October 22, 2011

Dawson’s Creek 3.16, To Green, With Love: “You Bought Me a Wall?”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:13 pm by Jenn

Hey, who wrote "J.P. + P.W. 4EVA" in the corner? Oh, wait. That was me

Summary: Joey, Dawson, and Pacey are an angry PTA meeting about Matt’s explusion. Someone says that Principal Green shouldn’t get to make decisions about Capeside residents because he’s an outsider. Joey defends the principal, but Matt objects that Principal Green wasn’t doing his job. Someone else replies that if Matt’s father had done his job, Matt wouldn’t have gotten in trouble. Matt’s father attacks Joey’s family, noting that she can’t really say anything about family values. The superintendent demands Principal Green’s termination if he doesn’t reverse his decision about Matt.

After the meeting, Gail runs into Sherry, a reporter covering the story who happens to be Gail’s former intern. Sherry thinks Principal Green is crazy. Joey and Pacey discuss the situation and the fact that, as teenagers, they have no say in it. She’s upset that none of the other students at Capeside can be bothered to care. Pacey encourages her to “rally the troops.” She tries, but, as she tells A.J. later on the phone, she doesn’t make much progress.

Bessie pulls Joey in to see Sherry’s report on the story, which Dawson, Pacey, Gail, Nikki, and Principal Green also watch. Sherry says that people think Principal Green has a personal agenda since he let Pacey off with community service. Joey’s words at the meeting are also taken out of context, so that it sounds like she said everyone’s making too big a deal out of things. A.J. tells her she needs to stand up for the truth. At school, Joey advertises a meeting to save Principal Green, teasing Pacey when he tries to take credit. A.J. has come to help out, and he meets Pacey for the first time. When Principal Green arrives at school, he’s greeted by press and protestors.

That night, Dawson helps Gail out at her future restaurant and tells her how great Joey was at the meeting. He’s proud of her for fighting the way he always knew she could. They’re planning to do something at the superintendent’s office the next night. Gail is frustrated by Sherry’s coverage of the story, leading Dawson to think that she misses being a reporter. He suggests that she get her own crew (read: him) and do her own story. Gail knows the station doesn’t want her back, but Dawson wants her to do it for herself, Joey, and Principal Green.

Joey isn’t as easily convinced as Gail, since she doesn’t think they have enough people on their side to make a difference. Sherry finds out that Gail’s doing her own report while students picket the superintendent’s office, and that she’s thinking about submitting it to the station. Sherry asks Joey for a follow-up interview, but Joey quickly shoots her down with, “In your frosted-blonde dreams, Barbie.” Superintendent Fielding calls Joey in to talk, and while Pacey thinks she should decline, A.J. tells her to accept. His advice is what Joey ultimately takes.

Joey tells Fielding her side of the story: that Principal Green made a decision about Matt and shouldn’t be bullied into changing it. She tells him 300 students have signed a position in support of the principal, and they’re holding a rally the next night. Their voices will be heard. Fielding says he’s listening, then tells Joey to get to school before Principal Green has to write her up. Joey replies that she’s not skipping, she’s out sick.

Gail and Dawson go to the Greens’ house to get Principal Green’s side of the story. He tells them he knows his side, and that’s all that matters. Dawson tells him it’s been misinterpreted. Principal Green replies that he knows he’s a fair man, and if others don’t, him giving a soundbite won’t change their minds. Nikki tries to get him to change his mind by quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., but her father won’t budge.

A bunch of students gather at the bed and breakfast to try to get more support while Pacey and A.J. work on figuring out how to get around Joey’s petition lie. Jack makes a flier advertising the rally the next night, telling Joey that Pacey convinced a coffee-shop owner to print it for free. Joey gives everyone a pep talk, which makes Pacey adorably proud. Then he has to watch Joey and A.J. be all lovey-dovey, which makes him unadorably nauseous. Jen’s the only one who notices.

Someone calls Bessie to tell her that letting high schoolers use her B&B to organize might be bad for business. She interprets this as a threat over their mortgage. Joey tells her it’s too late to stop. Bodie encourages her to be realistic. Bessie notes that Principal Green doesn’t care to defend himself, so Joey doesn’t need to. Joey says that Matt’s father has a personal agenda, and Bodie interprets that he’s racist. Bessie decides to stop fighting the issue and storms off. A.J. chooses this moment to tell Joey he’s going back to school. She has enough support, including Pacey.

Jen tries to get Pacey to talk about what’s bothering him, though it looks like they both know she already knows. He thinks his situation is impossible, but she thinks he can actually do something about it. Pacey thinks he’s Ducky from Pretty in Pink, which means he’s not getting the girl. Jen notes that he makes the girl feel better about herself. She asks if he’s going to let his hurt feelings keep him from being the friend he needs to be. Pacey says it hurts, and Jen replies that that means it’s not pretend anymore.

Dawson and Gail go to interview Fielding, though Dawson thinks everyone has heard enough from him. Gail knows that part of being a good journalist is covering all angles of a story. Fielding repeats his assertion that Principal Green has until Friday to change his mind or he’ll be terminated. Gail asks if that’s what best for the students. Fielding says it’s what’s best for the community, which is his ultimate responsibility. Gail has him read from the contract he signed when he became superintendent, which states that his main priority is the students. Fielding ends the interview.

Nikki heads out for the rally, trying to get Principal Green to go with her. She thinks he’s spent so much time trying to protect his reputation that he’ll come across as angry. Principal Green says he is angry; he feels like he did the right thing, but it’s not working because someone hates him. He doesn’t want to leave Capeside, and he doesn’t want to put Nikki through what’s happening, but he can’t show his anger because it’ll be used against him. Nikki tells him that the people at the rally are on their side, and they need to see that he supports them in turn.

Dawson tapes the rally in the school auditorium, coming across Nikki sitting by herself. More people show up than expected, and Joey tells them she’s not pursuing this because Matt trashed her mural. She wants to support Principal Green because of everything he’s done for his students. He’s encouraged everyone’s talents and interests, trying to make their lives better. Joey doesn’t consider him an outsider. She wants people to spend the evening talking about how Principal Green has made their lives better.

Andie talks about how Principal Green taught her that mistakes can be fixed. Nikki says that her father talks about his students all the time. He shows up while she’s speaking and tells everyone what Nikki said about everyone there being on his side. He thanks them for their support, saying that he’ll most likely have to leave the school, but he’s motivated by everyone there. Later, Jen praises Pacey for being a good friend to Joey. Pacey feels horrible, since Joey hasn’t thanked him, but Jen thinks his time will come. Joey and Bodie are about to head home when Bessie arrives. She’s been lurking for a while and heard Joey’s speech, which she praises her sister for.

The next day, Joey goes by Principal Green’s office, which he’s packing up, and admits that she feels like she failed him. She’s worried that the students on his side weren’t loud enough or strong enough. Principal Green tells her that he’s never felt more successful than he feels right now. He and Nikki walk out of the school as students lined up in the hallways applaud him.

Gail tells Dawson that the station is running her story that night, and a producer asked her to do some more special reports. However, she wants to continue with the restaurant. She tells Dawson she wanted a chance to say no, and to leave reporting on her own terms and start fresh. Gail thanks Dawson for getting her to the point where she could do what she wants to do. He’s a “quiet hero.”

Pacey takes Joey to a brick wall, reminding her that everything started with “a girl, a paintbrush, and a wall.” She thinks he bought her a paintbrush, but he actually bought her a wall. Well, he rented it. She thinks he’s a little nuts, but she’s grateful and tells him she thanks him. “It’s about time,” he replies. Some stupid song about teachers and growing gardens plays as Joey stares up at her wall of possibilities.

Thoughts: Someone finally realized it’s supposed to be winter, because everyone’s wearing sweaters.

I thought school boards got to make decisions about expulsions. And can superintendents make firing decisions on their own, especially if it’s something questionable like this one? I mean, if Principal Green had been, say, embezzling or sleeping with a student, that’s one thing, but I’m not sure he could be fired for making a decision someone else disagreed with. I would assume there’s also an appeal process for expelled students. Okay, why am I giving this so much thought?

I understand Principal Green not wanting to come across as angry, but…dang, fight for your job, man.

I’m surprised no one mentions it in the episode, but this is the first time Dawson picks up a camera since “First Encounters of the Close Kind.”

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