Follow the whole rewatch here!
The previous rewatch was a mothercussing roller coaster, with Meredith walking us through the highest highs of Eli and the lowest lows of Noel. There continues to be a fair amount of drama this week, but fortunately, the show's humor and adorable wackiness are back in full stride.
I still recommend a healthy pour of alcohol, though:
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.”
Let us commence with the episode analysis!
Felicity wakes up (in her own bed), and while she's not necessarily busting out into a Lonely Island song, it's clear that having sex wasn't a bad experience... at least, until Noel comes to her room to apologize and let her know that it's over with Hannah. "Nothing really happened," he says. "I mean, we didn't sleep together." So all of the horizontal proceedings beforehand were nothing, huh? Sure, Noel. Sure. Felicity can't handle talking about it--so much so that she doesn't even tell Julie.
Meanwhile, the school has decided that the best way to address security issues involving students letting stranges into the dorms is to... play Assassins? This involves everyone getting a dart gun and the name of another person who is their target. The more targets you eliminate, the greater your chances of winning, and it comes as a surprise to none of us that Elena is ALL OVER THIS. She played this game in boarding school and lost first place to a 10th grader: "The image of her face haunts me."
Eli sends Felicity flowers, because he is THAT AMAZING, but Felicity assumes they're from Noel, which leads to her admitting what happened. Gaaaah this scene is sooooo hard to watch. Noel, furious and deeply hurt, walks out of the room and then can't even function in class. "I'm in the middle of complete emotional turmoil," he tells his professor. Um, dude, I think a simple, "I have to go to the bathroom" would've done the trick.
In spite of the fact that I desperately and actively will this not to occur, Felicity heads to the studio and tells Eli that last night shouldn't have happened. But it really, really, really should have! Felicity, LOOK AT HIM. Eli, with a flicker of sadness in his beautiful, soulful eyes, is understanding and even empathetic. "You just wanted to feel better," he says, and seriously, WHY IS FELICITY THROWING THIS RARE AND PRECIOUS BEING AWAY?
Back in her room, Felicity tells Sally: "My first time was with someone I didn't know, and I'll never be able to change that. What I did, it's forever." It's easy to watch this in hindsight, as an adult, and want to tell Felicity that it's just (safe, consensual) sex and she should stop beating herself up about it. (Especially because it was safe, consensual sex with ELI.) But I have to remember that my college freshman self would've felt the same exact way as poor Felicity. This is a major moment in her life, and it sucks that it's clouded by all of this pain and guilt over Noel.
Richard tries to comfort Noel by sharing a story about his summer camp girlfriend, who broke up with him for another guy. Richard made the terrible mistake of checking out the competition: "Didn't make me feel better when I found out he was a Minnow. I lost my girlfriend to a guy who wore floaties." Cool story, Richard, but now you've just inspired Noel to ask Felicity all kinds of questions about Eli and act like a huge freaking jerk. I hate this scene SO MUCH, because Noel is crazy mean and slut shame-y and Felicity keeps tearing up and apologizing and it's just awful awful awful. "Don't you understand, this involves me too. I don't even know if you were safe," Noel yells, and I HATE HIM FOREVER.
Thankfully, Felicity finally opens up to Julie, who is supportive and gentle and just really great, and I feel like the writers throw us a bone when Felicity says that Eli was "actually sweet and kind." UNLIKE NOEL. Or Richard, who walks up to their table and dickishly brings up her cheating on Noel. It's therefore extremely satisfying when Felicity, with tears still running down her cheeks, shoots her dart gun directly at his face and nails him in the eye. But it's a short-lived victory, because he gives her his target name--Noel--who is currently at the studio, scoping out Eli. Dude, you are really doing yourself a disservice, not only by talking to Eli (and manhandling his art?!) but by putting yourself in the same frame as this smokin' hot artist god.
Noel proceeds to get drunk at Epstein Bar (until Lynn cuts him off, which is awesome), then he has the brilliant idea to visit Felicity, who is listening to his mixtape (oh girl). He says, "I know this is my fault," but like, I think that's the beer talking. They start to kiss and then Noel quickly gets aggressive, wanting to erase what happened by... having sex? Felicity, who wants to talk things out, has to PUSH HIM OFF OF HER and seriously, this is the end of the road for Team Noel.
The next day, they encounter each other in the hallway and discover that they have each other as targets. Elena wants to them to shoot each other (I agree!) but instead, they have another talk. Noel tries to compare his lingering feelings for Hannah with Felicity's inability to get over Ben, and I'm pretty sure those are very, very different things. Dude, just because you were patient (read: hanging in the Friend Zone) with Felicity while she obsessed over Ben doesn't mean that you can break up with her and then expect her to wait around. Noel tells Felicity that he can't forgive her, and then Felicity makes me SO PROUD by responding, "You just left, with Hannah. I don't know if I can forgive you either." So long story short, Noelicity is DUNZO.
On the sidelines, Ben is spending way more time going out with Lynn than he spends with Julie, and Sean develops a crush on a librarian named Chloe. The latter is pretty cute, especially when he thinks that a day planner is a romantic gift. Julie points out that Sean mispelled the monogram of her name ("Chleo") on the planner, so he ditches it, but then when he finally asks her out, Chloe says no--not because she's not interested, but because SHE LOST HER DAY PLANNER. Um, match made in heaven?
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Obviously. Clearly. Resolutely.
College Nostalgia Moment
Ben agrees to go to a show at 1am with Lynn, even though they both have swim practice at 5am. Remember those days when you could function on no sleep? If I pulled that move now, I'd be a member of the Walking Dead.
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
Noel makes Felicity a mixtape, which would be cute if he wasn't such a DICK.
Girlfriend is RUTHLESS, like at one point she stakes out Guy's room and, when he begs for a bathroom break, she promises to lay down her arms--then shoots him in the back. Assassin Elena is my favorite Elena.
You would think that Meghan would be good at this game, but her spectacular indifference towards everyone makes her a weak oppponent. Prime example: She opens her target envelope, looks at the name and then asks Elena if she knows who Elena Tyler is.
"Ironic, isn't it? How quickly the hunter becomes the hunted?"
Felicity vs. Meghan
There's a GREAT moment in the cafeteria when Meghan grabs the last Jell-O parfait right before Felicity takes it. "You snooze, you lose," she sneers. "Hey! That's what you should've told Noel when he threw a hissy fit about you banging the art student!" Felicity gets PISSED and tells her off. "I just want my damn Jell-O back," she demands, and then Elena shows up and holds Meghan at (dart) gunpoint until she hands it over. Yep, Assassin Elena is my favorite Elena.
1.18 "Happy Birthday"
Maybe it's because they were feeling sick of Noel too, but with this episode, the writers zoom out from Felicity's struggles and spend more time on the supporting characters, which yields one of my favorite Meghan storylines of all time: Meggy! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
First, let's get through all of this Noel shizz. Dude can't handle the pain of seeing Felicity all of the time, so he decides to quite his job as an R.A. and move out. Because he has to be dramatic about everything, this entails selling most of his belongings, including his watch--that's how you know he's doing this just for show, because please. You can't pack a watch? It's sweet to watch some of the students beg him to stay (Richard: "I like complaining to you.") but it's obviously torture for Felicity, who feels both sad and angry. Julie invites him to her birthday party, which is weird, especially since she asks Felicity if it's okay after the fact (foreshadowing to #ShittyJulie). Noel does admit that when he left with Hannah, he gave up any rights to the committment he had with Felicity, so points for that I guess.
At Julie's party, Felicity asks Noel if they can talk in his room, and then she gives him a speech that charmingly mirrors his "Stay in New York or Perish" speech from the first episode. She tells him not to go, because he's the linchpin of this whole dorm operation... and because there is something unresolved between them. We don't see him agree to stay, but later at the party, they lock eyes from across the room and tentatively, gently smile at each other. That's cool, whatever, I'm more interested in the next moment, when Felicity watches Ben and Julie sweetly slow dancing in the hallway. Is she seeing herself with Noel? Seeing Julie and Ben as a portrait of love? Or... does she still have feelings for Ben? (I think it's all three, btw.)
Meanwhile, Carol shows up and tells Julie the truth--she is, in fact, her birth mother. Julie's reaction is a compelling mix of relief and happiness, and she forgives Carol way more easily than I do. They go to dinner, where Carol says she's proud of Julie but not proud enough, apparently, to introduce her to the rest of the family. (I do love the moment when Lynn stops by and brags about Julie's music skills.) Carol says Julie has to be a secret because she never told her husband about the baby she had, which is true and yet not the whole truth, because her husband is actually Julie's dad! Oh snap! Carol got pregnant when she was 17, gave up Julie as a baby and years later reunited with her husband, which whom she has another daughter. This is VERY complicated. Julie ends up calling the parents who raised her, and it's a poignant moment, knowing that she is wanted and known by people who love her.
Sean gets a second date with Chloe, and then she cancels, and no one cares about this storyline whatsoever.
Because Ben's dad left him financially high and dry, he's struggling for cash and eventually asks Lynn to set up him with his bookie. GREAT idea, dude. Now Ben is super into watching sports (which doesn't raise a red flag for anyone?), and after he wins big, he pays his rent (practical) and buys Julie a new guitar for her birthday (not practical). He lies and says his dad sent him money, because why not dig the hole a little deeper?
And now, let's get to the good stuff: Meghan's parents are in town for a surprise visit, which means Meghan (and her side of the room) undergo an Extreme Makeover. Like, it's so extreme that when Felicity walks into the room and sees Meghan's ultra whitebread parents sitting on a Laura Ashley comforter, she thinks she's entered the wrong room and beats a hasty retreat.
It's like some Twilight Zone shizz! Wait, that's a different episode.
But no, it is Felicity's room, and Meghan has transformed into Meggy, a daughter who respects her parents and dresses like Pollyanna. Felicity has a FIELD DAY with this situation, as she should, and her giddiness is absolutely intoxicating, particularly when Meghan asks Felicity to keep her box under the bed and not open it.
Felicity tells Meghan's parents that it's her box, which results in a HILARIOUS exchange later in the episode, when Meghan's dad corners Felicity and admits that they looked in the box. He's cryptic, saying that the contents are "shocking" and that, "We don't want this kind of negative influence on our daughter." Felicity, flummoxed, responds that she'll throw it away. "I don't see how you can do that," he replies, and thus begins the first ever J.J. Abrams "mystery box," literally.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
While Ben should most definitely NOT be gambling, he's very sweet to Sean regarding the Chloe situation, plus he's extremely supportive of Julie as she struggles to deal with Carol.
Gif via northbndtrain.tumblr.com
What could possibly be inside that you can't throw away?!
College Nostalgia Moment
Julie, Elena and Felicity eating pizza in the dorm room = college in a nutshell.
I laughed at Meghan's quick and mocking, "Hi Sally!" in the direction of Felicity and her tape recorder, and obvs I'm obsessed with everything Meggy, but the ultimate Meghan moment arrives at the end of the episode at Julie's birthday party, when she gives Felicity her cup of punch (there's no clean cups left) and then proceeds to steal Richard's cake. Classic Meghan.
Real Talk with Elena
Elena is so Team Felicity ("She's my girl.") in this episode, and I Iove her so much.
Noel: "Not every guy is a jerk."
Elena: "I didn't say every guy is a jerk, I said you are a jerk."
Elena: "The fact that you're working so hard to make this right really pisses me off."
Felicity: "Punching Noel in the nose just isn't the answer."
Elena: "It might make you feel really good though."
And finally, when Felicity goes off to talk to Noel at the party:
"You stay proud!"
Wardrobe: Keeping It Real
We're starting to see items of clothing reappear (like Julie's basketball jersey she wore to Thanksgiving), which lends a nice touch of authenticity. I'm particularly fond of this button up shirt:
Sean's Big Idea
I don't think he ever came up with a name, but Sean invented the stupidest looking cure for headaches ever:
Bradley Whitford has a non-speaking role as Carol's husband (and Julie's dad).
I get that it's hard to be honest after so many years, but I cannot BELIEVE Carol never told him about having a baby. Like, she couldn't have come clean when they got engaged?! What do y'all think--am I being too hard on Carol?
And what do you think is in Meghan's box?!
Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments, then join us next week when Meredith recaps a series classic, "Docuventary," plus "Connections."
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