December 3, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 4.2, Failing Down: Wrecked
Summary: School has just started and Pacey is already expected in the guidance office at the end of the day. But first he wants to discuss PDAs with Joey. He notes that without kissing, they don’t have much left. Then they make out in the middle of the hallway, and of course Dawson sees them. After school, Joey tells Andie she needs a job, and Andie recommends the Capeside Yacht Club. Joey thinks her family is too scandalous for that to work out. Andie tells her to act like one of the rich people, giving her some names to drop.
Dawson runs into Gretchen downtown, where she’s looking at ads for a place to live. She expresses sympathy over the Dawson/Pacey falling-out and offers encouragement. Then she makes fun of the CDs Dawson’s trading in at a music store. (Two words: Vanilla Ice.) Gretchen chastises Dawson for turning in a Grateful Dead CD, which he says his parents got him but he was never interested in. Jen tells Jack that she thinks Henry’s seeing someone else; he called and e-mailed her all summer, but now he seems to be avoiding her. Jack gets a seemingly disturbing e-mail himself.
Joey interviews with Mrs. Valentine at the Ice House, hilariously telling her that her father’s in pharmaceuticals. Mrs. Valentine’s surprised that the Potters aren’t members at the yacht club. Joey is able to truthfully tell her that she spent her summer sailing. However, Mrs. Valentine is on to her. Joey calls her on her “thinly veiled b$#%@ery,” learns there’s no job opening, and starts to leave, then drops the name Andie gave her, Ross. Suddenly Mrs. Valentine wants to give her a second chance.
In the guidance office, Pacey learns that Mitch is filling in since the previous guidance counselor has retired. Mitch questions his choice of summer activities, since he should have spent the months he was at sea in summer school. He failed science, history, and English the previous year. Mitch warns that Pacey’s in a lot of trouble and should retake the classes he failed after school. Pacey needs money and was planning to get a job. Mitch tells him that if he doesn’t take the classes, he won’t graduate in May.
Gretchen takes Pacey to a beach house she thinks they can fix up and live in. Pacey’s grumpy and eventually tells her about his academic troubles. She tells him he’ll be able to do all the work. She asks how Joey reacted, but he hasn’t told her yet. He’s worried that she’ll see him as an idiot. Joey gets right to work at the CYC, chatting with a diner who basically calls her trashy and then says he was joking. He complains about the other rich people and Joey lets him know she doesn’t care what he thinks. At least until she finds out he’s Owen Ross, a member of the family whose name she dropped to get the job.
At home, Mitch tells Dawson that Pacey’s struggling at school. He thinks Dawson’s still a good enough friend to try to help him. He’s not. Mitch urges him to turn to someone who is willing to help Pacey. Jack shares the contents of his disturbing e-mail with Andie: Henry wants to break up with Jen. Andie’s shocked, since Henry basically stalked Jen and wouldn’t shut up about how much he loved her. She doesn’t think Jack should talk to Jen about her relationship with Henry; it’s Henry’s job to deal with the situation himself.
Pacey and Joey have dinner on his boat, discussing the fact that they’re almost done with school. She asks about his guidance meeting but he doesn’t want to talk about it. They discuss Joey’s new job, and she promises that she’s not going to become a “townie.” Pacey accuses her of being a snob and looking down on people who spend their whole lives in the same place. Joey senses that he’s trying to pick a fight to make himself feel better. After that, they’re done talking.
Pacey skips a class the next day, making Dawson worry. Joey works at the CYC again, this time being overly nice to Owen. He smoothes things over by telling her some of the club gossip. One of his gossip subjects is Mrs. Valentine, who used to be married to a rich guy but got a job at the club after her divorce. Joey isn’t surprised that Mrs. Valentine is such a witch. Owen tells her that no one in the club has any class.
Jack and Jen meet up by the water and he brings up Henry, who Jen still hasn’t heard from. She’s basically convinced herself that everything’s fine, though. Jack asks her what she would do if things weren’t actually fine. This makes her suspicious, and she figures out that Henry asked Jack to break up with her. Dawson goes to the B&B under the pretense of returning some of Joey’s CDs and tells her she needs to talk to Pacey about school. He lets her know that Pacey skipped and is in danger of flunking out. Joey thinks she would know if that were the case. Dawson says that when you love someone you don’t want to disappoint her.
Joey goes to the beach house to confront Pacey over skipping. She’s mad that Dawson knows more about Pacey’s problems than she does. Pacey thinks Dawson’s happy to give her information about his ex-best friend. He downplays his problems, which doesn’t surprise her, since he runs away from everything. Joey assures him that he’s not a loser, but he’s also apparently not the great guy she thought she spent the summer with.
The next morning, Gretchen tells Pacey to go apologize to Joey so he doesn’t lose her. He notes that he’s heard Sheriff Witter and Doug tell him how horrible he is for his whole life, so no one should be surprised that he’s listened. Gretchen thinks Dawson is his real problem. She reminds Pacey that Joey chose him, and now he needs to go with it. At the CYC, Mrs. Valentine brings up some of Joey’s receipts which were signed by Owen, who’s supposed to be in Europe. Owen arrives, defends Joey, and reveals himself to be Mrs. Valentine’s son.
Later, Joey goes after “Owen,” whose real name is Drue, and blasts him for lying about his identity. He was just having fun with her since he knew she wasn’t friends with the Rosses. He also wanted to show her how much fun he is. Dawson tries to comfort Jen, who’s upset that her first real boyfriend got her best friend to dump her for him. He tells her all the anger isn’t worth it. Loving someone will hurt if you do it right, and the sooner Jen accepts it, she’ll be able to move on. Dawson reminds Jen that she’s helped him through difficult times before. He’s learned a lot from her, especially about how friendships can be stronger than relationships.
Jack arrives and Dawson passes Jen off to him so they can make up. Jen would have preferred to get sympathy from Jack rather than bad news. Joey waits for Pacey on his boat, where he tells her that she’s “wrecked” him. He fell in love with her knowing he could never be with her (because of Dawson, of course), and when he got everything he wanted, he didn’t know what to do with it. Pacey keeps waiting for her to realize what a big mistake she’s made. He’s a disappointment and Joey will realize she made the wrong choice.
Joey notes that Dawson has nothing to do with Pacey’s school issues. Pacey says that Dawson would never screw up like he did. Joey agrees, adding that Dawson never would have inspired her to run away with him for the summer. She notes that they both ran away from their problems, but it couldn’t last forever. Their great summer together isn’t the only part of their relationship. Now they have to focus on the real-world parts of it. Pacey admits that he’s scared that he screwed up his whole high school experience, then asks for Joey’s help. She promises that they’ll fix everything.
Thoughts: Mrs. Valentine is played by the fabulous Carolyn Hennesy, AKA Barb on Cougar Town and Diane on General Hospital.
Does Drue really have to spell his name like that? It’s annoying.
I’m pretty sure they don’t recruit substitute teachers/football coaches as guidance counselors. Especially since they can’t be trusted to keep their mouths shut.
How in the world is Gretchen able to afford that gigantic beach house? No matter how bad she and Pacey claim it is, it’s actually very nice.
Andie’s right, the Henry thing makes no sense. He also doesn’t give any reason for wanting to break up. It sounds more like they couldn’t get Michael Pitt back for a final episode.
Best clothing-related taunt of the episode: Gretchen telling Pacey, “Button up your best bowling shirt.”