June 26, 2021

Felicity 4.15, The Paper Chase: What Would Earl Do?

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

Power fist! (Needs more enthusiasm)

Summary: Ben is showing Sean a copy of Lauren’s ultrasound photo, which makes him want Lauren to stay in New York even more than he already did. Sean encourages him to take her to court to prevent her from moving to Arizona. When Felicity arrives, Sean shows her the picture, identifying the anatomical part that means the baby’s a boy. Sean, of course, wants them to name the baby after him. You’ll have to take that up with Lauren, buddy.

Later, Felicity tries to get some work done in her room while Meghan types a really long paper really loudly on Felicity’s computer. (She doesn’t have her own? She couldn’t use Noel’s?) Felicity has a big paper due the next day, and she hasn’t even picked a topic yet. Oy, haven’t we all been there? Meghan gets why Felicity’s been distracted (Sean told her about the baby and the big move). Felicity denies that she’s worried about losing Ben to Lauren, but when she thinks about the way Ben looked at the ultrasound photo, she knows she might.

Meghan suggests that Felicity skip the paper, take an incomplete in the course, and retake it over the summer. But this is their senior year, so that would mean Felicity can’t graduate. Meghan’s second suggestion is that Felicity find a dissertation on art history in the library and pass it off as her own. Earl does it all the time and has never been caught. Yeah, Felicity should definitely try to be more like Earl. She knows she wouldn’t be able to cheat, so she’ll have to figure something out on her own.

Sean is having a great time at his and Noel’s new job, but Noel…not so much. He got a summons from Dominic and is sure he wants to talk about how Noel is dating Zoe. Sean tells him to come up with a four-point plan, FEPS. F = firm handshake. E = eye contact. P = power fist (AKA a fist of enthusiasm). S = solidarity squeeze. Sean says this is the secret to his success. Oh, I was wondering about that. Sean makes Noel practice his power fist before he goes in to see Dominic.

Javier has signed up for tennis lessons in an attempt to meet someone. He invites Rita to come with him and meet someone else, but she already has a new love interest, Michael. She’s sure that Javier will eventually find someone to love. She thinks Javier should meet Michael; Javier will really like him.

Noel makes the mistake of jumping in before Dominic can talk so he can reassure Dominic that he shouldn’t worry about Noel’s relationship with Zoe. That’s not what Dominic wanted to discuss, though. The client Sean thought he’d secured is going to another firm. Dominic isn’t impressed with Sean’s capabilities other than his ability to be enthusiastic. He just has one speed: maximum. Noel reminds Dominic that he and Sean are a team. Dominic tells Noel to be more of a supervisor and reign Sean in so they don’t lose more business. If this doesn’t get fixed, Sean is out.

At Dean & DeLuca, Javier asks Elena if she knows any single gay guys who might want to date him. She doesn’t. Rita arrives with Michael, who’s very nice and offers to play tennis with Javier sometime. Javier drags Elena to the back room, even though she doesn’t work there, so he can tell her that he knows Michael. Michael used to date a friend of Javier’s, Andy. Apparently Javier is unfamiliar with the concept of bisexuality (as is the rest of Hollywood), and he thinks Michael’s gay. Elena advises him to stay out of it.

Felicity’s having trouble accessing the Guggenheim’s website so she can get information for her paper. While Ben’s helping her, Lauren calls to invite him to a Lamaze class. He tells Felicity he’s trying to participate more so Lauren won’t want to move away. And also so he can be more present in his child’s life, and because he cares about Lauren’s well-being, right? Right, Ben? Felicity pretends she’s totally fine with Ben spending more time with Lauren.

She goes to the library and asks a worry named Jerry where the dissertation section is. She lies about her reason for being there, saying she wants to read a paper her late friend wrote. Hon, he doesn’t get paid enough to care. Felicity looks through a bunch of dissertations until she finds one to copy. She works through the night to retype all 30 pages, impressing Meghan, who spent three weeks on her paper. The professor, Carnes, practically has to pry it out of Felicity’s hands, though.

The next day, Ben tells Felicity that Lauren has already moved to Arizona. Her boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend; Ben isn’t sure) has already moved there. Ben has decided to talk to a lawyer about making her move back to New York. Meghan comes home and tells Felicity that Carnes wants to see her. She’s already graded all the students’ 30-page papers and handed them back. Yeah, sure. Anyway, Meghan got a B+, which is a lot better than she expected.

On their way to a meeting, Noel tells Sean he wants to take the lead with their client. Sean agrees, saying he’ll just analyze Noel’s use of FEPS. Noel says he may skip that. Javier already has tennis elbow from his lessons, but he found a guy for Rita in his class. She reminds him that she’s already found Michael. Does Javier not like him? Javier says he does, but there’s something Rita should know. Remember how Javier’s gay? So is Michael.

Rita denies that he could be gay and accuses Javier of being jealous. Sure, she and Michael haven’t slept together yet, but that’s not necessarily because he prefers men. (Also, if he was in a relationship with a guy that was so committed that they went on a trip to Jamaica together, why would he suddenly start dating women if he wasn’t attracted to them? Logic, Javier, logic!) Rita thinks Javier likes Michael and can’t handle that he’s with Rita. She knows Michael is a great guy and would never hurt her.

Felicity’s guilt is getting to her, and she admits to Meghan that she copied her paper. She’s sure Carnes has busted her. Meghan says this happened to Earl once, so he went back to the library and got rid of the dissertation he copied. Felicity thinks she should confess instead. Meghan’s like, “Why would you do that when you can do something totally crazy instead?”

So Felicity goes back to the library, where she’s spotted by a guy who saw her there in the dissertation section the other night. She throws out the book the dissertation was in, but Jerry sees her and calls her out. She has to fish the book out of the trash, where it’s now covered in noodles. Jerry demands that she hand over the book or he’ll report her. Please report her anyway – to the psych department, so she can go back to sessions with Pavone.

Noel and Sean meet with their client, who makes suitcases. Sean’s enthusiasm is definitely misplaced with this client. Noel pulls him outside and tells him his style is hurting his career. He reveals what Dominic talked to him about and warns that he’s on the verge of being fired. Sean says Dominic doesn’t know anything about pitching to clients, so why should he listen? Uh, because he’s your boss, dude.

Noel tells Sean that he has a bunch of tools at his disposal during client meetings, so he needs to use different ones at different times. It’s just like construction – you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer for a delicate task when you have a ball-peen hammer to do that instead. Sean argues that the sledgehammer always works for him. Noel disagrees. Sean accuses Noel of trying to maneuver himself to take over the partnership. He’ll just get out of Noel’s way altogether.

Felicity hesitantly goes to see Carnes, who has no idea that Felicity didn’t write her paper. Carnes loved it and submitted it to the school’s journal for publication. Felicity doesn’t come clean. Okay, your career has now been ruined before it even begins. Felicity tells Meghan that she’s officially a cheater – she cheated on both Ben and the paper. Everyone’s going to read the paper and know. Meghan doubts that many people will read it. But since Felicity didn’t get rid of the original, she might be in some danger.

Meghan advises Felicity to go to Carnes and tell her she doesn’t want the paper to be published. FELICITY, STOP LISTENING TO MEGHAN! Felicity thinks Carnes will get suspicious. Meghan tells her to just deny everything if that happens. Ben overhears and asks what’s going on. Meghan just denies that anything’s happening. Felicity tells him her art history paper is being published. Ooh, now you’re a cheater AND a liar.

At the loft, Noel wants to talk to Sean about how unprofessional he was for walking out in the middle of a pitch. Sean’s mad at the way Noel handled things, but Noel says he was trying to protect Sean and his job. Sean says he doesn’t need that kind of protection. He’s quitting the partnership; he’s even already told Dominic. Noel likes Sean’s enthusiasm but wants him to tone it down a little. Sean guesses that Noel’s use of the word “overbearing” is what Dominic called him.

Javier goes to see Michael, who’s a dental hygienist, and doesn’t wait long before revealing that he’s not really there for a cleaning. He confronts Michael over dating Andy, but Michael doesn’t know who that is. He also denies using Rita as his beard. Javier warns that if Michael hurts Rita, Javier will hunt him down with a posse. Okay, not really. Michael sticks to his story.

Meghan tells Sean that she feels protective over Felicity in re: the whole paper situation. Sean isn’t really listening, since he has his own problems. He asks if he’s overbearing. Meghan says yes. She gets criticized for her personality, too, but she likes being brutally honest. Sean just needs to figure out when to turn his enthusiasm on or off. He tells Meghan he quit, and she chastises him for leaving his job after one bad day, especially since he loves the job.

In their next class with Carnes, Meghan asks Felicity if she told Carnes not to publish her paper. Felicity didn’t, and she doesn’t want Meghan to do it, either. She approaches Carnes, who reveals that the editorial board reviewed the paper and had some suspicious about whether it was really Felicity’s work. Carnes defended her and is sure things will get cleared up. Felicity chickens out of coming clean.

Meghan steals the book from the library herself, having promised to go on a date with Jerry to get him to look the other way. (She’s not actually going to go out with him.) But Felicity has to meet with the editorial board next week to go over the sources she used. Meghan offers to talk to them, since she blames herself for getting Felicity into this mess. Actually, she blames Ben; if he hadn’t gotten Lauren pregnant, Felicity would have been able to focus.

Felicity worries that she’ll get expelled for this. Yep, probably. Meghan says she’ll set the administration building on fire if that happens. She doesn’t think this is that big a deal – in a year, Felicity won’t remember this paper. She probably won’t even remember Meghan. Felicity thinks they’ll see each other all the time. Meghan’s surprised that she thinks they’ll remain friends after college.

Sean unquits his job and tells Noel he’ll change his style so they’re more alike. Noel doesn’t want that; he likes that they bring different things to the table. Sean admires Noel’s loyalty and asks Noel to keep him in check. Javier runs into Rita, who’s signed up for tennis lessons to meet someone. Turns out Michael’s gay after all. Then why was he dating her if he was out?? I don’t get it.

Ben catches Felicity looking at the ultrasound photo and trying to get used to the fact that her boyfriend is going to be the father of another woman’s child. He tells her he met with a lawyer, but she thinks he should just move to Arizona. Ben refuses to upend his life and promises he’s not going anywhere.

Felicity admits that she copied her paper and is on the verge of getting busted. Everything in their relationship has her so distracted that she couldn’t do her schoolwork. She might not graduate now. Ben is sure she will – as he’s said over and over, they’re going to get through this. Felicity isn’t as sure as he is.

Thoughts: Three of the guest stars in this episode have popped up in other recaps:

  • Carnes is played by Jane Lynch.
  • Michael B. Silver (Michael) is also Myers the psych resident on ER.
  • David Bowe (Jerry) played Garrett Slan on Beverly Hills, 90210.

Ben: “Lauren just gave me a copy of the ultrasound.” Felicity: “Of the baby?” No, of her toaster.

You’re telling me Carnes (and maybe her TA) read and graded every single 30-page paper from the class in one night? Not even close to possible.

Michael: “You’re not flossing, are you?” Javier: “YEEEE-EEES! Okay, no.” I love him.

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