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 15, 2012
Summary: Dawson and Pacey are fishing together, hanging out for the first time in months. Dawson announces that he likes Gretchen and thinks she feels the same way about him. He wanted to tell Pacey the truth so things don’t blow up like they did with Pacey and Joey. Pacey protests that “sisters are off-limits – they’re like mothers, only pretty.” Dawson replies that he’s not going to act on his feelings. Pacey clarifies that his tao is to do nothing.
Later, Pacey accompanies Gretchen on a trip back to her college to pick up her car, which her ex-boyfriend Nick has been using. Pacey talks up Nick, and Gretchen guesses that he’s trying to push her toward him to keep her away from Dawson. Pacey pretends that he’s fine with whatever they want to do. Then he finds a mix CD Dawson made her.
Dawson asks Jack if it was weird when Pacey dated Andie. Jack was fine with it since he and Pacey weren’t really good friends at the time. Mitch overhears and notes that Dawson might soon know what it’s like to be overprotective of a sister. Dawson finds an old love letter he wrote to Gretchen as a kid but never sent. Jack encourages him to act more like a child. Dawson’s sure that Gretchen knows his feelings; if they’re meant to be together, they will be.
The yacht club is closing for renovations, so Drue is looking for a girl to hang out with to fill up his free time. First, though, he’s going to get in as much Joey-taunting as possible. Mrs. Valentine tells him he’s being sent to visit his father, which he’s not excited about. Pacey and Gretchen arrive at her former college and realize that her car isn’t currently drivable. Also, Nick is seeing another girl. Gretchen and Pacey will have to spend the night, and only one of them is happy about it.
Back in Capeside, Dawson sees Mr. Brooks leaving Grams’ house and arranging a date that night. Grams objects to the word “date,” though, despite the fact that they’ll be doing date-like things. She wonders if Dawson is as concerned about Jen’s activities as he is about hers. At the yacht club, Drue and Joey take some dishes to a storage room, which they accidentally get locked in thanks to a busted doorknob.
Pacey and Nick sit in a hot tub together, discussing school. Pacey tells Nick that Gretchen’s single and encourages him to make a move. Jack helps Dawson get the baby’s room ready, but Dawson’s distracted by the idea of Grams getting involved with Mr. Brooks. Jack thinks it’s great, but Dawson tells him that Mr. Brooks is dying. Jack urges Dawson to tell Grams that. He asks if Dawson would have preferred not knowing about Joey and Pacey even though the truth was hard to hear.
Drue tells Joey that if necessary, she can eat his corpse. He thinks that if someone makes a TV movie about their captivity, Lacey Chabert will play her. Joey climbs a ladder looking for food; she falls off and he catches her and kisses her. She slugs him, of course. Gretchen tries to convince Nick (and herself) that her life is great and she doesn’t miss college. He turns on the charm but she sees right through it.
Pacey talks Gretchen up to Nick again, wondering why they ever broke up. Nick says their lives just went in different directions. He spots a girl checking Pacey out and tries to send him upstairs with her. Dawson visits Grams and sees that she’s gotten dressed up for her dinner with Mr. Brooks. She’s in such a good mood that he decides not to tell her Mr. Brooks is sick. Grams reveals that she already knows anyway, and she’s happy just to have someone to spend time with.
Pacey has now changed his tune on Nick, and has also decided that he’s the reason Gretchen left school. Gretchen tells him about her pregnancy and miscarriage. Pacey apologizes for trying to get her and Nick back together. Gretchen admits that she never told Nick about her pregnancy – in fact, Dawson is the only person she’s told. Pacey’s angry that she told Dawson before her own brother.
Dawson edits his movie at Mr. Brooks’ house, growing uncomfortable when Mr. Brooks asks him for relationship advice. Mr. Brooks guesses that he’s worried about Grams falling for a man who’s going to die after losing her own husband. Dawson doesn’t like what Grams will eventually have to go through, but Mr. Brooks notes that everyone dies eventually. You can’t fight fate, so you just have to ride it out.
Nick and Gretchen flirt a little (he’s a bit drunk), though she tries to make it clear that they won’t be getting back together. He thinks she’s there for more than just her car. He invites her upstairs and Pacey watches them go. Joey and Drue bicker about her hitting him, and he tells her everyone thinks she’s mean. He complains about his father and Joey starts to feel a little sorry for him. Drue wonders how Pacey and Joey make it work when they’re so different. She likes the surprises Pacey brings.
Nick’s room is all ready for lovin’, since he was that sure Gretchen would want to fall back into bed with him. He kisses her, saying they’re perfect for each other, but she tells him she’s not the girl she was when they were together. Then Nick passes out, so it doesn’t matter.
The next morning, Gretchen finds Pacey finishing up the car. He doesn’t get why she fell for a jerk like Nick; he blames himself since he encouraged them to get back together. Gretchen deserves someone much better, and she thinks Pacey means Dawson. She assures Pacey that nothing happened last night because she remembered that she came back to say goodbye to Nick. She got the strength to do so from how well Pacey always treated her.
Dawson asks Jack if he believes in inevitability. Jack has considered all the possible things that could have prevented his shoulder injury, which took him off the football team. Dawson mentions Grams and Mr. Brooks wanting to be together despite his illness, and Jack says they’re probably looking for comfort. He tells Dawson that fear isn’t the only thing that drives people. Maybe he’s supposed to be where he is right now, with someone he loved before Joey.
Joey and Drue wake up in the storage room and bicker some more before Joey hears a buzzing. It’s Drue’s cell phone, which he claims he forgot he had with him. Joey tells the caller to come get them, then accuses Drue of orchestrating their captivity. Also, he looked down her shirt when she was asleep. Mrs. Valentine gets the kids out of the storage room, and when Joey says Drue was responsible for what happened, Mrs. Valentine asks if she really thinks he preferred being there to being with his father.
Gretchen returns to Capeside before Pacey and finds Dawson’s old love letter on the porch. In it he tells her not to be nervous about starting high school. He also tells her how much he likes her. As Gretchen reads, Mr. Brooks and Grams hang out together, Mitch and Gail get an ultrasound, and Joey and Pacey meet up. Gretchen goes to the Leerys’ with the letter and Dawson asks, “What took you so long?” She responds that she had some things to do first, then kisses him.
Thoughts: Nick is played by Christian Kane (Eliot on Leverage, Lindsey on Angel). His hair is awful, as always.
So Gretchen, not Joey, is suddenly Dawson’s “one who got away”? Yeah, I believe it.
Doug is the seemingly gay Witter brother, yet Pacey’s the one talking about how handsome Nick is and sitting in the hot tub with him. Just saying.
Hey, Dawson, way to make the leap from “Mr. Brooks takes medication and has a visiting nurse” to “Mr. Brooks isn’t long for this world.” I mean, it turned out to be true, but still.
Another Michelle Williams-less episode. Not that season 4 Jen was very interesting.
January 8, 2012
Summary: It’s the day after the Leerys’ Christmas party, and Jack and Dawson are in Dawson’s dark room, where Jack is congratulating Dawson on kissing his childhood crush. Dawson says he wants to keep her as a friend: “Not every kiss has to be a life-altering event.” Jack tells him that Jen’s taking him to a meeting for a gay/straight teen coalition.
Gretchen shows up to clean up after the party, but Dawson’s already taken care of it. She thinks she should have “cleared the air” after they kissed, rather than letting Dawson think the kiss meant more than it did. Dawson assures her that he didn’t read anything into it. Bessie goes out of town, leaving Joey and Pacey in charge of both Alexander and the inn. Pacey wants to discuss the party, but Joey has too many other things to worry about.
Jack hates the gay/straight meeting minutes after arriving, telling Jen it’s not his “scene.” They meet Tobey, who thinks Jen is a lesbian with nice hair. He also recognizes Jack from the news piece Dawson did on him. Jack is uncomfortable with his label as a gay football player, though Tobey wonders which one part of the label bothers him more. Dawson hangs out with Mr. Brooks, discussing the movie Dawson wants to make. Mr. Brooks has finally agreed to it.
Jack is still annoyed at the meeting, so Tobey calls him out to ask why he wanted to come. Jack talks about being fired from the soccer team. Tobey blasts him for not putting up a fight for gay rights. Then he organizes a bowling trip to protest an alley that kicked out two lesbians for kissing. Joey and Pacey make like teen parents until Joey kicks Pacey out so she can study in peace. Right after he leaves, some guests arrive, giving Joey something else to worry about.
The next morning, Pacey gets the chance to question Gretchen about her kiss with Dawson. She blames it on the mistletoe and assures him that both of them agree it meant nothing. She asks why Pacey cares who Dawson kisses. He claims he doesn’t, but Joey does. She won’t talk about it, though. Pacey isn’t sure whether to pretend he believes her when she says she hasn’t given it a lot of thought or he can make her discuss it. Gretchen advises him to be a good boyfriend.
At school, Dawson catches Joey doing some last-minute cramming for a test and tries to make sure she’s okay. Clearly, she’s not. Jack refuses to go bowling, but Jen really wants him to make some friends in the coalition. He thinks Tobey’s in love with her. Jen’s sure he actually likes Jack. Jack is annoyed that Tobey won’t talk about anything other than being gay. Jen decides to go bowling without him.
Dawson begins his movie, with some comments from the peanut gallery, AKA Mr. Brooks. They discuss recent films vs. old films, and how so many movies involve love triangles. Mr. Brooks thinks it’s because there’s unhappiness for every piece of happiness. Both sides of the story have to be told. Mr. Brooks is done for the day, but Dawson wants him to talk about the woman he lost to his best friend. He points out that Mr. Brooks thinks movies need “complex human emotion.”
At the inn, Joey tries to convince herself that she did all right on the test, but she’s sure she didn’t get better than a C. Pacey comes over and Joey complains to him about everything she’s having to take care of. She’s sick of doing everything herself, which is dumb, since Pacey keeps offering to help her. He’s sure what’s really bothering her is Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss, or, more accurately, her and Dawson.
Later that evening, Pacey tells Joey he wants to talk about things with her, like the future. Joey admits that Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss bothers her, though she’s not sure why. Pacey says he doesn’t care; he just wants her to tell him when things bother her. Joey sees a future with the two of them together. She and Pacey grew up together, but she and Dawson never grew up. Whenever she’s around him, she feels 15 again. Pacey urges her to talk to Dawson.
At the bowling alley, Jen and Tobey chat about Jack until he shows up. Tobey compliments his jacket, then asks Jen if he’s wearing it ironically. Dawson and Mr. Brooks continue filming, but Mr. Brooks has some trouble remembering the directors of old movies. When Dawson goes to get him something to drink, Mr. Brooks falls asleep.
Jack admits to Jen that he’s embarrassed to be at “gay bowling night,” though more for the bowling part than the gay part. He calls Tobey out for calling him Captain America, and Tobey asks if he’s annoyed that things are “getting too gay” for him. Jack doesn’t understand the point of the coalition. Tobey notes that Jack’s popular, but most jocks beat up gay kids. He doesn’t think Jack has ever had problems in life. (Where do you want him to start, Tobey?)
Dawson comes home to find Joey waiting for him in his room. She’s brought him some CDs; she thinks they can trade music whenever they have something to discuss. She admits that her life is hectic right now but she’s not letting Pacey help her. Dawson gives her her Christmas present early – it’s a photo he took of her and Pacey at the party. Joey’s very touched.
The conversation turns to Gretchen, and Dawson swears that the kiss meant nothing. Joey asks if he’s interested in Gretchen. Dawson says that even if he were, she wouldn’t be. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Joey notes that the two of them are still friends after everything that’s happened. If they weren’t, he wouldn’t have given her the photo and she wouldn’t be encouraging him to go after what he wants. Gretchen would be lucky to have him.
Pacey approaches his and Joey’s English teacher to ask if Joey can retake the test she didn’t do well on. The teacher understands the circumstances but can’t bend the rules. He adds that he admires Pacey for giving it a shot.
Jack runs into Tobey by the waterfront and learns that he’s been officially kicked out of the coalition. Jack says he’s not going to let Tobey push him around like he let the soccer parents do to him. Tobey apologizes for judging Jack based on appearances; that’s just how he was always treated. His older sister had to chase off kids who bullied him when he was younger. Jack replies that even though he’s never experienced the same thing, that doesn’t make him any less gay than Tobey.
Joey gets a C- on her test and learns from her teacher that Pacey asked for a second chance. He’s offering a retake the next day since a student was absent. The teacher also highlights a passage for her to read from Thoreau – he wants her to remember that while self-reliance is a good trait, Thoreau still had friends and neighbors he could rely on.
Dawson stops by Mr. Brooks’ house and meets her nurse, who says the documentary is tiring him out. He also hasn’t been taking his medication since it makes him forget things. Dawson starts to gather his equipment, but Mr. Brooks wants to keep making the movie so people will have something to remember him by. They go back to the story Mr. Brooks was telling the night before, which was about when he met the woman he eventually fell in love with. He misses her.
Joey calls Pacey to the inn to thank him for talking to her English teacher. He’s pleased to hear that his plan worked out. He helps her study while they hang out with Alexander. Dawson and Gretchen meet up at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony downtown, and he tells her he’s never understood the appeal of gambling until today. He likes her and will continue liking her no matter how she responds. He thinks she’s worth risking everything for. Gretchen replies that sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.
Thoughts: I hate Tobey with his stupid hair and his stupidly spelled last name and the fact that he won’t shut up. Why won’t you shut up, Tobey?
Way to leave Alexander alone in the kitchen with the oven and all sorts of sharp things, Joey.
Also, funny how Bessie freaked out about Joey possibly having sex in “A Family Way” but is apparently fine with Pacey staying at the inn while she’s gone.
And by the way, who leaves her two-year-old with her teenage sister for three days when school’s in session? And where’s Bodie?
Seeing Joshua Jackson with a child is killing me. TOO CUTE.
January 3, 2012
Summary: Dawson has reinstituted movie night…with Gretchen. They’re watching one of Mr. Brooks’ movies, which Gretchen thinks is awful. Dawson thinks it’s great and is more of a romance than a noir piece. He likes the way the girl in the movie finds love when she least expects it. Gretchen enjoys Dawson when he’s passionate. Dawson wonders why Mr. Brooks stopped making movies, and Gretchen notes that Dawson himself stopped.
At the yacht club, Mrs. Valentine basically calls Joey trash, then tells her she’s working on Saturday; there’s a networking party for Worthington College. Joey tells Mrs. Valentine she’ll be there, but as a guest, not an employee. Mrs. Valentine is shocked to learn that she’s one of the school’s most promising applicants. Joey suggests that she enlist Drue to take her place on staff for the night.
Dawson finishes his last college application as Mitch and Gail decorate a Christmas tree at the restaurant. Gretchen mentions the family’s annual holiday party, which makes Gail and Mitch fall silent. Dawson notes that the party hasn’t been held for a couple of years because the Leerys kind of fell apart. Gretchen wants the tradition to be brought back and offers to throw it herself.
Jack drops by Jen’s house, where she’s knitting and being ignored by Grams because of the Ecstasy incident. Jack announces that he finished his college applications, and Jen says she’s almost done, obviously lying. It turns out she hasn’t submitted anything. Jack asks Grams to talk to Jen, but Grams knows Jen doesn’t want her help. She plans to let Jen make her own mistakes.
Dawson finds Mr. Brooks at the yacht club and tells him he watched one of his movies. Mr. Brooks isn’t impressed with how much respect Dawson has for him. Dawson thinks his curmudgeonly nature is a front, since he’s shown a different side of himself in his films. He asks about the chemistry between the two leads, but Mr. Brooks won’t talk to him anymore.
Gretchen goes shopping with Joey so she can pick out something for the Worthington event. Joey’s nervous about bringing Pacey along and making him feel out of place. Gretchen tells her she’s missing the Leerys’ holiday party; Joey says she and Dawson used to spend most of them watching movies in his room. Gretchen assures her that she’ll be great at the Worthington event.
Dawson meets with Capeside High’s admissions advisor, who wants to know why he wants to be a filmmaker. She wants him to rework his essay for USC. Joey informs Pacey that he’s going to the Worthington event with her, but he’d rather go to the Leerys’ party. She notes that she goes to Sunday dinners at his house even though she doesn’t like to. (Not that Pacey likes to either.)
Jen gets Christmas presents from her parents and guesses what they all are before she opens them. Grams gets annoyed with her negative attitude toward Christmas. She mentions college applications and Jen thinks she’s trying to get her out of the house. She notes that Grams hasn’t talked to her for weeks, so she doesn’t get to worry about her future.
Gretchen urges Dawson to tell the truth in his USC essay: He wants to be a filmmaker so he can get money, power, and hot girls. Then she suggests that he go to Mr. Brooks for help. Grams and Jack brainstorm ways to get Jen to fill out her applications, and Grams comes up with a plan. Dawson takes Gretchen’s advice and visits Mr. Brooks, asking why he stopped making movies. He mentions his own “crisis of faith,” which Mr. Brooks teases him about, making Dawson leave.
Joey and Pacey get all fancy for the Worthington event while everyone else goes to the Leerys’ party. Gretchen finds Dawson in his room, trying to figure out if he really wants to go to USC. She tells him he sounds like a guy who just broke up with his girlfriend and keeps saying he’s better off without her but can’t stop talking about her. She wants him to admit that he loves movies and stop tolerating cynicism.
Joey tries to avoid Drue, who’s mad at her for getting him hired to work at the party. Over at the Leerys’ party, the admissions advisor congratulates Jen for getting her applications done on time. Jen has no idea what she’s talking about. Joey and Pacey have dinner with Mrs. Valentine and Worthington’s head of admissions, Mr. Kubelik, who wants to talk about art. Pacey’s comments are surprisingly amusing to Mr. Kubelik.
Mr. Brooks shows up at the Leerys’ party with a copy of Pauline Kael’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It describes his love of movies better than he can himself. He apologizes for being mean to Dawson, saying Dawson accidentally touched a nerve. Mr. Brooks explains that the stars of the movie Dawson loved were his best friend and girlfriend. During filming, they fell in love and he lost both of them. Mr. Brooks asks Dawson why he wants to make movies. Dawson isn’t sure how to explain what he loves.
Joey and Pacey stay at the yacht club after everyone else has left, since Mr. Kubelik is so taken with Pacey. He wonders why Pacey hasn’t applied to Worthington. Pacey replies that his parents expect him to go to Yale. Joey pulls him outside and blasts him for lying and trying so hard to impress Mr. Kubelik. Before he can answer, he’s called away to meet the dean.
Jen confronts Jack, who she thinks filled out her applications for her, and Grams announces that it was her idea. Jen says she doesn’t want to go to college, but Grams knows she’s lying. She also knows that Jen hasn’t applied yet because she doesn’t want to ask her parents for help. Grams apologizes for freezing Jen out, telling her that no matter how angry she is, she’ll always be there. Jen will be going to college no matter what Grams has to do to pay for it.
Mr. Kubelik finds Joey crying outside the yacht club, where she apologizes for what she thinks was a bad showing at dinner. He assures her that her academic record speaks for itself, and no one’s judging her social skills. Pacey spent his conversation with the dean talking about Joey and how great she is. Mr. Kubelik thinks she has a “rare gift” in her boyfriend, since he thinks so highly of her.
Jack lets Jen know where she applied; he took papers she’d previously written for school and turned them into essays. He also found her journal and teases her about the dreams she’s had about him. Grams unhappily encounters Mr. Brooks, reminding him that they last saw each other when he yelled at Dawson about his boat. She tells him to get to know someone before dismissing him. Mr. Brooks would like her to do the same.
Dawson overhears and teases him for flirting. Mr. Brooks says they’re not friends just because they had a moment earlier. Dawson thinks Mr. Brooks is ready to make another movie, but this time he’ll be the subject. Dawson wants to make a film about Mr. Brooks’ life. Back at the yacht club, Joey and Pacey make up. He tells her he wanted everyone to see her the way he sees her. She’s upset that Pacey fit in better than she did when she wanted to impress everyone so badly. He assures her that when she really enters that world, she’ll be amazing.
Dawson thanks Gretchen for throwing a party that made his parents so happy. Mr. Brooks sees them talking under the mistletoe and tells them to kiss already. They do – just as Joey and Pacey arrive.
Thoughts: The naming of this episode is pretty clever – not only is it the name of the book Mr. Brooks loans Dawson, but it refers to the kiss and bang of its impact in the last scene.
Why is Jen knitting? It seems too random not to be mentioned by anyone.
Let’s give Drue a spin-off. Grams and Mr. Brooks can be in it, too.
December 30, 2011
Summary: It’s morning at Capeside High, and everyone’s tired and going through the motions until a student yells for everyone to go to the pool. When they arrive, they find a golden retriever on a sailboat that has “class of 2001″ painted on the sail. Everyone’s amused except Principal Peskin – it’s his boat and dog. The dog, Chester, jumps off the boat and goes straight to Jack, making Peskin think the dog knows him.
Later that morning, five students are summoned to the principal’s office, including Dawson, Pacey, and Jack. After some time, those three are narrowed down as the three most likely suspects. Peskin and Mitch interrogate the guys, noting that Dawson has access to Mitch’s school keys, Pacey has access to boat storage, and Chester knew Jack. Peskin wants to know where Jack was the previous morning.
Jack flashes back to visiting Jen to tell her that she’s allowed to fulfill her community service by helping him coach his soccer team. She isn’t game, but Jack convinces her by telling her how much he’s been struggling since Andie left. After Jen agrees to help, Jack heads off to meet Drue at a hardware store.
Peskin next asks Pacey about his activities the day before. They involve making out with Joey outside the police station before spending the day with Doug. Dawson gets the good cop/bad cop treatment next, as Mitch remembers that Dawson left before him. Gail takes Dawson to Mr. Brooks’ and asks him to find Mitch’s keys, which Dawson may have misplaced. Mr. Brooks wants Dawson to do some organizing, but Dawson asks for money since he’d already repaid his boat debt.
At the hardware store, Jack and Drue get paint for a school project and net for a soccer goal. Drue notes that Jack is pretty selfless. Pacey and Doug get donuts (of course) while Dawson works in Mr. Brooks’ study. He finds Mr. Brooks’ high school yearbook and learns that he wanted to be a filmmaker.
Mitch brings up an old pact Dawson and Pacey made in the ninth grade after a particularly lame senior prank. Dawson notes that he and Pacey aren’t friends right now, so he wouldn’t have done anything. He’s not sure about Pacey, though. In flashback, Jack and Jen work with the soccer team, and Jack offers Molly the goalie position. She doesn’t want it. Jen says Molly reminds her of herself as a kid; they’d rather avoid embarrassment than be stars.
Peskin notes that Pacey is the only senior with access to the warehouse where his boat was kept. Pacey agrees to describe all of his actions during the time in question, warning that they won’t be interesting. Indeed, he’s with Doug the whole time, monitoring drivers’ speeds and questioning Doug’s life choices.
In flashback, Gretchen picks Dawson up from Mr. Brooks’; the man tells him to come back in three hours or he’ll forfeit his payment. Between soccer practice and a game, Jack keeps working on getting Molly to agree to play goalie. He convinces her to take the position to get respect from a boy who keeps messing with her. Molly’s totally aware of the manipulation but doesn’t care.
When Gretchen takes Dawson home, Drue’s there waiting for him, wanting to thank Dawson for loaning him money at the movie theater, then eating dinner with him. Drue’s happy to have made a friend in Capeside. He also has Mitch’s keys, which Dawson left in his car. Drue tells Dawson that what goes around comes around, and Dawson says that’s true.
Pacey and Doug look for a lost dog as Pacey mentions again that Doug’s job isn’t exactly wonderful. Doug tells him that if Pacey ever loves anything as much as Doug loves his job, he’ll be surprised. Peskin notes that Pacey was looking for the same dog he’s suspected of taking. He adds that a new detail has come into play: Dawson and Pacey’s pact. Pacey thinks Dawson has implicated him to cover for himself.
Peskin still thinks the person who broke into the school had a key, but Dawson notes that he was witch Mitch all night. After talking to Drue, Dawson returns to Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks fires him for going off with Gretchen. Dawson tells him that just because he’s alone doesn’t mean he can take his loneliness out on Dawson. Mr. Brooks kicks him out.
Jack tells Mitch and Peskin that he spent the previous evening at his soccer team’s first playoff game. In flashback, a bunch of fathers approach him to tell him they disagree with his decision to make Molly goalie. One of the fathers reminds Jack that they kept quiet when his sexuality was revealed. If Molly loses the game for them, Jack loses his job.
Doug makes Pacey ride in the back of his car, supposedly as punishment for not being able to find Chester (or at least that’s what Pacey tells Mitch). He’s actually there so a blind man named Mike can ride up front as Doug takes him grocery shopping. Now Pacey doesn’t see Doug’s job in quite the same light.
Dawson goes back to Mr. Brooks’ house and reveals that he saw that Mr. Brooks wanted to be a filmmaker. He doesn’t want to turn out like Mr. Brooks, and he doesn’t want either of them to be alone. He plans to finish the job he was hired for. Jack’s team wins the game despite Molly failing to block three goals. One of the parents tells Jack that those goals could count against them if they tie their next game. Jack’s being removed as the team’s coach.
Pacey does wind up at the boatyard, but he’s with Doug. They find Drue there, having been sent by his mother to report a missing boat. Doug notes that Drue could have taken the boat. Neither can prove anything, so Drue just leaves. Pacey follows him to get a ride home, telling Doug (who reminds Pacey that he hates Drue) he’s trying to be a better person. Pacey tells Mitch and Peskin that he went straight home and went to bed. They let him go.
Before he leaves, Pacey says that he doesn’t think Dawson was behind the prank. Dawson says the same about Pacey, thinking he wouldn’t want to jeopardize his already tenuous academic standing. Once all the guys are gone, Peskin tells Mitch that he knows who was responsible for the prank. Drue gets called into the office, along with his mother, and Peskin goes through what he thinks happened.
Drue (with Jack) purchased the same kind of paint that was used on the boat sail. He returned Mitch’s keys, possibly after copying one to the school. He was also in the boatyard around the time the boat was taken. He was in three suspicious places at three suspicious times, and had the means, motive, and opportunity to do everything. Mrs. Valentine says she should have known about Drue’s conniving ways after “last year’s ferret incident.”
Mrs. Valentine suggests a week’s suspension as punishment. Peskin ups it to two weeks, plus probation for the rest of the year. He knows Drue’s history and will keep an eye on him. As he cleans out his locker, Drue tells Joey to let his friends know that he admires what they did, and wants her to deliver a message: “Touché.” He admits that karma finally caught up with him.
Pacey stops by the police station to thank Doug for letting him ride along with him the day before. He thinks Doug’s job really is more important than anything Pacey will ever do. He helps people and scares kids out of driving crazy. Doug doesn’t think Pacey’s cut out to be a cop, but calls him a “daring original.” He has a talent for breaking the rules, and Doug admires that. Pacey’s surprised to hear that.
Dawson tells Gretchen that Mr. Brooks has gotten him thinking, and he’s trying to find out if Mr. Brooks became a filmmaker. She suggests some nicknames he might have used and he teases her about them. But he does find an A.I. Brooks who made a number of movies. Molly’s sister brings her by Jack’s house to tell him she’s sorry she got him fired. He tells her he was fired because the fathers don’t like who he is. They both need to ignore people who act like that.
Joey goes over to the Leerys’, where Mitch tells her to tell Dawson that he knows, and congratulations. Joey finds Dawson and Pacey throwing away a bunch of stuff in Dawson’s room. Jack climbs up, sans ladder, and Joey realizes that the three of them worked together on the prank. The guys remind her that they all had alibis and Drue was the obvious culprit. However, Dawson runs down how they could have hypothetically pulled it off.
That night, Pacey and Dawson go to the woods to bury the evidence of their part in the prank. Pacey feels like something is now right that hasn’t been right for a long time. He and Dawson agree that becoming friends again isn’t that simple. Pacey admits that Dawson saying he could never trust him again was one of the worst moments of his life. Dawson replies that his worst moment was seeing Pacey and Joey on his back porch.
Pacey wonders if Dawson will ever be able to trust him again. Dawson says he’d like to believe he will. Pacey replies that he’s not ready to give up on him. “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just kill each other,” Dawson notes. (That might not be the best thing to say to someone when you’re both holding shovels.)
Thoughts: This episode was surprisingly clever, especially for this show. I like the idea of Dawson and Pacey putting their problems aside to bring vengeance to Drue.
Peskin is played by Harry Shearer of The Simpsons and This is Spinal Tap. Interesting casting choice.
“Wait until I’m 17 and hot. He’ll regret messing with me.” Rock on, Molly.
I wish I cared more about the soccer storyline, but alas, I don’t, and nothing can make me.
I wonder if the ferret incident is anything like the noodle incident.
December 28, 2011
Summary: Joey is stressed out by the college-application process, though her admissions advisor tells her she’s ahead of the game. She just needs a peer recommendation from the person who knows her the best. She’s not looking forward to having to figure out who that is. The advisor tries to help her, and it’s obvious who Joey comes up with.
Pacey brings Andie her homework at home, since she’s not ready to go back to school yet after her experience at the rave. She notes that everyone’s been by to see her, but they’ve all come alone and aren’t speaking to each other. Andie’s upset that everyone’s blaming Jen. Pacey thinks the friendship may have run its course. Dawson finishes painting Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks doesn’t approve of the job he did. Dawson says he doesn’t have the time to do more work since he needs to work on his college applications.
At school, Jack avoids Jen, but Drue wants to bug her about how her friends won’t talk to her. He’s happy since that means he’s the only person left for her to talk to. He reminds her that he’s always been there for her, “not pretending to be and then judging [her] afterwards.” Jen tells him that no matter how many people stop talking to her, she’ll never be friends with Drue. “That which doesn’t kill me makes me more diabolical,” he replies.
Pacey heads home, where Joey’s waiting for him, and Gretchen sends him out to buy groceries. Joey asks Gretchen how she managed to survive the college-application process. Gretchen guesses that she’s avoiding something and gets her to admit that she needs a peer recommendation. Gretchen also guesses that the person who knows Joey the best is Dawson. Joey is nervous about hurting Pacey if she asks Dawson, and vice versa. Gretchen reminds her that the recommendation needs to be from the person who knows her best, not just the person she’s dating.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie that since she has all the credits she needs, she should take the rest of the semester off. He can’t remember the last time he saw her relax and not worry about responsibilities. It was in Florence when they visited her aunt. He wants her to spend the rest of the semester in Italy and take it easy before college.
Jack gets an email from Jen and Andie urges him to respond, saying he can’t avoid her forever. She mentions Mr. McPhee’s suggestion about Italy, and Jack says it sounds like she would be running away. Andie notes that there’s no point in spending time with her friends in Capeside since they’re not speaking. Jack doesn’t want her to miss the end of senior year.
At school, Jen’s called into Mitch’s office, where Grams, Mrs. Valentine, and Drue are gathered, along with a juvenile corrections officer. Drue has admitted to supplying the Ecstasy at the rave – and is dragging Jen down with him. Mrs. Valentine thinks Drue was reformed and Jen got him to return to his wicked ways. Jen is the only person who knows what Drue is pulling. Even Grams isn’t on Jen’s side. The kids get 100 hours of community service as punishment.
Jen chases after Grams, who doesn’t want to talk to her. She thought they’d improved their relationship and were being honest with each other. “I have never in all my life been so deeply disappointed in anything or anyone,” Grams says. Jen then heads to the McPhees’, having received an email from Jack (which Andie actually sent). She apologizes again for her part in the Ecstasy situation; she did something dumb but doesn’t deserve to be abandoned for it. Jen would never do what Jack’s doing to anyone. Jack just closes the door.
Joey goes to the Leerys’, then chickens out at starts to leave. She runs into Dawson, who’s getting supplies together to work on Mr. Brooks’ house; he notes good-naturedly that he’s working off their debt by himself. Joey gives him the form for the peer recommendation and he’s a little floored that she would ask him. He’s also not sure if he’s the right person for the job. Dawson wonders if Pacey knows, but Joey isn’t going to tell him unless he agrees to write it. If he decides to, he’s the right person.
Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ fence and finally gets some kindness in return when Mr. Brooks offers him some food. It doesn’t take long before they get into a fight and Dawson confronts Mr. Brooks over having pictures in the place of people. Mr. Brooks explains that 30 years ago his brothers came to him asking for money. They invested it all and he lost it. He tells Dawson that sometimes you don’t lose people from your life by choice, but when you make the wrong decisions.
Pacey brings Andie more homework and she tells him about possibly going to Italy. She thought Jack would be supportive, but instead he’s trying to convince her to stay. She points out that he left once; Pacey points out that he only moved across town. He guesses that Andie wants a tiebreaker to make the decision for her. He asks what Andie would be running from if she went to Italy. Maybe she needs to take off the training wheels and ride by herself. Andie worries what others will think, but Pacey reminds her it’s her life and she gets to live it. She’s the tiebreaker.
Drue bugs Jen some more, telling her he’s looking forward to doing community service with her. She knows he’s protecting his “inner Iago,” but people will make up their minds about them and not change. He tells her the people of Capeside aren’t her people: “I am your people.” Capeside will only ever be her past.
Andie talks to Mr. McPhee about how he and Jack have worked things out, and how that means the rest of her friends should be able to do the same. He says it takes realizing what you’re risking if you let someone go. Dawson takes Joey’s peer-recommendation form back to her blank and tells her he’s not the right person to write it. Joey’s disappointed but thanks him for thinking about it.
As Dawson leaves, he sees Pacey waiting nearby. Joey tells Pacey about the recommendation and tries to brush it off like it’s nothing. Pacey knows it isn’t since she didn’t tell him about it. Joey doesn’t want to talk about it, and Pacey complains that she always gets to decide what they air out and what they ignore. She argues that she was trying to avoid a conflict. Dawson has always been there for her, and Joey doesn’t think Pacey can be angry with her for asking him to write the recommendation. Pacey just wonders when he gets to be the person who knows Joey the best.
Joey and Dawson run into each other outside Leery’s Fresh Fish, where they’re each supposed to have dinner with Andie. She’s summoned Jack and all their friends for a surprise dinner. Jack wants to leave once Jen arrives, but Andie announces that she’s actually the one leaving: She’s going to Italy. Jack and Jen agree to stay to hear what she has to say to everyone.
Andie says it shouldn’t have taken a ploy to get all her friends together. When Mr. McPhee brought up taking the rest of the year off, Andie made a pro/con list, and the first con was leaving her friends. She takes full responsibility for taking the Ecstasy. Pacey, Joey, and Dawson are lucky for having lifelong friends because they can go back to the beginning together. The main thing keeping Andie in Capeside was the idea of Jack not having a sister if she left, but she realized that he would have Jen.
Andie continues that when she met her friends, she didn’t know much about friendship or love, but they taught her a lot. By leaving, she hopes to return the favor. She doesn’t want everything to end the way things are right now; she doesn’t want to remember them like this. Later that evening, Pacey apologizes to Joey for his reaction to the peer-recommendation issue. She tells him that in ten years, he’ll be the person who knows her best. Dawson knows her past the best, but her future is with Pacey.
Jack finds Jen crying outside and asks if she’s the same girl who used to tell him everything. She asks if he’s the boy who used to listen. He says he didn’t stop listening, he just didn’t always like what he heard. Jen assures him that she’s the same person. Jack apologizes, but Jen just wants him to stand by her. He asks if she’s willing to keep standing. Dawson and Joey wind up by the water and he tells her he never doubted how well he knew her. He was just worried about putting it all on paper. He’d like to write the recommendation after all.
Andie tries to say goodbye to Pacey, but he’s sure she’ll be back for prom and graduation. She tells him she’s going to Italy because of what he said to her. He gave her strength to do things she’s always needed to do but was too scared to do. Pacey tells her she can no longer use the word “afraid,” only “brave” and “stalwart.” He adds that he’ll miss her optimism and asks her to leave a little behind when she goes.
Jack tells Andie that the only reason he didn’t want her to leave was because he would miss her. She reminds him that since they’re siblings, they’ll never have to say goodbye. The six friends start to take a picture together, but Andie, who’s standing between Pacey and Dawson, moves down the line so the two friends have to stand next to each other.
Thoughts: Other than in “Coming Home,” I never really felt like Andie was part of the group. I think it’s because we saw Jack spend more time with the others, especially Jen, and Andie felt more like a tagalong.
How many applications are these people filling out? How long is each application? I only filled out one (I applied early decision and got in, so I didn’t have to do any more), and I don’t remember it being that long or intense, so I really have no frame of reference. I also don’t remember my friends getting this stressed about applications.
Grams believes Drue over Jen? That SUCKS. And also makes no sense.
Mr. Brooks is who Gregory House will grow up to be.
Best way to turn what’s supposed to be a sweet, sad scene into a laugh-fest: play Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” over it.
December 23, 2011
Summary: Dawson and Mitch are concerned about Gail because she’s been sick. She’s more focused on keeping the restaurant going. Mitch finally convinces her to go home before the customers all catch her illness and they “have to rename the restaurant Leery’s Pending Lawsuit.” (Heh.) After Gail leaves, Gretchen tells the guys that it sounds like she’s pregnant. At home, Gail takes a pregnancy test as Mitch and Dawson wait outside the bathroom, which is pretty awkward. Even more awkward: Dawson’s cool reaction when the test comes back positive.
Joey and Pacey make out at his place, but he stops them and suggests they watch TV instead. Joey’s confused. Jack’s still healing from his shoulder injury, and Andie has roped him into helping her coach a kids’ soccer team. Jack is surprisingly good with the kids, with the exception of a girl named Molly who doesn’t seem to like anyone or anything. Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ house to pay off his debt after the boat incident as Mr. Brooks criticizes his photography. He says the pictures are “cold” and “unemotional.”
At school, Jen complains to Joey about a grade on a test, but Joey, of course, did well. Joey confides that she thinks Pacey’s getting tired of waiting for her to be ready to have sex with him. She’s getting impatient as well, but she’s not sure how to know when it’s time. Jen suggests that she go to a clinic for birth control and sex advice so she’ll feel more prepared. At their own doctor’s office, Mitch tells Gail that Dawson’s in shock but will come around. She’s worried about sending Dawson to college while raising another child, especially now that they’re older. She’s open to having an abortion.
Jack meets Molly’s flirtatious sister, Caroline, who’s 28 and doesn’t seem to mind that Jack is ten years younger. He tries to tell her he’s gay, but he can’t get the words out. Gretchen looks at some of Dawson’s pictures and tells him that Mr. Brooks is crazy if he doesn’t think they’re good. He takes pictures of her, then says she was right about Gail being pregnant. He admits that he was upset when he found out – his parents don’t have much money, their relationship isn’t that stable, and they were irresponsible. Dawson does want to be happy for them. Gretchen notes that Gail’s going through something even more difficult than he is.
Joey goes to a clinic for a chat about sex, birth control, and STDs. (It’s a lesson for all of us!) Jack tells Andie that he thinks he’s bringing Molly out of her shell. Caroline is the problem, as Jack thinks she’s more than flirting with him. He’s worried that coming out to her will cause a problem since he’s working with kids. Andie promises to help. Dawson develops his pictures of Gretchen, then apologizes to his parents for how he reacted to the news about the baby. Mitch informs him that there won’t be a baby.
Gail admits that she suspected she was pregnant for a while but put off finding out because she knew what she would want to do. Dawson’s surprised that Mitch is on board for the abortion. Gail can tell that Dawson thinks she’s making a horrible decision. She’s considered everything, and she knows she can’t raise another child after all the mistakes she’s made. That plus the money situation and everything else means she can’t keep the baby. Gail makes it clear that it’s her decision and she’s not discussing it any further.
The next morning, Mitch plays messenger for Gail, telling Dawson that she knows he’s upset. Mitch isn’t sure what he wants, but he doesn’t want Gail to go through with the pregnancy if it’s not what she wants. He tells Dawson that they tried for three years before they conceived him; they tried again for five years after he was born, but ultimately had to accept that they wouldn’t have another child. Mitch is pleased with the life he has, and though he may wonder what things could have been like, he’s grateful for Gail and Dawson.
Bessie finds birth control info and condoms in Joey’s room, then pretends she didn’t. Caroline visits another soccer practice and starts to ask Jack out, but Andie interrupts, lying that Jack already has a girlfriend (Natasha Boyardee). Caroline wants her to mind her own business. Jack finally tells her the truth, and Caroline tries to pretend she already knew Jack was gay. Dawson meets up with Gretchen, looking for help dealing with the news of Gail’s abortion. She thinks he’s had his “illusions of parents infallibility” destroyed. Dawson guesses that Gretchen has been in Gail’s situation and thinks she can help him understand it.
Gretchen admits to getting pregnant last semester; she was 20, she had tons of student loans, and her grades weren’t that great, so she decided to have an abortion. However, before she could, she miscarried. She felt guilty for having a solution handed to her, as well as for getting herself into a situation where she needed a solution like that. Dawson thanks her for trusting him with her story and promises not to tell anyone.
At the bed and breakfast, Bessie confronts Joey about the birth control (in front of guests – way to go, Bess). She doesn’t think her little sister is ready to have sex. Joey notes that Bessie let her sail with Pacey all summer. Bessie replies that Joey didn’t exactly give her a choice. She thinks Joey’s making a huge mistake. Joey tells her she’s not having sex yet, but it’s coming, and Bessie can’t stop it. Bessie doesn’t think she can handle the responsibility and consequences that come with sex. Joey replies that her whole life is about responsibility and consequences.
At soccer practice, Molly tells Jack that word has spread that he’s “dangerous,” so some kids are leaving the team. She assures him that she knows there’s nothing dangerous about him. That night, Joey tells Bodie that Bessie lucked out by getting a good kid as a sister. Bodie says that Bessie just wants better for Joey than she has, what with getting pregnant without being married and being stuck in Capeside. Joey admits that she’s still not ready to have sex. Bodie says that no one can tell her what to do, but, just as Jen said, if she isn’t prepared, she’s not ready.
Dawson tells Gail that she missed something when she considered all the facts: She was a great mother and taught him to never be held back by his mistakes. He always had an idea of the perfect childhood in his head, but his parents gave him something even better. If they had another child and were half the parents they were to him, that child would be incredibly lucky. Pacey and Joey have another makeout session, and this time when he interrupts it, she doesn’t argue. She tells him about visiting the clinic and being closer to getting prepared.
Jack chastises himself for telling Caroline he was gay and trying to convince himself that no one would care. He considers quitting coaching the team. Andie notes that the alternative is not telling people who he really is, and no one wants to live like that. He needs to focus on the coaching and ignore the parents and their issues. Jack hates that people see something horrible when they look at him. Andie’s sure that things will blow over sooner or later.
Mr. Brooks criticizes more of Dawson’s photos until he comes to one of Gretchen. He thinks it’s the first one that has emotion and shows something of Dawson himself. Meanwhile, Bessie and Joey make up, Jack mopes by himself, and Gail looks at Dawson’s baby pictures.
Thoughts: It might have been more interesting storywise if Gail had gotten an abortion (since we all know she doesn’t), but I guess it would have taken the show to a little bit of a darker place.
I wonder what kind of review the bed and breakfast would get on Yelp after that incident with Bessie talking about sex in front of the guests.
Alexander is too cute! I can’t take it. That should have been Dawson’s argument in favor of Mitch and Gail having a baby: “Look how cute this one is! You can have a cute baby, too!”
I hope Michelle Williams went off and did something really fun when she got almost completely written out of this episode.
I wish there had been more hints about Gretchen’s big secret before Dawson figured it out. It was basically just her not talking about it for four episodes.
It took two seasons, but I finally feel something positive toward Jack rather than something neutral.
December 10, 2011
Summary: As you may have guessed from the episode title, the kids are studying Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona in English class. The teacher says that Silvia is a prototype for Juliet. Joey and Drue snipe at each other, but she’s the one who gets in trouble. The teacher calls on her to tell the class what the play is about – a girl who comes between two guys. Joey thinks one of the gentlemen of Verona, Proteus, is a lame hero and the other, Valentine, is unfairly painted as a villain.
Dawson thinks the play is really about the two men’s friendship. Joey notes that the friendship ends when Silvia gets between them. The two discuss the play, with Dawson saying Proteus is a bad friend, and Joey says Valentine isn’t great either. Dawson thinks Valentine is good because he made the sacrifice to give up the girl. Drue wants to see Dawson and Joey have a class debate. The teacher agrees, telling Drue to participate as well.
Jen is late for school, telling Grams she “had a lot of angry femme music to get through” before she could leave. She denies that she’s sad about Henry dumping her – she’s moved to the angry phase. Grams reminds her that the fall of her senior year is important. She announces that Jen isn’t allowed to be “melancholy” for 48 hours. At school, Joey tells Dawson he’ll have to come by the yacht club to discuss the debate since she’s working tonight.
Dawson leaves as Pacey arrives to give Joey the good news that he got an A on an assignment. He wants to celebrate by going sailing, but she has to work on the debate. Jen offers to go sailing in her place. Andie prepares for a college interview at the yacht; Mrs. Valentine is an alum at one of her backup schools. She has a dizzy spell from one of her anti-anxiety meds but tells Jack that it’s working better than anything else she’s tried.
Mitch and Gail are sick, and Dawson notes that they could stop sharing germs if they would stop making out. He assures them that he’s fine working on a project with Joey. Mitch thinks Dawson did the right thing telling Joey about Pacey’s grades. Pacey and Jen go out on his boat and discuss Dawson and Joey working together. He assures her that the weather is supposed to be nice, but the clouds seem to have a different idea.
At the yacht club, Drue comments on Dawson and Joey’s “sexual tension” (ew) and makes a Star Wars analogy: Dawson is the Luke to Pacey’s Han Solo. Joey asks if that makes Drue Jabba the Hut. Joey banters with a club member, Mr. Brooks, who lets her know that there’s a storm coming, so now she’s worried about Pacey (and possibly Jen). After she leaves the dining room, a weather advisory runs across the bottom of the TV screen.
Andie meets with Mrs. Valentine, who notes that she took a medical leave of absence at the end of her sophomore year. Andie tells her she was having emotional problems. Suddenly Mrs. Valentine thinks she’s dealing with a crazy person. Joey struggles to focus on the debate, but Dawson knows she’s avoiding the elephant in the room. He announces that he and Pacey are never going to be friends again. She can’t believe he’s willing to throw away ten years of friendship. Dawson calls what Pacey did a huge betrayal.
Joey looks for news about the weather, telling Drue to get Mr. Brooks his check. A news report says that the storm will be the worst one New England has had in 30 years. (Worse than the hurricane?) On Pacey’s boat, he and Jen work on getting things under control as she says that he’ll never admit that things are getting frightening. A big wave shorts out their radio.
Mrs. Valentine asks Andie about her illness, saying it must be a weakness, but Andie says it’s a strength because it showed her how much she can handle. Mrs. Valentine thinks she should go to a state school since it won’t put as much pressure on her. Andie says that what she’s gone through probably makes her better equipped to handle pressure.
Dawson decides he’s done trying to work with Joey, since she’s so distracted, and she tells him Jen and Pacey are out on the boat. Jack shows up to get Andie, who’s disappointed by her bad interview. Pacey assures Jen that they won’t capsize, then tells her it’s too dangerous to try to go back to the dock; they’ll head for a cove he knows of instead. Jen worries that the storm will get worse, but Pacey says it won’t. She asks who can find them at the cove. Pacey says Dawson will.
Back at the club, Dawson does indeed know that Pacey’s heading for the cove. Joey tries to get someone to go look for him, but it’s not safe and they don’t have any assurance that anyone’s there. Dawson tells Joey to get him a boat, and Joey says Mrs. Valentine has keys they can take. Drue arrives and hands the keys over, telling them which boat to use. Dawson refuses to let Joey come with him, but Joey doesn’t want to have to worry about both him and Pacey, so he gives in.
Back at the club, Drue announces that he let Joey and Dawson take Mr. Brooks’ boat. Andie takes charge, telling Jack what to do to safeguard the dining room, then giving Mrs. Valentine instructions to call Bessie and the Leerys. She plans to get in touch with Dawson and Joey on Mr. Brooks’ boat radio. Andie even manages to get Drue to sweep up some broken glass.
Jen starts panicking about a hole in the boat’s hull, while Pacey keeps working and being optimistic. He notes that he’s been wrong so many times today that the law of averages is on his side and he’ll have to be right sooner or later. Jen suggests that they do what movie characters always do in a disaster: make heartfelt confessions. Pacey has nothing to confess and no regrets to express, which Jen doesn’t believe. She tells him she regrets that she’s never been in love. Pacey admits that he regrets the way things are between him and Dawson. Jen thinks it might feel good to say something.
Andie gets in touch with Dawson and Joey, working with Mr. Brooks to figure out where they are. They lose radio contact, but Dawson is sure he knows where’s going. He’s right, and they manage to find Pacey’s boat. Pacey gets Jen onto Mr. Brooks’ boat but doesn’t want to leave True Love. Dawson jumps onto Pacey’s boat, telling him that there are people who care about him more than the boat. After Joey yells Pacey’s name, he and Dawson jump to join her and Jen, then lose True Love.
The kids make it home safely and Dawson is hailed a hero, except by Mr. Brooks. There’s a big gash in his hull and he wants Dawson to suggest how to fix it. Dawson offers up some of his college money, but Grams blasts Mr. Brooks for letting him defer the money for a boat. Mrs. Valentine compliments the way Andie took charge of the situation, and Jack remarks that she did Mrs. Valentine’s job. Mrs. Valentine offers to say nice things about Andie to her school, while Jack replies that they’re going to tell the school how mean Mrs. Valentine is. Andie, however, says she won’t wield that kind of power over someone.
Joey blasts Pacey for trying to stay on the boat, but he’s upset over losing the place where he spent the best moments of his life. She tells him she’s never been so scared for someone. She reminds him to keep her in mind the next time he’s making life-and-death decisions. Joey guesses that Pacey knew Dawson would come get him, since the guys know each other as well as Dawson and Joey do. She says they’re still a part of each other even if they’re not friends anymore.
The Leerys watch Joey and Pacey come off the dock together, and Mitch notes that Dawson saved the day but didn’t get the girl. He thinks Dawson got something more important, though – the knowledge that he did a good thing. (I think he’d rather have the girl, Mitch.) Jen tells Grams that she should listen to some of her angry femme music now that she’s shown how tough she can be. Grams admits to being scared for Jen’s life. She kept wondering what she would tell Jen’s mother. Grams says she felt like she lost her faith, and Jen says Grams loaned it to her.
Jen goes back inside to get something and runs into Drue, who she knows from New York. Neither knew the other was in Capeside, and she’s not happy about it. The next day, Pacey stops by the Leerys’, where Dawson says Pacey doesn’t owe him anything. Pacey thanks him for the rescue and apologizes for the way everything went down with Joey and their friendship, which he misses. He looks forward to them being friends again, even if it’s far in the future. Dawson’s still not willing to make up, but he seems more open to it happening at some point.
Thoughts: The English major in me just had to go for a line from The Two Gentlemen of Verona as my post title. The full passage is:
“O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!”
So we have a play about two former friends fighting over the same girl, plus a character named Valentine. Did you catch all that?
Mr. Brooks is played by the late Harve Presnell, who I will always associate with another ’90s show, The Pretender.
Why would you work on a debate with the person you’re going to be debating? And how is Drue supposed to be involved here? Oh, right, contrivance. Never mind.