Dee Discusses: Friends Season 5

Posted: October 14, 2014 by Dee in Dee, Friends, General Media, Television
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This is by far my favorite season of Friends, and I know it’s in no small part due to the Chandler-Monica relationship taking up the majority of the plot. I was never a big Ross and Rachel fan, but I was so on board the Chandler/Monica ship that I couldn’t wait to see where they were headed. The two of them hook up at Ross’ wedding to Emily, and at first they decide it’s a London-only thing, wanting to spare their friendship any strain. But their attraction to each other means they can’t go back to being friends, so they embark on a secret relationship for half of the season. This season also ended the relationship of Ross and Emily, leading him to get his second (but not last!) divorce. She’s unable to forgive him fully for saying the wrong name at the alter, and he tries to make their marriage work, but she insists he can’t see Rachel anymore. This nearly leads the group to disband entirely, with people feeling like they have to take sides or they can’t all sit around together anymore. It is a serious situation and the show handles it that way, with the reality of what to do when you’re pulled between two friends. Ross and Rachel already had this problem once before when they broke up, but it’s not a simple situation. I think it’ s unfortunate that Emily came off as being way too unreasonable, although I think we still understood to a degree where she was coming from. She didn’t trust Ross. End of story.

Joey is the first one to figure out about Chandler and Monica, being actually perceptive for the first time in the show. He picked up on clues from when they tried to go away for a weekend, and he was sworn to secrecy. One of my all-time favorite episodes of the entire show is “The One Where Everybody Finds Out,” and most people put it on their top ten list without question. I can’t hear “they don’t know that we know that they know!” without laughing every time. Phoebe and Rachel try to force the two to admit their relationship by having Phoebe seduce Chandler, and he tells Monica he loves her for the first time. It’s such a perfect blend of funny and cute. Meanwhile Ross is having an absolute mental breakdown. He lost his wife and his pride, and then his simmering anger leads him to act out and threaten people at work for stealing his sandwich. This leads him to lose his job. The end of the season has him and Rachel drunkenly getting married in Vegas, which Monica and Chandler consider until they see the two of them coming out of the cheesy chapel.

Rachel had an interesting season where she was trying to get ahead in her career. I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy Rachel’s storyline a lot more now that I’m older, and I understand how hard it is to start a career and rise through the ranks. She starts working at Ralph Lauren and finds a happy place there. Naturally Ross is the one that brings her down this season, since she gets over him in the earlier part of the season, but is accidentally married to him by the end of it. Phoebe gets into a serious relationship with a cop and they seem pretty cute, she even moves in with him. And then he shoots a bird outside their window so she breaks up with him. ┬áIt’s a random thing, I’m surprised it never came up before, considering how immediate his reaction was to the chirping bird. Joey spends most of the season just supporting the Monica and Chandler relationship, and then he has that weird episode where he hears a “gunshot” and dives to save his sandwich. It makes people think he defended Ross. Why would you go for your sandwich when you hear a gun? That’s just weird. Ah, Friends. Why do I question you. Joey’s only major storyline involves him going to Vegas to try and shoot a movie and it doesn’t work out, leading him to be a soldier at Caesar’s Palace. He has that identical hand twin storyline in the finale that’s just nonsense.

The season ends with Rachel and Ross getting drunk married in Vegas. Chandler and Monica are in love and now openly a couple, and while they considered getting married, they decided not to for now. But this was just the start of their relationship. Season five had some of my favorite moments in the show, including the famous PIVOT scene, the end of Ugly Naked Guy, Janice dumping Ross for being whiny, Phoebe sexy dancing at Chandler, and Ross’ inability to flirt with anyone. This was the height of Friends and its success, and while the previous seasons were decent, it clearly was hitting its stride now. All they had to do was continue the momentum, and maybe give poor Joey a storyline that wasn’t ridiculous. Just kidding, that basically never happened. Poor LeBlanc.


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