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Thoughts on the Felicity ending.

May 15th, 2011 (03:07 pm)

So I kinda liked Alias, at least the first three seasons, and liked Lost (save the first part of season 3, which was pretty bad), so I thought I'd give J.J. Abrams previous series, Felicity, a shot. 

There will be SPOILERS to come.

Felicity follows a girl, Felicity Porter, through her college years at the University of New York, a ficitionalized version of NYU.  She follows her high school crush, Ben, there.  While there, she becomes involved with another young man, Noel, her freshman dorm RA.  The bulk of the show follows the various relationships of Felicity, Ben, Noel, and friends of theirs, Sean, who either rents or owns a co-op loft and sublets it to about half the cast, Meghan, Felicity's freshman dorm roommate, Elena, a friend Felicity meets in freshman pre-med classes, and for the first two seasons, Julie, another friend from Felicity's freshman dorm.

Felicity dates Noel much of season one, then chooses to spend the summer following freshman year with Ben, leaving Noel stranded at the airport waiting for her.  Felicity and Ben date off and on for most of the next three seasons, with a few brief and not-so-brief breakups along the way, Noel pining away for her and waiting for her to see him as more than a close friend.  Everyone, including Ben, can see how Noel feels about her except for Felicity.  Early senior year, in a moment of weakness, Felicity sleeps with Noel, causing a rift to occur between her and Ben.  During a brief breakup period, Ben has sex with another woman and she gets pregnant with his child, deciding to keep it and move to Arizona where her parents can help raise the child.  Felicity and Ben fight over this, with Ben eventually deciding to go to Arizona to help be a father to his child, and Felicity deciding that it's time she stopped following Ben and make decisions that are right for her.

Having switched from pre-med to art sophomore year, then realizing late senior year that she did want to be a doctor, Felicity has to go back for another year of undergraduate pre-med work.  She does this back in her home town of Palo Alto, presumedly at Stanford.  Ben, also having switched to a pre-med major his senior year and needing a fifth year to qualify for med school, follows Felicity back to Palo Alto where they renew their relationship. 

Things go well for some time, but Felicity is shaken by the death of Elena, who dies in car accident while attending Columbia Med School.  This prompts her to retreat from the world into her studies, creating an emotional distance between her a Ben, who cheats on her with a mutual friend the two met in their premed program.  Having broken up, again, Felicity travels to New York to attend Noel's wedding to Zoe, a woman he met as a part of his and Sean's graphic design business.  While there, she laments to Meghan, a Wiccan who believes she can cast magic spells that actually work, that she wishes she could go back to the night she spent with Noel just before her senior year and choose to be with him instead of Ben.  Meghan has a spellbook with a time travel spell in it.  Felicity casts and spell and wakes up on the night she slept with Noel.

This new timeline occupies four of the last five episodes.   Felicity breaks up with Ben and tells Noel she wants to be with him.  They make an attempt to get together, but Felicity's erratic behavior causes him concern, and he realizes that despite everything she's been saying, she still has feelings for Ben.  Other unexpected ripples occur, including her friend losing his job, Sean and Meghan not getting married and breaking up, and generally nothing goes as expected.  She finally confesses, first to Meghan, then to Noel that she's time-traveled.  Meghan accepts her belief as mostly harmless, but Noel and Ben come to believe she's had a psychotic break and she's temporarily committed for observation.  Ben later comes to believe her and breaks her out, but that same night a disaster occurs - a fire in the administration building.  In the original timeline, Felicity was there late painting, and Noel saved her life.  In the new one, Noel dies in the fire.  Felicity manages, with Meghan's help, to track down the author of the spellbook she used to time travel.  He helps her cast a reversal spell, telling her that if it works, she'll wake up back in her own time.  She spends the night with Ben, who begs her forgiveness for whatever he might have done, and promises he'll be loyal.  When she awakes, she's back in her own time, her friends gathered around her, telling her she's recovering from a high fever, and Ben again asks for her forgiveness, using exactly the same words as in the alternate timeline/dream.  She forgives him and they're back together.

They attend Noel and Zoe's wedding, where Elena and her former fiancee, Tracy, are mysteriously still alive.  There is no explanation for this, they're just there, together, Elena alive.

In the DVD commentary, it is explained that there are cut scenes that explain this - just before going to sleep, Felicity realizes that Elena will be dead if the spell works, so she goes to Elena, wakes her up, and urges her to attend Duke Med School instead of Columbia, writing her a note and shoving it in her hand.  Back in the present, when Elena shows up at the wedding, she tells Felicity that she followed Felicity's advice, and met Tracy there, where they reunited.  These scenes were cut for time purposes.

This explanation causes more problems than it solves.  We have three possibilities:

A:  The time travel was a fever dream and none of it really happened.  If this is what happened, Elena should still be dead. 
B:  The time travel actually occurred and Felicity changed the past.  If this is what happened, Elena would be alive and Noel dead.  There are numerous other problems with this theory, mostly having to do with no changes occurring other than with Elena and nobody having any memory of the altered timeline, but Noel still being alive is the big one.
C:  The time travel occurred as shown, but Felicity was returned to her original timeline instead of one altered by her actions.  Noel would be alive and Elena dead. 

There is no reasonable explanation for the time travel episodes that results in both Elena and Noel being alive. 

As for Felicity choosing Ben in the end and forgiving him his latest indiscretion as a result of whatever happened, time travel or fever dream, this is consistent with how their relationship has gone before, so it's not really much of a surprise, and is in character for both of them.  It isn't, I think, a happily ever after ending, at least not for Ben and Felicity.  Ben, and to a lesser extent, Felicity, has a history of ending up in someone else's bed when things get difficult in their relationship.  His way of dealing with relationship problems is to find comfort with another woman.  This is not a relationship that is likely to last long-term.  What's more, Felicity knows this, which is why she attempted to change things in the first place.  Her chance to be with Noel, however, had long since passed, even by the night they spent together.

As with other of J.J. Abrams shows, Felicity started strong, had a wonderful first-season cliffhanger, but tended to run out of steam as time went on.  By the time I reached the end of the time-travel episodes, I was more concerned with whether Sean and Meghan's relationship would survive than who Felicity would end up with or the health of her and Ben's relationship.  It's not unlike Lost, where I really didn't care much how the Kate/Jack/Sawyer triangle would resolve itself, but did care about the relationships of several supporting cast members, chiefly Sun/Jin and Desmond/Penny.

Yeah, I know, a ten-year old low-rated soap opera isn't exactly cutting edge, but it's what's on my mind today.

Recent movies I've seen:

Tron Legacy:  Messy plot, weak characters, dazzling, but ultimately not very interesting visuals. 

Secretariat:  Mediocre, especially compared to the similar but much better Seabiscuit.  No characters to care about, and trying to make Secretariat an underdog does not work.  I'd reccommend The Great Dan Patch, which doesn't make the mistake of trying to make the title horse into an underdog, over Secretariat.

Machete:  Violent exploitation movie that aims low and does exactly what it intends extremely well.  More entertaining than Tron Legacy and Secretariat combined.


I recently was in a chat room in which people were discussing OTP from their favorite television shows.  OTP stands for One True Pair, the one romantic couple, either an actual couple or one the fan would like to see/have seen from a particular television show.  Apparently this should ideally apply to a show with a strong romance element and in which there was some doubt as to who would end up with whom, and need not be restricted to couples who were actually romantic partners on the show itself.  Also apparently, I'm bad at this, as I tend to gravitate toward supporting characters who obviously belong together and thus create little controversy, and not develop a strong vested interest in whom the protagonists pair up with.

A few of my OTP's from various entertainment franchises:

Felicity:  Sean and Meghan
Lost:  Desmond and Penny; Jin and Sun a close second.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara
Angel:  Fred and Wesley
Gilmore Girls:  Lorelai and Luke (None of Rory's boyfriends were really a good long-term match for her)
Party of Five:  Charlie and Kristen
Alias:  Marshall and Carrie
Justice League:  John/Shayera
Glee:  Santana and Britanee (I have my hopes that they'll eventually get together as an official couple)


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 19th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
stupid ending!!

I just randomly stumbled onto this searching for an explanation to Felicity to the finale. I agree that those scenes don't really answer anything!
I don't really think of those as 5 episodes as canon, and the shows ending for me was 'the graduate'

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: June 25th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Re: stupid ending!!

I agree that "The Graduate" is a better ending point for the show. I think the time travel section is meant to be ambiguous and allow for the viewers to interpret them however they like. My interpretation is to pretend they don't exist.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 25th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)

The Graduate was originally shot as a potential series finale. Apparently, WB exec's decided to extend the show by 5 more episodes which led to the whole time travel debacle.

There were actually quite a few inconsistencies caused by adding these episodes, and it really ruined the integrity of the show. For me, the real finale is The Graduate.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 15th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
So agree

I totally agree with what you wrote! I just finished watching Felicity and I was so confused by why Elena and Tracy were there at the end, that I HAD to look it up online and see if anyone else felt the way I did. I just don't get what they were thinking when they did those time travel episodes. In addition, I don't grasp why someone as smart as Felicity would continue to take someone back that repeatedly cheated on her, not that she was any better, but at least her's were one time things and not month long affairs. I wanted them to be together until the cheating info popped in. Ugh. So frustrated by the direction they went. Thanks for letting me vent!

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: October 17th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Re: So agree

Happy to be of service. :)

Posted by: ! (ominousspectre)
Posted at: October 26th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)

I just did a google search also about the end and this journal entry is in, like, the top 6 hits! Considering all the other forums are years old, I figured I'd post this here since your post is public and I was hella confused about Elena's existence as well! Hope you don't mind that I'm posting this here, but all the old Felicity forums seem to be dead and you seemed annoyed enough about it that I thought you might appreciate the solution I came up with for Noel and Elena to both be alive. Forgive me, but it sort of sounds like fanfic:

Season 4 never happened aside from the first episode of the season. At the end of the summer, Felicity realizes she's fallen in love (again) with Noel and becomes increasingly conflicted with her decision to continue with her art career. These conflicts between 2 different men and 2 different lifepaths and the beginning of her senior year, finally lead her to a nervous breakdown that not only leads her to sleep with Noel, but also leads her to end up in the mental hospital with the correct diagnosis of psychosis. Since she actually (in my version) is struggling with her breakdown, Ben forgives her for sleeping with Noel and chooses to support her (it's in character - she's a damsel in distress, right?). However, because everything she's saying is literally crazytalk, there is no Lauren and he doesn't actually end up believing her - and thus, never breaks her out of the mental institution. Noel, not distracted by Felicity's break-out from the institution or that particular phone call concerning it, would have had the presence of mind to get out.

Anyway, Noel lives and Felicity takes a semester off and continues her stay in the mental ward. Ben is wonderfully supportive, and this continues to strengthen his desire to be pre-med which keeps his grades up. Felicity eventually gets better and her stay in the hospital once again motivates her to study pre-med (maybe she wants to help develop drugs for mentally unstable. Who knows?) Ben and Felicity stay in NYC because Lauren never happened, Noel meets Zoe when he got to work at the graphics firm, Elena never dies and makes up with Tracy and, hey, if Megan and Sean were meant to be, let's say they got back together by the time of Noel's wedding (or are at least amicable friends).

The night before the wedding, Felicity has a slight relapse, her and Ben have a fight where he calls her crazy (that's what he apologizes to her for that's unforgivable) and she has a flashback dream to the beginning of her senior year. That's how she knows Zoe's name and she shows up in her dream because, hey, she just saw her at the rehearsal dinner or whatever. Perhaps in the original psychosis she was coming back because of Noel's wedding, but we'll pretend that she didn't give any of the details about the bride at that time.

The fact that it took me 3 paragraphs of speculation to find a solution for Noel and Elena to not be dead is absolutely ridiculous, but it's my day off and I was bored enough! Also, I think JJ Abrams decision to do those extra 5 episodes the way he did was just as silly, so whatever. If this is obnoxious let me know and I'll delete it!

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: October 27th, 2011 08:54 am (UTC)

It's not obnoxious at all; comments are welcome, especially relevant and thoughtful ones like yours.

I do, however, like the simplicity of just ignoring the time travel episodes, though that lacks the benefit of keeping Elena alive.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 27th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
just finished

heh. I guess I'm not the only one who watched this when it was released on Netflix. Just finished the 4 seasons tonight, I didn't see them the first time around.

The last 5 episodes seemed to be a little fun time travel experiment for JJ Abrams. He obviously loves the idea. And my un-informed read on this is that the makers of the show weren't taking themselves too seriously and let JJ go with his little experiment. I mean, they know how overly-analytical and somewhat ridiculous the show was. But they were young and having a good time. There was even a scene when Ben and Noel were worried about Felicity being sick since she was talking about time travel - i swear that the actors were having a hard time keeping a straight face.

Anyways, seeing parallels to LOST, enjoying the humor and characters and seeing the preferences and early experimentations that were later explored in LOST - this was the main draw in what kept we watching all four seasons.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 31st, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)

I am so glad I'm not the only one who recently watched the show.
The way I see it, the last 4 episode enabled the cast to show there comic acting abilities,
And it is very clear that there approach was different and more light headed then before.
Maybe the "lost" idea started back then in JJ Abrams mined and therefore there is no reason to look for logic.
But – In the beginning of episode 18 Felicity is telling the story to Sally, while she is "time traveling"' or more logically, hallucinating from high fever.
I think she "killed" Elena in the dream because in her subconscious
She needed a good reason to explain why she drifted away from Ben.
I don't agree that cheating for an entire month is in character for Ben – the guilt would have consumed him. I do believe the he hurt her and she exaggerated in her dream to justify her anger. This might also explain why she forgave him so fast.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: November 4th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)

Felicity was always a mixture of drama and comedy.

As for Lost, it was pitched to Abrams by ABC executive Lloyd Braun after a treatment by writer Jeffrey Lieber failed to please Braun sufficiently, and Abrams, Lindeloff, and Cruse then filled in most of the details for the first few seasons.

That said, I agree that Abrams was obviously indulging his affection for supernatural and science fiction elements that would later play prominent roles in Alias, Lost, and Fringe.

I just don't think it was particularly well done on Felicity, which is firmly rooted in a fictional universe pretty close to reality.

Regarding Ben's infidelity, while I agree he'd have felt guilty afterwards, it still seems in character to me for him to have done it in the first place.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 3rd, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
confused by Felicity ending

just finished spending WAY too much time watching Felicity on Netflix, and I have to agree here - I am completely confused as to why Elena is alive with Tracy at the end of the show.

It's almost as if - the last scenes, when they are showing everyone at Noel's wedding party - are just scenes of the cast enjoying their last day on set, and it didn't matter who was there or not. Even if they had already been deceased on a previous episode (Elena), and no longer involved in the story line (Tracy).

I have to say, I was disappointed, to say the least. It really made no sense at all.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: November 4th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
Re: confused by Felicity ending

It does feel like a tacked-on happy ending, doesn't it?

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 13th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm finally free!!

I just finished watching Felicity on Netflix. I have to say I kind of enjoyed the post "Graduate" time travel arc. I thought it was kind of fun; I laughed out loud during some parts (even when she dumped Ben.) I think it could have been a good little canon if they didn't mess it up in the last 5 minutes. The Elena thing made no sense and wasn't even necessary. And even though I find Scott Speedman way sexier than Scott Foley, I kind of thought she should have picked Noel from the beginning. Ben was kind of a "dick" all along, as he would put it. Their relationship became almost tedious to watch. They did have pretty good chemistry though.
I think if I was watching it in real-time, the time-travel arc would have upset me as a fan. But squeezing in four years into a month made the pill a little easier to swallow. This has been a fun little site; your initial synopsis and the subsequent comments have been a timely diversion from my CPA exam studies. It's nice to vent about this in a forum other than my husband, who enjoyed making fun of my little Felicity guilty pleasure. Thanks again.......back to studying! :)
Oh, by the way....I like your analysis on the characters from other shows....I'm a Buffy and Angel fan, as well as Lost. Any Smallville musings?

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: November 14th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
Re: I'm finally free!!

Good luck on your CPA exams.

I think Noel would have been a better match for Felicity had Felicity pursued that relationship fully early on - Noel is her intellectual equal, is also (like Felicity) an artist in addition to his main vocation (computers), and they seemed to have an easy chemistry with each other.

Felicity choosing Ben at the end of season one seemed to me to be more about her taking chances rather than taking the safe path; Noel was the "safe" choice and Ben was the risky one, a theme revisited several times over the series - pre-med (safe choice) or art (risky)? Stanford (safe) or UNY (risky)? Follow in her father's steps (safe) or strike out on her own (risky)? Choosing Ben was more about showing to herself that she was willing to take a risk and live with the consequences as much as it was about how much she liked each of the two.

Personally, I find Scott Foley to be quite a bit sexier, but then again I have a thing for nerdy, smart guys.

As for Smallville, I've seen, I think, three episodes. I just didn't click for me, though it should given that I'm a comic geek. That said, there definitely seemed to be a bit of a homoerotic subtext to Clark and Lex's relationship and I seem, based on what I've read in online forums, to be the only person on earth who likes Smallville's Lana Lang.

Part of it is that I like that they didn't feel obligated to make her a fair-skinned, blue-eyed redhead just because that's how she is in the comics. Also, she seemed to have good chemistry with Clark, and in a romance, chemistry is more important for me than the quality of the actor's performances.

I may give Smallville another chance; I like coming fresh to older shows so that I can watch them in marathons and absorb them as a whole.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 15th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm finally free!!

I agree with you on Felicity's choice of Ben and the theme of self discovery/independence. Although I kept thinking maybe she should have focused less on these silly boys and more on her studies; but that would not make for a very good, soapy, drama! :)

I was into Scott Foley the first season, but then I think the writers messed up his character (especially after the weird Natalie stuff) and I couldn't get back into him. Ben I always thought was somewhat charming, but I couldn't get over all the creepy stuff he did; he stood up his "little brother" for God's sake!!

Definitely check out Smallville if you have a chance, especially if you're into comics. The first 5 seasons are more of a soapy-coming of age-Clark and Lana-dramafest, but the last 5 seasons visit some of the lore as Clark struggles to accept the superhero he really is. Granted, the writing suffers in a couple seasons, but the last two seasons make it worth while. I was an original "Clana" fan, but over time they beat that horse to death, and as a fan was ready to move on. Seeing your other shows, I think you would like this one, especially watching it in fast-forward on DVD instead of real time. Also, another great, angsty, teen-drama: Dawson's creek!! Now there's a show needing of couples analysis!!!!

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: November 18th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
Re: I'm finally free!!

What makes you think I'm into teen soaps like Dawson's Creek? [checks list of shows referenced in recent posts]; oh, well never mind. I suppose I could say that those are mostly pastiche shows - BTVS is horror with teen soap elements, Glee is a musical/soap, Pretty Little Liars is a mystery/thriller/teen soap, Gilmore Girls a small town comedy with sopa opera elements, but then again, I do have Felicity and Party of Five listed, and there's really no getting around those being straightforward teen soaps.

Concerning Dawson's Creek, had I been in charge of the finale, I'd have gone the way the makers of The Wonder Years did with their resolution of Kevin and Winnie's relationship - Kevin and Winnie finally get together one summer that they're camp counselors and have what Kevin remembers as an idyllic summer together, then eventually go their separate ways and end up with other people as adults. Which is to say I wouldn't have had Joey end up with either Pacey or Dawson.

I found Jen the most interesting character on that show, at least the season and a half I watched of it, probably because she was played by Michelle Williams, who routinely is the best thing about anything she appears in; she has that ability to disappear into a role so thoroughly that all you see is the character.

That said, I haven't seen the latter seasons, so I don't know how things developed among the primary quadrangle of characters.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 23rd, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
So agree again

I don't even know why I'm still thinking about the show, but it occurred to me that you made a good point as to the fact that we are supposed to assume one of two things:
1. Felicity had a delirious dream while sick with a fever
2. Felicity really did time travel to the past.

If delirious dream, Elena should be dead. If time travel, Noel should be dead...yet everyone is alive in the end. I really loved the show until JJ Abrams blew mind with the last few episodes. I expect it in Fringe, but Felicity should be cut and dry. Okay...for real this time...I'll stop venting.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 19th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)

This is a little off topic... I just finished watching felicity on netflix and I couldn't help but notice a pretty significant missing piece. Maybe its because of the filming schedule, maybe they were done filming before there events when down in real life, I don't know. I couldn't find online the exact dates they filmed season 4. But I just kept noticing that they were supposed to be in their senior year, the year 2002, but there was never any mention throughout all the seasons or reference to 9/11 or anything which was in 2001. I mean, this show is supposed to be about college students in Manhattan. They definitely would've been affected by the September 11th attacks, right???

Anyone else notice this sort of thing?

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: December 19th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Re: random

I hadn't noticed that, but it does seem curious. Maybe the creators wanted to keep the focus on their characters, or thought that using the events of 9/11 in a forum intended for entertainment would be disrespectful. Maybe they didn't know how to deal with it; some things are just too big to process for some time afterward.

According to Wikipedia, the premiere of senior year was in October 2001, so the entire season played out after 9/11.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 19th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
random question...

I just finished netflixing all 4 seasons of felicity for the first time. It was so fun to go back 12 years and remember how things were before everyone carried cell phones, texted, had maps on their phones. When we had to call our friends land lines and leaves message on answering machines. Or make plans with them in advance and hope things don't change between leaving your apartment and getting to your destination. All things that seem so archaic now... Another example is being able to go with a friend to their gate in an airport without a ticket for a flight. An example like when Noel went with Felicity and sat with her at her gate in the airport to fly back to San Francisco. Okay here's where my random question begins... That scene got me thinking. She had just written her name and date of graduation (2002) on her closet wall. But then Noel is in the airport with her...which post-911 doesn't make sense to us, right? Then I started thinking that technically their entire senior year would've been in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Obviously the show is filmed in advance of the year they are portraying, but I was surprised that being a show based in Manhattan about college students, there was no mention of it. Is it possible the whole season was done filming before 9/11? I guess so... I just thought it was interesting. It must've been really strange to watch the original airing of senior year in 01-02 knowing how New York had changed so much.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: December 19th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: random question...

When it comes to cell phones, I'm still living in the last century; I don't have one. I'm not a phone person.

I doubt the entire season was filmed prior to 9/11. Television shows generally start a new season with a small number of episodes ready and film others as completed episodes air. My guess would be that the first episode or two were done and they subsequently chose not to deal with those events on air as the rest of the season played out.

It is sort of like Gomer Pyle being in basic training for about five years and no acknowledgement that Vietnam even exists being made.

I remember the West Wing had an episode or two ready to go, but delayed for a bit and produced a special, out-of-continuity episode, that dealt with some of the issues involved. Subsequently, they went on with the season as planned.

I think it was just a matter of needing some time to deal with things, some time to process things before putting them into something meant to be entertainment.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 19th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)

Ok, so I've read and know all about why the DVD's have alternate unknown music than the originally aired episodes which used songs from up and coming or well known artists. But it still bums me out.
I never watched the originals that aired in 1998-2002, so I feel like I missed part of the experience. Like for example...sophomore year, ep 20, when Meghan was assuring Ben that Felicity still had feelings for him. She said she always knew because Felicity would start listening to Sarah Mclachlan again. In the DVD's I don't think there's a single Sarah Mclachlan song heard. That's what made me realize I was hearing all the wrong music.
Does anyone know if there are originals out there somewhere? Or is it only the few people who saved their VHS recordings that have the pleasure of getting the true Felicity experience? :)

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: December 20th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
Re: music

My guess would be the latter. There probably isn't, and never will be, a legitimate source for episodes with the original soundtrack. Daria had the same problem - music licensed for the original broadcast was too expensive for the DVD release - and this delayed things for years. It makes little difference in the case of Daria, as the show was animated long in advance of the soundtrack being selected, which was subsequently dubbed into the appropriate sequences.

It seems a little strange in an era in which quick, easy downloads make exposure of this sort an attractive and profitable proposition. Artists often offer Glee reduced licensing fees for their work, which makes sense because they more than make that money back through royalties on the cover and the subsequent bump in download sales of the original. What they lose up front they make back quickly enough.

I can't say that I really missed the original soundtrack, in part because I often like the replacement tracks used. Dar Williams, a favorite of mine, shows up a few times, but more than that, so long as the replacement tracks fit the mood, and they generally do, it works fine for me.

That said, I can understand wanting a pure viewing experience. It's likely much of the show is online in some form.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 8th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)

WHY? Why the hell did they end the show like that? I had to post this somewhere. The last episodes are so confusing and disappointing. All four seasons I rooted for Felicity and Ben but I realized that they just don't work. Ben cheats or does something stupid and Felicity is consoled by Noel. Its all too much. The time travel? I agree. I'm going to regard The Graduate as the last episode of Felicity.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: January 8th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)

Why? It's J.J. Abrams. He's a sf geek who had created a teen soap with no outlet for his love of sf and comic-book style fantasy. Fortunately for fans, he's also very good at writing interesting characters the audience can invest in emotionally. Personally, I think he's better at that than the sf/fantasy adventure stuff, but there's little chance we'll be seeing a pure drama from Abrams any time soon.

He'd left Felicity by the fourth season to work on Alias, but returned at the end of season 4 to help wrap things up, and this is what he came up with. It works about as well as the 2-years missing cliffhanger on Alias - interesting premise, disappointing execution and lackluster resolution.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 12th, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)

Ten years ago, I watched the entire Felicity series and fell in love with it...or rather, with Scott Speedman. I haven't thought about the show in the last decade, but recently I re-discovered Felicity on Netflix. And I have to say, I forgot how annoyed I was with the the time-travel ending and the utter lack of sense that it makes! I remember hearing, when the show ended a decade ago, that the creators were asked to write five more episodes after "The Graduate" was filmed. So, in the back of my head, I've always considered "The Graduate" episode to be the true ending to the show. But, I have to admit, the hopeless romantic in me doesn't like that ending either. I hate that Ben ended up having a child that wasn't Felicity's...I know that is a very naive thing to say -- people have children they don't plan on all the time. But, Felicity is a drug for the hopeless romantic, right?

So, I've been sitting here trying to concoct a reasonable explanation to the final season that doesn't leave me pissed off. My explanation begins at the very end of the very last episode, "Back to the Future," when Felicity wakes up from her "fever dream" on the morning of Noel's wedding. I believe (or rather, I am actively choosing to believe) that Felicity actually dreamt most of season four, except for the first episode when she sleeps with Noel; this actually happens. I know that my explanation might sound lame, but bear with me. It's far better than the other explanations I've come up with that always leave holes in the ending (who is supposed to be dead? Noel or Elena? And, how can they possibly both be alive?).

Felicity actually "fever dreams" all the season four drama that happens after she sleeps with Noel -- the pregnancy scare, the ridiculous beauty pageant, the way in which Ben finds out about the affair with Noel, the interloper Lauren and her damn pregnancy, the fire, having to move to Arizona, the random architecture interest, breaking up with Ben at graduation, him following her to Palo Alto, Elena subsequently dying, Felicity withdrawing, Ben cheating with the utterly annoying "Claire" character who comes out of left field and who feels so discordant with the show, Meghan's time travel spell and the ensuing ripple effects of the final five time travel episodes. All of this drama is a part of Felicity's feverish dream...which she is having a year after they have already graduated. None of it actually happens.

I believe that the first episode in season four is NOT part of her "fever dream." It's important that Felicity finally sleeps with Noel and realizes that Ben is the one she wants. It's also important because Noel needs to stop waiting in the background like a doormat, just hoping for an opening -- for a weak moment between Felicity and Ben. Noel uses the guise of "best friend" too often to create problems (albiet unintentionally) between Ben and Felicity. If we believe that Felicity and Noel really do sleep together and she STILL chooses Ben after that, then Noel is forced to wake up and stop being the jackass who is subconsciously wanting to take Felicity from Ben! And, it leaves Noel free to move on with Zoe. Furthermore, Felicity's cheating tests the limits of Ben's love, and I think it's important to show that Ben has matured since his freshman year, and that his love for Felicity is so deep and vital, that he can forgive her in order to be happy with her.

I actually have so much to say, that I've exceeded the word limit, but am posting another entry...

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 12th, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)

So in my explanation, all the turmoil of season four, episodes 2 to 22, doesn't actually happen in "reality." It's all a fever dream. Therefore, when we arrive to the morning of Noel's wedding when Felicity wakes up from her feverish night, we are free to create any story we want about what happened senior year and the year after. In a way, the show creators are forcing us to imagine what actually happened senior year and beyond, because otherwise (as others have pointed on on this webpage), nothing makes sense! I imagine that Felicity tells Ben of her infidelity with Noel and doesn't hide it from him. She regrets her actions and finally empties her "drawer" of Noel. Yes, it creates a rift between Felicity and Ben, but they work through it. Ben doesn't seek comfort with Lauren, and therefore there is no child that tears Felicity and Ben 3,000 miles apart. My version of "reality" after graduation is that Felicity and Ben are happy in love, starting off together, staying in New York, planning for medical school together, living together, and continuing to enjoy life in the same city with all their friends. There is no reason for Elena or Noel to die! And, Elena and Tracy can find their way to each other in any way we imagine. And Ben and Felicity do eventually get engaged too...

I have to point out that there is NO WAY Ben could have cheated on Felicity with the non-existent Claire. The "cheating" MUST have been a part of Felicity's fever dream. Elena is alive in the end, which means that Felicity had no reason to withdraw from Ben after Elena's non-existent death, and therefore Ben would not have cheated on Felicity. So, by extension, this stupid so-called Claire-cheating scandal MUST be part of Felicity's fever dream. Deep down inside, I feel the need to believe that in no storyline could Ben have cheated. He loves her too much and grew too much as a character to have done such a thing, let alone for a month! It's so infuriating to the Ben Covington fans! It's also insulting to the character of Ben. He showed himself to be forgiving and loyal and devoted to Felicity. He adores her. So, with Elena alive in the end, the motive for Ben to cheat is obsolete. And, if seasons three and four showed us nothing else, it is that Felicity is the love of Ben's life, and that despite how their relationship starts off freshman year, Felicity turns out to be the weaker moral character; she is the cheater, and Ben is the one who forgives.

But the question still arises, if most of season four and the time travel nonsense is part of Felicity's dream, why is Ben apologizing to her when she wakes up from her fever? I'm imagining that perhaps Ben and Felicity got into a heated argument after Noel's rehearsal dinner. Perhaps Felicity had a look on her face that Ben misinterpretted as Felicity still having feelings for Noel, and they exchanged heated words. But, Ben later realizes that of course Felicity doesn't still carry a torch for Noel. Ben is the love of her life. And he apologizes the next morning for the argument and for angry words, but not for a cheating scandal that could never have taken place.

I hope that, if you were as frustrated with the show's ending as I was, especially if you are a die-hard "Ben Covington and Felicity Porter Forever" fan as my entry here has proven that I am, that you like this alternate explanation to the show's ending!

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: February 12th, 2012 09:25 am (UTC)

Interesting theory, and well presented.

I do this sometimes, pick a place in a long running series before things started to go bad and think of that as the ending. The final season of Magnum never happened, Buffy ends with the season 5 finale, The fifth Doctor regenerated directly into the seventh, Gilmore Girls and The West Wing ended after the Palladinos and Aaron Sorkin, respectively, left.

I stick with "Graduation Day" as the place that I think of as the end of Felicity, but I can hardly fault someone else for doing the same thing, but picking a different spot.

Perhaps that's because I thought Noel would have been a better match for Felicity than Ben.

This is, of course, why writers set up love triangles of this sort (Felicity with Ben and Noel, Kate with Jack and Sawyer, Buffy with Spike and Angel, every romantic comedy movie ever made) even generally using the same two types of guys as the potential love interests - the safe, reliable good guy, and the loner with a troubled past.

Edited at 2012-02-12 09:29 am (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 22nd, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)

i just finished watching the whole series as one piece- and I love your explanation.
I found myself feeling so down about the Ben Covington character and what they did to him in the end. I really don't see him as a cheater. I agree, Ben loves Felicity more than anything- she is the love of his life- and the tenderness and depth that they have with each other, it just wasn't on that level between her and Noel. So I don't get it how so many people feel that she was more suited with Noel. I just didn't see it.

I found it interesting that Ben and Felicity never talked about the fact that Ben was having a baby with someone besides her, and how difficult that must have felt for both of them. We never got to see Ben learn that Lauren was drinking....

And then Elena being alive at the end, at that to the mix- and something with all of this and the way the show ended was a miss.

I LOVE the idea that it is all a fever dream after 401, I'm going with that.

Has anyone found any good Ben Felicity Fanfic?


Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: March 25th, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC)

I think which part of a love triangle a fan gravitates towards is as much about the fan as it is about the characters themselves. Which potential love interest a viewer favors is, I think, a reflection of which character the viewer likes more or finds more attractive. I don't exempt myself from this; I simply find Noel more likable than Ben and thus wanted to see Felicity with him. I can offer objective reasons for why they were initially more compatible (they're both emotionally stable, brainy artists who work well together), but the reason comes on top of the feeling itself.

That said, by the time season 4 comes around, Noel was firmly established as a good friend and Ben as a romantic partner; Felicity's choice at the end of season one was the point of no return for that relationship, which is to say, had she chosen Noel at that point, a stable and fulfilling relationship would have been possible.

That, however, doesn't make for good drama, especially in a coming-of-age story. Choosing Ben at that point closed off Noel as something more than a close friend, even if he didn't realize that until much later.

Edited at 2012-03-25 03:55 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 19th, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)

I just finished watching the entire series and loved it. So well-written (for the most part) and perfectly cast--totally enjoyable. I was confused and disappointed by the final episode. I can buy the spell/dream sequence if I have to, because it let Felicity realize that just becasue she wanted a "do over" with Noel, it doesn't mean that everything would go her way. I think she was surprised that things didn't go smoothly in her alter-senior year. I mean, really? to have Noel dump her ONCE AGAIN for Hannah? Noel may be a good friend, but he aint' all that. These episodes re-emphasized that crap or not crap, she was meant to be with Ben, and she needed to experience all that, to be able to understand her part in it, and to forgive him. The fact that even after choosing Noel, she ended up STILL in love with Ben, was a deal-sealer. I loved it.

But...the Elena-thing really bugs me. I think it totally ruins a great finale. No logical explanation exists, and it was just indulgent, stupid and unfair to throw it at us in the last minutes. CRAP.

Other than that, I am SO glad that, even after all these years, I watched the whole thing. One of television's best series ever--

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: February 19th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)

When it comes to youth oriented relationship dramas (see, I didn't call them "teen soaps"), Felicity is one of the best. I'd personally put Gilmore Girls ahead of it, and Glee, though it's probably unfair to compare a musical to a straight drama, and I am currently a big fan of Pretty Little Liars.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 15th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so happy I found this! I just finished watching all the Felicity's on Netflicks too! I really loved the show- but I was highly annoyed by all of season four. It was like the writers had forgotten who these characters were. Like you all have said ,there were plot holes aplenty.I mean really, Felicity cheats on her dissertation and they wrap it up with her and Ben in bed, her saying "My teacher said I can graduate!" Huh? No repercussions? Didn't they make a big deal about her fixing Ben's paper in season one? Thank you for the insight on Elana's death/Nole's wedding. That was shockingly bad. I had to run to run online and ask the question, I thought I was going crazy. All that being said, the first two season made me very happy. Thanks for the insight.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: March 17th, 2012 09:55 am (UTC)

I'm happy to have helped.

J.J. Abrams does seem to be able to make two wonderful seasons in his shows before running out of ideas. I think he's very good at concepts and characters, but has trouble with resolutions.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 18th, 2012 03:13 am (UTC)

Oh jj Abrams! Ya did it again! I've been watching the Netflix series as well the past week!! I never watched the finale or remember it. I know previously I found the story line mundane and repetitive. I get it relationships are complicated especially in college but from season 3 & 4 all I get are headaches.

Btw there is an episode on the Netflix episodes where Sarah maclauclin (sp) is heard playing! It's shot in slow motion and everyone is gathered together. Ill come back and post the actual episode number etc. but I think Meghan's comment is just making fun of felicity and her characteristics. She's always so peace keeping and soft .

So glad I found this thread! And now that I know jj Abrams wrote some other let down finales...I feel better knowing why the network allowed such a horrid last episode to even be considered and aired !

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: October 19th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)

Thanks for you comment.

Abrams is good with characters, but he tends to be better at setting up premises than finding some way to pay them off, at least on TV.

I think movies are a better format for him. His Mission Impossible installment (#3) remains the best one in the series and Ghost Protocol (which he produced) was a pretty close second. Super 8 worked both on the narrative and character levels.

His gifts lie with visual storytelling and character development. He knows how to deliver a good set piece. Long form narrative, though, still tends to produce diminishing returns.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 26th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)

So, I know this thread is old and who knows if anyone reads it anymore., but I just finished the series on Netflix. I immediately Googled the ending and stumbled upon this and have to vent! I totally agree, I wish it had ended with the Graduate. The last five episodes make no sense in regards to Elena being alive. Like you said, if she is alive, it means Felicity actually changed the past and Noel would be dead. Most important for me, if Elena is alive, then Felicity never got depressed, never pulled away from Ben and, in her own words, became hard to live with, so then Ben wouldn't have cheated. All that being said, I liked watching these episodes for no other reason than it gave me more time with these characters I love watching! And I must say, the romantic (and Team Ben loyalist!) in me does love the angle that no matter what, Felicity and Ben's paths lead back to each other. It's like when Felicity was tutoring Ben in organic chemistry. She and Ben are the ionic bond, drawn to each other no matter what, while she and Noel are the "platonic" covalent bond. I also couldn't help but think about the piece of advice Mr. Covington gave Ben when Ben took Felicity back and said, "I just hope we don't keep hurting each other." Mr. Covington said something along the lines of, "You will. That's life. It tests you. But you love each other. You'll pass the tests." This whole cheating and time travel concept was another test, yet they still chose each other. While I personally wouldn't stand for either Ben OR Felicity's shenanigans in my real life, on a fictional show, I swoon!

OK, I really need to stop rethinking it now. I'm just sad it's over! I should have paced myself more. :)

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: January 29th, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)

New comments are always welcome.

I find your last comment interesting. We (audiences) do often find ourselves rooting for people in fiction that we would find unbearable in real life.

Good point regarding what Mr. Covington said. It's similar to something Spenser tells his surrogate son, Paul, in one of the Spenser books. Paul is worried that he'll done something to hurt Spenser. Spenser tells him that he undoubtedly will do just that, because that is a part of letting yourself care about someone else - they will, eventually, possibly without intending to do so, hurt you. By letting others - in Spenser's case, Paul, Susan, and Hawk - into your life, you give them the power to hurt you. You have to, because otherwise you can't get all the good stuff that comes with a relationship.

Joy Gresham said it more simply to her husband, C. S. Lewis: The pain now is a part of the joy then.

Opening yourself up to being hurt is important to letting the good things in; it's not just important, it's necessary.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 31st, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)

Hello Gilda! :) here's +1 confused by the series ending.
I've watched series in 2002. or 03. and loved it so much, but i forgot most of it till today, so i've watched it all over again, and i must say, the only seasons i really love right now, are seasons 1 and 2. As you already said before... somehow most of the things were forced, and in season 3, I missed the scenes that were happening on classes, most of them were in rooms, halls, main story was love life of the caracters.. but, that is not the reason why i'm here x) -
the reason is my point of view, about the ending...
i was thinking, did you notice one weird scene, it happens in episode 17, The the very beginning, when Felicity and Noel are sitting in the cab, and she says (narrates) - "this wasn't the way it was suposed to end. but, u know that. at least i know you used to."
what was that all about...? and than suddenly that scene with her and Ben in the bed... so i decided to think that that was it, the moment all started being weird. it's not logical by one point of view, but.. Definitely they confused everything and everyone with the few of the last episodes, like, why should they ever make Elena die, and Noel too, but okay...i don't wanna think about it :D
so my answer is, what do u think about those three sentences... what were they all about?

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: February 1st, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)

My interpretation of those statements is that they're a callback to the two pivotal decision points in the series.

First, in the pilot, Felicity's future is set out for her - pre-med at Stanford, med school, become a doctor like her father. Ben's comment in her yearbook triggers the impulsive decision to deviate from that path, a deviation that should have led to a different result, but in the end, she finds herself pre-med at Stanford, a different ending from where her decision in the pilot should have taken her - going to NYU should have taken her away from the path laid out for her by her father, but she ends up back on that path anyway.

Second, changing her mind at the end of freshman year and going with Ben instead of Noel.

The first was the pivotal decision point for her college career, the second for her core relationship, and yet the first time she makes an important decision for herself rather than following her father or Ben, she ends up back where she would have been had she not taken those risks, though she's a different person because of those decisions. Of all the endings the audience, Felicity, and Noel might have expected at the beginning, a return to her original path - heading to Stanford without Ben or Noel, was probably the least expected one.

That's my interpretation, not necessarily what was intended. Felicity was thinking aloud, and it might not have meant anything more than "This isn't where I expected to be when I graduated."

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 1st, 2013 11:19 am (UTC)

yup... that is a logical explanation. if you put it that way, it all make sence, about father's wishes, and her intentions, Ben, Noel... it's all integrated in a good way in the end somehow. and it could be the answer to what was the message of that thought.
don't know about you, but i always in the end of movies, series, think about - what happens after that..? okay, this is the moment when everything seems less or more perfect, but i think, in the future, who could stay together for real..? there i would agree with you about Sean and Meghan, i mean they argue all the time, but they are like perfect for each other in the end. and about the others - not quite sure..
p.s. sorry for my -not so good- english, and mistakes that i'm making in writing.
and tnx for sharing your thoughts with all of us here, i really needed someone to talk about this, and reading all of the comments made me understand the ending much more better :)

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: February 1st, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)

Happy to be of help. I enjoyed your comments, and I'm one of those who likes to think about what happens next, after the end of a story too. Good stories will do that for you.

Posted by: 714daze (714daze)
Posted at: April 14th, 2013 06:48 am (UTC)

I think you all need to watch my extended series finale. I love the time-travel episodes. What a great way to go back to the beginning of when Felicity was a psycho freak stalking Ben. It reinvigorated life into a quite dull final season. And, no, it was not all a dream.

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: May 11th, 2013 05:31 am (UTC)

Thank you for the link. I apologize for not unscreening your comment earlier. It's been awhile since I tended to this journal.

Posted by: 714daze (714daze)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)

No worries. my youtube is I uploaded a lot of episodes with the original music they had from the WB. And my extended finale is in there too. Enjoy!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 28th, 2013 06:10 am (UTC)

If you want to lean toward the time travel angle, it's simple....

Time Travel

Special Candelight Wicked ceremony: Saved Noel
Letter to Elana before sleeping: Saved Elana

Each of those events would exist in the time travel version.

Dream Version

There is no way Elana could still be alive...

Posted by: Gilda (gilda_m)
Posted at: August 31st, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)

I could accept that as a fix for the plot hole. The problem is that there are other changes Felicity made and ripple effects from those changes, the most notable of which (other than Noel's death) is Sean and Meghan's relationship. They're still together, which would seem to indicate that either no time travel occurred or Felicity returned to her original timeline.

I'm going to stick with graduation as being the final episode. Like season 5 of Babylon 5, it simply didn't happen for me; skip from the season 4 finale to the series finale and you literally miss nothing from the season in between. Even better, substitute the series finale for the season 4 one and you have a good send off for a good series.

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