I’ve been watching a bunch of episodes of “Friends” lately. About one a day. So I though it was time I wrote another walkthrough of an episode. I’m up to Season Four Episode Ten named “The One With the Girl From Poughkeepsie.” If I remember correctly (and I think I am) that’s the one where Ross has to ride the Metro North train all the time because he’s dating a woman who lives out of NYC.

It originally aired on December 18, 1997. Let me check my calendar and see if it has any info on what I was doing that day. Looks like I commuted down to NYC to work at Marvel Comics that day. And I worked on cover production. That means I got various comic book covers ready to go to press. I put logos and trade dresses on them and sent the digital file to the printer. I also got some photos back from Kam Photos that day. They were the photo finisher store that was across 28th Street from Marvel. I just checked my photo files and it looks like those photos were from a Marvel Christmas party. Cool. Now on with the show (which I watched as it aired.)

We start with Ross entering Joey and Chandler’s apartment. Joey is stuffing Oreos in his mouth. Ross tells them how he met this girl on the train and he makes it sounds creepy (but funny). But she’s from Poughkeepsie. The Poughkeepsie jokes start to fly early as if this was an old Borsht Belt act. Joey with the Oreo smile. And here comes the theme song. I like the fanny slapping in this version of the theme. That’s always funny.

Now we’re in the coffee shop. Chandler is dating Kathy (who we never see this episode) and Rachel is complaining she’s lonely and wants somebody to spend the holidays with. Cue Gunther to almost express his crush on Rachel but he blows it. There has been a lot of Gunther and his crush this season. Chandler says he can hook Rachel up with a guy who wants a fling. This is plot number two.

Monica comes into Central Perk and is upset that everyone at her new job hates her. She just got the new job at the end of last episode. She’s the new head chef at a restaurant after her bad review got the old chef fired. The problem is that the rest of the staff knows what happened and the old chef was their father. Of course they hate her. They wrote “Quit Bitch” on her chef’s hat. Then the gang comes up with the idea that should should hire Joey so Monica could fire him to show the staff who’s in charge. This is plot three.

Cut to Chandler’s office where he’s looking for a date for Rachel. Chandler tells the guys that she is looking for a fling so, of course, they’re all lining up to take her out. Chandler doesn’t seem to notice anything is wrong with this. We know Rachel will. They start to bribe Chandler with all sorts of stuff.

Phoebe is writing a new holiday song. It’s a solid one but nothing rhymes with Rachel. Not to Joey though. The search for rhymes is on as Chandler comes in to tell Rachel he’s got fifty guys for her. Monica practices firing Joey.

Ross has a new date and she lives close by. She’s not as good as the Poughkeepsie woman but she’s geographically desirable. Of course Joey is late for his first day at Monica’s restaurant.

The new scene is at the restaurant where we start with a funny Monica and Joey interaction. She wants to fire Joey right away to assert her authority. But the short scene ends.

We’re back at the coffee shop where Rachel is happy with her date. Then Rachel susses out that Chandler told him that she just wants a fling. Chandler fumfers around until he realizes he did wrong.

That scene was over quickly and we’re back at the restaurant. Joey has got a new nickname and it’s “Dragon.” Heh, heh, heh… Joey also discovers that tips are real good around the holiday and he doesn’t want to get fired. Monica clumsily goes into her firing bit where she is supposed to fire Joey but he doesn’t defy her so she can’t. Joey explains that he made $500 bucks in two days and begs for his job.

Back to Phoebe and her song in the coffee shop. Ross is tired from his trip to Poughkeepsie. He now wants to break up with both women.

Another quick scene change to Chandler’s apartment and Rachel is upset again at Chandler. Now he’s told the guy that Rachel was looking for a serious relationship and scared him away. Chandler cheers her up by telling her what a catch she is.

Now we’re on the train to Poughkeepsie and Ross sleeps through his stop. This is the shortest scene yet in an episode of short scenes.

We go back to the restaurant and the staff is giving Monica a hard time. She gets covered in marinara sauce. They are mean to her but Joey comes to her rescue by defying her so she can fire him. She fires him and kicks him out of the kitchen. The staff falls into line.

Back to the train and Ross has slept all the way to Montreal. In reality Poughkeepsie is the last stop on the Metro North Railway and the train in no way goes all the way up to Montreal but this is the comedy world of “Friends.” There is a train that leaves from Penn Station (Metro North commuter trains leave from Grand Central Terminal) and goes up to Montreal with a stop in Poughkeepsie so I guess that must be the train Ross is on but he’s much more likely to get to Poughkeepsie via Metro North. Anyway it’s a funny gag. He meets a Montreal woman on the train. He gets coffee with her.

At the restaurant we get a short scene with Joey leaving and then we cut to Phoebe singing her new holiday song at Central Perk. It’s mildly amusing.

Back in 2013 I rated this one a three out of five stars and that’s where it belongs. I’ve really been enjoying Season Four this go around so maybe I’d rate it slightly higher because of that mood but I can also stick with the three.

As usual to finish off I’ll check the “Uncut Friends” website to see what was cut out of this one for syndication and streaming. Just one line from Joey about Monica getting fired and then a scene of Chandler being given stuff by the guys who want to take out Rachel. Plus Phoebe’s introduction to her song. I wouldn’t miss the Joey line but the other two are more essential. This is why I still watch my old DVD copies. Until next time.