Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dawson's Creek - 113 - Decisions

Original air date: May 19, 1998

Well, we are finally here. We made it to the final episode of season 1 and you know what? Every episode started off in Dawson's room. We scored a perfect baker's dozen, everyone!

Yay us!
(Also, much thanks to Lucas again for making this)

So, instead of talking about what happened last episode, I'll guess last week in the show's time, they are going to continue to pretend to be oblivious of the big elephant in the room, electing instead to banter with each other about metaphors, cliffhangers and TV. Because this show just loves to have these two banter with each other and pat themselves on the back for talking above average teen levels. Yet, for a bunch of teens that can spout endless jargon about society, have the self-awareness to relate their problems to TV and movie tropes and use psychoanalytical language, they sure can talk circles around their actual issues. I mean, how hard is it to say, "Dawson, I like you." and for him to reply "Hey, neat. I like you too."

Nah, let's argue about stuff that loosely relates to
our troubles while never actually addressing them. Hooray!

The most interesting story in this episode goes to Jen and her Grams. They are dealing with some actual heavy issues when it seems that her Gramps has finally woken up from his coma.

Jen is elated and feels like a weight has been lifted from her. She wants to go out and have some fun and apparently hopes that Dawson will accompany her. Dawson is still under Joey's magical evening dress spell and doesn't seem all that interested in hanging out with the girl he used to obsess over.

Too late, girl

Joey walks by in a stupor until she is stopped by Dawson, who now sounds like an excited lap dog when he calls her name.

Pictured: Joey and Dawson
Joey informs them that since another girl dropped out of studying in France for a semester because she didn't want to leave her boyfriend, she has been asked to go instead. Jen is thrilled for her but Dawson is butt hurt because he doesn't want his friend to leave.

But...but I just found out it wouldn't be incest

We cut to the Icehouse where Joey is now telling her sister about it. Well, she's focusing on the negatives of going which include lack of friends, her inability to speak the language (Which, hold up...wouldn't they have asked a kid who was actually studying French to go to France and not some random?) and the fact that she doesn't want to live in a country that worships Mickey Rourke. Mickey Rourke? Do the French love that guy? I've never heard that before.

Bessie tells Joey that no matter what she chooses, she is proud of her and she bets her father will be too. Joey asks why she would tell her father and Bessie informs her that it's his birthday and they agreed that one of them would visit him in prison and since she went last year it's Joey's turn. Yeah...why does she have to go if she clearly doesn't want to? Also, why would they agree to alternate it? Go together and support each other, don't send your 15 year old sister to a jail all by herself.

You are a suck-tacular guardian, Bessie

In the Pacey sub-sub-plot this episode, they've actually decided to follow up a little bit on his storyline from last episode regarding his family issues. Doug drives up behind Pacey and lets him know that their father is looking for him. It comes out that Pacey has failed his mid-terms, I guess despite him doing that extra credit project with Joey and is put on a fail watch by the school. His father is none too pleased. Doug then informs Pacey that he is a walking joke with a bad punchline that no one is laughing at and it will be too late to change. He basically spells out that his entire family is ashamed of him.

Poor Pacey

We cut to Joey and Dawson who are on their way to visit her father. She has asked Dawson to go with her for support or maybe because a 15 year old girl should not be going to a prison by herself. Not that she needs a guy or anything but prisons are a pretty fucking intimidating place and not the funnest place to visit by yourself. Dawson tells her some platitudes about her visit being alright and at least it's only one day and then changes the subject to her decision about her semester abroad. She then turns it on him and asks what he would do if she left. He says suicide and she asks him to be serious so he says that if going to France makes her happy then he'd be happy for her.

Somehow, both of these are the wrong answer

They approach the prison guard and realise that they've missed visiting hours. Well, that was well planned out. She says it takes 4 hours on a bus so she doesn't want to go back. I don't get it? Didn't they know it was a four hour bus ride to get to the prison? Why didn't they leave earlier? Why didn't she know when visiting hours were? Seems like Bessie should have told her.

OK, seriously. Worst. Guardian. Ever.

Dawson and Joey opt to stay the night and you know the whole prison thing and missing visiting hours and it being so far away was a ploy to get these two alone so that they can bicker about their feelings some more.

Joey spares no time in picking on Dawson which is weird because he starts talking about how much he'd miss her when she goes to France and that he's been thinking a lot about them but then he starts questioning what's going on between them, she brings her claws out. Dawson tries to apologise and explain that he's confused and scared about what will happen if he can't work out his feelings.

Gee, I don't know. Maybe he's scared of the same
thing you were scared of all season?

Seriously, this is another thing that really pisses me off about the Joey character. She is constantly criticising or calling people out for things that she does. Like Jen, Joey constantly put her down for taking things slowly with Dawson, made Dawson doubt their relationship because of this and yet...Joey takes things slowly too because she's nervous about sex. Being nervous about sex is totally understandable when you've never had it before but what I can't get behind is her self righteous attitude about it. Or maybe it's her implied attitude of "I can take things slow because I'm a good virgin but Evil!Jen has had sex before so she doesn't get to take things slow, she should just give it up at every opportunity now." Just, Fuck you, Joey!

No! I'm allowed to do it but you aren't.

Meanwhile, Grams is elated that her husband has woken up and is thanking God. Jen decides this is the time to mock her Grams' happiness by telling her that prayer probably had nothing to do with her Gramps' recovery. Bitch. Now, I'm not a believer in God or the healing power of prayer or anything but Grams clearly is and it is pretty bitchy to tell someone that their coping tool does not help them. I know Jen was denying that it helped her Gramps which, is true but if it makes her Grams happy and gives her strength to pray and she feels that it worked, why would you take that away from her? Just try and be happy with her for once. You both got what you wanted. To be fair to Jen, she realises this and suggests they both be happy about it in their own ways. Good, Jen. Just know,

I'm watching you.

The next day, at the prison compound, Joey waits for her father to show up in the visiting area. Dawson tries to excuse himself but Joey tells him he can't leave her. Uh, I'm with Dawson on this one. He's your dad, Joey, you should be the one visiting with him. But, of course, he stays.

Because Joey said so.

As soon as her father walks in, Joey turns her bitch-o-meter to max volume. Now, I get it. Her dad is a moron, he cheated on her dying mother, he trafficked drugs and got sent to prison, effectively leaving Joey an orphan. He's a douche and I would have a hard time forgiving him too BUT you are there for one day in two years, don't you think you would have something to say to your father, no matter how fucked up he may be? Even if it's to say that they hurt you and that it makes you uncomfortable to visit him in prison? No, instead we get her being a sullen brat, as per usual who snarks at her dad at every opportunity.

Mr. Potter: I'm so glad. You have no idea. You're all grown up. It's amazing.

Joey: Well, that's what people do. They grow up.

OK, calm down. He was trying to pay you a compliment for fuck's sake. So, compliment failed, her father tries to steer the conversation in a different direction:

Mr. Potter: How'

Joey: That's what you wanna talk about? (snarky laugh)
Fuck you, you snarky bitch. He's trying to make conversation with you, it's probably awkward for him too. Also, what is so weird about her dad wanting to ask her about school? But, you know what? I get it, her dad did a shitty thing to her when she needed a parent to lean on with her mother dying so I could totally forgive this line if she, I don't know, told him this. Used it to lead into what she wanted to talk about but she doesn't. Instead, her father tries to ask her:

Mr. Potter: What do you want to talk about?

Joey: Nothing.

For the love what? You just want to sit there and sulk for an hour?

Fine. Whatever.

To her credit, she does blow up at him after this. Asking if he misses her mom and then telling him that the family he misses doesn't exist anymore and that she won't be back to see him because she is going to France. It's not 100 percent up front but it is anger I can get behind.

Joey leaves and Dawson makes to go after her but her father asks him to stay and tell him about his daughter. Dawson obliges. I'll post it here to be fair, as it is supposed to set up the love he has for her:

Dawson: I mean, she's smart, she's beautiful, she's funny, she's a big ol' scaredy-cat. If you creep up from behind her she'll jump out of her skin. It's pretty amusing. She's honest. She always calls them just like she sees them. You can always count on getting the truth from Joey even if the truth hurts. She's stubborn. We fight a lot. She can be so frustrating sometimes. But she's a really, really, good friend. I know her to a fault. She believes in me. And I'm a dreamer so it's so good to have somebody like that in my life. If she goes away, I don't know what I'm going to do. I mean, she's my best friend, you know? She's more than that. She's everything.
However, I don't agree with what he is saying. Joey is smart and beautiful, she can be funny and she definitely was shown to be a scaredy cat, so that part holds up, but honest?

Did we forget about her Debrah Carson incident? Not a very honest thing to do to someone, lying about who you are and where you live. On top of that, there is the whole fact that she harboured a crush on Dawson for a whole school year and never said anything which, OK fine, I get being nervous about ruining a friendship. Except for the fact that she continuously manipulated Dawson into having fights with both Jen and Pacey just because she wanted to be with him but didn't have the guts to be honest with him. So, yeah, you can't always count on getting the truth from Joey, in my opinion.

Also, does she really believe in Dawson? Because she seems to mock him an awful lot for his interest in movies. Even going so far as to tell him that girls wouldn't be interested in him because he's such a geek about movies. But, I digress.

Joey confronts Dawson once they are off the bus because apparently he hasn't said one word to her since they left the prison. That must have been one awkward and long four hour bus ride, then. Yikes. Dawson tells her that her dad asked about her and that he misses her and she shouldn't have left. He also tells her that she'll have to deal with her father sometime or her resentment will grow.

Her resentment and snarkyness could get worse than it is now?


Joey admits that she hates her father and that she has to deal with the legacy he left her every day of her life. She then tells him that she's decided to go to Paris because she won't have to deal with her father there. Dawson is surprised she's made this decision and tells her that running away is not the answer. Joey demands that he give her one good reason she should stay. Way to put that decision on your best friend, Joey. If he tells you to go in order to be supportive, you'll resent him for not asking you to stay and be with him which is what you are clearly fishing for and if he asks you to stay, you're going to resent him for holding you back from experiencing something new and fulfilling your desire to get out of Capeside. Dawson can't answer so Joey runs away.

Running away solves everything!

Back with Jen and Grams, apparently Gramps has had another stroke. Grams tries to reassure herself that God has a plan and that they can help her husband with the power of prayer. Jen gets upset at this and asks how her Grams can have so much faith in prayer when prayer can't change God. Grams retorts by saying that she doesn't pray to change God, she prays to change herself.

Grams is kind of awesome

Joey is closing up the Icehouse when Pacey walks in. She tells him they're closing and Pacey begs her to not make him eat with the Stepford family. She mentions having a wave of sympathy for him but that it'll pass because apparently she is back to hating him even though I thought they kind of became friends after Double Date but whatever.

I find it interesting that after we are told by Dawson, how honest Joey is with him when she really isn't, that Pacey asks her to be honest with him because she usually is and I believe it. She has always had no problem telling him when he's being an idiot and exactly what he's being an idiot for. She has had open and honest discussions with him, first regarding his affair with Ms. Jacobs, where she lent him support and opened up about what it's like to be the subject of gossip and then again when they talked honestly about how much she worries about her grades and getting out of Capeside and he lent her his support. These two can talk honestly with each other, we've seen the evidence but every time Joey and Dawson talk, they never tell each other what they really feel because they are so worried about impressing each other. Joey and Dawson banter. Pacey and Joey talk to each other.

I will go down with this ship

Anyway, Pacey asks her when he became the town joke and Joey tries to reassure him that his family doesn't think that. When he tells her that his brother told him as much, she tries to make him feel better by saying that at least his whole family isn't a joke to the town. She then tells him that she just got back from visiting her father and he asks her how it went. You know, like real friends do? When he sees it didn't go well, this exchange happens:

Pacey: Fathers are weird creatures, you know that? When I was 8 years old, I used to play Pee Wee baseball. We had this huge game at the end of the season. It was 2 outs, bottom of the ninth, and I was up to bat. I struck out. Anyway, we get home and my dad just proceeds to ream me. Tell me what a loser I am and what a disgrace I am to the whole family and town for losing the game. Next morning I go down to breakfast, and I overhear my dad relaying the events of the game to my brother. I heard him say to him, 'At least I have you.' I never told anybody this but I wish I'd never heard him say that.

Joey: Well, maybe you should have a talk with your father. You know, tell him that he hurt you.

Pacey: Is that what you did?

Joey: No, but I'm going to.
Just like that. He understands her issue, he has a perspective on how bad fathers can be. All he has to do is relay an open, honest story about how he deals with his father and when she offers him sensible advice, he turns it on her. He actually knows how to deal with Joey's "Do as I say, not as I do" mentality and let her come to her own conclusion, that she has to do what she would tell someone else to do. They get each other, they understand each other and they often times seem to help each other when someone like Dawson just can't.

Joey, charged up on her self-realisation, wants to go to the prison and face her father while she has the nerve. The catch is, the buses don't run this late and that's not her only problem seeing as how visiting hours will be well over. What does Pacey do? He drives her all the way there. When they get there, he manages to convince the guard to let her see her father right away. I mean, come on, how much more does he have to do for her to convince her that he likes her?

Get a clue! He's doing this because he loves you!

Back in Capeside, Twist! Jen comes through Dawson's window. She's upset because her Gramps has relapsed and she feels like she is losing everyone. Dawson tells her she has him but she says he's only half there and admits that it is her fault because she pushes people away. She then asks him if she can sleep with him, the way he sleeps with Joey, as friends. Dawson agrees and awkwardly gives her platitudes about "everything being OK"

Dawson is a robot who can't deal with real
human emotions. Of this, I am convinced

Back with Joey, she is finally confronting her father. She tells him that he messed up, not just because he broke the law, or left her without a father but because he doesn't know her at all. This is true. She says that she's fine and that she turned out pretty good, no thanks to him and I'm fine with that dig because she's explained herself and is finally being honest and she's right. She will be fine and he will have nothing to do with it because he got himself locked up. However, the next part while part heart-wrenching is also fucking annoying. Joey asks her father if he loves her and I feel bad for her because I can understand why she'd feel that he doesn't. But then, this happens:

Joey: Do you really love me though? Because I'm 15 years old and I go through everyday of my life thinking nobody loves me.

Mr. Potter: Well nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not the only one. Dawson Leery. He loves you, Joey.
Why? Why would this happen? What father tells his daughter that a boy loves her? It just doesn't make any sense. He then tells her that she loves him too and she, of course, agrees. Again, I call bull shit. My father never once went to me and was like 'That boy loves you, you know and you love him." and do you know why he'd never say that? Because fathers, as cliche and double standard as this is, like to pretend that their "little girls" don't date and they definitely don't like to think of the implications of what their daughters get up when they love someone, if you catch my drift. This just reeks of poor writing, of using her father to smash the Joey and Dawson dolls together because if another character says they love each other, then they must.

Fine, you love Dawson

Her dad, her DAD, tells her that she has to tell Dawson. Because, it's not like they're talking about anything important, it's not like they have a relationship to mend and build. No, Joey has to tell Dawson she loves him. Joey tells her father that she loves him before leaving to tell Dawson the same thing.

Instead of everything being resolved easily, we have to throw another wrench in this thing so, of course. Joey rows up all excited in her row boat and climbs through the window only to see this:

Dun, dun, DUNNNN!

And a big misunderstanding happens where she thinks that Dawson has slept with Jen or at least gotten back together with her. He tries to tell her that it's not what she thinks but, of course, she runs away before he can.

Running away solves everything!!

Jen goes back to her house after being completely blown off by Dawson while he chases after Joey and talks to her Grams. Grams sees something is wrong with Jen and wants to help but Jen politely declines.

As Dawson races through Capeside in a desperate bid to find Joey and tell her that nothing happened with Jen, actual things are happening in the Lindley house as Jen gets a call from the hospital notifying her that her Gramps has passed away.

This scene is literally the most heart-wrenching scene all season, Grams is in the church and Jen quietly sits next to her. Grams then asks God to keep her husband safe for her and Jen adds, "and me too." finally accepting her Grams' beliefs, not as her own but as a way to comfort her and then Grams just totally breaks down and cries about how much she misses her husband. This is the Grams I love, the sweet, vulnerable, human Grams but it also helps me understand the previous Grams too. How she was trying to be strong for Jen's sake and in a way to shield herself from the knowledge that she'd probably lost her husband a long time ago. It breaks my heart and this scene just brings me to tears.

They're not real people, they're not real people...
*Sobs uncontrollably*

But, since this is about Dawson and Joey, of course we have to go back to their drama. Dawson gives up his quest to find Joey that I guess is also supposed to show us how connected they are because Dawson goes to every place Joey has already been but I just find it hilarious.

Here I am!


I'm over here!

Fooled you!

I mean, this happens over and over to the point where I'm like, "Jesus Christ! How many spots does this chick have to stop and contemplate things and does she have to go to every single one of them for one problem?" I get this vision in my head every time I see this playing out that she's like timing her contemplation time, like 5 minutes for each place just so she can get to all of them in a day.

I know they used this scene to show how in tune Dawson is to Joey but if he was so in tune with her, you'd think he would have caught her at one of those places before she left. I mean, he was running all over and she was just moping from spot to spot.

Dawson eventually gives up and goes home and "surprise!" Joey is in his closet. Can I just point out how creepy and weird it is that she likes to sit in the dark in a closet? Not even her own closet but her friend's closet. It's weird.

You are a creeper, Joey Potter

Dawson tries to tell her that nothing is going on between he and Jen and Joey says that he doesn't have to explain anything because they are just friends. Dawson says that's not true and Joey then asks what they are then. When he doesn't answer, she becomes angry and tells Dawson to grow up.

Dawson asks if she's going to France and then Joey smirks and says "ah, the inevitable cliffhanger." Get it? Because they were talking about cliffhangers at the beginning of the episode and now she has a cliffhanger question in real life! So Joey finally throws down with this:

Joey: Dawson, I'm so tired of dancing around these big words. I just want to be honest with you.
Dawson: Me too. Joe, more than anything, I just want to be honest.

Yes! For the love of God, be honest with each other! I'm begging you.

Joey: Do you think we're ready for that honesty?

Dawson: Yeah I do.

We are all ready for you two to be honest with each other. Please, dear Christ just get this over with.

Joey: Are you sure? Because honesty is a big word and it changes things and it complicates things. Are you sure you're ready for all the things that comes along with telling the truth?

But of course, Dawson ruins it.

Wait, could it be incest?

So, Joey runs away.

Running away solves everything!!!

But Dawson stops her.

I guess running away does solve everything

The fucking end.

Thus concludes the first season of Dawson's Creek. And if you think the annoying melodrama between Dawson and Joey is finally over now that they've kissed, well, you are sorely mistaken, Sir. They still have five more seasons of angst to get through. So, stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to this heart stopping cliffhanger.


  1. Do you find Dawson's Creek annoying or something? Cuz it seems like you don't like Joey/Dawson's drama :(

    1. I actually really enjoy it but recognize it has its problems. Also, no, I'm not a Dawson/Joey fan. I mainly watched for Pacey.