#1.17 Happy Birthday

"Felicity likes artists, mummy." -Meghan

Aired April 27, 1999

In a nutshell: Noel goes apartment hunting; Meghan's parents come to visit; Julie turns 28 (oops, I mean 18) while learning that Carol "I'm not your mother" is so her mother; Ben puts more money on the Knicks; Felicity gets to shake Meggy's box.

People who thought this up: Tracy Abrams (the writer); Elodie Keene (the director)

Guests: Greg Grunberg (Sean), Amanda Foreman (Meghan), Robert Patrick Benedict (Richard), Brian Klugman (Guy), Jan Schweiterman (Louis), Dash Mihok (Lynn), Jane Kaczmarek (Carol), Nancy Lenehan (Fay), Paul Vincent O'Connor (Walter), Susan Dalian (Tina), Marina Malota (Amanda Anderson), Joey Zimmerson (Matthew Anderson).

Tunes: REM (song title unknown--Up); Roxy Music ("More Than This"--Avalon)


Long summary

Noel may be guy scum, as Elena puts it, but she better get her last denigrating words in now. Because he's moving--to any place that accepts guy scum.

Elena asks Felicity if she knows about Noel--whom she saw with the classifieds (and no, it's not going to be one of those guy scum speeches). She tells Felicity that he's moving.

Felicity passes by Noel's room, and they both try not to look at each other.

Meanwhile, Meggie is in a panic: the 'rents are coming to visit, which a schizophrenic Felicity happily confirms. But alas, she didn't invite them. Which puts Meggie in a tizzy.

Even more daunting is the serious shortage of dance music: which Elena will have to definitely scavenge for. But Julie's just thinking about ho-ho's and ring dings, while Noel's still thinking about Felicity--even though he can't seem to make eye contact with her.

Cut to a scene of Carol Anderson walking down the dorm hall.

The 3 gals, sweater queen included, are chowing on pizza when she pops in. Seems that Ms. Anderson has brought her daughter (yup, her daughter) a birthday present, plus an apology for denying that she was her mother. The two embrace, while Elena and Felicity skidattle.

Noel's thinking of skidattling, too--to another apartment--even though it was Felicity who technically diddled that other guy. Though the dorm may have a hard time functioning without him, he tells Guy that he gave up his rights to the curly haired girlfriend as soon as he walked out with the straight haired one.

Meanwhile, Sean's thinking of straightening out his brain--that, or relieving the tension in his head (tension?). And Julie's going to meet Carol, even though she doesn't seem nervous, while Sean seems nervous about Ben: specifically, his lack of rent money. But he tells Ben to get Julie a substantial birthday present nonetheless.

Now that Meggie's parents are here, an older couple disguised as normal people, Felicity catches a glimpse of the real Meghan, unraveling--you know, the one with the Laura Ashley duds and perfect table manners. Except she's still obsessed with her box, which Felicity claims as her own--right after she informs the 'rents how much she likes to taunt poor Meggie with it. While Meggie's just thinking how much she'd like to skewer her roomie.

Carol tells Julie that they will have to keep their relationship a secret, regardless of Julie's big voice.

Felicity may have heard that Noel might be moving, but apparently has not heard about elevator buttons--more specifically, pressing them. They rush out when the doors (gasp!) open.

So Elena asks Felicity where her pride is, now that she's admitted that she wants to talk to Noel. But punching Noel in the nose just isn't the answer, regardless of how well it worked with Blair.

Meanwhile, Ben thinks Julie is understanding for accepting Carol's charade, while Sean's just trying to understand Chloe--so he can figure out a good second date strategy (without the day planner).

Lynn's strategizing that he made twelve G's last year on basketball--G's, not C's. But Ben isn't interested in being hooked up.

And Julie's tired of being the hook--as in hook, line and sinker--by being kept a secret, which she tells Carol at work. That's when she meets Carol's other daughter--you know, the one she doesn't lie to.

Felicity may not like art, but she does like artists--a fact that Meggie is eager to share. While Meggie's parents are busy inviting Felicity to dinner, Meghan's busy hiding her new preppy clothes (which are so darling), and talking about things: as in things Felicity should do to avoid further harrassment from her newly sanitized, but still snarky, roommate.

Meanwhile, Noel is still out looking for apartments, while Felicity's busy looking at his closed door, wondering (Has he fundamentally disappeared? Is he ever going to shave those sideburns? Who will I discuss the third season escapades of Joey, Dawson, Pacey and Jen, with?)

Ben confirms that he wants Chicago for one hundred--C's, not G's. And of course Lynn will keep quiet about his friend's gambling.

So it's the Knicks Ben's watching intently, while Sean waits patiently for his rent check--and for Chloe to call. Which she does, when she cancels their date for a bibliographic emergency (as Ben pretends to look sad).

Meanwhile, Julie's life is being turned upside down by the knowledge that Carol's husband is also her real pops (and, in a foreshadowing of her affinity for investigative work, that the little girl Amanda is her half sister).

Richard's busy doing some foreshadowing of his own, when he complains to Noel about the heat in his room. But Noel's too busy selling off his watches to notice (and everything is half price). He tells Richard he's quitting, and moving, too, when Felicity passes by his closed door yet again.

Although things may be a little weird with Carol, Julie is definitely still on for the party.

And Walter's on Felicity--following her to the mailroom, actually, to explain his deep curiosity for all things box. She can't exactly explain, but Walter, who's looked inside the mysterious thing, doesn't want that kind of negative influence on his Meggie. And she certainly can't just throw the contents away.

Julie watches Carol and her family have dinner in some restaurant, then calls her own parents to tell them how much she misses them.

Noel tells Felicity that his new place is available Thursday.

At the party, Louis tells Noel how much the dorm will miss his rambling speeches and constant references to Photoshop, when they hug awkwardly. Meanwhile, Noel and Felicity (yet again, this makes 3 times in one episode) engage in a staring / non-staring contest.

Julie gets her substantial present after all--from Ben "I only have C's". It's a guitar pick... no, it's a whole guitar... no, it's a Power Ranger suit, embroidered with little pieces of Felicity's hair... no, it's a guitar. She's thinking he can only afford the pick, but he makes up some lie about his dad sending dough.

What Ben should have done was pawned something good from Noel's dorm/yard sale, as Richard would testify with his brand new watch. Meanwhile, Elena's thinking Felicity should stay proud, while Felicity's just thinking Noel should stay--as in not move--because so many of them need him (Guy, Sensa, Julie, Elena, Richard, Dawson, Jen, etc.) Plus, how can they resolve their issues if he bails?

So Julie's finally getting some good birthday vibes as she blows out her candles, while Meghan's sending friendly vibes to her roomie--unsmilingly, I might add--with the last clean cup. But hey, Richard's cake is fair game. Even Noel's smiling a little, too, though he's probably just thinking about Noelcrane.com.

1999 jenoy@pacbell.net Do not reproduce without permission.