May 9, 2020

Felicity 1.18, Happy Birthday: Is Anyone Being Honest About Anything?

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

This is so perfect

Summary: Noel is looking at a newspaper classified section when he bumps into Elena. She yells at him for being a jerk and ruining his relationship with Felicity. Noel tells her he won’t be around much longer for her to be mad at – he’s going to find an apartment and move out of the dorm. Elena shares the news with Felicity, who pauses by Noel’s door on her way out of the dorm but doesn’t stop to talk to him.

Later, Felicity makes a tape for Sally, wondering if it’s normal for her to have mixed emotions about her breakup. Sometimes she’s sad; sometimes she’s mad at Noel; sometimes she feels guilty. Meghan comes home and Felicity tells her that Meghan’s parents called to confirm their arrival tomorrow at noon. Meghan wasn’t aware that they were coming to visit.

Noel interrupts while Felicity, Julie, and Elena are listening to loud music and planning Julie’s birthday party. Julie invites him, then checks with Felicity to make sure that’s okay. Felicity pretends she’s glad that Julie invited him. The girls eat pizza and get interrupted again, this time by Carol. Felicity and Elena clear out while Carol gives Julie a birthday present. And how does Carol know that it’s Julie’s birthday? Because she was there when Julie was born. She lied before – she’s Julie’s birth mother.

Guy (formerly Brian) thinks Felicity’s the one who should have to move out of the dorm, since she’s the one who slept with someone else. He’s not sure how the building will function without Noel as the RA. Noel shouldn’t move out just because he and his girlfriend hit a rough patch. Noel says it’s torture to see her all the time. When he left with Hanna that night, he gave up his rights to any commitment with Felicity.

Over at the loft, Julie puts on a cute dress to go out with Carol. Sean comes in wearing a contraption he swears relieves headaches. However, he can’t test it because he doesn’t have a headache. Ben can help by not being able to pay his full share of the rent. He needs another job on top of Dean & DeLuca. Sean warns that he can’t let Ben slide forever. Julie tells him she likes his contraption, so Sean tells Ben to spend a lot of money on her birthday present, which Julie doesn’t want.

Felicity comes home to find two normal-looking people in her room. They’re not all that’s normal – Meghan’s side of the room looks like it belongs to someone who adores flowers. Felicity’s so confused that she leaves to make sure she’s in the right room. The people are Meghan’s parents, and they’ve heard a lot about Felicity.

Meghan comes in wearing a blouse, a jumper, and a headband. Mr. and Mrs. Rotundi invite Felicity to dinner with them, but Meghan tries to come up with a reason for her not to tag along. She pulls Felicity aside and tells her she put her box on her side of the room. If Felicity opens it, she’s dead. Felicity pulls it out and pretends it’s her own box. She hints that she only cares what’s in it because Meghan (or Meggie, as her mother calls her) keeps taunting her with the contents.

Julie and Carol have an awkward dinner together at Epstein Bar, unsure what to talk about. Lynn asks Julie to play at the bar that Friday, then urges Carol to come see her. This breaks the ice between mother and daughter, and Julie starts asking questions. Carol says she’s proud of her, but she’s not going to tell her family about Julie. She never told her husband she gave a child for adoption, and she’s not sure she can ever tell him.

Felicity and Noel find themselves in an elevator together, and she brings up his possible relocation. Somehow, they’re able to breathe will all the awkwardness in the air. Later, Felicity tells Elena that she almost said more. Elena thinks Noel is the villain here, and Felicity shouldn’t be working so hard to try to make things right. Felicity says she’s not about to forgive or forget, but this is different from what happened with Elena and Blair. Noel was honest. Felicity knows she needs to find a way to deal with all this, and punching Noel in the face, as Elena recommends, won’t do it.

At the loft, Ben wonders why Carol came forward to tell Julie the truth when she doesn’t want to be honest with the rest of her family. Julie can understand how hard this is for her, but Ben isn’t sympathetic. Sean interrupts to ask where he should take Chloe on their second date. Julie says it’ll go better than he’s expecting.

Ben hangs out with Lynn at Epstein Bar as Lynn bartends while listening to a…basketball game? I think it’s basketball. He bet on the game, and when his team wins, he calls his bookie to demand his money. Lynn offers to get Ben in on the action, but Ben isn’t interested. I think we can all assume that, since Ben needs money, he’ll change his mind pretty quickly.

Julie goes to Carol’s office, wanting to talk about how they left things after dinner. They’ve finally met after 19 years, and things seem great, but Julie has to keep everything secret. She wants Carol to think about telling her husband everything. Carol says it’s not possible, and she thought Julie was okay with the arrangement. Julie says it feels like Carol’s ashamed of her. Carol says it’s just complicated.

Just then, her younger daughter, Amanda, comes in, and Julie gets her first glimpse of her younger sister. After Amanda leaves, Carol tells Julie that she thought being honest with her would make things better. Julie says she just doesn’t want to be kept a secret. Carol tells her that’s all she can offer right now, and she’s sorry if that’s not acceptable to Julie.

Felicity is about to take a peek inside Meghan’s box when Meghan and her parents return. They’ve just been to a bunch of museums, and Mrs. R. asks Felicity if she likes art. Meghan says she likes artists. Felicity, stop talking about your personal life where Meghan can hear. Meghan has bought a new dress, and Felicity gets to be amused at how un-Meghan-like it is. Meghan stops her mother from putting the dress in her closet and seeing all her wild clothes. When the Rotundis invite Felicity to dinner again, Felicity teases Meghan by almost accepting, but she ends up declining.

Felicity meets with Elena to study within eyesight of Noel’s room. He tells them he’s found a great studio apartment. At Epstein Bar, Ben listens in as Lynn places more sports bets. He offers again to get Ben in, and after some hesitation, Ben places a $100 bet. Lynn tells him to double it and he’ll add in more to make it really sweet. Ben asks him to keep his gambling secret. Wow, lots of secrets in this episode.

Ben watches the game he bet on at home, anxious for the Bulls to pull out a victory. They do, and Ben immediately writes Sean a check for the rest of his rent. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cheer Sean as much as it should, since Chloe calls to postpone their date. Aw, Sean.

Carol watches Julie sing at the bar, clearly feeling bad about the decisions she’s made about their relationship. After the set, they sit down together so Carol can explain the circumstances of Julie’s birth. She was 17, and she never told Julie’s birth father, who was studying abroad and didn’t know Carol was pregnant. Carol’s parents were supportive as long as she agreed to place Julie for adoption.

Years later, Carol ran into Julie’s father and they started dating again. Julie’s birth father, Tom, is Carol’s husband. She was too scared and ashamed to tell him that Julie exists. Julie demands to meet Tom and Amanda, but Carol wants things to go on her terms. Julie reminds her that her life isn’t the only one affected by these secrets.

Richard complains to Noel that the heat in his room is going crazy. He seems to be the last person to hear that Noel is quitting as RA and moving out. Richard asks who he’s supposed to complain to about stuff now. Felicity sees a sign for a yard sale on Noel’s door, confirming that he’s really leaving. She runs into Julie, but they don’t have time to catch up about Julie’s relationship with Carol.

Mr. Rotundi corners Felicity to tell her that he and his wife are concerned about Meghan. They’re very curious about her box, which they looked inside while they were alone in the room. Would she care to explain what they found? Felicity says she’ll throw it away, but Mr. R. doesn’t know how she can do that. He just wants her to consider Meghan, and know that the Rotundis know what’s in the box.

Julie goes to a restaurant where Carol’s eating with her family (which also includes a son). She watches them from a distance, getting a good look at her birth father, but doesn’t approach them. Back in her room, she calls her parents but doesn’t tell them what’s been going on. They wish her a happy birthday and confirm that she got the present they sent. They miss her and hope she’s celebrating her birthday with her friends.

Felicity and Noel chat awkwardly while setting up for the party. The apartment is available in just a few days, so Noel could be moving out soon. At the party, Lewis tells Noel that everyone will miss him, then hugs him. Noel’s probably grateful to be getting away from that guy. Julie is thrilled with the party and surprised by Ben’s present, an expensive guitar. He lies that his father sent him some money.

Richard shows off his new watch, which he bought from Noel for $15. Felicity’s annoyed but Elena tells Richard, “You stay proud!” Felicity pulls Noel into his room and tells him not to move out. It’ll disrupt everything in the dorm, where he’s the “linchpin.” Richard will drive the new RA crazy, Guy will be lonely, Lewis will have no one to admire, and everyone will miss him, including Felicity.

She continues that she doesn’t know what they are now or what they’ll be in the future, or even what they want, but something between them is unresolved. Whether they never speak again or they eventually get back together, it’ll never get resolved. Either way, he needs to stay.

Lynn introduces Ben so he can make a speech. Ben’s speech is just wishing Julie a happy birthday, so that was pointless. She manages to blow out all the candles on her cake, but who knows what she wished for? Meghan’s back to her goth look, and though she’s grateful to Felicity for playing along with her parents, she’s of course not going to actually say thank you. She just gives Felicity a drink, then steals a piece of cake from Richard (who doesn’t appear to be wearing the watch anymore). Felicity watches Ben and Julie together, and Noel watches her watching them.

Thoughts: Tom is played by an uncredited Bradley Whitford, who at the time was married to Jane Kaczmarek (Carol).

Why did Carol and Julie have their first meal together at the bar? Carol couldn’t spring for dinner at a nice restaurant?

I figured Meghan’s box contained something really anticlimactic, like embarrassing childhood photos or her favorite stuffed animal, but now I don’t know. A gun? Nude photos?

Good casting on Amanda – she looks a lot like Julie.

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