#1.10 Gimme an O!

"Keep your eye on the ball." -Elena

Aired January 19, 1998

In a nutshell: Felicity & Noel's planned night of passion goes up in flames; Julie and Ben hide the fact that they went snowshoeing in Vermont; Blair gives Elena a stretchy piece of fabric that she mistakes for a skirt; Felicity finds out about Ben and Julie just before she is about to have sex with Noel, which causes them not to have sex; Felicity learns that Meghan reads.

People who thought this up: Jennifer Levin (the writer), Tom Moore (the director)

Supporting cast: Robert Patrick Benedict (Richard), Amanda Foreman (Meghan), Greg Grunberg (Sean), Ian Gomez (Javier), David Bowe (prophylactic guy), Roz Witt (bookstore clerk), Brian Klugman (Guy), Rio Dkin McGee (firefighter), Shan Omar Huey (Blair)

Tunes: John Henry ("Take It All Away"--Debut), R.E.M. ("Everybody Hurts"--Automatic for the People), the theme from the 1966 French film "A Man and a Woman" (Un homme et une femme)--during the Felicity/Noel hotel room scene ("was that a toilet flush?")


Long summary

Opening scene: Noel is mediating an argument over a dried out Christmas tree as Felicity, in her return to Kelvin after winter break, prepares to give him a speech (she wants to have sex, with him). This causes him to drop his brand new I-Mac --making it difficult for noelcrane.com to hit the big time.

In a voiceover (as she walks through the cafeteria) Felicity muses that everyone seems to be having sex, except for her [ed. note: a scene they BLATANTLY stole from the "Pressure" episode of "My So-Called Life"].

Julie and Felicity discuss being back at school, which feels like they never left, even though technically one of them didn't (Julie). Ben comes by, and Felicity tells him that she saw his dad in Palo Alto. He casually asks Julie how she is.

At the coffeehouse, Felicity suggests that Noel get tested for HIV, which he is all over. He just wants to make sure he heard her right about the whole sex thing.

Blair gives Elena a blue, stretchy piece of fabric for "being so cute"--even though she's not quite sure what the darn thing is. But he thought it was just perfect for her.

Elsewhere, Ben is being invited to parties by total strangers--something that would have made Noel jealous a few days ago, but not now, because he's past all that. After all, life is moving and things are changing (and he's about to have sex with you know who).

Meanwhile, you know who is scouting out sex information for personal edification, while the bookstore clerk's just trying to explain how good it feels (it's a book). And no, Felicity's not making her uncomfortable, she's just talking really loud. The clerk recommends "Gimme an O!" and tells her to check out p. 46.

Sean suspects that Julie's become a new roommate (because toothbrush = live in girlfriend), which Sean respects--as a businessman, but not as an apartment owner. In the mean time, Julie's afraid to tell Felicity about Ben, and Sean's afraid that Julie's toothbrush is becoming a permanent fixture.

Noel informs Felicity that he is safe sex material, and they attempt to schedule their night of passion. They finally decide on a Wednesday night--she'll have to cancel work, but no biggie.

To prepare for the big night, Felicity makes a visit to the student health center, where the counselor guy (who, incidentally, also played the student ID photographer in the Pilot) demonstrates the art of putting on a prophylactic--in graphic detail. And no, it isn't like getting sick of ice cream.

She bumps into Julie after the session, and tells her about her upcoming big night. But Julie's not ready to tell her about Ben--not yet. She congratulates Felicity instead.

But she is ready to tell Noel--who's doing a little preparing himself (situps--which is so pathetic). She wants to tell Felicity about Ben but can't bring herself to do it, even though all they did was a little snowshoeing in Vermont. Noel advises her to wait--he's pretty sure she won't care anyway.

Meanwhile, Elena is advising Felicity to keep her eye on the ball--metaphorically speaking, that is (though sexy underwear doesn't hurt). She shows Felicity her stretchy blue thing, which Felicity interprets as a top.

Turns out that even Meghan's heard about Felicity's plans to bone the R.A., and "Gimme an O!"-- Felicity's new nightly reading -- was her roomie's favorite book in eighth grade. But Felicity doesn't want any sex advice, despite the fact that p. 49 makes Meghan all nostalgic.

Nervous and ready to just get it over with, Felicity barges into Noel's room, starts going at it, and, in an interesting scene, loses her pants without ever taking them off (watch this scene closely if you don't believe me). But Noel's starting to feel like their activities are being nationally televised, and then there's a fire to put out--literally, when his dried out Christmas tree bursts into flames after the junior fire squad accidentally walks in (but hey, they can still have sex).

In a quieter moment, Noel suggests that they try again--this time, without the fanfare. He's booked a suite at a hotel, and Felicity, at last, can feel like a member of the human race (sex by a rip roaring fire isn't romantic enough for him).

So Felicity asks Javier for the night off, and he agrees to cover for her--even though he doesn't believe in having national holidays every time a person gets lucky. And he wants details.

Meanwhile, Ben and Julie are rocking with Walt Whitman in Julie's room (without the fires).

At the suite, Noel's still thinking about sex, not mini bars--whose contents Felicity was deprived of as a child. The coke's on her as they toast to a better second time around.

Back at Julie's, Ben tries to persuade Julie to come to his place and make use of her toothbrush--but she's convinced Sean hates her. They're about to kiss, when the phone rings.

It's Felicity, who's not only calling from her hotel bathroom (yes, that was a toilet flush), but about to go through with the whole "losing her virginity" extravaganza (as Phoebe Buffet would say). Julie doesn't seem to share in her excitement.

So it's Julie she's thinking about when she goes back to Noel, who, after a little smooching, reluctantly tells her about Julie & Ben. He thinks she's still obsessed with Ben-boy, and, to test her, informs her about the snowshoeing. Then he does a little softshoeing--all the way back to the dorms, to the tune of REM's "Everybody hurts."

In mid-song, Elena stops by and asks for his opinion of her new skirt. She accurately assesses that he's blaming Ben for things that go wrong in his relationship with Felicity. Which is really starting to bug him.

"It's not a skirt," Blair tells Elena in the cafeteria. Turns out she's been wearing a headband around her ass, after all. Though not everyone could pull that off.

Julie and Ben finally get to kiss, but only after doing some laundry. She just wants to take things slow--especially in light of what happened with Zack.

So when Julie sees Felicity in class, she's thinking that maybe she should tell her: except Felicity already knows, and is happy for her best friend. After all, liking someone's supposed to make your life better, not worse (ed. note: not necessarily!). Ben comes by, and Felicity excuses herself to do something important. And it doesn't even involve a toilet this time.

Noel beats her to her room and admits that it was silly of him to be jealous of Ben--plus, it'll be a cinch for Felicity to get over Ben with him around (kinda cocky there, Noel). They postpone sex, and Felicity acknowledges that he's her first real boyfriend. Aw.

In the final scene, all three couples (Noel & Felicity, Blair & Elena, Julie & Ben) join each other in the cafeteria for some grub (double aw--or wretch!-- whichever way you want to look at it).

1999 jenoy@pacbell.net Please do not reproduce without permission.