Opening scene, Dawson’s looking to trade up to a 35 mm camera for his filmin’ and Joey doesn’t care. They go into the, what is it, a tech room? It’s filled with film shit and once again I’m recalling my own high school in the ’90s that had some projectors and VCRs. Capeside residents must pay pretty high taxes.
Anyway, Nikki from last episode is running things in this room of expensive things and she’s got the film camera booked specially for her own project and has no plans to return it in the near future. I’d like to point out that in addition to not giving a shit about Dawson’s passions, Joey also finds his rivalry with Nikki to be amusing.
Jen and Jack are shopping for food in a fancy shop with a massive wine selection sensibly located adjacent to the produce, because a store like this the best place to purchase Cap’N Crunch. Does Capeside not have a regular ol’ grocery store? Does all the shopping done in this place have to be boutique?
Jen nixes Jack’s sugary cereal selections and moseys off, while Jack is left to run into the handsome Ethan whom he met on the bus last episode. Jack is nervous and rambling and Ethan is smooth, mentions he’s in town for Capefest, a music festival apparently like Lollapalooza. And yet again, the magic of a small TV town that shares a single ambulance with another town, where everyone knows each other and the massive high school has a film studies class and film tech room and a big music festival.
Ethan invites Jack to come to the camp ground where everyone’s staying but quizzes him first: Who’s your favourite Foo Fighter? Jack: Courtney Love. And somewhere out there Dave Grohl winced.
But does that mean Foo Fighters are supposed to play this one-horse town? Argh, as if. Well, hope no one needs an ambulance.
Anyway, Ethan looks embarrassed for him, but still says he should come.
At the high school, Andie approaches this Mr. Broderick teacher, who’s not interested in talking to her at all, about the school play. He thinks she wants to be a star, but she wants to assistant direct, since it’s a good outlet for her nagging.
And I’d like to point out that we went from Joey and Dawson at school with Nikki, to Jen and Jack grocery shopping to Andie being at school. Wtf? TIME CONTINUITY.
When Dawson and Joey arrive home from the school day that barely was, Dawson’s complaining about Nikki hogging the school camera, and Joey’s giving zero fucks saying Nikki has the right to use the camera too. And look, Gail is emptying the house of many of its belongings to take to her house. And I guess she never mentioned this to Dawson beforehand, because he has shitty self-absorbed parents.
She says she didn’t want Mitch to warn him so she could explain herself why the family room was missing when he got home. Dawson acts like that’s not a weird thing to do. Gail asks him to keep being positive to make it easier on everyone. Yeah, don’t ask him how he feels or anything, just smile, slugger. Joey is glaring in the background.
When Gail leaves, Joey wants Dawson to talk about his feelings, despite dismissing his previous irritation only a minute earlier, and he doesn’t really want to get into it (Not that I blame him; Joey doesn’t have the best history of being a supportive pal).
At the camp ground, Jen and Jack are looking to set up for Capefest and Jen tries to get Jack to admit he wants Ethan. Nope. Then she tells him to play it cool and have Ethan come to him, promoting a more feminine and coy approach, I guess already pegging Jack as the bottom. No pun intended. No, I’m kidding, pun totally intended.
At the school, Andie and Mr. Broderick are hearing auditions. I suppose scoring an assistant director job is no more challenging than forcing yourself on someone who’s trying to eat lunch.
They hear some readings, and Andie likes the handsome guy who doesn’t do too badly. Mr. Broderick says he already cut a deal with a ne’er do well in his class. Which means these auditions are a total sham, and Andie’s not concerned about that, only that this crummy student isn’t even on time. And oh look, it’s Pacey!
Dawson’s walking up to Principal Green’s and Nikki is reading on the idyllic porch. She says this better not be about the camera, and it totally is about the camera. He says even though her dad’s the boss at the school, that doesn’t mean she should take advantage.
And right then Principal Green marches out, gives Dawson a friendly welcome, is under the impression Nikki and he are pals and invites him to dinner. Both Nikki and Dawson try to turn it down, but no go.
While Jack is walking around the camp site, there is Ethan in a tree. Jack says he’s with a female friend of his, who’s setting up the tent (While he wanders around), which is not the sexiest thing you could say. Ethan asks him to get a bite to eat and Jack’s like YES.
They go for a walk and talk about why neither one asked for the other’s number. Ethan, who apparently is long passed his coming out, set Jack up for a test he could fail, and Jack was too shy. Ethan is surprised Jack’s had so little experience talking to other gay “kids”. Pardon me while I guffaw, because this guy looks like he’s 27 years old.
(Just looked it up– he was 26 at the time! Ha!)
Jack’s like I have talked to other gay kids if you count the internet, and Ethan’s like, “I don’t.” Pfft, see? So old. Gay guy doesn’t believe in meeting men through the internet. Get with the times, Gramps!
While Jack’s being cradle robbed, Jen’s failing at setting up the tent alone and doing terribly.
So she quits in favour of getting a veggie burger. And who’s selling them? Henry! And he’s got quite a line up. She’s cute and pleasant with him, and since she rejected him hard last time they spoke, he’s not as keen to chit chat. But she wants to buy a burger, oh, and also for him to help her with the tent.
And he leaves his customers to someone else and actually goes to help like a chump. She asks if he’s not entirely happy to see her and he’s not because she’s taking too much pleasure in being wanted without returning the feelings. Considering she just asked him to stop earning money to come help her, I’d say she is probably working that angle. But she’s like I thought we were friends.
Henry loses his patience then, like, I’ve been ignoring you for weeks and you haven’t noticed! Some friend! Handle your own tent!
At the Green house, the three of them are having dinner and the Principal is glowing with fatherly pride and they start talking about Nikki’s mystery project. Then begins a tedious conversation about whether or not Dawson should join the crew so he can find out what it is about. Nikki’s dad sure seems oblivious to Nikki and Dawson’s open competitive hostility towards each other.
Jack and Ethan are talking about being gay, and Ethan’s like it’s so much more than what sex you’re attracted to. He then says, you’ve never kissed a guy, so how do you know you’re gay? And Jack’s like I just do. And I’m thinking the self-knowledge might have something to do with what’s been giving him boners and it not being tits, but maybe I’m just simplifying.
Ethan is going on and on about love and feelings only to discover someone stole his camping gear.
Back at the school, Andie’s demanding that Pacey quit the play, and he’s like nope, this is getting me extra credit to pass English, so no dice.
And she’s acting like he’s some kind of sell out doing “anything for a C” which is rich coming from someone who’d do anything to bump her marks up by .03% if she could. She basically wants Pacey out of there so he doesn’t distract her from getting over him, which sounds like a personal problem. Oh, and the teacher is a hack, so him seeing potential in you means nothing anyway, so there. But Pacey’s not quitting, Andie’s left with a flea in her ear and the janitor in the background likely enjoyed some silly teenage drama.
At the Green house, Dawson goes into Nikki’s room uninvited, and she walks in on him and isn’t annoyed for some reason. He points out she’s not advertising her love of film on her walls, like he does with his ET posters and such.
She says film allows her to explore her other passions, and in the process implies that Dawson is one-dimensional, which of course he is. She casually mentions her parents’ divorce, and so they start bonding. She reveals she’s actually pissed off about it, but has crafted a facade of being fine. And her film is about the American family and its functions and dysfunctions.
So Dawson opens up about his feelings and basically his romantic ideals are shattered and when he takes a break from his own self-involvement, he feels sad he is the product of a failed marriage. And then he rushes out of there because he’s getting too emotional about it for his liking.
It’s nightfall at the camp site now and all this time Jack’s been gone with Ethan, leaving Jen alone. She sees him and isn’t angry, but embarrasses him unintentionally by saying he’s back from his “stalk– sorry, walk,” with Ethan standing behind her. He offers help with the tent and Jen’s makes an overly wordy statement that amounts to “I’m a chick, so I couldn’t figure out this tent.”
Jack takes Jen aside and tells her he invited Ethan to share the tent, so would she mind just walking around alone in the dark until midnight? First sign of a dude he wants bad and good old reliable Jack becomes a shitty friend. Jen’s like, yeah, no. I’ll just drive home and pick you up in the morning. Also, you want to bang him, don’t pretend you don’t.
On the way out, Jen happens upon Henry again, who’s playing guitar and singing lead vocal in a band. And she is getting a lady boner over it and you can see the wheels turning in her head that she’s starting to regret rejecting Henry.
Back at the high school, they’re running lines on a completed set. So, things move pretty fast seeing as they only auditioned for the play THAT DAY. The teacher really is a crappy director and tells Pacey to be “louder and angrier.” Andie offers a helpful suggestion and is told never to think. Pacey starts angrily yelling in-character at his leading lady.
At the camp side, Ethan and Jack are talking more gay past stuff and then Ethan wants to go to sleep immediately. Jack’s visibly disappointed and Ethan’s like, aren’t you going to turn out the light? My, what a smug face. He knows what he’s doing. Jack says he wants to keep talking and Ethan’s like, n’ah, big day ahead of us. No one touches the elephant in the tent that Ethan’s not romantically interested in Jack.
Jen catches up with Henry again and tells him she liked his music. He’s still not jazzed to talk to her. She’s like, okay, maybe I do miss the way you looked at me, and he’s like, well, I don’t miss the way you never looked at me back! BYE!
At Dawson’s place, he’s taking down all his Spielberg posters and Joey comes in through the window. He explains after talking to Nikki he realizes he’s no longer the guy who hung up the posters, so he’s taking them down. Joey doesn’t like this. Why? Because it doesn’t involve her, that’s why!
She calls him a sell out, trading in his identity (Remember Eve, Dawson?) and he’s like, no, Nikki helped me sort through some stuff about my parents and Joey’s like, I wanted to talk to you about that! And he’s mad because why is it about her all of a sudden (Isn’t it always about her, though)?
Dawson calls her out on hating on every girl he gets a little close to. She doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but tries to argue anyway, fails and is like, “Out with the old and in with the new, huh?” and leaves. Christ, kid, either get on the Dawson train or knock it off already. This is getting old. Dawson closes the window. Ooh.
In the morning, Ethan and Jack emerge from the tent, Ethan goads Jack about not asking for his number and Jack’s like, uh, last night you didn’t even want to talk to me. Ethan says he was tired, drops the word “friends”, Jack looks unhappy and Ethan admits he figured Jack was interested. Uh, yeah. And yet you still tried to get him to ask for your number? Asshole.
Ethan then sorts of says he’s interested, but not really, but he wants in his life? Textbook Leading a Man On 101. Jack takes the rejection gracefully and then Ethan hands him his number. Yeah, whatever. Rejection followed by your contact info. Cool!
At the school, Mr. Broderick is a no show for a rehearsal and Pacey suggests Andie direct instead. With little pushing, she jumps right in.
Jen finds Henry, wearing what she had on yesterday (Did she not go home? Did she walk around all night?) and she apologizes. Then she essentially says she wants to go out with him and he forgives her immediately and offers her coffee.
Back at rehearsals, Mr. Broderick comes in, loves what he’s seeing, takes credit for Andie’s direction and gives her flack about set design. And I hate this guy because now I feel bad for frigging Andie.
She storms off, Pacey runs after her and she says she wants to quit, Pacey says he’ll quit and she admits he doesn’t suck after all. She still wants out, Pacey doesn’t take no for an answer and runs away pretending she said she’ll stay on the play.
At the camp site, Jen and Jack are carrying their stuff back to the car and Jen is listening to how he got turned down. Then she asks him about having sent her off escorted into the dark, and he seems mildly embarrassed for being a dick. He is forgiven quickly and he wants to know Jen’s so happy when she’s usually a grump. She she says she met someone, that he knows too, but won’t tell him who.
In Dawson’s room, he’s staring at his blank walls and Joey knocks before entering via the window, asking if she still has ladder privileges. She has a John Lennon poster for him because he used to like the Beatles and she says sorry for getting jealous. I’ve never heard so many genuine apologies in this show before. Usually everyone trips over themselves to make themselves out to be the victim.
He still doesn’t want to talk to her about his feelings, but he does hang up the poster. They make peace, but Joey gets in one last barb about looking out for his Yoko, because that’s how she rolls.
Most Verbose Articulation: Andie, “Your presence is giving me perpetual myopia!”