Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Sarah walked us through one of the cringe-iest episodes in Felicity history (and you KNOW that's saying something), and David took a hike, thank goodness.
This week, things steam up with Noel and Ben, so let's drink to Felicity living her best life, juggling three guys in the space between Thanksgiving and the start of spring semester.
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 let's dive in (pool metaphor)!
There's so much back and forth in this episode! I'll try to be brief. Felicity and Noel are still reeling from their kiss of last week. Felicity's all hot and bothered over it, and having these seriously intense dreams about Noel and all sorts of other crazy crap (that's what the picture is above - she dreamt Professor Sherman critiqued this image of the two of them having sex), and she's decided she wants to be in a relationship with Noel again. Meanwhile, Noel says he feels guilty about the kiss and it was a mistake, so Felicity hesitates to tell him how she feels. But also they're teamed up on a portrait assignment for Sherman's class, so they're spending a lot of time together. Oh yeah, and they also have to worry about how Sherman's going to treat them post-Thanksgiving kiss. The answer is...not great, Bob.
But after picking up on some signals that Noel is definitely putting out (for instance, SPOONING HER during a weird mid-drawing nap break and 100% almost kissing her as they're gazing into each other's eyes for alleged art reasons), Felicity decides to go for it, and she tells him she wants to date again. Noel has this great speech about a stuntman who tried to do an elaborate stunt and nearly died, and when asked if he'd try again, he said no because, "I really missed the first time." He wants to give it a go with Ruby, and he's warm and compassionate about it, and Felicity totally respects his decision and the honest way he communicated it to her - but as Elena says in a very great bestie talk between the two of them, "That only makes you want him more." Felicity's like, "Damn right."
Meanwhile, Ruby's come home for a surprise visit! Poor Ruby. Noel is happy to see her, and he's deciding among three very nice gifts for Christmas for her (a Palm Pilot, a ruby bracelet and a pretty sweater), and asks Felicity's advice. Felicity struggles with the answer because she wants that bracelet so bad (it's only okay, tbh), but eventually she tells Noel to give Ruby the bracelet. He gives her the Palm Pilot instead, which Felicity thinks is ANOTHER SIGN!, but finally Ruby sweetly confronts Felicity about what's going on between the two of them, because she likes Noel so much and wants to know if she needs to worry about Felicity. Felicity tells Noel that the conversation reminded her of when Hannah came to town last year, and Felicity doesn't want to be the Hannah in this situation. (Actually, the main thing these situations have in common is Noel's chronic inability to be faithful to whatever poor schmuck happens to be his girlfriend at the moment.) Felicity gracefully bows out, and Noel and Ruby go back to LA together for the Christmas break. Aww, and then Noel gives Ruby the bracelet, too.
In other news, Sean and Julie are still a toxic mess! Sean's excited about a Smoothaise investor who, unsurprisingly, does not pan out, and Julie's excited for him before it all falls apart. But when a "music guy" named Erik Kidd shows up to Julie's gig at Epstein Bar and potentially wants to sign her, Sean gets all over-protective and jealous, and they get into a big fight about it. While Sean is being gross, Erik does seem a bit scuzzy. But maybe he's just genuinely interested in Julie's music! Her song "Clear Blue Day" is awfully pretty, after all.
Julie goes to lunch with Erik, and he says that Pop Rocks Records - they're growing! - wants to do a demo deal. Sean is suspicious but trying to be supportive. Same.
And finally, poor Ben is STRESSED about an upcoming American Lit final. It's in 48 hours and he hasn't even started. He's super confused by the prompt about the struggles of African-American men in H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man - because, of course, the dummy should have read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. H.G. Wells wasn't even American, Ben! This plot is mostly notable for the immense anxiety Ben kind of adorably exhibits all week, coupled with sweet Sean dropping everything to help him with his final, because Sean is a good guy who deserves better than this disaster he has with Julie.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Erik Kidd is played by Adam Rodriguez, who has looked much hotter in such things as Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL and Jane the Virgin.
Much More Important Cameo!
Sexy Rexy (Simon Rex as Eli) shows up in Felicity's dream!!! Come back, Eli! We hardly knew ye!
Real Talk with Elena
She's never cracked me up more than the droll way she handles walking in on Felicity and Noel just as they're about to kiss.
Elena's New Lab Partner
Her name is Gwen, and she talks so slow I'm worried Elena is literally going to kill her. When Felicity asks, "Is that the slow talker?", Elena just sighs, "She's not the fast talker."
Noel and Felicity's Portraits
Felicity's looks a lot like Noel. Noel's looks a lot like Jane Austen, bonnet and all.
Despite the fact that Noel cheats on EVERY SINGLE GIRLFRIEND HE HAS on this show, I admit that he's really cute and charming in this episode, with a great haircut and smokin' hot chemistry with Felicity.
4.10 "Great Expectations"
Everyone’s heading back to New York after Christmas break – including Felicity’s dad! The hospital at UNY has invited him there for a short fellowship, and although he's being very sweet, he's driving Felicity CRAZY. I get it, he's super clingy, and who wants your dad with you at college, but Felicity's actually pretty uncool about the whole thing - especially when he overhears her talking about how lame the Christmas gift he gave her (a telescope) is. Gah, Felicity, be nice to your father! Dr. Porter tells Felicity that UNY wants him to stay for a whole semester, and she is WIGGING - but then he tells her that he and her mom are separating, and it wasn't his idea. She's crushed, and feels bad for her father. She's finally nice to him after that, at least - but also she hasn't told her mom yet that she knows, and that's a lot of pressure on poor Felicity.
And that's not the only thing bumming Felicity out. She had her whole schedule planned around an oil painting class that she was typical-Felicity-levels of excited for, but she was wait-listed because her application art (or however it works) wasn't good enough. Everything seems to be crashing down around Felicity, and girlfriend is looking to REBEL. Enter Ben.
Ben and Felicity are working together at Dean & Deluca again (thank you, Javier, for rearranging their schedules for maximum hotness potential), and he can't take his eyes off of her. He tells Sean that he thinks he was wrong to break up with Felicity last semester (aaaactually, she broke up with you, son), even saying that "the whole thing with Maggie was just this lame reaction to following your advice." Ben gets very flirty and attentive with Felicity, who seems surprised but not unwilling to participate in said flirtation. He's in a great mood about this semester - until the swim coach tells him the program has been canceled, and he won't be able to swim. Now Ben's ready to rebel, too, so he invites Felicity to do some light criminal activity with him. They close up Dean & Deluca early, use a fake ID to buy beer, and break into the UNY pool to swim and horse around. It's romantic and thrilling and magical and dreamy, and feels like every great, slightly dangerous memory you have with the boy or girl you had a crush on in college.
But all dreams must come to an end, and Felicity and Ben's is interrupted by a security guard. They're in big trouble - breaking and entering plus underage drinking - but neither of them seems to regret it. They smile at each other impishly in the dean's office, and I'll never be sorry that they broke into that pool, even if it means a million hours of community service. (Spoiler alert: it will.)
While Ben's talking to Sean about Felicity, he also calls Sean out for being in love with Julie and never doing anything about it, so Sean decides he's going to make a move. (He's also given up the ghost of Smoothaise, calling it a pipe dream and moving on. RIP, Smoothaise!) Sean tries to tell Julie he loves her a couple of times, but stuff keeps getting in the way and he chickens out. Meanwhile, things are moving along with Pop Rocks Records, and Julie's so excited. But it becomes clear Erik has other motives, and after he kisses her, Julie tells him she's not interested in a record deal if it comes with this sort of string attached. Good for you, Julie! Erik says the music deal is legit, and if she's worried, he'll wait until her record goes platinum before he tries anything with her. She seems slightly comforted - but later looks really nervous again in the studio, when a sound guy tells her that Erik has a bad reputation with the ladies. Poor Julie. I hate that she keeps getting these storylines with predatory guys.
Finally! Noel's a TA for a philosophy class that Ruby's taking, which makes for a bad scene for these two. Ruby tries giving Noel some useful advice - make eye contact with the class, ask questions, don't talk so fast - and Noel snaps at her, and then later calls her out in class in front of everyone. Ugh, Noel's back to full-blown Sucktown. At least he realizes it sooner rather than later, and shows up with an apology gift of these weird three-legged frog dolls Elena's been making. Elena can make any plot hilarious, including this weird frog thing, but can we get her a REAL plot soon, please? Anyway, Noel and Ruby make up. (For now.)
How many times do I have to take a drink?
He's not only suuuuper hot (and wow, thanks for the long, graceful looks at that swimmer's bod), but he's really sweet with Felicity, asking her about her dad, trying to take the fall when they get in trouble, and just generally being dreamy as heck.
Upon seeing Felicity's new telescope:
But my favorite Meghan moment this week is when she and Felicity have a genuine conversation about parents, and the moment we realize that they're just people. Meghan realized it when she was 5, of course, but she still seems to have some sympathy for Felicity, and this conversation only lasts about 30 seconds, but it feels like a real connection.
That's it for this week! Readers, questions! How many hours of community service would you undertake to go swimming with Ben Covington? I would literally spend the rest of my life doing community service for such a privilege. Also, how do you feel about Felicity's realization that she's Ruby's Hannah? Do you feel bad for Felicity's dad even though he used to be so hard on her, or am I just a push-over for dads?
Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers "Help for the Lovelorn" (!) and "The Slump." Get ready to enter Felicity's Twilight Zone!
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