Opening scene is Dawson’s room, as usual, with Dawson talking film shit, again as usual, and his mom is there in his bed crying over the movie, which is a first. She wants to talk breakups since they’ve both been dumped recently. She encourages Dawson to get in touch with his emotions. She gives some pretty decent advice for life about how pain makes you deeper and is honest about it always is hard to suffer no matter how old you get.
Mom then goes to bed and Dawson throws on another movie, eats some liquorice and looks sadly at the window.
After the opening, a teacher is talking about the exam he thinks everyone will fail. Jesus, what an ass. Everyone seems to be in this class, the fab four plus Andie. She’s smiling at Pacey, Dawson’s giving Joey the cold shoulder. Some random cute guy tosses a note at Jen entreating her to smile. He tosses the note right in front of the teacher, which is unwise with that hardass. Ah, notes. This was before kids had cell phones to bring to class.
After class, Joey is mad because Dawson isn’t talking to her. He says he’s giving her all that space she said she wanted. She says it’s not fair. He tells her she doesn’t get to make up all the rules.
In the lunch room Pacey is complaining about fries and Andie asks him if he’s ever had a menage a trois. Which is perfectly reasonable to ask of a 16-year-old. I mean, who hasn’t! Anyway, it’s to do with a “purity” test in a magazine. Which touches on my distaste for sex and “purity” being considered opposites, so this should be enjoyable.
Pacey’s uncomfortable with the topic and Andie misreads him and thinks he’s just embarrassed to have about as much sexual experience as Big Bird. Pacey lets her think that and they change the subject to studying for the test. She exerts some good influence on him and he agrees to go to a study session.
On the track, that cute guy approaches Jen calling her Jen-a-lish-delish. Blargh. Anyhow, his name is Chris. He seems like quite the ladies man, though in a more believable ’90s way than ole Cliff from previous episodes who seemed like an ’80s wet dream. Jen rebuffs him all the same and he moves on for now, to another girl.
Dawson walks up to Jen to warn her about Chris’s tendency to hit it and quit it, and Jen says she’s fine. They’re pretty relaxed and chummy despite her failed attempts at seducing him were only a few episodes ago. They talk about going to the study session.
At the session, the teacher has left them a very rude note about not being there due to having a cold that’s more important than they are. Chris says they can study at his place since his parents are in St. Maarten. Oho, fancy! I love how they’re not “on vacation” or “out of town”.
Anyway, Andie wants to go to the library, but Pacey is like, whoa, no way, we gotta go! They’re loaded! They have a satellite dish! Andie, not wanting to deprive Pacey of the luxury of satellite dishes, agrees to go. In the next scene, she appeals to fellow good student Joey to come to Chris’s. Joey makes a reference to the baby (Always nice to know the writers haven’t forgotten about him) and questions whether Chris’s house is a good place to get any real studying done. Pacey gets Dawson onboard with the study session and Dawson seems confused, but agrees.
They pull up to a large house and once inside, Chris tells them where they can find the TV, jacuzzi and sauna. Also, there’s his little nerdy sister. Pacey has run off to the TV, mesmerized by “200 channels from around the world” on a TV that doesn’t look all that impressive, even for the ’90s.
Ooh! Three Stooges in Cantonese! Pacey is riveted. A. How does he know it’s Cantonese? B. Why would he want to watch that?
Andie rounds everybody up, procures a whiteboard and easel out of nowhere and relays her intensive plan to cover all the material in a way that should get them home probably around 1:30 a.m., or in Joey’s case never. But they all want to order pizza first.
Chris continues his attempts to impress via his parents’ wealth and pulls out a bottle of wine, “an ’84 from Napa”, like any teenager gives a shit. Chris talks a little wine and Jen actually starts falling for this bullshit. He lays it on thick about really getting to know people and from the looks of it, it’s working.
The session is now underway and they’ve finished the pizza and are downing some wine, talking poetry and Andie’s running a study game show. Things are moving along, but then Dawson and Joey have some tension, Chris suggests a break and then they find Andie’s magazine and here comes the purity test back to bother me.
Andie decides to take control of this test too and everyone gets out a pen and paper to answer the questions. The first question is “Have you ever been aroused by a relative?” Well then. There’s a montage of questions. Homosexual encounters show up at some point in the questions, which seems offensive to my more modern sensibilities. More modern by a measly 15 years. Well, that’s progress for you.
After the test is over, Joey leaves the room, seemingly uncomfortable by the “have you ever been in love?” question. Dawson follows her and she says to get her space. She wants space, she wants to talk, she wants space again… and she leaves the kitchen.
Chris’s younger sister, Dina, shows up, infers Dawson is a drip, then pokes her nose into his personal life, and then hits on him? She’s like 12. A moment of awkward silence.
The final tallies for the purity test are:
Joey & Dawson: 85%
Andie then notices they’re missing Pacey’s, which I call bullshit. That’d be the only one she’d really care about. Pacey says he didn’t want to hand it in. Chris wants to know if it’s about question 16. Jen tries to get him to shut up and Andie’s like what? Pacey shoots a zinger at Chris and Andie wants to know what’s going on. So she looks up 16: Have you ever had sex with someone twice your age?
And now Chris knows the truth about Miss Jacobs, everyone else other than Andie was already aware of it, and she leaves the room sad and upset that Pacey lied to her about being inexperienced. Pacey follows her.
After some time seems to have passed, Chris is setting up wine near the jacuzzi and Dawson asks him if he knows where Pacey and Andie might have gone. Chris says they’re having makeup sex probably and Dawson says he knows nothing about that.
Then Chris wants to know if Dawson thinks he’s doing well with Jen. He says she’s a tough nut to crack because she’s onto his shit and thus needs a different approach. Dawson says she’s vulnerable and don’t take advantage. Chris says when the light in the guest house goes off, that means he’s got Jen in bed with him. And I can’t help but notice what a large head Dawson has.
Jen is musing over which swimsuit to put on and Joey’s in the same room for some reason trying to study. Jen says she’s sorry about her and Dawson breaking up and Joey gives her a look that would melt ice.
Joey’s not having it and Jen plays the victim, despite having thrown herself at Dawson while he and Joey were still together. She then says maybe they’re not friends because Joey’s a bitch.
Well, yes, she’s awful, but somehow that observation gets Joey to open up. Sort of. They have a vague conversation that actually goes nowhere and resolves nothing. Points for realism: 0.
Pacey finds Andie in a swing. And like previous scene devices before, this makes no sense. He was close behind her when he left the room. How could he have lost track of her all this time?
Anyway, Andie wants to know why Pacey didn’t tell her and he’s like, ’cause it was hard, d’uh. She’s pretty much disgusted and angry and confused and Pacey is like, I did it for the sex. And he tells her it is what it is and he can’t change his past, take it or leave it. She doesn’t respond and Pacey leaves.
Chris calls to Jen to say the hot tub is ready. Dawson catches Jen on the way down the stairs and tells her Chris has got dishonourable intentions. And Jen’s like, uh, yeah? He’s 16, finds me attractive and so I kinda figured that. Doesn’t mean I’m required to sleep with him, k, thanks. She shuffles off like a woman of the world, and Dawson’s left stammering.
And there’s Dina again, dying to know which of Dawson’s two exes he was in love with. She read his answer sheet. Oh, and she has Joey’s too. Apparently she dots her “I”s with a smilie face, which seems like a waste of time, and also not something such a sourpuss would ever do. Dina’s willing to trade Joey’s answer sheet for a kiss.
Dawson scoffs because kissing 12-year-olds is creepy and not happening. Dina tells Dawson according to Joey’s sheet, she’s been in love twice.
Jen and Chris are in the hot tub and things are getting steamy, pardon the unavoidable pun. He pretty much says he won’t force himself on her if she’s not willing, and this adherence to the laws of the land pleases Jen and they continue to make out.
Back the house, Joey is studying, Andie marches back in, flustered and Pacey and Dawson and hanging about, bummed over their love lives. Dawson wants to know why Pacey didn’t just lie on his test and Pacey said he didn’t want to lie about it. This is actually one of the first realistic social experiences I’ve seen this episode, the roundabout truth-telling on paper after lying in person thing. People do that. Pacey encourages Dawson to talk to Joey.
He decides to, and Joey’s like not now, I gotta study. And her staying there makes sense since she seemingly has no way home and lives in the middle of nowhere. Dawson wants to know who else she’s been in love with and says no, he didn’t invade her privacy again, because Dina did that for him.
Joey’s angry they can’t just be friends again, and Dawson’s like, when did you have time to fall in love again? You don’t understand me! Argh! And Dina’s there to watch the whole thing because she’s probably been stalking him all night.
She gives him an obnoxious slow clap and says it was an Oscar performance. What a little shit. He then yells at her that kisses are big deals and stop trying to rush things and blah, blah, blah. He doesn’t say anything harsh, really, just not things 12-year-olds need to be yelled at about and she runs away in tears. And he turns around and sees Joey looking at him all horrified for yelling at a kid, and she leaves looking unimpressed.
Dawson turns around, mortified at this chain of events and realizes the hot tub is empty and the guest house light is off, so Jen and Chris must be knocking boots. And for some reason this seems to upset him, even though it’s really none of his business. Though it does tend to distress him when women have sex with men they’re not committed to.
Joey decides to find Dina and talk to her. She’s laying in bed being sad about being yelled at. Dina’s like, I’m never growing up. And Joey’s like, sounds good; don’t. She says boys stink, kisses aren’t all fairytales and growing up is the pits.
So, just so we’re clear, Joey kissed another guy, got mad at Dawson for being upset about it, told him she loved him and then dumped him flat. And he’s the disappointment in this scenario. The ladies share a hug.
Dawson picks up a book and starts reading/studying and falls asleep. He wakes up, everyone else who passed out in the living room wakes up (Pacey slept on the pool table? There’s probably 100 bedrooms in this place. Why would he choose to crash there?) and Andie is freaking out that it’s 6:00 a.m. That sounds kinda great, actually, since no one slept through the test, but she’s freaking out.
Jen wakes up naked in bed while Chris is already dressed. There’s a couple condom wrappers on the nightstand. He thanks her for a fun night. She’s looking like she was expecting more warmth, but he’s kinda all business.
Now the group is going to use the next few hours to cram some info into their heads, Pacey’s taking charge and preventing Andie from losing her shit. And cue a montage of them going over English test answers, hanging out in various locations all over the house.
When they’re done, they decide to all jump in the pool in their clothes. Since they brought nothing to change into and the test is imminent, this is an excellent decision.
When they get out of the pool, Andie tells Pacey she was just shocked he was so exprienced, and understands why he didn’t tell her. They make up, all opposite attract-like, and kiss.
Joey is in a robe inside and dealing with her clothes by the dryer. Do they have 40 minutes to dry clothes and drive to school? Eh, whatever.
Dawson wants to talk. Joey rolls her eyes and agrees to. Dawson asks her to just listen and not speak. He tells her that despite wanting to regret the kiss, he doesn’t because he got to experience love. Joey reveals she fell in love with Dawson twice, once as a friend and then after the kiss. Barf. That sounds like a flowery thing to say, but who would ever answer a lame magazine quiz like that? In season 1, Dawson was the over-analyzer, but now it’s Joey, hands down.
Dawson tells her he’ll give her the space she wants. He then finds Dina sleeping on the couch, which is odd because last we saw her she was in bed. And it’s been hours since 6:00 a.m. What about school? He gives her a peck on the forehead, which you really shouldn’t do to a sleeping 12-year-old you just met. If you think yelling at a kid could look bad for you… Anyway, Dina opens her eyes after he leaves and has a huge smile on her face.
The study crew pile into the car, and off they go. And the test is postponed because the teacher is still sick. So they go into the football field and have a nap on the school’s logo. And I’m wondering why Chris is even there since he’s not friends with any of them and already got what he wanted out of it.
Most Verbose Articulation: There was loads of wordy words this episode, so I went with most concise impact. Pacey: All hail, the Queen of non sequiturs has spoken.