Opening scene, Dawson in his room with Joey watching a movie. Again. Dawson’s like, yeah, first movie night since our breakup! We did it! And now he wants help choosing a leading lady for his movie. He’s going through this huge stack of candidates and I’m wondering how he found that many interested people to do this.
Meanwhile Joey is like, you’re okay with this? Wow, you’re really okay with this… And Dawson’s talking about how he’s let her go and she’s sporting a look on her face that suggests she never wanted him to let her go. We’ll label this Snotty Look 1.
There seems to be something about this guy where girls only want his devotion, but not actually a relationship. Joey leaves via the door and the opening credits roll.
At a life drawing class, Joey’s getting praise for her drawing of the nude lady in the centre of the room and Dawson walks in– JUST WALKS IN. Dude. Come on. Dawson wants to talk movie stuff and has chosen this moment for some reason. Joey tells him to get the F out. The teacher implies he’s a peeper and also says get the F out, which Dawson does but not before he trips over an easel. The model seems amused.
At Andie’s house, Pacey is musing over his own butt. Andie is taking her meds. And my goodness, she has a sweet room. It’s got a vanity/powder room-like nook. Anyway, Pacey enters the nook after Andie leaves and pokes through her trash when he sees a medicine bottle. Classy. But I must say this bottle is much better than the first one, as it actually contains information on its label, stuff like what medication it actually is.
Only it’s listed as “Zanac” which is not a real medication. This is Zanac:
Dawson is now going through the library and the model from art class is there and strikes up a slightly flirty/somewhat hostile conversation. And I know this chick. It’s Rachael Leigh Cook. If you’re my age, you may remember her from such movies as She’s All That or Josie and The Pussycats.
Anyhow, Dawson finds out her name is Devon, she’s an actress and college student and looks at nude modelling as an acting exercise. He tells her he’s making a movie, and then reveals he’s still in high school. She’s like, aw, your first movie, how cute, and walks off. He’s like, no, it’s my second movie! My first won an award. And then he’s thinking he may have found his leading lady and gives her his script to read, wanting to know what she thinks. She’s like, “Stronger men have been crushed by what I think.” And on that note she leaves.
At Jen’s house, an attractive young guy named Ty is helps Grams with her groceries and it almost looks like Grams has decided to do some matchmaking, which is strange for a woman who wanted to keep Jen away from the virginal Dawson. Ty, urged by Grams, expresses interest in helping with the movie, and Jen hires him.
In Dawson’s room, he’s rearranging all his favourite Steven Spielberg posters for the movie while Pacey is talking about Andie’s meds. Dawson suggests just asking Andie about it. Pacey says Dawson filming his life story in his own bedroom is perverse.
Outside at night Dawson is setting up a set of some kind and Devon comes up, apparently without having called first, and tells him she didn’t love the script, that it was too angsty and over-analytical, how she had to recall her adolescence. Dawson’s like, yeah, two years ago. Ooh, burn. Anyway, she criticizes the script, Dawson doesn’t want her anymore, she criticizes him and goes to leave, he changes his mind and she auditions.
And she pretty much nails the Joey character. And, horribly, instead of that line Joey delivered after the beauty contest, “It’s just lipstick, Dawson,” apparently the script says, “It’s just cosmetic enhancement.” Jesus. So original wordy Creek prose is made wordier in this script. And this was supposed to be autobiographical in the first place. It’s pretension within pretension. Kevin Williamson probably spent a lifetime re-imagining every conversation he’s ever had. Maybe this whole series is the l’esprit d’escalier of his entire teenage life.
At the Ice House, Joey finds out Jack is helping with the movie too and is like, how does Dawson feel about that? Jack’s like, I dunno. And Joey seems even more disconcerted that Dawson appears to not care.
Devon’s got a table, I guess Joey doesn’t recognize her without her birthday suit, and asks to take her order. Devon stares at Joey and starts mimicking her. Joey’s like, what the actual fuck is this? And she sends Jack over to deal with her instead. Devon then asks Jack to tell her everything he knows about Joey, seemingly unconcerned with appearing like a psycho stalker.
At Andie’s house, Pacey pops over and wants to talk about the meds. Andie is evasive at first, then says she started taking the pills when Tim died. She says her doctor won’t renew the prescription as she wants Andie to do therapy instead. So basically a doctor medicated teenage Andie for emotions related to grief and only now is suggesting therapy. Huh. Andie doesn’t want therapy and tells Pacey she’s just fine and can take care of herself.
At Dawson’s house he’s got his cast rehearsing in the makeshift set he was setting up earlier. Chris is Dawson, Devon is Joey and Jen is stepping in to play herself. Dawson doesn’t like the way Chris is playing the role all Don Juan-ish and Joey shows up and watches, looking uncomfortable.
Dawson introduces Devon to Joey. Devon’s very excited, Joey’s very disconcerted. Devon’s like, I think Wade and Sammy are soul mates, transcendent love, foreverness, etc. What do you think? And Joey’s just like, uh… Cue Snotty Look 3.
Now at school, they’ve begun filming and there’s tons of equipment and people everywhere… this is really quite the big thing, but I don’t know why everyone is saying they’re short staffed. Looks like the whole school is in on it, unless they’re trying to film during school hours, which how would that even work? Because they’re all amateurs, they are making mistakes and they take a break.
Jen’s trying to keep production rolling, Dawson’s stressing and that Ty guy tells Jen he can’t work well because she’s too close to him and he’s horny.
Jack thinks Joey must be bothered by this whole movie about her life thing (Yes) and she says no, it’s fine (Wrong). Then he says he doesn’t think Dawson’s over her yet because if he was then he wouldn’t be making this movie. Joey’s like, n’ah, he’s over me. But she’s smiling plenty for this first time this episode, so I think that’s what she wants to hear.
Now there’s a montage of them all filming the movie, making errors, Devon spying Joey and copying her, Joey kissing Jack, and Joey getting irritated with Devon.
After the montage, Jen makes a date with Ty.
Outside, Chris and Devon are asking Dawson to explain why their characters are behaving so strangely. Dawson tells Chris Wade’s pain is an unendingtormenthewillneverescapefromanditstheworstfeelinginthewholeworld. And he tells Devon Sammy feels terrified and misunderstood and that deep down Sammy is just an angry girl. He says all this while watching Joey and Devon catches that and maybe we’re in for some more stalking or something.
Joey is inside organizing something and Devon approaches her, calls her Sammy and wants to know how Joey “does it” since she herself is not angry by nature. Joey’s like, do what? Devon’s like, be angry. And Joey says that’s the fictional part because she’s not angry. Oh, that’s just silly. Just look at all the faces you make. Then Devon asks her how she’s able to date one guy while she’s still in love with another. Joey says “Don’t go there.”
Devon pushes and pushes, Jack shows up and Devon ups the ante and Joey tells her off. Devon observes her reaction and thanks her, then walks off. Joey’s like, shiiiiiit, I’ve been had. Then says, “She’s too short to play me,” and storms off.
Inside the school, Andie is berating Devon over the loss of a barrette. Pacey spots her histrionics and takes her away and tries to calm her down. Andie starts calling him expendable, blaming him for vague things. And then she sort of breaks up with him and walks off. So looks like the meds aren’t working.
Dawson finishes filming a scene and he’s super jazzed about how it went. Everyone breaks to prepare the next scene and Joey wants to talk. They go to a class room that has weird-ass posters in it. One says “Improve your vocabulary: real stuff!” You know, as opposed to fake stuff. Another one says “Open it”. No further explanations. The props department giveth and the props department taketh away.
She’s pissed because he’s apparently over her entirely and using their experiences for his own gain, and is nothing sacred, and this movie is self-indulgent, etc.
Dawson’s mad now, saying she broke up with him, has a new boyfriend and is pursuing her passions and what does he have? Joey says, “A self-obsessed movie.” And he yells how he’s not moved on and this is all he has and he’s out of there with a slam of the door.
At the end of the day, Grams is at the set helping with clean up and she tells Jen how proud she is of her being the producer and says what a wonderful time it is to be a woman because in her day she didn’t have these kinds of options. She then tells Jen to enjoy her date with Ty.
Dawson runs into Pacey, who tells him he got dumped. Dawson tells Pacey to let Andie go. Pacey’s like, yeah, that sounds good but it doesn’t apply to me and my love because she needs me.
Jen’s out with Ty and he invites her to a gathering, and she like, yeah, I love a party! They enter and this looks like a boring-ass party. This guy says, “Hey, Ty’s here! Let’s start!” So everyone sits down. Oh, it’s Bible study. Womp womp.
Pacey shows up at Andie’s house with a rose and she slams the door in his face. I’m thinking back here and all he did to enrage her like this was voice support for her doctor’s suggestion of therapy. Which makes a pretty great case for her needing therapy. So Pacey does what any normal person would do and climbs the vines up to Andie’s room with the rose between his teeth. Obviously.
Anyhow, this starts a dialogue which gets him into her room once she shows the first sign of a weakening resolve. And they make up. All he needed to do was scale her wall, insist he wasn’t going to leave and tell her that she needed him.
At the school, Chis and Devon are going out for some food and invite Dawson, who says he’s not going to go. But then Devon doesn’t leave with Chris and stays to compliment Dawson on his direction despite his delusional script. Then she leaves.
Joey approaches and apologizes, Dawson acknowledges this movie isn’t as cathartic as he thought it would be. He starts this off with, “The past few months of my existence…” Ugh. Most people would say, “of my life,” but that’s not dramatic enough.
He then says all this time he’s been struggling and was only pretending to be over her. And Joey says, it’s been so hard on me too! And they bond over how hard their unnecessary breakup was. Jesus, kids, this isn’t a complicated long-term marriage that’s failed despite all best efforts. You can actually get back together, you know, because you’re teenagers, you have minimal responsibilities, and you don’t actually have any impediment to rekindling this romance you both obviously miss. This never stops making no sense.
Devon: What I’m saying is I managed to muddle through the $20 words and psycho speak and got to the core of the Sammy character.