Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 18 – Eastern Standard Time

Today’s post comes (late) from Alek, as part of his community service for unmentionable crimes against the state of Massachusetts.

Oh my God, Dawson is still with Gretchen. And literally the first thing he says to her is that he’s thinking about Joey. Gretchen takes it because she’s a set piece. The two wild children decide to go on an adventurous road trip for senior ditch day (is that a thing?). We know that this is a new kind of rebellion for Dawson because of the allegro piano music.

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“Let’s go somewhere really fucking boring!”

Credits role, and there’s a change of tempo, because Jen is talking to a therapist (I assume) in a state of drama school sadness known as near catatonia. A soft fade finds Jen and Joey in Grand Central Station. I don’t know if this is a new flashback storytelling device, but it’s confusing.

Douchebag Drew and Pacey are at school on ditch day — Pacey, doubtless, for his academic failures, while Drew is likely there because the administration just discovered that he’s 34-years-old. They banter about what devilish rogues they are in the ponciest way humanly possible.

Joey and Jen walk into a bar in New York (heyo!), where they meet Jen’s old friend Tyfo. Jen introduces him as the “future of the expressionist movement” (*wanking gesture*), while Joey gets all nervous like a sheltered girl from a fictional town in Massachusetts where there are no black people, ever. Tyfo is super excited that Jen might be going to university in the city. This bar has lit up mannequin heads for lamps and I hate everyone in it.

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The future of expressionism is bleak.

Back at school, Pacey is taunted by his teacher, who is a Grade A motivational speaker. Pacey looks dejected right before his quiz, but you and I both know he has no future regardless.

Dawson and Gretchen get a flat tire on their road trip. The terrain makes it look like they’ve made it all the way to Arizona. I bet no one misses them. Gretchen offers to “use her body” for hitchhiking — what more can I say about Gretchen? Dawson convinces her to walk instead. The romance is palpable.

Joey and Jen are walking around the grimy New York City of the Police Academy films (AKA Toronto), and Joey deduces that Jen has been lying about her meeting with a university admissions officer. Turns out that she’s there to see her father. Jen tries to ditch her companion, but Joey can’t take the hint. It’s for the best, because I can imagine her getting mugged and falling asleep in a bus shelter in Downtown Brooklyn by nightfall if left alone.

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She’s wearing a suede jacket, for Christ’s sake.

Gretchen and Dawson wander into a fix-it garage in what we’re meant to believe is small-town Maine, but the mechanic sounds like he’s from Louisiana. He and Dawson start talking about cars or something, and I zone out entirely.

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“This here is the doowicky combulator, flerg blerg blerg.”

Joey and Jen have a heart-to-heart about Jen’s meeting with her dad. Jen admits to having hated Capeside in her youth, and tells a story about being a bratty kid and ditching her mom on a visit. I get why she got sent to live with bible-black Grams, because it sounds like she was a shit.

Gretchen tries to order a sandwich in a divey cafe, where the server is from Alabama. It’s almost as if the casting director doesn’t understand the concept of New England.

Jen’s dad permits her to visit him in his office. It’s super awkward for tag-along Joey, and me. Jen’s dad is proud of her university acceptance, so he clears his schedule to spend the day with her and her bumpkin friend. I hope he’s paying.

Drew and Pacey are hanging out in a shitty pool bar. The extras in this episode are exclusively from the deep south for no actual reason. Drew actually calls the place a saloon and gives Pacey a fake ID. They talk about their future failures and do shots like a couple of privileged white boys.

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“Would you accept my mother’s AMEX?”

Irv the mechanic is driving Gretchen and Dawson back to their car and being country camp with kindness, but when Gretchen asks about payment, Dawson realizes that they don’t have the money to pay the man. Irv drops them on the side of the road. I hope Leatherface shows up.

Jen’s dad is selling New York to Joey over drinks. I think he’s trying to be poetic, but it comes across as deeply lecherous. He makes me want to live in Cleveland out of spite.

Gretchen and Dawson aren’t dead yet. Next.

Pacey and Drew are many shots into their evening and betting on some cards. The bar owner grills Pacey on his fake ID, because he only cares about legality after the kids have paid for their booze.

Jen is disappointed when her father bails on their dinner for work. She proceeds to give Joey the shittiest tour of Manhattan in about six seconds because she’s caught up in her feels. Jen recounts spending the weekend homeless after her aforementioned aborted visit to Capeside, because her mother and father couldn’t be bothered to know where she was. No wonder Grams went the disciplinarian route.

Dawson has somehow managed to build a goddamn fire on a beach that couldn’t possibly have been near their car. I refuse to believe that he’d know how to undo a bra, nevermind build a fire. He fucks up a sure thing by talking about Joey again, before telling Gretchen that he loves her. She’s still into it. Gretchen, everybody!

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Oh, Gretchen.

Jen finds her dad passed out in his house with a snifter. She recalls catching him in flagrante delicto with a young mistress when she paid him a surprise visit some years ago. He tries to deny it like the shitty father that he obviously is, going so far as to call her psychologically unwell. This is some cold shit. It looks like Jen came all this way for a throwdown, and fucking Joey wouldn’t give her the space to do it.

Pacey’s hot cop brother Doug comes to pick him up after he’s been arrested with Drew. He berates him for being a loser, and Pacey has a freakout about what a failure he’s sure he’ll be. There’s a cutaway to Dawson and Gretchen heavy petting, which is super gross, so I’m just going to imagine that it’s Doug cooling off after his beat with some burly bear in his precinct. A guy can dream.

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Call me, tho.

MOR pop ballad montage. Everyone is sad about something. This episode is super morose with a few quirky interjections of out-of-place hillbilly nonsense.

Everything concludes with Jen, back in the present, wrapping up her therapy session. She decides that this will be her last visit, because she has nothing more to say. The therapist is like, “Bitch, what?” and she basically backs the fuck out of there like she’s repeating, “Lowenstein… Lowenstein…”

MVA: Pacey says to Drew, when they show up to school together, “Well, I heard you’d be here Drew, and far be it from me to miss out on even the smallest morsel of your flamboyant wit.” I LOL’d.

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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.

Gross.

Gross.

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?

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 3, Episode 14 – Valentine’s Day Massacre

Hey!  It’s Alek again.  I’m a glutton for Capeside’s special brand of verbal BDSM, so I’m back for another post.

Dawson is teaching Joey how to drive stick, which is kind of a missed opportunity for a bad metaphor.  Pacey is laying in the back of the truck for some reason, because God forbid he misses an opportunity to give Groucho Marx commentary on everything that his friends do.

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“Jesus Christ, I don’t even know how he got back there.”

Apparently, it’s Valentine’s Day, but Joey’s college boyfriend plans to spend it studying.  Pacey rightly calls bullshit, but Joey insists that he’s simply dedicated to his education because no man has ever treated her respectfully.  Pacey, meanwhile, plans to attend an anti-Valentine’s party hosted by a resident Capeside douchebag, and Joey is appalled that Dawson plans to go with him.  She says that she’ll spend the night in with a Blockbuster rental, and I feel the only pang of genuine nostalgia that I’m likely to feel for the next hour.

We cut to Capeside High, where it’s the greenest goddamn February in Massachusetts.  There are people in fucking shorts.  I didn’t realize how close Boston was to the California state line.  Pacey is convincing Dawson to come to the evening’s shitty party when Jack arrives.  He’s been mining the athletes (pun intended) for information about the event, but couldn’t get the address.  He did learn the password, though, because that’s a thing which is somehow necessary.  It’s “I know Kung fu,” which wasn’t cool in 2000 and isn’t cool now.

“They said that Charleston was too gay.”

“They said that Charleston was too gay.”

Jen’s paramour Henry is giving blood to pay for her Valentine’s Day gift, but he’s evidently been giving too much.  He convinces the nurse to bend the rules by waxing romantic, but I mostly imagine actor Michael Pitt as a serial killer, so it’s just unsettling.

“Does it have to be MY blood?”

“Does it have to be MY blood?”

Pacey is chatting up his cop brother, Doug, while he’s on his beat.  He takes some homophobic jabs at Doug because of the music that he’s listening to, while I remember with growing disdain that Pacey is actually kind of a fucking asshole.  He supposedly wants to hang out, but Doug explains that he’s busy patrolling a party at the golf course this evening, inadvertently revealing the location of the party in the most expository way.

I can’t remember if Doug is actually gay or not, but I’m going to guess that he’s the kind of guy who lives in a small town, but has a Grindr account where he describes himself as “straight-acting, maybe lumbersexual.”

At the McPhee house, Andie gets off the phone with her friend Kate, who she’s invited to hang out this evening because her boyfriend just dumped her.  Jack is mad because Kate is his ex-girlfriend, and asks if Andie outed him.  He’s upset that she didn’t, because he’s fickle about his token sexuality like that.  All I can think about is how I’d rather watch Abby Morgan’s slowly rotting corpse than tolerate another scene of Andie being fucking Andie.

The absolute fucking worst.

The absolute fucking worst.

Grams is helping Jen pick outfits for her date, as only a Victorian-era Christian fanatic could.  She insists that red is the appropriate colour, because she’s selective in her oppressive slut-shaming, then goes on to explain the religious significance of St. Valentine and suck every last ounce of fun out of this sham holiday.  She loves the little black dress that Jen chooses, but advises that going without a necklace is somehow chaste and pure (SELECTIVE), while noting that Jen seems anxious.  Jen assures Grams that she’s been on LOTS of dates with LOTS of guys, because Grams hasn’t called her a harlot in a while.

“Dear, sometimes even I want you to get it.”

“Dear, sometimes even I want you to get it.”

Jack and Andy are driving their friend Kate to the party, and they get to talking about relationships.  Jack is about to come out when Kate breaks down and reveals that her ex dumped her because he turned out to be gay, which is pretty coincidental timing.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

Dawson and Pacey are pantomiming golf when the McPhees and friend arrive.  Kate immediately declares that Jack is her ex, then proceeds to tell everyone about her recent break-up and emotional fragility, because she has all of the social skills you’d expect from a budding career-beard.  Pacey pulls Dawson aside to coax him into taking advantage of Kate’s tender feelings, and I guess that the rest of the group just stands, quietly, five feet to the left.

Only Zack Morris can freeze time, Pacey.

Only Zack Morris can freeze time, Pacey.

Thankfully, Joey arrives to break the awkwardness, but of course she only makes things worse.  She’s here to babysit Dawson at the party!  What a fucking wet blanket.

Henry picks Jen up for their date, and he looks like he gave enough blood to become an actual vampire.  Jen is as alarmed by his deathly pallor as I am, if slightly less so because she’s seen it so often on Grams’ youthful face.  They remark that they’re both wearing black, then Jen pricks herself on a rose, and the symbolism is obvious enough that I feel like I’m watching erotic Twilight fan fiction.

“Shall we remove this bloody clothing, young cheesecake?”

“Shall we remove this bloody clothing, young cheesecake?”

The rest of the gang, meanwhile, head to the party in what I can only assume are stolen golf carts (wouldn’t they have to be?).  Pacey made sure that Kate was paired with Dawson, and she’s being so desperately insecure that I’d recommend counseling.  Dawson assures her that she’s beautiful, “In the way that beautiful used to actually mean something.”  Kate responds by being charmed instead of vomiting, like I just did.

Joey is still trying to convince everyone to leave, and Andie is freaking out as she’s wont to do.  Matt, the host, greets everyone with threatening surliness, then makes them all do a shot to enter the party area.  Andie passes as the designated driver, Pacey makes a now-unsettling Bill Cosby joke (too soon?), and Joey loses her shit like everyone just started shooting heroin.

Meanwhile, on Jen’s date with Edward Cullen, the poor fellow is slowly losing consciousness.  Jen is irked with him, until he literally passes out.  This is the only actual dramatic thing likely to happen in the entire episode.

Joey and Andie are taking a golf cart for a quiet joyride and being complete fucking losers.  Just as Andie correctly identifies Joey’s wrath for Pacey as obvious attraction, officer Doug pulls the girls over.  I can only assume that they’re going to rat everyone out because they are no fun whatsoever.

Doug, however, might be more fun than I gave him credit for. HELLO.

Doug, however, might be more fun than I gave him credit for. HELLO.

Henry is being taken away in a stretcher, and comes clean with Jen about his blood sales.  He gives her his Valentine’s Day gift — a ring — and laments ruining the moment.  Which, let’s be honest, he kinda did.

Dawson and Kate are flirting in the most infantile way, and I’m hoping that Kate is drunk and not just fourteen years old.  Kate presumes that she’s been passed off on Dawson in an alarming self-deprecating spiral, but he’s mostly bothered by is the implication that he’s a nice guy.  He insists that he could be the one taking advantage of the drunk girl, and Kate shrugs it off as if that’s not the creepiest fucking thing that he could say.  Their repulsive kissing moment is interrupted by Kate throwing up (like I just did) and then Doug arrives with his flashlight.

Jen comes home to Grams and tells her about her disastrous night, while Grams completely misses the point.  Jen gives her the traumatic facts, and she accurately describes how unfortunate poor Henry is.  Grams calls her out for perhaps setting unreasonable expectations, and Jen reacts as though she has something to think about.  If luxury is what Henry read from Jen’s bald-faced cynicism, then he deserves to be bled to death.

Doug breaks up the party as Pacey is attempting a keg stand, and he seems pretty psyched to be arresting his dickhead brother.  I know I’d be.

In the drunk tank, Kate continues having her super vocal emotional breakdown, and Jack decides that this is the moment to tell her that he’s gay (I mean, sure).  Kate unsurprisingly gets the hint, but reveals that she and Jack had passable sex as if that means anything.  She then worries aloud that Dawson might be gay and just won’t fucking shut up.  Joey is meanwhile disgusted that Dawson would attempt to kiss the drunken basket case, and Pacey makes fun of the unhappy couple.  Everyone is a fucking asshole.

Why are these people friends?

Why are these people friends?

Joey highlights the pointedness of Pacey’s present dickbaggery, and he continues to be a jerk about the show’s central would-be romance.  He makes a case for cancellation, but we’re only in season three, so it ain’t gonna happen.

Doug shows up with the village elders to release the cretins, but leaves Pacey to stew behind bars.  Doug’s sexy when he’s being masochistic.

Jen, in the meantime, visits Robert Pattinson in the hospital, where he’s recovering on Jell-O.  They have a heart-to-heart, and Jen reveals that she was treated poorly on past V-Days and had some anxiety.  She gives him another chance to be normal and decides to keep the shitty ring.  Henry decides that this visit somehow qualifies as a date.  I wonder if he plans to celebrate by killing some yuppies later.

Kate ends her visit by having another pity party with Jack.  He acknowledges that her visit reminded him of his closet days, and she tries to be supportive, but she might want to focus on her own mental health.  I imagine her life peaking at age 36, while she’s taking drop-shoulder selfies with her platonic gay boyfriends in a club called Tops & Bottoms, then going home and chasing a handful of Xanax with a bottle of Grey Goose.

“I’M SO HAPPY.”

“I’M SO HAPPY.”

Dawson is having a talk with Mitch, and dad’s understandably unimpressed.  He drops the hammer and tells Dawson that he’ll now be working at the new restaurant his mother is apparently opening.  The music suggests that this is much more dramatic than a teenager taking an evening job.

In the next of a very long line of late-episode character resolutions, Doug gets Pacey to admit that he’s frustrated because of his growing attraction to Joey.  He talks about Joey being “the kind of pretty that gives you butterflies” while Doug pretends that he doesn’t prefer a rippling, manscaped chest.  Doug overcomes his own crushing, closeted loneliness to advise Pacey to go for the girl.

The episode concludes with Pacey arriving at the Potter residence to apologize to Joey.  Joey tells Pacey that she’s worried about his morals because she’s negging him, I guess.  He foregoes expressing his feelings by offering her a driving lesson, which is basically the most sex that anyone is having on the WB tonight.

I mean… right?

I mean… right?

MVA:  Joey saying, “Pacey, I know it’s a hard concept for you to grasp, but some people are actually dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence.”  Holy shit, Potter: lighten the fuck up.

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 3, Episode 2 – Homecoming

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.

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“Bitches, AMIRITE?”

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.

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“You need to do gay stuff and I like my newfound freedom.”

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.

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This whole setting is like erotica for old white ladies.

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).

SCREEN 6

“Son, let me tell you about fisting.”

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.

SCREEN 10

JEN, WHY WOULD YOU EVEN.

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.

SCREEN 13

“I’m sorry that I’m the fucking worst.”

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.

SCREEN 16

“If I don’t get into an out-of-state college, I will kill myself.”

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.

SCREEN 17

Maybe put that shirt ON, tho?

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.

SCREEN 18

“I’m a terrible father.”

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.

SCREEN 20

“We’re probably not going to work this out anytime soon, are we?”

MVA:

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.

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 2, Episode 17 – Psychic Friends

Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Alek, a delightfully cynical writer, who has taken up the noble mantle of Dawson’s Creek reviewer for the week. Enjoy!

I’m not going to lie: I intentionally watched NONE of the preceding episodes in this season, hoping to draw on my cloudy memories of the plot from so many years ago. My first impression? This is some top notch dinner theatre acting. A+.

This episode opens with Dawson screening his completed [second?] film for Joey, and she reacts by immediately jizzing in her pants. After a Kubrick-level orgy of verbosity (are they fucking kidding?), I’m having serious doubts that anything in Dawson’s tear-fuelled teenage life could go this well. And of course it’s a dream. Because nobody likes Dawson or his shitty movies.

Suddenly Joey starts giving all credit to Jack, and Dawson’s fragile manhood collapses in an almost-visible way. Jack comes climbing in through the window to make out with Joey, and I’m thinking that Dawson missed the memo about the guy until he exclaims, “But, YOU’RE GAY!” Nope. He got it.

I wish this dream was real life, because fuck Dawson Leery.

I wish this dream was real life, because fuck Dawson Leery.

Credits roll, and WHAT THEME SONG IS THIS?! I feel robbed. Even more so because I don’t live in dreamland Capeside, where it’s apparently always sunkissed dusk in mid-autumn and nobody ever gets fat.

Cut to Capeside High’s Screenwriting 101 class, which is definitely not something that was offered in my high school. What is this, a liberal arts prep school? I thought Joey was supposed to be poor.

The teacher appears to be the same age as her students, and she’s leading them in the brainiest teenage discussion ever. Jen says that something is saccharine, and I’m like, “How old are you, Jen?” And then I realize that she’s probably about 35. Nevermind, Jen. Go on criticizing Capra. My bad.

Dawson runs into his dad in the hall, because he’s apparently teaching there now. He’s all, “You can call me dad,” which adds another layer to the mystery of how Dawson is not a total social pariah. All I can think is that Dawson’s dad definitely lifts a lot more than any of my high school teachers. Damn, Mitch. Dawson makes a shitty life = film allegory, flexing his piss-poor creative muscle (Mitch LIFTS, guys), and declares that his only certain desire in life is to be a filmmaker.

His future is surely a grim wasteland of disappointment.

His future is surely a grim wasteland of disappointment.

Joey, meanwhile, is trying to turn Jack into her gay BFF by judging the smalltown cafeteria boys, but, girl, look at the sweater you’re wearing. “Remember how we were dating? How weird was that?” Guys, this is fucking awkward.

Pacey is hanging around with wacky Andie, being Capeside’s most tolerable fake teenager, and I think they’re talking about a carnival or something? Andie wants Pacey to take her to the fortune teller, and to do the Captain Skippy tent, which sounds both terrifying and demonic. He acquiesces when she leans in and whispers what MUST be an offer of sexual favours.

 “B-L-O-W J-O-B.”

“B-L-O-W J-O-B.”

And the carnival is happening! Joey is selling her shitty art with Jack, and she’s still trying to make gay BFFs happen. Stop it, Potter; it’s not going to happen. She tells Jack that she’s thinking about kissing, because the show runners want us to remember that Joey is extra virginal. Dawson shows up, and I think he’s wearing jogging pants. Jack is definitely judging.

“Dawson seems a little moody lately,” says Jack. Dude, are you new?

Andie is having a dead serious talk with Pacey about this fortune teller business. I wonder if she’ll be disappointed when she finds out that she’s just a glorified day player? Inside the fortune teller’s tent, Joey is going first, because she wants to know more about the kissin’ that the rest of these totally legitimate teenagers are doing. It’s $5 a reading, which seems like a bargain until you realize that the fraud is pretty much listing names and then talking about some kid who borrowed Joey’s pencil in kindergarten. Still, high point in the captivating drama so far.

Finally, things get tinkly and ethereal, and the fortune teller starts talking about Joey’s love life, pretty much explicitly talking about a love triangle. Thanks for coming out, lady. It’s almost as if she’s channeling the show runners and their need for emotional exposition. Satisfied that she’s earned her $5, the psychic lights up a cigarette indoors.

It’s the 90s, people!

It’s the 90s, people!

Dawson is hanging out with his film teacher at the carnival, and I’m detecting some inappropriate, Pacey-variety sexual tension. They’re talking about his film, and he casually refers to his dad as Mitch, ‘cause he’s a cool guy like that. Dawson tells the young lady that she’s inspiring, and she talks about being in “the business”, which explains why she’s teaching high school in Buttfuck, Massachusetts.

Joey’s complaining about the psychic’s reading to Jack, and they arrive back at her tent to find a regulation hottie checking out her terrible art. His name is Colin Manchester — I shit you not — because Capeside is the whiteness capital of New England, and that’s saying something. Judging by the way Colin and Jack make eyes, I’m pretty sure it won’t work out for Potter.

CALLING IT NOW.

CALLING IT NOW.

Jen is hanging out with Grams, grand mistress of bitchin’ sweater vests, at their own booth. Everyone in Capeside makes shitty crafts, because it’s MASSACHUSETTS, PEOPLE. An old lumberjack character named Whit Hubley (NOT KIDDING) comes up and makes clear his intention to get all up on Grams’ sweater vest business, because it’s about time old Evs gets a little romance. They apparently knew one another 30 years ago, which was about the time most of these high school students were born. Grams turns down Whit’s dinner invite. After he leaves, Jen comments that the old fella is sexy, which maybe hints at the wild sexual proclivities that got her sent to this shitberg seaside town.

Joey visits Colin’s tent. He offers to buy her hot chocolate, while Jack is basically giving her the creepy thumbs-up from about 10 feet away. They’re drinking in a private little spot, and Colin actually asks, “Are you aware of how beautiful you are?” before touching her face and turning into everybody’s least favourite guy on OKCupid. The more he talks, the less attractive he is. But then he says that what he really wants to do is photograph her, because — I’m telling you — this guy only wants the D.

Whit comes back for Grams. He won’t take no for an answer and brought her a rose. It’s like this is a retirement community for PUA dickbags. Grams concedes, but then Jen observes that she’s wracked with widow’s guilt. Grams admits that she’s closed up shop downstairs and has become all insecure about *the body*. The solution, Jen declares, is a makeover (isn’t it always?).

Andie is getting her banal fortune told, but a candle goes out and things get ominous. Next thing you know, she’s marching out past Pacey, silently angry.

“I’m only in three seasons!”

“I’m only in three seasons!”

Joey tells Jack that Colin wants to do a shoot with her. She’s all about keeping it mysterious between artists and expanding her horizons, and neither myself nor Jack have any idea what the fuck she’s talking about. He insists on coming along to guard her chastity.

Dawson has convinced his poor teacher to sit through a screening of his film, presumably using his wily charms (HA). She seems unimpressed with his film, or maybe she’s just really uncomfortable with this whole goddamn situation like I am.

Jen is giving Grams a makeover, but apparently they live pretty nearby, ‘cause I think this is all still happening during the carnival. I’m really disappointed that there isn’t a makeover montage.

At Joey’s photoshoot (how long is this day?), Jack and Colin are picking out costumes, and Joey complains that she looks like a drag queen. That’s what happens when you let your smalltown gay BFFs pick your outfit, honey — you look like Liza Minelli. Jack is shouting cheesy motivational lines at her, and Colin declares that she looks like a diva (as heterosexual men are wont to say). There’s an almost romantic moment when Jack leaves, but it doesn’t pan out because WE ALL KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING.

Call me, maybe?

Call me, maybe?

Grams’ makeover is complete, and she looks like a poor man’s Jessica Lange. Jack wouldn’t approve of this dye job.

Gurrrrl.

Gurrrrl.

Pacey, meanwhile, has decided to harass the fortune teller for whiny Andie’s sake (UGH). She tries to get all philosophical about it, which is rich for a woman who was talking a lot about a borrowed pencil. She proceeds to psychoanalyze Pacey in an accent which is starting to sound less and less consistent with every additional minute of screentime.

Elsewhere, Colin wants to ask Joey something. I am literally waiting on the edge of my seat for him to ask her if Jack is single. AND HE DOES. VINDICATED. There it is. Jack can GET IT. Joey — ever the faithful beard — runs off to tell Jack that Colin is THIRSTY, and takes the opportunity to knock his gaydar. He gets pissed off for good goddamn reason. You don’t say that shit, Joey Potter.

Jack gets gay panic because Joey is trying to set him up. He becomes really righteously indignified about exchanging numbers with a hot college guy, and I cannot wrap my fucking head around it. I could’ve been buried under the luggage at the back of the closet and I’d still hit it with that guy.

Back at Dawson’s deeply uncomfortable film screening, his teacher is squirming like an extra in a Vagisil commercial. He asks her for her honest opinion, and — well, shit — she lets him have it. “It’s a preposterous soap opera about a bunch of teenagers who talk too much,” she tells him, which is SUPER FUCKING META. She’s admittedly harsh, and she claims it’s for his own good, but lady: he’s a high school student cutting a full-length movie. I’d be impressed if he’d made anything other than a lip-synced music video with in-camera cuts.

If you’re so talented, why are you living in fucking Massachusetts?

If you’re so talented, why are you living in fucking Massachusetts?

Jack and Joey have a heart-to-heart about his sexuality. He basically explains that he’s not ready to go full gay. Bitch, please. You are a teenage boy. You would have sex with literally anyone. He concludes by giving her a kiss on the head, which is some kind of trite emotional payoff. I dunno.

 I dislike these people.

I dislike these people.

Dawson is walking around crying (OF COURSE HE IS), and he sees what I’m fairly certain is his father going home with the film teacher. This can’t be helping Dawson’s crippling narcissism, Mitch. Dawson then turns his parted blonde sadness towards Jack hugging it out with Joey, and this further upsets him because he still hasn’t figured out how this whole gay thing works.

Andie finally tells Pacey what the psychic said. Apparently, she was informed that her shitty life is only going to get worse, which is a pretty terrible $5 carnival trick. Pacey reassures her to little avail. These two have a dearth of actual chemistry, and I’m trying to remember if this b-romance lasts for very many episodes.

Joey tells Colin that Jack isn’t coming to meet him, and he’s vaguely emotional about it? ACTING! He’s apparently on the rebound, reaffirming my belief that Jack is MISSING OUT. Joey asks about the break-up. His murky answer is supposed to speak to the complexity of break-ups, but sweet merciful lord, whatever. It all wraps up with Joey getting another tender kiss from a gay man, and that can’t be especially rewarding right now.

Jen finds that Grams has been stood up by Whit, because he had to go home to his wife. GEEZUS, Capeside men. Grams is sitting there feeling like what I’m sure she’d describe as a painted whore, but it turns out that she’s grateful for the makeover. It’d feel even better if you didn’t get your colour from a box, Grams.

Dawson visits the psychic with the ubiquitous Eastern European accent. She reluctantly agrees to read his fortune after-hours, and tells him some junk about his soulmate (barf). It’s honestly like the build-up to the movie Fear, and I’m pretty sure Dawson is a serial killer. And then the psychic disappears? Fuck me, that was pointless.

She was magic, like most Roma stereotypes turn out to be.

She was magic, like most Roma stereotypes turn out to be.

Now it’s time for a musical misery montage, and goddamn if we haven’t earned one. Dawson destroys the scale Capeside he’s built in his bedroom (SERIAL KILLER), while Joey lurks on his property. She has second thoughts and leaves, which seems like a good way to avoid becoming the first few panels of his skin suit.

The big finale finds Joey arriving home to find a mysterious man on her porch. When he turns around, she gasps, “Daddy?” and I have literally no interest in seeing where this goes.

MVA: “We creeksiders may be provincial, but we’re not stupid!” That’s not just verbose, that’s anachronistic and altogether too French country.