Friday, 21 December 2012

Dawson's Creek - 107 - Detention

Original air date: March 3, 1998

Well, the Apocalypse didn't come so here's a recap to celebrate!

Can I just start this recap by saying that this is probably my favourite episode this season. Is it mind-blowingly awesome? No but I have such fond memories of it and to me it's one of the only episodes that really stands out with a solid story that involves all of the young cast. Plus Abby is introduced here and I kind of love Abby. Well, I love to hate her. She's simultaneously awesome and annoying and she's played by Monica Keena who I was already very familiar with due to my obsession with While You Were Sleeping.

I don't care what they say about Rom Coms,
I love this movie and all haters can suck it!
On top of this, it also is an homage to The Breakfast Club which I also love. It's kind of a cheesy homage but it works for this episode and it was interesting to see the characters interact with each other as a whole and be developed further.

So with that in mind, it's on to the recap. Last episode ruined the natural order of things by having our usual episode opener intruded upon by Jen Lindley. It was a dark day in Capeside...well maybe a dark dusk that magically turned back into day because that's how things work in the Creek. Have no fear though, all things have returned back to normal this episode:

Now let me tell you how much Jen sucks while you
remain oblivious to my obvious feelings for you!

They are watching a movie together and Dawson gets annoyed with it and turns it off which upsets Joey. She lashes out at him, saying that he's upset because guys are "attracted to girls for totally superficial reasons." Dawson objects so Joey continues.

Joey: Yes they are. They like girls from New York, with blond hair, pouty lips, bony arms, and big boobs. But it goes both ways Dawson, it goes both ways.

While I agree with her sentiment about girls judging guys for their looks too, that is justified, she just insinuated that Jen is a superficial girl when we all know that is not the case. She has gone out of her way to be nice to Joey, she has proved that she is a pretty intelligent girl and is not all ditsy and moronic so this blatant bashing of her by Joey is just over the top bitchiness just because she was too chicken to say she liked Dawson before Jen came onto the scene. In other words, Joey:


Dawson tries to say that women prefer romance more than anything to which Joey rolls her eyes and denies. Um, fuck you Joey. I am a woman and I love romance, it is important to me for a guy to be romantic. Is it important to all girls? No but it isn't not important to all girls either. Damn teenagers with your generalisations.

Dawson says he doesn't compete with other guys, least of all Pacey (my heart kind of breaks with this line because, well, I know what happens later). Joey then retorts that he doesn't compete because he hates to lose. When Dawson asks her to explain, she basically tries to stir up shit between him and his best friend by saying that Pacey's biceps are bigger than his.

I like fucking with my friend's self-esteem to make myself
feel better that he chose to date someone other than me.

What a fucking bitch and just when I think she can't get any worse than she already is she says this:

Joey: Are you sure? 'Cause I thought he did. So let me get this straight. If girls are so attracted to the romantic guy, why won't Jen have sex with you?

Really, Joey? That's low. It could be that Jen isn't ready to have sex yet, you know, because of her past in New York that she confided in you about! Nah, she couldn't be feeling insecure or bad about her past choices and want to make a fresh start here at all it must be that she finds Dawson hideous while you are the true noble woman that does want to have sex with him. #SARCASM.

Of course, Dawson gets all insecure and if I were him and I found out Joey liked me, I would turn her down. She is underhanded and deceitful and actively manipulating Dawson into either breaking up with Jen or getting into a fight with her. That is cold and not the actions of a supposed best friend. What pisses me off the most is that after she's made her best friend angry and insecure about his girlfriend, Joey looks pleased as shit with herself.

Haha! I just destroyed your confidence.

*Happy theme song plays while I try to calm my anger*

Next we see Joey giving a presentation in class about Shoguns and concubines, I didn't pay much attention to be honest. A school jock/moron keeps interrupting her to ask questions about the concubines, clearly a typical teen-aged moron who gets all excited at any mention of sex related things. Joey responds with her typical snark while the teacher sits at the back of the class with his thumb up his ass. I'm assuming because he's pretty permissive of some jackass interrupting another student's presentation. Basically they are trying to show us what a pig this Grant guy is before another scene. Moving on.

Abby arrives in Joey's scene though which is awesome.

Dawson spots Pacey talking to Jen by some lockers and because Joey has planted the seed of jealousy there, Dawson looks immediately worried.

Dammit! He does have bigger biceps than me.

We overhear Pacey saying something about Oompa Loompas before Dawson interrupts them and asks them what they are talking about. Neither one of them wants to answer but they are both laughing so Dawson's insecurity meter rises another ten notches. Pacey tells Dawson that gym is next and makes jokes that insinuate that Dawson sucks at gym. Dawson is pissed. He tries to ask Jen what they were talking about but she claims to not remember and they go their separate ways after making plans to hang out.

Meanwhile, in the boy's locker room...

Pacey starts talking about how cheerleaders are going to be doing flips in the gym but Dawson is still fixated on what he was talking to Jen about. Dawson claims that since they won't tell him, they must have been talking trash about him. He's kind of right. He tricks Pacey into telling him by saying that Jen already told. Apparently, what was said is that people used to call Dawson an Oompa Loompa. I see it and now I can't unsee it.

Now share in my pain.

So now Dawson is really pissed because Pacey told Jen about this unfortunate nickname and I kind of can't blame him. It was a dick thing for a friend to do.

Now we are with Jen in a class where the teacher is talking about the subject of euthanasia. He asks if any of the students would like to discuss the article he gave them to read on the subject and ignores Jen's hand in favour of another student. This student agrees that euthanasia is bad and Jen says she disagrees. The teacher gets needlessly pissy with her and I wonder why he would give the class such a controversial subject to discuss if he didn't want to hear different view points but whatever. She tries to explain her viewpoint but it doesn't go over well. The teacher spouts some gospel about life being precious and God decides when we die to which she says:
Jen: For someone lying on their death bed, life is not a gift, life's a
bitch! I'm sorry I'm just trying to say that if someone--

The teacher is not impressed with this most evilest of evil things from *spits* New York spouting her non-religious beliefs. He most certainly will not tolerate her heinous use of the dreaded "b-word."

Boom! Detention.

Joey is in the cafeteria trying to get fish sticks when the moronic jock, Grant from her class cuts in front. She calls him out on it and he continues to be an over the top chauvinist jerk. He says it's like her report, he's the shogun, the school is his castle and she can either be his servant or his concubine. Now, I remember Joey tossing his food tray on him and I was gearing up for her to do it because I remember liking her in that scene. What actually happens is this:

Biiiiiiiiit of an overreaction.

Yeah, what he was saying was douchey but it was no reason to full out assault him. I mean, she sacks the guy, smacks her tray into the face of a bystander, sure he was part of Grant's "posse" but he didn't do anything other than laugh like an imbecile, then she punched Grant in the face just to make sure he was hurting enough. I mean, I remember thinking she was a bad ass in this scene but my memory kind of downplayed her reaction. In my mind, she just dumped food on the guy, something I would have and actually did do to a guy who was being an arrogant ass but now I just see her as a bit unstable and psycho. At any rate, a teacher spots her.

Boom! Detention.

Pacey continues to kind of be a dick to Dawson by forcing him into a game of one on one before going to lunch because he wants to impress the cheerleaders. Dawson wants to go to lunch but Pacey convinces him to stay by offering to buy him lunch. They play, Pacey is winning and acting like a bigger jerk and caps it off by calling Dawson Oompa Loompa again. Dawson reacts maturely:
Ooh, faced!

Hmm, I guess Dawson and Joey are a violent match made in heaven. This was a jerk thing for Dawson to do even though Pacey was being douchey but I understand the uncontrollable anger aspect of being young. Pacey is now surrounded by cheerleaders who are tending to his wounds but the busted nose probably sucks and neither Pacey nor the coach are impressed by Dawson's actions. 

Boom! Detention.

Cut to the big day, Saturday detention. Is that really a thing they do in the States? I mean all day detention on the weekend? Would a teacher really want to do that on their day off? I guess it's a thing in fiction land so here we are and Dawson and Jen are on their way to the library to serve their time while Dawson whines about how neither of them deserve to be there.

Well, I don't but you kind of do.

Jen speaks the truth. All day detention for saying 'bitch' is overkill but for chucking a basketball at someone's face and apparently breaking their nose, this punishment is pretty justified. Jen comments how she thought he could handle his animal emotions better and Dawson uses it as an excuse to put the moves on her by saying he can't control them especially when he's around her. Jen ignores this and leads them to the library. 


Uh oh, Pacey is also in all day detention, could drama possibly ensue? Dawson is not pleased that Jen is cozy-ing up to Pacey and sympathising with him. Dawson is clearly jealous of Pacey's moves and Pacey is still pissed with Dawson for breaking his nose. One of these is a justified reason to be mad at the other person. Their possible conflicts are distracted, however, by the entrance of the new Head Bitch in Charge. 

Abby Morgan has arrived and is not pleased about it.

I think they brought her in to replace the boring Nellie Olson and her cheesy one note joke that her name is the same as another fictional small town bully. Abby is a million times better as a foil for the group. She's trying to talk her way out of detention which doesn't work but then resigns to her fate when the librarian tells her to shut up. Last in is Joey and the new Breakfast Club is complete. As soon as the librarian leaves to do some "important work", Abby starts in on everyone. She insults Pacey about his nose and Pacey tells her that it's Dawson's fault. She knows why Dawson is in detention so she asks Pacey what he is doing there, he won't answer. So she asks Jen who explains that she said "bitch" in class and explains that it's because her teacher has a "small town mentality, like a lot of people here do." Joey spares no time in retaliating with overwhelming bitchiness.
Joey: Oh, I'm so sorry. It must be so hard for you to put up with us Simpletons.
Jen: That's not what I meant.
Joey: Must be a real bitch for ya!
I just want to punch the smug look off of Joey's face but Abbey does me a solid by calling Joey out on her bitchiness. This is probably why I like Abby so much. I mean, she can be an annoying character but she is great at getting the characters to talk about their conflicts. She confronts Joey about what she is doing in detention but Joey is snarky. Eventually, Joey brags about how she slugged Grant. Abby thinks she's crazy (agreed) and wonders why she was stuck in detention with a bunch of violent offenders which leads everyone to ask what she did to get sent here. She hints that she was caught in the boy's locker room doing ecstasy and being involved in an orgy. 

I think Pacey wants in on that action.

After a time lapse, Dawson points out the obvious that their situation is like the Breakfast Club. I side eye Jen a bit when she says that the movie stunk, sure it's not a cinematic masterpiece but it's pretty damn good as a character study. Anyway, she asks what happened to the actors and of course Dawson pipes up with his superior film knowledge to inform us that:
Dawson: Anthony Michael Hall developed some weird thyroid condition, Molly Ringwald lost her gawky ingenue appeal, and the rest are languishing somewhere in TV obscurity.
Then this bit of meta happens:

I laughed.

Jen mentions that her best friend's older sister used to babysit Ally Sheedy which elicits another snarky response from Joey and from Abby. Jen counters back on Abby that they can't all have ecstasy gang bangs on bathroom floors which prompts Abby to call for the teacher. We think she's going to tattle on Jen but instead she asks to use the bathroom. 

She's a mystery that Abby.

This results in the whole gang going to the bathroom. Dawson tries to make nice with Pacey at the urinals but that's really not the place for it and Pacey ignores him. In the girl's washroom, Abby asks if there's some weird sexual tension going on between the four of them. Neither Jen nor Joey answer but that's answer enough for Abby.

And that's what I'll be picking at the rest of the day.

After yet another time lapse, Abby claims to be bored and prompts them all to play a game of Truth or Dare. Despite protests, everyone goes along with it. After Dawson wastes his Truth question with Abby, she asks Pacey if he'd like a Truth or a Dare and he replies that he doesn't care. She picks Truth for him and asks him why he's in detention. Pacey still won't answer and picks dare instead. After calling him a wuss, Abby gives him his dare, he has to kiss Jen on the lips for 10 seconds.

Dawson is not pleased.

They all protest and Jen says that no one wants to play the game anyway but then smug Joey has to butt in and say that she wants to play and that Pacey has to do what Abby asked because he asked for dare. 

Look at how happy Joey is about this.

So they kiss for ten seconds while Dawson watches in agony and Joey and Abby watch with glee. Once they are finished, Pacey turns to Joey as revenge and asks if she wants Truth or Dare. She asks for Truth and so Pacey asks who she likes. Naturally, Joey pusses out and asks for Dare instead which makes Pacey dare her to kiss Dawson on the lips for 15 seconds. They protest a bit but Pacey points out that she said she'd do anything. 

Millions of teen squees

They kiss and it's magical or some junk, I'm clearly invested in this. Joey takes a minute to recover but then doesn't hesitate to use her turn on Jen. Jen picks truth so, in keeping with her discussion with Dawson at the beginning of the episode, she asks Jen if she finds Dawson the most attractive out of all the guys at Capeside. Jen says that she likes Dawson the best but Joey digs her claws in and clarifies that she wants to know if Jen lusts for him. Jen says it's a stupid question but Dawson is all ears to hear the answer as is everyone else. Jen says that yes she does lust for Dawson.

Boom! Roasted.

Of course, Joey takes offence to this and begins a tirade about how none of the guys at Capeside are good enough for perfect!Joey. She claims she's not dwelling on Dawson and Jen's relationship and that Jen should get over herself. Except that she totally does dwell on their relationship because every chance she gets, she grills Dawson about what he has or hasn't done with her and then belittles him for not doing enough. 

Whatever, I'm not totally obsessed!
Now Dawson, tell me why you
haven't slept with her yet.

Jen proposes that they play a new game called Guess My Butt wherein they photocopy their asses and then mix the paper up so that they have to guess who's butt is who's. Fun? Of course it quickly turns into an argument as Jen quickly guesses which butt is Pacey's and Dawson gets jealous. Pacey calls Dawson out for being a jealous puke and then Dawson calls Pacey a failure and the laughing stock of the whole town. They then decide to play another basketball game to settle the score. If Dawson wins, Pacey has to tell everyone why he was in detention. While the guys are off seeing whose dick is bigger, the girls sharpen their claws on each other. Joey suggests that Jen should get some pom-poms and "cheer [her] man on" and Jen finally snaps.

I'm not a fool! All your little catty comments
are not lost on me.

Go Jen! Joey shrinks back and finally realises what an awful person she has been to Jen. Then Abby stirs the pot by saying that they can never be friends as long as they are fighting over the same guy and that it's obvious that Joey is in love with Dawson. Thank you, Abby! She then leaves so that they can discuss this new found information that comes as a shock to no one. Jen is trying to be supportive and understanding of Joey's feelings and Joey gets upset because Jen isn't doing her a solid by being "more of a wench" to make her bitchiness justified. Jen responds by saying that she could try to be more of a wench which says a lot about how much Jen wants to try and accommodate others' feelings. Joey responds with an annoyed look.  

At this point, were you expecting anything else?

Abby informs them that they've stayed too late and have to race back to the library before the librarian gets there. Dawson makes a shot in all the distraction before they make a run for it. This results in yet another Breakfast Club homage, the run back to the library: 

The hallway slide.

Their running was for nought because the librarian is already there waiting for them. She's pissed and forces them to sort library cards for the rest of their time in detention. If they don't finish, they get to spend another Saturday in the clink. Thankfully, we are spared a card sorting scene with a time lapse. 

The librarian comes back in and Abby hands her the sorted cards, despite not doing the work herself. The librarian then reveals that Abby is actually in detention for excessive tardies and not an ecstasy fuelled bathroom gang bang. Pacey chastises her and she explains that she was just trying to make things interesting. She then says that the bigger question is why he is in detention. Dawson says he has to tell because he won the game.  


Dawson starts being a whiny little piss ant about trusting Pacey and Pacey gets upset that Dawson thinks he's going to steal his girlfriend. Dawson explains that he hates being called Oompa Loompa because all of his insecurities exist inside those words and that he's a hopeless virgin while Pacey is a sex stud. Pacey objects to this and in order to win his friendship back with Dawson, finally tells them why he is in detention. Are you ready to hear the big secret revealed? Well apparently, Pacey got a little too excited when the cheerleaders were helping him out, so excited that he had to excuse himself to the bathroom to release his excitement when the coach walked in on him. 

That's the most embarrassing story I've ever heard.

Indeed, that would suck. I wouldn't give a kid detention over something like that though. I mean, doesn't that send kind of a weird message? Maybe give him a talk about not doing it in a public place and then move on but to punish him seems weird. Anyway, Dawson realises what a jerk he's been and says that he has been using Pacey as an excuse for why Jen wouldn't want him. Jen says that duh, she does want Dawson and more than that because he's the one good thing in her life. When everyone in the town dislikes her for weird reasons or when she's had a bad day, she can get through it because of him. Oh and Joey, she mentions that she likes how romantic and caring he is so:

Then Dawson acknowledges that Jen wants to take things slow, finally, and that he doesn't want to pressure her. Dawson also apologises to Pacey for being a tool to him. Pacey then apologises for calling Dawson an Oompa Loompa and says he's a screw up. Dawson tries to tell Pacey that he's not but Pacey disagrees and then says this:

My breaks.

But Joey has to make everything about her and how dare everyone make up when she put the effort into causing them all to fight in the first place? Seriously, Dawson only thought Jen didn't want him because of the doubt Joey put on him at the beginning of the episode and he wasn't mad or jealous of Pacey until Joey started in on Pacey's biceps. The common denominator in these problems was Joey and she never apologises for any of it! She doesn't even apologise to Jen for being a bitch to her. Does she ever apologise for being in the wrong? I can think of one time and it didn't seem all that sincere just a *eyeroll* "Sorry for pulling the mom card" *shrug* "It's just easy." You know because her mom died, she just thought everyone should know. Anyway, Joey starts whining about how everyone is obsessed with sex.

ORLY, Miss Leather Chaps and Crisco?

She cues up the pity party for herself claiming that she'll go to her grave a virgin and then Dawson has to leave Jen's side to comfort her, exactly as she planned. See? All about Joey now.

This is all about me. Me me me me me!

She then sobs about how she has met the right guy but she can't say who because it will change everything! Everything! By everything, I think she means it will change hers and Dawson's relationship but really, the moment she started getting feelings for him their relationship changed. He just doesn't think it has because he's oblivious. But before she can drop, what should be the most blatantly obvious, bombshell, the librarian walks in and tells them they can go home. Dawson still doesn't get that Joey likes him but everyone else does.  

You cannot be this oblivious, Dawson.
That's all she wrote. The episode fades out on this thrilling cliffhanger. Will Joey tell Dawson of her feelings for him? Will Dawson figure it out on his own? My bet is on no. This is probably the strongest episode of the season so far. It feels the most grounded, the most coherent and the most honest out of all the other episodes. Where the other episodes kind of mashed together in my mind, this one sticks out and I remembered exactly everything that was going to happen in this episode, apart from little character nuances that you could miss back in the days of crappy Internet. All in all, I enjoyed this episode a great deal and I don't really remember what comes after it so I'm actually looking forward to seeing how this storyline is continued...if at all. Next episode is Boyfriend.

Until next time, have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


  1. "She's simultaneously awesome and annoying and she's played by Monica Keena who I was already very familiar with due to my obsession with While You Were Sleeping."


    Also, I don't think we had full-day detentions at my school, for what it's worth. Just like after school stuff. But ... I don't actually remember ever getting detention because I'm way more Willow than Buffy, so I really couldn't say. :P

    1. I got detention twice in my life and both were due to my forgetfulness of not getting a test signed by my parents. It was a bullcrap rule and I managed to talk my way out of the second detention because I thought it was crap that I was being punished for getting an 85 on my test just because I forgot to get it signed. What can I say? I'm a rebel. :P

    2. You live on the edge, Blinvy. I have always suspected as much.