Friday, July 19, 2013

Friends Friday: Episodes 1.12, 1.13, and 1.14 (Recap)

Episode 1.12: "The One with the Dozen Lasagnas"

At last, Paolo "Crap Weasel" Jerkface meets his demise! Sure, I know he's all "hot" and what not...



But is he really? He looks like he may have forgotten to take a shower that  year. And Rachel can't have an actual conversation with him except the whole insipid "Poke-a-Nose" thing. Yeesh. Not that we were ever going to like Paolo, but he's exit via the Phoebe ass groping makes him particularly odious. The only silver lining is that we get some real Phoebe/Rachel bonding for the first time. Will Rachel blame Phoebe? It's possible - but to watch them instead blame themselves and then get properly angry with the Crap Weasel feels real and the girls come out the other end much closer than they were at the beginning of the episode. Also, this furthers one of the show's great themes: Rachel getting cheated on. First Barry, now Paolo, next Ross (sorry Ross, that really was your fault... but we'll get there).

There's some fun business with Joey and Chandler getting the first fooseball table and bickering like a married couple - it also affords a glimpse of crazy competitive Monica, who will come out in full force to great comedic affect in years to come. Plus, there's the big gender reveal, where the whole gang knows that Ross' baby is a boy and Rachel accidentally tells him. Rejoice!



That's the Friends way - silliness grounded in genuine pathos.

Also, the intro singalong of "The Odd Couple" theme at the beginning is adorable and endearing - much better than an extended metaphor about penises.

No additional hook-ups this week. Perhaps the "Sexysex Hypothesis" will be disproved - it's been a while since we learned of a new sexual partner.

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Monica: V
Phoebe: IIII
Rachel: II
Joey: II
Chandler: II
Ross: I

Best line:

"And then his hands weren't the problem anymore... Oh, boy scouts could have camped under there." - Phoebe (okay, so not all the penis jokes are bad...)

Episode 1.13: "The One with the Boobies"

Most of this episode is not that great. I don't love the tortured Joey-as-his-parents'-parent metaphor when he discovers his dad is fooling around. The accidental naked plot is light hearted and fun, but insubstantial. Though it does allow Ross to offer the most mature solution possible to the problem: "We're all adults here. Since you saw her boobies, I think you're going to have to show her your pee-pee." Clearly.

What is way more fun is Phoebe's boyfriend, Roger the Worst Psychiatrist! I sincerely mourn the fact that they never had Fisher Stevens back as a guest star. The way he sees through each of their facades ("Only child, right? Parents divorced before you hit puberty?") and calls them out on it is sooo satisfying. Plus, it has the added bonus of allowing the show to acknowledge the characters' annoying habits while still keeping you on their side. I mean, yeah, Rachel is spoiled but who is this guy to belittle her feeling of deprivation over the Weebles?

Some movement at last! Phoebe hits a double with the Puppet Guy and Roger the Worst Psychiatrist and pulls into the leave


The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Phoebe: VI
Monica: V
Rachel: II
Joey: II
Chandler: II
Ross: I

Best line:

"With your stupid big cups, which I'm sorry, might as well have nipples on them!" - Roger the Worst Psychiatrist

"I wouldn't want to be there when the laughter stops." - Roger the Worst Psychiatrist

"Monica, easy on those cookies there. They're just food, they're not love." - Roger the Worst Pyschiatrist

Episode 1.14: "The One with the Candy Hearts"

This episode has 2 shining moments (aside from the Janice spotting, which is always a highlight): the scene between Ross and Carol and hearing about the girls' past sexual exploits.

First, the Ross/Carol kiss scene is great for many reasons. One, the lovely Jane Sibbett is now in the role and brings a grounded reality to their relationship that just works. Two, we see Ross being able to look past his pain and reach out to Carol, who has seriously wounded him... bringing out a wonderfully sweet side of him in the process. Three, it's finally clear just how much love there is between these two. It's not like Carol stopped loving Ross - it's clear, to me at least, that if she had never figured out she was a lesbian, they could have had a very happy if generally platonic life together. It's satisfying to see her as a more fully realized character with complex motivations. Finally, I think this kiss is another step that the writers need Ross to take before he can actually go after Rachel. He has closure - the door between him and Carol is really shut, which allows him to move on with his life and treat both Carol and Susan with less bitterness. 

And in the great hook-up round-up, we find the girls getting biz-ay all over the place. Rachel & Pete Carnie, Rachel & Adam Ritter, Phoebe & the Click Name Guy, Monica & Howard the I-Win Guy, and Monica & Jerry the Sweater Guy. Also, Joey & the Whipped Cream Janice Friend. Girls are still on top at the end of the week. 

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Phoebe: VII
Monica: VII
Rachel: IIII
Joey: III
Chandler: II
Ross: I

And... here's a link to the AV Club's recaps

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