Follow the whole rewatch here!
Has anyone else found themselves constantly repeating the quote, "Hannah? Her name is Hannah?!" after reading Meredith's recap last week? Nope, just me? Okay.
This week, we hit Halloween, and while it seems crazy that so much has happened in Felicity's life in only two months, that's like, exactly how college is. Each semester feels like a lifetime. Especially when you're trying to keep up with our girl, who in this week's Rewatch makes one of the worst decisions in the entire series and LORD HAVE MERCY, just make sure you've got hard liquor nearby.
Here are the drinking game rules, because you're going to need them:
The Felicity Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
Felicity is endearingly earnest.
Ben smiles sheepishly.
Noel is adorkable.
Elena is a better friend than anyone deserves.
Meghan is mean and it's awesome.
Javier butchers a word or figure of speech.
Richard freaks out (in a good or bad way).
Drink twice every time:
Felicity stresses you out.
Felicity says, "Dear Sally."
Sean invents something.
Javier refers to Ben as “Benjamin.”
Speaking of drinking, in this next episode we see Felicity get drunk for the first time! And even better, JAVIER IS FINALLY HERE.
Felicity and Ben walk into Sean's loft for a study session and are greeted by armed burglars. Yikes! No one is hurt, but Felicity's necklace--an heirloom from her grandmother--is stolen, along with Sean's Idea Book, the latter of which has questionable value but I digress. The police show up and ask Felicity and Ben to check out mugshots at the station the next day, but what I'd really like is an investigation into these other roomates that Ben and Sean seem to have. We see one of them in this episode (and he's British for some reason) but then... I don't think they ever appear again? Maybe they moved to Meghan's box.
Late that night, Ben stops by Felicity's room to make sure she's okay, when really, it's clear that he's not okay. Felicity's excitement over this development reveals that she has most definitely seen Speed and knows what happens when you mix intense experiences and two attractive people. The next night, he calls again and she heads over to the loft, where they carve pumpkins and Ben finally opens up about his dad, an alcoholic and ticking time bomb. Sean bumbles in, as he always does, and ruins the mood, but not before Felicity makes plans to come dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein to match Ben's Frankenstein at the upcoming Halloween party at the loft.
Felicity's upswing continues as she heads to Dean & Deluca to interview for a job with the manager. In perusing her resume, he askes about a former job, and she talks about working at a plus-sized clothing store. He looks her up and down and asks, "They didn't hate you?" Confused, she replies, "Who?" He answers, "The fat women." Ladies and gentlemen, Javier Quintata has arrived.
Meanwhile, our supporting characters are starting to develop their own storylines! It's no coincidence, IMO, that this episode features Elena, Julie, Meghan, Noel and Felicity all in the same room together (when Felicity returns to the dorm after the robbery)--the writers are starting to craft their Scooby Gang. Elena and Noel's friendship, one of my favorite things in the entire series, is kindled in this episode when Elena gives Noel a Talking To about putting a Halloween witch decoration on her door. He decides to show her how fun Halloween can be by getting them matching costumes for the party: Subway uniforms. Oh, Noel.
Zach, a.k.a. The Pink Guy, asks Julie on a date to see The Exorcist, because he's a film student, obviously. They're hitting it off, which is why it's weird when he tries to kiss Julie (dressed as Cat Woman) at the Halloween Party and she kinda freaks out and walks away.
Speaking of the party, Felicity's hair has never looked this amazing. She is a knockout Bride, so it's a real shame that Ben decided to ditch the Frankenstein idea and go dressed as a member of Sean's Rat Pack. Felicity is upset, of course, and later when she spots Ben flirting with a Pink Power Ranger (a hilarious nod to Amy Jo Johnson's previous gig with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), she loses her shizz completely and confronts Ben about why he's acting so weird. He doesn't take it well, suprise surprise, and then we get to meet Drunk Felicity, whom I ADORE.
On her way to vomit, Felicity spots Ben doing some serious smooching with the Pink Power Ranger. And he's not the only one getting action! Elena meets a Tin Man named Blair, and he ends up coming home with her. Get it, girl!
Devasted by the party, Felicity cries in her bed, where Noel, still wearing his Subway uniform, finds her. He gives her another one of his patented Noel Crane Movitational Speeches about how it will get better. "You're this really strong and independent and beautiful woman," he says, and then... she throws up in his lap. He recovers quickly, throwing his hands, still prepped for sandwich making, in the air: "No, it's okay, I'm wearing gloves."
The next day, Noel gets to deliver another zinger when he realizes Elena brought Blair home. "Just be careful," he says, "I heard he doesn't have a heart." GAH I love them.
Felicity, still simmering over the party, accosts Ben before class and accuses him of being scared of getting close to someone. This is the first time we see Felicity schooling Ben, and it's great. Ben, exasperated, calls her out for judging him, and the whole scene is just so very them.
Gif via lightgamble.tumblr.com
Ben is right, of course, and Felicity realizes she's been acting insane and needs to let the whole Ben dream go. FINALLY!
In contrast, healthy adult communication is happening between Julie and the Pink Guy. She confesses that the kiss made her freak out, because she's worried about messing up what they have, but then it's clear she wants to give it a go anyway, because she kisses him.
Having reflected on their earlier conversation, Ben goes to find Felicity in her room, but she's not there, so he asks Noel where he can find her. Noel, with that piercing gaze of his, tells Ben that he doesn't want to see Felicity get hurt, but ultimately he reveals that she's at D&D. He heads there and begs Felicity to talk with him so he can apologize for being a jerk. He admits that she was right--he pushed her away--and reveals that she makes him nervous. Then he earns 1,0000 points for
Gryffindor Team Ben when he gives her a necklace to replace the one that was stolen.
Gif via lightgamble.tumblr.com
Welp, so much for Felicity moving on!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Yes, yes, Noel was a great friend in this episode, but Ben made some major strides in spite of his tendency to be the Great Avoider. The insight he shared with Felicity about his dad revealed his hidden depths, and his admission that Felicity makes him nervous shows a clear awareness that she may be a little crazy, but she's good for him. And then there's the necklace and the emotion wrapped in that gesture--SA-WOON.
College Nostalgia Moment
Seeing everyone together in Felicity's dorm room reminded me of how easy it was to hang out in college. Like, people lived just down the hall. That was awesome.
Also, all of those fliers outside of the Film Society's The Exorcist screening!!! Fliers are the wallpaper of college.
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
Julie is rocking butterfly clips (so. many. clips) in this episode:
And then there's Sean's terrible joke when he sees Felicity's costume: "Hey, Courtney Love, right?"
Real Talk with Elena
I'd really like to meet the dumbass who tried to mug Elena.
Ben and Felicity are studying together on the couch, and that necklace has clearly had an effect, because they keep glancing at each other, then Ben gets unnecessarily close to... brush some salsa off Felicity's teeth? According to the Kelvin Hall cafeteria lady, "Teeth are the most sensual part of the human body," so there's definite chemistry happening. Too bad Felicity's about to RUIN IT.
As she heads out, a flustered Felicity offers to run Ben's literature paper through her computer's spell check before turning both of their essays in for Professor Regalsky's class. When she gets to her room and pulls up his paper, the nerd inside rears her ugly head, and Felicity starts rewriting Ben's words. NOOOOOO. WTF STOP STOP STOP. (Per the drinking game, you'll need to drink at this point, so may I recommend a shot?)
Of course, Ben gets busted by the professor, and then when Felicity admits that she rewrote it, Ben is PISSED. (You might need another shot here.) Felicity asks for advice from Noel, who impresses upon her that this is Very Serious, but when Felicity begs Ben to let her explain everything to Regalsky, he refuses and says he'll handle this on his own by teaching himself everything she wrote in "his" paper and then claiming it as his own. Cool idea, Ben. That's really going to work out for you.
Ben heads into the faculty inquisition, with an anxious Felicity and Julie hovering outside. Noel shows up in a panic--there's a good chance that the administration will dig into Ben's record and discover that he also lied on his admissions essay, meaning he could get kicked out of school for good. Felicity bursts into the room (where things are not looking good for young Benjamin) and confesses that she wrote the paper, and Ben, visibly upset, tells the professors it's because he's stupid.
Later, Felicity finds him to explain. "I'm a geek," she says. He had a million friends in high school, but she had one thing--her classes--and so her natural instinct was to use that one superpower. But in the end, she says, he didn't really need the help. And Regalsky confirms that when he tells Ben that his original paper would've earned a B. But thanks to Felicity, they're both getting an F. That's still better than getting expelled, and it's a relief that the professor sees this as a case of bad judgement rather than outright cheating.
While Felicity basically just destroyed her relationship with Ben, things with Julie and the Pink Guy are progressing nicely. He asks her to go see Solaris and, in an effort to impress him, she rents it beforehand, watches it and then adorably falls asleep during the screening. Elena, however, is actively avoiding potential coupledom with Blair, who patiently pursues her. You know things are bad when Elena asks Felicity for advice about men, but girlfriend manages to say something insightful: could it be that Elena actually likes Blair?!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
6 times, but one of those times most definitely should be a shot. Jeezy Creezy, Felicity.
I hate to applaud Noel for embracing the Friend Zone, but he really is a great support system for Felicity as she deals with the cheating drama. He even makes an appointment to see the freaking Dean of Students just to get the scoop on what might happen to Ben, and then he goes and talks to Ben himself, all because he cares about Felicity, and Felicity cares... about Ben. Bless Noel's heart.
College Nostalgia Moment
When Elena fails to show up for her date with Blair, she claims it's because she was on the list for reserved reading and had to stay the library. I guess this doesn't really fall under "nostalgia," though, because who misses that crap?
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
So many in this episode!
- Ben hands Felicity his paper... on a disk.
- Julie includes a Liz Phair reference in her paper.
- Remember when only the real tech geeks had domains with their name? NoelCrane.com is mentioned for the first time, and guess what? It's still live! If you want to bypass all of the Flash, click here for the text-based version (shared by people on an old message board right after this episode originally aired).
- When Julie goes to the video store, she meets P.J., who is all things 1998:
The Fedora! The Swingers jacket! The fact that he works in a video store! I CAN'T LOOK AWAY. (Plus, he gives Julie a dead-on profile of The Pink Guy as a freshman film student, and as someone who works with a ton of former film students, I can verify that P.J. knows what he's talking about.)
Straight Talk with Elena
Elena on how she ends a relationship:
You might not know his name, but when you see Ron Canada's face, you'll recognize him from pretty much everything. In this episode, he plays the (very intimidating) Dean of Students.
Now that the initial drama of Felicity following Ben has subsided, you can see the writers slowly beginning to build the (very complicated) chemistry between the two of them--those moments in "Spooked" when they're sitting on the couch or carving pumpkins, and even when they're fighting with each other in the classroom. There's definitely something there, yet it's difficult to read Ben's intentions. Is he just trying to be a good guy? Is he leading her on?
Chime in via the comments below, and stay tuned for next week when Meredith takes on the heavy task of recapping both parts of "Drawing the Line."