December 30, 2011

Dawson’s Creek 4.8, The Unusual Suspects: If I Did It

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 2:02 pm by Jenn

Joey Potter and the Bedroom of Secrets

Summary: It’s morning at Capeside High, and everyone’s tired and going through the motions until a student yells for everyone to go to the pool. When they arrive, they find a golden retriever on a sailboat that has “class of 2001” painted on the sail. Everyone’s amused except Principal Peskin – it’s his boat and dog. The dog, Chester, jumps off the boat and goes straight to Jack, making Peskin think the dog knows him.

Later that morning, five students are summoned to the principal’s office, including Dawson, Pacey, and Jack. After some time, those three are narrowed down as the three most likely suspects. Peskin and Mitch interrogate the guys, noting that Dawson has access to Mitch’s school keys, Pacey has access to boat storage, and Chester knew Jack. Peskin wants to know where Jack was the previous morning.

Jack flashes back to visiting Jen to tell her that she’s allowed to fulfill her community service by helping him coach his soccer team. She isn’t game, but Jack convinces her by telling her how much he’s been struggling since Andie left. After Jen agrees to help, Jack heads off to meet Drue at a hardware store.

Peskin next asks Pacey about his activities the day before. They involve making out with Joey outside the police station before spending the day with Doug. Dawson gets the good cop/bad cop treatment next, as Mitch remembers that Dawson left before him. Gail takes Dawson to Mr. Brooks’ and asks him to find Mitch’s keys, which Dawson may have misplaced. Mr. Brooks wants Dawson to do some organizing, but Dawson asks for money since he’d already repaid his boat debt.

At the hardware store, Jack and Drue get paint for a school project and net for a soccer goal. Drue notes that Jack is pretty selfless. Pacey and Doug get donuts (of course) while Dawson works in Mr. Brooks’ study. He finds Mr. Brooks’ high school yearbook and learns that he wanted to be a filmmaker.

Mitch brings up an old pact Dawson and Pacey made in the ninth grade after a particularly lame senior prank. Dawson notes that he and Pacey aren’t friends right now, so he wouldn’t have done anything. He’s not sure about Pacey, though. In flashback, Jack and Jen work with the soccer team, and Jack offers Molly the goalie position. She doesn’t want it. Jen says Molly reminds her of herself as a kid; they’d rather avoid embarrassment than be stars.

Peskin notes that Pacey is the only senior with access to the warehouse where his boat was kept. Pacey agrees to describe all of his actions during the time in question, warning that they won’t be interesting. Indeed, he’s with Doug the whole time, monitoring drivers’ speeds and questioning Doug’s life choices.

In flashback, Gretchen picks Dawson up from Mr. Brooks’; the man tells him to come back in three hours or he’ll forfeit his payment. Between soccer practice and a game, Jack keeps working on getting Molly to agree to play goalie. He convinces her to take the position to get respect from a boy who keeps messing with her. Molly’s totally aware of the manipulation but doesn’t care.

When Gretchen takes Dawson home, Drue’s there waiting for him, wanting to thank Dawson for loaning him money at the movie theater, then eating dinner with him. Drue’s happy to have made a friend in Capeside. He also has Mitch’s keys, which Dawson left in his car. Drue tells Dawson that what goes around comes around, and Dawson says that’s true.

Pacey and Doug look for a lost dog as Pacey mentions again that Doug’s job isn’t exactly wonderful. Doug tells him that if Pacey ever loves anything as much as Doug loves his job, he’ll be surprised. Peskin notes that Pacey was looking for the same dog he’s suspected of taking. He adds that a new detail has come into play: Dawson and Pacey’s pact. Pacey thinks Dawson has implicated him to cover for himself.

Peskin still thinks the person who broke into the school had a key, but Dawson notes that he was witch Mitch all night. After talking to Drue, Dawson returns to Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks fires him for going off with Gretchen. Dawson tells him that just because he’s alone doesn’t mean he can take his loneliness out on Dawson. Mr. Brooks kicks him out.

Jack tells Mitch and Peskin that he spent the previous evening at his soccer team’s first playoff game. In flashback, a bunch of fathers approach him to tell him they disagree with his decision to make Molly goalie. One of the fathers reminds Jack that they kept quiet when his sexuality was revealed. If Molly loses the game for them, Jack loses his job.

Doug makes Pacey ride in the back of his car, supposedly as punishment for not being able to find Chester (or at least that’s what Pacey tells Mitch). He’s actually there so a blind man named Mike can ride up front as Doug takes him grocery shopping. Now Pacey doesn’t see Doug’s job in quite the same light.

Dawson goes back to Mr. Brooks’ house and reveals that he saw that Mr. Brooks wanted to be a filmmaker. He doesn’t want to turn out like Mr. Brooks, and he doesn’t want either of them to be alone. He plans to finish the job he was hired for. Jack’s team wins the game despite Molly failing to block three goals. One of the parents tells Jack that those goals could count against them if they tie their next game. Jack’s being removed as the team’s coach.

Pacey does wind up at the boatyard, but he’s with Doug. They find Drue there, having been sent by his mother to report a missing boat. Doug notes that Drue could have taken the boat. Neither can prove anything, so Drue just leaves. Pacey follows him to get a ride home, telling Doug (who reminds Pacey that he hates Drue) he’s trying to be a better person. Pacey tells Mitch and Peskin that he went straight home and went to bed. They let him go.

Before he leaves, Pacey says that he doesn’t think Dawson was behind the prank. Dawson says the same about Pacey, thinking he wouldn’t want to jeopardize his already tenuous academic standing. Once all the guys are gone, Peskin tells Mitch that he knows who was responsible for the prank. Drue gets called into the office, along with his mother, and Peskin goes through what he thinks happened.

Drue (with Jack) purchased the same kind of paint that was used on the boat sail. He returned Mitch’s keys, possibly after copying one to the school. He was also in the boatyard around the time the boat was taken. He was in three suspicious places at three suspicious times, and had the means, motive, and opportunity to do everything. Mrs. Valentine says she should have known about Drue’s conniving ways after “last year’s ferret incident.”

Mrs. Valentine suggests a week’s suspension as punishment. Peskin ups it to two weeks, plus probation for the rest of the year. He knows Drue’s history and will keep an eye on him. As he cleans out his locker, Drue tells Joey to let his friends know that he admires what they did, and wants her to deliver a message: “Touché.” He admits that karma finally caught up with him.

Pacey stops by the police station to thank Doug for letting him ride along with him the day before. He thinks Doug’s job really is more important than anything Pacey will ever do. He helps people and scares kids out of driving crazy. Doug doesn’t think Pacey’s cut out to be a cop, but calls him a “daring original.” He has a talent for breaking the rules, and Doug admires that. Pacey’s surprised to hear that.

Dawson tells Gretchen that Mr. Brooks has gotten him thinking, and he’s trying to find out if Mr. Brooks became a filmmaker. She suggests some nicknames he might have used and he teases her about them. But he does find an A.I. Brooks who made a number of movies. Molly’s sister brings her by Jack’s house to tell him she’s sorry she got him fired. He tells her he was fired because the fathers don’t like who he is. They both need to ignore people who act like that.

Joey goes over to the Leerys’, where Mitch tells her to tell Dawson that he knows, and congratulations. Joey finds Dawson and Pacey throwing away a bunch of stuff in Dawson’s room. Jack climbs up, sans ladder, and Joey realizes that the three of them worked together on the prank. The guys remind her that they all had alibis and Drue was the obvious culprit. However, Dawson runs down how they could have hypothetically pulled it off.

That night, Pacey and Dawson go to the woods to bury the evidence of their part in the prank. Pacey feels like something is now right that hasn’t been right for a long time. He and Dawson agree that becoming friends again isn’t that simple. Pacey admits that Dawson saying he could never trust him again was one of the worst moments of his life. Dawson replies that his worst moment was seeing Pacey and Joey on his back porch.

Pacey wonders if Dawson will ever be able to trust him again. Dawson says he’d like to believe he will. Pacey replies that he’s not ready to give up on him. “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just kill each other,” Dawson notes. (That might not be the best thing to say to someone when you’re both holding shovels.)

Thoughts: This episode was surprisingly clever, especially for this show. I like the idea of Dawson and Pacey putting their problems aside to bring vengeance to Drue.

Peskin is played by Harry Shearer of The Simpsons and This is Spinal Tap. Interesting casting choice.

“Wait until I’m 17 and hot. He’ll regret messing with me.” Rock on, Molly.

I wish I cared more about the soccer storyline, but alas, I don’t, and nothing can make me.

I wonder if the ferret incident is anything like the noodle incident.

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