Scott Foley — who plays endearing bookworm Noel on Felicity — received confirmation that the WB drama had indeed bounced back from its sophomore slump while at a recent hockey game in Los Angeles. "There were three people standing in front of a wall, and I heard one of them say, 'Ask him...

Ask him,'" he remembers. "And then the guy yells over, 'Hey Noel! Who got shot?'"

The nervy fan, of course, is referring to the winter cliffhanger that closed out the first half of Felicity's season in December. (For those who missed it, Molly's loopy ex-beau opened fire at Felicity's holiday mixer.) Although critics called the violent climax a cheap stunt that was beneath the show's dignity, there's no denying its ratings-boosting, buzz-intensifying impact.

"It's nice to be on a show that people give a s--- about," Foley admits, adding that he hopes the WB is "as smart as we all hope they are" and renews the resurgent dramedy for a fourth season. "There's not another show on the network that has gotten the publicity we have this season, because of our ratings and the quality of the show... So I hope they pick it up."

Foley also has a subtle suggestion for those fans disheartened that Felicity (Keri Russell) chose brooding Ben (Scott Speedman) over his nerdy Noel: Don't underestimate the power of a 4.0 GPA. The popular, albeit polarizing, Ben/Felicity/Noel triangle will again take shape in coming weeks — and there's a big surprise in store. But come on, does Noel really have a shot? Hints Foley: "Unless he's in jail or shoots Felicity, I think there's pretty much a chance." Hmmm... Is there a clue in there?