Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Meredith guided us through some real bummers--Felicity's mom hated on Ben (she eventually came around), Tracy freaked after he and Elena had sex and then he decided to go to Africa for HIV outreach, and James showed up at the Christmas party and shot a gun into the crowd. Ho ho hooooorrible.
Not gonna lie, Season 3 is kind of the worst so take a drink, you deserve it for putting up with this shizz.
The Felicity Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
You cringe during the "New Version of You" credit sequence.
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.”
And now, I guess we have to watch Avery wreck everything. UGH.
The episode begins seconds after James shoots a gun at the Christmas party--he's fled the scene, and Elena has been shot in the arm (!) but it's not serious, thank god. However, a blonde girl named Avery sustained a much more serious injury, and as they wait for an ambulance, Ben remains by her side, trying to keep her conscious. He ends up jumping inside the ambulance to stay with her, and he's being the SWEETEST, talking to her and cracking that smile, when she suddenly flatlines. (
Don't Do worry, she's not dead.) We also learn, from Docuventary clips (anyone else getting tired of that format?), that the bullet that hit Avery missed Noel because he happened to bend down and tie his shoe at the perfect time.
Cut to three months later (!) and Noel is now having some kind of existential crisis. Because the writers just can't help but make him lame at every opportunity. James is in prison (hallelujah!), Molly has gone back to England for a while (good call), Tracy went to Africa and Elena has become a star student in her self-defense class. I thought she couldn't get any more badass but I WAS WRONG.
Avery, completely healed from her injury, shows up to thank Ben for saving her life and gives him a fancy swimmer's watch (she had talked to his mom to find out what he might like! RED FLAG!) along with some serious DTF eyes. Apparently, almost dying has given her a new purpose in life--and that new purpose is to steal Ben from Felicity. Our girl tries to be cool at first by inviting Avery to a self defense class with her and Elena, and Avery (physically and, let's be honest, emotionally) takes Felicity down HARD on the mat, then gives her a gorgeous purple sweater to make it up to her, I guess? Felicity is clearly unnerved, AS AM I. And the gifts just keep coming. Avery gets courtside seats at a basketball game--JUST for her and Ben--and Ben goes, which is NOT COOL. But hey, it's all good, because Felicity and Noel can come to the after-party! Except Avery never puts their names on the list. Noel, in one of the few shining moments in this episode, tells Felicity to "let Leon take care of this," and he gets them in, where Felicity pulls Avery aside to confront her. "Are you interested in my boyfriend?" Felicity asks, and I'm so proud of her for being direct! "Yes," Avery responds, but then she goes on about how she doesn't stand a chance because Ben loves Felicity and how, "I know that I'm a rich brat, and one of these days, I'm gonna learn I can't have everything I want... I guess" and it is OBVIOUS that she 1000% thinks she's going to get what she wants.
Felicity tells Ben everything (good job, girl), and Ben is flabbergasted: "I've never seen you hate somebody before." Um, SHE HAS GOOD REASON, SIR. He reassures her that everything is fine, and they are super cute together, and I'm trying to savor this moment because it's all about to go to shizzz. Cut to Avery coming back to the loft with... Noel?! She asks if Ben is coming home (I see your truuuuue colors, shiiiining through) and then they sleep together. Okay then! That hook-up doesn't stop Avery from sending Ben a fancy pants Ducati motorcycle, which Ben says he can't accept but he reeeeally wants to. Felicity, incensed by everything happening, throws Avery down on the mat in their next self-defense class, which is AWESOME and incredibly satisfying, then she asks Avery to stop buying Ben things. He agrees and tells Avery face-to-face that he can't accept anything from her, but she starts talking about the night she was shot, and how she heard him say, "Don't go, Avery. Stay," and how that basically kept her alive and while I begrudgingly accept that this is a valid connection, I HATE AVERY SO MUCH.
Speaking of suck, Tracy is back from Africa and didn't tell Elena?! That doesn't make sense, until Elena sees him kissing a girl. So much for that wonderful exit the writers gave him! Turns out he met someone (Rose) in Africa, and they're dating, and Elena is being remarkably cool about it because she assumes that Rose doesn't offer the same temptation, i.e. she's a Christian and doesn't want to have pre-marital sex. Unfortunately, the condom Elena finds in Tracy's wallet proves that her theory is deeply incorrect. Ugh! Tracy, WTF dude? The silver lining is that Elena shares everything with Felicity so at least we've still got some female friendships going on in this show.
The best storyline of this episode centers on Meghan, no surprise. She's been assigned to TA at the university elementary school (this late in the semester? I'll just go with it) which means she has to work with kids, a.k.a. "midgets," and she is NOT excited about it (anyone else flash back to her sandbox story with Greg?). On the first day, she gets sent home to change clothes ("So you want me to wear my bra under my shirt?") but when Sean jokingly suggests that she take revenge by teaching the kids witchcraft, Meghan is aaaaaall about it. Not only that, she realizes she loves teaching (spells)! A part of me likes to think that Meghan continued on this career path after the show ended and is one of the leading experts on witchy feminism today. Anyway, Sean thinks she's being crazy, and they fight about it--but they don't break up! Progress! The school, as you can imagine, is not really hip to the Wiccan arts, so this uptight teacher reports Meghan and now she has to take a psych eval. Dear writers, why didn't we get a whole episode dedicated to those results?!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Javier on Gun Control
Javier for President
I mean, between this and his stance on immigration and voting? Quintata 2020!
An All-Too-Brief Reminder of Why We Love This Series
Friendship!!! And also, Richard.
Get a Haircut, Ben!
Felicity's Face Is All of Us
Her response to Noel saying, "When Avery wants something, she wants it."
Sean is PUMPED because a fillmmaker named Chris has agreed to watch his latest episodes of the Docuventary--of course, this might have something to do with the fact that Meghan grew up with Chris' sister, and oh yeah, she and Chris had a summer fling four years ago (which Sean doesn't know about) and Chris is still in love with her even though she's engaged to a man. But the Docuventary, sure!
Because apparently Noel has zero self-respect, he's still hanging out with Avery, leading Felicity to say quite possibly the meanest (but not untrue?) thing she's ever said: "You know you only like her because she looks like Ruby." Daaaamn! Avery's still trying to get her paws on Ben, this time through academic means. Since he's struggling with a poli sci class, she offers to get him last year's test, and before I can say REMEMBER FRESHMAN YEAR, he turns her down, because he wants to handle this on his own... for a hot minute, and then, the night of the Docuventary screening (where Avery shows up, natch), he decides to take her up on the offer, which Felicity accidentally overhears. She confronts Ben about it, and he gets crazy defensive and plays the "maybe I'm not as smart as you card," which I hate for all the reasons. Ben walks out (ugh) and Avery is waiting for him outside (double, nay, triple ugh). Noel broke up with her, btw, because he finally realized she was using him to get to Ben, and I can't even be happy for him because DUH, DUDE. Upset over her fight with Ben, Felicity asks Noel if she was difficult to talk to when they were dating, and I feel for her but I also feel for Noel because he's the turtle, i.e. in love with her, and you can see the writers reigniting that possibility of them as a couple. In general, I'm not cool with it, but the show is catching
Ben me at a weak moment so, like, maybe the turtle should get a second chance?
Back to the Docuventary screening! Which no one is watching besides Sean! Chris only has eyes for Meghan, and after the building loses power, the two head into the hallway and Chris attempts to remind Meghan of what they had. I really feel for Meghan, who is no longer interested but doesn't want to hurt Chris, and I LOVE it when, later, Felicity asks Meghan how she's feeling because Felicity knows about Chris! Friendship! (Meghan spilled the beans one night when she was drunk but whatever!) Unfortunately, Sean walks in when Chris is about to kiss Meghan, and he's understandably upset, but then his freak-out extends to Meghan being bi and that is NOT cool, dude. He's lucky that Meghan loves him so much, which she tells Chris, and right about now I'm feeling really bad for the poor schmuck she's supposed to marry. Chris does eventually decide to break it off with him so cool I guess?
I wish we were done with the Avery storyline of the episode BUT we're not. So she has to make this Victim Impact Statement in court for James' trial and talk about how her life has been affected, and I'm pretty sure the lawyers don't mean GUSH ABOUT BEN but that's what, she tells Ben, she wants to do. GAG ME. Felicity is in a bad way about the whole thing, so Noel decides to show her a Docuventary interview with Ben, just like how Sean showed Noel an interview with Felicity after the Hannah sitch. Which, okay, yeah, definitely earns him some points. "She pushes me, and she pushes me," Ben says, "And I overreact, and I get pissed off at her. But the next day I always realize that she's right, always. That's why I love her." And my heart SWELLS and then immediately pops (does that metaphor track?) when Felicity shows up at the loft to make things right with Ben and finds Avery there. UUGHHHHH. Avery has the good sense to leave, then Felicity confronts Ben about what the hell is going on. Apparently, what's going on is that Ben has been on academic probation since last year (WHAT) and didn't tell Felicity (WHAAAAAAT) and then she walks out and I DON'T BLAME HER.
The day of Avery's testimony, Ben shows up to support her (gross) and admits that he didn't use the old test to cheat (well, that's one good decision out of a hundred). She invites him to come with her to South Hampton, and the episode ends before we see his response but yeeeeeah.
One other big Noel note--when the episode begins, he's thinking about moving to Seattle due to interest in Loser Pet Store from a firm there, but once Felicity and Ben start fighting, and Felicity tells him that she's sad about him leaving, he changes his mind. Noelicity is rising like a phoenix, y'all, whether you like it or not!
Usually I save the best/lightest storyline for last but psyche, this is the WORST! And that's saying a lot given Avery. But Elena?!! Why have the writers forsaken you?!! In trying to figure out why Tracy dumped her for Rose (answer: he's an idiot), Elena asks Noel, and he stupidly (so stupid!) jokes that it's because she doesn't have big boobs like Rose. She takes it to heart and walks around with padding in her bra, to which Richard immediately responds.
And that's enough to convince her? Did aliens take over Elena's body?!! Then she starts looking at plastic surgery websites, and Richard redeems himself by telling her that she doesn't need them--her boobs are perfect! She kicks him in the face (legit reaction) but later apologizes and thanks him. "I've been thinking about what you said," she says. "About your mammaries?" Richard responds (#classic). He tells her that it's Tracy's loss, and I LU RICHARD. Like, even more than you love boobs.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Y2K Nostalgia Moment
While Elena examines a boob job site, Richard giddily exclaims, "I gotta add this to my Favorite Places!" Y'all, I completely forgot about Favorite Places! Also, Richard, stop.
Meghan vs. Richard
When Richard walks into the Docuventary screening party, he immediately laments the lack of new people in attendance (it's just their core group of friends). "That could limit my options," he says. To which Meghan replies, "From zero to zero?"
Felicity vs. Sean's Bullshit
Her face is EVERYTHING. And Sean is a dumbass.
So, Avery. Do the writers create enough motivation (in the near-death experience) to justify Ben's connect to her, three months after he gave that swoon-worthy speech about Felicity to her mom?! And couldn't they have made Avery suck less? I mean, I'd still hate her but maybe don't make her villainy so obvious?
Then there's Tracy. Would it have been better for him to not even return to the show? Like, just say that he decided to stay in Africa and call it a day?
Y'all, we only have to hang in there for four episodes before we get to Season Four, which is... better than this? Tune in next week for Meredith's recap of "The Break-up Kit" and "Senioritis."
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