Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Sarah hilariously covered two of my favorite eps of the whole series, "Thanksgiving" and "Finally," during which Felicity and Noel officially became an item! I have to admit, I totally love the early days of Noel and Felicity's relationship, and "Gimme an O!" is a really great example of their goofy-as-heck romance.
So let's dive in! But first - our drinking game rules.
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.”
Onto the eps!
1.11 "Gimme an O!"
Everyone's back from winter break, and there's some measure of re-adjustment that goes into your first days back after your first big break from college. Felicity, of course, eloquently hits on why when recording her tape for Sally: it's because, for the first time, she found herself homesick for a place that isn't the house where she grew up. And a huge part of the reason she's been homesick for the dorm is, naturally, Noel. Their reunion is so cute - they just keep drinking each other up with their eyes. Noel proudly shows off his fancy, expensive new iMac, and as he's holding it, Felicity makes an ill-timed declaration.
That iMac was nice while it lasted, huh, Noel?
Felicity embarks upon this new life development the same way she approaches everything: earnestly, nerdily, hilariously. She gets out her day-planner (!) to schedule their liaison, heads to the bookstore to buy "sex books," asks Noel VERY LOUDLY at Dean & Deluca to get tested for HIV (way to be responsible, girl! Just maybe be quieter about it while you're at your place of business), procures some lingerie ("someone else is going to be seeing it," she tells the Victoria's Secret employee with pride) and heads to the student clinic for birth control and condoms. She gets a leeeeeetle intimidated by the condom demonstration, but once Elena tells her to keep her "eyes on the ball," Felicity decides she's ready. She shows up and tackles Noel with ferocious concentration. Poor guy doesn't know what hit him - AND he doesn't have time to lock the door, so when a couple of residents show up, they find Noel and Felicity half-dressed and tangled on the bed. Everyone panics - and then the situation gets worse when one of the hundred or so candles Noel lit for "mood" catches a recently confiscated Christmas tree on fire, and Noel's room goes up in flames. It's your basic first-time disaster.
Meanwhile, Julie and Ben are getting closer, but they still haven't kissed or anything, partly because Julie's anxious about how Felicity will react. She keeps almost telling her and then chickening out, and then when she confides in Noel, he asks her to tell Felicity AFTER Wednesday, because that's when they're supposed to hook up, and Noel doesn't want anything to change Felicity's mind. Noel gets a fancy hotel room for sexin', since their dorm attempt was such a spectacular failure, and they're both cute and excited and it seems like this might really happen - until Felicity calls Julie from the room and Julie acts weird, and Felicity grills Noel about it until he 'fesses up that Julie and Ben went to Vermont together over the break. Felicity wigs a little, but I think it's more that two (three if you count Noel) of her closest friends have been keeping this big secret from her. Noel, of course, assumes her reaction means that Felicity's still "obsessed with Ben," and he leaves her in the hotel room, which is pretty uncool, if you ask me.
Noel goes home to wallow, singing REM's "Everybody Hurts" alone in his dark room like the saddest sack who ever sacked.
Luckily, Elena shows up just in time, to ask Noel what the hell this gift Blair has recently given her is. (She's wearing it as a very tiny skirt - turns out it's a headband.) She tells him to man up, that obviously Felicity cares about him and is over her Ben obsession, and anyway, wallowing is not a very attractive look. Elena is right on all counts, as always, and Noel goes to Felicity to apologize for bailing on her. He tells her that he thinks it's still too early for them to have sex, because Felicity's obviously just hoping to get it over with since she feels weird about still being a virgin, and she agrees, and the two of them end the episode in a really cute, healthy, lovey-dovey place.
And so do Julie and Ben! And Julie and Felicity! And Felicity and Ben! (Not so much Noel and Ben, but we can't ask for miracles here.) Felicity and Julie clear the air about Ben, and Felicity admits that she's had trouble letting go of the Ben thing in the past because she fears it'll call into question everything, like her move to New York in the first place. But she's happy for Julie, and she's happy with Noel, and then Julie and Ben finally kiss and it's nice.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
I love this awesome bookstore employee, who recommends the book "Gimme an O!" to Felicity, and more specifically directs her to page 46. "It's really something."
"Gimme an O!" was her favorite book in 8th grade. 8th grade! I love this girl.
Julie and Felicity have such a good episode. Their sweet and honest discussion about Ben is great, but my favorite part is when Felicity tells Julie she's planning to have sex with Noel, and Julie's so supportive. Felicity admits that she felt weird talking to Julie about sex after what happened with Zach, and Julie has the loveliest response: "Just because I had a bad sexual experience with Zach doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a great first one with Noel. And it definitely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it." <3
Felicity's studying in the stacks when she encounters an awkward, nervous guy who has intense memory recall. He scolds Felicity because he remembers her and Noel making out in what he considers his space in the library during finals. While she's navigating that weirdness, Felicity sees Blair kissing a woman who isn't Elena. NOPE. You do NOT do this to Elena Tyler, Blair. I don't care how cute you are or how many headband skirts you buy her.
Felicity's trying to figure out if she should tell Elena - for the record, Noel's advice is to stay out of it, which is a philosophy I don't think Noel particularly practices himself - and she's decided she's going to spill the beans when Elena introduces her childhood best friend Tara, who was just admitted to UNY. Tara is, you guessed it, the girl Blair was kissing. Felicity's kind of torn into pieces, because she's never seen Elena so happy as she is with her cute boyfriend and childhood bestie. Felicity confronts Blair, who tells her she must have seen someone else, and Felicity's almost convinced herself to stay out of it when Blair and Tara tell Elena before Felicity can. They say it was just an accident, a comforting, friendly cheek-kiss that slipped into something more for just a second, and Elena asks Felicity if that's what she saw. Felicity kind of weakly admits that it could have been, and Elena punishes Blair a tiny bit but is definitely planning to forgive him. Felicity gets an idea, and goes back to Mr. Intense Memory Recall to ask if he ever saw Blair and Tara kissing in his space. Turns out, he caught them locking lips THRICE. Felicity tries to tell Elena, who doesn't want to hear it - not because she can't believe Blair would do that to her, but because she refuses to believe her best friend, who was there with her the day her mom died, would betray her. She gets pretty mad at Felicity and makes it clear that she'd never take her word over Tara's, because they're not that close - Felicity's never even seen Elena cry, for instance.
But later, Elena picks up on some flirting between Blair and Tara, and she sets up a little recon mission, telling Blair that she can't go to a concert with him because she has to study. She goes to Felicity, hat in hand, and asks her to be with her while she waits outside the concert. The two friends stand outside silently, until they see Blair and Tara exit and start kissing. Elena begins to cry, and Felicity puts her arm around her, and their true, meaningful friendship is cemented.
While all of this is going on, Julie's heard back from the PI she hired to find her biological mom! Her mom's name is Carol Anderson, and she's a fancy Manhattan architect. Julie wants to go meet her, and Ben kind of cautions her against moving too quickly, but Julie dismisses his advice and tells him off for interfering. She decides she's going to make Carol a tape, the way Felicity does with Sally, and she goes to her office to drop it off, but sees her mom there and freezes, and then Carol's assistant assumes she's there for an internship, and gives Julie the application. Julie takes the application and doesn't leave the tape, and then she makes up with Ben.
Finally! Richard's furious (drink!) about the barely-working vending machines in the dorm, so Noel finds himself tangled up in another Estonian mafia situation with Sensa and Yuri. Sensa tells her family that Noel's her boyfriend, so Noel can get a good deal on a vending machine and Sensa can convince her family she's well taken care of at college. Noel spends most of the episode in Sensa's family's warehouse, drinking vodka and eating sausages. It's in no way pertinent to any lasting plot but it makes me giggle.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Mr. Intense Memory Recall is played by none other than Donal Logue!
And Jane Kaczmarek is amazing casting as Carol, Julie's mom. She looks so much like Amy Jo Johnson!
That's it for this week! Guys, would you tell your friend if you saw her boyfriend making out with another girl in the library? I'm like Felicity, a lifelong buttinski - I wouldn't be able to help it.
Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers another all-timer two-parter: "Todd Mulcahy: Part 1" and "Part 2"!