November 13, 2011

Dawson’s Creek 3.20, The Longest Day: “There’s No Going Back”

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

I know, things would be so much better without Dawson in the picture, right?

Summary: “Ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?” Joey asks in voiceover. Dawson, Mitch, Jen, Andie, Jack, Doug, Will, and Buzz are at a pier, ready to christen Pacey’s boat. Dawson thinks Joey’s at the library, but she’s really making out with Pacey in a boathouse. He wants to tell Dawson that they’re together, but both of them know it won’t be easy. Pacey decides to take the bullet for Joey. He thinks honesty is the only way he can save his relationship with Dawson. He just wants one day.

Post-christening, Pacey makes Doug look after Buzz while he goes off to take care of something. Grams is going out of town and is worried that Jen will get into trouble with Henry. Jen spots Pacey standing outside Dawson’s house, unable to make himself go inside. She tells him that she’s sure Joey wants to be with him. Pacey’s imagined version of the conversation with Dawson is much more positive than it will end up being. Mitch leaves the house, telling Pacey that Dawson is at the library.

Pacey heads to the library, running into Andie and Will, who are kind of dating. Unable to find Dawson, Pacey goes home, where Doug is fed up with Buzz, who’s broken his answering machine. He confides in Doug that he and Joey are basically together and he’s working on breaking the news to Dawson. Doug chastises him for sneaking around with the love of his best friend’s life. He thinks Dawson and Joey will eventually wind up together and Pacey will end up alone.

Pacey returns to Dawson’s house, but Joey runs up and stops him from going inside, saying she needs to be the one who tells Dawson about them. Pacey admits that he was chickening out on his way over anyway. Joey sees that as a sign. Dawson’s always been the one person she can count on, and the news is going to kill him. Pacey realizes that Joey didn’t come over with the intention of telling Dawson. Dawson sees them outside and asks what they’re arguing about. “Us,” Pacey tells him. “There’s an us here now.”

Joey reasks the question from the beginning, and we return to the first scene. This time we see Pacey and Joey arrive separately for the christening. Afterward, Joey and Jen go to the library, talking about Joey and Pacey. Joey admits to having feelings for Pacey and being unsure of what to say to Dawson. If she tells Dawson the truth, he’ll be hurt, but if she tells Pacey not to say anything, he’ll be hurt. Joey feels like a villain and wishes she were more like Jen and Pacey, who acts on their feelings and see fearless. Jen warns her not to see Pacey as invincible.

Joey watches Pacey and Andie talk at the library, then talks to Andie about Will. Andie really likes him, but she regrets that she’s not with Pacey anymore. Running into him at the library brought everything back. On her way out, Joey runs into Dawson, who invites her to come over for a movie night. She begs off, acting flustered. Later, she leaves Pacey a message on his answering machine, asking him not to talk to Dawson.

Dawson’s watching The Last Picture Show by himself when Joey goes through his window. She remembers that they saw the movie on their first date. They didn’t see the ending, so she asks about it. In an amazing coincidence, the movie is about friends whose friendship is destroyed by a bad relationship. Joey quickly goes back out the window, circling around the house and intercepting Pacey at the front door. Dawson hears them talking from his room. After the conversation we saw earlier, Pacey apologizes for telling Dawson like this. Dawson says Pacey didn’t tell him, and Joey realizes he already knew.

We go back to the beginning again, and Dawson compliments Pacey on his successful boat restoration. Pacey thanks everyone for helping out and christens True Love with a bottle of champagne. At the library, Dawson encounters Will, who asks what he and Joey did on their first date. Dawson advises him not to take Andie to a movie on their first date since they won’t be able to talk. He suggests that Will take Andie out on the creek, inviting him to borrow his boat.

Henry comes to Jen’s house, but she won’t let him inside, per Grams’ rules. She changes her mind when Dawson comes over, since she thinks she’s going to need to comfort him. Dawson says he’s had a rough day, and Jen says that in the long run, it’s better that Pacey told him. Dawson has no idea what she’s talking about. He does, however, guess that it has something to do with Joey.

Dawson’s mad that Jen knew and didn’t say anything; she says she wanted to protect him. Dawson insists that he’s fine, telling Jen to keep quiet again. Joey comes through Dawson’s window, and this time his side of the conversation contains the hint that he knows what she’s there to talk about. He tells her the movie ends with everyone alone and hating each other. After Joey leaves, he starts crying.

Dawson confronts Pacey and Joey, revealing that Jen spilled the beans, and blasts that the two people he trusted the most lied to him. He asks if they were bored or malicious. Pacey tells him to be mad at him, not Joey. Dawson says that Pacey clearly values sex more than friendship. He feels sorry for Pacey because when it’s all over, Pacey will need friends, and he won’t have any. Andie and Will show up to return the boat and Dawson tells them that Pacey and Joey have been sneaking around.

We rewind to Dawson leaving Jen’s house, seeing her go inside and tell Henry what happened. He tries to kiss her to make her feel better, but Jen thinks he’s trying to make himself feel better. He tells her he wants to put the two of them in front of whatever drama her friends are dealing with. Jen angrily tells him to leave.

Will takes Andie out on the creek, telling her the story of Orpheus and Eurydice (she died, he played music in the underworld to get her back; he wasn’t supposed to look at her until they got back to the real world, but he did and she died again). Fast-forward to the two of them interrupting the Dawson/Pacey/Joey confrontation, and Andie blasts Pacey for being dumb enough to risk his friendship with Dawson. She tells him that Dawson is Joey’s first love, and she’s never going to love Pacey as much as she loves him.

Joey follows Dawson up to his room, telling him she didn’t intend for things to happen this way. She reminds him that they broke up almost a year ago. Dawson points out that she keeps saying she wants to find herself – is Pacey what she’s looking for? He doesn’t get how Joey and Pacey can be together when they supposedly hate each other. Joey says things between her and Dawson are complicated, and he says that’s on her.

Joey can’t explain things, but she knows she needs Pacey. Dawson asks if she needs Pacey the way she needs him. Joey says the two things are different. The way she feels about Pacey is completely separate from her friendship with Dawson. Dawson tells her that they can’t be friends if she’s going to be with Pacey. She has to choose between them. He adds that if Joey chooses Pacey, he won’t be around to pick up the pieces when things don’t work out. “This ruins everything. There’s no going back.” Then Dawson tells her to leave.

Jen comes by later that evening, telling Dawson he shouldn’t be alone right now. He asks why she didn’t tell him about Joey and Pacey. Jen says that if she’d tried to stop them, they just would have gotten closer. She tells Dawson to let things run their course and let Joey decide what she wants. He doesn’t think he can let her go, so he’s going to fight for her.

Pacey and Joey meet up at the pier and she asks the question from the beginning. He asks what she would do differently her second time around. She doesn’t know, saying they’d probably wind up back where they are, wherever that is. Joey admires True Love, but Pacey notes that he’s not sure it’s actually seaworthy. After a few moments, he realizes that they’re over. Joey says it has to be. She starts to leave, and when she turns around, Pacey’s gone.

Thoughts: Oh, Joey. You have to choose between your boyfriend and your best friend, and you pick the one who made you choose? What kind of friend makes you make a decision like that? Not the one you should want to be with.

Alias did an episode kind of like this. Only it had less teen angst and more car chases.

For a small town, Capeside has a pretty big library.

Doug is the worst older brother ever.

Nice continuity: Gwen’s painting of Dawson and Joey from Stolen Kisses is now on his wall.



  1. stuffbot said,

    That was an awesome flashback. I want to go find my Paula Cole cd.

  2. luvmyboyz said,

    After watching this show from beginning to end many times over the years, I absolutely enjoy reading your thoughts after each episode. They are both entertaining and accurate. I agree 100% about her choosing the wrong person. You never choose the one who issues the ultimatum, just shows how little they really care about your feelings. For all her supposed brilliance, Joey was a complete moron at the end of this episode. Poor Pacey 😦

  3. Jason said,

    I sure do miss the shows from the 90s! Dawson’s Creek was the best and I remember this episode. They don’t write tv shows like they used to 😦

  4. Sam Hayden said,

    What the hell happened to the answering machine tape??

    • Erin Mac said,

      Buzz smashed it when he heard Joey’s message to Pacey.

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