Follow the whole rewatch here!
Y'all, we are entering the home stretch of Season 2, which is to say, the pinnacle of the entire series, and while I don't want it to be over, I can't wait for [spoiler redacted] and [spoiler redacted]!!!!
Last week, Meredith served up an assortment of sizzling gifs to document the reignited attraction between Ben and Felicity, though the latter keeps denying it by dating Greg (whom she's running against in the student council presidential elections) because she's an IDIOT.
These next two episodes are a hell of a roller coaster, so strap yourself in and grab a drink--you're gonna need it!
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 buckle up, it's time to dive into these episodes!
2.19 "Running Mates"
Things are heating up in the race for student council president, and by that I mean, people are playing dirty. Felicity, being the adorable nerd we all know and love, is apalled by it (especially when one of her posters is vandalized with the words "Chia Head" which... come on, is pretty good), but Richard takes it all in stride. "You know the only difference between college and national elections?" he asks, then answers, "Soft money." He doesn't actually know what that means, but he does know that to get ahead, you have to break the rules. Greg apparently knows this too, because he's got a shifty-looking dude named Andre on his team who is skilled in the art of sabotage. Ben alerts Felicity to Andre's activities, but when Felicity brings it up with Greg, he shrugs it off and focuses on asking her out on another date. UGH WHY.
Felicity decides that she's gonna fight back, and a supremely excellent montage ensues of various candidates plastering over their competitors' posters on a bulletin board.
Ben and Felicity are looking like pretty cozy conspirators!
I especially love how upset Richard gets--he pretends to be tough but inside, he's deeply upset about the damage sustained by his posters (one of which Rob Benedict still has, in his office). I feel you, Richard. No one should mess with free pizza!
Ben can't help himself and accosts Andre about his vandalism, but Greg quickly jumps in to tell Ben off and, in the process, refers to Felicity as his girlfriend. WRONG THING TO SAY, DUDE. In a state of rage, Ben spills the beans to Richard about Greg's previous arrest for cocaine possession, and GAH STOP BEN STOP RIGHT NOW.
Felicity returns to her room to discover that all of her posters are missing, and, assuming it was Andre, brings up the topic with Greg again. He continues to claim that Andre wouldn't mess with her, but then says, "That's the way the campaign is," which like basically cancels out everything and why are we even bothering with this guy?! Felicity points out that he's trusting Andre over her, and he retorts that she trusts Ben over him, AS SHE SHOULD, and then they agree that it's every man for him/herself until the election is over.
Already regretting his scoop to Richard, Ben begs him not to go public with Greg's drug-riddled past, but Richard (who refers to Ben as his Deep Throat, because of course he does) says no dice, his guys are already posting fliers about it. "Sorry, man, but you don't give a rat to a snake and ask for it back the next day!" That's potentially the most insightful thing Richard has ever said. In other news, Ben is #FML.
Citing the mantra of Billie Jean ("Fair is fair!"), Felicity and Ben break into Andre's apartment and find a ton of Felicity's campaign stuff in his closet. Jackpot! But then Andre walks in, so Ben and Felicity are forced to
spoon hide behind his bed, and sparks fly! The exact opposite happens when Felicity confronts Greg with her discovery. He shows her the flier referring to his drug use and blames Ben for the leak, then Felicity adamantly defends Ben and IT MAKES ME SO UNCOMFORTABLE. But not as cringe-y as I feel when Ben lies and tells Felicity he had nothing to do with it! Because apparently someone is trying to win a Guinness world record for deepest hole dug.
At the presidential debates, Felicity comes to Greg's defense re: the cocaine thing, but it's obvious dude is going to lose. Did he ever have a chance, though? Especially given his crazy conservative platform?! Turns out, students care more about pizza than policies, because Richard is declared the victor! Well, he tied with a student named Carol Nanning, so now they're co-presidents. I... do not envy Carol.
Greg asks Felicity to go away with him for the weekend, and initially she insists on simply having dinner, but then Richard mentions to her that Ben told him about Greg's drug record (nooooo!) so she decides that the best way to handle her feelings of disappointment and betrayal is to head to a B&B in Rhinebeck with Greg! Totes healthy! On the drive up, it's obvious that Felicity can't stop thinking about Ben, who, guess what, can't stop thinking about her either! Which is why he buys a ticket to Rhinebeck! This is going to end SO WELL!
Speaking of good times, Ruby is back after finally telling her parents about her pregnancy. But she still hasn't told the baby daddy, whose name, it turns out, is Wade. Noel is trying to remain in the Supportive Friend Zone, but he's obviously still smitten with Ruby, while Julie definitely has a crunch on Noel. That might have a leeetle something to do with Julie's insistence (to Noel) that Ruby stop being "selfish" and share the news with Wade, although sure, yeah, she's also coming from the perspective of having a birth mom who kept Julie's existence a secret. Noel echoes these thoughts to Ruby, who eventually calls Wade, and then Wade makes plans to come to NYC for a visit. Oh yay!
While Julie isn't making much progress on the Noel front, Elena and Tracy are K-I-S-S-I-N-G like nobody's business. Tracy hasn't asked to take it further, which Elena questions before Julie tells her that she's overthinking things. "Oh god," Elena realizes, "I'm starting to act like Felicity all of a sudden!" She arranges for a romantic dinner at the apartment, and she and Tracy are mid-make-out when Tracy suddenly says he has to split. Elena calls him on acting weird, and he confesses that he's a virgin, and he's saving himself for marriage, because that's how his super religious parents raised him. There's no way his delivery could be any cuter or sweeter, but Elena is PERPLEXED AF. Ultimately, she decides they should just be friends, a resolution that lasts for approximately two seconds because Tracy is so damn irresistible. No one blames you, girl!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Now You Know What It Feels Like, Noel!
A Bad Noel Crane Joke About Felicity & Ben Breaking Into Andre's Room
"The next thing you know, you're paying off hitmen and fishing hookers out of the Hudson."
A Good Noel Crane Joke About Felicity & Ben Breaking Into Andre's Room
"Be careful, you don't have the best record of breaking into places."
Politics Isn't Always Divisive
I love watching Noel and Ben work together to support Felicity's campaign. Almost as much as I love watching them work together to take down Greg.
I'm Gonna Miss Smitten Meghan
The student in the above gif (who asks about Greg's past drug possession) is Brian White!
You might know Brian from Scandal, The Shield or Cabin in the Woods.
2.20 "Ben Was Here"
Felicity and Greg arrive at their Rhinebeck B&B (which is GORGEOUS, btw. The health center must pay better than I thought) with Ben hot on their heels. He's made friends with his cabbie, Jerry, because of course he has. He's also borrowed Sean's cell phone so he can keep Sean and Javier updated on his mission, though he has to answer every call with "Blumberg Productions" because Sean's expecting a call from the Independent Film Channel regarding his Docuventary. Sean, in a way extra display of friendship, has also agreed to take Ben's shift at Dean & Deluca, where, according to Javier, he's a better worker than Benjamin. (But with 1000% less charm.) Over the next few hours, Ben creepily watches Felicity and Greg on their romantic getaway (at least they're doing more canoeing than canoodling). He wants to give up and go home, which is totally what he should do, but Javier and Sean egg him on, so then we're all stuck gagging over Greg's lame attempts at seduction, including building a fire (STOP). When Greg goes out to get firewood, Ben appears in the window LIKE A STALKER and gets Felicity to come to the door. She is not happy, and before he has a chance to say anything, she launches into a tirade about how wrong Ben was share Greg's private (drug) history. "I don't want you in my life anymore!" she yells, and MY HEART BREAKS INTO A ZILLION PIECES. She looks like she immediately regrets it, but the damage is done, and Ben leaves.
After pretending like everything is fine, Felicity admits to Greg that Ben was there, and Greg totally freaks out about Ben being a psycho. Felicity rushes to defend him, which SAYS IT ALL, and even though I grudgingly agree with Greg that this behavior is not okay, I'm also doing a happy dance because FELICITY CAN'T HELP IT. SHE LOVES BEN. Greg calls her on it ("You can't stop thinking about him.") and goes to sleep in the car.
Meanwhile, a pipe breaks in Felicity and Meghan's room, drenching Meghan (this is the most pathetic she has every looked) and flooding the dorm. Felicity, who apparently rode back with Greg rather than spend the night at the B&B--SO glad we didn't have to witness that drive--comes back to the news that she'll be sleeping with the rest of the residents in the cafeteria for the next two weeks. Wouldn't you know, Greg is there administering first aid (that's a stretch, writers), so Felicity apologizes to him and insists that, "Ben is... from my past and is over and he's not gonna get in the way of my life anymore." Keep telling yourself that, sister! She feels awful about what happened in Rhinebeck, so she invites Greg to dinner the following night. Because she loves to
make me drink stress me out.
As Ruby (poor thing has to sleep on a cot while pregnant) and Felicity get ready to tuck in for the night, Ruby asks Felicity if she really followed Ben to college (Noel had mentioned it earlier). It's, like, the best slumber party question EVER, and as Felicity tells the story about him signing her yearbook, she's reminded of that connection she felt with him, even before they really met:
Look at her face, y'all! That's a girl in love (and not with Greg).
Ruby's response to the story is the best: "Whatever he wrote in your yearbook must've been pretty great." UNDERSTATEMENT. Felicity agrees, so much so that she finds herself cracking open her yearbook (I can only assume she previously grabbed it out of her flooded room as a prized possession) and gazing at Ben's message with a flashlight.
The next day at D&D, Javier tries to convince Felicity that Ben has changed. "You're blind to the new Benjamin," he says. "You need glasses like me." And because Javier is Javier, he makes Felicity put on his glasses.
Felicity rocks Javier's glasses like no big deal, because she is that gorgeous.
Julie comes by and, seeing that Felicity is super sore and tired from sleeping in the cafeteria, invites her to stay at the loft, where Noel and Elena are also staying because, against Elena's better judgement*, Tracy has taken over their apartment with a demolition crew (a.k.a. a guy named Vincent) to finally take down that stupid wallpaper.
*You know it's true love when Elena gives in to Tracy. As Julie put it, "Wow, nobody ever bosses Elena around like that."
Felicity asks if Ruby can stay at the loft too, and soon, the whole gang is hanging out, enjoying the most delightful game night. Even Meghan shows up, because Sean still owes her for that Docuventary tour of the dorm. There's a smokin' hot montage of Ben and Felicity darting looks at each other from across the room, while (less hot) Noel gazes at Ruby and (way way less hot) Sean moons over Julie. Then ring ring, the Independent Film Channel calls and tells Sean they want to buy the Docuventary! Awesome! Sean is so excited, he lays a big ole smackeroo on Julie. Not awesome! Everyone freezes, then Julie exclaims, "Sean just kissed me!" and Wade shows up to meet with Ruby (she must've really been lonely, cos dude is not attractive) and Greg shows up and GAME NIGHT IS OVER. Meghan disperses everyone by yelling, "Somebody leave!" and instantly she's left alone with Sean. "Operation?" he offers. She replies, "Ah, what the hell."
AND SO AN EPIC ROMANCE BEGINS. (Sorry for the spoiler but I can't help it with these two.)
A few bones later, Ben comes out of his room, spewing fire about what Felicity could possibly see in Greg, and Meghan surprises all of us by telling him, with absolute certainty, that Felicity wants him. "I am her roommate. Roommates pick up on all the subtleties." What follows is quite possibly Meghan's best scene in the entire series, as she walks Ben through the telltale sign: Sarah McLachlan. Her music was all Felicity could listen to freshman year--"If 'Fumbling Toward Ecstasy' wasn't in the CD player it was only so 'Solace' could get a little airplay." Meghan moves on to the beginning of sophomore year: "And then all of Felicity's hair went away and so did Sarah!" This lasted for a while, until the pool break-in, when Sarah slowly but surely made her return. Ben, initially unconvinced, rallies and sets off to find Felicity. After he leaves, Sean asks Meghan if all of that was true. She shrugs and says, "I gotta pee." And Sean is IMPRESSED. AS ARE WE ALL.
Later, Julie confronts Sean about the kiss, and he admits that he's madly in love with her. Her face... is my face, though she's trying to hold it together for his sake and I have no qualms about yelling, "YIKES!" at my TV.
Felicity and Greg roll into Epstein Bar for their date, and Greg shares that Ben actually came to him and apologized. Well, that's nice! Of course, that small amount of goodwill is immediately pulverized when Ben walks up to their table and launches into the most SWOONWORTHY MONOLOGUE EVER. Like, I'm just gonna type it here (minus Felicity's stupid interruptions), because it's that incredible:
I've made a lot of mistakes, and no one knows that more than you do. But the biggest mistake I ever made was letting you go. What I should've done is realize that being with you made me the luckiest guy on the planet. What I should've done is treated you with respect. I should've done a lot of things I didn't do, and I didn't do them because I was afraid, I was scared. You and I should be together. And the reason I'm saying this now, the reason I'm not waiting, is 'cause I don't want to risk losing you again. And the only difference now is that this time, you're the one who's afraid.
And in case you haven't fainted yet, here's the best line in gif form:
Instead of launching herself into his arms like any other girl would do (TAKE ME NOW, BEN), Felicity isn't having it and insists that he's following old patterns--it's alll about the chase with him. Greg tries to shove him away and, when Ben won't budge, Greg punches him in the face! GREG I'VE ALWAYS HATED YOU. Ben is knocked to the floor, and though Felicity rushes to his side to make sure he's okay, she ends up following Greg out the door, leaving poor Ben alone and devastated. THIS IS THE WORST.
p.s. Just so we don't end on a terrible note, a ray of sunshine: Javier is applying for college!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Noel to Felicity during game night: "I still kicked your ass in Boggle."
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
- When Ben has Sean's cell in Rhinebeck, Sean is freaking out about roaming charges and how his carrier rounds off by the minute. How adorable!
- Greg's sister faxes over recipes for him to cook dinner at the B&B.
Real Talk with Elena
When Elena, Julie and Noel walk into the apartment, which looks like a war zone thanks to Tracy, Julie asks, "What's that smell?"
Elena answers, "The death of a relationship."
Because I Can't Get Enough of Ben In Love Gifs
Ben's face, when he realizes that Felicity didn't stay at the B&B with Greg:
Sean’s Big Idea
- Shream: one cube of sugar with cream mixed in. (He shills it to Javier, with zero success.)
- A marshmallow rotisserie for making s'mores which... is not a bad idea!
Can you tell we're getting close to the big finish of Season 2? Everything is amazing and terrible at the same time!
Do y'all think Felicity's hesitation with regards to Ben makes sense given what he did earlier in the season? Or is she really just afraid?
How much fun was it to watch the whole crew hanging out together in the loft? We're really starting to see the group become a cohesive unit as opposed to individual friendships. I also really dug the fact that Sean, Julie, Noel and Elena were all aware of (and invested in) Ben's plan to go to Rhinebeck and woo Felicity. That's a major corner turned by Noel especially!
And was Meghan telling the truth about Sarah McLachlan?!
Join me in the comments with your answers, then tune in next week for Meredith's recap of quite possibly my favorite Felicity episode of all time, "The Aretha Theory," and the penultimate installment of Season 2, "Final Answer."
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