Spoiler alert! Here’s the sonogram.
The second episode in is similar to the first one in that it’s a little light on plot. However, I think the characters are much more in line with who they’d all eventually be.
The episode starts with all six of them at Central Perk. I wonder if this was going to be a recurring thing. In the first episode, four of them sit around and have a random conversation. In this episode, all six of them are sitting around having a random conversation. They obviously do this throughout the series, but these particular scenes are just set up a little differently from their conversations in future episodes. None of it really has anything to do with anything that will happen later.
And let’s just take a moment to welcome the real Joey.
Doesn’t he just look more like Joey? I guess it was the hair and the leather. I don’t even know. But 1st episode Joey just wasn’t Joey. In this episode, he even has a food gag at one point. Definitely Joey Tribiani.
The credits are also now the standard that they’d follow for the rest of the series. It’s some of the dancing in front of the fountain mixed in with some season one clips. As a side note, I always thought it was kind of funny (I’m really using that word loosely) that all the girls’ names come first alphabetically.
There are two main plots in this episode and a subplot connected to one of them. Once again, there’s really not much for Chandler, Phoebe, or Joey. Chandler makes some jokes, Joey says some dumb stuff, and Phoebe is flighty. We do find out, though, that Phoebe has a twin, Chandler’s parents liked his imaginary friend better than him, and that Joey likes lasagna even if everyone has dug through it with their bare hands looking for an engagement ring.
The main plot of the episode is that Ross finds out his ex-wife is pregnant. Meet Fake Carol.
I’m going to call her Farol. But don’t worry. We’ll never see her again, so this will only last through today. Farol lets Ross know that she’s pregnant and that he can be a part of the baby’s life or not. She leaves it up to him. But she lets him know that her partner Susan is going to raise the baby with her. When she tells him she’s pregnant, this is his reaction:
His hand just naturally went to that position. Not contrived at all. Ross spends most of the episode conflicted over what role he wants to play. This is of course made all the worse by Susan. Susan is literally the most awful human being on the planet.
Ugh. I could just slap her. She and Carol have already picked out names, and they’re planning to give the baby a hyphenated last name, excluding Ross, but including both of them. Look. This is problematic even for Carol to be going along with it, but Susan is just such a jerk about it. I don’t even really like Ross, and I’m totally #TeamRoss on this one. Who does she think she is? Ross just about decides to wash his hands of the whole situation, but then he hears the heartbeat. And as much as I loathe, despise, and abominate (name that movie) Susan, and as much as I’m annoyed by Ross, and as insignificant as Farol really is, I’ve gotta admit – this is kind of sweet.
Monica’s subplot ties into this a little bit. Monica and Ross’s parents are coming over for dinner. Monica is cleaning like crazy, fluffing and refluffing the pillows, and worried over her cooking because their mother is super critical of her.
At the dinner, we see that yes, their mother is pretty horrible to her, and while their dad is loving, he’s not particularly aware of how hurtful some of the things he says to her are. But he calls her “our little Harmonica” so I can forgive him.
Monica is hoping that Ross’s news that Farol is a lesbian who is also pregnant with his baby will be able to take some of the heat off her. Instead, Ross tells his stunned parents the news, and their mother turns to Monica and says, “And you knew about this?”
The worst thing about this whole scenario is that I totally relate. Meanwhile, we find out Monica used to be fat. That little revelation will be lots of fun later on.
And of course, what’s a set of Geller scenes without some shots of the Geller siblings canoodling?
These may not be the greatest examples, but WHY ARE THEY SO PHYSICALLY CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER? I don’t understand.
The other plot in this episode revolves around Rachel having to return her engagement ring to Barry. She’s nervous because she hasn’t seen him since before the wedding. She makes things even worse by losing her engagement ring in the lasagna Monica has made for her dinner with her parents.
Phoebe finds the ring, and Rachel goes to deliver it to Barry. She’s expecting him to be mad or devastated or both, but she finds him tan and in good spirits. Turns out he went on their honeymoon with her maid of honor. He’s even grateful that she stopped things before he made a huge mistake.
Um. Okay. Yeah. Rachel Green was going to marry this man.
Totally believable. And apparently when they were engaged, he didn’t have most of that hair, and he wore glasses. Okie doke. I really want to make fun of Rachel’s outfit (more denim!), but I just can’t. It’s kind of cute.
I mean…I wouldn’t wear it now, but I’m pretty sure I had that exact outfit in the 8th grade. The episode ends with Rachel calling Mindy (the maid of honor now sleeping with Barry) and telling her that she hopes their kids have his old hair and her old nose.
So let’s discuss some details. At the beginning of the episode, Rachel is wearing a denim vest. She’s going to wear a lot of denim over the next few years.
Just before Farol shows up at the museum, Ross does this:
Isn’t that enjoyable?
During the first episode I mentioned that not much about Monica was really the Monica we’d eventually get to know. But she shows up in this episode! We see her cleaning and cooking and stressing about her parents. Welcome to the show, Monica Geller!
The first mention of Ugly Naked Guy across the street is in this episode! This particular time, it’s Ugly Naked Guy with a thigh master.
When Ross shows up at the apartment after finding out about Farol and the fetus, he says “hi.” It’s a very loaded “hi.” He does the same thing in the first episode. I don’t remember that being a thing after these two episodes, but I wonder if it was supposed to be. We all know, though, that “hi” became Olitz’s thing. 😉
While Jack is going on and on about how much he loves that Monica is mediocre, he mentions how when she was younger she had her puzzles. That’s going to become a Ross thing later. They also mention all the girls loving Ross. It’s not clear in this episode if that was their delusion or not. It’s clear in later seasons that Ross was not a hit with the ladies when he was younger.
If you’ve forgotten who the couple is eventually going to be, here’s a picture of Rachel leaning on Ross’s hand.
“I think this is the episode of Three’s Company where there’s some kind of misunderstanding.”
“When did you have it on last?” “Doi. Probably right before she lost it.” “You don’t get a lot of dois these days.”
“I know I had it when I was in the kitchen with…” “Dinah?”