Opening scene, it’s a vigorous PTA meeting and tons of people are up in arms about this issue surrounding Principal Green. It’s all about the guy, Matt Caulfield, who ruined Joey’s painting. Superintendent Fielding says Green makes these calls. And it seems many people about passionate about whether Matt deserved an expulsion for vandalism, but his dad is grandstanding to little applause, and a lady at the table upfront calls him a crappy parent and the crowd agrees.
Joey stands up to say good things about Green and Matt’s dad infers her family is an immoral pile. Dawson’s yelling now, everyone’s in chaos and Fielding wants everyone to shut up. I’d like to point out there are some ugly-ass outfits in this joint.
And then out of nowhere the guy says he’s giving Green till Friday to change his decision. 1 minute he ago, he was all, “Green can do what he wants!” And all the people who applauded the lady telling Mr. Caulfield off are now applauding this new plan to stick it to Green. What just happened? And why do these people care about someone else’s asshole kid getting expelled for vandalism?
There’s a reporter covering this story and it’s a former intern of Gail’s named Sherry. They exchange tense pleasantries for about 10 seconds before Sherry gives Gail a backhanded compliment implying she’s old and dried up. Then she reveals she thinks Green’s a wacko. One more rude comment about Gail and she’s off.
Joey and Pacey are walking home and he’s telling her she could rally the troops to support Green. She thinks teenagers only care about Playstation and TRL. The Real Life? Oh, kids those days.
At home Joey’s on the phone with her square boyfriend, AJ, who echoes what Pacey said about causes needing a leader. Then he mocks the name Pacey. “What kind of name is Pacey?” Well, his dad does hate him, so…
Bess interrupts to get Joey to watch a news report. There being no PVR, it’s now or never. Sherry then gives very Fox Newsy coverage about Green, editorializing and posting clips out of context. AJ pushes her to act.
Next day she’s taping up poster after poster about saving Green from being fired. Pacey follows her and throws himself roses for coming up with the idea, and Joey’s like, n’ah, it was AJ. And he’s there, hanging around a high school with nothing better to do in the middle of the day, and Joey introduces him to Pacey. He leads with the charming comment of, “Oh, the one with the funny name.”
Suddenly a random girl pops in and she’s like, Green’s coming, you gotta see this! And outside there’s a bunch of protestors chanting in front of a news crew, all harassing Green as he comes onto school property.
It’s evening now and Dawson is helping his mom with restaurant stuff. And Gail wants to know how the meeting went and Dawson goes on about how inspiring it was. And I guess we don’t get to see that part? Is Ms. Holme’s range not capable of hitting those notes or were the writers feeling lazy?
Gail laments that the story is being covered by a hack. Dawson says they should do a news report to do a better job. He thinks it only takes a video camera rather than a crew these days. Sure, why not.
At a protest Joey’s organized, Gail’s prepping her for an interview, AJ’s thanking Pacey for bringing coffee and talking to him about how great Joey is and what a natural leader, and Sherry shows up demanding answers. She then wants a follow-up interview with Joey, who quickly replied, “In your frosted-blonde dreams, Barbie.”
Soon Fielding wants to see Joey, and she’s like, uh, me? Yeah, you, the one whose mural was vandalized and who brought this protest to his workplace. Pacey thinks Feilding’s a jerk who will only threaten her, while AJ thinks she should go in. So she goes in.
They briefly greet each other before Fielding gets down to business, stating that he knows she’s responsible for the “dissonant clamouring” going on outside, and succeeds in being the first likely person on this show to be speaking like a pretentious Harvard graduate.
When Fielding starts trying to intimidate her, Joey starts bluffing: Petition with 300 signatures, a rally that will dwarf the one from yesterday. Fielding says to go back to school before she’s given detention for cutting class and Joey’s like, well, I called in sick, so there!
Gail and Dawson show up at Green’s to interview him (Is the school day over then?), having only spoken to Nikki, which is stupid because Gail should know better about how to secure a source. And Green says no, he’s not going on TV to prove nothing to nobody. Nikki tries quoting Dr. King, but that cuts no ice with her dad.
Pacey is now giving Joey flack for inventing a petition with 300 signatures because he doubts their school even has 300 students. *Sigh* How big or small is this fucking place? It’s got a film studies class and a pretty stacked equipment room full of gear. All for less than 300 students?
Anyway, Pacey’s saying a petition is easy enough to fake or trick people, but not the rally. AJ’s like, we need solutions! But has has none to suggest. Then Jen dives in and says Pacey’s set up “the internet” to post something on the school’s website and Andie’s doing it the old-fashioned way. I don’t know why anyone thinks Joey’s the person with all the natural leadership, when time after time Jen and even the awful Andie are the ones always getting shit done while Joey gets all cynical about life.
Jack’s now approaching with a sad flyer for the rally, showcasing what you could do with a laptop and minimal know-how in the year 2000:
Amid concerns of how to pay for 500 copies, turns out Pacey managed to talk a store manager into printing it for free. Though… would it really be that expensive to just print out yourself? Or am I just forgetting how lame technology was 15 years ago?
Joey and AJ seem impressed, which is nice since they’ve just been standing there being important while everyone else does all the work. But then she calls everyone’s attention, gives a very weak pep talk and is given applause for telling them all there’s no time for sleep.
AJ then strokes Joey’s ego and she strokes his right back and they kiss, and they have no chemistry at all. Pacey’s watching, bummed out and jealous and Jen wants to know if he’s okay. He’s obviously not, but says he is.
While Joey and AJ are rubbing foreheads like horny swans, Bess tells them that she got a call telling her allowing the B&B to be used to fight the man isn’t going to be good for her business. Joey’s like, uh, huh? I don’t get it. And Bess says she never does.
Joey tries to tell Bess it was probably just Matt, and look, it’s Bodie! Hello, sir, nice to see you.
Bess wants Joey to knock it off already before they lose the B&B, and Joey says no way, she’s gonna change this town. Bess doesn’t want her doing it at her place of business, which is actually a pretty good point. In the brochure it could say: a lovely view of the lake, excellent food and occasional protest headquarters.
Then the conversation takes a turn when Joey is talking about Caulfield’s agenda, and Bodie says this is all because Green is black. People might still be mad, but they wouldn’t be making threatening phone calls if he were a white principal. Well, if anyone knows what the jerks in this town feel about the handful of black people they have, I guess Bodie would. And Bess is still pissed, but Bodie’s won Joey’s argument. Bess leaves in a huff, the remaining white people look awkwardly at Bodie, who leaves to talk to his lady.
AJ is there, having heard the last of the fight and Joey’s like, good thing you’re not a paying guest or this would be more awkward. She didn’t seem to concerned about paying guests when she took over the B&B this evening.
And he’s leaving. He’s got college shit to do. Joey doesn’t want him to go, but you know, so what? He says she’s got good people around her, even Pacey.
Joey’s like, ugh, really? And, okay, what an ass. Like, he has been encouraging, getting coffee, advising, talking to businesses, and this is nothing? All AJ’s done is hold her hand and stand around.
And in the next scene, the unappreciated Pacey is out in the cold stapling up posters for the rally. Jen is there and wants him to talk about his feelings for Joey. He’d rather just quietly brood and do her bidding. But says if he hypothetically was falling for the worst person he could fall for, what could he do about it. And Jen’s wisdom is… “do something.” Helpful! (PS, don’t take love advice from trainwrecks.)
Gail and Dawson are now talking about journalistic standards and for once Gail is imparting some sensible information about not choosing what information to cover. She says a good journalist knows how to ask the right questions.
And then she goes into Fielding’s office, interviews him and makes him look like an asshole with the right questions. And this marks the first time I don’t think Gail is a waste of time. He ends the interview and leaves.
At the Green house, Nikki is out the door to the rally, and Green doesn’t want to go with her. Basically he’s pissed off and he believes if Caulfield sees it, he’ll use it as a way to paint him as an angry radical, but does not say why he feels this way. Other than Bodie, it seems no one wants to talk openly about this perhaps having a racial undertone.
At the rally, it’s full and apparently all due to Pacey. And then there he is up at the mic, saying it’s Joey who brought them all together. She’s like this figurehead who just has to show up places and give insipid speeches.
And she gives her speech, and it’s okay, but then she makes a weak joke that gets a laugh it doesn’t deserve. She wants everyone to stand up and talk about what their principal means to them. And honestly, that’s not much of a rally. Have some passionate speakers organized to get up there and work the crowd’s outrage into a frenzy and then go march.
But no, Andie gets up and blah blah blah… This looks way more like a support group than a rally. BO-RING! And Green shows up. He says he’ll probably be leaving ’cause he’s not changing his mind, but thanks and all.
I’m going to level with y’all. This episode sucks. It’s seriously boring. I actually stopped watching for awhile to find and watch the opening credits to The Littlest Hobo***
After the “rally” Jen is asking Pacey about how he feels, which is not good, and Joey hasn’t even thanked him.
Leaving, Joey realizes Bess showed up after all and isn’t pissed anymore about Joey’s politics wreaking havoc on the family business.
At the school, Green is packing up his stuff and Joey comes into his office feeling guilty that her shitty rally wasn’t able to stop Fielding. So, she wants reassurance and praise from Green before he goes.
On the way out, a bunch of students are waiting for him.
And he leaves the school with Nikki to a round of applause and some cheesy country music.
At the restaurant, Gail tells Dawson the station is going to run their story, and also that they offered her the opportunity to do more and she turned them down. Turns out, she didn’t want back in, she just wanted the chance to say no.
Outside, Pacey has dragged Joey to a wall that he has rented for her to paint. He hands her a paint brush and a can of paint and leaves her, saying she’s getting no more of his help, so get cracking. How strangely romantic and pushy. But he gets his thank you, so good for him.
Most Verbose Articulation: Pacey. “I have it on pretty good authority that my rough charms don’t really register on her rarefied romantic palate.”