Opening scene, Joey is hanging out with Dawson on his bed, as per usual, and they’re finishing up an old classic movie. And just as soon as it’s done, a very unenthused Joey hops outta bed and is off to give her very pregnant sister help around the house. Dawson whines that one movie isn’t enough for movie night and they never stop at just one. Joey says there’s a first time for everything.
And lookie here! Jen is there too. She addresses the elephant in the room, which is that she’s intruded on a very special ritual between the two of them. She’s also in a chair, which I also think is something of an elephant, but that doesn’t get mentioned. Joey bed, Jen chair. Awkward.
Jen wants to go. She says to Dawson that since they’ve decided to slow things down (Down from what?) that it’s best if she goes. Plus apparently if Joey leaves, Grams will be furious there’s no chaperone. Does Grams have a telescope fixed on the Leery house? She seems to know a lot about the comings and goings at Dawson’s place.
Joey doesn’t want Jen to leave because then she’ll feel responsible for making her go (Which she would be, what with all the hostility), but she hates sharing movie night with Jen so she ain’t hanging around no more either.
Jen and Joey are having a tense conversation about who should stay, and Dawson is trying to make them both stay, but deduces that they’ve both decided to hit the road due to irreconcilable differences. Joey leaves via ladder, and Jen goes out the front door like a normal person. Seems very anti-social to use the ladder when the other person leaving at the same time is going out the door. Rather avoidant, I’d say. Dawson muses over the complications of movie night politics and we hit the opening credits.
After some shots of Capeside, we’re at Joey’s house and Bess is rather cheerfully complaining about her pregnancy. She rattles off a list of crummy symptoms and is envious of fruit bats, who gestate for two months. Joey takes the opportunity to needle her huge and hormonal sister, which seems unnecessarily rude. And when Joey won’t let up on poor Bess, she appeals to Bodie. Bodie gently tells Joey to lay off, saying Bess has been difficult lately, but will return to normal soon.
Okay, one: No she won’t. She’ll be hormonal and sleep deprived and living with a teenager who has an attitude problem. And two: All she did was complain a little about being in the last weeks of pregnancy. This is being a handful? Oh man, these two don’t know handful. Colicky baby maybe?
Now we’re in Jen’s room and Grams is raising an eyebrow at Jen’s black bra laying about the bedroom. Scandalous! Black! And then she sees a calendar with male nudity, which upsets her Christian sensibilities. Fine art? Pishaw! Not in this house! Male nudity is sin! Unless it’s Jesus on the cross, Jen says. Oh, now you’ve done it. Grams is unimpressed. But anger quickly turns to disappointment and nostalgia for a child who liked church. Jen lays down the atheism and says she grew out of church. Grams infers Jen doesn’t know what she’s talking about and makes her exit.
Now at school (The next day? The same day? Who knows), Pacey is talking to Miss Jacobs at her car, wanting to do a night out on the town. Since he’s the one with nothing to lose, he’s pushing it hard, but she’s coyly resisting.
Pacey thinks if they just go out of town, it’ll be A-ok. No one from Capeside could possibly travel at the same time they would, and no one would think twice about seeing a teen boy canoodling with a 30-something woman. And Miss Jacobs doesn’t turn him down flat, which is displaying some more of that awesome judgement of hers.
Dawson and Pacey are in the boys’ bathroom, Dawson at the sink, Pacey at the urinal. They’re talking about Miss Jacobs and Pacey thinks he’s one learner’s permit away from sealing the deal on this public date he wants. He does a casual check of the stalls to make sure no one’s listening, which he probably should have done before he started talking. But he should have checked harder because there’s a guy smoking a cigarette on a toilet, and he heard the whole thing.
And of course this begs the question: why wouldn’t the smell of smoke tip them off that someone was in there? We’ll just add that plot hole to the binder and move on.
Dawson is running up to Jen outside and lets her know that his parents are away on a couple’s retreat all weekend. Jen tells him there’s a rumour going around about Pacey and Miss Jacobs. Dawson rushes off to find Pacey and Jen stops him to ask if it’s true. Dawson says he can’t lie to her, so don’t ask. Which anyone would take to mean yes.
Joey catches up to Dawson and Jen in the halls and tries to share the Pacey gossip, but there’s Pacey now and looks like some random girl just relayed it all to him, right in front of all his friends who can now conveniently view his reaction.
Dawson tells Pacey that Joey heard that a guy in the bathroom listened in on their conversation. Pacey, who was on the verge of outing his teacher anyway with this dating in public business, is now upset but doesn’t seem to notice the irony. Dawson advises Pacey to act like the rumour is ridiculous, which is actually pretty good advice, though he seems overly optimistic about Pacey’s chances of squashing this thing. Pacey gives this a try, does a walk through the halls with everybody laughing at him, and caves to stress in about 7.5 seconds.
Cut to the classroom. In a great set-up for ridicule, Miss Jacobs discusses Romeo & Juliet and the theme of forbidden fruit they’ll explore. What a segue. A student makes a quip, the class laughs. Pacey comes in late, Miss Jacobs calls him on it, and yet another quip from another student. The original smartass wants to know if Miss Jacobs’ breasts are real or fake, and she gives him detention. Miss Jacobs is having a hard time controlling the peanut gallery and Pacey is getting mighty uncomfortable.
After school, Pacey is brooding to some moody rock music and Joey approaches him and calls him jailbait, which is not the best way to talk to someone if you’re trying to make them feel better, which is what she is supposedly trying to do. She’s really quiet terrible at interpersonal relationships. Pacey is not interested in what she has to say, but she sits down and tells him she knows just what she’s going through.
Pacey laughs at that, and Joey talks about how everyone talks about her behind her back because of her dad being in jail for drugs, and her sister being knocked up out of wedlock by a black guy. This not being the South, I suppose we have the ’90s small town thing to thank for interracial baby being a big deal. Anyway, Joey offers no real help and says Pacey will just have to wait for a bigger story to come along and distract everyone.
Now Dawson and Jen are walking home from school and Jen is being way too insightful for her age, realizing that her approach to Grams is actually making Grams less agreeable to her points of view. As they’re finishing up their conversation, Grams opens the front door and stands there literally craning her neck to stare at them. That’s the end of that, dinner’s at 6:00, Jen, wash up and be at the table.
Back at the Potter house, Bess is trying to drive her truck out of some mud, but it’s stuck. Joey comes walking along and Bess says she was on her way to the clinic. Oh, and she’s in labour. Don’t think you’re supposed to be driving while in labour, lady. But seems like since they don’t have a phone right now, which is news to Joey. Why don’t they have a phone? Apparently there was a working phone last time Joey checked. So, now they have to go to Dawson’s house, which Bess says is the closest phone they have access to. Then they can call an ambulance. But the only way to get there is by boat.
So, let me just get a handle on a couple things, for clarity. Joey lives out in the sticks. She didn’t get on a bus after school; she went to see Pacey. So, she walks home from school. How long does it take to walk home to a place that is so far from everything that a boat is required to get to the nearest neighbour? Or have they burned bridges with the other neighbours so hard and bad that they wouldn’t lend their phone to a labouring pregnant woman?
So now they’re rowing out to Dawson’s and it’s evening now. Jesus, how far away does she live? Joey tells Bess she’ll get them there, but Bess isn’t having it. She berates Joey’s slow paddling (Joey paddles every day, and should be pretty strong by now, and she can’t shake a leg for this?), gets her labouring pregnant ass up and takes over, without even tipping the boat. Joey says the boat is leaking, but Bess says it’s not the boat. So now they’re sitting around in Bess’s fluids and she’s rowing the damn boat through contractions and managing to do it faster than the more experienced rower between the two of them.
At the Leery house, Dawson is on the phone trying to find Pacey and Joey uncharacteristically shows up through the door. He’s home alone, which means she just barged in without knocking. It’s urgent, obviously, but Joey sorta just acts like she owns the place all day every day. Joey tells Dawson Bess is birthing on his lawn, which gets things moving.
Dawson calls the ambulance and apparently one will be there in over an hour due to a traffic accident one town over. I guess they all share one ambulance and a few doctors, all very far away. You know, Capeside has a large high school that’s packed with students. But they have one ambulance that they share with other towns. The size of Capeside is about as consistent as the shark in Jaws: The Revenge.
Anyway, Bodie has already left town for a job, so he’s no help now. Dun dun dun. Bess takes the phone and hands down a taking-to to the poor bastard on the other end of the line. Joey thinks this lowers their chances of getting help, because apparently no one can be trusted to be a professional in this one-horse town.
After a scenic shot of the lake, Pacey is sadly hanging out alone, waiting for Miss Jacobs. And here she comes, furious that her teenage boyfriend was unable to be discreet about their illegal relationship. Miss Jacobs is worried about her career and potentially going to prison, and she dumps Pacey flat.
Bess is now labouring on Dawson’s couch. Dawson and Joey, obviously out of their depth, call on Grams, who’s an RN. Oh good! The racist who thinks Bess is a sin master will deliver the baby.
Jen is at her place, rifling through her desk and finds a bible. She takes it to Grams, who makes no bones about the fact she put it there. Jen tells Grams not to take her atheism so personally, and their conversation is interrupted by Joey knocking on the door. Joey then launches into the longest plea for help ever and Grams just stands there staring at her with grim disapproval.
Pacey’s now walking through Capeside and his brother pops out of a cop car to talk to him about Miss Jacobs. Word’s really getting out. Doug is certain Pacey made it up and wants to know why Pacey lied. Pacey takes the opportunity to say he wanted the town to know at least one of them was having heterosexual sex (Oh, more homophobic remarks this season! Charming. Were the ’90s really this awful? Oh, probably) and wants to know if Doug defended him at all. Nope. Doug tells Pacey the school board heard about the rumour and is considering whether to press charges against Miss Jacobs.
Back to labouring Bess, and Dawson’s got a camera in her face and Bess actually consents to have him film the birth. He then launches into film mode and Joey arrives with Grams and the drama starts. Dawson, no longer responsible for anything important, is loving it. Bess raves about how terrible Grams is, Jen arrives and Grams keeps her cool and does the nurse thing.
They move Bess to a chair and Grams tells Dawson to be useful and get supplies. Rather than putting down the camera to go get the necessities, he slowly pans the room to keep the shot, because his priority isn’t Bess’s safety or hygiene.
Grams is taking charge, issuing orders, getting things done. But then she says she won’t expect any gratitude from Bess in exchange for Bess just shutting up. Bedside manner could use some work. Grams then calls for the towels Dawson’s supposed to be getting, but maybe he’s filming the linen closet.
Pacey’s showing up for a hearing at the school board and runs into Miss Jacobs and her attorney, who advises him he’s not to talk to Miss Jacobs at all. Pacey ignores her, but no dice. No communication, buddy. He acts butt-hurt but then says he’s sorry.
Dawson’s back to filming the birth. Grams is seated at the business end, Jen is assisting her, Bess is screaming and Joey is sitting on the couch being awkward and useless. Dawson zooms in on Joey for some reason, and then goes over to her to reassure her everything will be fine. Joey is not a woman of action in times of stress.
Now it’s the hearing and Miss Jacobs is facing the music. She’s read the charges and asked if they’re true. Before she can answer, Pacey breaks into the meeting and says they’re not. He’s told to wait, but he says he’s got things to say and they break protocol for whatever reason and let him speak. Pacey then creates an elaborate lie about how he lied and gets his teacher off the hook.
Back to Bess, who’s pushing and Joey is losing it slightly. She gets off the couch and backs away. Jen says she needs to talk to Grams and whispers that there’s a lot of blood. Grams reassures Bess that Jen doesn’t know anything about birth and it’s normal. She then sends Jen out to get a cool washcloth.
Dawson then says everything is fine and he wouldn’t be filming if it wasn’t. He then asks Grams to smile for the camera and she nearly and rightly slaps the camera away and pushes Dawson out of the room because he’s being a problematic asshole. Jen then asserts there is a problem and Grams is angry that Jen alarmed Bess. So far I’m on Grams’ side.
But Grams does say there’s more blood than she’d like but sees no sign of it being a major crisis yet. Also, she wants no more flack from Jen, just her help to birth the baby before things get worse. Jen gets on board and they get back to work.
Bess is pushing and Jen wants to give Bess pain relief, though there’s nothing to be had. What does she think sober old Grams even has on her? Emergency Demerol? Grams offers the Our Father as a painkiller, and Bess says no, but Grams gets her way because she’s the only nurse in town and so they do the Lord’s Prayer because there’s no time like a birth to push a conversion.
Joey’s sitting outside being of no help to anyone. You’d think maybe she could be fetching supplies or making calls or holding Bess’s hand or anything. Dawson lets Joey know Grams will take care of Bess and everything will be okay, but Joey says though she’s worried and everything, that’s not why she’s sitting outside being dramatic. So, the baby and her sister’s safety during an early impromptu home birth with no doctor or midwife isn’t what’s weighing so heavily on her.
She asks Dawson who Bess reminds him of, and he says Joey’s mom. Apparently right now she’s too much like Joey’s mom crying in pain from cancer for Joey to be around her. Dawson reminds Joey that Bess needs her just like their mom did, which is the second decent thing Dawson has said this episode, which is a real record so far.
Now the hearing is over and Doug is apologizing to Miss Jacobs for his brother, saying he’s a menace. Miss Jacobs won’t hear of it, and leaves Doug feeling deflated. She then hops into her sweet little sports car and drives off with Pacey watching from a distance.
Bess is still pushing, the baby is crowning and Bess losing her will to keep going. But Joey is done being self-absorbed for now and holds Bess’s hand for moral support and Bess pushes the baby out and it’s a boy. And Dawson’s back on the camera, the baby is healthy and everyone’s feeling pretty great.
Pacey goes to Miss Jacobs’ house and tries to reconcile their relationship. But she’s done with him. She’s done with Capeside. She’ll be gone by tomorrow. Probably for the best. Capeside doesn’t let you live things down, from the sounds of things. Miss Jacobs tells Pacey she cares for him very much, but she wants to get married and have kids and Pacey’s too young so they’re over. And to boot, no goodbye tongue either. He gets a hug, a peck on the forehead and is sent on his way.
Back at Grams’ house, Jen and her grandma have a small bonding moment. But then Grams wants to know if Jen doesn’t believe in God just a little after seeing the birth of a baby. Nope.
Now Joey is holding her nephew and looks like Bodie made it back.
Pacey is walking along the beach at night. Soft music is playing and he’s looking in Miss Jacob’s window. Oh, Pacey. Just go home. He walks off into the moonlight, the waves are crashing and that’s the end of a very dramatic day.
Most Verbose Articulation: Jen: Well, she’s carefully considered all possible scenarios detailing a god-like source and she’s found them unconvincing.
Runner-up: Jen again: There she is, right on schedule, keeping an ever vigilant eye over my wanton lifestyle.
Jen’s up next week with episode 7, and I’ll be back with 8!