Analytical Episode Guide:
Season 8. Part 4
Season 8, Episode 19
The One with Joey’s Interview
 
Plot Summary-Joey has an interview for Soap Opera Digest (yes, that’s it!)

 

Funniest Line-“It hurts me. It physically hurts me.”…..Chandler

 

Nitpick of the episode-If the reporter knew Joey was fired from Days and had been interviewed before for her magazine, shouldn’t she be able to figure out why he got fired? Or am I thinking to much?

 

Standout Character-Joey, I guess

 

Syndication Edit-clip show

 

Final Thoughts-Groan! Another clip show! And this is the worst yet! I mean, another Joey centered clip show? They did that already! Why not make Phoebe or Ross the focus or something?  Yeah there are a fewfunny lines from Chandler but this episode is just a bore. We know how much Joey cares for his friends! I don’t mind clip shows in sitcoms until they get overdone. Unfortunately  Friends joins a long line of shows like The Golden Girls and Family Ties who over did the clip show format to death! Oh but good news, we have two more coming!!!

 

Grade=C-


Season 8, Episode 20
The One with the Baby Shower
 
Plot Summary-Rachel panics when she realizes she doesn’t know how to take care of a baby, Monica tries apologizing to Rachel’s mother, The guys practice a new game show Joey is auditioning for

 

Funniest Line-”It goes ten times a day?! What are we feeding this baby? Indian food?”…..Rachel

 

Nitpick of the episode-I had no problem with the whole “Rachel’s mom is mad at Monica” thing at first, but they pushed it too far and Mrs. Green comes off like a total bitch

 

Standout Character-Rachel, just about perfect in this one

 

Syndication Edit-Scene Extensions

 

Final Thoughts-I already talked about my one major problem with the episode, which isn’t all bad. Yeah the stuff with the game show was the definition of filler,but as I said before I give the show credit for always finding something for all the characters to do. For the most part the stuff at the baby shower works real well, I think it makes perfect sense that Rachel would be clueless about a baby. But she does have Ross who is right at her side. It seems like the creators love to change Monica to fit the story. Here she needs everyone to like her, something which will never come up again. In fact in the very next episode Monica will comment that she knows the other students in the cooking class hate her, and she doesn’t care. Consistency, what’s that? Anyway Rachel steals the show in this one and is just fantastic!

 

Grade=B+

Season 8, Episode 21
The One with the Cooking Class
 
Plot Summary-Monica gets a horrible review and confronts the critic, Rachel is jealous when Ross goes out on a date, Phoebe helps Chandler prepare for a job interview

 

Funniest Line-“Oh, my God! The idea of a woman flirting with an unmarried man? We must alert the church elders!”….Phoebe

 

Nitpick of the episode-I would have liked a resolution to why the critic gave Monica such a horrible review, I always figured he was trying to steal her job

 

Standout Character-Monica, nothing wrong with boosting your self-esteem once in awhile

 

Syndication Edit-More of Joey cooking

 

Final Thoughts-This is a surprisingly strong episode. It’s clear that they didn’t know where to go with the whole Monica getting a bad review thing so the episode became all about the cooking class. It’s not that bad at all. I love how Joey acts as Monica’s muscle when confronting the food critic. The stuff with Phoebe and Chandler works well and the way Chandler ends up blowing the interview anyway is funny. And of course we get more Ross/Rachel stuff as Ross agrees to Rachel’s unreasonable demand. Why? Because he cares more about her and the unborn baby.  Awwww. It even ends with the hint that they may have feelings for each other again. Basically this is a good character episode and they all bring their A game to this one which gives us an episode without all the silliness that pops up so often.

 

Grade=B+

Season 8, Episode 22
The One Where Rachel is Late
 
Plot Summary-Joey must decide who he is taking to his movie premiere. Phoebe and Monica bet on when the baby will be born. Rachel is late and drives Ross crazy.

 

Funniest Line-“You know, we should probably ask the doctor if she even knows how to deliver a baby that’s half human, half pure evil!”….Ross

 

Nitpick of the episode-Nice of the creators to remember that Joey made a movie at the end of last season, it even opens when Joey says it will back in the wedding episode

 

Standout Character-Ross, how he tolerates Rachel in this episode is beyond me

 

Syndication Edit-Chandler tries to talk his out of falling asleep during Joey’s movie

 

Final Thoughts-Rachel is so much fun in this one because for once, she is so unlikable! Much like Phoebe just before she has her triplets, Rachel is so cranky that it really gets on your nerves! Of course this is normal and done well. The rest of the episode is, well, only ok. It was nice of them to remember the movie Joey made  but the stuff with Chandler was really just a one joke story. And Phoebe and Monica betting on the baby was kind of pointless really. But in the end, Rachel’s water breaks andthe moment we have been waiting all season for is here!

 

Grade=C+

Season 8, Episode 23 & 24
The One Where Rachel Has a Baby
 
Plot Summary-Rachel awaits the arrival of her baby, Chandler and Monica decide to have kids, and Phoebe enlists Joey’s aid in meeting a guy

 

Funniest Line-“You have no idea how much this hurts”….Ross, he says this after bumping his head and while Rachel is pushing and may be one of the funniest gags in the whole series!

 

Nitpick of the episode-I could pick apart the cliffhanger but the truth is that thefollow up does a really great job of smoothing over most of the issues. But we will discuss that next week.

 

Standout Character-Who else? Rachel is just great in this episode

 

Syndication Edit-More with Janice

 

Final Thoughts-So much to talk about, so let’s get started. This episode did not disappoint. It’s funny, and has a lot of heart too.  You have to feel bad for Rachel in a semi-private room , that can’t be pleasant. Then in comes Janice! I love her in this episode because since she knows Ross and Rachel she has a unique insight into their relationship. Even the scenes with Chandler and Janice are great! Then we find out that Chandler is ready to have kids, which is remarkable when you think about it. The birth scene is very strong and then the big question,what was the baby going to be named? I wasn’t thrilled with Emma at first but it grew on me. Phoebe’s story is just to give her something to do in the episode, but its silly fun. Finally, we get to the cliffhanger of the episode.Joey finds Ross’s ring and Rachel thinks he is proposing….just as Ross walks down the hallway with flowers! Yeah I could complain that the visit back to the Joey/Rachel thing was just a cheap attempt to create a cliffhanger, but it will get worst next year! The cliffhanger aside, this is a fantastic episode and great end to a fantastic, and Emmy winning, season!

 

Grade=A-

Next week we begin Season 9!

 

By richb

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