When It Rains, It Pours
Episode 407: The Storm

Picture it!

By Litigia

I almost don't want to write this recap. This episode was just so amazing and so beautiful and I know that whatever I write simply will not do it justice. But I shall make an attempt. ["Oh shit. Here we go." --Carmexa] ["Oy. I think this episode is going to be hard to make fun of, so the usual interjections may be sparse." - Bitchavia]

We open with Ben at the place he always goes when things in his life are overwhelming him-the basketball court. He is by himself, endlessly shooting baskets. Felicity walks up to the fence and watches him for a moment. Finally, she says, "Hey." Ben turns and walks towards her, still dribbling the ball, not saying anything. You can see the pain in his eyes as he looks at her. ["Even though you could barely see his eyes because he had that hat pulled down so far over his head." --Carmexa] Felicity asks if she can talk to him, but Ben doesn't answer. She says she's been calling him all night. Finally, Ben answers her, saying he was at the hospital. Ouch. In case Felicity had forgotten that Ben found out about her sleeping with Noel while his dad is on his deathbed, he just reminded her. Felicity asks how his dad is doing and Ben says simply, "He's sick." All the while he continues to dribble and shoot. Felicity starts to apologize through her tears. She says she knows she should have told him about Noel. Um, excuse me? I think she should be apologizing for ever having slept with him in the first place. But I'll let that go, because she is obviously emotionally distraught. Ben doesn't want to hear it and tells her she should just leave. Felicity begs him to let her talk to him, but Ben tells her he doesn't want to talk to her and again tells her to "get outta here." Then he tells her he'll be by later to pick up his stuff and turns his back on her. Felicity just stands there for a while, absorbing it all. Finally, she turns around and begins to leave, hesitates for a moment, and then walks off, wiping tears from her eyes. Wow, Keri Russell and Scott Speedman were amazing in that scene. They're actually amazing in every scene in this episode, and I don't want to be redundant, so that's the only time I'll mention it.

Roll credits. Begin sobbing.

Richard is in Noel's room at the loft, peering through the doorway at Ben. He is worried that Ben is going to rip Noel's throat out. Not if I do it first. Noel doesn't think Ben is going to rip his throat out, but Richard says that if he had slept with his woman, Noel would be dead. I wish that Noel would sleep with Richard's non-existent woman. That way, Noel would be dead, and Richard would have to go to prison for murder. Two birds, one stone. ["But you know that neither Noel nor Richard would ever even have a 'woman', at least for any length of time before the woman came to her senses. Wonder how Richard would feel about Noel sleeping with another guy though?" - Bitchavia] Anyway, Noel appears to be making flyers indicating that he's looking for a new apartment. How thoughtful of him to move out. ["Too little, too fucking late." --Carmexa] Noel asks Richard to hand out some of his flyers. Richard invites Noel to stay with him, but Noel declines. Richard checks to see that the coast is clear, and Noel heads out the door.

As they walk out into the living room, Sean walks out complimenting Noel on his suit. Noel informs us that he starts his new job today. Sean wants him to wear a Schmegan tie pin. Richard decides now is the time to tell Sean and Meghan the news. Noel doesn't want to, but Richard basically forces him to. So, Noel tells them that he slept with Felicity. Sean is dumbfounded. Meghan is amazed that Noel is still alive. Richard gets all protective of Noel. ["Meghan could kick Richard's ass with both of her legs broken." -Carmexa] Noel says he knows it will cause tension in the house, and so he's looking for a new place.

Ben is at his desk studying. The credits reveal that the episode was written by Jessica Queller. I've never heard of her. I don't think she's ever written an episode of Felicity before. But I worship her. I want her to write every episode for the rest of the season. J.J. better not steal her for Alias. Anyway, Sean knocks on the door and comes in. He tells Ben that he heard about Felicity. Ben looks like he is really sad, but like he is trying to pretend that he's not really sad. Sean asks if he wants to talk about it. Ben considers the offer for a moment, but then says he's okay, and that he has a lot of studying to do, and that his mom is in town to see his dad. Sean thinks that's good and Ben agrees. But you can pretty much tell that Ben is not so sure that it is a good thing. Sean tells him that if he changes his mind and wants to grab a beer, he's there. Ben says that he really appreciates that. And so do I. I love Sean right now. Sean leaves and Ben turns back to his desk and grabs the back of his head. He is definitely not okay.

Meghan shows up at Felicity's apartment and announces that she knows that she slept with Noel. Felicity thinks it's horrible, but Meghan thinks it's about time. Whatever, Meghan. Anyway, Felicity is not enthused and so Meghan apologizes. She follows Felicity into her room, asking if she's okay. Javier is on Felicity's bed eating ice cream. He tells Meghan that he knows. Felicity tells Meghan that Ben won't even talk to her. Meghan doesn't seem to understand what the big deal is. Felicity thinks it couldn't be any worse than this, but Meghan says Sean losing a testicle was worse. Now, I will grant Meghan that the possibility that Sean might have died was probably worse, but I don't think the losing the testicle part really was worse. Lance Armstrong only has one testicle and I would still totally marry him, if he wasn't already married to like the most perfect wife in the world. ["Oh, Litigia. You flatter me so. Yes, Lance and I are very happy together. We appreciated your gift at the wedding. And just for the record, Sean having one ball, and Lance having one ball---apples to frigging pineapples, I swear to God." --Carmexa] ["Excuse her, she's delusional." -Litigia] Sorry, I digress. Meghan asks Felicity if she is getting back together with Noel. Felicity says no, that she wants to be with Ben. I thank the writers for the hammer over the head to all the people who still think Felicity and Noel are destined to be together. Subtlety just doesn't work for these people. Javier says that she will be after Ben has time to cool down. That's very optimistic of you, Javier. Meghan goes on about her experiences cheating and I so do not care. Neither does Javier, who gives her the "shut the hell up" look. Meghan offers to stay with Felicity as a show of female solidarity, but Felicity declines. Then Meghan tells Felicity not to worry about it, because Ben loves her, and they are a fairy tale and so everything has to work out. Javier jokes that it's pretty scary when Meghan is the most romantic person in the room. Hee.

Noel gets his orientation for his new job at Webb Graphics. He's supposed to work on a CD cover with Zoe, who he meets and learns is the boss's daughter. She bears quite a resemblance to Ruby. ["Yeah, just like Avery. What the hell?" --Dyslexia] We all know Noel is going to screw this job up. Come on, it's Noel.

Felicity is walking down a hallway at school when she gets flagged down by one of her students. Apparently, he's on the hockey team and he needs her help because he didn't get the midterm project in on time and he'll get booted off the team if he fails. Felicity sees Ben and Trevor enter the hallway. She watches him and completely tunes out the Hockey Guy. Ben looks at her but then looks away and walks right by without saying a word. Hockey Guy asks Felicity if she can fix it and she says sure.

Ben is mixing chemicals. ["Listen closely. Mr. Speedman makes some hilarious noises at the beginning of this scene. 'Whooooaaa.' It was the funniest part of the episode." --Carmexa] Then he spouts off some chemical formula stuff and Elena looks amazed. ["Whoa, indeed. Something about carbons attacking something-something. Chemistry has never been so fascinating." -Dyslexia] Ben enquires about her amazement and she says that she can't believe he can concentrate. ["I thought maybe Elena was being a bit of a bitch here, and was amazed because she couldn't believe Ben was doing well in class without the help of her anal-study-geek abilities. - Bitchavia] He tells her matter-of-factly that the lab is due tomorrow. Trevor walks up, blabbing about the lab. I don't think Trevor is a very good lab partner. ["Yeah, but he's cute and probably knows all the best parties to go to afterwards, so that's gotta count for something. " - Bitchavia] It seems like Ben and Elena are doing all the work and Elena isn't even in the class. Anyway, Ben says he has to go. Trevor says it's not that bad, but Elena tells him that they're finished because Ben figured it out. Trevor is impressed, but Ben says it was easy. See, Ben is smart! All those mediocre grades before were just an indication of his lack of inspiration. ["That's what Dr. Pavone always said. And no one questions that she knows what she's talking about…well except for that damned drawer." --Carmexa] But when he applies himself, he can do anything! ["Uh-huh. She also said he's 'not average.' Thank you, Captain Obvious." --Dyslexia] Ben leaves and Trevor informs Elena that Ben is dying inside. He goes on to talk about how cheating is harder for guys to take because when guys cheat, it's just about sex, but when girls cheat, it's about emotion. Elena says when she cheated, it was just about sex. Trevor agrees with her, but I think he only says that so she'll explain the lab to him. ["Trevor probably found it sexy that Elena had physical needs that had to be met through cheating. He's probably going, 'Woo, I can meet her needs!'" - Bitchavia]

Felicity opens the door to her apartment and reveals Ben standing at the door. She is really happy to see him, but Ben tells her that he just came to pick up his stuff. He walks right by her and Felicity stands there kind of shocked, before finally closing the door and following him into her room. Ben gets his clothes from her closet and then her dresser. Felicity keeps looking like she wants to say something, but either thinks better of it, or just can't think of anything to say. She tries to help Ben get something out of the drawer, but he says he can get it. He asks if she knows where his green sweatshirt is and Felicity goes to the bathroom to look for it. Ben gets some books off her desk and then, as Felicity walks back into the bedroom, he hands her the key to her apartment. He can't even look at her as he does this. Felicity stares at the key in his hand for a moment and then finally takes it. Ben wants to get out of there so badly, he almost runs over Elena on his way out. Elena asks Felicity if she wants some ice cream. Felicity just shakes her head "no," but cannot even speak or she will burst into tears. She turns and walks into the bathroom, no doubt to cry her eyes out. At this point, my eyes are officially watering. That scene was just too much. And we're not even half way through the episode. God, I don't know how much more of this heartbreak I can take.

Ben shows his mom around his apartment. Ben's mom is played by Dee Wallace Stone, Elliott's mom from E.T., which is my third-favorite movie of all time (right behind Star Wars and Casablanca). ["God, you are such a loser!" --Carmexa] ["No need to share your utter geekiness with the world, Lit. Some things you should maybe keep to yourself." - Bitchavia] ["Since when is liking classic movies geekiness? You have no taste." -Litigia] ["Oooooouch." -Dyslexia] As if I wasn't emotional enough already, now I'm reminded of E.T. and want to cry again. ["That space monkey always gave me the heebie jeebies." - Bitchavia] ["You are a cruel and heartless bitch if you didn't cry when you saw E.T." -Litigia] Ben brings his mom into his bedroom and she gushes about how great his apartment is. I think she is nervous about something because she seems overly gushy about his apartment. Anyway, she notices the painting above Ben's bed and asks who did it. It's the painting that Felicity did back in "One Ball, Two Strikes." The one that Ben bought and then told her that she was the one person he could trust and he needed that. God, I really hate Felicity right now. Anyway, Ben tells his mom that Felicity painted it. (Sidebar: In the first couple episodes of this season, Ben had some Beatles poster hanging above his bed. ["SOME Beatles poster?!?! My God! That was like one of the last pictures of them ever taken as a group! It's from when the were recording "Let It Be," which isn't a bad album. But anyway…--Carmexa] ["Ben rotates the art above his bed? Well, he's just a regular Martha Stewart when it comes to home decorating, isn't he?" - Bitchavia] [“Oh my God. Ben AND Martha Stewart. I just had a quadruple orgasm.” --Carmexa] Now, the painting is back. Does this mean that Ben put the painting back up after he found out about Felicity sleeping with Noel? Or did the writers just decide that they wanted to work the painting in and so they're pretending it was there all along? I'm not sure why this matters so much to me. I guess I'm just super-obsessive about little details like that. Anyway… ) Mrs. Covington starts talking about running into Mrs. Porter at yoga class and how Felicity is passionate about her art, but Ben can't stand the talk of Felicity and so he interrupts her to ask what she wants to do today. Mrs. Covington says she just wants to get back to the hospital. Ben seems disappointed. She tells him that Mr. Covington was put back on the transplant list. Ben didn't know that but says that it is good news. Mrs. Covington hopes her ex-husband will be strong enough to take home in a couple weeks. Ben doesn't like where this is going. Ben's mom confirms that she and his dad are getting back together. Ben sighs heavily and sits down on his bed and hangs his head. His mother tells him that she knows it's hard. Ben says that he understands if it is what she wants, but that it makes him very nervous. Awww, he is so protective of her. Because, you know, he's perfect. Mrs. Covington says that it is what she wants and that he is a part of her after all they've been through, and it's not easy to let go. You see what they're doing there? Ben is also feeling how hard it is to let go after all he and Felicity have been through. ["Yeah, that was about as subtle as an anvil to the head." - Bitchavia] But he and his mom are obviously in very different places right now. Mrs. Covington grabs Ben's hand and they just sit there together.
Felicity lies in bed, unable to sleep. It's raining with thunder and lightning outside. She gets up and retrieves a notebook and pen and begins to write. All we see is "Dear Ben,." I know what you're thinking. Keep reading.

Felicity approaches the doorway to the loft. She stops for a second, reconsidering. Then, she walks ahead and knocks on the door. Ben answers. Felicity says that she knows he doesn't want to see her right now and Ben just looks at her, with so much pain in his eyes. She says that she knows she needs to respect that and so she wasn't going to do this, but she couldn't help herself, and she hands him the letter. Ben doesn't take it. Felicity tells him to just take it and so he does. He still looks really, really hurt. Felicity turns around and walks away and Ben stares after her for a moment, still looking really, really sad. God, this is killing me. ["Damn. For a second it looked like he wanted to speak to her. I think she should have lingered for a bit. And what the hell is wrong with a little groveling? If she were that concerned with respecting him she wouldn't have…never mind (sigh). --Dyslexia]

Felicity is working on her painting in the art studio. Felicity looks awful. ["Yeah. About as awful as Keri can look. The gorgeous wench." --Dyslexia] She is wearing the same red, white, and blue shirt she wore when she and Ben first broke up in "The List" and when Ben found out she spent the night with the frat boy in "Surprise." (Sidebar: I love that the characters on this show actually wear the same clothes over and over again, like real people. And I love that Felicity wears the same shirt every time things are bad with her and Ben. It's just a nice bit of continuity.) Hockey Guy comes in all pissed because he got an F on the midterm and Felicity apparently never talked to Cavallo. She apologizes and says that she has a lot going on. Hockey Guy doesn't care. I don't care about Hockey Guy. But apparently Felicity does because she promises to talk to Cavallo.

Trevor walks into lab to meet Elena. He talks about these articles that prove that men and women are different when it comes to sex. It's the same old "men need to spread their seed and women need a protector" stuff guys always use. Whatever. We get it.

Noel is working late at his job. Zoe wants to know why he's still there. She loves what he's done so far with the CD cover and then tells him he should go home. Noel says he should finish and Zoe starts to leave, but then turns around and asks if he wants to get some dinner with her, because she's dying for a pizza. Noel thinks about it but says that he should go.

Ben, Trevor, and Sean are at Epstein Bar. Ben is throwing darts and Sean is narrating everything. ["He's throwing darts like he's picturing Noel's-or Felicity's-head on the receiving end. But he looks damned sexy doing it." --Carmexa] ["As if there is anything he does that he doesn't look damn sexy doing. And I really don't think he was picturing Felicity's head. But Noel's is a definite possibility." -Litigia] Sean tells Ben to tell him if he is talking too much and Ben says that he is. Sean tells Ben that he needed to get out. Ben says he doesn't need anything, but Trevor thinks he needs a blonde, brunette, or a redhead. Whatever. Anyway, Ben says he's going to get another beer and asks Sean if he wants one. Trevor says he wants one, too, but Ben asks if he's sure. I imagine that is because Trevor nearly died from alcohol poisoning only two episodes ago. Trevor assures Ben that he's only had one so far.
Noel and Richard enter the bar. I think Richard is telling Noel that he shouldn't get involved with the boss's daughter. Richard spots Ben at the bar and tells Noel he has his back. ["Oh yeah, because you're safe as a kitten with Richard protecting you. Not." - Bitchavia] ["Although I agree that Richard would not stand a chance against Ben, I kinda think he could be good in a fight. I think he's scrappy and I bet he'd pull hair and bite and stuff." -Litigia] Then, he goes to the bathroom. Heh. Ben sees Noel and stares at him. Finally, he turns around and walks out of the bar. Sean sees Noel and shakes his head at him. Go Sean! I don't care if Noel loaned you all that money!

Noel shows up back at Webb Graphics carrying a pizza and a bottle of wine. Zoe is happy to see him and his pizza. Yeah, we can all see it coming.

Felicity is banging on her bathroom door, trying to get one of her annoying roommates to come out. Finally, one of them does and she's wearing Ben's green sweatshirt. She denies it's Ben's, but Felicity points out the bleach stain on the back and the annoying roommate hands it over. Then she mentions that they're out of toilet paper. I really hate these roommates and I don't understand why they are even here. ["I guess they're supposed to be comic relief? Except for the comic part. And the relief part." - Bitchavia] ["Kind of like the whole beauty pageant." -Litigia]

Meghan shows up with some toilet paper. Felicity gives her the sweatshirt to give to Ben. Felicity says that she can't see Ben again because there is "literally hatred in his eyes." Funny, I didn't really see hatred. I just saw massive amounts of sadness and pain. Anyway, Meghan says she can't wait to give it to him, so she can give him a piece of her mind. Felicity doesn't want her to, because she thinks Ben will think she sent Meghan to do that, but Meghan assures her that he won't. The annoying roommate comes up and expresses her excitement about the toilet paper. Meghan tells her that neither she nor her roommate is permitted to use so much as one square of the toilet paper to pick her nose. Felicity laughs and says, "I remember that." Me, too!

Noel and Zoe sit on the floor, drinking wine and admiring their work. They chit- chat about stuff that no one in the entire universe could possibly care about. Noel kisses Zoe. ["Noel is hands-down, the most disgusting kisser ever. Seriously. His lips form a sort of vacuum seal over the person's whole face. It's gross."-Carmexa]

Ben and Sean are playing a racecar game on Playstation 2. Ben looks like he is having fun. Awwww, how sweet is Sean? Meghan walks in and throws Ben's sweatshirt on his head. He thanks her, and she says that he should thank Felicity because she wanted to throw it in the incinerator. Sean tries to stop her but Meghan insists that she is going to give Ben a piece of her mind. Ben says he doesn't want to hear it. Meghan thinks it is completely moronic that Ben won't even talk to Felicity. Okay, here's the thing. I agree that Ben should talk to Felicity. But doesn't he have the right to have some space first? I mean, can't the guy have a couple days to sort all this stuff out in his head before he has to listen to her explanations? I don't think that is so much to ask. Anyway, Ben says he doesn't have to take Meghan's crap and gets up to go to his room. Sean says, "Nice." But Meghan isn't through. She heads to Ben's room. In a much softer tone, she tells him that Felicity loves him, that she loves him so much it makes her nauseous. That when she thinks about it too much, she has to barf. Awww, this is Meghan being romantic again. Meghan tells Ben that he should at least talk to Felicity and listen to what she has to say. Ben doesn't answer. He hangs his head, because he is still really, really sad. ["I'm just going to say right now that I adored both Sean and Meghan in this episode. I thought they were just the types of friends that they needed to be. I wish we got to see them in these types of roles more often." --Carmexa]
Ben lies on his bed, staring up at Felicity's painting. He turns to face the ceiling and sighs heavily.
Sean is furiously cleaning the kitchen. Meghan comes down and wants to know what's wrong. Sean tells Meghan that he can't believe she is taking Felicity's side. Meghan says that Felicity is her friend. Sean wonders if Meghan even cares that Felicity cheated on her boyfriend with her best friend. Meghan says not really. Sean thinks this means Meghan thinks it's okay to cheat. Meghan says sometimes it just happens. Blah blah blah argue. Meghan tells Sean it's not about them. Sean agrees and apologizes. They start to make out. Ben walks out and apologizes for interrupting them. He asks Meghan what Felicity wants to talk to him about. Meghan looks quite pleased with herself.

Noel and Zoe are making out as they walk toward a couch. Oops, Zoe's dad is there. Noel tries to make excuses about what he was doing. Dad fires Noel. Hee! ["Go, Dad, go!" - Bitchavia] ["Is that even legal? Can you fire someone for making out on the job, and if so, shouldn't both parties be fired? But it's Noel, so who cares." --Dyslexia]

Felicity explains to Hockey Guy that Cavallo won't help him out, despite his so-called extenuating circumstances. Meghan walks in and tells Felicity that Ben has changed his mind and that he wants to meet her for dinner. Felicity can't believe it. Meghan tells Hockey Guy that Ben is the love of Felicity's life. Hockey Guy didn't know that existed. Meghan says it does. It's gross, but it does.

Ben's dad is asleep in his hospital bed. He's still hooked up to I.V.s and monitors but he's not on the ventilator anymore. Ben watches him. Mr. Covington wakes up sort of startled and Ben comforts him. He asks him if Ben's mother is there, but Ben says she went to get some food. Ben asks if he needs something and Mr. Covington asks for some water. Ben gets it for him. Ben has a great bedside manner. He can be my doctor anytime. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. But also because he really does have a great bedside manner. Anyway, Mr. Covington asks if Ben's mom told him about the transplant list. Ben says yes and then says that she also told him that they were getting back together. Mr. Covington is surprised. Ben asks if it is true and he says that it is, but that he didn't think she would tell him, because she thought he would be too upset. Ben just looks down. His dad asks if he is upset. Scott Speedman does this great thing where he just looks up for a second at his dad without saying anything. Then, he looks back down and begins to speak. It's really subtle but so effective. Ben says that he's not upset, but he's worried it's just going to be the same crap all over again. Mr. Covington says that he still loves her. Ben ponders his father's words.

Elena and Trevor are at Elena's working on O-Chem. Trevor is figuring it out. They make small talk and then Trevor asks about why Elena's wedding was called off. He wants to know if it was because she cheated. Elena says it's complicated. Trevor says it must have been harder for Tracy because he lost Elena. ["Nice line. I don't know how genuine Trevor was being here, but nice line. And it worked obviously. " - Bitchavia] They kiss.

Ben stands outside a restaurant in the rain. He is looking at Felicity, who is sitting at the table alone, fidgeting nervously. He looks like he is thinking about turning around and leaving. Finally, Ben walks in and sits down. Felicity says, "Hey." Ben tries to dry off. Felicity asks how he is doing. Ben says he's okay, a little wet, but okay. Felicity says it's going to be storming all week. Finally, Ben looks at her. His eyes look so sad that I almost start sobbing. ["Yeah, that's the part that really got me. What amazing acting. Oops, I guess we weren't going to be redundant." --Dyslexia] He asks her what she wants to say. Felicity says that she doesn't know where to start now that he is there. Ben just stares at her with those eyes full of sadness and pain. Felicity asks if they can just sit and talk for a little bit. Ben says that he didn't come down there for them to just talk; that she said she had something to say and she should say it. It's not as harsh when you watch it as it appears when you read it. You can just tell that it is so painful for him to even be in her presence and he is doing all he can to sit there and listen to her. Felicity gathers herself and finally says that she wishes she could take it back and that it had never happened because she doesn't know what she was thinking. She talks about how she was upset about her dad and how she and Noel were up on the roof. Ben can't take it. It just occurred to me that Felicity blaming what she did on the crap going on with her dad must almost make it worse for Ben. He has had to deal with a million times more horrible stuff with his dad than she has and he never went out and screwed anyone else because of it. Ben just starts to shake his head. His voice catches as he tells her that he's sorry, but it's just too weird. Felicity looks down and holds her head in her hands. Ben says he has to go and gets up and leaves. Felicity just sits there trying to figure out if she said the wrong thing. Honestly, I don't think there was a right thing she could have said at this point.

Ben walks outside in the rain. Felicity runs after him, yelling for him to wait. Ben just keeps walking. Finally, Felicity says, "I love you." Ben stops and turns around. He walks back to her and tells her that he is really starting to hate that word, the way people use it. He hates how Felicity and his dad use it as if that is supposed to make everything better, make everything go away. Ouch. ["Ouch, indeed. What an amazing expression of his true feelings; as brutally honest as Ben was, Felicity really needed to hear him say it. Good for Ben." --Dyslexia] If there is anyone who knows how much pain and heartache Ben's dad has caused him, it is Felicity. Being compared to his dad must be about the worst thing she could possibly hear him say. Felicity begs him to tell her what she can do. Ben says she's already done it. He tells her that he's really tried to understand why she'd do this. He starts to say that every time he thinks about her and Noel, but his voice catches and he stops. Felicity tries to tell him that if he could only understand, but Ben interrupts her and says that he's sorry, but he just can't do that right now. He just can't. He turns around and walks off. Felicity looks completely devastated. Wow. Keri and Scott were amazing in that scene. I know I promised I wouldn't say it again, but I couldn't help myself. ["You are such a frigging liar. But I'll forgive you because they really were incredible here. You could feel the pain coming in waves off the screen. I feel like bawling just thinking about it." --Carmexa]

Felicity stops by Noel's guidance counselor office. She wonders when he's starting his new job. He tells her it didn't work out. She says she's sorry because she knows he was excited about it. He says it's okay and it's always good to have a back-up. They exchange a knowing look. It's as if in this scene, Noel finally realizes that he is nothing more than Felicity's back-up. If it were anyone else, I'd feel bad for him. But it's Noel, so I don't. At all. ["Me neither. I know you're all surprised that I don't feel pity for Noel. But God, he has got to be the densest piece of meat in the universe. He should have realized like THREE YEARS AGO that he was Felicity's back-up. What a dumbass loser. I hate him so much I can feel the bile rising in the throat." --Carmexa] After an awkward pause, Felicity tells Noel that it's going to take a while for her to understand why he told Ben. Noel says, "Me, too." Felicity asks why he told him. Um, Felicity, did you not just hear him? He says he doesn't know. ["They both know. Just nobody dares to say it. They can't say Noel is a jealous petty little ass. I don't know why because I have no problem saying it at all" - Bitchavia] But anyway, Noel says that it's like he keeps doing things, even though he hears a voice telling him to stop. So, it's not like he doesn't know what he's doing is wrong. He just doesn't care. Why doesn't he care? I don't care. I just know that he has acted like a complete asshole for months and I am so tired of it and I'm tired of Felicity putting up with it and I'm tired of people talking about what a great friend Noel is to Felicity no matter what crap he puts her through and I'm tired of Noel worshippers always making excuses for him. And that's all I have to say about that. ["Not bloody likely."-Carmexa] Felicity says she's going to go and that she just wanted to say, "hi." The each awkwardly say "hi" to one another. Felicity leaves and Noel sits there, contemplating how he has totally screwed everything up. ["Felicity is still being way, way, way too nice to Noel. Maybe that's why he never learns to get over her and leave her alone. She baits him. She needs to just cut him loose already. I can help. I have a sharp knife and I know how to use it. " - Bitchavia]

Ben walks out of the loft. Noel walks by him and they barely acknowledge one another. Noel stops and tells Ben that he's looking for a new apartment. What? Does he want a medal or something? Ben says, "okay." Noel asks Ben how his father is doing and Ben says he's doing better. Noel says that's good to hear. Ben says thanks and leaves.

Ben walks through the hospital. When he reaches his dad's room, he stops when he sees his mother through the window. She has a basin of warm water and she is shaving his beard. This scene makes me want to cry. When my dad was really sick and in the hospital, my mom would do the same thing for him. He was so sick from chemotherapy and radiation and having my mom shave him made him feel so much better. Ben is apparently as touched as I am, because a small smile comes across his face as he watches.

Ben and Sean sit on the couch at the loft drinking a couple beers. Ben says that his mom used to give his dad haircuts and that he supposes it was to save money, but that he thinks she really just wanted to be close to him. He says this wistfully and this is really the first time I have ever seen or heard Ben express any sort of positive emotion about his parents' relationship. Ben says that he wants to forgive her. Sean wonders if he's talking about his mom, but Ben clarifies that he means Felicity. But he doesn't know how to forgive her. He doesn't know if he's like his mom that way. Sean just sits there and listens, because he is the greatest friend in the world.

Ben lies on his bed, as the rain pours outside his window. Ryan Adams' "Harder Now That It's Over" plays, just in case you weren't sad enough already. [God, I love Ryan. December 5, babeee! --Dyslexia] Ben gets up and walks over to get Felicity's letter. He sits down on his bed and stares at the envelope for a moment before finally opening it. We hear Felicity reading the letter in voiceover. There is no way to do any sort of justice to this scene without reciting the letter word for word. So, here it is:

Dear Ben,

I dreamt once that I lost you. We were on icebergs
[scene shifts to Felicity lying awake in bed], and I can't remember if you were floating away from me or I was floating away from you. But I remember waking up beside you. It was the middle of the night and it was raining-like tonight. And I heard your breathing. [scene of Felicity and Ben carving pumpkins from "Spooked"].
Calming me. It was like we could speak without words.
[scene of Felicity holding the necklace Ben gave her and then him putting it on her, also from "Spooked"]. I wonder how and when we learned it. [scene of Ben taking Felicity's hand on the roof in "The List"]. This secret language. [scene of Ben and Felicity on the roof, watching the Charlie Chaplin movie in "The Aretha Theory"]. I only know that at some point, in the silences, I heard you. [scene of Felicity and Ben's first kiss in "Felicity Was Here"]. And now I'm left with words. These useless words. [scene from "One Ball, Two Strikes" when Ben told Felicity she was the one person he could trust; they hug]. When all I want is to be beside you again. To make you feel safe. To help you sleep. [scene of Felicity lying in bed in the present]. To bring you back to me.

Ben stares at the letter for a moment and then looks away. He lies back down on his bed, the letter in his right hand, his left hand clutching at his broken heart.


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