Well, here we are, opening scene, and Pacey is laying one on Joey.
And then Pacey breaks away and on the next beat, Joey is pushing him around and yelling and acting like it was a one-sided thing when the photo above suggests otherwise. She then rants about the huge implications of that kiss on their universe. If the writers of this show understand anything well, it’s the massive ego of the average asshole teenager.
Pacey says a kiss is just a kiss, and you let me do it, so hush. But Joey’s like, what about Dawson? And now she wants to walk home now, even though Pacey is hollering at her to get in the car. And of course she’s all walking her ass home in the cold with him driving slowly alongside her pleading, and this is obviously not about actually walking home in a fit of righteous indignation, but rather about punishing him by wasting his time.
$5 says she gets back in the car.
And she does.
And with a rousing game of “Fine.” “Fine!” FINE!” they’re off, not speaking to each other and the opening credits roll.
So now Pacey and Joey are talking to big sibs Bess and Doug about the kiss in the style of Grease’s he-said, she-said song Summer Lovin’. Pacey did this, Joey did that. And just to bring another movie into it, Doug compares Pacey’s situation to Speed (In this terrible metaphor, Joey is the bus. I guess not everyone in Capeside is a gifted linguist).
Oh, Joey and Bess were discussing it over making a big breakfast, scrambled eggs and pancakes. I thought they were cooking that for guests at the B&B, but nope. Are there no guests at this place?
Anyhoo, Bess is like, n’ah, can’t help you, sorry. Doug tells Pacey to diffuse the bomb that is Dawson and then he can be with Joey. Pfft. Good luck, jerk! Doug actually thinks Pacey can get Dawson to say that his friendship with him means more than his feelings for Joey. Oh, and that he’ll be happy Pacey told him. Doug’s pretty stupid.
Andy and Jack are eating cereal outside and Andy’s obnoxiously complaining about her bad shower and having two tests that day. Jack is excited Ethan’s coming for the weekend. Except that his homophobic dad’s home instead of gone like planned. Whoops.
At school, Jen is telling Henry she knows about his birthday and has a plan to celebrate it. Henry looks like he’s holding in a huge fart. He says there’s a family thing so he can’t, and no friends are invited. He couldn’t look more like a liar right now.
And right on cue, a football player comes around the corner and is like, “Hey, see you at your party tomorrow!” And Jen’s like, uh, you’re having a birthday party and not inviting me? She leaves for class, wicked pissed and Henry offers no explanation. If this were me, this relationship would be o-v-e-r.
In the cafeteria, Pacey sits down with Dawson (With Joey watching from a distance) and Dawson’s telling him how their old stomping ground is going to be bulldozed. Hey… do you think that’s going to be where Pacey wants to tell Dawson about Joey? Hmmm… So very subtle.
Joey, meanwhile, is sitting with Andie, ex-girlfriend to the guy she just kissed, who thinks Joey’s acting weird. I was just thinking, I don’t know how many friendships could survive Andie’s false rape accusation or her general shrillness. It’s like she gets a re-set button every episode for how much shit everyone is willing to put up with.
Pacey suggests to Dawson they go camping at their old fort before it’s gone, and Dawson thinks it’s just a fun thing to do instead of the swift stab to his heart that Pacey’s got planned.
Jen sits down with the girls and says her boyfriend’s a liar. And no one asks for follow-up. That’s cold. Jen then says she has a bad track record with boys. And STILL no one asks what’s up. Then fucking Andie says other girls don’t have these kinds of problems like they do (Only these teenagers struggle with romance, obvs) because they don’t have girls nights out.
Pretty sure that’s not the issue, but Andie’s an idiot.
She says she needs female bonding and so do they, and since they’re so objectionable that no one else wants their company, it’s on. Henry walks into the cafeteria, sees Jen and makes no attempt at amends. Pretty odd for a guy that nearly stalked her all year. Ooh, I love you, I need you! But don’t come to my birthday party!
At Jack’s house, Pa rolls up early, just in time to see Ethan arrive. He wants a word with his gay son about his gay guest. Jack basically tells him to shove it, he’s not sending his buddy away, and walks off triumphant.
This Buzz kid from last episode is back. I didn’t see him the first time around, but just one minute in and he’s sort of a dick. And I usually really like kids. Actually, I tend to hate kids on TV because TV writers and directors seem to think kids who are precocious assholes are charming. Buzz guilts Pacey about having plans to go camping with his friend without him.
At Jen’s house, Andie’s like, FACIALS! PEDICURES! Boy, she sure knows her audience. She runs away to get what’s needed and Jen and Joey vaguely discuss the absent boys because that’s all they ever really talk about. Jen tells Joey she’s available as a confidante to whatever mysterious shenanigans she’s gotten into. Jen once tried to steal her boyfriend so I don’t know why they’re still trying this friendship thing. Speaking of getting a re-set button.
At Jack’s, he’s planning an innocent game of chess with Ethan. His dad strolls in with a drink and asks to play. And I’m wondering if he understands the concept of chess. Jack tells him to buzz off and quit spying.
Dawson and Joey are hitting up their old hideout and actually it’s a pretty spiffy little structure that makes me want to go back in time and pretend to be a pirate.
Dawson takes the moment to say the fort is just ordinary, though he remembered it bigger, so maybe his whole life is just ordinary. (He did experience that epic haunting no one ever talks about, which is rather extraordinary, but who cares about that since it was 11 episodes ago?)
While Dawson’s having an existential crisis brought on by a dilapidated fort, Pacey’s decided now is the right time to bring up Joey. He starts rambling, but stops when Dawson hears a rattling noise. It’s a load of boys on bikes coming right for them. It’s Buzz, who brought two friends to crash the camping trip. Dawson at least looks amused.
The girls now have masks on, only Andie is enjoying it, they’re complaining about boys, and reminiscing about childhood when they could play with boys. Nothing about this episode passes the Bechdel Test. Jen subtly tries to nudge the conversation to what’s been bugging Joey, and she in turn changes the subject entirely to favourite childhood places.
Joey says she liked the roller rink, and that prompts Jen to bring out mystery pink gift bags.
At Jack’s house, Ethan diplomatically asks Mr. McPhee to have dinner with them. Jack is unimpressed.
At the camp site, Pacey tells the boys he’s talked to their parents, and before I could ask how he managed to do that, he says, “A 10-year-old with a cell phone is just plain wrong.” Oh man, would he shit his pants today. Though he’s right, a kid that age with a cell in the year 2000 is bullshit.
Dawson tries to tell the kids the plots to movies and the party-crashing boys shit all over it, demanding something original. So he starts telling them a “true” ghost story about a creepy guy named Max who lived in a nearby shed. Not that I thought this would come up twice, but, dude, just tell the Witch Island story! Come on! I’d be telling that one every damn day.
Meanwhile, with the girls, for some reason this is happening:
Okay, so Andie is wearing a hairstyle from the ’40s, and the girls are all glammed up with makeup and boas, and they’re rollerskating in their fucking pyjamas. And they’re just talking boy stuff again, la-dee-da. Joey and Jen look like polished slobs, but Andie is in a silky nightgown. She and Joey take another turn around the rink.
Jen takes a break and notices Henry is hitting a piñata in a party room nearby. So, she walks on over in her PJ and boa and says, “Henry?” The party stops and everyone is staring at her like she’s crazy, which is to be expected when you leave the house looking like the party stops at your neck.
At dinner, Ethan is getting Pa to talk about his old beloved car, obviously building bridges and such. Pa suggests going to a car museum that’s opened lated. Jack is sulking.
At the camp site the boys are sleeping, obviously not too upset about Dawson’s ghost story. Pacey digs up their old time capsule and they go through it. Among various things they find a picture of Joey and the loyalty oath they wrote the day they became blood brothers. Well, this certainly sets the scene well for the “I made out with the love of your life” conversation Pacey wanted to have.
At the roller rink, turns out it was a family birthday party, and Henry’s embarrassed about how juvenile it is, to the point he never bothered to explain the situation and risked her dumping him (Makes sense). Jen’s like, I look like a glossy hobo and you’re embarrassed? Henry says he’ll understand if Jen never wants to talk to him again and zooms off. Jen catches up and tell him she took back his birthday present in a fit of rage and bought angry chick music instead.
At the car museum, Jack is over it and takes Ethan aside and loudly tells him he doesn’t want to spend any more time with the shitty dad who hates him. The shitty dad approaches and says he’s going home. He says he cancelled his business trip to spend time together and is all “I’m not the father you want or need.” Which is all well and good as far as guilt trips go, but he’s been a raging asshole up to this point so…?
At the camp side, Dawson is talking about how he can always be sure of his friendships with Pacey and Joey. Jesus, the writers are really laying it on thick. Usually when you deliver bad news there aren’t any ironic segues beforehand. Normal people drop bombs after talking about lunch or their day at work. Just when you think it isn’t awkward enough, Dawson calls Joey his soulmate.
At Jack’s place, the boys are getting ready for bed, Ethan is setting up a cot and he wants to talk about what happened. Jack is pissed his dad made it look like he’s the victim. Ethan is telling him he needs to work at patching things up with his dad because they’re both victims.
This is the least believable storyline in this whole pile. “Oh, your coming out was met with practically being disowned and shunned in your own house, subjecting you to a year of emotional abuse by your father? As a fellow gay man, I think you should work harder on your relationship with your dad because you need each other!” Pfft. Come on. Ethan hasn’t gots the empathy.
Also, Ethan is telling Jack to stop being angry, which I imagine is hard to do when you’re still living with the person who thinks you’re a stain on the family’s good name. Ethan, go home.
At the girls’ slumber party, Andie is getting ready for bed and Joey confides in Jen that Pacey kissed her. Jen’s like, well, I saw that coming a mile away. She thinks Joey has feelings for Pacey because she clearly does.
Jack goes downstairs to talk to his dad, who is attending to business matters the old school way: out of a briefcase, with a pen and calculator. He may be a hot shot, but he’s also a dinosaur.
Jack wants to know why the 360 all of a sudden with wanting to spend time with him (Even though he tried to send Ethan home initially). His dad says his colleague has a real shitty son who fails out of school and steals things, so Jack being gay isn’t that bad. So they start playing chess.
Everyone leaves the camp site and Buzz is bugging Pacey to buy him snacks. They run into Joey and Pacey bribes Buzz with sugar to leave them alone. He apologizes for kissing her, she says she overreacted and they both are now totally into each other but say they’re just friends. On the way home, Buzz calls Pacey out. I hate that kid, and I hope this is the last we see of him.
Most Verbose Articulation Joey: “Do you have any idea the monumental implications of that meaningless little impulse? The ripple effect it could create in our small but fragile universe?”