Follow the whole rewatch here!
After reading Meredith's recap last week, is anyone else still wondering what was on page 46?
Anyway! We've got a two parter this week in which the writers really turn the tables on Felicity with the introduction of a young man by the name of Todd Mulcahy. He's definitely gonna drive you to drink...
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.”
Now, on to the episodes!
1.13 "Todd Mulcahy: Part 1"
The episode opens with Meghan in the midst of trying to pierce her own nose (of course she is) when a random guy walks into the room, asking for Felicity. This affable weirdo turns out to be Todd Mulcahy, and he's about to give Felicity a taste of her own stalking medicine. See, they met in summer school when they were twelve, and Felicity was Todd's first crush. (He's pretty sure he was Felicity's first crush too). And he is here in New York City... to kiss her. He eventually finds her at Dean & Deluca and explains his position--he needs to know if there's anything between them, and he is DETERMINED. Like, he makes Felicity moving to NYC for Ben look like amateur hour. Dude keeps popping up with nostalgic gifts, from a license place souvenir with her name on it (because growing up, she could never find one) to a big box, labeled "Felicity Time Capsule, Circa 1992," filled with her favorite snacks and movies from that year. It's a little bit creepy and a whole lot annoying, but there's something about Todd that is so genuine and so earnest, you can't help but feel for the guy.
Out of desperation, Felicity decides, "I guess I should go talk to an expert on what it feels like to be stalked." Which results in this AMAAAAAZING exchange with Ben:
Gif via lightgamble.tumblr.com
I mean, how great is this show?
For reasons I can't quite fathom other than #TeamBen, he agrees to talk with Todd on Felicity's behalf, but when they come face to face, he realizes that they're old skateboarding buddies! That leads to Todd cooking this really great chicken at the loft for Sean, Ben and Julie, and suddenly, everyone loves Todd and doesn't understand why Felicity won't give him a chance. Even Noel, who bonded with Todd over Photoshop!
I know, girl. I don't get it either.
Meanwhile, Elena and Felicity are trying to get into this super competitive seminar taught by Dr. McGrath, who only accepts ten students. To prep for the exam (yes, there's an exam to even be considered, McGrath is THE WORST), they meet with one of his old female students. SO MUCH FORESHADOWING HERE, especially when Elena confesses, "He's got this sexy thing going on." TURN BACK, ELENA. TURN BACK. She's also being pursued by a "repentant" Blair, who is obviously an idiot because Elena don't play like that! And to prove it, she punches him! He shows up later at D&D, and I just don't get it--why is he so interested in getting back with Elena when he's clearly still with Tara? TO THE LEFT, BLAIR. TO. THE. LEFT.
Julie is inviting her own share of drama by applying for AND accepting an internship at her birth mom's firm, and Ben is pissed, because he knows this is a terrible idea. He's also not in a great place, having just found out that his dad is cutting him off. He can't make rent, and since the other roomates (Paul and Stu, we hardly knew ye--in fact, we never even laid eyes on one of you) moved out, Sean can only float him for a month. Hoping to land a job quickly, he asks Felicity to put in a good word for him at D&D, and Elena, who is studying with Felicity during this conversation, silently reflects everything we're feeling with her facial expressions, i.e. REALLY, GIRL? REALLY? Ben, of course, gets the job, because Javier.
Through the internship, Julie is getting closer to her mom, which is weird because Carol doesn't know she's her mom, and things get even weirder when Julie discovers that Carol has two kids. God I hope Julie's at least getting some kind of college credit for this.
Good ole Richard is up to his usual tricks, this time with the installation of a satellite dish which Noel reminds him is illegal in the dorms.
Since Richard has that illicit R.A. romance ace in the hole, Noel has to grin and bear it while Richard watches the fight with this pals and smokes a cigar like he's straight out of the Rat Pack. RICHARD FOR PRESIDENT. (Oh wait, that happens later.)
Back to Todd Mulcahy! Everyone encourages Felicity to at least go to dinner and hear him out, though Noel immediately changes his mind after he finds out about Ben's new job. "Ben's working at Dean & Deluca?" he asks Felicity. "It was Todd's idea," she replies. Noel: "I hate that guy."
This dinner brings about an incredible transformation from Todd Mulcahy the Joke to Todd Mulcahy the Harbinger of Regret. In High Fidelity fashion, he speaks to Felicity about missed connections and second chances. He reminds her that she used to be serious about art and says, "I'm just trying to do what most people don't. Reopen that window [of opportunity]." Their conversation culiminates with this punch in the gut:
Todd: "We can run off together and be anything we want."
Felicity: How do you know that I'm not doing that already?"
Todd: "Are you?"
Felicity knows that she's not, and yet she can't admit that to Todd and gets up to leave. He follows her out and vows, "I am down, but I am not in any way out!" as he steps onto the street. And then HOLY CUSS, HE GETS REGINA GEORGE-D. And by that I mean, hit by a bus!!!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Not only was Ben able to have a somewhat lighthearted conversation with Felicity about how she stalked him (and only five months after the fact), he then agreed to go talk to the stalker on her behalf! Ben, dude, you are way too nice. Or chill. Or confident in your awesomeness. Or all of the above.
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
I realize that nose piercing is still a thing but it was SUCH a thing when I was in college. And I knew a ton of girls, like Meghan, that ended up getting infections and having to take out their piercing. (Why didn't everyone just listen to Cher Horowitz back in 1995?)
Javier to Felicity, after asking for her opinion on his appearance: "You have to say I look great! I could fire you."
Meghan on her new nose piercing: "It's in and I can't even feel it. That's the first time I've said that."
Javier + Ben = BFF
This episode marks the beginning of a beeeeyoootiful friendship, the roots of which are clearly forming when Javier interviews Ben for the job and tells him he has no shot, then quickly follows it up with, "I'm kidding, you know I love you!" But he won't budge on Ben wearing the D&D black hat, which becomes a running joke on the show. These two are the ultimate odd couple, rivaling Noel and Elena as my fave friendship of the series.
Elena's M&M Strategy
I just want to point out that, in this episode, we see Felicity and Elena using this method and once again, WE KNOW NOT OF ITS SECRETS.
Sean's Big Idea
Sean's invention of the week is Lact-O's, a cereal with the milk baked in so all you have to do is add water (and then spit it out, because gross).
1.14 "Todd Mulcahy: Part 2"
I remember watching this back in 1998 and having to wait a whole WEEK to find out if Todd died. I mean, I assumed he didn't but... still. You Netflix youngins don't understand the kind of hardships we suffered through in my day!
So Todd is alive, but he's just been rushed to the hospital with a lot of broken everything. He tells Felicity to take a piece of paper from his pocket--it's a note that she gave him when they were twelve. She takes it home and, while munching on the snacks Todd sent her, begins to read this message from her younger self, which includes the following: "I guess I could be an artist if I wanted to, but that means my dad would never talk to me again." This flashback, combined with the intensity of Todd's accident, sends Felicity into a bit of a spiral, as evidenced by the fact that Noel walks in to find her crying over Dead Poet's Society (but who doesn't) while nibbling on more goodies. Gone is Noel's goodwill towards Todd; "You're eating his cookies," he says accusingly.
The timing of Felicity's identity crisis couldn't be worse, as she and Elena both find out that they made it to the final round of consideration for McGrath's seminar. In the interview, McGrath asks, "Why should you be considered for this seminar?" and Felicity starts talking about wanting to be an artist and god I wish this had been a joint interview just so we could see Elena's face as this happens. Naturally, McGrath removes Felicity from consideration.
Hungry to explore her revived dream, Felicity wanders into an art studio on campus and meets Eli (well helloooo there), who informs her that unfortunately, all of the classes are full. But if she wants to use
his body the studio, she's more than welcome. There's a montage of Felicity, working in the studio all night and pouring out the creativity that's been pent up underneath her med school focus. Girl has a LOT to express.
Of course, when she gets back to the dorm after being completely unreachable, Noel is freaking out (and if he knew about Eli, he'd have an actual reason to freak out) and tells her, "Now I'm the one leaving the messages and Todd's the one you're running off to be with." She replies, "There are some things you cannot help me with!" which shows remarkable clarity on Felicity's part, not to mention excellent insight from the writers. (How many young couples break up because they think a relationship just means fixing each other?)
Things aren't looking good for... damn, I just realized I don't know Felicity and Noel's couple name. Do they have one?! I just did a Google search and didn't see anything so I guess that means, dear readers, that we get to decide, right here, RIGHT NOW. Nocity? Noelicity? Vote in the comments! At any rate, Felicity and Noel have hit a rough patch, and no one is more worried about this than Richard, whose knowledge of his R.A.'s "ilicit affair" has prevented Noel from busting him for all kinds of shenanigans, including his newly launched hand modeling agency, "Prime Digits." (Easily my favorite of Richard's hustles, with the exception of Free Pizza Fridays, obvs.)
Richard corners Noel and asks, "You guys aren't breaking up, are you? Because that would really screw up my life." Noel responds, "Maybe we are," because HE'S A BIG BABY. Ugh, Noel, NOT your best episode.
Back at the hospital, Felicity confides to Todd that because of him, she's thinking about things that she hasn't thought about for a long time. He asks her for that kiss (Dude has superhuman skills of determination), and when she leans down and lands a soft peck on his lips, he goes into cardiac arrest! Fuuuuhhhk! The nurses rush into stabilize him, and Felicity is sent outside of the room, where she meets Rebecca... Todd's fiancée?!!!! She knows all about Felicity, and Todd's need to resolve this lingering regret once and for all. "If Todd is really mine, all I could do is let him go," she says, then looks at Felicity. "Do you love my Todd?" Thank god Felicity can honestly answer no because I don't think I could handle watching
Pollyanna Rebecca cry. Later Felicity watches anxiously through the glass door as the doctor gives Rebecca the news; the latter eventually turns towards Felicity and gives a thumbs up. Todd's gonna be okay! PRAISE BE.
And now things have come full circle, with Todd's near-death experience causing Felicity to reconsider a career in medicine. She goes to McGrath and tells him it's ridiculous that she would have to commit to being a doctor to be in his seminar (PREACH)--she doesn't have to decide today whether she wants to be a doctor or an artist. Meanwhile, I'm wondering if I can buy a shirt that says, "F*ck you, McGrath." He does end up admitting her (and Elena) but it's a small victory because he is SUCH a dick.
As if that wasn't enough drama, Julie has decided to give her mom the tape (in which Julie claims that she's her daughter). Because Carol has been super warm towards her and says that Julie reminds her of herself and yeah, seems like the perfect time to ruin it all! Carol sits Julie down and confesses that she is not her mother, and I feel so bad for sweet, lost Julie. At least she has the self-respect to quit the internship!
Todd finally gets released from the hospital, and Felicity is there to help Rebecca load him into a van. "I needed this push to get my life back on track," he says, and it seems like Felicity might feel the same way. She bids him good-bye, then returns to the dorm, where she and Noel smooth things over privately--publicly, they fight so that Richard will reluctantly post a flier to sell his satellite dish. Well played, Noel Crane.
Per usual, Sally closes out the episode with an astute observation: "I'm almost 34 and I'm still trying to figure out who I am." College is a time that feels dedicated to that search for identity, but in reality, we continue to question and wonder and explore for the rest of our lives. It might drive Felicity crazy to know that, but as a person who's just a few years older than Sally (WEIRD), I think it's a good thing.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Noel needed to SLOW HIS ROLL in this episode, whereas Ben was just sweetly concerned about Julie. Plus he spent a lot of time with Javier, who always brings out Ben's sheepish charm. You know how, in The Raven Boys, Blue accompanies her psychic relatives on jobs to amplify their powers? Javier is like the Blue for enhancing the magic of Ben Covington.
Noel: "Have you seen Felicity?"
Meghan: "I cannot wait for the day when you stop asking me that question."
Javier + Ben = BFF
The writers basically launched The Ben and Javier Show in this episode, starting with Javier asking Ben if he's fat, to which Ben hesitantly responds, "Yeah," which leads to Javier hugging him and saying, "You must look so good in running shorts." But Javier quickly gets back to business: "I treasure your candor, but put your hat on." He also schools Ben on how to make a good espresso. "You don't respect the machine," Javier tells him. And just like that, Ben has a new (fabulous) father figure.
Ben and Noel: An Unlikely Bromance
Every once in a while in the series, Ben and Noel share a moment of understanding, and it's a rare, precious gem that must be treasured. In the midst of panicking over the possibility of losing Felicity to Todd, Noel Dumb Dumb Crane asks Ben what Felicity was like in high school. They then commiserate about the complicated women in their lives, with Ben talking about Julie's situation with her mom and how she won't really talk about it, even when he asks her about it:
"What's going on with these women?" Noel wonders. And their mutal confusion is adorable.
When this episode aired, I had no idea that Simon Rex had been an MTV VJ or Calvin Klein model. But, for some reason I really can't explain, I knew he had been in porn. (And I don't mean that as a joke, I literally have no idea how I, a very sheltered and chaste college sophomore, knew anything about porn.) But his previous careers didn't matter, because Eli was THAT hot. Turns out, his future careers (Dirt Nasty?!) wouldn't matter either, because Eli is his masterpiece.
Also, Taraji P. Henson is back! In addition to being an R.A., she's also an art student who finds Felicity asleep in the studio.
Join me in the comments for further discussion on Eli's hotness, the Javier and Ben Show, Felicity and Noel's couple name, the imagined backstory on "Prime Digits" and consideration of the fact that Todd had a fiancée the whole time--how do we feel about that?
Then stay tuned for next week, when Meredith recaps "Love and Marriage" and, OH SNAP, "The Fugue"!