Straub, Richard, and Lorelai

Christopher’s father Straub (Peter Michael Goetz) could hardly be written as more hateful. He makes it clear that he sees Rory as nothing more than a terrible mistake, entirely Lorelai’s fault, which ruined his son’s life. He even suggests that as a sixteen-year-old, Rory is just about to get pregnant herself (“dangerous age for girls”). He looks down on Lorelai, and identifies her position as executive manager of an inn as a “blue collar” job. This is ridiculous, as Lorelai is in no way performing manual labour – I suspect he still thinks of her as a maid.

It is entirely satisfying when Richard throws Straub and the mousily ineffectual Francine (Cristine Rose) out of the house (with Francine, you can see where Christopher gets his weak character from, although Straub’s bullying also provides an explanation for his overly compliant wife and son). The fight between Straub and Richard explains why Rory never has any further contact with her paternal grandparents.

Lorelai thanks her father for defending her, but instead of a sweet father-daughter moment, Richard coldly tells her that he wasn’t defending her, but “the Gilmore name”. He lets Lorelai know in no uncertain terms that she brought shame to the family by getting pregnant, and that after she ran away from home Emily was confined to her bed for a month with grief – something Lorelai did not know until this moment.

Richard lets Lorelai know that he hated Christopher for getting her pregnant, but that Christopher at least was willing to marry Lorelai and work in the insurance business to support her and Rory (Christopher would agree to anything to avoid conflict, although we can feel fairly confident he would have found a way to weasel out of it at some point).

Richard continues to blame Lorelai for not marrying Christopher, her personal feelings being irrelevant to him. This seems to be further evidence that the whole plan to reunite the Gilmores and the Haydens was something cooked up by Richard and Emily, who really want Lorelai to marry someone suitable, with Rory’s father being the best candidate in their eyes.

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