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Stopping by Stars Hollow: A Critic’s First Watch of 'Gilmore Girls' – Season 2, Episode 3

"Are you and Max getting married?"

Sorry for the hiatus, readers, I’ve had some writer’s block and gardening to attend to. Writer’s block taking more of the form of writer’s fatigue… or overall fatigue… we’re in an anxiety/depression cycle right now, but we’re working our way through. Gardening in that I had some major weeding and bed building to do — like, had-to-call-in-backup-to-come-help major.

But hey, we’re back and ready to write… after we stop by Stars Hollow for a quick snack.

Season 2, Episode 3: “Red Light on The Wedding Night”

Hot tamale, did I call it! Max and Lorelai are broken up (and it’s probably for good).

This episode does a great job of pointing out all of the flaws in Lorelai and Max’s relationship through example rather than explanation, which is wonderful because it leaves no room for misinterpretation; it is definite from Lorelai’s reactions and body language that this marriage was a rushed decision based on passion and nothing else.

This is another episode where every sub plot line is focused on the events happening to one central character, much like “The Breakup, Part 2.” Every moment of this episode relies on Lorelai’s decision to either marry Max or run away, which only helps the audience to feel the pressure put on Lorelai.

In this small town, anything and everything you do makes the news. We’ve seen this happen countless times in season, mainly revolving around Rory’s relationship with Dean, but with Lorelai, the pressure escalates. While Rory’s love life is looked at through a telescope by the people of Stars Hollow, Lorelai’s is viewed under a microscope. In this episode, every single conversation Lorelai has involves her upcoming nuptials in one way or another. Every conversation not directly about Lorelai’s wedding turns into a conversation about Lorelai’s wedding even when she is not in the scene.

As an audience member, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of wedding talk going on, and watching Lorelai slowly squirm and grow more and more uncomfortable and unsure is heartbreaking to watch. Yes, I do think that her and Max’s relationship got too hot to handle too quickly, but I don’t want to see her suffer like this. Actually, I do, because it makes for great TV.

And this episode is just that: great TV. Every moment of this episode just builds and builds, the mounds of mounds of martial pressure applied to Lorelai have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see when she’ll pop… and of course, the two-for-one combo of Emily and Christopher does it. The speech that Emily gives at the drag club is the perfect impetus, for up until the drag club… everything conversation has been about the nitty gritty of marriage, not the feeling when it’s right.

Lorelai’s character can handle the details, the nitty gritty. Lorelai has never been one to not put the work in where it mattered, but when it comes to feelings, she’s absolutely clueless. She may have everything together career-wise and motherhood-wise, but on the self control and emotional understanding front she is severely lacking. Lorelai doesn’t know or understand how to be truly happy in love. From all the musing of love she has made, the audience can easily deduce that Lorelai only views love in the fairytale sense- where everything is rose colored, filled with passion, and just works. And seeing Emily so freely articulate her emotions towards Richard causes Lorelai to realize that her feelings for Max do not run that deep.

So she calls everything off (in a phone call we don’t see) and goes on a road trip to nowhere with Rory. Now, while I’m all for spontaneity, why couldn’t we have seen Lorelai break up with Max? Was it too heartbreaking? Was it better to tell rather than show in this case? I’m not sure I can even answer that, but maybe we’ll be able to learn more about what was said between Max and Lorelai as we move…

Onto Season 2, Episode 4, “The Road Trip to Harvard.”

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Stopping by Stars Hollow: A Critic’s First Watch of 'Gilmore Girls' – Season 2, Episode 3
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