Alek is back, and introducing himself in totally humble fashion! In the third person. It’s just how I’m doing things today, so roll with it, okay?
This episode opens with Dawson and Pacey having a bro-to-bro about how anxious Pacey is to be picking zany Andie up from the station tomorrow. She’s apparently coming back from her stay at the kind of hospital usually described in air quotes. “Speaking of wood, Dawson,” says Pacey at one point, making a terrible segue into the subject of Dawson’s stripper ladyfriend, Eve.
Eve disappeared, you see, because she was only temping at the strip club. Must be a hell of an agency. Pacey goes on to preach about how Eve — being a woman of loose morals — is the ultimate rebound girl, literally begging to be objectified. His charms cast his jittery romantic nerves about Andie in a pretty poor light.
As they’re walking down the school hallway, Dawson is suddenly pulled into a janitorial closet by — well, Eve of all people. She sure showed up in a timely manner. He wants to know what she’s doing there, and she tells him that she’s enrolled. Dawson nearly says that she’s too old, because, whoa, he really knows how to fuck up a sure thing.
Eve makes a joke about jumping out of a cake in AP History because she has no self respect, and then she actually says, “I’m just a girl, standing in a janitor’s closet, asking you to kiss her.” Fuck me with a rusty chainsaw, was that quote even a year old at that point? Was Julia Roberts’ body even cold?
Dawson exits and literally collides with Coach Dad and Principal Green, because everyone pops up out of the goddamn floorboards whenever this shitty plot calls for them. Dawson is volun-told to help prepare for a pep rally, because he’s clearly Capeside’s resident ray of sunshine.
Jack’s dad is paying his son a visit at Grams’ house, musing about dull Andie’s impending return from what’s certainly Massachusetts’ whitest nut-farm. Dad wants Jack to continue living with Grams, because he obviously doesn’t love him.
Pacey decides to surprise Andie by picking her up a day early, but the resident nurse isn’t having it. She lays him out and she’s basically all of us right now, suffering through these teenagers. Joey, waiting in the car, conceives a solution, and charges in demanding to be committed, which — let’s be honest — isn’t terribly far-fetched. She settles instead to have an impromptu therapy session with the nurse as an unwilling audience (she’s ALL OF US), while Pacey sneaks in. It’s super easy to bust into this place.
Dawson is having his meeting with Principal Green about his pep rally duties, which entail cutting some footage of Capeside’s shitty football team into a happy little movie. Dawson interprets this as creating a “propaganda” film, and compares himself to Leni Riefenstahl, because he’s dramatic enough to go from zero to Nazi in about thirty seconds.
Still, Dawson agrees to take the job, because he sees Eve walking by the window at just this very moment (convenient!), and needs to tap that right now. Eve asks him if he’s over his ex, which he claims to be, and she wisely chooses not to believe him (otherwise, we could wrap this shit up right now). Her solution to his emotional hangups is, she says, “a night of scorching hot, unbridled, mind-altering sex.” Because she’s a human parody of a sexually-liberated woman obviously written by (googling it now) A MAN.
Pacey concludes his nuthouse break-in by finding Andie having a chat IN BED with a guy named Mark, and they’re almost definitely fucking. Pacey is not as suspicious as I am, even though the subtext is screamingly obvious. Also, I guess Andie’s parents really are loaded, because these Massachussets rehab centres are some hot, upper-middle-class shit.
Jen and Jack are listening to some cheerleaders perform the most demoralizing cheer ever, which is apparently the result of them emulating Jen’s dark cynicism. Jack catches a few stray balls (HEYO!), and Coach Dad starts to figure out that gays CAN be good at sports, in between brief asides of him shouting at another kid named Henry. Henry is played by Michael Pitt, so Mitch is probably just angry that only one of them has a future in legitimate acting.
Oh, sweet baby Jesus, Dawson is buying condoms. The clerk embarrasses him for trying to get them from the prescription counter, because Dawson only knows about the kind of sex that happens offscreen in old-timey television shows. As he’s perusing the aisle collection, some creepy locals try to offer helpful advice, including an older woman who tells him to “try the Brown Betty.” That sounds like either some alarming sexual acrobatics or Vincent Gallo’s next movie (or both).
Andie and Pacey are talking about Andie’s new special friend (natch), and she’s all blasé about shit, so Pacey’s cool and they kiss and make up. I’m sure that this won’t come up again.
Elsewhere, Coach Dad is still harassing Michael Pitt, who convinces him to play Jack in practice. Mitch puts Jack on the shirts team, and he performs admirably for a gay teenager surrounded by shirtless, ripping twenty-something men (let’s be real).
Pacey, Joey and Andie are having a super awkward car ride. Pacey puts on some shitty 90s adult contemporary music. Andie is her usual boring self, and, oh God, fuck her stupid overalls. After they’ve arrived at school, Andie not-so-tactfully avoids making plans for alone time with Pacey. “Can’t my brother come?” Bitch, this is why they committed you.
Coach Dad tries to sell Jack on joining the football team, and Jack is reasonably reluctant to be the resident gay. The whole thing plays out like a Friday Night Lights dinner theatre show.
Jen catches Dawson unpacking his groceries, and, wooooo, condoms. “Are you ready for this good time? And I don’t mean in a Trojan kind of way.” Oh my God, is she gonna teach him how to eat a lady out? Jesus, there’s a sundae analogy. It’s the worst thing ever. “If you don’t get the whipped cream all over your face, you’re not doing it right.” Did you read that in Cosmo, Jen? Thank the heavens I’m a gay.
Principal Green thanks Jen and her motley spirit squad for their spoken word eulogy at the pep rally. Coach Dad introduces a bunch of extras whose names trail off until: “Wide receiver, Jack McPhee.” Low blow, Mitch. Jen and Michael Pitt have some kind of meet cute when he trips up onto the stage. If he likes your crimped hair, Jen, he’ll love you forever.
Pacey is trying to engage Andie in some PDA (he’s such a gentleman), and she’s not feeling it. They excuse themselves to have some heavy talk. Meanwhile, Coach Dad introduces Dawson’s own production of Triumph of the Will. Our titular virgin is behind the screen, and Eve shows up to pop his boy cherry. Oh no, it’s really going to happen. Barf.
In the hall, Pacey demands an explanation from Andie. She finally decides to tell him about her relationship with Mark. He guesses accurately that she boned him, because Andie is Capeside’s shittiest day player. “It was the biggest mistake of my life!” she wails. Jesus, Andie, you’re in highschool. Get over yourself.
Dawson and easy Eve are heavy petting behind the propaganda screening when they accidentally raise the screen. They’re revealed in all of their shirtless pitiness to the entire school audience to… raucous applause and trumpet fanfare. Dawson actually fucking bows. This entire miserable Bostonian polyp of a town is full of deviant weirdos. Everybody is super impressed except for Joey.
In the aftermath of this goddamn debacle, Eve is hanging out in her bra. She is literally a sad man’s letter to Playboy. She and Dawson sit amongst the trash of the rally (no, the students all left), and he reasons his way out of getting laid. Eve says that she sees an “old soul” in Dawson’s eyes, and I have to try really hard not to throw up in my mouth. She finally tells him her last name, but refuses to give him her phone number, because this girl has some seriously fucked up priorities regarding privacy.
Pacey drives Joey home, and they’re both comically miserable. Pacey looks like he might pop a rage boner. Joey acknowledges that they’re all (fake) 16-year-olds, and that they’re pretty goddamn stupid. Then she turns into a teenaged Dr. Phil and starts spewing some bullshit about love that I can’t be bothered to document. It’s straight-stupid.
Jack’s dad shows up at school after the rally to congratulate him for being a real boy. He happily declares that Jack can come home now that he’s doing legit guy things, basically, because now he can see their commonalities. This is fucking offensive. Thankfully, Jack refuses his offer, because his father is plainly a total piece of shit, but he invites him to ask again later so that this can feel like a primetime happy ending.
Pacey and Andie meet up on the pier, as Capesiders are wont to do. He talks about their relationship being over, and I really hope that this accelerates her departure from the show. I almost feel sorry for Pacey, and then I remember that he’s an occasional misogynistic prick whenever the show calls for it, so meh. He says that he’ll forgive her, but never forget what she did. “But I still love you, Pacey!” And he unclasps their hands. BURN. Get fucked, Andie.
Dawson finds Joey on his private pier (they just have an embarrassment of those around here), and they have a heart-to-heart about his public second-base experience. Joey explains that the whole silly show gave her some kind of closure. They discuss their on-again, off-again relationship in a way that’s confusing and hormonal, and really on-the-nose. It resolves nothing, or course, because cliffhangers sell viewership.
When the man in the drug store lists the variety of condoms to Dawson. “You got your ribbed, your non-ribbed, your lubricated, your non-lubricated, your thin, your ultrathin, sheep skin, extra sensitive, nonoxynol-9 and glow-in-the-dark.” Not verbose, specifically, but just so, SO unnecessary.