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Episode: It Should Have Been Lorelai ...

Original Airdate: February 12, 2002

Rory and Lorelai arrive at Lukeís only to find it is absolutely empty. Wow, this has never happened before and now they can sit anywhere they want. So, they consider sitting at opposite ends of the counter so they can play bagel hockey. Luke puts the kibosh on that so the girls settle for a table with a view to discuss Roryís debate at Chilton about doctor-assisted suicide. Ooh, sounds like fun! Suddenly, Rory gets a call from Lane, who has been held hostage by her mother. Sheís holed up in her house, sneaking calls to Rory (who she spotted entering Lukeís diner with her binoculars) and, horror of horrors, canít even go to school for two weeks so her mom can tutor her at home. This is out of control!

That night, Rory and Lorelai have their TV watching interrupted by a neurotic Paris (is there any other kind), who demands that they need more preparation for the debate on Friday. Paris is on a rampage because, get this, Rory is not maximizing her WPM, or words per minute. Rory tries to argue that word speed is not the only thing that matters. After all, a well-placed dramatic pause can be quite useful in a debate. But itís no use. Paris insists on more practice, so Rory obeys. Suddenly, Rory gets a call from her dad, Christopher. Seems heís in town on business and might just drop in to see her upcoming debate.

The next afternoon, Rory is walking nonchalantly through town after school when she passes a ringing pay phone. She stops, turns around and answers it. Guess who? Itís Lane, still trapped in her momís house and in desperate need for help. Rory has just got to buy the latest Belle and Sebastian single, which comes out today. Lane has to have this single, and Rory has got to find a way to get it to Lane.

On debate night, Paris is letting everyone have it because the acoustics in the room are not up to her standards. Lorelai and Sookie arrive, find their seats and promptly look for Christopher, who has yet to arrive. The debate begins with Rory doing the opening statements. As she speaks, Christopher finally shows and brings his latest love with him. Lorelai looks visibly uncomfortable. Why did he have to bring her? When the debate ends (Paris and Rory win of course), Lorelai will get the chance to get a good look at Christopherís new girl, Sherry. She does, and they all have a bit of awkward conversation until Rory arrives and it gets even more awkward. Sherry is totally excited to see Rory, itís like sheís meeting a celebrity. Rory feels weird, and Lorelai takes an opportunity to sneak away with Rory in tow for a little pow wow.

Together they concoct a game plan, which involved inviting Christopher and Sherry back to their house, even though itís a mess. Before Rory leaves, Paris asks her to stay and look over their debate transcripts. However, Rory has to bail on this little plan, making Paris completely upset. She implies that Rory doesnít want to celebrate (thatís what Paris considers celebrating? Going over transcripts?) and then storms off in a huff.

At home, the foursome sits on the couch and makes small talk, which gets strained when Sherry doesnít get one of Lorelaiís jokes. This is a very bad sign. Sherry is clearly trying way too hard to be Roryís friend. Itís a little much. When Lorelai gets up to get drinks, Sherry follows her into the kitchen. The women talk about how awkward this whole thing is, well, Sherry does most of the talking. Namely, she tells Lorelai that number one: she and Lorelai donít have to be friends or even like each other for that matter and, number two: Sherry really wants to get to know Rory. Because things are heating up between Sherry and Christopher, and Rory is so important to him. Whoa! This is getting a bit serious. Sherry needs to back off! Lorelai is very patient listening to Sherry, but you can tell sheís not grooving on Sherry at all.

Then, Sherry pushes the issue even further and asks if she can hang out with Rory that night. Lorelai says itís not a good idea since they have dinner with her parents every Friday. But Sherry, who seems to know a whole heck of a lot about Lorelai and Roryís life, says she knows that the Friday night dinner, while important, can be put off if something more important comes up. And Sherry obviously thinks her getting to know Rory is a priority. Lorelai reluctantly agrees. As long as Rory wants to go, itís all good. Rory, being the nice person she always is, agrees to go, leaving Lorelai and Christopher to attend the Friday night dinner together. Well, this should be interesting.

Before Rory goes out with Sherry, she gets a call from Lane. Apparently, Rory got the CD she wanted, but the drop-off time has changed. Rory says itís no problem and then tells Lane about her crazy plans. Lane wants to know everything but has about eleven seconds to talk, so itís a no go. After Sherry and Rory leave, Lorelai asks Christopher why he didnít mention that Sherry was with him when he first called to say he was in town. Christopher plays like he just forgot, but Lorelai thinks he may have been trying to hide the fact. He denies any manipulative behavior on his part and the subject is dropped. See, Christopher wants to know what Lorelai thinks of Sherry. Sherry apparently said she and Lorelai has this great talk in the kitchen, but itís clear from Lorelaiís face that the feeling is not at all mutual.

Lorelai tells Christopher the part about her and Sherry never having to be friends etc., and Christopher looks confused. Sherry conveniently did not mention that part of the exchange. Christopher thinks itís harmless, but Lorelai wants to make it abundantly clear that if Sherry is in Roryís life, then she is in Lorelaiís life too. You donít get one without the other. But this conversation isnít over yet. Christopher wasnít very happy when Lorelai got engaged to Max and he wasnít a part of that equation at all. Lorelai acknowledges that fact but assures Christopher that had she gotten married, he would have been part of the equation eventually. If that is the case, then, Lorelai must also trust that Christopher would make sure Lorelai is part of his equation. Trust is a two-way street after all.

With Rory and Sherry out shopping, Lorelai and Christopher arrive alone for the annual Friday night dinner, and Emily wants to know where Rory is. Lorelai avoids the question for a little bit, but we all know she canít avoid it forever. Christopher drops the bomb about Sherry and Rory being out together, and Emily isnít at all pleased about the change of plans or the fact that Christopher has a girlfriend. Emily starts asking all sorts of questions, like are Christopher and Sherry going to start a family? He bought a Volvo after all, so that must mean something. Are they living together? Yes, in fact, they are. Emily does not like these answers at all. And then she blurts out that Rory should never miss their dinners unless of sickness or another emergency. Seeing Sherry should not take priority! Lorelai tries to calm down Emily and make Christopher feel more comfortable. It doesnít really work, though, and Emily storms off to the kitchen.

Lorelai follows her mom into the kitchen and they discuss the issue at hand. Emily is worried that Rory wonít be around as if Sherry has anything to do with it. Sheís also upset because somewhere in the back of Emilyís mind, she has pictured Lorelai and Christopher getting back together so Rory could have both her parents. Itís upsetting that now that Christopher finally has his life together and it is Sherry who gets to reap the benefits. Shouldnít Lorelai be heartbroken? Emily certainly is! Then, she turns the whole thing around and blames Lorelai. If she hadnít kept Christopher at arms length all these years, then maybe Lorelai wouldíve been the woman who Christopher married once he got his life in order. Oh, great. Now this is all Lorelaiís fault! Leave it to Emily to make her daughter feel bad. Emily demands to know whether or not Lorelai still has feelings for Christopher, but Lorelai says thatís irrelevant. She just wants Christopher to be happy. This comment makes Emily sick to her stomach and she bai ls on dinner to lie down by herself in her bedroom. What a disaster.

The next morning, Lorelai and Rory go to Lukeís for breakfast and discuss the previous night. Rory gives up the goods on her night. It wasnít awful, it wasnít great, but Rory did learn a lot about Sherry, who is definitely interested in getting married and having children. Lorelai then gives up the goods on her awful night. Because of Emilyís tirade, Lorelai asks Rory if she does imagine her and Christopher getting back together. Rory admits that, yeah, sure she does. But itís not a big deal. Every kid who has estranged parents imagines them reuniting. Lorelai wants to talk more, namely should she be in Sherryís shoes, but Rory quickly bails for a second so she can make sure that the CD drop-off plan goes off without a hitch. Apparently, Rory recruited Michel to pose as a jogger and slip it in Laneís bag as she stands with her mom outside Lukeís diner. It works, but Michel almost has a heart attack because heís been running around the square for an hour! Anyway, Christopher and Sherry arrive in the diner to s ay goodbye. While Sherry goes off to find Rory, Lorelai and Christopher have a chance to talk one on one.

Lorelai then gives Christopher a big speech about how all this time sheís subconsciously sabotaged every relationship sheís ever had because, in the back of her mind, she imagined she and Christopher would one day be together once he got his life in order. But now that Lorelai sees that Christopher is happy with Sherry, she can finally move on with her life. Lorelai thinks that Christopher will be happy to hear this, but sheís wrong. Christopher gets angry because he believes Lorelai has just blamed him for fifteen years of unhappiness. As if Lorelaiís failed engagement with Max was Christopherís fault. Lorelai tries to explain herself better, but itís too late. Christopher takes off in anger and leaves.

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