#1.15 The Fugue

"You and me and her, living in New York, is that not weird?" -Noel

Aired March 2, 1999

In a nutshell: Felicity learns that Noel's ex has been doing the New York Conservatory thing; Noel chooses Hanna over Felicity when he does the guy thing; Ben spends all his free time with Lynn; Julie sings; Felicity and Eli do it.

People who thought this up: J.J. Abrams & Ed Redlich (the writers); Lawrence Trilling (the director)

Guests: Jennifer Garner (Hannah), Dash Mihok (Lynn), Simon Rex (Eli), Alexandra Wentworth (Abby), Greg Grunberg (Sean), Jamie Hanes (Employee), Kent Dalian (Wes), Lawrence Fallean (Callie), Mataji Booker (Art Student).

Tunes: Sparklehorse ("Sick of Goodbyes"--Good Morning Spider)


Long summary

Abby's got performance reviews on her mind, but the only thing Felicity's thinking about is Hanna: specifically, what the heck she's doing in New York. She reminds Hanna (who just happened to stop by to use the phone) that she and Noel are doing great.

So when Noel mentions that what's-her-name is living in New York, Felicity's already one up on him. Living in the same city with his ex may be weird, but what's weirder is that Hanna wants to go out with them later that night--as in a threesome.

But wait, first Felicity must introduce Elena to the hunk that seems to be staring at them from afar--the hottie artist whom Felicity met when she was rediscovering her childlike sense of wonder with Todd Mulcahy. In true artistic fashion, Eli informs Felicity that she left some sketches in the studio (while Elena discreetly drools).

While this mini-fugue is brewing, Julie harmonizes with Sean, who's impressed with her singing. She's impressed that he's impressed, until Ben comes home with his swim team buddies and Lynn tries to tune her guitar--a truly unimpressing sight. She says adios.

And hello Hanna. Not only have the subways have got her confused--a topic she spiritedly discusses with Noel as they attempt to derail the finer points of NYC--but Felicity finds out she's also here for the long haul. Meanwhile, Julie goes on a hunt for Ben, who's playing darts, and Felicity wanders off alone to blatantly spy. Julie soon gets an earful of Felicity's Hanna theory: looks like the seemingly innocent ex is here to scope things out with Noel (and that's cynically speaking, of course).

So the only person who's surpised when Hanna sneaks in a kiss is Noel. Seems she's having trouble with a fugue she's composing, and being the nice guy that he is, Noel offers to help. That's when the duet happens.

While Felicity's thinking about her seminar project, it's that kiss that Noel's still thinking about--which he demonstrates to Felicity (too long for Felicity's tastes). Meanwhile, Abby is convinced that Felicity is slacking off in her duties, while Felicity is convinced that Noel is slacking off as future boyfriend material.

Elsewhere, slackers Julie, Sean and Ben are having problems of their own--Julie's mad at Ben for not supporting her musical aspirations; Ben's mad at Sean for butting into their argument; and Sean's mad at both of them for not paying any rent. But he doesn't mind sticking up for Julie, who's convinced that Ben's giving her the shaft.

At her place, Noel finally tells Hanna that he can't help her with her music. Which is hard. What's harder is learning that Hanna still has feelings for him, which she's harbored since she moved to the City several months ago to attend the New York Conservatory--while Noel attended to the likes of Felicity.

Which is why we like Eli so much. See, he's there for Felicity in a way that Noel isn't, and to prove it, he's got the sketches. Sketches of her, that is. That, and a picture of an unbreakable old man.

But when Felicity finds out that Noel is still singing the tunes of his ex, she confronts him for the facts. Is he still in love with the fugue girl? (unsolicited observation #1: admitting that you still love your ex is not a good way to make your current girlfriend fall in love with you). Obviously, Hanna's duets have penetrated his rational thought like a high pitched sonar device.

There's always that one person to raise your spirits when the going gets rough. In this case, that person turns out to be Ben--who tells Felicity that not only are guys confused, but Noel is crazy for choosing anyone other than Felicity. And that's the truth.

So when Julie gets the jitters during her singing debut, Ben's there for her, too. So is Lynn. He tunes her guitar (successfully, this time), and keeps the Lillith lullabye-r calmed before her first major performance in front of the assembled multitudes. But no need to worry: the guy before her is so bad that following him will be a cinch.

Not so easy will be dealing with the aftermath of Noel and Hanna's contrapuntal. Which is what Felicity discovers just as she's entering the dorms. She tells him that his lame excuses make her want to wretch (you go girl!) and that he's already essentially made his choice (think musical composition). Adios, Noel.

But she's not so upset that she can't see her good friend perform--which is what we like about our curly haired protagonist. She catches the tail end of Julie's song, along with Ben.

So it's a weekend night, and you've just been dumped. What's a girl to do? We couldn't have written it better ourselves, though we certainly could have predicted it (think Eli and those sketches).

Meanwhile, Noel is still concentrating on Hanna's fugue (which is hard). What's harder is believing that Noel is about to diddle his ex-girlfriend, while she fiddles with her fugue, unaware.

Eli is doing some concentrating himself-- you know, the artistic kind with Felicity as his proverbial subject. While he's sketching, the only other person in the studio takes off, leaving the two of them alone to contemplate each others' navels. With all that charcoal lying around, this process could very well start a fire.

The next few scenes alternate between the two couples in hot and heavy makeout sessions (did I mention that we like Eli?)

Then Noel says no to fugue girl, announcing that he shouldn't be there (duh).

Felicity, on the other hand, makes it clear that she's Noel-free, at least for the night. So when Eli asks her if she wants to stop, she shakes her head no (use your imagination).

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