Episode: Paris is Burning ...


Original Airdate: January 11, 2001

Guest Starring:
Ann Gillespie (Mrs. Geller)
Chad Michael Murray (Tristan DuGray)
Liza Weil (Paris Geller)
Teal Redmann (Louise Grant)
Shelly Cole (Madeline Lynn)
Scott Cohen (Max Medina)

As the show begins, we find Lorelai and Rory walking through the center of Stars Hollow, discussing who's turn it is to clean out the refrigerator. It is then that they spot puppies in the park looking for a home. Lorelai considers adopting a dog, but Rory, and Luke, who just happens to come by, both point out the fact that she isn't exactly Dr. Dolittle. In fact, Lorelai once abandoned a hamster. So, for now, Lorelai must give up her dreams of having a pet, Rory will have to be enough; she can fetch slippers, but she draws the line at wearing a collar.

That night, Lorelai and Max are having a hot and heavy dinner date at his place. Lorelai can't help but ask if he's read Rory's latest paper. She thinks it's brilliant, although she's clearly biased. In fact, she suggests that Max just give Rory an A, without reading it at all, but that wouldn't be fair to all the other students whose mothers aren't dating Chilton's cutest English teacher. Oh well, that just leaves them more time to make-out and then sashay into the bedroom for a little private tutoring. Lorelai doesn't get home 'till 1:00am and finds Rory waiting up for her. Rory spent the night doing homework, but Dean did call five times, pretty respectable but not an all-time high.

At Chilton, Rory's sitting in English class while Paris's best buds, Madeline and Louise, talk about how hot Max is and whether or not he has a girlfriend. If so, who she is and what's she's like. Paris says that who ever she is, she's a big fat loser. Of course, Rory overhears all this and keeps her mouth shut about the truth. Paris is just bitter about her parent's divorce, which is the talk of the school.

At the Friday night dinner, Emily wants to know if Lorelai is going to Chilton's annual parents day. Lorelai had no idea it even existed, as she has not yet read the Chilton newsletter. This is not winning points with Emily, who offers to go in Lorelai's place, that'll happen over Lorelai's dead body.

When Lorelai has her next date with Max, he shows up on time (horror of horrors!). Lorelai isn't ready, which means Rory has to answer the door. This breaks their rule of Rory never having to answer the door when a gentleman caller comes a knocking, and to make matters worse, she has to come face to face with her English teacher. When she lets him, she has play hostess for a few excruciating minutes.

Later, Lorelai and Rory have a skating date. Since her skates look old and dull, Luke offers to sharpen and tighten them. (Could Lorelai be any more clueless to Luke's obvious crush?) Rory suggest they invite Max, alerting Lorelai to the fact that her daughter's on a first name basis with her English teacher. Well, it's just for when they're outside of school (on Max's suggestion), but Lorelai doesn't seem to like it very much. Rory really approves of her mom's latest choice in men, but why doesn't Lorelai dig her daughter's enthusiasm?

Then when Sookie starts asking questions about Max, Lorelai does what she apparently always does at the two month mark. She bails on every relationship when it gets serious or when Rory starts to get attached. Lorelai denies her actions, but her defensiveness is a big sign that Sookie is right on the money. When Lorelai hits below the belt, though, saying that Sookie is hardly an expert on relationships since she hasn't had one in years, the conversation comes to a halt. Lorelai has gone from "zero to jackass in a matter of seconds." She apologizes profusely but it is clear Sookie is hurt and totally bummed about her lack of prospects in the man department.

At Chilton, Max stops Rory in the halls to compliment her latest paper and asks if Lorelai is coming to parent's day. He's nervous about asking Rory anything about her mother but he hasn't heard from Lorelai in days.

Meanwhile, Rory's giving the latest Chilton dish to her mom, namely about Paris's folks' divorce and the fact that it's all over school. Rory feels bad, even though it's evil Paris who's going through the rumor mill. But the event is changing the whole dynamic at school, made clear by the fact that Madeline and Louise are saying hello to Rory. Then, when Rory brings up parent's night, Lorelai says she might not go. She's full of excuses (she has a "thing" at the Inn) until it seems to Rory that her mom is breaking up with Max. Lorelai won't say why and Rory is completely annoyed at her mom's immature behavior.

Feeling bad and guilty, Lorelai decides to go to parent's night. Once they are there, they spot Paris and her mom, who is berating her daughter about not using skin cleanser she got her daughter. Paris's mom bails on the night early, and Lorelai knows she's looking pretty good to Rory right about now. After they attend Max's class with the other students and parents, Lorelai stays behind to talk to him. Turns out, he's left four messages and wants to know exactly what's going on, then everything becomes crystal clear. He knows that he's being dumped, but he would expect a better dumping from Lorelai. She tries to explain how she feels, but he still doesn't get it. They argue and argue until he just kisses her and she kisses him back right there in the classroom. And guess who spots it all? Paris. And it's a matter of seconds before the juicy news spreads all over the school. Paris even dares to rub it in Rory's face.

When Lorelai comes to find Rory, she freaks out on her mom. Why would she do this? Lorelai apologizes again and again and says the whole reason she was going to breakup with Max in the first place was because she didn't want to hurt Rory. But Rory doesn't need to be protected so much anymore. Maybe it's time for the Gilmore rules to change.

The next Friday, Lorelai asks that Rory keep the whole incident quiet from Emily. But as soon as they get in the door, Rory is banished upstairs while Emily admonishes Lorelai for her kissing in the classroom. Emily knows everything, but Lorelai only says it was a mistake. And then it comes out that Lorelai is dating Rory's teacher. Emily becomes even more horrified as Lorelai tries to explain how she feels about Max. So, Emily wonders, was worth humiliating Rory for this man? Was he the "one"? With tears in her eyes, Lorelai says he might have been.

At school, Paris is being a witch, implying that Rory's going to get special treatment now that her mom is getting up close and personal with Max Medina. Rory can hardly believe her ears. She's quick to point out how hypocritical Paris is being, considering her laundry's been spread out for the whole school. Paris cops to her crime, admitting that she just wanted the school to talk about something else for a change. The two make a little peace, and Rory even offers to listen to Paris's problems. Neither will admit it, but the two might actually become friends.

When Lorelai and Max meet and talk about what happened, she reveals that it was really she who was scared about getting hurt. She apologizes for getting freaked out, but Max reveals that he is jeopardizing his career at Chilton. He could have been fired for what he did. Who knew it was going to be so complicated? Now, it's Max who's backing off. He doesn't know what to do, saying maybe they need to take a little time away from each other to figure out how to be together. And Lorelai's worst fear is being realized right there. They are breaking up. The guy who could've been the "one" walks out the door and out of Lorelai's life. When Rory gets home that night, she finds her mom in her bed, crying.
Credit: Reelteen.com


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