Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 11 – The Tao of Dawson

Today’s post come from guest contributor and repeat offender Alek.

The Tao of Dawson is a terrible name. It reads like a shitty essay that Dawson Leery would write thoughtfully about himself. No one would ever read it, nor should they, because Dawson Leery should die alone.

I digress. We find our assbag hero on one of Capeside’s many piers, confessing to Pacey his newly-discovered love for Pacey’s older sister Gretchen. The two rib ribald about trading Gretchen for cattle, which is an exaggeration but they’re super disrespectful. Pacey is lazily defensive, and Dawson is arrogant (surprise!) in his insistence that the romance will play out fatefully, but it doesn’t sound like Gretchen is expected to have much say in any of this.

“Is your family interested in goats?”

“Is your family interested in goats?”

Later, on a road trip with his sister, Pacey discovers that they’re going to visit her ex-boyfriend, and he decides that the two of them should reconcile to preempt Dawson from claiming ownership of the tainted maid. Gretchen isn’t feeling it, because she’s actually people.

Dawson and Jack are moving some shit — I don’t know why and I don’t care. I don’t understand their friendship. Dawson continues to wax philosophical about Gretchen, and finds an old love letter he wrote her back before the writers decided to toss her into the plot. Jack suggests that he write her another letter, because he’s a gay who doesn’t understand the womenfolk.

Joey is working at some yacht club I have no recollection of, snarking with Drue, who I think is the owner’s son? He’s a complete sneering bitch. His reanimated corpse of a mother enters to inform him that he’s getting a visit from his father. He isn’t thrilled, and takes it out on Joey by insisting that she cart some glassware down to the storage room, which is just slightly creepy.

Gretchen and Pacey arrive at her douchey ex’s house to pick up her old car, which was clearly worth the trip because it’s up on cinder blocks. The ex has some bullshit explanation which relies on Gretchen knowing less about cars than she does, and it’s in keeping with the episode’s theme of men thinking that they know what’s best for women. His name is Nick. He convinces the Witters to stay the night, and Pacey is all for it because he’s a shit.

Dawson finds Brooks taking the walk of shame from Grams’ place, so I guess they were rubbing their papery husks against one another (I’m sorry). He asks Grams if they’re dating, and she explains that a woman her age “doesn’t date” (bow-chicka-wow-wow). She’s touched by his protectiveness because she’s old and conservative.

Joey and Drue unload their glassware in the storage room, and they get locked in because of Drue’s dickbaggery. He rifles through her purse because he has no social graces. I actually feel bad for her.

Pacey and Nick share a hot tub at what I must assume is Nick’s orgy. It’s fucking weird and unnecessary. Nick says gross things about Gretchen, and Pacey is just sold on him. Great brother, good job.

Who fucking does this?

Who fucking does this?

Jack is still helping Dawson do shit… painting a room or something. Setting up a nursery for the expectant Leerys? I guess Jack needed a reason to be in this episode. Now they’re gossiping about Grams and Brooks, and Dawson is afraid that Grams doesn’t realize Brooks has terminal cancer. None of this is any of their business.

Back at the Overlook Hotel, Joey climbs a shelf to rescue some expired spam, and when she falls Drue catches her. He steals a completely uninvited kiss, and she thankfully slugs him. This guy is so uncool and I hope that he gets a black eye.

“How dare you assert your right to consent?”

“How dare you assert your right to consent?”

Pacey creepily shadows Nick while he hits on Gretchen, who calls him out for treating her like a literal show horse (called it). In an aside conversation, Nick talks about scoring with random women at the party, and Pacey realizes that he’s a complete sleaze. I could’ve guessed from his haircut.

“Anyway, you wanna buy some quaaludes?”

“Anyway, you wanna buy some quaaludes?”

Dawson imposes himself on Grams while she’s preparing for a date with Brooks, offering unsolicited advice (men gotta be men). Grams knows intuitively that Brooks is sick. She understands what she’s doing because she’s a grown-ass woman and she doesn’t need help from an emotionally-crippled teenage boy, and you could probably end this episode right here.

Back at Nick’s white people party, Gretchen tells Pacey that she had a miscarriage, because the show writers aren’t above using women’s bodies as plot devices. Pacey is upset that Gretchen told Dawson about this first, apparently, but Gretchen establishes that she can do whatever she fucking wants and is her own goddamn person, END SCENE (I wish).

Now Dawson is hanging out with a pre-date Brooks. How small is Capeside? Did Dawson dig a series of tunnels? His input is unnecessary yet again, because two consenting adults five times his age understand that he’s a fucking idiot.

“Get out of my house.”

“Get out of my house.”

Gretchen gets slightly drunk and begins to give in to Nick’s advances, eventually going upstairs with him. I’m maybe screaming and wondering if I’ve just become one of Capeside’s mansplainers, because I’m all, “Stop this, Gretchen; you’re better than him! NOOOO!”

Joey and Drue are having some kind of heart-to-heart. I don’t even care. His daddy doesn’t love him or some bullshit. Joey takes pity on him and shares her sweater. He’s definitely a sexual predator, and I’m sincerely hoping that this doesn’t go south.

Nick passes out before he can seal the deal with Gretchen, and she has an epiphany about being so over him and his immature shenanigans and leaves. The next morning, Pacey has fixed her car (so manly) and continues to be totally condescending after she’s clearly taken care of her own shit. She misses the opportunity to put him in his place, though, and there’s some lesson here about what a loving and protective brother he is which hits a super sour note for me. Barf.

Jack and Dawson are talking again. I don’t fucking care.

Joey awakens in the storage room leaning on Drue, who’s trying to act like normal human being and not a weasel with the gift of speech. She discovers that he’s had a cell phone the whole time and calls for help. That is creepy as ever-loving fuck. He’s resentful about how upset she is, because he has some nerve. His mother rescues them and is a complete upper-middle-class thundercunt to Joey. Drue does nothing to defend her. Somebody could’ve commented on the twiggy old cadaver’s shitty jewelry and chunky power suits, but whatevs.

Gretchen arrives home to find one of Dawson’s old love notes. I guess he thought it’d be romantic, because he’s a deluded stalker. There’s a heartwarming pisswater montage, and Gretchen gets emotional and comes to Dawson’s to kiss him again on a sacrificial altar of adirondack chairs, because she’s learned nothing. I give up.



MVA: Pacey, asking Dawson about his Gretchen crush, says, “Well, are we talking about the feelings of fondness and fellowship that naturally follow from an obligatory mistletoe kiss or am I going to find you outside of my house holding a boombox over your head?” This is not repeatable, nor is it a thing that a normal person would ever say without choking or feeling ashamed of themselves. Who would write this? How many takes did it take before Joshua Jackson was finally stoned enough to say it right?


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