Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dawson's Creek - 210 - High Risk Behavior

Original air date: January 13, 1998

When we last left off, Andie had almost had some sort of mental melt down and it is revealed that she, like her mother, needs pills to stabilize her moods. All that is being pushed, at least a little bit aside in favour of this episode's topic, sex.

The episode opens up with Pacey and Dawson staring intensely at each other as Dawson declares his love for Pacey, despite it being nonsensical. Dawson tells Pacey that he has been wrestling with these feelings for so long and Pacey confesses that his heart is telling him to consider the possibility of loving Dawson back. Then, it looks like Dawson is leaning in for a kiss...

Is it just me, or did it just
get really hot in here?

Much to my bitter disappointment, it turns out Dawson was just reaching for his overwrought script because they were reading lines from it. This is actually his retelling of his relationship with Joey and Dawson totally stole Joey's part by writting himself as the one who needed to confess his love. Lame.

This show ruins all my fun!

Dawson asks Pacey if it will make a good movie and Pacey is contractually obligated to say that it will and even calls it "dark, obtuse, and very un-Dawson Leery" Do the writers know what obtuse means? Because I think it was supposed to be a compliment but it's more of an insult.

1.Annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.
2.Difficult to understand.

dull - blunt - dense - slow-witted

I think obtuse is very much Dawson Leery. Unless I heard Pacey wrong, I think he was secretly insulting Dawson and I whole-heartedly approve.

Dawson is satisfied with Pacey's answer though and proceeds to pat himself on the back for being super dark and edgy to which Pacey takes the opportunity to bring one point up. Why don't his characters have sex? Dawson counters by proclaiming his decision to not include sex in a teen movie is the much riskier option.

Sure it is, Dawson

The next day at school, Dawson runs into Jen who is really getting out there and drumming up interest in auditions for Dawson's movie. This shows me, that Jen is the far superior producer than Joey ever was. You know who was in Dawson's movie when Joey was producer? Pacey, Joey and Jen. Jen is actually getting out there and handing out audition flyers to try and get the people interested in acting to come out and audition. That's pretty awesome of her to do that.

Jen is once again, an awesome friend

Dawson asks her to hand an audition flyer to a guy he thinks would be a great lead and Jen turns him down saying that he's not sexy at all. Dawson is confused by this and Jen explains that girls go to movies to see the slightly dangerous and sexy guy, not their sweet nextdoor neighbour. I don't know, I think there's a market for both, myself. Lloyd Dobbler was not dangerous at all but he still sends my heart aflutter.

Pacey, meanwhile, has handed Andie a paper which she identifies as an HIV test. Pacey is in the clear, and wanted her to know. Thankfully, TamAHra didn't give him anything. Andie is touched that he listened to her when she asked him to get tested but is adamant that just because he got tested, does not mean that they are going to rush into sex. Actually she says this:

Andie: Just don't think that now that we got tested we're going know.
Pacey: What?
Andie: You know...
Pacey: No, I have no idea what you're talking about.
Andie: Okay, uhm, you know, we haven't been very, uhm, *lowers her voice* physical, or anything and I'm not opposed to us becoming more...*lowers again* intimate, but I just want you to know that everything has a perfect place and time.
And I let out an exhasperated sigh.

Oh, Andie why?

No, I'm not upset about the fact that she doesn't want to jump Pacey's bones right away, in fact she goes on to make it very clear that she does and just isn't ready. I'm upset because she is too embarrassed to say sex at all and had to whisper "physical" and "intimate" and this is how teen girls are written all the fucking time and it just gets depressing. In order to be "good girls" we have to be written as afraid of sex or super shy about it because only sluts talk about sex, of course.

I think it would shock a lot of guys to know that girls were just as interested in sex as teens as guys were, yes even the "good" ones. You can be interested in sex, be curious about it and want to wait until you're ready for it. Just because you know you're not ready, does not make you a shy, giggly, too afraid to use the "s" word prissy pants. I really wish a show could write a smart teenaged girl character who can talk freely about sex, even if she is a virgin and not ready for it yet. It does happen. /rant.

Dawson bumps into Joey as he's handing out his audition flyers and has an awkward conversation with her. Joey is working on a drawing for art class which turns out to be drawing the human form. Dawson is noticeably uncomfortable with the idea of a nude person just posing for a bunch of people to sketch their bodies and asks if it makes her uncomfortable. Joey says it doesn't but then admits that she blushes a little but is getting better. This is probably why they don't do these types of art classes for highschoolers. Joey says she is changing and is not "little Joey Potter" anymore and Dawson agrees.

Joey notices that Jen is handing out audition flyers too and asks if she's Dawson's producer. Joey has the gall to be upset about it too but she's the one who told him she didn't have time to be his producer so shut up, Joey! She then asks Dawson what his movie is about and he obviously doesn't want to tell her that it is a retelling of their relationship so he just tells her that it's a coming of age story and then bolts.'s this story about a guy...coming of age and...gotta go!

Max Ford runs up to Abby, because apparently he doesn't care that she was just using him in the Election episode and they are actually, sort of friends, and asks her if she's auditioning for Dawson's movie. Abby laughs at the notion and says she's not interested in being in one of Dawson's home movies.

Max Ford says that he wants to get into the movie because actors get action because this character is all about sex, get it? He also wants to audition with Abby because he thinks they have serious chemistry.

I'm back to loving her again.

Jack sneaks up on Joey while she's still working on her nude drawing. She tries to cover it up out of embarrassment because she thinks she sucks but she's Joey so of course Jack thinks it's great and that she's super talented. Then he accidentally spills his milkshake all over her drawing and ruins it.

I laughed.

We then cut to Dawson and Jen sitting through a montage of horrible auditions but honestly, I think the scripts dialogue is what's killing the auditions. I mean, just take a look at this dialogue, it is so clunky:

But my heart says something different. That I should consider the unequivical, possibly damaging highly irritional, hypnotically scarring, proposition of loving you back.

I honestly think it's even more overwrought and melodramatic than your average episode of Dawson's Creek.

Mmm hmmm

Jack catches up with Joey and begs her to let him make it up to her. Joey tells him there's nothing he can do and that she can't redraw it from memory so Jack offers to pose for her. They have a little back and forth about this idea, but Joey eventually agrees and Jack says he'll be over at her house at 7. He's trying his best to look and sound confident.

But looks more like he's going to crap himself

Meanwhile at the pharmacy, the mystery of Andie's crazies is somewhat solved when Pacey runs into her picking up a prescription for ZanX.

Pacey: Andrea McPhee, take two tablets a day, as directed. ZanX, 20mg.' ZanX, um, that's for severe depression and anxiety, right? It's like Prozac so..

Andie quickly explains that she and her mother share the same first name. Pacey feels bad for mentioning it but Andie reassures him that her mom is getting better. She changes the subject by asking what Pacey is doing at the the condom department. Pacey feins innocence but we all know he was there looking to stock up, just in case. It's kind of a cute scene but kind of undercut by the uncomfortableness of Pacey pressuring Andie who made it clear that she wasn't ready before.

Of course, when Andie says that perhaps they should get some, he's immediately shocked. I don't get it. What was his endgame here? Does he want her to want sex or did he just want to tease her because he thought she'd freak out and be all prudish about it? I honestly can't tell but I'll go with that he was testing the waters and was shocked that she is actually going along with it. I'm going to have to again state that girls want sex too, even if they aren't sure they are ready.

Back at the auditions, it turns out that Abby is going to try out for a part. Confusing, she seemed really adamant about not wanting to audition and we never got to see her change her mind so I guess this is just for the comedy? Especially since she is, for some reason, stuck auditioning with Max Ford.

Max Ford questions Dawson's masterpiece and asks why the characters don't do it. Dawson explains that his character believes there is more to love than sex and Max Ford says that's the part he doesn't get. Get it? Because Max Ford is evil and obsessed with teh secks!! Only evil people like sex, kids.

Not made up at all

Anyway, they audition and they are actually good. Max Ford kisses Abby, she gets pissed off and leaves while he takes a bow and asks if he should continue. End scene.

Andie and Pacey are discussing what she would like in her first sexual encounter, it's all romantic stuff, fancy dinner, walk on the beach, romantic bed and breakfast, leading up to the encounter but props to this show for having a couple seriously talk about having sex before doing it rather than just jumping each other at the first opportunity. I mean, it's not the worst thing in the world to talk things through before doing them, sometimes it can help get you into the mood and be arousing in and of itself to talk about it. So, seriously, good job writers. Plus, I like that Andie is being pretty matter of fact about things now and even admits to being turned on.

Dawson whines about how horrible the auditions went and laments getting so close to being able to make a movie but that it might not happen. Jen comments that it's like his script, he finally gets to be with Joey, but then he loses her before he can have her. Dawson is still claiming that the script is not about his relationship with Joey but Jen calls bullshit because it is really obvious who the script is about.

She then expresses her hurt over the fact that she thought they had something too but her character was reduced to the first act. Dawson reassures her that she was important to him too. Jen then says that Max Ford had a point about his script and says that the two characters should do it. Dawson protests, saying that his movie is about romance and before I can say fuck off, Jen counters that sex can be romantic.

Of course it can

Dawson says that he didn't want to make the obvious choice and Jen says that it's funny when you think about it. Dawson looks cluelessly at her and she explains that if he hadn't gone for the obvious choice of girl, the ending to his script might not have been so obvious. Ooooh, sick burn. Although, I'm a bit confused, that sounds like something you would say if you wanted Dawson back but last episode she rejected whatever, Jen dissed Dawson and Joey's relationship and therefore I approve.

But remember, Jen, Stephen Spielberg
never puts sex in his movies,
and he is our Lord and Savior

Jack is at Joey's house and is naked, except for a towel. Joey is obviously uncomfortable and nervous and so is he. She tries to act calm but then freaks out about not being able to do it and knocks over her easel. Jack moves to catch it and his towel drops to the floor.

Jesus Christ, it's a graboid!!!

Jack decides that he might as well stay and Joey seems to have relaxed because we timelapse to her drawing him. They bond over their interest in art and how exciting it can be to explore different parts of you. Jack mentions that art is about a world of uncertainty and that's what makes it scary. Joey asks Jack what scares him and he says sex.

Joey asks if it's first time anxiety and looks disappointed when Jack says that he has had sex before. However, Jack has only had it once.

Meanwhile, Dawson and Jen are talking about the auditions and Dawson thanks her for being so supportive and commends her for sitting through the auditions with him, saying it was "above and beyond the call of duty" I'm not sure if it is or isn't, seems like she should be involved in the casting process if she's the "producer" but it's nice of him to say. Jen jokes that if he gets really desperate, she could always play his leading lady since she has all the lines memorized from hearing them so much. Dawson says that she probably should have been his leading lady.

Yeah, she really should have been

Joey asks Jack what sex was like for him because, as I said before she is insanely curious and scared of sex which is why she lashed out at Jen so much. To further drive this point home, though I don't think the writers necessarily intended this, we cut back to Jen and Dawson discussing sex.

Jen is talking about how sex is risky and interesting and not necessarily the obvious choice, like Dawson claims. Jen is knowledgable about sex, comfortable with it, even knows that sex can mean different things to different people and that scares the shit out of Joey. Joey is a book smart person who is scared of the real world while Jen just lives in the real world. I'm absolutely convinced that this is the reason Joey hates Jen so much and why they aren't friends when by all accounts, they could have been. It's Joey that doesn't want the friendship because, no matter who Jen goes after, she will always be a threat to Joey and her scared, closed off ways. I think this is an interesting conflict that I do wish the writers were writing intentionally and had actually resolved. Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, I don't think this issue was ever fully addressed but it always seemed to lurk in the background to me.

Bitter and scared. Always.

But, I will give Joey credit that she is trying to learn about sex, perhaps so that it is not so scary and daunting to her. She asks Jack to describe what sex feels like, as if it was art and Jack obliges by comparing it to various famous paintings like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Munch's The Scream until they are interrupted and Joey notices that he has a boner. An implied one as this was aired on network tv and they'd never actually show it.

Meanwhile, Pacey has taken Andie out to a fancy restaurant and is now leading her into a really nice room. Andie doesn't know whether to be touched or terrified. If you remember, this is exactly the night Andie described as being her ideal for losing her virginity and Pacey has made it a reality. Talk about pressure. Not cool, Pacey.

Don't get me wrong, it was a very sweet gesture and I remember just swooning when I was a teen and saw he'd done this but viewing it through my adult eyes, it's a little troublesome. I mean, she clearly stated earlier that she wasn't ready yet and instead of respecting that, he takes her fantasy and makes it a reality, so what is she supposed to do with that? I mean, if she says no, she's a bitch who's hard to please, right? If she says yes, she'll always wonder if it was because she was ready or because she felt she had to say yes because of everything he did. It's actually not as romantic as I remembered it being and that disappointed me slightly because I love this relationship.

Now, to be fair, Pacey does try and say that there is no pressure and that he just wanted to give Andie her fantasy evening because she means so much to him which is very sweet. She does say she isn't ready and he is fully supportive of that which again, is nice. I just can't shake that pesky adult over thinking of the situation. Pacey tells her that he is fine with waiting and that he just wanted to treat her special because of how much she has given him and she says that he makes her want to do it.

He makes me want to do it too. What?

Back with Jack and Joey, they are awkwardly talking after the aftermath of his stiffy about how it probably wasn't such a great idea for him to pose nude for her and that they didn't intend to bring sex into the equation but they're human so it happens. Then Joey actually supports my theory and finally has some insight on herself:

Joey: Yeah. For all the big words and not wanting to hear the gory details, I guess I'm just wrestling with my hormones like everyone else.

Good for you, Joey. Way to realize the obvious

Jack mentions that it was a night of "firsts" and there is no reason that has to stop.

Dun, dun, DUN!

We see Dawson working on his script. He looks at a picture of Joey and then deletes the ending from his computer.

In a twist on an old theme, Dawson climbs through Jen's window. He claims he's been doing a lot of thinking about what she said about sex and motives for having it. Then, he kisses her and asks her not to ask for his motive.

Dun, dun, DUN!

Pacey wins back my heart by being the one to put the brakes on their make out session. He says he doesn't want to do it, not that he doesn't want to do her, it's just that he values their relationship too much to fall back into his old ways of "act now and think later" plus he says that when they are ready, they'll know. Andie claims that his talk makes her want to do it even more and he jokes that it's part of his evil plan but then says that he will drive her home.

We flash back to the other couples kissing passionately before ending the episode with Pacey and Andie walking out of the bed and breakfast hand in hand and an ominous message appears on screen:

More exciting drama to come!

I'll be honest, I was always confused about the "to be continued" message as the episode seemed to have wrapped itself up rather nicely and there didn't appear to be any cliffhangers at all. But, I guess we're supposed to wonder/worry about whether or not Joey and Dawson lost their virginity with people other than Dawson or Joey. Given that I don't care about their relationship and was actually happy that Dawson was getting with Jen, I felt satisfied with the ending, I guess it would be different if you were invested in the Dawson/Joey relationship.

So, that was High Risk Behaviour and time will tell whether any/all/or just a few of these characters actually got down and dirty with each other. Stay tuned for all the sordid, steamy answers in Sex, She Wrote.


  1. Dawson Leery: Obtuse since 1998.

    "Then he accidentally spills his milkshake all over her drawing..."

    Oh is THAT what we're calling it now? Jack enjoying Joey's drawing? Yes, I'm 12. When does he turn gay again?

    1. I laughed, so I guess I'm 12 too.

      You know, it's interesting but the milkshake scene is a pretty nice set up to him being gay, I mean he's all shy and nervous yet really interested in seeing her drawing of a naked man. Don't think the writers really planned it out that well but it does work in hindsight.

      I honestly can't remember when he comes out. I thought it was around this time but I think we're a few episodes away still.