Noel Fucks Things Up Again
Imagine, for a moment, that you are living a Summer's Eve commercial. Your life is nothing but sunshine and daisies. You're all blissful and shit. Now, imagine that you're Felicity, and Ben is your boyfriend and he worships the ground you walk upon and trusts you with all his heart and the thought that you'd bone your "best friend" has never entered his mind and he's perfect and you know it. It's pretty much the same thing, isn't it? ["Not the analogy I would have used, but then again, it's not my recap." -Litigia] Uh huh. ["You're comparing Ben and Felicity's relationship with a douche commercial??? Put. The. Crack. Pipe. Down." - Bitchavia]
Now. On with the recap. We open with Felicity sitting on her bed, and I'm pretty sure that she and Ben are playing strip peek-a-boo. Damn. I guess he's just gotten her a present even though her birthday isn't until tomorrow. The present is a big, clunky thing wrapped (not very well) in newspaper. What is it? Awww. Ben bought her an antique sled, and wants to take her to Vermont for the weekend to use it. Felicity protests that she has some stupid meeting with whatshisface Cavallo (the art professor) and reminds Ben that he has some O-Chem to do. Super Ben tells her that he's taken care of O-Chem, and Trevor is going to take notes for him. First of all, Trevor doesn't exactly seem like Mr. Studious, and secondly, Ben seems to have forgotten that you can just get the notes online. ["Trevor's notes will probably consist of one line about the actual class, and a list of places that have 99 cent beer on the weekend." - Bitchavia] But why dwell? They're going to Vermont! Smoochy, smoochy!
Mid-smoochy, Sean walks in-looking really stoned or really tired-and tells Ben that he has a phone call. Ben's pissed that someone interrupted his smooching, but takes the phone call anyway. (Insert stupid dialogue between Felicity and Sean about his new stupid business venture with Meghan. They're trying to come up with names. But they're all stupid.) Ben walks back into the room, looking a lot sadder than he did thirty seconds ago. Turns out that, according some chicky named Lauren, his father is sick and in the hospital (in New York, which makes no sense, but why dwell?). Liver failure. ["He was on like a crazy, drunken binge, and ended up getting on a plane to New York by accident because he was drinking at the airport bar, so he ended up flying east and when he got there, he continued to drink and, then fell down drunk on the street and got carted off to a Manhattan hospital, and then they phoned the number in his wallet, which was Lauren's and that's why .uh, you're right. Nevermind." - Bitchavia]
Cut to Noel, doing things that he's not qualified to do .this time, he's setting up a room change for a couple of idiot freshmen girls.
Back to Ben, thank God. He's at the hospital to see his father, but Dad's nowhere to be found. Instead, we get some girl with bouncy brown hair (who played a man on Ally McBeal). This is Lauren. Ben's daddy was her sponsor. How completely ridiculous. Ben's dad has barely been able to stay sober for more than a week at a time, and he's sponsoring someone else? Lovely. Anyway, we won't dwell on the implausibility. ["I'd try to explain away this major piece of plot contrivance too, but I'm too exhausted and defeated from my last attempt. " - Bitchavia] Lauren tells Ben that his dad is in bad shape and that he wants to talk to him, but Ben blows it off, saying, "Listen, bitch. It's nothing I haven't heard twenty trillion times. Besides, I've got sledding and smooching to do with my girlfriend. You and Dad can get out of my way." ["He said it a little more nicely than that, but that pretty much captures the essence of it." -Litigia] Lauren replies that Daddy is dying; all Ben can do is sigh and look beautiful. Be still my breaking heart. ["And mine." -Litigia]
Oh look, it's Noel. He's at his office at the college. Javier walks in, bitching about toilet paper. Noel looks perturbed the expression on his face is basically the same one he has when he's euphoric, too. ["That look where he looks like his pants are too tight or he's sniffing dog poo?" - Bitchavia] He hates his job. We get it.
Felicity is doing her first critique as Cavallo's TA. She sucks. While she's assessing some girl's self-portrait, Cavallo cuts her off and points out all the rookie mistakes she's making and then takes over the critique. Ouch. Poor Felicity. All the professors on this show are assholes, I swear to God. ["Except Professor Morton. She was cool, letting Ben interrupt her dinner and giving Felicity a second chance to take her final. Not that any woman could resist a request from Ben, but still." -Litigia] [Professor Morton was probably hoping Felicity would share Ben. She's older; she's not dead. " - Bitchavia]
Elena walks into her apartment to find Richard (How the hell does he get in there? He's in that damned apartment more than either of the actual residents.) moving some furniture around with the two new roommates, Gaby and Tammy. They're dumb, and not worth my time. Richard pretends that he wants to bone them, but we all know that he's fantasizing about Noel's love handles instead. Elena looks like she's about to lay the smack down.
Felicity goes to Cavallo to ask him if there's anything she can do to be a better TA (Just keep doing what you're doing, babe. You couldn't get much worse.). Instead of giving her some constructive criticism, Cavallo asks her to lunch. Ummm, paging Dr. McGrath? God. This sounds familiar.
and back at the apartment, Elena knows it. She tells Felicity that the art dude is hitting on her. Felicity denies it, but she's always been pretty dense when it comes to understanding when guys have the hots for her, so I ignore her. ["Besides she should listen to Elena. She's a pro at identifying profs who want to get it on with students. She's got horny-prof-dar." - Bitchavia] Meanwhile, one or both of the stupid new roommates (I wouldn't be surprised if they peed together, would you?) are in the bathroom and won't come out. Elena is standing at the door, about to wet herself. Who cares? Unless her urination involves Ben in some way (which, hopefully, it does not), I don't want to hear about it.
Ben and Lauren are sitting in a hospital hallway, drinking coffee. Lauren's telling Ben how helpful his father has been to her, but Ben isn't buying it. He's never seen that kind of behavior from Dad, and doesn't see why it should be happening now. Just then, Dad, lying on a gurney, is rolled down the hallway, past Ben and Lauren. He looks like absolute hell. Dad manages to wave feebly at Ben while Ben manages to look terrified and bewildered and surprised at the same time. Poor, sweet Ben walks into his father's hospital room, still looking pretty shocked. Dad introduces him to the doctor, and then Doc leaves the room. Dad tries to make some small talk about being sober and Ben being pre-med while poor, sweet Ben looks as though he's about to shrink into the linoleum. Finally, Ben cuts him off and asks what he wants. ["I half expect Daddy Tripper to say, 'Come and knock on my door; I've been waiting for you; My liver's not working, Lauren's here; Three's company, too!'"- Bitchavia] Dad sputters that he may not be lucid for much longer, and he'll need someone to make his decisions for him-would Ben be willing to do that for him? After some weak protest, Ben agrees. He may have been a shitty dad, but he's Dad nonetheless. Oh, Ben. The Indigo Girls wrote a song for you, called "Girl With the Weight of the World in Her Hands." Other than the fact that you're very much not a girl, the song fits could you have any more shit to deal with? ["Unfortunately, yes. Waaaaaa!" -Litigia]
Felicity and Ben are in bed. They're wearing clothes. What's wrong with this picture, people??? Anyway, they're not looking as thrilled as they should be (C'mon, you're in bed. With Ben. Not only should you be naked, but you should be smiling!). Oh, I guess they're talking about Ben's dad, which I'd have to agree isn't exactly happy/naked talk. Ben's telling her that he doesn't feel like picking up his dad's messes any more: if the dick wants to kill himself, who is Super Ben to stop him? Felicity plays the optimist and suggests that Dad has changed. Riiight. That's what you said last time, baby, and the bastard tried to kiss you! ["Felicity's also the one who always thinks Noel is her best friend too, so I'd trust her ability to assess people about as far as I could throw Noel's fat ass." - Bitchavia] and Ben can't say much, except that he doesn't want Felicity to tell anyone about it, and that he's ready to go to Vermont. ["Scott places his hand very high on Keri's thigh in this scene and then kind of slides it to her inner thigh. Not that I was looking." -Litigia] Like, NOW. Felicity's skeptical because of the whole Dad-on-his-deathbed thing, but agrees to go anyway, knowing that Ben needs her.
Oh God, more Noel. Javier walks in, and Noel proudly proclaims that he's taken all the new STUDENT job listings and applied for the jobs himself. Wow, what a guy. Javier realizes-as we all (or at least those of us who have a brain) do-that Noel is a selfish, whiny prick, but first, he needs to see if Noel has any pictures of Felicity. Javier's making a photo album for her birthday. Some kid walks into the office, wanting a job. Noel doesn't have any to offer because oops, he's pilfered them all for himself. Javier saves the day and offers the kid a job. Shit, Javier's a better guidance counselor than Noel. Is anyone surprised?
Felicity and Cavallo are at lunch. He's blathering to her about how Rodin didn't get accepted into art school until his fourth try. Is this supposed to make Felicity feel better? Just in case it's not working, Creepy Cavallo grabs her hand and starts reading her palm or something. It's gross. I'm weirded out, and so is Felicity. Looks like Elena was onto something. ["Yeah, I didn't think Cavallo was hitting on her when he asked her to lunch, but now, I definitely think he is. Creepy Cavallo, indeed." -Litigia]
Elena gives Felicity a birthday present. Hat and gloves. ["Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but hat and gloves for a 21st birthday present? What is Elena, Felicity's grandmother? Geesh, I guess for graduation, she'll give her an umbrella. Seriously, I know someone who got an umbrella as a grad gift. Ten years later, he's still bitter about it." - Bitchavia] Not as good as the sled. The new roomies are still annoying. And so is Richard.
Ben walks into the apartment, and Felicity immediately realizes that something is going on. Ben tells her that his father has taken a turn for the worse, and he won't be able to go to Vermont with her. Felicity, the good girl that she is (in this episode, anyway) asks if he'd like her company at the hospital, but he says that it's all right. ["He also tells her that he and Lauren are going to meet at the loft and go together. This is important later." -Litigia] God, I wish he'd let her come with him. He apologizes for ruining her birthday sweet, sweet Ben and Felicity promises that they'll go next weekend (not if Noel has anything to do with it!). Cue loud, annoying electronica music. Ben asks what that horrible noise is; Felicity tells him that it's their stupid, hyper new roommates, and then they hug each other. I practically burst into tears because I know that this is the last hug I'm going to see from them in a really, really, really long time. Waaahhhhhhhhhh! ["Waaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" -Litigia] ["Waaaahhhhh. Sniff. Sob." - Bitchavia]
Then, we see a wagonload of shots of Noel in a series of job interviews. He's like the worst interviewee ever. Who's surprised? ["Not me." -Litigia]
Next scene. Noel on office floor, wallowing in self-pity. What the fuck else is new? That's like all Noel ever does! "Lonesome Loser"-approximately the most appropriate song ever-plays in the background. ["It doesn't play in the background. Noel is singing it. Maybe you'd know this if you watched the tape as you wrote the recap instead of arrogantly assuming you know the episode by heart." -Litigia] ["Okay, listen, bitch, my memory may not be perfect on this part but at least I don't take a friggin' week to write a recap." --Carmexa] Felicity walks into the office, and instead of kicking him in the balls, which is what I would have done, she asks him what's going on. He tells her about the interviews, and then asks why she isn't in Vermont with Ben. Can't you just see the cogs in his slimy little mind turning? Felicity-obeying Ben's wish not to tell anyone about his father's illness-tells him that Ben's dad is in town, and they're trying to spend some time together. Noel looks even more evil as he processes this information, and then asks her if she wants to go out for a drink to celebrate her 21st birthday. Like the smart girl that she usually is, Felicity declines and heads down the hall to paint. Noel, looking like a stupid, lonesome loser, stares after her. Go die, you selfish, prickish ass.
Cut to Elena, attempting to study at the apartment. Unfortunately, the loud, annoying electronica is still playing and she can't concentrate. She calls Noel, puts his machine on speakerphone, and then explains to him that she can't get a damned thing done with the stupid, loud roomies around. Aforementioned stupid, loud roomies realize that Elena is a friend of Noel's, and proceed to get very giggly (which I don't understand. At all. ["Well, they are like 17, right?" -Litigia] ["That's no excuse. I was 17 just last year, and I never got all giggly over Noel. Age is no excuse. Of course, I am phenomenally mature. Maybe it is." -Carmexa] ["Besides, being young should not be synonymous with being blind, stupid, and without any taste." - Bitchavia]. Richard takes this chance to interject something about Noel always getting the girls .including Felicity. Elena and Richard quickly realize that their entire conversation has been recorded on Noel's (BEN'S) answering machine. Oops. They make like mongeese and zoom over there to take care of it.
Ben, oh perfect Ben, is sitting on the steps of the loft, waiting for Lauren. She walks up, carrying a large bouquet of flowers. They talk for a few minutes, and Lauren makes the unfortunate mistake of saying that Ben's dad has been like a father to her. Ben looks unbelievably sad and lost as Lauren tells him about all the Ben-as-a-cute-little-perfect-child memories his dad told her about. Realizing that they're both losing the same thing, Ben and Lauren hug and commiserate.
Oh, look. It's Noel. On the street. He's on his cell phone, talking to one of the job people. He sees Ben and Lauren, talking. The evil cogs start whirring again, and in a split second, we see him jump to trillions of conclusions.
Back at the hospital, we see Dad gasping for breath. The doctor asks to speak to Ben and Lauren, and before Ben walks away, he pauses at Dad's bedside, and tell him he'll be close by. God, Ben is going to make the best doctor ever. Doc pulls them aside and gives them the lowdown: Dad is taking twenty breaths a minute, twice as many as he should be. Ben realizes that they need to intubate him. What to do, what to do? Lauren protests that Dad wants to go through this without drugs and oxygen; Ben doesn't look like he's giving Lauren much thought. ["Good. I don't like her." -Litigia]
Felicity is painting. Creepy Cavallo walks in. They make small talk about the lack of cheap studio space-hey, forget studio space! NOTHING is cheap in the damned city!-in New York, and then Felicity confronts him about his creepy behavior. He says he wasn't making a move on her, but that he respects her for being upfront. Then, a 12-year-old girl (the same one whose self-portrait Felicity was critiquing at the beginning of the episode) walks in, and Cavallo walks out with his arm around her. He may not be into Felicity, but he's still creepy. ["He doesn't really put his arm around her as much as he places his hand on the small of her back. It's still creepy." -Litigia]
Richard and Elena go over to the loft to delete the message. Richard distracts Sean and Meghan while Elena deletes the message. Disaster averted. For now.
Ben and Lauren argue about what to do with Dad, and Ben says that he's not going to save his father if his father doesn't want to be saved. He storms out and heads back to the loft. Oh, Ben! Stay at the hospital! Even dying fathers are better than what you're about to hear! My heart breaks for you in advance!
As soon as Ben walks into the loft, he's treated to the frigging Spanish Inquisition, Parte Dos. Noel immediately jumps down his throat, asking who "THAT GIRL" was. Ben doesn't know what he's talking about, and he doesn't care. Noel proceeds to assume the most condescending, earth shatteringly evil tone in the history of man; he tells Ben that he saw him walking down the street hugging some girl on Felicity's birthday. Oh yeah, Noel, you're such a great friend. Ben tells him that he's not in the mood for this shit, and turns to walk away. Noel just keeps blathering about, "Felicity said that you were with your dad, blahblahblah, and then I see you with this girl, blahblahblah, and I'm evil, blahblahblah, what's the diddly, yo?" Ben wheels around, and lays into Noel: (In a nutshell) "You are so full of shit. And I'm onto you, you evil, conniving bastard. I know that you're just lurking around so that you can try to pounce on Felicity, and I'm not having it. You are the most pathetic, whiny little loser I have ever seen, and we all see right through you. Quit the bullshit and get out of my sight. You never had her, and you never will." Noel, in typical condescending, evil fashion tells Ben that he's already had her. Ben's still not having any of it, and tells Noel that he could give a rat's ass about some stupid, freshman crush. Noel decides to go the extra, evil mile and clarify that he's not talking about a freshman crush, either. He practically snorts with glee. ["My god, if he had a moustache, he'd be twirling it." - Bitchavia]
And then, like twenty tons of bricks on Jupiter, it hits Ben. ["Scott Speedman deserves an Emmy for his facial expression in this moment alone." -Litigia]
All he can do is head back to the hospital and save his father's life. Against Lauren's stupid objections, Ben tells the doctor to put Daddy on the ventilator. He doesn't care how small the chances are, if there's a possibility that his life can be saved, Ben wants to take that chance.
Back to Felicity's apartment. She's opening Javier's present. The stupid roommates are there. Who cares? Noel walks in and says he has to talk to Felicity. Alone. Felicity, who is clueless to the evil that has occurred, asks Noel how the interviews went. He got a job. Whoopdy-fucking-doo-dah. Then, Felicity starts to realize that Noel's got a slightly larger fish to fry and asks him what's going on. Noel tells her that he saw Ben with some woman on the street. Felicity could care less ["Some might say she 'couldn't care less. And by some, I mean those who use the expression correctly." -Litigia] ["First of all, die. Secondly, shut up. And thirdly, I don't care." --Carmexa] ["I could care less which way you say it." - Bitchavia]; she knows it's just Lauren .but Noel didn't know that, did he? Or at least he chose not to know that .so he told Ben. Everything. Wow, Noel, for someone who was so worried about how Ben was treating the girl on her birthday, you've sure managed to ruin it in one fell swoop! ["Wow, hat and gloves are looking pretty good in comparison right now. " -Bitchavia] In an instant, you see Felicity's entire world come crashing down. She just stares at Noel, incredulous and angry and sad, and asks why he did that. He tells a huge lie and says that it "just came out." Just came out, my ass! You had eons to consider what you were telling Ben, you scumsucking dickmunch! DIE! ["Wow. That's harsh. But I agree." -Litigia] Felicity just starts crying. Noel leaves. Unfortunately, he doesn't kill himself on the way out.
scene: Ben, at his father's bedside. You see that Dad has a tube down
his throat and is attached to a ventilator. Ben looks like he's lost
everything that ever mattered to him. Oh, Ben. Oh, dear, sweet, perfect
Ben. With tears in his eyes, Ben tells his father that he knows [being
ventilated] wasn't what he wanted, but that he hopes it will mean that
they get to spend some more time together. Oh, dear God. When Ben wants
to spend quality time with Dad, you know that the shit has really hit
the fan. And whose fault is it? Say it with me: NOEL'S. ["NOEL'S"
-Litigia] [NOEL'S!!! A thousand times. NOEL'S!!!" - Bitchavia]
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