“We just broke up”

Lorelai returns home with her lovelorn depression all the deeper after the evening’s events. She was set up with a boring man by her mother, who, when challenged, pointed out that Lorelai has had never had a relationship last as long as three months. If she hoped to find comfort with Luke, even the comfort of friendship, she also witnessed him reuniting with his long-lost ex-girlfriend Rachel, leaving Lorelai on the outer.

Lorelai picks up the phone and calls Max, only to get through to his answering machine. Before she can leave a message, Rory comes home and says “We just broke up”, so that Lorelai must comfort her daughter, whose night was even worse than hers.

We never witness the break up between Rory and Dean, so we don’t know what happened after he said he would drive her home. We don’t know who broke up with whom, or if they really broke up at all. Perhaps Rory is so inexperienced at relationships that she automatically thinks a bad fight means you have broken up, even if nobody says anything. (Maybe Dean thinks that too).

At the very least, we know the relationship between Rory and Dean has gone sour, and that the two of them have missed all the clues that they aren’t really suited to each other that the audience has been picking up on for months.

We also see a different side to Dean that has been hinted at in the past but has now become obvious: when he feels that Rory is not giving him what he is due in the relationship, he becomes angry and sulky, and refuses to listen to her. Unfortunately, it sets up a dynamic where Rory pleads with Dean, and tries to placate him, in a way which suggests she is frightened of his temper.

We saw a little of it in the Donna Reed incident, and now we see it full-blown. Despite the break-up, we will see more of it throughout their relationship. More than anything else, it is probably this unhealthy pattern of behaviour which convinces most viewers that Dean is not right for Rory.

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