This is one of my favorite episodes in the first season. It’s not heavy on plot, but it’s just a good episode. To be specific, it’s a good Chandler episode.
The premise is that they’re all stuck in a city-wide blackout. Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe are together at Central Perk and then Monica’s apartment. Chandler is trapped in an ATM vestibule with a Victoria’s Secret model.
We hear his inner dialogue most of the time while’s he’s there. He wants to flirt with her but is really nervous and keeps doing and saying stupid things. After he chokes on a piece of gum and she does the heimlich maneuver, he relaxes and they hangout. When the lights return, she kisses him on the cheek as she leaves, and he asks the security camera to give him the video footage.
The best part of the whole vestibule thing is when Chandler calls the Friends to tell them. He can’t just outright say it, because Jill (the model…and Harry Connick Jr’s wife) is standing right there. He tries to tell Monica without opening his mouth, but she can’t understand him. He snaps out her, “Put Joey on the phone,” and Joey understands him immediately. Nothing about that is funny in print. But I regularly say, “I’m trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre” regularly. At no point has that been contextually appropriate for me.
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, the other five are just hanging out with candles. They go around the room and talk about the craziest places they’ve ever had sex. Monica – a pool table. Joey – the women’s room in the New York Public Library. Phoebe – Milwaukee. Ross – It’s a Small World at Disneyland (which seems the opposite of sexy). Rachel – the foot of the bed. This leads to Rachel lamenting that she’s never really had passion in a relationship.
Joey tells Ross that if he’s going to ask Rachel out, he better do it quickly because he’s about to be permanently planted in the friend zone. Ross and Rachel go out to the balcony alone, but Ross gets attacked by a cat before he can truly make his move.
Rachel and Phoebe go looking for the cat’s owner, and Rachel bumps into Paolo. Hello, Passion.
Random thoughts from the episode…
This episode starts in Central Perk but not with a random conversation.
It actually starts with Rachel introducing Phoebe as a performer at Central Perk. The blackout starts when she plays her first note. Don’t you wonder what her first song would have been? She does sing a song about the blackout later at the apartment.
Apparently, Chandler’s old roommate (who we know is Kip) was Jewish. This isn’t odd, but what is odd is that there’s no mention of Ross and Monica being Jewish. Joey brings over a menorah and everyone is surprised. I’m surprised there wasn’t already a menorah in Monica’s apartment.
Ugly Naked Guy lights candles. Ow.
We find out that Chandler was once bitten by a peacock at the zoo.
We also find out that Monica had a crush on Joey when he first moved in. We’ll get to see that later!
Rachel and Phoebe meet Mr. Heckles, but he’s not complaining about volume control or stomping.
No denim shirt for Rachel today!
(All of these are courtesy of Chandler)
I am trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre.
On second thought gum would be perfection.
Jill: Would you like to call somebody Chandler’s Inner Dialogue: Yeah. About 300 guys I went to high school with