November 3, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 6.15, Castaways: Fear and Loathing in Las Kmart

Posted in TV tagged , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

Tell me again why you guys broke up?

Summary: Joey has accompanied Pacey to a business dinner, and she’s not having a good time. She’s also not happy to see another woman put her hand on Pacey’s leg. She tells Pacey to get the woman’s phone number already so they can leave. He admits that the woman thinks Joey is his sister, not his date. Joey threatens to kiss him and ruin his chances with the woman. Pacey manages to make a date with the woman, so he rushes out to get Joey home and come back in an hour.

Joey really wants to get back to her dorm to study, but first Pacey takes her to Kmart for, uh, laundry detergent. The store is just about to close, but they’re able to sneak in while a security guard is yelling at kids playing with shopping carts. Joey heads off to the bathroom as Pacey picks out condoms. Before he can pay for them, Joey drags him to the bathrooms, making him stand guard while she uses the men’s room (since the women’s room is closed off). As they’re leaving, the lights are all turned off and the doors are locked.

The two go looking for a phone, but only find intercoms. Pacey’s cell phone is in the car, and a payphone call to the police doesn’t gain them any immediate help. Joey admits that they’re not really having an emergency – they’re inside and they have food and other supplies. Ultimately she gets transferred to an automated system. She asks for Pacey’s coat, since she’s cold and hers is really only for aesthetic purposes. She finds the condoms in his pocket and complains about them being the reason they’re stuck there.

Pacey doesn’t want to talk to Joey about his potential hook-up, and both of them admit they don’t want to talk to each other about sex. He notes that she’s pretty judgmental about the topic. The secret to their friendship lasting is them not talking about sex. Joey wonders why there’s awkwardness about the subject if they’re such good friends. Pacey reminds her that they were once more than friends. He sees her as still being a virgin, despite her experiences with other guys. He notes that lying about sex worked for her and Dawson.

Joey flips out, though she has to admit that Pacey’s right. She wants him to see that she’s grown up. Pacey disagrees, saying Joey doesn’t care who he sleeps with. Joey notes that he dated Audrey, so obviously she can’t complain about him seeing other women. She doesn’t get why he’s so upset. Pacey admits that he wishes she’d felt worse about their breakup. Joey hates that he’s being competitive, though Pacey insists he’s just talking about the two of them, and Dawson isn’t involved. She accuses him of worrying about his ego.

Just as Joey’s asking why Pacey wants to revisit the past, the police call back to tell them they’re not a high priority, so they’ll have to wait for rescue. The two of them kill some time browsing, and Joey finds the movie version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the book she’s supposed to be reading for Hetson’s class. Pacey summons her to electronics, where he broadcasts himself on all the TVs to suggest that they make the best of the situation. If she accepts, she can make him do something he doesn’t want to do.

Joey immediately asks for her “something,” directing Pacey to the razors to make him get rid of his beard. (God bless you, Joey Potter.) He pretends to agree, then runs off, making her chase him. He gets away for a while, but she tricks him into coming to her by faking an injury. Then she gets him to shave by threatening to spray shaving cream on his expensive suit. Joey changes into pajamas, then asks Pacey why his beard is so important to him. He thinks it’s contributed to his recent successes in life. She decides to let him keep it.

The two play Battleship (Pacey wins) and Joey asks if he’s happy. She thinks she is, even though there’s nothing special in her life right now. She used to think change was always bad, but now she feels like not knowing what’s coming might be a good thing. Pacey thinks she still likes Eddie. Joey says she did, but he’s in the past. She still wants to know if Pacey’s happy, and he says he has to be, considering the car he drives. He elaborates that he has everything he could want in life, except one thing: nachos.

They eat, tease each other some more, and settle down to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Joey isn’t sure what it says about the American dream. Pacey tells her to just use the words “postmodernist” and “subjectivity” in the same sentence. He gets to choose the next activity, and it happens to be letting him shave his beard. Joey’s very happy to have the real Pacey back. He kisses her, leaving her stunned and confused. He reminds her that she said she was willing to be surprised by the future: “Surprise.”

Joey notes that Pacey doesn’t seem so surprised. He admits that he’s wanted to kiss her all night, even when they were fighting and he was making a date with the other woman. In fact, his desire to kiss her is always there. The two of them being together is the only thing that’s ever made sense to him. Joey isn’t sure how to react, though she’s flattered. And she doesn’t wish he hadn’t said anything. She asks if she can sleep on the information.

The two try to sleep in the camping section but wind up talking about how Joey used to dream that she and Pacey would become castaways during their summer on the boat. They agree that there are a ton of reasons the two of them would never work, but Joey says there’s one reason they would, then goes to his sleeping bag so they can make out. However, she insists it’s only because she’s cold. But she does admit to missing him.

In the morning, a teen employee finds them and gets them moving before anyone else sees them. They pay for their pajamas, the movie, and his razor. The cashier hopes they found everything they were looking for. Pacey says they at least found everything they needed. Joey tells the cashier that the store is perfect the way it is. The once and possibly future lovebirds leave together, bickering as usual.

Thoughts: This episode was brought to you by Kmart and Trojans.

It’s nice to know that Kmart doesn’t make PA announcements or send anyone to check out the bathrooms before they close. And the employees all leave at exactly the same second, without anyone staying to clean or lock up money.

As someone who took a lot of lit courses in college, I can tell you that Pacey’s advice about using “postmodernist” and “subjectivity” in the same sentence is perfect. Probably not for Hetson’s class, though.

What happened to Pacey’s apparent crush on Emma? That came and went really fast.


  1. Allie said,

    Totally unrealistic! I used to work part time at Target, and there are overnight teams every night doing thorough cleanups, price changes, unloading shipments, stocking, etc. in the graveyard shift. Someone could let them out the employee entrance. But I guess that was the plotline du jour, since there was a Natalie Portman movie around the same time where she was locked in Walmart.

    • Cherie said,

      Agreed. Not only is it a ridiculously contrived plot device, it’s definitely unrealistic. I worked at a big box store (not Kmart) for a few years, and not only did the closing crew stay at least an hour after the store closed, but when they finally left they turned on a motion-detecting alarm system. Also, if the police were to come “rescue” you, you would most likely get charged with criminal trespass (at the least!). But I probably shouldn’t get excised over a dumb episode of Dawson’s Creek, so…

  2. Leslie Valinoti said,

    Lol I find it hilarious that the comments are about how unrealistic it is that two characters would get locked up in a store over night considering Dawson’s Creek was never draped in believability in the first place. There’s been many episodes that ask viewers to suspend belief but does anybody really watch this show because it’s 100% true to life and no make believe plots are ever written? Give me a break, it’s freaking soap opera lmao Anyway, this episode is one of my top 5 favorites of Dawson’s Creek. Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson always had incredible chemistry and they’re just a joy to watch. I believe they’re the main reason why Pacey and Joey remain so popular and loved 15 years and counting after the series finale aired. Their relationship is the best thing that’s come from this show in my book and I rewatch all of the seasons mostly for them. Castaways was fun, humorous, sweet and romantic. Enjoyable from beginning to end for me.

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