Tag Archives: Donald Faison

TV Rewind: Felicity, “The Declaration” & “My Best Friend’s Wedding”

21 Jan

Felicity, Episodes 4.1 & 4.2
“The Declaration” & “My Best Friend’s Wedding”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 10 & 17, 2001

Felicity 4.01 Dear SallyEmma: We return for one final time for the start of the fall semester and Felicity is untethered. Actually when the episode starts she’s in the midst of “Dear Sallying” it while talking about what an excellent summer she has experienced. A summer without Ben and with no responsibilities besides making sure she’s put enough sunscreen on. The kind of summer you should be having at this age and the lack of drama is compounded by everything that follows.

Ben returns from EMT training looking hotter than ever and with this new buzzier cut comes a new found ambition, not to become an EMT. Nope, Ben wants to be a doctor and this only complicates things further with Felicity as her overbearing douche of a dad keeps sending her clippings about high achieving students and endless phone calls where he berates her for her lack of decisions. Felicity’s dad is the worst (this point is emphasised in my notes through my use of all caps).

It’s great that Ben has this new found direction, but I can’t help but wonder if this is just a phase. A job helping people makes so much sense but we’ve been told for the past three seasons that his academic skills are lacking. Maybe I’m being a bit too hard on him and this is really his calling. Is Dr Covington going to be a thing we will hear at some point?

Ben tells Felicity this news while they are in the lovely post “I haven’t seen you for months” sex slumber and just as she’s told him that his directionless feelings make her feel better for her own lack of future ideas. Awkward. It’s made even more awkward by Noel knocking on the door with a call from her dad. How to kill the sex buzz in a quick fashion.

The big culmination of Felicity feeling so lost comes at the end of the episode and I suspect we’ve both got a lot to say about what happens on the roof. The big Felicity/Noel action doesn’t happen while Ben is away, nope it takes place after Felicity and Ben have had a huge fight – over a printer, printers are the worst – and he runs off to play basketball (of course) and she takes sanctuary in a place where she’s been having fun. Felicity runs into a despondent Noel (he’s having a hard time finding a job) and the THINGS HAPPEN. What did you make of this development?

Felicity 4.02 BenJulie: Felicity’s dad is so bad he should hook up with Avery.

I still remain sort of on Team Noel. Actually I’m on Team Felicity-Get-Yourself-Together-Girl. She needs to take a moment and breathe, but that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

The cute buzz cut was the only thing Ben really had going for him this week. The “I want to be a doctor revelation” reeks of being another Ben misstep. He can’t commit. His grades are abysmal. He’s constantly talking about being on academic probation. It’s a slap in the face to people like Elena and Tracy if this guy just wanders in at the eleventh hour and decides to be a doctor. Unless he wants to pull a Nick Riviera and attend the Hollywood Upstairs Medical School.

It’s also kind of a slap in the face to Felicity, whether Ben realizes that or not. Medicine is a loaded topic for her, as her conversations with her father prove in this episode. Ben deciding out of nowhere that he’s going to follow the path her dad laid out for her so long ago while she bumbles around trying to figure out her life feels a little shitty to me. Even though I’m sure Ben didn’t mean it that way.

To top it all off, Ben is now a complete basket case about getting his life together, and while I don’t blame him for being mad at Felicity for showing up late to work, and thus making him late for his first pre-med class, I don’t blame her for not taking his new “life decision” seriously. Ben has never cared about being on time for class before. Why should Felicity think he’d start caring now that he’s a pre-med student?

He blows up at her about the printer, because, indirectly, it’s her fault that he can’t get the notes for the class he missed, and she runs into the welcoming arms of Noel.

I think it’s a little (maybe) farfetched that they’d go All The Way in that moment. No one was drunk. Yes, there was a lot of lingering tension from the summer, but Felicity has been through the cheating ringer with Ben before — on both sides. Plus she’s very calculating in her life and doesn’t take risks. But maybe that’s the point, right? She needs to let loose, and she’s letting loose with Noel.

I remember the roof scene being hotter when I watched it the first time around, but this time it felt sad, desperate. Felicity is not in a good place right now, and boning Noel is not going to help things.

How did you feel about Felicity’s venture onto Team Noel.

Felicity 4.01 Felicity and Noel on the roofEmma: I too am on Team Felicity-Get-Yourself-Together-Girl and seeing her fumble this much is hard to watch. I also think it’s important to see her go through this because no one wants their lead character to have it together all the time and this feels like a very real reaction to senior year fears.

Giving Ben a goal makes sense for a couple of reasons – first it flips Felicity and Ben’s state of mind and it might get a bit tiresome if both of them are having the same existential crisis and it also drives the wedge between them that opens Felicity up to a Noel liaison, which the show has been edging towards for half a season now. But it does make him come across as insensitive even if that’s not his intention. This accurately describes a lot of Ben’s decision making process. A lack of thought.

The fight about Felicity being late is painful to watch because she’s clearly been crying or is on the verge of tears even before they start talking and he doesn’t even notice. This is mostly due to being wrapped up in his own problems and as I already mentioned printers are the worst and they turn us into the biggest jerks when they go wrong (at least that’s my experience). Later on Ben realises that something is up, but Felicity has already slept with Noel at this point. Too late for caring Ben. I am still Team Ben not that you would be able to tell from this paragraph.

The going all the way thing was such a surprise and I just figured that episode two would open on awkward post kiss fumbling, not holy shit where are my clothes fumbling. I like that this show never makes it easy to figure out whether characters are going to have sex or not (like when I just assumed Julie and Ben had slept together). This was unexpected and yeah it just made me sad too. There’s clearly an attraction between them and a connection on several levels but urgh is this going to get complicated.

Noel does get points for a) not pressurizing Felicity to define their relationship, b) not telling Ben and c) stepping back where he needs to. I mean he lives with Ben making it extra complicated and he must he expecting at least a punch to the face if/when Ben finds out.

The second episode saw the return of Dr Pavone, who at this point is here to be Felicity’s real life Sally and tell her what’s what. And she’s smoking again! And is now using a cigarette holder which doesn’t get mentioned at all. What did you make of the return of Dr Pavone? And did Felicity do the right thing by not telling Ben about Noel?

Felicity 4.02 turtleneck 1Julie: Yeah, as far as Ben’s goal goes, even for the show’s purposes, I wish they had gone in another direction besides “doctor.” It feels too unrealistic. I mean, if he had come home fully integrated into the cult of becoming an EMT, it would’ve had nearly the same impact. Ben knows what he wants to do, and Felicity doesn’t. It still would’ve flipped the script (even though, I guess, the doctor thing gives the whole situation a little more heft because of Felicity’s dad; but I think even Felicity’s dad would’ve been OK with whatever Felicity chose to do as long as she had a plan for how to do it. I think he’s more concerned with the fact that she’s going to graduate without any real plan. The doctor thing is secondary.)

The questions you ask at the bottom of your email are tough ones. And no, I can’t believe no one mentioned the cigarette holder. It seems like Dr. Pavone was urging Felicity to tell Ben and/or realize that she’s got it bad for Noel. None of this seems like great therapist advice. Maybe she wants Felicity to blow up her whole life just because she’s been sitting there in limbo for so long. Felicity does need to make some decisions. And the Noel secret is kind of killing her.

That said, what good can come from her telling Ben? It would make things bad for both Noel and her, not to mention Ben. I think things are already over between her and Ben at this point, so why rub salt in the wound?

What do you think? Are will Felicity go after Noel now, or will she finally take some time for herself?

Felicity 4.01 Felicity and NoelEmma: As you’ve mentioned already Elena and Tracy both put in so much work and it is hard to picture Ben doing the same, plus with all the extra credits. Maybe the break up will give him a renewed focus or he will end up spending more time out on the basketball court. Is this going to be another case of Felicity and Ben working opposite shifts at Dean & DeLuca again?

It is quite hard to figure out exactly where Dr Pavone is coming from and in a way she is just a stand in as Felicity’s get a grip friend as everyone else who she is close to is also friends with both Ben and Noel. Plus Elena is busy planning a wedding and after she compliments Felicity on her attitude towards love it makes it impossible for Felicity to tell her what’s going on and that it was actually Noel who gave her that love bite. And seriously Noel, I know it was the heat of the moment but this is far from subtle and also you’re in your 20s, hickeys should be done by now Good job Felicity has every turtleneck ever – see below – but in this heat they are far from practical. Even that sleeveless one is causing problems in the heat. Ben is oblivious to Felicity’s sudden summer knitwear obsession and to him Felicity’s breakup is all down to feeling confused. There’s that word again and it is normally Ben citing confusion to mask the truth.

Felicity 4.02 turtleneck 3 Felicity 4.02 turtleneck 2Ben doesn’t even entertain the notion that Felicity and Noel have done anything together even when Noel acts slightly skittish when Ben asks him about Felicity’s erratic behavior. I also don’t see what will be achieved by Felicity telling Ben at this point other than to relieve her guilt or finally get her to address Noel as the drawer. To use Dr Pavone’s metaphor I don’t think Noel is what is necessarily in Felicity’s drawer and while yes there are feelings here I also don’t think it would be wise to bounce from Ben to Noel while she is feeling this way. I’m hoping she takes time to figure things out and I desperately want her to spend some time with Elena as she is also reeling from her own breakup.

Ah yes the big wedding and when Donald Faison didn’t show up in the premiere I figured the breakup would happen off camera. This was not the case as the wedding was the center point of the second episode and in not surprising news they didn’t go through with it in the end. They got close and it was only when they were at the venue did they have the big chat that ended it. Once again sex came into play and after Meghan planted the seeds of doubt it led to feelings of doubt from both sides. To me this feels like the right choice and not just because Scrubs had stole Faison full time. I really like Elena and Tracy as a couple but the sex stuff has cast its shadow over the relationship since the start.

And what of the other pairing? I am still bored of the Meghan/Sean break up/make up side show and I’m not sure how much them getting married is going to change how they are with each other. What did you make of this big step and how Meghan has a tendency to push someone as far as she can?

Felicity 4.02 tracy and elenaJulie: Yes! Elena and Felicity need another girls’ night out — preferably with Meghan and Earl.

Oh, but Meghan’s an old married lady now, so.

I really did not like how they handled either of these storylines. On the one hand, I get Elena saying yes to Tracy and going through with all the wedding planning. I do not buy her and Tracy ending things at the altar. They had their time apart. They had time to think and miss each other. Elena went through a lot of soul searching while Tracy was gone. I think they would’ve gone through with it, if they were actual 22-year-olds in college. That’s not to say it would’ve been the best idea ever, or that they’d never end up resenting each other and regretting the wedding, I just think it would’ve been more realistic if they’d gone through with it.

They could’ve made it work, too. Maybe Tracy could’ve popped up once in a while for guest spots. He’s not terribly integral to the rest of the story.

Even less realistic is Meghan and Sean jumping into marriage after Tracy and Elena call off the wedding. First of all, bad timing much? What jerk BRIDESMAID goes up to the would-be bride after she calls off the wedding and asks to borrow her wedding? Ugh. It’s not about you, Meghan. Of course, though, Elena is fine with it, though if this were real life, she might say she’s fine with it and then spend the next year talking about that bitch who stole her wedding.

Secondly, there’s more to getting married than just standing up on an altar and having your best roommate tell you you’re married. You need a license. There’s a waiting period (except in, like, Vegas). So, she and Sean are not technically married. We’ll see if the show deals with this in future episodes.

Both of these events really cheesed me off. Obviously. The engagement thing was pointless because it went nowhere and now Meghan and Sean are jumping into marriage like this will solve all their problems.

But at least Molly wasn’t there.

What did you think of the weddings?

Felicity 4.02 weddingEmma: I would be super pissed off if I was Elena and my bridesmaid decided to make it all about her and use the chance to get married instead. This is a big nope in my book even without the glaring plot holes you mention regarding the marriage license. Also aren’t all the guests going to be a little miffed about this change in bride and groom. The Meghan/Sean relationship continues to spiral into WTF territory and I continue not to care, which is disappointing as it started so well.

The wedding did give plenty of pensive stares between Felicity and her two dudes and really she needs a break from both of them so this was pretty bad timing for her as well.

Like you, I also think that Elena and Tracy would never have got this far or they would have gone through with it. I think I would have been happier with an off screen break up and Elena returning after the summer single. However this would have denied us super snarky wedding planner Javier and this version of him might be my new favorite as it gives him a no BS edge.

One character who bugged far more than usual was Richard and his behavior regarding the whole Noel/Felicity hook up was insane. Yes I get that he is meant to be a jokey antagonist with his sensitivity chip missing but this was bizarre even for him to find it all so amusing. Especially as he even points out that Ben will most likely kick Noel’s ass if he finds out. Were you annoyed at Richard or is it just me?

And Molly! Have they even mentioned her? Or are they pretending she was never even there (I am fine with this)?

Felicity 4.02 sad BenJulie: Good point about the wedding guests. I’m sure Tracy’s entire family is totally up for celebrating the wedding of two people they’ve never met. Also, how pissed would Meghan’s parents have been, not to mention Sean’s family. This whole thing was just dumb.

I think we’ve decided that everyone on this show is acting stupid right now, except for Javier, and maybe Noel (who seems to be handling things well, or maybe he just looks good because he’s not currently stalking Tyra Banks). Everyone else is a mess. Even Dr. Pavone is giving suspect advice.

I hope they can right the ship in the next few episodes. I’m pretty sure JJ Abrams was long gone at this point, what with Alias starting, and I wonder if he’ll pop up to write an episode or two. This show could use his character-building smarts at this point.

Maybe they’re all high on smart powder. That has to be it.

Do you have anything to add?

Felicity 4.01 phone callEmma: The only thing I have to add is that I was very surprised to see that JJ Abrams wrote the first episode because I thought he’d jump ship by now (as he did with other shows). But maybe this is his only really big contribution to the season. I’ll be keeping my eye out at the credits along the bottom of the screen.

Julie: Oh, and yeah! This aired in October of 2001 and no mention of 9/11 at this point. Maybe these episodes were already in the can. Maybe they live in an alternate New York universe where none of that happened. Maybe we’ll need to discuss this next time.

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.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “And to All a Good Night” and “Girlfight”

4 Dec

Felicity, Episodes 3.11 & 3.12
“And to All a Good Night” & “Girlfight”
Original Air Dates: Dec. 13, 2000 & April. 18, 2001

Felicity 3.11 sparkly topEmma: Last time I hoped some holiday cheer would be coming our way and yes this is a festive episode, however the cheer levels are variable and Tag’s gun finally goes off (that Chekhov is a smart fella). The time hop between the two episodes is unnerving, but quick research revealed that the two episodes aired 4 months apart and that is a lot of time to find out who had been shot and also explains why they opted to leap that far ahead. I am jumping further than I want to and I’m guessing we both have thoughts on this amount of time passing, first let’s talk about what led to this event.

Felicity’s mom Barbara has come to say and because there has been so much back and forth with her parents relationship status I couldn’t remember if her singledom was brand new information. What I am very aware of is how often her parents put their own shit onto her and once again her mom uses her past relationship experiences and transfers it onto Felicity. Felicity isn’t entirely blameless in how her mom becomes yet another obstacle in the continuing ‘who/what is going to break up Felicity and Ben?’ guessing game as she hasn’t told her that she has plans to drive to Florida with Ben for Christmas, this is bad form Felicity. In her typical not really thinking things through way Felicity tells Ben that she might change these set plans and spend the holiday with her mom instead. Ben is rightly pissed off about this and this is further compounded by the awful dinner experience with Felicity’s mom fawning over Noel and being super judgmental of Ben’s lack of future plans (he doesn’t have a major! Whaaaaaat?!).

Of course Felicity’s mom is totally into Noel as Noel is great for boyfriend material – he’s charming in a slightly dorky way, he has ambition and he doesn’t beat people up – and Barbara is smitten. If only she knew about his marriage status (which we are reminded of in this episode) and his email stalking behavior. With Ben all she can see is this unambitious and dangerous guy she dated before Felicity’s dad. Ben’s position as the ‘bad boy’ is how he was positioned from the first episode, but they’ve done a really good job of subverting this trope since then. Yes he gets into fights and has some anger issues, however he is also beyond adorable at times and this season has positioned him in a way to get beyond these things that make him ‘bad.’

Bad timing means Ben gets viewed in a negative light as he’s late/forgetful when it comes to the theatre (he’s helping Sean out thanks to some emotional blackmail) and he is ranting about what a dick Tag is when her mom shows up. Gun and drugs are also mentioned in this awkwardly timed, but accurate diatribe. Ben does meet up with Barbara to try and clear the air and it works. He is adorable and charming in his explanation of how much he cares about Felicity and he pretty much quotes that Baz Luhrmann song to demonstrate why his lack of career ideas isn’t so bad. Once again everything is smoothed over and despite the fight they have been in they end the episode happy and dancing.

Some seeds of doubt have been sown and Felicity reacts in a slightly sad way when Noel claims the parrot is Ruby (it is clearly Felicity). What did you make of this moment?

Felicity 3.12 Ben and FelicityJulie: I’m with you that the time jump seems…odd. It’s like a lot has changed, but also not a lot has changed. I don’t know if that’s realistic or what, but it’s what we have.

In the second episode, Felicity and Ben appear to be unchanged (as a couple) in the months after the gun goes off. They’re still together. He still has no life plan. And I thought she’d be further along in her collaboration with Noel than she seems to be. After all the rushing to get the project handed to Scott Adsit, the time table of Loser Pet Shop has really slowed down. Noel is in the middle of (yet another) emotional meltdown. Last time he went rogue, he ended up married to Doritos girl. This time he’s ruminating on the meaning of life and hooking up with a girl who’s obsessed with Ben. Elena has taken to self-defense, and Molly is gone (yay!).

I find the Ben stuff most frustrating in these episodes. He’s a lovely guy and I’m rooting for him to succeed, but it’s like what Gwyneth said about Ben Affleck — he gets in his own way. He should’ve told Sean to fuck off with the tree thing. Ben knew he was meeting Felicity and her mom at the theatre, he knew that her mom wasn’t completely sold on their relationship, and he just should of simply told Sean that he wasn’t going to help. So what if Sean threatened to kick Ben out. It’s not like Sean would really have the balls (er…ball) to do that.

Also, I’m a little with Felicity’s mom here. Ben doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. Felicity barely knows what she wants to do. I thought that the experience in the ambulance would’ve knocked some sense into Ben, but apparently it hasn’t. He’s still very much the Brad Pitt here, only defined by the women (Felicity, Molly, rich girl), and not by who he truly is. Ben needs to figure out his identity separate from the girls.

But his speech to her mom, totally cute and charming, but also something a dick might do just to get in good with his girlfriend’s mom. But we know Ben’s not a dick, even if he does say dick a lot. It’s this show’s favorite word.

You asked about Felicity’s reaction to Noel saying the parrot was Ruby. She did look sad, but I kind of don’t get it at this point. What is she seeing in Noel? If Noel were walking around, graphic designing like a boss, not lying on the couch fretting about his existence, I could see it. But Noel as he is now is not worth it. He’s not worth screwing things up with Ben.

You mentioned on Twitter that you feel rage toward a character who’s not Molly. Is it the mom or is it Rich Girl Whose Name I Forget?

Felicity 3.12 FelicityEmma: Other than imprinting her own life onto Felicity’s I didn’t actually mind her mom too much. Even her hideous blouses were nowhere near as bad Avery who has quickly overtaken Molly for character who gives me instant rage. So two people got shot – Elena in the arm and it wasn’t too serious, scary but not life threatening. The other is rich girl Avery and it is still unclear why she was at the party in the first place as it seems like no one knows who the fuck she is even though she’s a big deal (or at least her family is in the publishing world). Avery almost dies, well she technically dies and we see this moment in the ambulance with Ben there holding her hand. Cue an instant infatuation with Ben thanks to the connection and being able to hear his unspoken thoughts ‘please stay’ isn’t exactly an unusual thing to be thinking when something is flat lining in front of you, but Avery sees this as an invite to pursue Ben.

And she is totally upfront about it and admitting to Felicity when she confronts her that she believes she is meant for Ben and vice versa, screw the girl he has been dating for a year and is in love with. The way Avery goes about this is with expensive gifts and court side basketball seats. She even gets a present for Felicity which is pretty much the perfect Felicity sweater and even though she doesn’t want to take it she ends up wearing it anyway (it is a nice sweater/color). This is after Avery has been underhand and not added Felicity and Noel to a club guest list which Noel rectifies by using his Leon magic (so paying the doorman) and later sleeping with Avery, because an existential crisis or something.

I’m glad Felicity confronted Avery about her suspicions and like Ben I couldn’t stop smiling when she was having a major rant about Avery’s behavior because a) I also hate her, b) it is fun seeing Felicity disliking someone. There is a super cute reassuring moment and they once again seem fine, though I am concerned that Avery is going to be a nuisance. Also who owns that many halter tops especially ones for exercise and going out?

Your observation about how Ben is defined by his relationships is so spot on and quite often there has been some element of helping a person out and it goes back to Julie even. Maybe he should look into being a counsellor or something like that as he is very good at it. He stays very calm post shooting as he did when Tag was being super aggressive before. And yeah like Goop Ben Affleck remark he really does get in his own way. Also so many of these communication issues would have been rectified if everyone at this point had a cell phone, but at this point only a few did – I was ahead of the Felicity curve and got my first one in 1999. Ben really does have to learn how to prioritize and sometimes it is fine to tell Sean to find someone else to help. Ben is still one of the most fascinating characters in terms of how he is presented, what you expect from a character like this and how he isn’t really any of these things. I still want to do an in-depth analysis of who is Ben Covington?

What did you make of Avery? Did you get similar rage levels to me? And I know you mentioned on Twitter how you thought Tracy was going to be one of the shooting victims – what did you make of this cliffhanger and how it panned out?

Felicity 3.12 Avery, Felicity and ElenaJulie: You can’t trust a trick in one halter top, let alone many halter tops.

The funny thing about the cliffhanger was that I’ve seen these episodes already. I watched all of Season 3 of Felicity. I just didn’t retain any of it, apparently.

I knew they were going to dispose of Tracy sooner or later (Scrubs started right after this season, actually), and the way they were talking about how he was going to Africa to help AIDS patients and how he and Elena were doing so well and making it work, I figured he’d be a goner. He lifts right out. I kind of wish they had done that. It would’ve been more interesting than introducing this completely new character who has very few redeeming qualities (other than her checkbook). Her getting shot was kind of like the “live” Arrested Development episode where one. of. these. people. will. die. by. the end. of. this episode. And then it was, of course, that random old lady in the promo.

If Tracy had died, Elena would be dealing with something much more major than self-defense and — oh — my boyfriend’s met a new girl and maybe he’s having sex with her too, that religious jerk. Noel could still be having his (recurring) existential crisis, though probably he wouldn’t also sleep with Tracy. And Ben could still be Ben, trying to figure out what he’s doing with his life. I thought that the incident in the ambulance would lead him to believe becoming an EMT is what he  should be doing with his life. Ben is very susceptible to what’s going on around him. I suppose that could still happen. Maybe it actually does happen and that’s why I jumped to this conclusion. Sorry, spoiler? Maybe not, though. I’ve already proved here how little I remember about Season 3.

As far as rage levels, I didn’t quite get there with Avery because I never saw her as a real threat. I mean, Ben didn’t seem interested in her at all, despite her obvious advances. I think he’s very solidly in love with Felicity right now and she should feel good about that.

What did you make of Elena’s story? What did you think about the condom in the wallet revelation?

Felicity 3.11 Tracy and ElenaEmma: In my notes for the self-defense class scenes other than hating on the halter I did ask for some Americans like moves from Keri Russell and they pretty much gave me some (she really does kick some serious ass on that show). The reason Felicity is at the class is because Elena has been regaining her sense of empowerment through learning how to protect herself. Elena has been showing off her new skills on Felicity and when it is Felicity’s turn to return the favor Elena is having none of it as her heart has been stomped all over.

It was very jarring to see Elena and Tracy going from loved up and sorting out whatever having sex has done to their relationship to him coming back loved up with someone else. I do wonder if the condom is in his wallet for just in case purposes, but I can also see why Elena is so upset by this discovery. Sex was their major obstacle and it got even more complicated after they slept together. It impacted Tracy’s entire belief system and no matter how hard Elena argues about what she feels in her heart, there is something much bigger at work here for Tracy. I’m not sure where this leaves Elena now, but I’m worried she is going to blame herself and her attitude towards sex (which is not at fault).

Like you I also think it would have been better to have his exit tied to the shooting in a more permanent manner. Instead the shooting ends up being really low stakes for everyone involved and if I had to wait four months to see the outcome of this story I think I would have been very pissed off with the results. The shot being fired when the screen turns to black is a very typical TV move because it does leave you in a state of uncertainty and coupled with the intercutting between smiling dancing characters it does imply that one of them has been hit. Yes Elena is shot, but that is also a cop out with how minor it is (not that I want Elena to get hurt at all). The whole resolution made me feel short changed in fact and I really did think it was effective how this sequence was shot even if I don’t find Tag all that believable in his drugged out angry state. Kudos Steven Gyllenhaal for the way he shot this scene (also completely unrelated but kudos for those excellent actor kids of yours).

Felicity wears a super slinky sparkly outfit to the holiday party which makes both Ben and Noel’s faces light up; this is her best dressed up look since the red dress at the start of season 2. Elena also wears a gorgeous metallic frock and it is a winner for the ladies and their festive attire. Suits were still for some reason on the baggier side in the year 2000 and how good would Ben look in slim fit suit with a skinny tie?! Alas baggy was a thing still.

After the Scott Foley awkward dance sequence in Scandal and the end of the Christmas episode I think I can declare that Noel is a better dancer than Jake. Still awkward, but with less elbows. Noel and Ben interactions are still some of my favorites for Ben’s deadpan responses as with when Noel asks Ben if he wants to dance. Ben does not and Noel claims he was joking (I don’t think he was).

I’m not sure if I see Avery as a threat, but for some reason her actions just really bugged me in that ‘sad rich girl who thinks she can do whatever kind of way’ and like Felicity I want her to back the fuck off. Too much? I wonder if now that she has slept with Noel whether she will be hanging around even more now.

What did you make of more Meghan and Sean bickering? Should he have given her a cut of the trees?

Felicity 3.12 Elena and FelicityJulie: Wow, you’re right. I would’ve been so pissed if I had waited four months for that shooting cliffhanger to be resolved. How lame. Someone we’ve hardly even met nearly dies and Elena is grazed in the shoulder. Also, how soon did Tracy leave after the shooting? You’d think Elena getting hit would’ve given him a moment of holy shit I almost lost this girl. Though, as Elena has concluded, maybe he never really loved her all that much. Sad.

Felicity’s outfit at the party is my everything. Especially as we’re going into the holiday sparkle season, I’m jonesing for some sequins. The early aughts were a good time for sequins. There just aren’t as many these days. Also sad.

If we can thank Tag for anything in all of this, it’s for giving us a great example of why we need better gun control in the US. If a cracked-out, derpy-looking mess like Tag can get a gun, then anyone can get a gun and we all need to reevaluate how things are done in this country.

The Meghan and Sean misunderstanding nonsense needs to stop. For the past few episodes it’s been all about them breaking up and getting back together. I guess after the shooting (when Sean called Meghan out for not taking her job at the school seriously or going about working there the right way) they didn’t actually break up, so, progress? I guess that’s how the shooting changed the two of them. They’re less likely to knee-jerk dump each other.

The tree thing was ridiculous. And I was a little squicky about Meghan calling out Sean for being cheap, after much had been made in the last few episodes about his Jewish heritage. I don’t know. I don’t think she really meant it *that* way, but still. Also, he was right, some of that money was going to be spent on her anyway and he was the one who was doing the legwork. I don’t think he really owed her anything, though if it actually were her idea, he should’ve just copped to it. This whole thing was just tired, from the fight down to Sean coercing Ben to help him move the trees.

I was a little more interested in Meghan as a teacher. I think that could work, if she gives the job the right amount of respect. She had a rough childhood and she likes telling people what to do and she does seem to have a good rapport with kids, even if she doesn’t think she does. She can be there for the kids who were different, like she was. I like it.

What did you think of Meghan and Sean?

Felicity 3.12 Meghan and SeanEmma: The constant bickering and breaking up is getting tiresome at this point and Sean did have some valid points when it came to splitting the money earned. Meghan was doing none of the work and she was still going to end up doing well out of this venture. Except it is pretty dumb to invest in this many trees this close to Christmas and instead of making a fortune Sean ended up seeing beyond money and gave them away for free. Felicity was very touched by this whole thing and made sure she told Meghan what an idiot she was being about this whole thing.

Meghan’s teaching story further explored who Meghan is and while I find it hard to believe that this character would a) turn up to school wearing a sheer shirt and b) teach a kid witchcraft it did show her softer side. Meghan and Sean tend to be the comedic pairing of the show so I’m glad to see the writers developing them beyond being here to be funny. As long as they can move past the whole breaking up/getting together thing. It was good to see her focusing on the kid who was being excluded and as you mention it sounds like she had a crappy time when she was younger so it makes sense for her to relate to this situation. Meghan still responds to things in a relatively immature manner so it will interesting to see if they pursue this new path.

So Noel’s existential crisis is caused by the near miss at the party – he bent down to tie his shoelace when the gun went off hitting Avery – and now all he can think about is how nothing matters. Noel has been flailing all year really and this is an extension what happened to him at the start of the season. Instead of clubbing Noel is reading nihilistic texts and eating a lot of spray cheese (I love cheese but even this might be going too far). Felicity tries to get him out of his funk and maybe sleeping with Avery is what he needed. Hey Felicity’s mom is this the kind of guy you want your daughter to be with?

Oh and I definitely agree with you on the sequins thing, you don’t know how happy I am that it is glitter eye makeup season.

Felicity 3.12 Noel and BenJulie: The spray cheese thing was the first time I really identified with Noel all season.

Also I’m with you on Meghan dressing like that for school didn’t jibe with what we already know about her. This is a girl who would put on a Laura Ashley dress to fool her parents. She knows how to dress in every situation.

And, yeah, if only Felicity’s mom could’ve seen this side of Noel. I guess it’s a lot of seeing what she wants to see. Also, she remembers Noel from when he was the responsible, dweeby RA. She does not know married stalker cheese crisis Noel. She also doesn’t know that Ben generally acts out of concern for others. He gets in fights, yes, but usually it’s because he’s been protecting someone and his face just gets in the way (except for the time he hit Sean, but, come on, Sean had it coming).

I’m hoping Noel’s romp with Avery will lead him to a better place because we only have a few episodes left in this season and that’s not a lot of time to compel me to jump back on the Team Noel bandwagon.

What else do you have to add?

Felicity 3.12 PS2Emma: I’m struggling to see how they will get me to jump back aboard the Noel ship too, Ben will have to monumentally fuck up to get me near that point. I’m also wondering how this time jump will impact how I see this season as a whole. It also occurred to me that the first season of Alias has a crossover period with Felicity and I wonder what that means for both Greg Grunberg as a Agent Weiss is in it from the start right? And also for the creative aspect of the show.

Julie: Wow, both Alias and Scrubs started in the fall of 2001 (not to mention 24 and Smallville). What a good time for television.

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.


TV Rewind: Felicity, “Kissing Mr. Covington” and “A Good Egg”

6 Nov

Felicity, Episodes 3.7 & 3.8
“Kissing Mr. Covington” & “A Good Egg”
Original Air Dates: Nov. 15 & 22, 2000

Felicity 3.08 FelicityJulie: Two weeks ago was all about testicles. Now Felicity has moved on to ovaries.

We were worried about Ben and Felicity’s relationship last we spoke, but it turns out there was no reason to fret. Ben’s frat guy beat down knocked all the rage out of him and now he and Felicity are totes fine. She’s taking care of him while he convalesces (he doesn’t look too bad considering the pummeling he took) and the two of them are happy as clams.

Except of course not, because it’s Felicity.

Bad dad John Ritter is back and he wants to make sure Ben’s okay. He comes to Felicity for help because obviously Felicity is responsible for repairing all of her friends’ relationships with their parents. John Ritter wants Ben to go to Al-Anon for help. Felicity thinks he sounds sincere, so she broaches the subject with Ben. He balks. Mr. Covington returns to Felicity’s apartment and, in a moment of despair, he nuzzles her neck and leans in to kiss her. She is, obviously, freaked and rightly so.

But that kiss wasn’t even the worst thing to come out of Mr. Covington’s return. That distinction belongs to Felicity’s “alone in the house” dancing to some generic disco track that was probably Jamiroquai or something when the show aired, but, due to rights, is something I could play for you right now on my Casio keyboard.

Ben eventually finds out about the almost kiss (after trying to get Felicity to hang out with his dad more, whoops), and he goes after Mr. Covington. They are done. Father/son no more. But the good that does come out of it is that he decides to go to an Al-Anon meeting. And he’s not the only member of the crew there — whimsical Brit, Molly, also has a person in her life who is a addicted to drugs and alcohol, her heretofore unmentioned boyfriend…we still don’t know his name. This reeks of the “my Canadian girlfriend” lie. Methinks Molly is just showing up at Al-Alon to meet people with a tendency to fall into co-dependent relationships who can score her some drugs.

(Related, didn’t she mention a brother who was into drugs before? Or her mom? This girl is shady.)

And now we know who the closet meth belongs to for sure.

How sad did you feel watching John Ritter the lech?

Felicity 3.08 Ben and FelicityEmma: So sad to see John Ritter as a lech and the neck nuzzle was even skeezier than leaning in for a kiss as it feels a whole lot more intimate, the look of horror on Felicity’s face pretty much mirrors my own. And yeah what is it with all the parents asking a lot from Felicity? The list now includes her own, Julie’s mom and Ben’s dad. Back off guys she is only 20 years old and not here to save you or your relationship with your child.

There have been many references to the not locking of their apartment door of late and this is very much a friend hangout trope (including Friends) and considering Sean’s place got robbed in season 1 you would think they would take this more seriously, but I guess this is what all those nods are acknowledging. And it means Ben’s dad can walk in on Felicity dancing to herself and this scene itself felt out of place as has Felicity ever had a solo dance moment like this? Maybe it was intended as a Felicity dances away all her problems moment but it was still odd. John Ritter walks in on her and it’s all kinds of awkward, not as awkward as later but still it’s a little uneasy between the pair. This terrible generic music definitely feels like replacement music – the episode of Beverley Hills 90210 that I saw the other day also sounded like it had been scored by a Casio keyboard for these very reasons – and it sucks when they can’t get the rights for DVD.

Felicity attempts to not rock the boat further between Ben and his dad, but this is not something she should keep to herself and my notes are peppered with TELL HIM. It’s a super shitty position she has been put in and after the recent friction between Ben and Felicity caused by withholding information I was worried Ben would take his anger out on Felicity. I was surprised then when he did no such thing as even though it was not Felicity’s fault in the slightest, I still thought Ben might equate it to what happened with Randy and I was getting ready to yell at Ben through the screen. Instead Ben saw who was at fault and I can see why he is dunzo with papa. This is one too many fucks up in a huge list of fuck ups.

Ben’s dad tries to explain his actions by saying how hopeful Felicity made him feel, but that is not a reason to neck nuzzle your son’s twenty year old girlfriend. Felicity later wears the biggest neck cover turtle neck later on and never has a sweater choice made more sense.

There is a callback in this episode to the season 1 Halloween outing (which I watched/wrote about last week) and this conversation about his dad was spurred on by their experience of being robbed with guns in their faces. So much has changed since then and while Ben does still shut down emotionally going to that meeting is a huge step. Shame about the Molly.

I don’t really know what to make of this development as she’s never mentioned a boyfriend before (and she smooched Richard last week) and it doesn’t match up with her methhead brother cover story – also crystal meth is pretty rare in the UK – and basically I think she is full of shit. This is a strange direction to take this character in and makes me like her even less (which is saying something) and I hate that she is creating more secrets between Ben and Felicity.

There are plenty of other relationship dramas and what about the Noel is a huge creeper development?! I thought his behavior was a little off in the last episode but this is downright sketchy shenanigans. What did you make of the Tyra stalking antics?

Felicity 3.07 turtleneckJulie: I find it interesting that you thought Ben might go off on Felicity for the kiss thing. I never even considered that. I always figured that Ben would immediately shut it down between himself and his father. He’s been looking for an excuse and his dad gives him one. A big one.

The turtle neck was genius, both because of the covering the neck thing and because it was so on trend for 2000. Let’s bring back big turtle necks, but especially big turtle necks with no sleeves. Those are for when your arms think it’s summer, but your neck thinks it’s twenty degrees out.

As far as Noel goes, what the fuck? I’m not sure where this guy came from. We have never seen Noel act like this before. I mean, he went a little nutso when he started dating Natalie, whom he, of course, married, but I thought Noel was supposed to be getting back on track. And chasing after an adventurous hot girl who likes you back is on a completely different level of crazy than cyberstalking and actual stalking. If they’re trying to set up a future Noel vs. Ben thing for Felicity’s affections, this is a good way to make sure no one’s on Team Noel. It’s hard to come back from this level of crazy.

The only good thing to come out of this, I suppose, was the reveal that Richard was “Tricky” and that he got to play hide the salami with Tyra Banks. That’s quite a step up from Meth Head Molly. I also love that Richard and Noel almost became eskimo brothers, linked by Miss Tyra.

Speaking of eskimo brothers, Tracy has one in Finn (or, well, he would have one in Finn if Tracy had ever done the deed with Elena). She and Finn did officially sleep together, and now the secret’s out. What did you make of their whole situation? And now that someone (Noel?) has referred to Finn as a Tom Cruise wannabe, it’s all I can see.

Felicity 3.08 TyraEmma: Maybe I should have given Ben more credit than thinking he would be mad at Felicity, I was just worried it would constitute another lie. Although this time at least she was the one who came clean rather than finding out via email.

And yes a nice email segue and hacking into someone’s email seems so out of character for Noel. Like how did he even consider this was a good idea?! It’s so monumentally fucked up and crosses so many lines and I’m surprised his friends don’t react with more horror. And shouldn’t he get fired from his computer job for this major infraction? Because he’s cute and Felicity tells him that he’s the one guy who doesn’t resort to tactics like this are we supposed to just shrug or shoulders and forget about it? This is new creeper levels and yeah firmly on Team Ben right now.

The making love line was bad, the reading books, getting lines about art and volunteering at the old people’s (oh hey Leonard from Community) were all things that he ended up enjoying but that is beside the point even if the closing montage showed him playing chess with Leonard. And he told Tyra about what he did before sleeping with her which I guess is meant to redeem him slightly and yet it’s still pretty skeezy that it even got this far through manipulation and creeping. The Richard twist was good and yes Tyra > Molly. Oh and once again I was rather impressed with Tyra, she’s not an amazing actress but she’s not terrible either.

To the other semi eskimo brothers and bringing up Professor Creepy and his indiscretions with students – it’s not surprising Elena wasn’t the only one – is a bit of a contrivance. It does bring up a couple of insecurities about the lack of sex in this relationship but they work through it. That is until they do the second Tracy “I know the truth” mixup and Finn cops to sleeping with Elena. For some reason I thought they’d only kissed, maybe I wasn’t paying attention but yeah they totally did it and now Tracy can’t forgive her.

Elena talks to Felicity about whether Ben could have gotten over it if Felicity had slept with Randy and even though Felicity gives a vague you can’t predict what will happen answer, from his reaction I’m leaning towards no. But hey I could be wrong. Elena does the old school thing and writes Tracy a letter and it’s not enough. I’m sad about this break up as I really liked them together and does this mean the end for Donald Faison on this show?

Another couple has break up dramas as Sean goes on a religious kick after surviving surgery and Meghan is pissed at this turn of events. This very much feels like a Sean fad and he likes to throw himself into whatever project he is into on that week. Luckily he gets some wise words from his Rabbi hospital roommate, well maybe not entirely wise as he tells him to propose which is a gesture that is too big. What did you think of the Meghan and Sean temporary break up?

And what about Javier’s big question?

Felicity 3.08 JavierJulie: Oh, my god! That was Leonard? I totally missed that. I’m off my TV recognition game lately because it took me three weeks to realize Rawls was McNulty’s father-in-law on The Affair.

I hope it’s not the end for Donald Faison. He needs a bigger goodbye, at least, or maybe he should move into the loft with everyone because that’s where exes go to die. He and Noel could be wingmen out on the town, stalking ladies and not having sex with them. Maybe this could be a spinoff.

I’m still peeved at Elena for sexing Finn. I guess she wanted to see if she could have her cake and eat it, too, but then you don’t pick the dude who lives across the hall and is your boyfriend’s sociology partner. Amateur mistake. I really don’t blame Tracy if he can’t forgive her for this.

As far as the Sean stuff goes, the show is venturing into religious territory again with Sean’s new devotion to his Jewish roots. You’re right, it screams of being a Sean fad and it won’t last. I’m glad the rabbi noticed this and set Sean straight. I suppose the biggest point of this whole story was to show just how much Meghan cares for Sean. She’s willing to go along with his shabbas plans, procuring all the food for him while he’s in the hospital. And then she’s pissed (but really hurt) when he dumps her because she won’t convert. And, yeah, it was a bit hasty of Sean to jump from break up to engagement, but, again, that’s Sean. Meghan doesn’t seem too fazed by it.

Then we’re back to the tale as old as time: Javier needs a really intrusive favor and he needs Felicity to do it. Back in season 1, he asked her to green card marry him and now in season 3, he wants her baby making eggs. Probably next season he’ll be asking for a kidney. Oh wait, the show already did that one.

Felicity, of course, says immediately that she’ll donate her eggs for Javier and his husband. Why they’re doing it this way is beyond me. Wouldn’t it be easier (at least for the whole baby-making process) if they just artificially inseminated Felicity and then let her carry the baby for 9 months instead of transferring embryos into Samuel’s 49-year-old aunt’s uterus? I mean, it wouldn’t be easier for Felicity, but who cares about her needs at this point? She’s apt to agree to whatever.

Anyway, she agrees to do it and then freaks out because she realizes she’ll still see this kid who will be one half biologically hers. That is weird. So she has to pretend to be Javier’s wife again to get a girl from Brown to carry the baby. The girl falls for it, until she walks in on the most randomly deployed baby shower in the history of time. There’s no baby to shower yet, morons!

The girl realizes that Javier is a gay and she does not want to carry a gay couple’s baby. So, Javier managed to find the only conservative girl at Brown to carry his child.

What did you think of this ridiculousness?

Felicity 3.07 elena and tracyEmma: Have you seen the trailer for Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife? It looks as bad (and misogynistic) as the title would suggest and I bring it up as it’s a Felicity reunion with Scott Foley, Donald Faison and Greg Grunberg. I’m sad it’s for this film and while the trailer might be misrepresenting the film I don’t think I’ve ever heard the theory that everyone gets one murder.

This new movie is not the Felicity spinoff we deserve.

Javier asking Felicity to provide an egg is yet another in a long list of adults asking Felicity to do something selfless. I understand why Javier and Samuel think Felicity would be a good match, but this is a HUGE favor and Ben’s uncomfortable reaction is understandable. He’s also concerned that she has a habit of making impulsive decisions, particularly if it will help someone who is close to her. Ben explains later on that he was so against it at first as she always puts the needs of others first. He also gives a good example of how this might end up with the kid feeling some trauma in the same way Julie did – her adoptive parents raised her in a loving home but she still felt like something was missing.

For Ben this isn’t about Javier and Samuel, but how Felicity will deal with knowing that this child is biologically half hers. By the end of the episode Ben says he’ll support whatever she chooses and she ends up coming down on the side of saying no. I’m glad they’ve addressed Javier and Samuel’s desire to have a family, but the bigot egg donor and them pretending to be a couple just comes across a retreading old ground. And yeah that baby shower was WAY premature.

At the moment it’s hard to see entirely where this season is going exactly and I think that’s why some of these stories come across as filler rather than anything substantial. I’d still like to see more of how Sean is dealing with having cancer and I hope they don’t just ignore this now that he has had surgery. The Elena/Tracy story has come to a head and I’m intrigued to see where Elena will go from here as I think this could be the shows longest on screen romantic relationship so far.

Molly is making me uneasy and it’s not just because this character has always put my nerves on edge. Something will come between Felicity and Ben at some point this season and I have a sneaking suspicion it could be her. Not that I’m suggesting there will be a hookup, but she definitely comes across as threatening when she reminds Ben that he can’t spill anything that gets said during those meetings. Can’t Ben just go to another one? This is New York so I’m guessing there is more than one option.

Oh and random observation but the concentration on Ben’s face as he played PlayStation one handed was such a delight.

Also are we ever going to see Sean’s Docuventary on TV?

Felicity 3.07 BenJulie: Yeah, pretty sure “everyone gets one murder” is not a thing. Also, that movie looks terrible. It makes The Wedding Ringer look like high art.

I think the whole Felicity saying yes to everything is so perfect for her character (and I also see why it’s so frustrating for Ben). She always wants to do the adult thing, without really thinking it through. She’s a very impulsive person, secretly. She comes across as this prudish, do-gooder, but she’s really kind of big on the knee-jerk reactions. You need a green card wife? On it. Egg? Sure. You’re going to New York for school, Ben? Good. Me too. She rarely thinks things through. For being such a smart person, she’s kind of an idiot.

Ugh. Yeah about Molly and coming between Felicity and Ben. I definitely don’t think it will be a hook up situation, but since Ben has been so insistent that the two of them tell each other everything, his keeping Al-Anon secrets from Felicity could be a problem, just because she’s directly affected by them. Molly’s going to wind up getting in trouble and he’s going to have to come to her rescue and Felicity will have a hard time with that. That’s just my prediction.

I’m also hoping they don’t drop Sean’s ball story and I’m wondering how they’re ever going to get Noel back to the place where we’re rooting for him and Felicity to hook up again. The writers have certainly made it difficult for themselves.

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.

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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