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TV Rewind: Felicity, “Hello, I Must Be Going” & “Greeks and Geeks”

9 Oct

Felicity, Episodes 3.3 & 3.4
“Hello, I Must Be Going” & “Greeks and Geeks”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 18 & 25, 2000

Felicity 3.03 groupJulie: We were right that Julie was hiding the whole truth about her biological dad’s death. She was tested, that was true, but she was a match. She told her mom and dad, however, that she was not. And as a result, her dad died.

That’s heavy. That’s a lot to deal with. It explains why her behavior has been so erratic. She’s been hooking up with random dudes and trying to shoehorn her way back into Ben’s inner circle. And then there was the crystal meth left behind in her closet. I don’t know if I believe Julie when she says it wasn’t hers. What do you think?

Yes, Julie is gone. She took off out of the blue without telling anyone, just leaving a video of her goodbye. She says a personal goodbye to everyone, leaving Felicity for last, telling us that she believes they were better friends than the last fight they had. I still don’t know if I buy that. Felicity was her first friend at college, but I don’t believe they were best friends. Julie was much closer to Ben and Sean than she ever was to Felicity. And Felicity seems much more attached to Noel and Elena.

Before leaving and in the aftermath, Julie was given the opportunity to mess things up for everyone else. She meddled in Ben’s affairs when she called in a missing person’s report on Ben’s dad (still John Ritter). She started to latch on to Ben, trying to rekindle their friendship (and, hopefully, not their romance, because that would be a really awful thing to do to her supposed “best friend”). She got mad at everyone and blurted out the truth about her father. And then she was gone.

But in the second episode, Felicity and friends were still cleaning up Julie’s mess. She never called her parents to tell them about dropping out of school, so Felicity had to do it for her. And then, because Felicity was so distraught over Julie leaving and her mom blaming Felicity for it, Felicity went out and got drunk and maybe banged another dude.

Before we get into that, what’s your take on Julie leaving?

Felicity 3.03 Julie and BenEmma: So that went from fun and light to super angsty pretty quickly then. Maybe we need the black and white credits back to reflect the tone?

As you mention Julie has a lot of heavy shit to deal with and by bottling it all up she comes across as a Grade A bitch and at first it is incredibly hard to sympathize with her until she drops the kidney match bombshell. I figured that maybe when they found out she wasn’t a match her biological parents turned their backs on her, instead she’s the one who in a way turned her back on them (not that I think she should be blamed for this reaction) and the guilt is eating her alive.

With Ben and her attempts to help with his dad it’s like she is trying to get back that connection and bond she previously had with him while also finding an outlet for her own guilt – if she can fix Ben and his dad then it goes some way to make up for what she didn’t do with her own father. It’s incredibly messy and I’m kinda mad about how the show ended up treating this character as the one who had far too much emotional baggage.

What I do want to know (and have yet to look up as I don’t want to see spoilers) is the details of Amy Jo Johnson’s departure – was it because she wanted off the show? Is she coming back? I understand why the character wants to leave New York as it represents a whole lot of pain for her, but like you I also find the ‘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 always been a best-friendship of convenience. If Felicity really were her best friend she would have reached out to her over the summer about this huge thing that was going on in her life.

I don’t mind Julie leaving for now, but I would like to see her return at some point in a much healthier state of mind. What she leaves behind is maybe a baggy of crystal meth (which she claims isn’t hers) and a whole lot of guilty feelings for Felicity that leads to something that makes her feel even more terrible. First I want to talk about the drug MacGuffin and I figured someone would end up taking it by accident by the end of the episode in A Very Special way as, so far, Felicity hasn’t really done that much with drugs, which is unusual for a teen show. I also thought that maybe it would come into play at the frat party and instead all they did was a lot of jello shots. The only alcohol is bad message they gave was a) you might fall down and hurt your wrist and b) you might wake up next to a random dude and have to do the walk of shame the following day, including a bin/vom situation.

Okay the second part is particularly bad and I’m mad that the sequel to the girls’ night out from last year yielded some very terrible results. For this I blame Julie’s mom and Molly. Mostly Molly. Instead of staying with Felicity who was clearly in an incredibly emotional vulnerable state Molly fucked off and didn’t even check the frat house it would seem for her friend. Yes I could argue that Molly doesn’t really know Felicity all that well yet so she doesn’t have a responsibility to her, but she should still have checked on her. Ugh, I think Molly might be my new Ruby. What do you make of the new addition?

Blaming Felicity for the Julie shenanigans is a low blow from Julie’s mom and even though she’s only reacting out of anger and fear, it’s a totally bullshit thing to lay the blame at the feet of a 19/20 year old. Maybe Felicity should have opted for the low blow and questioned her parenting skills. This whole storyline makes me really mad.

So do you think Felicity did anything with that dude?

Felicity 3.04 Felicity and ElenaJulie: I was wondering about your take on the new British gal. How about her ’90s bindis? So Gwen Stefani.

It’s sort of the gun-in-the-play thing. If there’s a baggie of drugs in the first act, a character must take them (or take responsibility for them) in the third act. Since Julie claims the meth is not hers (and, oh, how I wish it were blue meth), who does the meth belong to? What’s the point of having it show up in this episode, if it has no bearing on the plot. It’s still in their apartment. Maybe someone will take it in the future. I vote for Elena. She’s due for a life mess-up.

I did a little digging into the Amy Jo Johnson departure thing, and it looks like she was let go for budgetary reasons (which doesn’t explain the addition of Molly). Both she and JJ Abrams felt like Julie wasn’t getting enough to do on the show and it was a “mutual decision.” I don’t know. If I were Johnson, I probably would’ve been looking for an out at this point. The writers had no idea what to do with Julie.

The frat party was all kinds of scary for me, mostly because I have children and someday these are the parties they’ll be attending. Not that I didn’t go to those parties, but it just seems so terrifying looking at it from the parent point of view. I was terrified that those Jello shots were going to be laced with something or I don’t know. I think Molly was a complete dick for leaving Felicity like that. You take care of your girlfriends first, lady. Queens before peens. Or something. I remember my friends and I running across a college campus one night looking for another girlfriend who had wandered off on her own. We didn’t stop until we found her (in some random dude’s bed at the Sigma Chi house). Leave no (wo)man behind!

It did look like Felicity was having a fun time playing strip ping-pong, so good for her on that. I am concerned that she and ping-pong partner did do “things” in his bed and I’m wondering if she’ll take one of the morning after pills she worked so hard to bring to campus just in case. What was your take on her random hook up and how do you think Ben will react?

On the other end of the drama spectrum is Noel, who was dealing with alternately the dissolution of his marriage to Natalie and trying to get a job fixing computers on campus. What did you think of the Natalie/inheritance subplot and do you think we’ll see her again? Also, how cute was the play on “Freaks and Geeks” with “Greeks and Geeks?”

Felicity 3.04 hungoverEmma: My first remark about Molly on Twitter was about how fake her accent sounds and it turns out that she’s actually British. I think I real accent is Northern, but she’s maybe trying to suppress it and do a ‘typical’ British accent and this makes it sound wonky (and Australian at times). I’m not sure if it’s because I wore a bindi in the late ’90s that she’s giving me so much second hand cringe. So far she’s hasn’t done anything to endear me to her and I’m kind of annoyed they’ve replaced Julie with her.

That’s interesting on the Amy Jo Johnson front and I can’t work out if she was pushed or wanted to leave. The reason they give sounds too neat – mutual decision always sounds a little PR to me – but I guess that could have been the case. They’re right that Julie wasn’t getting a lot to do as they were just recycling every one of her plot points. But urgh Molly.

Yeah I had similar feelings about the frat and I think we’ve been coded by all the awful frat antics that are making the news at the moment and because it’s a TV show we expect something bad to happen. I mean it’s bad for Felicity’s relationship with Ben, but like you I was expecting something so much worse. I know the show has already covered rape once, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a something that wouldn’t happen again. It sucks that this is something that wouldn’t seem like a stretch.

Queens before peens is something Molly should get stitched on a pillow. Never leave a party without finding out where all of your friends are, although I don’t think I ever had a moment like your experience with your friend (nor did we have frat houses).

Quick sidenote – speaking of peens it did make me giggle when Noel referred to the computer dude as a ‘peen.’

I don’t think Felicity did anything other than pass out – my evidence is pretty much she still had her bra on (which is how we left her during ping-pong) and I think the guilt will eat her up because she can’t remember. Even if she didn’t do anything it’s still going to cause friction if/when she tells Ben. I think he’ll be pissed off when he finds out.

They’ve had Felicity make some impulsive decisions this season (the apartment, this dude) and yes I asked for a non-flaky Felicity this is not what I meant. It’s good that she’s not getting everything right, I just feel for her, you know? Also Keri Russell does delightful drunk and hangover face so well. Maybe Felicity will be the one that takes the drugs (insert cat Home Alone face emoji). I’m not sure if they’ll ever bring up the drugs ever again, but if they do there’s plenty of candidates to become a cautionary tale.

The Noel/Natalie shenanigans is the lighter plot and while I was surprised to see that she was still around I did enjoy each time she sabotaged Noel’s attempts at annulment. But I’m not invested in this relationship at all other getting to see Scott Foley getting flustered. By the sounds of it Noel is better in bed than even Jake professes to be (ugh with this already on Scandal).

The Noel story in “Greeks and Geeks” (a nod I hadn’t figured out, but it makes me happy now you’ve pointed it out) worked for me a lot more and I’m glad that both the computer dude and Noel were proven to not be as awesome as they thought. Noel’s kind of a computer and geek snob – he’s a Mac guy and not into Star Trek – and yet he almost gets beaten by a PC. Yes it’s good to challenge the notion that geeks all like the same stuff, but you also still made a Star Trek movie JJ. Plus Noel has shown plenty of outward signs of his geekdom (camping for The Phantom Menace) in the past. What did you make of this?

Also Sean and Meghan have two episodes in a row with relationship drama over broken noses (nice one Ben) and phone sex working, are they built to last?

Felicity 3.03 Meghan and SeanJulie: Thank you. I was going to defer to the real Brit in this conversation. (I consider myself an honorary Brit, like Madonna or Goop.) I thought her accent sounded fake as well, sometimes almost Scottish, but not. And the bindis need to stop. I can’t with this earth mother, spiritual girl. Even her excuse for leaving Felicity (“There’s a guy who’s really good at reading palms!”) was obnoxious.

When Felicity woke up, I was waiting for the inevitable check-under-the-covers, oops-I’m-wearing-no-underwear moment, but that didn’t happen. It’s probably likely that ping-pong dude was too drunk for any peen action anyway (let’s see how many times we can use the word peen in this post). And yeah, Ben is not going to like this. And yeah, he will find out because EVERYBODY ELSE KNOWS.

I suppose that’s what TV has taught us? Scott Foley is an A+ lover. And he’d like you to know about it. It’s in his contract.

I thought the geek guy should’ve been way more nervous around Elena. She’s a fox and he’s, well, him. But he was just a stinky little tyrant. The logistics of the whole computer war didn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I enjoyed watching it. I actually love Scott Foley and Donald Faison playing off each other. They’re the two best comedic actors on the show.

And the geek guy, who kept making Star Trek fingers (the technical term) had a lot of Star Wars characters on his desk. Don’t geeks usually favor one or the other?

As far as Meghan and Sean go, I do think they have potential to stay together. We’ve never seen Meghan give on anything. She always knows exactly what she’s doing and why and she doesn’t kowtow to anyone. But she does give with Sean. I think she really cares about him, which is lovely. I like the two of them together. We need a solid couple on this show (I guess we have Elena and Tracy), now that Ben and Felicity seem headed for a rough patch.

I think we’ve covered most of it, except Javier’s citizenship test, the most important storyline in either episode!

Felicity 3.04 Noel and TracyEmma: The spiritual character is such a cliche and I really hope Meghan whisks up a spell to undo whatever nonsense Molly has planned. It looks like Molly is here for the season sadly, which only has 17 episodes for some reason.

Yeah they didn’t really suggest one way or the other what happened with Felicity and the frat boy other than the horrible mistake she thinks she might have made. Other than her trash can street vom and hangover face, her outfit is pretty great for the walk of shame as it’s not all that indicative of a night out and she can also wrap that coat around herself. And it’s way better than her double red denim nightmare from last season. However the combination of guilt and shame is tenfold this time. I hope Felicity doesn’t beat herself up, but she definitely will and yep Ben will know it at least two episodes time (probably the next one). Will Felicity tell him before someone else does?

Like you I was very happy with the Scott Foley/Donald Faison pairing. They both give really good “oh fuck” faces and I actually think Elena was pretty calm/restrained considering how long she spent on that work and the possibility of an F grade looming over her.

Yeah I thought that too about the Star Trek/Wars fandom although maybe this was suggesting that you can be both even if it’s unlikely. In the same way Mac and PC people can co-exist or use a mixture of the two (which is even easier now there are iPhones/iPads etc and our house definitely is half and half).

I certainly hope so with Meghan and Sean – the teen photo was especially touching and now I’m wondering just how many of Meghan’s stories are actually about her and not someone else she knew. I get why she didn’t want to back down on the job front and hey money is money but one plot hole quibble as don’t you have to be on the same number not multiple phones? This is what For a Good Time Call… seemed to suggest. It’s fun to see them grow as a couple and really that was an ultimate angry dick move from Ben with his basketball bro anger.

Uggggghh I really don’t want the Ben/Felicity troubles to start already, but alas is looks like we’re here.

The Javier stuff was cute, however it came across as an excuse to get Ben out of the way so Felicity was free to fuck up. Although he did show Ben the importance of a democratic society with a nod to the 2000 election. I wonder if they will cover this any further. What did you make of this?

Felicity 3.01 Felicity and BenJulie: The 2000 election was also my first presidential election, so I did think that was kind of fun. It was right after eight years of Bill Clinton, so we had two totally “new” guys running and there was a lot of promise and excitement and then –wah-wah– George W. Bush got the job. Felicity won’t be around for the 2004 election which I remember being much more tense and angry, with good reason.

As far as Meghan’s phone sex thing, I think she had appointments set up and she was calling the guys, not the other way around? I guess that’s the only way it makes sense that she could work from different phones.

Good call on the basketball scene. Ben is always working out his feelings with ball in hand. That was not a euphemism. This time it’s anger, and it’s anger toward poor Sean, who doesn’t even have a camera in Ben’s face at this point.

And, yeah, while Meghan is kind of mystic and spiritual (in her way), her devil-may-care attitude makes it less hokey and obnoxious. Right now Molly is just too earnest to be believed. Girl gots to go.

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, “Hello, I Must Be Going” & “Greeks and Geeks””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Girl 4.06 “Background Check” Review: “It Looks Like Your Body is Crying” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 5, 2014

    […] New Girl as Winston’s surprise academy background check proves. Just like Felicity did in a recent episode we covered on TV Ate My Wardrobe, Jess has a mysterious bag of meth in her closet and it’s […]

  2. TV Rewind: Felicity, “Boooz” and “Oops…Noel Did It Again” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 19, 2015

    […] eh everyone does it. The only bad thing that happened involving alcohol is when Felicity woke up in that frat bro’s bed (which nicely links into the fact that Felicity has the worst birthdays). I didn’t get the […]

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