Drinks Taken: 16
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Felicity had the biggest hair of all time and it ruled. Plus newlyweds Sean and Meghan suffered a big dose of reality in the form of money troubles, and Noel got a job as a guidance counselor at UNY.
This week, let’s toast to Javier, because he’s extra-cute in these eps and I love him for offering levity just when we need it most.
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 bring on the pain! (Because the suspense has been giving me major anxiety.)
It’s Halloween! Elena and Felicity are planning a big party and everyone’s working on their costumes. It’s fun and cute and though it ends with some drama, it still feels like SUCH an improvement over Season 3, which contains basically no friendship moments. I know we’re five episodes into S4 and I should stop favorably comparing it to S3, but I can’t help myself! I’m relieved! (Even considering what’s coming.)
Felicity gets an art TA position from a loopy, scarf-loving professor with distinct Trelawney vibes. Felicity’s excited, but the first day she shows up to assist, the professor isn’t there – and then the dean arrives to tell Felicity that Professor
Trelawney May got arrested for shoplifting… scarves. Checks out! Felicity has to teach the class on her own for a couple days until they find a replacement professor, and she has trouble gaining her students’ respect, because one student saw Felicity in the beauty pageant, and immediately informs the rest of the class. Everyone either mocks her or outright judges her, and Felicity’s humiliated, until Elena gives a patented Great Elena Tyler speech (friendship moment!) and tells her, “You have to stop apologizing for who you are and what you’ve done. You’ve got to own your mistakes and get some strength from them.” Felicity takes this excellent advice super literally and wears her pageant evening gown to class, very “DEAL WITH IT” in demeanor, and it’s an empowering moment hilariously cut short by the arrival of Professor Cavallo, who’s the new teach! He’s like, “Uhm, nice dress.”
Ben’s wrangling with his own professorial issues, because that Hodges guy sucks. Ben and Trevor both fail their O-chem midterm, but it’s kind of B.S., because Hodges said benzenes wouldn’t be on the midterm, and then they were. Ben and Trevor very courteously challenge their grades, but Hodges is stubborn and shitty about it, which Ben admits later to Felicity reminded him of how his dad (foreshadowing!) never admitted he was wrong. So Ben Pulls A Ben and calls Hodges a dick, and Hodges kicks them both out of the class (even though poor Trevor didn’t do anything). They drown their sorrows in some beers, and then show up to the Halloween party drunk. However, Ben sobers up and confides in Felicity, because Season 4 Ben is determined to make me forget how mad I was at Season 3 Ben no matter how much more painful that makes the revelation of the next episode. Meanwhile, Trevor takes a bunch of tequila shots and ends up in a COMA with alcohol poisoning. It’s stressful (though nothing like guns-and-drugs stressful), but Ben keeps his head and saves Trevor’s life. He later goes to Hodges and very calmly tells him what happened, and Hodges is defensive at first, but Ben holds his ground, and later they run into each other at the hospital, where Hodges is there to visit Trevor. He tells Ben that Trevor’s awake, and that he heard Ben handled the situation very well. He tells Ben he has a son his age, and then says, “See you in class.” Well done, Ben!
Finally, Javier is feeling under-appreciated by Samuel, so he strong-arms Noel into joining him for a quickie trip to Atlantic City to see the great Lionel Richie, Javier’s #1 favorite singer! (A crucial aside: the way Javier pronounces “Li-oh-NELL” is straight-up heavenly.) Once they get there, they find out the show is sold out, and scalper tickets are upwards of $800. Javier’s determined to win the money at slots, and he does win a jackpot, but then quickly loses it all. Crushed, he and Noel take a bathroom break and run into… Lionel Richie! The dreamboat autographs a paper towel for Javier (politely declining Javier’s first request of “my chest”) and then gives him love advice: “Always say, ‘Honey, you’re right.'” Later, Samuel calls to apologize, but he and Javier are about to get in another fight when Noel reminds Javier of Lionel’s advice. Javier tells Samuel, “Honey, you’re right,” and they sweetly make up. What a cute C-plot!!!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Elena and Felicity are hot-ass witches, Meghan and Sean are Jackie-O and JFK (Sean’s wig!!), and Richard is Darth Vader.
Darth Richard meets a very cute Leia at the party, and they’re really hitting it off – but when he goes to take off his helmet so he can smooch her, he realizes it’s stuck on his head. Elena does her best to help him, but not in time for him to win Leia’s heart.
Sean’s Big Idea
Sean and Meghan are walking down the street when a “tastemaker” from “Teenybopper Magazine” snaps a pic of Meghan’s hideous homemade shirt (the sleeves are tube socks!). Sean’s impressed and convinced that this could be the solution to their money problems, and he wants to commercialize Meghan’s look. Meghan of course HATES that idea because her individuality is so important to her, but Sean points out that her goth/punk look is kind of everywhere these days anyway. She balks, but then later sees multiple classmates rocking her look, so she throws out all of her clothes and tells Sean they can start a fashion company based on her old style. AND she says that her new look will be inspired by her Jackie-O costume! Sean was super turned on by her costume so he of course loves this news, and so do I, because she looks awesome.
“Boooz” has so many great friendship moments! Season 4, you get a bad rap. Thanks for treating these pals right.
I love that Lionel Richie actually guest-starred as himself on an episode of Felicity.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
When Noel tells Javier he doesn’t want to go to Atlantic City because he’s planning to attend the Halloween party, Javier replies, “What are you going to do at the party? Stare at Felicity and Ben looking very thin in their costumes?”
4.6 “Oops…Noel Did It Again”
It’s Felicity’s 21st birthday, and everyone puts together some very sweet gifts. For instance, Javier makes a beautiful photo album (using Noel’s photos, because he doesn’t have any), and Elena gets her some gorgeous gloves. Ben’s gift is the best: he gives her a sled, and plans a weekend trip to Vermont to see the snow. But then he gets a call, and Mr. Covington is back in town and back in the hospital, this time 67 days sober and dying of liver failure. Mr. Covington’s sponsee Lauren is the one who calls Ben, and she’s VERY pushy about how Ben needs to forgive Mr. Covington and how he should handle Mr. C’s enormous request, that Ben should have power of attorney and not resuscitate if it comes to it. I have several opinions about all of this: 1) who the hell let Andrew Covington be a sponsor when he’s only been sober for 67 days? 2) Mind your own business, Lauren. I’m glad he’s been “like a father” to you but he’s been like a monster to his actual son. 3) Of COURSE Mr. Covington shows up with a stressful demand of his son, instead of just asking for forgiveness and spending his last few days with Ben in peace. Alcoholism is a disease, and Mr. Covington’s approaching death is very sad. But he handles all of this the way he handles everything else: selfishly, treating Ben with untrustworthy charm mixed with guilt trips, and I’ve got my reasons for having no patience for his demands or for Lauren’s insistence that she knows Ben’s relationship with his dad better than he does.
So obviously the Vermont trip is on hold, and of course Felicity’s extremely sweet and supportive and great about it while Ben processes how he wants to handle all of this – and when the time comes for Ben to honor his dad’s wish for a natural death, Ben finds it much harder than he would have thought. (Lauren is not patient through this process. Shut UP, Lauren.) In the meantime, life goes on. Noel’s haaaaating his job as a guidance counselor, for instance, which I find odd – he seemed to really take pride in being an RA, and he was great at it, and suddenly he has no interest in student concerns. At any rate, he’s taking lots of different job interviews, and in the meantime he weirdly places two freshmen who hate their dorm in Elena and Felicity’s apartment? How does that work? They’re extremely annoying and Elena hates them, but Richard is VERY pleased and seems to think he has a chance with one or either of them.
But after their dance party, Richard storms up to Elena and complains that both girls have a crush on Noel, and that Noel gets ALL the girls – he even slept with Felicity. Unfortunately, he’s ranting right as Elena’s leaving a message on the loft answering machine, so then they have to sneak into the loft and delete the message through some subterfuge. They do a great, sneaky job, but it doesn’t really matter, because stupid Noel’s about to spill the beans, anyway.
So Felicity tells Noel that Ben’s dad is in town so she’s not doing anything for her birthday, and he seems kind of outraged on her behalf. She doesn’t tell him the whole story but very sweetly says she’s fine skipping birthday festivities, and then later Noel sees Ben holding flowers (for his dad) and giving Lauren a long hug on the sidewalk as they talk about Mr. C. Noel obviously assumes (and let’s be honest, he hopes) that this is Avery Redux, so he confronts Ben, who has exactly no time or energy for Noel’s jealousy while he’s dealing with a dying dad. Ben says Noel needs to get over Felicity because it’s been years since anything happened between the two of them, and then Noel just totally tells Ben that he and Felicity slept together. WTF!!!!! We don’t see Ben talk to Felicity about this – instead, he goes straight to the hospital and tells the doctor to put his dad on life support, because it seems like he can’t lose two people at once – but we do see Noel tell Felicity what he did, and she’s so incredibly upset, probably not least because she knows she just broke Ben’s heart while his dad is dying. Gah.
One last unhappy plotline (but again, all of this is handled in a much more nuanced and believable way than all of the S3 drama): Felicity really wants to do a good job as Cavallo’s TA, and he offers to take her to lunch to discuss her student critiques. Elena’s having McGrath flashbacks and warns Felicity that this is weird behavior. Sure enough, Cavallo kind of holds Felicity’s hand during lunch, and she’s so anxious about it, but upon Elena’s (great) advice, confronts him and tells him that it made her uncomfortable. He said it definitely should make her uncomfortable if he were making a pass, but he wasn’t – he’s in a committed relationship and not interested in straying, which is sort of a weird thing to say and what he should add is, “But I still should not have initiated physical contact that makes you uncomfortable and it will never happen again.” But still, Felicity seems relieved – until one of the students from their class, Gretchen, who by the way has total Season 1 Felicity hair, shows up to meet with Cavallo, and he walks out of the room with his hand very comfortably resting on her lower back. Ugh.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Lauren is played by Lisa Edelstein, from House and West Wing.
Gretchen is played by Bethany Joy Lenz, best known as Haley from One Tree Hill!
Sean (And Meghan’s!) Big Idea
Meghan and Sean are battling over the name of their new fashion company. Meghan wants “Meghanalomania” and Sean wants “Sean’s Shirts,” but they end up settling on the name Sarah bestowed on them weeks ago: Shmeghan! I would totally buy something from Shmeghan fashion. Just not that tube sock shirt.
That’s it for this week! Questions: if you were Felicity, would you forgive Noel? If you were Ben, would you forgive Mr. Covington? And are you guys, like me, enjoying S4 much more than S3, in spite of the rough stuff that happened this week?
Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers “The Storm” and “The Last Thanksgiving.”