April 15, 2012
Summary: A couple goes to Leery’s Fresh Fish for dinner, but it’s closed due to a death in the family. At home, Dawson washes dishes and takes care of Lily. Later, he picks out a coffin for his father. Joey visits Pacey on his boat to tell him that Mitch is dead. Pacey is stunned and asks how Dawson is. She invites him to come to Capeside with her so they can attend the funeral and be there for Dawson.
At the B&B, Jen and Jack help Grams and Bessie prepare food, and Jen admits to Jack that she’s nervous about seeing Dawson and trying to figure out what to say to him. Jack (who reminds us for the first time in three years that he lost a brother) tells her that Dawson is alone in his grief. Jen will have to figure out her own way to be there for him. Dawson tends to his mother and sister, then reimagines a conversation he and Mitch had on his 12th birthday. It’s when he got his first video camera. “Let the things you love be your escape,” Mitch says.
Joey arrives and Dawson asks her to watch Lily while he goes to the funeral home. She can tell something is off with him. Sometime later, the funeral is held, followed by a reception at the Leerys’. Grams offers to take care of Lily, but Dawson wants to keep her as a buffer for people’s condolences. Gail has sequestered herself upstairs. Dawson waits for Grams to tell him that God “works in mysterious ways,” but Grams admits that she and God aren’t talking right now.
Outside, Joey looks up at Dawson’s window and remembers the first time Mitch set up the ladder for her. In her memory, Mitch tells her that Dawson will eventually figure out how he feels about her. Jen admits to Dawson that she doesn’t know what to say to him; relationship advice is more her speed. Instead, she’s going to give him a big hug, tell him she loves him, and hope it all helps.
Joey goes up to Gail’s room, and Gail tells her she’s worried about Dawson. Joey says that Mitch isn’t really gone since Dawson is so much like him. Even when she was young, she knew Mitch and Gail had something special. Dawson thanks Pacey for coming and they make small talk about their lives. The two reminisce about Mitch catching them smoking when they were in middle school.
A friend of Gail’s asks Dawson how he’s dealing with his grief, pushing him to take the time to channel his feelings. Dawson politely tries to end the conversation as he gets more and more anxious. Suddenly the answering machine clicks on, and it’s Mitch’s voice on the outgoing message. Dawson rips the machine out of the wall, insists he’s fine, and leaves the house.
Joey finds Dawson on a pier and tells him about coming across something of her mother’s a few months after her death, and how much it saddened her. She wants him to let himself be a wreck. Dawson thinks he needs to keep things together so he can take care of Gail. Joey says he can do that and she’ll take care of him.
Dawson says he felt bad for Joey when her mother died, but he never understood what she was going through until now. Everything feels surreal. Dawson also thinks Mitch’s death was his fault. He went to the store to replace the milk Gail used to make Dawson breakfast that morning. Joey tries to convince him that he’s wrong. Dawson remembers that the last thing Mitch said to him was that he was disappointed in him for making a big mistake.
Joey reminds him that Mitch also said he loved him. Dawson knows Mitch loved him, but he hates that his father was disappointed in him the day he died. Dawson agrees that he was acting like a brat. If he’d listened to Mitch, Mitch would have been taking him to the airport instead of going to the store, and he would still be alive.
Grams finds Gail outside the house and tells her she prayed that she would die before her husband; she didn’t think she could live without him. It’s difficult, but she gets by. Until then, there’s a reason for antidepressants. The two women talk about the insanity of loving someone but risking the possibility of being destroyed after losing that person. Grams offers to stick around for a while, but Gail thinks she and Dawson will have to get through their grief on their own.
After the reception, Joey also offers to stay in Capeside, but Dawson wants her to go back to school. Later, Joey and Pacey hang out at the B&B, talking about how he wants to die in a funny way. (Possibility: being run over by a car full of clowns.) Joey tells him how Dawson blames himself for Mitch’s death. Pacey doesn’t get why Dawson wants to drop out of film school, though he quickly figures out the reason. He thinks the two of them should get their shot.
Gail remembers Mitch putting together Dawson’s crib and talking about what he hopes their son will be like. She tells Dawson that she hates that Lily will never know her father. Dawson promises to tell her all about him. Gail breaks down, then assures Dawson that he’ll be able to go back to his life soon. He tells her he doesn’t plan to go anywhere for a while. Gail replies that he doesn’t have to keep himself together; he’s allowed to fall apart. Dawson admits that he doesn’t feel anything.
The next day, Pacey comes back to the Leerys’, remembering getting a driving lesson from Mitch. (He told Mitch his father couldn’t teach him because he had to work.) Pacey wishes his father were around more, and Mitch says he can come to him if he wants to practice some more. Pacey invites Dawson to go for a drive, and they go to the spot where Mitch was killed. Pacey walks Dawson through the accident, which was caused by the other driver, who fell asleep.
Pacey continues that Dawson can grieve, but he shouldn’t blame himself because the accident wasn’t his fault. He should be glad that he got his father for 18 years, which is more than some people get. Mitch made him into a wonderful person who people care about and respect. Pacey’s doing this because he and Dawson used to be best friends. That means Pacey will always be there for him. Dawson almost cries but hides it.
At Worthington, Joey tells Audrey a little about Mitch. She wishes Dawson had let her help, since she understands what he’s going through. She thinks Dawson just wanted her to go away. She cries and Audrey tries to comfort her. Back in Capeside, Dawson and Gail have a silent dinner together, though neither of them eats much. She sees that they’re out of milk and starts to ask Dawson to go get some, then breaks down.
Dawson goes to the market, where the owner gives his condolences. He chatted with Mitch right before his death, and tells Dawson that his father was clearly proud of him. He said Dawson was brave and had a romantic streak, and Mitch was proud to know him. Dawson tries not to react, but once he’s in his car, he starts to sob.
In Boston, Audrey makes Joey leave the dorm, Jen and Jack try to get on with their lives, and Grams looks at old photos. In Capeside, Gail plays with Lily. Joey, Jen, Jack, Pacey, and Audrey have dinner at Pacey’s restaurant, and Joey notes the empty chair at the table. Dawson’s still in the market parking lot, crying, but he pulls himself together and heads home.
There’s one last memory: Mitch taking a family photo before everyone separates for the evening. He’s left alone for a minute, and he takes in everything around him, smiles with satisfaction, and goes inside to be with his family.
Thoughts: I know James Van Der Beek gets a lot of flak for this show and this role, but he’s excellent in this episode. So is Mary-Margaret Humes (Gail), but JVDB is even more impressive since he can only let the feelings show on his face.
If someone came up to me at a funeral, let alone one for a parent, and asked how I was handling my grief, I’d be a lot less polite than Dawson was.
It would have been nice if they’d brought Gretchen back for this episode. I mean nice for Dawson. I couldn’t care less about her.
April 9, 2012
Summary: Joey, Jen, and Audrey have dinner at the restaurant where Pacey now works; they’re even waited on by Karen. Charlie calls Jen, and the other two girls discuss the fact that she’s been very tight-lipped about him. But apparently Jen doesn’t know much about him either. Joey heads to the restroom, passing the kitchen on her way and spotting Pacey inside. Jen admits that she knew he was in Boston but was sworn to secrecy. Joey wants to see him but is sure he doesn’t want to see her.
Dawson crashes at Grams’ house, planning to take the bus to Capeside the next day to tell his parents he’s not going back to California. He’s not sure how to break the news to them. Grams says just to tell the truth. Jack hangs out at Sigma Epsilon, hitting it off with the frat brothers. One of them invites him to play golf on Sunday. However, Jack doesn’t want to pledge the frat. Or at least not until he sees how happy a guy is after accepting a bid.
Karen complains to Pacey about an annoying customer and he complains back about not being allowed to cook. She rags on him for not wearing a chef’s hat. Jen goes by Charlie’s, trying to claim that she’s not going to respond to booty calls all the time. She tries to find out more information on him, noting that they’ve “been whatever” for a week but are still basically strangers. Charlie seems to want to keep it that way. All he’ll say is that he’s from Illinois.
The next day, Dawson returns to Capeside for the first time in months. Oh, and he didn’t tell his parents he was coming. He wastes no time telling them that he’s spent the past week in Boston and won’t be going back to USC. Gail thinks he just needs more time to make friends in California. Dawson says he’s at “a profound crossroads,” and he’ll regret not going to Boston. He already has arrangements to live at Grams’ and enroll in school in Boston. Mitch firmly objects.
In their room, Audrey bugs Joey about the guy she saw at the restaurant the night before. Joey doesn’t want to talk about him, but she admits that she wants to see him. Audrey’s sure Pacey wants to see her, too – she’s “the kind of girl that guys don’t get over.” Joey doesn’t want to make Pacey uncomfortable. Audrey reminds her that no one’s going to grade her on whatever happens. Relationships are messy, so Joey needs to get used to messes.
Jack wakes up on the couch at the Sigma House, having been kept there so he wouldn’t drive drunk. The guys give him an invitation to join the frat, saying they’ll be his family. One says he needs to ask himself if he’s in or out. This prompts Jack to tell them he’s gay. They already figured it out and still think he’s right for Sigma. Then they tell him straight out (heh) that they want him in the frat because the dean wants them to diversify.
Jen’s still with Charlie and still bugging him about not knowing each other well. He assures her that the fact that they mostly just have sex isn’t a big deal. She challenges them to go 12 hours without having sex. Charlie predicts that she’ll crack first. At the restaurant, Pacey calls Karen on her grumpiness, asking her to bond with him over complaining about Danny. She tells him he needs to wear a chef’s hat so he looks good to the customers. Also, she’s mad that he was hired because he’s a guy.
At the Leerys’, Mitch confronts Dawson about making life decisions that revolve around Joey. He’s said for years that he wanted to go to USC, and he worked hard and accomplished his goal. Now he suddenly wants to throw everything away. He can stand at the crossroads, but he needs to choose his own path, not follow Joey down hers. Mitch reminds Dawson that in the real world, as opposed to high school, decisions have consequences.
Dawson knows he has a big choice to make and doesn’t want a lecture, or to live the life Mitch has chosen for him. Mitch gives him tickets to fly back to L.A. and tells him to seize this opportunity because soon it’ll be gone. Later, Gail and Mitch discuss their son and how they miss having him around. Mitch knows their relationship with him is rare. He’s never going to do something that changes the world, but Dawson might.
Jen and Charlie hang out, trying to find ways to distract themselves. They want to see a movie, but Charlie doesn’t like subtitles and Jen does, which is apparently a point of contention for her. Jack tells Grams that he got a big to join Sigma, but Tobey thinks he should turn it down since he’d be a “gay Uncle Tom.” Jack, however, thinks he would fit in there. Grams thinks the issue is bigger for him than it is for the brothers. She’s sure they want him for more than just a quota.
In Capeside, Gail asks Dawson if Joey asked him to stay in Boston. She’s not sure of the status of their relationship; he tells her they’re not together. He’s spent the last few years trying to accomplish goals, but now that he’s fulfilled them all, he’s not sure what to do. Gail reminds him that people change. Dawson needs to make sure staying in Boston will allow him and Joey to keep growing. Is she the person he’s willing to take such a big leap of faith for?
Charlie and Jen play gin and discuss their likes so Jen can find something they have in common. He thinks having sex is enough. He talks her into agreeing, at least for now, and they start to have sex again. He’s out of condoms, so Jen orders him to go find one. Meanwhile, Joey goes to the marina and reunites with Pacey. They make small talk, and then Joey invites Pacey to come to a Sunday dinner at Grams’ sometime. She wouldn’t want him to miss out because of her. She also thinks it might be possible to eventually forget all bad memories and only remember the good ones.
Dawson says goodbye to Gail and Lily, then gives Mitch back the plane tickets. He hopes Mitch doesn’t think he’s making a mistake; he’s trying to be the kind of person Mitch raised him to be. Mitch is still on the mistake side. He’s disappointed but makes sure Dawson knows he will always love him and be there for him.
In Boston, Jen and Charlie break into their college’s health center to steal condoms. Supposedly they’re a gift from a previous class. Jen realizes that Charlie can’t read the sign over the condoms and teases him for being nearsighted. That would explain why he doesn’t want to see a movie with subtitles. Jen’s pleased that she’s finally learned something about him.
Jack tells the Sigma brothers that he doesn’t want to join them just to fill a quota. One of the guys tells him they’re all filling quotas there. Jack may be gay, but he’s the gay guy they want to join them. Jack points out that Tobey will come visit, which could make people uncomfortable. The brother assures him that they’ll welcome Tobey as much as they’ll welcome Jack. Jack decides he’ll join them.
Danny checks on Pacey after he’s spent hours peeling and slicing potatoes for chips. He approves, then dumps them all out – he doesn’t serve chips. He just wants Pacey to learn so he can trust him to work with really expensive white truffles. Danny says Karen has more motivation and discipline than Pacey, and she wanted Pacey’s job. Danny would rather teach him than hire her.
Joey returns from her marina visit to find Dawson waiting for her. He’s still uncertain about the decisions he’s made. She tells him there’s no right or wrong, just consequences. (She heard this from a sociology professor.) They head out to get coffee, talking about Capeside. Joey comments that you can never go home again.
Back in Capeside, Mitch gets ice cream and sings along to “Drift Away” as he drives home. He drops the ice cream, and when he leans over to pick it up, he swerves into oncoming traffic. And that’s how Mitch died one of the most ridiculous deaths on TV.
Thoughts: When I first heard about this episode (I’d stopped watching when it first aired), all I could think was, “…What?” Killing Mitch off was just so random. And also depressing, since Dawson was the only character on the show who actually had a good relationship with his parents. Also, dying reaching for ice cream? Pathetic.
Just sleep together already, Pacey and Karen.
Uh, whose boat is Pacey living on? Does that person know he’s living there?
How are Pacey and Joey totally okay now? They had this horrible break-up, didn’t talk forever, and now they’re suddenly fine. I wish break-ups were actually like that in real life.
If Danny’s restaurant is nice enough to serve truffles, how could the girls afford dinner there?
March 31, 2012
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….
March 25, 2012
Summary: The Capeside High seniors (minus Pacey) are gathered at the school for a run-through of their upcoming graduation ceremony. Joey won an award and gets to give a speech, which she hasn’t finished yet. Principal Peskin warns anyone thinking of pulling a prank (cough Drue cough) not to: “Security will be tighter than Ricky Martin’s pants.” Pacey arrives late for rehearsal, but Mitch tells him his graduation depends on how well he does on his last final. Since he might not be walking, he has to leave the rehearsal.
Doug follows Pacey as he heads home and expresses genuine sympathy over his situation. He offers to help Pacey study for his lit final. Pacey thinks the school should just let him graduate so they don’t have to put up with him anymore. Joey laments to Dawson that she and Pacey aren’t friends anymore; she knows he needs help but isn’t sure how to offer it. Dawson encourages her to let Pacey know she cares.
Tobey wants to have A Talk with Jack about what they mean to each other. He’s a little hurt that Jack won’t call him his boyfriend. Jack promises to say it at the appropriate time. Tobey’s also worried that “she” won’t like him, though “she” isn’t named. That night, Drue pulls a Joey, climbing a ladder to Jen’s bedroom window. He and his mother had a fight stemming from the news that his father won’t be attending his graduation. Jen lets him spend the night on her floor.
Pacey’s lit final is the next day, and it starts off badly with his pencil breaking. His teacher, Mr. Kasdan, taunts him for being unprepared. Pacey calls him on the comment, saying that his pencil breaking doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. He’s been working hard to graduate, but Mr. Kasdan hasn’t been helpful. Pacey’s not even sure why he’s bothered to try so hard for someone who doesn’t appreciate it. Instead of taking the test, he leaves.
Joey finds Pacey after school and asks what he plans to do. Pacey’s resigned to not graduating, but Joey wants him to figure things out. He points out that she’s no longer in his life to help him. He adds that he still loves her and probably will for a long time, but he can’t just be friends with her. Pacey wants to move on, which means not being around Joey. Joey asks about being friends after some time, but Pacey doesn’t want to think about the future.
At home, Joey works on her speech with no success. She tells Bessie about her unsuccessful attempt to help Pacey. Bessie gives her a letter their mother wrote to Joey just before she died. Joey needs some time before she reads it. Tobey accompanies Jack to the airport to pick up Andie, who has no idea who Tobey is. Jack picks this time to refer to Tobey as his boyfriend.
Jen comes home to find Drue in the kitchen with Grams, who’s invited him to spend another night if he’ll help them pack for their move. Drue wants Jen to take a “detour” with him that night before they go to a senior party. Joey stops by the Leerys’ with her mother’s letter, which she hasn’t been able to open. She can’t forget how her mother was in the last days of her illness. Dawson agrees to read the letter for her.
The letter congratulates Joey on graduating from high school and asks her to be proud of her family. She’s sure Bessie will take good care of her. Lillian knows that Joey will be a woman just like the girl she was as a child. Wherever Joey ends up, she should have happy memories of her life in Capeside, and she should always remember how much people from her childhood love her. After Dawson finishes the letter, the two of them sit in silence. That evening, everyone heads to the senior party, where Dawson and Joey reunite with Andie.
Mr. Kasdan goes to Pacey’s house and asks if he studied for his lit final. Pacey confirms this. Mr. Kasdan assures him that he’s not an idiot or a punchline – he’s why Mr. Kasdan teaches. The honors students will forget Mr. Kasdan as soon as they leave school, but Pacey won’t. He gives Pacey the exam and allows him to take it at home. Jen and Drue head to the school and reset the sprinklers so they’ll turn on during the graduation ceremony. They’re caught red-handed by Principal Peskin and a security guard.
At the party, Andie tells Dawson she’s sorry he and Gretchen broke up. He’s okay, which surprises him, since his last breakup didn’t go nearly as well. Dawson says that Joey was his first love but Gretchen was his first relationship, and she showed him what it’s like to truly love someone. Andie hopes someone will look back on her like that, and Dawson’s sure someone does. In fact, that someone has just arrived at the party after taking his last exam. Principal Peskin takes Jen and Drue to his house and makes them listen to him play the cello (badly).
Andie tells Pacey she’s sorry about what happened between him and Joey, but he assures her he’s okay. He wants to know what it was like for her to live on her own. She says that after some time in Italy, she realized that leaving Capeside wasn’t an end. Pacey tells her about his offer to spend the summer on a yacht, which he’s thinking about taking. He adds that he passed his last final but doesn’t feel like he needs to tell his friends about it to feel good. He wanted to share the news with Andie because she was the first person in his life to tell him he could be more than he was.
Joey and Pacey finally meet up, and he tells her he was “thinking about tomorrow.” He thinks he needs to go off and life his own life for a while. However, he doesn’t want things between them to end here. Pacey wonders what would happen if he one day asked a hypothetical woman he loved to come sailing with him. “You wouldn’t have to ask,” Joey replies. He tells her he’ll see her later.
The next morning, Pacey arrives at the school before everyone else to celebrate his graduation on his own. Bessie puts lipstick on Joey and asks if she read the letter. Joey doesn’t want to go into details since both of them will end up crying, so she just says that Lillian was right about Bessie doing a good job of taking care of her. Bessie’s sorry that Joey didn’t get to have a mom, but Joey says she had two.
Mitch and Gail give Dawson a watch inscribed with, “If you will, it is no dream.” Mitch’s friends have warned that Dawson is in for a tough road if he wants to make movies, but Mitch always tells them that they don’t know his son. Dawson thanks his parents for being awesome. Doug congratulates Pacey on his graduation and upcoming summer adventures. Pacey admits that he’s always looked up to Doug and thinks that one day he’ll make a woman very happy (though not sexually).
As everyone gathers for graduation, Andie tells Jack that for the first time in a long time, she’s very happy. He guesses that that means she’s planning to stay in Italy. She confirms that she’s deferring Harvard for a year to continue the life she’s made for herself. Grams laughs at Jen over her musical punishment, which she thinks was bad enough that Jen doesn’t need anything else. Besides, she’s too proud of Jen to do anything negative.
Dawson gets Joey to loosen up by making jokes about everyone’s graduation robes. Sometime into the ceremony, it’s time for her speech, which starts off talking about how everyone there feels the same right now. Joey continues that there are people in her life who are now gone but still with her in her heart. In time, they’ll only be memories to each other, either good or bad, and those memories will make them who they are. They need to remember each other and take Capeside with them.
Drue checks his watch, and the sprinklers go off right on schedule. The kids toss their caps early as Pacey heads off for his summer early.
Thoughts: Hey, everyone, it’s Andie! Remember Andie? Who used to be on this show? And who’s been mentioned maybe twice since she left? Yeah, that girl!
This is Drue’s last episode, which makes me very sad. But I will keep my memories of him in my heart, and he will always be with me.
I love that Joey told Dawson that her mother wrote the letter before she died. Otherwise this would be a very different show.
I can’t believe that with all the talk in this episode of people remembering people, they didn’t play Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” during the ceremony. On the other hand, I can’t really complain about them playing Eva Cassidy’s version of “Fields of Gold.” I love Eva Cassidy.
So Peskin and the security guard caught Drue messing with the sprinkler system but didn’t check to see what he did? Nice securing, security.
March 17, 2012
Summary: Jen wants to know all about Jack and Tobey’s love life, as they’re planning to go on another date. Drue gives them their yearbooks and shows them the “class couple” photo of Joey and Pacey. Jen and Jack wonder if they’ve seen it yet and if they’re talking. Drue wonders if anyone other than them cares. (I love you, Drue.) They don’t think Joey and Pacey have even talked since prom, and Dawson and Gretchen probably haven’t either. Jack says the latter couple is less likely to get back together than the former couple. Drue proposes a bet.
Dawson finishes up his Mr. Brooks movie before sending it off to USC. Gail asks if he’s okay with how he and Gretchen left things, telling him she gave notice at the restaurant and is leaving town. Since she didn’t tell Dawson, he figures she doesn’t want him to know. Gail suggests that he ask her to sign his yearbook, which is possibly the dumbest thing she’s ever said. Pacey gets Gretchen’s car ready for her trip and asks if she’s talked to Dawson. They note that they would probably feel better if they dealt with their exes, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually going to.
Jen is stunned to find a Realtor in her house, showing people around. Grams never mentioned that she’s selling the house. At the yacht club, Joey runs into Mr. Kubelik, the advisor from her future college, and he asks after Pacey. He and the dean have an offer for him. This means Joey will have to bring him to a party the next night. Jen confronts Grams about selling the house, which she thinks is necessary so Grams can afford her tuition. Grams confirms this, but announces that she also plans to move to a retirement community.
Dawson stops by the restaurant and actually asks Gretchen to sign his yearbook. He’s upset that she was going to leave without saying goodbye. She’s decided to go back to college, and will leave the day after tomorrow to take a little road trip before classes start. Dawson’s stunned that it’s happening so fast. Gretchen asks to keep his yearbook for a little while so she can think about what she wants to write in it.
Joey goes to the beach house and relays Mr. Kubelik’s message to Pacey. Pacey blurts that he misses her, and she says she misses him, too. He doesn’t think they’re supposed to end up like this. Joey asks him to go to the party with her, and he accepts. The next day, Gretchen advises Pacey not to go, though he notes that a woman who’s running away from her problems isn’t the best source of advice. He wants a sign, and if he gets an offer to go to Worthington, he’ll know he’s supposed to be with Joey. He tells Gretchen how glad he is that she came home this year.
Grams takes Jen to visit the retirement community she wants to move to. Grams gets lectured about not having a pass to get in. Mitch watches Dawson’s movie, which he loves, and says he’s sure USC will beg Dawson to join their film program. Mitch thinks Dawson and Mr. Brooks were alike because of the way they went after what they wanted. He thinks Mr. Brooks was an inspiration, and Dawson starts to see the same thing.
As Pacey picks Joey up for the party, Jen tells Grams there’s no way she’s moving to the retirement community. It’s too big of a sacrifice. Grams sees it as a gift instead. Jen wishes she’d applied for loans instead of letting Grams spend all her money on her tuition. She announces that she’s not going to Boston and she’s not letting Grams sell the house. At the party, Joey and Pacey try to pretend that they’re totally okay being there together.
Dawson goes to the beach house and tells Gretchen he wants to go with her. If he doesn’t, he’ll always wonder what could have happened if they hadn’t let everything else (college, Joey, etc.) get in the way. He wants to go off together and see what happens. Gretchen notes that he hasn’t gone to graduation yet, but Dawson doesn’t see the point. She still thinks the idea is crazy; that’s what appeals to him. He kisses her and tells her to just say yes. She does.
Dawson goes back home to write a goodbye letter to his parents, but he has to stop to watch Lily. Since he has no friends, apparently, he has to talk to a baby about his issues. He’s tired of putting his happiness aside for everyone else. Pacey meets Worthington’s dean of admissions, who’s chartering Mr. Kubelik’s yacht for the summer. The men want Pacey to work as a deckhand. Pacey’s disappointed that that was the offer they wanted to extend to him.
Jen shares her new plan with Jack: go to a state college for a year or two to save up money, then transfer to Boston Bay College to be with Jack. She points out that Grams took her in and took care of her, so Jen can’t turn her back. Jack admires her selflessness, but also thinks it’s pretty convenient since now she won’t have to leave Capeside. He knows she’s scared because she’s leaving the only place where she’s only felt safe, as well as the only person who’s ever taken care of her.
Pacey tells Joey about the yacht offer, and she decides it’s time for them to leave. He thinks she should stay since she’s so comfortable with the people she’s about to spend the next four years with. This is her life now, and she needs to enjoy it. Joey says she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it without him and leads him off.
Gretchen stops by the Leerys’, where Dawson has enjoyed spending the evening alone with his new sister. He wonders if Lily and Alexander will wind up with a Dawson/Joey friendship. Gretchen asks about Dawson’s goodbye letter, but he’s still working on it. She notes that his letter to Joey will be even harder to write. She heads back to the beach house to finish packing and cleaning. He wishes her luck and they kiss goodbye. Pacey takes Joey home, but she wants to spend the night at his house.
In the morning, Grams asks Jen if Jack talked her out of her plans. Jen pretends she doesn’t want to talk about it, then asks Grams if she’d like to move to Boston. Grams doesn’t want Jen to change things for her. Jen admits that she’s scared to go to school away from home, so if Grams is there, she’ll feel better. Grams has no idea what she would do in Boston. Jen says a change of scenery might inspire her.
Joey finds Pacey at the marina and apologizes for making him go to the party. He tells her that nothing that’s happened is her fault, including their breakup (though that’s not what he said at the prom). He feels horrible for blaming her for his insecurities and making her feel guilty for her accomplishments. Pacey’s proud of her and wishes he’d shown it. He admits that at the party, he was jealous of all the people who will get to spend next year with Joey. She thinks what happened was a sign.
Dawson packs but is clearly unsure of his decision. He goes to the beach house to meet Gretchen but instead finds his yearbook, which includes a photo of him and Gretchen, plus her message. She wrote that as much as she needs to leave, he needs to stay. He also needs to say a proper goodbye to this chapter of his life. Gretchen’s already in love with Dawson and doesn’t need a road trip to know it. He’ll never know how much he means to her. Joey and Dawson wind up by the water together and ask about each other’s weeks, but neither elaborates on what happened. She asks what he’s doing this summer. “This,” he replies.
Thoughts: Asking your college-age girlfriend to sign your high school yearbook is about as lame as you can get.
Why are they throwing a party in Capeside for freshmen at a college in Boston? How many Capeside students got into Worthington? Do they do this in every city with freshmen going to Worthington? Why am I thinking about this so much?
Work on a yacht sailing around islands for the summer? Say yes, Pacey.
I take it Mr. Brooks didn’t leave Grams any money? Boo.
March 6, 2012
Summary: Mitch and Gail are about to go on their last date before the baby comes. (Going on a date when you’re two weeks overdue is probably not a good idea.) Gail announces that she’s going into labor, so Mitch rushes her to the hospital, leaving Dawson and Gretchen behind at the house. However, it turns out to be a false alarm. Because of Gail’s age, the doctor wants to induce labor in a few days. This gives the family a little longer to decide on a name.
Jack shows up late to tutor with Tobey, who he’s getting along with much better. Meanwhile, Joey’s trying to get in touch with Pacey, who’s off on a fishing trip with Doug. Bessie tells her she’s officially an annoying girlfriend. Dawson tells Gretchen that Gail’s throwing a naming shower the next afternoon; Gretchen’s leaving the next day for a job interview in Boston. Dawson’s surprised by the news. She asks how he feels about long-distance relationships, noting that he could always move to Boston, too. He feels like they’re breaking up, but she says they’re facing reality.
Jack offers to stay behind with a student so Tobey can leave early. Tobey waits for a bus with two shady-looking guys. Joey goes to the beach house, anxious about Pacey being out of touch, and Gretchen admits that he’s not on a fishing trip. She tells Joey about his arrest and explains that Doug took Pacey camping so they could talk. Gretchen’s worried that Pacey’s life will completely fall apart if everyone isn’t extra sensitive. Joey still wants to talk to him. Gretchen calls her selfish, but Joey explains herself: She’s late.
Jen and Grams attend Gail’s shower, so if Gail goes into labor there, at least one person will be able to deliver the baby. Gretchen arrives next and Dawson is a little more supportive of her possible new job. Joey and Bessie are next to show up, and Gretchen tries to check on Joey, who clearly hasn’t shared her news with anyone else. Grams kicks Dawson and Mitch out so the women can party on their own.
Jack goes back to the tutoring center, where the kids are going wild because Tobey hasn’t shown up. Grams does that string trick to determine the sex of the baby, telling Gail it’s just what she wants. Bessie’s name suggestions are Sophie and Satchel. Dawson and Mitch hang out in a treehouse with cigars, which they don’t actually smoke. Mitch admits that he’s not completely looking forward to taking care of a newborn. It took Dawson calling him Daddy to make him really enjoy parenthood. Dawson thinks they can wait until the baby’s born to decide on a name.
Jen shares her baby name suggestions: Emma and Jackson (as in Pollack). Gretchen likes Kurt (as in Cobain) and Isabella. Grams suggests Rosemary and Thomas. Dawson and Mitch talk about Gretchen’s possible move; Mitch wonders if she’s doing it because Dawson’s going to California. He advises Dawson to follow his own path because you never know what will happen. Joey couldn’t think of baby names, but she brought Gail that stupid necklace Dawson used to wear all the time.
Bessie brings up Joey’s birth, which lasted for hours and ended when their mother, Lillian, called out that everyone was waiting to meet Joey. Joey can’t take it anymore and leaves. Jack goes to Tobey’s house but Tobey won’t open the door, saying he has the flu. He’s really trying to hide the injuries he sustained when the shady-looking guys beat him up. Jack encourages him to go to the police, but Tobey refuses.
Bessie asks what’s going on with Joey, quickly guessing that she might be pregnant. Bessie wants Joey to talk to her so they can straighten out her life. Joey shoots back that she’ll wind up with a life like Bessie’s. Bessie accuses her of thinking she’s superior, noting that at least she has Bodie to help her out, while Joey can’t depend on Pacey. The fight is interrupted when Gail goes into labor.
Dawson, Mitch, and Gretchen accompany Gail to the hospital while Jack visits Jen, who’s knitting something for the baby. He tells her about Tobey’s attack, which Jack thinks was actually a gay-bashing, not a mugging. He’s surprised that the usually-militant Tobey doesn’t want to take action. Jen thinks Jack shouldn’t just brush Tobey’s silence aside.
Apparently Dawson thinks a hospital hallway is a good place to have a conversation with Gretchen about their future. He also wants to know why she wouldn’t sleep with him on the beach in Maine. She points out that getting closer right now, when they’re about to move across the country from each other, is a bad idea. Mitch informs them that Gail’s labor was another false alarm, so everyone heads back home.
Joey goes back to the beach house, not knowing where else to go. Gretchen thinks Pacey would be a good parent; it’s himself he can’t take care of. She encourages Joey to talk to Bessie since she’ll need her family if she turns out to be pregnant. She tells Joey about her miscarriage the year before, admitting that it’s what brought her back to Capeside. Joey notes that she’s been successful since then, asking if Dawson’s going to Boston with her. She tells Gretchen that Dawson would do anything for her, but Gretchen doesn’t want him to get closer when he’s about to leave.
Gail thinks she’s in labor for real, but Mitch and Dawson have been burned enough times not to freak out. Jack returns to Tobey’s house with a police officer and tells Tobey to file a report. Tobey just wants to forget the attack ever happened. The officer tells him that the odds are in his favor because gay kids are more likely to be attacked. He encourages Tobey to speak out since most kids aren’t brave enough.
Mitch is still anxious about having another child, but there’s not much he can do about it now. Joey returns home, having spent the night at the beach house, and Bessie admits to pushing her out of her crib when she was little. She hated Joey when she was a baby because she no longer had their mother to herself. Joey admires Bessie for taking on motherhood instead of running away, as well as taking care of her sister. She hopes she has Bessie’s courage if she winds up needing it. Bessie promises her support.
Jack pushes Tobey to go to the tutoring center instead of hiding out in his house. Tobey’s surprised to see him as an activist. Jack says the two of them aren’t as different as he used to think they were. If he’d left before Tobey, their positions could be reversed. Joey finally takes a pregnancy test, and it’s negative. Later, she goes to the hospital with Bessie, Jen, and Grams, but the baby still hasn’t been born.
Dawson asks Joey if she and Pacey have discussed the future yet. He encourages them to since it has a way of making things clear. Joey thinks he and Gretchen should discuss things, adding that sex isn’t what she expected it to be. It doesn’t necessarily bring people closer. It’s a magnifying glass that highlights what a relationship is really like.
The sex talk has to end because the baby’s there, and Dawson goes in to meet his new sister. Gail tells everyone that she used Lillian’s trick to get the baby to come out, calling the baby by name. She and Mitch are naming their daughter Lillian. That night, Pacey finally gets in touch with Joey, but she assures him that everything’s fine. She doesn’t tell him about her pregnancy scare and he doesn’t tell her he’s not really fishing with Doug.
Gretchen’s waiting for Dawson when he gets home, having decided to take a later train so they can get it on. She reminds him that there’s no hope for them, and he says he knows they might as well just break up now, but they proceed anyway. (And fortunately, we don’t have to see any of it.)
Thoughts: I’m pretty sure most doctors induce if you’re two weeks overdue. And if the doctor’s that concerned about Gail’s age, why not just do it?
I get not choosing a name until the baby’s born, but did Mitch and Gail not even have any ideas?
I hate when TV characters freak out about possible pregnancies before taking a test. And I especially hate it when they keep putting off the test but remind us every five minutes that they might be pregnant. It’s especially bad on soaps.
The gay-bashing story would have been better if Jack had been the one who was attacked. Tobey’s only been in a few episodes and he’s not all that likable; it would have been smarter to have the story center on a character the audience actually cares about.
I’ll give them Lillian Leery, which sounds nice, but Lily Leery is really unfortunate.
December 30, 2011
Summary: It’s morning at Capeside High, and everyone’s tired and going through the motions until a student yells for everyone to go to the pool. When they arrive, they find a golden retriever on a sailboat that has “class of 2001” painted on the sail. Everyone’s amused except Principal Peskin – it’s his boat and dog. The dog, Chester, jumps off the boat and goes straight to Jack, making Peskin think the dog knows him.
Later that morning, five students are summoned to the principal’s office, including Dawson, Pacey, and Jack. After some time, those three are narrowed down as the three most likely suspects. Peskin and Mitch interrogate the guys, noting that Dawson has access to Mitch’s school keys, Pacey has access to boat storage, and Chester knew Jack. Peskin wants to know where Jack was the previous morning.
Jack flashes back to visiting Jen to tell her that she’s allowed to fulfill her community service by helping him coach his soccer team. She isn’t game, but Jack convinces her by telling her how much he’s been struggling since Andie left. After Jen agrees to help, Jack heads off to meet Drue at a hardware store.
Peskin next asks Pacey about his activities the day before. They involve making out with Joey outside the police station before spending the day with Doug. Dawson gets the good cop/bad cop treatment next, as Mitch remembers that Dawson left before him. Gail takes Dawson to Mr. Brooks’ and asks him to find Mitch’s keys, which Dawson may have misplaced. Mr. Brooks wants Dawson to do some organizing, but Dawson asks for money since he’d already repaid his boat debt.
At the hardware store, Jack and Drue get paint for a school project and net for a soccer goal. Drue notes that Jack is pretty selfless. Pacey and Doug get donuts (of course) while Dawson works in Mr. Brooks’ study. He finds Mr. Brooks’ high school yearbook and learns that he wanted to be a filmmaker.
Mitch brings up an old pact Dawson and Pacey made in the ninth grade after a particularly lame senior prank. Dawson notes that he and Pacey aren’t friends right now, so he wouldn’t have done anything. He’s not sure about Pacey, though. In flashback, Jack and Jen work with the soccer team, and Jack offers Molly the goalie position. She doesn’t want it. Jen says Molly reminds her of herself as a kid; they’d rather avoid embarrassment than be stars.
Peskin notes that Pacey is the only senior with access to the warehouse where his boat was kept. Pacey agrees to describe all of his actions during the time in question, warning that they won’t be interesting. Indeed, he’s with Doug the whole time, monitoring drivers’ speeds and questioning Doug’s life choices.
In flashback, Gretchen picks Dawson up from Mr. Brooks’; the man tells him to come back in three hours or he’ll forfeit his payment. Between soccer practice and a game, Jack keeps working on getting Molly to agree to play goalie. He convinces her to take the position to get respect from a boy who keeps messing with her. Molly’s totally aware of the manipulation but doesn’t care.
When Gretchen takes Dawson home, Drue’s there waiting for him, wanting to thank Dawson for loaning him money at the movie theater, then eating dinner with him. Drue’s happy to have made a friend in Capeside. He also has Mitch’s keys, which Dawson left in his car. Drue tells Dawson that what goes around comes around, and Dawson says that’s true.
Pacey and Doug look for a lost dog as Pacey mentions again that Doug’s job isn’t exactly wonderful. Doug tells him that if Pacey ever loves anything as much as Doug loves his job, he’ll be surprised. Peskin notes that Pacey was looking for the same dog he’s suspected of taking. He adds that a new detail has come into play: Dawson and Pacey’s pact. Pacey thinks Dawson has implicated him to cover for himself.
Peskin still thinks the person who broke into the school had a key, but Dawson notes that he was witch Mitch all night. After talking to Drue, Dawson returns to Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks fires him for going off with Gretchen. Dawson tells him that just because he’s alone doesn’t mean he can take his loneliness out on Dawson. Mr. Brooks kicks him out.
Jack tells Mitch and Peskin that he spent the previous evening at his soccer team’s first playoff game. In flashback, a bunch of fathers approach him to tell him they disagree with his decision to make Molly goalie. One of the fathers reminds Jack that they kept quiet when his sexuality was revealed. If Molly loses the game for them, Jack loses his job.
Doug makes Pacey ride in the back of his car, supposedly as punishment for not being able to find Chester (or at least that’s what Pacey tells Mitch). He’s actually there so a blind man named Mike can ride up front as Doug takes him grocery shopping. Now Pacey doesn’t see Doug’s job in quite the same light.
Dawson goes back to Mr. Brooks’ house and reveals that he saw that Mr. Brooks wanted to be a filmmaker. He doesn’t want to turn out like Mr. Brooks, and he doesn’t want either of them to be alone. He plans to finish the job he was hired for. Jack’s team wins the game despite Molly failing to block three goals. One of the parents tells Jack that those goals could count against them if they tie their next game. Jack’s being removed as the team’s coach.
Pacey does wind up at the boatyard, but he’s with Doug. They find Drue there, having been sent by his mother to report a missing boat. Doug notes that Drue could have taken the boat. Neither can prove anything, so Drue just leaves. Pacey follows him to get a ride home, telling Doug (who reminds Pacey that he hates Drue) he’s trying to be a better person. Pacey tells Mitch and Peskin that he went straight home and went to bed. They let him go.
Before he leaves, Pacey says that he doesn’t think Dawson was behind the prank. Dawson says the same about Pacey, thinking he wouldn’t want to jeopardize his already tenuous academic standing. Once all the guys are gone, Peskin tells Mitch that he knows who was responsible for the prank. Drue gets called into the office, along with his mother, and Peskin goes through what he thinks happened.
Drue (with Jack) purchased the same kind of paint that was used on the boat sail. He returned Mitch’s keys, possibly after copying one to the school. He was also in the boatyard around the time the boat was taken. He was in three suspicious places at three suspicious times, and had the means, motive, and opportunity to do everything. Mrs. Valentine says she should have known about Drue’s conniving ways after “last year’s ferret incident.”
Mrs. Valentine suggests a week’s suspension as punishment. Peskin ups it to two weeks, plus probation for the rest of the year. He knows Drue’s history and will keep an eye on him. As he cleans out his locker, Drue tells Joey to let his friends know that he admires what they did, and wants her to deliver a message: “Touché.” He admits that karma finally caught up with him.
Pacey stops by the police station to thank Doug for letting him ride along with him the day before. He thinks Doug’s job really is more important than anything Pacey will ever do. He helps people and scares kids out of driving crazy. Doug doesn’t think Pacey’s cut out to be a cop, but calls him a “daring original.” He has a talent for breaking the rules, and Doug admires that. Pacey’s surprised to hear that.
Dawson tells Gretchen that Mr. Brooks has gotten him thinking, and he’s trying to find out if Mr. Brooks became a filmmaker. She suggests some nicknames he might have used and he teases her about them. But he does find an A.I. Brooks who made a number of movies. Molly’s sister brings her by Jack’s house to tell him she’s sorry she got him fired. He tells her he was fired because the fathers don’t like who he is. They both need to ignore people who act like that.
Joey goes over to the Leerys’, where Mitch tells her to tell Dawson that he knows, and congratulations. Joey finds Dawson and Pacey throwing away a bunch of stuff in Dawson’s room. Jack climbs up, sans ladder, and Joey realizes that the three of them worked together on the prank. The guys remind her that they all had alibis and Drue was the obvious culprit. However, Dawson runs down how they could have hypothetically pulled it off.
That night, Pacey and Dawson go to the woods to bury the evidence of their part in the prank. Pacey feels like something is now right that hasn’t been right for a long time. He and Dawson agree that becoming friends again isn’t that simple. Pacey admits that Dawson saying he could never trust him again was one of the worst moments of his life. Dawson replies that his worst moment was seeing Pacey and Joey on his back porch.
Pacey wonders if Dawson will ever be able to trust him again. Dawson says he’d like to believe he will. Pacey replies that he’s not ready to give up on him. “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just kill each other,” Dawson notes. (That might not be the best thing to say to someone when you’re both holding shovels.)
Thoughts: This episode was surprisingly clever, especially for this show. I like the idea of Dawson and Pacey putting their problems aside to bring vengeance to Drue.
Peskin is played by Harry Shearer of The Simpsons and This is Spinal Tap. Interesting casting choice.
“Wait until I’m 17 and hot. He’ll regret messing with me.” Rock on, Molly.
I wish I cared more about the soccer storyline, but alas, I don’t, and nothing can make me.
I wonder if the ferret incident is anything like the noodle incident.
December 26, 2011
Summary: Andie wants to guide Jen through the college-application process, suggesting that they start with schools in New York, thinking Jen wants to go back there. Jen thinks Drue has been talking to her. Andie confirms that Drue told her about he and Jen would go out partying a lot. Jack brings Andie a letter from Harvard, but she thinks it’s bad news since it’s small. Fortunately, she got accepted early.
Gretchen runs into Dawson at a music store, where they learn about an upcoming rave. She thinks it would be nice to “let loose” and have fun. Dawson is cynical, of course, knowing it’s not something he would enjoy. Gretchen tells him she wants to expose him to new experiences as part of their friendship. He asks for a rain check. Meanwhile, Pacey complains to Joey about how boring Capeside is; she suggests they rob some banks. She sees Dawson and Gretchen together and is totally not jealous at all.
Mr. McPhee gives Andie his old Harvard sweater as Jack teases him about the school’s snootiness. The three family members are finally getting along well. Jack tells his sister not to freak herself out, but Andie is disturbed by the fact that she doesn’t feel freaked out – or anything, really. She thinks her medication is keeping her from feeling anything intense. Jack tells her about the rave that night and suggests that they go out to celebrate.
In the school computer lab, Jen receives an email invitation from Drue, who reminds her that she used to love partying. He thinks she’s been in Capeside so long that she’s deprived herself from anything fun. Drue continues that he went back for the Ecstasy he gave her, but it was gone. Jen tells him that if he wants to screw up her life, he’ll have to try harder. Drue thinks she wants to feel good again. He encourages her to take the drugs and go to the rave.
At home, Dawson finds Gail and Mitch dancing in the kitchen with a celebratory dinner nearby. They’ve decided to keep the baby. Dawson’s thrilled for them. Joey and Gretchen get ready for the rave together, Gretchen encouraging Joey to give it a chance. Pacey thinks it’ll just be a longer version of a high school dance. Dawson arrives to get Gretchen, so now everything’s awkward. Jen tells Andie that they first have to go to a “map point” (and possibly exchange an egg). Andie catches her bringing Drue’s Ecstasy with her.
On the way to the rave, Joey notices that Dawson and Gretchen are getting along well. Jen tells Andie about the times she took Ecstasy before going to raves in New York. It made her happy and gave her a vacation from her problems. Andie doesn’t see the downside. Jen tells her the high lasts for six hours and leaves you more depressed afterward. She stopped taking it because she no longer knew who she was.
Andie looks at the pills, admitting that getting into Harvard hasn’t made her as happy as she thought it would. She’s tired of talking about her feelings – tonight she just wants to have fun. She’s sure she’ll feel happy soon. Jack meets up with the girls, and Andie is unable to give the pills back to Jen without him seeing. Dawson and Gretchen go to the map point to get directions to the rave as Joey and Pacey discuss their friendship. Pacey’s suspicious of it.
Dawson and Gretchen get passes to the rave and are told to “follow the Yellow Brick Road.” Gretchen asks if he’s really okay with being with Joey and Pacey. He tells her Mitch and Gail are having the baby after all, so he’s in a good mood. He’s happy he got to share the news with Gretchen. She tells him about the benefits of having a younger sibling. Dawson thanks her for sharing her own experiences and putting things into perspective.
Jack, Andie, and Jen reach the rave, and Jack runs off to have fun. Andie assures Jen that she’s feeling better…and she “sort of” took a pill. She thinks she deserves to have a great night. She asks Jen not to say anything to Jack. Drue is surprised to see Dawson, Joey, and Pacey at the rave. The gang meets up and everyone congratulates Andie on getting into Harvard. Drue teases Joey as Pacey hugs Andie. Gretchen asks who Drue is; Dawson asks if she ever met Abby Morgan.
Andie’s already tripping when the kids enter the rave. “Petting Joey – not a good way to maintain a low profile,” Jen warns her. She tells Andie to stick by her side so Jen can keep an eye on her. But moments later, Drue takes Andie away to dance, so that didn’t last long. Gretchen tells Joey she’s sorry Dawson’s arrival was a blindside, since he originally said he wouldn’t come. Joey’s okay with it. She asks if there’s something more than friendship between Gretchen and Dawson. Gretchen’s oblivious to Dawson’s feelings, thinking he’d rather have Joey back.
Drue can tell Andie’s high, and he assures her that he’s a better babysitter than Jen. Pacey goes outside to get away from the music and crowd, asking Joey why they even came. She reminds him that they wanted to try something new. He says it just makes him appreciate the old. Joey also thinks something’s bugging him. Pacey admits that he misses True Love.
Gretchen confronts Dawson about his possible feelings for her, but he denies that there’s anything there other than friendship. He doesn’t think either of them is ready for anything else to happen. He notes that when Joey and Pacey left last summer, he lost two good friends, so he’s just trying to make some new ones. Andie tells Pacey and Joey that they’re great together, and that Joey’s really nice, except for the time when she dumped Dawson for Pacey. She adds that Pacey is the love of her life, but Joey doesn’t need to worry because Pacey’s over her.
Jen goes looking for Andie, and Jack is no help in the search since he’s too busy having fun. Andie and Drue join Dawson and Gretchen in a bouncy house, where the drugs finally catch up to Andie and she collapses. Jack and Jen show up in time to find her unconscious. When the paramedics arrive, Jen has to confess that Andie took Ecstasy. Jack’s mad at her for giving Andie the drugs and tells her she should be the one in the ambulance.
As the rest of the gang heads to the hospital, Drue takes Jen home. She’s mad at herself for letting Andie take drugs. Drue doesn’t think she should feel responsible because Andie made her own choice. Her friends want her to be the bad girl because it makes them feel better about their “pathetic, plastic, Mayberry existence.” Jen tells him that they may have come from the same place, but now they live far apart, and she’s going to keep it that way.
At the hospital, Andie is stabilized and Jack tells their friends that the Ecstasy reacted badly with her medication. Pacey’s shaken up and wishes he’d realized something was going on. Dawson notes that he couldn’t have done anything. Pacey wants to spend the night at the hospital, sending Joey, Dawson, and Gretchen home. Dawson drops Gretchen off at her place, where she thanks him for his friendship.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie he’s not mad at her, but Jack is – their family has already been through enough disasters. Andie cries and says she just wanted to feel something. Mr. McPhee is sure they can get through this as long as they communicate. Pacey brings the guys some coffee and Andie apologizes for the things she said at the rave.
Dawson and Joey watch the sunrise together, shaken by what happened to Andie and how easily something horrible can happen. Dawson misses the simplicity of the fun they had as kids. Joey notes that they’ll all be in college in less than a year. After 18 years of living nearby, they’ll be in different places. Dawson suggests that Joey give her boat to Alexander, because he plans to give his to his younger brother or sister.
Joey’s happy to hear about the new baby, but it makes her feel old. Dawson feels the same way. She says that no matter where she goes next, it’s hard for her to think about a life without Dawson. He notes that they did all right being apart for three months. She asks if he knows what she really means, and he says he does.
Thoughts: There’s a band in the ad for the rave called Burkittsville 3. I wonder if that’s a reference to The Blair Witch Project.
Did Jack grow a personality between seasons? He’s just so much more laidback and likable now.
Drue: “We haven’t met.” Gretchen: “I don’t have a problem with that.” Ha!
Please, Dawson – Abby wishes she were as witty and evil as Drue.
I’m surprised Pacey didn’t notice that something weird was going on with Andie. Old Pacey would have gotten her out of there in two seconds. New Pacey is too distracted by Joey’s tongue down his throat.
December 23, 2011
Summary: Dawson and Mitch are concerned about Gail because she’s been sick. She’s more focused on keeping the restaurant going. Mitch finally convinces her to go home before the customers all catch her illness and they “have to rename the restaurant Leery’s Pending Lawsuit.” (Heh.) After Gail leaves, Gretchen tells the guys that it sounds like she’s pregnant. At home, Gail takes a pregnancy test as Mitch and Dawson wait outside the bathroom, which is pretty awkward. Even more awkward: Dawson’s cool reaction when the test comes back positive.
Joey and Pacey make out at his place, but he stops them and suggests they watch TV instead. Joey’s confused. Jack’s still healing from his shoulder injury, and Andie has roped him into helping her coach a kids’ soccer team. Jack is surprisingly good with the kids, with the exception of a girl named Molly who doesn’t seem to like anyone or anything. Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ house to pay off his debt after the boat incident as Mr. Brooks criticizes his photography. He says the pictures are “cold” and “unemotional.”
At school, Jen complains to Joey about a grade on a test, but Joey, of course, did well. Joey confides that she thinks Pacey’s getting tired of waiting for her to be ready to have sex with him. She’s getting impatient as well, but she’s not sure how to know when it’s time. Jen suggests that she go to a clinic for birth control and sex advice so she’ll feel more prepared. At their own doctor’s office, Mitch tells Gail that Dawson’s in shock but will come around. She’s worried about sending Dawson to college while raising another child, especially now that they’re older. She’s open to having an abortion.
Jack meets Molly’s flirtatious sister, Caroline, who’s 28 and doesn’t seem to mind that Jack is ten years younger. He tries to tell her he’s gay, but he can’t get the words out. Gretchen looks at some of Dawson’s pictures and tells him that Mr. Brooks is crazy if he doesn’t think they’re good. He takes pictures of her, then says she was right about Gail being pregnant. He admits that he was upset when he found out – his parents don’t have much money, their relationship isn’t that stable, and they were irresponsible. Dawson does want to be happy for them. Gretchen notes that Gail’s going through something even more difficult than he is.
Joey goes to a clinic for a chat about sex, birth control, and STDs. (It’s a lesson for all of us!) Jack tells Andie that he thinks he’s bringing Molly out of her shell. Caroline is the problem, as Jack thinks she’s more than flirting with him. He’s worried that coming out to her will cause a problem since he’s working with kids. Andie promises to help. Dawson develops his pictures of Gretchen, then apologizes to his parents for how he reacted to the news about the baby. Mitch informs him that there won’t be a baby.
Gail admits that she suspected she was pregnant for a while but put off finding out because she knew what she would want to do. Dawson’s surprised that Mitch is on board for the abortion. Gail can tell that Dawson thinks she’s making a horrible decision. She’s considered everything, and she knows she can’t raise another child after all the mistakes she’s made. That plus the money situation and everything else means she can’t keep the baby. Gail makes it clear that it’s her decision and she’s not discussing it any further.
The next morning, Mitch plays messenger for Gail, telling Dawson that she knows he’s upset. Mitch isn’t sure what he wants, but he doesn’t want Gail to go through with the pregnancy if it’s not what she wants. He tells Dawson that they tried for three years before they conceived him; they tried again for five years after he was born, but ultimately had to accept that they wouldn’t have another child. Mitch is pleased with the life he has, and though he may wonder what things could have been like, he’s grateful for Gail and Dawson.
Bessie finds birth control info and condoms in Joey’s room, then pretends she didn’t. Caroline visits another soccer practice and starts to ask Jack out, but Andie interrupts, lying that Jack already has a girlfriend (Natasha Boyardee). Caroline wants her to mind her own business. Jack finally tells her the truth, and Caroline tries to pretend she already knew Jack was gay. Dawson meets up with Gretchen, looking for help dealing with the news of Gail’s abortion. She thinks he’s had his “illusions of parents infallibility” destroyed. Dawson guesses that Gretchen has been in Gail’s situation and thinks she can help him understand it.
Gretchen admits to getting pregnant last semester; she was 20, she had tons of student loans, and her grades weren’t that great, so she decided to have an abortion. However, before she could, she miscarried. She felt guilty for having a solution handed to her, as well as for getting herself into a situation where she needed a solution like that. Dawson thanks her for trusting him with her story and promises not to tell anyone.
At the bed and breakfast, Bessie confronts Joey about the birth control (in front of guests – way to go, Bess). She doesn’t think her little sister is ready to have sex. Joey notes that Bessie let her sail with Pacey all summer. Bessie replies that Joey didn’t exactly give her a choice. She thinks Joey’s making a huge mistake. Joey tells her she’s not having sex yet, but it’s coming, and Bessie can’t stop it. Bessie doesn’t think she can handle the responsibility and consequences that come with sex. Joey replies that her whole life is about responsibility and consequences.
At soccer practice, Molly tells Jack that word has spread that he’s “dangerous,” so some kids are leaving the team. She assures him that she knows there’s nothing dangerous about him. That night, Joey tells Bodie that Bessie lucked out by getting a good kid as a sister. Bodie says that Bessie just wants better for Joey than she has, what with getting pregnant without being married and being stuck in Capeside. Joey admits that she’s still not ready to have sex. Bodie says that no one can tell her what to do, but, just as Jen said, if she isn’t prepared, she’s not ready.
Dawson tells Gail that she missed something when she considered all the facts: She was a great mother and taught him to never be held back by his mistakes. He always had an idea of the perfect childhood in his head, but his parents gave him something even better. If they had another child and were half the parents they were to him, that child would be incredibly lucky. Pacey and Joey have another makeout session, and this time when he interrupts it, she doesn’t argue. She tells him about visiting the clinic and being closer to getting prepared.
Jack chastises himself for telling Caroline he was gay and trying to convince himself that no one would care. He considers quitting coaching the team. Andie notes that the alternative is not telling people who he really is, and no one wants to live like that. He needs to focus on the coaching and ignore the parents and their issues. Jack hates that people see something horrible when they look at him. Andie’s sure that things will blow over sooner or later.
Mr. Brooks criticizes more of Dawson’s photos until he comes to one of Gretchen. He thinks it’s the first one that has emotion and shows something of Dawson himself. Meanwhile, Bessie and Joey make up, Jack mopes by himself, and Gail looks at Dawson’s baby pictures.
Thoughts: It might have been more interesting storywise if Gail had gotten an abortion (since we all know she doesn’t), but I guess it would have taken the show to a little bit of a darker place.
I wonder what kind of review the bed and breakfast would get on Yelp after that incident with Bessie talking about sex in front of the guests.
Alexander is too cute! I can’t take it. That should have been Dawson’s argument in favor of Mitch and Gail having a baby: “Look how cute this one is! You can have a cute baby, too!”
I hope Michelle Williams went off and did something really fun when she got almost completely written out of this episode.
I wish there had been more hints about Gretchen’s big secret before Dawson figured it out. It was basically just her not talking about it for four episodes.
It took two seasons, but I finally feel something positive toward Jack rather than something neutral.
December 10, 2011
Summary: As you may have guessed from the episode title, the kids are studying Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona in English class. The teacher says that Silvia is a prototype for Juliet. Joey and Drue snipe at each other, but she’s the one who gets in trouble. The teacher calls on her to tell the class what the play is about – a girl who comes between two guys. Joey thinks one of the gentlemen of Verona, Proteus, is a lame hero and the other, Valentine, is unfairly painted as a villain.
Dawson thinks the play is really about the two men’s friendship. Joey notes that the friendship ends when Silvia gets between them. The two discuss the play, with Dawson saying Proteus is a bad friend, and Joey says Valentine isn’t great either. Dawson thinks Valentine is good because he made the sacrifice to give up the girl. Drue wants to see Dawson and Joey have a class debate. The teacher agrees, telling Drue to participate as well.
Jen is late for school, telling Grams she “had a lot of angry femme music to get through” before she could leave. She denies that she’s sad about Henry dumping her – she’s moved to the angry phase. Grams reminds her that the fall of her senior year is important. She announces that Jen isn’t allowed to be “melancholy” for 48 hours. At school, Joey tells Dawson he’ll have to come by the yacht club to discuss the debate since she’s working tonight.
Dawson leaves as Pacey arrives to give Joey the good news that he got an A on an assignment. He wants to celebrate by going sailing, but she has to work on the debate. Jen offers to go sailing in her place. Andie prepares for a college interview at the yacht; Mrs. Valentine is an alum at one of her backup schools. She has a dizzy spell from one of her anti-anxiety meds but tells Jack that it’s working better than anything else she’s tried.
Mitch and Gail are sick, and Dawson notes that they could stop sharing germs if they would stop making out. He assures them that he’s fine working on a project with Joey. Mitch thinks Dawson did the right thing telling Joey about Pacey’s grades. Pacey and Jen go out on his boat and discuss Dawson and Joey working together. He assures her that the weather is supposed to be nice, but the clouds seem to have a different idea.
At the yacht club, Drue comments on Dawson and Joey’s “sexual tension” (ew) and makes a Star Wars analogy: Dawson is the Luke to Pacey’s Han Solo. Joey asks if that makes Drue Jabba the Hut. Joey banters with a club member, Mr. Brooks, who lets her know that there’s a storm coming, so now she’s worried about Pacey (and possibly Jen). After she leaves the dining room, a weather advisory runs across the bottom of the TV screen.
Andie meets with Mrs. Valentine, who notes that she took a medical leave of absence at the end of her sophomore year. Andie tells her she was having emotional problems. Suddenly Mrs. Valentine thinks she’s dealing with a crazy person. Joey struggles to focus on the debate, but Dawson knows she’s avoiding the elephant in the room. He announces that he and Pacey are never going to be friends again. She can’t believe he’s willing to throw away ten years of friendship. Dawson calls what Pacey did a huge betrayal.
Joey looks for news about the weather, telling Drue to get Mr. Brooks his check. A news report says that the storm will be the worst one New England has had in 30 years. (Worse than the hurricane?) On Pacey’s boat, he and Jen work on getting things under control as she says that he’ll never admit that things are getting frightening. A big wave shorts out their radio.
Mrs. Valentine asks Andie about her illness, saying it must be a weakness, but Andie says it’s a strength because it showed her how much she can handle. Mrs. Valentine thinks she should go to a state school since it won’t put as much pressure on her. Andie says that what she’s gone through probably makes her better equipped to handle pressure.
Dawson decides he’s done trying to work with Joey, since she’s so distracted, and she tells him Jen and Pacey are out on the boat. Jack shows up to get Andie, who’s disappointed by her bad interview. Pacey assures Jen that they won’t capsize, then tells her it’s too dangerous to try to go back to the dock; they’ll head for a cove he knows of instead. Jen worries that the storm will get worse, but Pacey says it won’t. She asks who can find them at the cove. Pacey says Dawson will.
Back at the club, Dawson does indeed know that Pacey’s heading for the cove. Joey tries to get someone to go look for him, but it’s not safe and they don’t have any assurance that anyone’s there. Dawson tells Joey to get him a boat, and Joey says Mrs. Valentine has keys they can take. Drue arrives and hands the keys over, telling them which boat to use. Dawson refuses to let Joey come with him, but Joey doesn’t want to have to worry about both him and Pacey, so he gives in.
Back at the club, Drue announces that he let Joey and Dawson take Mr. Brooks’ boat. Andie takes charge, telling Jack what to do to safeguard the dining room, then giving Mrs. Valentine instructions to call Bessie and the Leerys. She plans to get in touch with Dawson and Joey on Mr. Brooks’ boat radio. Andie even manages to get Drue to sweep up some broken glass.
Jen starts panicking about a hole in the boat’s hull, while Pacey keeps working and being optimistic. He notes that he’s been wrong so many times today that the law of averages is on his side and he’ll have to be right sooner or later. Jen suggests that they do what movie characters always do in a disaster: make heartfelt confessions. Pacey has nothing to confess and no regrets to express, which Jen doesn’t believe. She tells him she regrets that she’s never been in love. Pacey admits that he regrets the way things are between him and Dawson. Jen thinks it might feel good to say something.
Andie gets in touch with Dawson and Joey, working with Mr. Brooks to figure out where they are. They lose radio contact, but Dawson is sure he knows where’s going. He’s right, and they manage to find Pacey’s boat. Pacey gets Jen onto Mr. Brooks’ boat but doesn’t want to leave True Love. Dawson jumps onto Pacey’s boat, telling him that there are people who care about him more than the boat. After Joey yells Pacey’s name, he and Dawson jump to join her and Jen, then lose True Love.
The kids make it home safely and Dawson is hailed a hero, except by Mr. Brooks. There’s a big gash in his hull and he wants Dawson to suggest how to fix it. Dawson offers up some of his college money, but Grams blasts Mr. Brooks for letting him defer the money for a boat. Mrs. Valentine compliments the way Andie took charge of the situation, and Jack remarks that she did Mrs. Valentine’s job. Mrs. Valentine offers to say nice things about Andie to her school, while Jack replies that they’re going to tell the school how mean Mrs. Valentine is. Andie, however, says she won’t wield that kind of power over someone.
Joey blasts Pacey for trying to stay on the boat, but he’s upset over losing the place where he spent the best moments of his life. She tells him she’s never been so scared for someone. She reminds him to keep her in mind the next time he’s making life-and-death decisions. Joey guesses that Pacey knew Dawson would come get him, since the guys know each other as well as Dawson and Joey do. She says they’re still a part of each other even if they’re not friends anymore.
The Leerys watch Joey and Pacey come off the dock together, and Mitch notes that Dawson saved the day but didn’t get the girl. He thinks Dawson got something more important, though – the knowledge that he did a good thing. (I think he’d rather have the girl, Mitch.) Jen tells Grams that she should listen to some of her angry femme music now that she’s shown how tough she can be. Grams admits to being scared for Jen’s life. She kept wondering what she would tell Jen’s mother. Grams says she felt like she lost her faith, and Jen says Grams loaned it to her.
Jen goes back inside to get something and runs into Drue, who she knows from New York. Neither knew the other was in Capeside, and she’s not happy about it. The next day, Pacey stops by the Leerys’, where Dawson says Pacey doesn’t owe him anything. Pacey thanks him for the rescue and apologizes for the way everything went down with Joey and their friendship, which he misses. He looks forward to them being friends again, even if it’s far in the future. Dawson’s still not willing to make up, but he seems more open to it happening at some point.
Thoughts: The English major in me just had to go for a line from The Two Gentlemen of Verona as my post title. The full passage is:
“O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!”
So we have a play about two former friends fighting over the same girl, plus a character named Valentine. Did you catch all that?
Mr. Brooks is played by the late Harve Presnell, who I will always associate with another ’90s show, The Pretender.
Why would you work on a debate with the person you’re going to be debating? And how is Drue supposed to be involved here? Oh, right, contrivance. Never mind.