Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 5, Episode 12 – Sleeping Arrangements

It’s Jenn. I’ve got a tenuous grip on some episodes. We’ll see how this goes.

Pacey’s on his boat and some blonde I can’t remember approaches him. Thankfully, Pacey says her full name so the audience doesn’t have to think too hard. This is Melanie. She’s all impressed he’s got a job. She says it shatters her understanding of the natural order of the universe. He must find her super hot, ’cause that’s a mad burn and he’s still smiling.

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You may know me from such TV shows as How I Met Your Mother, Once Upon a Time or my episode of Touched By an Angel.

So Melanie has come to tell him that boat he’s living on got sold, and dude who owned it has bought a bigger boat and wants Pacey to sail around the Greek islands with him. Which is much more specific than “Paradise” which is where they went last time. Also it seems this business arrangement might be better organized through a direct phone call, but what do I know about the doings of eccentric millionaires?

Pacey doesn’t seem mega jazzed about this offer and Melanie heads out.

And just so you know, this episode is playing with the Jann Arden theme. I’m pretty disappointed.

At Grams’ house, Jen is getting ready and Dawson is trying to make plans with her, unsuccessfully, while learning that Jen actually wears a lot of makeup, which he never noticed before. Also, he learns that Jen thought his toothbrush was “old” and used it to separate her eyelashes. Yes. She thought the toothbrush that belongs to her boyfriend who recently moved in was “old” and used this “old” and therefore germy-ass brush on her eyes. That’s gross, and a stye waiting to happen.

He then wants to use hers and she’s like, ew, no, that’s my toothbrush. Dawson points out they’ve been sleeping together for three weeks, but no dice, even if she did just ruin his toothbrush. He then pokes through a drawer looking for dental supplies and Jen wigs out, all no, that’s my drawer. I have a child who’s turning 3 tomorrow and I don’t mind saying I’m drawing some behavioural parallels here. Dawson leaves the bathroom looking way less annoyed than I’d be.

Joey’s in a class and the prof wants to talk to her. Some moody-looking blonde guy seems a little fixated. And turns out prof wants to introduce blondie, Elliott, to Joey. Why? No reason. Just to point out that Elliott was checking her out. Inappropriate, much? Boundaries, buddy.

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I need an adult.

Elliott tries to make chit chat and points out they’ve met, and joey gives her classic brush off and leaves. Dude, figuring he’s got nothing to lose at this point, chases after her and offers to walk and get coffee, but no dice. Joey’s Joey and there’s no point.

At the radio station, Jen’s attempting to sound cool on the air and blows it. So she takes a request which winds up being some chick who doesn’t understand how music radio shows work and wants Jen’s advice on her love life for some reason. Who is screening these calls?

The caller says he boyfriend ejaculates too early. Seriously, someone called into a rock radio station and asked this on the air. Who wrote this shit? Jen decides to offer her expertise, though we don’t get to hear what her answer is.

Now Dawson is helping Jack move into the frat house. The room he’s getting is huge and has its own bathroom. He wants to know how he got so lucky and the guy who’s giving the room up says it’s a lottery, luck of the draw thing. Probably that’s not at all accurate.

Buddy’s new roommate helps him move stuff into their new shared room and Jack’s wondering why those two guys are sharing while he gets the big room all to himself.

Audrey’s at work at the restaurant and is applying lipstick while viewing herself in a spoon. Any time anyone has worked in food service on this show, they have completely fucked it up.

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Wait tables? What is this devilry?

And somehow she’s not fired immediately, even after she tells the chef the salmon is gross, says “sucks to be you” and calls him old. Chef Ramsay would have eaten her by now.

The Chef then wants to promote(?) Pacey to breadmaker because their old breadmaker is back in jail(?) and tells him he doesn’t know what he’d do without him, making Pacey’s decision over whether to sail the Greek islands that much harder.

Audrey then comes back to shoot the shit with Pacey rather than work the crowded restaurant. He’s not interested in chit chat.

At Grams’ house, Grams playing Jack’s video game that he left behind, which tickles me to death and brings back fond memories of my mom stealing my Gameboy and draining the batteries to play Dr. Mario when I was a teenager.

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The devil made me do it.

She puts the game down to talk to Dawson about his registration to some film group and he says he didn’t fit in with them. He then tells Grams he knows it must be weird seeing him dating Jen. Grams says she’s come a long way thanks to Jen’s help, and for example she can now say the word “penis.” Might I remind everyone that Grams used to be a nurse? What did she call the penis when she was on the job?

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“Hey Homer, I can see your doodle!”

Dawson says he’ll live by whatever ground rules Grams wants to set, but she says they both know no one can make an honest woman out of Jen, so just be nice to her. Dawson remembers Jen’s on the radio now so he turns on the station and looks like Jen’s music program has become the love advice show. And she gives shitty advice.

So this girl wants to know why her boyfriend of three months is pulling away. Jen says it’s because the honeymoon period is over and men leave, and frequent sex can delay it for awhile, but not indefinitely. You should see Grams’ face for that one.

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Oh hell no.

Jen also advises keeping things to yourself and calls men disasters. I think she’s going to get canned from her job. But then again, this is Dawson’s Creek where up is down, so maybe she’ll get her own show.

Dawson seems perturbed and Grams tries to play it down so as not to lose the only nice boyfriend she’s ever seen her granddaughter date.

Joey’s in the book store and that pretentious professor is there, admitting he’s assigned reading material from his own book and talking about boys flirting with her. This guy is a creep, and Joey loves it because she’s fucking Joey.

Prof humblebrags about how he wrote the book when he was 20 and calls the themes incestuous.

At the restaurant, Pacey’s hanging out in the dining room, all unprofessional-like and Audrey wants to know what’s bothering him. He reveals his job offer. She tells him to stay or go, whatever, and is of no real help.

Back at the frat house, Jack wants to know why buddy gave up his room. Turns out the freshman he was supposed to share with got uncomfortable with sharing the room with a gay guy, left it too late to say anything and now is boarding with buddy, who’s a senior. Jack’s hurt, but I’m thinking the guys all still like him and, hey, sweet-ass big room all to himself. It’s not like he got a bum deal.

Back at the restaurant, Pacey is talking to Chef and trying to quit and Chef’s like, hey, you’re not trying to quit, are you? This always happens on TV. Pacey quits, giving three days notice, and dude takes it pretty well considering he’s only just recently lost another employee due to criminal charges. Chef looks a little like Paul Rudd. But it’s not Paul Rudd. I wish it was.

Audrey saunters into the kitchen to count tips she probably doesn’t deserve and thinks Pacey’s feeling bummed that his boss let him go so easily, and points out he has a life in town now. You’d think she’d have offered this viewpoint prior to him quitting if that’s what she thought.

Audrey then starts flirting with him only to turn around and call him boring. Audrey is such a pain in the ass. No redeeming features. Thinking on it, I think she’s why I quit watching back in the day.

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You want me so bad, and you’re boring as shit.

Audrey reverse throws herself at him, claiming out of nowhere he’d sleep with her, and he calls her bawdy. She says he makes her feel like Bette Midler and I’m cringing from the shitty dialogue.

Melanie shows up, Audrey parts with some awful attempts at wit and Pacey’s out the door too, despite the fact he didn’t seem to have finished cleaning the kitchen. But fuck it, right? He quit!

Jen walks up to the house, and Dawson is waiting outside for her, which is weird when he could have just waited inside sitting on something comfortable. She surmises he heard the broadcast. OH and who called it? Up is down and night is day because Jen got her own radio show to dispense her shitty cynical advice that’ll ruin young relationships all over Boston.

She now wants to know what Dawson has to say, and seems worked up for bad news. But he just wants to go out. She bristles and is all, well, I already told you I’m busy! This chick thinks men leave and doesn’t consider it’s because she pushes them away. It’s maddening. Joey does the same stupid shit. Kevin Williamson is a bitter old tit.

Dawson tells her he’s going to the movies and then he will come home, and she’s free to join him, or she’s free to keep testing him, but he’s a steady guy who doesn’t cheat or leave. Honestly, I’d leave her, though. This shit she pulls got old seasons ago and ain’t nobody got time for that.

At the frat house, Jack confronts the guy who didn’t want to room with him. He calls him out and the guy’s like, I didn’t want people to think I was gay. They get nothing accomplished and Jack leaves the room.

Audrey arrives back at her dorm, complains loudly about waitressing, kicks her shoe off, which hits things on a dresser. Then she crawls into Joey’s bed, despite Joey not really wanting her there. Joey tells her about how she got asked out and said no. Turns out she thought Audrey slept with the guy, but nope, so she turned down handsome brooding Elliott for no good reason.

Pacey takes Melanie back to the boat and they reminisce over their last boating escapade. I’m gonna level with you all. This scene is boring as shit and I’m sort of glazing over it. They make out.

In the morning they’re getting dressed and Melanie’s giving herself the bum’s rush. Personal pet peeve: Her hair and makeup still look perfect. Fall asleep with that much eye shadow on and you’re going to look like a vagrant in the morning, just saying.

At Grams’ house, Jen has replaced Dawson’s toothbrush but has some requests about how he can be less gross to live with. She offers a convoluted BS reason for wearing makeup too: because when she was a little girl she learned to hide herself and cover up for protection. Oh fuck off, you wear it because it makes you feel pretty and maybe not wearing it make you feel not pretty and you want to leave the house looking pretty, like we all do. Not everything has a deep dark reason. 

Joey goes to Elliott’s room and rather than saying, “Hey, so I didn’t want to go to coffee because I thought you slept with my roommate and I figured it’d be too weird,” she launches into this overly verbose web of complete nonsense and mystery without touching on anything of actual importance. He then says, “I didn’t sleep with your roommate.” Him, I like him. Cutting through the bullshit.

She asks him to coffee and he fakes rejecting her before agreeing. She gives him this shitty smile. Seriously, it’s awful.

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What the fuck is this?

At the frat house, Jack drops his keys in front of the senior guy, all dramatic like, and says he shouldn’t live there. He then leaves without any of his stuff, so is he really leaving? The freshman, I think his name’s Eric, chases after him and offers to be his roommate. Jack says he needs to think about it.

At the boat, Pacey is packing and Audrey shows up wearing an ugly hat and wants him to come outside. Oh look, it’s Joey, Jack, Jen and Dawson there to say goodbye. And that’s odd in its own way because this group has been sort of growing apart. They present him with something that looks boat-ish and turns out he’s not going anywhere after all.

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Not a good year for hat fashion.

So, he’s quit his job and has nowhere to live. Sounds like a plan!

The end.

So, just for the record, getting this episode to play was a real pain in the ass and I’m not sure how frequently I can keep this up. Effing Netflix and their fickle catalogue. So! Keep harassing us in the comments to do more and I’ll make it more of a priority, despite the pain-in-the-assery, and maybe even Jen (who lost patience with this show a long time ago) will come back to complain about it once again. Plus there’s still Jensen to come. 

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 19 – Late

Opening scene is Mitch and Dawson making fun of Gail’s overdue (by two weeks) pregnancy while she’s getting ready for a dinner out. She emerges in labour and they rush her out. She says she’s been feeling pains all day. And yet she was still getting ready to go out to dinner? Well, she does have a flair for the dramatic.

CREDITS

Turns out the contractions were just Braxton Hicks, AKA false labour. The doctor says they’ll induce if baby’s not out in a couple days. Now, I don’t know if the early oughts were really this laid back, but a 40-year-year-old woman 42 weeks pregnant would probably have been induced by now. Just saying.

Mitch wants to know if they can speed thing along. Pfft, like every asshole they know hasn’t been pushing their labour-starting remedies on them already: spicy food, walks, nipple stimulation, sex, acupuncture, raspberry leaf tea, etc. And this doctor? Suggests… talking to the baby.

No wonder she’s letting an old woman go past 42 weeks. She’s a quack. Mitch says they haven’t named the baby yet. Dr. Quack writes Gail a prescription: name the baby. Like that’s really her biggest concern. Yeah, baby won’t be born because it doesn’t have a name yet. Makes sense.

Jack shows up late to some sort of tutoring thing with Toby and some boy who’s the only other black person in town other than the rarely seen Bodie.

Joey’s all antsy trying to call Pacey, who’s away on a fishing trip with Doug, which is weird because they hate each other. Bessie wants Joey’s help to wrap a gift onesie for Gail. Joey bolts and heads to Pacey’s house.

Dawson is apparently throwing a “naming shower” where you have to bring names. Throwing shindigs for a pregnant lady who could blow at any moment seems like a waste of time, but whatevs.

Gretchen drops a bomb that she might move away to be an editor at a lifestyle magazine. Dawson, who has a history of thwarting women from following their dreams, doesn’t seem overly jazzed.

I kept Joey from France, so how hard could this be?

I kept Joey from France, so how hard could this be?

So they discuss long distance and all that, but if you ask me, this is it. Gretchen plays it like she’s living in the now, and Dawson seems like he’s way more upset than she is.

Tutor time is over and Jack sends Toby off early. He goes to the bus, and there’s a couple guys there. He makes small talk about buses and the weather and then the guy gets up.

Joey arrives at Pacey’s place and Gretchen is there and spills the beans. There’s no fishing trip. Pacey got arrested for public drunkenness while Joey was in NY. Doug got the charges dropped and took him camping to talk sense into him.

Why change it from a camping trip to a fishing trip…?

Gretchen tells Joey Pacey’s in a lot of pain right now (no college, girlfriend leaving) and needs help and doesn’t want her putting pressure on him right now. Joey wants to know how to contact him and says she can’t promise not to give Pacey hell. Gretchen asks how she could be so selfish.

ME?! Selfish? Well, yeah, obvs.

ME?! Selfish?
Well, yeah, obvs.

Has she met Joey?

Joey reveals her period is late. Uh, then get a pregnancy test? Gretchen reassures her and tries to convince her to take a test, and Joey cuts her off and leaves. This is so overly dramatic. Just pee on the fucking stick. Pacey doesn’t need to hold your hand beside you on the toilet.

At the shower, Gail is buzzing around, which Grams says is nesting. Gretchen, Joey and Bess show up. Joey still hasn’t taken the test from the looks of things.

And that’s everybody. Does this woman have no friends? Look at the guest list: her husband, son, next-door neighbour, two of her son’s friends plus his ex-girlfriend’s older sister, and one of her employees. Gail’s life is mega sad.

And Grams kicks the men out, so it’s just Joey, Jen, Grams, Bessie and Gretchen left with Gail.

At the tutoring thing, Jack shows up and the kids are in chaos because Toby isn’t there and no one’s heard from him.

Grams is doing some stupid needle dangling test she says was the ultrasound of the middle ages. Gail is asking if it’s a boy or girl. Might I remind everyone this lady was a nurse, and Gail would have already had ultrasounds that could have answered that question.

Mitch and Dawson are up in a treehouse pretending to smoke cigars.

Yep.

Yep.

Mitch starts talking about how shitty it is to have a newborn. He then gets all sexist with the whole men don’t love babies the way women do, not at first. Which is total shit. Some women don’t bond right away and some men will kiss their new babies while they’re still gooey.

He says when he heard “daddy” in the night, he got it. So, basically he’s telling his son he didn’t really love him or get fatherhood till what? 18 months? 2 years?

Seems a somewhat unhealthy lesson to impart to your son, that he won’t love his kids as much as his wife will at first. He has no way of knowing that.

The names at the shower are killing me. Sophie, Isabella, Jackson, and Emma. THESE ARE THE POPULAR NAMES TODAY. Others: Satchel (What?), Thomas, Rose.

Mitch and Dawson muse about Gretchen moving to Boston. Mitch says to do his own thing because you never know what can happen. Then he name drops Joey because somehow everything has to be about her.

Joey then, with no names to offer, gives the uber useless present of a necklace that Gail now has to hang onto for about 10 years before the kid can actually have it.

The ladies reminisce how Bess gave birth during the hurricane. She then tells the story of how Joey was born, with their mother most improbably yelling after 36 hours of labour, “Josephine, Josephine, everyone’s waiting to meet you.” I call bullshit. That woman was probably swearing and cursing life. But we have to lend credence to this nonsense that a baby has to be named and called before it’ll come out, don’t we?

Joey excuses herself from the story because she can’t help drawing more attention to herself, even when she’s the centre of attention at another woman’s shower. If she’d just have taken the fucking test she could be acting like a normal person right now.

Jack checks in with Toby at his house. Toby won’t see him and shouts that he has the flu. He fakes for a bit then gives up and opens the door.

The flu?

The flu?

He says he was mugged and Jack presses him to make a police report. Toby refuses, alludes to frightening some people, and slams the door.

Bessie tells Joey she’s acting like a weirdo and surmises that Joey might be pregnant. Joey acts like an asshole and infers that Bessie’s life is a trainwreck, which is a mighty smug thing to say when you yourself may be knocked up before leaving for college.

And now Gail is in labour.

They’re at the hospital and for some reason Gretchen came along.

Jack visits Jen, who’s knitting outside, and he tells her Toby’s injured. He thinks Toby was the victim of a hate crime. Jen pushes him to do something about it.

At the hospital, Dawson and Gretchen talk about their relationship and how they’re probably not going to be together anymore and Dawson basically wants to know if they’ll have sex before she leaves. Gretchen’s like, no dice, man. I’m not getting closer to you so we can leave each other.

Mitch interrupts. False labour again. Jesus, just get the kid out already. She’s old. What is with this frigging hospital?

Joey shows up to Pacey’s house that evening to speak to Gretchen. She’s obsessing about her maybe pregnancy. JUST TAKE THE TEST. God, this is so unnecessary.

Gretchen tells Joey, whether she chooses to stay pregnant or not, it’s about family. Then she tells her she miscarried while in college. Then they start getting mushy about Dawson for some reason.

At the Leery house, Gail wants to go to the hospital again, but Mitch is done with her crying wolf and he wants to watch a movie on TV. Gail drags him by the ear, so they’re off again.

At Toby’s house, Jack has brought an officer over. Toby wants them all to leave and then the officer tells Toby about his statistically increased risk for violence due to him being gay. The whole thing comes off like a public service announcement. Toby then shares the story and he was indeed attacked because he was gay.

At the hospital, Mitch tells Dawson that Gail’s been in hard labour all day. And you’re in the waiting room because…? Mitch is expressing frustration but Gail calls out and he runs back in.

Joey comes back home in the morning after sleeping at Gretchen’s. She talks to Bessie about how she hated Joey when she was born and all the bad life choices. I can’t help but wonder what’s so bad about running your own B&B with your common law spouse. Babies out of wedlock aren’t that big a deal when you’re a grownup.

Bessie gets out a pregnancy test. THANK YOU. This stupidity has been going on two days longer than it should have. Alexander wakes up and Bessie leaves the room. Joey starts crying over the First Response box like a dick. Just take it. What is wrong with you?

You don't even know if you're pregnant yet! Shit, get a grip.

You don’t even know if you’re pregnant yet! Shit, get a grip.

Jack shows up at Toby’s to make him go to tutoring. Jack acknowledges he’s a gay guy too and that assault could have happened to him so he can’t just fly under the radar and let other homosexuals fight the good fight alone.

Joey’s in the bathroom, finally taking the fucking pregnancy test.

There! Now calm down already.

There! Now calm down already.

Boom. Not knocked up. All that freaking out for nothing.

At the hospital all the ladies show up with trinkets, which is very invasive and rude. Who just shows up to a birthing? Wait for a phone call and an invitation after the baby’s actually born.

Dawson and Joey talk about life, making plans with their significant others, and whatnot. Then Joey brings up having sex from her perspective. Good call, Joe. ‘Cause if there’s anyone who wants to hear about your sex life, it’s your ex-boyfriend. She’s trying to make it all about the intimacy concerns, but neglecting the fact that perhaps Dawson would just like to get laid already for his penis’ sake.

Then boom. Nurse comes, makes a birth announcement. It’s a girl. And Mitch seems very happy, so maybe he was talking out his ass earlier about men and babies.

And then comes the final heap of bullshit: Gail got the baby to finally come because she called out her name. Which, for the record, is Lillian, Joey’s mother’s name.

Pacey calls Joey and makes his first and only appearance in the episode. Joey doesn’t let him in on the drama, and he maintains the lie about fishing and Joey lets him. Again, changing it from camping to fishing is something I don’t understand. What a needlessly cumbersome lie.

Joey says I love you and hangs up the phone. Why does no one on TV say “bye” before doing that? Like, ever.

Dawson drives up to Gretchen’s, who’s taking a later train, I guess. They make out. Will they have sex? Oh, who knows.

MVA: Gretchen. “Speak your subtext, boy.”

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 12 – The Te of Pacey

Opening scene is Joey singing off-key and waking up a sleeping Pacey with a cheap packaged cupcake with a candle. And for someone who supposedly just woke up he is particularly verbose in his displeasure. He doesn’t like birthday and uses an alarming amount of hyperbole to describe why. Vague tales of soul-searching, universe-questioning horrors.

He tells tales of woe of birthdays past and Joey promises it’ll be a quiet night with just the two of them. They hug and Joey looks like a lying liar pants.

My promises mean nothing.

My promises mean nothing.

Credits

Jack and Dawson and talking about Dawson’s upcoming date with Gretchen. Jack plants seeds of doubt about Joey and Pacey being fine with it. Why does that matter?

At Pacey’s, Gretchen is asking about the birthday plans and Joey’s like, oh, just a quiet night. Pacey’s going through some mail like an man and runs off with a mystery letter.

Joey uses this opportunity to go back on her word and invite Gretchen to a last-minute surprise party for Pacey at his parents’ house. Yeah, the abusive drunk’s place, the dad who’s not even currently housing his high school aged son. Awesome.

Joey blames it on Pacey’s mom who called and asked her and rather than disappoint a woman she rarely sees (Have we ever seen her?) she decides to disregard Pacey’s wishes. Gretchen thinks it’s a stupid idea. But she agrees, albeit awkwardly, to come and I guess that means no date with Dawson.

Jen and Grams are crafting together, and because I’m getting a little long in the tooth myself, I guess, that looks like a rather nice way to spend the afternoon. Jen reveals she has to do five hours of community service acting as DD to a bunch of drunk teenagers– what? What kind of a thing is that? That makes no sense.

Grams is all happily spaced out and Jen calls her out for thinking about having sex with Brooks. I don’t recall ever broaching the topic of sex with my grandparents. Jen tries to talk to her about safe sex. Jen, kiddo, Grams was a fucking nurse.

Dawson goes to meet Gretchen at work and she tells him their date in cancelled for this surprise party. Also, let’s not tell anyone about that whole date thing. Dawson’s confused about why they can’t just call the party a date. The more he pushes her about it, the more it becomes obvious she’s uncomfortable about dating him at all in the first place. He actually backs off and leaves.

At the community service thing, Jen runs into some guy she knows named Toby. If we’ve seen him before, I don’t remember. He’s gay and apparently knows Jack, and they didn’t hit it off. But I guess because they’re both gay, they need to meet again, thinks Jen.

Joey is leading Pacey blindfolded to his party. He makes a guess as to where they’re going and concocts an elaborate fantasy of champagne, cake, lingerie and sex. And then he realizes he’s at his shitty parents’ house and it’s yet another crummy birthday in the works. Womp womp.

I believe we call this expression sudden dread and anxiety.

I believe we call this expression sudden dread and anxiety.

They walk into the house and Mr. Whitter is in a reclining chair watching TV. “Oh, you’re here. Surprise,” he says. Mrs. Whitter comes out (Hey, it’s Jane Lynch! And making her one and only appearance on the show) and and is all, oh darn, we missed it. Then a few people stumble out to say surprise and some children run past and one socks Pacey in the stomach and pops laughs. So far so good.

Whose children are those? Gretchen and Doug don’t have kids.

Doug shows up, mocks his brother for being about to have another shit birthday and everyone stands there looking uncomfortable.

The party commences, it’s completely lame, children are piling up on Dawson. There’s a random young woman snacking on the couch. Are those kids hers? Who is she? Pacey is beside her looking unhappy.

Mr. Whitter gets up from the TV to tell this woman, Kerry her name is, that she’s becoming a cow. Kerry Whitter, by the looks of IMDB. Another sib, I guess? Anyway, then he talks about turning 18 in Vietnam during the war and doing a 30-something prostitute.

More awkwardness happens and then Jack sits down and Mr. Whitter’s like, who the hell are you? Which is a lovely way to speak to party guests in your home.

Please don't talk to me.

Please don’t talk to me.

Mrs. Whitter keeps calling Joey by the wrong name. Whether she’s got a mental problem or is just an asshole is unclear.

Pacey starts asking Joey why she did this. Rather than apologize she’s like, your family wanted to do this out of the goodness of their hearts, what could I do? Shit, Joey. Pacey tries to explain the nature of his alcoholic father’s tendencies and Joey has the nerve to tell him he could make more of an effort. Cuntastic. The writers of this show really went out of their way to make this character a dick.

Ultimately, Pacey isn’t even mad at her, though. He’s just tired and sad and disappointed in his horrible family.

Gretchen approached Dawson and acts like she didn’t tell him she wanted to keep their date a secret. She doesn’t know what she wants. Kids are hanging off him begging to play Monopoly. This birthday party blows.

In the car, Toby is gushing about his boyfriend Greg, and Jen is taking offence he doesn’t like Jack. Why this is a problem, I do not know. Other gay men exist.

At the party, Joey finds Pacey sitting outside alone. She calls the whole thing, “Not that bad” which is exactly the sort of birthday everyone wants to have. She tells him he’s not allowed to still be mad at her. He sadly says he’s not mad and that makes her smile. Because his obvious sorrow means nothing so long as he’s not going to inconvenience her with anger over her bullshit.

Pacey tries to say what he’s feeling, then suggests a walk, which is interrupted by Mr. Whitter wanting to talk to Joey inside.

He tells her she’s to thank for getting Pacey interested in college. She’s all, oh, it’s wasn’t all me! But then he goes on about how it’ll be a waste of money and he’ll just drop out, then Ma comes in and says he’s a huge disappointment, but she has faith in him. Then they reminisce about how they always let Pacey know he’d never amount to anything. Joey’s dumbfounded, which she wouldn’t be if she’d ever have just listened to her boyfriend talk about his life.

See? Told ya.

See? Told ya.

In another room, Gretchen turns on a lamp that shines spinning stars around a room and shares memories and tells some old story that is just precious enough to not sound remotely real. But then, this is TV. And of course the lame story that has no actual plot is used as a metaphor for Dawson and Gretchen’s romantic situation.

Joey tries to pep talk Pacey about how he’ll be fine at college. Pacey’s like and if they’re right and I’m too stupid? Joey seems confused at the despondent reaction her boyfriend is having to being re-exposed to his abusive family, because as per usual she lacks empathy.

He takes her to the basement to talk about it, and they walk in on Gretchen and Dawson making out in the star lamp room. Everyone looks weirded out, except Dawson who sort of laughs. And it’s time for dinner, which should be rife with terrible memories-to-be.

Dinner is Doug’s favourite, chipped beef on toast. Pacey says his favourite is spaghetti and meat balls. His mom insists he’s wrong. Then she gets Joey name wrong for the third time when asking her to go get something in the kitchen. And this is the woman she couldn’t say no to?

In the kitchen, Dawson tries to explain about him and Gretchen. Joey’s acting terse and mad. The fuck? She dumped him and is dating his best friend. Why does anyone give a shit about her feelings in this matter? I don’t get it.

Dawson and Gretchen then hash out their brand new thing, whatever it is, and then Pacey comes in to talk about it after Dawson leaves. Gretchen then wants to talk about it with Pacey, who absolutely doesn’t want to. I understand your estranged best friend dating your sibling to be weird. That much I understand. But still, come on.

Jen and Toby are driving two making out teens somewhere. This is actually a service? A community service? Nothing like this exists. Fuck you, storyline.

Now Pacey is opening up presents. Someone gave him an ashtray and Pacey says, Thank you, I’ve been meaning to take up smoking. Okay, that made me laugh.

Pacey’s dad gave him fireworks. Huh.

Mrs. Whitter says she read a way to bond with your kids is to recall a memory from their childhood. Oh, this should be horrible.

They laugh about the time they left him in an ice cream shop and Pacey was so upset he wet his pants.

Gretchen tries to tell a story how he defended her from a bully, but his dad makes it about the time he got beat up and cried.

And Pacey snaps after one too many stories, tells them all off, makes them look as though they feel ashamed, reveals he’s not going to college and leaves, storming past Jen and Toby who just arrived singing happy birthday. They barely sang the first verse so the show probably didn’t have to pay any royalties on that one.

Joey and Dawson leave to look for Pacey and for some reason the party is still going.

Jack and Toby have a short, tense conversation about being gay.

In the car, Dawson and Joey are talking about Gretchen and Pacey, and Joey seems to finally realize she’s been a shitty girlfriend. Dawson praises Joey’s ability to believe in people. Boys on this show just can’t see her clearly. She’s an asshole every episode. She then wants to give up the search and go back.

Pacey’s dad finds him on the dock. He has a heart to heart with him. Talks about how happy Pacey was to get fireworks when he was 10. Brief moments of kindness do not make up for years of emotional abuse. But then those tiny minutes of kindness keep you coming back for more assholery later.

In the car, Jen and Toby are talking about how Toby likes Jack and Greg doesn’t exist. I really don’t care about this. Maybe because this program for driving drunk teens to parties WOULD NEVER EXIST.

When Pacey’s dad brings him back to the house everyone yells surprise and brings out the cake they’ve already started eating.

Why wait?

Why wait?

Dawson and Gretchen talk about their relationship outside by a bonfire. They concede it likely won’t work out because they’re both leaving. But what the hell, let’s go for it anyway because we’re young and why not. Which is a nice departure from all Joey’s nonsense seasons 2 & 3.

Pacey tells Joey he thinks they’re moving in different directions. Joey’s not having it. And everyone starts setting off Pacey’s fireworks without him, which is a rude thing to do, isn’t it?

This is meant to be a happy ending. But it’s somehow very depressing.

MVA: Pacey. “My wish would be for no further acknowledgment of today’s hollow symbolic meaning as a milestone in the life of Pacey Whitter.”

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 10 – “Self Reliance”

Dawson and Jack are in a greenroom gossiping about his kiss with ole lady Grethchen.

Gretch shows up to “help clean up” even though the mess is long dealt with…which is generally when I make a point of offering to help. They exchange awkward hellos and wish each other a pointed happy holidays. Oh goodie. Tell me this is the Dawson’s Creek Christmas special. This show isn’t nearly syrupy enough. Stick a giant red hat on it.

Credits.

Joey says sarcastic stuff at warp speed to Pacey outside. She says she’s not worried about Dawtchen(?) Gretchson(?) so we can be sure she is.

Jen and Jack are at some gay thing. Apparently Capeside has enough gays to fill a bar. Jen wore a bandana so she will fit in with the les-folk.

Wut, I always look like this

Wut, I always look like this

Dawson is talking to Brooks. The talk about movies or something.

The gays scold Jack for not staging a sit-in when he got fired as a soccer coach for being gay. He gets his panties in a bunch. For a support group these people are sure are fucking hostile.

Joey says angry sarcastic stuff to Pacey in the kitchen and then kicks him out because he didn’t put a toddler to bed. I think the toddler might be her sister’s kid? Then some people want to stay at the B&B. Life sucks.

Gretch and Pacey gossip about the kiss with Dawson.

Joey is cramming for the test that she never studied for because she was too busy not sulking over Dawson kissing the geriatric.

Jen is in the hall trying to force Jack to love the bitchy gay group.

Dawson and old man Brooks talk about films and love triangles. Oh, apparently the film is about the old guy.

Joey says angry sarcastic stuff to Pacey in the kitchen because she’s miserable that she “got a bad grade on a test”. She cries about being so put upon. Gentle piano swells in the background as Pacey tries to talk about Dawson’s adventures in sucking face. She screams about I don’t know…Pacey being better than Dawson? Then storms off.

Next Joey is sarcastic and angry in the sitting room. Pacey, for some reason, continues to take this abuse and Joey pours her heart out.

More gay bitchiness. This time at a bowling alley.

More filming the old guy having opinions on things old people have opinions on. Then he tells Dawson he doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about his opinion, and insists on having some bourbon. Then he croaks right there in his chair. Too bad Dawson tuned the camera off already.

Oh, my bad. He just fell asleep.

Getting some zs

Getting some zs

JEN SAYS “BOWLING IS WHACK.” MVA right there for you.

Jack and other gay guy fight over who acts too gay (other gay guy) and who doesn’t act gay enough (Jack).

Joey whines to Dawson about how hard her life is. Dawson says next time let the man-boy you are dating help you, and gives her her Christmas present. SPOILER it is a nice photo of her and Pacey being in love. Then she wants to talk about THE KISS.

Pacey talks to Joey’s teacher to try to get her a re-write (the answer is no).

New gay guy talks to Jack about the gay experience.

Joey’s teacher talks to her about her shitty test score, and teach goes on some big metaphor about relying on other people.

Old guy’s nurse gives Dawson a hard time for tiring out the old guy. Then Dawson forces the old guy to beg him to keep doing the film. Then he talks a bunch.

Joey is being nice to Pacey, so obviously he gets suspicious. Then they suck some face and then study by the fireplace (being poor is super hard).

WUT is happening

WUT is happening

Dawson stalks Gretch and asks if she likes gambling and then confesses his undying love. Then they stare at a giant Christmas tree. The end.

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 4, Episode 5 – The Family Way

Opening scene, the Dawson’s restaurant and Gail is pregnant. They don’t come right out and say that in the dialogue, but the episode’s title is rather obvious and on TV women only vomit if they’re with child, which is what Gail apparently spent the morning doing.

Dawson and Mitch want Gail to see a doctor, but Gail wants to run the restaurant. They eventually talk her into leaving, though, and while they discuss her illness, the waitress (Gretchen) is like, uh, she’s totally pregnant. And I can understand Dawson not seeing it, but Mitch supposedly has seen this before. Come on, man, get with it.

Say what now?

Say what now?

When Gail comes back, the three of them stare at each other stupidly until the opening credits start.

At the Leery house, Gail’s pregnancy test is positive or “pink” (no high tech tests 15 years ago I guess). Mitch is happy, Gail seems shocked and Dawson nonchalantly walks off without a word, perhaps to sulk like a wiener. You’d think 18 would be old enough to cope with a new sibling, but I guess not.

But I'm the baby!

But I’m the baby!

When he’s leaving, claiming he’s late to paint a house, Mitch is like, uh, aren’t you going to say anything? After a pregnant pause (Heh) Dawson gives a lame congratulations, and thus having rained on his parents’ big news, he hits the road.

At Joey’s house, she and Pacey are making out and he stops things and wants to watch TV. Turns out he’s tired of Joey always calling the shots on how long they’ll make out, so today he wants to decide. Joey wants to know if this means they’re having a fight. As the girl, only she may cease physical intimacy.

At a soccer field, Andie and an injured Jack are going to coach a children’s team because Andie somehow doesn’t have enough activities going on. She blathers about moulding young minds before admitting it’s about looking good to colleges. Nothing she ever does is for altruism or personal passion. Just looking good to universities. Awesome.

Andie introduces herself to the kids, who before this game had apparently never laid eyes on her before (How did she get this gig? Usually some hardcore sports parent takes over). She gives the sort of pretentious speech that kids hate, and they all groan. Jack jumps in, acts like a normal person, the kids like him and everyone’s happy. Except this kid named Molly who doesn’t want to be there ’cause she hates soccer.

At the Brooks house, Dawson is brooding and lollygagging and the old man wants him to work faster. This is the man whose boat Dawson stole to save his friends a couple episodes ago. After telling Dawson to keep his teenage angst to himself he picks up his photographs and starts offering harsh critiques. He tells him to put more emotion into his work and Dawson holds his temper and keeps painting the house.

In the cafeteria– So, I guess it’s tomorrow now– Joey is mulling over sex stuff with Jen. Basically she’s overthinking the whole thing. She wants to do it but doesn’t know if she’s ready and she’s agonizing about how you’re supposed to just know. She’s 17, in love, lived with the guy in question for months on a boat without doing anything, but still waiting, waiting, waiting.

But HOW do you KNOW?

But HOW do you KNOW?

Maybe I’m just too far removed from this stage of life to take this seriously, but it kinda seems like a no-brainer to me. Just do it already, use a condom, call it a day.

Jen, having been down this road before a few times, offers some sage advice: No one knows if they’re really ready, but you can still be prepared. Go to the free clinic, get sex advice and contraception. Good stuff, Jen. Joey looks happier.

The Leerys are in a waiting room that does not look at all like it’s for a doctor and they’re talking about the pregnancy. Mitch is all onboard, which is hunky dory since it’s not his 40-something body about to make life, and Gail lists her concerns and says where she’s at right now, she wouldn’t keep the pregnancy if she made the choice today. Mitch looks sick to his stomach. Maybe it’s good she told him in public so he wouldn’t make a scene, which I can’t help but think is coming.

On the soccer field– hang on. Joey and Jen were just in the cafeteria. Now we’re back to coaching kids soccer? Is this a new day of soccer? It can’t be the same game. Wait. They’re wearing the same clothes. Why aren’t they in school? Why is Dawson painting instead of in school? Whatever.

So this 28-year-old sister of Molly starts hitting on Jack, even when she learns he’s 18. She’s almost 30 and wants a teenage high school student. When she realizes she’s making him uncomfortable, she compounds it by making her flirtations more overt. Jack tries to spit out that he’s gay, but can’t seem to.

I like 'em barely legal.

I like ’em barely legal.

Dawson’s talking about photography with Gretchen and won’t stop snapping her picture, which seems wasteful as this is film we’re talking about. He alludes to being a genius in the making and doesn’t watch out for traffic while prancing around with his camera on the road.

Dawson sits down with her on a bench and says he’s upset about his mom’s pregnancy because their relationship doesn’t seem stable enough and they’re in debt. Well, that’s a nice normal reason. I was thinking he might have sibling rivalry, which shows how much credit I give this character.

Gretchen then turns Dawson’s attention to his mom, and how she must be feeling and that seems to get through to him pretty quick.

At the clinic, Joey is being seen by a nurse to talk some sex stuff. And this woman is the worst. She starts immediately and abruptly on this fear campaign about all the shit that can go wrong. Then when she sees she’s wigging Joey out she’s like “These aren’t even the hard questions!” Then she stops asking her stuff altogether and tells her sex can be fun if you’re responsible, and hands her a bag of condoms and spermicide.

On her way out, Joey’s stopped one more time by this nurse who commands her to smile. The fuck? You just talked to her about AIDS, it’s not like she’s at the B&B scaring off customers. She doesn’t have to smile.

And check out this poster in the background:

"Sex can be a real scream". Better than that nurse's mantra of sex will leave you pregnant with AIDS.

“Sex can be a real scream”.
Better than that nurse’s mantra of sex will leave you pregnant with AIDS.

On the soccer field, Jack is complaining about Caroline, Molly’s skeevy sister who was coming onto him. Andie says tell her you’re gay. Jack says since he’s working with kids, he doesn’t want it to be an issue and he’s not interested in being a gay rights crusader over it. Sometimes I forget how far we’ve come in just 15 years because it never occurred to me that was the reason he didn’t tell her he was gay.

At the Leery house, Dawson wants to talk to his parents about his reaction to the news. He says it’s exciting, but Gail and Mitch tell him they’re not having the baby. And I was wrong, Mitch is not making a scene, but Dawson is certainly not taking it well. I don’t know how well boys are attuned to women’s reproductive rights when they’re 18, but still.

Gail is obviously saddened, and said she suspected she was pregnant for a little while but didn’t want to face it before as she knew how she’d deal with it. Dawson is complaining because he is trying to be supportive, but seems to not grasp that maybe his mom could use some support for her choice.

He asks his dad incredulously, “And you agreed to this?” Dude, it’s not really a matter of him agreeing to let it happen, it’s more that he’s not going to attempt to impose his will upon his wife, which is not his legal right to do anyway.

Gail tearfully apologizes and ends the conversation and leaves.

In the morning, Mitch comes up to tell a sulking Dawson breakfast is ready and that Gail is sorry Dawson is unhappy. Dawson wants to know what his dad thinks, expecting him to be mad too. Mitch is more enlightened and says it’s her body, her choice and he doesn’t want her to be pregnant if she doesn’t think it’s the right thing for her. So that’s nice.

Dawson’s like, but what if it’s the wrong decision? Buddy, like you’re the one to be able to gauge that, ye who will leave the house in less than a year and will be making no commitments.  Mitch gives him a nice talk about being happy with the family you have, and hopefully Dawson will stop being such a dick about this.

At the Potter B&B, Bess has discovered Joey’s new stash of contraceptives. Womp womp.

On the soccer field, Caroline approaches Jack and asks him out. Andie first pretends to be his girlfriend, then pretends Jack has a girlfriend who’s a black belt, then just gives up all pretences but cockblocks all the same. Or boxblocks. Not sure what the terminology is when you prevent a creepy grown woman from hitting on a gay high school student.

But Jack does tell her he’s gay, finally, and she then acts like she knew it all along and makes a quick exit.

Dawson meets up with Gretchen to talk about his mom’s pending abortion. Omg… like Gail needs her private business discussed outside the family. This guy has no sense of boundaries sometimes; he thinks it’s all about him.

He tells Gretchen he’s not handling it well and then realizes she’s had an unwanted pregnancy before. She tells the story, which ends in her choosing abortion but miscarrying before she can do it. This always happens on TV (Kind of like how every birth begins with water breaking in public). The abortion rarely ever actually happens, even when it’s decided on. Just a public service announcement here, but it’s a really common procedure and though you may not be aware of it, statistically you likely know several women who’ve had one. It’d be nice if one show had the balls to tell this story.

Dawson thanks Gretchen for trusting him with her story and says he won’t tell anyone. Too bad he doesn’t have this same respect for privacy with his own mother.

At the B&B, Bess makes a snarky remark about Joey being up all night. Joey calls her out. And right there in front of what looks like paying guests at the table, they get into a family dispute about Joey having sex.

Eventually it gets so heated the guests leave the table and it’s a good thing Yelp wasn’t invented yet, though I’d love to read those reviews after this.

At a soccer game, apparently two boys aren’t coming back because Jack is “dangerous”. Sigh. Caroline’s an asshole. Molly’s a nice kid though, and tells Jack she knows he’s not dangerous, and they’re just jerks.

Outside, Bodie takes Alexander over to Joey and they talk about sex. I don’t think I’d get into this with my brother-in-law, personally. I must say, he certainly seems pretty chill about the shitshow in front of the customers.

At the Leery house, Dawson wants to talk to his parents. So he turns off the TV show they were watching without asking first. I’ve never known a conversation to go well after that kind of a dick move.

He tells her before she go ahead with her choice he wants her to know she’s a great mother and he’s proud of her, which is a beautiful thing to say, but maybe he could have told her that a long time ago instead of as a way to guilt her out of an abortion.

At the… lighthouse(?) Joey and Pacey are making out. Does Pacey live in the lighthouse? Anyway, Pacey puts a stop to their making out and Joey calmly accepts it this time. She says she’s not going to get talked into sex with this reverse psychology, then she sort of reveals that she went to the free clinic.

Pacey now feels bad and says he doesn’t want to pressure her to do things she doesn’t want to do.

Nuts.

Nuts.

Then Joey’s like, even though we’re not having sex, there’s certain things we could do. And that sounds like a segue to third base, but she just says “kissing.” Pacey tickles her instead.

On the soccer field, Jack wonders if he should quit coaching and laments saying he was gay. Andie gives him a pep talk, only her tone suggests she thinks he’s making a big deal out of something small, when really… not so much.

At Mr. Brooks’ house, Dawson is still painting, in the dark, and the old man comes out to belittle him and his new photos. But then he comes upon one he likes and we the viewers don’t get to see which one he’s talking about. It’s a of a woman. So either Gretchen, Joey or Gail. Please let it not be Joey. That would just be too stupid.

And it's Gretchen.

And it’s Gretchen.

Well, that’s a relief.

And now there’s a musical montage. Bess and Joey are washing dishes and making up. Dawson’s developing more shots of Gretchen. Jack is walking alone at night on the soccer field. Gail’s looking through Dawson’s baby book.

The end. I think we can all guess she’s not going through with the abortion.

MVA: Joey. Let me get this straight: Your girlfriend offers you her lips in the spirit of teenage lust and you’d rather sit here and watch the E! True Hollywood Story on Danny Bonaduce for the fourth time?

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 3, Episode 22 – The Anti-Prom

Opening scene, Joey and Dawson are walking home together and Joey’s complaining about finals. Both are acting all normal-like, as though they both don’t know Joey wants in Pacey’s pants.

Dawson reminds her of a pact they made to go to junior prom. I don’t really know what a junior prom is. My school had a formal and a semi-formal. Those were all the special dances to be had at my school. You went to formal if you graduated. You went to semi-formal grade 11 and up. What is this junior prom? Americans and their complicated dance seasons. No high school on TV seems immune from these things.

Joey doesn’t really want to go, but bows to the pressure from Dawson, who promises things like friendship and moving forward.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.36.27 PM

I don’t really wanna…

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.40.23 PM

But you’re gonna anyway because guilt!

She says he’s not allowed to buy her a corsage or wear a ruffly tuxedo shirt. This not being 1976, I don’t know how much threat there was of that last one anyway. But they’re interrupted by Gail and Mitch’s out-of-the-blue makeout session spilling into the outdoors.

Credits.

Back to the Leery house, Joey makes a quick exit and Gail leaves to go to the restaurant. Mitch wants to talk to Dawson about what he just saw and Dawson’s like, meh, your relationship’s been screwing me up for years, so now I’m numb and don’t care. Mitch does make sure to let his son know that so far it’s nothing serious between he and Gail. Thanks, Pops.

At Pacey’s, Andie is there studying and gets the feeling Pacey would rather her go, even if he’s not telling her to. He admits he’s feeling sad, and Andie says he should go to prom. And then not so casually suggests he could go with her. Because when your best friend hates you and the girl you’re in love with has abandoned you, the prom with your ex-girlfriend is the answer! Of course!

Pacey asks if she doesn’t have a date and she says she’s “sifting through offers.” Pfft. No one that annoying could possibly have more than one asshole interested enough to go. Pacey tells her it’d be better to pick one of those other guys instead of him.

Joey’s complaining to Bess about the romantic complications of going to prom with Dawson, and Bess is like, D’uh. Joey tells her sister that she’s been giving shit advice lately, and Bess tells her to first stop giving her shit problems.

At lunch in school, Andie’s whining that Pacey didn’t ask her to prom and that she’ll have to go alone, which is terribly humiliating. Ah, made-up suitors. Was there any doubt? Jack’s like, well, better go alone than with the ex you’re not over.

But ex-boyfriends are so safe!

But ex-boyfriends are so safe!

But Jack’s got bigger problems than his sister’s drama. He’s bringing Ethan to the prom “as a friend” and the theme of the prom is “couples” so you have to alert the prom people to whom you’re bringing, or something. Jack’s not so keen on formally announcing he’s bringing a dude. And since this can still cause a ruckus in plenty of schools today, 15 years ago I’d say that is no small matter.

But Andie, being a self-absorbed twat, is like, yeah? So? Why do you care what people think? Because the difficulties being an out teen is just about caring “what other people think” whereas Pacey not wanting to ask her to prom and going alone is the deepest of humiliations.

Outside, Jen is complaining about the cliche that is prom, which really is the biggest cliche of them all. After her rant is over, Henry calls her on never having been.

But I'm so edgy!

But I’m so edgy!

And then he’s like, you asking me to go? And she’s like yeah. Jesus, don’t go into sales, Jen. Terrible pitch. He says he’d love to, only proving the power of his libido and not of Jen’s smooth moves.

In the lunch room, Jack’s attempting to buy tickets from a girl on the wrong side of history named Barbara, who informs him the definition of a couple is a boy and a girl and that him bringing a boy will cause a spectacle and ruin everyone’s fun. Because the death of any amazing party is always caused by attractive gay men.

Jack manages to keep his cool while Barbara goes on a pearl-clutching tirade about two men dancing or having their photo taken together. She says she’ll check with the head of the prom committee first before selling him his tickets.

Dawson goes to buy his tickets and Barbara makes him state his own name, even though she knows it. She finds out he’s taking Joey and goes, “Aw, happy couple back together?” Pacey is sitting nearby and he and Dawson exchange a look.

Outside, Andie and Joey are discussing ways to get Barbara in trouble and get Jack to prom, but he doesn’t want to go anymore. He wants to have fun, not be a political stance. Andie’s like, too bad, you’re a political stance. Fight!

But Jack’s not up to it and then the girls say they’re not going, Joey taking an easy out of this prom with Dawson thing. Dawson gets a brief panicked look on his face before saying they’ll throw an “anti-prom”. I think this plot line is on every teen show at some point.

Dawson suggests the anti-prom to his parents, figuring it could be at the restaurant. He says the ticket sales would offset the costs. Not in the real world they wouldn’t, but this is TV world where Pacey can suddenly fix wedding cakes and after-parties for school plays are well-funded by mysterious sources.

They agree to this idea, and then mosey about the kitchen of the restaurant while chefs behind them work very slowly. Mitch wants to talk about their relationship, Gail doesn’t.

At school, both prom tickets are being sold side by side, despite one not being a school-sanctioned event. And Dawson’s prom banner reads– I kid you not– “Subvert the dominant paradigm!” Well now, doesn’t that sound like fun?

Stick it to the man! Half price!

Stick it to the man! Half price!

Some punky looking kids are buying tickets to the alternative prom and Barbara calls them the dregs of society. Andie and Jack tell her she’s narrow-minded and her outfit sucks. Barbara says at least she’s not going to Hell. Andie, in her first moment of likeability makes an ooooh face and does jazz hands.

Hell schmell!

Hell schmell!

At Jen’s house, Grams is fitting Henry with appears to be her dead husband’s old suit. When she hears her tea kettle, she leaves the room and Jen wants to talk to Henry about prom sex. Henry’s eye light up. Ooh, sex! But Jen wants to choose not to do it. Henry’s like, yeah, fine, cool. Even though a few episodes ago he was Horny Henry.

But then he’s like, uh, we are going to do it eventually, though, right? And Jen doesn’t answer him, but gives him a kiss. That kinda sounds like a no there, buddy.

Pacey stops by Andie’s place and finds out she’s going to alternative prom alone. And with some debonair resignation, he asks her to go with him and she accepts.

Prom night comes, Dawson picks up Joey and presents with her his mom’s diamond earrings on loan in lieu of a corsage. Maybe I’m a curmudgeon but all I can think of is if they were cleaned first. Joey’s less germ-conscious than I am, or more confidant of Leery hygiene practices, and puts on the earrings.

Film!

Film!

Bess takes their picture and I’m briefly nostalgic for the time you had to wait to see what a picture would look like till after it was developed and then ask your friends for one of their doubles.

But then I realized this supposed snap shot makes no sense because they’re not looking into the lens.

At the alternative prom, Gail notes the crowd is “interesting” and Mitch asks her to lock the cash register. Ah, small town people.

Jack and Ethan are sitting at a table and Jack is sulking about something and doing a poor job of showing his date a good time. Everyone shows up, and Andie looks like Tilda Swinton. Dawson and Joey immediately get up to go dance, and Joey and Pacey make sad eyes at each other across the room.

Lavender eyeliner is not a good look.

Lavender eyeliner is not a good look.

Jen and Henry dance and have a stilted awkward conversation about sex.

Jack and Ethan talk and Jack learns Ethan never went to prom with a boyfriend or did anything like this when he was younger. Jack is pissed because he feels tricked into making a stand when he didn’t feel ready.

Henry reveals to Jen he’s going to an 8-week football camp in Cleveland for the summer. Dude, how much would that cost? God, I feel so old because that’s the first thing I thought. Jen’s mad and is like, forget about us having sex tonight! And Henry’s like, I thought we weren’t having any? Jen’s like, that’s just what you say! Of course there was a chance; this is our prom! Henry’s like, oh, nuts.

Joey picks a fight with Dawson about him parading her around in front of Pacey and giving him looks. Dawson’s mad Pacey is there in the first place, but he simmers things down so as not to upset Joey, however, she wants out of there and leaves the dance floor.

She runs into Jack, who’s feeling crummy about how he treated Ethan. Joey’s bummed she’s in the middle and no one’s friends right now.

Mitch and Gail are dancing and talking about their relationship and Mitch gets terse and wants Gail to say what she wants out it. Then he leaves her on the dance floor.

What the fuck is wrong with these people? Dropping these verbal bombs and abandoning their dates, sometimes mid-dance? Real people don’t pull that shit. No one leaves that juicy of a conversation hanging in the air like that, especially not teenagers and emotionally stunted adults.

Joey finds Pacey and asks him to dance. Oh, this will go well. Andie’s already spotted them and looks sad.

Pacey trashes Gail’s diamond earrings and praises the bracelet Joey has on instead, which was her mother’s. Ooh, such obvious subtext.

Now Dawson sees them in this intimate dance embrace, and there’s sad Andie again. Jesus, that makeup is shit. Let’s look at it again.

Like a pastel clown.

Like a pastel clown.

Joey looks up and sees Dawson, who can’t take the imagery anymore and runs out. Joey chases after him.

And while she’s saying it shouldn’t matter who she dances with if they’re there as friends, Dawson’s like, hell no, this isn’t about friendship, obviously I wanted more! And then it’s laid out, she’s going to have to pick. He kisses her and… walks away.

Okay, seriously? No one would do that.

It’s like the writers don’t know how to realistically conclude a fucking conversation.

At Jen’s house, Jen breaks up with Henry. Well, there was a relationship that never had a chance anyway,

Jack catches up with Ethan at the train station, still in tuxes. Did Ethan just leave after that argument? Jack wants to know what the status of their association with each other is. Ethan asks Jack to kiss him if he’s ready. He says, “No cameras, no television network to cut to commercial.” Was that a dig at censors or the network? Well, regardless, the show didn’t go for a gay kiss and Ethan walks away while Jack looks sad.

Pacey is apologizing to Andie for taking her to prom without really wanting to take her. Andie’s not mad just bummed out. Pacey reveals his plan for the summer is to sail his boat to Key West. He’s, like, 16. I think if I had told my family I’d be doing something like that for the summer when I was that age, they’d have laughed in my face.

Andie implores Pacey not to leave without telling Joey first. Andie’s done a turnaround this episode. Too bad she looks like ass.

Joey returns the earrings to Dawson and says she can’t choose. Dawson’s like, okay, I’ll wait. Well, that was easy. They watch Gail run into the house. And Gail and Mitch patch things up and they’re back together.

MVA: Jen’s rant about prom: “Is there a more ridiculous and embarrassing ritual than the prom? The way that it totally reenforces traditional gender roles, rewards the cool kids, punishes the geeks. I mean, the pressure that this one single night exerts on the common teenager to make hollow awkward romantic gestures like pinning a cheap corsage on taffeta, having drunken sex with some guy whose name you won’t even remember and then puking in the back of some cheesy-ass rented limo. I mean, it’s all just so overwhelming.”

Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 3, Episode 18 – Neverland

Well, here we are, opening scene, and Pacey is laying one on Joey.

Smoochey

Smoochey

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.

Yep.

Yep. Back in the car. 10 seconds.

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.

Is she buying this shit?

Is she buying this shit?

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.

I have bad ideas!

I have bad ideas!

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.

Yarr, we stopped playing here when we were 14!

Yarr, we stopped playing here when we were 14!

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.

Nyah, nyah!

Nyah, nyah!

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:

Bonding!

Bonding!

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.

lap...top? Com...puter?

Lap…top? Com…puter?

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?”