June 25, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 5.15, Downtown Crossing: My Father the Hero

Posted in TV tagged , , at 9:37 pm by Jenn

“Would you like to exchange bon mots before I take all your money? You go first”

Summary: Joey’s still walking home but pauses to get some money from an ATM. She calls Professor Wilder (who insists that she call him David) and asks if she can come by. She goes back to the sidewalk, not seeming to realize that someone’s following her. Her follower starts talking to her, promising he’s not going to mug her or attack her, but he’s definitely sketchy.

Joey tries to keep walking, but he stops her and asks to borrow some money. She refuses and keeps trying to leave. He won’t let her pass, warning her that it’s late and she could run into someone really dangerous. Joey’s able to walk away, but the guy stops her again and says he really needs her money – and he has a gun.

The guy pulls Joey into a doorway and demands the money again. She lies that she doesn’t have any, but he saw her at the ATM and thinks she’s a rich college girl. The guy puts the gun away, but Joey taunts him and he brings it back out. This time she hands over her cash, which isn’t enough for him. He wants her cell phone, too, and threatens to pat her down for it. She hands it over, and while he’s admiring it, she kicks him and runs off.

The mugger tackles Joey on the sidewalk, then lets her up and asks her name. He wants any credit cards or ATM cards she might have. He wants her to withdraw all her money from the ATM, but she tells him she only has $27. She actually has $47 in checking, but a few hundred in savings, which the guy will happily take. He reveals that he’s a drug dealer, which, of course, Joey doesn’t like. The guy likes her, however, and says this has been a pleasant experience.

The mugger starts asking personal questions, like whether Joey’s a virgin or has a boyfriend. He tells her he’s married, which she finds hard to believe. It seems he and his wife had a fight, and he wants to know how to make things up to her. Joey starts to leave, but first the mugger wants her coat to give to his wife. He leaves her in the bank, follows her after she leaves, and is promptly hit by a car, which drives away.

Joey gets her coat back from the unconscious mugger and tries to take her cell phone so she can call for help. The guy wakes up and knocks the phone out of reach, pulling out his gun again. He refuses to go to jail and won’t even let Joey go get her phone. She tells him calmly that she’s going to call an ambulance, and he’s free to shoot her if he wants. He pulls the trigger, but the gun isn’t loaded.

Joey’s furious but still wants to call an ambulance for THE GUY WHO JUST ROBBED HER AND WAS PROBABLY CONSIDERING RAPING HER. He thinks he’s experiencing karma for the mugging. Joey asks if there’s anything she can do while they wait for help. All he wants is heroin. When she says she doesn’t have any and he tells her to shut up, she tells him to watch his tone. (I swear, all of this happened.) Then she lights a cigarette for him.

The two start talking about drugs, particularly why a drug dealer would bother mugging college students when he already makes enough money. He says his wife wants more than he can afford to give her. She kicked him out and he’s trying to win her back. Joey offers to call her, but the mugger doesn’t want her to know what happened.

He starts talking about meeting his wife, then segues into being at someone else’s mercy. He wonders why Joey’s being so nice to him. She tells him she wants to make sure he goes to jail. She admits that her father was a drug dealer; she always wondered why someone would become one. She thinks she might be showing kindness to the mugger so she can get her answer. The police arrive and want to take Joey to the hospital just in case. She says no, then passes out.

Joey regains consciousness in the hospital and asks about her mugger, who has internal bleeding and is in surgery. In the hallway, she sees a little girl just standing around and takes her to find her parents. They come across her mother, who was looking for her, and she asks Joey to sit with her for a minute. The girl tells Joey that her dad is sick – “he got hit by a car.”

The girl’s mother, Grace, returns and Joey realizes that she doesn’t know all the circumstances of her husband’s accident. She asks Grace to tell her about her husband. Grace says they got married too young; she follows him to the city to be the Courtney Love to his Kurt Cobain. She was finally getting her life together, having kicked him out, but her daughter, Sammy, is upset that he’s gone.

Grace asks Joey what happened to her mugger. Joey tells her, and it takes Grace a minute to realize who it was. “If it makes you feel any better, he was really nice about it,” Joey replies. (NO, HE WASN’T!) Grace starts to leave, telling Joey she doesn’t care if her husband lives or dies. Joey asks about Sammy, but Grace thinks she’s better off without her father. Joey tells Grace she’s been in Sammy’s place, and Sammy has no idea that her father’s a bad guy. Grace needs to give her a chance to say goodbye. Grace tells her to stay out of it.

The mugger wakes up and asks for Joey. The doctor tells her he’s in bad shape and may need more surgery. Joey sits with the mugger, telling him she met his wife and daughter. He wants to answer her earlier question about why someone would become a drug dealer. He took Sammy to school a few weeks ago and was supposed to give her daycare $500. Instead, he spent it on heroin. He loves Grace and Sammy, but he is who he is. “You wanna know why people do the things they do?” he asks. “There is no why, sweetheart. They just do.”

Joey disagrees – if the mugger really loved Sammy, he would do the right thing. He says it’s not possible because of his drug problems. Joey asks what he’ll say when Sammy comes to him in 15 years and asks why he didn’t choose her. He says he’ll tell her to grow up and move on. Joey points out that he cared enough to want to get the $500 back. Now he’s going to die alone.

Joey starts to leave, stopping when the mugger asks if Sammy will ever forgive him. Joey tells him about her tenth birthday, when her father took her to the park to play. She didn’t realize until years later that everyone knew him and liked him because he was their drug dealer. Her father did a lot of bad stuff, but that day at the park is still one of her favorite days of all time.

The mugger asks what Joey was singing to herself when he saw her on the street. She tells him it was the Carpenters’ “Close to You,” which her father used to sing to her. They both sing it, and seriously, I swear, this is all real. Then the mugger laughs a little and flatlines. Doctors try to revive him, but he’s gone.

On her way out, Joey runs into Grace and Sammy. Grace can tell from Joey’s face that her husband is dead. Sammy asks if her dad did something bad to Joey. She says no – he did something nice to her. The car was going to hit her, but he pushed her out of the way and saved her life. Sammy tells Grace that her father is a hero. When they’re not looking, Joey slips her $500 into Grace’s purse.

Thoughts: Grace is played by Mercedes McNab, who most people would probably recognize as Harmony from Buffy and Angel.

The concept of this episode is good – just one main character, almost real-time, a suspenseful experience – but the execution is horrible. There’s no tension at all. And Joey’s so annoying that it’s hard to even worry that she’s in danger. Why would she think sassing a guy with a guy is a good idea? I know she’s snarky and all, but come on!

Joey regains consciousness while sitting up, not lying down. What kind of crap hospital did they take her to? The doctor also just lets her leave two minutes after she wakes up, and there are no police officers around to question her. Then the doctor says the mugger has a chest wound, but it’s obvious he doesn’t. THIS EPISODE IS SO STUPID.

I hope Joey has to ask Bessie for money and then has to tell her she gave all her savings to the family of a guy who robbed her at gunpoint.


  1. you are amazing

  2. Tracy said,

    ooo I remember this episode. This one started what would turn Dawson’s Creek into Joey’s Creek. I agree that the idea to have one episode around one character was a great idea but the actually execution was ridiculous. Plus Joey is annoyed. Would have liked to see this kind of thing about Jen (who never got any respect on this show-though I suppose she’s laughing all the way the Academy Awards now).

  3. Cherie said,

    I actually never saw this episode (praise the lord!), but I did read the recap of it that Jessica of Go Fug Yourself did for Television Without Pity and was horrified (and of course, your recap definitely conveys how bad it is, too). I really like your comment about how the concept for this is an interesting one but it didn’t work it all with such shoddy writing behind it. I feel like it was almost too kind of you, trying to find something to praise about this episode…?

    • Jenn said,

      I read the recap years ago, after I’d stopped watching the show but wanted to know what was going on. This episode horrified me before I ever saw it.

  4. LOL, I remember the hyped promo, with all of the fuss over “OMG, poor wittle Joey gets mugged!” And then the actual episode was, as you said, so anticlimactic.

  5. Yeah this episode was kind of stupid, it really wasn’t no need for this episode really. Why did you’ll use this out of all shows? And if you’ll had to add or change the plot a little bit to hyping the show up a bit you’ll could of used something else that could of benefited to Joey maybe…

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