August 3, 2021

ER 9.4, Walk Like a Man: Mikey Doesn’t Like It

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:00 pm by Jenn

Abby can’t take on more work – it’ll cut into her time dealing with her boyfriend

Summary: We start the episode with a literal bang – someone’s having sex. It’s just not clear at first who’s having that sex. Oh, it’s Luka. Right, this is that stretch where he suddenly becomes a womanizer. It doesn’t appear to be working out well for him, since he doesn’t seem fulfilled. At County, Abby declares time of death on some fish in a new aquarium in the ER waiting area. This is the third time this week – she keeps restocking the tank, but they keep dying. Carter suggests that she find someone else to take care of the fish, since she’s obviously doing something wrong. In response, she drops a fish corpse in his coffee.

The new security measures have patients waiting in a different spot, behind bullet-proof glass, and the hospital’s beautification committee has decorated with the aquarium. That only took two weeks. Fish are more important to the hospital than security, apparently. (I accidentally typed “sexurity.” I have Luka on the brain.) Abby, Susan, and Chen went out again the night before, but Abby won’t tell Carter what they did. He probably just wants to know if Abby drank.

The ER is slow, since another hospital reopened. This allows the staff to gather for a TV broadcast that’s about to start. Susan’s hungover from the night before, and various people offer her remedies. The broadcast begins, featuring Weaver giving two reporters flu shots in the ambulance bay. While she’s giving the injections, she gives a little PSA about why people should get the shots. But the talking distracts her, and she accidentally injects the male reporter using the same needle she used on the female reporter. Save that one for the blooper reel!

The staff has set up a spot where a nurse can triage patients when they come to the ER, so hopefully that means no more smallpox patients sitting in the waiting area for hours. Pratt flirts with the current triage nurse, but he strikes out when he calls her by the wrong name. Abby goes to get her next patient, who leaves her husband and son behind in the waiting area. The boy is whining, and his father doesn’t have any sympathy for him. Gallant tries to intervene, but the father yells at him and goes back to telling the kid to shut up. I don’t know who I feel worse for, the kid or Gallant.

Pratt teases Gallant for trying to help while Chen tells Susan she’s thinking about taking karate classes. Pratt flirts with her next. Dude, keep it in your pants during work hours. Stella has returned yet again, but since she has actual medical problems, as Gallant previously determined, no one urges him to get rid of her this time. The male reporter has to undergo blood tests to make sure Weaver didn’t accidentally infect him with something the female reporter might have. The male reporter is worried because the female reporter used to date “a bisexual.” Shut up, bro.

Weaver complains to the staff that they don’t have enough nurses on duty to reach acceptable nurse-to-patient ratios. Susan offers to take a look at the schedule, but Weaver ignores her and tells Randi to call Haleh and make her come in. It’s supposed to be Haleh’s day off, but since she’s the nurse manager, she’s expected to fill in when needed. Susan tells Weaver that Haleh resigned from that role in September, and her replacement resigned last week. Weaver asks Abby to come by her office later. “Dr. Romano’s office?” Abby clarifies. Ooh, not smart.

Gallant examines Stella, and though he’s probably really tired of having to treat her, he doesn’t let it show. He tells Carter that she has shortness of breath, which could indicate congestive heart failure. He wants her to be admitted for monitoring, but Carter thinks he’s jumping the gun. She’ll have to undergo some tests before they take that route. Stella asks if she can smoke a cigarette first.

Carter asks Susan about her hangover, probably angling for details about the ladies’ night out. Susan teases that Abby hasn’t cheated on him “since that stripper named Thor.” Carter expresses his concern that Abby’s been tempted to drink while going bar-hopping with her new friends. It turns out Susan didn’t know Abby’s an alcoholic. She says Abby doesn’t drink that much. Carter wonders how much “that much” is.

Abby catches them talking and asks Susan what that was about. Susan tells her that Carter let it slip that Abby’s an alcoholic. She thinks it’s sweet that he’s concerned about Abby. Abby’s apologetic for not mentioning her addiction to Susan, but Susan says it’s none of her business. She’s been enjoying hanging out and will let Abby and Carter deal with their issues on their own. Abby says it’s not a huge secret, and she’s sorry for dragging Susan into it.

By now they’re in the restroom, where they hear someone in a stall drop a syringe on the floor. It’s Weaver, and she clearly doesn’t want to talk about what the syringe is for. Now Abby and Susan have something new to talk about. Susan jokes that she was probably just practicing giving flu shots. She brushes off an impatient guy from the waiting area, who then wonders where the nearest bar is. Abby is a little shaken, and she tells Susan she just doesn’t talk about her alcoholism much. Susan says she’s there if Abby wants to talk, but she understands if Abby doesn’t.

Kayson gives Stella a surgical consult and tells Gallant she doesn’t need surgery. “Do you still work here?” he asks when he spots Pratt. Gallant pushes back against Kayson’s decision, but Kayson isn’t about to listen to a puny med student. He complains to Carter that Gallant called for a consult and now won’t accept Kayson’s advice. He’s already done all he can for Stella. After Kayson leaves, Gallant tells Carter that he doesn’t feel right just releasing Stella. Her condition could have changed since Kayson last treated her, and they should monitor her. Carter agrees to let her stay for a little while.

Abby pulls Carter aside to tell him she talked to Susan. Before they can get into anything more, Luka summons her for help with a patient. Carter joins Pratt to treat a man named Felix. Pratt introduces Carter to the concept of the DBI, the Dirtball Index. It seems like the more tattoos a person has, the higher they rate in the index. I would rate Pratt pretty high, whether or not he has any tattoos. Gallant notes that Felix is in the military.

Elizabeth tries to talk to her patient’s husband, Thomas, about the operation his wife, Margaret, needs. Thomas doesn’t feel right signing the consent form, since Margaret usually makes these kinds of decisions. When Margaret wakes up in the ER, she tells Elizabeth she can’t have an operation and be on bed rest; Thomas has Alzheimer’s and she has to take care of him. She asks to wait and see if she gets better without surgery. Elizabeth warns that her splenic injury could cause her to bleed to death.

Carter teases Pratt by creating his own acronym, PERR (pupils equal, round, and reactive). A couple of Felix’s friends come into his trauma room and tell the doctors that they went partying last night. They just got home on leave. Carter asks if the guys did anything other than drink. Felix is showing signs that he may have taken drugs, and Carter wonders if his friends slipped him something. They get defensive, saying Felix is their friend. Gallant calms them and tries to bond with them over having military experience. They look down on him for being in med school while they were jumping out of helicopters.

Luka and Abby’s patient is Marlene, a preteen who’s had multiple UTIs. Her mother, Janet, comments on Luka’s accent. He jokes that he’s from Idaho. Marlene gets uneasy and sends her mother to get her something to eat. While waiting for her labs, Marlene hangs out with Abby and tells her they came to the city to go to Shedd Aquarium. Abby has a good substitute for her.

Gallant tells Felix’s friends that there’s something toxic in his system, whether or not they gave him anything. Felix is awake now, but he can’t see anything. Abby takes Marlene to see the new fish tank, and they discuss why the fish might be dying. Marlene thinks Abby’s overfeeding them, or someone else is feeding them after Abby does. Abby suggests that they’re just a warning to patients that they’re entering a house of death. They start talking about Marlene’s family; her parents are getting divorced. Abby tries to be positive about Marlene just living with her mom now. Abby grew up with just her mother, and that was…great. Really great.

Susan catches Janet buttoning up her shirt as she leaves a storage closet. Moments later, Luka emerges, telling Susan he’s looking for an x-ray he misplaced. Yeah, Susan’s not that dumb. She tells Abby what she saw, amused even though doctors shouldn’t be hooking up with patients’ family members. Abby says this isn’t the kind of thing he normally does. Susan thinks she should talk to him, which is…such a bad idea.

Felix has no alcohol in his system, and his tox screen came back negative, so the doctors aren’t sure why he can’t see. Gallant suggests quinine, an anti-malarial medication Felix would have taken while on deployment in the Phillippines. He would have had to take a lot of it. Pratt offers to talk to Felix, but Carter thinks Gallant should do it. “Give it your best shot, Mikey,” Pratt says.

Susan interrupts Luka while he’s flirting with Janet and asks why Marlene is still there, since she seems to just have a simple UTI. Luka thinks something else is going on, so he’s waiting for test results, but Susan suspects that he’s keeping them around so he can hook up with Janet again. She finally tells him to keep it in his pants and do his job. Pratt approaches as she leaves, giving Luka the test results he really was waiting for. It turns out Marlene does have something wrong with her beyond the UTI.

Gallant chats with Felix, whose vision is starting to come back. Felix quickly gets defensive when Gallant suggests that he took too much quinine. He thinks Felix came home from deployment expecting everything to be the same as when he left, and instead discovered that it wasn’t – like maybe his girlfriend (who doesn’t seem too concerned that her boyfriend is in the hospital, since she hasn’t shown up yet) doesn’t want to be his girlfriend anymore.

Felix admits that his girlfriend got tired of waiting for him to come home. Gallant wants Felix to talk to someone from psych, but since he’s in Special Forces, he can’t have that on his record. He made a split-second bad decision, and it won’t happen again. Gallant agrees to get him a clinic appointment that won’t go on his record. Felix promises that he’ll be okay from now on.

Luka tells Marlene and Janet that Marlene may have chronic renal failure. Abby’s bedside manner and quick connection with Marlene help the girl stay positive, but Janet guesses that this might be serious. Abby makes dinner plans with Carter, who is trying very, very hard not to ask her if she’s been drinking with her friends. He also feels bad about revealing her alcoholism to Susan. Abby doesn’t care about that.

The triage nurse interrupts to give Abby her time sheet, which confuses Abby. Jerry tells her that Weaver sent out a memo. Abby skipped their meeting because she had rounds, so she doesn’t know what’s going on. Jerry asks if Carter and Abby are fighting – not because he wants to gossip, but because he wants to help them “navigate love’s wavy waters.” Carter responds by trashing an origami swan Jerry made and was so proud of.

Someone went over Gallant’s head and called psych for Felix, who’s going to be moved to a locked ward. Gallant goes looking for the culprit, Pratt. Gallant wrote on Felix’s chart that his overdose was accidental, but Pratt knows no one would take that much quinine without meaning to harm himself. Gallant confronts Pratt for making the call without consulting him. Pratt calls him “brother man” and says he was just keeping an eye out for Gallant. Gallant replies that he has enough brothers and doesn’t need another one.

Pratt says he was trying to protect Gallant from a malpractice suit. Gallant complains that Pratt keeps riding him, and Pratt urges him to learn how to stick up for himself. If Gallant has brothers, trust me, he knows how to stick up for himself. Gallant says he told Kayson what he thought. Pratt argues that Gallant didn’t make Kayson hear him. Gallant tells Pratt that they’re different people, but Pratt disagrees. They’re both trying to fit in. The difference between them is that Pratt is being a man, and Gallant isn’t.

Abby suddenly summons Gallant to help Stella, who’s crashing. He and Carter try to shock her heart back into rhythm in the hallway where she’s been waiting for a bed. They move her into a trauma room and Pratt takes over helping Carter. Kayson arrives, calling Stella “the girl who cried wolf.” Yeah, and now her heart isn’t beating, so shut up and do your job.

Margaret agreed to have surgery, and Elizabeth tells Thomas that she’s now on a ventilator. In the middle of the conversation, Thomas gets confused about who and what they’re talking about. Stella has now been unresponsive for 40 minutes, and though Gallant wants to keep trying to save her, Kayson and Carter agree that it’s not possible. Gallant tells them she didn’t have any family. Good, then Kayson won’t get sued.

He defends his decision not to do anything by saying that most patients with Stella’s symptoms don’t get this bad. Gallant says he let Kayson miss the signs. Kayson argues that Stella was a hypochondriac, but Gallant accuses him of just not wanting to deal with her. If they’d admitted her, they could have detected how bad her heart problems were and fixed them. Kayson says Gallant should have spoken up. Pratt notes that he did. Kayson doesn’t want to hear from him.

Carter points out that Gallant is a fourth-year med student while Kayson is chief of cardiology. Kayson says he gave Gallant his expertise and guidance. Yeah, but it was wrong! This isn’t a defense! Gallant loses his cool, saying that Kayson’s expertise and guidance got him and Stella nowhere. “Easy, son,” Kayson says, either not knowing or not caring that a white person should never call a Black man “son.” Carter tells Pratt to take Gallant somewhere to calm down before Gallant says something that will ruin his career.

As they leave, Kayson continues trying to pass the buck, saying that Carter should have put Stella on a monitor. Carter replies that Kayson should have paid more attention. Kayson argues that patient care is about taking calculated risks. Abby speaks up that she thought it was about taking care of the patient. Kayson complains that people in the ER always stick together. Yeah, how dare they have each other’s backs and defend each other’s decisions! You can’t have a productive workplace when the employees do that!

In the hallway, Pratt calls Gallant “Mikey” again and praises him for being a man. Gallant doesn’t want to hear it. He starts to leave, pushing Pratt off of him. Abby and Carter try to calm them both down, but Pratt keeps following Gallant. Finally, Gallant turns around and punches him in the face. “Do not call me Mikey,” he spits out. Hold on, I have to rewind and watch Pratt get nailed a few more times.

Susan gives Pratt an ice pack as he downplays the fight, saying he knows how to take a punch. “So that’s what you were doing on the floor,” she comments. Carter tells him to give Gallant some more time before he attempts another conversation. Abby has officially been made nurse manager, though she doesn’t want the position, even with the raise it comes with. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan presents her with a present Romano sent over: a cactus with a note that reads, “Your 15 minutes is up.”

Carter checks on Gallant, who’s gone back to the trauma room where Stella’s body is laying. He jokes that Pratt wants Gallant to hit him on the other side of the face to even things out. Gallant tells him that Stella has been alone since her daughter died in a car accident. Carter says that Kayson knows what really happened today – he was to blame. But Gallant says he backed down and didn’t advocate for his patient enough. He always backs down. The staff is supposed to fight for their patients’ lives, but they always end up fighting each other instead.

Carter admits that he could have tried harder with Kayson, too. Gallant takes responsibility – Stella was his patient and trusted him. She’d be alive if Gallant hadn’t been so scared of being wrong. Carter tells him everyone gets scared, even Pratt. That has to be why he’s so arrogant. Everyone who comes to County is scared, but they learn to work through it. Gallant asks when that happens. Carter says it’s as soon as they kill someone. “I just did,” Gallant whispers. Carter disagrees, hopeful that Gallant will never lose anyone again.

Luka has to tell his new fling that her daughter needs surgery. They might have a malpractice case on their hands, since Marlene’s doctor back home never caught her kidney problems while treating all her UTIs. On the plus side, Luka has learned his lesson about sleeping with a patient’s mother. As he goes to give the mother and daughter the news, Abby spots Carter leaving earlier than expected. He doesn’t want to talk, but she’d like him to come right out and say whatever’s bothering him. Carter says he agreed not to try to fix her, so he’ll “shut up and wait for the car wreck.”

She follows him to the El station, asking what he means. He tells her that it’s obvious this relationship is going to crash and burn. Abby wishes he’d come to her earlier and said something, but Carter didn’t want to come across like an overprotective boyfriend. She tells him she’s only drinking a little, and not to get drunk. She usually has one or two drinks. Everything’s under control.

Carter doesn’t understand why she wants to go back to behavior that could lead to disaster. Abby points out that she was drinking last year, and he knew, so it shouldn’t be a problem now. She used to drink because she was miserable – she was in a bad marriage and had a life she didn’t want. Now she has a life she enjoys, and drinking casually with friends helps her feel like she’s past the bad part. She wishes Carter had faith in her judgment. Carter still doesn’t want to have this discussion, and when Abby asks him to stay and talk to her, he instead gets on a train.

Abby returns to County, where Luka’s finishing up talking to Janet about Marlene’s prognosis. Suddenly Janet doesn’t want to be around him. Abby checks on Marlene, who wonders if her illness will help her parents get back together. This girl is both the most optimistic and most naïve patient we’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t think Abby knows what to do with her.

In the lounge, Weaver tells Susan that Abby is the new nurse manager, and she’d like Susan to tell her if Abby isn’t fulfilling her new duties well. Susan asks if Weaver’s okay. Weaver downplays her mistake on the newscast, then tries to deny that anything happened in the bathroom. Susan won’t let it drop, so Weaver just says she’s taking hormones. Outside the lounge, she asks Gallant about the altercation she heard he had. He admits that he hit Pratt. “In that case, I’ll overlook it,” she says. Chen says good night to Gallant, calling him “Iron Mike.”

Pratt tries to get Gallant to talk to him, apologizing for interfering in Felix’s case. He also knows that Gallant only punched him because he was mad at Kayson, not because he had it out for Pratt personally. Yeah, that’s not true, buddy. Pratt good-naturedly warns that next time, he’ll hit back. This is Pratt’s way of saying there are no hard feelings, and Gallant has clearly calmed down. He asks Pratt to say hi to Leon for him. As Gallant leaves, Pratt feeds the fish in the aquarium. Mystery solved!

Carter arrives at Abby’s place just as she’s getting home. He tells her he’s made his opinion about her drinking clear, so he won’t bring it up again, but his real problem is that she hid it from him. She promises not to hide it anymore. Carter apologizes for ditching her, but he needed some time to figure out where they stand. Okay, but you could have said that, bozo. Anyway, I guess she wants to keep going with this. No, I don’t know why.

Thoughts: I know I said it before but I really like Abby and Susan’s friendship. There’s no jealousy that one is dating the other’s ex. There’s no awkwardness because one’s a doctor and one’s a nurse. Susan doesn’t shame Abby for being an alcoholic. They just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. It’s refreshing.

I also really like how Abby treats Marlene. She doesn’t talk down to her or treat her like a child. And even though Abby has to be really busy, she acts like she has as much time as Marlene needs from her.

They missed a great opportunity to have an M&M about Stella’s case, resulting in some sort of consequences for Kayson sucking, but no. He gets away with it. Even worse, he’s still in five more episodes.

Once again, I don’t get Abby and Carter’s relationship. There’s no way she would want to be with someone she feels is constantly judging her. And I don’t think his good qualities outweigh that.

March 27, 2021

Felicity 4.2, My Best Friend’s Wedding: Opening the Drawer

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

The sleeves are weird, but the rest of the dress looks nice

Summary: The last time we saw Felicity, she was kissing Noel on Tar Beach. Well, it turns out the kissing went beyond just that, and the two of them are now putting their clothes back on. Oh, dear. She immediately wants to leave, disagreeing when Noel tells her everything will be okay. Yeah, dude, you’re not the one who just cheated. You’re the one who got what he wanted.

After asking Noel to wait a few minutes so they don’t arrive together, Felicity goes back to the loft to get her purse, then starts to leave. Ben comes home and thinks she’s just been waiting there for him. He apologizes for blowing up at her and invites her to hang out for a while. Felicity lies that she doesn’t feel well, so she’s going to go home and sleep. Before she can slip out, Noel comes down, and they act like they didn’t just do something awful together.

Elena and Tracy come by Felicity’s room the next morning and tell her that their minister is overbooked, so they’d like her to get ordained online and perform their ceremony. Tracy promises that she can get guidance from his minister and from his aunt and uncle who have been married for 50 years. Felicity suggests that the aunt or uncle do the ceremony instead. “No, no, no, they’re nuts,” Tracy says. Felicity agrees, even though she’s the last person who should be preaching about love and faithfulness right now. Also, she has a huge hickey on her neck.

At the loft, Sean has a very important box to present to Ben and Javier. Javier doesn’t care, since he’s focused on wedding planning. He couldn’t secure a place for the wedding rehearsal, so he’d like to host it at the loft. Well, of course. Sean shows the guys the contents of the box: condoms that play “Here Comes the Bride” when ripped open. He calls them Rubber Bands. They play different songs for different occasions. Dare I say that this invention might actually make Sean some money for once?

As Sean says that, after Saturday, Tracy and Elena can finally have sex, Meghan comes in. She comments on the fact that Sean just used the words “Tracy” and “sex” in the same sentence. You might be surprised to learn that this leads to a fight between Meghan and Sean. He’s annoyed that, in the wake of her declaration that she wants to have sex with Tracy, he now can’t get the idea out of his head. Um, the idea of Meghan and Tracy having sex, not the idea of Sean and Tracy having sex. Though maybe he has that idea, too; I don’t know his brain.

Meghan thinks Sean is implying that he doesn’t think she could get Tracy. I don’t know, but I’ll say straight out that I don’t think she could get Tracy. Meghan wants to make a bet that she can get Tracy to kiss her before the wedding. The loser of the bet has to be the winner’s servant for a day. Sean thinks this is the easiest bet he’ll ever win, so of course he’s in.

Noel goes to the dorm apartment with various products Felicity thinks will clear up her hickey. Has she never heard of foundation? Also, the hickey is the least of her problems, really. She thinks she should just be honest and tell Ben that they slept together. Noel disagrees. Out in the living room, Tracy and Elena are practicing for their first dance. He wants to take the waltzing from the living room to the bedroom, even though they’re not married yet. Elena declines, which makes Tracy think something’s going on with her.

Felicity goes to see Pavone in hopes of easing her guilt about cheating on Ben. She thinks Pavone will say she shouldn’t tell Ben what she did. Pavone doesn’t think that way, necessarily – Felicity doesn’t have perspective on the issue yet, and there might be something she’s not seeing yet. There’s a drawer, and there’s something inside it that Felicity needs to look into.

Someone put Richard in charge of music for the reception, for some reason. He notices that Noel is acting weird and thinks it’s lady problems. First he thinks Noel is in a dry spell, but then he thinks Noel scored with someone. Noel likes that it was someone Richard doesn’t know. Her name is Sandy, and she works at a nearby pizza place. Noel, you idiot – of course Richard is going to go over there and check her out!

The show didn’t want to cast people to play Tracy’s parents, so Javier announces that they’re stuck in Buffalo and can’t make the wedding rehearsal at the loft. He enlists Noel and Richard to be their stand-ins. Felicity arrives, and Ben sees that she looks upset, so he takes her to his room to talk. She pretends she’s just emotional about the wedding and how much everything’s changing. Noel comes to get them, since Felicity is kind of integral to the rehearsal.

The next day, Sean is still working on gifts for the wedding guests. Sean needs a better plot. Ben asks Noel if he knows why Felicity’s been acting weird – has she said anything to Noel about her relationship with Ben? Did she say anything the other night? Noel lies that he only saw her for a minute, so they didn’t really talk.

At the dorm apartment, Meghan takes Tracy into the bathroom, where the light is better, so he can give his opinion on ribbon. She offers him some kind of lip product that will make his lips tingle – maybe he’d like to use it with Elena on his wedding night? But the only way to get the full effect is to kiss someone. Yeah, nice try, Meghan, but Tracy doesn’t want to kiss you, and also, he probably thinks you’re crazy now.

Felicity stops by the loft to see Ben, but he’s not home. While she’s leaving him a note, she hears a message on the answering machine from someone named Janet. She mentions driving by their hotel and thinking about him. She’ll be transferring to Columbia in two weeks. Hmmm, I’m sure there’s a completely innocent explanation for all of that.

Felicity and Noel wind up arriving at the dorm apartment at the same time, and he warns her that Ben is curious about what’s going on between them. She asks him about Janet, furious that Ben apparently slept with someone else. Yeah, that jerk! Felicity would never do that to him! Noel starts to give her advice, like she wants advice from him. He tells her that if she wants to come clean to Ben, she should.

Richard comes by, and we learn that he has a band called Morse Code (because his last name is Coad). Also, guess what? He went by the pizza place where Sandy works and learned that there’s no Sandy! Surprise! He also sees the hickey on Felicity’s neck, then quickly puts together that she’s “Sandy.” That means the one person who should never know a secret you want to stay secret now knows Noel and Felicity’s big secret!

Ben and Felicity go to dinner, and she asks who Janet is. Ben reminds Felicity that he told her about Janet – a group of the EMT students got hotel rooms for some exercise, and Janet came on to him, but he told her he has a girlfriend. He insists that nothing happened. He also knows that Felicity’s weirdness lately has to be related to something else.

He thinks it’s because Felicity’s uncertain about her future, while Ben knows what he wants to do. They’ve switched positions since freshman year. He knows he’s been busy, so he’s neglected their relationship a little, and he wants to help Felicity however he can. Felicity fights back tears as she says she’s confused. She wants to spend some time apart.

Richard thinks Noel is itching to run up to the roof and yell, “I finally had Felicity!” Okay, first, I hate when people say “had” when they mean they slept with someone. It’s gross. Second, the roof is the scene of the crime, so Noel should stay away from there. He tells Richard this isn’t funny. Ben comes home, and fortunately, Richard leaves immediately, so Noel doesn’t have to worry about him saying something he shouldn’t. Unfortunately, now Ben and Noel are alone in the loft. Ben reveals that Felicity broke up with him the night before. Noel is, like, the least amount of sorry you can be while saying you’re sorry.

At the dorm apartment, Elena confronts Meghan for trying to kiss Tracy. Meghan brushes it off, saying it’s just part of a stupid bet. Elena asks what Meghan would do if she tried to sleep with Sean. Well, first she would roll her eyes, because that would never happen. Meghan tells her it’s nothing to worry about, and Elena’s obviously just freaking out because Tracy suddenly wants to have sex, but might not after they’re married. Elena disinvites Meghan from the wedding, which Meghan is probably fine with, since it means she doesn’t have to stand in front of a bunch of people wearing a pink dress.

Felicity and Noel go for a walk so she can pretend she cares about how he’s handling the aftermath of their hookup. Then she starts worrying about herself again. She’s concerned that this will ruin their friendship. Noel says he doesn’t have any expectations, so that’s one less thing for her to think about.

Meghan and Sean fight (shocking!) about how Meghan doesn’t care that Elena just threw her out of the wedding party. He accuses Meghan of not caring about other people. She blindsided Elena with something major the day before her wedding. Sean tells her she has to stop testing people and pushing them away just to see how far she can go. Meghan’s like, “The people I test keep failing, so maybe that’s good to know.” Sean warns that she might eventually drive everyone away, including him, and end up alone.

Tracy comes to the dorm apartment, where Elena greets him with, “I want to have sex.” They head straight to her room, but she puts the brakes on before too many clothes can come off. Meghan got in her head, and now she doesn’t know if she and Tracy will have a good sex life after they get married. Tracy points out that Meghan has piercings, though I’m not sure why that means she can’t weigh in here. He promises that they’re getting married for the right reasons.

Felicity chats with Tracy’s unnamed aunt and uncle, who tell her the secret of a long relationship is forgiveness. Your heart gets stronger the more you use it. Felicity’s really happy to hear that. She goes back to see Pavone, admitting that she’s not sure Ben will forgive her for sleeping with Noel. Pavone gets her to realize that, even if she was sure, that wouldn’t solve all her problems. She would still feel horrible about cheating. Pavone thinks she doesn’t want to let go of her guilt because of what she could expose underneath.

Felicity says she deserves to feel guilty since she did something horrible. Pavone says she’s more scared than Pavone ever realized – she’s too scared to look in the drawer. Felicity still doesn’t know what this drawer is supposed to symbolize. Pavone says her problem won’t go away by itself, and she can only hide it for so long. Felicity asks who’s in the drawer. Pavone comments that she never said it was a person. Felicity thinks Noel is in the drawer. Pavone says she chose him for a reason – she could have turned to anyone while she was struggling, including Ben. She’s been dancing around this for years, and clearly wants to be with both Ben and Noel.

It’s wedding day, and Elena is willing to put it off since Felicity is having relationship issues. Felicity tells her she needs to follow her heart. Meghan shows up in her bridesmaid dress, knowing Elena will let her back in the wedding party. She apologizes for trying to kiss Tracy and for making judgments about Tracy and Elena’s relationship. Elena forgives her and says Meghan shouldn’t worry about her relationship with Sean; they’re perfect for each other. In fact, they’re the couple who should be getting married today.

Noel approaches Felicity just minutes before the ceremony and offers to make a pact not to tell anyone that they slept together. Javier checks on them and reveals that Tracy hasn’t arrived yet. Elena finds him outside, and he tells her they don’t have to go through with this if she doesn’t want to. He thinks she’s only marrying him because she doesn’t want to lose him. Tracy promises that he’s not just doing this to have sex – he really loves Elena and wants to spend his life with her. He’s just not sure she feels the same way.

Inside, Elena announces to the wedding party and guests that there won’t be a ceremony. Meghan decides that she’s ready to get married, though, and asks Sean if he wants to be servants for life. She reminds Elena that she said Meghan and Sean should be the couple to get married. Elena likes this idea, so Felicity marries Meghan and Sean instead of Elena and Tracy. Ben and Noel both watch her closely, and poor Elena has to stand there in her wedding dress while someone else gets married. At the reception, everyone’s happy except Ben. Bad Felicity! Bad!

Thoughts: Coincidentally, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” is also the name of the Scrubs episode where Turk (Donald Faison’s character) and Carla get married. That episode also features a wedding ceremony that doesn’t go as planned. And Scott Foley is a guest star!

Tracy has a mustache now and I hate it.

I’m so tired of the TV cliché where one character gets ordained online to marry a couple. Enough, TV shows. J.J. Abrams must be a big fan of it; it happens on Alias, too, as Greg Grunberg’s character gets ordained online to marry Carrie Foreman’s character and Kevin Weisman’s character (in other words, Sean marries Meghan and Earl).

The first song played at the reception is “I Will Survive,” which is such a weird choice. It’s about surviving a breakup, so why would you play it after a wedding?

January 23, 2021

Felicity 3.10, Final Touches (AKA Let’s Get It On): Drawing on Reserves

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

Is this man a qualified professor? I’m not so sure

Summary: Felicity gets a letter she doesn’t like and goes to see a professor named Boyden. She thought she’d dropped his philosophy class, but the drop request didn’t go through, so she’s still enrolled. She never attended any classes, so she’s in danger of failing. It’s too late to drop the class, so Felicity’s only option is to ace the final, which is worth 50% of her grade. Boyden laughs as he tells her that even students who have been to class all semester won’t get an A.

At the dorm apartment, Felicity asks Meghan what happened to the two letters she asked her to mail two months ago: the drop-class form and a letter to Sally. Meghan insists she mailed them, but she’s wrong. She thinks Felicity’s smart enough to pass her final despite never going to class. Felicity should make Meghan take the final for her. Also, why would you mail a drop-class form instead of taking it to the registrar’s office?

Ben took the class Felicity now has to study for, and he’s sure she’ll do fine on the final. She disagrees – she has to cram a semester’s worth of philosophy in three days. Didn’t Noel TA a philosophy class? Isn’t that the class Ben took? Noel can help her. Problem solved. Speaking of Noel, Felicity’s supposed to be working on “Loser Pet Store” with him, but she doesn’t want to push that aside for…a graded class. Come on, Felicity.

Molly comes by to get the rest of her stuff, now that she’s no longer welcome in the dorm apartment. Felicity and Ben try to encourage her to get help, but she doesn’t listen to them. At the loft, Sean is having trouble performing sexually after his surgery. Meghan thinks they just need to give it more time, but Sean thinks that, after four weeks, there’s something else going on. Richard comes by with an idea to make money for the student government budget: a sexy calendar. Meghan tells him he needs to make one with men and one with women. She offers to pick the guys for the male calendar.

Felicity and Noel go to Icebox to meet with Morrison, the professor who has connections there. He likes that “Loser Pet Store” is cute, since most of Icebox’s stuff is offensive. For example, there’s a cartoon called “Queer Duck.” Yiiiiiikes. Morrison tells Felicity she should take one of his classes; her animation skills are great. While Icebox likes “Loser Pet Store,” there’s another cartoon they also like, and only one open spot. Felicity and Noel will need to come up with ideas for their next 20 episodes by Friday.

Elena and Tracy chat as they leave a class together, and though they’re much friendlier than they’ve been recently, he’s not ready for things to go back to the way they used to be. He spoke to his minister about the situation, and she told him he can decide whether or not to let go of the past, but not whether or not he wants to forgive Elena. For now, Tracy is ready to be friends.

Instead of studying or working on “Loser Pet Store,” Felicity goes somewhere with Ben and complains about how much work she has to do. She knows she needs to tell Noel she can’t work on the cartoon with him right now. They meet up with Noel at Epstein Bar, and he’s all excited about the cartoon because he thinks it’s going to lead to huge success. So I guess Felicity can’t back out now.

Molly comes in, planning to meet James there, and tells Felicity and Ben that she appreciates their offers of help, but she can’t just walk away from her boyfriend. They tell her to make sure she’s taking care of herself. James arrives and wonders why Molly’s chatting with the people who kicked her out of her apartment. He says Molly doesn’t need any of her so-called friends, then orders them to stay away from her.

After working on the cartoon with Noel, Felicity goes to Ben’s room to study. He guesses that she didn’t tell Noel she has to drop “Loser Pet Store.” Felicity knows she can’t handle both responsibilities right now, but she really wants to do the cartoon, so she can’t bring herself to drop it. Good luck staying awake while reading philosophy in bed after a long day.

Meghan, Richard, and Sean meet with potential models while Sean grumbles that Meghan’s enjoying checking out the guys a little too much. Sean shows even more interest in the female models, eagerly asking one what her interests are. They include walking barefoot on the beach and praying for world peace. Her dislikes include loud people. “Okay, thanks for coming in!” Meghan yells. But first the guys need to see her in a bikini. You know, for the calendar. Meghan comments that she’ll get Sean a drool cup for Hanukkah. They fight, and she tells him that if he likes the model enough, he can sleep with her.

Molly speaks at an Al-Anon meeting, telling the group that James is both using and dealing again. She’s also using. She knows it’s wrong, but she can’t help herself when she’s with James. After the meeting, Ben tries to talk to Molly about getting away from James, but Molly makes excuses. He says he’s going to get clean, and that he’s only dealing to get by. Molly is willing to believe him because she loves him.

More fighting over models. Richard wants to know what’s up with the Bickersons. Elena and Tracy stop by and Tracy looks through the stack of photos of the female models. He’s surprised so many hot women go to their school. Meghan thinks Tracy’s hot, too, and tells him to take off his shirt. She quickly tells him he’s in the calendar.

Felicity and Noel work on their episode outlines at the dorm apartment, though Felicity’s done about as much work on them as she’s done for her philosophy class. He thinks she doesn’t care as much about the cartoon as he does. Exhausted and overwhelmed, Felicity starts crying. Noel gets mad, for some reason, and decides to just work on the cartoon himself. Well, there you go. Now Felicity’s free to study. As Noel leaves, Molly comes by again and asks if she can move back home – “something happened.”

At the loft, Noel complains to Ben that Felicity is being a bad friend. Ben tells him that Felicity’s working hard to pass her philosophy class and help Noel at the same time. She didn’t want to abandon Noel. Felicity calls to tell Ben to come to the apartment, where Molly tells the two of them that James pulled a gun on her while he was high. She regrets just leaving the hotel where they’ve been staying. She doesn’t think she’s strong enough to leave him after all.

Ben reminds her of an Al-Anon lesson: She has to fix herself before she can fix anyone else. Molly thinks she can’t live without James, but Ben tells her she has to. Molly says she’s scared. Felicity tells her that going back to the hotel won’t make that go away. Yes, something bad might happen to James, but if Molly goes back to the hotel, something bad might happen to her, too.

Meghan and Sean fight. Again. Some more. I’m tired. Richard finally tells them to shut up. He realizes they’re struggling sexually in the wake of Sean’s surgery. Elena arrives as Sean leaves and objects to Richard and Meghan’s choice to put Tracy in their calendar. He’s sweet and religious, and Elena thinks that putting a shirtless picture of him in a calendar will mock that. She storms off to talk Tracy out of it. Meghan comments that he’s not going to sleep with her anyway.

Ben takes Molly to the rehab clinic where they met up previously. He notes that he doesn’t really know her, even though they’ve done this before and gone to meetings together. She appreciates how nice he’s been. Noel makes up with Felicity, feeling bad about how he treated her while she’s struggling. She suggests that they try to get an extension on their work for “Loser Pet Store.” Noel calls Morrison, but that’s a no-go…though Noel tells Felicity that Morrison said yes. He also finally tells Felicity he’ll help her study.

Elena finds Tracy and calls him a hypocrite and a tease for wanting to pose shirtless but not have sex. Elena, in what world are those things equivalent? Tracy is willing to do it for a good cause. Elena thinks he should have asked her what she thought first. Tracy reminds her that they’re friends, not a couple. Elena decides she can’t be his friend anymore.

Noel quizzes Felicity on philosophy stuff, but it’s not going well. James bursts in looking for Molly (“you guys need to lock your door,” Noel says helpfully), since she moved all her stuff out of the hotel room. He tells her that her friends don’t care about her, and she knows she belongs with him. Molly resists leaving with him, so he orders her to get her stuff. Ben calmly tells James that Molly just wants to sleep for a little while. James backs down and leaves.

Sometime later, Noel and Felicity head to the library, leaving Ben and Molly behind at the apartment. Felicity and Ben admit that they were scared when James came by. She’s proud of Ben for how he handled the situation. The study session doesn’t go well, and Felicity isn’t optimistic that she’ll pass the final. She’s too tired to retain any more information. Noel urges her to rally and draw on any reserves of energy she might have. He has faith that she can do anything she wants. Plus, he’s sacrificing his own study time to help her, so she’d better succeed. He wants this to be something they look back on and feel good about.

Back at the apartment, Molly is trying to draw on her own reserves to get the strength to break up with James. Ben advises her to do it in public and offers to come with her. Molly’s worried that James will get mad if he sees Ben, but Ben promises to stay out of sight. While Felicity takes her philosophy final the next morning, Tracy goes to the apartment to tell Elena that she’s right – they can’t be friends anymore. But it’s because he wants to get back together.

Felicity goes to the loft after her final and tells Noel it went great, thanks to his help. He decides it’s time to tell her they didn’t get the Icebox extension after all, so they have to finish their episode outlines by the next day. That means another all-nighter. Felicity doesn’t hear that part, though, since she’s already asleep.

Meghan, Sean, and Richard finalize the calendars at Epstein Bar, but only Richard is excited about how successful the project will be. Sean looks through photos of the male models and laments that he’ll never look like them. Meghan would never fantasize about him. Sean has wanted to be intimate with her since right after the operation, and he’s worried that if he can’t perform, Meghan will dump him for someone who can’t. Meghan admits that she thought his failure to perform meant he wasn’t into her anymore. They kiss, and the problem is solved.

Ben watches from across the street as Molly waits for James on a sidewalk. Molly breaks the news to James that they’re done, and though Ben can’t hear them, it’s pretty obvious that James doesn’t take the news well. Ben silently pleads with Molly to walk away, but she doesn’t. She leaves with James, giving Ben an apologetic glance. Hey, great, Meghan and Sean are fine again, still together to fight about something else next time. Can’t wait. Tracy and Elena are also fine, and he’s no longer a virgin. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem happy about it.

Thoughts: Morrison is played by Scott Adsit. I hope he got paid extra for having to sport some ridiculous facial hair.

The whole didn’t-know-I-was-enrolled-in-a-class-and-have-to-take-the-final thing is definitely based on a common nightmare, but it actually happened to a friend of mine. I’m not sure how she dealt with it, though.

Molly should have stayed at the loft instead of the apartment. It would have taken James a lot longer to track her down.

I can’t deal with Sean and Meghan fighting in every episode. It gives me Steve/Clare flashbacks.

November 7, 2020

Felicity 2.22, Final Answer: Meghan Whips Up Some Cookies…and Some Trouble

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

Get a life, pervs

Summary: Richard, Meghan, and Sean are listening at a bedroom door in the loft, trying to hear Felicity and Ben, who spent the night together. Richard wishes they had a camera in there. Ew, Richard. Ruby and Julie join the group, and Sean tries to use a spy camera to look under the door. Ben and Felicity notice, and Ben moons the camera while Felicity flashes it. Meghan is proud.

We go back to the previous night, when Ben and Felicity watched a movie on the roof and kissed. Felicity tells Sally all about it, calling it the most romantic night of her life. The two of them had a long conversation and made out some more, feeling relived to be together again. Ben admitted that his mother can’t pay his tuition, but he can get a job in California for the summer, which means the two of them can spend the summer together.

In the morning, the two discuss trips they can take together over the summer. Before that, though, they have to take finals. Felicity’s having trouble concentrating, though some other students are, too – mainly, the two who are making out in the library. They inspire Felicity and Ben to find someplace quiet to be alone together.

Sean helps Julie shop for supplies she’ll need to get her through finals. He reminds her that in two days, it’ll all be over and she’ll feel great. That’s how he felt after he declared his feelings for her. She agrees to go out with him after all her exams are done. Noel and Ruby are studying together at the apartment, and he invites her to hang out that night, but she has plans with Wade. She reveals that he asked her to marry him. Noel thinks she would be crazy to marry someone she doesn’t love, no matter what it means for the baby or her financial situation.

During a study break, Julie, Meghan, and Elena try to get Felicity to tell them if she slept with Ben. She says no, which Elena thinks is crazy – why not have sex with someone who’s willing to have sex with you? Julie mentions that she’s going out with Sean, though she clearly doesn’t have romantic feelings for him yet. Meghan says she thinks he’s cute.

At the loft, she starts baking cookies with the smart powder she touted last year. She leaves to get eggs, and Ben and Felicity immediately start making out. At the apartment, Tracy decides he’s ready to have sex. Then he says he has to leave for a final. Elena reminds him that he wanted to wait until he was married to have sex. Tracy’s like, “Screw that – test, then sex.”

Felicity realizes that she and Ben can’t keep making out when they’re supposed to be focused on schoolwork. They need to stay away from each other for the next three days. Yes, they’ll have to see each other at work, and they’re both living in the loft right now, but this will totally work. After three days, they get the whole summer to be together.

After one of her last art classes before the exam, the professor, Morton, tells Felicity that there’s an internship opportunity for her over the summer. She would be assisting Morton at the Met. That would be the Met in New York, not Palo Alto, where Ben will be spending the summer. If Felicity does really well on her final, Morton will make the offer official.

2 days until the art history final that determines Felicity’s future (at least for the summer). Felicity tells Ben about it at Dean & DeLuca, then asks if he can find a summer job in New York. He knows there won’t be anything in New York that pays as well as his job in Palo Alto. He urges Felicity to do well on her final and wait until the offer is official to make her decision.

Javier is thrilled to catch the two of them kissing. He asks Ben to be an usher (“we would like you to ush for us”) and gives him a motion-activated watch. You have to shake your arm around to wind it. Javier asks Felicity to be his best man, and she happily accepts. He tells the couple to go back to work and stop kissing while they’re on the clock.

Julie and Noel study together at Epstein Bar, and she invites him to open up, since something’s obviously bothering him. He tells her that Wade wants to marry Ruby, and Noel thinks it’s a bad idea. Julie guesses that Noel wants to marry Ruby instead. Noel says that if the baby was his, he would. Julie thinks that if he wants to be there for Ruby, he should tell her.

At the loft, Sean and Richard go over date possibilities for Sean and Julie while Meghan continues baking. Sean asks Ben where he and Julie should go, since Ben went out with her. Ben says the location doesn’t matter, if you’re with someone you really like. He brings up Felicity’s internship opportunity and what it could mean for their summer together. Sean and Richard tell him he needs to do something really romantic. They suggest that he get a hotel room. Meghan’s cookies are done, and Sean says they’re the best he’s ever had.

Felicity tells Sally that she and Ben were able to keep their distance until Ben’s finals were done. He was able to get a discounted hotel room, thanks to a friend of Sean’s, but Felicity is hesitant to break their agreement to keep their distance from each other. He easily talks her into taking a study break at the hotel.

Noel asks Ruby if she and Wade really care about each other enough to get married. She notes that they barely know each other. Noel doesn’t want her to get tied down to a guy she’s connected to because of the pregnancy. He thinks she should stay there…with him. If it’s important to her to have a husband, Noel is open to being that husband. Ruby’s been waiting to hear something like this from him, but her parents have asked her to move home so they can help out with the baby. She was leaning toward that option, but now she’s not sure that’s what she wants.

An hour and a half before Felicity’s art history final, she and Ben are enjoying their hotel room (clothes on). She double-checks the time on Ben’s new watch, then takes it off him while they make out. Back at the loft, Meghan cautions Elena not to jump into bed with Tracy so quickly. If she sleeps with a religious virgin, it’ll be like Tracy is breaking up with God for her. As Meghan has learned from personal experience, “you do not want to be the Yoko in a man’s relationship with the Lord.” Elena notes that Tracy made the decision, but Meghan knows this could lead to a crisis of faith and a breakdown. Elena should wait until Tracy’s slept with someone else.

50 minutes before the art history final, Ben and Felicity are on the verge of getting naked. She says she doesn’t want to feel rushed. Ben tells her they can wait until after her final. On the bedside table, Ben’s motion-activated watch stops. 13 minutes later, Ben checks the time and thinks it’s 4:10.

At the loft, Julie and Noel are eating Meghan’s cookies and starting to look like…more than friends. Sean and Richard are out making date plans, though Sean still hasn’t finalized things. He did make a reservation at a nice restaurant, though. Elena and Tracy have finished all their exams, which means now they can get busy at the apartment. She doesn’t seem hesitant about this anymore.

15 minutes before the art history final, Felicity and Ben are still making out, as are Tracy and Elena. Noel and Julie are having a nice conversation but look like if they move any closer together, they’ll be making out, too. Ben checks the time and says it’s still 4:10. It’s actually 5:00, and the final is beginning.

Elena stops Tracy before they can get naked and asks if anyone or anything else is on his mind, like “any all-powerful entities.” He’s confused. Julie finally closes the gap between her and Noel and they make out. Montage of kissing while Felicity’s classmates take their exam. Sean and Richard arrive at the loft just as Julie and Noel are getting horizontal on the couch. “You sluts!” Richard yells. Things stop over at the apartment, too, when Elena decides she can’t compete with God.

Ben checks the time once again – still 4:10. Felicity checks the clock in the room and realizes it’s actually after 6:00. Meghan comes home as Sean is confronting Julie, and reveals that the smart cookies contain beet powder. As we know, beet powder makes Noel hyper. Meghan is amused by his despair and urges him to have another cookie.

Elena tells Tracy that he just has spring fever and shouldn’t sacrifice his faith for her. She’s feeling a lot of pressure here. Felicity accuses Ben of trying to sabotage her final so she wouldn’t have a reason to stay in New York over the summer. She thinks he purposely didn’t wind the watch. Sean reminds Julie that they were supposed to go on a date. Noel thinks Sean is saying he had a date with Noel. Meghan wishes she had a video camera. Ruby arrives just as Sean is yelling that Noel kissed Julie. Everyone storms out of their various locations.

Later, Sean joins Ben at the hotel and raids the mini-bar while Ben complains that Felicity blames him for her time screw-up. She returns and reveals that she was too late to take the final. Sean tells her that Julie kissed Noel. Felicity apologizes to Ben for blaming him for the screw-up. She’ll pass the class even without taking the exam, and now her summer plans are clear. Sean says Ben is lucky to be dating someone who won’t turn around and kiss Noel. Well, probably not. While Felicity takes a shower, Ben calls the security guard he worked with during the docuventary and asks for Morton’s phone number.

At Epstein Bar, Julie and Elena commiserate over their romantic failures. Elena says she feels evil for wanting to have sex with a guy who wanted to wait until marriage. Julie tells her that’s not a crime. Ben tracks Morton down at a restaurant and explains why Felicity missed her final. They’re in the first stages of their relationship, where everything feels great and they’re only focused on each other, so Felicity was a little distracted. Ben wants to make sure this doesn’t ruin her chances at the internship. Morton gives him a note to give Felicity.

At the loft, Julie starts to explain things to Sean, but he gets that she doesn’t feel the same way about him as he feels about her. He also seems to get that dating someone you live with is probably a bad idea. Elena goes home, where Tracy’s still hanging out. He’s glad she stopped things before they went too far. Now he knows how much she cares.

Noel meets up with Ruby, who has made a decision about her future. She wants Noel to continue kissing people who aren’t her and having other normal college experiences. She doesn’t fit in that world anymore, so she’s going home to her parents. Noel and Ruby are sad to lose each other like this, but they plan to keep in touch. They kiss and say goodbye.

Back at the loft, Sean tells Meghan that he didn’t know she was such a good baker. She says there are a lot of things about her he doesn’t know. They look at each other meaningfully for a few moments, then kiss. Felicity is putting the hotel bathtub to good use, so she’s nice and relaxed when Ben tells her that Morton will let her take the final – sort of. She has to write an essay, due tomorrow, on an artist she knows nothing about.

The two go to the loft and Ben helps Felicity study up on the artist. She tells Sally that while it wasn’t a romantic night, it showed that the two of them can work together. Felicity can’t believe that she and Ben stayed up all night for a chance to spend the summer apart. Morton loves the paper and offers Felicity the internship, so now she has a big decision to make.

Thoughts: I assume that if Amy Jo Johnson had stayed on the show, Julie and Noel would have gotten together. It’s like my high school friend group, where everyone dated everyone else.

A motion-activated watch is a horrible idea exactly because of what happens here. And who in the year 2000 was still wearing a watch that needed to be wound?

Yeah, sorry, if I’m a professor and you miss my final because you’re making out with someone, I’m not going to have much sympathy for you. Set an alarm.

July 25, 2020

Felicity 2.7, Getting Lucky: The Second First Time

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

If you didn’t know better, you’d think this was a happy family, right?

Summary: We haven’t started with Felicity making a tape for Sally in a little while, but here we are. She tells Sally she met someone mysterious and is calling him Lucky. Things have been going great with David, and on the way back from his place one morning, she sees Lucky – a scruffy, sad-looking stray dog. She takes him to Elena and Noel’s apartment, but Elena is hesitant to let them in, since they could bring diseases with them. Really, she’s more worried about Felicity bringing in disease, since she was recently sick. Felicity says it was the flu, not mono.

She notes that Lucky seems to like the apartment, but Elena preemptively refuses to adopt the dog. She changes the subject, wanting to know if Felicity (who spent the night at David’s) got some. She didn’t, so Elena thinks it’ll happen after her and David’s next date. Noel comes home and is thrilled to have the dog there. His neighbor had a dog just like Lucky when Noel was a kid, and even though Noel was allergic, he loved being with the dog. He thinks he might have grown out of his allergies. Elena agrees to let Lucky stay for a few days if it’s okay with Noel, but Noel hasn’t outgrown his allergies after all, so that’s a no.

Felicity and Elena take Lucky to a vet and continue their discussion about David. Felicity wonders why Elena’s so interested in her sex life. Elena says it’s because she doesn’t have one of her own. She sees David as Felicity’s second chance at a first time, this time with someone she actually knows. Felicity’s ready to have another date with David and then “score,” but first she’ll have to find a place for Lucky to stay.

Fortunately, Javier is willing to take in the dog, but first Lucky will have to meet Mami. That’s Javier’s cat, who looks just like you would imagine a cat owned by Javier to look – fluffy and well-treated and beautiful. Javier thinks Mami is insulted by just the idea of having a dog move into her territory, so that’s another no.

Next stop: the loft. Sean quickly says yes to the dog, having had great experiences with his own childhood dog. Lucky immediately makes a mess of Sean’s Smoothaise-making station, so he changes his mind. Back at Dean & DeLuca, Javier tells Ben that Mami is still upset with him. He knows because he’s “psychical” with animals, like Dr. Dolittle. Then he confuses Dr. Dolittle with My Fair Lady, which makes sense, because Eliza’s last name was Doolittle. Anyway! Maggie comes in and tells Ben she’s still interested in a relationship. Yeah, that’s not the issue. The issue is that you’re married, Maggie.

At the loft, Julie walks around in just her bra, looking for a shirt Lucky stole. It’s ruined, so Julie can’t wear it on a date with a guy named Seven. Yes, Seven. She tells Sean, “I’m going to have sex, Jack.” They try to remember the movie that’s from. As Julie leaves, Sean looks at her longingly. You’re not gonna have sex, Jack.

Felicity tells Sally that time started running out to find a place for Lucky to stay, but then the obvious solution arises: David. He makes the inevitable “getting lucky” joke. He and Felicity have dinner and watch a movie, then end up in bed together. Lucky watches them. Well, that’s not awkward. Just as they’re about to grab a condom and go to the next step, Felicity decides she can’t have sex with a dog watching them. David puts him in the bathroom, but Lucky isn’t happy with that, and his whimpering kind of kills the mood. Felicity decides to take him out for a walk.

Thanks to Lucky, Felicity doesn’t get lucky, which she claims is okay with her. She tells Sally that they all slept well that night. The next day, Elena tells Felicity that a dog shouldn’t have been an obstacle to having sex. She thinks Felicity just used Lucky as an excuse and doesn’t actually want to sleep with David. Felicity denies having issues with sex, but Elena points out that she never slept with Ben or Noel. Felicity says she just wasn’t ready.

At the loft, Julie wakes up Sean to tell him she remembered the movie the quote was from: 48 Hrs. Ben comes home and tells Sean that Maggie’s married. He doesn’t want to break up a marriage, but she must be unhappy if she’s having an affair, so maybe it’s not that bad of an idea. Sean’s distracted, obviously thinking about Julie, and asks for a rain check on the conversation.

Felicity sneaks Lucky into her dorm, because…I guess she thinks Meghan will be okay with this? She asks Meghan to watch the dog while she has another date with David. Meghan surprises her by agreeing. It works out well for her, since she needs a favor – she needs to borrow Felicity’s computer to do “homework.” No, I don’t want to know what she’s really doing.

Maggie tracks Ben down to tell him she wants to have an affair with him. Hon, I think you’ve already done that. She promises to keep her marriage out of their relationship (or whatever it is). She offers him a key to a room at the Dakota, because if you’re not going to go high-class, why cheat at all? It’s up to Ben whether he wants to meet her there and continue being a homewrecker.

Felicity returns to her room after buying some dog food and learns that Meghan has no idea where Lucky is. Felicity finds him in another room, drinking beer out of a Frisbee. Thanks, idiot college guys who wanted to get a dog drunk! Ben spends a long time thinking about things, then goes to the Dakota and gets it on with Maggie. Well, at least someone’s having sex in this episode. He compliments the butterfly tattoo on her lower back, and she tells him she’ll show him her other tattoos.

Felicity decides that being unable to find someone to watch Lucky is an omen that she and David aren’t supposed to have sex. Elena thinks she’s avoiding it, so she agrees to keep Lucky for the night. While Felicity and David start getting naked, Lucky tears apart Noel and Elena’s couch. Elena tells Noel that Felicity’s studying at the library. Then Lucky starts peeing on stuff.

At David’s, the condom comes out again, but Felicity gets a page from Elena and puts on the brakes, figuring something’s wrong with Lucky. She calls the apartment, and Noel tells her that Lucky bit him, so Felicity needs to come get him. He quickly realizes that Felicity’s with David, not at the library, and tells her to stay put. Felicity ignores him and insists on going to get the dog.

The next day, after Felicity has taken Lucky back to David’s, Elena asks Noel to help Felicity work through her “sex issues.” Of course, Felicity doesn’t want to talk to her ex about her new love life. She says Elena’s making a bigger deal out of things than she should. Noel guesses that Felicity and David haven’t had sex. Noel and Ruby have, though, which means the person Felicity has advised is now getting more action than her RA is.

Noel says he admires that Felicity takes sex so seriously. She wants it to mean something, which it should. Felicity says that’s causing problems now. Noel admits that he’s glad they never slept together. He likes Ruby a lot, and the sex is good, but now he knows what it’s like to be with her, so the mystery’s gone. With Felicity, that mystery never went away. David calls and summons Felicity to come get Lucky, who seems to be sick.

Ben has spent the night with Maggie and starts looking through her address book while she’s taking a business call. He sees a photo of her with her husband and gets hit with the reality of what it means to sleep with a married woman. Felicity and Elena take Lucky back to the vet and talk about David again. Elena takes responsibility for causing problems by making Felicity self-conscious. Felicity learns that Lucky has distemper, a brain infection, which means his days are numbered.

Felicity takes Lucky back to David’s, where he’s gotten a big cage for the dog in hopes of keeping him contained but happy so the humans can have sex. When Felicity isn’t excited about that, David asks if he’s doing something wrong. It seems clear to him that Felicity doesn’t want to sleep with him. She asks if he wants her to put Lucky back out on the street. David says he’s bent over backwards to make things work, and Felicity hasn’t done the same. She tells him he’s right, and she doesn’t want to be there.

Felicity and Lucky wind up back at Noel and Elena’s place, and since the dog seems to be in pain, Felicity has decided to have him put down. Noel offers to go with her. At the vet’s, Felicity laments that Lucky may have gone his whole life without anyone to love him. David arrives, having been told what was going on by Elena, so Noel leaves to give him and Felicity some time alone. When the vet comes to put Lucky to sleep, Felicity just tells him over and over that he’s a good boy.

At Dean & DeLuca, Javier is sad about Lucky’s fate. Ben tries to comfort him, though he seems to find it a little amusing that Javier’s crying over a dog he only met once. A guy comes in wanting to order a cake recommended to him by his wife…Maggie. It’s for their anniversary. Mr. Sherwood wants it decorated with a butterfly. You know, just like Maggie’s tattoo. Aieeeeeee!

It’s quiet now at David’s apartment, where Felicity admits that she was using Lucky as an excuse not to sleep with David. She’s only had sex one time, with someone she barely knew, so she’s been nervous about sleeping with someone she cares about. In a way, it’s her first time. David says he cares about Felicity, too, and he doesn’t know where things are going to end up, but he likes how they are now. If Felicity isn’t ready, they shouldn’t rush things. Without all the pressure on them, Felicity can enjoy herself with David, just making out. Except now she thinks she’s ready for sex with him. Well, that didn’t take long!

Felicity tells Sally that Lucky had a profound effect on both her and her relationship with David. She’s back at Noel and Elena’s the next morning, and Noel asks how things went the night before. He asks if the mystery’s gone. Felicity wonders why he’s so amused by the idea of her sleeping with David. Noel says that now he and Felicity have something that she doesn’t have with David.

Thoughts: Freaking A, who just picks up a stray dog off the street without a place to keep him or any idea of what to do with him? This is what animal shelters are for, Felicity!

This is the second episode in a row where Julie has barely gotten any screentime. What’s going on there?

Don’t put a dog in a TV show if you’re just going to kill him off! J.J. Abrams is a sadist.

Elena, after Lucky pees on the little model home Noel has: “Did you want that house to have a pool?” I love her. Elena is too good for this show.

May 2, 2020

Felicity 1.17, Assassins: Just Shoot Me

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Elena, you’re awesome. We’ll talk about your outfit later

Summary: Felicity wakes up in her bed, unsure if her memories of the previous night are real, or if everything was a dream. Her voiceover to Sally isn’t specific, but she and Eli definitely did something. Noel comes by and apologizes for the whole Hanna situation. He promises that it’s all over with her. The whole time he was with her, he was thinking of Felicity. They didn’t sleep together. Felicity can’t handle this right now, so she comes up with an excuse to leave.

Julie meets Felicity in the library and asks how things worked out with Noel. Felicity says he’s done with Hanna, but now things are complicated. Sean joins them and starts to tell them about his new project, which requires some sort of research, but Julie makes him leave. Felicity goes as well.

An RA named Daryl brings Noel a box and reminds him that he’s in charge of doing something on his floor that Noel doesn’t want to do. Noel calls a floor meeting to address security issues caused by people not knowing each other well enough and just letting anyone into the building. The solution is a bonding game called Assassins. Elena’s thrilled, having played it at her boarding school.

Noel explains that they’re all now hitmen (okay, Elena, hit people) and will receive guns. Lewis the weirdo asks to be a conscientious objector, since he’s a pacifist. Richard calls him a wuss. Noel clarifies that the guns contain suction darts. Each assassin will receive the name of someone in the dorm and be expected to “kill” that person, then take the name of that person’s target. Noel doesn’t care if people play or not. Elena’s determined to win since she came in second the last time she played.

Noel approaches Felicity and promises to do anything she wants him to so she’ll forgive him. He’s also made her a mix tape. Richard interrupts to complain that his gun’s broken. Then get another one, genius. How does this guy get through the day? Elena can’t believe Noel is even talking to Felicity, after all the Hanna stuff.

Over at the loft, Julie is now interested in what Sean’s up to, since he’s reading about Mayans and Incas. The project isn’t business-related, though – he has a crush on someone who works in the library, so he’s been going there a bunch. Ben and Lynn come home, debating whether to go see a band at 1 a.m., just hours before they have swim practice. Ben decides to give it a shot. Sean asks Julie to talk to his crush for him.

Felicity listens to Noel’s tape, but Elena tells her not to let it sway her. He shouldn’t get away with everything he did to her. Felicity feels horrible that he feels horrible, but Elena doesn’t care. She tells Felicity to focus on Assassins right now – Richard is her target. There’s a knock at the door, and Elena, suddenly paranoid, grabs her dart gun in case it’s a trick. The knocker is supposedly a delivery guy, but Elena’s skeptical.

Meghan comes in the other door (Elena almost shoots her) and announces that the delivery was real; someone sent Felicity flowers. Felicity decides she needs to go talk to Noel. Elena stays behind and asks Meghan who her target is. Meghan hasn’t even opened her envelope yet, and when she opens it and sees that Elena is her target, she reveals that she doesn’t know who Elena is. Elena pretends she doesn’t, either.

In Noel’s room, he apologizes again, but Felicity stops him and says she has to tell him something. She can’t keep listening to his apologies and accepting his tapes and flowers. Noel’s confused, since he didn’t send her flowers. Guess what – they’re from Eli! Felicity comes clean, admitting that she and Eli were together last night, and she slept with him. Noel walks out without a word.

Noel tries to concentrate in class, but obviously, that’s impossible right now. He leaves, citing “complete emotional turmoil.” Felicity finds Eli in the art studio and tells him that last night probably shouldn’t have happened. He gets that she’s in a rough spot in her relationship, but he thinks she slept with him to feel better. He’s not hurt – people do that all the time. He’d like to be Felicity’s backup if things don’t work out with Noel.

Felicity makes a tape to Sally, stuck on what Eli said about people doing what she did all the time. She left the studio to try to leave behind everything that happened, but she knows that’s not possible. She can never change the fact that her first time having sex was with someone she didn’t know.

Julie and Sean are waiting for his crush in the library when someone shoots Julie with a dart. Julie claims the library is out of bounds. Sean’s crush comes in and he gets nervous about talking to someone so gorgeous. He decides to give her a letter he wrote her. Julie reads it and says he can’t give it to her. She volunteers to talk to her and at least learn her name. Sean second-guesses their plan, but Julie thinks it’s good. She learns that the crush’s name is Chloe and urges Sean to ask her out. He wants to implement stage 2 instead, whatever it is.

Elena’s target is the guy I named Brian, and she’s staking out his door, waiting for him to come out so she can ambush him. It almost works, but he closes the door before the dart can hit him. He chastises Elena for her methods, but she’s not going to give up. Oh, wait, his name is Guy! I thought IMDb called him Guy because he’s, like, just a guy. Anyway, Felicity wrote Noel a note, but Elena thinks she should let him keep suffering. Guy calls through his door for Elena, wondering if she’s still there. Well, she’s not going to tell you if she is, buddy.

Lynn goes by Dean & DeLuca to invite him out to something that night. Ben struggled to get to swim practice that morning after their late night out, but Lynn thinks he can handle another one. Noel gets Felicity’s note when he comes home, but he doesn’t want to read it. Richard comes by to clarify the rules of Assassins, then reveals that he has Noel’s name. He fumbles his gun while pulling it out, then gets off a line he must have practiced a bunch, talking about the hunted becoming the hunter. Noel invites him to shoot.

Richard urges Noel to open up to him, guessing he’s going through something with Felicity, and that another guy is involved. Richard once dated a girl from summer camp who was interested in another guy, so Richard looked into him. He was a Minnow, one of the weakest swimmers at camp. Noel likes the idea of finding out more about the guy your girlfriend is interested in. Richard warns that it’s a bad idea.

Noel ignores him and asks Felicity how she and Eli met. She tells him about their mutual love of art but resists sharing anything else. Noel hopes they were at least drunk when they slept together. He reminds Felicity that she wouldn’t sleep with him because she wasn’t ready. Felicity points out that she thought he was breaking up with her when he left to go to Hanna’s. He angrily asks if sleeping with Eli was revenge. He throws her Magic 8 Ball across the room, because he is very mentally stable right now. Felicity emotionally says that she made a horrible mistake and would do anything to take back the last two days.

Guy begs Elena to let him leave his room so he can use the bathroom. She allows him a five-minute break, but just when he thinks he’s safe, she shoots him. Guy complains to Noel that Elena cheats. “So does everyone,” Noel sighs. Felicity has just told Julie her whole relationship fiasco, and Julie says she can relate, having slept with someone she wished she hadn’t. Felicity says Eli was kind about the whole thing; he wasn’t the part of this that’s so horrible. The horrible part is just that it happened.

Felicity hates that everything was so great with Noel just a little while ago, and now it’s all fallen apart. She has no idea what she was thinking and wishes she hadn’t gone to the art studio. Richard comes up and confronts her for hurting Noel. Felicity is able to kill two birds with one stone by shooting him – she takes out her frustrations on him and eliminates him from the game at the same time. However, this means that her new target is Noel.

Noel goes to the art studio and spies on Eli a little. He finds some sketches Eli did of Felicity (though they don’t look like her), and when asked, Eli says she’s “just some girl.” Sean is ready for stage 2, which involves giving Chloe a day planner. Basically, he wants to give her a gift as an incentive for going out with him. Has Sean ever dated before? Is he from this planet?

Noel drinks at Epstein Bar, and Lynn calls him out on copying movies by wanting to drown his sorrows in alcohol. He gets one more drink and then he has to go home and see his girlfriend. Back at the dorm, Meghan, Daryl, and Lewis end up in a three-way stand-off. Daryl thinks one of the other two has him as a target, but it’s actually Elena, who uses their stand-off as a distraction to take him out.

Felicity is listening to Noel’s tape when he comes by, drunk, and says everything that happened was his fault. Felicity won’t let him take all the responsibility. They hug, then start kissing, and Noel says he thinks they can move past what happened. Felicity thinks they should talk about it more and figure out why it happened. Noel would rather just act like everything’s fine and have sex. Felicity has to push him off to get him to stop kissing her. Noel realizes he shouldn’t be there.

The next day, the two of them avoid each other in the cafeteria. Meghan cuts in line in front of Felicity and snags the last Jell-o, which Felicity was about to take. Meghan says something snide about Noel, so Felicity calls her a “selfish, offensive freak show.” Elena comes up, pulls her gun on Meghan, and orders her to give Felicity the Jell-o. Guess who Elena’s target is? She shoots Meghan, which means Elena’s new target is…herself. Meghan remarks that she thought having sex would have loosened Felicity up, but she’s worse than ever.

Julie tries to make plans with Ben for the next week, hoping to get in before Lynn, but failing. Ben assures her that he knows her birthday is coming up and he won’t forget it. He invites her to the bar after class, promising he won’t stay out late again. Julie declines. At the library, Sean introduces himself to Chloe and tries to strike up a conversation about archeology before just going for it and asking her out. She’s not really listening and thinks he’s asking her to look up a book. When Sean clarifies what he wants, she tells him she’d like to go out, but she doesn’t know what her schedule is. She lost her day planner.

Ben hangs out with Lynn at the bar while Sean and Chloe go out. Felicity and Elena run into Noel, and Elena gets them to confirm that they have each other as targets. She thinks they should shoot each other as some form of therapy. They won’t, so Elena says they’re disqualified. I guess she wins, then.

Felicity and Noel go to her room and lament how things have turned out. He waited for her to get over her feelings for Ben, and it was worth it, but when he told her he was confused about his feelings for Hanna, Felicity ran off and slept with someone else. Felicity says it sounds almost like Noel was testing her. She never thought she would act the way she did.

Noel acknowledges that he did something wrong, but when he had the chance to sleep with Hanna, he didn’t. He can’t forgive Felicity for not making the same decision. Felicity reminds him that he left with Hanna, so she’s not sure she can forgive him, either. So that’s the end of Noel and Felicity.

Thoughts: My college had a game similar to Assassins, but I think it ended before I got there. There was something about having to take a plastic spoon from your target (maybe that was where their target’s name was written). There was a rule about the target having to be fully clothed when you did your hit, so people wouldn’t be ambushed in the shower. On at least one occasion, a person who was caught while wearing a towel just dropped it so the assassin couldn’t carry out the hit.

Ben really needs a plot. Elena has a better storyline in this episode. Richard and Meghan have more to do than he does.

A mix tape! So ’90s.

March 21, 2020

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

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

Just how every girl imagines her first time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 21, 2019

My So-Called Life 17, Betrayal: Sweet and Innocent

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

Bad! Idea!

Summary: Angela voices over that she spent a long time obsessing over and being in love with Jordan, but one day…she got over him. She gleefully dances around her room in her pajamas, the happiest we’ve ever seen her. She feels like Jordan has been surgically removed from her heart, and she’s free.

At school, people are auditioning for a production of Our Town. Abyssinia reads for Emily, doing such a good job that Rayanne, who also wanted to play Emily, gets psyched out. Angela thinks Rayanne can do just as great a job. Rayanne admits that she just channels Angela when she reads the part. Angela’s surprised that Rayanne sees her as sweet and innocent. She wouldn’t if she knew about the dream Angela had about Corey last night. (Rickie’s been there.)

Angela insists that she’s over Jordan. She’s gotten that they were never really meant for each other as anything other than friends. She feels like she’s gotten her life back. Mr. K calls for Rayanne to do her audition. Angela tells Rayanne that acting is like lying, which means Rayanne is a great actress. Rayanne teases her again about being like Emily, then goes up on stage.

Brian videotapes Sharon and Delia as they work on the school yearbook. He’s putting together a kind of video yearbook, but no one’s going to watch it unless they want to see a bunch of shots of Sharon’s chest. Okay, maybe a lot of people will watch it. She tells Brian to get a lot of shots of the places people hang out the most. Brian doesn’t know where those places are.

Rayanne is sure that Abyssinia got the role. Rayanne didn’t cry enough like Angela. As she demonstrates, Rickie comes up and asks why she’s crying like Angela. Heh. They spot Corey passing by, and Angela starts to tell her friends about her dream. He stops by to compliment Rayanne on her audition. Angela starts a conversation with him after she sees Jordan down the hall. She voices over that she likes Corey and really does want to pay attention to him, not just pretend she is because Jordan’s watching. She offers to help out with the sets for the play.

At the Chases’, Graham tries to avoid a call from Hallie. Camille calls and asks Patty to contribute to a church clothing drive. Graham says he has a couple of things to donate. Patty says he has more than a couple of things. He agrees to let her clean out his closet if she’ll answer the phone and lie to Hallie so he doesn’t have to talk to her.

Brian films at a …bar? Okay. It’s called Louie’s. Rickie and Rayanne are there, and she’s drunk. She’s trying to convince herself that she doesn’t want to be in the play anyway, since it’s dumb. Rickie’s tired of just watching Rayanne drink, so he leaves. She goes to hang out with Jordan, and they head outside to share a flask.

He tries to talk about Angela, who Rayanne says talked her into auditioning for the play. She knows she could never be Emily. Angela could, though, since she’s just like Emily. She’s so innocent that she doesn’t even know it. Jordan asks if Angela’s into Corey. Sometimes he feels like he really knows Angela, but other times, it feels like they’re strangers. They start giving each other meaningful looks, and then there’s touching, followed by kissing. Ruh-roh! They stop there, but then Rayanne invites herself into Jordan’s car. Brian’s filming the whole thing. Double ruh-roh!

The next day, Brian has a hard time looking at Angela at school, and Rayanne avoids her altogether. This makes Angela feel lonely. She runs into Corey, who invites her to help painting sets after school. Rickie invites himself along. Jordan avoids Corey, then approaches Rayanne, who’s waiting for the cast list to go up. They briefly mention the previous night but clearly don’t want to talk about it.

At the Chases’, Patty and Camille are sorting clothes for the drive when Hallie comes by. She thought they were meeting at the house, not their office. The three women bond over how many notes they have to write themselves to remember things. Graham calls, having guessed Hallie would be at the house, and Patty relays a message to bring home paper towels. Hallie coos over one of the girls’ dresses from childhood. Patty invites Hallie to come over for dinner again sometime, clearly not aware that she and Brad broke up.

Sharon asks Brian if he taped anything interesting at Louie’s. Brian is vague and refuses to hand over the tape. He sends Delia away (that’s not going to help their already shaky relationship) and fills Sharon in. Later, Sharon spills everything to Delia in the bathroom, wondering if she’s obligated to tell Angela. If she does, she’ll come across as saying she warned Angela that Rayanne was a bad person. But Sharon would want to know if she were in Angela’s place. It’s a moot point, because Angela was in a bathroom stall and heard everything.

Brian is bursting to talk to someone about what he saw, so he picks Rickie. Later, Rickie joins Angela and Corey with the stage crew, feeling awkward for knowing something that could hurt Angela. Angela tells him first, though she thinks Sharon lied about Rayanne sleeping with Jordan because Sharon’s still jealous. Rickie confirms that it really happened.

The next morning, Angela surprises Brian at home, where he’s listening to music in bed, shirtless. She wants the tape so she can see for herself what Jordan and Rayanne did. Brian tries to keep it from her, thinking that watching it would just make her feel worse.

In gym class, the girls are doing gymnastics. Angela jumps the line so she’s partnered with Rayanne, but the bell rings before they have to actually interact. In the bathroom, Rayanne taunts that Sharon now has a great excuse to never talk to her again. She thinks Sharon was eager to tell Angela what happened. Sharon says she just wanted to protect Angela and tell her the truth, like any real friend would. She says Rayanne brought this on herself. Rayanne thinks Sharon’s happy with how things turned out, but Sharon says she’s not.

Graham and Hallie meet up at a restaurant, though she hates the food there and has brought her own. She guesses that Graham hasn’t read her prospectus yet because it means their plans become real. He tells her she can be a real pain, but he says it in a nice way. Hallie says she’s a Jewish girl from Texas, Graham’s worst nightmare. Patty’s worst nightmare, maybe. She tells him he’s hard to deal with, too. He tells her he’ll finally look at the prospectus.

Rayanne goes to the Chases’, but Angela’s still at school, painting scenery. Patty invites her in, and Rayanne asks her not to tell Angela she was there. She figures Angela has told Patty what happened, which of course isn’t right, since Angela never tells Patty anything. Patty catches on that Rayanne hooked up with Jordan. Rayanne guesses that Patty hates her, but Patty just says she can understand how Angela feels. Rayanne admits that she’s never hurt anyone this badly before. She guesses that means Angela really matters to her.

At school, Brian gets nervous when Jordan approaches him. Brian destroys the tape, saying that won’t matter anyway, since it doesn’t erase what happened. Jordan just wanted to talk about tutoring, and had no idea the tape existed. Rayanne confronts Rickie for freezing her out, though Rickie doesn’t think she should be surprised. Rayanne whines that Angela won’t even let her tell her side of the story.

Rickie goes into the girls’ bathroom looking for Angela (poor Delia gets surprised), who’s understandably furious with Rayanne and Jordan. He tells her that both of them are avoiding each other, so she definitely won’t have to see them together. He advises her to stop letting Jordan and Rayanne’s actions affect her. She has to live her own life. Angela decides it’s time to stop being an innocent doormat.

The cast list is up, and Rayanne is shocked to see that she’s been cast as Emily. Her first instinct is to share the news with Angela, who doesn’t care. Camille has heard that the girls aren’t speaking, so when she’s over at the Chases’ again, she asks Patty for details (Sharon won’t tell her the gossip). Patty pretends she doesn’t know. Camille tells her that she doesn’t like Hallie. Patty just appreciates that she and Graham get along well. Camille says that’s a great sign. If they start fighting, it means there’s passion there.

At school, Jordan tries to talk to Angela so he can give her back a pen she loaned him. She says it’s not hers but takes it anyway. He asks for it back, if it’s not yours, but she refuses. She throws it in the trash right in front of him. Brian’s hanging out with the stage crew, talking to a girl about his directorial style (“like Tarantino, only less violent”). Angela shows up dressed up like Rayanne and pulls Corey aside. Doing her best Rayanne impression, she asks him for a drink. He’s surprised, which she thinks is because she comes across all innocent. She kisses him, but he’s not ready.

Rayanne comes over and calls Angela out for acting so different. She tells Angela she got the role she wanted, but Angela doesn’t care. Rayanne says Angela isn’t the only one who got hurt. Angela only lost a selfish friend and a guy she never really had. Rayanne has lost a great friend – “everything.” After Rayanne leaves, Rickie tells Angela he’s glad she got the part, because she really wanted it. He’s on Angela’s side in the fight, but he also feels for Rayanne. She’s always wanted to be Angela, in a way, and getting the role of Emily meant she could be Angela, even if just for a night.

Rickie then asks why Angela is going after Corey when she knows Rickie likes him. Angela reminds Rickie that he said he was over Corey. That doesn’t mean it hurt any less for Rickie to see his friend pursuing his crush. Angela realizes she’s the Rayanne of this situation.

Patty gives Graham a shirt she bought him to replace some of the old stuff she made him donate. She tells him about Angela and Rayanne’s fight. Graham thinks Rayanne did something low, though Patty notes that Angela and Jordan weren’t together. Graham doesn’t think that’s the point – Rayanne did something self-centered.

Patty admits that she dated a guy Camille had a crush on in college. Camille was mad for a while but eventually forgave Patty. Graham realizes that Patty slept with five guys before him, not four like she’s always said. She tells him the new shirt is for the restaurant. He complains about how Hallie’s always late and never parks legally. Patty tentatively asks if they ever fight. Graham says yes, but it’s never that major. Patty gets him back by flushing the toilet while he’s in the shower.

Mr. K oversees a play rehearsal, where Rayanne’s line readings aren’t exactly spectacular. Mr. K enlists Angela to take an absent girl’s place in a scene with Rayanne. He tells Rayanne to stop acting – her character is dead, and she’s just now realizing how precious every moment of her life was. Rayanne only needs to imagine what it’s like to take something for granted, then lose it.

This time, Rayanne does the scene beautifully, reading lines about not realizing how wonderful things were until they were over. She’s ready to go back to her grave, but first she wants one last look at the world so she can say goodbye. Once she’s said it to her loved ones and family, Angela’s character asks if she was happy. Both girls are crying. “Emily” says she should have listened to Angela’s character, but everyone’s blind. The girls leave the stage in opposite directions.

Thoughts: I’m so mad I used “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” as a previous recap title.

I’ve never noticed how much A.J. Langer looks like Blake Lively.

How in the world did Sharon think her conversation with Delia in the bathroom wouldn’t get back to Angela (before she realized Angela heard them)? She wasn’t exactly being quiet.

’90s music alert: Violent Femme’s “Blister in the Sun”

 

November 23, 2019

My So-Called Life 13, Pressure: Angela Is a Virgin Who Can’t Drive

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:28 pm by Jenn

The perfect place to talk about sex: your parents’ bed

Summary: Jordan is letting Angela drive his beloved car, and it’s not going well. They make out instead. He wants to know how long they’ll be sticking to kissing before they move on to other things. He’s willing to go for it right there in the car, but Angela thinks some more thought should go into it. Does he expect to have sex in her room while her parents are asleep? Plus, she needs to get to class.

Inside the school, Rayanne and Rickie are gossiping about a classmate’s nose stud. The classmate, Cynthia, used to date Jordan, or at least just hook up with him. Rayanne and Rickie think Angela is a major improvement. She’s a little shaken by the thought of Jordan having lots of sex with someone else, which makes Rayanne and Rickie realize that she and Jordan haven’t gotten to that point yet.

Angela voices over that she still hasn’t wrapped her mind around the fact that people have sex. Now everything seems pornographic. For example, she thinks about her teachers having sex, maybe with each other. At home, Patty’s sick but in denial about it. She and Graham are going to have dinner with Hallie and her fiancé, Brad. Angela comes home just as dinner is served but says she’s not hungry. Danielle stresses about having to get a flu shot.

Patty complains that Angela will get hungry later and will try to get Graham to make her something. Angela overhears and yells into the dining room that that won’t happen. Patty yells back that they’re not running a restaurant. Danielle talks about flu shots again, but her parents ignore her. Patty wants to meet Jordan, as she’s interested in where he and Angela hang out, and other things they may or may not have done. Patty says they need to be firm and consistent with the teens. They practice by being firm and consistent with Danielle needing a flu shot. She asks if Jordan and Angela are engaging in foreplay.

Angela’s making a snack later that night when Jordan comes by for a visit. It’s every teen girl’s dream come true – her crush or boyfriend showing up unexpectedly for some alone time. Jordan notes that Angela talked about having sex in her room, which she points out was a joke. He tells her Tino found a way into a vacant house, so they can always go there sometime. She asks if they’ll be breaking and entering before sex, but he says they’ll just be entering. Dirty!

Patty comes downstairs and busts Angela for not having dinner with the family. Jordan’s still in the kitchen, eating Angela’s snack. Patty tells Angela to finish up whatever she’s nibbling on. Heh. She adds that she and Graham still want to meet Jordan. After she goes upstairs, Jordan teases Angela that her mom says she likes him. They confirm plans to meet up at the vacant house on Friday night for…more nibbling.

The next day (I guess), Sharon comes over to return a dish her mom borrowed from Patty. The girls make small talk without the awkwardness that’s been between them recently. They discuss Sharon’s breakup with Kyle, which she says is due to giving up beliefs for him. Angela guesses that means she didn’t want to have sex with him. She’s wrong – Sharon and Kyle did it “constantly.” She dumped him because he was a butthead.

Patty takes Angela and Danielle to get flu shots, and Angela takes advantage of the opportunity to ask her doctor about sex. For a research project. For school. She wants to know statistics. Her doctor just tells her to use protection. Angela doesn’t seem to get how weird it is to talk about this stuff in a pediatrician’s exam room, which has wallpaper aimed toward children.

Hallie and Brad show up for dinner a week early, so Graham calls Patty at work to tell her she needs to come home fast. Hallie and Brad end up helping Graham cook while waiting for her. They reveal that they’ve been talking about Hallie hiring Graham to be the chef at the restaurant she wants to open. Graham thinks it’s just a pipe dream, but Hallie seems serious.

Jordan arrives to get Angela (for the “party” they’re going to), and Graham is thrilled to finally get to meet him. Cue awkward conversation with Graham, Hallie, and Brad. Graham describes him to Angela as “fun.” She wants to put off her date with Jordan, since Patty isn’t there and hasn’t met him yet. If Graham doesn’t want her to go, she’ll understand. He assures her it’s fine.

Angela and Jordan sneak into the vacant house, which is full of other horny teens. I think I saw a horror movie that started like this. Jordan’s ex, Cynthia, is there. There are no empty bedrooms, so Angela and Jordan will have to wait. Angela compares it to waiting to get her flu shot, but this time she doesn’t have a flu shot. Also, this time Rayanne’s there. She’s excited for Angela but on her way out with Tino. Jordan finds an empty room, but Angela uses Rayanne as an excuse not to use it. She lies that Rayanne looked like she was stoned, so Angela should go with her and make sure she’s okay.

When Patty finally gets home, Graham and Hallie are discussing the restaurant again. She learns that Jordan came by and asks what he’s like. Hallie says he’s gorgeous, but Graham doesn’t really know what to say about him. Hallie compares him to a stray puppy. After Hallie and Brad leaves, Patty and Graham agree that Brad is…well, a Brad, but Patty liked Hallie. She asks about the restaurant idea, noting that it’s one of the riskiest businesses to start. Graham says he’s not going along with Hallie’s idea, so it doesn’t matter.

At school on Monday, Sharon and Rayanne have a summit meeting in the bathroom. Sharon heard that Angela left the house because she got sick (a reaction to her flu shot). Rayanne knows she chickened out of having sex, so now Jordan’s mad. Rayanne doesn’t think it’s that big a deal; it’s over in three seconds anyway. She talks about intimacy with two other girls who will now go to class turned on.

After school, Sharon goes to Angela’s with a video her parents have about intimacy and sensuality. Sharon asks if Angela and Jordan have ever had sex. Angela voices over that there’s a line dividing virgins from girls who’ve had sex. The two of them are now on opposite sides of the line. Sharon invites Angela to ask any questions she wants. Angela asks about protection, which Sharon orders Angela to insist on if she has sex with Jordan.

Angela wants to know how Sharon decided she was ready. Sharon says it just happened all of a sudden. After that, she felt like Kyle expected her to keep having sex – she couldn’t go back. Her feelings on the topic didn’t matter anymore. Angela asks if Sharon felt different after her first time. Sharon says she looked at herself in the mirror to see if she looked different. Angela says she doesn’t. Sharon encourages her to talk to Jordan instead of shutting people out like she usually does.

Graham comes upstairs looking for some shoes, and the girls rush to get the video out of the VCR in his and Patty’s room. It ends up on the floor, so Angela gently nudges it under the bed. Graham seems clueless. Angela walks Sharon out, and Brian sees them chatting like their friendship has been repaired. Angela starts to ask to borrow his bike, then stops herself, knowing she needs to stop asking him for things. Of course, it’s Brian, so he gives her the bike.

Graham, of course, finds the video under the bed and is watching it when Patty gets home. He thinks it’s hers, and she wants them to spice up their “routine” and “mechanical” sex life. Patty’s feelings are hurt, but he says he’s just joking. She says she hasn’t been able to tell lately when he’s joking and when he’s serious. Does he really not want to open a restaurant with Hallie? He says again that he doesn’t. They fight over whether the hypothetical restaurant would be successful. The two storm off, leaving their bed empty while a couple on the video gets closer by talking about everything in their lives.

Angela goes to see Jordan to apologize for Friday night. She uses the excuse of the flu shot, but Jordan knows she’s lying – he knows from Tino that Rayanne hasn’t used drugs since her overdose. He says that no matter what Angela thinks about him, he never lied. He regrets letting her drive his car.

Angela says part of her does want to have sex with him. Jordan tells her this is why he didn’t want to get involved with her in the first place. She yells that he must have just been looking for sex. Jordan says it’s expected – it’s what you’re supposed to do, “unless you’re…abnormal.” Well, that was the wrong thing to say, so now he’s definitely not getting any.

Sometime later, Angela goes to her parents’ room to retrieve the video. Graham catches her but lets her go when she says she doesn’t want to talk about it. The video ends up in Brian and Rickie’s hands when Angela leaves her backpack on the bus and the driver gives it to Brian. The boys watch it, and Brian tells Rickie that his parents have a vibrator. Brian, here’s an acronym that will become popular in a few years: TMI.

In the bathroom, Rickie tells Angela about the tape, calling bull when she says it’s Sharon’s. She laments that she had someone to be with, and now she’s lost him. The whole relationship sucked. She wishes she’d had sex with Jordan – it seems so simple.

Rickie says that maybe it shouldn’t be. Even if he met the perfect person, sex should be “like a miracle. Like seeing a comet, or just feeling like you’re seeing one. Seeing the other person’s perfectness, or something.” If you have sex before you’re ready, you won’t see that. Cynthia emerges from a stall and tells Rickie his words were beautiful. It’s exactly like he described. She wants to ask Angela a question, even though they don’t know each other: Did she ever work at Big Guy Burger?

Patty comes home from work earlier than usual, wanting to spend some time with Graham. They apologize to each other for their recent arguments, and Graham says he’s really not going to go into business with Hallie; it’s too risky. Patty wants him to do it if he wants, but Graham says he already has everything he wants. Really? Even Danielle? Huh. He amends that to say that no one has everything they want. But he and Patty have each other, and that’s good for him.

The two of them decide to put what they saw on the sex video to use. The phone rings while they’re making out, and Graham wonders if Hallie’s calling. Guess what? He does want to go into business with her! He knows they could fail, but what if they don’t? Patty promises that she has faith in him, and no matter what happens, things will work out. The mood has been ruined, though, so no sex right now.

Brian comes by to give Angela her backpack and get his bike. Danielle tells him the bike is at Jordan’s. Brian yells at Angela for that, then chastises her for not yelling back. She doesn’t mention the breakup, just that she’s sad about boys. They all only seem to care about sex. “Not all boys,” Brian says, because of course. Graham, who was napping on the couch, wakes up and hears the two teens talk about sex. Angela admits that she thinks about it.

Jordan comes by with the bike, so Patty gets a good look at him as she’s leaving the house. Amazingly, she doesn’t say anything to him. Brian comes out and says the bike is his, but Jordan can leave it at the Chases’ in case Angela needs it again. He lies that he’s not sure if Angela’s home.

Jordan goes to the house, inviting himself inside, and Angela wonders if there’s going to be an official proclamation of breakup. She says it’s like when he let her drive the car. She felt powerful, but also scared. She wasn’t ready for that much freedom. Jordan says he won’t hold it against her or say anything bad about her if her name ever comes up.

Angela says that sex is a big deal – it changes your life. Life is a circle, and sex and death are similar. Well, sort of. She’s thought about having sex with Jordan, but not about killing him. Jordan stops her babbling and says that at least Angela got to practice driving. He warns her not to take her turns too wide. He’s sure she won’t.

Angela voices over that sometimes someone will say something small that fits into an empty place in your heart. Tearing up, she approaches Jordan and tells him she’ll miss how soft his hair is. She’s ready to officially end the relationship. Jordan leans in for a goodbye kiss, then leaves the house. Graham is still secretly on the couch.

Angela takes Brian’s bike for a ride, voicing over that people always say you should be yourself, as if that’s a definite thing. But sometimes she’ll have a moment when being herself at a specific point in her life is enough. She rides with her hands in the air, feeling free.

Thoughts: If Angela wants to put off having sex, constantly wearing overalls is definitely a solid strategy.

Yes, I would definitely hire a chef who’s still taking cooking classes and has no restaurant experience. That sounds like a recipe for success.

13 episodes in and we still haven’t seen the Chases’ cat. Maybe it’s hanging out with Tino.

September 28, 2019

My So-Called Life 6, The Substitute: Waking Up

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:09 pm by Jenn

Uh, okay

Summary: Angela voices over that teachers may or may not have a hidden life where they’re human beings. Her English class is teacherless again, so the students (except Brian) are partying. A man comes in and offers toothpicks to the teens. He confirms that he’s the new substitute and is only there for the money. He invites them to continue wasting their lives.

Sharon asks if that means they can leave. The sub, Mr. Racine, says he’ll be there for the next 47 minutes, and they can stay or go. Jordan decides to go, but the sub says they’ll talk about him after he goes. Angela notices that Racine is wearing mismatched socks. She asks what they’re supposed to do. “Follow your hearts and veer away from heroin,” he replies. Brian says they were supposed to put together a literary magazine, so maybe Racine could read their work and give them credit for it.

Graham and Patty come home from grocery shopping, discussing work stuff and Danielle’s turn in the Girl Scout cookie booth. Graham will have to cancel plans with Neil to chaperone. Patty tells him they need to call Ms. Mayhew (Angela’s now-former English teacher) to ask if she wants their company to print the literary magazine again this year. The couple forgot to buy kitty litter, and Patty says they need a wife to help them out.

Racine is very unimpressed with the students’ writing. He uses a bunch of SAT words to describe it, then asks Jordan what the words have in common. Jordan says he doesn’t know, but Racine objects. When Jordan finally says the words are all adjectives, Racine tells him not to play dumb again. He tosses all the students’ papers out the window.

Brian goes to the Chases’ house that night and, after declining to buy any cookies from Danielle, tries to return a poem of Angela’s that Racine threw out the window. Patty’s upset that Angela put a lot of work into the poem, and Racine said it was bad. Graham reminds her that they’ve always taught her to stand up for her rights. Angela sarcastically thanks Brian for kicking off this conversation.

At school the next day, Racine urges Jordan to talk more in class. He gives him a Steinbeck book he says the class will be discussing tomorrow. Angela cautiously tells Racine that she doesn’t like what he did the day before. She put a lot of thought into her poem and doesn’t appreciate his rejection. Racine says he wanted to clear the slate and wake everyone up. Now Angela’s awake. What will she write today?

Rayanne goes to class with Angela the next day, wanting to see the teacher everyone’s been talking about. Racine announces that everyone will be starting over from the beginning on their literary-magazine pieces. He wants anger and honesty on the page, not cutesy stuff about animals. They should write down anything they feel like saying – things they’ve never told anyone, including themselves. It’ll all be anonymous. Rayanne, despite not being in the class, will also have to participate.

After class, Rayanne tells Angela to tell Rickie about Racine’s socks and toothpicks. Now Rickie wants to go to class with them. Racine sees some potential in the new pieces, but he wants to take the students further. As the class grows with spectators, Racine starts actually teaching and engaging with the students. They even want to talk to him between classes. In one period, they light candles and write in dimness. Brian declines to join in.

Once everyone’s written something, Racine passes around their work so everyone can read someone else’s piece. Rayanne tries to get Angela’s attention to tell her that Racine changed his socks. Rickie winds up with a fable about a girl who slept in a gingerbread house and one day saw that it wasn’t as perfect as she’d thought. It must be Angela’s, because she’s uncomfortable. A girl says the piece doesn’t make sense, but Racine says it’s better than that – it makes you feel and wonder. It wakes you up.

Racine has to push Brian to read the piece he’s wound up with, a haiku (though the writer clearly doesn’t know what a haiku is): “He peels off my clothes / Like a starving man would peel an orange / His lips taste my juicy…” That’s as far as Brian gets before refusing to continue. Racine takes over: “His lips taste my juicy sweetness / My legs tangle with his / We become one being / A burning furnace in the cold cement basement of love.” Rayanne’s turned on. Keep it in your pants, Rayanne.

Racine asks Jordan if the poem is really a haiku. Jordan doesn’t know, so Racine sternly tells him to look it up and find out. Rayanne asks if the poem will be left out of the literary magazine just because it’s not really a haiku. It’s true to life, which makes it real. Brian has a problem with it being printed. After class, Angela tells Racine that the fable was hers. He already knew.

Racine keeps Jordan after class to discuss some readings and poems. Graham comes by in time to hear Racine harshly telling Jordan to do all his work. Graham’s there for the literary-magazine submissions, but Racine’s mind is still on Jordan. He can tell Jordan’s smart, but it’s clear that he never completely learned how to read. Racine’s mad that no one ever noticed.

At home, Graham and Patty discuss Racine, whom Graham thinks is pretty cool. Patty doesn’t think that’s possible. She wants to figure out which piece is Angela’s, but she doesn’t know her daughter’s handwriting. She just hopes Angela didn’t write the piece about killing a dog. Graham finds the sexy “haiku,” which Patty says she won’t print. Graham reminds her about freedom of expression. Both parents wonder if Angela could have written the poem. Patty doubts it – they don’t have a basement.

Patty goes to the school to talk to Racine about the poem. He thinks she doesn’t want to print it because she thinks Angela wrote it. Patty says that’s not the issue, so Racine accuses her of censorship. He’ll just type up all the pieces himself. Patty says this is about “guiding adolescents who need… guidance.”

Racine doesn’t buy this as an excuse. The magazine should be about giving the students a voice, not editing their thoughts. If they were brave enough to put their thoughts on the page, the adults should be brave enough to print them. Patty tells him he should teach full-time. Racine says that Patty shouldn’t get to make the decision about printing the poem just because she has a printing press and he doesn’t. Patty admits that she agrees. Then she asks if Angela wrote the poem. He doesn’t answer.

Once the magazines have been printed and delivered to the school, no one can wait to read them – including the staff. Mr. Foster steals a copy from an admin, then immediately asks to see Racine after school. Two girls discuss the sexy poem, slamming the writer for having no self-esteem and staying anonymous. Sharon manically tells them they were told to keep everything anonymous.

Rayanne overhears and realizes that Sharon wrote the poem. Sharon is desperate to keep people from finding out its hers. Rayanne is desperate to keep people from finding out it’s not hers. Sharon points out that they can just let people keep thinking what they’re thinking. Rayanne asks how Sharon was able to produce something so good. Sharon says it just came to her.

Angela interrupts to tell the girls that Foster has confiscated all the copies of the magazine because of the poem (which she thinks is Rayanne’s). At home that night, she tells her parents that the students are considering their options. They can sue for a denial of their constitutional rights, or they can stage a walkout. Danielle just wants to talk about Girl Scout cookies. Thanks for dropping by again this week, Danielle. Racine has suggested that the students stage a fake book-burning, since the Nazis burned books. Or they can get news stations to broadcast someone reading the poem.

Patty and Danielle both note that Angela calls Racine by his first name, Vic. Of course she does! All the cool teachers go by their first names! Watch TV! Angela just likes having an adult she can look up to. Ouch. Patty tells her not to get carried away. Danielle leaves to count her money again. Don’t come back, Danielle. Patty says she and Graham are concerned about Angela’s future – what if she gets in trouble? Angela reminds them that they protested in the ’60s and believed in stuff. Now she wants to do the same, and they don’t see what it means to her.

In class, a girl says they should just go to Foster and demand their work back. It’s their property, after all. Racine isn’t in class, and Rickie says there are rumors about him being fired, possibly for sleeping with a student. Foster addresses the class, asking for any copies of the magazine that are still circulating. Angela objects to him calling the magazine “unacceptable” if no one’s allowed to see it. Foster says it doesn’t meet certain standards of decency. Anyone caught distributing copies will be suspended.

Jordan spots Racine out the window, and everyone rushes over to call out to him. He won’t tell them where he’s going. Foster gets control of the class again as Brian complains that Racine never even taught them anything. Jordan says Racine was the best teacher he ever had. Angela leads a small walkout, and she, Rickie, Rayanne, and Sharon catch up to Racine. He tells them injustices like his firing happen every day, and they need to wake up.

Graham comes to see Foster as Jordan is leaving his office. Graham is there to discuss Racine and how he got Angela thinking about things. That’s the point of high school, isn’t it? Foster says that he didn’t fire Racine; Racine quit when Foster presented him with a subpoena he’d received. Racine is being called to court to pay child support for a family he deserted.

At home, Graham tells Patty that he wishes Foster hadn’t told him about Racine’s personal life. Patty thinks they should tell Angela the truth about her hero. Speaking of heroes, Graham is Patty’s, since he remembered to buy kitty litter. Where’s their cat, by the way?

Angela looks Racine up in the phone book (kids, ask your parents) and goes to see him to talk about how he abandoned his family. He says there are a couple of truths at play. One is that he left his family. The other is that his wife is better off without him. He sees it as an escape from a prison he made for himself. Now people want to punish him. Angela says she doesn’t.

Racine says that his struggle for freedom is his own, and Angela needs to find her own. She has to get out before it’s too late. She’s stuck in a “mind-control factory” where no one has any idea what to do with her. If she leaves high school, she’ll save her life. The walls of her gingerbread will fall down. Angela says that leaving high school isn’t the answer – leaving anything isn’t the answer. She admired Racine, but that’s clearly over now.

He drives her home, where she runs into Brian, who asks, “Is there, like, anyone’s car you won’t get into?” He thinks she might have done something inappropriate with Racine. Brian says he has a right not to like Racine, which Angela accepts. In the house, Graham and Patty tell her that not every fight is worth fighting. Sometimes people have to compromise. Patty says they don’t have to compromise their principles, but life is about picking battles.

Whoever takes over the English class likes Angela’s poem, which has never been rewritten since its trip out the window. Angela’s not in class to hear her praise – she’s making copies of the literary magazine. Brian offers to help her hand them out. He still doesn’t like Racine, but he also thinks Angela is right about the students deserving to use their freedom of speech.

Angela gets summoned to the front office, where she’s joined by her parents. Patty points out that this discipline will go on Angela’s permanent record. Angela’s fine with that; school should be a place where you can say what you’re thinking. She’s picked this as a battle to fight. It may not be as important as the protests Graham and Patty participated in as teens, but it’s what she has. She’s willing to face suspension over her fight against censorship. As Foster calls the Chases in for a chat, Graham assures Angela that what happened to Racine’s family will never happen to theirs.

Foster reminds Angela that he warned that anyone caught distributing the magazine would be suspended. Angela tells him she also cut bio the day before, if he wants to punish her for that, too. Foster decides not to suspend her, blaming Racine for giving his students “distorted” ideas about right and wrong. He’ll let this one isolated incident go. As she’s dismissed to go back to class, Angela voices over her fable about living in a gingerbread house and always being asleep until, one morning, she woke up.

Thoughts: Racine is played by the late Roger Rees.

Parents at my high school would have flipped out about the poem before it even got to the principal. We weren’t even allowed to do Grease because of the teen-pregnancy stuff. We were, however, allowed to do Man of La Mancha, because teen sex is bad but rape is acceptable.

This show makes me miss scrunchies a little. I think they’re coming back, though.

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