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.

June 22, 2019

The X-Files 11.3, Plus One: Mixed Doubles

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

They did it, y’all!

Summary: A very loud rock band is playing for an energetic crowd. One fan jumps on stage, then crowd-surfs, which I didn’t think was still a thing in 2018. He sees someone who looks exactly like him in the crowd and follows him outside, but the doppelganger disappears. The fan drives off in his truck, and when a police officer comes up behind him with his lights and sirens on, the fan thinks he’s getting pulled over for speeding. The officer goes after someone else, but the fan realizes he’s not alone – the doppelganger is in his truck. He grabs the wheel and makes the fan crash.

Despite being thrown through the front windshield (always wear your seatbelt, everyone), the fan – Arkie Seavers – survives the crash and ends up in the local jail. He’s claiming that someone who looks exactly like him caused the crash. Scully thinks this is a simple case of confusion while drunk. Mulder, however, has heard stories over other people in Henrico County, Virginia, dying after claiming they saw their doubles. The diagnosis is a rare form of schizophrenia.

Mulder continues that many of the dead people took their own lives. Scully hears the numbers and realizes they’re dealing with a “mass phenomenon.” That definitely makes this an X-File. The agents head straight to the Henrico County jail to meet with Arkie, who says he’d seen his doppelganger a few times over the past week. Scully confirms that he uses drugs, which would certainly explain his story. But Arkie says he can prove that there really was a double.

The agents go to the scene of the crash, debating whether Arkie fell asleep at the wheel and is making up a story about a double. Then they meet with Dr. Babsi Russel, who treated a number of the victims at Henrico County Psychiatric Hospital. Though none of the victims had been treated for psychiatric problems before, they were all “arguably not upstanding citizens.” Russel thinks they all developed mental illnesses in a sort of outbreak.

As Scully and Russel discuss the possibility of mass hysteria, Mulder peeks in on a patient who’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia. She also exhibits split personalities and has wild mood swings. Mulder wants to take a closer look at her drawings, as the woman has pages and pages of Hangman games covering her walls. Russel lets the agents meet the patient, Judy, who claims to be a famous actress whose fans call her Little Judy. She plays Hangman telepathically with her brother.

Mulder sees that one of the words used in a Hangman game was “Arkie,” so he asks if Judy knows Arkie Seavers. She doesn’t, but she points to an empty chair and says “she” might know him. After the agents leave, Judy draws a frown on the hanged man on Arkie’s page, then frowns at it herself. At the jail, Arkie is put in another cell and told he’s going to be transferred somewhere else. His double is waiting for him in the cell.

Mulder and Scully check into the St. Rachel Motel for the night, but there’s only one room, so they’ll have to share. X-Files fanfiction writers around the world scream with joy. Sometime during the night, Mulder leaves his pull-out couch to tell Scully that Arkie was found dead in his cell. His lawyer, Mr. Cavalier, is skeptical that he could have strangled himself while wearing handcuffs, but Mulder knows it’s possible. (I…don’t want to think about that any further.) Mr. Cavalier denies that Arkie was suicidal.

Scully tries to preemptively shut down any theory Mulder might be developing that connects Judy’s Hangman game to Arkie’s death by hanging. He wants to find Judy’s brother and see if he’s somehow involved. So Mulder goes to a rundown, hoarded house and meets with Judy’s brother, Chucky, who happens to be the guard who found Arkie’s body in his cell.

Chucky has the same Hangman games on his walls that Judy does. He complains that Judy cheats when they play. Mulder guesses that Chucky and Judy are twins, and Judy’s the good one. Chucky laughs at that. He says the use of Arkie’s name in a Hangman game was meaningless; he just liked it. Chucky makes a snide remark about Mulder to an unseen person in the room.

Scully returns to the hospital, where Judy has become difficult. Two nurses say they call this version of her Demon Judy. Scully knows that people with split personalities sometimes respond well to strong authority, so she’s going to give that a try. A nurse tells her that Judy’s parents both hanged themselves. Scully decides she needs the nurses as backup, but they’re not going in.

Judy flings crap at Scully as she tries to ask questions about Arkie and Chucky. Judy says that Arkie killed himself, though how would she know that if she wasn’t involved? She asks if Scully’s trying to trick her. Scully says she just wants the deaths to stop. Judy asks what Mulder sees in her. If he hooked up with Judy, he’d forget all about Scully. Maybe Judy can make her go away, too. She mocks that Scully’s dried up and past her child-bearing years. Scully says Judy can’t hurt her, but Judy knows the truth can do a lot of damage.

Back in the motel that night, Mulder visits Scully from his part of the suite (separated by a door) and they discuss the weird influence Judy seems to have over the victims. Mulder thinks ghosts are involved, but Scully wants to go with psychic transference. She asks if Mulder thinks of her as old. “You still got it going on,” he assures her. She sends him back to his part of the suite, but he tells her to “knock three times,” meaning he’d welcome a late-night visit.

Chucky reads a poorly copyedited newspaper headline about Cavalier claiming that Arkie’s death was supernatural. He starts a new Hangman game, indeed playing telepathically with Judy. She guesses a letter out loud, and when he writes it down, it appears on her paper. It looks like the word is “Dean,” which is Cavalier’s first name.

The next morning, Mulder visits Chucky again and asks how he’s able to commit his murders. He must choose the victims at the jail, then hangs them psychically. Chucky says he’s questioning the wrong person. Mulder threatens to have Chucky arrested or committed for intending to commit a crime. Chucky knows he’d easily be released, and would then have Mulder censured. Mulder gets Chucky riled up and warns that he’s going to eventually hang himself.

Scully goes back to see Judy, who’s back to the pleasant person she was when the agents first met her. Judy insists that she’s not a killer – when she was an actress, she never even played one. She blames her unseen roommate for whatever Scully thinks has happened. Scully thinks Judy has some sort of power to influence people’s lives. “I think you mean people’s deaths,” Judy corrects. But people can protect themselves with pills, like Judy does. Every day, the nurses give her pills that have secret powers.

Scully sees that she’s playing Hangman and asks her to stop the game. Judy can’t – she’d go mad. Scully shows the pills to the nurses, who tell her they’re really made of bread, rolled by Judy herself. The nurses take them, though, just in case Judy’s right about them having secret powers. Scully might want to take them, too.

Cavalier goes to a restaurant and flirts horribly with a waitress. He sees a guy outside who looks just like him and chases after him. He goes to the motel and tells the agents about the double, whom he thinks he may have also seen a few days ago. Scully tries to calm him down, telling him that mass hysteria is just fears gone wild. Mulder thinks there’s an actual threat, though, so Cavalier should take some precautions. “It can’t haunt you if you don’t let it,” Scully says.

Mulder tells Scully that he really thinks there’s a dark presence in the town. Scully says there’s no such thing as evil – it’s just a concept, like the Devil. Mulder asks about dark sides that humans might have. She thinks people can act out dark impulses, but that doesn’t mean everyone has an evil twin. Mulder asks about Judy and Chucky. Scully thinks there’s a rational explanation, though she admits that she’s superstitious enough to sleep with her back to the door, in case the Devil comes for a nighttime visit.

Cavalier goes home and dumps all his weapons and sharp objects in his driveway. As he’s gathering his ties and belts, Judy and Chucky continue their Hangman game. Cavalier accidentally cuts himself on one of his many, many swords, and as he’s taking care of the cut in the bathroom, he hears another sword being unsheathed in the other room. The last thing he sees is his double.

Once again, Mulder wakes Scully during the night so they can go to a crime scene. Cavalier’s neighbors called the police when they saw him dumping weapons in the driveway. Though the front door was locked, Cavalier was killed with one of his swords, and there’s no way he could have killed himself, because it’s pretty impossible to decapitate yourself. Scully things the slight possibility is enough to hold on to.

As Scully goes out to the car to leave, she spots her own double in a crowd of nosy neighbors. She has a restless night in the motel, expecting the Devil to come through her door. She goes to Mulder’s part of the suite and asks him to cuddle her. The fanfiction writers scream again. Scully asks what will happen when they’re old. Will they still hang out after they retire? Mulder promises that he’ll always be around to offer up his wild theories. She says she’ll always be around to shoot them down.

Scully asks what might happen if Mulder meet someone younger who wants to have a family. Mulder says she could also meet someone she wants to have kids with, but Scully knows it’s too late for that. She would have liked to have had another one, though. Mulder asks what’s stopping her. Scully reminds him that William’s conception was a miracle. Plus, she doesn’t have a partner to conceive a baby with.

Sometimes she feels like the world is going to Hell, and the two of them are the only ones who can save it. They both wonder what they would do if they lost their jobs. Scully says they’ll think of something. As she smiles at Mulder, ready to take her clothes off, her double glares at them from the doorway.

Judy and Chucky have started a new round of Hangman, and it looks like the word is Mulder. He happens to be awake in the middle of the night, and when he goes to the bathroom for water, he sees his double in the mirror. He wakes Scully, who tells him she saw her own double, too. She thinks Judy and Chucky are trying to make them victims of the mass hysteria.

Mulder tells Scully to “put a dimmer on that afterglow” (they totally had sex, y’all) and go to the hospital so she’ll be in a safe place. He thinks her name is the one Judy and Chucky are playing right now. Judy does, too, but Chucky wants to get rid of Mulder, thinking Judy’s in love with him. Judy tries to change the word to “Scully.”

Scully takes some bread pills as she leaves for the hospital. Mulder goes to Chucky’s house to arrest him, but instead runs into his double. Scully’s double is in her backseat, and Scully tries to explain her away with logic. Maybe she’s just evil incarnate. The double has no time for this, I guess, and disappears.

Mulder fights his double as Chucky scraps his Hangman game to write in Judy’s name. Judy does the same with Chucky’s name. Their doubles both appear to them. When Scully gets to Judy’s room, Demon Judy is ready for her, but the real Judy is dead. Mulder’s double vanishes, and he finds Chucky as dead as his twin. He also finds two very old Hangman games on the wall, with the words “Mom” and “Dad.”

Back at the motel, Mulder suggests getting a couple of hours in before the agents check out (though he says he means sleep). Scully sends him off to his part of the suite, saying she won’t need anything. But after he leaves, she changes her mind and goes to the door. He’s right on the other side, waiting for her to join him.

Thoughts: Judy and Chucky are both played by Karin Konoval, who was also the creepy mom in “Home.” She does an amazing job in this episode. Dr. Russel is played by Denise Dowse, AKA Mrs. Teasley in Beverly Hills, 90210.

Arkie? Babsi? Who was in charge of naming characters on this show?

Where does Cavalier live, an armory? Who needs that many guns and swords?

November 27, 2018

ER 2.20, Fevers of Unknown Origin: For Crying Out Loud

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

If I woke up in bed with Jen, I’d make this face Mark is making, too

Summary: Carol’s on an EMT run with Shep and Riley, so we can see more of Shep’s declining stability. Yay! Doug has landed in bed with Karen, and it takes Doug, like, five minutes to realize that he spent the night with his father’s girlfriend, or whatever she is to him. Neither of them is that disturbed by it, though.

Carol and the paramedics are called to a basement where a water heater has exploded. A little girl is trapped under some debris. Riley’s flustered, so Carol does his job for him and revives the girl. She objects when Shep tells the girls’ parents they can’t ride to the hospital with her. He thinks they’re drunks, and since they were dumb enough to let their daughter sleep near an unstable heater, they…don’t deserve to stay with her and try to keep her from being scared, I guess.

Susan was supposed to have the day off, but she’s at work, pretending that giving up Susie isn’t affecting her. She imagines herself searching her apartment while Susie cries. Weaver thanks her for filling in on short notice, promising she’ll be able to go home in a few hours. Susan says she can stay for a full 12-hour shift.

Morgenstern summons Mark and Weaver for what they think is an announcement of who won resident of the year. He promises that he submitted her name. Carter wants to assist on a breast reconstruction; Benton doesn’t really care. He thinks plastic surgery is a dumb specialty. The paramedics bring in the girl from the basement, and Doug and Benton will be working on her together, trying to ignore the tension between them.

Susan stitches up a blind woman who was mugged. Thanks to a self-defense course, the use of her cane as a weapon, and some sharp teeth, the woman not only got away with minor injuries, she also bit off the tip of the mugger’s pinky. She’d like to keep it as a souvenir. The girl from the basement, Becky, isn’t badly injured, and Shep credits Carol with taking good care of her. Benton finds a hernia and sends Becky to surgery.

Morgenstern wants to talk to Mark and Weaver about who should be chief resident next year. Mark nominates Susan, but Weaver isn’t sure she has all the qualities they want in a chief. Morgenstern agrees with her that they shouldn’t jump to any decisions. Hicks tells Carter that he hasn’t seen enough pediatric patients to graduate, so he’ll need to work with Doug for the next four weeks instead of assisting in plastics cases.

Connie brings her baby to visit, which makes Susan feel awkward. She thinks about her apartment search again. Lydia and Haleh enlist her to help them with a woman named Joanne who passed out in a crosswalk. She’s pregnant and is worried that she’s suffering another miscarriage. Susan thinks Joanne’s dizziness and high blood pressure are a result of her pregnancy, but Joanne says she’s had dizziness in between pregnancies. Susan decides she needs an ultrasound before she’s sent to OB.

Mark and Weaver go in to check on the case, since OB is upset that Susan hasn’t turned Joanne over to them yet. Weaver urges Susan to let her go already, sure that Joanne has preeclampsia. But Susan has correctly guessed that Joanne has a mass that’s causing her health problems and will need surgery. Fortunately, the baby should be fine. Mark congratulates Susan for the catch, though Weaver thinks OB would have figured it out.

Shep complains to Carol that Riley is a weak partner. He’s mad that Raul died trying to help lost causes in their fair city. Mark tells Randi that he and Jen are trying to work with a mediator to sort out their divorce. Randi says she doesn’t believe in divorce (but she doesn’t believe in marriage either). As an ailing Loretta comes in, Doug watches Days of Our Lives in the lounge with Lily and Haleh. He assures Carter that working in pediatrics won’t be too demanding for him.

A woman brings in her father, Mr. Dellanova, who has heart problems and is feeling sick. Susan almost immediately realizes that he took too much digitalis. This time, Weaver lets her take control, trusting that Susan knows what she’s doing. Benton chats with a Dr. Bradley, who wonders why Benton took almost three months to file a report about Vucelich’s fraud. He gives back the report, since Vucelich has added an addendum to his study listing all the data Benton thought he’d left out. Vucelich now claims that he always intended to include it.

Mark treats Loretta for dehydration connected to her chemotherapy. He’s annoyed that her doctor isn’t paying enough attention to her concerns, which include radiation burns that another patient said she shouldn’t have. Weaver wants Susan to present Mr. Dellanova’s case to some med students, but Susan doesn’t see the point. Weaver tries to get Mark to back her up and convince Susan to think more like a teacher. As they discuss her, Susan has trouble concentrating and flashes back to her apartment search again.

Doug gets a message from Karen, so Mark teases him a little. Doug says they have a “mutual acquaintance.” As Mark is about to go track down Loretta’s doctor and yell at him for sucking so badly, Jen shows up in hopes of working out their divorce settlement without their lawyers.

Carol and the paramedics go to an apartment building to tend to a teenager who was shot. One of his friends calls Carol a whore, so Shep grabs him by the neck. The victim is in bad shape, and as Shep tries to work on him, the boy’s brother keeps getting in the way. Shep eventually shoves him out of the way, but the boy hits his head on a coffee table and knocks himself out. Shep doesn’t care.

Carter thinks his patient just has the flu, but Doug thinks a seven-day fever of unknown origin is more than that. He diagnoses Kawasaki’s, and it’s a good thing he reviewed the case, because missing that could have been fatal. I’m thinking Carter isn’t as good to go on graduation as he thinks he is.

Susan stabilizes Mr. Dellanova, then tells his daughter that she’s surprised he took the wrong dosage, since it was right in the bottle. He doesn’t need glasses, but he also has trouble reading the paperwork he’s supposed to sign. Susan guesses correctly that he’s unable to read and has always hidden it from his daughter. She thinks he should tell her and let her help him. Mr. Dellanova asks if Susan has children, so of course she flashes back to her search again. We get it, show!

The paramedics bring in the brothers and Doug sticks around to tend to one, which means Karen has to wait to go to lunch with him. She goes to watch him in action, because apparently you can just wander around County without anyone caring. Doug and Benton work on the shooting victim while Carter, Carol, Weaver, and Harper work on the brother. Shep admits to pushing him, but Riley thinks he’s downplaying the seriousness of the situation. Shep tells him off for not keeping his mouth shut.

Doug’s finally ready for lunch, but seeing all the blood in the ER has made Karen lose her appetite. She’s concerned that she can’t reach Ray, who’s supposedly in the Cayman Islands with some of her money. But who cares, when she has his son? Mark finally finds Loretta’s doctor, Howard, who clearly doesn’t care about the side effects she’s suffering or the fact that she’s overwhelmed with her condition and treatments. I think he’s confused that Mark cares about a patient so much.

Carter tricks Benton into attending a surprise party in a trauma room – he’s been named resident of the year. Weaver tells Mark that Susan showed all the qualities they want in a chief resident today; she just wishes Susan would be like this all the time. As he’s leaving for the night, Doug maturely congratulates Benton for his honor. Hicks tells Benton that Vucelich seems to have nominated him for the award.

Carter says goodbye to Harper, who’s going…somewhere. Who cares? She’s leaving the show. Shep complains to Carol that Riley’s filing an incident report about his violent behavior. He wants Carol to agree with him that he didn’t do anything that bad. While Mark and Jen work out some custody arrangements without any complications, Susan treats a man named Mr. Johnston who claims he accidentally cut off the tip of his pinky while making a sandwich. He also has a testicular injury courtesy of a cane. Susan and Haleh strap him to a gurney while they call the police.

Mark and Jen…oh, freaking A. Mark and Jen just had sex. She doesn’t know what to tell her new boyfriend, Craig. Mark points out that she’s had to confess to infidelity before. Jen thinks he only slept with her as an act of revenge. In other ill-advised-couple news, Doug and Karen go to a nightclub together.

Susan goes home to her empty apartment and reminisces about when it wasn’t so empty. Then we learn why she’s really been so distressed: Chloe and Joe have taken Susie and moved across the country. When they were leaving, Susan ran up to her apartment to look for one of Susie’s toys while Susie cried in the car. Susan got so worked up that she started crying, too. Chloe found the toy, and Susan realized that she has to let the baby go for good.

Thoughts: Joanne is played by Romy Rosemont. She was also in a Grey’s Anatomy episode with Scott Michael Campbell (Riley). And she’s married to Stephen Root! I had no idea!

Carter treats a little boy, and when he tells the kid to take a deep breath, the kid takes the hugest, most overexaggerated breath ever. I love it.

Sleeping with you doesn’t get revenge on you, Jen. It only punishes Mark. Also, on another show, this probably would have led to a pregnancy and a paternity mystery, so thank God this doesn’t go there.

January 30, 2018

ER 1.2, Day One: Sleep, Eat, Sex, Repeat

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:43 am by Jenn

“Look at us up here on the roof, not losing limbs”

Summary: Susan is trying to sleep when Wendy wakes her to take care of a baby in respiratory arrest. After a few tense moments, Susan removes an earring from the baby’s throat and gets her breathing again. Everyone’s happy, and Susan gets to start her day with a win. Well, everyone’s happy except Carter, since Lydia let him sleep instead of waking him up for the trauma. Instead, he gets to take care of some German tourists with food poisoning. Rectal exams for everyone!

Haleh goes over some patients with Connie as Mark comes in for the day. Timmy sends Susan to see a patient with chest pain; Carter’s thrilled to get to help her and put off the rectal exams. The patient is less thrilled that he’s being seen by a “beginner.” Carter and his ridiculous hair give the patient a thumbs-up.

Mark and Susan chat with Doug, who hasn’t been to visit Carol in the eight weeks since her suicide attempt. They tell him things won’t get any easier, so he should just go. The three accept two car-accident victims via helicopter, and Benton meets them back downstairs to help out. Doug and Mark try to tend to a little girl, but she keeps yelling for her mother, the other patient. The drunk driver who hit them is also in the hospital, with seemingly minor injuries. The husband and father of the two victims also has minor injuries.

Carter has three more rectal exams to perform, but he takes a break to check on the man with chest pain, Mr. Zambano. As Carter’s with him, the man’s alarms start blaring. Carter can’t get any help, since the nurses are taking care of some commotion down the hall. He charges a defibrillator and drags it to Zambano, shocking him back into a stable rhythm. Carter’s both relieved and proud of himself.

Doug and Mark send their patient to surgery, assuring her that her father will be with her when she wakes up. Susan tells Mark that the father is okay, and the driver is doing great. Unfortunately, the mother only gets a “maybe” from Benton.

As they catch a quick lunch together, Mark tells Doug again that he needs to go see Carol, since they used to be close. He offers to tag along, but Doug hasn’t even committed to going yet. Mark thinks Doug blames himself for Carol’s depression, and he needs to forgive himself.

Carter and Benton tend to a store owner who was shot by a preteen trying to rob him. His injuries are minor, but he still needs surgery. Benton tells Carter to babysit him. The patient so grateful that he offers Benton cognac and cigars as a thank-you gift. Susan’s patient, Victor, is confused and agitated, so Susan tells Malik and Wendy to call for a psychiatric consult.

Carter presents a patient to Benton, reciting all the facts like he’s spent an hour studying it. Benton teases him by asking for the patient’s mother’s maiden name. Carter’s confused, and Haleh has to tell him that Benton’s kidding. Carter rattles off the tests and treatment he suggests for the patient, but Benton says those would lead to a malpractice suit; the patient may have thrombosis.

The drunk driver has a blood-alcohol level of .435, and Malik complains to the cop on the case that there’s no justice. The psychiatrist Susan summoned, Div Cvetic, doesn’t agree that Victor needs to be admitted to his service. His problems are medical, not psychiatric. Besides, there’s no bed for him in the psych wing. Susan disapproves, but Div won’t budge.

Mark and Malik’s next patient has a horrible sunburn, but only on the front of his body. He’s in too much pain to sit or lie down, so Malik suggests just propping him against a gurney. Jen suddenly arrives and announces that she passed the bar. Mark ditches his patient so he and Jen can make out in a bathroom. Jen wants to take advantage of their privacy to take things beyond making out.

Benton gives the drunk-driving victim, Mr. Ring, that his daughter will probably be okay, but his wife is going to die. He asks if they ever discussed organ donation. Mr. Ring is too distraught to answer the question, so Benton just comforts him while he cries.

Susan tries to go over Div’s head to an administrator, but the administrator agrees that Victor can be treated medically. An emergency alarm sounds by the admin desk, so Susan, Haleh, Malik, and Timmy rush to the bathroom to see who’s in distress. They soon learn that Mark and Jen accidentally hit the alarm while she was…um…giving him a physical, we’ll say. Everyone keeps it casual until they close the door, and Susan, Haleh, Timmy, and Malik all crack up.

Doug hears the story later and laughs at Mark’s embarrassment while they’re in the bathroom together. Mark knows he’ll never live it down, and though he’s able to laugh it off a little, he’s worried that he’ll get in trouble. The two realize Carter has fallen asleep in a stall and try to wake him. Mark succeeds by yelling, “Clear!”

The patient who flirted with Mark in the pilot returns with a rash and requests Carter as her doctor as soon as she sees him. Doug and Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Franks, is elderly and approaching respiratory failure. Her husband begs them to do everything they can for her. Susan finds Carter checking out the poison ivy on his patient’s butt, and decides she should stay and keep an eye on things. Carter’s completely professional, though, and doesn’t get that the patient is flirting with him.

Mark tells Mr. Franks that they don’t have a lot of options for his wife. She’s terminal, and if they put her on machines to help her breathe, she’ll probably never come off of them. The better option is to make her comfortable and let nature take its course. Mr. Franks tells him to put her on the respirator. Mark decides to do some more tests before they make a final decision. Mr. Franks wants the doctors to know that they have 13 grandchildren.

The drunk driver finally wakes up, but he doesn’t remember the crash. Malik tells him he killed a woman and put her daughter in the ICU. Benton and Carter’s thrombosis patient’s regular doctor comes to see him, disagreeing with Benton’s diagnosis. He accuses Benton of running unnecessary tests and showing off for Carter.

A bride started throwing up during her wedding reception, which was held at the same place where the German tourists ate. Wendy realizes that they should be expected a couple hundred more patients from the reception. Mrs. Franks is awake now, so her husband thinks she’s improving. Mark tells him it’s just because they rehydrated her. She guesses that she’s dying, and when Mark goes over her options, she grasps them better than her husband did.

The food poisoning has been traced to the potato salad, which not everyone at the reception ate, so only about 60 people have been brought in. The musicians from the reception have come in to play for the patients while they wait, which would probably be okay if they weren’t accordionists. Victor is brought in, having been found wandering down a street, still wearing his hospital bracelet. Susan tells Lydia to call Div again; if he doesn’t admit Victor, Susan will sign him in herself.

In the cafeteria, Susan asks Mark if Doug is finally going to see Carol. Then she teases him about his little rendezvous with Jen in the bathroom. Div arrives and yells at Susan for trying to admit a patient to his service after he said no. She admits that she went over his head, which just makes him madder.

Carter tells Benton that he thinks he was right about their thrombosis patient. Benton sarcastically says that he’ll be sure to tell the New England Journal of Medicine that Carter agreed. Benton, this is why no one likes you. The hospital turns into a reception hall, with patients and staff members dancing to the accordion music. Mark’s enjoying himself until Connie tells him that Mrs. Franks has died. Her husband sings “That Old Black Magic” to say goodbye. Doug has to fight back tears.

Home for a few hours, Mark congratulates Jen again on her success. She suggests picking up where they left off in the bathroom, even though they’re in their very visible backyard. He has to go back to work in a couple hours, so he says no. Jen realizes he’s never going to leave County. She says she needs him, and he assures her that he loves her.

Carter gets in his Jeep to leave for the night and is surprised to find his flirtatious patient in his backseat. She wants to go home with him. Carter immediately calls the police and has her arrested for stalking. Ha ha ha ha, no, he doesn’t. He takes her home with him. At her own home, Susan complains about being unable to get help for her patients. The person she’s complaining to is Div, and they’re definitely not just work colleagues. He warns that not everyone she deals with at the hospital will be as understanding as he was. Wait, he considers that “understanding”?

Doug finally goes to see Carol, but her mother, Helen (who isn’t played by the same actress who plays her later), tries to make him leave. Carol says he can stay and accepts the flowers he’s brought her. They only chat for a minute, since he’s too emotionally closed off to talk any longer than that. Back at County, Lydia wakes Benton, whose thrombosis patient is back in the ER. This time, Benton will get to do everything he wanted to before.

Thoughts: The administrator Susan tries to get to overrule Div is played by Tobin Bell, AKA Saw from the Saw movies.

Jen is the wooooooooorst. She’s not so bad in these early episodes, but later…gah.

Remember my game Spot the Doll? You can play it with this show, too. If there’s a kid in a scene and it’s not moving, it’s really a doll.

July 19, 2016

SVU Super Edition, Face It: Highway to Hell

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 5:20 pm by Jenn

They don't even look identical!

They don’t even look identical!

Summary: We have finally reached the end of this ridiculous series, and we’re going out with a road trip. Sam’s cousin, the only family member he still talks to, is getting married in Boston, and even though he doesn’t want to see his family, Elizabeth and Neil encourage him to go. (Sigh, Neil. He’s barely in this book and I’m sad about it. I’ll miss you, buddy.) Jessica ends up inviting herself and her new boyfriend along. This will be the twins’ last hurrah before junior year, since Jessica will be moving out of the duplex and back into the dorms to be an RA. Yeah, no one does that. Once you’re out of the dorms, you only go back if you can’t pay rent anymore. Plus, no way is Jessica qualified to be an RA.

Anyway, road trip. But first, drama! Jessica sees Sam getting some random girl’s phone number. She already thinks he’s scum, and this doesn’t make him any more endearing. Jess then learns that Elizabeth was accepted into a study-abroad program in London, but since she hasn’t said anything about it, she must not be going – and Jess figures it’s because she doesn’t want to leave Sam. She’s right.

Jessica wanted a summer internship at an art museum, but a cute senior named Tyler nabbed it first. Jessica’s not too broken up since Tyler’s really interested in her, and she’d rather have the guy than the internship anyway. After they’ve gone on a couple of dates, he mentions that his sister is graduating high school in Illinois, but he can’t afford to fly home for the ceremony. Jessica realizes that Liz and Sam can take him on their way to Boston, so she gets them to agree to bring her and Tyler along on the road trip.

The kids take a detour to the San Diego Zoo, so I guess they’re not under a time crunch. Jessica gets mad when Sam checks out a waitress (right in front of Elizabeth, no less). Tyler thinks Jess needs to calm down, and though I agree with her that Sam is skeezy – and she doesn’t even know that he feels trapped in his relationship with Elizabeth and doesn’t even want to be with her – this is not the time to pick a fight. No one wants to share a long car ride with two people who won’t stop fighting.

Next stop: Grand Canyon. It’s big. The road trippers check into a B&B for the night, and Jessica catches Sam flirting with a desk clerk. Dude, what is up with this guy? At dinner, Sam makes Jess mad by asking why she and Tyler got a room together but are sleeping in separate beds. Elizabeth confides in Jessica that she’s ready to have sex with Sam, though he doesn’t want to rush anything. Jessica doesn’t get it. I don’t think Elizabeth does either. Sam is weirdly hesitant to “take” Elizabeth’s virginity, as if she’s not freely and eagerly offering it up. Guys, just have sex already. I’m tired of reading about this.

The kids spend some time in Santa Fe, where the tables turn and Sam catches Jessica flirting with another guy. Later, they fight about his own flirtations, and Elizabeth gets annoyed at her scummy boyfriend. Then, in Illinois, he flirts with ANOTHER woman, a waitress at some restaurant, and ends up making out with her. Why are so many women into Sam anyway? Jessica spots them and immediately tells Elizabeth, but Liz thinks she’s lying because she wants to break them up. She thinks Jess is mad that Liz is going to lose her virginity to a great guy when Jess lost hers to jerky Mike. Way harsh, Liz.

Elizabeth questions Sam, who tells her that Jessica lies. Tyler sides with him, since Sam lied to him, too, so now Jess looks really petty. Everyone goes off in separate directions, and Sam ends up making out with the waitress AGAIN. And Jessica sees them AGAIN. This time Jess grabs Liz and drags her to see her boyfriend cheating with her own eyes. Of course, by the time they get there, Sam is alone, writing something. Liz thinks he’s writing in a journal just like she does, because if there’s anything Sam has proven to be, it’s sensitive and introspective.

Jess decides she needs to show Liz how bad Sam is in a way Elizabeth can’t deny. She plans to dress up as Liz, seduce Sam, and get Elizabeth to see them together. Yeah, there’s no way this could go wrong. It’s not like Sam will explain to Liz that he thought Jess was her, and Jess will come off looking crazy. While Jess is plotting, Elizabeth buys a bunch of candles and condoms and plans to get all pretty before having sex with Sam.

Jessica puts her plan into motion, and though Sam thinks “Elizabeth” is acting weird, he doesn’t suspect that she’s not really Elizabeth. Liz catches them, but instead of thinking Sam’s the only one to blame, she hates Jessica as well. Sam takes advantage of the mess to tell Liz he knew who he was with and doesn’t want to be with Elizabeth. Dang, way to kick her while she’s down. Elizabeth takes the Jeep and heads off on her own, leaving the others behind. I guess Tyler’s now close enough to home to find a ride, but I can’t wait for Jessica to have to call her parents and explain why she’s stranded in Illinois. Maybe Lila can swing by with her father’s jet.

Elizabeth sees her London acceptance letter in the car and decides to go. I don’t know how she plans to pay for a plane ticket, or how she plans to get through customs without her passport (since I can’t imagine she brought it with her), or what she’s going to do until the semester starts. But at least Jess can probably retrieve the Jeep from long-term parking after Liz flies halfway across the world, hoping to never see her sister again. And that’s a wrap on SVU!

Thoughts: Sam: “Liz, I’m really, really, like, I don’t know what to say – honored that you feel like you can sleep with me.” ICK.

How can these people afford to eat breakfast out so often? They don’t have jobs! Wait, Jessica has one. How is Jessica the only one with a job??

“After all, what guy in his right mind wouldn’t want to sleep with Elizabeth Wakefield?” Ugh, now I have to go jump out a window.

“You look really cute in that baseball shirt. Kind of like a little girl in her father’s clothes.” Sam, it’s time to start thinking before you speak.

Along with Neil, I hope Nina gets to live happily ever after. Everyone else in this series is dead to me.

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