#1.11 Friends

"Did you say traces of semen?" -Felicity

Aired January 26, 1998

In a nutshell: Felicity sees Blair kissing another woman; Julie begins the search for her long lost adoptive mother; Noel eats a lot of sausage and vodka in order to get a cheap vending machine; Richard imitates a vending machine; a weird guy in the library with extrasensitive memory notices that Noel wears a gold ring (a fact that this page maintainer was unaware of).

People who thought this up: Gina Prince-Bythewood (the writer), Todd Holland (the director)

Supporting cast: Shan Omar Huey (Blair), Elya Baskin, Robert Patrick Benedict (Richard), Donal Logue,
Boris Krutonog (Yuri), Ivana Milicevic (Sensa), Tammy Townsend (Tara), Jane Kaczmarek (Carol
Anderson), Ian Busch (Receptionist), Susan Dalian (Tina), Zare Ovsepyan (Brother 3), Zorab Ovsepyan
(Dimitri), Alex Temkovsky (Leonid).

Tunes: Paula Cole ("Feelin' Love"--This Fire), Heather Nova ("Walking Higher"--Oyster)

Quotes

Long summary

Felicity thinks that looking for books in the library may be a freshman hazing ritual, but kissing people who aren't your significant others, definitely is not. The strange guy with the hyperkinetic memory not only remembers Felicity, but points out that Blair has kissed Tara (who's not Elena) before. That, and Noel wears a gold ring.

In her weekly recording to Sally, Felicity is surprised by all the lives happening right in front of her. And the kissing.

So she asks Noel what he would do if he hypothetically saw her kissing another guy--the key word being hypothetical--and whether or not he would want his friend to tell him (since it happened with his mom once, which was awkward).

Felicity soon learns that Blair's hypothetical friend is not only not Elena, but her best friend Tara (it's nice to put a name to a face). Her professor may have bussed tables at the last supper, but all that pizza isn't helping her much, either. Elena tells Felicity that she and Tara are friends from way back.

Meanwhile, Julie is on a quest to find her way back mother (i.e. birth mom)--and seems to have hit the jackpot with the investigator she hired. She tells Ben that her name is Carol Anderson and that she's into architecture, but Ben is worried that Carol might reject her if she goes to see her--even though she (the mom) didn't give her (Julie) a chance when she was born, so why should she (the mom) get a chance now? (got that?)

Back in the dorms, Richard "barbecue guy" is upset that the candy machine doesn't work (since Noel bought two crappy ass ones instead of one new, good one)--while Sensa "mafioso woman" insists that she can get hook him up with a cheap machine--through her cousin Yuri "poisoned chocolate is good for the soul."

So Noel is dealing with the legalities of vending machines, while Blair just wants to talk to Felicity--to make sure that they're cool. But hey, all she saw was the back of some brother's head--which she insists was his balding one--so of course it was him, cheating on Elena. Which makes him lose some of his cool.

Even cooler is the fact that Noel is finally leaving--as in, the dorms--so he can fetch his new machine (Sensa's cousin has a gypsy cab). Though Felicity may not want to make money selling her hair, Noel is certain that he's in for a ride--the gypsy cab kind, of course.

Meanwhile, Julie's busy fixing her own hair, getting ready to see her architect mom. Even though it looks like crap--and her mirror is a toaster held up by Ben.

Felicity sees Blair and Elena (yes, Elena) kissing in the dorms.

Apparently, Sensa's told her family that Noel's her boyfriend, even though he'd like to think he's just a damn good R.A. But it's a win win situation--he gets a new machine, and she gets to be left alone by her worrywart mafioso family, who's always calling (to tally up the number of Kelvin Hall freshmen who have since died of Estonian chocolate poisoning). Even though he may lose his self respect for about an hour.

So it's self respect that's on Noel's mind when he learns that Sensa told her family about the fire "they" were in (you know, the non-sex/fire scene in Gimme an O!), and her Vodka-swilling brothers immediately challenge him to an arm wrestle.

More challenging is the fact that Julie must actually knock on the door, first, to see her birth mother--whose quarters probably house a maid. But hey, she's seen Ricki Lake. Much to Ben's chagrin, she decides not to go through with it.

But Noel just wants his machine--prompting him to go through with his charade as Sensa's boyfriend (and retelling that fire story, yet again, with visual effects). Though it may be awhile before Yuri makes an appearance.

Meanwhile, Felicity's thinking that eyewitness testimony might just be unreliable--especially after seeing how well Elena and Tara can jam. They may be playing their favorite song--to the tune of Z98--but Felicity's thinking of not playing along when she decides that maybe it wasn't Blair kissing Tara after all (just some other bald guy with funny teeth).

But she can't escape what she saw--which she quickly learns after recalling some story about 27 packets of salt (something about being called Felatio Porter, but I was in the kitchen at the time, chopping eggplant). What I did see was Noel "vodka is good for the soul" smooching Felicity "it'll never stand up in court" while mentioning his stint as Sensa's boyfriend--which was, incidentally, too sad to be jealous about.

So Felicity gets called to the principal's office... er, Elena's room, as a witness to the prosecution, to find that Blair and Tara have already taken care of their defense--the smooching, as they tell it, being completely by accident. Although she can't be certain, Felicity concurs that yes, it could have been--and she's got the "Noel kissed his Mom" story to prove it.

But Noel's got bigger problems than kissing his mom--namely, Ben, whose knack for eliciting candy bars out of broken vending machines is really annoying. Even though he's not really a Payday kind of guy (and no, Noel doesn't picture him).

While Ben may have a knack for eliciting candy, though, he's less successful getting information from his women--who just want to be left alone (especially after hearing doubtfulness about certain pencil-wielding birth mothers). Julie just wants to write a letter, after all.

But Elena doesn't want to be left alone--at least, not yet--when she decides to give Blair another chance. Even though she can't get the image of him and Tara out of her mind.

Julie on the other hand, clearly has tape recorders on her mind when she asks Felicity to borrow hers, so she can make a tape for her mother (less censorship that way).

But maybe it's Yuri who needs to be censored--for comparing a vending machine to a woman (something about money and knobs. I was still chopping that darned eggplant). Meanwhile, Sensa's brother seems to know that Noel is not really Sensa's boyfriend, even though he thinks he's a good friend--and a surprisingly strong arm wrestler.

So while Noel is busy squishing arms to the tune of Russian mob songs, Julie is busy making a tape--which she plans on sending to the mother lode. How else can she explain her fast metabolic rate and love of guitar if they don't ever meet?

More importantly, though, is the fact that traces of semen can be found on bathroom door knobs--which Elena warns Felicity about as she heads to the girls' room and yet again encounters the hyperkinetic memory guy. Only this time, he's got even better dish--seems that Blair and Tara have taken his space more than once, and he's got their attire down to a tee, to prove it. But when Felicity mentions what the weird guy saw, Elena gets defensive--after all, Felicity's never been to her house or seen her cry (qualities of a true friend)--which Tara has.

But Felicity's warnings don't go completely unheeded--even though Tara's drawing looks like a whiter, hairier version of Elena's last boyfriend. And yes, Blair is bald by choice--while Elena's just thinking she might have made the wrong choice as Tara and Blair casually tease each other.

Meanwhile, Felicity is casually playing with Noel's sideburns, while he ponders over the vending machine manual, and she over her tiff with Elena. Even though Noel tells her she did the right thing by being honest--and that he can program the vending machine to get two for one--she's still thinking that she should have stayed mum.

The only Mum Julie is thinking about, though, is a Ms. Anderson, whom she finally meets in the flesh when she applies for an internship at the firm. But Carol has no clue who she is.

Noel unsuccessfully tries to buy a candy bar from the new machine.

Elena calls Blair and cancels their concert date, claiming she has too much studying. But she tells him to go anyway.

Julie apologizes to Ben (for pushing him away? Accepting his Payday bars? Yodeling the Mighty Morphin theme song at 2 a.m., when he was sleeping? It wasn't entirely clear).

Speaking of sleeping, it's napping that Noel, Felicity and her hair are doing when Elena stops by--seems that she could really use the company (the one with the hair's).

Apparently, so can Blair--whom the two spot outside the concert with you-know-who (think man-stealing wench... no, not Hanna). Felicity comforts her friend, and, oddly enough, finally gets to see her cry--but doesn't get to see her house, which makes her a sort of true friend, at least by Elena standards.

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