March 31, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.23, Coda: Last Night

Posted in TV tagged , , at 2:29 pm by Jenn

It's about to get weird

Summary: Dawson and Joey are watching their old horror movie in his room. He’s disappointed that it sucks more than he remembered. Joey reminds him that he won $2,500 for the film in a festival, though he spent the money on an even worse movie. Dawson can’t believe they’re about to go to college. Joey’s in Capeside for the summer, but Dawson leaves for a summer program in two days. He’s starting to regret the decision to leave so soon. Joey points out that it’s huge that he got in.

Dawson asks if she’s heard from Pacey, but he hasn’t called since he left town. Joey thinks she’s incapable of having a successful relationship. They’re both happy that after everything, they’ve been able to start hanging out together again. Dawson wishes things didn’t have to end, though Joey notes that everything has to eventually.

The next day, Dawson, Joey, Jen, and Jack hang out together and play Would You Rather? Dawson wins by asking if someone would rather have sex with their principal or watch the principal have sex with Grams. He heads off to meet Mitch, solidifying plans to see a movie with the others that night. Mitch takes Dawson to get a new computer, which Dawson claims he doesn’t want, because he is an idiot.

Jen and Grams’ house is packed for their move, which will happen the next day. Jen suggests skipping the movie with Dawson to do something special on their last night in the house. Grams tells her there’s no point in being sentimental but agrees to have tea. Mitch is of the same mind as Jen, wanting Dawson to spend his last night in Capeside at home with his family, rather than out with his friends. He calls Dawson insensitive and Dawson calls him overbearing.

Pacey makes a phone call from somewhere in the Caribbean but can’t reach the person he’s trying to call. Dawson and Jack talk about Joey; Jack thinks her goodbye with Dawson is really important. He thinks Dawson will regret not staying in Capeside to spend the whole summer with her. Dawson admits that he’s thought about it. Even though he made significant strides by having a relationship with Gretchen, he still can’t stop thinking about Joey.

Jen’s talking to Joey about the same thing, and Jen says that Dawson would stay if Joey asked him to. Joey asks why Jen thinks she wants him to stay: “Am I supposed to feel good, knowing I have the power to change somebody’s life?” Jen says they all have that power; it’s just a question of using it. The friends go to the movie theater, where American Graffiti is playing (of course it is).

Afterward, Jen decides to go see Grams, encouraging Dawson and Joey to keep hanging out. It doesn’t work, so they all walk Joey home. Mitch and Gail spend the evening looking through pictures of their children. Gail tries very hard not to pick on Mitch for being insecure about the future, then denying it.

Dawson walks Joey to her door as they make awkward conversation. She thinks one day he’ll run into Spielberg, though he doesn’t know what he’d say if he did. Maybe just “thank you.” Joey isn’t sure it sounds like enough. She tells Dawson she’ll see him at Christmas, then hugs him goodbye, trying not to cry. She says she’ll see him, but he doesn’t say anything, and both of them are left feeling dissatisfied.

At Jen’s, she and Jack give Dawson a cell phone, because I guess otherwise there’s no way to make phone calls from California. Jack leaves, and Jen jokes that Dawson’s stuck with her on his last night in Capeside. Dawson notes that he, Joey, and Pacey were always afraid of Grams’ house (well, Grams, really), which Jen thinks makes her the Boo Radley of the situation. She hugs him goodbye, then tells him to leave so they can get started falling out of touch.

At the Leerys’, Mitch tells Dawson that he knew he would be sad to see him go, but he didn’t know he wouldn’t want Dawson to go. “You’re one of my favorite people,” he says. He then makes sure he and Dawson have had all the important conversations they were supposed to have had (about drugs and sex). Mitch asks what it was like saying goodbye to Joey, telling Dawson that “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

Jen has tea with Grams, telling her that she felt like she was being punished when she first moved in. They discuss Jen’s mother, who Grams says spent her whole life chasing the happiness she had in high school. She knows that won’t happen to Jen; things can only get better from the supposed unhappiness Jen and her friends have. Jack comes back to spend Jen and Grams’ last evening in the house with them. Grams assures Jen that she’s not sad to leave – they’re about to have an adventure.

Jen asks if her grandparents always lived in the house. Grams tells her they lived with his parents for a while, then an apartment downtown. They would go up to the roof on summer nights to look at the stars and the lights in the summer houses. The people who lived in those houses would have parties on their lawns and dance to old standards. Grams and her husband decided to buy a summer house so they could be that happy all year round.

Pacey calls Dawson to tell him he’s working hard but keeping himself distracted. Dawson tells him Joey’s doing the same. He encourages Pacey to call her, but he’s not ready. Pacey says that Dawson’s the only person in Capeside he regrets not saying goodbye to. For a long time, the only thing he cared about was being Dawson’s friend. Even after everything that’s happened, he still thinks about the way things were. Dawson’s glad to get another conversation with Pacey because he wanted to say he’s proud of him. They wish each other luck.

As “Daydream Believer” plays, Dawson heads out to see Joey, but she’s on her way over to help him pack. They end up watching ET, as they did in the first episode. Joey wishes they could fast-forward their lives four years to see how everything turns out. Dawson tells her she’ll be a professional and he’ll be working the graveyard shift at Kinko’s. Joey’s worried that she’ll never see him again, or at least this version of him.

They start talking about their favorites and most memorable moments. They’re able to discuss some experiences from their ill-fated relationship, and her regret over lying to him about sleeping with Pacey. Dawson realizes that he’s the only one of their group who’s still a virgin. Joey jokes that even the college girlfriend she’s imagined for him won’t sleep with him. Dawson asks for her all-time most life-altering moment, and she names their first kiss. She got her biggest wish that night.

As Dawson takes down one of Mr. Brooks’ movie posters, Joey tells him she wants him to stay, then immediately wants to take it back. She wanted him to know that she was thinking about it. Her best friend is leaving, and part of her wants him to stay, and she doesn’t want him to hate her. Dawson promises that he doesn’t. Joey doesn’t regret anything that’s happened over the past few years, but she’s glad they’re over because she likes the way things are now.

Dawson says that if he thought staying was the right thing to do, he would. He knows it’s time for him to go, and it’s time for both of them to find out who they are without each other. Joey starts crying and asks if he believes in magic. She never did, but she thinks it’s magical that someone out there is thinking about her.

Joey decides to go, wishing the ladder were still there for her to climb down. They say “see you” instead of goodbye, and Joey asks for Dawson’s most life-altering moment. He thinks it’s the one they’re experiencing right now. Then they kiss.

Thoughts: And I’m done with season 4, and two-thirds of the way through the series. Time for Dawson’s Creek: The College Years! In other news, I will NEVER BE DONE WITH 90210. Ten seasons is A LOT. And it doesn’t help that there are more than 30 episodes in each season.

I liked the Would You Rather? scene. It was so cute and angst-free.

These people have email, right? I understand them being sad not to see each other much, but they can still keep in touch.

This would have made a good series finale. And yet….

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