Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 5, Episode 13 – Something Wilder

Jen is leading Dawson through Gram’s house and she’s covering his eyes and walking behind him, which beats him wearing a blindfold because this way she can push him right into a doorframe.

She sits Dawson down and is like, “Surprise!” and because she doesn’t get how surprises work, there’s nothing in front of him. She hands out back to school items befitting an elementary school student: binder paper, pencils, sharpener, eraser and… an ET Trapper Keeper. I’ll remind you all the year is 2002. Laptops have become affordable and ET is 20 years old. Where in the hell did she even locate an ET Trapper Keeper? That looks like someone glued a picture of ET on a binder.

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The props department have really outdone themselves this time.

Jen is all condescending and shit about Dawson going to college, and he asks her when her radio show is and she looks at the clock like, oh… yeah, it’s soon! She’s been on the job all of five minutes. Get your act together and go to work.

They make a lunch date and start kissing like they don’t live together and see each other every single day and Jen doesn’t throw out his toothbrushes. As he leaves, she’s all cutsey, “Don’t forget your Trapper Keeper!” Seriously, making him take that shit with him. Then it’s, “Have a nice day, sweetheart!” in the tone of voice I use with my 4-year-old. As he leaves she whisper-giggles “So cute!” to herself. Fucking hell, lady, is infantilizing your boyfriend sexy? Gross.

Skipping Jann Arden. Why oh why can’t I at least have the original theme?

In Joey’s dorm room, Elliott is giving her shit for liking the professor’s trashy book because she finds him attractive and Joey’s rolling her eyes. Elliott asks her out in very awkward fashion. He’s good looking, but he’s got a pretty girl in glasses thing happening where we’re supposed to believe he’s not hot because of his dorky hair or outfit or something.

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I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you date me?

Joey accepts and Audrey walks in on them and makes everyone uncomfortable by demanding to know if everyone is naked while dramatically averting her eyes. She then zeroes in on Elliott and calls him out for using hair products and he promptly leaves ’cause Audrey is a dick and no one likes her. She’s seriously worse than Andie.

She then taunts Joey who threatens to bite her. Joey could say something about not being rude to her guests, but is friendly and leaves. Audrey lays down on Joey’s bed with her shoes on like some sort of animal.

At the frat house, Jen walks in and all we get is a view of her legs as we see boys turn their heads and whistle. Have these gentlemen never seen a woman before or…? Jen asks Jack what their damage is. Jack is like, they’re looking at you. Okay then.

She’s there to deliver mail (There’s certainly a lot of it) and points his attention to a letter from the school that has put him on academic probation. Because she reads his mail. Federal offence! Jack’s all BFD, I failed a few classes. Jen gives him shit but he’s not having it and she leaves.

We get a bunch of flashy shots of the school Dawson’s at, and he shows up wearing one of those sheepskin coats that were so popular back then. When he goes inside, some loud dude calls him out.

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Remember me? (Nope.)

It’s Oliver (apparently) and Dawson doesn’t look jazzed to see him. Oliver starts walking Dawson around talking about people loudly right in front of them and everybody obviously hates this guy. After he insults his third victim, Dawson’s all fuck this, I’ll introduce myself before you ruin my life.

At the radio station, Audrey is calling Jen asking inane questions about boys taking phone numbers and why is a booty call called a booty call? Jen tells her she doesn’t have to use her full name every time she calls. I bet she calls all the time. Pain in the ass.

But Jen doesn’t want to talk about her situation; she tells Audrey instead that she’s “lost the love” and starts talking about negative energy and while doing so is arranging tiny red bears and flowers around her work station like some hippy.

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You used to be cool, man. Where’s the love, man?

At the frat, Jack is looking for teammates for a game, but gets in shit from a senior brother for being on academic probation because freshman failing out makes the frat look bad. Dude suggests Jack study instead of play and Jacks all petulant, “I don’t see you studying!” Counter: “That’s because I’m not on academic probation.” Burn.

The look on Jack’s face, tho.

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Study?! How DARE you!

Legit looks confused here, and mad, like he just found a turd in his shoe: “But why? Who would do this? How could they?! I don’t get it!” Only his confusion is about why he should study and not fail his university classes. We all face our own battles, buddy.

During a film screening (Is this a class?) Oliver plops a screenplay as thick as Gone With The Wind on top of Dawson’s lap and says he wants him to direct it, so why he’s in film school I do not know. Then he compliments the ET Trapper Keeper and who knows if he’s sincere or not because he’s just that kind of guy.

At Joey’s school, Elliott leaps behind her, demanding to know her thoughts about Indian food for their date Friday. Joey thinks he’s weird, probably because he’s acting weird.  The professor shows up and tells them they’re late for his class when he is obviously also late. Elliott flees.

Prof thanks Joey for some work she did and says he’s taking her out Friday. She immediately accepts despite just confirming her date plans with Elliott. If this is written as forgetfulness, I just can’t.

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A jerk, or just bad writing? Could really go either way.

And immediately: she forgot. I’m gonna go back and count the seconds since Elliott brought up the Friday night date and this new Friday night offer.

Literally 50 seconds. The most organized person on the show with the best memory for holding grudges can’t remember this information for less than a minute. Seems legit.

Commercial break

At Grams’ house, Jen is washing the dishes and Dawson is staring at the script and it’s been a week. He’s read it, he likes it, has idea to improve it but doesn’t wanna direct it because it’s not his own work. The fact Oliver is a douche doesn’t seem to come into it. He says he doesn’t want to commit to a film right now, which considering he just started school is maybe wise.

But Jen don’t care none. She thinks he should do it. She leaves because her producer wants to talk to her. Maybe because she’s doing a shitty job. That’s why I’d want to talk to her.

Back at Joey’s dorm, Audrey has brought in Pacey to help with Joey’s two-date problem. So… it’s been a week. Has she been sitting on this problem all this time? And is her most recent ex-boyfriend who she lost her virginity to, and who effectively dumped her via public humiliation at prom really the best person to ask? Like… it happened half a year ago at best. He’d be dead to me.

Anyway, Audrey thinks the group outing with the professor could end up like a date with the two of them wrapped up together “like squid.” This woman is a vulgar mess. That is the nastiest way to describe anything. She says bedding the professor would be just fine. Pacey’s like, oh yeah, I’ve been there! Yes he has. But they think she should go out with Elliott because Joey doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t do anything.

Then Audrey drops a radioactive awkward bomb on the room and suggests Joey’s not ready for a boyfriend, which Elliott has the potential to be. Pacey backs the fuck up and starts jittering around in the background because he’s the elephant-sized ex in the room.

Joey says she is ready to be with someone new and Pacey rushes Audrey out the door.

At the frat, Jack’s arriving with an A grade on his quiz and his frat brother is happy and apologetic for being hard on him about his probation. And Jack’s a dick about it and isn’t quick to accept his apology. But his brother suggests a party and Jack gets this smug look on his face and is happy.

In Dawson’s class, people are looking at the ET Trapper Keeper and he’s like, “It was a gift.” He’s actually using the damn thing. Damn. Oliver approaches Dawson with a preliminary shooting schedule and Dawson says he’s can’t do it; it’s complicated. He does offer a note, though, and now Oliver wants more notes, and wants to do them over lunch. Dawson says he has lunch plans with Jen, but Oliver says “bring your notes,” and Dawson says okay. So, is Jen coming or is he cancelling? The suspense!

At the restaurant where Pacey still works even though he quit, Jen is in the kitchen, eating garnish and lamenting the fact her producer thinks she sucks. Now that she’s happy, she’s lost her edge. Pacey offers such gems as “everybody hates happy people,” and, “I like to get my advice from people more dysfunctional than I am so I can feel better about my life.”

She wants Pacey to make her mad, but she gets a phone call. It’s Dawson. She calls him her little pumpkin. Barf. Also? That’s what I call my son. Chick’s got parent issues. Buying her boyfriend childish school supplies, calling him little pumpkin.

At Joey’s dorm, she picks up the phone and there’s a knock at the door. It’s Elliott, wanting to know if they can meet at 7:00. Joey then starts to break their plans and– wait for it– says she’s coming down with something. And she looks and sounds perfectly fine and will be out in town all night and almost certainly will get busted and this is so cliche I’m fucking dead.

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Are you buying this shit?

Elliott doesn’t at all look like he believes her, but takes the explanation and walks away sadly. Joey lays down and feels bad because she’s a shitty TV trope.

Commercial break

Jen’s reading fashion magazines and porn looking for, I don’t know, something to make her angry or edgy and wouldn’t you know it, she’s not finding inspiration this way. Dawson comes home and she’s frustrated he’s made her so happy that she’s become boring and it’s hurting her show. But she’s wrong there. She’s not boring. She’s unbearable.

Dawson asks if Oliver can come to dinner and Jen is excited he might do the movie, but then confused about why he should join them when Dawson says he’s not doing the movie. In the end, Jen okays it and Oliver pops up like an intrusive ass, all “See? I told you it’d be fine!” And now I doubt that.

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Go to your corner, Oliver.

At the bar, Jack is drinking and his frat brother is being friendly but giving him some ribbing about his probation and that senior brother laying into him. Everyone knows because of course they do and Jack is pissy. He seems intent on getting drunk. Somehow he doesn’t understand he’s caused his own problems.

Outside the restaurant, dinner with the prof has ended early. It started at 6:00. So basically, she could have totally made a movie with Elliott. Prof offers to walk her to the dorms and she links arms with him, and that ain’t cool. On the walk back they’re talking about his work and he’s being falsely modest and she’s kissing his ass.

At dinner with Dawson, Oliver and Jen, the guys are discussing the script and Jen’s trying to get a word in ’cause she read it too and Oliver keeps cutting her off even though he’s the one intruding on their plans. Probably this irritation will make for fine radio in the morning.

Back to Joey and the prof, Joey references his wife as the inspiration for the girl in his book, and he’s like what wife? She tells him she recalls he said he had a wife and kid. He then– and this is something else– reveals he sometimes lies to people and says he has a family to get out of things he doesn’t want to do.

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The fuck you just say?

He calls this form of lying “making up characters”. Yes, just like those guys with girlfriends in Canada. They’re not pretend girlfriends; they’re characters. And Joey doesn’t seem to care as much as a normal person would about this, she wants to talk about this girl in his book. Seriously, Joey? Now she’s probing into personal shit, like did he love her? Why did they break up? This is your professor, lady. Boundaries. He says she was crazy. Beware the man who describes his exes that way. He says he was 21 and crazy was good, but now he wants something else. Joey asks what that is. He says coffee, then asks her for coffee, and this is soooo inappropriate and Joey fucking loves it.

Back to Jen and Dawson, Oliver can’t handle any more criticism and leaves in a huff. And Jen is sitting there gobsmacked.

Now the prof is asking Joey about her dating life. I hate this guy. And she wants to know what the point of dating is if you have to put so much effort into something that may not work out. And I’m thinking she must not enjoy sex, making memories or experiencing periods of joy and contentment because that is the stupidest fucking question ever. I mean, why go to an interview if you can’t guarantee the job? Or write a book if you can’t know it’ll get published? Why even have a pet if you’re going to outlive it?

Joey complains that the right guys never make her stomach go flip flop, and I’m thinking her problem is she equates anxiety with love because who the hell wants a flip flopping stomach all day? Sounds like a question for a therapist, Joey.

The prof asks who makes Joey’s stomach flip flop and she replies, “people who shouldn’t.” And they kiss. Saw that coming. They awkwardly break apart and agree to go separate ways back to their homes. She says goodnight and walks away extremely slowly.

At the bar in Pacey’s restaurant, a frat brother talks to Jack about his probation and Jack is grumpy. He thinks the brothers should not worry about how his grades affect the house. But they care a lot. They tell him not to get emotional and say he’s like a chick. Jack throws a chair and gets in the guy’s face. The brother says Jack was supposed to help clean up their image but is actually a disappointment. Jack socks him in the face.

A fight ensues and Pacey is holding Jack back, and Jack smashes a bunch of glasses and cuts his hand and the brothers leave.

Commercial break

Joey arrives back at the dorm to a gift basket with Vicks products and a homemade card outside her door.

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Well, I’ve been spelling Elliot’s name all wrong this whole time. But that’s IMDB’s fault. One T it is. She looks like she feels pretty shitty. I can’t stop imagining him getting out some magic markers and spending his Friday night drawing this card. Though the video’s a bit fuzzy. That could be construction paper. In which case she’d have no choice but to dump him because the line between cute and weird is a thin one in this boy’s case.

In Jen’s room, Dawson says he’s sorry for how he handled the night before. He then says he thinks he wants to direct the movie after all because even though Oliver is obnoxious, he has a unique voice, and he feels ready for a new challenge.

But Jen doesn’t want to listen to his life plans. She’s pissed because Dawson cancelled their lunch, invited Oliver to dinner which infringed on their personal time, and then allowed him to talk over her all night. She said a sex scene in his script was gratuitous and Oliver just wants to look at tits in the flesh and he should just go get a lap dance.

Dawson immediately apologizes and Jen realizes her ranting powers are back and forgives him.

At Joey’s dorm, Audrey is doing yoga (I never see her doing anything school-related ever) and Joey tells her she kissed the prof and dumped Elliot by returning his gift basket of remedies. That’s cold. (See what I did there? HUH? Swish.)

Joey says she pulled away from the kiss because she got scared, and then went on this weird thought train about her life following her here and she wants to be someone else and I don’t see what any of this has to do with why kissing your prof is bad pancakes.

Audrey gives her a sort of seize the day pep talk, but it sounds like a sleep with the professor pep talk, so fuck you, Audrey. Like, bonus points for the no judgement but literally encouraging this is ridiculous.

At the radio station, Jen is back to herself, but she’s eating Chinese food while dispensing advice and if I had to listen to chewing sounds over the radio, I’d be turning the station so fucking fast.

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Super professional, Jen. Nosh nosh nosh.

At Pacey’s work, Jack shows up with a cheque for the damages he caused. Pacey tells him he could’ve gotten fired. He then tries to talk to him as a friend, relating to him, wanting to talk about how things have been going, bringing up the deteriorating grades and behaviour. Jack cuts him off, “What do you want from me?!” And Pacey’s like, well, you’re flunking, drinking and fighting with guys who left you bleeding in a bar. Jack says he has to go.

Dawson meets with Oliver and admits he’s excited about the script and they talk and Oliver shows some emotional complexity, which is out of nowhere. Dawson agrees to direct the movie and Oliver says he want to play the lead and who knows how that’ll play out. Probably horribly.

The end.

Hopefully another year won’t pass before I do another one.


Dawson’s Creek Revisited: Season 5, Episode 2 – The Lost Weekend

In Joey’s swishy dorm room, she’s telling Dawson she intends to drop her writing class because she’s getting a C. So I guess quitting is better in the ivy leagues than just trying harder.

Dawson uses his cell to check his messages and says he got one from Joey on Friday. Oooh, so he didn’t get the message. Joey’s like, what?! and tries to grab the phone outta Dawson’s hands. He’s all about listening to it, though, so tough beans.

Ah, shiiiiiit.

Ah, shiiiiiit.

Did she not think it would come up? Dawson is upset because she basically said goodbye forever or something over the phone and then didn’t say anything about it when he got there, and Joey was like, well, you got here and didn’t bring it up, so why would I?

Uh, what? When you dump someone on the phone, typically you bring it up for discussion if that person shows up at your door.

Joey said she was drunk and mad he wasn’t visiting her and they never resolved anything, and Dawson’s confused about what didn’t get resolved. Then Audrey marches in wearing only a towel. Joey leaves after a lame suggestion of Dawson taking an impromptu campus tour (Which operate hourly or just on people’s whims?) while she drops that writing class. This leaves Audrey alone with Dawson, who she barely knows, in the dorm room in a just towel, which is something your average young woman has no apprehension doing within the safe perimeters of a college campus.

Now Jack is telling Jen some guy will call her even though he hasn’t got her number because that’s what technology is for these days: tracking down people you’re sexually attracted to. And to think, this is five years before Facebook.

Then they discuss sluttiness and how Jen’s not one, and I hate Jack’s hair something fierce.

Get a haircut, slob!

Get a haircut, slob!

It’s like a baby mullet.

Then, after his bit about technology, he reminds us it’s still early days and pulls out a map when he says they’re lost. Then, oh, look who it is, Chad Michael Murray (Charlie), that guy Jen was obsessing over. Dude, look at that hair. He holds a sign upside down from his radio show and Jen and Jack turn their heads to read it as though it weren’t entirely readable as is.

Womp womp

Womp womp

While trying to drop the class, the professor is calling out Joey for not being up for hard work and freaking out. Meanwhile, I’m distracted by those hip bones protruding above those ultra low-rise jeans and below a full-length shirt. God, I’m glad that style has fallen out of favour. It’s unnerving.

Anyway, Joey’s all “I tried but it’s complicated.” And while that shit used to fly with men back in Capeside, it cuts no ice with her professor who keeps challenging her. But then he gives up, makes a somewhat offside comment about it being like getting dumped, and that’s that. Or is it?

Now, Dawson is talking shit about Joey to Audrey, things like why is he letting this girl ruin his life? And how can someone so smart be so stupid? Well, it’s about time someone started seeing her clearly.

And it turns out dippy Audrey is the tour guide, so away they go. Jesus, if the tour is on her time, then why didn’t she suggest something fun? Like anything else?

Jen decides to crash Charlie’s radio show, and tease him on the air about a variety of topics. Because the surest way to get a boy to like you back is to shit on the things he loves.

They have a veiled conversation about how they met and him thinking Jack was her boyfriend and nope he’s gay, so now I guess they’re going to start something up together, which would never actually happen. Because, guys, she actually crashed his radio show and gave him shit on the air. That just screams crazy. “Get in here” doesn’t mean go on the air and air our private business.

And here’s Pacey, talking about the Caribbean while canoodling with a blonde and they’re arguing over some private Polaroid. Again, the last breath of experiences that predate a world of digital cameras being everywhere and the internet at our fingertips.

The Polaroid girl.

The Polaroid girl.

Her name is Melanie and she’s rich. She leaves without the picture. Smart move, lady. When the internet explodes, you might regret leaving it with that careless guy. Ah, hindsight.

Doug then shows up and wants to know what his loser brother is planning to do with his life, other than sleep with rich woman who buy him expensive shirts, and be a deckhand for yachting millionaires. He gives him a card and wants to talk to this restaurant guy about a job.

Joey’s walking around on campus and comes upon this line-up that’s longer than American Idol competitions, winding around, going up flights of stairs. It’s the line to drop classes. Womp womp.

Audrey’s not giving much of a tour, and instead is prying into Dawson’s personal business. She has the most nasal voice. It’s like three keys down from Fran Drescher. She says she’s from LA and she’s just obnoxious enough for that to seem believable. Dawson says his old friends are so great and everyone new he meets sucks. Which is interesting because his friends cause more drama than joy in his life from what I’ve witnessed.

At the restaurant, Pacey meets with the cook, Danny, who tries to push a dishwashing job on him and Pacey’s like nope.

In Charlie’s room, she’s going through his books and CDs. CDs! Seriously, this episode is such a snapshot of an incredibly brief sliver of time. There is a cell phone, but it’s a flip phone with no camera. People are using paper maps. Polaroids. CDs. I’m dying.

Anyway, Jen is continuing to bust this guy’s balls about him taking a feminist lit class, and his music collection. But he’s talking about how life-changing (No exaggeration, he’s really hyping it) Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You is compared to Whitney Houston, so maybe he is full of shit. After a little more verbal boxing they start making out.

Joey’s actually waiting in that line and calls Dawson to tell him how long it is. And she’s got a cell too. Those clunky things used to be pretty expensive in 2001. How poor Joey is really does fluctuate.

The line is so long and my phone is so big!

The line is so long and my phone is so big!

Audrey and Dawson find Joey in line and Audrey takes her place while Joey takes him aside for a private convo. Audrey gives a random guy a smile and he looks away and she sneers at him.

Joey then throws some serious shade at Audrey: she’s flirting with you, she flirts with everyone, why don’t you go find Jen and Jack? Shit. If you were so concerned, why’d you leave him in her company while she was in the towel? Dawson thinks Audrey is fun. Which compared to Joey, she sort of is, even while being an obnoxious ditz.

Joey is all over the place, she’s irritated he’s spending time with Audrey, wanting to act like this forever goodbye suggestion was no big deal, saying it’s normal to want to move on, then not agreeing to do it when Dawson wants a decision.

Joey actually makes her way through the epic line and turns out her Professor, Wilder, signed Oscar Wilde on the slip. HA! The line must’ve taken hours to wait through and he didn’t even really sign it.

Pacey’s out to dinner with Melanie and slagging on the restaurant they’re at. Turns out she’s a law student. She goes to pay the bill, being a realist, since Pacey doesn’t have a job and she has an allowance and a trust fund. This offends his sense of masculinity, but then she says “slacker boyfriend”. Ooooh.

Jen wakes up in bed with Charlie. It’s 5:00. Must’ve been pretty vigorous sex for both of them to doze off in the afternoon. Jen starts freaking out and in an effort to get out of there she forcibly borrows Charlie’s shoes. Good move. Slick.

Charlie stops her, tells her everything she wants to hear and Jen stops trying to run away with his shoes. Then they go back to do it some more.

Joey finds Wilder to give him a piece of her mind and he claims her rare knowledge of it’s versus its is too good to give up. To me that sounds like the most condescending sarcasm ever. But she calls it a compliment, “That’s no excuse for what you did to me!” So, what? We’re basing ivy league writing class readiness on basic grammar know-how?

Wilder tells Joey she’s the type of person who only likes to do things she can do well. Joey then unleashes all her private business on him about how she’s not dropping the class very well or handling her relationship well. Wilder tells her she’s talking nonsense and to write it down and see if can’t start making sense. I’d just let her drop the class and lose myself the headache.

Joey walks away and sulks over some paper with a pen while Wilder looks pleased with himself.



Audrey takes Dawson to a place where people go to commit suicide or make out, depending on their day. She offers to make out with Dawson, who’s like yeah! Then Audrey says, n’ah, Joey’s my friend sort of. Dawson reveals he got fired from his job and he obviously wants to move to Boston.

Without a word, Audrey sort of walks away and leaves Dawson staring out onto campus alone on the suicide spot. What a rude and weird thing to do.

Back with Wilder, he tells Joey her failing is she overthinks things. She tries to explain herself while giving him major doe eyes. He leaves her with the story she wrote down with an A- on it. Tempting her with fake grades that don’t count for anything. And boy, has he got her number. Overachievers can’t resist that shit. She throws away the paper he signed for her to drop the class.

Pacey comes back to the restaurant and gives the cook shit for charging $25 a head. $25 for a delicious entre in a nice place? According to my inflation calculator, that’s $33. Not super affordable, but also not insanely priced either for a major city. Maybe don’t eat there if you have no job?

Pacey shoots the shit with this guy while he’s working, and insults him several times to his delight, which doesn’t strike me as a thing. Chefs are kinda too busy for that crap. this guy’s just moseying around, taking his time. Pacey offers to work in the kitchen chopping things instead of washing dishes. Danny tells him if he works hard he can have any job. Pardon me while I snicker at the messages my generation were apparently being fed at impressionable ages even from this show about the world being our oyster.

Outside, Pacey starts flirting with the waitress while she smokes and gives the lowdown on the work environment. Pacey gives her flack for smoking twice. Great way to begin a new working relationship.

Joey runs into Audrey who tells her Dawson went home ’cause he was tired of Joey yanking his chain. She tells her he’s at the airport and Joey makes a run for it while Audrey makes a stupid face.

She makes it on time to see him at the airport and he says it must be nice to have Jen and Jack around. Completely missing the cues that he’s lonely and envious of her closeness to their friends she rubs salt in the wound about how great and family-like it is and how good it feels. She is so self-absorbed.

It’s last call for Dawson’s flight and then they start actually talking-talking. Joey’s playing more of her mind games. She felt understood when he didn’t bring up the message. He’s feeling hurt that she left it and didn’t say anything about it. She then dishes out the usual “it’s confusing” shit she does whenever Dawson wants a straight answer about if she wants him or not.

The airport staff want to know if Dawson’s actually getting on the plane and rather than just getting on the plane, these two fools hold up the whole airport trying to make a decision about their stupid relationship that never goes anywhere.

And he stays. This woman is bound and determined to derail his life at her whim, and he’s gonna let her.

MVA: Dawson – “Joey, as long as you live, I will never understand you.” Not terribly articulate, but he speaks for us all.