‘Gilmore Girls’: The Mystery of Alex Lesman’s Disappearance Is Solved

Lorelai Gilmore’s boyfriends haven’t been as big a topic of conversation as Rory Gilmore’s boyfriends. Most Gilmore Girls fans seem to agree that Lorelai and Luke Danes were the endgame relationship. Since that’s how the series ended, little needs to be discussed about her other beaus. Still, the exit of one of Lorelai’s love interests bothers fans. Everyone wants to know exactly what happened to Alex Lesman. Lorelai briefly dated him before he seemed to vanish into thin air. Lorelai explained his sudden disappearance in season 3 of Gilmore GirlsShe just did it very subtly.

After Lorelai’s disastrous engagement, she took a break from dating, but she takes a chance when she meets Alex Lesman at a business seminar. Alex appeared in three episodes of Gilmore Girls. While the show’s writers never really developed Alex’s character, Lorelai was serious enough about their relationship to take a trip with him. She also learned how to fish.

Billy Burke appears at the Pre-Golden Globes party in 2004. Burke played one of Lorelai Gilmore's boyfriends, Alex Lesman, in 3 episodes of 'Gilmore Girls
Billy Burke | Amy Graves/WireImage

Alex and Lorelai probably could have been good together. After all, he had a coffee hookup. Still, their relationship only lasted a short while. He made a final appearance during a double-date trip to New York for a play. Alex almost inexplicably disappeared after, never to be mentioned again. At least, it seemed that way. In the end, though, his disappearance was sort of explained, albeit subtly.

Alex Lesman’s disappearance was sort of explained

Alex and Lorelai didn’t have a deep connection. At the very least, their relationship wasn’t shown as being particularly serious, and its ending matched the casual nature of their time together. While Alex was last seen in the episode “Swan Song,” he was later mentioned in “Keg! Max!”, the 19th episode of the third season.

In the episode, Lorelai has a moment with Max Medina, Rory’s English teacher and Lorelai’s ex-fiancé. When recounting the events to Sookie St. James, Lorelai says, “I’m still seeing Alex, although it’s more intermittent than ever. I’m not even sure I wanna get back together with Max. The kiss just happened out of the blue.” It’s the last time Alex is mentioned. 

Lauren Graham looks on as Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Lauren Graham in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

While an actual breakup is never mentioned, some fans believe the statement implies that the relationship just petered out. Since they only casually saw each other, it would make sense that they would drift apart, and no actual breakup would happen. While that explains Alex’s disappearance, it doesn’t explain the end of her more serious relationships; many of which also evaporated without much focus. 

‘Gilmore Girls’ showrunner, Amy Sherman-Palladino, rarely showed the end of Lorelai’s relationships 

Alex’s sudden disappearance without much explanation felt incomplete. Still, it was pretty typical. If you think about it, Lorelai’s relationships rarely ended with fanfare. Four of her five relationships ended without Lorelai hammering out the details on-screen. The only time the real grit of a breakup was filmed was when Lorelai and Luke ended their relationship.

When Lorelai ended her engagement to Max, it happened off-screen. The fact that their marriage wasn’t going to happen was a main focal point of an episode. though. Later, when things ended between Lorelai and Jason Stiles, he walked out of the inn and never reappeared. Even the breakdown of Lorelai and Christopher’s marriage was a footnote. The show’s writers opted to not discuss their divorce, which obviously took place.

Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Scott Patterson as Luke Danes in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Scott Patterson as Luke Danes in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Luke and Lorelai’s love affair, however, was given center stage. Amy Sherman-Palladino turned the couple’s first breakup in Doose’s Market and the aftermath into a story arc. The ‘Gilmore Girls’ writers heavily featured their second breakup, too. The season 6 breakup bled into the final season of the series and served as a primary plot point.

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