November 23, 2011

Dawson’s Creek 3.22, The Anti-Prom: Define the Relationship

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:30 pm by Jenn

And then Jenn went, "Squee!"

Summary: Dawson awkwardly reminds Joey of a deal they once made to go to the junior prom together if neither had a date. Joey thinks they should agree that it’s a meaningless event, but Dawson sees it as a rite of passage. She gives in, on two conditions: no corsage and no ruffly blue tuxedo shirt for Dawson. Just when things are no longer awkward, Mitch and Gail send it back the other way by stumbling out the door, making out.

Joey makes an excuse to flee, and Mitch sends Gail away so he can discuss the situation with Dawson. Dawson notes that his parents’ relationship has always been “dramatic” and he’s just been a passive observer. Mitch tells him they’re maybe, possibly back together. Dawson confirms that Mitch hasn’t actually discussed that with Gail, but Mitch is pretty sure about this. Pacey and Andie study at his and Doug’s place, and she encourages him to go to the prom, possibly with her. She claims she’s trying to pick from her numerous offers. He declines.

Joey tells Bessie that Dawson asked her to the prom and she thinks she made a mistake by saying yes. Not only will it probably give Dawson the wrong idea, but she’s worried about how Pacey will feel. Bessie tells her she has a problem without a solution. At school, Andie complains to Jack about her lack of a prom date, though Jack thinks it’s better for her to go alone than with an ex she isn’t over yet. She says going with Pacey would be safe. Jack is going with Ethan, but he’s nervous about letting everyone know he’s bringing a guy to the prom.

Jen rants about how stupid prom is, though Henry notes that she’s never been to one. He also figures out that she’s trying to invite him. Jack tries to get his tickets but is informed by an annoying girl named Barbara that he can’t bring a guy as his date. She says she’ll bring it up with a teacher. Pacey overhears Dawson getting his tickets and learns that he and Joey are going to the dance together.

Joey and Andie take up Jack’s problem as their own pet project, though he’s resigned to just skip the dance. He hates that something that’s normal for everyone else has to be political for him. The girls decide that if he’s not going, they won’t either. Dawson announces that they should hold their own prom, “where it’s not about who you bring, it’s about who you are.” Everyone’s on board with this.

Dawson brings up the prom to his parents, who agree to let them use the restaurant and announce that they’ll be chaperoning. After Dawson leaves, Mitch tells Gail that their son is handling their reunion remarkably well. He, however, wants to discuss whatever their relationship is. She’s not paying attention. Jack and Andie sell tickets to their own prom, laughing off Barbara’s attempts to trash-talk them.

Grams alters her late husband’s tux for Henry, and when she leaves the room, Jen tells Henry it’s time for the “prom sex talk.” She thinks post-prom is an unromantic time for their first experience. He just wants to make sure it’ll happen eventually. Pacey stops by the McPhees’ and Andie admits that she didn’t have any other prom offers. He asks her to go with him.

The night of the anti-prom, Bessie makes Joey and Dawson take pictures and asks where Joey’s corsage is. He’s loaning her a pair of Gail’s diamond earrings instead. Jack is clearly uncomfortable at the restaurant, and Ethan promises that he won’t make him dance. When Pacey arrives with Andie, Dawson and Joey quickly go elsewhere. Meanwhile, Jen and Henry are thinking way too much about sex.

Ethan tells Jack that he’s never gone to a dance with another guy before; he thought it was something they could go through together. Jack’s upset that Ethan acted like a sage when he had no idea what he was talking about. Jen tries to get Henry’s (and her own) mind off of sex by discussing the summer. He tells her he’s going away to football camp for two months. Now she’s ticked and definitely not having post-prom sex with him.

Joey asks Dawson if he asked her to the anti-prom to throw it in Pacey’s face. She’s seen the way Dawson has been shooting looks at Pacey all night. She feels like he’s parading her around like a prize. Dawson says it’s not his fault if people want to look at them. Joey joins Jack outside and he admits that he’s hiding from Barbara. He doesn’t feel like he belongs at the anti-prom. Joey wants things to go back to the way they were with all their friends. Jack tells her to set the example.

Gail and Mitch dance, and she invites herself to spend the night with him. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea since they haven’t defined their relationship. Joey asks Pacey to dance, which Andie sees. He asks where she got her earrings, saying they’re too gaudy and aren’t her, unlike her bracelet, which is, because it’s simpler. Joey tells him the bracelet was her mom’s, and he reminds her that she told him the day she found it. She’s surprised he remembers. “I remember everything,” Pacey says. Andie’s not happy, and neither is Dawson, who’s also seen them together.

Joey follows Dawson as he stomps outside and blasts her for her actions. She says she’s trying to get things back to the way they were. He tells she can’t put things back together. He also admits that he organized the anti-prom for her, not Jack. Joey tries to get Dawson to admit that he wanted to get her to pick him over Pacey. He tells her they’d be missing a lot by not getting back together. He kisses her, telling her that was how the evening was supposed to end.

Henry takes Jen home and asks why she made a big deal about them not having sex when she was planning on it all along. He hates that she gets “extreme” about their relationship but lets everything fall apart because of her insecurities. Jen’s upset that she let herself be vulnerable with him. Henry assures her that his decision to leave has nothing to do with her. She gets it, but she knows that if they had a real relationship, he would have kept her in mind when making his decision. Henry says that if she goes inside, he’s not going to try to win her back. Jen goes in.

Jack chases down Ethan, who’s at the train station to go home. Ethan notes that Jack isn’t ready for a relationship, but Jack wants to figure out what they have before they figure out who’s ready for what. He doesn’t get why there are so many hurdles when Ethan just has to kiss him. Ethan says he’s not sure if Jack’s ready, so Jack will have to make the first move. No one’s around, and there’s nothing to interrupt them, and he dares Jack to do it. Instead, Jack leaves.

Pacey walks Andie home, telling her he honestly believed he wanted to go to the prom with her. As soon as he arrived, he realized the real reason he wanted to go. Andie says she’s sorry things didn’t work out for him, but at least he got to dance with Joey. Pacey wants to make things up to Andie, but she tells him he can’t.

Pacey changes the subject, telling her he’s going to spend the summer sailing True Love to Key West. He’s leaving right after finals. Andie asks if he’s told Joey how he feels. Pacey replies that Joey already knows, but Andie wants him to tell Joey he’s leaving. She urges him to tell Joey he loves her and try to get her back, or he’ll regret it.

The next day, Joey returns Gail’s earrings to Dawson and admits that she felt something unexpected when he kissed her. She thinks that feeling will probably always be there. But she can’t keep hurting people, and she can’t choose between Dawson and Pacey, so she doesn’t want Dawson to make her. He tells her he’ll wait. He’s spent the whole year feeling like he’s on a journey, and now he’s come to the end, and Joey’s there.

Gail goes to Mitch and Dawson’s, sitting him down and kneeling in front of him as Dawson and Joey come in. She wants to make any mistakes they might remake together. Mitch is up for that, too. Dawson and Joey watch their reunion, stunned but happy.

Thoughts: Whoever did Andie’s hair and makeup for the prom is in the wrong line of work. I love her dress, though.

I didn’t realize until this episode that Jack and Joey haven’t had a conversation since right after he came out. It’s hard to remember that they ever dated. Though that could be because they have no chemistry.

Joey, asking Pacey to dance isn’t setting an example. It’s doing the same thing to Dawson that you accused him of doing to Pacey – throwing someone in his face. Though kudos for doing something for yourself instead of making everything about Dawson and tiptoeing around him as usual.

Henry’s totally right about Jen. She’s overreacted to so many things in their relationship that it’s ridiculous.

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