March 21, 2020

Felicity 1.11, Gimme an O!: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

Just how every girl imagines her first time

Summary: Guess what time it is! That’s right, it’s time for Felicity to make a tape for Sally! She’s back from winter break and telling Sally that her first two weeks back at home in California were great. Then she felt homesick for New York, since her life is there now. And also because Noel’s there. When she returns to the dorm, he’s bickering with Richard and his roommate about their dead Christmas tree. The roommate thinks it’s good luck to keep it until February, but Richard wants it out. Noel sides with him and risks a hex on the roommate’s family by getting rid of it.

Once that’s sorted, Noel and Felicity can get to making out. She notices that he got a new iMac. Someone pays the bills with a product-endorsement check. Felicity says she has a topic for discussion, and Noel guesses that she’s going to say she doesn’t want to have sex yet. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite: She wants it. Noel’s so surprised that he drops his brand-new computer.

Felicity tells Sally that it may sound like it came out of the blue, but she’s been thinking about having sex for a while. She’s felt disconnected since she got to college, and she thinks it’s because everyone except her is having sex. Maybe she should spend more time studying and less time thinking about strangers’ sex lives.

Julie reconnects with Felicity, reporting that her parents handled the news of her assault well. Felicity says her dad is still tense about her life in New York, but everything went well at home. Ben joins them and Felicity tells him she ran into his dad. She says he was nice, but Ben says he makes a good first impression. He tells her he spent the break in Vermont with a friend of Sean’s. He and Julie act like they haven’t seen each other in a while.

Noel visits Felicity at work and clarifies that she wants to sleep with him. She asks him to get an HIV test first. He’s fine with that, since it means getting to have sex. Blair brings Elena a present, which makes her think he has something bad to tell her. He gives her some sort of blue fabric that he says he thought was perfect for her. Elena clearly has no idea what it is. (Neither do I. It looks like a really small tube top.)

Ben and Noel catch up; Noel’s in a great mood since he just got good news from his doctor. A girl gives Ben an invitation for a party, ignoring Noel. Noel pretends it doesn’t bother him. Felicity voices over to Sally that she’s going to do this right and not feel embarrassed. She goes to a bookstore and asks a saleswoman where the sex books are. Felicity gets a little loud talking about wanting a book with pictures. The saleswoman recommends one called Gimme an “O.” She knows it’s good from personal experience.

Sean chastises Ben for letting Julie keep her toothbrush in their bathroom. There’s supposed to be a rule about girlfriends staying over. Ben denies that Julie’s his girlfriend; she just stayed there for a little while because she’s had a rough few months. So I guess she didn’t go home over break after all. Sean compares her to a real estate investment Ben’s waiting to build on. He’s investing in the future. Julie comes for her things and tells Ben she’s going to tell Felicity what happened between them. Ben asks if they’re not allowed to hang out because they might hurt her feelings. Julie just wants to be honest.

Noel’s computer is broken, but who cares? He gets to have sex! She pulls out her schedule book to plan a time. She’s pretty busy, so she has to rearrange her schedule. They make plans for Wednesday at 8:00. Sexy! Felicity seems excited, but when she leaves Noel’s room, she looks like she regrets making such a firm commitment.

She goes to get birth control, which means we all get a PSA. There’s a lot of talk about condoms, as if Noel doesn’t already have a huge supply. Felicity thinks the guy helping her must feel like she did when she worked at an ice cream parlor. He probably gets as sick of doing condom demonstrations as she did scooping ice cream.

On the way home, Felicity runs into Julie and announces that she and Noel are going to have sex. Julie thinks that’s great. Felicity admits to feeling awkward about bringing up the subject with Julie, since she was raped. Julie thinks her experiences shouldn’t affect Felicity, and they should talk about it if Felicity wants to. She gets what a big deal this is for Felicity.

Noel does sit-ups in his room while the guy I dubbed Brian packs up his computer so a friend can fix it. Brian says the only time he ever did sit-ups was when he thought he might have sex. Julie comes by as Brian leaves and says she needs to talk about Ben and Felicity. Noel hopes she’s joking. Julie clarifies that it’s about her, Ben, and Felicity. She and Ben have been hanging out a lot since a night last semester when she went over to talk because she couldn’t sleep. He made her feel safe. She’s been spending the night at his place ever since.

The problem is that Julie hasn’t told Felicity, and she worries that Felicity will see this as a kind of betrayal. Noel doubts that, since Felicity’s clearly moved on. Julie thinks Felicity will be mad that she didn’t say anything about sleeping in Ben’s bed or going to Vermont with him over break. She says nothing has actually happened, though. Noel thinks she’s worried about telling Felicity the truth because something’s about to happen. Julie decides to tell her tonight, but Noel wants her to keep quiet until after he and Felicity have had sex.

Felicity talks to Elena about sex, which Elena thinks she should have had a long time ago. “Be the ball,” is her advice. It’s a golf thing. Felicity needs to think of sex as being like a chemistry final – take control and only focus on that one thing. Felicity says Elena and Blair must have a great sex life. Elena asks her about the blue thing Blair gave her, but Felicity doesn’t know what it is, either. She advises Elena to just ask Blair. Elena worries that she’ll hurt his feelings, since she already said she loves it. She reminds Felicity to keep her eye on the ball, and maybe also get some sexy underwear.

Instead of just going to a store, Felicity starts to order from a catalog. She hangs up when Meghan comes home. She’s heard that Felicity and Noel are going to bang; apparently the news is everywhere. She’s thrilled to see Felicity’s copy of Gimme an “O,” her favorite book from the eighth grade. Meghan offers to give her some sex advice, but Felicity declines it.

Noel lights candles in his room, where the dead Christmas tree is still stashed, so…that’s romantic. Felicity comes in and, after taking a moment to keep her eye on the ball, starts making out with him. She’s pretty aggressive and declines his offer to make her more comfortable. Noel slams on the brakes as she’s pulling down his zipper and handing him a condom.

Brian chooses that moment to burst in with Noel’s computer and a couple friends. A candle gets knocked over and the dead Christmas tree goes up in blames. Noel yells for everyone to keep calm, then tells Felicity they can keep going. A guy who was a volunteer firefighter in high school puts out the tree, but the fire alarm is going off, which means everyone has to evacuate. So that went well!

Noel tries to debrief with Felicity later (…not that kind of debriefing), but she’s so embarrassed by her behavior that she can’t even look at him. Noel finds the whole thing kind of amusing and says they just need to be more romantic. He’s booked them a hotel room for that night. That means Felicity has to change her work schedule, which Javier won’t let her do. “You think it’s a national holiday every time you get lucky?” he asks. He guesses it’s her first time, so he’ll let her go, even though he doesn’t believe in premarital sex.

Ben and Julie read Walt Whitman in her room, so I guess they’re taking another poetry course? She tells him she enjoys hanging out with him. Felicity and Noel go to their hotel suite and she raids the minibar (for Cokes). They toast to having better luck this time. Ben invites Julie over to his place, but she thinks Sean hates her. They hug goodnight, and just as it looks like things might progress, she gets a phone call.

Felicity’s calling from the hotel bathroom, ready to have her big night with Noel. Julie tries to be enthusiastic for her but is distracted by thoughts of Ben. Felicity’s concerned that there’s something Julie wants to say, so now she’s distracted, too. She and Noel finally start going at it, this time much more gently, but Felicity can’t keep her eye on the ball. She admits that she called Julie and sensed that something’s wrong. Noel thinks she’ll be fine. Now Felicity thinks Noel knows something she doesn’t.

Noel says that Julie’s been hanging out with Ben. Felicity thinks that means they’re together, and Noel didn’t tell her. Noel wonders why it matters. Is she upset because they didn’t tell her, or because she still likes Ben? Felicity’s mad that she poured her heart out to Julie about Noel, and Julie didn’t say anything about Ben. Plus, if she were still into Ben, why is she at the hotel with Noel? Noel announces that their night together is off. He doesn’t want to be the rehearsal. He announces that Ben and Julie went to Vermont together over break, then wishes Felicity goodnight.

The next day, Julie goes to Ben’s and admits that she wanted to kiss him the night before. He admits that he wanted to kiss her back. Julie’s in counseling, and she’s told her counselor that she doesn’t want to be the kind of person who runs to a man when she feels bad. The counselor says she should do what feels right. Julie wants to move slowly with Ben, which he’s fine with. They kiss.

Elena (wearing the blue thing as a short skirt) goes to Noel and interrupts his moping to ask if her outfit looks okay. Like Noel would care. She tells him she’s obsessed with the idea that Felicity’s obsessed with Ben. Felicity told her everything that happened, and Elena thinks Noel is happy to tell himself that Felicity prefers Ben, because this way he can fixate on the two of them instead of himself and her. She adds that his wallowing is unattractive and unnecessary.

When Elena meets up with Blair, he clarifies that the blue thing is a headband. He laughs and says she’s pulling off the look. Felicity and Julie meet up in class and discuss the whole Julie/Ben thing. Felicity promises that she’s not going to freak out. She’s been holding on to her crush for so long that she was scared to let go of it. If she admitted that she and Ben would never be together, it might put her whole life into question. Now she needs to start enjoying everything she has. “Liking someone’s supposed to make your life better, not worse,” she notes.

Ben joins them, and Felicity leaves the two of them alone, saying she has something else she needs to do. She finds Noel at her door, wanting to apologize for calling things off at the hotel. He just wants to make sure they’re having sex for the right reasons, since it’s such a big deal. If Felicity has sex with him, it should be because she wants to, not because everyone else is having sex.

Felicity agrees, admitting that she just wanted to get it over with and feel like part of humanity. Noel can’t believe he talked himself out of having sex with her. She still wants to date him, but sex will be put on hold for a while. Noel says that he gets her crush on Ben; it’s like a bad habit that she’ll eventually get over. Felicity notes that Noel is her first boyfriend.

Sally’s tape back to Felicity is about anticipation and uncertainty. Felicity and Noel get food together in the cafeteria, then sit with Julie and Ben. Sally says that her first time having sex was her freshman year in college. She now knows that we make our best decisions when we listen to ourselves. Elena and Blair join the other four, probably making things less awkward between the other two couples. Sally admires Felicity for making good decisions and tells her to feel proud of herself no matter what happens.

Thoughts: The Internet definitely reduced the number of awkward conversations between bookstore employees and sex-book-seeking customers.

Call me crazy for suggesting it, but Felicity should have asked Meghan about sexy underwear.

Noel, who’s in school on scholarship and just bought a new computer, can also afford a hotel suite? Maybe credit card companies shouldn’t give cards to college students.

’90s music alert: REM’s “Everybody Hurts”

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