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TV Rewind: Felicity, “The Depths” and “Crash”

8 May

Felicity, Episodes 2.4 & 2.5
“The Depths” & “Crash”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 17 & 24, 1999

Felicity 2.05 Felicity

Emma: These first few episodes focus on the relationships that have been impacted by Felicity’s choice at the end of last season and what I think is really smart is how the show gives the audience a chance to breathe by laying off any kind of Ben/Felicity post breakup interaction until episode 5. By doing this she gets to repair the relationship that clearly means the most to her, at least on a friendship level, and that’s Noel, as well as addressing her not BFF status with Julie.

At the end of the last episode after Felicity has been publicly humiliated in class for her interpretation of hands (which, as I said last time, look more than fine to me, anyone would think she drew stick figure hands), Noel took all his anger and made the first steps towards forgiveness. This continues in the next two episodes and while there is still plenty of awkwardness between them – which Elena has no time to deal with and her lack of filter is wonderful – it’s so much better and I’m so happy to have it like this again. Felicity mentions to Noel that things are different with Julie as despite coming across on the surface as besties, they never had the same intimacy (and not the kissing kind) that Noel and Felicity had. Friendships with the opposite sex are so misrepresented on TV and movies because this closeness always ends up in a will they/won’t they and while I can be quite the shipper (as I have been with this show), it would also be good to see this kind of friendship just be friends – slightly related as I’m pretty sure The Vampire Diaries is about to destroy my favorite platonic ship. So with Noel and Felicity, I’m quite looking forward to seeing them going back to just friends. If only Amy Smart was not in the picture because she is the worst, that whole thing about touching someone’s hands to find out what kind of work they do made my eyes roll so hard.

So this all ties in with Julie, as Julie has written and performed a song about Felicity, something which Meghan thinks is pretty much the best thing ever. Felicity is less than thrilled; and if I hadn’t been watching a lot of The Americans recently, I would have been shocked to hear Felicity talk about punching Julie in the face. But I’ve seen Keri Russell punch a lot of faces now. This song is what prompts Felicity’s assertion that Julie never operated at Noel friendship level status and it’s something we’ve both been saying for a long time now, so I’m glad to see this show is on the same wavelength as us.

In a slightly contrived situation Felicity and Julie end up on the same subway train and it just so happens that it stops between stations for hours (thanks to someone getting hit, they’re not too specific but I guess trains never are when stuff like this happens). It’s the perfect time to hash out these bad feelings and what better than 20 strangers with various issues adding their many opinions to this fraught discussion?! It’s pretty ridiculous but as a process to air grievances it works for me.

What did you think of the set up? Are you glad to see how Felicity and Noel are handling being friends again?

Felicity 2.04 NoelJulie: The stopped train thing, which took up a big chunk of the episode, was completely ridiculous, but also completely expected. It’s not like we’ve never seen this sort of “people stuck somewhere/big truths revealed” thing before. I thought it was handled pretty well. One guy was peeved at the girls for being so caught up in problems that are not problems at all. He’s trying to get a loan for a house, not arguing with a friend over a stupid boy. And then there was the lady who posited that all problems are relative, which is also true. And then a lawyer jumped into the fray, and he was just annoying as hell. Really, that was where this storyline lost me. No attorney worth his salt would’ve gotten involved in this conversation. If he were commuting to work, he would’ve been either a) asleep or b) working or c) reading/watching a movie. Also, that actor was horrible.

How about the mole people? Did you see the Meghan reveal coming?

Anyway, I love that the show addressed the thing we’d been talking about all along — Julie and Felicity were never great friends to begin with. They’ve been kind of frenemies all along, what with Julie hooking up with Felicity’s crush and then calling Felicity an inexperienced virgin and finally Felicity traveling cross country with Ben. They never had the easy rapport Felicity displays with either Noel or Elena. And it was the song that finally got them talking. Maybe they can start over and grow to become the kind of friends they always assumed they were.

I am so glad that Felicity and Noel are back to talking. The two of them together (plus Elena, especially in the second episode of the two we watched this week) are my favorite part of this show. I know the show eventually drags us back into the will they/won’t they Team Noel situation, but right now I’m just enjoying Scott Foley being fun and funny and not mooning over Felicity. And, yeah, if only Ruby could GTFO really soon.

The other thing this episode was the addition of Teri Polo as Ben’s Older Woman. What did you think of this episode? Was it a little early for one of the characters to be getting involved with a cougar? I mean, 90210 waited until at least Season 4.

Felicity 2.04 art galleryEmma: Oh yeah that lawyer guy was the worst and it’s such a cheap gimmicky set up to get them to talk about what’s going on. Honestly being stuck underground for that long in a situation like that would make me way more cranky that most of these dudes. Having some teen drama to partake in would either send me over the edge or be incredible entertaining. I’m sure the former is more likely than the latter.

The mole people moment was so bizarre and I kind of want it to be this unexplained Meghan thing. Like this is just something she does. Meghan’s wardrobe continues to be the most amazing collection of awful clothes including a pair of snakeskin trousers in this episode.

The label best friend is so funny when you think about it and I remember at high school feeling this weird pressure to have that best friend, so it makes sense that both Felicity and Julie clung to the first person they met. It’s been a very passive aggressive friendship in a way and both their insecurities has impacted their behavior around each other and this competitive nature hasn’t really been present with Felicity and Elena, even with their academic achievements. They fell out because of a guy, but those cracks already existed and I’m all for shows exploring difficult female relationships.

In the end they both end up at the art gallery, despite going their separate ways which seemed to indicate initially that this relationship is dunzo. The photograph that frames them in this final shot is kinda cheesy in its symbolism, but hey I like a bit of cheese sometimes and it worked for me. The next episode has the pair taking more steps towards being friends again and I’m happy that there are not so many fraught relationships on the show, but I’m glad that they’re not instantly besties again. Julie even gives Felicity dating advice and one thing I’m glad the train conversation addressed was how Julie had given Ben a pass while she was super pissed at Felicity, it’s just one of those things and I think people are always going to pick one person to forgive first. It’s just easier that way.

So we never got to hear Julie’s song which puts us in this interesting position – the folks on the train hear the song but only fragments of the Ben, Julie, Felicity drama. Whereas we have seen everything prior to this, but don’t know how badly the song portrays Felicity (though it sounds like it’s pretty mean). This leaves some mystery and while I’d have liked to hear just how bitchy the song is, I also get why we didn’t. Did you want to hear the song?

The Teri Polo older woman story does seem rather sudden, mostly because it looks like Ben moves on pretty quickly. Also she’s an actress I’ve never really warmed to – including my recentish West Wing first watch – so it instantly got my back up. I don’t mind the older woman story and it was inevitably going to happen as this is a story teen shows love to do and it makes it less creepy that it’s a customer rather than a teacher. Jumping ahead to the second episode what do you make of her going cold on Ben after they slept together? She has a pager which is my favorite thing about ’90s technology.

Oh while I’m on the subject of ’90s moments Noel having a G Shock watch is so utterly perfect for this period and of course Ruby is so impressed that he got it off the internet, which I guess at the time wasn’t all that common. Noel is so cutting edge. I’ve also decided that Noel is probably based on JJ in some respects especially as he loves his Apple products. This is probably a better guess than last season’s initial Zach comparison. Fun Noel is good to have around, just get a better love interest dude.

Felicity 2.04 subway

Julie: The whole “Best Friend” label has always felt icky to me. My “Best Friend” in grade school used to make lists ranking her friends all the time. Sometimes I’d be at the top. Sometimes I’d be second or third. It was kind of an S&M friendship, and this was her way of exerting power over me. Since then, I’ve always had trouble naming anyone my “Best Friend.” If your friend is best enough, I’d like to think everyone would know it without having to label it.

I do love that this show (like My So-Called Life before it) is daring to show the complexities of female friendships. There’s just not a lot of that on TV; even Parks & Rec, which is very pro-gal pal, mostly only shows the women on the show respecting and cherishing one another.

I think they do leave the Meghan-as-mole-person thing unexplained, which I appreciate. We don’t need to know any more than the fact that Meghan wanders around the subway late at night with a group of similarly-dressed people. That is plenty.

As far as Julie and Felicity go, I’m glad we didn’t hear the song. I don’t think it would’ve lived up to the hype that Meghan gave it, and it would either make Felicity look petty or Julie look mean. We didn’t need to hear the song to pick a side. We saw what happened. We lived it.

Teri Polo is totally married. I actually don’t know that, because I don’t remember how her storyline turns out, but that’s my guess. She booked it out of there right quick, and that’s why I definitely think Ben is her sidepiece, which doesn’t make me like her any more than I’m already predisposed to like Teri Polo (i.e. not much; I’m in your camp). You are definitely right that Ben moves on too quickly. It’s like — Boom! — he’s over Felicity. He’s over Julie. He’s over everything. He’s all id at this point, Ben. I believe he certainly thinks with his pants’ head more than he thinks with his head head.

But Felicity is also moving on, sort of, with her professor’s son. What did you think of David and the blind date?

Felicity 2.04 Teri Polo

Emma: That Teri Polo theory sounds very plausible, especially as she had to get a new number which is very shady indeed. Ben is the flakiest for sure and I’m kinda sad that we didn’t get an initial Felicity hair reaction. Or he just hasn’t noticed and that would be the most perfect if that’s the case.

Even though it’s SO inappropriate of her professor to set her up and it’s initially an utter disaster, I’m glad Felicity went on that date. She didn’t date during high school and it’s only been Noel and Ben so far which went to a very intense place very quickly. A blind date is just what Felicity needs (incidentally I have never been on a blind date) even if it is a terrible experience. At least she gets to be badass with her French language skills that David didn’t expect she would possess.

There’s something about Felicity that draws people to her that I have a hard time believing she was such a wallflower in high school, I guess she maybe needed a different environment to shine (I sound like a PSA). It might have been the French or David just realised what a drunk dick he’s been as he comes begging for another chance. I love that Felicity doesn’t just accept his apology and she lets him know just how awful he was even if he does have a sad story to explain his behavior (this breakup story reminded me of Before Sunrise and why Jesse is in Europe as I only watched this for the first time recently). It’s no excuses and Meghan’s open jaw reaction to Felicity’s tirade is amazing. Meghan gives amazing reaction face.

Felicity does go on a second date and it’s a lot better than the first, they even hold hands which is pretty adorable. The only point that made me frown at Felicity was during her closing tape to Sally as she explains why she didn’t tell Noel about David – it’s weird for Felicity to talk about the B list date with an A list guy. I get that she’s trying to explain Noel’s position, but this labeling came across as kinda snobby on this occasion. Am I being too harsh on Felicity? Also why do you think Felicity could tell Ben about David and not Noel?

Felicity 2.05 MeghanJulie: Ben totally hasn’t noticed Felicity’s hair! What a dumbass. He is so clueless. At this point, he’s going to need to do a lot of work to even make me consider joining Team Ben. Noel definitely has the edge right now.

I was happy that Felicity stuck up for herself with David, and that they did have a nice second date together, but a big part of me wishes she had just told him off and had that be the end of it. Why did he have to have the sob story? Why did he have to acquit himself so nicely on the second date? And, really, other than her French speaking, what was it that compelled him to even seek her out for a second date? The whole thing just feels like a way to shove Felicity into a new love situation that doesn’t involve Ben or Noel. Why can’t Felicity do the Mindy Lahiri thing and date a new guy every episode for a while? Why does David have to turn out to be kind of a nice guy? It’s all too tidy.

Also, I’m wondering if Felicity isn’t starting to see Noel in a more romantic light right now because of his dalliance with stupid Ruby.

Anything else?

Felicity 2.05 Noel PS1Emma: I would love to see “Felicity dates…” and then just a parade of hot dudes from the late ’90s. The David thing was extra weird as I mentioned on Twitter as I watched Elementary after this and there he was kidnapping Joan. It is a bit too easy that he’s this good guy in the end, they should just let some people be jerks and there’s always some kind of redemption angle.

I think you could be right about Felicity’s reason behind her withholding from Noel and with Ben she seemed more curious than jealous that he had an older lady thing occurring.

We do need to talk about the excellent Noel and Elena bonding subplot over video games that Elena dismissed initially before her competitive nature got the better of her. The only consoles I’ve owned myself are a Megadrive and a Game Boy, we do have a Wii and a PS3 but I use the latter for watching things on and I’m definitely not what you would call a gamer. I tend to be terrible at video games and I have little patience to get any better so I’m definitely the Felicity in all of this. So Noel has got himself a PlayStation and considering how much he likes tech stuff this isn’t a surprise and because I don’t know games all that well I have no idea what they are playing. Whatever it is, it is addictive and Noel blows off class to play. Soon Elena gets sucked in and they become incapable of paying attention to anyone else. This includes ignoring phone calls and blowing off plans. We only get Ruby on the phone in this episode, which pleases me.

It all goes too far when Noel makes a kid cry and I love how disheveled both Elena and Noel look by this point. Now they could just go on YouTube for a walkthrough rather than relying on a 7 year old.

What did you think of this subplot?

Felicity 2.05 Elena and NoelJulie: How did I completely forget about the video game subplot? I loved it! I have been known to become addicted to video games periodically. I spent too much of my 20s enveloped in the Sims universe, suffering a very brief relapse around Christmas last year. We have a PS3, which we’ve just started to use for video games, since my son is into Legos and there are several Lego games. He and I have also become hooked on Skylanders, which is really the most brilliant money-making scheme of all time. Seriously. The creators should be giving seminars.

During freshman year of college, we used to rent a Nintendo 64 console from Blockbuster (how old am I?) during finals week and everyone would congregate in one room and play Bond or MarioKart whenever they had time. After freshman year, John bought his own Nintendo 64, and we’d spend too much time playing the aforementioned games along with Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Golf. I’m sad to say that the console died recently when our basement flooded, taking the Diddy Kong cartridge along with it.

Anyway, yeah. I loved how Elena and Noel had to go old school and get the 411 from a kid (or they could’ve bought one of the game books that we all used to devour back in the day). It’s so much easer in 2014 with the YouTubes and all.

Also, yes, Noel and Elena hanging out > Noel and Ruby hanging out any day of the week.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

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2 Responses to “TV Rewind: Felicity, “The Depths” and “Crash””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mad Men Music Monday: “I Know, They’re Playing it all the Time” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 19, 2014

    […] of my recent complaints about relationships between men and women on TV is there is rarely a middle ground for friendship […]

  2. TV Rewind: Felicity, “Hello, I Must Be Going” & “Greeks and Geeks” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - October 9, 2014

    […] ‘Felicity is my BFF’ talk to be a load of baloney. The episode that sums it up best is from last seasonwhen they were stuck on the subway and ended up hashing out their friendship; theirs was and has […]

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