Let’s DO this.
Will AmPrime have the original song? Oh, I’m tingling in anticipation.
Opening scene, Audrey and Oliver enter a room and she pours him a shot of something while telling him he’s nooooo good. Then he makes a blonde joke and he tells her he’s the boy who will rip her soul apart and they furiously make out.
Then turns out it’s just a script and the dialogue is too stupid, even for Audrey, who cuts the scene. But she says the problem with the “feeble writing” isn’t how corny it is, but rather is her character showing too much interest because then he’ll lose interest in her. Oh no, the guy who says things about tearing souls apart will lose interest… shucks… Oliver is affronted.
Dawson tells Audrey she has to, no joke, “penetrate the subtext,” which is that he knows that she knows that he knows, something, something, who cares. Jen is shouting into a megaphone and Pacey is doing sound or something and apparently flailing around about it. This is taking place at a film school in Boston and they need these jokers for this shitty movie.
The Jann Arden song plays. Goddamnit.
In Joey’s writing class with the pervy prof, he’s talking about life’s intensity and how it relates to writing, head versus heart, conflict, etc. He asks for examples and Joey’s like, I have one, it’s about a guy. And dude’s like, isn’t it always? Then a bell rings from some tower and that signals the end of that discussion. TV writers never seem to be able to end a class normally where the teacher or prof has actually kept track of time. They’re always starting new conversations immediately before the bell rings. Prof’s like, oh nuts, really wanted to hear where that was going. Oh well!
After class, Joey’s like, we need to talk, that was awkward. Yeah, maybe because you brought up your love life in class with the professor you’re canoodling with. He deflects with self-depreciation and apologies before telling her to say what she’s gonna say and then she stares at him and is like, n’ah, I’m cold, laters.
Back at the restaurant, Audrey pops in on her day off, as people are wont to do, and there’s Pacey cooking himself an omelette. She’s like, you slept here, didn’t you? Pacey is sleeping in a restaurant? Audrey is giving him flack for not helping her learn her lines for Dawson’s crappy movie. Pacey’s says it’s not a good time and then some chick comes into the kitchen, kisses his neck and asks what’s for breakfast. So he’s sleeping at the restaurant and having one-night stands there too? Maybe I’m not an adventurous 20-something anymore, but where the hell did they sleep? Pacey introduces her as his good friend Gina and she’s like, uh, excuse me? It’s Rina.
And she’s out of the Dawson’s Creek universe in a huff, but not before she can call him Stacey.
At the frat, Jack walks in all sheepish and gets a mild greeting and the brothers all finalize kegger plans and leave. One guy named Eric stays behind and Jack says he doesn’t know how to be around the other guys anymore because he feels like an idiot. Probably doesn’t help that he is an idiot.
At Grams’, Dawson is editing the movie and Jen pops upstairs with a hot drink. He’s stressing because the ending doesn’t work and their rentals are almost up and they have 12 hours to re-write and shoot the whole thing over. Oh, and Oliver sucks at acting. Dawson cues up a scene where Oliver kisses Audrey and pokes her in the nose instead.
Then Oliver turns up and Dawson tells him to have a seat, all grave and stuff, and I’m wondering if he’s gonna tell the guy that he blows. And he does! Diplomatically. And Oliver takes it amazingly well. Too well. Weirdly well. So they talk about recasting it to finish it in 12 hours. Is this the shortest movie ever? Is he in one scene? I don’t understand this.
They’re like, how do we find a sexy, soulless guy in six hours? Jen says she used to date someone like that. Then they want to find him and Jen’s like, no, you wouldn’t make me do that, would you? And now it depends if this mystery loser is free to spend the next half a day, starting immediately, to act in this crappy movie.
It’s Charlie. Jen says she needs a favour. He’s all, why would I wanna do you a favour? And Jen says he would need to make out with a really hot girl and so Charlie’s on board. Charlie’s a simple man of simple tastes.
At the dorm, Joey storms in saying, “He’s unbelievable!” And Audrey’s like, yeah, I know, he forgot her first name! Joey’s like, what? Audrey’s all, huh? Does Audrey think Joey was talking about Pacey for some reason, before even being told about Pacey? Cough *feeble writing* Cough.
Joey complains about her prof and how he was her mentor and friend and now it’s not like that anymore, and Audrey was right about it being a crush, and Audrey says, yeah, you’re a babbling idiot about him. But also it’s super okay to be in this situation because you feel ALIVE! Let’s hope she never befriends anyone with a tendency towards manic episodes. That is literally the worst advice.
At the frat, Jack talks to Eric, who has stayed behind. Jack’s rooting through the beer fridge and Eric asks if it’s not a little early to drink. Jack suggests some hanging out rather than the studying they both need to do.
At Grams’, Jen is doing a script read-through with Charlie, and she’s racing through it as quickly as possible. And they decide to go with him as the new lead because why not. Dawson says they need to re-write the ending, which I guess he didn’t mention until now, because it doesn’t make sense. The ending is she breaks up with him and breaks his heart and he blows her away– poetic justice. Dawson said he thought it was brilliant but now it doesn’t really work.
OKAY SRSLY? A perfect ending because it’s poetic justice? Gun violence against women? And the ending now just “doesn’t make sense.” Oh, it makes sense, you know, because it happens all the fucking time. It’s just not poetic justice– okay, I have to keep going. But the writers of this show have some fucking issues with women.
Back at the frat, Jack and the brother are laughing at the guys who go out looking for women who want to watch Notting Hill, a movie Jack likes but Eric doesn’t. Then Jack lays down on the floor and dude follows him. And since this is not a subtle show, I think someone’s gonna make a move.
He asks Jack, “When did you realize you were gay?” And so obviously he is gay. Again, this show just sort of slaps you in the face with subtext about as frequently as they use the word subtext. He rolls over to Jack, gets closer and says “You’re the kind of guy I want to be.” And Jack gets all awkward and sits up and changes the subject, which is probably the shittiest way for an openly gay man to handle a closeted man’s attempt to come out to him. Like, wtf, Jack? He’s sort of a black hole when it comes to support. He’ll suck it all in and demand more, but he’s got nothing to give.
Dude gets up to go and Jack’s like, no, don’t go (mixed messages, buddy). But go he does because the one person he thought he could talk to has an EQ of about 4.
Outside the prof’s house, Joey is pacing and acting out what she’s going to say to him, which is something no one would ever do in real life. Prof watches her from his window and puts an end to the foolishness by opening the door and calling her out.
She says she’s sorry he kissed her, and he’s sorry too but she doesn’t want an apology. She says she’s going to walk over to him and shake his hand all manly and such and then leave. He asks about the class and she says she’ll drop it. No great loss, he says. Ooh, ouch. She says, screw you, and he’s like, no, I mean, you’ll do fine without it.
Yeah, okay buddy, like anyone would ever take it that way. Then as she feels embarrassed for misunderstanding him, he gives her this smug smirk. Yeah, he knows what he’s doing. He goes on about her talents and instincts.
I’d like to point out that throughout this series there was a time she was into art (remember that?) but there’s never been this narrative of Joey, the great writer. Joey the big asshole, the hard-working student, the petty cynic, sure. Dawson, for all his nonsense, has been working on his craft for years. Joey is now suddenly this amazing writer now? All those years of sulking must have really paid off. Now she’s saying she doesn’t want to leave. Flattery will get him everywhere.
At the dorm, Pacey is helping Audrey with her lines and she’s psyching herself up. I’ve never heard her mention a single class, but this movie is getting all of her attention.
Audrey leaps into character, straddles Pacey, calls him “Gage” (Oh, isn’t that terrific) and they start going at it. then they abruptly stop because it’s “wrong.” Because he’s Joey’s ex? With how much everybody is pretending that relationship never happened by literally never mentioning it ever, one might be forgiven for thinking they’re being wieners about this. Even though Audrey sucks. Even though he’s apparently homeless and could do better than this hot mess.
On the set, Audrey and Charlie are making out and Audrey calls cut because Charlie’s kissing technique is choking her with tongue. They keep trying to get through the scene, but Charlie’s struggling. Probably because he’s only been given a couple hours to prepare. Everyone’s getting annoyed. They muddle through and Dawson calls cut and Audrey says it’s too intense with Pacey right there being the boom operator.
In the prof’s house, because Joey never left, they’re being sarcastic about how “comfortable” they’re feeling. As they converse I’m getting uncomfortable with how little chemistry they have. She wants to talk about the class topic of heart versus head and desires and shit and openly leans in for a kiss right after he says he doesn’t want to get fired. Before they kiss, her phone vibrates. She answers the call, says she’ll be right there and leaves. Now, who could have called? I’m gonna guess… Audrey.
But then as quickly as she left, she bursts back in, plants one on her professor and sails back out the door.
At the frat, two guys enter Jack’s room and tell him Eric says Jack just tried to kiss him. Jack is over being in the frat at that point. He denies it, points out it makes no sense that in an effort to smooth things over at the house he would try to kiss an unsuspecting straight man, and that he’s done and moving out.
Wow, Eric realllly wants Jack out of the house after that last encounter. Also, Eric is also a shithead.
At the set, Pacey is telling Dawson he thinks he knows why his ingenue is so exasperated. Dawson tells him he’s an idiot for getting involved with an actress. Charlie moseys over with questions about his character and Jen lunges at him from out of nowhere and threatens to slap the silly out of him. What the hell is this?
Then Joey shows up for no reason. Why is she there? Oh yes, the phone call probably. Yes, Audrey has locked herself in the bathroom because that is what you do on a low-budget film when the equipment has to be returned in like five minutes.
Dawson, meanwhile, sends Jen home because her assaulting the cast is not going to help him meet his goals.
While en route to the bathroom with Pacey, Joey asks if anything has happened with her and he’s like, uh NO! And she calls him an idiot because wouldn’t it be better that he get involved with someone awesome like Audrey than some ditz? Wow. So many layers to how ridiculous that statement is.
They enter the bathroom and Audrey is sobbing about having betrayed Joey, but she’s all, n’ah, don’t give a shit. Here’s my blessing, now go bone.
The fact that there was zero fallout after this breakup is the laziest TV writing failure ever. The relationship tore friends apart and was this big love story and then boom, over, and… it’s all good because who wants to dwell on human emotion.
Calling the Fonz for a surfboard.
As Jack is leaving the frat, he sees Eric and tells him he thinks he needs help and he hopes he finds it. Then out the door he goes.
Joey’s walking through the set outdoors, it’s night, and before she goes, Dawson wants to talk about his hesitance over the ending. Apparently him killing her or the happy ending are his only two options and he doesn’t have the childish corniness inside of himself to go with the happy ending.
Or, you know, they could just break up without a woman being shot to death by a jilted lover.
Then they don’t talk about how messed up the ending is and instead talk about signs? Waiting for signs? And Joey’s like didn’t you think me being here was your sign?
Then she walks away and turns around and is like, everyone will be okay, all of us.
She leaves, having done nothing in that conversation but say cryptic things in an effort to sound deep.
Jen, meanwhile, runs into Jack. He is bummed out and lights a cigarette, and she pulls his out of his mouth. They talk about Notting Hill. Jen likes the movie. Ah yes, the Notting Hill friendship test.
At the set, Dawson has a burst of inspiration, and tells Audrey to forget about chunks of the script and to be vulnerable. Then he whispers something in her ear, which surprises her. He then announces to the crew they’ll do the scene in just one shot.
Dawson sits in the director’s chair, giggling.
So, Charlie shows up with the gun, Audrey doesn’t let him get a word in, says some shit, then it starts to snow and they walk off into the distance. And this is Dawson’s happy ending. A woman is now still with a man who bought a gun with the intent to kill her, and she doesn’t know the danger she’s in.
After the shoot, Pacey and Audrey are walking home and Audrey is telling Pacey he’s not her type and then kisses him. They banter a bit and I can’t pay attention because I’m overwhelmed by how bad a match this is. They have nothing in common. This show just throws people together to see what sticks.
At a bus stop, Joey is walking by alone and bends over and picks up a perfectly formed snowball. Her hands were slightly off camera, but there’s no way she formed it herself in that microsecond. Then she pretends to be a baseball pitcher.
She throws the ball awkwardly at a sign (Ooh, a SIGN. Get it?), hits it, says, “And the crowd goes wild!” and saunters off down the empty street. Geez, Boston sure is dead in the evening.
MVA: Pacey: I might be mildly culpable for her exasperation.