July 21, 2012
Dawson’s Creek 5.18, Cigarette Burns: Let’s Go to the Movies
Summary: Joey watches Dawson’s movie in his attic room and tries to pretend it didn’t make her cry. She tells Dawson that the movie is really good and she was crying because she’s excited that he’s finally realizing his dream. She was also impressed by Charlie’s acting. Joey thinks Charlie was just a jerk to Jen because he was afraid. Oliver arrives and comments that Dawson seems to have moved on from Jen already. Also, he wants to screen the movie at school the next day.
Dawson objects to the screening, but the next day, Oliver is still confident about it. Dawson thinks the movie’s too long and needs a lot more work. Oliver disagrees, even though there appears to be some unplanned nudity on Charlie’s part. He thinks Dawson’s displacing his feelings over his breakup. Then he asks if Dawson would be okay with him asking Jen out.
Pacey and Audrey have sex at Danny’s place (Danny and Emily are on vacation), and he’s suddenly curious about how many other guys she’s slept with. Instead of answering, she turns the question around, and he says she’s the seventh. She tells him he doesn’t want to know her number. Pacey’s shocked that her number is that high.
At Grams’, Dawson confides in Jen that he’s nervous about the screening. They’re awkward with each other, and she says it’s okay if they don’t know how to act right now. He appreciates the familiarity of talking to her; she doesn’t think that has to change. Audrey bugs Joey for her opinion on the movie, and Joey assures her that she and Charlie were both great. Audrey notices that Joey is trying to make herself look nice.
Audrey mentions asking Pacey how many people he’s slept with. Joey thinks she should be honest with him, even if he’s insecure. Then she says it depends on the number. In the car on the way to the screening, Pacey tells Audrey that at this point in their relationship, they should start defining things. She blurts out that she’s slept with 27 men and he crashes the car.
Jen is surprised when a man named Clifton Smalls comes to the house to meet Grams for the screening. He knows all about Jen, Jack (“the homosexual!”), and Dawson. Jen quickly realizes that Grams and Clifton are dating. (Oh, and to prove how far Grams has come over the years, Clifton is black.) Jen interrogates her grandmother’s boyfriend but can’t find anything about him to object to.
As Dawson sets up for the screening, he overhears a woman yelling at someone on the phone. She’s in the midst of being dumped by her boyfriend. They chat about a professor, and the woman tells Dawson he must be in the middle of his pretentious phase. As an example, she guesses that Dawson tells people Run Lola Run is his favorite movie of the past few years, but it’s not really. The woman introduces herself as Amy Lloyd, a film critic there to review the movie.
Joey and Charlie flirt and wind up sitting together at the screening. She tells him she prefers him when he’s not trying so hard. Pacey unsuccessfully pretends he’s okay with the number of guys Audrey’s been with. Dawson confronts Oliver for bringing a critic to the screening, but he’s unapologetic. Amy’s impatient and tells the two of them to start the movie already. Oliver figures out that Dawson ticked her off and sends him to make things right.
Dawson quickly apologizes to Amy, admitting that he probably would have sucked up if he’d known who she was. He wins her over by flirting and complimenting her reviews, which he reads every week. She suggests going to the coffee shop where he always reads her reviews. Audrey pulls Joey away from Charlie to tell her that if Pacey asks, she slept with 27 people. “Rock and roll!” interjects someone who overhears. Joey orders her to be honest.
Charlie and Joey flirt more, and he lets her know he’s interested. He wants her to see him the way he wants her to see him (got that?) in the movie. She tells him she’s amused by how smooth he thinks he is, when the reality is that everything he’s thinking is all over his face. For instance, right now Charlie’s thinking that Joey’s hot and he wants to take her out. He corrects that he actually wants to take her to the bathroom and have sex. Joey quickly splits.
Pacey tells Jack how much he likes Audrey, but how the things she says sometimes surprise him too much. She pops up to tell him she slept with 57 guys, which makes him do a spit take. Oliver nervously tries to tell Jen that he likes her, but she cuts him off by telling him that it’s unlikely anything will happen between them. He predicts that she’ll come to see him differently.
Jen next encounters Joey, who wants to talk about boys. She’s conflicted by being interested in someone who’s charming on the outside but a loser on the inside. Jen tells her about Clifton, saying that no matter how many losers the two of them date, there could be a guy like Clifton somewhere down the road. Joey notes that that’s a long way in the future.
Amy asks Dawson to convince her why she should see his movie. He gives her a few reasons, then admits that he doesn’t think it’s done. He gives her a quick rundown of the past year of his life, saying that the movie may not be about his life, but he put everything he has into it. Amy says she’d like to see a film that contains that much “passion and heartbreak.” As they start to leave, she spots her ex-boyfriend and asks Dawson to kiss her. Too bad that wasn’t her ex.
Back at the screening, Pacey tells Audrey that he knew before they started dating that she’d been with other guys, but his insecurities shouldn’t be hers. She tells him her real number is five. (She does more making out than anything so she can find the right guy.) Audrey apologizes for lying and admits that she has her own fears and insecurities. She just needed to hear Pacey say he likes her no matter what.
Dawson and Amy talk about ending relationships, and he tells her that making the movie helped him keep his life together. She’s worried that he’s wasted his time and the movie sucks. Amy promises that she’ll be honest, and either way, he might get to kiss her again. Dawson admits that he loves Road House. They finally make it back to the screening, to Oliver’s delight.
As Joey watches Grams and Clifton, smiling at their happiness, Charlie approaches her to ask a favor. She asks if he’s the jerk or the nice guy right now. He tells her he really does want to ask her out, but she makes him nervous. He really wants to be the nice guy, not the jerk. His favor is for Joey to let him sit with her during the movie and possibly give him another chance. She does.
Oliver does some eye-flirting with Jen, who seems to be a mixture of embarrassed and flattered but won’t tell Jack why. Dawson introduces the movie with a lot of disclaimers, saying that it’s a “labor of love” put together by a lot of talented people. Even if it’s never viewed again, it will always be a snapshot of who they all were when it was made.
Thoughts: Okay, I’ll bite – why is this episode called “Cigarette Burns”?
TWO HOURS AND 45 MINUTES?? Shut up, Dawson.
When did he find time to do all the post-production, anyway? This episode aired just two months after “Guerilla Filmmaking,” when they finished filming. We’ve seen him working on the movie exactly zero times since then.
I liked that someone overheard Joey and Audrey. On TV, people are always having private conversations in public, loudly enough for anyone to hear them, but no one ever does.
Oliver was annoying before, but now he’s a sweet little dork.
How do I hate Amy? Let me count the ways…