Rory Gilmore's Forgotten Boyfriend Paul Defends Her Terrible Behavior

"He just doesn't fit in this world—he doesn't like breakfast and he doesn't drink coffee."

It's now been almost two weeks since Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life debuted, and we were all forced to finally acknowledge that Rory Gilmore is kind of terrible. Though it takes a while before most of her worst behavior comes to light, we do get a clue right up front that Rory hasn't grown up into the most considerate person, when we meet her boyfriend of two years, Paul.

Amy Sherman Palladino really takes pains to make Paul an exceptionally devoted, thoughtful guy–he shows up to dinner with not only flowers, but also an antique wrench that he thinks his girlfriend's mom's boyfriend will like! But Rory's just not that into Paul, to the point where she literally forgets he exists whenever he's not around, despite this seemingly being her longest stable relationship to date. So what did the actor behind Paul, Jack Carpenter, make of Paul's plight?

"He's a bit of a device, to further the storyline," Carpenter admitted to The Hollywood Reporter. "I think that I really just tried to give Paul a big heart. He's a nice guy, he really cares for [Rory[, and he just doesn't fit in this world. He doesn't like breakfast and he doesn't drink coffee, and it's not that there's anything wrong with him, it's just not the right fit."

In defense of Rory, Carpenter also pointed out that we see so little of her and Paul's relationship that it's unfair to make much of a judgment. "We don't really know the inner workings of their relationship or how much time they've actually spent together if she's been on the road a lot," he said. " I don't know if Rory handles the relationship in a great way, but what I gather and from what I've read, she ends up acknowledging toward the end that she might have handled it better." Which is true—right after Paul finally breaks up with Rory by text, in the revival's final moments, she admits that she can't believe how badly she treated him.

Speaking of that scene, and those final four words, how likely is it that Paul is the father of Rory's baby? "I guess I would doubt it," Carpenter says, "but I have no idea."

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Emma Dibdin

Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and can find the queer subtext in literally anything.