Declaration of Co-dependence

Episode 401: Declaration of Independence
It's just like watching it on TV, except without, y'know, the motion

By Litigia

Felicity is making a tape to Sally, which I should have immediately recognized as a bad sign. (Okay, so I read the spoilers and saw the promos and already knew bad stuff was going to happen in this episode, but if I hadn’t, I would have just by this beginning). Don’t get me wrong, I liked the whole Sally tape thing when it was a regular part of the show. It’s just that most of those tapes were sad, pensive tapes and represented Felicity at her most self-absorbed, er, introspective. Oooh, except for the ones in “Final Answer” and “The Biggest Deal There Is” when she was talking about the most romantic night of her life and the one where she first had sex with Ben. But again, I digress. So, Felicity sounds very confused and upset as she tells Sally about how complicated things are and how she had a summer that was so great, that it was a problem. We then get this slow-motion flashback scene of Felicity and Noel running around the loft spraying whipped cream at each other as Felicity tells Sally how the summer with Noel wasn’t as awkward as she thought it would be. And here is where the writers begin to shove down our throats this ridiculous idea that Felicity and Noel are great friends who are so close and have such a great time together and other such crap. They shove it down our throats throughout the episode which I guess they felt they had to do, since at the end of last season, no one with a brain could possibly have believed that Felicity and Noel were good friends. [“Felicity sure forgives and forgets easily. If you’re a regular viewer, you’ll remember this is the same Noel who a few months ago was totally putting the emotional manipulation moves on Felicity; the same guy who huffily told her that if she wouldn’t return his affections then he wasn’t going to be her friend anymore; the same guy who tried to lure her to Seattle with him with a job offer; the same guy who then nastily yanked away the job offer when he found out her long-term boyfriend would come along; the same guy who…eh, I’ll stop now. All I know is that I’d love to have Felicity as my friend, because I could pull all sorts of shit on her and she’d still love me and consider me her bestest friend as long as I suntan and eat ice cream with her.” –Bitchavia] Anyway, Felicity tells Sally about all the carefree things they did together over the summer and how they spent the summer not thinking. [“This seems redundant given that choosing to spend any time at all with Noel is indicative that you’re not in your right mind.” –Carmexa] Matt Reeves thought it would be cool to film this whole whipped cream scene with Felicity and Noel in the background and two big bowls containing ice cream sundaes in the foreground. Maybe the ice cream sundaes are supposed to be a metaphor. I don’t know. I’m not quite sure why he made that choice, but someday, when he calls me for advice and insight, I’ll ask him. [“Maybe ice cream is supposed to be a metaphor for Felicity and Noel’s relationship. To me, the ice cream represents the forced, sweet, superficial crap that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.” –Dyslexia]

Felicity continues her tape to Sally by saying that things got bad when her dad started to send her these newspaper clippings about young women who were already doctors by the time they were 22. What is up with that? Passive-aggressive much, Dr. Porter? Anyway, the voice over ends and we see her on the roof of the loft, sunning herself with Javier and Noel. I take some small comfort in the fact that Javier is between Noel and Felicity. But I’ve seen the commercials and I know that small comfort won’t last long. Noel is not wearing a shirt and I do my best to hold back the vomit welling up in my throat. [“I didn’t do such a good job.” –Carmexa] On a happier note, I am so pleased that Javier is a regular on the show this season. I’m sorry for Ian Gomez that Norm was cancelled. But for my own selfish reasons, I’m glad that it was, because I love Javier. Felicity says “Oh my God” as she reads one of the clippings and Javier asks if she is reading the article on Gwyneth and that if she is, she should share. By Gwyneth, I assume he means Gwyneth Paltrow, which is kind of funny because Scott Speedman had a fling with her back when he was filming Duets. I have forgiven him for that, though. [“Don’t even get me started. I just feel bad that he got taken advantage of like that.” –Carmexa] [“Well, at least he got to go to all those fancy Oscar parties!” –Litigia] Anyway, Felicity reads her letter from her dad to Noel and Javier which ends with him asking her to call him and stop avoiding him. Noel asks if she’s been avoiding him and Felicity says she has because he’ll probe her about her life and it will make her nauseous. Javier then asks Noel to put lotion on his back to which Noel responds, “Speaking of nauseous.” You’re one to talk, Noel. Just viewing you without a shirt makes me nauseous and I don’t even have to rub lotion on your back. Javier tells Noel that the problem with his jokes is that they’re never funny. Hehe. I knew I would love having Javier around more this season! Felicity laughs and offers to put the lotion on his back. Noel exclaims how proud he is that he completed the crossword puzzle in ink. Felicity’s all, “Wow,” and says dinner is on her and they agree on the new Chinese place. Felicity invites Javier to stay but he says he has to run some errands for Elena before she gets back from Buffalo. I think Javier calls her “a pain in my persistence.” Felicity tells Javier he should give Elena a break because she’s getting married. I guess that means when Elena passed out after Tracy proposed, she meant yes. Of course, we know she can’t possibly get married because Tracy is on Scrubs, so more drama is undoubtedly ahead. Noel tells Felicity and Javier to decide what they’re going to do for dinner, because he’s going for a run. Apparently, Noel was too caught up in congratulating himself about his grand crossword puzzle accomplishment to hear Javier say that he wasn’t staying for dinner. As he leaves, he tells Felicity that the clipping from her dad means nothing and Felicity thanks him. I can’t believe Felicity is falling for his crap.

After Noel leaves, Javier gives Felicity a look and Felicity’s all “What?” Javier says that the one particular noun he hasn’t heard all afternoon is Ben-jahmeen. Felicity shuts him down by saying that he will be back in two days, he’s her boyfriend, she loves him, and Javier should stop. I think it would have been good if Felicity had repeated those words to herself at the end of the episode. “He’s my boyfriend. I love him. Stop.” But, I’m getting ahead of myself. So, it goes back to the Felicity voiceover in her tape to Sally as she tells her that she wasn’t sure why her father’s letters with the clippings about everyone who knew exactly what they were doing with their lives bothered her so much, but they did.

Felicity sits up startled in bed from a bad dream. Continuing their effort to shove down our throats how close confidantes Felicity and Noel are, the writers have her walk into Noel’s bedroom in her nightgown and whisper, “Noel.” We are then treated to a lovely shot of Noel asleep (once again shirtless) [“Once again, the vomit spews forth. What is wrong with these people? Are they trying to make bulimics out of the viewers? I would like to note, however, that if they give us forty million shots of Scott Speedman without a shirt, I will forgive them for the previous loss of nutrition.” –Carmexa] [“I’d settle for thirty million.” –Litigia] in his bed as Felicity more loudly asks if he is awake. He says, “uh huh” as he wakes up and turns to face her. She tells him to forget it and starts to walk away and I celebrate her sudden return to common sense. Unfortunately, Noel tells her to wait and asks if she had a bad dream. He tells her to come in and pats on his bed for her to sit there. Felicity obliges by walking into the room and sitting down by his bed and resting her head on the bed. I really don’t like this. At all. Felicity tells Noel she had a dream where an alligator attacked him and killed him and then started chasing her. Okay, I have two responses to this. First, I thought I was the only one who had dreams about Noel being ripped to shreds by wild animals. Second, this is such a rip-off of the scene from last season when Felicity told Ben about her rabid monkey dream. That was one of my all-time favorite Ben and Felicity scenes last year and I really do not appreciate J.J. giving something comparable to Felicity and Noel. If J.J. would ever call me, [“Or me! Or me!” –Carmexa] I would tell him this. And many other valuable things. Anyway, Felicity starts whining about how worried she is about senior year and the future and how old she is, blah blah blah. Included in her whine list is the fact that Noel will get some big job and she won’t ever see him. Why she is whining about this, I fail to understand, but I guess that’s because I’m not the new, contrived Felicity who cares so much about Noel. Speaking of him, he tells her that everything is going to be fine, this whole thing she’s feeling is normal for senior year, and that she’s going to find something she loves. He tells her she’ll get into the honors art program. Felicity says she hasn’t even applied yet because it’s a big deal and mentions Jeremy Cavallo, like we’re supposed to know who he is and then wonders what if he looks at her stuff and says she’s not good enough. Noel tells her that is not going to happen and she should trust him. I wonder if he means she should trust him like she trusted him not to fool around with his ex-girlfriend back in the first season. [“Yeah, or the way she trusted him not to be an asshole and actually want her to come to Seattle with him for a job, with Ben, and without romantic involvement. But I guess that that’s asking a bit much.” –Carmexa] [“It is Noel we’re talking about here.” –Litigia] He assures her that this year is going to be the best year of her life. Because we all know senior year was the best year of Noel’s life, right? What with his marriage to Natalie and his e-mail stalking of Tyra Banks, not to mention his complete failure to win back Felicity’s affections and his losing his super duper internet job before it even started. Felicity wonders why she feels like this. I wonder where the Felicity I knew and loved went to over the summer.

And the credits roll.

Sean and Meghan enter the dorm apartment in the middle of a fight. Ah, so the writers have at least two of the characters acting somewhat like they did last season. That’s nice. Felicity, Elena, and Meghan are apparently living in the same apartment as last year. How cool that they get that same huge apartment! I never had a “dorm room” anywhere close to the size of that place when I was in college. [“Yeah, me neither! And I’m in college! In New York!” –Carmexa] I bet the other students at UNY are mad that Felicity and her pals get it two years in a row. Too bad for them they don’t have their own TV show. Elena comes in blah blahing about colors for the wedding or some such nonsense. Felicity walks in and welcomes Elena, Sean, and Meghan back. Elena bitches about Javier and his wedding coordinator duties to Felicity and then leaves. Okay, Elena is immediately on my bad side now, because I love Javier and so she should just shut up and be grateful someone as sweet and funny as him has agreed to be her wedding coordinator. [“Yeah, plus there’s that whole bizarre hatred of Tangi Miller that you have. Oh, wait. I have that, too.” –Carmexa] She should also be grateful that she’s having a wedding at all, considering she screwed around on Tracy, the ultimate perfect boyfriend of the world. Anyway, Sean and Meghan explain to Felicity that they are fighting because on the flight home, they were playing that game where you name the one person you would have sex with in your fantasy world and after Sean picked Elizabeth Hurley, Meghan picked Tracy. Can’t say as though I blame Meghan for that one. I’ve always loved Tracy. My choice, of course, would have been Scott Speedman, but that would have been weird if Meghan had literally picked “Scott Speedman.” [“I don’t understand why that’s so weird. I also don’t understand how there is any other option.” –Carmexa] Anyway, Sean is upset about this because Tracy is someone they know, blah blah blah, who cares. Sean and Meghan leave.

Felicity walks into a room at school where a man who we come to know later as Jeremy Cavallo is on the phone. She is carrying her portfolio and voiceovers (to Sally, I guess) that since she’s a senior, you’d think she’d be at a place in her life where no one person’s opinion really mattered. I’d also think she’d be at a place in her life when she wasn’t hanging out with Noel anymore, but clearly, no one on this show is listening to me. [“Or! Or me!” –Carmexa] Cavallo turns and asks Felicity what she wants and instead of confidently saying she wants him to look at her portfolio and consider her for the Honors Art program like the Felicity of last year would do, she says, “Nothing,” then turns around and leaves.

Felicity and Noel are back at the loft. Felicity is dressed for sunning again, wearing a bikini top and shorts. Noel is tying his tie. Felicity recounts how she chickened out with Cavallo and Noel turns around to model his suit jacket, shirt, and tie along with his swimsuit and sandals. He asks Felicity how it looks and she says she likes the tie. I like the fact that he’s wearing his shirt in this scene. Felicity says they have just an hour left of sun and Noel talks about how good he feels about his upcoming interviews. Felicity says they’ll love him so much, he’ll be turning down jobs. I guess Felicity is forgetting the fact that Noel hasn’t managed to get a job all summer long. Then again, maybe he’s been turning them down all along so he can throw whipped cream at Felicity. Felicity asks if she ruined her chances of getting into the program and, sweet Jesus, we are finally treated to our first taste of Ben. [“Insert orgasm here.” –Carmexa] He walks through the door of the loft, carrying a duffle bag in each hand. I hit the pause button just so I can view him in all his glory for a while. His hair is cut very short and he has a beard and he looks so damn hot, I almost pass out. . [“What’s all this crap about ALMOST?” –Carmexa] Literally. After emptying my drool cup, I return to recapping. Ben softly says, “Hey,” as Felicity turns around to see him. She appears in shock and asks him what he is doing there. He smiles nervously and says he came home early. During the summer, when I imagined how Ben would come back to New York, my favorite scenario was that he would come home early and surprise Felicity. How nice of him to oblige me this one fantasy. Felicity says, “Hi,” and runs into Ben’s arms smiling and giggling. [“Keri Russell runs like such a girl! Her arms are all pinned to her sides and her hands wiggle to and fro. It’s kinda cute. I bet someone finds it adorable, though. Cough.” –Carmexa] Ben picks her up and hugs her so tightly, one wonders how Keri Russell managed to breathe. As he’s hugging her, he takes a deep breath, as if he is inhaling her. [“And he kisses her neck a couple of times. Not that I noticed that.” –Carmexa] It doesn’t sound as good when you read it, but it was really great on screen. They kiss a couple times and Felicity comments on Ben’s new haircut. Ben says, “Hi,” to Noel, who unlike Sean last year, didn’t have the courtesy to just leave as soon as Ben walked in the door. Noel finally starts to leave and says he’s heading up to Tar Beach which Felicity explains to Ben is the roof. Then, for reasons I am still trying to understand, Felicity says she’ll see him up there in a little bit. What the hell? Maybe she was just being polite, but I think Noel can manage one hour of sunning on the roof by himself. Your boyfriend whom you love and haven’t seen for three months just came home one day early to surprise you, dammit! Who is this person? Anyway, Noel goes all out of character on us and tells Felicity not to bother and that she and Ben should hang out and then leaves. [“I really wish they would keep him out of character. Or like, out of the show.” –Carmexa] Felicity looks up at Ben adoringly and then Ben takes Felicity’s face in his hands and says, “You know how much I’ve missed your face?” My heart completely melts as I add one more thing to my “Why I Love Ben” list. Felicity says that she can’t believe he’s there. [“And I can’t believe she still has clothes on.” –Carmexa] And then they kiss passionately. One of my friends who has super slo-mo on her VCR swears that Keri slips Scott the tongue in this scene, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll withhold judgment. [“I’m not the aforementioned friend, but I have seen her super duper VCR, and I can assure you that Keri does indeed shove her tongue down his throat. I promise. I would not lie to you. I’m an honest person. At least about this.” –Carmexa]

Now, my other Felicity friends and I have argued about this reunion scene quite a bit. Many of them were upset with Felicity because they didn’t think she was happy enough to see Ben and that she hesitated when he entered the apartment. I think she was just in shock at seeing him and that she was plenty happy to see him. [“OK. She did hesitate. And it wasn’t because she was in shock. She was awkward. But once she got into those perfect arms of his, hesitation disappeared. I wonder why. Winky, winky.” –Carmexa] I could have lived without her offer to meet Noel up on the roof in a little while, but other than that, I loved this scene. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve watched the part where Ben tells Felicity how much he missed her face, because I can’t count that high. Mmmm, let me watch it again.

Elena bitches to Javier at Dean & Deluca about how his cousin has screwed up her wedding dress. Blah blah blah.

Ben and Felicity are lying in bed. Judging by the glow on Felicity’s face, it is obvious they have just fucked each other’s brains out. Felicity’s head is on Ben’s chest and he is gently stroking her back with his fingers. I get goose bumps just watching that. The music playing over this scene is “She’s True,” by Tony Lucca which I find amusing. [“Amusing? It’s fucking hilarious! FYI, Tony Lucca is hot. I mean, there’s hot, and then there’s Mr. Speedman, but Tony is in the upper stratosphere of hot that is not yet Scott. Yum.” –Carmexa] Tony Lucca is Keri Russell’s ex-boyfriend and it’s just a bit ironic to hear his song playing in a scene where Keri and Scott are in bed. Anyway, Felicity asks Ben if she can tell him something horrible and Ben giggles like a girl. Really, it was so cute. [“Yeah, because it seems for a brief moment that she’s contemplating mentioning that he was horrible in bed. But, since that’s a universal impossibility, we’ll move on.” –Carmexa] Felicity tells Ben that when he called her last week and told her that doing the EMT program had helped him decide he didn’t want to be a paramedic, she was relieved. Ben thinks that’s weird and wonders why. I also think it’s weird considering Felicity had been all judgmental toward Ben when her mom was in town because he didn’t have his whole future life planned out. Anyway, Felicity says that it makes her feel less alone in the fact that she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do with her life. Ben tells Felicity that the reason he said that he didn’t want to be a paramedic is because he realized something. Felicity asks what he’s talking about and he tells her she can’t laugh. She promises she won’t and Ben tells her that he realized he wants to be a doctor. Felicity is pretty much speechless until she manages to say, “Wow.” We hear the phone ringing in the background [“As opposed to the phone ringing in Ben’s room. Where the phone was last year. But then, I guess that wouldn’t be as convenient, since we wouldn’t get to see Noel’s fugly mug as he interrupts. Asshole.” –Carmexa] and Noel answering. Then, because he clearly has no concept of what it means to give Ben and Felicity any privacy whatsoever, Noel knocks on the door. At least he didn’t just bust in on them like he did last season, but still. Felicity says, “Yeah?” and Noel tells her that her dad is on the phone. Felicity says to tell him that she’ll call him back, but Noel tells her he’s in town. I ask why that means she can’t call him back, but since no one on this show is listening to me, Felicity grabs a shirt [“Ben’s shirt!” –Carmexa] and gets up to take the call. She opens the door and Noel hands her the phone and tells her not to let him make her feel bad about herself and asks if she’s all right. Well, I think she would have been all right if you had taken a message, Noel, instead of interrupting her intimate moment with Ben, but maybe that’s just my opinion. [“And mine.” –Carmexa]

Felicity has a very tense conversation on the phone with her dad where he is obviously giving her crap about her not having her life all figured out. She lies to him and tells him that she is in the Honors Art program. I remember last season when Ben told Felicity that she wasn’t a good liar. Maybe spending a summer with Noel made her a better one, because I’m pretty sure she’s going to be doing a lot of lying this season. Another thing I remember from last season is that Ben had Felicity’s painting hanging over his bed whereas now, it appears he has a Beatles poster there. That’s weird. Sorry, back to Daddy. Felicity agrees to meet her dad for dinner tomorrow night and walks back into the bedroom. During the whole phone conversation, we see Ben in bed in the background shot. He looks really hot and he kind of scratches his face three times. I notice little details like that because I always watch every scene Ben is in at least five times. [“Amen to that. It says something for Ben that I prefer to watch him lying there than Felicity on the phone. Especially because he’s sort of out-of-focus.” –Carmexa] Felicity sits down on the end of the bed and Ben asks her if she is all right. Felicity doesn’t answer, so Ben asks if she is in the Honors program. Felicity says she’s not and Ben kind of smiles at the fact that she lied to her dad and then asks what her dad wanted. Felicity says that he’s just there to talk to her. Ben asks her what he wants to talk to her about and she says, “I don’t know . . . my future.” I’m not quite sure what Matt Reeves was thinking when he decided to have Felicity completely in focus in the foreground of this scene and Ben completely out of focus in the background, but I don’t like it. Ben should never be out of focus! But, I guess since the show is called Felicity, I’m not going to win that battle. [“I have a brilliant, revolutionary idea. Let’s change the name of the show to Naked Ben. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.” –Carmexa] [“Trust me, she’s not.” –Litigia]

Commercial.

Felicity returns to submit her portfolio to Jeremy Cavallo. He’s not on the phone this time, so Felicity semi-confidently tells him who she is and apologizes for interrupting him the day before. She tells him she’s there to drop off her portfolio for the Honors program, if he’s still looking. He says he is and so she leaves her portfolio and he says he’ll get back to her. As she leaves, he tells her to avoid him when he’s on the phone. I’m not sure what to make of this Cavallo fellow. I get a vibe from him, but I don’t know how to describe it. [“Yeah, me too. He’s weird. Let’s call him Dr. Death.” –Carmexa] [“Um, that might be a little over the top. You can call him that in your recap, if you want.” –Litigia]

Ben is sitting in his academic advisor’s office who needs to approve his schedule. The academic advisor is played by the same guy who played the mailroom guy in “The Last Stand” (the one who wouldn’t give Felicity back her application essay she had sent to Ben). So, I guess UNY really believes in promoting from within. Mailroom guy to academic advisor in three years! Anyway, he tells Ben he is a natural for med school which surprises and delights Ben. He starts reciting off Ben’s grades in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry until Ben interrupts him to say that he never took those classes. Well, in a nice little plot device, it turns out mailroom advisor man thought he was Benjamin Conner, not Benjamin Covington. When he looks at Benjamin Covington’s grades, he practically chokes on his sandwich and blah blahs about how judging by Ben’s past performance, taking 18 credits in pre-med is going to kill him. He tells Ben to take a fifth year, but Ben says that he needs to take 18 credits this semester to finish in 5 years as it is. So, I guess that means Ben will not be graduating with Felicity. That makes me sad for some reason. Ben goes on to tell him that he didn’t have any direction before and so he pretty much blew off school, but now that he really knows what he wants to do, he should let him have the chance to prove himself. I love the new determined and focused Ben. He’s even sexier than the old confused, directionless Ben. And I didn’t think that was possible. That’s the last time I underestimate Scott Speedman’s ability to be sexier. [“We should know better, after all this time. But we don’t. You know why? Because we think it’s impossible to improve on perfection. This is the one aspect of our lives in which we have ever been wrong.” –Carmexa] Mailroom advisor man gives Ben a placement test and tells him that if he passes it, he’ll sign his add/drop form. Ben thanks him and gets up to leave. I worship at the altar of Matt Reeves for using a camera shot of Ben’s ass as he picks up his backpack to leave. Nice. [“When I talk to Matt, I’m gonna tell him to use a bunch of aforementioned ass shots in every episode. Er, every scene.” –Carmexa] [“Trust me, Matt. We’ve got more substantive ideas than that. Not that I would object to more Speedy ass shots or anything.” –Litigia]

Javier shows Elena the wedding dress and she is pissed. Blah blah blah. Javier has a funny line about how he has been busting his little behind for her 24/7 only to deal with her sassymouth! Heh. I love Javier.

Felicity and Noel are sitting at a bar and Noel is telling her how unsuccessful his sixteen job interviews went. He says that you’d think it would be impossible to have sixteen job interviews and not get one job offer. I do not think that would be impossible since we are talking about Noel Crane, the king of loserville. Felicity tries to reassure him but Noel says that he knows he won’t get any call backs because they all say “it looks good, but . . .” and that is when he knows it’s over. Felicity tries to reassure him again. Noel tells her everything is great with her because she has the Honors Art program. She reminds him that she doesn’t have it and then says how her dinner with her dad tonight is going to be torture. Noel tells her it won’t be because it’s her dad who is freaking out, not her. He makes some stupid analogy to a spider, which pisses me off because it reminds me of that great story Felicity told Sean about the road trip when Ben tried to get a spider out of their motel room and I always hate it when any scene between Felicity and Noel seems like a rip-off of a Felicity and Ben scene. Then, just to shove this ridiculous Felicity and Noel are best friends idea down our throats once again, because they haven’t done it enough in this episode already, Felicity asks Noel if he wants to come with her for moral support. What the hell? She doesn’t ask Ben to come with her, but she asks Noel? In the Christmas episode last season, Felicity was really upset that her mom invited Noel along to dinner they had been planning with Ben. And now, she’s inviting Noel to dinner with her dad instead of Ben. Seriously, who is this person and what has she done with Felicity? Anyway, Noel says that he’s not coming but he’ll be there in spirit, moping about his future right beside her. Felicity laughs and rests her head on Noel’s shoulder. Jesus. Why don’t they just have them buy those heart shaped necklaces that are split in two so each person gets a half of the heart that says, “Best Friends Forever?” [“I had one of those in third grade. Her name was Lindsay. I don’t know where she is now. Isn’t that a sad story? And all true!” –Carmexa]

Felicity comes back to her apartment to find Ben talking to her dad. She tells her dad that she thought they were meeting at the restaurant, but he says he was in the neighborhood so he dropped by and was just talking to Ben. Ben says that he came by to pick up the O-Chem books and Felicity’s dad looks at her and says, “Pre-med.” She says she knows and looks really uncomfortable. Ben feels bad that Felicity feels uncomfortable and then tells her that he passed the placement test. Felicity barely musters up a “that’s great” [“Bitch.” –Carmexa] [“Totally.” –Litigia] and Dr. Porter congratulates him. Felicity and Dr. Porter start to leave and Felicity looks back at Ben with a nasty look. Ben mouths that he’s sorry and she gives him another nasty look as she walks out. I long for the good old days when Felicity was happy that Ben got a B- on his political science exam. [“Wow, Felicity’s happiness standards have really skyrocketed over the summer. Now Ben’s gonna have to find a cure for cancer before he get gets any sort of “way to go or I’m proud of you” from Felicity.” –Bitchavia] I long for the days when Felicity wasn’t so caught up in her own problems that she couldn’t be happy for something good happening to Ben. I long for the days when Felicity would have invited Ben to dinner with her and her dad. Oh where, oh where, has Felicity gone? Oh where, oh where can she be?

Felicity and her dad make small talk at the dinner table. Finally, Dr. Porter interrupts to tell Felicity that he thinks she’s wasting her time. He tells her that in his opinion, she has been floating through the last three years concerning herself with boys instead of planning for her future. He then tells her that art is great and it’s great that she’s artistic but that art is not a life and how she should get back to medicine. He gives some lame example of a doctor he knows who practices medicine and also does great crafts. Felicity gives him the look of death. I’ll pause for a moment to note that Keri Russell is the queen of facial expressions and I totally worship her for her ability to convey any emotion with just her face. Unable to respond to her dad’s little speech, she excuses herself from the table and calls Noel. Since she’s calling the loft, I kind of hoped that she really wanted to talk to Ben, but that Noel picked up the phone so she made do with him. I know I’m kidding myself, though. But sometimes we need to do that to protect ourselves from the pain. Anyway, she tells Noel that things are going terribly and that she doesn’t feel his presence like he said she would. She tells him that her dad told her she is wasting her life with her art and Noel opines how that just proves that her dad doesn’t know her nearly as well as he does. Because with Noel, it’s all about him. Noel tells her she needs to tell him that she needs to make her own choices, even if she makes mistakes, life is not a schedule, blah blah, and then I swear he tells her to kick ass and take names. Felicity leaves, apparently all pumped up with confidence from Noel’s speech. She returns to the table and tells her dad that she understands what he’s saying but that she’s in Honors Art (she’s lying again) and it’s very important to her and then basically recites Noel’s speech. Dr. Porter tells her that maybe she should be on a time schedule and when Felicity says that she doesn’t want to live her life that way, Daddy tells her that he will not subsidize her life then. Felicity looks shocked and stammers something and then Dr. Porter tells her that she is no better off than she was three years ago. Ouch. Last year, I would have told Dr. Porter he was wrong about that. But this year, with our new and regressed, self-absorbed, co-dependent Felicity whining around with Noel, I can’t say as though I disagree with him. That makes me sad. Dr. Porter continues to tell her that these last three years have been a waste and Felicity’s voice catches as she says that she doesn’t need his help and his criticism and she doesn’t need him. She gets up from the table and leaves.

Commercial.

Another disgusting scene with Felicity and Noel commiserating. These scenes get progressively worse throughout the episode. In the last one, we had to bear Felicity resting her head on Noel’s shoulder. In this one, she actually lies down on his bed next to him. Noel is eating candy. [“If I were Noel, I’d stay away from M&M’s. I know he’s lost weight, but c’mon, how long is that gonna last?” –Carmexa] He whines about not getting a job. Felicity whines about how she is paying for college now. I whine about being forced to watch a scene with Felicity and Noel lying in bed together. I also wonder what Felicity is thinking when she lies in bed with Noel in the apartment where her boyfriend lives. If Ben walked in right now, would he like this scene any more than I do? I think not. But clearly, self-absorbed, whiney Felicity cares absolutely nothing about how Ben feels in this entire episode.

Felicity gets forms from the financial aid office about how to declare her financial independence. [“This is impossible. I’ve tried to declare my financial independence. You can’t. They won’t let you. Stupid plot contrivance. What a surprise!” –Carmexa] She walks down the street in slo-mo as she voiceovers to Sally about how declaring her independence is kind of amazing. Unfortunately, her amazing experience has made her an hour late for work and Ben is pissed because he is now late for his first class. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Ben was not allowed to leave work until Felicity got there. If his shift was over at a certain time, he should be able to leave at that time, whether Felicity is there to relieve him or not. They aren’t the only two people that work there, for god’s sake. I guess they couldn’t think of any other plot device to make Ben mad at Felicity. Maybe that’s because they spent the entire last season showing how much he loves her and worships and adores her. Maybe they should have realized that the fact that they needed a ridiculous plot device to get Ben mad at Felicity meant that this storyline was ridiculous and completely out of line with last season. Maybe I should be writing for this damn show! [“Me too! Me too!” –Carmexa]

Sean and Meghan are still fighting about her saying she would have sex with Tracy. Sean eats Elena’s wedding cake, mistakenly thinking it was a wedding cake and not the wedding cake. Elena is pissed. Meghan laughs. I don’t care. [“I have to say Sean’s blunder made me laugh, and I needed some humor to relieve me from my agony.” –Dyslexia] [“It kinda made me laugh, too, but my overall bitterness toward this episode made me not care when I wrote the recap. That’s understandable, right?” –Litigia]

Noel and Felicity (damn, I’m really getting tired of typing that) walk along the street. Noel is excited about this great second job interview and Felicity is excited about going to see Cavallo about the Honors program. Noel tells her that she was right about his job and he is right about her getting into the Honors program. They part as Felicity tells him she will call him later.

Felicity walks into what I guess is the Honors Art studio and sees her dad there. He tells her he wanted to see whatever was so important to her. Cavallo interrupts to tell her he hasn’t had the chance to look at her portfolio yet but if she comes back later, he can tell her whether or not she’s in the class. Felicity is busted for lying to her dad that she was already in the program. If only she learned her lesson from this experience that lies never hold up and the truth always comes out [“Plus, lies make baby Jesus cry!” –Carmexa] [“She stole that from The Simpsons.” –Litigia], I think she would save herself a lot of the heartache coming up this season, but I digress into spoilers. Felicity hands her dad her financial independence papers that she needs him to sign so she can pay for college. He tells her he needs his accountant to look them over first. She says whatever and leaves.

Ben runs to his organic chemistry class. Unfortunately, Ben’s Pumas can’t get him to class on time, so when he gets there, the door is locked. He knocks a couple times until the professor finally comes to the door. Basically, the professor tells him that if you’re late, you’re locked out of class, and there will be a quiz next week on this week’s lecture, so he needs to get the notes online. [“If the notes are available online, why would anyone go to class on a regular basis? Who cares if Prof. Hardass locks the door?” –Bitchavia] [“That’s probably why he has stupid power trip rule #2, as follows.” –Litigia] Also, if he misses one more lecture, he’s dropped from the class. I always hated professors who gave grade penalties or dropped you from class if you didn’t attend lecture. If the lectures are so essential to passing or doing well in the class, then the penalty for missing them is inherent. If they’re not essential to making the grade, then why should you be forced to attend? Anyway, this is not a good start for new determined and focused Ben. Poor Ben. I want to hug him to make it all better. [“Why stop at hugging?” –Carmexa] [“Good point.” –Litigia]

Commercial.

Felicity meets with Cavallo again. He tells her that her stuff is good. Felicity senses a “but” coming on and she’s right. He tells her she should take another class first. This is bad because Felicity has already taken the class. Cavallo suggests another class that she take first and Felicity pretends that she’s okay with that, but inside, we can tell she is devastated.

Ben tries to fix the printer at the loft. Felicity comes in and starts to tell him about meeting with Cavallo, but Ben interrupts her and asks her if she knows how to get the printer to work. Things are very tense as she tries to get it to work. Felicity can tell Ben is mad and asks why he’s so upset. Ben starts yelling at her about how he was locked out of class because he was late. Felicity realizes it was because she was late to Dean & Deluca. Ben goes on about how he can’t print off his organic chemistry notes and Felicity starts to apologize, but Ben interrupts her and says that he doesn’t think she understands how hard this year is going to be for him with 18 credits. She says she didn’t mean to be late and he gets up and says he needs to go play some basketball. I really, really hated this scene. [“Me too. It sucked. A lot. The old Ben and Felicity would get over this in like four seconds, and she would just print the notes off on a different computer. And then they’d diffuse all the previous tension into hot sex. Those were the days!” –Carmexa]

Javier finds Elena in her bedroom. He has a picture of her mother in her wedding dress that Elena had given Javier’s cousin who was making the dress. Apparently, the reason Elena has been such a bitch about getting the wedding dress exactly right is because she was trying to recreate her mother’s dress. She thought if she wore her dress, it would be like having her there. Javier apologizes for forgetting that her mother wasn’t around for her and says how hard it would be for him if his mother was not around. Aww, that was actually really sweet.

Dr. Porter comes by Felicity’s apartment to drop off the financial independence forms. He tells her this is not how he wanted this trip to go and that he loves her. Felicity says she knows that and that she loves him, too. But that she thinks it’s important that she be independent and that she’s not a little girl anymore. [“Then stop acting like one!” –Carmexa] Dr. Porter asks her how Cavallo liked her stuff and Felicity says that he loved it. He asks if that means she got into the class and she lies again and says that she did. They hug and he leaves.

Felicity slo-mo walks down the street again as she voiceovers to Sally about how she shouldn’t be so afraid of the future because it’s just time. Now, she is sitting up on the roof alone. Noel arrives and asks what she’s doing there. She says she came to see him, but he wasn’t there, so she came up on the roof. Nice to know that she was coming to see Noel and not Ben. Noel tells Felicity that he didn’t get the job. Felicity is shocked and surprised. No one else with a brain is. Noel says it’s not a big deal, but Felicity says it is. Noel agrees. Felicity tells him she didn’t get into the Honors program. She says that it occurred to her that her dad was right, that she is lost. Felicity starts to cry. Noel tells her she’s not lost, but Felicity says she is. Noel asks how they could both be so wrong about each other. They lean their foreheads together for comfort. Noel kisses her forehead. Felicity looks up at him for a long while. [“They seem to say to each other through special forehead telepathy: ‘Hey, I’m a loser, and you’re a loser, too. You wanna screw like porn stars on this lovely lawn chair?’” –Bitchavia] Then, they start to kiss. Not on the roof! Ben could walk up there at any moment and see this! Don’t they care? And the roof is Ben and Felicity’s magical place! Don’t they care? Apparently, nobody cares because they kiss some more. And then we see them from a long shot as they continue to kiss and Felicity leans back on the lawn chair as Noel lies down on top of her. [“I cannot believe this shit. I feel absolutely betrayed. And it hurts to vomit up your entire small intestine in one sitting.” –Carmexa] Nowhere in Felicity’s mind are the words she spoke to Javier just a few short days ago: “[Ben]’s my boyfriend. I love him. Stop.”

 

 


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