If she wants the cute but irresponsible Ben, then Noel is going his own way, says Ken Tucker

By Ken Tucker
Updated May 18, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Felicity: Isabella Vosmikova/The WB

Felicity

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Noel won’t settle for Felicity’s friendship

Thank goodness Javier (Ian Gomez), Felicity’s coffee shop boss, returned for the May 16 episode. TV’s most delightful sprite of a man was suffering from heart pain, and he was thinking the worst: ”If I don’t make it,” he told Keri Russell’s Felicity, ”I want you to have my collection of cashmere sweaters.”

Javier’s comic relief was most welcome. Noel (Scott Foley), having kissed Felicity at the end of last week’s episode, and thus putting himself back in competition with Scott Speedman’s Ben, this week left himself wide open for the words no guy wants to hear: ”Friends. That’s how I feel about you.” This provoked a gratifyingly angry response, in which Noel listed Ben’s worst traits: irresponsibility, hotheadedness, and an apparent inability to say ”No” to any other woman who takes a fancy to him. Noel concluded, ”I don’t want to be the loser guy friend anymore. You’re on your own.”

As he left, the semi truths he’d spoken (he’d conveniently left out the fact that Ben is a lot cuter than Noel, knows how to look wounded / sexy better than Noel, and speaks in a softer, less strident manner than Noel) registered with Felicity, who looked momentarily dismayed.

Big subplot: Sean (Greg Grunberg) and Megan (Amanda Foreman) went to the couples therapy session they’d mutually agreed upon. The therapist was played by Teri Garr, whose character’s name, Dr. Zwick, was ”Felicity”’s sly dig at ”Once & Again,” in which cocreator Ed Zwick this season played… a therapist. These scenes were at once corny and sweet, but we had to return to the more volatile Felicity / Ben / Noel triangle, which culminated in Felicity, teary and confused, dumping her problems on the barely recovered Javier, who told her she’s going to have to pick one or the other, fish or cut bait, or, as he put it in a typically mangled yet astute observation: ”You’re trying to eat your cake too.”

Haven’t we all tried this ourselves a few times, and don’t we all know what wise, silly Javier means?

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Felicity

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