Should’ve Been Lorelei originally aired February 12, 2002. This episode was written by Daniel Palladino and was directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.
We open this episode with Lorelei and Rory at an empty Luke’s. Lane calls Rory at Luke’s, and we learn Lane is still grounded over the Henry thing and that Rory has an upcoming debate at Chilton.
From there, Rory and Paris do more prep for the debate- and they probably know more about doctor-assisted suicide than anyone. Chris calls, and since he’s in the area, Lorelei invites him to Rory’s debate. While walking to the bus the next day, Rory gets a call from Lane on the payphone Rory walks by, and tells Rory she NEEDS the latest Bella Sebastian single. At least, it sounded like Bella Sebastian, but I couldn’t quite figure that part out. Rory says she’ll try to get it.
We see the debate, and naturally, Chilton wins. Chris arrives with Sherry, who we get to meet for the first time. After the debate, Lorelei invites them over to the house. This is when things start to get a little interesting, because Sherry and Lorelei talk in the kitchen while Lorelei is getting everyone something to drink. Sherry talks about how she and Lorelei don’t need to be friends, and that she really wants to get to know Rory because of how important Rory is to Chris. Sherry presses the issue of doing something Rory that night, even though they have their Friday night dinner. Lorelei calls Rory to give her the heads up, and that it might be good to get it out of the way now.
A few hours later, Chris and Sherry stop by, and Chris and Lorelei head off to Friday night dinner, while Sherry and Rory go to a movie. Chris and Lorelei talk about her conversation with Sherry and how Lorelei isn’t happy that Chris left her out of meeting Sherry, and how she’s in the picture because she’s Rory’s mom. He mentions how he never met Max, and how he didn’t even know Lorelei was engaged until she called him from her bachelorette party. She says it’s completely different.
Emily has this huge melt-down, and isn’t happy Rory is out with Sherry. Chris and Lorelei try to work with Emily and Chris apologizes a few times, but Emily thinks they’re patronizing her. Emily pretty much interrogates Chris about “that woman” before she stalks into the kitchen.
When Lorelei goes to talk to her, she demands to know how she could let Rory go with that horrible woman, who will get her claws into Rory and make that they’ll never see Rory again if Sherry has her way. She makes sure that Lorelei knows how important it is to not let Sherry have her on weekends. Emily is heart-broken because she had this image of Chris, Lorelei and Rory finally being a family and accuses Lorelei of taking too much time. Emily thinks Lorelei should have been the one to help Chris get his life together, but because she took her sweet time, it was Sherry who helped with that. Lorelei isn’t happy about Emily putting that on her, and tells Emily that even though she may have feelings for Chris, his happiness and well-being is more important to her.
Lorelei and Rory talk about their night at Luke’s later that evening, and the next morning, Chris and Lorelei have this…interesting conversation where Lorelei talks about how she unconsciously sabotaged every relationship she was in because she and Chris together was always in the back of her mind. She’s ready to move beyond that because something about seeing him and Sherry triggered her need to let him go. He’s mad that she’s blaming all of her relationship unhappiness on him, and he leaves the diner to find Rory so he he can say goodbye to her before he and Sherry leave.
Here’s what I’m thinking: I didn’t really like Sherry in this episode. I think I was neutral about her in previous viewings, but this time around, I didn’t like how she pressed the issue of doing something with Rory. I know Rory’s contact is limited to weekly phone calls, and you have to assume she only sees Chris whenever he decides to show up. I feel like part of it is to set up the Emily stuff later in the episode, but I also get that this is a golden opportunity to get to know Rory and that she wants to take advantage of it. Sherry’s kind of acting like she’s never going to see Rory ever again, so it has to be now OR ELSE BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN AND SHE’LL NEVER GET TO KNOW RORY.
Rory spending time with Max versus spending time with Rory…I’m a little torn because I get where both Chris and Lorelei are coming from. It really isn’t that different, because Max and Sherry were/are potential step-parents to Rory, who should get to know the people her parents are seriously involved with. Lorelei is the one who’s raising Lorelei, so I get why Max and Sherry are two different things to her. It’s almost like Lorelei feels threatened by Sherry’s possible presence in Rory’s life, and is very protective of who gets to “mother” Rory.
As for Emily…she really got carried away with the evil step-mother bit. I get her hopes and dreams for Lorelei, Chris and Rory, and I get her melt-down. I felt bad for Emily, who just wants them to be a family after all this time. Lorelei’s speech to Chris was a little unfair, and I don’t blame him for thinking she was blaming him for all her relationship problems. In all honesty, it seems like Lorelei is in love with the idea of her and Chris being together, but doesn’t truly want to be with him.
The Godfather, Dr. Kevorkian, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone
Favorite Lines And Scenes:
Paris snapping her fingers at Rory during the debate because Rory isn’t talking fast enough
Brad’s classmate, opposing school, at debate: You look sick.
Brad, former Chilton student, to classmate: I feel sick.
I get where a lot of the characters are coming from, and I felt a little bad for Emily and Chris. It’s a pretty good episode, but not amazing, so Should’ve Been Lorelei gets 4 mugs of coffee.