Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, we all took a trip to the Twilight Zone and met good ol' Dr. Pavone. We did not, alas, take a trip to Prague.
Let's drink to Prague, and what could have been:
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!
2.13 "Truth or Consequences"
So last week ended with Ruby admitting to Noel that she's late... and she's never late. You know what that means in TV Land! Yep, definitely 100% pregnant. They chicken out from taking a pregnancy test the first time around, but then they finally adult up and confirm Ruby's suspicions. Yessiree, she's pregnant! They're both completely understandably wigging, but that means that the rest of this episode consists of them staring out of windows or off into darkness, set to depressing music. It's kind of the least compelling Felicity has ever been, tbh. Anyway, Noel keeps essentially pressuring Ruby to get an abortion, and while I agree that seems like the wisest choice, I super don't approve of the way Noel's bulldozing Ruby into it, without ever really asking her how she feels or what she wants. Ugh, Noel. Ruby confides in Felicity, who tells her to do what she wants to do, and then Ruby runs out of the abortion appointment and tearfully tells Noel she's having the baby. Noel's like, "Cool, thanks for that, Felicity."
Before we move on, I need to get something off my chest. "Truth or Consequences" has this plinky, depressing piano music that plays in every Noel and Ruby scene, like a "Ruby's Pregnant" theme, the same ten bummer notes reminding us that they're sad every time they're onscreen. It's so pitiful and repetitive that it manages to undermine every serious scene and kept making me giggle when I was probably supposed to feel sad or introspective or whatever. Imagine twenty minutes, sprinkled throughout the episode, of straight THIS:
Ben and Felicity are choosing their (50 hours of!) community service for the pool escapade, and Felicity chooses to volunteer at the university health center, because she's always wanted to. Meanwhile, Ben chooses the health center because Felicity did. They meet the center director, Greg, and he's abrasive and condescending and has Felicity's exact haircut, so as is her pattern this season, that means Felicity's going to date him. He hates the "comm serve" students because they're usually lazy degenerates or something, and of course he's right in Ben's case, but Felicity's desperate to prove to him that she really wants to be there. Ben lies about being good at Excel just to stick it to the guy, but when Felicity tries to teach him Excel in earnest, Ben's like, "Nah, I don't really want to be here anyway." He and Dr. Pavone seem to make headway for the first time ever when she points out that he makes all of his decisions based on Felicity, and I'm like, "What's wrong with that!" but Dr. Pavone wants Ben to find out who Ben is.
Finally, Julie's prepping to meet with the president of Pop Rocks Records, and she's very nervous. The president doesn't seem super impressed with her, but Erik vouches for her, so they say they're going to sign her. She's thrilled, and celebrates with Erik at a party, and gets pretty drunk. He takes her back to the loft and starts aggressively kissing her, and the plotline is so reminiscent of Zach that who can be surprised when Julie shoves Erik off of her and calls him "Zach." He storms off, and UGH, why did the writers do this to Julie again? Later, Julie hears from Erik that the record deal's off, and Sean comes in as she's crying, and she tells him it's her fault, because she didn't want Erik to feel rejected, so she led him on (you did NOT), because she owes him so much (you do NOT). Sean says the perfect thing: "If he did this to get close to you, then he’s a fraud. But if this was about your music, then this was about your music. So either way, you don’t owe him a thing." Good ol' Sean.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Greg is played by Chris William Martin, who's in a bunch of things including The Vampire Diaries.
Here, he looks like THIS, and I hate his hair and face and general demeanor SO MUCH.
All of that said, we do see him being great to Ruby and Noel during their appointment at the health center. But he's odious the rest of this episode. And he reminds me of Nighthob.
Team Noel takes a giiiiiiiiiant hit with the Ruby pregnancy storyline, but either way Team Ben is going strong this week, especially when Ben tells Felicity why he signed up for the health center even though he has no knowledge, experience or interest in health services.
Dr. Pavone's Best Advice
When Felicity frets over how to talk to Noel about the baby, considering their history, Dr. Pavone tells her, "Talk to Noel about his life, about his feelings. Just leave your own baggage out of it. I mean, he’s a friend, right? Well, then, friend, this isn’t about you. This is about him."
2.14 "True Colors"
I believe the episode title is a reference to the audience seeing Noel's true colors, because surely, surely, we're not supposed to like Noel after how he behaves here, right? He's monstrous to Ruby, telling her he wants nothing to do with their first pre-natal appointment, that he just wants to disappear or live someone else's life. HELLO, SHE KNOWS, SHE'S THE ONE WHO'S PREGNANT. Meanwhile, Ben's now in Noel's philosophy class upon a directive from Dr. Pavone, so he talks to Noel and tells him about a time he knocked a girl up in high school and then bailed on taking her to the abortion appointment. WHAT THE HELL, BEN, UGH, GAH. Ben has regretted it ever since (I should hope so), and Noel takes the advice and finally decides to be a human being. And for what it's worth, this is the start of a tenuous sorta-friendship between Noel and Ben.
So Noel shows up to Ruby's doctor appointment and promises he's here to stay - until the doctor says Ruby has been pregnant for eight weeks, and eight weeks ago, she was in Los Angeles, filming the movie. Turns out - it's not Noel's baby, it's a producer's. Unsurprisingly, Noel screams at Ruby in righteous indignation, conveniently forgetting that he was also unfaithful while Ruby was in LA. This is just like Sexy Rexy all over again, except worse because there's no Sexy Rexy.
Elena wants to have a painting party three months before she and Noel move out of the apartment. While on the surface, this seems like a dumb idea, nothing Elena Tyler does is dumb. The real reason is to have an excuse to invite over her sexy new lab partner, Tracy, and I APPROVE OF THIS SUBTERFUGE. And it really does seems like a fun painting party, with everyone dancing around and goofing off and having a grand ol' time - until, of course, Wet Blanket Crane shows up.
So yeah, Noel walks in and mourns at everybody, and then when he’s mourning in his room, he hears the party debating what’s going on with him and Ruby. He walks out and tells everyone that it’s not his baby, and also could they please keep it down. He’s so pathetic here that I’d feel sorry for him except he sucks. At that moment, Ruby shows up to the party and asks to talk to Noel, and she tells him she still wants to make this work. Hmm. Okay?
Meanwhile, Greg's still being a total piece of work to Felicity at the health center, and he blames her for a mistake that isn't her fault. She always handles him very well - with dignity and courtesy but also never bowing down to his gross intimidation tactics - and later, after he discovers the mistake was somebody else's fault, he goes to her dorm to apologize. Meghan's there, and when she answers the door, the weirdest thing happens - she appears to fall INSTANTLY IN LOVE WITH GREG. Like, we've never seen Meghan like this. She's asking him all of these intimate questions about his life and can't take her eyes off him. It's so hilarious.
Meghan takes Greg to the painting party just so she can spend more time with him, and Ben and Felicity aren't super psyched to see him - especially Ben, who talks so much shit about Greg to Felicity and is clearly jealous of their budding sparks (ugh). Ben even talks shit straight to Greg, calling him a dick right to his face, earning my MVP prize for the episode. Go Ben! Anyway, Greg apologizes very nicely to Felicity, and she offers to work overtime to help him with the screw-up even though it wasn't her fault. He's really grateful, and they seem to bond a little as they work together (ugh).
Finally, Julie's suffering some depression and anxiety since the Erik thing, compounded by the Zach memories it's brought up. She talks to Sean, and he's a good friend to her through it, and suggests she talk to a counselor, as well. Julie appears to be considering it.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
He's SO flirty with Felicity this entire episode, drinking her in with his eyes, clearly smitten. It's THE BEST.
When Meghan comes home to find Felicity and Ben mid-flirt, she snarks, "You begging her to drive cross-country again?" Ben doesn’t miss a beat: "Yeah, I thought I’d do that about once a year." YES PLEASE!
Same, Ben, Same.
I love Tracy so much. I love Donald Faison in general, and I love Tracy in particular because he's the first guy to truly GET how earth-shatteringly amazing Elena is.
That's it for this week! QUESTIONS: I'd love to hear from some folks who are sympathetic to Noel after this Ruby stuff. Also was anyone else driven bonkers by the plinky, depressing music? And am I the only one who thinks the writers hate Julie?
Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers "Things Change" and "Revolutions"!
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