All episodes start in Dawson’s room. It’s the law. Jen is there with him this time, reading something Dawson wrote as he waits in nervous anticipation. When Jen’s done she’s not sure what she’s supposed to say, which doesn’t sound like a good sign. She ultimately calls it “fluff” and Dawson takes it poorly. Then she tries to explain that it’s only fluff because it sounds naive. Oooh, more of that classic Jen diplomacy.
Anyhoo, Dawson wanted her honest critique to be praise and Jen gives him some, but still says it’s irrelevant to modern society. His script talks a lot about being a teenager without having any real edge or pain in it. And I’m wondering if this is the writers of the show being a little wink-wink nudge-nudge about themselves.
And then Dawson calls himself raw and dark, and oh we’re back to a lack of self-awareness. Jen thinks he’s nuts and then says to stop “writing from an adult perspective.” Okay now really. This is definitely the writers taking the piss, right? Anyway, Jen wants to show Dawson how to be a real teenager, and here come the credits.
I’d just like to note that the Netflix opening is super upbeat and fluffy. The show is kinda fluffy. But it certainly seemed so brooding before when it had that Paula Cole number to set the mood… I’m really thinking that the original theme song tricked us all.
It’s now Capside High and 7:00 a.m. according to Joey. They’re at school already at 7:00? What kind of unholy place is this? Andie wants to share her late-night epiphany. She thinks that she and Joey should run for president and vice president of the sophomore year. Uh… so each year has its own president? Joey thinks it’s a shit idea because she’s a megajerk and everyone knows it, though she thinks her family history is a bigger detractor than her rude personality.
Inside Pacey catches up with Andie, just in time for Chris and Abby to appear for a few seconds and leave with us learning they’re running for student government. Andie tells him she’s going to run. He thinks it’s a waste of time, but she says he’s going to be her campaign manager. Jen comes out of the bathroom and says hi to Dawson and he says something incoherent about having a fluff-filled irrelevant existence.
Jen wants to cut class. Dawson’s like, nah, I got a quiz. Jen tries to talk him into it and he’s like, yeah, cutting! And she bounds ahead all jazzed and he ducks right into class anyway, and Jen finally realizes he’s not right behind her and feels dumb.
At the Leery house, it’s nighttime and Gail has called Mitch to fix the dishwasher, claiming she didn’t know who else to call (A repairman, maybe?), which he totally didn’t do correctly and water sprays everywhere. It sends Gail into hysterics, but this is all just a plot device to get Mitch to go shirtless and then they start making out in what is an incredibly corny lead-up. They really start going at it, Dawson walks in, looks kinda happy about what he’s seeing and walks back out.
At the Icehouse, Joey is calling Jack clumsy as they stack creamers. She inquires into his family and he changes the subject and she calls him on it. But too bad, he ain’t sayin’ jack. Heh.
Abby and Chris walk in and immediately Abby is hostile and demands menus. They’re there to talk campaign stuff and Abby insults the restaurant a few times. I’m wondering how Chris and Abby are even friends. It’s like the writers decided the two “bad guys” would join forces because why not?
Jack’s like, you going to let those two assholes win? He then gives Joey a pep talk about running for student government and Abby listens in and thinks she’s going to nip this in the bud with an unnecessarily cruel speech. She seems to think she’s more well-liked than Joey, but that confuses me too because she’s the only person more unpleasant than Joey, and by a wide margin. In fact, up until now it looked like her only friend was Jen. Joey takes advantage of being essentially unfireable and dumps a pitcher of water over Abby’s head. Abby and Chris leaves and Joey decides to run.
Next day Andie and Pacey are talking strategy, and they’re both getting into it. Jen busts up their political love fest to reveal Chris and Abby’s smear campaign. Andie says to ignore it as to not send the wrong message to their voting constituents. Dude, someone needs to tell her student governance doesn’t really matter.
Jen and Dawson are in a store and Jen is saying Dawson needs a “regression sponsor.” Dawson’s not interested in aging down. Jen thinks he needs to shoplift because every teen does it. She says it’s just a chocolate bar, but what she’s holding out for him to steal is a lipstick because by her reasoning she may as well benefit. He takes it and they walk out of the store.
And he totally didn’t take it after all and Jen is disappointed in him. Dawson doesn’t seem to care, though. He’s a proud square. Jen says he needs to have a real teenage perspective and stop hiding behind the psychology degree he doesn’t have. Anyway the encounter ends with Jen looking down on him and Dawson feeling insecure, and all because he didn’t want to miss a history quiz or steal a lipstick.
Back at Capeside High, Kenny is giving a campaign speech. Remember Kenny? That guy got no poetic justice last time. They’re all debating the issues, such as Walkmans in study hall. DUDE! Not even Discmans. So old school.
But then Abby takes a minute to call Joey out for having a criminal father, but then tells everyone Andie’s mom is nuts, oh, and probably killed her oldest son. For some reason the principal allows this speech to continue and doesn’t disqualify her on the spot.
Everyone waits to see what Andie will say next and, again, the principal is just standing there waiting for a response (Wtf?) and she stammers with a few tears running down her face and eventually flees the gym. Pacey follows.
Outside, Jack is looking for Andie and Joey is apologizing for digging into his life. Jack doesn’t want to talk about it. Joey presses and says she understands and Jack tells her to get lost.
In the school, Pacey is looking for Andie in the bathroom. On the door is the weirdest sign. What does it mean?! Actually, there’s no real handmade posters at all, just a bunch of uninspired flyers everywhere. Yet again, Dawson’s Creek’s sad attempts at attention to detail turns its strange head (See: Hurricane graffiti)
Pacey finds Andie in a stall and gives her a boost. But she’s lamenting the loss of clean politics (Lady, you’re many decades late. Actually, you’re all the decades late.) And she’s pacing up and down, ranting about normalcy. Pacey says there is no normal. Andie says she’s a mess. Then she throws a book at the mirror and breaks it with a text book that was just hanging out in the sink for some reason.
At Mitch’s loft, Dawson shows up with his dad’s mail, and Mitch is refinishing an antique chair. Dawson wants the goods on whether his parents are reconciling. Mitch says nope, accidental screw with your mom, that’s all that was. He says he needs to stop doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result and that he needs to change his actions.
Dawson’s now at Jen’s saying she’s right, he doesn’t perceive things like a teenager, that his brain is too old and his feelings are too young. So he thinks, like his dad, he needs to change his actions. He now wants Jen’s help. While he’s saying all this, Jen is clearing things out of a closet. We don’t find out why.
At Andie’s house, she’s rocking in a chair while looking emotionally fragile. Jack comes in and says their mom is in bed. He’s worried about Andie and says he thinks she should go back on her meds. So, she has a diagnosed mental illness and she’s been off her meds and he knows this? And it’s only getting brought up now? Uh, maybe she needs to see a doctor?
Dawson and Jen are now running through the woods after TPing a house. He’s giddy with excitement and now Jen wants to go skinny dipping. And with little effort, she talks Dawson into it, namely by going in first. Like the Offspring sort of said, he may be square, but he’s not a dweeb.
Can’t help but think of this scene.
Anyway, they splash, Jen flirts, Dawson kisses her and whammo, Jen rejects him. Huge theme in this guy’s life. A girl falls over herself in love with him and as soon as he’s into it, she’s not. Anyway, Jen wants to just be friends and they start splashing again.
Back at Capeside High, Abby and Chris give a PA announcement speech. Seeing as this is just for sophomores, seems kinda weird to broadcast it to the whole school. Abby gets in a final dig at the girls before it’s Andie and Joey’s turn. Andie’s too upset and leaves. Chris hits the road too.
Pacey decides to seek revenge, and he baits Abby into explaining why she’s so awful. He subtly clicks on the PA system and Abby then accidentally tells the school how awesome she is and how stupid they all are. Pacey lets her know she’s been had and Abby looks like she’s pissed herself.
At home Dawson sees his mom has been served with divorce papers and she’s now baking and cleaning the house.
Joey’s locking up the Icehouse and Jack arrives and wants to walk her home and she says sure. He says he’s sorry for yelling at her talks about having to be the rock in his family. Joey offers him her support, which, thinking about it, she never gave to Dawson when his parents were breaking up.
Andie’s at home, washing her face and the phone rings. It’s Pacey. He wants to see her, but she’s not up for it. She takes out a mostly empty, nondescript bottle from a vague-ass pharmacy and says she’ll be her old self tomorrow. She dramatically takes the pills with a shaky hand. So, were those just sitting there in the medicine cabinet? There doesn’t appear to be any doctor supervision over this matter.
Dawson goes over to Jen’s house to talk about his parents getting a divorce. She’s sitting on the floor in the kitchen for some reason, Dawson walks in without knocking and doesn’t ask about why she’s on the ground. He doesn’t know how to react, but Jen lets him cry on his shoulder.
Most Verbose articulation: To expand on Jen’s helpful critique: I’ve read your script; your hyper-awareness is disarming. You’ve got to start responding like an adolescent and stop hiding behind that psychology degree that you don’t have.