Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week in Meredith's recap, Ruby decided to keep her baby, Noel acted like a garbage person and Felicity started volunteering at the Health Center, where she met Greg. So yeah, not ideal. The good news is that these next two episodes are GREAT and epitomize why the second season is my absolute favorite.
And the even better news? The Felicity Reunion at the ATX TV Festival is this Sunday! And Merdith and I will be there!! Cheers to THAT.
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.”
Y'all, I am SO ready to dissect every single fabulous detail of these episodes. Let's get to it!
2.15 "Things Change"
Pam, a girl in Ben's class, has a crush (or, as Javier likes to say, "crunch," drink!) on Ben, but he's not interested--though that doesn't stop Pam from giving him her number at Dean & Deluca, as Felicity observes while talking to her dad (who got a new haircut, btw). Felicity tells Dr. Porter that she and Ben are way over, but WE SEE THROUGH THE ACT, GIRL. Speaking of theatrics, Ben is terrible at pretending like he doesn't want to get with Felicity, especially when Javier informs him that she's giving up D&D shifts to work at the clinic. Javier is all too happy to elaborate on all of the nice things that Felicity said about Greg, so Ben decides the best course of action is to call Pam and set up a date. What a dummy.
Surprisingly, Pam turns out to be kind of amazing! She's funny and sweet and super pretty and volunteered for the Red Cross in Bosnia. That's how you know that Ben must really be in love with Felicity, because mid-makeout-sesh, he regretfully informs Pam that his head is somewhere else. She handles it with a ton of grace and style and if it were anyone but Felicity on Ben's mind, I would be upset. Buuuut I'm not.
Things between Felicity and her dad seem to have improved, but when she shows up unexpectedly at his apartment and sees how bleak and sad it is (dude has unpacked exactly nothing) and then notices his sleeping pills and anxiety meds, she feels bad and invites him to join the rotation at the clinic, where they're in desperate need of doctors. This couldn't possibly go wrong! Just kidding, because Greg and Dr. Porter instantly clash. The former is on high alert because the review board is coming in to inspect the clinic, and wouldn't you know, the day they show up, Dr. Porter is nowhere to be found. Felicity calls the university hospital (where he's been working), and they inform her that he quit weeks ago. Say what?!! When her dad finally shows up at the clinic, Felicity confronts him about his deception (seems like maybe she could have picked a better time but whatever), and his only response is that she has to accept his choices, just like he accepted hers. Cool parenting, bro.
Fortunately for Dr. Porter, he raised a very compassionate daughter, and Felicity visits him at his apartment to try to get him to open up. She tells him that she's worried about him, and there's some serious role reversal happening that makes this scene especially compelling. He admits that he misses his wife, but apparently she doesn't feel the same way, and for the first time in the series, I really feel for Felicity's dad.
On the topic of a different estranged couple, Noel is missing Ruby something fierce but feels like an idiot about it since she cheated on him. She asks him to sign some paperwork so she can transfer out of his TA section, and she handles this whole convo with an insane amount of maturity (and zero piano music, thank god). Later Noel opens up to Elena about it, and she encourages forgiveness. "That's what makes you special, that's what sets you apart--it's that you're able to forgive," she tells him. "That doesn't make you weak. It makes you strong." Elena Tyler, I could fist pump for you for days and it still wouldn't be as much as you deserve. Noel heeds the advice of THE SMARTEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD and tells Ruby that she shouldn't switch sections, but he also confesses that he can't be the father to her child. He will, however, be her friend, and while I think this is a smart decision, I don't understand what took Noel so damn long to figure it out.
While that relationship stumbles, it is ON like DONKEY KONG betweenTracy and Elena. Tracy, a bona fide genius, is totes vibing on Elena, who finds his intelligence both sexy and infuriating. During a study session, he aces her pop quiz without even trying, so she gets fed up and asks him to leave. "You know," he says, "I've never met anyone as competitive as you are." "Me?" Elena asks, "I'm not competitive. "Yeah, right!" Tracy replies, as he heads out the door with a huge grin on his face. When their test results are posted, Elena tells him she got a 95, and he has her beat with a 99, which he takes as the perfect opportunity to ask her to dinner. She answers with, "Fine!" and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Back to Benjamin, Javier invites him for a man to man talk at Epstein, which results in Javier distastefully sipping on beer while wearing a sweater tied around his neck. Blending right in! He shares a story with Ben about when, at age 15, he dated a girl named Lola who left him "asunder." (My favorite part of this story is when Lola apparently said, "Right here, right now," to him while they were in church.) Javier's point is that he understands what Ben is going through, but it's never going to work with... Maggie? That's right, Javier is even more oblivious than Felicity, because he has no idea that Ben is pining for our girl. Back at the loft, Ben asks Sean why he hasn't told Julie that he's in love with her, but Sean knows what this is really about, so Ben declares that he's finally ready to be with Felicity (AND THEN I DIED) and he heads out to confess his love. Except, when he gets to the clinic, he spies Greg and Felicity being all cozy on the couch as they celebrate the fact that the clinic passed the review. Poor Ben's face falls and C'MERE LET ME COMFORT YOU SWEET ANGEL.
In other news, Meghan is still obsessed with Greg (I love Felicity's reaction to Meghan's attempt to get a check-up from Greg, who is not a doctor), Javier is obsessed with liposuction and the Independent Film Channel is
obsessed with interested in Sean's Docuventary.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
18. Sorrrrry! We may need to rethink the "Benjamin" rule.
The only thing cuter than Smitten Ben is Pouty Smitten Ben.
This adorable moment is brought to you by Sean, who tells Ben that Felicity called (Ben smiles) to ask if he can take another of her D&D shifts so she can work at the clinic (Ben loses the will to hold his jacket).
More Javier To Love
I think this might be the first episode where we see Javier elevated to the main character ranks, as he should be.
Don't listen to Samuel, Javier-- the more of you, the better!
p.s. Felicity (or is it Keri?!) trying not to laugh is the best.
Real Talk with Elena
I gave a standing O to Elena for this speech to Noel:
"Now this self pity stuff is not gonna fly. I know you much better than that. When you were with Felicity, you were the one who dumped her and ran off with Hannah. You're not always the victim."
APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE.
Tracy's Got Moves
And I mean that in every sense.
I admire Elena's will power, is what I'm saying.
I'm both fascinated and grossed out by Meghan's taste in men. The weirdest part is that her crunch on Greg doesn't make her any less cool in my book, whereas I am SUPER judgey when it comes to Felicity's attraction to him.
Burke shows back up (Hi, Burke!) to continue his quest to get Felicity to go out with him, and this time, he's armed with a binder full of restaurant brochures. Honestly, it's kind of charming? Julie comes to the rescue and asks Felicity if she wants to go out, and as they're walking down the street, Julie confides that she's been having nightmares about Zach, and as a good friend, Felicity reminds her about the counselors at the health center, but Julie doesn't feel ready. Not that I don't want Julie to heal, but I dig that the writers are bringing back this piece of her (recent) past--rape has lasting effects, obviously, and they don't just go away in the span of a TV season.
The next morning, Felicity is working the front desk of the health center when
Lane Kim! a girl named Leila comes in and asks for an appointment to get the morning after pill (her boyfriend's condom broke). Felicity consults with Greg, who informs her that the administration recently changed the policy and now the clinic no longer prescribes the pill. When Felicity shares the news with Leila, she's understandably upset about the university dictating her choices. Felicity's not too happy about it either, and she promptly puts her nerd skills to good use by calling other local universities and discovering that they all prescribe it. She brings it up again with Greg, but he's convinced that fighting the trustees is a losing game. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I don't think Greg's being a dick, really--it's obvious he's made a zillion requests to the administration on behalf of the clinic, and the Man has worn him down.
But Felicity's just getting started! She tells Dr. Pavone that she can't stop thinking about how important it was for Julie, to be able to take the pill the morning after she was raped, and she's frustrated by Greg's apathy. "It's not Greg's battle," replies Dr. Pavone, speaking so much truth, and Felicity finally realizes that it's up to her to take action. She goes online and researches the history and impact of student protests on campus, because Felicity can't help but be a nerd about everything she does (one of her best qualities, obvs), and then she finds Leila and shares the plan: they're going to stage a sit-in at the health center. Leila is IN, and so is Burke, who makes fliers and rounds people up on the street, because he's just that good of a guy. (Aaaand maybe because he's romancing Felicity.)
Unfortunately for Greg, Dr. Sullivan, the head of student services and potential reference for Greg's med school application, is coming by the clinic, and this is certainly NOT going to make him happy. Greg begs Felicity to put a stop to the sit-in, and she's in the midst of acquiescing when Elena and Leila remind her of what's at stake. The sit-in is ON! (I love the shot of Elena, abiding by her M&M study system amidst the chaos.) Even Julie's old roomies, the cheerleader twins, show up, and the mood is high... for a while. But the administration refuses to open a dialogue, and Felicity is feeling more and more torn about how this might affect Greg's future. Then Dr. Sullivan makes a fatal mistake: he brings in Dr. Porter (who is back working at the university) to try to scold Felicity into submission. FAT CHANCE, BUSTER. She refuses to end the demonstration, and I am SO PROUD OF HER, and it's clear that Greg is too. He tells Dr. Sullivan point blank that Felicity's right, even though it will cost him that letter of recommendation, and fine, okay, he can get a point for that. Felicity leaves to go talk to the news (!), and as she walks out, Dr. Porter has a faint smile on his face, because his daughter KICKS ASS.
That is, until she goes on live TV. Felicity gets all flustered and is having trouble articulating the reason for the sit-in (it is painful to watch, poor thing), so Julie jumps in and shares her story about getting the pill after being raped. It's an incredible, powerful moment, and I don't think I'll ever love Julie more than I do right now.
Her story makes an impact (as it should), and the trustees decide to back pedal on their ban of the morning after pill, which means... Felicity and the sit-in crew won!!! This news is dampened a bit by the fact that Felicity KISSES GREG WTF and I'd love to pretend that didn't happen, except Burke totally calls Greg out on it and then informs Meghan about what happened, so that'll be fun later! For now, let's just focus on celebrating this victory, for Felicity and for all of the women on campus. Yay!!!
But y'all, we haven't even gotten to the best part of the episode! It's time to catch up with Ben and Noel, who are studying together. Clarification: Noel is helping Ben understand philosophy, while Ben pays little to no attention. He admits that he never studied in high school; he was too busy with parties and sports and girls. "You and I had diametrically opposed high school experiences," Noel replies, and they end up drinking a ton of beer and playing video games.
And then, THIS HAPPENS:
Gif via lightgamble.tumblr.com
I KNOW IT'S AMAZING.
And THEN Ben gets up and punches Noel! And they start fighting like the drunk idiots they are!! IT'S BANANAS!!! And possibly the greatest thing that has happened in the series thus far.
The next morning, they both wake up as total trainwrecks, so Ben prepares his emergency hangover concotion of lime juice, tomato juice, eggs and baking soda. Gross. Noel asks who won the fight, and Ben answers:
And that's how these guys became besties! Okay, not quite. But it does create a sort of understanding between them that I adore.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Noel is sweet to offer to help Ben with his class, but when it comes to who won this episode, see previous gif.
Javier + Ben = BFF
The episode opens with Felicity and Ben working at Dean & Deluca, where Javier sees his ex-boyfriend walk in. He forces Ben to pretend to be his boyfriend, and while Javier's exaggerated affection is funny, it's Ben's awkwardness that makes the bit delightful. Scott Speedman doesn't get enough credit for his comedy chops in this role--Ben is the perfect straight man (zing!) to Javier's antics.
Clearly, Felicity loves this as much as we do. It should also be mentioned that Javier eventually realizes that the guy who walked in is not, in fact, his ex-boyfriend. Womp womp!
Dr. Pavone's Best Advice
"Sitting here is not gonna change a damn thing," she tells Felicity. Gah, I wish Dr. Pavone was around now to school all of the people being "activists" on Facebook.
Dr. Pavone's Best Look
THE DOCTOR IS IN.
After listening to Felicity highlight the shizz out of her textbook: "Why don't you just highlight the things that aren't important? That way you'll save lots of time and ink."
Walking through a circle of dudes playing hacky sack at the sit-in: "Ah, hacky-sack. that's pretty cool. Did you guys meet at the Renaissance Fair?"
It's Lane Kim, I mean, Keiko Agena! And just like her character on Gilmore Girls, I was instantly struck by the spunk and smarts that Keiko channels into Leila. Why she and Felicity don't become long-term besties is beyond me (seriously, writers, you couldn't just, like, make Julie move over a little?).
I didn't catch this, but Meredith pointed out Hal Ozsan (from Dawson's Creek) in the role of Hippie Guitar Protestor Guy. (Technically, he's just listed in IMBD as "Long-Haired Guy.")
So were these episodes the greatest or what? I mean, aside from the Greg thing. Does anyone out there actually understand the attraction to Greg? Seriously, I'm curious--I won't shame you!
And speaking of polarizing characters, what do y'all think about the evolution of Dr. Porter?
Finally, can we talk again about how progressive Felicity was a series? "Revolutions" might not feel daring now but it aired 18 years ago!
Tune in next week when Meredith tackles the ridiculously hot combo of "Docuventary II" and "Party Lines." And if you're coming to the Felicity reunion, say hi! I'll be the one sporting the "I Would Follow Ben Covington" shirt (and then later changing into a "Free Pizza Friday" tank because I'm that person) and swimfanning (respectfully! from a distance!) over Scott Speedman and Rob Benedict (Richard!!!!!).
Shameless Self-Promotion: Check out our Felicity-inspired merch in the FYA Store!