Rory’s Car

After the anniversary dinner, Dean tells Rory that he is building her a car from a wreck; the seats and windshield were put in the day before. Rory is almost overwhelmed by this gesture, and it’s hard not to think that Dean has gone overboard on this three-month (yeah, right) anniversary.

At this point, the viewer has to feel that Dean is way more heavily invested in the relationship than Rory. Not only has has he kept track (no matter how wrongly) on how long they’ve been dating, he’s booked a fancy restaurant, and ordered pretty much everything on the menu so that Rory doesn’t need to choose, and now he announces he’s building her a car. He’s into hand-made gifts, but this isn’t a leather bracelet we’re talking about – it’s an actual car! (And there is a symmetry that their relationship both begins and ends with a gift from Dean).

Rory doesn’t seem to realise that this is a really huge present, which means that the other person clearly has major expectations of you and the relationship. The only big presents she’s ever got are from her mother and grandparents, and she accepted them as signs of their unconditional love. This is her first experience in a romantic relationship, and she’s about to learn that big gifts come with big strings attached.

Oblivious to what’s ahead, she looks up at the stars in wonder, as if, on this night dedicated to love and destiny, they have blessed her union with Dean the way they bless all young lovers in Stars Hollow. She feels that it’s a moment all too perfect to last, and she’s right, of course. Those distant stars are perhaps more ambivalent about love than she knows.

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