First, a bit of business. I'd like to announce that I'm officially ending the use of the nickname "Knoll" for Noel in the recaps. Not because the others on the show have finally learned how to pronounce his name, but because getting all the emails telling us the correct spelling isn't worth it.
Felicity kicks it old-school to start us off, sitting in her darkened room, heaving a big sigh, picking up her tape recorder, and saying, "Dear Sally." Felicity looks very distressed about something as she explains that she got Sally's message and returned the call, but that Sally's machine picked up. Keri Russell's hair has grown out a lot over the summer, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I really liked it at the length she was wearing it at the end of last season. Anyway. Felicity continues, "So, I'm a senior now, officially, which is, um...I mean, I'm sure everything's going to be great. It's not like..." Felicity pauses and struggles to hold back tears, twisting her mouth. She collects herself and continues, "I mean, things have been much more complicated than this."
The camera pans back and the soundtrack picks up, as Felicity asks, "Have you ever had such a good summer that it was sort of a problem?" Well, since you ask, I have. I spent the summer before my senior year at college with my friends, and it was awesome, and then my roommate came back, and she was all resentful of the closeness between us, and felt excluded and...oh, she wasn't asking me. Felicity explains, " I spent the last three months here in New York, with Noel." Uh oh.
We switch to a Felicity voice-over (FVO) as we see footage of Felicity and Noel chasing each other around the loft with cans of whipped cream, spraying each other. I think there's a bowl of fruit and chocolate ice cream on the table in the foreground. FVO says, "At first I thought it might be, you know, awkward, with everything that happened at the end of last year. But I was wrong....I mean, we spent the whole summer in Central Park, or at the Angelika." I'd love to tell you what else Felicity and Noel did over the summer, but unfortunately, my tape ran out right here. So imagine me fumbling around for a new tape and cussing up a storm as Wing Chun fills you in on what I missed.
Wing here. Dude, you hardly missed anything. FVO goes on, "Or at Yankee games, and the Strand eating really bad food. We spent the summer not thinking, which I didn't even realize until I started getting these clippings from my dad." Cut to the roof, where Felicity, Javier, and Noel are sitting up on the roof, sunning themselves. Felicity opens an envelope and unfolds a couple of bits of paper, exclaiming, "Oh my god!" Javier asks whether she's reading "that article on Gwyneth." She says she isn't. Javier effuses, "It is fantastic! Please read it so we can talk." "He sent you another clipping?" Noel asks. Felicity replies by reading the note: "'This girl graduated Harvard Medical at twenty-two. FYI, I thought you'd be interested. Love, Dad.'" Noel cracks, "'FYI, compare yourself to another successful person that isn't you.'" Felicity reads the end: "'P.S.: Please return my calls; stop avoiding me.'" Noel asks whether she's avoiding her father, and Felicity bitterly confesses that she is: "If I call him, he'll start probing me about my life, and I'll get all nauseous." Javier, sitting between them, officiously asks, "Noel? Get my back?" "Speaking of nauseous..." Noel snorts. Javier calmly informs him, "Okay. The problem is? That when you make the jokes? They're never funny." So true. Felicity giggles and says she'll do Javier's back. "You, I love," Javier tells her. Noel congratulates himself on doing the crossword puzzle in ink. Felicity tells him, "Dinner's on me." Noel says that was kind of his motivation. They Will&Grace, "What were you thinking --?" "The new Chinese place --?" Felicity asks Javier whether he'll join them, but Javier begs off: "Before she gets back from Buffalo, I have to perform some errands for the bane of my persistence." Felicity exposits, "Give Elena a break -- she's getting married!" Javier moans that it's not soon enough: "This is the last wedding coordinator gig of my life!" Noel, apparently having ignored the part of the conversation where Javier said he wouldn't be having dinner with them, tells them to figure out where they're having dinner while he goes for a run. Before he gets up from his chair, he assures Felicity, "That clipping means nothing." Felicity quietly thanks him, and Noel takes off. As soon as he's out of sight, Javier turns around and raises his eyebrows at Felicity -- a particularly funny gesture since he's wearing those little no-raccoon-eyes tanning goggles and his eyes are thus invisible. Felicity's all, "What?" And, back to Kim.
Felicity rubs sunscreen on Javier's back as Javier mentions that he has not heard "one particular noun, all day long: Ben. Jameen." Felicity reassures Javier that Ben is her boyfriend, and that she loves him. Javier counsels Felicity that this year is not going to be as easy as she thinks, and then screeches, "Aieee!" as Felicity slaps him on the back. Felicity finishes with the lotion and puts it in the basket...er, on Javier's chair, and leans back to soak up some sun. Haven't these people ever heard of skin cancer? I mean, Javier is a swarthy Mediterranean type, but Felicity has pretty fair skin. Anyway, FVO says that she wasn't sure why the clippings from her father bothered her so much. Felicity looks at the clippings more closely as FVO says that they were a bunch of strangers her own age who know "exactly what they're doing with their lives, as if it's all that matters." Heat waves shimmer as FVO concludes, "But they did bother me. They do bother me."