Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dawson's Creek - 111 - The Scare

Original air date: May 5, 1998

So, when we last left off, Pacey was finally telling it straight to Dawson and getting him to think about what Joey really means to him. It's a serious tone and you'd kind of expect it to pick up where it left off but instead, we are going to keep to traditions and open the episode in Dawson's room:


Ta-Daa!

He and Joey are watching a scary movie. No, actually, they are watching I Know What You Did Last Summer. Specifically, they are watching this scene:

That's right, Buffy makes an appearance on the Creek!
OK, it's her I Know What You Did Last Summer
character but it still counts.

Joey is extremely scared and then gets mad at Dawson when he bugs her about being scared. Because she feels slighted and weak, she has to immediately pick on Dawson's interest in horror movies and downplays them as full of Cheez-Whiz. Look, if Joey is scared of something, she lashes out or runs OK? That's her M.O.

She turns off the movie and the news comes on reporting about a serial killer that's on the loose. This apparently proves Joey right in that there are scary things to deal with in real life so why would you want to be scared in movies? Eh, I'm with Dawson on this one, it's fun to be scared sometimes, there's a thrill in it. But whatever, what Joey wants, she gets. She turns on Jerry Maguire and then Dawson scares her again.

Happy Friday the 13th! Or should I say,
Happy Tuesday the 5th!

Pacey asks Dawson what his plans are for Friday the 13th and Dawson claims he doesn't have any. This is because his heart was broken by Jen and has soured him on the whole, life imitating movies thing. Pacey is bummed out until he opens his locker.

Sucker!

Cliff approaches Jen and tries to ask her on a date but Jen says she has been soured on dating because of the last time. Cliff then jokes that the last guy she dated probably wasn't any fun but then Jen counters that Dawson was fun and was probably the most imaginative date she's been with. Cliff tries to ask her why she dumped him if she feels that way and Jen says it's a long story. Then he asks her on a date and Jen says her social life has been lacking so she'd love to.


You just went out with Cliff last episode!

Am I huffing glue? Did last episode not happen? Have weeks passed since then? I just...the time lines of these episodes are way wonky. Anyway, Joey walks in and finds a snake in her bag but it turns out to be rubber, courtesy of Dawson. Jen makes a comment that Dawson has a good sense of humour and Cliff gets all butt hurt and says that he has a sense of humour too.


Sure you do, Cliff.
 At lunchtime, Pacey, Joey and Jen are talking about the serial killer on the loose. Pacey is in the know because his brother is a cop and tells them that Capeside is the killer's next likely target. He tells Joey that the killer could be in town right now and could be lurking anywhere and then Dawson scares Joey by sneaking up behind her. He then invites everyone to a seance at his house but Jen says she already made plans with Cliff and can't go.

Dawson manages to slip a fake finger in Pacey's food and scares him. Joey is thankful that Dawson has given her a break and Jen is pissy because she hasn't gotten a scare and then this happens:

Jen: I mean, you scared Joey and Pacey. We're friends, right?
WTF? Last episode you were all, "I retract my previous offer of friendship." and then curb stomped Dawson's heart by dating Cliff even though she said she needed a break from men, thus meaning that she really only didn't want to date Dawson. So, did last episode not happen? Is that what we are trying to pretend here? She did say those things, she said she didn't want to be friends anymore!

And if you try and tell me last episode never
happened, I will punch you square in the nuts.
#PaceyandJoeyforever!

Jen storms off in a huff because she's not included in Dawson's fun even though she told Dawson she didn't want to be friends so she brought this on herself and Pacey slips the fake finger from earlier into Joey's food; which scares her.

You know, I tried to get a scared shot but it looks more
like she's re-enacting the carrot stick scene in
Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

After film class, Cliff approaches Dawson for some advice on Jen. He really wants to make a good impression and she's always going on about what an original and creative person Dawson is. Dawson gets all excited that Jen is talking about him and Cliff goes on about how he really wants to impress Jen...by asking her ex for dating tips. Great plan, Cliff. Dawson says he'll think about it.

We cut to Jen at her locker where she finds a very creepy note that says she is going to die tonight. She is rightfully freaked out when Cliff comes up behind her. She shows him the note and then says that she's sure Dawson planted it. Cliff says he'll protect her and then promises that their date is going to be "incredibly original and unpredictable"

It's sweet that he thinks he's being original by
ripping off a guy who thinks he's original by
ripping off ideas he sees in movies.
 Now, the thing you have to understand about Dawson's Creek is that if something was popular among the young'uns, it was going to be on this show. Where a show like Buffy, showcased the indie side of the later 90s, Dawson's Creek embraced everything that was "in" at the time and in that sense, this show is like a perfect time capsule of its time. Case in point, this next scene:


Look familiar?


This is why.

Yeah, Scream, sure it came out two years prior to this but it was an insanely popular movie and do you know who wrote it? None other than Kevin Williamson, the creator of Dawson's Creek. So, I guess that doubles the reason that the show had to reference it. This is your fun fact for the episode.

But I digress, Jen receives a chilling phone call from some, as of yet, unnamed individual. At first she assumes it is Dawson and plays along for a bit but becomes increasingly afraid when the caller hints that he may be in her grandfather's room. Jen tells who she thinks is Dawson to stop it but the caller continues to torment her. She hears a knock at her door and then the doorknob starts to turn but the door is locked. Jen goes to lock the back door too, just in case and is startled by her Grams. The caller tells Jen "soon" and then hangs up. It's actually an effectively creepy scene.


Points for Michelle on her acting in this scene.
 We cut to Dawson preparing his house for the seance when Joey interrupts him. She says she knows what he's doing but Dawson plays innocent. Pacey then rolls up in a jeep, not sure why as he had a truck last episode, and Dawson says they have to go with him to get food for the seance. Joey makes a huge deal about how she won't ride with him because he's a menace and seriously? You were riding with him fine last episode, why are you suddenly so against riding with him now?

They get in and Pacey is driving super fast and then screeches to a halt and...he was driving fine last episode! Has he regressed or something? Was this episode supposed to happen before the Double Date episode? Somebody help me!

Hoo-ah!
Pacey asks Joey to watch the car while he and Dawson go inside to get the food. Apparently, he's lost the truck since last episode and has had to steal borrow from his family. I guess I'll just tell myself that his truck was taken away as punishment for something. That works, right?

Inside the store, Dawson and Pacey are introduced to the most annoying one-off characters this show ever produced. Like seriously, this girl is just the worst. I hated her the instant I laid eyes on her and it's probably because, asides from looking like a Courtney Love reject, she also is the spitting image of this girl that I knew growing up. She pushed me down a flight of stairs once because she was a psycho. Kind of exactly like this character:


Seriously the girl I knew looked exactly like this but
with brunette curls instead of blond

Anyway, this girl creeps me out and disgusts me at the same time, is what I'm saying. She is getting into a domestic squabble with some dude and the dude leaves her so she makes nice with Dawson and Pacey and offers to score them some wine. In this case, score is a euphemism for steal.


Pacey, stop wanting this crazy bitch,
you're making me hurl.

Joey is waiting in the car when a guy approaches her. My instincts the first time I watched this was immediately, bitch don't you roll down that window! Ignore him until he goes away. Seriously, he came out of no where and there is a serial killer on the loose. But Joey rolls down her window a bit and talks to the guy. He's asking for directions to Providence which Joey readily starts giving him and then gets uncomfortable at the dude's creeper stare.


I mean, wouldn't you be uncomfortable?

He apologises and compliments her on having beautiful eyes. He then changes tack and starts asking for motels in the area. Until Dawson comes to the rescue and the guy goes away. Dawson then scolds Joey for talking to a stranger when there is a serial killer on the loose. Thank you, Dawson! Especially because he was trying to get her to tell him if she lived close by, major creeper alert.


But Dawson is the naive one, right Joey?

Pacey waits for the girl to show up with the wine. I was hoping, beyond hope when I first watched this that this would be the end of her character. That she was just supposed to get them some wine and then she'd be on her psychotic way but no, Pacey has to invite her to Dawson's party. Not only that but her crazy boyfriend guy shows up and chases them all off trying to get his girlfriend, Ursula back.

Why he'd want her back, I don't know.

Cliff arrives at Jen's house to pick her up for the date. Grams is completely smitten with the "good boy" that Jen has finally gotten home and you wonder if she wishes Cliff were taking her out. Jen mentions that it's cold out and that she should get her jacket and that's when Cliff tells her that they are not going very far for the date.

Get ready for an awesome night of awkwardness!

We cut to Ursula being a jackass. Seriously, the whole time she is on screen, I want to punch her repeatedly.

Die in every fire ever!

Jen corners Dawson and asks him about the phone call. Dawson says he didn't call her but Jen is not convinced. She mentions the note in the locker and Dawson again says he has no clue what she is talking about. He says that all he does is harmless pranks, fake snakes and the like and apologises for not planning anything specific for her but he didn't think she'd be into it.

Dawson asks Joey to get his seance book out of the closet. Jen follows her, leaving Cliff and Dawson alone. Cliff thanks Dawson for letting him come over and pats himself on the back for being so original.

Cliff: Its the most original first date I can think of. I mean, how many guys will bring a girl to their ex-boyfriend's house?

Please continue to tell us how original you are.

The answer is no one, Cliff, because no one else can possibly be that stupid. I refuse to believe it. He thinks Jen is warming up to him. I refuse to believe that too.

Jen tells Joey that she thinks Dawson is behind the date and has something planned because she knows Cliff isn't that inventive. Burn on her date.

At the seance, the group starts to talk about the "lady killer" and Dawson brings up how the killer would stalk his victims first by giving them notes and phoning them, pretending to be somebody else. Cliff points out that Jen got a phone call but she still thinks that Dawson was the one who phoned her. Dawson again swears that he didn't call her.


She still doesn't believe him

Wanting to get in on the scary action, Cliff tells his version of a scary story which involves a newborn baby with a snake slithering into its mouth and then getting its innards pulled out along with the snake, but he ends up disgusting everyone rather than scaring them. Poor Cliff has failed to impress again.


Even Pacey is grossed out

Ursula then says she has a scary story. I think her life is a scary story but her story is about how these kids pick up a woman and take her to their friends house where they're having "fun and games" She's basically mirroring them picking her up and says that what they don't know is that she has a great big knife in her purse because "sometimes, just for fun, she likes to slice open throats and see how far the blood will spurt" Charming. I can see why Pacey wanted to invite her to their house.


A little?

The lights go out then and everyone assumes Dawson is behind it but he swears he isn't. He pairs everyone off and ends up being stuck with crazy Ursula as he goes to check the fuse box.

It's interesting to note that Pacey and Joey are once again paired off. Just saying. Anyway, they are checking that the doors are locked and Pacey is bugging Joey about being scared and he tells her that there are no psychopaths in the house. Joey counters that there is and that Pacey brought her. Then she calls him out on his bizarre mother complex and the fact that he has the worst taste in women.

Bazinga.

Cliff and Jen are looking for flashlights and Jen remains convinced that Dawson is setting them up for a scare. Cliff finds the flashlights and they find creepy red writing on the mirror once they turn them on. Jen is further convinced that Dawson was the one who sent her the note and made the phone call. Cliff then comforts her by saying it might not be Dawson, she could actually be being stalked by a real psychopath who is trying to kill her.

That's...reassuring
Dawson is trying to fix his fuse box while Ursula is chattering away about how she was messing with them before and her crazy boyfriend with rage issues. She may not be a knife wielding psychopath but she's still bat-shit crazy. Of course the conversation turns to Dawson and how Ursula is convinced he will work it out with his ex but of course she is talking about Joey because it is so clear to everyone that they belong together. Dawson remains oblivious though and says that he has this intense friendship with Joey but not romantic feelings. I don't know, Joey, I'd give it up at this point.

He remains clueless. Wilfully, at this point.

They hear a strange noise and go back inside the house where Dawson finds out that Joey has gone off by herself to look for him. He freaks out on everyone for letting her go alone and goes looking for her when he hears a sound from the closet.

Dun, dun, dunnnnn!

Jen sneaks up behind him and scares him. She and Joey begin laughing, it was all a prank. Dawson gets mad because his level of prank is rubber snakes and they gave him "dead Joey". Joey reveals that it was Jen's idea and Jen says that he deserves it for the scary phone call and note. Dawson, once again, claims he had nothing to do with it and storms off to his room.

Jen follows Dawson to his room and makes him swear that he didn't make the call. Dawson swears and then Jen gets upset that he didn't try and scare her. Jen, you are a confusing bitch sometimes. Dawson points out that she broke up with him proving that he has some balls to stand up for himself. Then Jen and Dawson kiss quickly even though Jen is on a date with another guy. Jen clearly has her shit together. I'm starting to think she does get off on playing games with guys.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Actually, you can hate Jen.

Jen makes Dawson promise not to cross her off any of his lists anymore and then leaves.

Meanwhile Pacey is hitting on psycho-bitch, but God knows why. Pacey, she's a hot mess...no she's not even hot, she's just a mess. Stop it, you're making me like you less. Just as he's telling her about his experience with older women *gag*, Ursula's boyfriend comes out of the bushes and is yelling and screaming at them. Then crazy bitch starts egging him on because she's crazy and stupid. She tells him that Pacey is her new man and will protect her.


Alright, you're forgiven...but only because you're cute.
 
They get inside the house but Ursula's boyfriend keeps trying to break in. They then hear a noise coming from the side of the house and realise that he's climbing up the ladder Joey always uses to get into Dawson's room. Way to go, guys. Now he's in your house because Joey can't use a front door like a normal person.

As Pacey is trying to get out of the house to call for help, he is attacked by Ursula's crazy boyfriend. Do you want to know who comes to his rescue?


That's right, nobody touches her man!

Ursula then freaks out on them for hurting her precious baby and they leave together, calling the kids weird. Whatever, at least that crazy bitch is gone. I seriously get queasy looking at her.

Cliff is walking Jen home and she's complaining about what a horrible night they had. Cliff is confused because he thought she liked being scared to which Jen says she doesn't. Then Cliff explains that Dawson told her she did like being scared and that he wanted to be more original and creative...by copying Dawson. He at least admits that he was stupid for trying to be original by copying someone else though. He also lets slip that he was the one who called her and sent her the notes which he thinks she'll think is cool. She doesn't. She tells him she's not in the market for a boyfriend and I'm pretty sure this is the last we see of Cliff Elliot.

Farewell Cliff, your blandness is your legacy

Dawson and Joey are in his room together talking about their night. Dawson brags about how much he scared her and Joey retorts that she scared him more. She then throws a pity party for herself being all "I thought maybe for a second, you might even be sad if I died." To which I make this face:

For real, Joey?
Regardless of how clueless he is about your feelings for him, he's still your best friend! Do you really think so poorly of yourself that you think no one would be sad if you were gone? Even your best friend in the world? Dawson should be really offended here because, what must she think of him to think that he wouldn't be sad if his best friend died?

Get a grip, Joey

Dawson of course assures her that he would be inconsolable if she died and then he asks her if she would be sad if he died.

For real, Dawson??

You guys...Dawson and Joey aren't very good friends. I mean, if they were such good friends, I would assume that they would know that the other person would be sad if they died, it's weird that they need this reassurance from each other.

Anyway, now that they have both confessed to missing the other person if they died, they decided that Joey should sleep over because she's freaked out from all the mayhem. They turn on the TV and see a news report that the infamous serial killer being mentioned throughout the episode is, surprise, the creepy guy that approached Joey in the car earlier.


Dun, dun, DUNNNNNNN!

And that was The Scare. I still don't see the big connection between Joey and Dawson, they are so not in tune with each others' feelings and their chemistry is pretty lacking. So much so that we have to constantly have characters telling us that they "sense something" between the two of them. If they sense that they are a boring match then they are right.

Basically this episode was a filler, and worse, the characterisations are all off. I mean, Joey and Pacey had shared a moment, at least of understanding and were building towards not hating each other but then this episode? They're back to hating each other and pretending that their project never happened. Jen told Dawson she didn't want to be friends with him last episode but this episode, she's hurt because he's not her friend. Damn it writers, is it really that hard to have consistency in character actions and plot? Judging by the state of today's TV, I'm guessing it must be.

Next episode is Beauty Contest which I have a lot of problems with. A lot. Least of all, surprisingly is that the plot itself is really similar to a Saved by the Bell episode. Until next time...

How the fuck did Screech win, anyway?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dawson's Creek - 110 - Double Date

Original air date: April 28, 1998

Here it is, it's finally here. The episode that first sparked my shipping of Pacey and Joey. Oh sure, I made comments here and there through out these recaps already but that was because I already knew I shipped them. No, I'm talking about the first time I watched this show, week to week, as a teen. This was the episode for me and I'll explain why as we go through the episode.

We start the episode off in Dawson's room, of course. Even though last week was supposed to be his healing trip where he forgets about Jen, he is back to whining about her. This time it's because he's upset that she hasn't called or talked to him. Dude, she broke up with you, why would she want to hang out? Joey tries to coach him for life after Jen by telling him to prepare for girls to view him as the guy Jen dumped, other girls dating him out of pity and the fact that Jen will eventually start dating other guys.


Dawson is not impressed

She then imparts the third bit of wisdom which is the inevitable conversation he and Jen will have about being friends and that Dawson needs to have an answer. Dawson says he doesn't know the answer because he does and doesn't want to be friends with Jen.

Dawson: I mean, how could you simply be friends with someone when every time you look at them, all you think about is how much more you really want them.
Joey is now uncomfortable but pretends that she isn't an expert at that type of thing but that she thinks it can be done. The joke is that she is an expert because she is friends with someone that she wants to be more than friends with.


Laugh, the theme song beat commands it!

Next, we cut to the kitchen where Mitch and Gail are having breakfast or something when the phone rings. Mitch answers and whoever was calling asks to speak to Gail. She has a quick conversation before hanging up. Mitch asks who was calling because he sounded familiar. Gail's lack of answer gives him the answer and he immediately gets ticked off that Big Bad Bob would have the nerve to call there. I agree, Mitch. Ta-cky! Gail then has the nerve to defend him which upsets Mitch further. Gail acts all upset that Mitch is upset but really? Here's a helpful tip, if you cheated but are trying to fix your relationship, don't defend your ex-lover. Gail should have agreed with Mitch that it was inappropriate for Bob to call and that she would tell him not to do it again back at the office. Simple.


Gail is not that bright though.

At school, Dawson is approached by Jen who confronts him with the dreaded question, could they still be friends? Ouch. She's friendzoning Dawson like Dawson friendzones Joey.

Dawson then complains to Pacey about it and that he told Jen that he needed time to think about it. Pacey calls Dawson out for not wanting to be friends and still crushing on Jen. Then he offers him the advice to say that he wants to be friends with her to let her think he is over her and secure. Basically he's telling Dawson that she was stifled by his niceness and that to win her back he has to starve her of his niceness so that she will crave it again. This theory would work if she actually wanted to date Dawson and only dumped him because he was too in her face but points for effort, Pacey.


Still love ya.

A girl briefly interrupts them to talk to Dawson about mid-terms. Her name is Mary-Beth. The significance of the scene was to set up two things, 1) they are getting their mid-terms back and 2) Mary-Beth has a crush on Dawson.



Supposedly.

The teacher walks in with the mid-terms and ranks somewhere slightly above Ms. Jacobs on the scale of bad teachers that Capeside High School seems to employ. He says that most people did really well but that he needs to see a few people after class. Then he reads out Pacey's name and says "Well, I guess that's it." Wow, that is a douche-tacular thing to do to a student. Way to humiliate him in front of the entire class.


I could have just asked him discreetly, but
where's the shame and humiliation in that?

So Pacey stays after class and we see that he got a 32 on his mid-term. Ouch. Mr. Ram actually morphs into a passable teacher by trying to tell Pacey that he is bright and that he has an aptitude for science-y things.


Damn rights, he does.

Mr. Ram goes on to say that he is giving Pacey a chance to pass the class with an extra credit assignment. He simply has to pair up with someone else. That someone else, is Joey.


Crap, right reaction, wrong guy.

Dawson confronts Jen and apologises for not answering her question earlier and says that he can be her friend and then starts asking her about her day. This leads to him asking if she has any plans this weekend and Jen gets awkward, saying that they probably shouldn't have this conversation. Dawson says that's nonsense because they're buds now because he says so and she can tell him anything. Jen tells him she has a date with Cliff and...hang on. Didn't she dump him because she'd "never been home on a Saturday night" and that she'd always had boyfriends and needed time to find herself? What the hell, Jen? You're dating already? So much for staying home on a Saturday night for once.


That's a shit-tacular thing to do, Jen.

This is where I start to dislike Jen. I mean, that is low. I sympathised with her needing some time to herself but really she just made all that bull crap up so that she could date Cliff? I mean, Dawson can be a douche but you just dumped him, why jump to Cliff so quickly? Jen tells him that she's going to the carnival on Saturday with Cliff and Dawson has a minor aneurysm.


You can see his brain exploding.

He tries to regroup by claiming that he also has a date that he's bringing to the carnival and then suggests that they go on a double date. Uh, Dawson? That's a horrible, horrible idea. Just awful.

Dawson tells Pacey about it at lunch and Pacey tries to spin it into a positive. By Jen seeing him dating other women she will see that he is over her and grow interested again. OK but again this plan only works if she still has feelings for him, cuz if she doesn't well, this whole plan will go up in smoke and she will think they are actually friends. Instead of not going through with it, Dawson just complains that he doesn't actually have a date.


Cue Mary-Beth

So Dawson approaches Mary-Beth and asks her to the carnival, while omitting the part about it being a double date with his ex and her new date. Mary-Beth is a bit leery of Dawson Leery's intentions (I will never get tired of that. Never!) but he assures her that he is over Jen and she agrees to go out with him. I will remind you that Dawson is presented as a "nice guy" in this show but he just asked out a girl who seemingly has a big crush on him for the sole purpose of pretending to be over his ex so that he can get back together with her and he lied to her about it.


Douche

In biology class, Joey is observing a tank full of snails while Pacey looks bored as hell. I don't blame him. Pacey asks her what they are doing and Joey explains that they are observing the reproductive process of snails and trying to find out what factors make for better reproduction. Pacey jokes that they get them drunk, turn the lights down and leave them alone for a couple of days and Joey gets mad at him for not taking the project seriously enough.


Come on, Joey. How can you stay
mad at that face?

Dawson is in his room when his dad comes in and starts grilling him about anyone calling. Dawson tells him that no one called for him and then Mitch spells out to him that he's not asking if anyone called for him specifically, just if anyone called that he should know about. So, he's basically involving his kid in his relationship drama. What kind of parent does that? Son, was your mother's lover calling here? I just wanted to remind you that your mother is a whore but we're just a couple of nice guys. Dammit, Mitch! First Jen disappoints me and now you?


Team the Leery's are a bunch of ass holes.

In school the next day (hooray for a clear time line!), Joey is angry over the fact that the snails they were supposed to have been observing have disappeared when Pacey was supposed to check on them. Pacey says he did check on them and nothing was happening so he decided that maybe the snails were like guys and wanted to live out the ultimate fantasy and that would get them going.

A snail menage-a-trois?

Oh Pacey, you so silly. Anyway, he put a "pretty" snail in their snails' tank to help things along but the "pretty" snail was apparently carnivorous and ate their snails. Joey is furious and so Pacey offers to do whatever she wants in order to make it up to her. He wants to make it up to her!

I'm getting excited.
Later, Joey calls Dawson out for using Mary-Beth to make Jen jealous. Bang on, Joey. She tries to convince Dawson to call the date off but Dawson is being whiny about how he should do the right thing but then what about Jen? Whine, whine, whine. Joey lets it slide but warns him that he shouldn't make being a jerk a habit because apparently Dawson is "one of the good ones"


Sure, whatever

Then Dawson is all "I wish I was taking you tonight." and Joey's all "I wish you were too." just to tease the fan girls a bit until Pacey shows up and interrupts them. Joey says that Pacey has volunteered to take her to the tidal pool to catch more snails for their project and says goodbye to Dawson.
At the carnival, Dawson meets up with Mary-Beth and they have an awkward conversation until they are joined by Cliff and Jen. Dawson makes the introductions and Mary-Beth catches on to him quickly. She asks to speak to Dawson alone and calls him out on it.



I will not be ignored, Dawson!

Pacey is rowing Joey out to the spot where they are going to fish for snails while Joey complains about having to waste her afternoon. Pacey gets annoyed and asks her what she got on her test that she needed to do this extra assignment with him. Joey gets uncomfortable and tries to change the subject.

So, Mary-Beth has called Dawson out for still being hung up on Jen and Dawson says that he's going to tell the truth. What does Mr. "Nice Guy" tell her? That he's such a super duper nice "Nice Guy" that he agreed to go on a double date for poor Jen's sake because she's not sure if she likes Cliff yet and doesn't want to be alone with him.

That's right, I created a Dawson Meme.
Deal with it.

Joey and Pacey are finishing up their snail collecting. The water is getting high and Joey wants to leave except that Pacey neglected to tie up their boat. Pacey, you live on a creek, shouldn't you know things about boats ie: tie them to something when you are not in them so they don't float away? You...you really aren't very bright, are you?


Awww, I still love you.

With Mary-Beth on board, she and Dawson rejoin Cliff and Jen at a games booth. Cliff wins the game which pisses Dawson off. Mary-Beth tries to get everyone to go to the Ferris wheel but Dawson won't have it. He has to prove he is the better man and beat Cliff at a stupid, rigged carnival game. Dawson manages to win this time but still looks like a big freaking baby for calling the game to try and win in the first place and then makes to hand the stuffed animal to Jen instead of his actual date before turning to Mary-Beth and telling her they need to talk.

I think I might be using this a lot.
Pacey and Joey bicker as they wade through the cold water to get back to Pacey's truck. Once there, Pacey grabs some blankets and tells her to get undressed and then wrap it around like he's going to do. Joey objects to this until Pacey explains that if she stays in her cold, wet clothes, she'll get sick. She starts undressing while Pacey goes to start up the truck. Then he turns into a bit of a skeeve as he spots Joey undressing in his passenger side mirror.


Hey! Eyes to the front, Witter.

Joey gets back in the car and Pacey is obviously very aroused and is smiling at her. She takes this as him laughing at her for looking ridiculous but Pacey tells her it's because when she loosens up, she becomes fun to be around.


Oh my gosh! The moment's almost here...

Dawson finds Mary-Beth and finally tells her the truth about the fake date and wanting Jen back. Mary-Beth takes this news surprisingly well and explains that she actually doesn't have a crush on Dawson, she just felt sorry for him. She actually has a crush on Cliff. Well, alright then, everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow for Dawson. He can still look like the nice guy. Hooray.

He and Mary-Beth decide that they can help each other out with their respective crushes. Mary-Beth pulls Cliff onto the Ferris wheel with her, leaving Jen to have to sit with Dawson.


We're next?

Back at Joey's house, Pacey thanks Joey for giving him Bodie's dry clothes. Then he brings up the midterm grades again. Pacey tells her that he got a 32 so she won't feel bad for telling him her grade but she still won't tell. Pacey then starts guessing at her grade and she finally tells him that she got a 98. She tells him her sob story about being poor and without a family and having to live in the living room of her sister's house. She wants to get out and go to college and the only way to do that is with a scholarship. To get a scholarship, she needs to have competitive grades hence needing an extra assignment for a 98 grade.

Pacey tries to tell her that she'll get out and go to a fancy college while he pumps gas in Capeside. Joey says she thinks Pacey will get out too but Pacey shrugs it off and then this happens:


I squeed like I was a little teen girl again.

But now we have to cut back to the carnival where Jen and Dawson are stuck at the top. Dawson tries to make small talk and mentions how "pretty" she and Cliff look together. Jen says they are just on a date and just getting to know each other and that she's not comfortable talking about it with Dawson. She then says she wants to retract her original offer of being friends.


Well, he didn't but she did.
You get the idea.

Jen then says that she doesn't know why he wanted to come or why she let him come. Dawson then calls her out for the same reason I had an issue with her earlier. When she dumped him, she said she wanted to be alone but then here she is dating Cliff. So he asks her if she was actually tired of men or just tired of him. Jen says nothing but Dawson still gets his answer.


Dawson is a sad panda.

Pacey and Joey arrive and Dawson cheers up a bit. Pacey asks to talk to Dawson alone. He tells Dawson that he actually had a pretty good day with Joey and they became friends and Pacey wants to be a little more than friends. Dawson responds by laughing at him, mocking him for having the "hots" for Joey and then asks if his friend is inhaling something.

Really, Dawson?

Dawson asks Pacey why he needs his permission and Pacey explains that he knows Dawson and Joey have a history together and he didn't want there to be any bad blood between them if he were to kiss Joey. Dawson says he's cool with it, then retracts his coolness with it and then says he's cool with it again. Pacey asks if he's sure and then goes on his way.


Dawson has to poo or he's confused or something.
Pacey has given Joey a ride home and then he makes his move. He asks if he has to fail another midterm or if they can hang out again sometime. Joey laughs this off, saying they will spend plenty of time together writing their report. Pacey says that's not what he meant and tries to clarify by kissing her.


I squeed again.

It doesn't go well and Joey asks him why he kissed her.


You wouldn't have to explain anything to me, Pacey.
Just saying.

He tells her what a nice time they had and that he was confused and surprised and attracted. Joey says she was confused and surprised too but not the third thing. Pacey accepts her answer pretty gracefully and then he turns to her and with the most adorable and sad expression ever, asks her if there was a slim chance she had kissed him back, would she have been thinking of someone else? Joey doesn't say anything but Pacey has his answer.


I wouldn't have been thinking of anyone else...
just saying.

Right here, though. This moment is when I started shipping them in my head and do you want to know why? On top of Pacey being more my type looks wise, he is also very genuine and open about his feelings. We keep being told by the writers of the connection that is between Joey and Dawson and how they are always there for each other but in their actions, they aren't. When I first saw this scene play out, I realised what a sham the Dawson and Joey relationship was. Why on Earth would I want to like a guy that doesn't consider my feelings at all, doesn't see me as attractive, and ditches me at the drop of a hat when I could have this guy that actually wants to date me, looks out for me, sees me as pretty and actually tries to make up for things he's done wrong to me. The answer is, I wouldn't.

To me, Joey made a huge freaking mistake rejecting Pacey in favour of mooning over Dawson and do you know what? I'm starting to get the impression that Joey is actually incredibly scared of her budding hormones because she doesn't want to end up like her sister, a young mom who is stuck in Capeside for her whole life. Joey is so scared of her sexuality that she focuses all of her energy on liking Dawson and do you want to know why? Because Dawson is safe. Dawson is her friend who treats her reasonably nice but also poses no threat to her in a sexual way as he is "unattainable" in that he friendzoned her. She is free to feel her new urges through him but not have to act on them. I also think all of her anger towards Jen was not because she wanted to date Dawson but was actually jealousy that Jen could so easily act on her impulses in a way that Joey could not. She resents Jen's experience, being from New York, letting go and having sex with seemingly no repercussions.

She had a chance to be with a guy who genuinely liked her and wanted to be with her and do everything that her urges probably want to do but she was too scared of being trapped. So Joey rejects reality for her safe fantasy.


Looks like Dawson isn't the only one living in
the safe movie world, eh Jo?

Back at the Leery household, I guess Mitch and Gail made up because they are hugging while letting the phone ring. They got, like no development this episode, I don't really care about this subplot or how they got to this inexplicable point when last we saw, Mitch was bitter enough to involve his son in their fight.


Totally resolved everything somehow...for now.

Dawson storms into the video store where Pacey is working and tells him that he is not OK with him kissing Joey. Pacey sees the big red button on Dawson's chest and begins pushing it, much like I would because it is hard to not push someone's button when they just present it to you like this. Pacey tells Dawson that he's too late, which he is, but he also plays it up like Joey liked it and that they are going to make out all the time. Dawson calls Pacey out for being full of it.


PREACH!

We end the episode on yet another cliffhanger that I'm sure they will gloss over in the next episode, because Pacey questions Dawson about his feelings for Joey and there are still three more angst filled episodes left this season so Dawson has to pretend that he still sees Joey as a friend for now.


I'll just leave you all with this

Next up is The Scare where I'm sure that we'll pretend this cliffhanger never happened. Welcome to the Creek, bitch. This is how it's done in Capeside or something to that effect.