Being a Luke and Lorelai 'shipper has always been an emotional roller coaster. Their "will they or won't they" dance began in the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls and continued all the way through the Season 7 finale. Luke and Lorelai are together again in the upcoming Netflix revival, and, as comforting as it is to know these two crazy kids are still all in, it's impossible not to remember Luke and Lorelai's dark days when it seemed like the couple had no future to speak of. The one episode that made 'shipping Luke and Lorelai hard to do has to be Season 6's "I Get a Sidekick Out of You," and it's an episode in which the couple, fittingly, shares no scenes together.
"I Get a Sidekick Out of You" is symbolic of Luke and Lorelai's Season 6 relationship as a whole, after the introduction of April at least. The entire season was painful for fans of the couple, as we were forced helplessly to watch all communication break down between Luke and Lorelai. The minute Luke found out April was his daughter, he did everything wrong where Lorelai was concerned. He did not confide in her, and, when she finally discovered the truth, Luke didn't want Lorelai to meet April and he put their wedding on hold.
In response, Lorelai bottled all of her feelings up. She let Luke get away with compartmentalizing his life, instead of working as a team, and, rather than confronting him on his behavior, she turned to her ex, Christopher. Luke and Lorelai were presented with a major life change when Luke discovered he was a father, but the way they handled the situation nearly shattered everything good about their relationship.
The entire horrible state of their relationship culminated in Lorelai giving a drunken speech at Lane's wedding in front of the entire town. Watching every ounce of sadness and hurt pour out of Lorelai in such a raw manner cut my shipper heart in half. In that moment, when the only people who were there for Lorelai were Rory and Christopher, it felt like Luke and Lorelai's relationship was irrevocably broken. If Luke could hurt Lorelai that much and not see it, then maybe they weren't meant to be together.
"I Get a Sidekick Out of You" is one of many Season 6 episodes that made me question my allegiance to Luke and Lorelai's relationship, but this one outing sums up the main problem with their relationship at the time: Luke checked out, and Lorelai could not bring herself to make him admit what his behavior was doing to her. Luke and Lorelai are two characters who lived independently for most of their adult lives. They were used to relying on themselves, so, when April appeared on the scene, they both withdrew into themselves. It was the refusal to be honest with each other that caused their relationship to crack.
What I know for sure is I never want to see Lorelai as heartbroken and hopeless as she was the day she stood in front of the town pouring out all of her fears that Luke was never going to marry her again. The Gilmore Girls revival has some major work to do in terms of establishing Luke and Lorelai as a couple that can make it through the hard times. The sad truth is that they never fully recovered from that moment. Luke only became more defensive, and Lorelai ultimately slept with Christopher. While the series did end with Luke and Lorelai tentatively starting their relationship all over again, they never fully dealt with the hurt and pain of Season 6 on screen.
"I Get a Sidekick Out of You" was almost enough to make even the most devoted Luke and Lorelai 'shipper bail, but the beautiful thing about Luke and Lorelai is that, even though they are a mess sometimes, they do love each other. As much as I hated seeing Lorelai hurt so badly, a part of me still believed she and Luke were meant to be. You just don't throw away chuppahs, spontaneous marriage proposals, and the guy who never forgets the ice.
As hard as it was watching these two drift apart in Season 6, they always end up back together in the end. Here is hoping the Gilmore Girls revival will remind 'shippers everywhere why Luke and Lorelai's love is worth fighting for.
Images: Warner Bros. TV; Giphy (2)