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:


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.


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.

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 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!

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.


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.

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 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 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?

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