April 21, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 5.5, Use Your Disillusion: Sleeping Dogs Lie

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 4:13 pm by Jenn

"No, I will not wait to be seated! Coffee needs to be poured on laps NOW!"

Summary: Gail is straightening up Lily’s nursery while Dawson does other house-related chores to solidify his position as man of the family. His mother encourages him to spend some time with Joey instead. She assures him that he can leave Capeside for a couple of days; she can take care of Lily on her own. At Worthington, Joey and Audrey go for a jog and discuss Dawson’s visit. Joey’s overthinking everything, feeling a lot of pressure to comfort Dawson. They won’t be discussing anything deep.

Professor Wilder finds the girls and chats with Joey about how the school just received the estate of a famous writer. He’s been chosen to go through all of the writer’s works and see if there’s anything worth publishing. He wants Joey and some other students to help. Joey accepts but can’t attend the party Professor Wilder is throwing to celebrate because of Dawson. Wilder tells her to bring Dawson along.

Jen hangs out in Charlie’s room and asks him to see a play with her the next night. He’s working at the radio station but invites her to stop by afterward. Then there is making out. Danny helps Pacey with his quarter-playing skills at the restaurant; they’re interrupted by Karen, who taunts them for their form of male bonding. Danny asks to borrow Pacey’s boat the next night so he can take his wife, Emily, out for a date. In exchange, Pacey gets the night off.

Jack plays pool with some other Sigma Epsilon pledges, discussing the tasks they might have to undergo before they can join the frat. Tobey arrives for a surprise visit as a pledge gets a call to participate in a hazing task. Jack’s happy that Tobey’s there, but he’s worried that they won’t have much time to spend together.

Dawson’s now at Worthington, and Joey’s all awkward. She gives him a book called How to Deal With Your Parents [sic] Death. She suggests watching movies all day, and though Dawson seems like he wants to do something else, he agrees that that’s probably a good idea. Jen has convinced Pacey to go to the play with her, though he’s not that excited about Shakespeare. Tobey comes to Grams’ house, confused about where he was supposed to meet Jack. Jen thinks Jack ditched him for the frat brothers.

Joey and Dawson watch movies on her tiny TV, and Joey panics when a scene shows a car accident. She thinks she’s “robbing” him of his time to freak out by making it about her. Dawson assures her that he doesn’t feel that way. Joey thinks Audrey was right and they should have gone out. Dawson jumps on that idea, and Joey tells him they could go to the party at Wilder’s.

Downtown, Jen and Pacey chat about Karen, who he definitely has a crush on. He’s all excited to have Danny as a mentor. Jen finds it funny that Pacey thinks of Danny as an older version of himself. As they pass by a restaurant, they see Charlie inside with another girl. Pacey tries to rush Jen off, but she wants to go inside and confront him. Pacey tries to convince her to wait until the next day so she can calm down. Jen pretends to agree, then starts to run inside, so Pacey throws her over his shoulder and runs off with her.

Jack and Tobey are at another restaurant, and Tobey’s upset that Jack didn’t tell him he would be late. (Tobey doesn’t have a phone because he’s worried about brain tumors.) He also can’t tell Tobey what he was doing as it’s against the frat’s rules. Jack tells him not to act like a girl, which Tobey finds offensive. Just as they’re working things out, Jack gets summoned for another task. Tobey tells him to go do it.

Jen grumbles her way to the play, which is, appropriately enough, Othello. She storms out before it starts. Joey and Dawson go to Wilder’s, and Dawson makes it clear that he doesn’t need her to be with him every second. He’s clearly not ready for this, though. Jen takes Pacey back to the restaurant and pretends they’ve just stumbled upon Charlie and his lady friend. Then she spills coffee on him. Charlie introduces her to the other girl, his sister, as Pacey cracks up.

Jack and the other pledges are stuck waiting around for instructions; they think their initiation is the next day. Jack’s worried that he’s hurting his relationship with Tobey. The other guys are in the same situation with their girlfriends and encourage Jack to set boundaries. They think Tobey’s there to make sure Jack doesn’t get involved with any new people. They tell Jack to dump him and move on.

Dawson hides out in Wilder’s kitchen as Joey talks with her classmates. A girl comes in to talk to him, but he seems to be having a kind of anxiety attack. He pulls Joey out of the party and tells her about a similar experience he had days earlier at the grocery store. Dawson doesn’t like feeling out of control or where the feeling came from. He really did want to go out, but as soon as they went, he changed his mind. Joey tells him that’s allowed. She agrees to go back to her room, clearly concerned about him.

Jen and Charlie walk home together and he explained that he wasn’t working because his shift was switched. His sister called before Charlie could let Jen know. She offers to do his laundry for a month to make things up to him. He tells her he needs to learn to trust her. He points out that he didn’t jump to conclusions when he saw her with Pacey because he trusts her and knows they have something special.

Jack finally makes it home to Grams’ and apologizes to Tobey, who’s really angry. He asks Jack to admit that the frat is more important than Tobey is. Jack points out that he’s going to be in college for four years and needs to have a social life, especially when he and Tobey can’t see each other all the time. He wants to be himself with his friends, rather than compartmentalize his life.

When Jack first moved to Capeside, he was Andie’s brother, then Joey’s boyfriend. When he came out, he was Jack the gay guy. He came out to the frat so he wouldn’t have to hide who he really was, and they didn’t care about his sexuality. He figured Tobey would understand.

Jack says under his breath that the other guys were right. Tobey’s angry that Jack talked to someone else about their problems. Jack accuses him of being jealous. Tobey says that he wants to be Jack’s main priority. Jack comes first to him no matter how far apart they are or what he’s doing. He’s always thinking about Jack and how to make him happy. He can see that Jack doesn’t feel the same about him.

Pacey flirts with Karen at the restaurant and she wonders if he’s arranging his schedule so they always work at the same time. A woman comes in looking for Danny; she’s his wife, Emily, and she spent the last night home sick. Pacey realizes that that means Danny and Emily didn’t spend the night on his boat. Dawson packs to go back to Capeside, thanking Joey for helping him out. He leaves the book behind.

Tobey and Jen wait for Jack to come back and make up with Tobey before he leaves Boston. Jen says Jack will regret not trying to make things work. Tobey says everyone gets hurt in a breakup, encouraging her to stay with Charlie. Danny thanks Pacey for the use of his boat, saying Emily had a great time. Pacey says nothing.

Jack comes home in his new frat blazer, happy to have been inducted. Jen tells him he sucks and broke Tobey’s heart. He should think about what he gave up today. Jack already knows. Jen admits that she feels like she and Jack don’t know each other that well anymore. He blames that on her new relationship with Charlie, which Jen finds unfair.

Jack continues that they’re all growing apart, and he wanted to spare Tobey some pain. He wants to meet new people without having to worry about hurting someone else. Jen says he should have said something to Tobey, but Jack is telling her instead. Jen heads off to take Charlie a basket of fruit and flowers, but when she starts to turn the corner to his dorm room, she catches him making out with another girl.

Joey confides in Audrey that she feels relieved now that Dawson’s gone. She only got him the book because she wanted him to know how she felt but didn’t know how to say it. She wrote a message in the book but Dawson will never read it. Audrey tries to cheer her up with coffee and glitter lipstick. After Joey leaves the room, Audrey reads her message to Dawson, which talks about keeping loved ones close after losing someone. She loves him and is always here for him.

Thoughts: The Pacey/Jen scenes are awesome, especially their exchange when he tells her Danny’s like him. Jen: “When you grow up, you basically want to be yourself?” Pacey: “Yeah. I’m very well-adjusted.” Hee.

If I were Tobey, I’d be less annoyed by Jack telling me not to act like a girl and more by him calling me a “friend” when the frat brothers call.

The other girl was Charlie’s sister? What a shocking twist that has never, ever been used on TV before! It’s worth it for Pacey’s reaction, though.

Tobey’s upset that Jack talked about their problems with a neutral third party, but doesn’t everyone do that? It’s called venting, Tobey.

March 25, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.22, The Graduate: I Will Remember You

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:15 pm by Jenn

I look like a dork, but I'm a dork with a high school diploma! Whee!

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 11, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.20, Promicide: What’s With This Show and Boats?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 4:05 pm by Jenn

The calm before the storm

Summary: Bessie’s altering Joey’s prom dress, though Joey thinks prom is a bad idea, considering what happened last year. Pacey asks her to pick up their tickets since he isn’t allowed to buy them due to his poor grades. He wants to make prom night perfect for Joey, who tells him he doesn’t have to go overboard. Then he accidentally rips her zipper.

Over at Jen’s, Tobey tells her and Jack about a past prom experience where he came out to his date and she tried to turn him (quite aggressively). After he leaves, Jen urges Jack to ask him to the prom since they’re getting along so well. She’s sure Tobey wants him to ask. Jack was burned too badly by last year’s drama and doesn’t want to lead Tobey on.

Jen and Gretchen try on dresses while Dawson and Jack try on tuxes. Gretchen is excited to revisit her high school years with Dawson before heading to Boston. Joey thinks Jen has been sad since they got back from New York, though Jen claims she feels good about her life. Jack warns Dawson to “be careful” if he and Gretchen decide to have sex on prom night. Joey confides in Jen about her pregnancy scare, adding that she feels like Pacey’s being hands-off.

Dawson and Gretchen run into each other and she tells him she didn’t get the job in Boston partly because she doesn’t have a college degree. Now she’s not sure what she’s going to do. Dawson tells her she can skip prom, but she wants him to have a good experience. Jen tells Tobey that Jack wants to ask him to the prom but is afraid of being rejected. Tobey doesn’t think Jack’s interested, so Jen says that Jack begged her to come talk to Tobey.

Joey and Pacey wind up alone at the B&B, but Pacey’s uninterested in taking advantage of the circumstances. Jack calls Jen, who scrambles to excuse her actions, noting that Jack set her and Henry up. Jack assures her that he’s not upset, though he was a little ticked when Tobey called and said his answer (to an unasked question) was yes. Jack has decided to enact revenge, in the form of telling Drue that Jen wants to go to the prom with him.

On prom night, Mitch and Gail take pictures of Dawson as he tells Lily that their parents may seem weird but they’re actually cool. Joey arrives and Dawson’s parents take pictures of the two of them together. Dawson tells her that he’s glad they’ve wound up where they are after the past year. Gretchen and Pacey meet their significant others, but Pacey feels bad because he didn’t refrigerate the corsages. Dawson takes flowers from Gail’s garden instead.

As Drue joins the others at the Leerys’ house, Jack nervously picks up Tobey. When they get to the Leerys’, Jen complains to Jack about Drue, but he tells her she should have thought about the consequences of her actions ahead of time. Both of them announce that they’re going to have fun tonight no matter what. Jen gives herself a little liquid courage to help with that. Pacey also promises Joey a good night. Then the kids’ limo (arranged by Pacey) arrives, but it’s a piece of junk.

The kids stop at a convenience store, where Drue tries to get Gretchen to buy some alcohol. Jack and Tobey realize they both love Sno-Balls. Jen offers Pacey some booze, but Pacey tells her his dad and brother will make him take a breathalyzer later. He thinks she’s drinking because of Drue; she says she has other things to worry about. Pacey doesn’t get how their friends can be so care-free when their future plans aren’t going to work out. Inside, Joey catches Dawson buying condoms.

Everyone heads to the boat where prom is being held, and Dawson jokes that if anyone questions why Gretchen’s there, she can say she’s a chaperone. Jen snaps at Drue for following her, and he tells her Jack gave him $50 to stalk her all night. Jack and Tobey talk about their exes, and Jack is clearly loosening up.

Speaking of loosening up, that’s what Joey tries to get Pacey to do, since she thinks something’s wrong. He denies this, though she’s noticed that he’s been pretending everything’s perfect since he got back from his “camping trip.” Pacey says he’s trying to be who Joey wants him to be so she can have the perfect prom experience. She reminds him that she hasn’t said anything about wanting things to be perfect. Pacey blasts her for getting mad whether he’s acting happy or unhappy.

Drue finds a drunk Jen on the deck and tries to take her booze. She sits on the railing and tells him she won’t confide in him because he doesn’t care. Drue encourages her to talk, so she tells him about her visit to New York. He’s worried about her sitting on the railing but can’t convince her to come down.

Gretchen goes outside so Dawson can talk to Joey, who’s upset about her argument with Pacey. Joey insists she’s fine and doesn’t want to talk, especially about the condoms. Dawson admits that he and Gretchen haven’t had sex but might tonight. Joey asks if he’s in love with her. Dawson only knows that it “feels right.” Joey’s glad that his first time is going to be with Gretchen. Dawson says he waited so long because he wanted to find someone he loved as much as Joey, then realized that wouldn’t happen. Joey says she’ll probably never love anyone the way she loved him either.

Pacey finds Gretchen trying to drown her sorrows; she’s upset because she graduated high school four years ago and is still at the prom. For the first time since she and Dawson got together, she feels too old to be doing what she’s doing. Pacey says that since he’s technically still a junior, he shouldn’t be there. He admits that he’s been angry with Joey, though he’s not sure why. Gretchen urges him to talk to her, noting that they’re trapped on a boat together, so he might as well try.

Tobey wants to dance with Jack, but Jack’s insistent that everything remain platonic. Tobey thinks he’s trying to fight his feelings, telling Jack to figure things out or risk losing something great. Pacey and Gretchen see Joey and Dawson dancing together comfortably, so of course there’s going to be drama about that.

When the song’s over, Pacey tells Joey that when she was with Dawson, she looked happier than she has in weeks. The problem is that Pacey didn’t feel angry or jealous – in fact, he didn’t feel anything. He just has one question: “Why are you with me?” Pacey feels like a charity project. Joey tries to tell him that it’s not about him, but he yells that it obviously is. He feels inferior when he’s with her, but he’s realizing that that’s not his fault.

Pacey rants that the whole evening almost collapsed because he screwed up. Joey says again that she didn’t ask for anything and doesn’t care about the problems. He yells that he wants her to care. He doesn’t feel like he’s trapped on the boat, but that he’s trapped in their relationship, and he can’t take it anymore. “When I’m with you, I feel like I’m nothing!” he says. Pacey has stopped touching her because it reminds him that he’s not good enough. Joey tells him to go to hell.

Drue keeps trying to get Jen down from the railing, but she still refuses. She almost pulls an Abby, but he catches her and pulls her back onto the deck. Joey cries to Dawson that she doesn’t know why Pacey said what he did since that’s not her. Drue thinks Jen should go back to New York since she’s become a lightweight. She doesn’t want to go back, and she feels like she’s changed but doesn’t want to admit it. Drue tells her not to go backwards when she can go forward. He suggests Boston for college since he’s going to be there.

Jack apologizes to Tobey, admitting that his feelings took him by surprise. When they first met, Tobey was so out that it was all Jack could see about him. Now he’s seen more, and the one thing that turned him off before is just another thing Jack likes about him. They kiss, then go dance.

Dawson finally gets back to Gretchen, who has figured out what she needs to do with her life: go back to college and figure out who she is. Capeside isn’t her place, and Dawson isn’t for her. He’s still chasing after Joey. They need to tie up their loose ends. Dawson isn’t ready for them to be over, but Gretchen says they have an “impossible situation.” He may be good at them, but she’s not.

Pacey tracks down Joey and tells her that he used to think he could give her what other people couldn’t: a wall, a summer on his boat, the night on the ski trip. Now he hates himself, and being with her makes it worse. The more Joey loves him, the angrier he gets. Pacey’s failures don’t have anything to do with her, but if they stay together, he’ll keep taking them out on her. Joey notes that the way he treats her is in his power.

Pacey continues that their senior year is basically over, and they’re different people on different paths. They won’t have a boat trip this summer. Soon one of them will be in Boston while the other stays in Capeside. Joey’s spent her whole life trying to get out of Capeside, but that’s who Pacey is, and she deserves better. She doesn’t like this reasoning and tells him to leave her alone.

As the limo takes the kids home, Jack offers Drue his agreed-upon dating fee, but Drue declines it. No one’s talking to anyone else. The driver asks if they want to go to an after-party, but no one responds.

Thoughts: Yeah, I bet Gail lost the baby weight that fast.

I like Joey’s prom dress. It’s kind of simple, but it makes sense that she wouldn’t want anything too flashy. And I love that shade of purple.

Drue: “Oh, cool, a baby. Can I hold it?” Dawson, Joey, Mitch, Gail, Gretchen: “No.” An easy joke, but I laughed.

I can’t believe none of the girls got her hair done. Maybe there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a hairstylist?

This episode aired in May, but you can see everyone’s breath. Couldn’t they have edited that out in post-production? Maybe they still didn’t have enough money even after not paying hairstylists.

No way would Jen not have been searched for alcohol before getting on the boat, after what she pulled on the ski trip.

March 6, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.19, Late: Maybe Baby

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:41 pm by Jenn

Given what happens in the next season, this picture is kind of painful

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.

January 28, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.13, Hopeless: Date Night

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:50 pm by Jenn

"Let's see, you've spelled 'cancer,' 'death,' 'mortality,' and 'morphine.' This is the worst game ever!"

Summary: Leerys’ Fresh Fish is hopping, but Gail’s not happy with Gretchen’s work habits. She hopes it’s because of her pregnancy, not because she doesn’t like Gretchen and Dawson’s relationship. Dawson assures her that it’s her hormones. Gretchen wants the two of them to go out with a couple of her friends from college the next night. Dawson’s concerned that it’s too soon, but Gretchen’s sure that he’ll make a good impression.

Drue is now working at the yacht club, and he’s not happy about it. Mrs. Valentine guesses that Joey wants a couple days off to attend Capeside High’s senior trip; she’s willing to offer a trade. Drue is having dinner with Anna, the daughter of the president of the yacht club’s board, and Mrs. Valentine wants Joey and Pacey to double date with them. Joey gets the weekend off for the trip if Anna has a good time on the date.

Mr. Brooks and Dawson work on their movie, though Mr. Brooks is now in a wheelchair and Grams is taking care of him. While Grams is out of the room, Mr. Brooks asks Dawson to sign some papers that supposedly allow him to get Mr. Brooks’ medication. After he leaves, Mr. Brooks pretends to take his pills and lies to Grams about paying the nursing agency he was using. Pacey disapproves of Gretchen’s choice of clothing for her night out with Dawson and her friends. She thinks something’s bugging him but he won’t talk about it.

Tobey runs into Jack and asks him to help out with a tutoring program he’s working with. Jack’s worried that, like with the soccer team, the parents will disapprove of his sexuality. Tobey assures him that everyone involved with the program knows he’s gay and is fine with it. Pacey and Joey meet up with Drue and Anna, who already hate each other. Anna’s also not the brightest, as she thinks Pacey is Joey and can’t figure out who Potter is.

Mr. Brooks thinks the movie is complete, though Dawson has a few tweaks he’d like to make. Mr. Brooks tells him to “let it go.” Then he asks Dawson to tell him more about Gretchen. Before he leaves for his date, Dawson helps Mr. Brooks to a chair and is surprised when the man hugs him. Gretchen and her friends Kira and Jessica meet Dawson at his house before heading out to a club. Gail imposes a 1 o’clock curfew, unconcerned about embarrassing him in front of Gretchen. She warns that Dawson and Gretchen are in two very different places.

Pacey, Joey, Drue, and Anna play mini-golf, and Joey takes Drue’s cell phone so he can’t call the girl he’s supposed to see later. She orders him to be nicer, maybe even taking a page from Pacey’s book, since he’s being ultra-nice to Anna. Jack shows up to tutor with Tobey as Gretchen, Jessica, and Kira talk sex and college. Dawson’s clearly out of his element.

Joey continues trying to get Drue to be nice to Anna, who is even dumber than first believed. Drue gets nastier and nastier, so Pacey decides the date’s over. Drue asks him why dumb girls will only have sex if you tell them they’re pretty, but pretty girls will only have sex if you tell them they’re beautiful. Anna blames herself for the disaster date, and she can’t believe she’s already slept with Drue.

Dawson, Gretchen, and the others head to the club, and he admits that he’s never felt more his age than he has tonight. It gets worse, since he gets stamped with an “under 21” stamp. Pacey tries to cheer up Anna, telling him he’s not book smart either, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things they’re good at. Anna says she’s good at men, but this time she fell into bed too easily. Pacey tells her Drue’s the dumb one for not liking her.

Dawson learns that Gretchen and her friends keep “loser lists” of the horrible guys they’ve slept with. Jessica and Kira assure Dawson that he’ll never end up on Gretchen’s list. He becomes less and less comfortable with the situation. Jack works with one of the kids being tutored, deciding that since he can’t find a story he wants to read, they should write their own, using only words that the kid can spell.

Joey catches Drue hitting on another girl, so she tells him it’s time to talk about their baby. Then she blasts him for sleeping with Anna and then treating her so horribly. She knows he acts the way he does because he doesn’t want people to get too close. Joey warns that if he keeps it up, he’ll get exactly what he wants and be alone forever. Drue admits that he’s horrible with girls because he’s only ever gone to all-boy schools. She compliments him for being honest and real with her. Drue ruins it by noting that Pacey and Anna look cute together.

Tobey praises Jack for being so good with his kid. He invites him to meet up with some people for coffee, and Jack hesitates but accepts. Done at the club, Gretchen and her friends want to go somewhere else, but Dawson’s sure he can’t get in, what with still having “under 21” stamped on his hand. He encourages the others to go without him while he takes a cab home. Gretchen tells him to take her car instead, since they’ve been drinking.

The Joey/Pacey/Anna/Drue date is also over, and Drue has stopped being a jerk for once. He even tells Anna he’d be willing to go out with her again. Grams and Mr. Brooks spend the evening playing Scrabble, and he admits that he’s glad Dawson took his boat because it led to him and Grams getting together. She reminds him that they met years ago. Grams finds a tin full of the medication Mr. Brooks hasn’t been taking, and he tells her he just wants to die with dignity and make his own decisions about his life.

Jack goes with Tobey to meet his friends, confronting Tobey over inviting him to meet another couple. He thinks he’s being set up on a double date. He also suspects that Tobey started the tutoring program to spend time with Jack. Jack makes it clear that he’s willing to be friends, but nothing more. He and Tobey don’t click, and nothing Tobey can do will change that. He decides he can’t help tutor anymore, but Tobey would rather Jack continue while he stops. Jack realizes that it’s ridiculous for either of them to quit.

At the Leerys’, Gail has fallen asleep waiting up for Dawson, who admits that he didn’t have a good time. He’s realized that Gail was right about him and Gretchen being in different places. Gail tells him she was actually wrong and has spent the evening regretting what she said. She’s trying to figure out how to let him go. Dawson says that Gretchen has had a lot more experiences than he has, but Gail notes that they make her who she is. He needs to stick with it and see what happens.

Gretchen shows up, having ditched her friends. She assures Dawson that she doesn’t care about his age, but it bothers him that there are some things they can’t do together. Gretchen tells him she’s doing what she wants to do by being with him. Dawson warns that he won’t stand for being the nice guy she turns to after a bad relationship. She lets him know that’s not all he is.

Joey tells Pacey what she learned from Drue, and Pacey wonders why Anna would give him another chance. Joey doesn’t agree that Anna’s reasonable since she slept with a guy she’d just met. Pacey notes that if two people do something they both want to do, it’s fine. Joey knows he’s frustrated because they haven’t had sex. She worries that if they don’t do it soon, Pacey will dump her.

Joey reminds Pacey that he said he was fine with waiting. He assures her that he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize their relationship, but if they’re not progressing, it’s not because of him. Joey promises Pacey that she wants to jump his bones, but she’s holding herself back because she’s scared. Pacey admits that he is, too, which makes her feel better. The next day, Dawson goes to see Mr. Brooks, who’s on the floor, unconscious.

Thoughts: Kira is played by Rachel True, who people would probably best know as Rochelle from The Craft.

Really, Dawson? You think you have to sign legal paperwork to be authorized to pick up someone’s medication? You should meet Anna. You two are about on the same wavelength smarts-wise.

Aww, Jack should be a teacher.

Who did Michelle Williams tick off to get cut out of yet another episode?

Is Tobey supposed to be sweet? Because he’s kind of a creeper.

January 21, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.12, The Te of Pacey: Baby, You’re a Firework

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:04 pm by Jenn

Yum (and the cupcake looks good, too)

Summary: Joey wakes Pacey with a cupcake with a candle in it: It’s his birthday. He’s not happy about it. Every birthday he’s had since the age of ten has been awful. When he was 12, he threw up on his crush, who nicknamed him Pacey Pukey, a name his family sometimes brings up. When he was 16, he failed his driver’s test and no one came to his party. At 14, he was mauled by a dog. Pacey thinks the only way he can have a good birthday is if he celebrates it with Joey and no one else.

Dawson’s preparing for his first date with Gretchen, and Jack thinks he’s worried because Pacey and Joey don’t know about it. Dawson says if they ask, he’ll tell them. Gretchen and Joey talk about Pacey’s birthday as he gets a letter that surprises him. After he leaves the room, Joey begs Gretchen to come to Pacey’s last-minute surprise birthday party, which Mrs. Witter wants to throw. Gretchen thinks she’s crazy. And no, she totally doesn’t have any plans, especially not with Dawson.

Jen and Grams decoupage picture frames (yes, really) before Jen spends the evening driving home drunk teenagers as part of her community service. Jen senses that Grams is distracted and guesses that she’s thinking about sex with Mr. Brooks. Grams denies that they’re even in love. Jen urges her to have the safe-sex talk with Mr. Brooks. Grams accuses her of trying to get herself grounded so she doesn’t have to do her community service.

Dawson visits Gretchen at the restaurant and learns about Pacey’s party. She asks to postpone their first date, though he’d rather just treat the party as their first date. He doesn’t want to hide their relationship. He adds that sneaking around is a good way to get caught. Gretchen tries to convince him that she just wants to be sensitive to Pacey and Joey. She’s not ready to go public, but Dawson thinks she’s trying to hide, which means maybe they shouldn’t be together at all.

At community service, Jen gets paired up with Tobey. She invites him to drop in on Pacey’s party with her if they wind up in the neighborhood. Oh, and Jack will be there. Tobey’s not excited to see him again; he notes that they don’t have to be friends just because they’re both gay. In fact, he’s not even convinced Jack is really gay. Jen swears she’s just being nice, and Tobey tells her he’s taken anyway.

Joey blindfolds Pacey and takes him to his parents’ house, where the surprise part of the party hasn’t been set up yet. Doug’s gleeful at the possibility of the disasters that might happen this year. Sheriff Witter treats everyone to the story of his own 18th birthday: He spent it fighting in Vietnam, topping it off with a prostitute. Pacey wishes he were dead. Sheriff Witter doesn’t remember meeting Jack, despite spending an entire weekend with him.

Pacey confronts Joey for breaking her promise that they would spend his birthday alone. She tells him his family wanted to throw him a party. He replies that his father just wants an excuse to yell at him. Joey urges him to make an effort, but Pacey knows he’ll fail no matter what. She promises that they’ll get through the evening together. Meanwhile, Gretchen and Dawson smooth things over, and Jen and Tobey chat about his boyfriend, though she’s still trying to talk up Jack.

Joey finds Pacey alone outside and points out that there haven’t been any disasters (yet). He starts to tell her why he’s upset, then stops himself. They head off to talk somewhere else, but Sheriff Witter wants to talk to Joey. He thanks her for getting Pacey to think about college…because now he’ll have to pay for another dropout’s education. Pacey defends Gretchen’s decision to leave school, but Sheriff Witter won’t listen. He thinks Pacey will either drop out or flunk out. Mrs. Witter disagrees.

Sheriff Witter continues that Pacey’s always been a screw-up. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a vet, but his mother suggested he be a dog groomer instead. Joey realizes that everything Pacey’s said about his family is true. In the basement, Gretchen tells the kids (and Dawson) a story her grandmother used to tell her about a princess who had to dance among the stars. She was free but alone. Dawson doesn’t see the sadness in the story, considering how many stars the princess got to visit. Gretchen notes that the princess can never stay in one place for long.

Joey tries to give Pacey a pep talk about his future, saying he’s going to surprise his family with his success. He thinks his family’s right about him being too dumb to do anything worthwhile. He takes her to the basement to talk, but Dawson and Gretchen are making out down there. Everyone goes upstairs for dinner, which Mrs. Witter thinks is Pacey’s favorite meal but which is actually Doug’s. Also, she keeps calling Joey “Joanna.”

In the kitchen, Dawson tries to talk to Joey about the kiss she just walked in on. She confirms that they basically have a relationship, then goes back to the table. Gretchen wonders what she and Dawson do next. He tells her that Joey thinks they’re a couple and he didn’t exactly correct her. He tells Gretchen that her hesitance isn’t about Pacey or Joey; it’s about her, and she needs to figure out what she wants.

First, though, Gretchen wants to talk to Pacey about it. He’d rather pretend that nothing happened. He’s too distracted by the conversation he keeps trying to have with Joey which he knows could change their relationship. Jen and Tobey pick up various drunk teens and college students as Pacey opens his lame presents. (His father got him fireworks.) Mrs. Witter suggests reminiscing about Pacey’s childhood, which goes over as well as you would expect. Gretchen tries to make it better by sharing a happy memory of Pacey taking care of her.

Pacey calls an end to the stories once they turn back to his screw-ups. (He tried to make pancakes and their dog died of smoke inhalation.) He complains that no one ever treats him like anything other than a loser. He adds that he’s not going to college because his fallback school, the only one he thought would consider taking him, rejected him. Just then, Jen and Tobey arrive, singing “Happy Birthday” as Pacey runs off.

Joey and Dawson go off in search of the birthday boy while Jack tries to make small talk with Tobey (it doesn’t go well). Joey tells Dawson that she doesn’t care what he and Gretchen are doing anymore. He admits that he doesn’t even know what they’re doing. Joey can relate since she’s also dating a Witter. Witters keep their emotions inside, but it’s actually because they care so much. Dawson assures Joey that Pacey not getting into college isn’t her fault. She knows, but she feels bad because she told him he would get in, and she knows he thinks he’s disappointed her.

Sheriff Witter tracks Pacey down by the water, admitting he’s there because someone called the cops to report a “creepy guy” hanging out there. Sheriff Witter confides that he was rejected from the police academy the first time he applied. Pacey knows he’s not cut out for college, but he wanted to be.

Sheriff Witter says he was never hard on Pacey because he thought he wasn’t good enough for school, he just didn’t think it was the right path for him. He does, however, think Pacey is meant to do great things. Sheriff Witter notes that he didn’t get to tell his story about Pacey’s childhood. On Pacey’s tenth birthday, his father got him fireworks, which he loved. His happiness made Sheriff Witter happy.

On the way home, Jen asks Tobey why he was mean to Jack and why he made up a boyfriend (because the guy is obviously fictional). He wants Tobey to try being friends with Jack if he’s interested in him. Pacey and his father return home, where the Witters and Pacey’s friends finally do the surprise part of the party right.

Later that night, Gretchen tells Dawson he was right about her reasons for wanting to keep their relationship quiet. She’s afraid that she won’t be in Capeside long enough to really develop anything, and she’ll hurt him when she leaves. Dawson reminds her that he’ll be leaving at the end of the year, too. They might as well make the most of the present and try not to be afraid. Gretchen isn’t sure if Dawson is wise or naïve, but she admires his fearlessness.

Joey and Pacey finally find some time alone and she apologizes for the horrible party. She tells him that one rejection isn’t the end of the world. He says that just makes it real because he already knew the two of them were on different paths, drifting farther and farther from each other. Joey thinks all roads lead back where they are now. They just need to try harder to get there. As they kiss, Pacey’s family and friends set off fireworks in the yard.

Thoughts: Pacey’s mom is Jane Lynch, you guys! Jane Lynch!

Sorry, but Joey should know better than to agree to a Witter family party. This whole episode could have been avoided if the writers hadn’t had her do something so out of character.

Joey and Pacey grew up together, right? And everyone in town knows the Potters? So why doesn’t Mrs. Witter know Joey’s name? Oh, right, it’s a way to show that her character is disconnected. How original and clever!

Tobey’s still a jerk. Shut up, Tobey.

January 8, 2012

Dawson’s Creek 4.10, Self Reliance: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 6:04 pm by Jenn

Dawson's not a bad photographer – who knew?

Summary: It’s the day after the Leerys’ Christmas party, and Jack and Dawson are in Dawson’s dark room, where Jack is congratulating Dawson on kissing his childhood crush. Dawson says he wants to keep her as a friend: “Not every kiss has to be a life-altering event.” Jack tells him that Jen’s taking him to a meeting for a gay/straight teen coalition.

Gretchen shows up to clean up after the party, but Dawson’s already taken care of it. She thinks she should have “cleared the air” after they kissed, rather than letting Dawson think the kiss meant more than it did. Dawson assures her that he didn’t read anything into it. Bessie goes out of town, leaving Joey and Pacey in charge of both Alexander and the inn. Pacey wants to discuss the party, but Joey has too many other things to worry about.

Jack hates the gay/straight meeting minutes after arriving, telling Jen it’s not his “scene.” They meet Tobey, who thinks Jen is a lesbian with nice hair. He also recognizes Jack from the news piece Dawson did on him. Jack is uncomfortable with his label as a gay football player, though Tobey wonders which one part of the label bothers him more. Dawson hangs out with Mr. Brooks, discussing the movie Dawson wants to make. Mr. Brooks has finally agreed to it.

Jack is still annoyed at the meeting, so Tobey calls him out to ask why he wanted to come. Jack talks about being fired from the soccer team. Tobey blasts him for not putting up a fight for gay rights. Then he organizes a bowling trip to protest an alley that kicked out two lesbians for kissing. Joey and Pacey make like teen parents until Joey kicks Pacey out so she can study in peace. Right after he leaves, some guests arrive, giving Joey something else to worry about.

The next morning, Pacey gets the chance to question Gretchen about her kiss with Dawson. She blames it on the mistletoe and assures him that both of them agree it meant nothing. She asks why Pacey cares who Dawson kisses. He claims he doesn’t, but Joey does. She won’t talk about it, though. Pacey isn’t sure whether to pretend he believes her when she says she hasn’t given it a lot of thought or he can make her discuss it. Gretchen advises him to be a good boyfriend.

At school, Dawson catches Joey doing some last-minute cramming for a test and tries to make sure she’s okay. Clearly, she’s not. Jack refuses to go bowling, but Jen really wants him to make some friends in the coalition. He thinks Tobey’s in love with her. Jen’s sure he actually likes Jack. Jack is annoyed that Tobey won’t talk about anything other than being gay. Jen decides to go bowling without him.

Dawson begins his movie, with some comments from the peanut gallery, AKA Mr. Brooks. They discuss recent films vs. old films, and how so many movies involve love triangles. Mr. Brooks thinks it’s because there’s unhappiness for every piece of happiness. Both sides of the story have to be told. Mr. Brooks is done for the day, but Dawson wants him to talk about the woman he lost to his best friend. He points out that Mr. Brooks thinks movies need “complex human emotion.”

At the inn, Joey tries to convince herself that she did all right on the test, but she’s sure she didn’t get better than a C. Pacey comes over and Joey complains to him about everything she’s having to take care of. She’s sick of doing everything herself, which is dumb, since Pacey keeps offering to help her. He’s sure what’s really bothering her is Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss, or, more accurately, her and Dawson.

Later that evening, Pacey tells Joey he wants to talk about things with her, like the future. Joey admits that Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss bothers her, though she’s not sure why. Pacey says he doesn’t care; he just wants her to tell him when things bother her. Joey sees a future with the two of them together. She and Pacey grew up together, but she and Dawson never grew up. Whenever she’s around him, she feels 15 again. Pacey urges her to talk to Dawson.

At the bowling alley, Jen and Tobey chat about Jack until he shows up. Tobey compliments his jacket, then asks Jen if he’s wearing it ironically. Dawson and Mr. Brooks continue filming, but Mr. Brooks has some trouble remembering the directors of old movies. When Dawson goes to get him something to drink, Mr. Brooks falls asleep.

Jack admits to Jen that he’s embarrassed to be at “gay bowling night,” though more for the bowling part than the gay part. He calls Tobey out for calling him Captain America, and Tobey asks if he’s annoyed that things are “getting too gay” for him. Jack doesn’t understand the point of the coalition. Tobey notes that Jack’s popular, but most jocks beat up gay kids. He doesn’t think Jack has ever had problems in life. (Where do you want him to start, Tobey?)

Dawson comes home to find Joey waiting for him in his room. She’s brought him some CDs; she thinks they can trade music whenever they have something to discuss. She admits that her life is hectic right now but she’s not letting Pacey help her. Dawson gives her her Christmas present early – it’s a photo he took of her and Pacey at the party. Joey’s very touched.

The conversation turns to Gretchen, and Dawson swears that the kiss meant nothing. Joey asks if he’s interested in Gretchen. Dawson says that even if he were, she wouldn’t be. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Joey notes that the two of them are still friends after everything that’s happened. If they weren’t, he wouldn’t have given her the photo and she wouldn’t be encouraging him to go after what he wants. Gretchen would be lucky to have him.

Pacey approaches his and Joey’s English teacher to ask if Joey can retake the test she didn’t do well on. The teacher understands the circumstances but can’t bend the rules. He adds that he admires Pacey for giving it a shot.

Jack runs into Tobey by the waterfront and learns that he’s been officially kicked out of the coalition. Jack says he’s not going to let Tobey push him around like he let the soccer parents do to him. Tobey apologizes for judging Jack based on appearances; that’s just how he was always treated. His older sister had to chase off kids who bullied him when he was younger. Jack replies that even though he’s never experienced the same thing, that doesn’t make him any less gay than Tobey.

Joey gets a C- on her test and learns from her teacher that Pacey asked for a second chance. He’s offering a retake the next day since a student was absent. The teacher also highlights a passage for her to read from Thoreau – he wants her to remember that while self-reliance is a good trait, Thoreau still had friends and neighbors he could rely on.

Dawson stops by Mr. Brooks’ house and meets her nurse, who says the documentary is tiring him out. He also hasn’t been taking his medication since it makes him forget things. Dawson starts to gather his equipment, but Mr. Brooks wants to keep making the movie so people will have something to remember him by. They go back to the story Mr. Brooks was telling the night before, which was about when he met the woman he eventually fell in love with. He misses her.

Joey calls Pacey to the inn to thank him for talking to her English teacher. He’s pleased to hear that his plan worked out. He helps her study while they hang out with Alexander. Dawson and Gretchen meet up at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony downtown, and he tells her he’s never understood the appeal of gambling until today. He likes her and will continue liking her no matter how she responds. He thinks she’s worth risking everything for. Gretchen replies that sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

Thoughts: I hate Tobey with his stupid hair and his stupidly spelled last name and the fact that he won’t shut up. Why won’t you shut up, Tobey?

Way to leave Alexander alone in the kitchen with the oven and all sorts of sharp things, Joey.

Also, funny how Bessie freaked out about Joey possibly having sex in “A Family Way” but is apparently fine with Pacey staying at the inn while she’s gone.

And by the way, who leaves her two-year-old with her teenage sister for three days when school’s in session? And where’s Bodie?

Seeing Joshua Jackson with a child is killing me. TOO CUTE.