I need to mellow out, relax, watch an episode of “Friends” and write a walkthrough. Let’s see what episode I’m up to (I don’t write a walkthrough to every episode I watch). It looks like Season 4 Episode 22 “The One With the Worst Best Man Ever.” It first aired on April 30th, 1998. I was there to watch it live. Let me check my calendar to see what I was doing that day. Looks like I commuted into Marvel in NYC. A round trip bus ticket was $11.20. I think that’s up near $20 these days. I also spent $76 at Pearl Paint down on Canal Street. My calendar indicates that I bought gouache paint with that money. Cool. I still use gouache.

Let’s start the show. The opening scene is in the coffee house. Phoebe is pregnant and peeing a lot. She is tired of being pregnant and cranky. Her emotions ar flying and we get a mood swing joke. Here comes the song. I still like this song and listen to it every time. At this point I may have heard it more than any other song. Weird.

Now we’re in the boy’s apartment and Ross is showing off the ring he bought for his fiancé, Emily. He hasn’t picked a best man yet. Joey and Chandler both want to honor. I’d be happy to bow out and let the other candidate do all the work. Uh oh, he already picked Chandler and didn’t tell Joey. Hijinks ensue. Good stuff. And Ross changes his best man to Joey. We have our first plotline. Or second depending on if Phoebe’s pregnancy is a plotline this episode.

Now we’re at the girls’ apartment and we start with a pregnancy joke. Or two. Here comes Joey borrowing a bowl for the bachelor party. The girls aren’t happy they’re not invited to the bachelor party. The girls hastily dream up a baby shower for Phoebe so they can not invite Joey to it. He’s okay with that. Now they have to throw the shower for real.

Back to Central Perk and Joey is planning the bachelor party. A good “Dinosaur Dudes” joke. Chandler walks in and is jealous. Ross wants a mellow party. Not going to happen with Joey in charge. Joey chooses not to hear “No strippers.” Strippers are great for plots.

Now Monica and Rachel are planning the shower. It hits them that Phoebe is not going to get to keep the babies. After all she’s being a surrogate for her brother. She won’t get to dress the babies in the cool outfits they bought. Cut to the actual party and all the stuff they bought to cheer up Phoebe is having the opposite effect. Worst baby shower ever. Now no one want to give her presents as she flies off the handle.

Across the hall at the boy’s place the bachelor party is going on. A solid Gunther joke ensues. Some Joey and Chandler rivalry happens. The shirt Joey made up is a classic. Here come the chick and the duck to meet the stripper. I think they play a part in the plot if memory serves. The stripper hits on Joey and they hook up. She leaves in the middle of the night and Ross’s wedding ring is gone. Of course he think the stripper took it.

Now we’re back at Central Perk with the ladies. This episode has a lot of the three women together and the three men together. More than most I think. But I guess that would be the nature of a baby shower/bachelor party themed episode. Phoebe apologizes for her behavior and then teaches Rachel a harsh lesson that makes her cry. Mean Phoebe is always fun to watch.

Joey is back at his apartment freaking out over the missing ring. He can’t track down the stripper. Chandler is enjoying it of course. Here comes Ross not knowing his ring is missing. Wouldn’t you know it? The ring is a family heirloom and irreplaceable. Joey breaks the news to Ross in a funny way. More funny stuff with Ross and Joey. Chandler comes up with a plan.

Back at the girl’s place Monica and Rachel try to comfort Phoebe with tea. They’re on eggshells and then Phoebe has a contraction. It might be false labor and the scene end quickly as we cut to the boys at Chandler’s office where they told the stripper to go after they hired her under a fake name. She shows up and Ross demands his ring. Turns out she didn’t take it and we end that scene and go back to the boy’s in their apartment. It dawns on them that the duck took the ring.

These scenes are short at the end of this show and we’re back with the girls as they come to the conclusion that it was false labor. Phoebe is calm and cool again. She’s a little depressed that she won’t be keeping any of the babies. Rachel and Monica comfort her. It’s sweet with some funny thrown in. Phoebe ends the scene by faking them out with some labor pain.

Now we’re at the animal hospital with the boys as they wait on news of the duck. We get a montage of Joey with the duck and then Chandler with the duck. This is the show at its goofiest. They get the ring back and the duck is okay. Joey apologizes and tries to give up the best man position. Ross makes both of them the best man. Now we get some tears from all three of them. Good thing Phoebe isn’t around to be mean to them.

The final over the credits scene is Ross and Monica at Central Perk with some sibling rivalry over the ring. We even get a brief glimpse of Emily for the first time all episode.

Now I’ll go to http://uncutfriendsepisodes.tripod.com to see what was cut out of this episode for syndication and streaming. They cut some of Phoebe’s complaining in the first scene. Not a big loss. They got rid of whole “Carton of cigarettes” exchange from when they were trying to decide what to buy Phoebe for when her pregnancy was over. They cut out a whole lot of Phoebe freaking out at her baby shower. About half the lines. That’s a lot. They even cut out a good joke about Ross wanting this to be his last bachelor party. A good Chandler joke during the scene where Ross finds out his ring is missing is gone. They also cut out a lot of the part where Joey softly tell Ross the ring is missing. And the whole closing credit scene with the sibling rivalry and Emily was cut.

There was a lot cut out of this episode. More than usual I think. Maybe it was one of those “Extra long” episodes they occasionally ran. Either way I’m glad I still have these old DVD copies with all that cut stuff in them.