Analytical Episode Guide:
Season 3, Part 1

Season 3, Episode 1
The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy

Plot Summary-Ross reveals a secret fantasy to Rachel, Monica suffers from insomnia since her breakup; Chandler wants Joey to get along with Janice

Funniest Line-“Oh yeah, I always picture your Mom when I’m having sex”….Joey

Nitpick of the episode-It is kind of hard to believe Chandler suddenly loves Janice after the last two seasons of hating her. Even more hard to believe knowing that he will hate her again later on. What was up with the attraction here?

Standout Character-Chandler, how good do you have to be to have so little to do in an episode and then steal the show in the end?

Syndication Edit-The opening teaser had the gang walk into Central Perk only to find a group already sitting on the couch. They proceed to simply turn around and walkout.  Joey and Chandler’s talk was a bit longer.

FinalThoughts-Was very happy to see them have Monica sad in this episode, because in a lot of sitcoms the character will break up with someone and be just fine the next show. It doesn’t work that way in real life, it takes time to get oversomething like that and I give credit to the creators for realizing that. The Ross and Rachel story was ok, you could already get the feeling the writers were getting bored having them together (and there is a mention of the zerox girl so you can imagine the writers already knew where they were going). Thereis a simple reason you don’t often see happy couples in shows, because it makesfor more conflict if they are not together which will be proven later on inthis season. No complaints about Chandler and Joey’s story either, and Janicestarts to become very likable in this episode. The scene with Monica and her father was real sweet.

Grade=A-,nice way to start the season

Season 3, Episode 2
The One Where No One’s Ready

Plot Summary-Ross is anxious for everyone to get ready for a banquet but no one seems to be listening.Monica is distracted by a message from Richard, Joey and Chandler fight over a couch cushion

Funniest Line-”Donald Duck never wears pants. But when he gets out of the shower he ties a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that all about?”….Chandler in one ofthe series biggest non-sequiturs.

Nitpickof the episode-Ok if I have to make a nitpick I should point out that while the sght gag of Joey wearing all Chandler’s clothes is funny it’s also not believable. Chandler also couldn’t have hid Joey’s underwear after Joey took the cushions, this should have been rewritten but it doesn’t hurt the episode.

Standout Character-They all do

Syndication Edit-There was other phone messages on the machine from Ross and Rachel’s sister, in the syndicated episode it cuts to Richard’s.

Final Thoughts-Well, what can I say? I LOVE THIS EPISODE. The best episodes are the ones where all the friends are together, like the poker episode last season or the lottery one much later. And this is the best of them, it just does everything right. Funny jokes, visual gags, everyone gets something to do, and we even get some good character moments. Ross’s obsessing about leaving on time, Joey and Chandler having a silly fight, and Rachel understandably being sore at Ross after he yells her. Monica’s obsessing over Richard would be too much if it was someone else, but it is Monica. And the way the simple act of checking Richard’s machine just nose dives and gets worst and worst is hilarious. Even Phoebe gets a little story which ends with a great visual gag.Everything works, all the characters are clicking….Fantastic episode!

Grade=A+,my favorite episode

Season 3, Episode 3
The One with the Jam

Plot Summary-Phoebe dates a man stalking her sister, Ross and Rachel give Chandler “boyfriend” lessons, Monica decides she wants a baby

Funniest Line-“I’m going into business, people. I needed a plan. A plan to get over myman … and what’s the opposite of man? Jam!”….Monica

Nitpick of the episode-Not a nitpick just wanted to point out that Matt LeBlanc hurt himself for real which is why Joey is in a sling for this episode and the next.

Standout Character-Monica, it’s good to see her moving on from Richard but with her baby plan she is putting the horse before the cart so to speak. Thankfully sherealizes that by the end.

Syndication Edit-In the syndicated episode there is no payoff to Janice telling Rachel about Ross’s hug and role move. That’s because it was cut from the tag. Alsothe stalker pops up at the end, stalking Phoebe this time.

Final Thoughts-This episode is full of stories which kind of go nowhere. Chandler rolls Janice over the bed but the payoff doesn’t go anywhere really. Janice tells Rachel about Ross’s hug and move technique but that also leads nowhere.Phoebe’s story with her sister’s stalker isn’t funny and you could cut the whole story except for the first and last scene and lose nothing. Monica’s story is strong and we can forgive Joey having little to do in this own due tohis injury. He does do very well in that last scene with Monica, very strong moment and one of the early times we see Joey as the amazing friend he would end up as.

Grade-B-,Phoebe’s story isn’t funny it’s just creepy

Season 3, Episode 4
The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel

Plot Summary-Phoebe pretends to be Joey’s agent. Ross is upset that Ben is playing with a Barbie doll. Chandler seeks advice for his fear of commitment.

Funniest Line-“Well  I’ve never been through the tunnel myself because as I understand it you’re not allowed through with morethan one girl in the car”…..Joey

Nitpickof the episode-I try real hard to sympathize with Ross in this one but his attitude about Ben playing with a Barbie is a bit old fashioned.

Standout Character-Chandler, he is simply awesome in this one as we see him try to push past his commitment issues

Syndication Edit-A longer opening showing Joey in an even worst infomercial, Ugly Naked Guy sighting, his dog is wearing a sweater

Final Thoughts-This episode is really hard to judge because I am not sure how to feel about Ross’s story. Yeah his attitude is out of date but that payoff in the end when we find out how young Ross spent his spare time his hilarious. The storywith the girls giving advice to Chandler was great, even when he tries to push past his commitment problems he still has problems. Phoebe is just fantasticplaying as Joey’s agent.  The infomercia gag is not nearly as funny as the creators probably thought it was.

Grade=B,

Season 3, Episode 5
The One with Frank Jr.

Plot Summary- Phoebe tries bonding with her half-brother. Joey attempts to build an entertainment center. Ross has trouble picking the five celebrities he has permission to sleep with.

Funniest Line-“ Ah, the heart of every healthy relationship. Honesty, respect, and sex with celebrities.” …. Ross

Nitpickof the episode-Ross begins his transformation to the dufus we will get later on here, does it really need to take an entire episode for him to get that list? And laminated? WHY????

Standout Character-Phoebe, nothing like strong chemistry with the guest star

Syndication Edit-Monica getting Joey to put a new floor in, Phoebe showing a gift from Frank Jr before Chandler calls the girls to raise the entertainment unit

Final Thoughts-Giovanni Ribisi is a great actor, who has been a number of good movies. Maybe that explains how a character like Frank Jr, who should be annoying at the very least, is actually likable. The character is actually interesting and his scenes with Phoebe here are great. Joey’s attempt to build the entertainment center is good for some laughs. I love the “go on two or three” discussion Joey and Chandler have while the others struggle to hold the unit, great moment. But stretching a one scene gag into an entire story for Ross gets painful. Who cares who’s on his list by the end?  The conversation was long over! I wonder if that is why they brought Isabelle Rossellini in for a cameo, to give the storya little more weight. It’s a funny scene but the story as a whole is so bland.
Grade=B,Ross’s story is boring but the rest works

Season 3, Episode 6
The One with the Flashback

Plot Summary-A flashback reveals when Joey moved in with Chandler, when Phoebe moved out on Monica, and Ross first getting the bad news from his wife

Funniest Line-“Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I’d been more nurturing, or I’d paidmore attention, or I had a uterus.”….Ross

Nitpickof the episode-I was annoyed that due to the story Rachel only had one scene in the whole show. Yeah it was funny and they made the most out of it, but she still got shafted. At least they gave her the tag at the end.

Standout Character-Ross, seeing him go from happy to the sad sack from season one is very well done

Syndication Edit-Chandler’s reaction to Heckles in his apartment, longer opening scene.  In the syndicated episode Chandler’s line “Ok I gotta go to work” sounds dubbed in. That’s because it was, they cut out a joke he makes before walking off.  Also cut was Monica checking the cushion for the sauce stain and lots of little of bits of dialogue, think this episode ran a bit long!

Final Thoughts-Usually these kinds of episodes are not that good. In fact later episodes similar to this will not be as good. But this one is very, very well done. We see the friends back when they were acquaintances, and maybe because the series is still young the gags work. All the little winks to the audience,like Chandler foreshadowing his relationship with Joey (and Monica in fact) or Ross supporting Carol’s desire to do something girly with her new friend, are just funny. We see why Monica’s crush on Joey ended fast and how quick Joey and Chandler clicked once they started to get to know each other. And even Mr.Heckles comes back for a clever final appearance. Phoebe and Ross almost going at it in the context of this episode is not unthinkable like it first felt when Chandler and Monica get together later on. True a lot of stuff here is canceled out by later episodes continuity wise, but taken as it is this is agreat show and a believable pre-installment to the series.

Grade=A,this is my favorite…er, second favorite episode!

Season 3, Episode 7
The One with the Race Car Bed

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Plot Summary-Monica buys a bed from Janice’s ex-husband and gets the wrong one. Rachel tries to have her father and Ross bond. Joey gets a job teaching soapopera acting.

FunniestLine-“You know, in England, this bed would be on the other side of the store.”….Phoebe

Nitpickof the episode-What store has no return policy? So Monica signed for it, that shouldn’t mean she should be stuck with it if she is not completely satisfied.  All signing the form does is confirm delivery!  I mean for pete’s sake all they have to isswap the bed for the one she wanted! A few episodes from now she has the right bed, so it obviously all worked out.

Standout Character-Rachel, for that one moment when she explains why it’s so important that Ross and her father get along. Suddenly it makes perfect sense.

Syndication Edit-The opening with the others reacting in their heads to Ross’s story (andwe first learn that Gunther loves Rachel). Monica and Chandler do a gag about cinnamon in coffee that gets duplicated by Ross and Rachel the next year

Final Thoughts-This episode is all set up for the next, and man does it feel like it.The race car bed story is pointless; it’s obviously just a means to get Joey to catch Janice in the end. Joey teaching the soap opera class is ok, I do like how we see him do the things he teaches, but how come this was never followed up on after this? The Ross and Rachel story is really good, I know how hard it can be to get along with a girlfriends father so no complaints there. But I do have to say, Ross was totally in the wrong putting that $20 down. His heart was in the right place but that was just rude and I am on Dr. Green’s side on that one, Ross should have that one go.

Grade=C+,all the stories are filler really and Phoebe bloodying Joey’s nose wasn’tneeded

By richb

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