S03 E13 - TOW Monica and Richard Are Friends
aka TOW Freezer Books, Sock Quarters, and Lasagna with Benefits
Monica runs into Richard at the video store and the two of them start hanging out again. Monica’s clearly re-smitten, but insists that they can remain platonic. That doesn’t go so well, but luckily, our cocktail does!
Heather found a recipe for a “Friends with Benefits” cocktail, and we put our spin on it by adding rose water (to echo the roses that Richard and Monica toss across their respective beds) and using…
Lasagna! Monica’s (and the prop department’s) skills have definitely improved since Season 1 (remember that terrible, flat lasagna in Episode 2?) This time around, she’s teaching Richard how to make a lasagna — and from the looks of her kitchen table, it’s entirely from scratch! We’ve got flour, oil, pasta dough, a pasta maker, eggs, mozzarella cheese, basil, etc. She’s even got peeled tomatoes to make the sauce from scratch!
Monica doesn’t get off to the most fashionable start this week (static cling will do that to you), but she makes up for it in her cozy apartment-cleaning ensemble later in the episode. Phoebe has a fun bag at the start of the show, then gets groovy in a Grateful Dead/Lithuanian basketball team t-shirt, and is all smiles (almost) in a smiley-faced Henley by the end of the episode. Rachel starts off in an iffy matching skirt suit with odd velvet details, and things only get worse from there, when, by episode’s end, a weird buckle-type-thing has taken over the front of her shirt.
THE GUYS (OR, “TOMATOGATE”)
We’re calling this section Tomatogate. None of the guys wear anything noteworthy this week so we’ll focus on the tomato that’s supposed to be on Richard’s shirt when he and Monica get to squeezin’. She applies club soda to the front of his shirt (and gets lost in the moment while doing so), but if you look closely, there’s no tomato sauce anywhere near the front of his shirt. There is, however, a teeny tiny speck of it on the arm of his left sleeve.
LASAGNA WITH BENEFITS
Monica runs into Richard at the video store (remember those??). The two of them get to talking, and he suggests they go grab a bite. This leads to the complete re-smittenization of Monica Geller. She tells everyone that it’s innocent, they’re just friends, but the gang can see right through it. She’s clearly falling for him again.
She has him over to show him how to make lasagna, but when their hands touch in the tomato-squishing bowl, they have a moment of palpable sexual tension — you can tell he’s got feelings, too! Later on, she’s cleaning the apartment (homemade pasta can be messy!) and she’s on the phone with Richard. Next thing you know, he’s at her door and the two of them are locked in an embrace. Cut to them in bed:
Monica: So we can be friends who sleep together.
Richard: Absolutely, this will just be something we do, like racquetball.
Monica: Sounds smart and healthy to me. So um, just out of curiosity, um, do you currently have any other racquetball buddies?
Richard: Just your dad. (pause) Although that’s actually racquetball.
He mentions that he has a blind date coming up, but he can cancel. She tells him to go ahead with it, otherwise, that would mean that they’re not just friends. Ah, how quickly friends-with-benefits becomes complicated!
A bit later in the episode, Monica comes home after a terrible day at work — she lost one of her fake boobs in a grill fire — but things perk up when she finds a tuxedoed Richard in her bed! She tries to pull the same romantic gesture on him the next day (how she got into his apartment, we still don’t know — although we have theories), but unfortunately, he’s not alone when he comes home. He’s on his blind date!
With some quick thinking, Richard escorts the blind date out the door, and comes back to talk to Monica, who’s hiding under the comforter. She confesses that it’s too much — she can’t just be friends with him. Poor Monica.
ROBERT’S MOUSE IS OUT OF ITS HOUSE
We think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves here.
LEAVE PLENTY OF ROOM IN THE FREEZER
When was the last time that a hit tv show used books as a plot point? Well this week, we do. Rachel notices that there’s a copy of The Shining in Joey’s freezer, and the ensuing conversation leads to them exchanging their favorite books. Joey agrees to read Little Women, and Rachel will read The Shining — once it thaws out.
The two of them really enjoy their books, except that Joey sucks as fill-in-the-blank games:
Joey: Hey, Rach, how you doing with The Shining?
Rachel: Oh, Danny just went into room 217.
Joey: Oooh, the next part’s the best, when that dead lady in the bathtub...
Rachel: Oh, no, meh-nah-nah-nah, come on you’re gonna ruin it!
Joey: All right I’ll talk in code. (to Ross and Chandler) Remember when the kid sees those two blanks in the hallway?
Chandler: Hmmm, that’s very cool.
Joey: Oh, all blank, and no blank, makes blank a blank blank. Oh no-no-no, no, the end when Jack almost kills them all with that blank, but then at last second they get away. Aww!
Rachel: Joey! I can’t believe you just did that!
Chandler: I can’t believe she cracked your code!
Rachel: All right, okay, Laurie proposes to Jo, and she says no, even though she’s still in love with him, and then he ends up marring Amy.
Joey: Hey! Mine was by accident! All right, the boiler explodes and destroys the hotel, and kills the dad.
Rachel: Eh. Beth dies.
Joey is crushed. Rachel backpedals and says that Beth doesn’t die. When Joey inevitably gets to that part in the book, he comes into Rachel’s apartment, so very sad. They agree that it would be best to put the book in the freezer.
OTHER STUFF WE TALKED ABOUT
Robby Benson - voice of The Beast in Beauty and the Beast, directed this episode
Book Ross is reading: Race: How Blacks & Whites Think & Feel About the American Obsession