June 17, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 2.12, Uncharted Waters: How Not to Be a Parent
Summary: Pacey and Dawson are planning a fishing trip with their fathers (part of a fly-fishing competition), and Pacey isn’t looking forward to it. For his part, Dawson also expects disaster. It turns out that Sheriff Witter is more fatherly toward Dawson than he is toward Pacey. At school, Dawson tells Joey that Jen’s a natural at movie producing; Joey is totally not in any way jealous, and how dare you even think that.
Jen tells Joey that she promised Gail she’d help her with a news report about teen girls. She asks Joey to participate by being interviewed. Dawson learns just before he, Pacey, Mitch, and Sheriff Witter leave on their fishing trip that Jack has been invited. Speaking of being invited places, Abby and Andie both show up for Gail’s interviews.
Jack tells Dawson that he didn’t realize he’d be on the trip. Dawson taunts that Jack’s pretty confident to leave Joey alone for the weekend, since some artsy guy could come along and steal her away. Not that he would know what that’s like or anything. Gail’s interviews go horribly, since none of the girls will answer the questions. Jen tells her that everyone’s uncomfortable over being in the same room. Gail decides that they all need to bond first.
Out on the boat, Sheriff Witter gives everyone responsibilities except Pacey. Pacey complains and his father says he’s just preparing him for all the disappointments he’ll face in life. Abby organizes a field trip to Dawson’s room so the girls can snoop. Jack tells Dawson they don’t have to be friends, then says flat out that he didn’t steal Joey from him. Dawson replies that Jack’s crazy if he thinks things are over between him and Joey. Jack points out that he and Joey have something. Abby looks through Dawson’s closet (Joey and Jen try to lock her in) while Andie discovers that Dawson has a porno in his room.
Pacey catches a fish but Sheriff Witter loses it (in more than one way) while reeling it in. He blasts Pacey for not using a new pole, saying that Pacey’s hopeless if he can’t follow even the simplest directions. Dawson asks Pacey why he invited Jack along. Pacey says he did it partly for Andie and partly because Jack doesn’t know any other guys in town. Dawson’s upset that Pacey didn’t warn him ahead of time. Pacey utters a “screw you,” saying he’s just trying to get through the day without totally screwing up.
The girls watch Dawson’s porno (Good Will Humping), thoroughly entertained, and are caught by Gail. Andie tries to cover up what they’re doing, but Abby spills the beans, saying she won’t lie because she has morals. Jen decides this is a good time to ask Joey why she’s still acting like Jen stole Dawson from her. Joey tells her that if she wants to be friends, Jen needs to stop encroaching on her life. She’s mad that Jen’s become Dawson’s go-to girl and won’t “own up to [her] motives.” She thinks Jen still wants Dawson back.
The guys head to a bar, where Dawson complains to Pacey about Mitch’s midlife crisis activities. Pacey’s jealous that Dawson can talk to his dad about his feelings. Jack butts in, informing Dawson that Sheriff Witter’s put him on a pedestal and made him something Pacey can’t live up to. Gail conducts the interviews again, and Abby takes them over by talking about how insecure the other girls are. Gail announces that Abby’s done and kicks her out.
Dawson asks Mitch what he’s planning to do in terms of his restaurant and, you know, his whole life. Mitch clearly doesn’t have anything planned. Dawson’s surprised that he took time off to go fishing. Mitch knows there has to be something out there for him to put his passion behind, and he’s not going to stop looking until he finds it. A drunken Sheriff Witter plays darts against Pacey, getting a little aggressive and challenging Pacey to beat one of his good shots. Pacey throws the competition so his father will win.
Jen admits that Abby was right about the girls’ insecurities, and she, Joey, and Andie start opening up about them. Andie thinks she tries so hard to get good grades because she doesn’t want people to see that she’s a fraud who doesn’t know what she’s doing. Jen feels like she has less to prove in Capeside than she did in New York, but she still has the same reputation. Joey gets defensive when people with different experiences come along because she can’t live up to them. Her only identity is that of a small-town girl. She doesn’t want people threatening the little she has.
Jack confesses to Dawson that he’s been seasick the whole time they’ve been on the boat, but he didn’t want to admit it. He also spills that his father left the family. He doesn’t want Dawson to feel abandoned by Mitch since Mitch didn’t go that far. Pacey conducts his own father/son talk, since a barely conscious Sheriff Witter won’t participate in one. He wishes his father would see that he’s special the way Andie does. Pacey gets emotional, wondering why his father gave up on him so early in his life and why he won’t support his son. “I can’t do this by myself,” he says. The next day, Pacey catches a huge fish, spending a brief bonding moment with Sheriff Witter when they reel it in together.
Gail tells Joey that when the girls were talking about their fears and dreams, she started feeling a little sorry for herself. She’s always wanted a daughter and feels maternal toward Joey, who she’s very proud of. Joey’s very pleased to hear this from her. Andie finds Abby outside the house, where she’s been sitting all night. Abby says she’s a crucial member of the group (punching bag), but no one notices. “Being sweet is boring,” she says, admitting that she creates drama because her life is so uninteresting. Andie wishes she had an uninteresting life, and the girls laugh a little over wanting each other’s lives.
Joey apologizes to Jen for being so competitive with her. Jen thinks Dawson has room in his life for both of them. Joey announces that she respects Jen and who she is, which Jen is glad to hear. Back on land, Pacey collects a trophy for his big fish, then talks to Sheriff Witter about how good to felt to catch it. Sheriff Witter tells him to enjoy the moment because he won’t have many more of them. Pacey can’t believe he set himself up for another disappointment. Dawson reminds him that other people in his life respect him, including Andie.
Mitch takes Dawson home, telling him he’s trying to be the best father he can. Dawson thanks him for never making him feel like a failure even when he makes mistakes. He’s recently realized how lucky he is to have Mitch as a father. Mitch starts to go inside the house, then remembers he doesn’t live there anymore.
Thoughts: I just found out that Meredith Monroe was 31 when she was on the show. Yet she looked younger than any of the others. I must find out her secret.
Actually, the secret may be her wardrobe. Plaid jumper and pink barrettes, anyone?
Pacey to Jack: “Put your hand on the rod.” That’s what she said. Or he, knowing when we know about Jack.