March 17, 2012
Dawson’s Creek 4.21, Separation Anxiety: Can’t Let Go
Summary: Jen wants to know all about Jack and Tobey’s love life, as they’re planning to go on another date. Drue gives them their yearbooks and shows them the “class couple” photo of Joey and Pacey. Jen and Jack wonder if they’ve seen it yet and if they’re talking. Drue wonders if anyone other than them cares. (I love you, Drue.) They don’t think Joey and Pacey have even talked since prom, and Dawson and Gretchen probably haven’t either. Jack says the latter couple is less likely to get back together than the former couple. Drue proposes a bet.
Dawson finishes up his Mr. Brooks movie before sending it off to USC. Gail asks if he’s okay with how he and Gretchen left things, telling him she gave notice at the restaurant and is leaving town. Since she didn’t tell Dawson, he figures she doesn’t want him to know. Gail suggests that he ask her to sign his yearbook, which is possibly the dumbest thing she’s ever said. Pacey gets Gretchen’s car ready for her trip and asks if she’s talked to Dawson. They note that they would probably feel better if they dealt with their exes, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually going to.
Jen is stunned to find a Realtor in her house, showing people around. Grams never mentioned that she’s selling the house. At the yacht club, Joey runs into Mr. Kubelik, the advisor from her future college, and he asks after Pacey. He and the dean have an offer for him. This means Joey will have to bring him to a party the next night. Jen confronts Grams about selling the house, which she thinks is necessary so Grams can afford her tuition. Grams confirms this, but announces that she also plans to move to a retirement community.
Dawson stops by the restaurant and actually asks Gretchen to sign his yearbook. He’s upset that she was going to leave without saying goodbye. She’s decided to go back to college, and will leave the day after tomorrow to take a little road trip before classes start. Dawson’s stunned that it’s happening so fast. Gretchen asks to keep his yearbook for a little while so she can think about what she wants to write in it.
Joey goes to the beach house and relays Mr. Kubelik’s message to Pacey. Pacey blurts that he misses her, and she says she misses him, too. He doesn’t think they’re supposed to end up like this. Joey asks him to go to the party with her, and he accepts. The next day, Gretchen advises Pacey not to go, though he notes that a woman who’s running away from her problems isn’t the best source of advice. He wants a sign, and if he gets an offer to go to Worthington, he’ll know he’s supposed to be with Joey. He tells Gretchen how glad he is that she came home this year.
Grams takes Jen to visit the retirement community she wants to move to. Grams gets lectured about not having a pass to get in. Mitch watches Dawson’s movie, which he loves, and says he’s sure USC will beg Dawson to join their film program. Mitch thinks Dawson and Mr. Brooks were alike because of the way they went after what they wanted. He thinks Mr. Brooks was an inspiration, and Dawson starts to see the same thing.
As Pacey picks Joey up for the party, Jen tells Grams there’s no way she’s moving to the retirement community. It’s too big of a sacrifice. Grams sees it as a gift instead. Jen wishes she’d applied for loans instead of letting Grams spend all her money on her tuition. She announces that she’s not going to Boston and she’s not letting Grams sell the house. At the party, Joey and Pacey try to pretend that they’re totally okay being there together.
Dawson goes to the beach house and tells Gretchen he wants to go with her. If he doesn’t, he’ll always wonder what could have happened if they hadn’t let everything else (college, Joey, etc.) get in the way. He wants to go off together and see what happens. Gretchen notes that he hasn’t gone to graduation yet, but Dawson doesn’t see the point. She still thinks the idea is crazy; that’s what appeals to him. He kisses her and tells her to just say yes. She does.
Dawson goes back home to write a goodbye letter to his parents, but he has to stop to watch Lily. Since he has no friends, apparently, he has to talk to a baby about his issues. He’s tired of putting his happiness aside for everyone else. Pacey meets Worthington’s dean of admissions, who’s chartering Mr. Kubelik’s yacht for the summer. The men want Pacey to work as a deckhand. Pacey’s disappointed that that was the offer they wanted to extend to him.
Jen shares her new plan with Jack: go to a state college for a year or two to save up money, then transfer to Boston Bay College to be with Jack. She points out that Grams took her in and took care of her, so Jen can’t turn her back. Jack admires her selflessness, but also thinks it’s pretty convenient since now she won’t have to leave Capeside. He knows she’s scared because she’s leaving the only place where she’s only felt safe, as well as the only person who’s ever taken care of her.
Pacey tells Joey about the yacht offer, and she decides it’s time for them to leave. He thinks she should stay since she’s so comfortable with the people she’s about to spend the next four years with. This is her life now, and she needs to enjoy it. Joey says she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it without him and leads him off.
Gretchen stops by the Leerys’, where Dawson has enjoyed spending the evening alone with his new sister. He wonders if Lily and Alexander will wind up with a Dawson/Joey friendship. Gretchen asks about Dawson’s goodbye letter, but he’s still working on it. She notes that his letter to Joey will be even harder to write. She heads back to the beach house to finish packing and cleaning. He wishes her luck and they kiss goodbye. Pacey takes Joey home, but she wants to spend the night at his house.
In the morning, Grams asks Jen if Jack talked her out of her plans. Jen pretends she doesn’t want to talk about it, then asks Grams if she’d like to move to Boston. Grams doesn’t want Jen to change things for her. Jen admits that she’s scared to go to school away from home, so if Grams is there, she’ll feel better. Grams has no idea what she would do in Boston. Jen says a change of scenery might inspire her.
Joey finds Pacey at the marina and apologizes for making him go to the party. He tells her that nothing that’s happened is her fault, including their breakup (though that’s not what he said at the prom). He feels horrible for blaming her for his insecurities and making her feel guilty for her accomplishments. Pacey’s proud of her and wishes he’d shown it. He admits that at the party, he was jealous of all the people who will get to spend next year with Joey. She thinks what happened was a sign.
Dawson packs but is clearly unsure of his decision. He goes to the beach house to meet Gretchen but instead finds his yearbook, which includes a photo of him and Gretchen, plus her message. She wrote that as much as she needs to leave, he needs to stay. He also needs to say a proper goodbye to this chapter of his life. Gretchen’s already in love with Dawson and doesn’t need a road trip to know it. He’ll never know how much he means to her. Joey and Dawson wind up by the water together and ask about each other’s weeks, but neither elaborates on what happened. She asks what he’s doing this summer. “This,” he replies.
Thoughts: Asking your college-age girlfriend to sign your high school yearbook is about as lame as you can get.
Why are they throwing a party in Capeside for freshmen at a college in Boston? How many Capeside students got into Worthington? Do they do this in every city with freshmen going to Worthington? Why am I thinking about this so much?
Work on a yacht sailing around islands for the summer? Say yes, Pacey.
I take it Mr. Brooks didn’t leave Grams any money? Boo.