Felicity, looking stressed and cradling her forehead, with Lauren standing behind her


Title: Felicity S4.E15 “The Paper Chase” + S4.E16 “Ben Don’t Leave”
Released: 2002
Series:  Felicity

Drinks Taken: 25


Follow the whole rewatch here!

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, Ben decided not to be a deadbeat dad, Felicity got into architecture, and Zoe and Noel officially became an item. But I’m still hung up on the fact that Meghan and Javier auditioned for a mattress commercial and we didn’t get to see ANY footage. 

This week, we’ve got some prime Felicity and Meghan moments, so let’s drink to their wacky and enduring friendship. 

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

The Felicity Season 4 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, to the episodes!

Sean, in a suit, is presenting a suitcase while Noel, also in a stand, stands behind him looking concerned

4.15 “The Paper Chase”

Ben’s baby daddy gig is getting real–Lauren gives him a print-out of the ultrasound, and it’s a boy. In spite of his active attempts to participate as a future father, Ben’s plan to keep Lauren in NYC fails, and she decides to move to Arizona, where her bad news ex is also moving?! Cool cool cool. Ben is hoping his lawyer can help, but the best legal advice he gets is to move to Arizona too, and he’s not willing to do it. Even though he keeps telling Felicity that they’re gonna get through this, I’m… not quite so sure.  

In a great callback to freshman year, Felicity and Meghan are studying in Felicity’s room and annoying the crap out of each other (Meghan is a terrible typist, and I can’t express how much I love that detail). Felicity has a massive art history paper due the next day, and she hasn’t even started because she’s been so worried that Ben is drifting away. After referring to Lauren as “Boozy Hag” and “Booze Cruise” because she’s a good friend (don’t @ me), Meghan suggests that Felicity take a note from Earl and copy a dissertation from the library. But surely Felicity remembers what happened freshman year! There’s no way she would plagiarize! Except, yep, she does. GIRL WHYYYYYY. Things go from terrible to terribad when Professor Carnes, impressed by the paper, submits it to the UNY Journal, and someone on the review board recognizes the material. Even worse, Felicity’s professor can’t imagine that she would have cheated and fully stands behind her. SO MANY DRINKS FOR FELICITY STRESSING ME OUT RIGHT NOW. But in the midst of this drama, there’s the most wonderful moment between Meghan and Felicity: the former thinks they won’t be friends after college, and the latter is like, duh, of course we will. Then Meghan gets this look on her face that is so happy and un-Meghan and it’s just the sweetest thing. Love these two so hard. 

Over at Webb Graphics, the boss (and Zoe’s dad) asks to see Noel, who assumes that it’s about him dating Zoe. But it’s actually about Sean, womp womp. Mr. Webb thinks that Sean is, “All instinct, no skill. And his instincts are not good.” I can’t say I disagree? But Noel–loyal, compassionate, Season 1 Noel–stands by Sean, because they’re a team. Webb insists that Noel supervise Sean and take the lead in meetings, which turns out to be impossible, because Sean can’t help himself. After a pitch goes awry, Noel pulls him aside and asks him to dial it down, and consequently he tells him about the meeting with Webb. Sean does NOT take this well (big surprise) and quits, UGH. Thank god for Meghan, who calls him an idiot for leaving a job he loves and tells him he simply needs to know when to turn it off and on. Sean returns to work and asks Noel to keep him in check after thanking him for his loyalty, so that’s progress! Fingers crossed that he can slow that roll, because it is really awesome to see Sean in a (consistent and paying!) job that he loves. 

Javier takes up tennis in order to meet a guy (of course he does), while Rita starts dating a dental hygenist named Michael. Unfortunately, Javier has met him before–when Michael was dating anther man. Javier confesses the truth to Rita, who doesn’t want to hear it and assumes that Javier is just jealous. So Javier goes to see Michael (like, gets a dentist appointment, because Javier doesn’t do shizz halfway) and confronts him about being gay. Michael initially denies it, but eventually he confesses to Rita, who then apologizes to Javier. Gah I adore her! She deserves better, and I’m glad Javier agrees. 

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Javier’s Tennis Ensemble

Javier rocking a white baseball cap, a white polo shirt and white shorts



To prep Noel for the meeting with Webb, Sean teaches him his technique for confident professional communication, and of course it’s a parade of cringe. 

Sean, taking Noel’s hand: Firm Handshake.

Sean, staring forcefully into Noel’s eyes: Eye contact

Sean, holding up a fist to Noel: Power Fist

Sean, squeezing Noel’s shoulder: Solidarity Squeeze

The fact that Noel even tries to do a power fist in the meeting is the icing on the cake. 


David Bowe, a balding middle aged white man, holding cards and looking confused

David Bowe (who played the photographer in the pilot!) is back, and this time, he plays a very suspicious librarian. There’s a terrific scene where Felicity tries to throw the dissertation away (per Meghan’s advice), but like a dum-dum, she throws it away IN A LIBRARY TRASH CAN, IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE DISSERTATIONS, and Jerry (David Bowe) catches her in the act and makes her retrieve it (covered in pasta) from the can. I’d be laughing if I wasn’t so busy taking drinks because SO MUCH FELICITY ANXIETY. 

Michael Siver, a white guy with brown hair, looking excited

You might recognize Michael B. Silver (playing a character with his same name) from Legally BlondeSuitsER or, our favorite Felicity cameo show, Veronica Mars

Jane Lynch, a white woman with short blonde hair in a turtleneck and blazer

What what Jane Lynch is in the building! She plays Felicity’s way too trusting and supportive art history professor, and it’s interesting to see her in a role that is 100% serious. 

Felicity leaning over Ben, who is asleep in a hospital bed

4.16 “Ben Don’t Leave”

Lauren (Felicity’s “archenemy” according to Javier) strolls into D&D and informs Felicity that she’s leaving for Arizona the next day, which is earlier than planned, and she’s still expecting Ben to help her pack up boxes. Clearly in a MOOD, Lauren tells Felicity to stop pretending she cares, and then admits that she has a problem with her and Ben: “You’re incredibly selfish people.” Um EXCUSE ME? Even Saint Felicity has had enough–“I don’t care if she’s pregnant. I don’t like her,” she confesses to Javier. “I really don’t.” It’s about time, girl! Let that cattiness out of the bag. Ben, however, is still a sweet angel and helps Lauren load up her car, but then while Lauren’s driving, they get in an accident (!) because Lauren has been drinking (!!), and while she and the baby are fine, Ben ends up in a coma (!!!). Felicity, extremely shook, speaks for all of us when she tells Lauren that she feels sorry for the baby, because he’ll have her for a mother, and yeah sure that’s mean but also let’s be honest DESERVED at this point. Lauren leaves but comes back later that night and admits to Felicity that she has no one to blame but herself, and on cue, Saint Felicity returns and offers her apartment as a place for Lauren (who has moved out, obviously) to stay, while she remains at the hospital by Ben’s side. The next morning, Ben wakes up! Quelle relief! And Felicity finds their friends in the waiting room, which makes my heart all kinds of squishy, and she also finds a letter from Lauren, who has realized that this baby thing is hard on Felicity, too. Lauren writes that Felicity has made her realize that she can face her problems, and while she’s heading out of town, she’ll be in touch. Okay? BYE GIRL BYE.

As if this episode wasn’t stressful enough, we still have Felicity’s plagiarism to deal with! She wants to bring the dissertation to Professor Carnes and admit her guilt and be done with it, but Meghan firmly believes that nothing will come of it. This drags on for the entire episode, exacerbated by the fact that Carnes chalks the board’s accusation up to personal politics between herself and one of the members, and it is EXCRUCIATING. Finally, after coming straight from the hospital (where Ben has just woken up) to the board review meeting, Felicity confesses the truth, and consequently, Carnes has to fail her, which puts her graduation in jeopardy. Honestly, actual punishment is way less stressful to me than the threat of punishment, because I am a goody goody (like Felicity, who has clearly forsaken our tribe). 

On a less dire note, Zoe and Noel haven’t had sex yet, which upsets Sean way more than Noel because, you know, Sean. They’re all at a company party when Sean convinces Noel that Zoe’s got hang-ups from her previous boyfriend, Dwayne, who happens to be at the party, and like a chump, Noel just believes that and immediately confronts Zoe. Surprise, surprise, the guy assumed to be Dwayne is not Dwayne–he’s a client that Zoe met a week ago–and Sean is completely and utterly wrong. Noel apologizes with flowers, wine and ice cream (nice) and continues to exert zero pressure, and eventually Zoe admits that she stopped taking the meds for her depression when they first started dating, because she was so happy, and that’s why she’s hasn’t felt like getting physical. But now she is back on her meds, and things are looking bright for these two, which makes me happy!

Finally and most importantly, RICHARD IS BACK!!!!! And he wants Elena to be his date to a “Save Our World” event, because there’s a “babe” who will be there and he wants to make her jealous–and he realizes that once he graduates, he’s facing a very dry season when it comes to the ladies. Elena is rightfully offended, and Richard doesn’t get it: “I wouldn’t ask if you were ugly!” She eventually agrees (because she’s a good friend, drink). At the party, Richard admits that he invited her because she’s black (choice quotes include “It doesn’t get any more PC than that!” and “Makes me look like a man of the people, like Bono”). Elena has the appropriate response, which is punching him in the face and leaving. Later, Richard shows up at her door, and Elena tells him that he’s racist, to which Richard replies that she’s “not really black” and references the fact that she only has white friends, is dating a white dude and doesn’t like Spike Lee movies. He storms out but returns later (his black eye now infected) to apologize, and Elena reflects on his previous statements and wonders if all of her friends are white because she wants to fit in (which is how she got through high school). She realizes that she’s constantly trying to prove that she’s not different, while Richard wants the exact opposite: “I couldn’t be more generic.” He refers to Star Wars conventions as his African American house, and while I’m glad the writers didn’t go too heavy with this storyline, I do wish they had taken more time to explore it. Elena is Black woman, and I can think of only one other time (the scholarship episode freshman year) when her identity in that respect is addressed. This, coupled with the fact that she lacks a prominent role in Season Four, just seems like a tragic waste on the writers’ part. 

How many times do I have to take a drink?


BRB Traveling Back In Time To Steal Felicity’s Jacket

Felicity, rocking a trim, dark forest green suede jacket

I coveted this jacket (especially when combined with that shirt) back in 2002, and sixteen years later, I still wish I had it (and that I could look that fresh after spending the night in a hospital). 

The Truest Thing Anyone Said This Week

After Felicity worries that the writer of the dissertation will identify his work in Felicity’s published paper, Meghan replies: “If this guy Ryan is reading that [UNY Journal], he’s a loser who deserves to be plagiarized.” I mean, cheating isn’t cool but… yeah.

Javier, President of the Lauren Haters Club

Javier to Felicity, pointing from his head to his nether regions: I hope she gets a stretch mark from here down to there.

Make America Javier Again.

Can I just say once more that I am EXTREMELY STOKED TO SEE RICHARD?

So, with the car accident and Ben’s coma, do you feel like Season 4 is veering into Season 3 melodrama territory, or is it still striking a realistic balance? 

And while Felicity and Meghan’s friendship is very much in focus right now, are you missing Elena like I am?

Join me for a convo in the comments, then meet Meredith here next Wednesday for “The Graduate” and “Time Will Tell.” Only three Rewatch Project posts left, y’all!!

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Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.