March 17, 2012
Summary: Jen wants to know all about Jack and Tobey’s love life, as they’re planning to go on another date. Drue gives them their yearbooks and shows them the “class couple” photo of Joey and Pacey. Jen and Jack wonder if they’ve seen it yet and if they’re talking. Drue wonders if anyone other than them cares. (I love you, Drue.) They don’t think Joey and Pacey have even talked since prom, and Dawson and Gretchen probably haven’t either. Jack says the latter couple is less likely to get back together than the former couple. Drue proposes a bet.
Dawson finishes up his Mr. Brooks movie before sending it off to USC. Gail asks if he’s okay with how he and Gretchen left things, telling him she gave notice at the restaurant and is leaving town. Since she didn’t tell Dawson, he figures she doesn’t want him to know. Gail suggests that he ask her to sign his yearbook, which is possibly the dumbest thing she’s ever said. Pacey gets Gretchen’s car ready for her trip and asks if she’s talked to Dawson. They note that they would probably feel better if they dealt with their exes, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually going to.
Jen is stunned to find a Realtor in her house, showing people around. Grams never mentioned that she’s selling the house. At the yacht club, Joey runs into Mr. Kubelik, the advisor from her future college, and he asks after Pacey. He and the dean have an offer for him. This means Joey will have to bring him to a party the next night. Jen confronts Grams about selling the house, which she thinks is necessary so Grams can afford her tuition. Grams confirms this, but announces that she also plans to move to a retirement community.
Dawson stops by the restaurant and actually asks Gretchen to sign his yearbook. He’s upset that she was going to leave without saying goodbye. She’s decided to go back to college, and will leave the day after tomorrow to take a little road trip before classes start. Dawson’s stunned that it’s happening so fast. Gretchen asks to keep his yearbook for a little while so she can think about what she wants to write in it.
Joey goes to the beach house and relays Mr. Kubelik’s message to Pacey. Pacey blurts that he misses her, and she says she misses him, too. He doesn’t think they’re supposed to end up like this. Joey asks him to go to the party with her, and he accepts. The next day, Gretchen advises Pacey not to go, though he notes that a woman who’s running away from her problems isn’t the best source of advice. He wants a sign, and if he gets an offer to go to Worthington, he’ll know he’s supposed to be with Joey. He tells Gretchen how glad he is that she came home this year.
Grams takes Jen to visit the retirement community she wants to move to. Grams gets lectured about not having a pass to get in. Mitch watches Dawson’s movie, which he loves, and says he’s sure USC will beg Dawson to join their film program. Mitch thinks Dawson and Mr. Brooks were alike because of the way they went after what they wanted. He thinks Mr. Brooks was an inspiration, and Dawson starts to see the same thing.
As Pacey picks Joey up for the party, Jen tells Grams there’s no way she’s moving to the retirement community. It’s too big of a sacrifice. Grams sees it as a gift instead. Jen wishes she’d applied for loans instead of letting Grams spend all her money on her tuition. She announces that she’s not going to Boston and she’s not letting Grams sell the house. At the party, Joey and Pacey try to pretend that they’re totally okay being there together.
Dawson goes to the beach house and tells Gretchen he wants to go with her. If he doesn’t, he’ll always wonder what could have happened if they hadn’t let everything else (college, Joey, etc.) get in the way. He wants to go off together and see what happens. Gretchen notes that he hasn’t gone to graduation yet, but Dawson doesn’t see the point. She still thinks the idea is crazy; that’s what appeals to him. He kisses her and tells her to just say yes. She does.
Dawson goes back home to write a goodbye letter to his parents, but he has to stop to watch Lily. Since he has no friends, apparently, he has to talk to a baby about his issues. He’s tired of putting his happiness aside for everyone else. Pacey meets Worthington’s dean of admissions, who’s chartering Mr. Kubelik’s yacht for the summer. The men want Pacey to work as a deckhand. Pacey’s disappointed that that was the offer they wanted to extend to him.
Jen shares her new plan with Jack: go to a state college for a year or two to save up money, then transfer to Boston Bay College to be with Jack. She points out that Grams took her in and took care of her, so Jen can’t turn her back. Jack admires her selflessness, but also thinks it’s pretty convenient since now she won’t have to leave Capeside. He knows she’s scared because she’s leaving the only place where she’s only felt safe, as well as the only person who’s ever taken care of her.
Pacey tells Joey about the yacht offer, and she decides it’s time for them to leave. He thinks she should stay since she’s so comfortable with the people she’s about to spend the next four years with. This is her life now, and she needs to enjoy it. Joey says she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it without him and leads him off.
Gretchen stops by the Leerys’, where Dawson has enjoyed spending the evening alone with his new sister. He wonders if Lily and Alexander will wind up with a Dawson/Joey friendship. Gretchen asks about Dawson’s goodbye letter, but he’s still working on it. She notes that his letter to Joey will be even harder to write. She heads back to the beach house to finish packing and cleaning. He wishes her luck and they kiss goodbye. Pacey takes Joey home, but she wants to spend the night at his house.
In the morning, Grams asks Jen if Jack talked her out of her plans. Jen pretends she doesn’t want to talk about it, then asks Grams if she’d like to move to Boston. Grams doesn’t want Jen to change things for her. Jen admits that she’s scared to go to school away from home, so if Grams is there, she’ll feel better. Grams has no idea what she would do in Boston. Jen says a change of scenery might inspire her.
Joey finds Pacey at the marina and apologizes for making him go to the party. He tells her that nothing that’s happened is her fault, including their breakup (though that’s not what he said at the prom). He feels horrible for blaming her for his insecurities and making her feel guilty for her accomplishments. Pacey’s proud of her and wishes he’d shown it. He admits that at the party, he was jealous of all the people who will get to spend next year with Joey. She thinks what happened was a sign.
Dawson packs but is clearly unsure of his decision. He goes to the beach house to meet Gretchen but instead finds his yearbook, which includes a photo of him and Gretchen, plus her message. She wrote that as much as she needs to leave, he needs to stay. He also needs to say a proper goodbye to this chapter of his life. Gretchen’s already in love with Dawson and doesn’t need a road trip to know it. He’ll never know how much he means to her. Joey and Dawson wind up by the water together and ask about each other’s weeks, but neither elaborates on what happened. She asks what he’s doing this summer. “This,” he replies.
Thoughts: Asking your college-age girlfriend to sign your high school yearbook is about as lame as you can get.
Why are they throwing a party in Capeside for freshmen at a college in Boston? How many Capeside students got into Worthington? Do they do this in every city with freshmen going to Worthington? Why am I thinking about this so much?
Work on a yacht sailing around islands for the summer? Say yes, Pacey.
I take it Mr. Brooks didn’t leave Grams any money? Boo.
March 11, 2012
Summary: Bessie’s altering Joey’s prom dress, though Joey thinks prom is a bad idea, considering what happened last year. Pacey asks her to pick up their tickets since he isn’t allowed to buy them due to his poor grades. He wants to make prom night perfect for Joey, who tells him he doesn’t have to go overboard. Then he accidentally rips her zipper.
Over at Jen’s, Tobey tells her and Jack about a past prom experience where he came out to his date and she tried to turn him (quite aggressively). After he leaves, Jen urges Jack to ask him to the prom since they’re getting along so well. She’s sure Tobey wants him to ask. Jack was burned too badly by last year’s drama and doesn’t want to lead Tobey on.
Jen and Gretchen try on dresses while Dawson and Jack try on tuxes. Gretchen is excited to revisit her high school years with Dawson before heading to Boston. Joey thinks Jen has been sad since they got back from New York, though Jen claims she feels good about her life. Jack warns Dawson to “be careful” if he and Gretchen decide to have sex on prom night. Joey confides in Jen about her pregnancy scare, adding that she feels like Pacey’s being hands-off.
Dawson and Gretchen run into each other and she tells him she didn’t get the job in Boston partly because she doesn’t have a college degree. Now she’s not sure what she’s going to do. Dawson tells her she can skip prom, but she wants him to have a good experience. Jen tells Tobey that Jack wants to ask him to the prom but is afraid of being rejected. Tobey doesn’t think Jack’s interested, so Jen says that Jack begged her to come talk to Tobey.
Joey and Pacey wind up alone at the B&B, but Pacey’s uninterested in taking advantage of the circumstances. Jack calls Jen, who scrambles to excuse her actions, noting that Jack set her and Henry up. Jack assures her that he’s not upset, though he was a little ticked when Tobey called and said his answer (to an unasked question) was yes. Jack has decided to enact revenge, in the form of telling Drue that Jen wants to go to the prom with him.
On prom night, Mitch and Gail take pictures of Dawson as he tells Lily that their parents may seem weird but they’re actually cool. Joey arrives and Dawson’s parents take pictures of the two of them together. Dawson tells her that he’s glad they’ve wound up where they are after the past year. Gretchen and Pacey meet their significant others, but Pacey feels bad because he didn’t refrigerate the corsages. Dawson takes flowers from Gail’s garden instead.
As Drue joins the others at the Leerys’ house, Jack nervously picks up Tobey. When they get to the Leerys’, Jen complains to Jack about Drue, but he tells her she should have thought about the consequences of her actions ahead of time. Both of them announce that they’re going to have fun tonight no matter what. Jen gives herself a little liquid courage to help with that. Pacey also promises Joey a good night. Then the kids’ limo (arranged by Pacey) arrives, but it’s a piece of junk.
The kids stop at a convenience store, where Drue tries to get Gretchen to buy some alcohol. Jack and Tobey realize they both love Sno-Balls. Jen offers Pacey some booze, but Pacey tells her his dad and brother will make him take a breathalyzer later. He thinks she’s drinking because of Drue; she says she has other things to worry about. Pacey doesn’t get how their friends can be so care-free when their future plans aren’t going to work out. Inside, Joey catches Dawson buying condoms.
Everyone heads to the boat where prom is being held, and Dawson jokes that if anyone questions why Gretchen’s there, she can say she’s a chaperone. Jen snaps at Drue for following her, and he tells her Jack gave him $50 to stalk her all night. Jack and Tobey talk about their exes, and Jack is clearly loosening up.
Speaking of loosening up, that’s what Joey tries to get Pacey to do, since she thinks something’s wrong. He denies this, though she’s noticed that he’s been pretending everything’s perfect since he got back from his “camping trip.” Pacey says he’s trying to be who Joey wants him to be so she can have the perfect prom experience. She reminds him that she hasn’t said anything about wanting things to be perfect. Pacey blasts her for getting mad whether he’s acting happy or unhappy.
Drue finds a drunk Jen on the deck and tries to take her booze. She sits on the railing and tells him she won’t confide in him because he doesn’t care. Drue encourages her to talk, so she tells him about her visit to New York. He’s worried about her sitting on the railing but can’t convince her to come down.
Gretchen goes outside so Dawson can talk to Joey, who’s upset about her argument with Pacey. Joey insists she’s fine and doesn’t want to talk, especially about the condoms. Dawson admits that he and Gretchen haven’t had sex but might tonight. Joey asks if he’s in love with her. Dawson only knows that it “feels right.” Joey’s glad that his first time is going to be with Gretchen. Dawson says he waited so long because he wanted to find someone he loved as much as Joey, then realized that wouldn’t happen. Joey says she’ll probably never love anyone the way she loved him either.
Pacey finds Gretchen trying to drown her sorrows; she’s upset because she graduated high school four years ago and is still at the prom. For the first time since she and Dawson got together, she feels too old to be doing what she’s doing. Pacey says that since he’s technically still a junior, he shouldn’t be there. He admits that he’s been angry with Joey, though he’s not sure why. Gretchen urges him to talk to her, noting that they’re trapped on a boat together, so he might as well try.
Tobey wants to dance with Jack, but Jack’s insistent that everything remain platonic. Tobey thinks he’s trying to fight his feelings, telling Jack to figure things out or risk losing something great. Pacey and Gretchen see Joey and Dawson dancing together comfortably, so of course there’s going to be drama about that.
When the song’s over, Pacey tells Joey that when she was with Dawson, she looked happier than she has in weeks. The problem is that Pacey didn’t feel angry or jealous – in fact, he didn’t feel anything. He just has one question: “Why are you with me?” Pacey feels like a charity project. Joey tries to tell him that it’s not about him, but he yells that it obviously is. He feels inferior when he’s with her, but he’s realizing that that’s not his fault.
Pacey rants that the whole evening almost collapsed because he screwed up. Joey says again that she didn’t ask for anything and doesn’t care about the problems. He yells that he wants her to care. He doesn’t feel like he’s trapped on the boat, but that he’s trapped in their relationship, and he can’t take it anymore. “When I’m with you, I feel like I’m nothing!” he says. Pacey has stopped touching her because it reminds him that he’s not good enough. Joey tells him to go to hell.
Drue keeps trying to get Jen down from the railing, but she still refuses. She almost pulls an Abby, but he catches her and pulls her back onto the deck. Joey cries to Dawson that she doesn’t know why Pacey said what he did since that’s not her. Drue thinks Jen should go back to New York since she’s become a lightweight. She doesn’t want to go back, and she feels like she’s changed but doesn’t want to admit it. Drue tells her not to go backwards when she can go forward. He suggests Boston for college since he’s going to be there.
Jack apologizes to Tobey, admitting that his feelings took him by surprise. When they first met, Tobey was so out that it was all Jack could see about him. Now he’s seen more, and the one thing that turned him off before is just another thing Jack likes about him. They kiss, then go dance.
Dawson finally gets back to Gretchen, who has figured out what she needs to do with her life: go back to college and figure out who she is. Capeside isn’t her place, and Dawson isn’t for her. He’s still chasing after Joey. They need to tie up their loose ends. Dawson isn’t ready for them to be over, but Gretchen says they have an “impossible situation.” He may be good at them, but she’s not.
Pacey tracks down Joey and tells her that he used to think he could give her what other people couldn’t: a wall, a summer on his boat, the night on the ski trip. Now he hates himself, and being with her makes it worse. The more Joey loves him, the angrier he gets. Pacey’s failures don’t have anything to do with her, but if they stay together, he’ll keep taking them out on her. Joey notes that the way he treats her is in his power.
Pacey continues that their senior year is basically over, and they’re different people on different paths. They won’t have a boat trip this summer. Soon one of them will be in Boston while the other stays in Capeside. Joey’s spent her whole life trying to get out of Capeside, but that’s who Pacey is, and she deserves better. She doesn’t like this reasoning and tells him to leave her alone.
As the limo takes the kids home, Jack offers Drue his agreed-upon dating fee, but Drue declines it. No one’s talking to anyone else. The driver asks if they want to go to an after-party, but no one responds.
Thoughts: Yeah, I bet Gail lost the baby weight that fast.
I like Joey’s prom dress. It’s kind of simple, but it makes sense that she wouldn’t want anything too flashy. And I love that shade of purple.
Drue: “Oh, cool, a baby. Can I hold it?” Dawson, Joey, Mitch, Gail, Gretchen: “No.” An easy joke, but I laughed.
I can’t believe none of the girls got her hair done. Maybe there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a hairstylist?
This episode aired in May, but you can see everyone’s breath. Couldn’t they have edited that out in post-production? Maybe they still didn’t have enough money even after not paying hairstylists.
No way would Jen not have been searched for alcohol before getting on the boat, after what she pulled on the ski trip.
March 6, 2012
Summary: Mitch and Gail are about to go on their last date before the baby comes. (Going on a date when you’re two weeks overdue is probably not a good idea.) Gail announces that she’s going into labor, so Mitch rushes her to the hospital, leaving Dawson and Gretchen behind at the house. However, it turns out to be a false alarm. Because of Gail’s age, the doctor wants to induce labor in a few days. This gives the family a little longer to decide on a name.
Jack shows up late to tutor with Tobey, who he’s getting along with much better. Meanwhile, Joey’s trying to get in touch with Pacey, who’s off on a fishing trip with Doug. Bessie tells her she’s officially an annoying girlfriend. Dawson tells Gretchen that Gail’s throwing a naming shower the next afternoon; Gretchen’s leaving the next day for a job interview in Boston. Dawson’s surprised by the news. She asks how he feels about long-distance relationships, noting that he could always move to Boston, too. He feels like they’re breaking up, but she says they’re facing reality.
Jack offers to stay behind with a student so Tobey can leave early. Tobey waits for a bus with two shady-looking guys. Joey goes to the beach house, anxious about Pacey being out of touch, and Gretchen admits that he’s not on a fishing trip. She tells Joey about his arrest and explains that Doug took Pacey camping so they could talk. Gretchen’s worried that Pacey’s life will completely fall apart if everyone isn’t extra sensitive. Joey still wants to talk to him. Gretchen calls her selfish, but Joey explains herself: She’s late.
Jen and Grams attend Gail’s shower, so if Gail goes into labor there, at least one person will be able to deliver the baby. Gretchen arrives next and Dawson is a little more supportive of her possible new job. Joey and Bessie are next to show up, and Gretchen tries to check on Joey, who clearly hasn’t shared her news with anyone else. Grams kicks Dawson and Mitch out so the women can party on their own.
Jack goes back to the tutoring center, where the kids are going wild because Tobey hasn’t shown up. Grams does that string trick to determine the sex of the baby, telling Gail it’s just what she wants. Bessie’s name suggestions are Sophie and Satchel. Dawson and Mitch hang out in a treehouse with cigars, which they don’t actually smoke. Mitch admits that he’s not completely looking forward to taking care of a newborn. It took Dawson calling him Daddy to make him really enjoy parenthood. Dawson thinks they can wait until the baby’s born to decide on a name.
Jen shares her baby name suggestions: Emma and Jackson (as in Pollack). Gretchen likes Kurt (as in Cobain) and Isabella. Grams suggests Rosemary and Thomas. Dawson and Mitch talk about Gretchen’s possible move; Mitch wonders if she’s doing it because Dawson’s going to California. He advises Dawson to follow his own path because you never know what will happen. Joey couldn’t think of baby names, but she brought Gail that stupid necklace Dawson used to wear all the time.
Bessie brings up Joey’s birth, which lasted for hours and ended when their mother, Lillian, called out that everyone was waiting to meet Joey. Joey can’t take it anymore and leaves. Jack goes to Tobey’s house but Tobey won’t open the door, saying he has the flu. He’s really trying to hide the injuries he sustained when the shady-looking guys beat him up. Jack encourages him to go to the police, but Tobey refuses.
Bessie asks what’s going on with Joey, quickly guessing that she might be pregnant. Bessie wants Joey to talk to her so they can straighten out her life. Joey shoots back that she’ll wind up with a life like Bessie’s. Bessie accuses her of thinking she’s superior, noting that at least she has Bodie to help her out, while Joey can’t depend on Pacey. The fight is interrupted when Gail goes into labor.
Dawson, Mitch, and Gretchen accompany Gail to the hospital while Jack visits Jen, who’s knitting something for the baby. He tells her about Tobey’s attack, which Jack thinks was actually a gay-bashing, not a mugging. He’s surprised that the usually-militant Tobey doesn’t want to take action. Jen thinks Jack shouldn’t just brush Tobey’s silence aside.
Apparently Dawson thinks a hospital hallway is a good place to have a conversation with Gretchen about their future. He also wants to know why she wouldn’t sleep with him on the beach in Maine. She points out that getting closer right now, when they’re about to move across the country from each other, is a bad idea. Mitch informs them that Gail’s labor was another false alarm, so everyone heads back home.
Joey goes back to the beach house, not knowing where else to go. Gretchen thinks Pacey would be a good parent; it’s himself he can’t take care of. She encourages Joey to talk to Bessie since she’ll need her family if she turns out to be pregnant. She tells Joey about her miscarriage the year before, admitting that it’s what brought her back to Capeside. Joey notes that she’s been successful since then, asking if Dawson’s going to Boston with her. She tells Gretchen that Dawson would do anything for her, but Gretchen doesn’t want him to get closer when he’s about to leave.
Gail thinks she’s in labor for real, but Mitch and Dawson have been burned enough times not to freak out. Jack returns to Tobey’s house with a police officer and tells Tobey to file a report. Tobey just wants to forget the attack ever happened. The officer tells him that the odds are in his favor because gay kids are more likely to be attacked. He encourages Tobey to speak out since most kids aren’t brave enough.
Mitch is still anxious about having another child, but there’s not much he can do about it now. Joey returns home, having spent the night at the beach house, and Bessie admits to pushing her out of her crib when she was little. She hated Joey when she was a baby because she no longer had their mother to herself. Joey admires Bessie for taking on motherhood instead of running away, as well as taking care of her sister. She hopes she has Bessie’s courage if she winds up needing it. Bessie promises her support.
Jack pushes Tobey to go to the tutoring center instead of hiding out in his house. Tobey’s surprised to see him as an activist. Jack says the two of them aren’t as different as he used to think they were. If he’d left before Tobey, their positions could be reversed. Joey finally takes a pregnancy test, and it’s negative. Later, she goes to the hospital with Bessie, Jen, and Grams, but the baby still hasn’t been born.
Dawson asks Joey if she and Pacey have discussed the future yet. He encourages them to since it has a way of making things clear. Joey thinks he and Gretchen should discuss things, adding that sex isn’t what she expected it to be. It doesn’t necessarily bring people closer. It’s a magnifying glass that highlights what a relationship is really like.
The sex talk has to end because the baby’s there, and Dawson goes in to meet his new sister. Gail tells everyone that she used Lillian’s trick to get the baby to come out, calling the baby by name. She and Mitch are naming their daughter Lillian. That night, Pacey finally gets in touch with Joey, but she assures him that everything’s fine. She doesn’t tell him about her pregnancy scare and he doesn’t tell her he’s not really fishing with Doug.
Gretchen’s waiting for Dawson when he gets home, having decided to take a later train so they can get it on. She reminds him that there’s no hope for them, and he says he knows they might as well just break up now, but they proceed anyway. (And fortunately, we don’t have to see any of it.)
Thoughts: I’m pretty sure most doctors induce if you’re two weeks overdue. And if the doctor’s that concerned about Gail’s age, why not just do it?
I get not choosing a name until the baby’s born, but did Mitch and Gail not even have any ideas?
I hate when TV characters freak out about possible pregnancies before taking a test. And I especially hate it when they keep putting off the test but remind us every five minutes that they might be pregnant. It’s especially bad on soaps.
The gay-bashing story would have been better if Jack had been the one who was attacked. Tobey’s only been in a few episodes and he’s not all that likable; it would have been smarter to have the story center on a character the audience actually cares about.
I’ll give them Lillian Leery, which sounds nice, but Lily Leery is really unfortunate.
March 3, 2012
Summary: Dawson and Gretchen are in his bedroom, playing a game. No, not that kind of game. The board game Life. Seriously. The next day is senior ditch day, which Gretchen remembers fondly as a time when she and her friends drove to Virginia and back for no apparent reason. Dawson notes that he’s never done anything even close to that interesting. He decides that they need to take a road trip, and apparently Mitch and Gail don’t need to know anything about it.
Jen is quiet during a session with Frost, thinking about the song “Sweet Jane.” Suddenly she’s in Grand Central Station with Joey, supposedly visiting New York to see a college. Pacey and Drue are at school, despite it being ditch day; Drue was told he might not graduate if he ditched, and Pacey’s about to take a test. Drue suggests that they ditch after that, but Pacey wants to be a good student. Drue pretends to wonder what Joey might be up to.
Jen and Joey meet up with an old friend of Jen’s named Tyfo who’s excited that she might come back to New York. Jen isn’t sure she can do it. As Pacey starts his test, Dawson and Gretchen get a flat tire after six hours of driving. She’s happy that the trip might turn into an adventure. She suggests hitchhiking, but there’s a town six miles away that he’d rather walk to. Joey and Jen head to Jen’s admissions meeting, but it quickly becomes clear that there is no meeting. She really came to New York to see her father. Jen sends Joey off to explore, but Joey wants to go with her.
Dawson and Gretchen find themselves in a tiny place in Maine that might actually be a ghost town. They’re able to buy a new tire, but they can’t get a ride back to their car because the mechanic’s car isn’t working. Dawson offers to help him fix it as Gretchen heads off to find something to eat. Jen and Joey go to Jen’s father’s office, and Joey suggests that Jen take a few minutes to really think about what she wants before she does anything.
Back in Capeside, Pacey and Drue give each other meaningful looks. Jen cries in a bathroom, and Joey asks her what happened to her. Jen says she hated visiting Capeside when she was little because she didn’t like staying with Grams. One weekend she and her mother were supposed to go to Capeside alone while her father worked, and her mom got so fed up with Jen that she sent her home. Jen was happy to skip the Capeside trip and spend the weekend with her father.
As Gretchen finds a diner, Jen and Joey finally go in to see Jen’s father, Theo. Joey tells him they’re in the city because Jen got accepted to the University of New York. Theo immediately clears his schedule to spend the day with them. Drue and Pacey go to a bar where Drue seems to spend a lot of time, though under the name Gilbert. He gives Pacey a fake ID so they can do tequila shots. Drue explains that he brought Pacey there because the bar is near a community college, Pacey’s last college option. Pacey doesn’t want to discuss school or the future.
Dawson and Gretchen get a ride back to their car, but when they can’t afford to pay the mechanic for the tire or the ride, he ditches them. Meanwhile, Joey, Jen, and Theo go to a fancy restaurant where Theo’s a VIP. Joey helps Jen out by making small talk with Theo so Jen doesn’t have to. He talks up New York, saying he’s lived there 30 years but it still surprises him every day. It’s like a living organism you can have a relationship with.
Gretchen refuses to give Dawson the food from the diner until he comes up with a solution to their car problem. He suggests walking back to town, calling his parents, and getting them to wire money. Gretchen notes that that’s expensive, requires a lot of effort, and probably wouldn’t work out since the town most likely doesn’t have the capability in the middle of the night. Pacey tries to bluff his way through a conversation with the bartender; he’s supposed to be from Rhode Island, according to his fake ID, but Pacey can’t prove it. (He’s also too drunk to lie well.)
Theo has to leave dinner early, but he tells the girls to stay at the restaurant and get whatever they want, then go out on the town. Jen tries to hide how upset she is that he’s leaving. After dinner, she and Joey go to a roof where they can see all over the city. Joey’s now even more in love with New York. She asks Jen for the rest of the story she was telling earlier, and Jen says she spend the weekend wandering around the city. Joey asks why she didn’t go home to be with her father, and Jen says she did. Then she announces that she has to go. Joey’s worried she won’t come back.
Dawson and Gretchen build a fire on the beach and make out. She interrupts to ask what’s going on with him. He says people have visions of their lives that don’t match reality. Part of him still feels like he and Joey should have had their first sexual experiences together. But now he knows he needs to let go. Dawson has a lot ahead of him in the future, including college, his parents’ new baby, and Gretchen. He’s not sure what they’re waiting for. Gretchen isn’t sure either.
Jen goes to her parents’ house, where Theo’s asleep in the study. She tells him the rest of the story she didn’t tell Joey: When she came back to the house from the train station, she caught him in bed with a 17-year-old. Theo tells her she imagined something that never happened. “Daddy, who are you?” she asked, crying. “I’m your father,” he replies. Jen thinks he knew that she knew, and when her life got bad, he punished her for something she didn’t do. She doesn’t want an apology; she just wants to be able to forgive herself for things she can’t change.
Pacey and Drue wrap up their night with an arrest for underage drinking and a visit from Doug. Doug blasts his brother for adding another screw-up to his long list. Pacey yells that this is all he’ll get in life. Dawson and Gretchen are about to get down to business, but she thinks he just wants to prove something. When they do have sex, she wants it to be because they love each other and are ready to show it to each other.
All at the same time, Pacey’s driven home in a cop car, Joey waits for Jen, and Dawson sleeps on the beach while Gretchen sits nearby, awake. Jen gets to the station in time for the train, and we cut back to Frost’s office, where she tells him she got what she needed. Frost wants to keep discussing her issues with her father, but Jen doesn’t have anything else to say. She leaves his office, telling him she’ll see him around.
Thoughts: Michelle Williams is really amazing in this episode. In the scene where she goes to the house and tells her father what she saw, you can see how much better she is than this show and what she’s usually given to do. And even in the scene in the restaurant, when Joey and Theo are talking about New York and Jen is just sitting there, listening and trying to keep it together, you can tell what she’s thinking, which is the mark of a great actor.
I’m sad that we never really had a senior ditch day, since it took place during our senior trip (which I talked about in my recap of “A Winter’s Tale”).
Maybe Jen could have asked Jen if it was okay for her to tag along to meet with her father before she invited herself.
I also love how whenever characters on a TV show go to New York for the first time, they’re able to navigate the city without any trouble (or a map). Jen sends Joey off to do whatever she wants, and Joey doesn’t get lost or even say she doesn’t know how to get back to the train station.
$40 for a tire? I need to move to Maine.
February 25, 2012
Summary: It’s lunchtime at Capeside High, and the topic of conversation, at least for Jen and Joey, is college. Joey and Dawson both get called to the administrative office with instructions to call home. The secretary tells them they’ve probably gotten college mail. They both call home and learn that Joey was accepted to Worthington while Dawson was rejected by NYU. Joey shares her news with Pacey, who’s very excited for her. She finds the situation surreal. Pacey wants to take her home to see the letter in person.
Jack and Jen go on a college binge, looking over all sorts of materials to review their options. Jack thinks they’ve both already decided on the University of New York, but Jen isn’t so sure anymore. At the B&B, Bessie and Bodie congratulate Joey and tell her they’re through her a celebratory barbeque the next day. Joey reads the acceptance letter herself and gets happy again.
At the Leerys’, Dawson tells Gail to stop looking at him with pity; he claims he’s fine with not going to NYU. Gretchen comes over to take Dawson out and cheer him up. He’s worried that his rejection from NYU will mean he also won’t get into USC. Gretchen notes that Mr. Brooks didn’t go to college and was successful in movie-making. Dawson realizes that he could use the money Mr. Brooks left him to make movies.
Jen talks to Frost about how Jack wants to go to school in New York. This leads to a discussion of her parents, who still live there. Frost notes that she gets very serious when she talks about her parents, or rather, avoids talking about them. Jen hasn’t seen her mother since the Thanksgiving she visited and hasn’t talked to her father in years. Frost wants to know why it’s so hard for her to talk about the last conversation she had with him.
Speaking of topics people don’t want to talk about, Pacey doesn’t want to discuss what Joey’s college acceptance will mean for their relationship. Joey then gets a letter from Worthington telling her she’ll need to pay $15,000 to attend. She and Bessie meet with Capeside High’s admissions counselor, who tells them that since the B&B is doing well, Joey doesn’t qualify for financial aid. Joey doesn’t want to take out student loans, so she’s resigned to giving up her dream of going to Worthington.
Joey and Bessie return home in time for the barbeque, which Bessie offers to cancel. Joey refuses, asking her not to tell anyone what she’s decided. She briefly talks to Dawson, who can tell that something’s wrong. Joey then tells Pacey that she can’t afford to go to Worthington. She doesn’t want to tell anyone else the news because she doesn’t want their pity.
Jen, Jack, Dawson, and Gretchen talk about New York, then toast Joey. Gretchen can tell from Pacey’s expression that something’s off. Jen tells Jack to cheer Dawson up about NYU by telling him New York sucks, but Jack points out that she’s been talking the city up for two years. She picks a fight with him and storms off.
Gretchen thinks Pacey’s feeling left out because everyone else is talking about college and he’s not going. She asks what he wants for the future. Pacey confides that Joey can’t go to Worthington after all, and he’s kind of happy about it. Jen admits to Jack that she’s afraid to go back to New York. He assures her that they don’t have to go there; he’ll be fine as long as they’re near each other. Mitch and Gail come to the barbeque and give Dawson an acceptance letter from USC.
Joey goes inside to cry, and when Dawson follows her, she tells him she can’t afford her school. He doesn’t think she should give up on her dreams because of money. After confirming that Worthington is what Joey really wants, Dawson offers her Mr. Brooks’ money. He reminds her that he’s supposed to do something great with it, and this would be something great. He gives her as long as she needs to think it over as long as she promises to consider it.
Sometime later, Joey goes by Dawson’s house, looking at the pictures of their friends in his bedroom. He notes that there are none of the two of them, and they’ll have to change that. She tells him she can’t accept the money – their friendship wouldn’t survive it. Dawson thinks that if their friendship could survive the previous summer, it can survive anything. Joey thinks he’s trying to do something noble because he feels sorry for her. He tells her he wants to fix something for her for once.
Jen goes back to Frost, ready to talk about the last time she saw her father. However, she can’t really remember it. Frost asks if anyone else was there who can help her remember. Dawson goes to Pacey’s to talk about Joey; Pacey thinks $15,000 is a lot to give someone without any strings. Dawson reminds him of all the hard work Joey has done to get into Worthington, and how she beat the odds and got in. He can’t sit by and watch her pass it up. Pacey admits that he can’t either.
Jen tracks down Drue and asks him what happened the last night they were together in New York. He’s shocked that she can’t remember. She invited him over because her parents were sending her away, and they got drunk, went for a walk, and went back to her place. Drue wants Jen to leave the past in the past and refuses to tell her what happened, saying he’s still working through it.
Pacey goes by the B&B, where Joey tells him she’s considering waiting a year until she’s financially independent, then reapplying to Worthington. He tells her that he and Dawson don’t want her to give up her dream. Drue visits Jen to apologize and tell her the rest of the story: Her parents caught them making out and her father called her a slut. But Drue was kicked out before he could observe anything else. He thinks Jen used him, and she apologizes.
Joey goes to see Dawson again and comes clean about lying to him about sleeping with Pacey. She felt like things between them were finally right again, and didn’t think Dawson would understand if she told him the truth. He gets that she didn’t want him to feel like he was no longer the most important person in her life.
Jen frets to Frost that she still can’t remember what happened the last time she saw her father. He tells her the truth will come in time. He continues that her behavior in New York was a cry for love, and her failure to remember is a way of punishing herself. If she keeps acting out, she’ll rob herself of something she deserves. She’s meant to shine in ways she can’t even understand.
Joey tells Pacey that she told Dawson something she should have a long time ago. He guesses what it is. Pacey admits that he was a little relieved when she decided not to go to Worthington because it meant he wasn’t holding her back. Joey denies that he’s ever held her back. He asks her to cut him loose if that ever changes. She refuses, saying that means she’ll have to let him go. Elsewhere, Jen gets a goldfish in an attempt to jog her memory. (Just go with it.)
Dawson goes to see Joey and tells her that he agrees that things between them were getting to be right again. He still wants her to have Mr. Brooks’ money. His feelings about her and Pacey sleeping together don’t matter; he thinks giving her the money is the right thing to do. She doesn’t resist, just hugging him and thanking him. Dawson thinks she’s going to have a great time at Worthington, and he wants to hear all about it.
Thoughts: The episode title is a little bit clever. It obviously refers to college admissions, but it also refers to various confessions made.
So it’s April (at least that’s when the episode originally aired) and Jack and Jen haven’t applied to schools yet? Yeah, they’re not getting in anywhere.
Let’s talk about Bessie’s hair. It’s bad. Good talk.
Joey strikes me as the sort of person who would have crunched the numbers before applying to Worthington. She says she did, but everything depended on her getting financial aid. Wouldn’t she have factored in the possibility of not getting it?
I think the more important topic for Jen and Frost to discuss is her insistence on going to school with or near Jack.
Is Michelle Williams really short or is Mark Matkevich (Drue) really tall? Or both? There’s a scene where they’re standing right next to each other and he looks like a giant while she looks like a dwarf. Okay, let’s look it up. Michelle is 5’4. I can’t find Mark’s height. But I did find out that Zach Braff originally auditioned for the role of Drue. So I can’t say I didn’t learn something today.
February 18, 2012
Summary: Pacey and Joey want to spend some time together (so they can have sex) but haven’t been able to be alone for two weeks. Drue interrupts their makeout session to announce that he has the results of the senior polls. He gleefully announces that class couple is Joey and…Dawson. Joey resorts to violence as Drue jokes that there were “dimpled chads for [Pacey] and some Ms. Jacobs chick.” She accuses him of rigging the polls, then says he messed with people’s emotions. Dawson arrives and claims he’s fine with the poll results.
Pacey asks Gretchen to take Doug out drinking and spend the night at his place, obviously so he and Joey can be alone. Gretchen guesses they had sex, and she’s way too proud of them. She promises not to tell anyone and agrees to spend the night elsewhere. Jen has another therapy session with Frost, talking about her friendship with Jack. Frost wonders if she would be able to trust Jack as a male friend if he were straight. He asks about Jen’s lack of female friendships and the bad decisions she made when she was younger, such as drunken sex.
Dawson visits Gretchen at the restaurant, where she learns that Mitch and Gail are going out of town for the weekend. This means she has another option for her evening activities. Joey goes to Pacey’s and they immediately start making out because now that she’s had sex, she just wants more. He assures her that they have the house to themselves for the night. Joey’s worried that since Gretchen knows they had sex, she’ll spread the news.
Jen and Jack have coffee across the street from Frost’s office, which leads Jack to believe they’re stalking him. He thinks she wants to learn something about Frost’s personal life. He tries to keep Jen from following Frost when he leaves his office, but he can’t. Gretchen stops by the beach house to get some things and Joey pulls her aside to make sure she’s not going to tell Dawson anything. Gretchen promises to keep quiet but warns that it’s not hard to guess what Joey and Pacey have been up to. Oh, and P.S.: She’s spending the evening with Dawson.
Jen and Jack follow Frost to a bookstore, where Jack shares his theory that men who read Anne Rice are gay. They’re unable to keep their presence hidden because they’re dorks. Frost mentions a poetry reading the next day, so of course Jen will be going to that. Joey and Pacey try to convince themselves that Gretchen’s evening at Dawson’s will be totally innocent. Both claim to be okay with Joey’s ex dating Pacey’s sister.
Dawson and Gretchen have a movie night, and when he sees that she’s brought a toothbrush, they discuss whether the night will turn into a sleepover. Gretchen decides they just need to put the idea of sex on the table and talk about it. Her first sexual experience was with her high school boyfriend, who Dawson hated. As we know, Dawson is a virgin, but Gretchen knows he still has feelings about the topic.
Dawson admits that he never considered it with Jen, and he was willing to wait with Joey. He admits that he always thought the two of them would lose their virginity together. Dawson wishes Joey and Pacey would just do it and put the final nail in the coffin. He tells Gretchen that when he asked Joey if they’d done anything, she said no, and he believes her. Dawson and Gretchen try to watch another movie, but now things are all awkward. She leaves, saying she was wrong about something.
The next morning, Joey gets up early to make Pacey breakfast, but she has to send him to the store to buy actual food. As he’s leaving, Dawson arrives looking for Gretchen. Pacey tries to keep him from entering the house but can’t. Joey hears them coming and stays out of Dawson’s line of sight. Jen and Jack go to the poetry reading, her claiming that Frost invited her. Jack points out that a therapist who would want to date his patient isn’t exactly respectable. He wonders why Jen wants Frost to like her so much.
Pacey tracks down Gretchen at Doug’s, and Dawson tells Pacey not to tell her he was looking for her. He admits that he thinks Gretchen has realized they’re not good together. Dawson leaves and Pacey tells Joey he needs to go to. Frost is late to the poetry reading, so Jack convinces Jen that he was never going to show up. He arrives at the last minute and sits with Jen and Jack, making Jen think she won this round.
Drue runs into Dawson at a coffee shop and mentions that he wanted the class-couple poll to bring some drama to the yearbook. He thinks Dawson’s concern for Joey just makes Drue right. Gretchen heads home and asks Joey how she, Dawson, and Pacey got into the mess they’re in. They’re constantly worried about hurting each other, so they’re overly nice all the time. Gretchen warns that the lies they keep telling to protect each other won’t solve anything.
Gretchen confronts Joey for telling Dawson that she and Pacey didn’t sleep together, saying it isn’t fair to Dawson or to the person trying to date him. Joey reminds her that she wasn’t there when everything went down, so she doesn’t understand the situation. Gretchen urges Joey to tell Dawson the truth – if not for her or Dawson, then for Pacey. When Pacey returns, Joey pretends she has to go help Bessie with something.
Pacey asks Gretchen what happened between her and Dawson, though Gretchen doesn’t think he really cares. She’s surprised to learn that Dawson came by looking for her. Pacey doesn’t know what’s going on but suspects that it involves him. Gretchen tells him to ask Joey. He presses her again, saying he won’t tell Dawson or Joey what she says. Gretchen finally tells him that Joey lied to Dawson about whether she slept with Pacey.
Jen and Jack try to make poetry-related small talk with Frost after the reading. Jack tries to get Jen to see that Frost is all wrong for her. Joey finds Dawson in the school computer lab and is surprised to learn that he’s started drinking black coffee. She notes that there are a lot of things they don’t know about each other anymore. Dawson says he’s not sure things were good when they told each other everything.
Dawson then apologizes for asking Joey if she and Pacey had sex. He thinks he’s sabotaging his relationship with Gretchen because he’s trying so hard not to repeat past mistakes. He wants to be “the guy who gets the girl.” Joey says he is, but Dawson points out that he didn’t get her. The topic changes to the senior polls, and Dawson reveals that he’s in the lab to replace his and Joey’s photo as class couple with Joey and Pacey’s.
Frost reveals that he knew Jen was following him and tells her they’ll discuss it in their next session. He thinks she was looking for the answer to a bigger question. She figures out that it has to do with trust, and now she’s realized that she can trust Frost. Dawson meets up with Gretchen, who assures him he didn’t do anything wrong. She wants him to always be honest because trust is more important than sex. He gives her a toothbrush.
Pacey thinks Dawson’s yearbook gesture was nice for Joey, since she was so upset about the senior poll. She wonders if they should have had sex on the boat, when they were alone. Now everything is about sex (not that it wasn’t before, really). Joey asks if Gretchen said something to Pacey after she left, but just asks her why she wants to know without answering the question.
Thoughts: Do teenagers really talk about sex this much? My friends and I never did. Of course, I don’t think anyone in my group of friends was really having that much of it, so maybe that’s not a good example.
Clear out so your little brother can get laid – is Gretchen the worst or best sister ever?
I kind of want Pacey and Gretchen’s surfboard-shaped coffee table.
February 11, 2012
Summary: The seniors’ ski trip is over, and Jack wants to make sure everything’s okay between him and Jen after their near-sexcapades. She wonders what could have happened, such as her getting pregnant. Jack notes that they would have had to eventually explain to the child that Daddy loves Ryan Phillippe more than Mommy.
The chaperone informs Jen that he has a special punishment in mind for her because of her mini-bar raid. He’s also not happy with Drue. The chaperone goes off looking for Joey and Pacey, who Drue points out are on the bus already. Except that’s not them. The lovebirds are still in bed, and Joey doesn’t seem as happy about giving up her V card as Pacey probably expects her to be.
The rest of the episode is split into four parts, in an attempt to try something new:
“About Last Night”: Joey and Pacey, left behind at the lodge, get breakfast from a vending machine as he wonders if she plans to tell her sister she’s no longer a virgin. She says no, and she won’t be telling Gretchen either. Mostly he just wants to know what she would say about his “prowess” if she did discuss the event with someone. Later, Pacey gives Joey some chocolate to “commemorate” her loss of virginity. He tells her he could spend the rest of his life the way things are now.
Pacey thinks there should be a “morning-after discussion,” and Joey guesses that he still wants to know if he was any good. He pretends he just wants to know if she enjoyed herself. She says it was “nice.” He’s not happy with that response. Joey points out that she has no frame of reference for sex. Pacey wants to know if she had an orgasm, but Joey doesn’t think that’s important. She thinks her insecurity eclipses his. She doesn’t know how she compares to Tamara or Andie.
Pacey assures Joey that she was “great,” which is better than “nice.” She wants him to keep quiet about their sex life, but he thinks she really means Dawson. Joey doesn’t see a problem with not wanting to hurt him. Pacey doesn’t either; he just wants to have sex with his girlfriend without worrying about the drama that would come from Dawson finding out. Joey admits that if Dawson were there, she would tell him the truth. Pacey notes that Joey hasn’t touched him all morning.
Joey goes outside, where she cries and tells Pacey that being with him the night before made her feel safe. When she looks back on that night, she’ll remember his sweetness, not their awkwardness the morning after. She’s glad she had sex, and really glad it was with him. Then the two of them possibly pass the time by having another go at it.
“The Big Picture”: Dawson and Gretchen go to Mr. Brooks’ house to see Grams, who’s looking through his things in the garage. She tells Dawson that Mr. Brooks was very proud of his movie accomplishments. Grams wants to look through his things to find items that can be donated. Dawson doesn’t see the point since no one knew Mr. Brooks existed. He walks out but apologizes when Grams comes after him.
Dawson wonders why anyone would want to be here today. Grams assures him that his grief will pass. She knows how important closure is and suggests that Dawson spend some time in the house to figure out how to say goodbye. When Dawson later returns to the garage, Gretchen shows him a screenplay she found that Mr. Brooks wrote. They read from it and realize that Mr. Brooks was sweeter than they thought.
Dawson complains that only five people showed up to the funeral: him, Gretchen, Grams, Mitch, and Gail. If Dawson hadn’t crashed Mr. Brooks’ boat, no one would have been there. Gretchen points out that Mr. Brooks got to see his dreams come true. Dawson’s disappointed by what’s left to show for that: a garage with a bunch of stuff in it. That means that Mr. Brooks just decided to stop caring, and when he changed his mind, it was too late.
Gretchen assures Dawson that he won’t turn out like Mr. Brooks. Dawson lost a girl, too, but he picked himself off. Movies make Dawson come alive, and they made Gretchen want to be a part of his life. She feels like Mr. Brooks brought them together. Dawson tells her he likes her, then names a bunch of reasons why. Gretchen teases that as soon as he realizes how charming he is, he’ll use those powers for evil.
After telling Dawson to remember the nice parts of Mr. Brooks, Gretchen gives him some time alone in the garage. As he’s looking at movie posters, the lawyer from Mr. Brooks’ estate stops by and tells Dawson they need to discuss the man’s will. The lawyer has no idea who Mr. Brooks was; Dawson says he was a pain, but also a friend.
“Excess Baggage”: Jen reports for her punishment at the office of Tom Frost, a therapist. She feels uncomfortable lying on the couch, so she stands. She has no problem opening up or being honest. Then she tries to find out more about Frost. Jen wanders around the room, breaking the frame Frost’s diploma is in, and asks how old he is.
Frost gets Jen talking about herself again, though she thinks therapy isn’t right for her. She also doesn’t think she and Frost are a good match; he’s not very warm. He wants her to stay so they can work on communicating better. Jen gets her way, being dismissed early, and Frost tells her he’ll let the school know she fulfilled her requirement.
Before she leaves, Jen asks Frost if she’s completely screwed up. He says it’s too early for him to figure that out. But he thinks she’s scared, she’s angry with her parents, she has problems with men, she has a bad relationship with drugs and alcohol, and the fact that her best friend is gay is significant. Frost would love to delve deeper into her issues. Jen agrees to stay.
“Seems Like Old Times”: Joey runs into Dawson downtown, where he’s in line for a movie. She expresses sympathy over Mr. Brooks’ death and talks vaguely about the ski trip. He invites her to see the movie with him, but she asks to go somewhere and talk instead. They wind up at a diner, discussing the fact that Mr. Brooks put Dawson in his will. He’s inherited a bunch of money and is supposed to use it for “greatness.” He’s thinking college; Joey’s thinking a movie.
Dawson sense that Joey seems different, but she doesn’t tell him what happened with Pacey. They go for a walk and she apologizes for being gone when he needed her over the past few days. She tells him she made some big decisions. She feels like one day she’ll wake and realize friendship was all that mattered; if she’s not good at that, what does that mean? He assures her that she’s always been a great friend.
The two spend the evening talking and enjoying being together, then return to the movie theater. Just as Joey’s heading home, Dawson asks if something happened on the ski trip. He can’t shake the feeling that she and Pacey had sex. Joey tries to deflect, saying he asked a personal question. Dawson apologizes, agreeing that it’s none of his business. He just wants her to know that he’s letting go of their past problems and wants her to be happy.
Joey says that a few years ago, she was sure Dawson would be her first. No one else would have even crossed her mind, and definitely not Pacey. Dawson asks her what she’s saying. After a pause, Joey tells him that she hasn’t slept with Pacey. He’s very relieved. As she leaves, the camera pulls back to show which old movie is playing at the theater: His Girl Friday.
Thoughts: So is Dawson the only virgin left on the show? Sounds right.
The chaperone really sucks at chaperoning. But then again, Capeside High thought he could handle all those teenagers on his own, so it’s not completely his fault.
They buried Mr. Brooks the day after he died? Wow, fast.
I don’t think a teacher can “punish” a student with therapy. Who’s paying for that?
Also, Frost sucks. Find a new job, Frost.
February 4, 2012
Summary: Joey and Pacey are heading off on the senior class ski trip, which Gretchen assures them will be really exciting. She recommends that Joey give Dawson a call, considering “everything that’s going on.” Jen is hesitant to go on the trip since Grams is at the hospital with Mr. Brooks, but Jack wants her to have fun. Apparently a lot of people are planning to have sex on the trip, which just makes things that much more awkward for Joey and Pacey.
Drue is bringing Anna along on the trip, under the name of another student. Jen can’t figure out why Jack doesn’t like Tobey, and Jack only says that Tobey’s too gay for him. Drue taunts Pacey about getting laid on the trip. Dawson stops by the hospital, where Mr. Brooks is comatose, on life support, and not expected to recover. Grams knows that whatever happens is in God’s hands, not the doctors’.
The ski trippers arrive at their destination and are informed that a) there will be no mixed-gender sleeping arrangements and b) mini-bar keys have been confiscated. After the chaperone leaves, Drue takes over the room assigning and gives Pacey and Joey a room together. Jen tells Jack they’re going to have fun, then promptly slips and falls down.
One of Mr. Brooks’ doctors tells Dawson that since he signed a health-care proxy, his responsibilities have changed. Gail and Mitch come to the hospital to discuss the fact that Dawson is now allowed to make decisions about Mr. Brooks’ care. Dawson has no idea what to do, however. Pacey tells Joey that the trip will be like their summer, with just the two of them getting spend time together. She wants to avoid the tension they’ve been feeling, and he assures her he’s relaxed.
Jen’s hurt her ankle, and though Jack wants to help her out, he won’t help her take a bath. Dawson works on his movie, taking a break when Gretchen stops by with some food. She commiserates with him about the tough decisions that come with turning into an adult. Dawson’s also never lost anyone close to him, so he doesn’t know how to handle this. Gretchen tells him that he has incredible judgment, which is probably why Mr. Brooks left the decisions with him.
Joey and Pacey wind up at dinner with a bunch of their classmates, including Drue and Anna. The conversation turns to sex, and Joey and Drue argue about whether or not all guys think about sex all the time. Anna asks for a show of wallets to see if all the guys carry condoms around with them. Pacey won’t participate, but after dinner, Joey confronts him and he reveals that he has a condom. (Hey, at least he wants to be safe, right?)
Dawson goes back to the hospital, where Grams talks to him about praying. He says he sometimes thinks of praying as wishing without saying the wish out loud. She encourages him to share his wishes, and he says he either wants Mr. Brooks to recover or die without suffering. Dawson wants a sign to confirm his instincts, because right now they’re telling him to keep waiting. Grams tells him they’ll follow his instincts together.
Joey and Jack watch their classmates skate and she talks about her convictions to wait until the right moment to have sex. Jack thinks she needs to stop worrying about the right choice or the wrong choice, since there might be a bunch of choices. “There’s nothing to figure out here. Only what you feel,” he says. They don’t have the courage to make the big decisions, so sometimes you just have to leap.
Apparently Mr. Brooks knew Andy Griffith, because he’s now at the hospital. He’s the former friend who took Mr. Brooks’ girlfriend from him. Andy says that Mr. Brooks wrote him last month, asking for forgiveness, but Andy thinks Mr. Brooks only ever hurt himself. Andy wanted to call Mr. Brooks after his wife died, thinking Mr. Brooks would be the only one to understand, but Andy knew it would cause him pain. Mr. Brooks always had part of her soul, and he’ll now get to be with her first.
Dawson asks Andy for help figuring out what to do. Andy tells him he just needs a little faith. Dawson has no idea where to get that, and Andy quotes <i>Miracle on 34th Street</i>, saying it’s about believing in something when common sense not to. He mentions that Mr. Brooks always turned to movies for answers to difficult questions, which, of course, Dawson understands.
Jen is treating her pain with the forbidden mini-bar, so by the time Jack comes back to their room, she’s a little drunk. He tells her he’s tired of being so safe; he wants to do something stupid and reckless tonight. Jen tells him to start with booze. Jack asks if there’s something she wants to do, and she says she just wants to sit there with him.
Anna invites Pacey to join her and the others in the hot tubs, and Joey’s surprised that he has no comment about her appearing in her bikini. Joey picks a fight over Pacey wanting someone like Anna instead of someone like his current girlfriend. Pacey assures Joey that he wants her, which she claims she knows; she just doesn’t get why. He points out that if he were only with her for sex, he wouldn’t have dated her for nine months without getting past…whatever base they’re on.
Pacey continues that he knows Joey’s scared, and he’s said they can be scared together, but she won’t tell him what she’s actually scared of. He thinks it has to do with Dawson. He knows that when they do eventually have sex, it’ll be great, but he worries that Joey will also regret not having her first time with Dawson. Joey gets upset and asks why Pacey stayed for so long if he believes that. He says he must be a glutton for punishment.
Now sloshed, Jen and Jack talk about bravery, and he admits that he’s scared he’s going to end up alone. He’ll always be someone’s brother or friend or confidante, but never “someone’s everything.” He’s also scared that he’ll never find a guy he loves as much as he loves Jen. Then the booze takes over and they kiss.
Joey calls Dawson, who’s made a decision about Mr. Brooks. He notes that letting go has made him feel free. He feels like Mr. Brooks was waiting for Andy to come say goodbye. Then Dawson says goodbye and they hang up. Pacey winds up at the hot tubs, where Anna offers to help him the way he recently help her. Jen and Jack have progressed to making out and starting to undress, but she quickly realizes what a horrible idea this is and stops them.
Mr. Brooks is taken off life support and dies shortly after, with Grams, Gretchen, and the Leerys all present. Everyone leaves the room except Dawson, who says “see you” to Mr. Brooks instead of goodbye. The ski trip chaperone catches Jen disposing of the empty mini-bar bottles, but she takes off before he can get too suspicious.
Anna tries to seduce Pacey, telling him that sex isn’t that big of a deal, since they’re adults. He tells her they’re not even close to being adults. He already has someone he wants to be with for more than one night, and he would never risk losing her. Sex isn’t about sex, it’s about intimacy and sharing something, no matter how long you have to wait for it.
Joey has heard part of the conversation and has been reminded why she loves Pacey. She tells him he can still be upset; he doesn’t always have to be perfect and she doesn’t have to be so scared. He suggests that they go to their cabin and read a story. In Capeside, Grams and Gretchen go to the Leerys’, where Dawson debuts his film about Mr. Brooks.
Pacey finds Joey getting ready for bed, and she asks if he still has his wallet. He says he thought they were done talking about sex. She confirms that they are. She lists all the wonderful things he does for her as she starts taking off his clothes. Pacey starts to ask if she’s ready, and Joey says that he spent three months on a boat with her knowing she wasn’t, so now he doesn’t have to ask if she is.
Like Pacey did after their first kiss, Joey’s going to count to ten, and if he wants her to stop, he’ll need to tell her. Except instead of counting, they just make out and take their clothes off. And hopefully that condom makes it out of the wallet.
Thoughts: My senior class never did a ski trip, but our senior trip was to a ski lodge. (It was June.) And there was a lot of misbehaving. Someone snuck in beer, and four people got arrested – and since they were 18, they wound up with records. I would criticize Capeside for seemingly only sending one chaperone on the trip, but our trip had a half-dozen chaperones and people still got arrested, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Mr. Brooks’ doctor is played by Tony Hale, AKA Buster on Arrested Development. Fortunately for Mr. Brooks, he has both hands.
Can a 17-year-old be held to a health-care proxy he signed without his parents’ permission?
There’s a moose on the lampshade in Pacey and Joey’s room, and it’s just about the unsexiest thing I’ve ever seen.
January 28, 2012
Summary: Leerys’ Fresh Fish is hopping, but Gail’s not happy with Gretchen’s work habits. She hopes it’s because of her pregnancy, not because she doesn’t like Gretchen and Dawson’s relationship. Dawson assures her that it’s her hormones. Gretchen wants the two of them to go out with a couple of her friends from college the next night. Dawson’s concerned that it’s too soon, but Gretchen’s sure that he’ll make a good impression.
Drue is now working at the yacht club, and he’s not happy about it. Mrs. Valentine guesses that Joey wants a couple days off to attend Capeside High’s senior trip; she’s willing to offer a trade. Drue is having dinner with Anna, the daughter of the president of the yacht club’s board, and Mrs. Valentine wants Joey and Pacey to double date with them. Joey gets the weekend off for the trip if Anna has a good time on the date.
Mr. Brooks and Dawson work on their movie, though Mr. Brooks is now in a wheelchair and Grams is taking care of him. While Grams is out of the room, Mr. Brooks asks Dawson to sign some papers that supposedly allow him to get Mr. Brooks’ medication. After he leaves, Mr. Brooks pretends to take his pills and lies to Grams about paying the nursing agency he was using. Pacey disapproves of Gretchen’s choice of clothing for her night out with Dawson and her friends. She thinks something’s bugging him but he won’t talk about it.
Tobey runs into Jack and asks him to help out with a tutoring program he’s working with. Jack’s worried that, like with the soccer team, the parents will disapprove of his sexuality. Tobey assures him that everyone involved with the program knows he’s gay and is fine with it. Pacey and Joey meet up with Drue and Anna, who already hate each other. Anna’s also not the brightest, as she thinks Pacey is Joey and can’t figure out who Potter is.
Mr. Brooks thinks the movie is complete, though Dawson has a few tweaks he’d like to make. Mr. Brooks tells him to “let it go.” Then he asks Dawson to tell him more about Gretchen. Before he leaves for his date, Dawson helps Mr. Brooks to a chair and is surprised when the man hugs him. Gretchen and her friends Kira and Jessica meet Dawson at his house before heading out to a club. Gail imposes a 1 o’clock curfew, unconcerned about embarrassing him in front of Gretchen. She warns that Dawson and Gretchen are in two very different places.
Pacey, Joey, Drue, and Anna play mini-golf, and Joey takes Drue’s cell phone so he can’t call the girl he’s supposed to see later. She orders him to be nicer, maybe even taking a page from Pacey’s book, since he’s being ultra-nice to Anna. Jack shows up to tutor with Tobey as Gretchen, Jessica, and Kira talk sex and college. Dawson’s clearly out of his element.
Joey continues trying to get Drue to be nice to Anna, who is even dumber than first believed. Drue gets nastier and nastier, so Pacey decides the date’s over. Drue asks him why dumb girls will only have sex if you tell them they’re pretty, but pretty girls will only have sex if you tell them they’re beautiful. Anna blames herself for the disaster date, and she can’t believe she’s already slept with Drue.
Dawson, Gretchen, and the others head to the club, and he admits that he’s never felt more his age than he has tonight. It gets worse, since he gets stamped with an “under 21″ stamp. Pacey tries to cheer up Anna, telling him he’s not book smart either, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things they’re good at. Anna says she’s good at men, but this time she fell into bed too easily. Pacey tells her Drue’s the dumb one for not liking her.
Dawson learns that Gretchen and her friends keep “loser lists” of the horrible guys they’ve slept with. Jessica and Kira assure Dawson that he’ll never end up on Gretchen’s list. He becomes less and less comfortable with the situation. Jack works with one of the kids being tutored, deciding that since he can’t find a story he wants to read, they should write their own, using only words that the kid can spell.
Joey catches Drue hitting on another girl, so she tells him it’s time to talk about their baby. Then she blasts him for sleeping with Anna and then treating her so horribly. She knows he acts the way he does because he doesn’t want people to get too close. Joey warns that if he keeps it up, he’ll get exactly what he wants and be alone forever. Drue admits that he’s horrible with girls because he’s only ever gone to all-boy schools. She compliments him for being honest and real with her. Drue ruins it by noting that Pacey and Anna look cute together.
Tobey praises Jack for being so good with his kid. He invites him to meet up with some people for coffee, and Jack hesitates but accepts. Done at the club, Gretchen and her friends want to go somewhere else, but Dawson’s sure he can’t get in, what with still having “under 21″ stamped on his hand. He encourages the others to go without him while he takes a cab home. Gretchen tells him to take her car instead, since they’ve been drinking.
The Joey/Pacey/Anna/Drue date is also over, and Drue has stopped being a jerk for once. He even tells Anna he’d be willing to go out with her again. Grams and Mr. Brooks spend the evening playing Scrabble, and he admits that he’s glad Dawson took his boat because it led to him and Grams getting together. She reminds him that they met years ago. Grams finds a tin full of the medication Mr. Brooks hasn’t been taking, and he tells her he just wants to die with dignity and make his own decisions about his life.
Jack goes with Tobey to meet his friends, confronting Tobey over inviting him to meet another couple. He thinks he’s being set up on a double date. He also suspects that Tobey started the tutoring program to spend time with Jack. Jack makes it clear that he’s willing to be friends, but nothing more. He and Tobey don’t click, and nothing Tobey can do will change that. He decides he can’t help tutor anymore, but Tobey would rather Jack continue while he stops. Jack realizes that it’s ridiculous for either of them to quit.
At the Leerys’, Gail has fallen asleep waiting up for Dawson, who admits that he didn’t have a good time. He’s realized that Gail was right about him and Gretchen being in different places. Gail tells him she was actually wrong and has spent the evening regretting what she said. She’s trying to figure out how to let him go. Dawson says that Gretchen has had a lot more experiences than he has, but Gail notes that they make her who she is. He needs to stick with it and see what happens.
Gretchen shows up, having ditched her friends. She assures Dawson that she doesn’t care about his age, but it bothers him that there are some things they can’t do together. Gretchen tells him she’s doing what she wants to do by being with him. Dawson warns that he won’t stand for being the nice guy she turns to after a bad relationship. She lets him know that’s not all he is.
Joey tells Pacey what she learned from Drue, and Pacey wonders why Anna would give him another chance. Joey doesn’t agree that Anna’s reasonable since she slept with a guy she’d just met. Pacey notes that if two people do something they both want to do, it’s fine. Joey knows he’s frustrated because they haven’t had sex. She worries that if they don’t do it soon, Pacey will dump her.
Joey reminds Pacey that he said he was fine with waiting. He assures her that he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize their relationship, but if they’re not progressing, it’s not because of him. Joey promises Pacey that she wants to jump his bones, but she’s holding herself back because she’s scared. Pacey admits that he is, too, which makes her feel better. The next day, Dawson goes to see Mr. Brooks, who’s on the floor, unconscious.
Thoughts: Kira is played by Rachel True, who people would probably best know as Rochelle from The Craft.
Really, Dawson? You think you have to sign legal paperwork to be authorized to pick up someone’s medication? You should meet Anna. You two are about on the same wavelength smarts-wise.
Aww, Jack should be a teacher.
Who did Michelle Williams tick off to get cut out of yet another episode?
Is Tobey supposed to be sweet? Because he’s kind of a creeper.
January 21, 2012
Summary: Joey wakes Pacey with a cupcake with a candle in it: It’s his birthday. He’s not happy about it. Every birthday he’s had since the age of ten has been awful. When he was 12, he threw up on his crush, who nicknamed him Pacey Pukey, a name his family sometimes brings up. When he was 16, he failed his driver’s test and no one came to his party. At 14, he was mauled by a dog. Pacey thinks the only way he can have a good birthday is if he celebrates it with Joey and no one else.
Dawson’s preparing for his first date with Gretchen, and Jack thinks he’s worried because Pacey and Joey don’t know about it. Dawson says if they ask, he’ll tell them. Gretchen and Joey talk about Pacey’s birthday as he gets a letter that surprises him. After he leaves the room, Joey begs Gretchen to come to Pacey’s last-minute surprise birthday party, which Mrs. Witter wants to throw. Gretchen thinks she’s crazy. And no, she totally doesn’t have any plans, especially not with Dawson.
Jen and Grams decoupage picture frames (yes, really) before Jen spends the evening driving home drunk teenagers as part of her community service. Jen senses that Grams is distracted and guesses that she’s thinking about sex with Mr. Brooks. Grams denies that they’re even in love. Jen urges her to have the safe-sex talk with Mr. Brooks. Grams accuses her of trying to get herself grounded so she doesn’t have to do her community service.
Dawson visits Gretchen at the restaurant and learns about Pacey’s party. She asks to postpone their first date, though he’d rather just treat the party as their first date. He doesn’t want to hide their relationship. He adds that sneaking around is a good way to get caught. Gretchen tries to convince him that she just wants to be sensitive to Pacey and Joey. She’s not ready to go public, but Dawson thinks she’s trying to hide, which means maybe they shouldn’t be together at all.
At community service, Jen gets paired up with Tobey. She invites him to drop in on Pacey’s party with her if they wind up in the neighborhood. Oh, and Jack will be there. Tobey’s not excited to see him again; he notes that they don’t have to be friends just because they’re both gay. In fact, he’s not even convinced Jack is really gay. Jen swears she’s just being nice, and Tobey tells her he’s taken anyway.
Joey blindfolds Pacey and takes him to his parents’ house, where the surprise part of the party hasn’t been set up yet. Doug’s gleeful at the possibility of the disasters that might happen this year. Sheriff Witter treats everyone to the story of his own 18th birthday: He spent it fighting in Vietnam, topping it off with a prostitute. Pacey wishes he were dead. Sheriff Witter doesn’t remember meeting Jack, despite spending an entire weekend with him.
Pacey confronts Joey for breaking her promise that they would spend his birthday alone. She tells him his family wanted to throw him a party. He replies that his father just wants an excuse to yell at him. Joey urges him to make an effort, but Pacey knows he’ll fail no matter what. She promises that they’ll get through the evening together. Meanwhile, Gretchen and Dawson smooth things over, and Jen and Tobey chat about his boyfriend, though she’s still trying to talk up Jack.
Joey finds Pacey alone outside and points out that there haven’t been any disasters (yet). He starts to tell her why he’s upset, then stops himself. They head off to talk somewhere else, but Sheriff Witter wants to talk to Joey. He thanks her for getting Pacey to think about college…because now he’ll have to pay for another dropout’s education. Pacey defends Gretchen’s decision to leave school, but Sheriff Witter won’t listen. He thinks Pacey will either drop out or flunk out. Mrs. Witter disagrees.
Sheriff Witter continues that Pacey’s always been a screw-up. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a vet, but his mother suggested he be a dog groomer instead. Joey realizes that everything Pacey’s said about his family is true. In the basement, Gretchen tells the kids (and Dawson) a story her grandmother used to tell her about a princess who had to dance among the stars. She was free but alone. Dawson doesn’t see the sadness in the story, considering how many stars the princess got to visit. Gretchen notes that the princess can never stay in one place for long.
Joey tries to give Pacey a pep talk about his future, saying he’s going to surprise his family with his success. He thinks his family’s right about him being too dumb to do anything worthwhile. He takes her to the basement to talk, but Dawson and Gretchen are making out down there. Everyone goes upstairs for dinner, which Mrs. Witter thinks is Pacey’s favorite meal but which is actually Doug’s. Also, she keeps calling Joey “Joanna.”
In the kitchen, Dawson tries to talk to Joey about the kiss she just walked in on. She confirms that they basically have a relationship, then goes back to the table. Gretchen wonders what she and Dawson do next. He tells her that Joey thinks they’re a couple and he didn’t exactly correct her. He tells Gretchen that her hesitance isn’t about Pacey or Joey; it’s about her, and she needs to figure out what she wants.
First, though, Gretchen wants to talk to Pacey about it. He’d rather pretend that nothing happened. He’s too distracted by the conversation he keeps trying to have with Joey which he knows could change their relationship. Jen and Tobey pick up various drunk teens and college students as Pacey opens his lame presents. (His father got him fireworks.) Mrs. Witter suggests reminiscing about Pacey’s childhood, which goes over as well as you would expect. Gretchen tries to make it better by sharing a happy memory of Pacey taking care of her.
Pacey calls an end to the stories once they turn back to his screw-ups. (He tried to make pancakes and their dog died of smoke inhalation.) He complains that no one ever treats him like anything other than a loser. He adds that he’s not going to college because his fallback school, the only one he thought would consider taking him, rejected him. Just then, Jen and Tobey arrive, singing “Happy Birthday” as Pacey runs off.
Joey and Dawson go off in search of the birthday boy while Jack tries to make small talk with Tobey (it doesn’t go well). Joey tells Dawson that she doesn’t care what he and Gretchen are doing anymore. He admits that he doesn’t even know what they’re doing. Joey can relate since she’s also dating a Witter. Witters keep their emotions inside, but it’s actually because they care so much. Dawson assures Joey that Pacey not getting into college isn’t her fault. She knows, but she feels bad because she told him he would get in, and she knows he thinks he’s disappointed her.
Sheriff Witter tracks Pacey down by the water, admitting he’s there because someone called the cops to report a “creepy guy” hanging out there. Sheriff Witter confides that he was rejected from the police academy the first time he applied. Pacey knows he’s not cut out for college, but he wanted to be.
Sheriff Witter says he was never hard on Pacey because he thought he wasn’t good enough for school, he just didn’t think it was the right path for him. He does, however, think Pacey is meant to do great things. Sheriff Witter notes that he didn’t get to tell his story about Pacey’s childhood. On Pacey’s tenth birthday, his father got him fireworks, which he loved. His happiness made Sheriff Witter happy.
On the way home, Jen asks Tobey why he was mean to Jack and why he made up a boyfriend (because the guy is obviously fictional). He wants Tobey to try being friends with Jack if he’s interested in him. Pacey and his father return home, where the Witters and Pacey’s friends finally do the surprise part of the party right.
Later that night, Gretchen tells Dawson he was right about her reasons for wanting to keep their relationship quiet. She’s afraid that she won’t be in Capeside long enough to really develop anything, and she’ll hurt him when she leaves. Dawson reminds her that he’ll be leaving at the end of the year, too. They might as well make the most of the present and try not to be afraid. Gretchen isn’t sure if Dawson is wise or naïve, but she admires his fearlessness.
Joey and Pacey finally find some time alone and she apologizes for the horrible party. She tells him that one rejection isn’t the end of the world. He says that just makes it real because he already knew the two of them were on different paths, drifting farther and farther from each other. Joey thinks all roads lead back where they are now. They just need to try harder to get there. As they kiss, Pacey’s family and friends set off fireworks in the yard.
Thoughts: Pacey’s mom is Jane Lynch, you guys! Jane Lynch!
Sorry, but Joey should know better than to agree to a Witter family party. This whole episode could have been avoided if the writers hadn’t had her do something so out of character.
Joey and Pacey grew up together, right? And everyone in town knows the Potters? So why doesn’t Mrs. Witter know Joey’s name? Oh, right, it’s a way to show that her character is disconnected. How original and clever!
Tobey’s still a jerk. Shut up, Tobey.