Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Ben and Lauren slept together, Felicity and Noel survived a fire, and everyone did a bit of growing up: Noel sought help for his depression and started his own graphics firm, while Ben aced his O-Chem test and Felicity got accepted into the honors art program.
Season 4 is really shining right now, and these next two episodes are no exception. So let's drink to Felicity's return to form!
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.”
Now get ready for all the feels!
4.11 "A Perfect Match"
Winter break's about to begin, but it looks like Christmas may have come early because Ben's been dropping by Felicity's apartment quite a bit. As the episode opens, Ben pays Felicity one of those random visits "just to say hi," and to let her know that his dad still hasn't gotten a liver, though his mom is a match and wants to go through with the surgery. Ben, with power of attorney, is totally not cool with this idea, considering how Mr. Covington has treated his wife in the past. After Ben shares all of this during his casual, late night drop-in, Felicity asks what we're all wondering, "Ben, what are you doing?" She's more than ready to be with him, but he insists that he's not, despite all of the signals he's sending. UGH.
So Felicity shows herself a little respect and packs up all of her Ben things, like the necklace he gave her freshman year (my heart!). Javier commiserates (he already put away his Samuel stuff, sob!) and offers her a distraction with tickets to the Snow Ball, the school's winter formal (which is happening kind of late?!). She's flying out that day, so she politely declines and heads to the airport.
Back at the hospital, Ben's dad asks about the breakup with Felicity, and it's a genuinely sweet moment, with Ben admitting that Felicity cheated and Mr. Covington urging him to reconcile; these past few weeks at death's door have given him a new perspective, and love is the only thing that matters. A doctor interrupts with great news--they found a liver! And then Ben rushes out the door and runs dramatically through the snow (!!) until he arrives at Felicity's place, where Javier informs him that Felicity already left. So then Ben GOES TO THE AIRPORT! And while this episode aired after 9/11, it was obviously filmed before that because Ben can just walk right up to the gate and really why am I sweating the details because HE'S THERE TO TELL HER THAT HE WANTS TO START OVER! AND THEN THEY KISS! AHHHH!!! And obvs she is not getting on that flight! The next morning finds them being extra freaking cute in bed, with Ben adamant about taking her out on a date--Felicity suggests the Snow Ball, natch. As if this wasn't adorable enough, Meghan spies them in the room together and has a happy, oh-so-Meghan reaction: "Never doubt my spells!" (Yay friendship!)
But our lovebirds' euphoria is cut short when Ben finds out that his dad's new liver got held up by a snowstorm, so he's not going to get it. Felicity and Ben head to the hospital, where Mr. Covington is hooked up to a ventilator, and Ben's mom renews her plea to donate part of her liver. Ben is incredibly torn, because he's worried that she'll make this huge sacrifice and then his dad will treat her like crap, just as he's done in the past. Amidst that goddamn depressing, plinky piano music and some tonally bizarre camera cuts/fades, Felicity encourages him to take a leap of faith and tells him, "That's what love is, risking a part of yourself." Then, because she's already back to being #1 Girlfriend, she brings Mrs. Covington some tea and listens to her talk about her husband's abusive behavior and how it affected Ben. She shares a heartbreaking story of a night when she tried to comfort little Ben (imagine that cutie!) after he saw his dad hit her with a plate--she kept telling him it was okay, meaning to comfort him, but: "What he heard is, 'it's okay, this is what love is.'" After mulling it over, Ben agrees to let her do the surgery, but afterwards, she's not in great condition, which of course makes Ben feel AWFUL. I'm so glad he has Felicity back because dude needs her so badly right now. Fortunately, Mrs. Covington ends up being okay, and when his dad wakes up, Ben tells him that he took his advice, and now he and Felicity are together. Man, this episode is making me smile more times than the entirety of Season 3.
While all of this drama/happiness is going down, Sean gets Noel a lead on a client for his graphics company and suggests that they partner together, which Noel realizes is a TERRIBLE idea. But they go together to meet with the owner, Eric, who wants to see a draft of a website by... tomorrow! Sean readily agrees, which sucks for Noel since he has to do all of the actual HTML! But as they pull an all nighter, we see that they actually work well together?! That is, until the next day, when they show Eric the website and he doesn't like the one thing that Sean contributed (a dumb snowboarder guy that slides across the screen), so Sean tells him the deal is off. SEAN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. Noel smartly decides to return later, by himself, and convinces Eric to hire him and Sean, which is like, all the good person points for Noel though I still think Eric is right when he compares Sean to a giant rock tied to Noel's back. Back at the loft, Noel tells Sean what happened, and even though the latter should be grateful, he acts all butt hurt and doesn't want to be partners anymore. So Noel tries again, because we really need to love him like we did that first half of Season 1, and Sean confesses that he feels insecure about riding Noel's coattails, which Noel denies--he truly believes Sean brings something to the table. That's nice, I guess! Sean finally agrees and, as a gesture of friendship, invites Noel to go with him and Meghan to the Snow Ball, even though both guys don't go to UNY, and Noel probably works with students that will be there, but WHO CARES IT'S CHRISTMAS.
There's also an immensely charming storyline that involves Rita and Javier trying out video dating. After watching tapes together (I couldn't help but picture this), they decide to pick out a person for each other, and both dates are major flops--Javier's guy is ridiculously short, while Rita's guy is waaaaay too enthusiastic. But the silver lining? They get to hang out and swap dating stories. I CHERISH THIS FRIENDSHIP SO MUCH.
The episode ends at the Snow Ball, where Noel apologizes to Ben, who wants both of them just to forget it ever happened. The whole crew ends up on the dance floor, and they're having so much fun being friends and dancing so WHY IS THAT PLINKY PIANO MUSIC PLAYING? Later, they walk out of the dance and into the falling snow, as Felicity wonders what will happen to all of them, a year from now. Because our earnest girl can't help herself.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder because DAMN, that's some kiss.
Felicity's New 'Do
While she will always have curly, frizzy hair in my mind, Felicity's straightened, sleek locks look super gorgeous and grown-up. I mean, she's a senior after all!
We Are All Javier
Except for unlike Javier, we get to tag along with Ben and witness an incredibly epic romantic moment!
I know we're all trying to forget that James thing ever happened but girls, it was only a year ago. Lock your damn door!
Eric Scott, Noel and Sean's first client, is played by Brian Howe, who you might recognize from like, everything but particularly Vice Principals and Justified.
Michael Kostroff may have only been on screen for a second (in a dating video), but that's all I needed to recognize him from, oh, just a few of the greatest shows of all time: Veronica Mars, The Wire and The Good Wife!
4.12 "Future Shock"
Just when you think everything's hunky dory, with friendships mended and Belicity back together, Lauren shows up and tells Ben she's pregnant. RECORD SCRATCH. (What is with the writers and pregnancy?!) She's like, so call me or whatever and then leaves, and Ben is freaking out, understandably! Later he asks her to take a paternity test, which confirms that yep, he's gonna be a dad, and he has no clue what to do. He isn't capable of being a father right now, but he hates the idea of having a kid out in the world whom he doesn't know, and as much as I'm anxious for Ben, I appreciate the nuance of this storyline--Ben's not a jerk, but he's also not willing to give up everything just to be the good guy. Dude is so stressed that he spaces on a big experiment that Professor Hodges asked him and Trevor to help with for a published study (read: med school application gold star), so Hodges replaces him. After a ton of soul-searching, Ben tells Lauren that he can't be in the kid's life--he knows what he wants to do with his life and raising their child isn't it, though he's going to feel bad about this decision for a long time. Lauren accepts this, which I guess is cool (is it wrong to dislike her?!), then Ben, citing his passion and determination for medicine, asks Hodges if he can rejoin the study. It's a quiet but great scene, with Hodges eventually saying yes then gruffly asking, "Do you want to talk about it?" Aww, he really cares!
Meanwhile, Barbara Porter is in town! And she's worried about Felicity's future, as are we all! Turns out, Barbara had been taking writing classes but gave that up to become a real estate agent, which horrifies Felicity--especially when her mom suggests she consider doing the same. "I'm doing art! This is what I'm doing," Felicity replies, in that high and mighty way particular to young adults who haven't yet left the safety of school. What she won't admit is that she's been freaking out about her future, too, especially after shopping her art around to galleries with Owen (Owen!!!!!) and facing rejection after rejection. She wonders aloud to Owen if she should be pursuing something with a clear path, like becoming a doctor or a lawyer, a feeling exacerbated when Elena gets into Columbia Med School (YAY ELENA I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!). Felicity ends up leaving a message for the real estate guy, then heads into another gallery, where she finally manages to get someone to look at her work--and after about five seconds, the women's like, "No thanks." It is CRUSHING. So of course Felicity is extra sensitive when she sees her mom again, and after Barbara once again expresses her concern (which reminded me so much of Season 1), Felicity flips out, admitting she's terrified and telling her mom that she doesn't want to be like her and give up what she loves--"It's pathetic." OUCH. Unlike the first season, I completely agree with Mrs. Porter here, and I wish Felicity weren't lashing out at her like a brat. Later in the studio, Felicity tells Owen what happened, and he reassures her, declaring that she's really talented. "If you want this to happen, it'll happen." Is it wrong that a small part of me still wants them to get together? (FORGIVE ME, TEAM BEN.) Felicity wishes she didn't care what her parents think, but she does. "Do you think that ever goes away?" she asks. "I mean, when we're 40, do you think we're still gonna care what our mom and dad think?" Owen gives the correct answer: yes.
Unlike Felicity, the future is looking bright for Noel and Sean, who are pitching a big account (CGG Corp or something) when they run into Zoe, who is looking good and still seems very interested in Noel despite the death rays shooting from her dad's eyes. Noel ends up calling her, and they go out on a date, which goes swimmingly! Then Noel and Sean land the CGG account! Everything is coming up Crane! But when Webb Graphics (Zoe's dad's firm) offers to buy Noel and Sean's company (so they can then have the account), Noel wants to decline the offer--he hopes to pursue something real with Zoe and doesn't want the added complication of working together. He tries to let Sean down easy by reminding him that Sean encouraged him to ask Zoe out in the first place; "Don't ever listen to me! Ever!" Sean exclaims. "Except for now," because he thinks it would be a HUGE mistake to turn down the offer from Webb. Lucky for him, Zoe informs Noel that she's actually seeing someone right now (um, okay), so Noel decides to accept the deal. I'm so proud of him, for working hard and pursuing what he wants instead of mooning over a girl. Except wouldn't you know it, on Noel's first day in the office, Zoe admits that she decided to break up with the other guy. Chances of things remaining platonic have plummeted to 0%.
And now we've reached my favorite plotline of the episode: Meghan and Javier are acting class partners! Which Javier is VERY excited about, while Meghan tries to argue and then pay her way out of the course (it's a requirement for her to graduate). Their scene is from All About Eve (Meghan: "That sounds like a porno"), which is perfect, because according to Javier, Meghan is her charcter, Margo: "She's always so mean, always yelling at everyone, just like you!" Meghan, no surprise, does not take this as a compliment, and they get into a huge fight, with Javier awesomely yelling, "You are more Margo than Bette Davis, and this was her signature role!" When they perform the scene in class, their animosity makes it absolute PERFECTION, and I gave it a standing O alone in my living room. After she's had time to cool down, Meghan gifts Javier with a "Best Actor" statuette and tells him sincerely that he was great, and sorry Belicity, Mavier is my new favorite couple.
The episode ends with Ben fiiiiiinally telling Felicity that Lauren's pregnant with his kid, and she's shocked, naturally. Ben reassures her that they're gonna be okay, but even though Felicity accepts his embrace, I'm not sure she believes him.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Whoa, it's been awhile! Nice to see that trusty ole tape recorder again.
Sorry, Javier, No One Can Out-Catty Meghan
She's got Bette Davis eyes.
Javier Spin-off: Now Co-Starring Meghan
I mean, best odd couple ever or best odd couple ever?
Let's Pretend This Is Ian Gomez's Emmy Acceptance Speech
Dude was ROBBED.
The Truest Thing Anyone Said This Week
Noel, responding to Zoe's request to just be friends: "Friends...you know, I've sort of tried that one before. It didn't really work out too well."
Isn't it nice to feel like the Felicity we love is back? Sure, nothing beats Season 2 but these episodes showcase everything the series does well, balancing layered drama with humor and heart.
But, okay, Lauren's pregnancy--it's just too much, right?
And how do we feel about Zoe as a potential partner for Noel?
Finally, WHERE IS RICHARD?
Join me for a convo in the comments then meet Meredith next Wednesday morning for her recap of "Kiss and Tell" and "Raising Arizona."
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