January 8, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.10, Self Reliance: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 6:04 pm by Jenn

Dawson's not a bad photographer – who knew?

Summary: It’s the day after the Leerys’ Christmas party, and Jack and Dawson are in Dawson’s dark room, where Jack is congratulating Dawson on kissing his childhood crush. Dawson says he wants to keep her as a friend: “Not every kiss has to be a life-altering event.” Jack tells him that Jen’s taking him to a meeting for a gay/straight teen coalition.

Gretchen shows up to clean up after the party, but Dawson’s already taken care of it. She thinks she should have “cleared the air” after they kissed, rather than letting Dawson think the kiss meant more than it did. Dawson assures her that he didn’t read anything into it. Bessie goes out of town, leaving Joey and Pacey in charge of both Alexander and the inn. Pacey wants to discuss the party, but Joey has too many other things to worry about.

Jack hates the gay/straight meeting minutes after arriving, telling Jen it’s not his “scene.” They meet Tobey, who thinks Jen is a lesbian with nice hair. He also recognizes Jack from the news piece Dawson did on him. Jack is uncomfortable with his label as a gay football player, though Tobey wonders which one part of the label bothers him more. Dawson hangs out with Mr. Brooks, discussing the movie Dawson wants to make. Mr. Brooks has finally agreed to it.

Jack is still annoyed at the meeting, so Tobey calls him out to ask why he wanted to come. Jack talks about being fired from the soccer team. Tobey blasts him for not putting up a fight for gay rights. Then he organizes a bowling trip to protest an alley that kicked out two lesbians for kissing. Joey and Pacey make like teen parents until Joey kicks Pacey out so she can study in peace. Right after he leaves, some guests arrive, giving Joey something else to worry about.

The next morning, Pacey gets the chance to question Gretchen about her kiss with Dawson. She blames it on the mistletoe and assures him that both of them agree it meant nothing. She asks why Pacey cares who Dawson kisses. He claims he doesn’t, but Joey does. She won’t talk about it, though. Pacey isn’t sure whether to pretend he believes her when she says she hasn’t given it a lot of thought or he can make her discuss it. Gretchen advises him to be a good boyfriend.

At school, Dawson catches Joey doing some last-minute cramming for a test and tries to make sure she’s okay. Clearly, she’s not. Jack refuses to go bowling, but Jen really wants him to make some friends in the coalition. He thinks Tobey’s in love with her. Jen’s sure he actually likes Jack. Jack is annoyed that Tobey won’t talk about anything other than being gay. Jen decides to go bowling without him.

Dawson begins his movie, with some comments from the peanut gallery, AKA Mr. Brooks. They discuss recent films vs. old films, and how so many movies involve love triangles. Mr. Brooks thinks it’s because there’s unhappiness for every piece of happiness. Both sides of the story have to be told. Mr. Brooks is done for the day, but Dawson wants him to talk about the woman he lost to his best friend. He points out that Mr. Brooks thinks movies need “complex human emotion.”

At the inn, Joey tries to convince herself that she did all right on the test, but she’s sure she didn’t get better than a C. Pacey comes over and Joey complains to him about everything she’s having to take care of. She’s sick of doing everything herself, which is dumb, since Pacey keeps offering to help her. He’s sure what’s really bothering her is Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss, or, more accurately, her and Dawson.

Later that evening, Pacey tells Joey he wants to talk about things with her, like the future. Joey admits that Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss bothers her, though she’s not sure why. Pacey says he doesn’t care; he just wants her to tell him when things bother her. Joey sees a future with the two of them together. She and Pacey grew up together, but she and Dawson never grew up. Whenever she’s around him, she feels 15 again. Pacey urges her to talk to Dawson.

At the bowling alley, Jen and Tobey chat about Jack until he shows up. Tobey compliments his jacket, then asks Jen if he’s wearing it ironically. Dawson and Mr. Brooks continue filming, but Mr. Brooks has some trouble remembering the directors of old movies. When Dawson goes to get him something to drink, Mr. Brooks falls asleep.

Jack admits to Jen that he’s embarrassed to be at “gay bowling night,” though more for the bowling part than the gay part. He calls Tobey out for calling him Captain America, and Tobey asks if he’s annoyed that things are “getting too gay” for him. Jack doesn’t understand the point of the coalition. Tobey notes that Jack’s popular, but most jocks beat up gay kids. He doesn’t think Jack has ever had problems in life. (Where do you want him to start, Tobey?)

Dawson comes home to find Joey waiting for him in his room. She’s brought him some CDs; she thinks they can trade music whenever they have something to discuss. She admits that her life is hectic right now but she’s not letting Pacey help her. Dawson gives her her Christmas present early – it’s a photo he took of her and Pacey at the party. Joey’s very touched.

The conversation turns to Gretchen, and Dawson swears that the kiss meant nothing. Joey asks if he’s interested in Gretchen. Dawson says that even if he were, she wouldn’t be. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Joey notes that the two of them are still friends after everything that’s happened. If they weren’t, he wouldn’t have given her the photo and she wouldn’t be encouraging him to go after what he wants. Gretchen would be lucky to have him.

Pacey approaches his and Joey’s English teacher to ask if Joey can retake the test she didn’t do well on. The teacher understands the circumstances but can’t bend the rules. He adds that he admires Pacey for giving it a shot.

Jack runs into Tobey by the waterfront and learns that he’s been officially kicked out of the coalition. Jack says he’s not going to let Tobey push him around like he let the soccer parents do to him. Tobey apologizes for judging Jack based on appearances; that’s just how he was always treated. His older sister had to chase off kids who bullied him when he was younger. Jack replies that even though he’s never experienced the same thing, that doesn’t make him any less gay than Tobey.

Joey gets a C- on her test and learns from her teacher that Pacey asked for a second chance. He’s offering a retake the next day since a student was absent. The teacher also highlights a passage for her to read from Thoreau – he wants her to remember that while self-reliance is a good trait, Thoreau still had friends and neighbors he could rely on.

Dawson stops by Mr. Brooks’ house and meets her nurse, who says the documentary is tiring him out. He also hasn’t been taking his medication since it makes him forget things. Dawson starts to gather his equipment, but Mr. Brooks wants to keep making the movie so people will have something to remember him by. They go back to the story Mr. Brooks was telling the night before, which was about when he met the woman he eventually fell in love with. He misses her.

Joey calls Pacey to the inn to thank him for talking to her English teacher. He’s pleased to hear that his plan worked out. He helps her study while they hang out with Alexander. Dawson and Gretchen meet up at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony downtown, and he tells her he’s never understood the appeal of gambling until today. He likes her and will continue liking her no matter how she responds. He thinks she’s worth risking everything for. Gretchen replies that sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

Thoughts: I hate Tobey with his stupid hair and his stupidly spelled last name and the fact that he won’t shut up. Why won’t you shut up, Tobey?

Way to leave Alexander alone in the kitchen with the oven and all sorts of sharp things, Joey.

Also, funny how Bessie freaked out about Joey possibly having sex in “A Family Way” but is apparently fine with Pacey staying at the inn while she’s gone.

And by the way, who leaves her two-year-old with her teenage sister for three days when school’s in session? And where’s Bodie?

Seeing Joshua Jackson with a child is killing me. TOO CUTE.

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