Luke and Lorelai Were Always Endgame

Diana Lanza, Editor

Recently, I was looking through Netflix in an attempt to find new shows to watch. Although I am usually not a world-renowned binge-watcher, I had been hearing talk about Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) for many months prior. Eager to finally understand the references, I decided to watch the first episode of the show and see if I liked it enough to keep going. Instantly, I found that I was not at all disappointed. 

GILMORE GIRLS, Lauren Graham, Scott Patterson, (Season 1), 2000-2007, photo: © Warner Bros./Everett Collection (©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett C)

From the very beginning, I formed an emotional attachment to the two main characters– mother and daughter, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. I also fell in love with the charming small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and all of its residents. Gilmore Girls takes viewers on a journey of the complicated relationship between a family that was damaged at the hands of Lorelai’s pregnancy with Rory at only the age of 16. Lorelai, who felt suffocated by the lavish lifestyle led by her parents, moved out to raise her infant daughter alone without the help of Rory’s father, Christopher. This decision put a wrench in the already foggy relationship that Lorelai shared with her parents. The series begins with Rory at the same age as Lorelai was when she was born, right as she is accepted into the prestigious private school, Chilton. Unable to pay for the tuition herself, Lorelai eventually turns to her parents, Richard and Emily, for help. Lorelai’s parents are more than financially able to support Rory’s needs, and so they agree to help out– on one condition. Emily demanded that Lorelai and Rory join them every single week on Friday night for dinner. She famously stated, “Since we are now financially involved in your life, I want to be actively involved in your life”. Viewers watch as all three generations of the Gilmore family attempt to repair their damaged bond and heal from the past. It is difficult to not get sucked into the world of the Gilmores as they navigate complicated issues and built-up emotional walls. Among other topics, Gilmore Girls truly makes fans consider the intricate ties of a family and harsh reality behind heartache.

Something that is truly remarkable about Gilmore Girls is that it balances out serious conversations, drama and heartbreak with hilarious one-liners and funny moments. Every character involved in the series helps in giving the show the comforting vibe that it radiates. In addition to the relationship between the four Gilmores, we get to follow Rory and Lorelai’s crazy love life. The fandom loves to divide themselves into different teams, arguing over which boyfriend should have wound up with the Gilmore girls. Overall, Rory’s boyfriends have been among the most popular to discuss. The fandom is divided into three main groups– Team Dean, Team Jess, or Team Logan. Although I have my own opinion on who should have been Rory’s endgame (an opinion that I would love to turn into a future article!), since I began watching, I was always more invested in the relationships that Lorelai was in. Specifically, I was rooting for one couple since the first episode.

One of the many people who had become a staple in Lorelai and Rory’s life since their move to Stars Hollow was Luke Danes. Luke, who owns a diner in the small town, stole the hearts of fans with his hilarious cynicism and rather grumpy disposition. However, what truly makes Luke special is his heart of gold. He has shown on many occasions that he would do anything for Lorelai, and he has a special soft spot for Rory (although he would be the last person ever to admit this). Although Lorelai and Luke were not a couple from the beginning of the show, as they were portrayed as best friends, the tension between the two of them could be felt through the screen. It appeared almost insane that Lorelai, who, unlike Luke, is a bubbly, chatty optimist and the pessimistic diner owner were a match made in Heaven, but most fans definitely couldn’t argue with the chemistry between them. The caffeine-addicted young woman made it part of her routine every day to stop by Luke’s diner, and the relationship between the two of them continued to blossom through the years. Luke had absolutely no problem keeping up with Lorelai’s endless banter and quirky attitude, and the two of them were able to have many silly conversations that kept viewers both entertained and endeared. Luke would always stare at Lorelai with the most fond expression on his face. Clearly, his strict rules did not apply for her. After all, opposites attract!

One of the most precious aspects of Luke and Lorelai’s relationship was that they would drop everything to be there for each other. When Richard was hospitalized following a bout of angina, Luke immediately closed down the diner to drive Lorelai to see him. Luke even went so far to declare that the food was “on him”. Losing out on cash was not what was important to Luke in that moment, and it is apparent that Lorelai’s happiness and safety will always take priority for him. 

It is no secret that Lorelai has had her fair share of commitment issues when it comes to her relationships. Some of her former long-term lovers included Max Medina, an English teacher at Chilton and her ex-fiance, Christopher Hayden, Rory’s father and eventually her ex-husband, and Jason “Digger” Stiles, the son of one of Richard’s business enemies. Luke had his fair share of relationships as well, including his ex-girlfriend Rachel, his ex-wife Nicole, and the mother of his daughter, April. Lorelai and Luke watched each other go from person to person, but, until Luke’s epiphany while listening to self-help tapes about love in season four, they did not act on their feelings. You can imagine my delight when Luke and Lorelai shared a sweet kiss following the words, “Would you just stand still?” I believe that this line epitomizes the unique relationship that these soulmates have. 

In addition to the viewers, it appeared that many of the characters in the show sensed tension between the two– even Emily. She weighs in with her observations, causing Lorelai to take a step back and consider that there may be a bit of truth behind her words. Personally, this is one of my all-time favorite moments from the show, even though it came very early on. It was so satisfying to hear other people notice that Lorelai and Luke were perfect for each other.

When Luke and Lorelai began officially dating in season five, Luke shared the story of the first time they met. In a caffeine frenzy eight years prior, Lorelai took a page out of the newspaper with a horoscope on it, and wrote under Luke’s zodiac sign (Scorpio) that he needed to give “the annoying girl” her coffee in order for her to leave him alone. She also advised him to keep the horoscope in his wallet for good luck. Even though years had passed since that day, Luke still held onto the horoscope. It is apparent that almost no one meant more to Luke than Lorelai.

In my personal opinion, the chemistry between Luke and Lorelai is almost undebatable. Although they had many issues throughout the series in terms of their relationship, there was never a time where they did not mean the world to each other. Luke was always fiercely loyal and protective of both Lorelai and Rory, and, even at times where the two of them were not at the best place with each other, he would never let it affect his treatment of Rory. I was delighted when Lorelai and Luke shared a passionate kiss on the last episode of the show after some issues had transpired between them, solidifying the fact that they are meant to be. In the last episode of the Netflix revival of the show that aired in 2016, the two were finally married. Lorelai and Luke are truly twin flames. In Lorelai’s own words, she stated, “I don’t think I ever really loved anyone until Luke”.