July 10, 2021

Felicity 4.17, The Graduate: If It’s Meant to Be, It’ll Be

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Not the first person to question all her decisions during graduation; won’t be the last

Summary: Noel and Felicity are in the back of a cab, and he wants to know if she’s okay. She voices over that this isn’t the way things were supposed to end. At home, she tells Ben (who appears to have fully recovered from the car accident) that Carnes failed her on the paper she copied, but Felicity passed the class and will be allowed to graduate. Ben is also graduating, though he was supposed to take a fifth year, so I don’t know what happened there.

Felicity notes that their safety net is disappearing and they’re going to have to find a new way to make sure they stay together. Ben thinks he has something that will help: They can get married. Ever since the accident, he’s been thinking about how much he wants to marry Felicity. She apparently hadn’t thought about that, since she seems surprised. Ben gives her an official proposal (no ring, though). She’s not sure what to say, but she really means yes.

Sometime later, the two are woken up by a phone call from Lauren’s sister. Lauren is in Philadelphia and has gone into labor. So I guess a lot of time has passed since the last episode. Ben says he’ll take the train to her, and he doesn’t need Felicity to come with him. He promises to be back in time for graduation. He clarifies that they’re engaged before he leaves to become a father.

At Webb Graphics, Dominic tells Noel and Sean that they lost a client, thanks to the rough economy. Without that client, Dominic can’t afford to keep the guys on the company’s payroll. He makes sure they know that their work has been excellent, and this is just because of money. The guys pack up their things and leave, talking about their options. They want to keep working together. Sean makes Noel promise to stay positive.

Felicity’s parents are in town, wondering where Ben is. Felicity doesn’t tell them that he went to Philadelphia for the birth of the baby he conceived with a one-night stand. Instead, she tells them that she wants to spend the summer in California, then come back to New York in the fall to be with Ben. Edward thinks she’s just following him around again. She needs to figure out what she wants to do ASAP.

Barbara is much gentler, saying that Felicity has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do with her life. Edward is annoyed that he spent four years worrying about his daughter’s future, and now she’s still not picking a path and working toward it. Felicity tells him she gets it – she’s not living the life he wanted for her, and he thinks she’s throwing her life away to be with Ben. She announces that they’re engaged, so Ben is part of her life and will be forever. Edward needs to get used to that.

At the loft that evening, Felicity hesitantly tells Noel that she and Ben are engaged. He tries to be happy for them. She laments that her parents aren’t supportive, and he reminds her that they haven’t been, historically, so of course this time isn’t different. But she’s in love with Ben, so who cares? Noel asks if this is what she really wants to do.

Ben returns from Philadelphia but doesn’t really want to talk about THE BIRTH OF HIS FIRST CHILD (Andrew, after his deadbeat father). Noel congratulates him on his engagement and the baby. Later, in bed, Felicity asks for more information on the birth. Ben isn’t sure when he’ll see his son again; Lauren will call him once they get settled in Arizona. He says it was harder to leave the baby than he thought it would be. Felicity guesses that he wants to move to Arizona.

The next day, I guess, Noel brings Felicity a graduation present at the dorm apartment. It’s a book about New York architecture. She tells him that Ben asked her to move to Arizona with him, so he can be close to Andrew. This makes total sense to her, but what Edward said about her following Ben around for four years is stuck in her head. Does she want to follow him again? Noel knows his advice is corny, but he gives it anyway: If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. That said, he thinks she should stay in New York, since all her friends are there. Yeah, but her fiancé won’t be!

Noel is having trouble finding work, but Sean hasn’t – Meghan’s father offered him a job doing elevator inspections. He thinks Noel should take a job he heard about that only has room for him. They should consider ending their partnership if it means they can make money. They’ll still be a team; they’ll just be focused on survival for now. Once they’re better off, they can reunite the team. Sean reminds Noel that they’re staying positive.

Richard runs into Edward on the way to take Ben some flowers to celebrate his child’s birth. He doesn’t know that Edward doesn’t know about the baby. (He also doesn’t know that Edward isn’t related to the baby. Maybe stay in college another year or two, Richard.) He mentions the move to Arizona, something else Edward was unaware of. Richard realizes a little late that he’s said way too much.

Edward winds up with the flowers, which he delivers to Ben, along with a question about what the heck is going on in Ben’s life. He doesn’t think Felicity gets what she’s committing to. She and Ben are too young and unstable to get married. Ben points out that Edward and Barbara were their age when they got married, but Edward reminds him that they’re not together anymore.

Ben has a child in Arizona, so how can he and his fiancée have a life in New York? As a father, Ben will become protective and want to hurt anyone who hurts his child. In other words, Edward wants to punch Ben. He confronts Felicity with one word: “Arizona.” He knows Felicity doesn’t care what he thinks, but she should know that this move is a huge mistake.

Felicity’s upset that Ben told Edward they were moving to Arizona, as if the problem here is who told him. She blurts out that she can’t just move. She has a job and friends there. She’s been following Ben for four years, so it’s turn to follow her. Ben says she can stay in New York if she wants, but he has more important things to think about. He needs to move to Arizona.

The next day, Felicity is getting ready for graduation when Edward brings her flowers to apologize. He feels like the past four years have gone by fast, while she feels like her high school graduation was a long time ago. Edward remembers how she would come see him at work when she was a kid. He realizes he keeps trying to protect her instead of letting her live her life. Felicity promises that she’ll be okay. Edward decides he needs to get better at letting go.

The graduation ceremony is basically an afterthought in the episode, but we get to see Felicity cross the stage and turn her tassel. Despite their fight, Ben is happy. We skip everyone else and go straight to everyone tossing their caps, then people chatting after the ceremony. Felicity gets Ben alone and tells him she wants to follow him like she did four years ago, but she can’t. He apologizes for asking, which is dumb. He had the right to ask. She tells him to go to Arizona. Maybe they were only meant to be together during college. Ben repeats Noel’s corny advice: If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.

At a graduation party at Epstein Bar, Noel tells Sean that he got a job. It’s a completely new firm with no clients: Blumberg Crane Associates. He already rented them an office. Sean’s happy with the idea. Noel next approaches Felicity and asks if she’s decided what to do yet. She tells him she’s not going to Arizona, and she and Ben are breaking up. She’s also not going to live in New York. She doesn’t know where she’ll go, but it won’t be there.

Ben and Felicity go off to finish packing the stuff he’s been keeping in her apartment, and possibly say goodbye to each other for the last time. But first, sex! (Use protection, guys.) In the morning, he wakes her up to tell her he has to go. They don’t really say goodbye, instead just saying they love each other.

Later, Felicity goes to the loft, where Meghan is clearly unhappy that Felicity is leaving New York. Felicity promises to call as soon as she lands in California. At the dorm apartment, Javier shows Felicity an Employee of the Month plaque that he’s going to hang at Dean & DeLuca permanently. He asks for a group hug with Felicity and Elena.

Felicity looks around the nearly empty apartment, then goes to a closet and writes “Felicity Porter ’02” on a wall. Noel comes by and offers to take her to the airport. This is how they end up in a cab together, with him asking if she’s okay. As they wait for her flight, she asks if he ever wonders what would have happened if the two of them… (had stayed together or gotten back together, I guess). He says he doesn’t. Liar! When it’s time for Felicity to board her flight, she gets more emotional than she did saying goodbye to anyone else, including Ben.

On the plane, we return to Felicity’s voiceover from the beginning of the episode. It’s from a tape she’s making for Ben. It’s been six months since graduation, and she’s still in California. Noel and Sean are working together and are happy. Meghan is working toward becoming a psychiatrist, and Felicity thinks she’ll be great at it. And Elena? Who cares about Elena?

Felicity says that, ironically, sometimes the thing you’re fighting is yourself. After everything, she’s decided she wants to be a doctor. She’s doing it for herself, not her parents – she wants to make a difference. So maybe she and Ben will both end up doctors. She asks Ben to write her a letter or send her a tape back when he has the chance.

But there’s no need for that. While Felicity’s looking at some fliers on her new school’s campus, Ben shows up. He’s signing up for classes there and has convinced Lauren to move to Palo Alto. So maybe Ben and Felicity were meant to be after all. But there are still five episodes left before the series ends, so who knows what will happen next?

Thoughts: Scott Foley (Noel) directed this episode.

So Ben attended the baby’s birth, named him after his father, and then just turned around and went back to New York after, what, a couple of hours with him? Come on.

Again: Long-distance dating is a thing, people. Try it.

This was supposed to be the series finale, but the show that took Felicity‘s times lot after that tanked, so the network asked for five more episodes of Felicity. J.J. Abrams and Mat Reeves took the opportunity to do something… weird. Stay tuned.

June 5, 2021

Felicity 4.12, Future Shock: Get Your Ducks in a Row

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:08 pm by Jenn

Obviously Meghan needs to work on the physical aspects of acting, but trust me that her line delivery is really good

Summary: Ben, Noel, Felicity, and Sean are all at the loft, and the guys are encouraging Noel to ask out one of their neighbors. He’s not interested, and he excuses himself to do some work. The guys tell him he works too much. Noel says he can’t date right now, since he’s getting his ducks in a row. Lauren shows up and asks Ben to talk in the hallway. She has big news: She’s pregnant, and she’s pretty sure the baby’s his. Strike that – she’s sure it’s his. Lauren isn’t going to ask Ben to be involved if he doesn’t want to; she just wanted to let him know.

Felicity makes a tape for Sally, her first in a while (at least that we’ve heard). It’s the last semester of her last year of college, and she’s feeling pressure about deciding what to do after college. She agreed to go to some galleries with Owen to show her work around. They start out in Chelsea, the most popular spot for young artists to hear they suck. Owen tries to stay optimistic, since it took Cezanne years for anyone to recognize his skills. I guess they’ll just have to wait.

Hodges wants to see Ben and Trevor after class, which really isn’t something Ben needs to be stressed about right now, on top of everything else. He’s told Trevor about Lauren’s pregnancy, and Trevor’s skeptical that Ben is the baby’s father. After class, Hodges tells the guys that he’d like them to be his research assistants on a study he’s working on for publication. Trevor notes that having a published study with their names on it, even as assistants, would look great on their med-school applications. Hodges warns the guys that they have to be serious and can’t make any mistakes.

Noel and Sean prepare to pitch an idea for some account, and discover that Zoe is there to do the same thing. She tells him his work is good, so she’s glad he started his own firm. Noel thinks Zoe will win the account, but Sean is more focused on the look he thinks Zoe’s giving Noel – a look that says she’s interested in him. Dominic is also there, and the look he gives Noel definitely says something different. Something more along the lines of “I want to strangle you with my bare hands.” Noel reminds Sean that he’s not dating because he’s getting his ducks in a row.

Meghan has been forced to take a theater class, and the professor won’t accept a $100 bribe to let her get out of it. I wonder if she’d accept a Shmeghan shirt instead. Probably not. Javier is in the class and is excited to spend some time with “Meggie.” He needs a new scene partner anyway; she’ll be playing Margo Channing in All About Eve. Meghan says that sounds like porn.

Felicity meets up with Ben after a long day of getting nowhere. She’s trying to cling to Owen’s anecdote about Cezanne. Ben hasn’t told her about Lauren’s pregnancy yet, but he does tell her that Hodges wants him as a research assistant. Ben doesn’t really get the research he’s doing; it just requires him to check on carbon nano-tubes every 12 hours. I’m sure nothing will go wrong there!

At the loft, Sean again encourages Noel to stop working so hard and try to have a social life. If he’s always hanging around the loft, he’ll never meet anyone. Noel starts to settle in for a night alone, then changes his mind and calls Zoe. Felicity has dinner with her mother, who sympathizes with Felicity’s struggle to get anyone to say anything encouraging about her art. Barbara lets it slip that Edward doesn’t think Felicity will be able to support herself as an artist.

Barbara herself is having some professional success: She’s about to get her real estate license. She previously wanted to be a writer, but she realized it wasn’t a realistic career path. Maybe Felicity should consider real estate, too. You know, in the completely unlikely event that a career as a successful artist doesn’t work out. Not that that’s what Barbara’s implying or anything.

Ben goes to see Lauren to ask if she’ll take a paternity test to confirm that he’s the baby’s father. Lauren’s fine with that. Javier makes Meghan watch All About Eve with him, but she objects to playing such a mean character. She adds that the actor playing Javier’s role is good – much better than Javier. Does he really think he’ll make it as an actor? Javier calls her Margo, saying she’s more Margo than Bette Davis is in what’s considered her signature role. Meghan says she’d rather be Margo than an unemployed actor working at Dean & DeLuca. Dude! Meghan really is mean!

Noel meets up with Zoe, who apologizes for…you know, making out with him at the office and getting caught by her dad. Even though Noel is her father’s competition for a job Dominic really wants, Zoe’s happy to spend time with him. Ben gets blood drawn for the paternity test, then goes to the lab to work with Trevor. He’s distracted and comes close to messing up an experiment. Trevor tries to reassure him that the baby isn’t his.

Felicity and Owen have another unsuccessful day pounding the pavement, and now she’s worried that she won’t be able to make a living as an artist. Owen is optimistic, saying that life always works out. She asks if he really isn’t worried about not having a stable career. Owen says most people with stable careers hate their jobs – especially real estate agents. Felicity is thinking about pursuing something with a clear, well-marked path, but she admits that she doesn’t know what she wants.

Javier shows Felicity a scene from All About Eve, trying to draw a connection between Margo and Meghan. Elena interrupts with a letter from Columbia Med School, too nervous to open it. Javier opens it for her, pretending he’s going to announce the winner of the Oscar for best picture. Elena got into Columbia, and though Felicity is initially happy for her, it just reminds her that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do next year. She contemplates calling someone about a career in real estate.

At the loft, Sean tells Noel that they got the account they were competing for. Even better, Dominic wants the job so badly that he wants to hire Noel and Sean as independent contractors. Sean thinks they should go for it – they could get access to a bunch of Webb Graphics’ clients. Noel is hesitant, knowing his budding relationship with Zoe will complicate things. He spend the past three-and-a-half years waiting for someone who wanted to be with someone else. Now Noel thinks he’s found someone who wants to be with him. Sean agrees that that’s more important, so if Noel doesn’t want to work for Dominic, that’s okay.

Felicity leaves a message with some real estate guy as Ben gets the paternity-test results. Congratulations, Dad! Felicity goes to another gallery, this time on her own, and when she gets rejected without even a glance at her portfolio, she kind of snaps. She’s frustrated that she’s gone to dozen of galleries and no one will look at her stuff. The woman she’s talking to gives in and looks at a couple of slides of Felicity’s work, then officially rejects her. Hey, at least this time it was because she didn’t like your work! Wait, that’s not encouraging.

Javier and Meghan do a scene for their class, and I have to say that she’s better than he is. Ben goes to Lauren’s apartment to yell at her for waiting so long to tell him she was pregnant. He doesn’t want to have a child, but he also doesn’t like the idea of having a child somewhere in the world whose life he’s not a part of. Lauren tells him he can decide whatever he wants, but she’s already made up her mind about what she’s going to do.

Noel meets Zoe at Dean & DeLuca, where she tells him she had fun on their date, but she’s already seeing someone. She’d like to be friends with Noel, though. Oh, poor Noel. He’s not about to let himself get friendzoned by another woman who likes someone else. When he gets home, he tells Sean he’s ready to work with Webb Graphics. Sean knows it’ll be weird for Noel to work with Zoe, but Noel would rather think about securing a future than worrying about some awkwardness with one of his co-workers.

Ben has inevitably screwed up Hodges’ research, and Trevor warns that Hodges is freaking out. He’s already started looking for a new research assistant. Ben has bigger things on his mind, so he doesn’t really care. At the dorm apartment, Felicity rushes to get ready to see a play with her mother. Barbara is happy that Felicity’s thinking about going into real estate, but now Felicity has changed her mind. Barbara admits that she’s worried about Felicity’s future. Felicity says she is, too, so she needs support from her parents. She thinks Barbara’s given up on her dreams, and Felicity doesn’t want to be that way.

Instead of going to the play, Felicity goes to see Ben, who tells her he screwed up his chances of being Hodges’ research assistant. Felicity changes the subject to her fight with her mother. Felicity, can you be a good girlfriend for once? Not that Ben is being a great boyfriend, of course, since he hasn’t told Felicity that Lauren is having his baby.

Meghan gives Javier a best actor trophy to make up for their fight. She acknowledges that she’s a lot like Margo, though she doesn’t want to be. Javier notes that Margo was mean because she was sad, so maybe Meghan’s sad about something. He suggests that they have a big fight before every scene they do, since it really helped their performance. Meghan disagrees. After she leaves, Javier pretends he’s accepting the award at the Oscars.

Ben tells Lauren that he’s given it a lot of thought and he can’t be a parent right now. Lauren understands and tells him not to feel bad about that decision. Ben knows he’ll regret this choice for a long time. Felicity has channeled her frustration into her work, but she doesn’t want to do another gallery crawl with Owen. He tells her she’s really talented, and if she wants a career in art, it’ll happen. She shouldn’t listen to her parents. His parents want him to be an accountant, something he has no interest in.

Felicity says she wishes she didn’t care what Barbara and Edward thought. She always tells herself she won’t, but then they come visit and she can’t help it. She wonders if she’ll still feel that way in her 40s. They promise each other that no matter what happens, whether or not they stick with art, they’ll never go into real estate or become accountants.

Ben appeals to Hodges for another chance, promising that the thing that was distracting him from his work has been taken care of. He spent last semester proving how important pre-med is to him, so he wants another shot at showing it. Hodges gives in, as long as Ben promises he won’t screw up again. He invites Ben to open up to him, but Ben declines.

Noel and Sean report for work at Webb Graphics, where Zoe tells Noel that she broke up with the other guy she was seeing. Oh, freaking A. Ben finally tells Felicity that Lauren is pregnant with his baby. He promises that he only slept with her once, while he and Felicity were broken up. He doesn’t think this will change anything for him and Felicity. No, I’m sure it won’t, buddy! I’m sure everything will be awesome from here on out!

Thoughts: I’m rewatching Alias, and Amanda Foreman (Meghan) just showed up in a recurring role. It’s really fun to see her play someone who’s basically the exact opposite of Meghan. In her first episode, Carrie cries at a Joni Mitchell song and shows interest in a nerd. Meghan would be shocked.

Speaking of Meghan, what are her future plans? I believe she’s majoring in psychology, so does she want to be a therapist? That would be a horrible career for her.

Hi, Elena! ‘Bye, Elena! Stop by again soon!

January 30, 2021

Felicity 3.11, And to All a Good Night: Time for Chekhov’s Gun to Go Off

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

The parrot and the turtle

Summary: The ladies of the dorm apartment are planning a Christmas party, but Molly isn’t in the mood for celebrating. Even though she couldn’t walk away from James when Ben hoped she would, she did wind up leaving him, and she’s back in rehab. Felicity thinks that’s something to celebrate. She and Ben will be spending part of Christmas break in Florida (if Sean can get them a car) after a visit from Felicity’s mother.

James calls, and since Molly doesn’t want to talk to him, Felicity tells him she’s not there. He doesn’t believe her, so Ben takes the phone from her and tells James to stop calling. James gets angry, and Ben wonders how Molly could date someone who’s such a jerk. If James didn’t have a gun, Ben would be much more aggressive toward him. This is, of course, exactly when Barbara arrives, along with Meghan, who laughs over Felicity’s mother hearing her boyfriend talking about a dangerous drug addict.

Noel drops in on Felicity at work and tells her that Icebox loves them and wants them to write the first episode of “Loser Pet Store.” Despite this, Noel isn’t feeling the holiday spirit, since he’s single. Apparently Natalie is dating someone else. Felicity tells him that Barbara’s in town, and she’s worried her mother doesn’t like Ben. She invites Noel to the apartment’s Christmas party. He jokes that he’ll bring Natalie’s new boyfriend.

Sean and Richard tell Ben about their new business idea, selling Christmas trees. They’ll triple the prices a few days before Christmas and make tons of money. They want Ben to help them, but he has plans with Felicity and Barbara. Sean threatens to withhold his uncle’s car for the Florida trip, so Ben has to give in.

Tracy and Elena have hit a bump in their relationship post-sex. The sex isn’t the only issue, though: Tracy got accepted into a program that provides medical care and sets up clinics in Africa. He leaves in three weeks. Sean, Ben, and Richard go pick up their Christmas trees, discovering that there are more than they expected. Sean says they’ll need a bigger boat.

This makes Ben late for the play he’s supposed to see with Felicity and Barbara. Barbara didn’t know about the Florida trip, so she’s under the impression that Felicity will go to California with her after the holidays. James calls Molly and asks to meet her. She declines, but he knows she called him in a moment of weakness. He begs her to see him, yelling at her when she says she’s hanging up.

The guys borrow a truck, which Ben rushes to leave in so he can get to the play. It won’t start, but Ben is able to get to the play a little after it starts. Unfortunately, he was supposed to bring the tickets, and he doesn’t have them. Barbara decides to just call it a night and go back to her hotel. Ben encourages Felicity to go with her and have some quality time alone with her mom.

In a cab, Barbara asks Felicity if Ben gets into a lot of fights. (She heard about one from some friend of Ben’s.) More questions about her daughter’s boyfriend reveal that Ben hasn’t declared a major yet. Felicity shuts down the conversation by simply saying that she loves him. Later, she goes to the loft, which now looks like a forest. She tells Ben she feels bad for Barbara, who’s spending her first Christmas alone. She’s using her maiden name again, and it feels weird to Felicity. She’s considering skipping the Florida trip to spend the holidays with her mother.

The next day, Noel shows Barbara some of “Loser Pet Store,” which she seems to enjoy. She also clearly likes Noel more than Ben. She invites him to have dinner with her, Felicity, and Ben that night. Meghan’s impressed that Sean has put together his own Christmas tree lot – when she gave him the idea months ago, he thought it was dumb. He insists that it was his idea, so she asks him to show her his book where he keeps all his business brainstorms. Sean claims it was stolen. Meghan tells him she’ll take a cut of his profits, then. He says no, so she tells him to enjoy the holidays as a single man.

Ben walks Molly home after an Al-Anon meeting and they find James waiting for her. She continues to refuse to talk to him. James tries to intimidate Ben, but it doesn’t work. Ben then goes to meet Felicity, Barbara, and Noel for dinner, mentioning that he and Molly ran into James. Noel brings up James’ gun, which doesn’t make Barbara feel any better. Noel, stop talking.

Barbara gets upset and leaves the table. Felicity follows her to the bathroom, where Barbara expresses concern over all the bad stuff Felicity’s gotten mixed up in. Plus, she’s dating a guy who doesn’t have any direction. Barbara dated a guy like that and knows Ben is just trouble. Felicity should date Noel instead. Barbara thinks the parrot and turtle in “Loser Pet Store” are Noel and Felicity, and that Noel is still in love with Felicity like the parrot is in love with the turtle. Felicity sets her straight and goes back to the table.

After dinner, Felicity and Ben go to the loft and he complains about Barbara picking on him at dinner. Felicity wants him to cut her some slack, since she just got divorced, but Ben says she was being obnoxious. Felicity thinks he’s just upset because he doesn’t have any plans and Barbara got him to admit it.

James calls Molly and tries to get her to admit that she still loves him. He warns her not to hang up. She tells him for the umpteenth time that she doesn’t want to talk to him or see him anymore. At Epstein Bar, Sean gives Meghan an early Christmas present, a leather whip. Dear baby Jesus, please save me from this. She wants to take him to Radio City Music Hall for a show, but Sean and Richard are selling trees. She asks again for a cut of the profits, but he won’t agree. Meghan calls him a cheapskate and tells him to leave. Then she calls the fire department to report a fire hazard.

While Noel and Felicity work on “Loser Pet Store,” she asks him for his opinion on how Barbara treated Ben. Even Noel thinks she was too hard on him. They’re working on the turtle, and Noel says he’s a loser. Felicity disagrees. Tracy and Elena meet with his pastor, Cathy, who tells them God wants them to take responsibility for their sins. Elena doesn’t feel like having premarital sex is a sin. Cathy says they’re at a crossroads in the relationship. They need to decide what they want both separately and together.

A fire marshal named Howard pays the loft a visit and tells the guys to get rid of the trees before they get fined. They can move the trees to Sean’s cousin’s lot, but Ben refuses to help. Sean calls him out for being in a bad mood and mentions the hit his wallet would take if he couldn’t sell the trees. Since Sean lets Ben be late on his rent all the time, Ben kind of owes him.

Felicity comes by to check on Ben, who’s thinking about skipping the ladies’ Christmas party. He feels like she was being judgmental when she asked if he was more annoyed with Barbara or himself. He doesn’t like being asked questions he doesn’t have an answer to, and Felicity shouldn’t have defended her mother for bugging him. Ben suggests that she spend Christmas with her mother instead of him.

Tracy goes to the apartment to tell Elena that he spent 20 years believing that only people who are married should have sex. When he met Elena, she said she was okay with that, but obviously she wasn’t. Now Tracy thinks that if he can’t figure things out by himself, he’s looking in the wrong place. He’s going to Africa.

Ben asks Barbara to meet him at Dean & DeLuca, where he tells her he knows she’s worried about his relationship with Felicity. That bothered him at first, because he felt Barbara was making a snap judgment, but then he started looking at the situation from her perspective. He doesn’t have a major, his dad is an alcoholic, and Noel is right there.

One of Ben’s teachers once said that all the interesting people she knew didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives when they were 20. So if nothing else, at least Ben will probably turn out to be an interesting person. Yeah, that’ll pay the bills. Ben says that Felicity cares about him, and because of that, he thinks he might someday become the kind of person she thinks he can be. Because of that, she means a lot to Ben.

Barbara goes to the apartment and tells Felicity she made holidays plans with a friend, so Felicity can stick with her original plans. Felicity thinks the Florida trip is off, though. Barbara thinks she and Ben will work things out. She admits that it was unfair to compare Ben to her own loser boyfriend. Besides, Barbara had a lot of expectations for her boyfriend, so she’s responsible for that relationship not working out. Felicity doesn’t think that’s fair, but Barbara says she chose the wrong guy. Barbara admires how confident Felicity is compared to when she first came to New York.

Felicity goes to the guys’ new tree lot, but Ben has left to get coffee. Sean admits that they’re not making as much money as he’d hoped. He’s okay as a salesman, but his prices are too high. They wind up giving away trees. Felicity goes home, where the Christmas party is in full swing. She encourages Meghan to go cheer up Sean.

Noel shows up and admires Felicity in her cute sparkly tank top. No matter where their relationship stands, Elena and Tracy are still having fun together. Meghan goes to the lot, where Sean and Richard are making people happy by giving away all the trees. Meghan’s ready to take Sean to the party. Back there, Felicity asks Noel if he’s the turtle. He admits that he is, but he says the parrot is Ruby. She pretends to believe that.

Ben finally gets to the party, and he and Felicity make up. Noel turns to Molly for entertainment and invites her to dance. James sneaks into the apartment as Sean and Richard arrive with a tree. No one notices as he pulls his gun, takes aim at someone, and fires.

Thoughts: This episode was directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, father of Jake and Maggie.

How do you not have a major picked out halfway through your junior year? How do you plan to take all the necessary courses in a year and a half? Does Ben have a crappy advisor, or has he just never met with the advisor?

Sean seems okay with selling Christmas trees even though he’s Jewish. I’m surprised no one mentioned that.

We haven’t seen Javier in a while. I demand Javier!

August 29, 2020

Felicity 2.12, The Slump: Why Are You Here?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:17 pm by Jenn

Exactly the sort of person I want to pour my heart out to

Summary: Felicity starts out a new tape to Sally with the words “I’m in trouble.” She goes to see John, but he’s on indefinite leave and has been replaced by a professor named Toni Pavone, who thinks it’s okay to smoke in the office. Pavone is familiar with Felicity’s circumstances and says, “You’re in trouble.” She’s been sent to counseling over the pool break-in. Felicity acknowledges that it was stupid and immature. She worries that she and Ben will be expelled.

Pavone tells her about a frat stunt from years ago that left a guy in a coma after he jumped in the pool drunk. It cost the college a lot of money, so now they have strict policies about this sort of thing. Since Felicity was caught drinking, she’ll have to undergo alcohol treatment counseling. Ben arrives late and Pavone tells him, “You’re in trouble.” Yeah, show, I think we get it.

Felicity continues her tape, telling Sally that she got off easy, at least in terms of her parents’ split. It’s a good time for it. If they’d divorced years ago, Felicity would have obsessed over it. Now that she’s out of the house, it doesn’t affect her as much. Her life hasn’t changed much. Yeah, she’s totally fine! She’s definitely not thinking about her parents while she’s out with her friends or working at Dean & DeLuca.

Ben complains to Felicity about having to go to counseling. He thinks it’s optional, so he’s not doing it. In fact, he’s thinking of leaving school. Edward comes by and he and Felicity mention that Barbara is arriving in New York that evening. Noel is doing much better in his TA position, and Ruby praises him after class. He chastises her for writing, “Hi, Noel” on what was supposed to be an anonymously graded paper. Now he won’t be able to stay partial. Ruby gets mad and storms off. What is up with this girl?

At her next session with Pavone, Felicity says it might be a waste of time. She doesn’t normally drink. Pavone asks why she did the night of the pool break-in. Felicity has already explained that she was just trying to blow off steam. Pavone asks where that steam came from. Felicity reveals that she’d just found out her parents were separating. She claims it’s not a big deal, since it happens to a lot of people. Everything will be fine. Tonight the three Porters are all having dinner together, and Felicity insists it’ll go great.

She gets that she’s facing consequences for her actions, but since she doesn’t normally do things like break into a pool, she shouldn’t have to face THIS consequence. Pavone shows Felicity her diploma from Yale and says she’s a professional therapist and knows what she’s doing. Felicity can come back when she’s ready to talk.

Edward and Barbara are already at the restaurant when Felicity arrives for dinner. She voices over that she never caught them having sex (now THERE would be something to talk about in therapy), but this feels similar – she’s getting a glimpse of their intimate life. Hon, they’re just sitting next to each other and not talking. That’s not intimate. She admits that she doesn’t want to think about what’s happening to the family.

The three of them make small talk about a spa and a special dinner the family has been invited to for Edward’s job. Felicity confirms that Barbara will be attending. Suddenly things get to be too much for Felicity, and she starts crying. Edward admits that he told her about the divorce, even though he and Barbara had planned to tell her together. The two of them bicker as Felicity tries to stop crying.

Guess who’s ready to start talking to Pavone? Hint: It’s not Ben. Felicity tells Pavone that she doesn’t know who she is anymore or how she got here or what she’s doing. She’s been in relationships she doesn’t understand. She “dropped pre-med like it was some kind of victory” and can’t remember why it felt like that. Also, she hates her haircut. Yay! We agree on something!

Felicity says she didn’t realize how much she depends on her parents being there, even when “there” is 3,000 miles away. She thinks it’s partly because she’s an only child. Pavone asks if she said any of this to her parents. Felicity just let them talk. They told her the separation for the best, but Felicity feels responsible. Her decision to come to New York and push them away disrupted things. If she hadn’t been so selfish, Barbara and Edward would still be together.

Pavone asks what was so selfish about coming to New York. Felicity admits that she followed Ben there, then tried to convince herself that it was for her. Her parents were in New York for Thanksgiving and looked happy. Everything was fine at Christmas. Why are they breaking up? Pavone reminds her that she said it was because of her.

After her session, Felicity finds Ben playing basketball by himself somewhere in the city. She tells him that if he doesn’t go see Pavone, he’ll get expelled. Ben has been looking into traveling to Prague, because that would definitely be a better option than just sucking it up and going to therapy. Felicity jokes that she’ll go with him, but Ben says she should. They could drop out together! Ben, sweetie, no.

Noel apologizes to Ruby, even though…he didn’t do anything wrong. He gushes over her paper and apologizes for acting like she was capable of writing what she wrote. She heads off to class instead of addressing the situation. While studying with Felicity and Julie, Elena mentions that she likes her new lab partner, Tracy. She doesn’t want to know if he’s single because if he is, she won’t be able to stop herself from obsessing over him.

Edward stops by, so Julie and Elena head out to give him and Felicity privacy. He tells her that the dean wants him to do a guest lecture at the medical school. He also learned about the pool break-in and Felicity’s counseling. He asks for more details about her potential punishment, but she says she doesn’t know anything.

Edward announces that Barbara isn’t coming to the dinner the hospital is putting on to honor him. He thinks Felicity should skip it, too, and spend time with Barbara, since she’s only in town for a few days. But when Felicity goes to a spa with Barbara, Barbara tells her to go to her father’s dinner. She thinks Edward’s downplaying it so Felicity won’t feel bad about skipping it. If Felicity doesn’t go, Edward will complain to Barbara about it. Felicity tells Barbara she’s sorry for everything.

Pavone would like to know why Felicity apologized. Isn’t she mad that her parents are splitting up? Felicity says she’s just tense. Not everyone gets angry. Pavone agrees – many people who are “repressed and out of touch” say they’re tense instead of admitting their true feelings. She’d like to know who Felicity really is. Her politeness is just an act. Felicity says she’s sorry but this is just who she is. Pavone replies that, first, she’s not sorry, and second, Felicity already said she doesn’t know who she is. She fully admitted not knowing why she came to New York. Pavone doesn’t believe it was just to follow Ben.

Felicity should be angry. She’s been her parents’ “centerpiece” her whole life, but they didn’t tell her about the separation while she was home. Then Edward told her, didn’t tell Barbara he’d done so, and let Felicity bear the burden of knowing something she wasn’t supposed to. Now they’re putting her in the middle of their awful game, Martyrball, and telling her to spend time with each other. How can Felicity not be angry?

Felicity doesn’t respond, so Pavone asks her how it feels to be the good little girl all the time. It’s annoying to watch. She keeps denying what she’s going through. Felicity finally admits that she’s angry. Her mom is leaving and she doesn’t understand why. Edward’s moving to New York, and Felicity doesn’t want him there. She doesn’t like the position her parents have put her in. Pavone is pleased that she’s finally expressing her feelings.

At Dean & DeLuca, Ben tells Felicity he’s planned a European trip for them. She likes the idea of just running off to Vienna or wherever, but she doesn’t think it’s realistic. Traveling together would be awkward. Ben asks if she’s happy in New York. If not, why not leave? They could get tickets today and be in Europe in two days. Felicity tells Ben that her parents are splitting up. Thinking about a trip to Europe is the only fun thing she’s gotten to experience recently. But she’s not going to actually go.

Tracy is over at Elena and Noel’s apartment, so Noel has two people to talk to about his relationship issues. He wants to be the kind of guy who doesn’t care when his girlfriend is upset about something. That’s just called being a jerk, Noel. Instead, he’s caring too much about how Ruby’s been acting. Tracy asks if Noel apologized. Noel did, so Tracy advises him to say that he wants to do whatever it takes to fix things. At least, that’s what Tracy would say if he had a girlfriend. Which he doesn’t. Well, there’s the answer to a question Elena didn’t want answered.

Felicity goes to dinner with Barbara, who invites her to ask any questions she has. Barbara is just trying to figure out who she is, and she doesn’t feel like she can do that while married to Edward. Felicity thinks they’re just dealing with the normal difficulties anyone has in a relationship. Instead of working through them, Barbara’s breaking up the family.

Barbara says that Felicity doesn’t understand. She’s always been in Edward’s shadow. Felicity asks why they got married in the first place, especially since she left college to do it. Barbara can’t answer that. Felicity asks if she was pregnant. Barbara pauses for a long time, then says there were a lot of reasons she and Edward got married.

Ben is playing basketball again, and when Felicity comes to the court, she tells him she’s ready to drop out. Meanwhile, Noel is putting Tracy’s advice into action, but Ruby is still acting weird. Finally, she explains why: She’s late. Noel handles this calmly, repeating Tracy’s words that no matter what, they’ll be okay.

Felicity shares her travel plans with Pavone, who wonders why she and Ben chose Vienna as their destination. Also, why did Felicity come to the session if she’s dropping out of school? Felicity says she wanted to thank Pavone in person. Pavone wonders if Felicity wants to be talked out of her decision. Felicity insists that she doesn’t.

Pavone tries to get her to talk about her parents. Felicity says she hasn’t felt this bad about things since she went to ballet camp when she was ten. She hated it so much that she came home a day early. She found out that Barbara had been sleeping in the guest room. Felicity’s parents were embarrassed that she found out, and everyone was uncomfortable. Felicity told them she loved camp just to make things better, then went back the next four summers.

Pavone remarks that it’s a hard job to keep everyone happy. Felicity says that might be why she came to New York. Pavone replies that it makes sense that she would want a break from her parents. She asks again why Felicity and Ben chose Vienna. Felicity still doesn’t know, but she feels lost where she is. Pavone tells her that she can be lost anywhere.

Barbara and Edward come by Felicity’s room, having heard about her trip from Meghan. Felicity tells them she thought about it, but she’s not going. Barbara says that she and Edward both wish things didn’t have to be so hard, but they both love Felicity. She hugs Felicity goodbye before heading back to California.

Felicity goes back to the basketball court yet again and tells Ben she’s not going on the trip. He’s not surprised to hear it. In fact, he never bought her a ticket – he knew she wasn’t serious about it. He’s not going, either, if she’s not coming, even if it means he has to see Pavone. But maybe Ben and Felicity can go to Europe this summer. They play basketball together, and then Ben shows Felicity his bed on the court, because seriously, is he living there now?

Thoughts: Pavone is played by Amy Aquino. Tracy is played by Donald Faison, which means that when Scott Foley, Amy Smart, and Keri Russell did guest stints on Scrubs, they were having mini-Felicity reunions.

Yeah, Ben, school-ordered therapy is totally optional. Dude, you need it more than anyone on this show.

Leaving aside the possible pregnancy, Ruby can’t be worth all this drama. She barely has a personality.

August 1, 2020

Felicity 2.8, Family Affairs: Not Talking Turkey

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a big fight in Elena’s bedroom

Summary: David surprises Felicity in her dorm room as she’s leaving a message for her parents. She told them previously that she has too much work to come home for Thanksgiving, but she thinks they don’t believe her. David suggests having a casual Thanksgiving together. They start making out on her bed (with the door open), so she puts a Post-It on the door. It doesn’t do its intended job, and Meghan comes in anyway. Felicity snaps at her, and Meghan says she was doing her a favor, but since Felicity’s being a jerk, she won’t do it. The favor was going to be to warn Felicity that her parents are in the building.

Felicity tells Sally via tape that she wants her parents to leave. She loves them, of course, but there are a lot of things she hasn’t told them about her life. The Porters meet David, then get reintroduced to Meghan, who pretends she’s really into helping the kids in the dorm and is starting a recycling campaign. She’s also wearing what looks to be lingerie as a shirt, but no one comments on that. Anyway, the Porters want to have Thanksgiving with Felicity, then do their own thing while she studies. Felicity says she and David have plans, so Barbara invites him to hang out with the family.

At Dean & DeLuca, Javier offers Ben an opportunity to make some extra money over Thanksgiving. Javier’s hosting a charity event and is so desperate for help that he’ll pay Ben and any friend he can bring along twice what he usually makes. Ben agrees and says he’ll ask Julie and Sean if they want to come along. “Do you know why I like you?” Javier replies. Ben asks why, and Javier tells him, “No, I’m asking.” They both laugh.

Felicity confides in Elena that she hasn’t told her parents that she’s dropped pre-med. She’s afraid of how he’ll react. Noel tells them that Ruby isn’t going to make it back from her movie set for the holiday, so Noel and Elena will be spending the day together. Elena invites Felicity, her parents, and David over, suggesting that it’ll take the pressure off of them. They’ll just have a party.

Julie and Sean are up for Javier’s event; they’ll just have dinner together at the loft afterward. Javier has them all sign contracts, since the last time he got servers to help him, they all took silverware home with them. Sean asks for an exclusivity clause so he can serve Smoothaise. Ben describes it as “not so bad.” It’s then that he learns that the charity event is being organized by Maggie.

Felicity takes her parents to Epstein Bar, trying to pass it off as a café instead of the pub it is. Barbara claims to like Felicity’s hair. She and Edward ask questions about David, curious about why she hasn’t mentioned this guy she’s been seeing for a month and was going to spend Thanksgiving with. Then Edward asks about Felicity’s pre-med courses. She finally comes clean about dropping the major and switching to art classes.

Edward asks about all the changes Felicity has made in her life – her hair, her courses, her older boyfriend. She tells her parents there are a lot of things they don’t know about her life. She feels judged, so she ditches them. Back at the dorm, Meghan is trying to fill community service hours by getting food for everyone who’s staying in the dorm over break. Burky asks for stuffing without raisins. David’s there again, but Felicity has to leave for work. She tells him they’re having Thanksgiving at Noel and Elena’s. David asks to bring another guest – his mother. She wants to meet Felicity’s parents.

Ben goes to Maggie’s catering space and tells her to move her event somewhere else. She says it was her husband’s decision to have it there. Ben tells her he met her husband when he came in to order a cake for their anniversary. He can’t be the other man anymore. Maggie says she never meant to keep anything from Ben, but her relationship with her husband is complicated. She knows the party will be weird, but she misses Ben and would like him to be there.

Barbara goes to Dean & DeLuca, where Javier is thrilled to meet her for the first time. She tells Felicity that David seems great, and she shouldn’t have implied that they’re moving too fast. She’s looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with him and getting to know him better. Barbara has even bought him a gift from a museum gift shop, knowing he likes photography. It seems Edward isn’t as happy about David, though.

Noel objects to Professor Sherman coming to his apartment, as well as to his assignment to call her and tell her what to bring. Elena shuts him down and sends him on an errand so she can ask Felicity about her love life. Felicity thinks it’s sweet that David came by her room twice in one day, then walked her to work. Elena wonders if Felicity thinks David is getting more serious than she is. She says Felicity’s right to be freaked out about their Thanksgiving plans, and it’s weird that David isn’t, too. She’ll be able to see if they’re on the same page by watching how he reacts to Barbara’s gift.

Speaking of freaking out, Ben is trying to convince himself that the party won’t be weird, what with his secret lover and her husband both there. He tells Julie and Sean everything will be okay. They don’t care – they just want to take home the leftovers. Also, Julie didn’t know Maggie was married, and Sean didn’t know her husband would be there. The husband, Charlie, officially introduces himself to the three of them, recognizing Ben as the guy who sold him the cake. He says he wife loved it.

Felicity and David make pumpkin pie together at his apartment, and she gives him Barbara’s present. David reveals that he got the Porters a guide book to New York. She tells him he’s allowed to be honest about not liking the situation, but David is happy to get to know the people who brought Felicity into the world – the person he’s falling in love with.

Felicity tells Elena about this the next day, as they’re shopping at a convenience store. Felicity is surprised that David doesn’t see their relationship as casual, the way she does. Elena agrees that he’s moving too fast. Felicity realizes she’s the Ben of the situation – David has strong feelings, and Felicity has led him on. Elena tells her to talk to him about it, but not now. Thanksgiving comes first.

Professor Sherman is the first guest to arrive at Noel and Elena’s, followed closely by Felicity’s parents. Noel will have to entertain them all by himself. Sean tries to push Smoothaise on guests at the charity event, but it’s not going over well. Charlie greets the guests and thanks them for their donations for a homeless shelter. Holy cow, Maggie is cheating on the nicest guy on the planet.

Ben and Maggie end up in a back room together, and he panics about the possibility of her wanting to make out while her husband is in the next room. Maggie says she just wanted to say hi, but that doesn’t last long before she wants to kiss. Julie interrupts and tells Maggie that Charlie’s looking for her.

Elena and Felicity finally make it to the apartment, to Noel’s relief. Meghan shows up next, having never mentioned that Barbara invited her. Meghan’s excited at the possibility of Barbara getting drunk. Professor Sherman tells Felicity that she likes them together; David’s happier than he’s been in a long time. Of course, now Felicity’s going to have to ruin it by telling him (later! After Thanksgiving! Don’t cross Elena!) they’re moving too fast.

Ben thinks Julie’s mad that she caught him and Maggie together, about to do something naughty. She tells him she doesn’t want to run interference for him again, then asks if Maggie’s worth it. Back at the apartment, Felicity tells Elena that she doesn’t feel right waiting until tomorrow to talk to David about their relationship. Elena tells her to have some of Professor Sherman’s boozy punch and stop thinking.

Noel and Meghan note that the Porters and Professor Sherman are getting along really well. Meghan’s disappointed that no one seems likely to fight. Felicity asks her about the dinner she was organizing at the dorm. “Oh, yeah,” Meghan says, remembering. Cut to the dorm, where Burky and three other students are waiting at a table, hungry.

David arrives for dinner, and Noel, who’s been drinking the punch, tells Meghan he likes David. In one of the bedrooms, David tells Felicity he hopes he didn’t overwhelm her the night before when he shared his feelings. “Are you guys fighting in there?” Meghan calls to them across the apartment. “If you are, talk louder!” Heh. David tells Felicity they’ll talk later. After Thanksgiving!

Maggie takes a break from the party to look at the snow out the window. Ben joins her and tells her they can get coffee together and talk sometime, but not now. After Thanksgiving! Charlie comes to bring Maggie back to the party, but she tells him she wants to introduce him to Ben, the person she’s been sleeping with. Charlie says she’s drunk, but Maggie seems pretty sober. She also knows that Charlie cheated on her, so she figures it’s only fair that she slept with someone else.

Off-screen, Felicity has learned that Edward wasn’t surprised to hear that she dropped pre-med. He knew she was wavering about it last year, and he’s not thrilled, but he likes that she’s happy. Plus, he really likes David, and they’ve discussed David visiting the family over Christmas. Noel asks Professor Sherman what’s in the punch, but she won’t tell him. He goes to his room to lie down. Edward turns to Elena to get his fill of science-related course talk.

Felicity needs a break from all the happiness and warmth, so she goes to Noel’s room, not realizing he’s there. He reminds her of last Thanksgiving, which feels like just a day ago to her but a million years ago to him. As they talk, their faces get close enough to kiss…which is exactly what happens. Of course, that’s right when someone walks in. Unfortunately, the person who walks in is Professor Sherman.

Noel rejoins the party first, and Felicity waits a few seconds before coming out of the bedroom. Other than Professor Sherman, Meghan seems to be the only one who notices. Felicity and Noel end up sitting next to each other, and they agree that they shouldn’t have kissed. They decide to talk about it once the punch has worn off “sometime in February.”

Everyone compliments the turkey, which Elena cooked. Meghan asks if she can keep the bones. Edward jokes that he hopes Felicity gets special treatment in Professor Sherman’s class, since she’s dating the professor’s son. Professor Sherman says no, and David quips that he’s working on it. Professor Sherman asks to speak to Felicity in another room, and Noel braces himself for a big fight. David remains clueless.

Professor Sherman tells Felicity that David had his heart broken by his last girlfriend, so Felicity needs to be honest and tell him about her and Noel. David has followed them to the bedroom and has some questions. Felicity blames the punch for a drunken kiss. Everyone else comes to the bedroom, where Meghan tries to start a big fight. David brushes off the kiss, saying his and Felicity’s relationship is casual. The parents turn on each other while Noel tries to take responsibility.

Felicity sends everyone away so she and David can discuss things on their own. She promises that she was going to tell him everything later. David thought she was over Noel, and Felicity says it’s not about him. David doesn’t believe that. He knows he freaked her out by saying he was falling in love with her. Felicity says she really likes him, but she thought they were on the same page. They were trying to keep the pressure off.

Felicity just broke up with Ben a few months ago, and she spent her whole year pursuing him and Noel. No matter how much she likes David, she can’t handle a serious relationship right now. David wishes she’d said something sooner so he didn’t make a fool of himself. I think Felicity made a bigger fool of herself, so you’re probably okay, buddy.

Ben, Julie, and Sean have dinner together at the loft, and Julie is introduced to tofurkey. Sean suggests adding Smoothaise if it’s not good, but Julie and Ben are fine with it as it is. Sean jokes that everything went really well at the party. Ben handles it well, saying he’s not heartbroken; he and Maggie just had a fling. Julie and Sean think he can learn something from the situation. They list some possible lessons, like “never date a caterer.”

Felicity walks her parents out of the party, inviting them to say something about what happened. Edward just says he wants the recipe for the punch. Barbara doesn’t think she should be embarrassed. Felicity invites them to have breakfast in the morning. Barbara appreciates being back in her life, even if it’s brief.

Thoughts: What a coincidence that no one from this friend group is going home for Thanksgiving! And for the second year in a row! It’s like how everyone on Friends always spent Thanksgiving together. Weren’t their families disappointed about that? I would think Meghan’s parents would be especially sad not to have her there. They seem like big family-holiday people.

Who puts raisins in stuffing?? That should be a criminal offense.

If I were Barbara, I would be so happy to hear Javier gushing about my daughter. I’d feel a lot better about her living across the country from me if I knew he was looking out for her.

January 18, 2020

Felicity 1.2, The Last Stand: I Guess This Is Growing Up

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:21 pm by Jenn

A great mother-daughter bonding activity: checking out Felicity’s crush together

Summary: Felicity is making another tape for Sally. She loves New York and is glad she decided to stay. She was scared at first, and felt like a snowflake in a blizzard, but she realized everyone’s also a snowflake. Felicity uses a payphone to call her parents, even though she used a phone in her room last time. She leaves them long messages instead of talking to them.

Felicity tells Sally that she felt okay about moving on from Ben, and Julie has said she’s over him, too. Somehow I doubt they’re both telling the truth. Ben is pleased that Felicity’s staying at school and says he can’t figure you out. Felicity tells Sally that that threw her. She adds that someone called the admissions office asking if he could read a student’s application essay. (He can’t.) Felicity was congratulated for having an admirer.

She visits Noel to deliver a floor calendar, whatever that is, and asks if he was the one who called to ask about her essay. He doesn’t know why anyone would do that. Felicity tells him he’s easy to talk to; he says he feels the same about her. But she continues that, after he admitted that he has feelings for her, conversations have been more difficult. Noel says he develops feelings for people all the time, so Felicity shouldn’t make anything out of it. He says it was kind of a power trip, the RA having a crush on a new student. It wasn’t really romantic.

Felicity reminds Noel that she read Ben’s application essay. Noel steels himself for another conversation about Ben. She wonders if Ben wanted to even things out by reading Felicity’s essay, since she read his. She admits that her essay is about him, so she can’t let him read it. Noel agrees. Then Felicity says she’s going to let him read it. She’ll mail it to him. Noel tries to change her mind, but she ignores him. He tells her not to come back unless she’s going to listen to him.

Felicity tells Sally that you can never be ashamed of the truth. Oh, you most certainly can! Girl, what is wrong with you? She mails the essay in a mailbox, because I guess the school mailroom doesn’t allow you to send mail? Then she goes to a session with John, where she’s surprised to find her parents waiting for her. Edward says they want to understand why she’s so adamant about staying in New York. Barbara kind of wonders if she’s on drugs. Felicity’s offended that they would think that.

Edward complains that no one will give them any answers on why Felicity feels the need to be in New York. Felicity correctly guesses that he’s the one who contacted the admissions office to try to get her essay. She realizes she made a huge mistake and runs off to try to fix it. Edward tells John that she was never like this before.

A student named Larry goes to Noel to talk about problems he’s having with his roommate. Lewis talks loudly in his sleep, which is a problem in itself, but what’s worse is that he talks about buying knives and killing Larry. At least Noel finally has a problem to deal with that doesn’t involve Felicity and Ben.

In the mailroom, Felicity asks the mail sorter if her friend Ben has received a certain letter yet. The sorter tells her he can’t give her that information. Felicity lies that she sent him an invitation and wants to see if he got it. Apparently the sorter can’t resist Felicity’s charms, because he goes to Ben’s box and shows her that the envelope is there. He draws the line at giving it back to Felicity, though. He won’t go against federal law or his conscience.

Ben arrives before Felicity can try to pressure the sorter to break the law for her. As they’re chatting, someone bumps into Ben, making him drop his mail. Felicity grabs her letter, but Ben sees and takes it back from her. So close! He tells her he’s glad she’s staying. Obviously Felicity no longer feels the same way.

Noel talks to Lewis to make sure he doesn’t have any plans to buy any knives or, you know, maybe use those knives to kill someone, like his roommate, just for example. Lewis says no, but Noel isn’t convinced. However, Felicity is more of a priority than Larry’s safety, so Noel goes to check in with her. She tells him Ben didn’t ask to read her essay, but she’s already sent it to him. She thinks Ben will only look back on this time as the period in his life when a crazy girl was obsessed with him.

Noel has a theory about how Felicity can handle the situation with her parents: Invite them to see her dorm, and introduce them to him so he can make them feel more secure. Felicity’s just happy that Noel isn’t saying “I told you so.” He admits that that’s all he’s thinking.

She calls her parents and arranges to meet up with them the next afternoon so they can see where she lives. Hey, Noel, Felicity finally listened to you! He tells her he can’t wait to meet the people who made her. And…creepy. Meghan comes home, and Felicity lets her know that her parents are visiting tomorrow, so maybe Meghan could put some of her skulls away. Meghan thinks about it, then says no and leaves. Noel thinks that’s fair.

Felicity brings her parents to her dorm on a particularly loud afternoon. She acknowledges that Meghan is weird but claims they get along great. Meghan overhears and says Felicity’s the weird one, since she wears Hush Puppies. After the Porters talk about how big the room is, Noel sticks his head in and asks Felicity when her “overbearing” parents get there. Oh, good job, Noel. Felicity introduces him to her parents, and Edward confirms that Noel works there, in a tone that says, “Not after today, you won’t.”

Noel apologizes for his error, claiming the word “overbearing” is his, not Felicity’s. Then Larry comes in holding a knife and tells Noel he needs to talk to Lewis again. Way to make the Porters feel more secure about where their daughter’s living, guys. Then the fire alarm goes off. Noel says it goes off all the time but usually doesn’t mean there’s a fire. Though they should probably leave the building anyway.

The Porters meet with John, who wants to mediate a discussion. Edward starts off by saying that Felicity has always wanted to go to Stanford and become a doctor. Then out of the blue, she changed her plans. If she were in her parents’ shoes, would she understand what was happening? Felicity makes a full confession about coming to New York because of Ben. That’s not going to make anything better, Felicity. John points out that Ben isn’t the reason Felicity decided to stay, though.

The Porters want to know if they were too controlling. Felicity says that she loved going out to dinner every Tuesday with her mom, but the other night, she was eating alone in the cafeteria and she felt great being on her own. Edward thinks it’s fine that she wants to be independent, but New York isn’t the only place she can do that.

Barbara says that it seems like the perfect place for it. And if Felicity loves it there so much, she might as well stay there over Thanksgiving instead of coming home. Barbara continues that she didn’t realize Tuesdays were a problem or a waste of time, or that she was overbearing. John tries to step in, but Barbara’s too hurt to listen to him. She leaves the session. Edward tries to make excuses for her, then goes after her.

Ben runs into Julie outside her dorm room and tries to make small talk about her new guitar. He finally asks if she’s avoiding him, which she admits to. Is it because of Felicity or because of him? Julie says it’s about neither of them. Ben wants to have the opportunity to hear Julie play her guitar. She tells him he probably will.

Julie finds Felicity hanging out alone in the cafeteria. Felicity’s sad that she upset her mother, but she’s going to try to talk to her parents again at dinner that night. Julie says that the Porters feel rejected – they never expected their daughter to break off on her own and make her own plans. Julie has the opposite problem. Her parents always expected her to go off on her own, so they work to keep her happy.

Felicity asks what she means, but Julie just says it’s complicated. She clarifies that her parents adopted her, and they’re great, but she found out her birth mother’s name last year and discovered that she lives in New York. Felicity asks if that’s why she came to school there, but Julie doesn’t answer. She knows her parents would be hurt if they found out what she knows. Felicity promises not to say anything. Both of them say they feel grown-up.

Noel tracks Felicity down in the women’s bathroom to apologize for being dumb in front of her parents. Another student in the bathroom leaves and tells him he can go in now that Felicity’s in there alone. Don’t enable him, other student. Noel wants to know if the Porters hate him. Felicity says they see him as “one more piece of straw in this whole miserable haystack.” She’s getting ready for dinner with them and asks if she looks okay. Noel says yes, barely able to keep from gushing over her.

When Edward comes by, Noel apologizes to him for the sixth time. Edward just asks if Felicity is okay. Noel says she’s a chick. Edward almost gets offended before Noel explains that he’s trying to use a metaphor and compare her to a chicken. Edward tells him to drop the metaphor and be straightforward. Noel says yes, she’s fine, and he’s looking out for her. If things get bad, he’ll try to make them better. Edward asks if the “knife thing” worked out, and Noel says it’ll be fine.

Barbara “wasn’t feeling well,” so Felicity and Edward are on their own for dinner. He tells her he really is trying to understand her decisions. He wants her to go to Stanford, but it’s her life, so he’s going to stop fighting her. Well, after one last try to make sure she wants to stay in New York. She says she thinks she does. In that case, Edward wants to go over all the practical matters. He will pay her tuition, but she needs to pay for her own room and board. Felicity thinks that’s more than fair, since she wasn’t expecting it. Edward says it’s important to him to send her to college.

Felicity talks to John about being afraid of thunderstorms as a kid. Her mom, who’s packing to go back to California, would come comfort her and help her fall asleep. Part of Felicity expected her to do that forever. She doesn’t know why Barbara is so hurt by her choice to come to New York. She was always the one who understood Felicity. This is just growing up, Felicity guesses.

Instead of going to the airport, Barbara goes to Felicity’s dorm. She’s not there, so Barbara follows the sound of a guitar down the hall to Julie’s room and asks if Julie knows Felicity. Felicity asks John if he’s ever had a student who felt guilty about growing up. Barbara surprises her outside John’s office and tells her she met Edward when she was very young. When Felicity said she came to New York for a guy, Barbara worried that she was giving up her dreams like Barbara did. But none of that is Felicity’s fault, and Barbara doesn’t want her to feel bad. She loved their Tuesday dinners together.

Barbara doesn’t know what things will be like now that she has an empty nest. She admits to being scared. But she thinks Felicity is brave, and she can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving together. Ben comes by and tells Felicity he got her essay. He doesn’t seem freaked out, so that’s good. Barbara starts to leave, but Felicity tells her to stay, then introduces her to the reason she came to New York. Barbara seems to approve. Felicity sees her parents off, all three of them finally back on good terms.

Thoughts: Larry is played by John Cho. The Noel enabler from the bathroom is played by Constance Zimmer.

I didn’t realize that Ron Howard was one of the show’s executive producers. Now I keep imagining Arrested Development-style narrator voiceovers. Noel: “I don’t have feelings for you.” Narrator: “Noel was lying. And he wasn’t very good at it.”

Did anyone come to this school because they actually want to be there, or do they all have secret ulterior motives?

January 11, 2020

Felicity 1.1, Pilot: Extraordinary Circumstances

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

It’s time to get moody

Summary: Felicity Porter is sitting in a bare dorm room, dictating a letter to her friend Sally. We flash back to her high school graduation, after which she planned to go to Stanford for pre-med and med school. That was the plan her father always wanted her to follow through with. She watches Ben Covington get his diploma, then collects her own as her parents, Barbara and Edward, photograph and film her. The graduation speaker tells the grads to embrace their lives because they won’t get these days back.

Felicity voices over (oh, great, I picked another show with voiceovers) that people who have lost a limb say they can still feel it. At graduation, Felicity starts worrying that high school will go away but the feeling of it won’t. Her life is going great, but all she feels is dread. That’s called anxiety, Felicity. Go see a shrink.

She remembers helping out while Ben had blood drawn at a blood drive. That’s the closest they’ve ever been. She watches him fight with his mom, sending her away. Felicity introduces herself to Ben and asks him to sign her yearbook. She hovers a little, so he asks for a minute, sounding a little annoyed. But when he returns the book, he thanks her for asking him to sign it.

Felicity voices over what Ben wrote, a note about how he spent high school watching her and wondering what she was thinking. He doesn’t know her, but he admires her. He tells her to take care of herself and signs it “love, Ben.” The P.S. says that he wishes they’d known each other earlier. As Ben leaves, Felicity asks where he’s going to college. He says New York. She says her plans aren’t clear yet. But all of a sudden, she doesn’t feel dread anymore.

At home, Felicity digs out information she’d discarded on the University of New York and tells her parents she wants to go there instead of Stanford. She’s already called the school and was told that it’ll take “extraordinary circumstances” to get her enrolled in time for the fall semester. Edward refuses to pay her tuition, but Felicity has already arranged to get loans and try to get a work-study job. She doesn’t want to follow in her father’s footsteps anymore.

After the worst summer of her life, Felicity arrives in New York and finds her new home, Kelvin Hall. She’s giving up all her plans and everything her parents expected of her, all to go to school with a guy she doesn’t even know. She knows this could be a huge mistake, but it also might save her life. She finishes her audio letter, telling Sally she misses her.

Felicity goes to get her picture taken for her student ID, first asking the photographer if her hair looks okay. She runs into Ben and pretends she forgot he was going to school there, too. He’s with a girl, whom he kisses, and he tries to introduce the two of them but he doesn’t remember Felicity’s name. Ouch. Her ID photo doesn’t turn out so great.

Felicity meets with a counselor or advisor or something, John, admitting that she hasn’t completely planned everything out. He tells her that her parents called him and expressed their concerns. Felicity says they’re insulted by her change in plans. John tells her that the school and the city can be overwhelming, so it’s better for students there to be independent. He and the Porters aren’t sure Felicity is. Does she have any interests outside of medicine? Felicity says she likes art and shows him her portfolio. She’s shaken by her parents’ concerns that she’s not independent.

Ben and Felicity are in a literature course together, but not sitting near each other. She starts crying as the professor gives them some introductory remarks. The student next to her, Julie Emrick, writes her a note asking if she’s okay. She can check “no” or “I will be.” Felicity checks “I will be” and writes a thank-you to Julie. Julie makes her laugh by writing a note making a crack about their professor’s hair.

After class, the new friends go to lunch together and talk about how difficult it’s been transitioning to college. Felicity hasn’t met her roommate yet, but the girl is already intimidating – she has bone sculptures. Julie’s roommate is a clean freak, and everything in the room smells like pine. She admits to being scared about this new chapter in her life.

Felicity spots Ben and pulls him out of the cafeteria to make a big proclamation. She tells him he’s most of the reason she came to New York. She had a huge crush on him in high school, despite only talking to him maybe once. Now she realizes that following him to New York was kind of crazy. However, she’s past it and is going to make a life for herself. Ben says he’s flattered by all this and agrees to be friends.

Felicity gets a work-study job in the admin office, quickly breaking the rules of confidentiality by reading Ben’s file. Back in her dorm, she ends a phone conversation with her parents when they tell her that the family isn’t pleased with her decisions. It says a lot about her and the family dynamics that she feels like she has to ask if she can hang up, instead of just doing it.

The floor’s RA, Noel Crane, comes by to introduce herself, presenting himself as the “floor shrink.” It doesn’t take long for Felicity to decide she should go chat with him. She tells him she read Ben’s application essay, which is about how he never liked his older brother when they were growing up. The brother died of brain cancer years ago, and Ben is now older than his brother ever was. He’s just now grieving the loss and the love he never knew he had.

Felicity asks Noel if it’s possible for her and Ben to just be friends after she’s had feelings for him for so long. Will she always be setting herself up to get hurt? Noel thinks they can be friends. Her emotions are heightened by all the changes in her life; they’ll smooth out eventually. She just needs to give it a month or so. Felicity thinks he’s right.

Ben and Felicity’s lit class gets back their first papers, and Ben isn’t happy with his grade. Felicity voices over that it’s amazing how much someone can change in just two weeks. The old her wouldn’t have been able to let go of her expectations about Ben. But when he asks the new her for help with his work, she’s okay with hanging out with him as friends.

As they study in Felicity’s room, Ben asks her why she never went to parties in high school. She says she went to a few, but she wasn’t very popular (unlike him – he was actually voted most popular). Noel comes by to bring her a subway survival guide, so…yeah, he’s totally in love with her. I don’t think Felicity gets it. Ben asks Felicity if she wants to study more the next night. Noel comes back in to ask Felicity a question that I’m sure just couldn’t wait until Ben had left her room. He leaves, then comes back, saying it’s just to bug them. Heh.

Felicity has plans with Julie the next night, but she invites Ben along. When Julie learns that Felicity invited him, she bows out, not wanting to be a fifth wheel. Felicity assures her that they’ll just be three people getting together to study. She and Ben are just friends. Julie’s surprised that there’s not something going on between them.

The three go out together, and Ben and Felicity are very comfortable with each other. Julie’s kind of a buzzkill. When she leaves the table, Ben asks Felicity to confirm that she really just wants to be friends…because he likes Julie and wants to ask her out. Felicity tries to act casual, like that’s totally fine. She says it seems like Julie thinks Ben is great.

Back at her dorm, Felicity sulks, then finally meets her roommate, Meghan Rotundi. Meghan isn’t impressed. Felicity then goes to Ben’s and yells at him for writing in her yearbook that he watched her for four years and wishes he’d gotten to know her. He should realize that even the smallest actions can have big effects. He made her fall for him, and now he just wants to be friends.

Ben tells her that, though he said he was flattered that she followed him to New York, he actually thinks it’s awkward. He revealed a tiny bit about himself and she changed her whole life. Felicity says she knows him better than he thinks. She admits to reading his application essay, the only thing she’s done in 17 years that wasn’t completely moral.

Ben gets mad, saying that he was nice to her, and that’s all. He didn’t ask her to come to New York. How can she think she’s in love with him when she doesn’t even know him? It’s then that Felicity realizes Ben isn’t the only one in the room. Julie’s also there. AWKWARD. Also, sucks to be the girl Ben was hanging out with and kissing earlier.

Felicity goes back to see John, telling him she’s thinking of leaving New York, taking the semester off, and going to Stanford in the spring. It’s expensive to stay in New York, and if her father will still pay for Stanford, she should take advantage of that. Her parents are already coming to visit on Sunday, so she’ll just go home with them. Then she’ll become a doctor and try to save lives. John gives Felicity back her portfolio and tells her she’s a good artist.

Ben comes by Felicity’s room as she’s packing and gives her a tape that was outside her door. It’s from Sally, who Felicity explains was her French tutor. Sally was supposed to get married, but her fiancé died in a motorcycle accident three months before the wedding. Felicity likes talking to Sally instead of writing to her, so they send each other tapes instead of letters.

As Felicity starts to apologize for her blow-up the other night, Ben asks her to go up to the roof to chat. He admits that he lied in his essay – he never had a brother. He’s not sure why he wanted to tell her the truth; maybe because she provokes him and makes him think about things he usually doesn’t. Ben wanted to come to New York to get away from his life. Now he feels like a shallow loser. He also feels bad that Felicity thought he was someone he isn’t.

Felicity says she’s never made a big decision in her life. She thought Ben was the reason she came to New York, but he was just an excuse. She felt high after talking to him at graduation; she’d never done something like that before. Her first big decision ended up being dumb and embarrassing. She’s sure she’ll regret it in the future. Ben says he wanted to make sure things were okay between them, especially if Felicity’s leaving. She says he didn’t have to do that. Ben looks out at the city and says he can’t wait to see what it looks like when it snows.

Now Noel has something he wants to say. He tells Felicity she shouldn’t leave school – in five or ten years, she’ll regret it. He has four words of advice: “Stay in New York or perish.” (I hope Noel isn’t a math major.) Felicity hesitantly asks if he has feelings for her. He admits that he does, but that’s no reason for her to ignore his advice.

Felicity and Julie run into each other, and Julie apologizes for the whole thing with Ben. She never would have gone home with him if she’d known that Felicity liked him. Her friendship with Felicity means a lot to her, and Julie won’t see Ben again. Felicity says it doesn’t matter, since she’s leaving.

Felicity’s parents take her to dinner and tell her they support her plan to take the semester off, then go to Stanford. They’ll take care of all the necessary expenses and pull strings to get her into Stanford. Barbara thinks Felicity is being mature about fixing her impulsive mistake. Edward reveals that he pulled strings to get her into Stanford originally, so doing it again won’t be a big deal. He offers her a car to sweeten the deal.

Felicity says that if she made a mistake, it was hers alone. Now she wants to stay in New York. Agreeing to the new plan would be another impulsive decision, and maybe not the best thing to do. She should at least give herself more time in New York. She can’t wait to see what it looks like when it snows. Edward tells her that if she stays, making another huge mistake, the offer to help her is off the table. Felicity says that’s a decision he’ll have to make.

As Felicity walks around the city, we hear Sally’s tape. She talks about how difficult it’s been for her in her new life in Santa Fe. She thinks tragedy wants to harden us, so we can’t let it. She was about to move again a couple weeks ago, but Felicity’s tape made her rethink things. It was like Felicity was tutoring her instead of the other way around.

Felicity meets up with Julie and makes up with her. Sally voices over that we have to decide what are lives are going to be. Things happen to us that are out of our control, but we can control how we react to them. Sally thinks Felicity made a good choice, and she can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Thoughts: Sally is played (well, voiced) by Janeane Garofalo.

I watched this on ABC’s website, which cut the original music for some reason, but just know that Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” is played at some point, which is the least surprising thing to happen in a show from 1998.

We all agree that the chances of Felicity making all the arrangements to get into a college in May or June are tiny, right? That the whole premise here is ridiculous? I don’t have to cover that? Okay, good.

Also ridiculous: Ben says he’s going to New York, and Felicity knows exactly which school he’s going to. Not to mention that when someone asks where you’re going to school, you tell them the school, not the location.

If my child made sudden, huge life decisions after never being impulsive before, I would take her to a shrink. And if a girl I barely knew told me she’d moved across the country for me, I would run away screaming and get a restraining order.