September 17, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 3.10, First Encounters of the Close Kind: Joey’s Boys
Summary: Joey comes through Dawson’s window and finds him watching his Witch Island movie in preparation for a screening and Q&A session at a film festival that weekend. She tries to assure him that the movie’s good and he’ll do well. She’s not happy about her own plans for the weekend, a college tour. Dawson’s sure that she’ll make it out of Capeside one day. He notes that both of them are about to experience their possible futures.
Joey, Dawson, Andie, and Jack all head to a college in Cambridge where Andie has always wanted to go. Dawson checks in for the film festival with a girl named Nikki Green, who laughs over his Spielberg obsession. Joey goes to meet A.J., her roommate for the weekend, thinking A.J.’s a girl. He’s not. Likewise, A.J. expected a guy named Joey. A.J.’s willing to show Joey around anyway, and she mostly stays to stick it to him. However, he kicks her out so he can finish a paper.
Andie meets up with Jack, who plans to spend the weekend touring Boston. He doesn’t want Andie to see that he’s using the Pink Pages, a gay guidebook. Andie tries to check in for an appointment with the dean, but it’s not scheduled until March. She argues that her father’s an alumnus, so she should get whatever she wants. It doesn’t work.
The Witch Island screening isn’t very popular, and when it’s time for the Q&A, Dawson doesn’t really want to participate. Nikki feels bad for him and checks on him afterward. She notes that the most interesting part of the story was Dawson’s relationship with Joey, but it wasn’t clear. Dawson doesn’t care about her position since she’s just an administrator. Meanwhile, Jack takes a bus ride, feeling uncomfortable.
Joey catches up with Dawson and learns that the screening didn’t go well. He wonders if his haters are right about his lack of talent. He notes that his dreams are so big that he never questioned being able to achieve them. Joey knows that he truly loves making movies, and she’s watched him turn his dream into a reality.
Andie hangs around the dean’s office, trying to butter up his assistant, who tells her that her own kids didn’t get into the school and don’t care. Her happiest child didn’t even go to college. Her point is that Andie’s life won’t be happy based on where she goes to school but on whether she finds fulfillment.
Joey visits a freshman English class where A.J.’s a TA. He starts a discussion on literature, and Joey reveals that her favorite book is Little Women. A.J. rips her choice apart, noting that the protagonist is a girl with a boy’s name. (Oh, and her father’s gone and she’s in love with the boy next door. Do you get it? Do you?) The class agrees with A.J. that the book isn’t that great. A.J. notes that you can’t say a book is good just because you relate to it.
After class, A.J. admits that they were harsh to Joey. She calls him insensitive, pointing out that she doesn’t know him. She wanted to see the fun parts of college, but obviously A.J. doesn’t know what fun is. A.J. asks for a fresh start, promising to show Joey what college is really like. Dawson attends a screening of a movie everyone in the audience loves. If you’ve ever seen a TV show before, you can guess that the filmmaker is Nikki.
After the screening, Dawson finds Nikki, who tells him that if he’d been the successful one, she would have been happy for him. She asks for his real opinion on her movie and some constructive criticism. He says her movie is “technically accomplished,” which is better than any of the feedback he got from her. Nikki admits that she was insensitive to him. Dawson asks why she didn’t mention that she was also an entrant in the festival. She says she doesn’t like to give too much information about herself because then she can’t get hurt.
Andie has coffee with the dean’s assistant and decides she’ll write her admissions essay on her mother. The assistant thinks that will help Andie organize her thoughts. Andie tells her about finding her mother in a creek one morning, looking lost. The assistant gives her some advice: Always wear sensible shoes, and let herself off the hook for things she can’t control. Andie’s allowed to make peace with Tim’s death even if her mother can’t. Andie wonders if she had her problems with mental health in order to better understand her mom.
A.J. takes Joey to a rare book and manuscript library to show her Louisa May Alcott’s own copy of the first part of Little Women. They read from it together, which is totally something normal college students do. Joey reveals that this was her mother’s favorite book, and she named Joey after Jo. When she reads the book, she feels closer to her mom. Now A.J. feels like a jerk. And now they’re totally in loooooooooove. A.J. now feels comfortable enough to reveal that his favorite book is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Jack goes to a gay club, where a guy buys him a beer and asks him to go somewhere to talk. Jack panics and runs off. Back on campus, Nikki doesn’t win anything at the film festival and leaves upset. Dawson tells her she was robbed. He’s surprised that she’s so angry, noting that film festivals don’t usually award the best filmmakers. He says her movie was inspiring and made him remember why he started making movies in the first place: to reach people. He’s not giving up until he does the same.
The next morning, Dawson and Andie head to the train station, both of them saying that they got what they came to Cambridge for. She notes that when you get a picture in your head of the way things should be, you close yourself off to other options. Jack’s already on the train, where he meets a guy named Ethan who’s also going to Capeside. Dawson runs into Nikki, who’s headed there as well to stay with her father for a while. They commiserate over having divorced parents. Oh, and Nikki’s father is Principal Green.
Jack and Ethan talk about his return to Capeside; his parents live there and he’s going home after a bad breakup. When Jack hears that the breakup was with a guy, he’s surprised, since he didn’t think Ethan was gay. Ethan’s gaydar has already pinged over Jack, though. A.J. takes Joey to the train station after they spent the whole night talking about literature. She admits that she doesn’t know what she’s passionate about. (What happened to art?) A.J. thinks Joey needs distance to figure out what she’s all about. Then he asks if he can call her sometime.
On the train, Joey meets Nikki and only tells Dawson that A.J. was her roommate. Back in Capeside, they wonder about what they’ll face in the future. Dawson feels blindsided by the world and worried about his future as a filmmaker. Joey tells him that the needs to love what he does and not just focus on success. To her, college has always been about leaving Capeside, but now she sees it more for the people she’ll meet. She feels like Dawson’s room is suddenly smaller, but he thinks it’s just safe.
Thoughts: No Pacey in this episode. I has a sad.
Hilariously, Robin Dunne, who plays A.J., was in a TV version of Little Men.
Freaking Bianca Lawson. She’s been playing 16 since she was 15. And I always think of her as Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
Speaking of people I always associate with Buffy, I always think of Adam Kaufman as Parker, Buffy’s jerk of a one-night stand.
A.J.’s dorm room is ridiculously big, especially for a single. I think it’s bigger than my apartment.