Say Boooz, Say Me, Say It Together, Felicity

Episode 405: Boooz
You need to see the perfection that is Ben
By Dyslexia

Brew-Ha-Ha
Felicity meets with an art professor while strange cowbell/violin music drones in the background. I thought I heard a cowbell in there, anyway. It's quite distracting, actually. If the intent was to have creepy music to accommodate the Halloween theme and/or the drama of the episode, it's not working. I got a free Spooky tunes CD on my box of Franken Berry that would have better done the job. So I'm a self-elected music critic. Moving on…

Felicity interviews for a TA job while this wacky professor talks about the pretty scarf she found at Bloomingdale's. I don't understand the point of this scene other than we realize Felicity gets the job.

Elena thinks the scarf lady, Professor May, has the hots for Felicity. Who knows? But hopefully this time she won't succumb to a psycho's advances. ["For the record, I would still do a weird old kleptomaniac before I ever considered screwing Noel. Ewww." --Carmexa] Elena and Felicity get ready for a Halloween party and discuss costume ideas. Richard rolls in a keg for the party. Apparently he's fond of performing odd jobs that get little recognition, including selling Christmas trees, assisting with Docuventaries, and seeking out Noel's phantom pizza chick. God, this guy really needs a girlfriend. ["I think he should get a life first. Then maybe a girlfriend would put up with him." --Carmexa] ["He wants Noel. He loves Noel. It's so obvious. And Noel loves him too. I'm sure of it. When Dr. Stinky hinted Noel was 'in the drawer', I think she actually meant 'in the closet'. Javier's gaydar bing-bing-bings anytime Richard or Noel get within 20 feet of Dean and Deluca." - Bitchavia]

Richard's costume is gonna be kick-ass, but he won't say what the homemade attire will be. This has disaster written all over it. Javier busts in, looking distraught, and Richard leaves.

Javier had a fight with Samuel, he sulks, and needs a place to stay. He's holding a potted plant, and I have no idea why. I'm guessing it's a housewarming gift; either that or Javier doesn't trust Samuel to take care of his plant. Some nurturer Sammy is.

Glue Sticks is mad that Samuel couldn't remember what costume Javier wore last Hallow's Eve. Now, I know Javier is an overly emotional, well…spazzy, actually, but getting pissed at your spouse over a friggin Halloween costume? That seemed a little over the top for me. The girls comfort Javier and hug him. He's still holding the plant. I guess the plant makes for a nice aesthetic, and the clip earns the cut in the opening credits. ["Javier has a plant fetish. He keeps toting one around in the next episode, too. Maybe he finds comfort in chlorophyll. Freak." --Carmexa]

Now It Gets Good
Ben's at an Al-Anon meeting talking about his new career direction. A few things: I love that Ben is still attending Al-Anon. We hadn't seen him in therapy since that cute boy from Friends was packing heat. The Al-Anon scenes are reminiscent of Felicity's "Dear Sally" tapes, allowing Ben to relay (that one's for you, Carmexa) his feelings. ["You bitch. Someone please email us and bitch at Dyzlexia about how annoying her mis-use of the word "relay" is, so I don't feel so alone. WAAAH!" --Carmexa] Felicity's indecisive, regretful voice is absent, but I have no complaints. I guess Felicity, Noel, and now Ben each have had their "Dear Sally" narration moments. Ben tells the group that he decided to be pre-med despite his speculation that "most people don't think [he] can't do it." ["I always thought he could do it!" -Litigia] He adds: "Maybe I didn't think I could do it either." Poor Ben. Don't you just want to rock him to sleep? ["I would say that sleep has very little to do with what I'd like to do to Ben. Rocking, yes. Sleep, not so much." --Carmexa]

Something happened in Chemistry class that changed his mind, he says, and I'm feeling both excited and nervous for Ben. Obviously this is foreshadowing and by the end of the episode we'll learn that he prevailed, so I'm glad.

Flashback to Ben taking his test in O-Chem. He's not looking happy; in fact he looks so distraught I wish I were there to whisper the answers to him. ["You were an English major who can't spell. How much help could you possibly be to him?" --Carmexa] ["I was an English major and I can't spell either (or type!). I would just whisper sweet nothings and stroke his hair gently. Or stroke, um, other stuff" - Bitchavia] Later, Trevor and Ben leave and talk about how much the test sucked. Apparently Professor Hodges said benzenes wouldn't be on the test, but it ended up comprising an entire section of the exam. The bastard-or to quote the famous Ben line, "What a dick!"

Later, Ben and Felicity lie in bed together. Whoa mama-didn't see this scene coming, but me likey! Do the directors always ask Ben to lift an arm above his head in these bed scenes? ["Woo hoo! Shirtless Ben! It's weird that we see Ben's armpits so much on this show, but who cares when the rest of him looks so good, unlike when Noel took off his shirt once and he had man-boobs." - Bitchavia] Not that I'm complaining…just looks a bit uncomfortable for our dear fidgety Speedy. ["I never really thought that he looked uncomfortable at all, since he ALWAYS chooses to lie like that. I always just figured that was his preferred lying-in-bed-with-Keri posture." --Carmexa]. Felicity tries to comfort him, saying perhaps Ben misunderstood. I am annoyed that Felicity says this, although I'm sure she means well. Perhaps I have a low tolerance for her doing anything to hurt Ben, intentional or not. Ben reminds Felicity that O-Chem is a "weed-out" class. Felicity asks how she can help, and Ben tells her there's nothing she can do. Would it have killed the writers to add a kiss or a stroke of the cheek here? ["No shit! Where's my lovin'?" --Carmexa] They can't claim they ran out of time…if time were a factor they would have cut out Professor Scarf's ramblings. ["Or every scene with Noel. What a goddamn waste!" -Litiga]

It Doesn't Pay To Be A Trend-Setter
Sean and Meghan walk down the street, arguing about towels. I am really starting to not care about them anymore. We find out Meghan kept her last name, which is pretty in-character, so I'm glad they mention it. Suddenly a chick from Teen Bop magazine (I had a subscription about 13 years ago when I couldn't get enough of Ricky Schroeder) ["13 years ago. Wow. Those were the days. Uh huh." --Carmexa] takes a photo of Meghan, claiming her shirt with socks for sleeves is the next big thing. Meghan won't sign the waiver form to publish the pictures in the magazine. The woman says, "Are you serious?" and Meghan replies, "Are you annoying?" I find this quip very funny.

Begin cowbell trickle--it's not the Blue Oyster Cult revival--it's Felicity on her first day as a TA. One of her students walks in and immediately recognizes her. He did the sets for the beauty pageant and remembers that Felicity won Miss Evening Gown. She tries to deny it, but really, how could anyone forget a name like Felicity Porter, not to mention that sweet face? ["Well, maybe she thought he wouldn't recognize her without that giant candy-floss hair she was sportin' in the pageant." - Bitchavia]

Minutes later Felicity finds out that the goofy scarf lady was arrested for shoplifting at Bloomingdale's. Reminded me of my Shakespeare professor from college-she was a klepto. And a pyro. ["Nothing spices up iambic pentamerter like throwing a few matches on a pile stolen goods. Burn, baby, burn!" --Carmexa] Anyway, Felicity's supposed to lead the class until a replacement is found. A replacement? Aren't those called substitute teachers? The woman tells Felicity to keep the students "busy"-as if this is first grade and she's gonna offer them some animal crackers and a story? Kind of lame, but why dwell…

You know who hangs out at Felicity and Elena's apartment? Pretty much everyone except Felicity and Elena. And don't you think the girls need a third roommate now that Meghan is married? Given Felicity's financial situation I'd say they better find someone soon. So, Javier and Noel are hanging out at Felicity's apartment and Javier is obsessing over Samuel not calling. Funny, Javier thought Samuel would be the one who'd go crazy without him. Noel is with Javier because the writers didn't know what else to do with him. ["Kill him! Shit, I'm brilliant." --Carmexa] Javier notices that Lionel Richie is playing in Atlantic City and wants Noel to go to the concert with him. Of course whiny-ass doesn't want to go, but frankly, what else does he have to do? While trying to convince Noel to take the trip to Atlantic City, Javier confesses that he knows all about he and Felicity ["What happened to his lips being like two glue-sticks?" -Litigia], and going to the Halloween party would only make him feel more sorry for himself (ahem…is this possible?). Noel would feel bad seeing Felicity and Ben in love and "looking very thin in [their] costumes." ["BWAAHHHHH!!!" --Carmexa] Heh. Javier drags Noel out of the room, on their apparent quest to party "All Night Long." Heh. Good luck with that.

That's All, Folks
Back in O-Chem, Ben searches for his exam and flips the pages to search for his grade. Uh-oh. He doesn't look happy, and neither does Trevor. They both got F's.

Know what makes me love the new Ben even more? The fact that he doesn't give up. His motivation and drive is so damn sexy (oh, and admirable). He charges up to talk to Professor Hodges and asks if he can retake the exam. Of course Hard-Ass says no. Ben adds that he would never ask for the re-do if Hodges hadn't said benzenes wasn't going to be on the test. Hodges will have none of it, basically claiming they are dumb-ass slackers who will never save lives and will probably fail the class. After Hard-Ass asserts that the conversation is over, Ben asks why he has to be such a dick. Whoops--that sends Hodges over the edge. He kicks both Ben and Trevor out of class. That music is playing again…hey, now I know what it reminds me of…kind of a warped Survivor-esque melody. Two requests: 1) do not use that music again and 2) if this is a Survivor remake, can we vote Noel off the island? The tribe has spoken.

Good ole Epstein Bar-the solace for all troubled college kids with fake IDs. Ben and Trevor tip a few and talk about their fathers. Apparently Trevor's dad is a womanizing, hot-shot doctor who thinks Trevor should work on dead people. A-ha. So Trevor and Ben have a bond-both have fathers who are, well dysfunctional. ["Add Trevor to my list of characters on this show who have evil fathers. I'm telling you, J.J.'s got issues." -Litigia] Wonder if Trevor's dad would try to make the moves on Felicity too? ["Probably. She's cute. Wouldn't you make a move on her?" --Carmexa] ["If I weren't heterosexual, yeah, I'd do her." - Bitchavia]

Some may think Trevor is trouble, but I like him. ["Me too. I think that keeping Trevor around and throwing Noel off a tall building is a great idea." --Carmexa] ["I think Trevor is troubled, more than trouble. Kind of like first-season Ben, only not as gorgeous." -Litigia] Even if he is a bad influence, Ben is too strong for that. This episode proves more than ever that Ben is determined and mature. Who cares if his friend wants to party "All Night Long"? Anyway, Ben apologizes to Trevor for getting him kicked out of class. Then Ben apologizes to Trevor again, obviously extremely regretful of his previous outburst. Seriously, if Ben continues to be so perfect I'm gonna fall over. ["Kerplunk." --Carmexa]

In the next scene Sean is pacing, waiting for Meghan. He's got huge hair (not Felicity beauty-pageant huge, but pretty damn poofy, nonetheless). Meghan comes out wearing a Jackie Kennedy outfit. Ah, so Sean's JFK…took me a second. I like the costumes. Sean attempts a JFK impersonation that's actually of FDR but sounds like Bugs Bunny at the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon. It's a horrible impression, but Sean is just so damn loveable. In his continuing entrepreneur spirit, Sean tells Meghan that he knows a guy who could make the sock shirts for a great price, but Meghan quickly dismisses. It's her look, and she won't sell out. Right. Doesn't she realize her look has been mainstream for like 8 years now. Meghan leaves, because Sean and Meghan apparently love each other most when they're pissed.

When We Wanna Party, We Only Wanna Get Down
Noel and Javier arrive at a casino in Atlantic City and find out that Lionel is sold out. Noel is baffled that Lionel would be sold out, and I feel guilty, but his dismay was kinda funny. Sue me. ["I'm baffled too. People would pay that much to see Lionel Ritchie?? Maybe they're curious, and it's a like a circus freak show because they all want to see the guy whose wife beat him down after she found out he was screwing around on her. I'd pay $400 to meet the wife." - Bitchavia] A scalper offers to sell the tickets for $400 each. Are you kidding me? Being the whiny bitch that he is, Noel wants to leave. Javier wants to gamble to win the money.

The cazbah is rockin at Elena and Felicity's mansion. They've got tons of friends hanging out and wearing fancy costumes. Felicity complains about her disrespectful students. Richard shows up dressed as Darth Vader. Mildly amusing, but Felicity about pees her pants. I'm wondering if this wasn't even acting and she hadn't seen the costume previously. I have no clue, because it's not all that funny. A woman walks by dressed as Princess Leia and Richard thinks it's a sign from above.

Sean finds Meghan at the party and apologizes. They kiss and make up. Don't worry; they'll fight again.

Ben and Trevor show up at the party, and Ben gives Felicity a big hug telling her she looks great. Awww…and that's not just the booze talking. Immediately she knows that they've been drinking, and Trevor tells her they got kicked out of O-Chem. She's surprised and concerned, but Ben doesn't want to talk about it. Trevor asks twice where the keg is. Man, he's an annoying drunk…way too high-energy for me. ["He's one of those guys who'll start throwing his arms around people and screaming "I love you, man!!!" any minute now." - Bitchavia]

Javier's kissing each dollar before he puts it in the slot machine, and it's not working. Eww. Kissing germy money is almost as gross as chewing on pen caps. Of course Noel is bitching, saying he's doing it wrong because he should put in three dollars, not one. He's so damn helpful, you know. Javier takes the whiner's advice and wins the jackpot. Must have not been too much money because they never get to see Lionel, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Richard's thinking he's playing it cool talking to Princess Leia. ["He's actually reciting Darth Vader lines from "Star Wars" and I kind of recite them along with him because I've seen that movie like 100 times. I know, I'm a freak. But a loveable one!" -Litigia] Leia offers him a drink and he accepts, only he can't get his mask off. Sorry, but this is lame. How does this happen? He got the mask on, after all. Did his head swell? He asks Elena for help.

Trevor's really pounding the shots now, and he's got a whole posse of followers. Fortunately, Ben's too smart to be one of them. Felicity looks for Ben and sees him sitting on the floor in the bedroom, deep in thought and sad.

The poor boy looks like he's been crying, and Felicity sits down and asks if Ben wants to talk about it. He says the run-in with his professor made him feel like he was a kid again, where he knew he was right but it didn't matter. It reminded him of "the same old crap [his] father used to pull." Felicity just listens. I'd like her to hold him or tell him how great he is or something, but it probably wouldn't help. He's lost and she's lost, and that's just altogether sad and wrong. ["But at the end, he helps her off the floor, and they're all sweet together. Like strawberry jam, only more attractive." --Carmexa]

Abbott and Costello are working toward getting the Vader mask off. Of course it's not working. It's just Richard's luck; Princess Leia is a sure thing but his lips aren't accessible. The poor pathetic kid never gets a break. Elena wants to cut the mask off, but Richard doesn't want to ruin the homemade costume. By the way, how the hell did he make this elaborate costume? Did he melt plastic and pour it into a mold? This helmet isn't made out of pipe cleaners and cardboard. But whatever. I don't know about you, but I'd sacrifice the helmet for some oxygen. Elena tries pulling the mask off again, and Richard falls down. I'm pretty sure that Elena says "SHIT!" here. It ranks up there with reading a football coach's lips when he tells the referee his call was fucking bullshit. I love those moments; I giggle like a 10-year-old in an R-rated movie. ["Watch Pat Riley some time. He does the same thing to the basketball refs. It's funny shit to watch a guy in Armani with slicked back hair jumping up and down like a girl, But we digress." --Carmexa]

Back in the bedroom, Felicity and Ben are still talking. I prefer that they'd be getting it on, but those two can never be happy, apparently. Ben suggests they go get something to eat. He struggles to get up off the floor, which is damn adorable. They happen upon some Hawaiian-shirt dude who looks like he's been in college for at least 10 years. Dude's stacking beer cans on a passed-out Trevor. Ben quickly realizes Trevor's in trouble, begins CPR ["Only he doesn't check Trevor's pulse first. Dude. You can kill a person by doing CPR on them if they have a heartbeat. But it's a nice ass shot, so I'll overlook it. What was I talking about again?" --Carmexa] ["He also doesn't give him any breaths, which was odd considering he checked to see that he wasn't breathing. I'm guessing if it were Keri lying there on the floor, Speedy wouldn't have a hard time with the mouth-to-mouth." -Litigia], and tells Felicity to call 911.

The hospital's emergency room is filled with injured patients dressed in costumes. A doctor approaches Ben and Felicity and tells them Trevor is in a coma and may not make it. Had it not been for Ben, Trevor would have probably died. They are told to go home and get some sleep, and a sad Ben leaves with some reluctance, hand in hand with Felicity. ["Aw, I love it when they hold hands. It's almost as good as when they're getting it on. It reminds me of a line from My So-Called Life - Rayanne: What is holding hands? I don't get it. What are hands? It's not even an airo-genius zone." Sharon: "Erogenous, and it is for me." Oops, sorry…back to this show." - Bitchavia]

Takin' Care of Business
The party is still rockin', which surprises me a bit given one of the guests was recently carried out in a stretcher. You'd think the cops would be there too, checking for underage drinkers. Richard's putting his head in the freezer thinking it would help shrink his head. ["Heh. Shrinkage." --Carmexa] Leia tells him she's leaving, and Richard gets no action. Too bad.

Javier and Noel are hanging out in the men's room discussing their finances. Apparently they already lost the money they won in the jackpot. The two argue for awhile until Javier notices Mr. Richie himself enter the bathroom. Shouldn't Lionel have his own bathroom? Javier charges over to Lionel, who's just about to start "his business," and asks if he'll autograph Javier's chest. Right. I'm sure a chest autograph would really impress his husband. He's going about this all wrong. Lionel, who prefers to write on paper rather than skin, offers Javier some love advice. He says whenever there is conflict, just tell your lover, "Honey, you're right." That's supposed to work every time. Come on! That wouldn't work for me, but I'm not married to a gay Spanish male or a passe pop-sensation, so what do I know? ["Damned little." --Carmexa] ["By the way, throughout this whole scene, Noel just stands there looking like an ass." -Litigia]

Sean's inspecting a sock shirt just as Meghan walks in. He throws the shirt aside and looks guilty. Meghan confronts him and he tells her he wants to market the shirt. Of course Meghan gets pissy again, insisting her look is her own. Sean disagrees, telling she's not all that original, and she leaves again. Yawn. ["You'd think that now Meghan's been disowned she'd be looking for ways to make some money. You'd think Sean would have to get some sort of real job too to pay his debts. But then again, I guess we have to learn to really suspend disbelief. Afterall Sean's been 27 for, like, two years now." - Bitchavia]

It's Felicity's first day of directing a critique and she looks pretty nervous. She asks for a volunteer to review a drawing but no one responds, so she starts critiquing it herself. She says some nice things about the drawing, but the artist himself heckles her about the beauty pageant again. He drew a tiara with Felicity in mind, he says smugly. This guy must have the hots for her if he's giving her such great attention. The heckling continues as some Amy Grant-lookalike talks about how she's jeopardizing her credibility as an artist by "selling out." She annoys the piss out of me. ["Maybe Felicity should take some teaching lessons from Professor Hard Ass over at O-Chem. Then she could have just yelled, "Shut the hell up, you little brats!" and then kicked them all out of class." - Bitchavia] ["Seriously, Felicity was such a total wimp in this scene. I would have told that bitch to shut the hell up." -Litigia]

The Survivor music kicks in again as Ben walks into Hodges' class. The professor reminds Ben that he already kicked him out of class and doesn't want to do it again. How do you get expelled from a class twice? Ben tells Hodges that Trevor got alcohol poisoning and he is in a coma. I realize it's not really Hodges' fault, but I think Ben just wanted him to know how his dickheadedness can affect his students. Hard Ass wonders if Ben's trying to weasel his way back into O-Chem, and Ben says, "I don't care about this stupid class." Ben has such passion and concern in his eyes. Ben's a little messed up in this scene because I think he's talking to his dad through his professor. Or something. Maybe I'm overanalyzing, but I love Speedy in this scene. Can you blame me, frankly? ["No. I think Ben was transferring his issues with his father onto Hodges. I can see why. Slap me and call me Sigmund!" --Carmexa]

Javier and Noel are hanging out an awful lot - they're back from Atlantic City and at Epstein. Maybe those two should just get married. I love Javier, but he irked me when he told Noel, "I don't know how you do it, Noel…Live without the one you love." Criminy. ["Yeah, I'm wondering how Noel and Richard can deny their love for each other any longer too." - Bitchavia] Just after that Samuel calls, and Javier takes Lionel's love advice by saying, "Honey, you're right." ["And when Javier started making sex talk with Samuel over the phone, Noel looked as uncomfortable as a closeted homosexual would look in that situation. Hmm, maybe there's hope for him and Richard after all." -Litigia]

Elena finds Felicity in bed. She looks sick and miserable. God, is she pregnant again? Felicity says she can't face her students because they humiliate her in class. Elena says she needs to "Stop apologizing for who [she is] and what [she's] done." She adds that she has to own her mistakes and learn from them. Go Elena! That's great advice, but I'm unsure if Felicity's actually going to heed this advice from the big mistake she made with Mr. Whiny Pants.

Felicity walks into her classroom wearing her evening gown. She says she was in a beauty pageant and wants to know if anyone has questions. Just then, Jeremy Cavallo walks in. He's the guy who rejected Felicity from the Honor's Art program. Anyway, he's the new teacher. Uh-oh, how embarrassing. She should have "owned" the Noel mistake before the pageant mistake. But apparently that's neither here nor there.

Meghan enters her class and sits down, suddenly noticing others around her who looks like her. She never noticed this before? Next we see her pitching her goth clothes and wearing her Jackie outfit. Sean comes in asks what's going on. She's gonna ditch her old look and go for the Jackie look. Whatever. I found this scene to be the dumbest in the whole episode. She's going from the grungy punk look to the conservative good-wife look? Lame. ["I thought it was funny." -Litigia]

Let's Drink to New Beginnings
Ben goes back to the hospital and finds Hodges there. Apparently he wanted to visit Trevor, who's now awake and doing fine, but the staff wasn't allowing visitors. Hodges must have been talking to the doctors because he found out that Ben handled the emergency situation well. So get this, the professor confesses that maybe Ben was right - maybe he could have been a more helpful guy and maybe he did make a mistake. Victory is Ben's. He gets up to leave and then says, "See you in class." Cool. He's back in. Ben says, "Thank you, Sir." Aside from the one moment Ben called Hodges a dick, he's been pretty damn respectful, always addressing him as "Sir." What a nice boy. I think if I brought him home my mom would be impressed. Heh. I wish. ["I like to think that if I brought Ben home to my mother, she'd have the courtesy not to jump his bones. But I doubt it. My mom has pretty good taste." --Camexa] Hodges starts to walk out, but turns around and says, "You know, I have a son about your age." Interesting. I think they have a dysfunctional father/son thing going on here. Does this mean that Hodges was a dick to his son too? Or does Ben remind him of his son? ["Probably a bit of both. It probably also means that Hodges' son has repressed sexual feelings for his mother. But that's a given!" -Carmexa] I have no idea, but I like the relationship.

Flash-forward to the Al-Anon meeting, where Ben says when he was growing up his dad used to get drunk and disappear for days. He believes that when you're young and in a situation like his, you want to fix things and help people. He figures that's why his heart is set on being a doctor, so that he can help others. Awww. Then he says one of the best lines of the season: "It's funny that something so good could come out of something so bad." ["I really, really hope this is foreshadowing what will happen with Ben and Felicity." -Litigia]

Did y'all know I love Ben? He never gives himself enough credit. That line just shows how modest he is; he acts like his newfound direction and aspiration to help others was a spontaneous result of his poor upbringing. And that's just wrong. I hope we see him gain more confidence and self-respect this season. ["Yeah, nothing boosts your self-esteem like finding out that the love of your life boned your sworn enemy." --Carmexa]

Ben visits Trevor in the hospital and tells him that they got back into Hodges class. They joke around a little. They've got a cute friendship going on. Ben leaves Trevor's room and finds Felicity waiting for him. Good girl. They smile and hold hands as they exit. ["Watching this scene, it's like it's the two of them against the world. They've got each other and are ready for anything. Why do they have to show us them so in love when we know the horrible things that are coming next? It's torture!" -Litigia]

At the Al-Anon meeting, Ben tells the group that he's not the best student, but maybe it's more important that he cares so much. I know one could argue that's a corny statement, but I loved it. I think there's a lot to be said about letting passions drive a person. We all know Ben has it in him.

 


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