Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dawson's Creek - 206 - The Dance

Original air date: November 11, 1998

So, I've found out that season 1 actually has alternate titles which explains why there are repeat episode titles this season. Here is what the season one episode titles were:

101 Pilot = Emotions in Motion
102 Dance = Dirty Dancing
103 Kiss = A Prelude to a Kiss
104 Discovery = Carnal Knowledge
105 Hurricane = Blown Away
106 Baby = Look Who's Talking
107 Detention = The Breakfast Club
108 Boyfriend = Escape from New York
109 Road Trip = In the Company of Men
110 Double Date = Modern Romance
111 The Scare (the same)
112 Beauty Contest = Pretty Woman
113 Decisions = Breaking Away

So, why were the episode titles changed? Well, from what I can tell, most of these are movie titles which is actually really clever. The movie title, fits the theme of Dawson's interest in movies as well as the subject of the episode, in most cases, without being as freaking obvious as say, Hurricane. It makes me a bit sad that they were changed. I can't find anything online that suggests why the titles were changed but maybe you have to get licences to use even just the title of a movie and it proved too expensive to obtain for DVD release?

Anyway, moving on. This episode returns us partially to the norm of opening in Dawson's room. Except that Pacey and Andie are with Joey and Dawson and Andie is dancing crazy!

Look at her go!
(Thanks to Lucas again for this wonderful gif)

She is dancing to Footloose because they are watching the movie. As we all know from last season's Dance, these characters prefer to watch movies about dances than actually go to a dance. My kind of people. I didn't like school dances, they were awkward and boring for the most part.

Andie is disappointed that no one wants to go to the dance and so she begins trying to convince them. They say they'd rather watch something in a movie than experience it for themselves so Andie asks them if they feel the same way about sex. This gets their attention.

They decide to go to the dance

The next day, Joey is getting a ride to school from her sister and asks her for advice about the whole Jack kissing her thing. Bessie laughs at her which is fun and then asks Joey if she's told Dawson. Joey starts complaining that she is confused about distinguishing between "Dawson the friend and Dawson the boyfriend" regarding what she can and can't tell him. I can save the drama world so much trouble, I tell you. There is no need for a distinction. It is possible for your boyfriend/girlfriend to be your friend whom you can tell most anything to. Bessie telling Joey not to tell Dawson, feels wrong to me. If it truly didn't mean anything to Joey then she really shouldn't feel bad about telling Dawson. Just my two cents on the matter but I guess, we wouldn't have much drama to enjoy on this show if everyone was honest with each other all the time, would we? Joey takes Bessie's advice on pretending it didn't happen.

This will totally not backfire on me!

Abby and Jen are debating whether or not Kristy Livingstone's breasts are real and...wait? Didn't they hate each other? Abby got pissed that Jen had a date with Vincent, Jen slapped Abby for calling her a slut and then kicked her out of the house, Abby spied on Jen's date and tried to sleep with Dawson to hurt her. What am I missing? There was no make up scene last episode. Why the hell are these two friends again?

I don't get it

Abby wants to steal Kristy Livingstone's boyfriend and Jen chastises her and calls her pathetic for wanting to go to the dance to hit on someone else's boyfriend. Because she's totally against hitting on other people's boyfriends, guys.

Totally against it

Abby's goal should not be hard to achieve because we next see Kristy fighting with her boyfriend. Dawson scoffs at this and makes Joey promise that they will never air their relationship troubles in public.

Because they've never done that before


He then asks her how Andie convinced them all to go to the homecoming dance. Joey reminds him that it's because she suggested that the night might end in "tawdry smut-action" Dawson says that's the first time that they've talked about sex since they've started dating.

Because they totally haven't talked about sex
since they started dating


Ok, so that's three contradictions that this show has managed to write in the span of 5 fucking minutes. Four, if you count the fact that Abby and Jen are mysteriously friends again despite being in a fight last episode. Writers, you need to mark this shit down somewhere because it looks stupid when your characters act like they haven't done something when they clearly have before. Give your viewers some credit, we can remember shit that happens in the show. You can't pick and choose what sticks in an episode and what doesn't. Once you've shown us something, that is part of your show's cannon and when you try to pretend otherwise, it ends up just confusing or irritating your audience.


Back on topic, Joey thinks they haven't talked about it because they didn't want to confuse the transition from friends to lovers. Dawson thinks that there is a way to un-confuse the transition and tells Joey to put on her dancing shoes. Because dancing equals foreplay, get it?

Abby and Jen walk by and Abby tells Dawson to wipe his drool when he says hi to Jen. Joey immediately says that she doesn't like the two of them being so chummy because Abby is a bad influence on Jen. Well, at least Abby was actually nice to her in the beginning, unlike some people. Joey says that she feels bad for Jen and suggests that they invite her to go with them to the dance. Dawson points out that since she'd be a fifth wheel, that would make her feel worse and I agree. Joey tells him it's his call and I don't think it's what the writers are going for but I immediately see this as some sort of weird test for Dawson like she just wants to see if Dawson still wants Jen or something.

I clearly have no faith in this character or her
relationship with Dawson

Pacey asks Andie what she'd prefer being picked up at her house or meeting them somewhere. That is genuinely nice, this is how you show concern for your partner, by respecting their boundaries. Andie tells him she'd prefer being picked up. Pacey also asks how her mother is doing and says that if Andie ever needs any help, all she has to do is ask him.

Best. Boyfriend. EVER

Andie looks moved but changes the subject to the dance. Pacey clarifies that although he is going, he doesn't dance. This upsets Andie a bit and they banter about it but they still agree to meet for 7. Dawson then meets up with them and Andie asks if she can invite her brother, Jack, to go with them to the dance. Dawson thinks it's a great idea because then, he can invite Jen since they are both single. Pacey thinks this is a bad idea but Dawson and Andie agree to do it anyway.

They always ignore the most sensible character

When Dawson gets home from school, he finds his parents waiting to talk to him. They inform him that they are going to start a trial separation. Dawson is not pleased with this and acts...well, like a sulky teenager so I guess it works. It bugs me that he wants to suggest that they try counselling because we all know they tried that last season which resulted in the scuba gear fiasco but Dawson was too busy with his own drama to pay attention to his parents then. At least he's now trying to be involved, I guess and they are trying to have him be affected by his parents' problems, so I'll give a pass for Dawson on this scene, even though he irked me, because it is a pretty realistic reaction for a teen to have regarding his parents' separation.

You should be like Joey and me and ignore your
problems. It works so well for us, you'll see

Andie and Jack are waiting for Pacey to pick them up. Jack complains that he would have preferred being picked up at the house and then asks Andie if she strapped their mother in for the night. Andie snaps at him that she'd like one night off to have fun and be a normal teenager. She then suggests that he should relax and have fun too because he could meet the woman of his dreams. Jack quietly says he already has and we know he's talking about Joey because everyone instantly falls in love with her even though she's a bitch to them. Instantly!

The woman of my dreams belittles me and yells
at me every chance she gets. She's awesome

Mitch finishes packing up his car and reassures Gail that this is only a trial. She nods her agreement but the moment he takes off, she starts crying her eyes out because she does not want her marriage to be over. I half feel bad for her and half ask what the hell she expected to happen when she started cheating on him. That he'd be OK with it and that they could immediately go back to normal? I know, I know, I kind of flip flop on these two. One episode makes me see Gail's side and another makes me see Mitch's, which is fairly realistic. No one is ever wrong 100% of the time and no one is ever right 100% of the time. As much as I know that Gail fucked up her marriage, I still feel bad for her when Mitch leaves.

Good job, Mary Margaret Humes

To the writer's credit again, they actually make Dawson show some concern for his mother rather than cutting to him at the dance. He actually offers to stay home if she'd like him too but Gail wants to be alone and urges Dawson to go, all without looking at him because she doesn't want to show him that she's crying. It's another great scene.

The gang all meet up for the big dance. Joey is awkward when Jack shows up, Jen looks awkward that everyone else is there which leads me to wonder how exactly Dawson worded things when he asked her to go to the dance. I got the impression that Jen had the impression that she was just going with Dawson. The show doesn't really expand on this though, so it's best to forget it. She is awkwardly introduced to Jack.

This is going to be a thing with her

Inside the dance, Abby spots Jen and goes over to her. Jen says hi to Abby and then Abby says that she loves Jen's dress and that she has a smaller size. Uh...burn? Didn't Jen wear one of Abby's dresses before? Weren't they friends at the beginning? Are they enemies again? I get the feeling that the writers aren't too sure about where they want to go with this friendship yet. I think they are supposed to be enemies now but then why did it seem like they were hanging out again at the beginning of the episode? I mean, yes Abby got annoyed with Jen for not wanting to go to the dance but they were still hanging out and described by Joey to Dawson as "chummy" before this scene.

Is it seriously too much to ask for consistency
within a single episode?

Anyway, Andie pulls Jack over to dance with Jen. Jen continues with her slightly annoying refusal to just say Jack by calling him "brother Jack" and when he corrects her by saying "it's just plain Jack." She responds by calling him "just plain Jack." I'm finding it as annoying as Jack seems to be finding it.

Dawson is telling Joey about how his parents are separating and how he wishes that they would go back to their coffee table sex antics.

Careful what you wish for, Dawson

But don't worry about Dawson, he sees a bright side in his mother cheating on his father and them going through a trial separation...the coffee table is now free.


Yeah, it's good that your parents are separating so that you can now make out/have sex on the coffee table your parents used to. Dawson's a little gross. He spots Jack and Jen dancing and makes a comment to Joey about how they seem to like each other. She gets extremely defensive about it and says it's the stupidest thing she's ever heard of. She goes on to say what a sweet, nice guy Jack is and how Jen is a barracuda.

And the claws are out again

Dawson asks her why she's getting so worked up about Jack and Jen getting along and Joey claims she isn't getting worked up but that she just has an opinion. That opinion is that Joey must have all the guys. All the guys must like her and not Jen, it is law.

I have one too and it's that Joey has irrational
rage issues against other women

Andie tries to convince Pacey to dance with her and he still refuses so Andie says she will dance with someone else. Pacey watches Kristy Livingstone dance with her boyfriend. No, Pacey, please don't act like a moron again!

Andie then goes over to Jen and Jack and tells them it's time to switch partners, presumably because she'd like to dance. Jen excuses herself for air so Andie dances with Dawson and Jack dances with Joey.

Jack takes the opportunity to apologise to Joey for kissing her and instead of accepting it and moving on, she bites his head off about making her feel guilty every time she looks at Dawson now. Except, she shouldn't feel guilty if the kiss didn't mean anything. Joey gets upset and does what she does best.

Running away solves everything!

Jack follows her and tries again to apologise and she again bites his head off. He then calls her out on her anger and that he doesn't think she's mad at him for kissing her but that she's mad at herself for kissing him back. Unfortunately, Dawson has overheard this. Joey responds in her usual way.

Running away solves everything!!

I don't think I have ever seen a character avoid problems as much as Joey. It kind of irritates me mainly because a lot of girls in high school tried to emulate this behaviour and it would always annoy the pants off of me because they so clearly just wanted to see if you would chase after them to try and make them feel better. It was exhausting and it's no wonder that those types of people were the first ones I "lost contact with."

So the night isn't going so great for anyone so far but on the plus side, Abby achieved her goals.

Good for Abby

Jen tries to excuse herself for the night and Andie gets indignant because she wanted to get to know Jen until Jack comes up to them saying that he wants to leave also. Her matchmaker hat still on, Andie tells Jack to walk Jen home. Jack is trying to make a quick exit but it's too late, the Dawsonator has located him.

Dawson asks him what happened and Jack tries to tell him to talk to Joey about it but Dawson insists he answer him. Jack tries to pass off that it was a weird night and that the moon was full but Dawson isn't buying it. Jack then says this:

Jack: Yeah, I did. I'm not going to apologise for it, man, cause truth is, I'd do it again so let's just not make this into a high school rumble alright? 'Cause neither of us are the type.
Then Dawson punches Jack in the face. It is awesome.


Pacey is coming out of the men's room when he spots Kristy standing alone in the hallway. Pacey goes to talk to her and she reveals that she is sad that her boyfriend hits on anything in a short skirt and that she lacks the self-esteem to stop him. Pacey gives her a pep talk by talking about how great he thinks she is...except that it's based mainly on looks. I'm not saying that she couldn't be an incredible girl, I'm just saying that Pacey doesn't know much about her besides the fact that she's hot. She asks him to dance and he agrees and this was my reaction:

Gail is sitting alone at the house, eating ice cream because that's what us bitches do when we are upset, right? Anyway, Mitch is also feeling lonely and calls her to talk. This seems like a good sign for them, that they already miss each other but of course, they can't get back together so soon.

Andie sees Jack and Jen off before Dawson can come back for a rematch. She then turns around and spots Pacey and Kristy dancing...even though Pacey said he didn't dance at all. The look on her face breaks my heart, you guys.

She is crushed

Pacey sees her and immediately stops his dance with Kristy. I don't know how the writers are going to reconcile this. That was a pretty shitty thing for Pacey to do. How can he justify refusing to dance with the girl he's on a date with and then dancing with another girl? I guess we'll have to wait to find out.

Dawson is leaving the dance too when Joey runs up to him and asks him where he's going. He says he's going home and Joey cries about how she wants to talk. I rolled my eyes at that and was about to say something when, shockingly, Dawson says it for me:


Joey then tries to tell him that it wasn't what he was thinking. She says that Jack kissed her and Dawson finishes her thought by saying she just didn't stop it. Then she tries to give a lame apology before turning it around and saying he is blowing things into "cinematic proportions" I was going to yell at her for this but once again, Dawson has my back.

You go, Dawson! Finish her!

So basically, they argue in public, like they've supposedly never done before and promised they wouldn't do. Joey starts saying that Dawson is the bad guy even though she's the one who kissed another guy and then starts saying that for once, it's about her. For once? When has it ever not been about Joey?

It's all about me! Me me me me ME!

Jen and Jack arrive at her house and Jen thanks him for a good evening. She then gets a kind of sad look on her face as she says that he must really like Joey if he took a punch like that for her. Jack says that he knows it's a lost cause but he wants to take a chance anyway. Jen thanks him for giving her a good time and being really good at pretending he didn't want to be with someone else while he was with her. I just kind of go, "awwwww!" at that because she looks really beaten. That's two guys now that want Joey over her and I immediately feel for her. I've been in a situation where every guy seemed to be attracted to this one girl and it made me feel pretty damn inadequate. It also makes you wonder:


Anyway, Jen thanks Jack for a good time and tells him to keep fighting for his lost causes.

Meanwhile, Pacey finally catches up with Andie who immediately calls him out on his not dancing bullshit. Pacey tries to ignore the question by saying that he's been looking everywhere for her but Andie isn't buying it. She ignores him right back and asks him again.

You go, Andie!

Pacey tries to joke that you couldn't call what he was doing dancing, implying that he sucks at it but Andie interjects that she would call it foreplay. Zing! He then tries to say he got swept up in the moment but that makes it worse and then he tries to pass it off as just a fantasy and asks her if she wouldn't want to act out a fantasy.

You were bad and you should feel bad, Pacey

What does Pacey say to this? He asks her why she likes him. I'm not impressed. You just hurt this girl's feelings and you have the gall to ask her to build up your self-esteem?

She does tell him why she likes him and it's really sweet but she finishes with "and that's more than you deserve right now." Right on! Pacey, of course, feels even shittier and apologises more sincerely to her and then says that the moment that was supposed to make his night worthwhile wasn't with Kristy, he wants the moment to be with her. He then asks her to dance.

Damnit! Why do you have to be so cute?

OK...I guess you're forgiven but seriously,
stop ditching Andie for inferior women.
It hurts my heart

Dawson enters his room to find Joey already there and crying. Wow, did she gain the ability to aparate or is Dawson really slow? Either way, Joey actually gives a sincere apology this time. Dawson asks her what's been up with her because ever since they got together, she's been pulling away. Joey says that Dawson is what she's going to want which is pretty damn insulting when you think about it. She spent all of last season dumping on Jen because she was dating Dawson when Joey wanted to, dumping on Dawson for dating Jen and for being an idiot for not seeing how great they could be and then she pulls this crap? So, Dawson was her dream and now she feels like she doesn't have her own identity or her own goals...

Good thing you turned down that trip
to France in favour of Dawson then

So yes, this character, who chose to give up her own path to be with Dawson has now decided that she can't be with Dawson because she needs to find herself first. I told you she would resent Dawson for not going on that trip! She chose the safe, easy path and now feels like she gave up too much and doesn't want to be with Dawson anymore.

I told you so, I told you so, I-I-I told you so!

In a desperate bid to keep her, Dawson tells Joey that he loves her. She turns around and says that she loves him too but then leaves anyway. Dawson is heartbroken and doesn't understand how they can be over when they just said they loved each other...ehhhhhhh you kind of were just saying it to keep her from leaving so it didn't mean that much. Joey just tells him that she has to go and then does what she does best:

Quick! Run away again!

Dawson is left alone and kicks over the ladder that Joey always uses to get to his place. Their relationship is over and so is the episode.

See, this is why I never thought that Joey and Dawson would work out. I'm pretty damn convinced that Joey has major issues and that the only reason she wanted to be with Dawson was because he was safe. She's not happy with him, hell they got into fights or misunderstandings in five out of the six episodes of their short relationship. Dawson, was even pretty supportive of her getting new hobbies or life's passions and finding herself. Why couldn't she find herself with him at her side? Answer, she can she just realised that Dawson is not who she wants to be with romantically.

See what I mean? He's actually trying to be there
for her and help her find her "thing"

On top of that, Joey wants to travel the world and probably go to a good school while Dawson wants to go to California and try and make it as a Hollywood director. They are already on different paths, they just refuse to accept it and as characters who are teen aged, I get that but it doesn't mean that I ever thought, even as a teenager myself, that they could end up together. Not unless one of them was willing to give up their dreams.

That's just my two cents on their relationship, I guess we'll see where everything goes in the next episode, The All Nighter.


  1. I now have Run Joey Run in my head. So. That's fun. Man, the contradictions in this episode, even reading your summarization of them, are so headache-making.

    1. Oh my god, I had that song in my head too when I kept seeing Joey run away all episode. Hilarious.

      Yeah, this show really lacks consistency. It's becoming very clear that they just want to write whatever seems the most dramatic in a particular moment, rather than paying attention to characterization.