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Rather than dipping into the unpublished bits from The Gilmore Girls Companion for today’s GilmoreNews.com discussion topic, I thought I’d concentrate on the subject of foreshadowing in Gilmore Girls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