I’m in the mood for a “Friends” walkthrough. I’m writing this the week that “Friends” actor James Michael Tyler died. He played Gunter on the show and was the manager of the coffee shop. He was 59 which makes him four years older than me. Most of the cast was around my age so it’s a little strange to read that one of them has died. Death is right around the corner for all of us but it’s getting even closer for my age group.

It’s episode 20 from Season 5 that I’m watching and it’s called “The One with the Ride Along.” If memory serves that means that Chandler and Joey go on a ride along with Phoebe’s new boyfriend who is a NYC police officer. It’s first aired on April 29, 1999. I watched it as it aired. Let me check my calendar to see what I was doing that week.

Looks like I did nothing on that Thursday. “Took it easy” was my only entry for the day. I must have needed a rest. The rest of the week I was working on the second issue of my “Delia Charm” comic that I self published back then. It was my last self published issue after six comics. Red Menace Comics came to an end. The day before this episode aired I was in NYC to have lunch with my friend, Marie, and then I went to a Brooklyn bar called “The Gate” to bid farewell to another friend, Juliette, as she left for Arizona. I ended the week by working at Marvel for the day.

Let’s start the show. We start in the coffee shop. Turns out that Ross’s ex-wife Emily is getting married tomorrow. He’s a bit down so Joey tires to distract him but it just gets weird. Phoebe and her new boyfriend Gary come in and it all becomes about the ride along. Chandler gets the worst of the joke. Here comes the theme song. That song is tinged with nostalgia for me.

Now we are back at the girls’ apartment. Monica wants Rachel to help her organize some snapshots. We’re supposed to relate to Rachel here while Monica is the weirdo but I’m on Monica’s side. I like organizing things. I find it fun. I have all my photos organized. It’s one of the ways I keep track of my life and things I’ve done. Monica is funny about it though. Rachel messes things up but then we get a weird and funny moment with Monica revealing she, on occasion, steals money from her brother. These weird moments are my favorite part of the show.

Now we’re on the ride along with Gary, Ross, Chandler, and Joey. I forgot Ross was there. Some funny goofy stuff is about Joey’s sandwich happens here. Joey and sandwich jokes are always fun.

The scene cuts and we’re with Rachel in Ross’s apartment. She’s over there by herself borrowing a blender. A big plot point happens as Emily calls and leaves a message on Ross’s answering machine. She’s having cold feet about her upcoming wedding (to someone who is not Ross).

Back to the ride along. Ross goofs around.

Rachel and Monica are both now at Ross’s and listening to Emily’s message. What should they do? They don’t want Ross to get back with her. Their conversation is funny. Rachel accidentally deletes the message which makes Monica happy.

Back to the ride along again. Here is where they think they hear a gunshot and Joey leaps to protect Ross (not Chandler!). It’s a quick scene but sets up some stuff for the second half of the show.

Back, once more, to Monica and Rachel in Ross’s apartment. Rachel wants to fix things and recreate the message but it’s impossible. Monica and Rachel are particularly good in this episode. Ross calls his own machine to leave himself an inspirational message that amuses the women.

Here comes the coffee shop and Gary hailing Joey as a hero. They tell the tale to Phoebe. Chandler is bitter because he wasn’t the one to be saved. We get some Phoebe weirdness which is funny.

Now we’re at the boys’ place and Chandler is seething because Joey chose Ross instead of him. Joey tries to calm him down with some flattery but it doesn’t work so he is forced to reveal that he was really trying to save his sandwich. More sandwich jokes happen and we get a goofy and funny conclusion.

Ross comes back to his own apartment and Rachel is waiting for him. Ross’s new found appreciation for life, after his near death experience, has got him acting goofier than normal. He explains this to Rachel. Rachel is looking extra slender in this episode I notice. Rachel tells Ross about the phone call. He wants to call back. Rachel tries to talk him out of it. And she does as the show credits roll.

Our last post-credit scene is at the coffee shop. They talk war, promotions, and who would be best under fire. Phoebe steals the scene and walks off.

First I’m going to check the rating I gave this show back in 2012. I like this one as I watched it tonight. Maybe I’m nostalgic because of James Michael Tyler’s death but an episode of “Friends” really hit the spot. I’d give it four out of five stars right now. Let’s see about 2012. I gave it three stars back then. That’s what I suspected. I don’t remember this being a four star one but tonight it was.

Now I’ll look up what scenes were cut out of this episode for HD and syndication. They cut out a Serpico joke on the ride along. They cut out Monica’s closing line in the answering machine scene. That was a good line. They cut out the whole scene with Rachel trying to imitate Emily’s British accent. That was funny too. They cut out a reference to Phoebe knowing when all the friends are going to die. I always like those weird references. And that seems to be it. The British accent Rachel scene was the biggest thing.

Well, there you go. Another walkthrough is written. Let’s tip our hats to Gunther and say goodbye.