Rory’s Car

DEAN: Your car.
RORY: No!
DEAN: Finished it yesterday.

The car that Dean rebuilds and gives to Rory is a pale blue 1961 Dodge Lancer sedan. A rebuilt Dodge Lancer would cost around $10 000 today, so it’s a significant gift, quite apart from all the work he’s put into it.

We now discover that even though they broke up on the night he told Rory he was giving her a car, Dean has continued to work on it. It seems that Rory and Lorelai have been kept informed about his progress, because they seem excited, but not surprised about it, and Lorelai seems to have already given permission for it to go ahead.

Richard’s unease with Dean giving Rory the car is probably not only the safety issue (and no car from 1961 is going to be as safe as a modern one), but because it is inappropriate as a gift from a teenage boyfriend that Rory has only been seeing for about a year (and was broken up with for three months). He may have handled it badly, but Richard has a point.

The day with Richard now becomes an unmitigated disaster, and it’s all thanks to Dean. He just shows up with the car, rather than call ahead and make sure that it’s alright. He also ignores the fact that when he arrives, Richard’s car is out the front, so he knows that they have a guest, and can probably guess who it is. Does Dean actually deliver the car that night on purpose, as a way to show Richard that he isn’t a useless waste of space, and to rub it in how special he is to Rory and Lorelai?

It’s a real slap in the face to Richard and Emily, who wanted to buy Rory a new car, but were not given permission to do so by Lorelai. It must hurt Richard that she instead gave permission for an unsafe old car, built by a teenage boy, and this no doubt informs a lot of his behaviour.

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