Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Dawson's Creek - 207 - The All Nighter

Original air date: November 18, 1998

Ok, so last episode was the big break up between Dawson and Joey. Things have now changed completely. Case in point, this episode opens up in Dawson's room but minus Joey. Instead, Dawson's mom has joined him for movie night.

They are watching Shakespeare, to show how deep and troubled Dawson is, I'm sure. He's going on about how Shakespeare conquered all the stories first, someone has only taken high school English, I see. There were writers who conquered romance and tragedy long before Shakespeare came around, Dawson. He also goes on to say that Shakespeare's parting lesson, "the genre of genres that he arrived at after years of toil and sacrifice" was tragedy. Um, except that the last play he is credited with writing was a comedy called The Two Noble Kinsmen written in 1613. Then again, it's also labelled as a "tragi-comedy" so maybe Dawson is half right.

But he's also half wrong

Whether he's right or not, he still sounds pretty pretentious, equating his high school break up with Joey with real works of tragedy. He does show concern for his mother though as he states that she's been crying a lot. She says that he concerns her too because he has not been wallowing. Dawson doesn't see a point as it won't get the person back but Gail points out that you don't wallow to get someone back, you wallow to give yourself time to heal. Good point.

You were a bit too supportive. Try picking at
Dawson's insecurities and manipulate him a
little more, then it will be like Joey never left!

The next day, the teacher is spouting off Shakespeare in class as he tells the students about the upcoming midterm worth 50% of their grade. He seems really pretentious which might explain why the kids of Capeside are also so pretentious.

During the teacher's speech, a mysterious boy we've never been introduced to before, throws a note at Jen. It tells her not to forget to smile, so I guess he's trying to be charming.

Hey look, it's Max the alien from Roswell and
Buffy's friend, Ford! They are one and the same!

Class ends and Joey runs to catch up with Dawson, who is obviously trying to avoid her. Joey tells him that they have to talk to each other some time and I disagree. They don't have to do anything. I find it hilarious that Joey breaks up with him and asks for space but doesn't give Dawson the same courtesy. You know, he maybe wants some space too to get over the whole break up but noooo. Joey must have everything all the time, she should be able to break up with Dawson and still have him be her lap dog. Case in point, when she asks him what he wants to say to her, he replies with "go away" and Joey says "besides that" in an irritated tone. Um, Joey? You asked him what he wanted to say and that is what he wanted to say to you, deal with it. Of course she says that she didn't think that asking for space and breaking up with him meant avoiding each other all together and then whines that it isn't fair. Once again, Dawson has my back.

Joey does not like hearing this. Everyone should
bow down to her will, at all times.

I'm just going to say one thing that surprised me on this rewatch, I like that Dawson is growing a bit of a backbone this season. It's quite nice and I relish when he actually calls Joey out on her bullshit. Someone in the show had to do it and it's nice to see our main character finally be something other than a clueless twit.

In the cafeteria, Andie is talking about a purity test in a magazine which makes Pacey uncomfortable, presumably because of the whole squicky Tamahra situation. Andie thinks he doesn't want to do the test because he doesn't want to give away how "pure" he is and Pacey agrees that he's "Mr. Embarrassingly Pure"

Those words are going to bite you in the ass,
Mr. Witter

Andie then convinces Pacey to go to their teacher's cram session after class so that they can be prepared for their English mid-term.

Max Ford walks up to Jen during gym class and tries to flirt with her. She keeps her guard up and although she smiles when he makes a joke, she brushes him off.

Dawson walks up to Jen and asks her if she's going to attend the study session for the English mid-term but Jen says she's not really in the applying herself zone these days. Dawson says that she should come so Jen says she'll think about it since Max Ford is hitting on other girls anyway.

Sure, he's all fun and games until he offers you
up as a meal to a bunch of vampires.
Just ask Chanterelle

All of our characters are now prepared to go to the study session but the catch is that their teacher has now cancelled it because he has a cold. The test, however, is still on for the next day. Max Ford takes the opportunity to once again try his moves on Jen and offers his place up for a study session. She scoffs at the idea but he tells her she can invite her friends, and then he turns around and invites Pacey and Andie for her. They haven't really been friends with her for a while, Abby has but for some reason, she is absent this episode. Much to my disappointment.

Anyway, Pacey and Andie accept which makes Jen accept too. Andie then runs off to invite Joey along and Pacey runs off to invite Dawson.

Get ready for a night of unbridled awkwardness!

They arrive at Max Ford's house, which is more like a mansion and Andie immediately tries to take control of the situation so that everybody stays focused on studying. This doesn't last long as everyone breaks pretty much right after Andie explains their study plans.

You tried, Andie

Max Ford tries to impress Jen with his wine selection and tries to convince Jen that he just wants to get to know her and that he thinks they are a lot alike. Jen agrees to not base her opinion of him on his reputation and most of the audience groans because she seems to be falling for his "misunderstood" schtick.

Really, Jen? It's so obvious that he's playing you.

The group finally gets into studying as Andie plays gameshow host trying to get the correct answers out of people for points. She tries to get them to remember the most famous of the romantic poets which Joey answers correctly with Keats*. Andie then asks for his most famous quote which Dawson answers correctly as "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." Joey confirms his correctness and says she forgot to which Dawson snarks "It would seem so."

Dawson's claws are out

Since things are getting heavy, Max Ford suggests everyone take another break and go to his hot tub. Andie complains that they already took a two hour break but then Max Ford finds her magazine with the purity test which piques everyone's interest. They all decide to stop studying and take the test.

Andie takes charge once again and hands everyone a piece of paper and pencils to mark down their answers for each question. Everyone takes turns reading the questions out. We then go into a montage of them reading off various questions in an effort to sound raunchy but the important one to the plot is the last one which is read by Joey. "Have you ever been in love? If so, how many times? Give yourself a point of purity for each time."

Uh-oh, looks like Joey has something to hide...

Andie starts to mark their tests and Joey remains true to herself by running away from whatever is bothering her. Dawson takes note of her look and follows her into the kitchen. Joey then yells at him about giving her space and we once again have the writers just writing drama for the sake of a dramatic scene while forgetting what's happened so far. Now, all of the sudden, Joey is on about space again and Dawson not giving her any when at the beginning of the episode, she was whining to Dawson about avoiding her and giving her too much space. It's little errors like this, or laziness if you will, that makes your characters seem really self-centered. Joey now comes across to me as someone who just wants everything to be the way she wants it. She wants Dawson to give her space but she wants him to still be around for her when she wants him around. Nice job, writers, your main love interest is a self-entitled bitch.

I only want space when it's convenient for me!

Anyway, she runs away again leaving Dawson in the kitchen with Max Ford's younger sister. She looks about twelve and I really freaking hate it when shows about teens introduce young kids who obviously have crushes on the "teens" because the kids are cast at the right age while the teens look like adults, especially around the actual kids so it just comes off as creepy. I hate this whole subplot.

Andie has finished calculating the results of the tests and the results are as follows:

Max Ford - 66% (least pure)
Jen - 69%
Dawson - 85%
Joey - 85%
Andie - 92%

She does not have Pacey's test result because he never handed it in. You think she would have noticed that before reading the results aloud but dramatic tension and all that. Andie tries to get him to give her his test but he refuses and Max Ford asks him if it's because of question 16. Andie is confused so she looks up the question again, much to Pacey's disappointment.

Question 16: Have you ever had sex with someone twice your age?
Of course, since Pacey won't answer, Max Ford rubs it in by congratulating Pacey on "laying the pipe with Ms. Jacobs" and Andie puts two and two together and figures out he means the teacher that left town. She then gets upset because Pacey said he was embarrassingly pure and leaves the room.

Poor Andie

Dawson is looking for Pacey and Andie and bumps into Max Ford who lets Dawson in on his little plan of bedding Jen. I don't know why guys are so forthright and skeevy to Dawson about their intentions with Jen. I mean Billy the kid did the same thing, and it just really makes them seem like old timey cartoon villains.

That's right, I'm going to tie her to the train tracks!

Max then brags that when the light on the guest house is off, that means that he and Jen are inside "lowering their purity levels" and Dawson will be outside and alone.

Jen tries to engage Joey in conversation but Joey has her usual wall up where she is concerned. Jen tries to give Joey sympathy over her break up with Dawson, even though she knows Joey might not believe her and Joey snaps that she doesn't believe her. Jen finally loses it on Joey and I just love it:

Jen: You know, I used to think that it was our mutual feelings for Dawson that kept us apart. I never really considered the fact that maybe you were just a bitch.

Yay, Jen! You tell that bitch.

Joey realizes that she is just a great big bitch and apologizes for being harsh with Jen. They somewhat bond over the fact that they both just want to experience something without talking about it to death but don't hold your breath. I'm sure they'll hate each other again next episode. Or at least, Joey will hate Jen again.

Pacey catches up with Andie and tries to make amends with her but she isn't having it. He lied to her and she wanted him to be honest with her. Now, I understand this. I've been in a situation where a partner lied to me about their past experiences and I wasn't mad that they had past experiences, I was mad that they lied about it and lead me to believe that we were experiencing things together for the first time. So, I'm in Andie's court until she starts talking like this:

Andie: It's not a joke, okay? I'm serious, and despite your braggart tendencies, Pacey, it's not exactly an admirable event.

Pacey: That's not fair, Andie. You're judging me, and you don't even know the circumstances. Besides, I slept with her, not you.

Andie: Why would you do it, Pacey?

I'm sorry, you lost me. I get that she's disappointed that Pacey slept with an older woman, maybe even intimidated now but it almost sounds as if she's blaming him. I mean "it's not admirable" "why would you do it?" Um, he did it because sex and teenaged boys are stupid. The real question, that no one, fucking no one, seems to be asking in this show is "why would she do it?" You know, why did Miss Jacobs take advantage of a 15 year old student? And no "because sex" does not work in her instance. As an adult, it was her responsibility to be the fucking adult and not fuck her student. Why does this show insist on making this Pacey's mistake and not Miss Jacobs'? It's really fucking creepy and there is no way they would let that fly with an older male teacher taking advantage of a younger female student.

I'm as horrified as Woody by this double standard

 Jen is heading for the hot tub when Dawson stops her to warn her about Max Ford's nefarious plan to sleep with her. Jen is aware that Max Ford wants to sleep with her and seems ok with it and then asks Dawson how he knows that she doesn't have a plan of her own.

Dawson then runs into Dina, Max Ford's little sister who seems very interested in his love life. She then reveals that she has the answers to their tests and that she has Joey's answers and hints that he'd be interested in her results. She then says that there is a fee for the tests and puckers her lips.

Can I just ask, what is the obsession teen shows seem to have with horny kids trying to force the teen characters to kiss them? It's not funny, it's disturbing and weird, especially in a show like this where the actors don't look remotely teenaged?

But Dawson refuses to kiss her, thank God, and she gives up the secret anyway. While Dawson has only been in love once, Joey has been in love...twice! Dun, dun, DUN! Dawson is most disturbed by this news and I'm left thinking "oh god if this resolution is something really fucking lame like she fell in love with Dawson twice then I'm going to puke."

It's going to be you twice, isn't it?

Jen is enjoying the hot tub with Max Ford who makes his intentions clear. She asks him "what if I don't want to mess around?" and he assures her that they won't and that he's not a bad guy, he just wants to have fun. That seems to be the all clear for Jen because it's not like he would be lying about not wanting sex in order to have sex with you or anything.

Oh, honey...

Dawson finds Pacey and asks him if Andie is ok. Pacey says she's fine but she wants to be alone and Dawson asks him why he didn't just write "no" for that question. Pacey says it's because he didn't want to lie to her and I'm going to have to call bullshit on that because he already lied to her when she asked him about his purity level and he claimed to be extremely pure. Pacey then encourages Dawson to say what he feels more.

Cue Dawson going to find Joey. He confronts Joey about her test and before she can go on the diary tirade again, tells her that Max Ford's sister told him her answer. She won't tell him who the second guy was and now I'm becoming more convinced that I was right about it.

Quick, run away before you have to answer him!

Max Ford's creepy sister appears and starts mocking him about his fight and Dawson spazzes out on her about first kisses having repercussions and leading to broken friendships and broken hearts and then he tells her not to rush it. You know, apart from his sad sack whining about Joey, he has a point. Kids really shouldn't be so encouraged to rush into relationships and dating. But Dina runs away crying and Joey has appeared behind him looking disappointed in him.

God, Dawson. You should have just kissed her.

Dawson then sees that the light has gone out over the guest house.

He's a sad panda

Joey goes to console Dina and basically says the same thing Dawson says about growing up sucking but she says it in a nicer tone, so I guess it's ok. She does say that sometimes relationships do work out and seem magical and that she'll be ok.

Next morning, everyone wakes up and Andie starts freaking out about not getting any studying done and it's already 6am.

Meanwhile, Max Ford thanks Jen for their fun and then rushes to get out of the room, despite Jen asking him to wait for her. He clearly doesn't want them to be seen as a couple and she clearly just got used.

She's a sad panda

The gang band together and Pacey organizes a 3 hour cram session. The show then does a montage of them answering various literature questions. After they are done, Andie congratulates Pacey on taking charge and apologizes for flipping out. She says it's because she's freaked that she's so inexperienced next to him and he reassures her that she will have experience. Kind of a big assumption there, Pacey.

I'll allow it

Dawson finds Joey and tells her how he had been wishing that they had never kissed so that maybe they would still be friends but that he has come to appreciate what their kiss brought into his life and even though he is hurting now, he does not regret being with her. In turn, Joey confesses who the second guy was. Are you ready for this shocking revelation? Can you handle the suspense? It was Dawson both times.

Joey: Dawson, the 2 times I feel in love, on the test, they were both you. I mean, the first time I fell was for my friend, the Dawson I grew up with, the boy across the creek, and the second time was after we kissed. I mean, you became this whole new person to me and....I fell in love all over again.

I'm sorry, that is just the cheesiest thing ever and having a crush on someone does not equal "love". Dawson agrees to give her the space she needs without hostility but I can't help but see it as caving into her demands to have him as her stand by while she explores other options.

The gang head to school only to find that the test has been cancelled. They all resign themselves to going to their other classes and being tired for nothing but Pacey has another idea:

Nap time! Or...possibly they've all been shot.

I usually really like the character episodes where they are confined in a location and forced to deal with their problems but this one just felt off to me. I guess it mended Dawson and Joey's friendship or at least started the course towards that and it made Pacey finally confess to having sex with his teacher to Andie but it just didn't entertain me the way that Detention did last season. Max Ford, or Chris in this show, just was not that interesting an insitgator to me. He just looked bored and skeevy half the time, he wasn't as fun as Abby was.

Also, I really don't like the way that this show has been handling Pacey's relationship with Miss Jacobs. They flip between insisting that what they had was together was love, to insisting that Pacey is the bad one in that scenario. While they may have loved each other, it was a bad relationship but not because Pacey was in the wrong. Miss Jacobs is the one at fault for letting that relationship go as far as it did, for encouraging it and for making Pacey feel like he was the one who screwed up. She never apologized for doing that to him, for saying "look Pacey, I should have never put that pressure on you not to tell anyone or to engage in this relationship." and when Pacey tried to tell her that he wanted it too, she should have told him "It was still wrong, you may not understand this now but I did take advantage of you and I am sorry for that." Then she should have left town and never come back. My point is, Pacey wanting sex with an older woman wasn't wrong, a lot of teens get crushes on older women or men because they are trying to figure out their ideal mate or preferences. It's the adult who is in the wrong for taking advantage of that naivete and inexperience. It is up to them to be responsible and stop things. An adult who sleeps with a teen or child will always be scum to me. Sorry, writers, you aren't going to convince me otherwise.

So anyway, we'll see if Dawson and Joey remain friends in the next episode, The Reluctant Hero.


  1. Max Ford with an evil mustache. Perfect picture is perfect.

  2. A meeting occurs between a father and her daughter, along with her boyfriend. But after a long time when his daughter disappears and won’t have any contact in Los Angeles. A tough-minded businessman (J.K. Simmons) recruits her awkward ex-boyfriend to help him find her out.