December 28, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 4.7, You Had Me at Goodbye: Ciao, Bella
Summary: Joey is stressed out by the college-application process, though her admissions advisor tells her she’s ahead of the game. She just needs a peer recommendation from the person who knows her the best. She’s not looking forward to having to figure out who that is. The advisor tries to help her, and it’s obvious who Joey comes up with.
Pacey brings Andie her homework at home, since she’s not ready to go back to school yet after her experience at the rave. She notes that everyone’s been by to see her, but they’ve all come alone and aren’t speaking to each other. Andie’s upset that everyone’s blaming Jen. Pacey thinks the friendship may have run its course. Dawson finishes painting Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks doesn’t approve of the job he did. Dawson says he doesn’t have the time to do more work since he needs to work on his college applications.
At school, Jack avoids Jen, but Drue wants to bug her about how her friends won’t talk to her. He’s happy since that means he’s the only person left for her to talk to. He reminds her that he’s always been there for her, “not pretending to be and then judging [her] afterwards.” Jen tells him that no matter how many people stop talking to her, she’ll never be friends with Drue. “That which doesn’t kill me makes me more diabolical,” he replies.
Pacey heads home, where Joey’s waiting for him, and Gretchen sends him out to buy groceries. Joey asks Gretchen how she managed to survive the college-application process. Gretchen guesses that she’s avoiding something and gets her to admit that she needs a peer recommendation. Gretchen also guesses that the person who knows Joey the best is Dawson. Joey is nervous about hurting Pacey if she asks Dawson, and vice versa. Gretchen reminds her that the recommendation needs to be from the person who knows her best, not just the person she’s dating.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie that since she has all the credits she needs, she should take the rest of the semester off. He can’t remember the last time he saw her relax and not worry about responsibilities. It was in Florence when they visited her aunt. He wants her to spend the rest of the semester in Italy and take it easy before college.
Jack gets an email from Jen and Andie urges him to respond, saying he can’t avoid her forever. She mentions Mr. McPhee’s suggestion about Italy, and Jack says it sounds like she would be running away. Andie notes that there’s no point in spending time with her friends in Capeside since they’re not speaking. Jack doesn’t want her to miss the end of senior year.
At school, Jen’s called into Mitch’s office, where Grams, Mrs. Valentine, and Drue are gathered, along with a juvenile corrections officer. Drue has admitted to supplying the Ecstasy at the rave – and is dragging Jen down with him. Mrs. Valentine thinks Drue was reformed and Jen got him to return to his wicked ways. Jen is the only person who knows what Drue is pulling. Even Grams isn’t on Jen’s side. The kids get 100 hours of community service as punishment.
Jen chases after Grams, who doesn’t want to talk to her. She thought they’d improved their relationship and were being honest with each other. “I have never in all my life been so deeply disappointed in anything or anyone,” Grams says. Jen then heads to the McPhees’, having received an email from Jack (which Andie actually sent). She apologizes again for her part in the Ecstasy situation; she did something dumb but doesn’t deserve to be abandoned for it. Jen would never do what Jack’s doing to anyone. Jack just closes the door.
Joey goes to the Leerys’, then chickens out at starts to leave. She runs into Dawson, who’s getting supplies together to work on Mr. Brooks’ house; he notes good-naturedly that he’s working off their debt by himself. Joey gives him the form for the peer recommendation and he’s a little floored that she would ask him. He’s also not sure if he’s the right person for the job. Dawson wonders if Pacey knows, but Joey isn’t going to tell him unless he agrees to write it. If he decides to, he’s the right person.
Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ fence and finally gets some kindness in return when Mr. Brooks offers him some food. It doesn’t take long before they get into a fight and Dawson confronts Mr. Brooks over having pictures in the place of people. Mr. Brooks explains that 30 years ago his brothers came to him asking for money. They invested it all and he lost it. He tells Dawson that sometimes you don’t lose people from your life by choice, but when you make the wrong decisions.
Pacey brings Andie more homework and she tells him about possibly going to Italy. She thought Jack would be supportive, but instead he’s trying to convince her to stay. She points out that he left once; Pacey points out that he only moved across town. He guesses that Andie wants a tiebreaker to make the decision for her. He asks what Andie would be running from if she went to Italy. Maybe she needs to take off the training wheels and ride by herself. Andie worries what others will think, but Pacey reminds her it’s her life and she gets to live it. She’s the tiebreaker.
Drue bugs Jen some more, telling her he’s looking forward to doing community service with her. She knows he’s protecting his “inner Iago,” but people will make up their minds about them and not change. He tells her the people of Capeside aren’t her people: “I am your people.” Capeside will only ever be her past.
Andie talks to Mr. McPhee about how he and Jack have worked things out, and how that means the rest of her friends should be able to do the same. He says it takes realizing what you’re risking if you let someone go. Dawson takes Joey’s peer-recommendation form back to her blank and tells her he’s not the right person to write it. Joey’s disappointed but thanks him for thinking about it.
As Dawson leaves, he sees Pacey waiting nearby. Joey tells Pacey about the recommendation and tries to brush it off like it’s nothing. Pacey knows it isn’t since she didn’t tell him about it. Joey doesn’t want to talk about it, and Pacey complains that she always gets to decide what they air out and what they ignore. She argues that she was trying to avoid a conflict. Dawson has always been there for her, and Joey doesn’t think Pacey can be angry with her for asking him to write the recommendation. Pacey just wonders when he gets to be the person who knows Joey the best.
Joey and Dawson run into each other outside Leery’s Fresh Fish, where they’re each supposed to have dinner with Andie. She’s summoned Jack and all their friends for a surprise dinner. Jack wants to leave once Jen arrives, but Andie announces that she’s actually the one leaving: She’s going to Italy. Jack and Jen agree to stay to hear what she has to say to everyone.
Andie says it shouldn’t have taken a ploy to get all her friends together. When Mr. McPhee brought up taking the rest of the year off, Andie made a pro/con list, and the first con was leaving her friends. She takes full responsibility for taking the Ecstasy. Pacey, Joey, and Dawson are lucky for having lifelong friends because they can go back to the beginning together. The main thing keeping Andie in Capeside was the idea of Jack not having a sister if she left, but she realized that he would have Jen.
Andie continues that when she met her friends, she didn’t know much about friendship or love, but they taught her a lot. By leaving, she hopes to return the favor. She doesn’t want everything to end the way things are right now; she doesn’t want to remember them like this. Later that evening, Pacey apologizes to Joey for his reaction to the peer-recommendation issue. She tells him that in ten years, he’ll be the person who knows her best. Dawson knows her past the best, but her future is with Pacey.
Jack finds Jen crying outside and asks if she’s the same girl who used to tell him everything. She asks if he’s the boy who used to listen. He says he didn’t stop listening, he just didn’t always like what he heard. Jen assures him that she’s the same person. Jack apologizes, but Jen just wants him to stand by her. He asks if she’s willing to keep standing. Dawson and Joey wind up by the water and he tells her he never doubted how well he knew her. He was just worried about putting it all on paper. He’d like to write the recommendation after all.
Andie tries to say goodbye to Pacey, but he’s sure she’ll be back for prom and graduation. She tells him she’s going to Italy because of what he said to her. He gave her strength to do things she’s always needed to do but was too scared to do. Pacey tells her she can no longer use the word “afraid,” only “brave” and “stalwart.” He adds that he’ll miss her optimism and asks her to leave a little behind when she goes.
Jack tells Andie that the only reason he didn’t want her to leave was because he would miss her. She reminds him that since they’re siblings, they’ll never have to say goodbye. The six friends start to take a picture together, but Andie, who’s standing between Pacey and Dawson, moves down the line so the two friends have to stand next to each other.
Thoughts: Other than in “Coming Home,” I never really felt like Andie was part of the group. I think it’s because we saw Jack spend more time with the others, especially Jen, and Andie felt more like a tagalong.
How many applications are these people filling out? How long is each application? I only filled out one (I applied early decision and got in, so I didn’t have to do any more), and I don’t remember it being that long or intense, so I really have no frame of reference. I also don’t remember my friends getting this stressed about applications.
Grams believes Drue over Jen? That SUCKS. And also makes no sense.
Mr. Brooks is who Gregory House will grow up to be.
Best way to turn what’s supposed to be a sweet, sad scene into a laugh-fest: play Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” over it.