Even in the spoiler-ific title of this episode (a side effect of the episodes not being named till after the fact…) it is the wrong way round! For all the great work on female characters, and sympathetically showing both sides of Rachel and Ross’s break-up (even if Ross is definitely the one at fault…) we still say Ross first. I just don’t get it.
“The One Where I Try and Make #RachelAndRoss Happen”
It’s RACHEL and ROSS’s anniversary, and I can’t believe I didn’t notice this last year… it’s also my anniversary!
I checked and it is also almost exactly a year since I watched the one with the prom video, where they first get together. How did I not clock this last year?! OK, this IS spooky. I’m even starting to feel like Rachel does at work, playing catch-up due to holidays, things going wrong, and getting annoyed by problems left by ex-colleagues. WHAT IS GOING ON.
Even Ross accidentally starting a fire in her office continues the trend of fire related jokes happening in my real life but in a more serious way. Just a few months back our neighbours at work completely burnt down. Presumably also because of some romantic gesture gone wrong.
Ross’s attempts to fit their relationship around work are all becoming too much for Rachel. How dare she try and have a career AND a relationship?
But it’s hard not to feel sorry for them both. She needs to work hard to move forward in her job, he feels alone and neglected in their relationship. It’s an age-old story, though cunningly gender-swapped.
To be fair to Ross if I had to work late on our anniversary I’d get a lot more hassle than he gives Rachel. But, as fans of the show have argued for years, it is Ross who ultimately makes the big three mistakes here. First walking out after Rachel mentions a break, secondly never trusting that Rachel and Mark are just friends, and finally assuming the worst when he finds out they’re together. (Although given the circumstances you’d think it would be obvious to Rachel that having Mark round was not a good idea).
Ross’s possessiveness and jealousy has led them here, and we’re crushed as he, unaware that there’s still hope, moves past the point of no return with the Xerox girl (cleverly mentioned previously). Schwimmer beautifully plays the despondency of Ross believing things are over, as well as his reluctance to let it all go before the final “fuck it” moment after Chloe kisses him.
With the bulk of 'The One Where RACHEL and ROSS Take a Break' being taken up by their story-line, there’s little for the other characters to do. We do, at least, get an amusing scene of Monica and Phoebe going on a double date with a foreign diplomat and his translator. I never realised how many good double date scenes there are in the show. I need to try and arrange more in my life!
If, not quite a double date, we went out for a family dinner recently that was in dire need of a translator. The poor waitress found her knowledge of a new wine menu did not meet my dad’s satisfaction. This was not helped by his refusal to wear glasses meaning he could hardly read it, and her only saying the name of the wine rather than anything about it.
He also refused to accept any South African wines due to their problems with racism, preferring instead to have some from his home country: Australia. As far as I’m aware they’ve never had any problems with racism…
Eventually it all got a bit much for the young, inexperienced waitress and she offered to take my dad down to the wine cellar to pick out his own.
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
I’ve just got back from a cycling holiday for my David the Science Guys stag weekend. Our plan was to ask his brother if he too was circumcised, to put the whole issue to bed. But this led to even more confusion than answers. After we broached the topic he texted his mother in a panic only to receive the response that, as far as she was aware, neither of them are circumcised.
I’m beginning to suspect Ross Number 2 is not quite the authority on circumcision he claims to be…
I decided to stay an extra day to take in Brussels (just to make catching up at work EVEN harder). Unfortunately, poor research on my part meant I picked the only day of the week when all the museums were closed.
Wandering round a closed city with a hangover was not the ideal way to end the weekend.