Analytical Episode Guide
Season 10, Part 3
Season 10, Episode 13
The One Where Joey Speaks French
 
Plot Summary-Joey asks Phoebe to teach him French, Erica visits Monica and Chandler,Rachel needs Ross’s support after her father has a heart attack
Funniest Line-“ Well, it turns out that Erica didn’t pay much attention in sex ed class,because the thing she did with that prison guy… it’d be pretty hard to make a baby that way.”….Monica
Nitpick of the episode-Yeah, as cute as Phoebe and Joey are together the French stuff is lame. How could Joey not be able to repeat back what Phoebe said? Joey can remember lines for TV and plays, and isn’t that sort of the same thing? Sometimes the creators got a little carried away making Joey stupid.
Standout Character-Ross, I love the way he handles things here even if Rachel does not
Syndication Edit-Scene Extensions
Final Thoughts-Believe it or not, this is a hard one to rate. For instance, the stuff with Rachel and Ross is pretty well done but, is there a point to it? Ross doesn’t want to take advantage of Rachel, and she’s mad at him the next day? It feels like a last minute attempt to make us believe the two will never get together again, but it’s lame.  It is nice to see Dr. Green one last time. Why couldn’t they just have Erica visit without that lame detour about who the father of the baby may be? And then you have the Joey story which I’m really not sure how to feel about. It’s stupid,but Joey and Phoebe are funny and in many ways it feels like a throw back to an earlier point in the series. But the whole retarded thing at the end is borderline offensive. So let’s just say an average episode as the series starts to round that final turn.
Grade=C

Season 10, Episode 14
The One with Princess Consuela
 
Plot Summary-Phoebe is excited when she discovers she can change her name to anything, Monica and Chandler visit their new house with Joey who is upset at the move, Ross gets tenure while Rachel loses her job after a disastrous interview
Funniest Line-Ok I am calling a tie. These lines are both hilarious:
 “But no, it’s not close. You said it was inescrow? I couldn’t even find it on the map.”….Joey
“It sseven years ago. My time machine worked!”….Chandler
Nitpick of the episode-When Rachel realized her boss was at the restaurant, why didn’t she just turn around and leave? Yeah it would have blown her chance at the new job but at least she would have still had her old one!
Standout Character-Joey, it’s perfectly reasonable he would have such trouble with Chandler and Monica moving, the scene with him and the little girl was fantastic
Syndication Edit-The restaurant scene is longer
Final Thoughts-Well folks, this is where we finally start the long road to the series finale.Rachel losing her job was classic Rachel, and then running into Mark was a nice callback to Season 3. It’s funny how the show is nice enough to catch us up on that character, informing is he is married now with a couple kids. Since the series began with Rachel leaving her husband, it’s only fitting it should end with her being the focus. The stuff at the house was great,especially when Joey learns he will have his own room. It almost makes me wish we had seen some of what their life was like after they moved in. And Joey’s scene with Dakota Fanning’s character was just a great moment. It’s such asweet story, too bad the spin-off had to crap all over it. The stuff with Phoebe was pure filler but it was fun filler, and the last we’re ever going toget so I’ll take it. Then that final scene, when we are told that Rachel got a new job…..in Paris! I feel the final episode coming………
Grade=B+
Season 10, Episode 15
The One Where Estelle Dies
 
Plot Summary-Phoebe tries to keep Joey from discovering that Estelle has died, Ross tries to get Rachel rehired, Chandler and Monica they may have an unwanted neighbor
Funniest Line-“How would he like to come with me to the museum of natural history after everyone else has left. Just the two of us. And he can touch anything he wants.”….Ross
Nitpick of the episode-Ok I am going to address something here and get it out of the way. Many complain that Ross and Rachel do not do much talking about Emma in these episodes, and it’s true she hardly appears or even gets mentioned. But folks, let’s get real. This was the end of the series do you really think the creators were worried about making sure Emma was included? No, of course not they were working on getting Ross and Rachel together to make the fans happy. So let’s cut the show a little slack here, the series is not about Emma so of course the final episodes would not be focused on her.
Standout Character-Rachel; I love how she says she was excited to be moving to Paris since she had gotten all she could out of Ralph Loren.  Considering she had to be talked into quitting the coffee shop, this is real character development
Syndication Edit-The gag at the end of the teaser with Rachel on Joey’s back
Final Thoughts-In many ways this episode is really just part one of three, leading to the series finale. I am not sure why they decided to kill Estelle, but the whole thing is handled well. Ross of course is the center of attention as she tries to save Rachel’s job. At the end he realizes that Rachel can’t not take this job in Paris just to stay with him, so he sucks it up decides to accept it. And what would the final season of Friends be without another Janice appearance? It’s a little forced here but I guess we had to see her one lasttime. This also seems to finally end her relationship with Chandler in that last scene with the two of them. While it’s true they turned Janice into a cartoon she was still an enjoyable recurring character.
Grade=B-
Season 10, Episode 16
The One with Rachel’s Going Away Party
 
Plot Summary-Everyone gets together to say goodbye to Rachel. As Ross confronts Rachel on why he didn’t get a goodbye, Erica suddenly goes into labor.
Funniest Line-“Because it is too damn hard, Ross. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I’m gonna miss you. When I think about not seeing you every day, it makes me not want to go… Okay, so if you think that I didn’t say goodbye to you It’s because you mean more to me. So there, all right, there’s your goodbye…”….Rachel
Nitpick of the episode-I totally understand why Rachel would have a hard time saying goodbye to Ross, but she really should have handled it better. Just blowing him off was rotten. Also, while the gag with him trying to jump over the balcony was cute I have to wonder, why didn’t we hear Rachel’s goodbye to Joey?
Standout Character-Monica; she has my favorite goodbye scene, funny but also sweet.They had to ruin Chandler’s by having him do a stupid joke and the rest are just glimpsed.
Syndication Edit-Scene Extensions
Final Thoughts-Ok, bad thing first. There is a running story regarding a pair of handcuffs which no one seems to belong to. This is lame when you realize how many people have lived in that room and there is no way they could not have been discovered by now. That being said, this is a very strong episode. The goodbyes are all handled great. Maybe not perfectly, but good enough. The final scene between Ross and Rachel is especially emotional, and of course ends up with the two of them getting together. At the end Erica goes into labor, and it’s off we go to the very last episode.
Grade=A-
Season 10, Episode 17 & 18
The Final One
 
Plot Summary-Ross realizes he loves Rachel and Phoebe helps get him to the airport to tell her, Monica and Chandler get a surprise when Erica gives birth to twins, Joey buys a chick and duck as a gift for Monica and Chandler.
Funniest Line-“Wow, this is like the best day ever! You and Rachel are getting back together, Monica and Chandler are getting their baby, there are chicks and ducks in the world again! I feel like I’m in a musical!”….Phoebe
Nitpick of the episode-One thing; I would have liked to see one last coffee shop scene with all six of them together. As the show progressed Central Perk got less and less attention, but it was an integral part of the show and I think one last scene there would have been nice.
Standout Character-This is the final episode, so let’s do a rundown of all the characters:
Monica-The one who was the most inconsistent. She changed every season depending on the writers. Yeah she was always a clean freak and competitive, but one season she was a mother hen. The next season a wimp. The next a hard ass. When she was written correctly she was a good character. She is also the one who changed the most physically, Courtney Cox has never said she had plastic surgery but Season 1 Monica looks nothing like Season 10 Monica. I was happy she hooked up with Chandler, because it really breathed new life in her. Suddenly she felt more like a real person than shehad in the previous season.
Ross-He went from being a likable guy to a crazy dufus. I liked him more in the early days, but when they weren’t making him go nuts he was still likable in the later episodes. I just wish they had done more with him as a father; they made such a big deal about that in Season one and then it only came up when convenient later on. But as I’ve said the amazing things about Ross was how many silly situations he got into which were just flat out funny. He loved Rachel for ten years and I never doubted it once.
Joey-It’s amazing how the character who was supposed to be the jerk of the group turned out be the sweetest and most sensitive. Just a well done character, even though sometimes the writers made him a little too stupid at times. He was a consistent friend you could always count on, even Ross seeking him out for advice on occasion. Thank goodness theydidn’t ruin him with a lame spin-off. Oh, yeah…right. Seriously though, I didn’t care much for him in the start but he was a favorite by the end.
Rachel– It is so much fun watching these shows in order and watching her grow from a spoiled rich girl to a competent career woman and mother to Emma. I’ll be honest, I hated Rachel at first. It wasn’t until she started to develop that I really cared about her.But no matter how she grew she was always Rachel, a little flighty and afraid to do things on her own. And of course the stuff with Ross was always so well done, whether they were on or off there was always a special chemistry there.
Chandler-After Rachel, he did the most growing in the series. He started as immature with lots of insecurities and as the series developed he worked to get past all those. He ended being a responsible adult, married and awaiting a child. Yeah the insecurities were still there,but he didn’t let them rule his life. He also never lost that sarcastic wit,and I love that he gets the last word of the series. As I said with Monica,when he hooked up with her was a great move because it really added new life to what was, honestly, a stagnating character.
Phoebe-I have talked a lot about her recently and her growth was also impressive. She was so spacy in the first season, almost on the level of Joey. In fact she is almost a background character in the early shows! But she grew and became a smart person who the others could rely on for advice. The fact that she is settled down and married at the end is remarkable considering where she started. One thing that never changed was her incredible optimism which was just awesome from someone who has had more than enough bad stuff happen!
Syndication Edit-Lots of stuff including the original start of the episode
Final Thoughts-Would you believe I had to work the night this was one and missed half of it? That still pisses me off! Road rage? I’m lucky I didn’t have a car accident! Anyway, this episode was just about perfect. I really have no complaints. One character I have not talked about was Gunther. He was always popping up and it was well established that he loved Rachel. I was very surprised when they actually resolved that, and the scene between him and Rachel is really sweet. Joey is great in this episode, being so supportive to Ross after Rachel leaves without totally going out of character. Phoebe is classic Phoebe, what else can I say?
Probably the best thing about the final episode is that it doesn’t feel like a stunt.It’s not a clip show or an overblown spectacle like the final episode of Seinfeld had been. It was just another episode, and in the end it really feels like the series has reached its inevitable conclusion. Monica and Chandle rmarried with two kids? Watch the first season and tell me you would have ever predicted that!  I also love that they put closure to the Chandler/Joey stuff. Their relationship was unique among the other characters and it really deserved that ending. And destroying the foosball table was a fitting metaphor. It’s also nice to know why the chick and the duck vanished!
So let’s talk about the real focus of the episode, Ross & Rachel. I have made no secret about the fact that I loved this relationship. And yeah I was hoping that they would end up together. To be fair, the story is drawn out a bit.Phoebe and Ross’s trip to the wrong airport is an obvious stall tactic to stretch the moment out. Then Ross arrives and tells Rachel how he feels…and she gets on the plane!  Now I admit I spoiled the ending for myself a bit, I always hate myself for doing it but I can’t help it. But that scene where Ross is listening to the answering machine wondering how the message ends was so great. Then we find out that Rachel did, in fact,get off the plane and that she does love him too! They finally kiss, and while the “we were on a break” callback was totally unnecessary it doesn’t matter. Fantastic moment , excellent scene, and I love how the music used for the transition is the same music used when Ross and Rachel had their very kiss back in season 2.
The final scene was great; it was so nice to see Ross and Rachel together again romantically. The joke with everyone putting the keys down on the counter was cute, and the emotions of the scene were just enough. Unlike MASH where everyone had to get their own separate goodbye, the group walks out of the apartment together. Fitting. Then we see one last pan of the apartment zooming in on the broken photo frame on the door, which became a fixture of Monica’s apartment over the years. This is one case where it really feels like the series had ended naturally, in fact I would have said it was the best ending to any series I have ever seen, but The Office finale last week was realty nice. Still Friends will have a special place in TV history, and will always be one of my absolute favorite TV shows of all time.
Grade=A,no complaints at all! Beautiful ending to a series I just loved.
So there you have it, 236 episodes of a very strong show.The show has won several awards and accolades, but to me the most impressive thing is the fact that every cast member appeared in every single episode forthe whole ten year run. That’s impressive and very rare! Some people may wonder why I liked this show. I mean it was a format that’s been done to death and very often the stories can be downright silly. So why do I and countless others keep coming back?
Because it was always funny and even ten years later the jokes work and the characters feel like real people who we really cared about.I think that sums up every great show, and this is no exception. Friends was a monster hit for NBC, in fact the network hasn’t been the same since the show went off the air. It still airs in syndication every day and people are already spreading rumors about a possible reunion next year, on the shows 20th anniversary of the pilot episode. Some shows fade away once they are off the air, but I think Friends will be around for a very long time.
 
I hope you enjoyed this episode guide, I know I had a lot of fun putting it together and re watching these episodes uncut. Maybe next year we can do it again with a different show. Until then, “I’ll Be There For You!”

By richb

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