Felicity, surrounded by art supplies, paints with an intent look on her face


Title: Felicity S4.E09 “Moving On” + S4.E10 “Fire”
Released: 2001
Series:  Felicity

Drinks Taken: 20

Follow the whole rewatch here

Last week, Ben and Felicity had break-up sex, Javier and Samuel called it quits (noooo!) and we saw our very last Felicity Thanksgiving (sniff). 

Let’s drink to Felicity, who’s been beaten around by life a little but still has some surprises in store for us.

Felicity, Julie, and Elena taking cautious sips of neon cocktails at a dance club

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 the piñata party!

Felicity and Ben stare at each other meaningfully during one of their shifts at Dean & Deluca

4.9 “Moving On”

Felicity and Ben meet up at Dean & Deluca, and they have a conversation that seems hopeful for just a moment before Ben tells Felicity that he thinks they both need to move on. He says it so gently and with so much kindness, and she understands but also seems devastated. But they both try their best to do just that, with some ups and downs. Ben goes straight to Lauren and asks her out, and I feel like there must be some AA rules against dating your sponsor’s son, but Lauren readily accepts. For their first date, they go to a production of A Streetcar Named Desire that Javier recommends, but he was really trying to “play Cupid” in his own adorable words, and so they run into Felicity there. It’s super awkward and embarrassing but everyone handles it pretty well, and Felicity goes back to the apartment to yell at poor Javier for interfering while Ben and Lauren go into the play. Afterwards, Ben and Lauren are hard-core making out, UGH, but then Lauren’s ex calls and throws ice water on that situation. THANK YOU, LAUREN’S EX. He wants to get back together, and Lauren’s not sure how she feels about it, which sort of leaves Ben in limbo in regards to moving on. 

In her own efforts to move on, Felicity’s been painting her face off, doing dark and intense work late at night by herself in the studio. Elena’s very impressed with the work, though kinda scared by it, and so is Felicity’s classmate, a nice lil cutie named Owen. (Here’s a glimpse of her painting, if you’re curious.)

Felicity and Owen sit with their backs to the camera, facing Felicity's painting, a large, dark, abstract piece

Elena tells Felicity she should ask Owen out, as he clearly likes her (he brings her an unsolicited hot chocolate during a midnight painting sesh, for instance, and squee), and after a couple of stops and starts, she does. It’s good, because Owen seems VERY low-pressure and also he makes Felicity laugh, and girlfriend deserves a laugh these days. But thanks to terrible luck and timing, Owen arrives at the apartment to pick up Felicity at the same time Ben’s arriving to study with Elena. Oh man, it’s so cute and angsty and swoony the way this goes down, with Ben’s sardonic grin when she opens the door to both of them, the way Ben whispers, “You look great” to Felicity as she walks past, the longing looks they give each other as she’s leaving. Poor Owen doesn’t stand a chance!

Still, they have a great date – Owen gets her to talk about Ben, and she opens up in a way she hasn’t much before, and he keeps making her laugh, and it’s so nice to see her smile again. But once he walks her back to her door and kisses her – and it seems like a nice kiss! – she pulls away and tells him she’s not ready. He’s SO great and understanding about it, and tells her she’ll meet someone again, and it’s okay if he’s not that someone. Team Owen! (jk Team Ben for life, but it’s nice to see Felicity rebound with someone much better than a David, for instance.)

Ben, meanwhile, is feeling conflicted after seeing Felicity look so pretty for a date with a new guy, and he leaves a very awkward message on her phone that Elena plays for Felicity when she gets home. They analyze it, and Elena’s cracking me up (“He has NO IDEA what he wants to say… He wants you back, and it’s pissing him off”), but she also makes Felicity wait a little while to return Ben’s call, during which time he and Lauren decide to forget their exes by having sex with each other. SIGH. 

Over in Noel’s storyline, his new therapy seems to be hard and good, the way therapy can be. Noel agrees to go on antidepressants, and admits that he feels like he’s drowning. His therapist says he won’t let him drown, and Noel smiles sadly but with relief. While these scenes don’t get a ton of screentime in the episode, and nothing technically happens, I applaud both Felicity‘s and Scott Foley’s authentic and moving portrayal of depression. It’s not necessarily riveting television, but it’s real. 

Finally, one of the other actors in Javier’s class has a “crunch” on him, a sweet woman named Rita. When Javier explains to her that he’s gay, she’s like, “That’s okay,” and much like Ben and Lauren, they decide to “miss [their] husbands together,” minus the sex, so it’s less gross and sad. I miss Samuel 🙁 

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Bathtime Javier



Owen is played by Shawn Hatosy, from Animal KingdomSouthland and The Faculty.

Shawn Hatosy as Owen

Rita is played by A League of Their Own and Monk‘s Bitty Schram.

Bitty Schram as Rita

And Noel’s therapist, Dr. Auerbach, is played by super famous actor Richard Masur, from The ThingRisky BusinessYounger and lots more.

Richard Masur as Dr. Auerbach

Sean’s Big Idea

“Comfort Cologne” – cologne that smells like men’s favorite comfort foods, such as mac & cheese, brisket and lasagna. Not his worst idea!

Felicity and Noel sit outside at night, blankets wrapped around them and they're both all sooty, disheveled and stunned

4.10 “Fire”

Ben and Felicity run into each other for the first time since her date with Owen, and he sort of says without saying it that it was a mistake for him to call her that night. But he’s still really nice, and tells her that all of his time has been devoted to studying for this huge O-Chem midterm. And it is! We don’t even see Lauren this week (which is obviously fine with me), just nothing but Ben studying, trying to ignore cute Trevor and Elena as they flirt in front of him. All of his confusion and sadness over Felicity goes into studying for this test, and then he and Trevor go to Professor Hodges’ office the night after they take it, too anxious to wait until the next day to find out how they did. Trevor made a 79, and he’s thrilled that he passed, and you guys, Ben made a 95!!! I’m crying. He can’t stop smiling, and it’s honestly the most beautiful and affirming moment for this guy who deserves it, who’s believed his entire life that he’s not smart enough to become somebody of substance. Sour old Professor Hodges can’t even help but smile. It’s great.

Felicity’s also throwing herself into her schoolwork, renewedly determined to get into the honors art program. She shows Professor Cavallo her new stuff, and he’s impressed, but tells her she needs a cohesive theme if she’s going to submit a thesis. She totally understands and appreciates this feedback, and she decides her theme is “piñatas” – the unexpected surprises that come out of you once life’s beaten you around a little. It’s so beautiful and powerful and I love her so much. She goes to Noel, whom she clearly misses, to run this idea by him, but his therapist has suggested he take a break from focusing his entire life around Felicity in order to start making his own dreams come true – namely, opening his own graphic design company. Noel gently tells Felicity as much, and the way she assumes he’s still talking about her art before he spells it out makes it clear that she does sort of take Noel for granted, and their friendship has always been more about her than about them. Felicity, to her credit, is chagrined, and though sad, seems to understand. She gets back to her painting, and Cavallo comes and takes a look while she’s working, and he tells her she’s doing a great job, and to keep it up. Here’s a look at her work:

Felicity paints with headphones on in front of a series of canvases painted in brightly colored, abstract designs, with a piñata in the foreground for inspiration

It’s beautiful, but don’t get too attached to it. An electrical fire breaks out in the art department, and Felicity’s got her headphones on and is super absorbed in her work and doesn’t notice. Everyone escapes but Noel suspects she might still be in there, and he risks his life to run through the smoky hallways to rescue her. The cool thing is that when Felicity realizes she’s trapped in the studio, she completely keeps her head, and she’s in the process of saving herself before Noel shows up. It’s very much not a damsel in distress situation so much as it is one friend helping another friend, and while it’s scary, it’s not melodramatic, just sort of poignant and powerful. 

They escape, and sit quietly outside, stunned by what just happened, and then it starts to snow, and the snow mixes with the soot and paint to turn sort of pink. Felicity, as earnest and sensitive as ever, marvels at the beauty of it. 

Later, Felicity brings Noel a piñata to thank him, and they have a lovely moment, but Noel makes it clear that he still wants distance from Felicity, and she respects his decision. As he puts it to his therapist later, “It doesn’t feel right for me to wait around for her anymore.” Good for you, Noel. And good for you, Felicity, because as she’s staring sadly at the burned remains of her beautiful painting, Cavallo comes by and tells her that he loved her work, and it was enough for her to get into the honors seminar. Felicity looks so proud, and Cavallo tells her, “Your piñata took another hit. Let’s see what spills out as a result.” Damn, I love this show.

Oh and – Noel returns home to the loft the night of the fire, covered in ash, and Ben asks very civilly what happened, and if he’s okay. Noel tells him, taking pains to quickly assure him that Felicity’s safe, and it shows such growth and kindness on both of their parts. Ben calls Felicity to check on her, and she congratulates him on acing his test. Gah, it’s all so sad and nice and it kills me. 

In other news, Meghan’s beloved teenage sister shows up, and she’s super pregnant! Meghan is a great older sister, and gives excellent advice, but when Lila runs away, Meghan finally calls their mom – and gives her a real come-to-Jesus talk about how heartbreaking it is that Lila was too terrified to tell her own mother that she was pregnant. Mrs. Rotundi seems to hear her, and there might finally be some healing happening in this family. Mrs. Rotundi is even nice to Sean!

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Just Like the Good Old Days

It’s nice seeing this ol’ 8-ball again.

(ps – I love Felicity’s hair here.)

That’s it for this week! How are you guys feeling about Season 4? I think it’s so sad and lovely, so real and good. Team S4! I always love an underdog. And speaking of underdogs, anyone else kinda hope Owen shows back up? He’s the first Non-Ben, Non-Noel, Non-SexyRexy Felicity love interest who wasn’t total trash. 

Meet Sarah here next Wednesday morning as she covers “A Perfect Match” and “Future Shock.”

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Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.