February 15, 2020

Felicity 1.6, Cheating: Julie’s Not the Only One Who Should Be Taking Ethics

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

It was hard to find a picture for this episode because Googling “Felicity” and “cheating” gave me a lot of stuff about Felicity Huffman

Summary: Guess what Felicity’s doing? That’s right, she’s making a tape for Sally. It’s about some perfect evening she had with Ben. They’re studying together at his place, and he totally looks like he wants to kiss her. He moves in…closer…closer…and wipes something off her tooth. They start talking about papers they wrote about Robert Browning, and she offers to spellcheck his, since his computer is acting up. Ben walks her to the door (which now has three huge deadbolts on it, post-robbery) and she leaves happy.

Back at her dorm, Felicity and her late-’90s computer and even older-looking word-processing program spellcheck Ben’s paper. She reads some of it and decides to do some rewriting. What could possibly go wrong? She turns in both papers, pleased with herself. I’m sure this won’t come back to bite her in any way.

In the cafeteria, Felicity tells Julie about her night with Ben and how he touched her teeth. Julie thinks that’s significant. She asks a cafeteria worker’s opinion, and the worker says teeth are the body’s most sensual part. She starts to talk about a thing a friend and her husband do involving teeth, then realizes that’s probably not appropriate.

Zach joins them and confirms that he and Julie are still on for a date. She tells Felicity they’re going to see a movie together, Solaris (the original one from the ’70s, not the George Clooney remake, since that won’t be out for another four years). Felicity warns that it’s really long. Julie knows nothing about it, and when Felicity tells her a little about it (it’s slow, it made her pass out, etc.), Julie worries that she won’t like it. Felicity thinks that since she survived seeing The Exorcist, she’ll survive this, too.

Elena goes to Noel’s room to accuse him of violating a student/RA confidence, which has led to her being harassed. Someone who was in the bathroom with her started singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which Elena interpreted as a reference to her new relationship with Blair, since he dressed as the Tin Man for Halloween. She thinks Noel told people about their relationship. He notes that Blair could be the blabber. Blair arrives and asks if he can come by later to get Elena for dinner. She says okay, then rushes off. Noel confirms for Blair that she’s always like this.

In Felicity, Julie, and Ben’s English class, the professor, Regalsky, calls on Ben to answer a question, even though Ben didn’t have his hand raised. The question is about Hamlet in relation to a Browning poem, but Ben isn’t familiar with the play. Felicity answers the question for him, then tells Julie she doesn’t know why Regalsky singled out Ben.

After class, the students get their papers back. Julie slipped a Liz Phair reference into hers, and Regalsky got it. That’s enough, Julie. Ben doesn’t get his paper back because Regalsky wants to talk to him about it. Gee, I hope this has nothing to do with Felicity’s actions! Regalsky is suspicious because Ben’s paper was so good. Felicity voices over to Sally that she was just trying to help. She watches through a window as Ben argues with Regalsky. Ben comes out and tells her that there’s going to be an investigation. Regalsky thinks that Ben turned in someone else’s work. WOW, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

Felicity, Ben, and Julie discuss the situation in the cafeteria. Ben can’t understand why he’s punished for improving. Julie wonders why she wasn’t dinged for turning in work that’s inconsistent with what he’s done previously. Ben says Regalsky was surprised that he turned in an A paper. He asks Felicity if she saw anything that stood out when she read the paper. Felicity hesitates, then says no. Julie, hilariously, has to leave for an ethics class.

Felicity follows Ben out and confesses that she rewrote his paper. He guesses that she put in something about Shakespeare, which is why Regalsky questioned him in class. He’s furious that she would rewrite his work and not say anything. Felicity offers to talk to Regalsky and work things out, but Ben seems to think she’s done enough.

Blair tries to make plans with Elena, but she brushes him off. Finally, he says that he’s going to a Chinese restaurant the next night, and if she doesn’t show up, he’ll stop bothering her. She agrees to be there. Felicity, of course, tells Noel what’s going on with Ben, adding that she’s going to talk to Regalsky about everything. He tells her that the RA handbook has a chapter about cheaters, and plagiarism is a big deal at the school. Ben and Felicity could both be in big trouble. Felicity needs to handle this the right way, which, for now, means doing nothing.

Ben worries by himself at home, then goes to Felicity to tell her not to talk to Regalsky yet. He asks for a copy of the paper Felicity turned in for him. His plan to take care of everything is to lie that he wrote it. He blames himself for all of this because he trusted Felicity to turn his paper in. Ben goes home and reads the paper, then worries some more.

Noel is still trying to help, so he meets with the dean. Noel understands how serious the situation is, and how you can get anything off the Internet. He even has his own web page, noelcrane.com. (Before you try it yourself, there’s nothing there.) Noel asks Dean Allison what the process is for how the school handles cheating. He’s just asking for a friend, though; no specifics here. Allison says cheating of any kind is unacceptable at the school. One of his goals is bringing down the high percentage of “academic impropriety” at the school.

Allison tries to dig into who Noel’s asking questions for. Noel says it’s just a friend who’s worried about another friend. Allison says that sometimes, the best option is to come forward and accept your punishment. Noel should tell his friend that if he or she is caught plagiarizing, Allison will make an example out of him or her.

Noel takes this warning back to Felicity, along with the information that there will be some sort of tribunal to discuss what’s going on. If Ben says he wrote the paper, he’ll be grilled on it, and the truth will come out. Noel thinks Felicity should talk Ben out of lying. Felicity knows that Ben hates her right now, so Noel suggests she get someone else to do the talking. But not Noel.

Julie goes to a video store to rent Solaris. A clerk tells her it’s playing tomorrow night, so she says she’s just renting it to watch afterward, in case she misses something. The clerk figures out what’s going on and assures her she’ll be fine. He tells her this is a “standard freshman courtship ritual.” She should remember that Zach is trying to impress her, not the other way around. Julie wishes there were Cliffs Notes for movies. Julie try the Internet.

Elena stops an elevator while she and Felicity are inside so she can ask advice about dating. She always thought that sex would be about fulfilling needs, and that she would be able to end a relationship in a straightforward manner. She admits that she doesn’t want to spend time with Blair, but she can’t bring herself to kill the relationship. Felicity suggests that she might not want to. Maybe Elena actually likes Blair’s company? Felicity adds that Elena doesn’t have to hold her hostage the next time she wants to talk.

Even though he said he didn’t want to, Noel goes to Ben’s to talk about the Regalsky fiasco. It…is…awkward. Sean tells Noel that his new business idea involves marzipan boxers (as in fighters, not shorts). Noel plays with a boxer while he tells Ben not to lie about the paper. Ben doesn’t need anyone’s input. Noel tells him what Allison said, warning that Ben could end up suspended for a year. At the very least, he’ll end up with a mark on his record.

Ben tells Noel to tell Felicity to stop trying to help. He wants her to leave him alone. Noel respectfully says that Ben is wrong – he can’t take care of this by himself. Ben insists that he can, mentioning that he’s studying the paper to learn everything in it so he can pretend the thoughts were his own. After Ben storms off, Sean tells Noel, “Bite his head off” (meaning the boxer, of course).

Julie watches Solaris, making the same face I make when I have to do math. Zach comes by and she tells him she’s studying. I mean, in a way, she is. Felicity waits in the lounge for news from Noel, who tells her Ben doesn’t want their help. She continues her tape for Sally, saying Ben is going to meet with Regalsky and two other professors tomorrow morning.

Felicity hangs out in the hallway outside the meeting room the next morning, wanting to talk to Ben before the meeting. She tells him she knows she did something horrible, so he should let her take the blame. Ben notes that she added a quote that I guess wasn’t in anything they’ve studied. She begs him not to go to the meeting, but he ignores her.

Ben gets interrogated while Felicity and Julie wait impatiently outside the room. Julie leaves to finish Solaris when Noel comes by to tell Felicity that Allison thinks he wrote the paper. The investigators are going to look into Ben’s entire academic record, including his application, which, as Felicity told Noel before, Ben lied on. If the investigators realize he made up his dead brother, he’ll get expelled.

Felicity’s only option now is to come forward and tell the truth. She’s not sure she can do that, but Noel thinks it’ll come out either way. Ben’s studying has paid off, and he’s able to fool the investigators for a while, but when Regalsky asks a question he can’t answer, Ben admits that he didn’t write the paper. He says he bought it from someone whose name he doesn’t know.

Felicity comes in and announces that she wrote (well, rewrote) the paper. She acted alone, without Ben’s approval or knowledge. She should be punished, not Ben. Regalsky asks why Felicity would do something like that. Ben blurts out that it’s obviously because he’s dumb. Felicity read the paper and didn’t think it was good enough.

That night, Ben mopes around the city in slow motion, running into Felicity. She assures him that the investigators know he didn’t have anything to do with her actions. Ben asks how bad the paper was. She says it wasn’t bad, but she wanted to make it a little better. Ben was super-popular and athletic in high school, while Felicity was a nerd. She shouldn’t have assumed that Ben needed help, since he didn’t. She never wanted to make him feel “anything less than amazing.”

Elena skipped her dinner date with Blair to get a book she needed, so he brings her takeout. Uh, I thought he was going to leave her alone if she didn’t show up at the restaurant. Even though Elena has been cold to him, Blair likes her. He knows she’s pushing him away because she’s afraid to admit that she likes him. He gives her the food and leaves. Julie tells Zach that she liked Solaris, even though she fell asleep in the theater. He’s not mad, since he knows it’s a long move. She admits that she already watched it, so she could understand it and not look like an idiot. Zach says it’s not a big deal – he likes movies, but he also likes Julie.

Felicity and Ben go to Regalsky to find out the outcome of the whole fiasco. Regalsky tells them that the other investigators wanted to treat this like any other case of cheating or plagiarism, but Regalsky wants to chalk it up to a bad decision. Neither student will be expelled or have to face the university board (which means Ben’s application lie will stay hidden). Regalsky adds that he read Ben’s original paper, and he would have gotten a B. Felicity follows Ben on his way home, wanting to apologize again. Ben tells her it’s okay, but he doesn’t want to talk any more than that.

Sally’s tape back to Felicity plays while Julie and Zach watch a movie together and Noel reads the RA handbook. Sally says that it’s okay to have high expectations for a love interest, but they need to remember that their guys aren’t perfect. As Ben bites the head off a boxer, Sally talks about a poem that asks if it’s harder to count on someone or be the person being counted on. It also says that if two people can’t be equal affectionate, the writer hopes to be the one who’s more loving.

Thoughts: I’ve never had a professor just put everyone’s papers in a big pile for everyone to fish out. Way to let everyone see their classmates’ grades, Regalsky.

Imagine being roommates with someone as intense as Elena. I would beg someone to move her into a single room, for both her sake and everyone else’s.

I need more detail about the marzipan boxers. For starters: huh?

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