Season 1, Episode 4: “Boggled”
Original airdate: Oct. 20, 1998
Muskan: Before I delve into why Noel upset me this week, I’d like to discuss one of the noteworthy developments in this Felicity episode that doesn’t involve a love triangle. That’s the introduction of pink shirt-wearing Brian Krakow, whom I should probably start calling Zach.
He looks quite different from the boy next door to Angela Chase, and it took me a moment to recognize him, especially when he accidentally turned all his clothes pink (yes, even his underwear, as we got a rather close-up shot of).
The reason I was delighted to see Zach is that it offered a welcome break from the Ben/Julie/Felicity drama that had been building up over the first three episodes.
Julie has been stuck in a rather uncomfortable position, caught between her new friend and the guy she slept with. Her attempt to distance herself makes perfect sense.
Zach, an awkward film student, fits the mold of male creators in teen shows who often imprint themselves on one of the male characters.
For example, Josh Schwartz did it with Seth Cohen in The OC, and it’s clear that Kevin Williamson channeled himself into a character like Dawson in Dawson’s Creek. Zach might serve as a substitute for JJ Abrams or Matt Reeves.
There’s a certain familiarity in Zach’s noir movie that he shares with Julie, reminding me of the film the kids create in Super 8 (minus the zombies).
The scene where Julie watches the film and offers criticism is uncomfortable but well-executed because showing someone something you’ve created can be incredibly nerve-wracking, and it’s hard to accept critiques even when they are valid and will ultimately improve the project.
By the end of the episode, everything is resolved, and I’m eager to see how this relationship unfolds.
(Note: You mentioned your focus on male creators due to the show’s context.)
Julie has a more extensive dating history than Felicity (who, to my knowledge, hasn’t dated at all). However, her dating pattern isn’t the healthiest. Typically, Julie dates a guy even when she’s not into him, choosing to stay in the relationship until he breaks up with her.
This behavior is all about avoiding confrontation and preventing harm to the other person, making it an extremely passive approach. Julie breaks this cycle with Ben, but it takes on a different dysfunctional form.
She informs Ben that she has already planned out their future and knows it won’t end well. Ben believes this decision relates to Felicity, although Julie denies it.
I think it partly stems from her desire to untangle herself from this complex romantic web while preserving her friendship with Felicity.
By the end of the episode, things have settled between Felicity and Julie. Felicity even calls Julie from a payphone at a restaurant to seek advice about Noel before the major reveal. I’ll pause here; what are your thoughts on the Julie storyline in “Boggled”?
Janavi: I’m looking forward to seeing if the JJ/Matt imprint theory continues to hold for you in a few episodes *cryptic*
I absolutely loved the scene where Julie watches Zach’s movie. When you start college, you often feel like you’ve figured it all out. You believe you’re already a great filmmaker, writer, singer, or whatever your passion may be.
However, there comes a point where you must recognize that the people around you have valid insights to offer about your art and that you don’t know everything.
Julie played that role for Zach, and who knows, he might go on to create LOST after this, so kudos to the former Pink Power Ranger.
Yes, the introduction of the “Pink Guy” is a welcome change for several reasons. He’s none other than Brian Krakow, bringing his adorable nerdy charm, and most importantly, he distracts Julie from Ben, which was much needed to break free from that unhealthy cycle.
The girls are finally moving on from that complicated relationship with Ben. Julie connects with Zach, and Felicity shares a kiss with Noel.*
However, Felicity is still hanging onto Ben, and it’s getting a bit strange. Her decision to follow him to track tryouts, while it might be considered sweet in some contexts, comes off as creepy since these were just tryouts, not actual meets.
It’s reminiscent of how people felt exposed sitting in bleachers full of athletes back in the Freaks and Geeks days. Watching track tryouts seems like a step too far. Felicity needs to stop being weird.
Thankfully, Felicity does appear to be broadening her horizons. She makes a new friend in this episode (we’ll discuss that later), and she shares a romantic moment with Noel. What did you think of their kiss during a game of Boggle?
*Discussing this show can be amusing because there’s a Noel AND a Julie. If Noel and Julie ever get romantically involved, things might get a bit complicated around here.
Muskan: That’s indeed cryptic, and let’s hope Zach doesn’t become a serial killer.
Felicity’s track tryout escapade did come across as a bit stalkerish. While supporting your friends is great, doing it secretly crosses the line.
When Felicity mentioned that the venue was on her way home, it sounded like a classic “I was in the neighborhood” excuse, and I reacted similarly.
Ben’s subdued demeanor in this episode is intriguing. Perhaps he’s feeling this way because he struck out with the girl or didn’t perform well at the tryouts.
It could be a realization that high school glory doesn’t guarantee the same success in college, just as Zach is learning he’s not the best.
As for the Boggle scene, it was quite intense. I’ve never played Boggle myself (I know, it’s surprising), and it doesn’t strike me as a game that typically leads to spontaneous moments like this unless alcohol is involved, which wasn’t the case here.
They used the JJ Abrams-favored “in media res” technique for the kiss in the opening and then used the tapes to Sally as a way to revisit the moments leading up to the kiss.
The scene and the awkward interactions that followed, including “Just for the record, you’ve never been weirder,” were delightful. But then Noel dropped the girlfriend bombshell, and I yelled at my screen.
It’s an interesting attempt to subvert the usual tropes – the good guy hiding a big secret and the bad boy revealing a sensitive side. I can relate to getting caught up in these tropes, and I usually lean towards the good guy as well.
While the girlfriend’s reveals can be frustrating, it add depth to the show and creates more conflict. It’s only episode 4, and there’s still much more to explore.
The lack of photos of Hannah in Noel’s room and the absence of any prior conversation about her is indeed puzzling.
It gives the impression that he might have been trying to mislead Felicity. Claiming that both he and Hannah can see other people also seems like a stretch, considering the duration of their relationship.
As for the kiss and the girlfriend reveal, it was a surprising twist that added a layer of complexity to the characters and their relationships. It definitely keeps the audience engaged and curious about what will happen next.
Janavi: The kiss, let me pull a J.J. Abrams and discuss other things first before delving into it.
It’s clear that Ben’s character works better when he’s away from all the girl drama. He seems to grow as an individual when he’s not entangled with Julie or Felicity.
On the other hand, Julie with Ben and Felicity with Ben tend to create toxic situations. However, when Ben is on his own, like when he’s out for a run, he seems to be doing just fine.
Now, about the kiss – it’s a noteworthy moment, especially since it occurs during a game of Boggle (which I’ve played before, but not recently). The scene emphasizes Noel’s perspective as he watches Felicity’s lips while she reads out her list of words.
Initially, it seemed like he was mesmerized by her mouth, but knowing about his girlfriend’s revelation raises questions about what was going through his mind.
Noel having a girlfriend doesn’t necessarily make him a “bad boy.” If he had kissed Felicity, not told her about Hannah, and continued dating both girls, that would be a different story. However, he did confess to Felicity rather quickly.
According to him, he and Hannah have an “understanding.” While he makes a foolish mistake by not informing Felicity about Hannah, he doesn’t come across as a straightforward bad guy.
It’s possible that he was just testing the waters before fully committing to something with Felicity. Perhaps he viewed his two-year investment in Hannah as something valuable and hesitated to throw it away for someone he considered flaky.
The timeline of whether he saw Felicity watching Ben’s track tryouts before or after revealing Hannah is a bit unclear, but it’s an interesting aspect to consider in his decision-making process.
I can understand why you feel for Noel in this situation. It’s a valuable piece of advice you’ve shared about not having a boyfriend or girlfriend when going to college.
College is a time to meet new people, explore new experiences, and grow as an individual, and being tied down to a long-distance relationship can limit those opportunities. Your personal experience with your boyfriend at the time illustrates this well.
College is a time for freedom and exploration, and it’s okay to prioritize your personal growth.
Indeed, the absence of photographs of Hannah in Noel’s room in 1998 does raise eyebrows. It appears as if he was actively trying to erase her existence, which could suggest some level of dishonesty.
The reaction to the potential Noel and Felicity relationship seems slightly exaggerated. The notion that it’s forbidden or scandalous is somewhat melodramatic.
He’s her Resident Advisor (RA) and only a year older, so it’s not as if he holds any significant authority over her. His main perk might be a shared fridge, as you pointed out.
As for Elena, the fact that she’s in the opening credits suggests that she’s a significant character in the show. What were your impressions of her character?
Muskan: It’s interesting how fashion trends have evolved over the years. Those short shorts you mentioned might have been quite fashionable in the late ’90s, but they do appear rather short by today’s standards.
Noel’s attempt to clarify his relationship with Hannah was somewhat awkward, especially when he resorted to showing a picture of her. It seems like he was trying to be honest but may not have fully understood how to navigate such conversations.
Creating an advice column based on personal experiences and TV shows sounds fun. It could provide a unique and entertaining perspective on various aspects of life and relationships.
Elena’s straightforward and to-the-point personality offers a nice contrast to Felicity’s more contemplative nature. It’s clear that Elena’s comments influenced Felicity’s perspective on Noel. It’s good to see that the conflicts between them were resolved, and you’re looking forward to their interactions in the future.
Meghan’s character adds an interesting dynamic to the show. Her often snarky comments and peculiar actions, like putting underwear in the fridge, make her a memorable roommate for Felicity.
Meghan’s fashion sense is quite representative of the ’90s, and it’s fun to see how the show captures that era’s style.
What are your thoughts on how these new characters, Elena and Meghan, will continue influencing the storyline?
Janavi: Noel’s attempt to show Felicity the picture of his girlfriend might indeed be seen as a bit of a jerk move, especially when considering the context. It’s interesting to see how his character evolves throughout the series.
Elena and Meghan are indeed fascinating characters. Elena’s self-assured and strong-willed personality makes her a refreshing contrast to the more boy-drama-focused characters like Felicity and Julie.
Her character reflects the need for stronger, independent female characters on TV, like Cristina Yang. Meghan shares some similarities with Elena in that she knows who she is and isn’t afraid to be herself.
Her memorable actions, such as putting underwear in the fridge and replacing an apple with a tub of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter,” add humor to the show. Both Elena and Meghan contribute unique dynamics to the series.
It’ll be interesting to see how these characters continue to develop and influence the storyline, especially as the series progresses.
Muskan: It’s reassuring to hear that Elena’s character seems like a positive addition to the show, and you’re eagerly anticipating the introduction of Javier.
It’ll be exciting to see how the dynamics and storylines evolve now that Felicity’s circle of friends has expanded beyond the typical boy drama. Enjoy watching the upcoming episodes!
Janavi: *checks IMDB* Looks like Javier is in the next episode! He’s real!