Opening scene has Joey narrating, “Have you ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?”
And now we know this is going to be a Special Episode.
Everyone is at the marina to christen Pacey’s boat, which he has somehow managed to get in shipshape in a very short period of time. Seriously, it was a piece of crap 16 episodes ago. He had school and a crummy minimum wage job eating up most of his time, plus all the shenanigans. Where did he get the time and money to manage this?
But no matter that. Dawson has shown up with his dad and the champagne, and Pacey and Joey are making out in a boat house. And between going at it, they’re talking about Dawson, and Pacey says he’ll be the one to break his heart into a thousand pieces. He agrees to do it in one day. THE LONGEST DAY. Joey has said in the past that she loved Dawson so much but couldn’t be with him because reasons and “it’s complicated” and now she’s moved on to Pacey after a few others haven’t worked out. But this time it’s real and worth hurting the poor bastard she’d pined after all her life.
Cue the credits, while I ponder the fickle nature that is Joey’s heart.
At the marina, Buzz is there, being a lame wiener kid, and Doug pops by to tell Pacey that Buzz’s mom (Who’s already an hour late) can’t pick him up until the rest of the day is over. Uh. Does anyone on earth have a babysitter they can pull that shit with? I’m unclear how Pacey got roped into this manny situation.
Pacey literally passes him off to Doug and says, nope, I got things to do!
Buzz the buzzkill
At Jen’s house, Grams is leaving her “unchaperoned” and is worried about Henry’s sexual magnetism. Jen assures Grams she can handle it, which probably means, like, literally physically handle it. Hey-o!
She then finds Pacey standing outside the Leery house. He is working up the nerve to tell Dawson about Joey, and Jen is compassionately talking him through it. She’s a bigger person than me, seeing as she was more or less rejected by both these guys who are gaga over Joey.
Mitch comes out and tells them that Dawson’s over at the library.
So off Pacey goes, where he runs into a happy Andie, who says “free books make me giddy.” Then that Will guy from last episode comes by, Pacey says hi, and turns out he’s going out with Andie that night. I’d just like to point out that with real teenagers, this would be a way more dramatic and awkward situation.
Andie says she hasn’t seen Dawson, so Pacey leaves to go pick up Buzz. Buzz, meanwhile, has destroyed Doug’s answering machine and is jumping on his bed like a total shithead. Like, really, this kid has no boundaries and I think we’re actually supposed to find it cute. Buzz is gifted some Pokemon Blue for his troubles. This annoying, disobedient child needs less video games and more yard work in his life.
Doug gets the 411 on Pacey and Joey and his take on it is that Joey and Dawson will remain friends and Pacey will wind up alone. Thanks, Doug.
It’s now evening and Pacey is at the Leery house again and Joey stops him at the door, insisting she has to tell him or it will somehow “ruin everything.” Pacey realizes that Joey really means she doesn’t want Dawson to know at all. Then, boom. Dawson’s in the doorway all foreboding like.
Tell me what?
He wants to know what they’re arguing about and Pacey takes the opportunity to just spill the beans.
And then after the break, Joey yet again says, “Have you ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?” So now we’re starting the day all over again. But that would have been obvious without that piece of repetitious narration. The writers have a habit of not really giving their audience too much credit.
Alright, back at the marina, Dawson and Mitch show up with the champagne. This time we get to hear the boring conversation the group has while they unknowingly wait for Joey and Pacey to stop making out. Pacey then shows up and Dawson goes to show him the champagne bottle.
Joey immediately shows up after and Jen gives her some side eye because she’s onto them entirely.
Then she’s making date plans with Henry while Joey waits so she can tell her all about her illicit doings with Pacey.
Yes, that is a teen girl using a phone booth. Retro!
They then go on a walk and Joey lays it all out. Jen obviously thinks Joey should tell Dawson and Joey says she knows she’s going to come out looking like the villainess who came between two best friends. She then pays Jen the backhanded compliment of saying she wishes she were more like her, the sort who just does whatever she wants (Unspoken, despite the consequences of hurting others).
At the library, Joey’s there and sees Pacey talking casually to Andie. She then has this really exhausted look on her face about it for some reason.
*Sigh* It’s so tiring being me.
She then gets to work at the computer and Andie pops over to remind her of the 20-minute time limit. Chill out, Andie. While Andie waits, she blathers on about Will, but then bursts out that she’s not over Pacey, and that running into him opened the flood gates of feelings. Womp womp. But who cares about Andie? I know I sure don’t.
Joey bumps into Dawson outside the library and he wants to make plans for a movie night and she completely blows him off and gets the hell away from that conversation with as little grace as possible.
She then leaves a message for Pacey on the answering machine (Which was destroyed by stupid Buzz) about not telling Dawson so that she can do it herself.
Now it’s nighttime and Joey is quickly climbing the ladder to Dawson’s room while he’s watching a movie in which two men are yelling about a woman. So foreshadowing, he already knows, right? She asks if Pacey has been there (Nope) and then notices Dawson’s watching The Last Picture Show, which they had watched together on their first date.
Joey wants to know about the movie and it’s about three friends, two dudes and a lady, who grew up together. Two had a relationship, the woman ends it and breaks Dude 1’s heart and doesn’t care, and then moves onto the second guy, which destroys the friendship he had with Dude 1. Dawson then says it’s depressing and doesn’t know why he’s watching it. Then he asks what Joey wanted to talk about.
I’ve never had a conversation in my life as poorly set up as this. Has anyone? This is the sort of ironic cliche conversation halter that only happens on TV. Anyhoo, Joey chickens out and flees the room via the ladder, and then runs into Pacey, and we already know how that conversation goes and what happens, only we see Dawson overhearing their conversation from his room, and Dawson admits he knows everything already after Pacey tells him.
And now the day is starting alllll over again and here’s Joey narrating with her line, and I feel like this concept is hitting me over the head with a mallet.
Marina: Dawson & Mitch, champagne, boring conversation, frigging Buzz is there, Pacey & Joey are making out. And this time we see the end of their kissing and decide that Pacey will leave first.
And this time we actually see the christening, complete with Joey giving Dawson an awkward look and Pacey thanking a guy named Chris. Who’s Chris? Is it that random guy I see with everyone else? No, that’s the throwaway character Will from last episode. Pacey then says the boat’s name, True Love, while looking right at Joey. Subtle. He then smashes the bottle over the boat, though Buzz is sitting on said boat just feet away. Babysitter fail.
The guy on the far left has defied expectations: two episodes!
But in the next scene Dawson is in the library and the bland Will guy comes and wants to know what Dawson and Joey did on their first date to get ideas for Andie. Weird, may as well ask, “So, how did that failed romance with Joey start out?” Dawson offers Will the use of his boat because why not? Dawson says tonight he’ll be trying to hook up with an old friend.
I looked him up. He was in last episode, this one, and next and that’s it. Huh. Well, enjoy the boat, buddy, ’cause your stay on this show is short.
At Jen’s, Henry’s complaining that he’s not allowed in the house. He starts to kiss her, Jen sees Dawson coming and literally shoos Henry inside without a word of explanation. Then she closes the door on him to talk to Dawson. Poor Henry, no respect. And just what kind of an interaction is this? Any normal person would immediately open the door and be like, “Uh, aren’t you coming in, too?”
But that doesn’t happen and Jen starts talking about the terrible news that Pacey gave him. She does so in a way that suggests she thought he was told and was over looking for comfort, but… eh, that doesn’t seem believable because who does that, you know, just assumes so much and spills important private information without gauging the person first? Oh wait, the writers make people do that. Right.
But Dawson’s like, uh, what? And then Jen clams up, like oh shit, whoops, and Dawson is able to guess almost immediately. He’s now mad at Jen in a kill-the-messenger sort of way and storms off.
And now we re-watch the part where Joey comes through the window and Dawson gives her the bit about the movie people’s friendships being destroyed. Only this time we see Dawson’s reaction as she leaves, and he takes her abrupt departure as confirmation of what Jen halfway told him. And we see him watching Joey and Pacey hold hands arguing about telling Dawson about them.
And now we get to see the aftermath of the reveal. Dawson throws Jen under the bus first. Then he tells Pacey he’s not going to have any friends left. And now here’s Andie and Will, either to pick up or drop off the boat, I suppose. And Dawson lets Andie know Pacey and Joey are involved.
An angry face to rival Joey’s normal face.
After Dawson disappears back into the house after his angry rant, we see a replay of him leaving Jen’s house, so now I guess we’ll get her perspective. At least Joey’s not narrating again.
So, Henry pops out the door just as Dawson is leaving in a huff, having been in there for a few minutes, just standing there, I guess? Jen vaguely tells him what just happened and after briefly consoling her, he goes in for the kiss. She’s like, WTF? And he tells her his abrupt kisses aren’t improving her mood because she’s not giving it a chance and then tries again. Uh, whoa. Creep?
Jen’s like, don’t you care what just happened? Don’t you want to know? And Henry’s like, no, I wanna make out, not talk about your dramatic friends. Jen shows him the door. Then he calls her irrational, which couldn’t be a ruder thing to say in this moment. Jen gives him the boot and he leaves.
Out on the lake, it’s nighttime and Andie’s on her date with Will. He tells her a depressing Greek myth.
Then they show up at Dawson’s place, just as the shit is hitting the fan. Joey runs after Dawson and Andie asks Pacey if it’s true he’s with Joey. And then she tells him Joey will never love him the way she loves Dawson, but it all just sounds like self-pity that he loves Joey instead of her. Will, meanwhile, is watching this shit show and wondering what the fuck he wandered into.
Upstairs, Dawson is laying into Joey, and is making, I must say, valid points. She wants to find herself, but thinks Pacey is the answer? Joey says things between them are complicated, but Dawson says only because she made them that way.
She tries to say her thing with Pacey has nothing to do with him (Good luck with that argument) and Dawson effective tells her being with Pacey means he won’t be her friend. Which, we all saw that coming because we’re people. But Joey is like, WHAT?!
Y U MEAN NO friends?!
And then she screams, “That is not fair!” Okay, really? The fight ends with her climbing down the ladder.
Later on, Dawson’s brooding in his dark bedroom, no doubt torturing himself with thoughts of Joey and Pacey doin’ stuff, and Jen walks in to comfort him. Dawson, having relived his anger at the correct target is now just disappointed Jen didn’t tell him earlier.
Jen tells him there’s nothing anyone can do in a situation like this, that it has to run its course and he has to let her go. Dawson thinks you can fight. (No, no you can’t.)
Joey goes to meet Pacey at his boat and– oh fuck off– says, “Have you ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?” We get it. Enough.
But it’s so poorly worded. No, it was a terrible day. Why re-live it? Re-do maybe.
They talk a little about their shitty day, about the boat and then Pacey asks if Joey’s ending it, and she is.
So just to get this straight, immediately after Pacey and Dawson’s friendship is destroyed, she’s ending the relationship so she can still be friends with Dawson, leaving Pacey in the dust with no best friend or girlfriend for his troubles.
Most Annoying Articulation: “Have you ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?”