I am a naturally competitive person. It will occasionally (e.g. always) get out of hand after a certain amount of time, and I’m thankful for those who are able to overlook this one area without wanting to separate from me completely. Although they don’t let me play games with them. Now, Monica has me out-competitived in ways that I probably can’t even conceive, and I know myself well enough to know that I will not gamble, not even by buying a singular lottery ticket. I still find the character trait endearing, especially since it’s the reason we get my favorite Season Four episode, “The One with the Embryos.”
While it’s not really a bottle episode like “The One Where No One’s Ready,” but it almost is, and the characters’ individual personalities shine beautifully throughout it in both plotlines, which is rare in a lot of sitcoms. I also love how idiosyncrasies come out during the Jeopardy-like game five of the main cast plays, like how Rachel is not a morning person and that Monica has a ridiculous number of towel categories. Ross really is the perfect emcee, too, his organization skills rivaling that of his sister’s.
Now, I adored Phoebe from the beginning, but her willingness to be Frank and Alice’s surrogate really cemented that for me. She is so concerned that she won’t be successful in giving her brother and his wife the child (well, it ends up being children, but you know) they want, and the way she talks to the little embryos as they sit in the petri dish is precisely the way I would talk to them. Plus, this decision later on rewards us with an entire maternity wardrobe that is just fantastic.
All in all, this is just an excellent episode and one of the least problematic, honestly, even if Chandler does get embarrassed by the mention of his father’s Vegas burlesque show. And that’s saying a lot.