September 24, 2011

Dawson’s Creek 3.11, Barefoot at Capefest: Friends Without Benefits

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:09 pm by Jenn

Imagine this show had better writing...

Summary: Dawson and Joey go to get a camera from film class and run into Nikki, who’s going to be using it for the next month. Joey’s amused by Dawson’s frustration. Jack and Jen go grocery shopping, and he’s stunned to encounter Ethan, who’s in town for Capefest, a free concert in the park. He invites Jack to join him at a campsite near the park. He’s not even deterred when Jack proves to have no knowledge of alternative music.

At school, Andie talks to the annoying English teacher, Mr. Broderick, about being his assistant director on a production of Barefoot in the Park. Dawson and Joey learn that Gail is getting a bunch of the Leerys’ furniture in her and Mitch’s divorce settlement. She asks her son to keep being understanding because it makes things easier for his parents. Joey asks Dawson if he wants to talk, but he can’t think of anything to say.

Jack and Jen head to the campsite, her commenting that he’s going to extremes (like sleeping outside) to hook up with Ethan. Jack claims he’s just trying to get to know him. Jen advises him to play it cool and let Ethan come to him. Andie and Mr. Broderick suffer through some bad auditions before she thinks they’ve found the right guy to play Paul. Mr. Broderick has already picked someone else out, and his description of the kid as a bad student who’s a natural comedian leads me to guess who it is: Pacey.

Dawson goes to the Greens’ house to blast Nikki for being selfish with the camera. She claims that she didn’t know he wanted to use it. Principal Green invites him to stay for dinner, not taking no for an answer. Ethan arrives at the campsite and takes Jack to get dinner. He admits that he thought Jack would ask for his phone number on the train. Jack reveals that that was his first real conversation with another gay guy.

Jen runs into Henry (last seen in “Secrets and Lies”), who obviously doesn’t want to talk. She asks him to help her put up her and Jack’s tent. Henry accuses her of leading him on just so she could break his heart. He’s sure she’s happy to be “on the requited side of unrequited love.” Jen reminds him that they were going to be friends. Henry notes that he hasn’t talked to her in a month, and she hasn’t even noticed. He tells her to put up her own tent.

Principal Green tells Dawson about Nikki’s childhood film activities, asking if she’s enlisted him for her new movie yet. He thinks the two of them should work together, but they disagree. Ethan tells Jack about when he realized he was different, asking how Jack knows he’s gay even though he hasn’t even kissed another guy. He says it’s about moments and conversations. Then he realizes his camping gear has disappeared.

Andie asks Pacey to quit the play since she chose this as her afterschool activity first. Pacey tells her he’s going to get an automatic C. Plus, Mr. Broderick thinks he’s a good actor. Andie notes that the teacher is a disaster, and his plays are even worse. She wanted to be a part of this to distract herself from Pacey. Pacey tells her to quit instead, but neither of them will budge, so they’re stuck with each other.

Dawson gets his jacket from Nikki’s bedroom and sees that it doesn’t look like it belongs to someone who loves movies. He wonders why she doesn’t immerse herself in film like she does. Nikki says that film allows her to explore the other things that interest her. Otherwise she would only make movies about movies. Nikki mentions her parents’ divorce, and Dawson asks if she’s as cool about it as she appears. (She’s not.) She tells him her new movie is about the American family. Dawson admits that he doesn’t think about his parents’ divorce much, but sometimes he feels disappointed in being the product of something that failed.

Jen starts to tell Jack about her encounter with Henry, but stops when she meets Ethan, who offers to help with the tent. Jack tells her that Ethan needs a place to stay and asks her to leave until midnight. She threatens to take the car and go home instead. Instead, she comes across Henry and a couple other guys playing guitar together.

The play actors rehearse, and it’s clear that Pacey isn’t actually that great of an actor. It turns out he’s better when he doesn’t try, since he’s similar to his character. Jack wants to stay up talking to Ethan (or possibly more than that), but Ethan wants to sleep so they’ll be ready for the long day of listening to bands. Jen admits to Henry that she misses hanging out with him, and he tells her how much he was in love with her. He doesn’t miss that she never noticed how he felt about her.

Joey finds Dawson de-Spielberging his room; he tells her he doesn’t see the world the same way he did when he put up his movie posters. She doesn’t understand why he was at Nikki’s house. She calls him a sell-out, reminding him that Eve had him acting differently, too. Dawson says that Nikki helped him sort through his feelings about his parents. Joey’s mad that he didn’t talk to her about that, since she tried to help him. Dawson blasts her for not wanting him to talk to other girls. He points out that he hasn’t asked about A.J., but she finds that lack of interest a slap in the face.

In the morning, Ethan tells Jack to ask for his phone number. Jack notes that Ethan didn’t want to talk the night before. Ethan says that has nothing to do with the two of them being friends. He knew Jack had to be interested, but he’s not ready to be more than friends. Jack says he should be discouraged that Ethan rejected him the night before, but he’s optimistic to know there’s someone out there like Ethan.

Mr. Broderick is a no-show for the next play rehearsal, so Pacey encourages Andie to take over. Jen finds Henry again and apologizes for being a jerk to him. She stayed up all night thinking about what he said to her and realized that she doesn’t know what it’s like to be in love with someone the way he was in love with her. However, she’d like to find out. Henry may be younger, but Jen’s the one who acted like the child.

Mr. Broderick arrives for the rehearsal and takes credit for how well Pacey and his costar are doing. Pacey tries to tell him that Andie’s responsible for their successes, but he won’t listen. He also treats Andie like his servant. She walks out and Pacey follows her, telling her not to let Mr. Broderick get to her. He offers to quit instead, but Andie wants him to stay since he’s actually good. Pacey admits that he needs her there. Andie keeps insisting she’s done with the play, but he pretends he can’t hear her.

Jack tells Jen that he just learned that the gay version of the let’s-be-friend speech is the same as the straight version. He apologizes for being self-involved and kicking her out of the tent. He also notices that Jen’s in a good mood. She tells him that she made a friend.

Joey comes back to Dawson’s room, asking if she still has “ladder privileges.” She’s brought him a John Lennon “Imagine” poster to remind him that he once wanted to write songs, not just make movies. She adds that no matter what, she always hears what he has to say. She wants him to talk about his problems even if it’s not to her. Dawson hangs up the poster, wondering if Lennon will inspire him to find his path. Joey warns him to watch out for his Yoko.

Thoughts: Has Dawson never met anyone with divorced parents before?

Henry was emo before there was emo.

I love Pacey, but he’s no Robert Redford.

Why is there a play rehearsal at night on what’s clearly the weekend?


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