September 26, 2020

Felicity 2.16, Revolutions: Get in Good Trouble

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:26 pm by Jenn

Felicity the activist

Summary: Ben is trying to study for Noel’s class while working at Dean & DeLuca. Felicity suggests that he ask Noel if he needs help, but Ben doesn’t like that idea. Javier alerts the two of them to the fact that his ex has just entered the restaurant. Javier had a “crunch” on the ex, who fell too in love with Javier. Javier wants Ben to pretend they’re dating. Ben says no, but Javier ignores him and starts acting like they’re together. Then he realizes the ex is someone else. Felicity cracks up.

Back in her dorm, Felicity annoys Meghan by using a squeaky highlighter while studying. Burky drops by with a book full of business cards from the restaurants he’d like Felicity to pick from for their first date together. Felicity starts to turn him down gently, but Burky stops her, warning that he’ll jump out the window if she uses the word “flattered.” “Flattered,” Meghan says dryly. Fortunately, Felicity’s saved when Julie comes by to invite her to get donuts. Burky leaves as well, telling Meghan that, for the record, she scares him. Mission accomplished, I assume.

Donuts having been acquired, Julie asks Felicity if she ever has nightmares. Felicity says she had one recently about Megan’s box. Julie confides that she’s been having trouble sleeping lately because she keeps having nightmares about Zach. Felicity suggests that she see a counselor at the health center. Julie has already tried that, but she doesn’t feel ready to go back yet.

The health center is busy, so when a student named Leila comes in for an appointment, there’s only one available. She tells Felicity she needs a morning-after pill. Felicity offers to try to get her an earlier appointment so she doesn’t have to spend the whole day anxious.

But Greg, who’s studying for the MCAT, tells Felicity that the health center’s policy has changed and they can’t administer the morning-after pill anymore. Greg personally hates the change, but he has to go along with it to keep the health center up and running. Felicity gives Leila the bad news and offers her a list of local doctors who can help her. Leila doesn’t have insurance, which is why she’s there. She complains that the school is supposed to provide women’s services but is instead limiting their options.

Noel runs a class discussion that Ben tries to participate in, but it’s clear that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ruby’s still in the class, and she and Noel are still on the outs. Noel thanks Ben for at least trying to contribute to the discussion, since hardly anyone else in the class does. He offers to give Ben any help he needs.

Felicity tells Greg that she feels horrible about having to turn down Leila’s request. She’s done some research and discovered that every other school health center in the city distributes the morning-after pill. Plus, that pill is basically a bigger dose of birth control, which the health center does distribute. So what’s the issue?

Greg says that some articles about the morning-after pill and RU-486 (the “abortion pill”) upset the trustees, so they’ve banned any form of post-sex contraceptive. Greg tried to fight them, but the trustees get final say. Felicity doesn’t like having to tell students that the administration is making decisions for them. Greg doesn’t, either, and he also doesn’t like the funding cuts and the fact that they can’t treat non-students. He has to pick his battles.

Felicity tells Pavone about the situation, complaining that Greg doesn’t seem to be taking her point of view seriously. She gets that he can’t fight every battle that comes along, but why not this one? Pavone tells her she’s presumptuous – just because she thinks something’s important doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Greg’s right, and he can’t fight this battle. Felicity’s not going to change anything but saying the same stuff over and over. Obviously, Pavone is implying that if Greg won’t fight the battle, Felicity should.

Felicity reads up on protests, including some successful sit-ins arranged by University of New York students. She goes to see Leila, who got her needs met by Planned Parenthood, and tells her about the sit-ins. One only took three days, so Felicity thinks she can arrange one on her own. She invites Leila to join, if she wants, and Leila immediately agrees.

The two of them and Elena start things off in the health-center lobby. They make some signs and wait for the participants they’ve recruited to join them. Burky comes by to pick up some medication (Elena teases that it’s Viagra) and scoffs at their low turnout. He tells them he’ll bring enough people to really make things happen.

Ben and Noel grab lunch together, talking about some topic from class. Well, Noel’s talking. Ben’s kind of listening. The sit-in slowly grows as Felicity and Leila make calls to try to get more participants. Leila manages to get in touch with someone from the New York Times. That was fast. There’s only, like, ten people protesting!

Greg calls Felicity away from the protest and tells her it’s starting to disrupt the health center’s operations. That’s kind of the point, buddy. He tells her that the head of Student Services is coming by that afternoon, and Greg needs to look good as the director of the health center. Felicity tells him she’ll completely understand if he wants to distance himself from the protest. But Greg wants a letter of recommendation for med school from this guy, and he needs to protest to end now. He warns that the participants could really harm their futures by continuing it.

Burky hands out fliers about the protest to students and random people on the street. Noel and Ben have taken their study session to Noel’s apartment, where Ben says this is more work than he ever did in high school. He basically coasted back then while he spent his time partying and doing sports and hanging out with girls. Noel’s high school experience was completely different. Wow, who would have guessed?

Felicity, Elena, and Leila hang up a banner in the health center that says “There’s got to be a morning after.” Creative. The movement has grown, and when Simmons, the head of Student Services, arrives to meet with Greg, he has to step over people sitting on the stairs and all over the lobby. Julie calls to find out what’s going on, and Felicity, concerned with what this all will do to Greg, tells her they might be done soon.

The other students have no plans of backing down. One guy (he’s only credited as Long-Haired Guy, despite not having long hair; I’ll call him Hal – explanation below) hands out a brochure he put together for a previous protest, telling students what to do in case they get arrested. Felicity thinks they should change tactics, maybe with a petition. If they continue the sit-in, they could be there for days, and they still might not get what they want. Leila and Elena refuse to call things off. Just then, Burky arrives with a ton of new protesters.

That night, some people chant outside the building: “There’s no laughter without the morning after! We’ll stay until we get that pill!” Julie and Ruby have both joined the protest, and Elena’s a little surprised, since Ruby’s having a baby. She doesn’t think Ruby realizes how much her life is going to change. Felicity tells the protesters that the administration won’t talk to them, so they’re going to have to keep going. The event continues with a cheer from Penny and Stacy and a singalong of “We Shall Not Be Moved,” led by Hal. Sean films everything.

Ben and Noel are either unaware of the protest or are staying out of it – they’re drinking and playing video games at Noel’s place. (I think they’re playing Mortal Kombat.) They’re pretty drunk, which is probably why Ben thinks it’s a good move to throw Noel’s next beer to him before he’s ready to catch it. He nails Noel in the head, then laughs. Noel accuses Ben of doing it on purpose. Ben offers to let Noel hit him back, and though Noel refuses at first, eventually he decks Ben. Soon it’s an all-out fight, mirrored by their video-game characters.

Greg is in trouble for not stopping the protest, so he’s most likely not going to get a letter of recommendation from Simmons. He knows the school won’t give in – they rely too much on money from the trustees, no matter what strings come attached. Felicity feels bad about the consequences Greg is facing for the protest, but she’s not shutting it down. He gets it.

Everyone settles in for the night, either sleeping or studying on the floor. Julie wakes up from a nightmare, and Felicity suggests again that she see a counselor. She feels better when she makes tapes to Sally; letting out what she’s feeling is enough to help. Julie wants to find a way to feel better, but something about the idea scares her.

Ben and Noel have fallen asleep/passed out at the apartment, and in the morning, they both have hangovers and bruises. Ben makes a hangover remedy from lime juice, tomato juice, eggs, and baking soda. They acknowledge that they fought the night before but don’t agree on who won.

Sean tries to document a new day at the protest, getting an establishing shot of the health-center building, but that requires standing in traffic, and he just gets honked at. Meghan takes her time in the bathroom, ignoring the huge line outside the door, as people play hacky sack and try to entertain themselves in various ways. There’s practically a record scratch when Ruby spots a new face in the crowd: Edward.

Sullivan, who’s with the school’s administration, has known Edward for a while and wants him to teach a course next semester. He gets Edward to sit down with Felicity and Greg to resolve the protest. Edward didn’t know anything about it until Sullivan called and told him to read about it in the paper. Felicity’s father reminds her that she’s working at the health center as a punishment; she can’t get out of trouble by getting in more trouble. Dude, she’s not trying to get out of trouble. Did you actually read what the protest is about?

Sullivan asks Felicity to shut everything down in exchange for the administration reviewing the policy on post-sex contraception. Edward says he talked to the dean, and this is the best the protesters can hope for. Worst-case scenario: Felicity loses her RA position, gets expelled, or gets arrested. Is this worth winding up with a police record? She needs to end things before they get out of control.

Felicity refuses. She knows the possible consequences and she’s willing to face them. She’s not the only person involved here, and Edward can’t make her stop this just because he wants her to. She’s not a kid anymore. Felicity thanks Sullivan for the offer of compromise, but she doesn’t think it’s appropriate. Sullivan turns to Greg, who’s now fully on Felicity’s side. He’s asked for a bunch of things at the health center that just get stalled at the review stage. The protest seems to be the only way to bring about change.

The press has arrived, so Leila pulls Felicity out of the meeting to talk to them. Felicity’s nervous about it and asks Leila to give an interview, but Leila doesn’t want her parents to find out she’s having sex. Julie reminds Felicity that she was okay talking to the protesters, so she can handle this.

Ben and Noel keep studying while drinking the hangover cure. Once they’ve covered everything, they agree to never study together again. They come across Felicity’s live interview on TV, where she talks about women having the right to choose how to handle their health needs. Felicity struggles to get her thoughts together, so Julie speaks up. She notes that one reason to take the morning-after pill is comfort. A woman who’s been raped might need it for peace of mind.

Julie reveals that she was raped, and one of the fears as a result was that she was pregnant. When the health center distributed the morning-after pill last year, Julie was able to take it and feel like it was one less thing to worry about. It’s peace of mind for women’s partners, too, so they don’t have to face an unplanned pregnancy. When the interview is over, Felicity praises Julie for her courage.

The sit-in continues, and Elena is even able to use her patented study method despite being surrounded by people. Felicity thanks Greg for siding with the protesters. He tells her he’s wanted to change a lot of things but has never actually done anything to try to make the changes. The dean calls, having seen Julie’s interview, and says that a trustee, who also saw the interview, is now pretending this was all a misunderstanding. Long story short, the protesters have won. Also, Greg may get his letter of recommendation after all. He and Felicity kiss, then get awkward about it.

Felicity tells the protesters that thanks to their efforts and Julie’s interview, the administration has caved. There’s an impromptu dance party and Sean hoists Felicity up in the air. Burky thinks Felicity kissed Greg and complains that it’s not fair, since Burky tried so hard to get her to like him. He tells Meghan, who’s mad that Felicity’s moving in on her “crunch.” Whatever, guys. Can’t you be happy for two seconds?

Thoughts: Leila is played by Keiko Agena. Hal is played by Hal Ozsan.

Until this episode, I’d completely forgotten that Burky existed. This show completely wasted Michael Peña’s talents. (Not that his career suffered or anything. I mean, he’s in a Marvel franchise. He’s fine.)

Ben’s right: Who DOES drink Mr. Pibb? Do they even still make it?

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