Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Sarah brought us through the end of S3, and we're not going to lie to you, that was a rough season! Season 4's already starting off on much stronger footing, so let's toast to Felicity Porter's senior year.
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.”
Onto Season 4!
4.1 "The Declaration"
We open on the iconic Felicity silhouette, because the Sally tapes are back! Felicity has a LOT to tell Sally, as she's feeling super anxious about her senior year and figuring out what she wants to do once she's graduated. She also talks quiiiiiiite a bit about a floppy-haired gentleman named Noel Crane...
So Felicity and Noel have spent a remarkably lovely summer together: sunning on the roof with Javier, talking about their feelings willy-nilly, buying each other dinner, having ...whipped cream fights in their bathing suits? GUYS. It's like you're TRYING to have sex. They have this easy, natural chemistry that doesn't seem interrupted in the slightest by Ben's return. At first reunion, Ben and Felicity seem great, all sexy and lovey-dovey and thrilled to see each other, but it all goes south rather quickly. Ben's decided he doesn't want to be a paramedic after all - he wants to be a doctor! RECORD SCRATCH. I'm sorry, Benjamin, I missed the part where you ever tried in school for one single moment of your life. So he has to take EIGHTEEN HOURS this semester to make this even a remote possibility, which his guidance counselor does not recommend based on, you know, his grades. Ben remains determined, and if Felicity seems a tiny bit dubious (though trying her best to be supportive), who can blame her?
Meanwhile, she's got her own scholastic issues. She's dying to take this fancy honors art program under the famous artist Jeremy Cavallo, and she's very intimidated by his talent, but he's really sweet and welcoming. But Felicity's also juggling her dad, who's in town to tell her that he and her mom are tired of humoring her cute lil art hobby (he literally uses the words "little crafts," like wtffffff), and they won't pay for college any more unless she gets back to pre-med. Helllooooo, Season 1, I missed you! Felicity sticks to her guns, with Noel's endless encouragement, and she applies for loans and celebrates her independence. Her dad's a butthead at first but nice at the end, as is the Dr. Porter way, but though he and Felicity make up nicely, he's still not going to pay for her college, and she still lies and tells him she got into the art program - but she didn't, because though Cavallo likes her work, he thinks she needs more practice in composition and shading. Felicity's bummmmmed.
While Felicity's declaring her independence at the student loan office, she's late to let Ben off from his shift at Dean & Deluca, and he's FURIOUS about it because it makes him late for his first Organic Chemistry class, and the professor locks the door and doesn't let him in. Look, it sucks, but Ben is totally unforgiving, like Felicity sabotaged him on purpose, and he's honestly just immediately a huge jerk about everything, while Noel has been nothing but solicitous, kind and supportive. Soooooo, who can't see what's coming? I'll tell you who CAN see what's coming, and that's Javier, who gives Felicity this wiggly-eyebrowed look when they're sunbathing, because he notices she hasn't used the noun "Ben-ja-min" in months.
Well, Javier’s eyebrows are right. Felicity’s crying on the roof about the honors program, and about her dad, and about Ben, and Noel comes up and admits that he didn’t get a dream job he was sure he'd get. They’re both crushed but supportive of each other, and then they start kissing, like DEEP kissing. They lie back and we cut to credits before we see anything, but it's obvious that they're on a one-way train to Roof Sex City (even if neither Scott Foley nor Keri Russell remembers it). Y'all, I can't even be mad that these two hook up. Ben has been USELESS for MONTHS NOW. (I do not condone cheating, but ugh, Benjamin, you have not been your best self lately.)
In other news! Elena has turned into a total Bridezilla, and that would make me FURIOUS in Season 3 because Elena Tyler is not a g-d bridezilla, but Season 4 has a much better handle on its characters. So after she bullies poor Javier (who's coordinating the wedding for her) nearly to death, we find out that she's really upset because her late mom can't be at the wedding, and she wants her wedding dress to look just like her mom's as a way of including her. Javier is wonderful and so compassionate and this storyline ends with a tearful embrace between the two of them, so Season 4 can stay.
Finally! Meghan and Sean are fighting, and what else is new, but the reason is particularly hilarious this time. They were playing the freebie game, asking each other who they'd have sex with if they could have sex with anyone in the world. First of all, that game is not for insecure amateur relationshipists like Meghan and Sean. But second of all, while Sean's answer was the totally reasonable (for the time) Elizabeth Hurley, Meghan's answer was TRACY. Haha!! Girl, SAME. Sean is displeased, and he eats his feelings in the form of Elena's wedding cake. Poor Elena.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
I Want More Of THIS Ben
Jeremy Cavallo is played by Rick Worthy, who’s been in Supernatural, The Man in the High Castle and most recently and memorably as Dean Fogg in the absolutely terrific The Magicians.
Ben’s OChem professor, Professor Hodges, is played by Hey, It's That Guy Jim Ortlieb, who’s been in a million things, including Roswell as Nasedo.
The Right Kind of Angst
So S4 starts off angsty, all right, but it's a very believable, human kind of angst. It reminds me a lot of Season 1, actually, with an overly earnest Felicity, an overwhelmed Ben and an adorkable Noel. They’re all tied up in knots over understandable stuff like graduating, coursework and finding a job – not, you know, guns and crack, like in Season 3. It's a huge improvement, is what I'm saying!
4.2 "My Best Friend’s Wedding"
So we open immediately after The Act, and hoooo boy, is it awkward. Just instantly, dreadfully awkward. Felicity's face kind of says it all.
She gets out of there in a hurry, with Noel being cool and understanding, and of course she heads downstairs to find a contrite Ben, ready to apologize and be sweet. He wants to have dinner and talk, but she bails, and she continues to avoid him over the next couple of days while she figures out where she stands on everything. It’s very important to me to note that Noel is, basically, perfect through all of this. He's still the reassuring friend that she needs right now in spite of the awkwardness, and he tells her that he has no expectations, and that if she wants to tell Ben, he'll support that decision, even though it means Ben will probably kill him. (Noel also brings over a bunch of stuff to try and help Felicity hide the MASSIVE HICKEY he gave her, but none of it works, so she just wears a series of turtleneck sweaters throughout the episode. It feels more like S1 than ever now!) Noel even offers to make a pact: that they both completely forget it happened.
Problem is, Felicity's not sure she wants to forget it happened. She goes to Pavone (thank god!), who breaks it down for her: yes, she feels guilty, but there's another level here, another element to the story. “There's a drawer.” When Felicity asks her what's in the drawer, Pavone replies, “I don't know. It's your drawer.” After a couple of sessions and a lot of stubborn obtuseness on Felicity's part, she finally looks in the drawer and sees Noel there. Pavone spells out the entire premise of this show: “You have been dancing around this for years. You want to be with Ben, but you also want to be with Noel. Am I wrong?”
She's not wrong, obviously. (Dr. Pavone is never wrong.) So Felicity has dinner with Ben and he tells her he thinks he knows why she's pulling away: because now he's the one with direction and she's the one who's lost. Uhm, I'm sorry, Ben, but I don't think getting locked out of one OChem class makes you an overachiever. Felicity's like, "sure, yeah, THAT's it," and then she breaks up with Ben, telling him she just needs time to herself. He looks stunned and heartbroken, but I'm still mad at him so I can't even feel moved by his puppy dog eyes. I'm sorry, I hold a grudge!
MEANWHILE, Tracy and Elena's wedding is days away, and they ask Felicity to officiate. But stuff keeps arising between the two of them – they almost have sex again, and then don't (again), and Elena is SO nervous, more than a normal amount of nervous. More like life-changingly panicked.
Meghan is still crushing on Tracy's hot bod (again, who can blame her), and she makes a bet with Sean that she can get Tracy to kiss her. She tries and fails spectacularly, and when Elena confronts her, Meghan cruelly sows seeds of doubt, telling Elena that if she and Tracy were having sex regularly, there's no way they'd be getting married. Sean gives Meghan a big come-to-Jesus talk about how she always pushes away the people she cares about, and if she isn't careful, she’ll end up alone. It works, and she goes to Elena on her wedding day, finding her radiant in her dress, and apologizes sincerely and beautifully. Elena forgives her without hesitation, and they hug, and it's wonderful. Then Elena admits that she's still feeling doubts about the wedding, and points out that Sean and Meghan are perfect for each other, and should be the ones getting married.
Tracy's been picking up on Elena's doubts, and they talk before the ceremony, and he tells her he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, but he suspects that she's just marrying him because she's afraid of losing him. It's clear that he's right, and so Elena tells everyone there's not going to be a wedding – and then AMAZINGLY INAPPROPRIATELY, Sean and Meghan get married instead. Like, right then, in front of Tracy and Elena's families. They just straight up steal that wedding! It's PERFECT, the perfect way for these two total weirdos to get hitched.
The episode ends with Sean and Meghan's reception. Everyone's having a great time and dancing like crazy, except Ben, who's staring mournfully at Felicity as we go into credits.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
RIP, Tracy and Elena
I loved you two together.
Sean’s Big Idea
Condom party favors that play “Here Comes the Bride” when you rip them open. He invented a whole line of them, each one playing different songs. He calls them Rubber Bands. Oh, Sean.
So that's it for this week! QUESTIONS: am I being way too hard on Ben? Anyone else feeling sorry for him and mad at Felicity and Noel for hooking up, instead of feeling like it's their right after the way he's been acting since Avery? And who else is digging this much chiller S4 vibe?
Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers "Your Money or Your Wife" and "Miss Conception."
Shameless Self-Promotion: Check out our Felicity-inspired merch in the FYA Store!