zoran
    February 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I’m just saying that I don’t think the plot was all set in stone from the beginning. You’re making it sound like Amy had it all already planned out FAR AHEAD of time.

  4. February 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I think when it comes to certain characters, I think she did have it planned out far ahead of time. But I hasten to add that’s simply my opinion.

  5. March 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Gah. I just went to order the book and it’s sold out 😥 They had 2 left yesterday. I should’ve done it then…

  6. March 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Sorry, Stacey! I think you can get it from eBay for the same price, or possibly less, from eBay, even after you figure in shipping. Here’s the link:

    Hope that helps!

  7. March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Oh, panic over! I checked and they have 4 more back in stock. I’ll order straight away. Thank you anyway 🙂 It’s only £21.70 on Amazon so only slightly more expensive than Amazon.

  8. March 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Oh good. And completely off topic, but don’t you have a birthday coming up….?

  9. March 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Yup! on the 30th. I’m order the book as a present from my Nan to me (as she doesn’t have an account).

  10. March 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Many happy returns! (Not the book, birthdays 😉

  11. Nicole
    April 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Since it never happened, it goes unnoticed by many viewers that Tristan and Rory was foreshadowed (and therefore promised) back in season one. ASP let Chad Michael Murray get away and couldn’t deliver what she promised later in the series, so she had to recreate the character as Logan. She ended up losing credibility since Rory had to have a personality change to fit the plot.

    • Aaron
      April 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      That’s certainly an interesting observation, Nicole. If this is the case, I must admit that I still liked the personality change Rory went through. Like any child Rory had to have a break with her mom at some point, and it was very interesting to me to see her try on the life that Lorelai rejected so many years ago.

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