Friday, September 27, 2013

Friends Friday: Episodes 2.3 and 2.4 (Recaps)

Episode 2.3: "The One Where Heckles Dies"

First things first: we learn in this episode that Joey dated a man... or a woman with an enormous Adam's apple. It's hard to say.


Anyhoo...

As much as I like this episode, I mourn the fact that they killed off Mr. Heckles so early in the series. I mean, we endured Ugly Naked Guy jokes for five full seasons, long after the laughs were gone. Could we not have kept their bitter, slightly crazy neighbor around for another year?

Things start off with the girls finally fighting back at Mr. Heckles' irrational belief that they are being too loud.


It's not until later that they find out that they may or may not have killed him. And that he has left his apartment filled with junk to them. There are some good laughs played off of Rachel's love for kitschy junk and Monica's refusal to let it into the apartment. I wish that this side of Rachel had reemerged later in the series, but I think Bloomingdale's and Ralph Lauren class her up, sadly.

The real center of the show is Chandler's over-identification with Mr. Heckles' curmudgeonly ways. This may shock you, but Chandler is not very mature (*gasp! horror!*). This immaturity comes to bear most strongly in his romantic relationships. Rather than dealing with the fact that no person is perfect and therefore no woman is perfect, he finds minor reasons to reject them. As he gets a closer look at Mr. Heckles' hermit life, he starts to realize that maybe he's on the same one way road to creepy loner-ville...


Chandler wouldn't be Chandler if he achieved lasting insight, but his journey in the shoes of Mr. Heckles is both funny and touching and, really, that combination is when Friends is always at its best.

I also adore the plot between Phoebe and Ross. Ross cannot. stand. the fact that Phoebe is skeptical of evolution. Phoebe delights in torturing Ross with this fact. Hilarity ensues- I just love, love, love it, perhaps because it's like watching the two halves of my mind embodied and in conflict. I also love using this episode as an example of the flaws in strict scientism.

Chandler reveals two past sexual partners... Chandler & the Big Nostril Girl and Chandler& the Girl Who Doesn't Hate Yonni.

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Monica: VIII
Phoebe: VII
Rachel: V
Joey: V
Chandler: V
Ross: I

Ross 'n' Rachel State of the Union
Ross likes Rachel: 22
Rachel like Ross: 3
They like each other but aren't together: 1
They like each other and are together: 0
Nothing's going on: 0

Best line:

"Well, maybe the overlords needed them to steer their spacecrafts." - Phoebe on opposable thumbs.

"How will you face the other scientists? How will you face yourself?!" - Phoebe after Ross caves

"Not hating Yanni is not a real reason." - Ross

"Kids won't walk, they'll run past my place. 'Run! Run from crazy snake man!' they'll shout." - Chandler on his future alone

Episode 2.4: "The One With Phoebe's Husband"

Phoebe married a gay ice dancer? Steve Vaughn is her husband?


Yes, her husband. Poor Phoebe - she fell in love with a gay ice dancer, married him, and then was forced to divorce him when he fell in love with another woman. Sweet irony. (Or not...)

Unfortunately for her, she's not even kind of the most interesting thing going on the episode named for her. No, what makes this episode a stand out are the two b-stories (also true in the previous episode). First, we find out some amazing details about the friends. Monica had sex with Fun Bobby on the balcony. Chandler has a third nipple. Joey was in a porno as the guy who walks in on people having sex. The scene of them watching that porno is pretty darn funny.

The coup de grace is Rachel trying to persuade Ross not to have sex with Julie and the lengths that she will go to talk him out of it. It ends, as Ross/Rachel conflict stories always do, with her putting her love of Ross and her desire for him to be happy above her own personal feelings. All is right in the friends universe, but Rachel's repressed feelings will live to fight another day.

Ross and his girlfriend finally get it on and Ross doubles his number of sexual partners: Ross & Julie.

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Monica: VIII
Phoebe: VII
Rachel: V
Joey: V
Chandler: V
Ross: II

Ross 'n' Rachel State of the Union
Ross likes Rachel: 22
Rachel like Ross: 4
They like each other but aren't together: 1
They like each other and are together: 0
Nothing's going on: 0

Best line:

"Why yes Ross, pressing my third nipple opens the delivery entrance to the magical land of Narnia." - Chandler on his third nipple's special features

"You're so smart and funny and you throw such great Academy Awards parties!" - Phoebe on why her husband can't be straight

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