November 10, 2012
Dawson’s Creek 6.16, That Was Then: “I Wanna Go Back. I Wanna Start Over”
Summary: Pacey tries to find something on TV, looks out his window, and starts to leave. He runs into Joey, who he says he was just on his way to see. Pacey tries to avoid any kind of meaningful conversation, but Joey wants to talk about what happened the last time they talked, when he told her he’s still in love with her.
Joey says that when she was younger and read Choose Your Own Adventure books, she would cheat so she could always get a happy ending. Pacey tells her that they’re not kids anymore, and he can handle whatever decision she makes. He also wants them to be able to be together without thinking about their history. Joey clarifies that he wants a clean slate. She agrees that they’ve changed and they decide to do some thinking. However, she also wants a plan.
On campus, Hetson talks to Joey about wanting to date so he doesn’t die alone. He says Harley’s been “extra-loopy” lately and has put pictures of boys on her ceiling. Joey assures him that Harley’s normal. Hetson would prefer if Harley were more like Joey – especially if it means she didn’t have a boyfriend. Joey warns that if Hetson gets too strict about boys, Harley will rebel. He asks what her high school boyfriend was like. She just says that people change.
Dawson’s at Capeside High to talk to Mr. Gold’s film class. He spent some time preparing by watching his old movies, and now he regrets it. Pacey gets a call at work from his mom and rushes to Capeside, where his father is in the hospital after suffering an arrhythmia. Doug’s annoyed with him for some reason.
Dawson shows Mr. Gold’s students his and Todd’s movie, then takes questions. One of the students, George, is basically a mini-Dawson and asks Dawson to watch his movie. Dawson is freaked out by being called Mr. Leery. In Boston, Joey asks Harley to go easier on her father; otherwise she’ll spend her teen years stuck in the house. After she leaves the room, a guy named Patrick bursts out of Harley’s closet. Joey returns and finds them kissing.
At the hospital, Pacey gets his father a private room, but Doug snipes at him for throwing money around. He’s shaken over having seen Sheriff Witter fall over during breakfast, since neither has seen their father off-guard before. Pacey admits that he forgot that Sheriff Witter has real feelings. (He probably forgot that Doug has real feelings, too.)
Joey questions Harley’s claims that Patrick is her study partner by trying to get them to actually study. Patrick tries to suck up to her, but she knows he’s “harmless” and that his sweet talk is just talk. Back in Capeside, Pacey tries to call Joey but gets her voicemail. Then Doug calls him in to see their father, who regrets that Pacey had to put his life on hold to come see him. However, Sheriff Witter’s happy to see him and wants him to stay, apparently instead of Doug.
Dawson watches George’s movie but doesn’t give an immediate response. George thinks that means he’s going to tear the film apart. Dawson notes that he’s new at this and is having trouble finding profound things to say to film students. He adds that though the movie needs work, George should keep going and trust himself. He’s already learned the things that can’t be taught.
Dawson tells him to remember what it’s like to be able to make a movie about something he loves. George teases that he already seems like a burnout. He liked Creek Daze and thought it had heart, something that can’t be lost. Pacey tries to talk to Sheriff Witter about his help, but Sheriff Witter thinks everyone needs to calm down, especially Doug. He’s more worried about what the time away from the office will do to Pacey’s job. Pacey doesn’t care – he wants to be with his father.
Patrick tries to sweet-talk Joey again, but Harley’s annoyed by his apparent crush. Joey tries to keep the peace, and Harley calls her Helen, as in Helen of Troy. She tears into Patrick for all the annoying things he’s done, and he defends himself by saying he was keeping his options open. Harley tells him to take her off his list of options.
Speaking of people who are annoyed with other people, here’s Doug. Pacey calls him out on being mad that he’s trying to help the family. Doug’s mad that Pacey is only a member of the family when it’s convenient. He brings everyone gifts, pretends to be one of them, and leaves. Pacey says he wants to leave his past as the family failure behind.
Pacey continues that Doug just wants Pacey around so he can remind himself he’s still the good son. Pacey continues that he had to leave town because he hated how their family treated him. He came back to let Sheriff Witter know that he doesn’t hold a grudge. Part of him thinks this crisis might actually be a good thing. Doug tells him to enjoy the situation while it lasts.
Harley locks herself in her room while Patrick tells Joey that he tried to treat Harley normally but felt weird. He’d rather be the funny one because at least it gets her attention. Joey finds that familiar and says that guys are all the same. Then Patrick hits on her again. Joey tells him that Harley’s a great girl, and if she’s smart, she’ll ditch him. She advises him to leave, forget about Joey, and come up with a grand gesture to win Harley back.
Pacey decides to leave the hospital for the night, but first he tells Sheriff Witter that Doug was the one who got him the private room. In Boston, Joey finally gets into Harley’s room and assures her that she has no interest in Patrick. She also thinks Patrick isn’t really interested in her but was just testing things. Harley knows but doesn’t get why he would test something that’s already unstable.
Joey tells Harley that looking back, her problems with Pacey seem small and her issues with Dawson seem “unnecessary.” (Preach it, sister.) Harley wants to know how she can skip all the drama. Joey says she wonders why things are different, like her relationship with Eddie. As a teen, you think everything’s much more important than it is. As an adult, you take a deep breath and give yourself a chance to make mistakes.
Joey advises Harley to listen to Patrick because he might have something to say that changes her mind about him. Harley wonders why Joey didn’t go to California with Eddie if her relationship with him is so different from her failed ones. Joey says it’s about her and what she’s ready for. But she won’t tell Harley what that is.
Instead of going home, Pacey goes to the Leerys’, where he and Dawson are both surprised to see each other. They talk briefly about Sheriff Witter, a conversation with some unspoken subtext about Mitch. Pacey admits to wanting to let someone else take care of the crisis. He feels like he’s been playing the role of who he is now for so long that he forgot how he got there.
Dawson understands, since he got called Mr. Leery today. He tells Pacey about his visit to the film class and how it made him realize that he doesn’t know anything. Pacey gets that. “I wanna go back. I wanna start over,” Dawson says. Pacey wouldn’t mind that, but he’d mostly like to see where things went wrong.
Dawson mentions his failed relationships, which Pacey thinks are good for finding inspiration for his movies. Dawson replies that now that he has distance and can look at those relationships, he can’t afford to make movies. Pacey jokingly says that Dawson’s the kind of person he deals with every day at work. Dawson invites him in for coffee.
Joey goes home to her dorm and calls Pacey, getting his voicemail. She admits that she hasn’t made a decision about them, and she thinks it’s because she’s trying to do it alone. They should work things out together. If she could go back, she would change a lot of things, and she’s glad she has the chance now. Joey promises not to live in the past, instead thinking about the possibilities before them.
Thoughts: Patrick is played by Taylor Handley, Oliver from The O.C., if that means anything to you.
Pacey uses a pay phone and calling card. How cute.
Instead of telling George not to do drugs, Dawson tells him not to do sports. Heh.
I like that Pacey and Dawson didn’t have some big, dramatic reconcialition scene. Three seasons ago, they would have. But the theme of the episode is moving forward and not living in the past, so it makes sense that they would move on from that kind of thing, too.
What did Michelle Williams and Kerr Smith do to deserve all this lack of screentime? At least Michelle was probably doing a movie. Who knows what Kerr did during his time off?