June 28, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 2.15, …That is the Question: You Don’t Know Jack
Summary: Pacey watches Jerry Maguire in Dawson’s room (sadly, Joey isn’t there); he’s been hiding out there during his suspension. He also hasn’t talked to Andie in a week. Dawson tells him that Jerry isn’t the best role model to have right now since he had to grovel to get what he wanted. At school, Dawson sees Jen and Ty kissing and notes that they’re progressing well. She invites him to hang out with them that night.
Jack is still the talk of the school, and Joey’s sick of it. He suggests having sex in front of everyone to really prove he’s straight. Dawson invites Joey to whatever club Jen and Ty are going to, but she and Jack are studying together. He suggests that they both come, then advises her to plan something romantic for the two of them.
Pacey’s suspension is over, so he returns to the scene of the crime, Mr. Peterson’s class. He turns in all the assignments given while he was gone. He also learns that Mr. Peterson gave him an F on his poem but won’t explain why. Pacey’s day gets worse when Andie ignores him at lunch. Joey plans a special dinner for Jack and implies that there will be a deflowering afterward. Pacey finally goes to talk to Andie, but all they do is fight. Andie and Jack are then called to the guidance office, where they find their father, Joseph.
Jack has to cancel his dinner with Joey to spend time with his father, so she will remain a virgin for at least one more day. She decides to go out with Dawson, Jen, and Ty instead. They go back to the jazz club Ty and Jen went to before, and Dawson and Joey opt for something nonalcoholic to drink. While Ty plays the piano, Jen, Dawson, and Joey laugh over their weird relationships. Pacey hangs out alone, researching teaching regulations.
Andie’s happy to be with Mr. McPhee again, but Jack would rather be anywhere than with him. Mr. McPhee complains that the guidance counselor called him down from Providence and disrupted his life because of the whole poem debacle. He asks if Jack is gay and Jack asks if it would matter. Mr. McPhee remarks that Jack’s the only living McPhee son, and people notice him now. If he’s gay, the “problem” needs to “be resolved immediately.” Jack and Andie are both stunned by his attitude.
Dawson and Joey dance at the club, both admitting that they’re having a better time than expected. Joey thinks Dawson believes Jack’s gay; he notes that she knows Jack better than he does. He also confirms that Joey doesn’t know Jack as well as she knows Dawson. Joey guesses correctly that Dawson’s comfortable with the two of them being there together as friends. Meanwhile, Ty wonders why Joey would want to be with a “fruit fly.” He’s sure Jack’s gay. Ty and Jen argue over whether or not sexuality is a choice (he says yes, she says no).
Andie lets Jack know that she’s not on Mr. McPhee’s side, but she does feel bad for him because he hasn’t had it easy. She also would welcome him coming home since they need help with their mother. Jack disagrees, reminding her that he abandoned the family. Andie says that if Jack keeps refusing to love Mr. McPhee, he’ll never love Jack back. Jack replies that he can’t be like Andie, constantly looking for their father’s approval. Andie wants Mr. McPhee to be proud of her, but Jack wonders if she’s ever thought about whether she’s proud of him.
Back at Jen’s, she brings up the choice/non-choice discussion again, and Ty brings Grams into it. Ty says he doesn’t judge Jack (uh-huh, I bet), but God will, and one day Jack will have to answer for his actions. He also thinks gay people are “damaging to the world at large.” This comment makes Grams tense up. Ty goes on about the topic until Grams steps in and tells him that if Jack is gay, he doesn’t need Ty’s judgment. Instead, he needs tolerance and love. Jen’s pretty gleeful about this development.
Dawson walks Joey home and she asks him if she’s “sexual.” She knows Jack isn’t gay, but she thinks he must have picked her because she’s “safe.” Dawson assures her that she’s definitely sexual. She points out that he fell for Jen the “sex machine.” He gives a monologue about how awesome Joey is, then wonders why she chose Jack over him. (Maybe because he’s able to have a conversation without giving a monologue?)
Pacey meets with the principal and lets her know that his research proves Mr. Peterson is in violation of a number of bylaws. He also got more than 20 testimonies from other students about Mr. Peterson’s behavior and plans to present them to the school board. The principal says she hopes Pacey knows what he’s doing.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie he’s going back to Providence and will be back in a few weeks, but Jack tells him not to bother coming back since he obviously doesn’t want to. He asks why Mr. McPhee bothers to support a family he doesn’t care about. Jack prevents his father from leaving, saying Mr. McPhee never talks about what their family’s going through, but they’re going to talk about Jack right now. He tells Mr. McPhee to ask him again if he’s gay. “You are not gay,” Mr. McPhee says firmly. “Yes, I am!” Jack replies.
Jack knows that Mr. McPhee preferred Tim because he was the “real son” while Jack was different. He’s tried harder than Mr. McPhee to ignore it and keep his secret from his family. Crying, Jack says he can’t try anymore. He apologizes to Mr. McPhee and Andie, saying he doesn’t want to be going through this. Andie starts crying as well and goes to comfort her brother, but Mr. McPhee tells them both to stop crying. He tells Andie that it’s between him and Jack, but Andie says it’s not anymore and kicks him out.
At school, Jack asks Joey if they can have their special dinner that night. Mr. Peterson’s class learns that he’s not in school, and Jack thanks Pacey for standing up for him. Pacey finds Mr. Peterson in his classroom and discovers that he’s leaving. Mr. Peterson says there’s no way he would have met with the school board to learn everything he’s done wrong in his career. He was going to retire at the end of the year anyway, so Pacey’s actions just gave him an excuse to leave early.
Pacey apologizes to Mr. Peterson, but the teacher replies that their confrontation was one of the most admirable moments of Pacey’s life, so he shouldn’t “ruin it with an apology.” He continues that Pacey came here to learn from him. Pacey replies that he learned that respect is best earned through compassion, not fear. “Should I respect you?” Mr. Peterson asks, noting that Pacey’s responsible for ending his career. “Where’s the compassion in that?” (Compassion for what, jerkwad? Making a student cry?)
Ty and Jen make peace, but he’s not sure why they’re not allowed to disagree. He asks Jen to show him a different view if she thinks his are wrong. He wants to be open-minded and hopes she does, too. Jen’s won over by his charm. Pacey finds Andie outside the school and they race to be the first to apologize. She says that she molded Pacey into who she wanted him to be, the same thing she did with her father. She really just wants to be with someone who loves her for who she is.
That night, Jack meets Joey for dinner and prepares to tell her the truth. They’re both a little confused, but when she asks again if he’s gay, he says he is. The poem he wrote made something inside of him click, and he realized that his feelings aren’t going to go away. He cares about Joey and doesn’t want to lose her, but he doesn’t want to hurt her. She thanks Jack for being honest, but she’s obviously not happy with the news. Jack goes home to Andie while Joey heads through Dawson’s window and cries on his shoulder.
Thoughts: How fitting that I watched this right after the gay-marriage vote in New York.
If Joey had walked in while Pacey was watching Jerry Maguire, I would have laughed until my stomach hurt.
I see we’ve completely moved on from the holier-than-thou Grams. Let’s forget she was ever racist, shall we?
What’s up with Pacey and English teachers, anyway?
I’m pretty sure that when Ty says, “Show me another way,” he really means, “I want to get in your pants.”