Monday, 8 December 2014

Dawson's Creek - 312 - A Weekend in the Country

Original air date: January 19, 2000

Here we are back in the Creek. Last episode we got the drama of Andie and Pacey doing a school play, Jen and Jack going to a music festival in Capeside, and Dawson was his usual douchebag self while Kendra totally schooled him and his shitty "movies about other (better) movies." Let's see where the drama takes us this time.

We open the episode in Joey's room, unusually enough. She is pacing the room while Dawson and Pacey are watching The Big Chill. Thanks to contrivances, they are watching the exact scene that will be replicated later on, just so that all you kids out there understand what they are ripping off paying homage to later. The scene in question, is where the characters are dancing and singing while in the kitchen.

Anyway, Joey is freaking out because the B&B will be opening officially tomorrow but they don't have any customers. I have no clue how to run a business, let alone a B&B, but it seems to me that you should have started advertising the hell out of the place before you opened and been booking people for the projected open date. Then again, I suppose a lot can go wrong in that instance but it seems better than opening and then beginning to book people or generate interest. But, I digress.

The phone rings and Joey gets super excited but when she answers, it's a telemarketer. Womp-womp. I kind of love that she tries to sell her B&B to the telemarketer and gets hung up on though.

See how you like it, Telemarketer!

At school, the next day, we see Henry run into Jen, not literally though this time. He wants to ask Jen to go to a fancy restaurant that he's been working at to earn a free dinner. No, scratch that, he's not asking because then she can say "no."

I don't like where this is going

Really writers? This isn't cute or charming no matter how hard you keep trying to tell the viewers it is with your light/fun music. It's actually really creepy and sends a horrible message. I don't know, maybe I'm oversensitive and girls actually do like this type of thing and I'm the weird one but I just don't see this as cute. Like Jen said before "dating is a consensual activity." You do have to ask someone out and they have the choice to say "yes" or "no", that's kind of how it works.

Jack bumps into Andie and offers to help her with some computer thing she's having trouble with. Andie takes the opportunity to drop hints to Jack about moving back home. Jack takes this to mean that their father asked her to guilt him into moving back so he wouldn't have to ask. Judging by the fact that Mr. McPhee is the Worst Parent in Capeside for life, I can totally understand him thinking that his dad would do that but it's pretty obvious that it's Andie that wants him to move home since she storms off when Jack refuses. The writers want us to think otherwise though so, I guess we'll humour them.

Gee, I wonder why Andie is upset with Jack?

Meanwhile, the Potter sisters are in a bank looking to take out a loan but they don't qualify. They are offered the opportunity to remortgage the house as apparently they own it outright, thanks to their mother who left it for them. Joey laughs at the idea but Bessie wants to consider it and asks for the forms.

Joey is super pissed that Bessie is considering to put their family home on the line for the new business and bitches at Bessie that she isn't allowed to do it because Joey doesn't agree. Bessie rightfully puts her in her place.

You go, Bessie

Dawson then shows up at their home with a video camera, and it actually looks a bit creepy. Maybe I'm biased because I hate Dawson but seriously, he just appears from behind a bush with a running camera pointed at their house.

Yeah...that's it...

He's actually trying to be helpful by taking footage of the Potter B&B to advertise on the web, which isn't a terrible idea. Joey moans that they can't afford advertising and I would hope that Dawson is offering to do this for them for free. It also costs nothing to upload a video to...wait did YouTube exist then? I think it did. My loose Google search tells me that it did not so maybe it would have been costly to have a video file on the internet. Damn, those were dark times...

Lacey arrives to make everything better and to tell them all that he managed to get a well known hotel critic to agree to stay at the Potter B&B and give them a review. This is extremely sweet of him though very ill timed as the Potters are ill prepared to have a professional critic come and review them. Joey points out that they have no guests but Pacey has taken care of that and has contracted the help of the Creek gang, Grams, Jen, Jack, and Andie, and Mitch and Gail, to help.

Joey is not grateful so much as majorly pissed. Dawson is mad as well because of the parents thing but I don't give a crap about him or his feelings and am focusing on just Joey and Pacey this scene. It was apparently Mitch's idea to ask Gail to play married couple for the weekend anyway so there, Dawson.

Joey tells Pacey to call it all off because they are not ready for guests and professional critics and one bad review could tank their only chance at a viable business and now, leave them with no home. Pacey agrees to call everything off immediately but just as he's calling the critic guy, he's shown up at the door.


Dawson confronts his parents about their ruse and how hurtful it is to him to see them play acting a happily married couple right after they got divorced. Mitch and Gail are all, "We're just helping Bessie and Joey." but Dawson calls Mitch out and says that Pacey just asked him to help and didn't say anything about Gail coming along. He then storms out.

Joey deals with snobby critic guy as he snobs around the room complaining about lack of heat and private bathroom. Joey covers nicely about the heat being down because they are an environmentally friendly establishment but admits that there is only one communal bathroom. Yuck. I know places like that exist but I prefer having my own bathroom. 0 stars! Anyway, the Snob continues to be a dick to Joey and criticizes her for saying "Enjoy your stay" more than once. That seems like a rude thing to point out to a person, maybe they just really want you to enjoy your stay.

Joey feels like she's blowing it, regardless

Andie visits her brother in his room and jokes about being able to play brother and sister. She also drops more hints about Jack moving back home. It seems really obvious to me that Andie wants Jack to move back in because she misses him but Jack still thinks she's only pressuring him to come home on their father's orders. The writers think they are being clever so, shush. Let the writers have their fun.

Gee, I wonder why Andie is pressuring Jack to come home for their father!

Bessie asks if Snob is having fun but Joey snarks that a lemon never looks like it's having fun. Bessie tells her to be nice because the guy is just doing his job, so at least she's relaxed about it. Joey is just on freak out mode. Bessie asks for Pacey's help to turn down the beds but he's working on the overflowing toilet in the bathroom. I guess he gets the crap jobs for getting them into this mess.

Mitch confronts Dawson about the situation with Gail. He apologizes to Dawson and tells him that he just wants to be Gail's friend and cheer her up because she is apparently being turned down for jobs everywhere. Dawson is pissed off because he doesn't understand why his parents can be friends but divorced. He should count himself lucky that his parents aren't bickering constantly but I'm not a child of divorce so I don't fully get it. I guess this is pretty realistic for a teen to be pissed/confused about though so, good job, writers.

Bessie and Joey are trying to cater to Snob and explain their situation for a more favourable review, then this awkwardness happens:

Bessie! Your sister is right there! Gross!

Pacey says he has everything taken care of just as the furnace burns out. Snob points out that "handyman Witter" should check the furnace. Thanks for that, Snob.

Joey is trying to get the furnace working again when Bessie comes in and informs her that Snob has gone into town to eat. Joey ignores her and TV swears at the furnace. Bessie points out that swearing at the thing won't help and Joey sasses that flirting with it might. I thought this was leading to an argument about the flirting but Joey instead launches into a tirade about how hard it is to be sixteen to the woman who is trying to manage a new business, a baby, and raising her little sister because their mother is dead and their father is in prison, while her husband has to work out of town. Yeah, Joey, tell us more about how hard your life is, I don't think your sister understands hardships at all. But again, props for writing a realistic teen moment, writers. Bessie calls Joey out for wanting to leave Capeside so badly but putting in a lot of effort with the B&B and Joey gets snarky about how she'll stop putting so much effort in then.

Pacey, bless him, is out chopping wood for the fireplace because he feels responsible for the weekend and everything that is going wrong. Mitch comes out to see if he's OK but Pacey feels like a screw up. Mitch gives him a really nice pep talk and it's actually kind of sweet. I actually wish that Mitch was Pacey's dad in this scene. Dawson doesn't deserve a dad like Mitch. Yeah, Mitch has his faults but he's definitely better than Pacey's dad and Dawson sucks.

Dawson apologizes to Gail for freaking out on her and his dad. Dawson goes on about how weird it is that she and Mitch are still friends after getting divorced and Gail points out that it's kind of like him and Joey still being friends which is fairly legit. This causes Dawson's mind to be blown.

Whoops, guess I am a hypocrite

Andie and Jack have gone to the Lindley's to pick up a space heater for the Potters. Andie notices how ingrained Jack is with the Lindley's life, having his own type of milk and in jokes with them, and she gets upset because she wants that with Jack. She lets it slip finally that their father, Worst Parent in Capeside for life, also ignores her and tells Jack he's lucky for having a family that is so warm and together. Jack finally clues in and realizes that Andie is the one that wants Jack to move back because DUH! Uh, I mean-OH! How surprising! You sure got us, writers. Did not see that coming.

Of course we did! Obviously Andie misses Jack, they're siblings! Idiots!

Dawson is outside with Jen and she asks him flat out what he was so scared of when she told him about her past when they were dating. Um, he wasn't scared, he was a giant slut-shaming cock-bag. This was his problem:

And you never know when you might need to
have a sacrifice to the Gods!

Dawson bullshits about the fact that he was scared the unknown is always scary and that he was intimidated by her experience. That's one way of glossing over his behaviour, writers. Touché. Jen then asks if most other boys would react the same way as him and Dawson tells her that there is no way to know how anyone else would react but he actually admits that the way he reacted back then was wrong and apologizes for it! Holy shit! The only question now is, will he change? My money is on 'no'.

The men are trying to light the fireplace when Grams comes in and shows the men how it's done. Like a boss! Grams reveals that she's the one that used to light the fires in the winters after dinner. She then tells a story about her and Jen's Gramps and how he'd read to her in front of the fire. The gang then starts talking about their memories. And it's actually a pretty sweet scene, I wish the show would do more scenes with everyone hanging out because it's nice to see them getting along.

The important story is Joey's as she reveals that her mother had dreams of opening up her own B&B which is why it was so important to her that the B&B doesn't fail. She then surprises me by thanking everyone for coming to help them out and make her mother's dream a reality. Then she doesn't surprise me by being all mopey and telling everyone to go home because it's useless. Joey then notices that Snob has overheard her and she apologizes to him for the horrendous experience he's had and tells him that their B&B is probably awful but that her mother would have loved it. Gotta play that dead mother sympathy card, eh Joey?

Did I mention my mother was dead? Because she is. 

The next morning, Joey wakes up to the smell of bacon cooking and chatter in the kitchen. She goes down the hall to investigate what is going on and walks into the scene from The Big Chill that they were watching and she was criticizing earlier.

Same music and everything, this must have really cost them

Also, I have my suspicions that the editor for this scene is a crack shipper for Andie and Joey because  check this out:

Ohhhhh yeaaaaahhhh!
You are welcome, male/lesbian readers

Joey asks everyone what's going on and they urge her into the bedroom for breakfast. Snob is at the head of the table and is happily eating breakfast. Joey apologizes, like it's her duty to and not Bessie's, for the fact that their B&B sucks but Snob assures her that theirs is the warmest (meaning friendliest) place he's ever stayed and that the pancakes are delicious. Joey tries the pancakes and then compli-sults her sister on the fact that they are good but that she sucks at cooking so they can't be hers. I guess she's justified because they aren't Bessie's, apparently Bodie is back!

Yay! Bodie has been rescued from the room of forgotten side characters!

Although I don't get this reveal because the Big Chill montage clearly showed Andie and Jack cooking the pancakes. But, whatever, Bodie is back and that's awesome for Bessie. She deserves some happiness because she gets shit on a lot and has had to deal with everything Joey has had to and more but constantly gets forgotten about. Like in this episode, where everyone was worried about Joey and not about Bessie who is actually going to be running the B&B.

Bessie reveals to Joey that she found a guest book that their father had gotten their mother ten years ago which apparently Bessie had forgotten about until Joey mentioned it. Joey finally acknowledges everything that Bessie has had to do and excuses her for forgetting that their mother had wanted to open a B&B. They continue eating breakfast and Snob gives a toast to the Potter B&B and wishes it to live long and prosper because he's apparently secretly Spock.

Mitch and Gail are talking about the memories they shared the other night by the fire and Mitch says that it brought back another memory. Apparently, he wanted to open up a fish bistro when Gail was pregnant with Dawson. Mitch then claims that it wasn't really his dream, it was hers. He encourages her to pursue that dream instead of applying for more broadcasting jobs. This is a mighty convenient twist, writers. I think he offers her the warehouse he bought last season from Ta-mah-ra and was going to turn into a restaurant himself but the writers aren't too clear. I think they are being intentionally vague because they realized that for two seasons they did show Mitch wanting to open his own restaurant so it shouldn't have been a "forgotten memory" for him. Whatever.

Jen tells Henry about her jaded past because this is apparently the reason she was reluctant to date him. She is amazed that he's not disgusted or judgemental about it, you know like Dawson was when he found out? And I laugh because the psycho serial killer Henry is still a better person than Dawson fucking Leery.

Oh sure, I murder people all the time but I'd have to be
an absolute dick to slut shame the girl I like

Jen is amazed that he's taking the news so well because most guys would react horribly (just Dawson, Jen. Just Dawson.) but Henry, rightfully points out that her experiences made her who she is and that's why he likes her. OK, show, you are starting to sell me on Henry.

Dawson mocks Pacey for handling a camera but covers it by saying that he was just asking in general if he knew what he was doing. Dawson tells Pacey that he's changed and thanks him for "taking care of Joey" which is really kind of insulting but whatever. He then tells Pacey that he's gone above and beyond and that he's glad that he's there for Joey. Pacey jokes about how hard it is to look out for her and makes like he hates it but we all know the truth.

Jack tells the Lindley's that he wants to move back in with Andie and be with her because she needs him. They are concerned about his father because he is the Worst Parent in Capeside for life but Jack tells them that he wants to move back to support Andie. He then thanks them for being the best people ever because they are. He wants to give what they gave him to Andie, love and support. It's super sweet. I love these guys, best family ever.

Pacey goes to try and tell Joey about the furnace being repaired but finds that she's asleep on the couch. He puts a blanket over her and it is super sweet!


Then we get a montage of everyone, Bessie and Bodie with Alex hanging out, Jen and Henry hanging out, Jack moving back home, Dawson alone (as it should be), Pacey watching Joey no no no no! Stop being Edward Cullen! You're better than that, Pacey. Tucking her in was cute but staying and watching her sleep is creepy. I am happy that we end the episode with the two of them though and it is getting really obvious that Pacey likes Joey which is getting me pumped for future episodes.

That was A Weekend in the Country, not a great episode but not a horrible one either. I liked the gang pulling together to help Joey out. I also like that Jen gets a guy who does not care about her past or shame her for it so the show is selling me on Henry finally. Here's hoping that Northern Lights keeps the good things going, especially Joey and Pacey.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Dawson's Creek - 311 - Barefoot at Capefest

Original air date: January 12, 2000

Here it is, folks, the first Dawson's Creek episode of the new millennium and what do they choose to do on this momentous occasion? They bring back Henry.

Sigh...let's get this over with

We open up this episode at Capeside High, with Dawson and Joey walking to the film lab so that Dawson can rent a camera. Specifically a 16mm camera of which the school only has one but surprise! Kendra is back in the house and she is in charge of the equipment. Dawson makes a snide comment about the fact that she volunteered to be in charge of the equipment so that she could familiarize herself with it not being honest or something. I don't get Dawson's insult, he just sounds whiny because she is smart about being able to get herself used to working with expensive equipment while Dawson, who claims to be passionate about film, entered his homework assignment in a film festival and doesn't volunteer to work in a film lab. Haters gonna hate, Dawson. Kendra has way more drive it seems and Dawson doesn't like it.

Anyway, he can't check the camcorder out because Kendra has it checked out for like a month straight and while I am totally team Kendra and team IHATEDAWSONWITHAPASSION, it's really not fair for a teacher to let her have the camcorder that long when there are other kids in the class that might need it too. Special treatment because your daddy is the principal is not cool. But then again, Dawson doesn't get the camera to make another movie rip/off or Dawson's Creek2.0 which also makes him mad, so...

We cut to Jen and Jack who are grocery shopping together and being adorable and the True Soul Mates of Dawson's Creek. They argue over how much cereal Jack is allowed to buy and it's the cutest. Jack then bumps into Ethan, from the train and the way he greets him is very similar to the way Jen greeted him when they first met, which is adorable.
Jack: Uh, Ethan. From the– from the train Ethan.
Ethan: I prefer just plain Ethan.
Except Jack doesn't continue it like Jen did by saying "OK, Just Plain Ethan" which is good because that was annoying, sorry Jen. Anyway, Ethan says he's going to some music festival that Capeside totally always has every year but of course, no one knows about it until now. Ethan even bugs Jack for not knowing what his own hometown does. He tests Jack on his music knowledge, which Jack fails but Ethan asks him to come to the festival anyway. Jack is very excited about this.

I love them

Andie tries to meet up with a teacher named Mr. Broderick, sadly not this one:

Wouldn't that have been amazing?

Seriously, a character named Mr. Broderick who is the play director and they couldn't get Matthew Broderick? Sigh. Anyway, this Mr. Broderick went to the same school of crappy/bullying teaching that Cranky English Teacher from last season went to because Capeside only hires the shittiest of teachers, apparently. What I imagine the Capeside hiring adverts would say:
Do you enjoy bullying your students? Sleeping with minors? Ignoring the proper rules of education? Then come apply at Capeside High today! Where you can take out all of your frustrations, mid-life crises, and sexual pleasures on this generations youth, and we pay you!
Anyway, Andie tries to talk to Mr. Broderick but he's so busy that he just can't even with her right now. Seriously, he doesn't let her get her question out, he just continues to rudely tell her when auditions are. She finally blurts out that she wants to be his assistant director and Mr. Broderick is all "why didn't you just say so?" and I want to kill him already.

Dawson is mocking Kendra as he and Joey walk home and even Joey isn't having his whiny-ness because she throws down that she deserves to use the equipment too. I love it. Dawson then changes his argument by saying that he just wants the camera in a timely fashion which again, though I hate to admit it, is fair. If people are only allowed to check out a camera for a week, then that should apply to everyone, even the Principal's daughter. Anyway, they enter his house to find the living room completely empty. Gail explains that she's moved her stuff out and wanted to explain this to Dawson herself. Dawson says she doesn't need to explain herself and that he's OK with it but he's clearly not because it must suck to watch your childhood home be changed like this. Joey notices and asks him if he wants to talk, Dawson does not and sad pandas away.

Jack and Jen are walking around Capefest together because Jack wanted to go to meet up with Ethan and Jen is a really supportive friend. She tries to give him advice about not moving too fast and letting Ethan come to him. Jack wanders off from Jen to go find Ethan.

We are subjected to a montage of auditions which is thankfully not for a new movie that Dawson is making but is for the play that Andie wants to assistant direct. There's a lot of terrible people and then some guy comes in and reads the lines he still kind of sucks but Andie is willing to go with him. Mr. Broderick claims that he already found someone for the role, that person turns out to be Pacey.

Andie is not impressed

Dawson actually goes to Kendra's house to whine at her some more for taking the camera and no, I'm no longer seeing your side of things, Dawson. This is just too annoying and too whiny to try to defend. Leave the poor girl alone and maybe talk to the film teacher about being more fair with the camera distribution. Before they can really get into an argument about it, Principal Green shows up and just blindly assumes that they are friends and invites Dawson to dinner.

Dude, learn to read the room

Back at Capefest, Jack has found Ethan who came alone and asks Jack if he wants to grab a bite to eat. Jack quickly agrees and we cut to them walking along the beach and talking. Ethan is disappointed that Jack didn't ask for his number on the train. Jack admits that he was nervous and then asks Ethan why he didn't ask for his number. Ethan says that he didn't because he could and that Jack needs to learn to ask because he's the newbie. I don't really understand this sentiment, you're either interested or not, why does Ethan feel the need to test Jack? Perhaps this is just something that I can't really understand because of the never having been there thing. Jack mentions that Ethan was the first gay person he's talked to unless he counts the Internet. Ethan doesn't. Ouch, Ben Street.

*sigh* I have to prepare myself for this next part of the episode because I loathe it with a passion. Just...hang on a sec, let me collect myself. OK, so we cut to Jen, who is having no luck putting up her tent, when she sees a guy with a burger. She asks where he got it and he points her in the direction of the vendor and says they are veggie burgers and delicious. I'll take my burgers with meat, thanks. Anyway, Jen walks over and who is cooking the burgers? Henry, of course.

Are we really sure those are veggie burgers though? I feel a round of
"God, That's Good!" coming on...

Jen is all smiles and joking when she sees him but he looks like he's thinking of how he can murder her on site and use her meat for his burgers with no one noticing. She stupidly asks him for help with her tent which kind of makes me angry at her. I mean, she doesn't like this kid, made it extremely clear and now all of the sudden she's all "tee hee, I can't put up my tent, help me?" and it bothers me. This is a shitty thing to do to people and the fact that she is oblivious as to why he's upset with her, also irritates me because he had a huge crush on her, creepy as it was, and she now kind of has that over him. One of the most humiliating and infuriating things I ever experienced was when a crush of mine shot me this shit-eating grin after he'd started dating someone and clearly wasn't interested but knew that I had had a crush on him. My crush dried completely up in that moment. So, in this small, small, short lived instant, Henry actually has my sympathy.

That quickly dries up the moment he claims she led him on just to stomp on his heart. I get his anger but in no way was that what she set out to do. She was misguided and careless with his feelings towards her, for sure but she wasn't some evil harpy intent on destroying him. He kind of wins me back when he calls her out for being smug about being on the requited side of unrequited love and calls bullshit on her "we agreed to be friends" line when they haven't talked at all and she knows dick about him. Then he tells her to put up her own damn tent. Good for you, Henry. You go serve your meat "veggie" burgers now and leave the show forever. Please?

Back at the Green's house, the most awkward dinner is happening. Principal Green starts bragging about Kendra being the best filmmaker ever while Dawson makes snide comments about not knowing anything about her movie. She snaps back that her project is between her and her crew and Dawson shoots back, and I quote:
Dawson: So in order to bask in the glory of this mind-bending idea of yours, I have to offer my services?
Fuck you, Dawson. Now, you think this would be the moment that Principal Green would clue in to the mistake he's made, but nope. He just suggests that they should totally work together and when they shoot his idea down immediately, he just laughs it off like they are just being the silliest things and don't want to jump across the table and kill each other. I don't get how he can be this dense.

You kids and your arguing. lol! Who wants dessert?

Back at Capefest, Ethan and Jack are still talking, specifically about sexuality and this show surprises me at how well it goes about it. Like, for this time (which sadly was not that long ago), this conversation is amazing. Ethan says that people want to define sexuality by who they sleep with but that it is more than that, Jack should know because he hasn't kissed a guy yet but he still knows he's gay. This is a great conversation and a great way to bring the issue of sexuality to their teen audiences. This show is sometimes questionable in the way it handles their non-straight characters but sometimes, they give us gems like these and I applaud the way they handled it. Anyway, Ethan notices that all of his camping gear is missing and freaks out.

Cut to Andie arguing with Pacey about quitting the play. Pacey doesn't want to because Mr. Broderick has guaranteed him a C in English if he does the play. Andie chastises him for going back to his slacker ways and then begs him to quit because this play was her way of getting over him, which she can't do if he's in the play and she has to deal with him. Pacey tells her she should quit but she refuses but he stands his ground because:

My God, he's adorable

Back at the Green house of awkwardness, for some reason Dawson is wandering around their house by himself and walks into Kendra's room. Dude, not OK! Kendra sneaks up behind him but for some reason, doesn't kick his ass for being in her room. Dawson is all perplexed that her room isn't movie geeky enough and she shoots back that his room is probably wall to wall Spielberg posters. Dawson weirdly responds by proudly confirming this and correcting her that his room is, in fact, a shrine.

If Dawson was a real person, I'd feel compelled to contact Spielberg
and warn him that he might have an Annie Wilkes level stalker after him

Anyway, Kendra points out that there is so much to be passionate about that it would be silly to focus on just one. Dawson counters that if you find something you're passionate about, you should immerse yourself in it. Kendra then shoots Dawson down wonderfully:

Oooh, sick burn!

You know, because all of his movies tend to be rip offs of other things? Like how he ripped off some of Psycho and probably a lot of Creature from the Black Lagoon for his first movie? Or how he ripped off Blair Witch with his stupid documentary? Or how he just rewrites season 1 to his liking? Sure, the last one is meta but seriously, Dawson does not have an original film in him. They get to talking about their parents' respective divorces and I kind of laugh that the show acknowledges how crappy a lot of the parents are in Capeside; when Kendra mentions she's making a film about dysfunctional families, and Dawson tells her that Capeside will give her a lot of material. Dawson finally lets loose about how he is feeling about his parents divorce. He has feels and runs out of her house quickly. Not before this happened though:

No, you definitely are self-obsessed

Jack and Ethan return to Jack's campsite to find Jen sitting on their flat tent. She is relieved when she sees them because they can help her with the tent. I didn't know tents were this hard to set up but then I've never been camping so I can't comment. Anyway, Jack tells her about how Ethan's stuff got stolen and that he needs a place to stay and then asks her to make herself scarce for the next few hours. Jen is like "fuck this, I'm out" and tells him she's going home and will pick him up in the morning. I support her decision.

Jen doesn't end up going home because she hears music and it is Henry singing Bruce Springsteen's No Surrender, and playing the guitar. I can't take this scene seriously because of Jen's face the entire time she watches him sing. I can't decide what the hell she's going for, wonder? fright? Boredom? Stoned out of her skull? I don't know.

You decide

Back at Capeside High, Pacey and the other students are rehearsing the play while Mr. Broderick keeps making ridiculous decisions on how they should play the characters. Like how they should be "Louder and angrier" and ignores Andie's suggestions. This guy is useless.

At Capefest, Jack and Ethan are inside their tent and talking a bit about how Jack knows Jen. Ethan then quickly says good night and Jack looks extremely disappointed because he definitely wanted something more to happen.

Now we get to the point of the episode that I hate. Jen is now a stammering idiot regarding Henry because he's just so deep now that she knows he's a vegetarian and plays acoustic guitar. So now she actually does have the hots for him which is completely and utterly stupid because he's creepy and he's been a jerk to her and it kind of makes it seem like...Jen is only into him because he's ignoring her. That's a horrible message to send to girls and guys. Don't like people who treat you like dirt or ignore you. It also perpetuates the myth that girls don't like nice guys but do like you when you are jerks to them and I hate that because it's horrible. I also don't get why she's hanging all over him when she supposedly isn't interested in him and knows that he likes her because that's really mean. He tells her to stop toying with him and just leave him alone. Please do, Jen, I'm begging you. He's so creepy!

Dawson is taking his posters off his walls when Joey enters through the window, of course. She asks him what the hell is going on and Dawson explains that he was at Kendra's house and what she said about passions and making movies about other movies. Joey immediately attacks and calls him a sell out which is entirely unfair of her because for once, he's taking some good advice about opening himself up to life and experiences so that he can make better movies. He's not going to make better movies, mind you but at least he's trying to better himself. He acts like a smug dick about not asking about "Mr. Ivy League" and Joey says that it's shitty of him not to ask. They yell at each other until Joey runs away and he looks upset. I'm not that invested in this, I'm waiting for the end of this drama and the beginning of the goodness.

Capefest, next day. Ethan suggests they do breakfast like nothing is wrong but Jack is upset because he wanted more to happen last night. Ethan is like "dude, I was tired so I went to sleep" and I concur with him for Jack to stop being a drama queen. Ethan wants Jack to ask for his number so that they can get together as friends and Jack is disappointed with this. Ethan says that Jack isn't ready so Ethan doesn't want to go there with him. Jack seems to soften a little to the fact that Ethan is a little interested in Jack but wants to be friends until Jack is more ready. Ethan gives Jack his number.

At another rehearsal session, Mr. Broderick is late and so Pacey encourages Andie to start the practice without him and show off her directorial skills. She hesitates but then goes for it and starts giving everyone better directions than just "louder, angrier!" and everyone excitedly starts rehearsing her way.

The part of the episode that really bugs me is now. Jen approaches Henry who angrily tells her where the stage is and asks if she's lost or something. Jen apologizes for being "careless with his heart" which, OK is valid. She then goes on to say that she hasn't liked someone the way that he liked her but that she'd like to and that if anyone is the younger and less experienced in that regard, it's her not him.  Since she has acknowledged that she is less than he is, he immediately changes tune and excitedly agrees with her that he's much more mature and then starts being nice to her. Now, it was a nice apology but it's just the way he went from ice cold to completely warm and bubbly after she said something he wanted her to say...feels a bit manipulative and makes me uncomfortable. It kind of sends the message that if you make someone feel bad enough for not liking you when you are so obviously pure and nice and good, they will eventually start liking you back. That is not cool, writers.

It doesn't help that Henry looks like he's plotting her murder all the time

Mr. Broderick walks in on the students rehearsing and proceeds to congratulate himself for giving them "acting exercises" that finally got them to do the play right. Pacey is like "Dude no, Andie is the one that got us to act the scenes out right" but Mr. Broderick won't hear it because he's a Capeside High teacher and is therefore, the worst. He asks Andie for the set designs and she shows them to him but he's all "no, this sucks and is not what I wanted." She's like "yes, it is." and he's like "you are worthless, stop thinking, and do things the way I want them done now, little girl" or something to that effect because he's a tool. Andie runs out.

Pacey follows her and tries to get her to come back. Andie says she can't work with a douche like Mr. Broderick when things are hard enough, so Pacey offers to quit. She tells him that he can't because he's really good. He then tries to convince her to come back but she says no, so he just pretends like he said yes. The scene is charming because Joshua Jackson is just charm on a stick but also kind of frustrating because the writers are acting like "Pacey said yes and that he'll see her at rehearsals so she has to go now, lol!" and I'm sitting here like, she keeps saying one is holding a gun to her head so she could just walk away if she doesn't want to. This doesn't bind her into doing it at all. Whatever, I guess she's still doing the play because Pacey said so.

Jack and Jen joke about their adventures the night before and they are so cute together. I love their friendship. Jack notices that Jen is in a pretty good mood, despite the fact that he sent her packing in the hopes of getting some with Ethan. Jen admits that she met someone but won't say who. Big mistake, Jen, you should definitely let everyone know that you were talking to Henry, in case you go missing soon and people aren't left with "She said she met someone" "some new friend" as the only leads in the case. Yes, I'm fixated on Henry looking like a serial killer. Can you blame me?

Look at this, it looks like she's scared of him because
he's glaring creepily at her

Joey returns to Dawson's now empty looking room to apologize. She has brought him a John Lennon Imagine poster because apparently they listened to Beatles albums when they were kids and Dawson wanted to be like John Lennon and write music. She tells him that he was about other things and she wanted to remind him of that. Dawson thanks her and hangs the poster, asking if she thinks it will help him to walk his own path. Joey says that he always walked his own path (debatable) but that he just needed to widen it a little. End episode.

Again, this is not a horrible episode, it's just kind of boring. There were a few bright spots but that was mainly with Jack and Ethan and Pacey and Andie. OK, and also Kendra schooling Dawson about how unoriginal he was because truth. The only reason I personally dislike this episode so much is the Jen and Henry stuff. I do not like that character, I find him to be whiny and self-entitled and I hated the way they handled bringing him back and making Jen practically beg him to give her the time of day. There was literally no reason for her to want to and I'm sorry but being vegetarian and able to play the guitar are not things that would sway someone into liking someone they didn't in real life That is just stupid.

Stay tuned for the next episode, A Weekend In The Country in which the Potter's Bed and Breakfast officially opens for business.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Dawson's Creek - 310 - First Encounters of the Close Kind

Original air date: December 15, 1999

I'm just going to start this recap off with the one big complaint I have this episode, there is no Jen or Pacey in it. I know, I know, it sucks but fortunately, this is actually not a bad episode and we get a few gems as well. Let's get on with it to find out what we get.

We start off with Dawson watching his shitty Blair Witch rip off movie as Joey enters through the window because they're back to that again. She points out the weirdness of him watching his own movie over and over but he explains that he has to be prepared for the Q&A after the screening. Apparently Dawson has entered this school assignment into a film competition, presumably so that when it tanks (yes when, not if) he can just shout to the audience "Whatever! It was for a school assignment anyway!" because he usually reacts to criticism like a whiny teenaged fanfic writer. Also, why is he entering this film when he had that stupid Creek Daze movie that he made with the money he won from the film festival last time? Shouldn't he be screening that one, the one with the budget, albeit minor? Or did he just give up on that one because mean old Miss Kennedy didn't like it because she's mean and totally had it out for him?

Well, whatever, he's airing his shitty school project rip off of Blair Witch because he's lazy and he doesn't realize what a horrible idea that is to do. Dawson is freaking out (he should be, his movie sucks) and Joey tries to make him feel better by saying that no matter what happens, this experience will take him one step closer to achieving his dreams. She then mentions that at least he doesn't have to spend the night with a stranger, which is a part of her college tour. I have no idea if college tours are a thing or if you actually do spend the night in a dorm with a stranger to do it, but in this show, it's a thing. I only remember going to day tours but then, the colleges I applied to were in my hometown. Dawson asks if she's nervous and Joey says this:
Joey: Yeah! But in a good way. I mean, I know we’re just visiting, but this trip kinda gives me hope. Maybe one day I will make it out of here.
Bitch, you need to shut up about this stupid spiel about getting out of Capeside when you turned down a semester in France! For Dawson! You had a chance to get out and you chose not to go, you don't get to whine about "never making it out" anymore when it was your decision to stay. God, look how much I've written and we're not even at the opening credits yet. We're in for a long ride, I guess.

We cut to the next day where Dawson, Joey, Jack, and Andie are all standing outside of a bustling college campus. I think that Andie is going for an interview to get into Harvard because that is pretty much her entire dream. Joey is going to go find her college sponsor, Dawson is going to register at the film festival, and Jack acts all shifty and says he's going to hang out and do the tours or something. They all go their separate ways.

Dawson is registering at the film festival and wait, who is that taking his registration!? Oh my god, it's-

Kendra, de vam-pire slayer!

This is amazing! I totally forgot Bianca Lawson was in this season for a bit! Hopefully Dawson doesn't spill something on her fav-rite she-irt because, as we know, it's her only she-irt. Anyway, she takes his information down, briefly mocks him for liking Spielberg, and then tells him that he didn't write down a synopsis for his movie. I am not shitting you, this is the answer he gives:


Oh my god, Dawson. That is extremely unprofessional, every director worth his salt can write a brief description of what their movie is about, if you can't do that, then your movie probably lacks...direction. Also story, plotting, and any interest whatsoever. No one fucking cares how great you think your movie is, they want to know what it's about and if you think you can get away with not writing a synopsis because "there's not enough room" to capture the gloriousness of your shitty movie, then you have no business being in the business and you certainly won't be taken seriously.

Now that I've finished laughing and ranting, Dawson continues to explain his masterful homework assignment movie and Kendra rams a stake through his heart. Not really, but in a better show...She does point out the obvious again for us though:

movie title drop!!

Joey is then shown entering a college dorm, only to find a guy sitting on the bed. He is needlessly rude to her before finally revealing that he is her college tour guide, A.J. Moller and that their "gender ambiguous" names must have gotten them paired together. He continues being rude by automatically assuming that Joey is going to start crying and offers her a bed. Joey doesn't want to stay with him, for good reason, and he tries to make her feel like shit for not wanting to stay with a strange guy in a college campus because apparently, this is what dorms are like. While I agree, that guys and girls can live together on college campuses, I still don't find this situation appropriate because she's a minor and there is a very serious risk for her to be taken advantage of. Yes, yes, not all guys, but would a college want to take that risk? Whatever, he challenges her maturity which makes Stubborn!Joey pop out and decide to stay to prove him wrong. Reverse psychology works so easily on her. Geez, all Dawson needs to say when he wants her back is "I bet you're just not mature enough to give us another shot" to which she'll jump into his arms right then and there and I will throw up in my mouth because they are the worst together.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Joey decides to stay and douchey college guy kicks her out of his room for the next two hours so that he can work on his assignment. I'm sorry but people who act like this clown with their homework are assholes. Just ask if she can give you some space for a bit to get your work done instead of being horrifically condescending and racist about it:

Racism is so charming...or at least, the writers think it is

Andie bumps into Jack and asks him what he's about to do and Jack acts all cagey for some reason. She suggests he check out an art museum and he agrees that he'll probably check one out. The minute Andie leaves, he pulls out this thing:


Ok, so this made me a bit uncomfortable because the writers have a history of kind of mocking gay culture and when I saw this I kind of went "they did NOT" But, I looked into this and it does appear to be a legitimate thing that I just was unaware of. I get that it can be hard when you're just realizing your sexuality and you don't really know where to go to meet people so I can definitely see why this is necessary. Reading up on it, made me feel a lot better about this scene and, shocking to say, this is something that the writers got right. Can you blame me for thinking that the show was being insensitive at first, though?

I don't understand why Jack was so secretive about wanting to explore the gay community because Andie has been really supportive of it. I guess he didn't want a repeat of her pushing him into something too fast like with the Ben Street debacle.

Andie excitedly walks up to the Dean's assistant to check in but the assistant says that her appointment isn't until March. That's super dumb, why the hell did Andie act like she was getting an interview then? Andie persists because her dad tells her that if you want something, make sure to be the first in line. Andie, your dad is the Worst Parent in Capeside for all eternity, don't take advice from him. She asks if anything might open up and the assistant is all "would you cancel your university interview at the last second?" Schooled.

Oh my God, this next scene is my everything. Dawson's movie is screening and people are not impressed and openly mocking it. It finishes and people flock right the fuck out of the movie theatre because they don't give two fucks what Dawson has to say about his tired rip-off movie. It's bliss, it's total joy, you have no idea how much his pain and tears bring me joy.

Yes, keep crying, Dawson

Dawson meekly gets up to the podium to answer questions and literally no one raises a hand. My god, this is just the best most satisfying moment the series has given me so far. One girl does raise a hand and asks where Joey is because she's hot. Look, we have to be reminded that Joey is the hottest girl who ever lived and that no one else compares, it's in her contract. Ok?

Cut to Dawson storming out of his screening like a giant baby. Kendra follows him out and actually tries to make him feel better. She really shouldn't have tried because, of course, Dawson bites her head off about it. As if it's her fault that he sucks at filmmaking and that his movie opened poorly. Douche. So, Kendra lets him have Mr. Pointy right in his heart and it is glorious:

Movie title drop again!

Ooooohh, ouch!!

This is where I'd light a cigarette, if I smoked

Dawson acts like a little bitch and sarcastically tells her how perceptive she is. She snaps back that he shouldn't patronize her. Dawson, being Dawson which is to say a giant asshat, condescends her further by looking down on her opinion because he thinks she is just a volunteer at the festival and not a true artist like himself. She tells him to fuck off but in cleaner TV words.

Cut to Jack waiting nervously for a bus. I'm assuming it's a gay bus or something? Because it seems to be all men getting on and the driver just has to ask Jack if he's "in or out"

Get it?

Dawson is moping on a bench when Joey turns up and asks him how his screening went. He whines about how horribly it went and how he shouldn't be a filmmaker, which is true. Then Joey starts to pep talk him and tell him how great he is and those mean "film brats" don't know anything. "Whatever, guys! He just did it for fun, ok?" Sorry, it's just, Dawson can not take any valid criticism of his movie. Ever. So, forgive me if I constantly picture him as a whiny, 12 year old, fan fic writer. Joey gushes about how he's great at filmmaking and I vomit all over myself because Joey needs to stop undermining his valid criticism and enabling him to remain a crappy, yet egotistical filmmaker. I mean really, he can just continue to crank out crap movies and then whine that everyone is just haters that are jealous of his genius work.

Andie is still trying to get in to see the Dean of the university and is sucking up to his assistant. The lady tells Andie about her seven kids and how none of them got into this university and how they all aren't bothered by it and turned out fine. I think she's supposed to be some kind of zen person for Andie to learn to relax about being perfect all the time.

Cut to Joey in a college class waiting for the lecture to start. AJ walks in and continues being a douche to her. In a surprise twist, AJ turns out to be the teaching assistant for this lit class and he has to fill in for the professor that day. Oh, Dawson's Creek contrivance, how I've missed you. Are teacher's assistants, who are undergrads, taking over the professor's classes a thing in the US? Because I can't recall that ever happening in Canada. If the professor didn't show, class was cancelled usually. Anyway, he starts a "great books" discussion and singles out Joey to ask her what her favourite book is. She says "Little Women" and he proceeds to tear her the shit down. It's kind of funny because she can be stuck up her butt but this is pretty damn cruel because he obviously wanted to humiliate her and I can't figure out why. It's so obvious that the writers have no clue why either, they just want to make him as mean as possible so that Joey can be reasonably upset with him. The problem is, when you don't give your character a reason for being so shitty to another character, my conclusion is that they are just a shitty person and I have no time for them which means, I don't buy into the drastic character change later.

Scratch that, the drastic character change comes in pretty much the next scene. Joey is storming out of class as AJ runs to catch up with her and ask her to wait up for him. She tells him off and he admits he was "a little harsh" and that he was just "trying to give her the college experience" Dude, no. You were not just trying to give her the college experience, you were trying to humiliate her. No one's college experience is getting humiliated for liking a book. That's ludicrous. Joey doesn't buy it either and proceeds to chew him out which makes him cower with fear and apologize sincerely and ask if he can make it up to her. Cue him falling for her. Just wait for it.

Dawson is sitting through a different screening where the audience is apparently extremely awed by the movie being shown. It is going over extremely well and earns a standing ovation. Dawson is confused by the movie, I think as here is his reaction:

D'uuuuh, I guess I should clap since everyone else is clapping

Everyone wants to know who directed it and who else but Kendra turns out to be the director. Suck on that, Dawson!

Dawson walks up to Kendra after the screening to whine at her some more. She says she needs a chocolate fix after her stressful experience and Dawson bitches at her that what she went through wasn't stressful, it was a love-fest. You're an ass, Dawson. I feel like I can't say that enough. She tells him that if the roles were reversed, she would have been happy for him.

YEEEESSSS!!! Everyone is!

Kendra, bless her soul, actually tries to start over with Dawson and be nice. She asks him what he honestly thought of her film and asks him to use constructive criticism only. Oh, naive, naive girl.
Dawson: I, uh, I thought your film was– was technically accomplished.
Nikki: Technically accomplished. That sounds like a nice dismount off the balance beam.
Dawson: Well, it’s better than derivative. Or unclear. Or not understanding your own material.
Nikki: OK. Maybe I was a little insensitive in my comments. I’m sorry.
So, not only is Dawson childish and vague with his criticism of her movie, he also whines at her about her actual helpful criticism and guilts her into apologizing for it. Dawson (writers), she has absolutely nothing to apologize for. Her criticisms of Dawson's film were completely valid and were not even mean but truthful. Seriously, you have Dawson show up to this film festival with a video project he made for a homework assignment, refuse to write down a summary because there was "not enough room", and then ask me to be upset for him because someone rightfully called him out on not understanding his own story? No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Just no all over this conversation. Kendra deserves better than this. Even what happened to her on Buffy was better than this. Dawson storms off even after she apologizes too because he can't stand it when people aren't basking in the glory of his genius and constantly calling him a "wunderkind". Barf.

Andie is pouring her heart out to the Dean's assistant as they drink coffee together. Andie tells her about how she wants to write about her mother and how she influenced her. The secretary, Fran, tells her that she should let herself off the hook for things which she can't control. She also says that Andie shouldn't beat herself up for getting over her brother's death when her mother couldn't. It's a nice scene for Andie.

AJ is suddenly trying to impress Joey because why the hell not? It's what every girl dreams of, right? A guy totally humiliating her in public and then making up for it in private. *swoon* This is the worst ever. When are Joey and Pacey going to be a thing? It feels like it's taking forever. Anyway, to make things up to her, he takes her to a secret library.

I'll just leave this here...

He shows her a first edition copy of the first volume of Little Women which was apparently also Louisa May Alcott's personal copy. They read from it and then Joey admits that her mother used to read it to her because it was her favourite book. This is why she named her Josephine. Screw Bessie, she wasn't the favourite, so she gets the cow name. AJ picks up on the "was" and Joey tells him that she passed away which makes him apologize and probably feel guilty. He then admits that his favourite book is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which I think we're supposed to find charming but I find it incredibly hypocritical and awful of him. It also makes me hate the character more. Seriously, don't fall for him Joey, he's a douche.

Jack walks into a bar and tries to order a drink. He's extremely, adorably, awkward and it's the cutest thing ever. Apparently a random bar dude agrees with me and orders a drink for him while chatting him up. He comes on really strongly which makes Jack freak out and bail on the guy once his back is turned. I kind of think Jack made the right choice because, for some reason, the guy was giving off major creepy vibes to me. I don't know, he was attracted to his shyness, then trying to get him to go somewhere else with him, then added the little "we can just talk and get to know each other..." I don't know, red flags went up. Run like hell, Jack.

Prizes are being handed out to the filmmakers and Kendra is obviously expecting to win. She doesn't and surprisingly, Dawson runs after her to tell her she was robbed. That he saw every film at the festival and hers was hands down, the best. In a shocking twist...Dawson actually becomes supportive and learns something! I'm shocked, check it out for yourselves:

Dawson: Well I learned that I have to dig deeper, and– and reveal more of myself in my work if I’m going to make a film that’s worth anything. You learned that film festivals don’t necessarily award the meritorious. 
Nikki: (more calmly) I wanted to win, Dawson. 
Dawson: Nikki. Your film just wasn’t technically brilliant, OK? It was inspired. It inspired me. It-- it made me remember why I got into film in the first place. Not to win festivals, not for glory, but to reach people. And you did, you made them laugh, you moved them. No matter what happens to me, I’m not gonna give up until I reach that goal.
You see? I didn't make it up. Dawson actually admitted his faults and was supportive. They part on good terms.

The next day, Dawson and Andie meet up at the train and tell each other about their weekends. Both admit to getting what they wanted and learning something but not the way they expected to. It's nice to see them talking and for how much Dawson pissed me off this episode, it's nice that he's actually able to end on a good note.

Jack is already on the train and saving seats for everyone. Mysterious guy with nice blue eyes comes and asks if he can sit with him. Jack starts to explain and then gets lost in his beautiful blue eyes and relents. The guy's name is Ethan and he is also headed for Capeside. Jack is happy.

Dawson bumps into Kendra on the train who is apparently also a child of divorced parents and she's going to live in Capeside with her father. It turns out, through contrived writing, that Kendra is Principal Green's daughter and she'll be attending Capeside. Dawson tries to talk himself up by saying that the film class is full but how he thinks he has "pull" with the teacher and can totally get her in. She's already in and is getting private email lessons from the teacher too. Dawson looks butthurt and it pleases me greatly.

Please do, Kendra. Dawson could use a good ass kicking

Jack is conversing with Ethan and is obviously interested in him. Who wouldn't be with those eyes? Anyway, Ethan is apparently just getting over a break up and is heading home to his parents for some TLC. He then reveals that the breakup was with a boy which gets Jack very excited.

AJ has walked Joey to the train. Apparently, they have been up all night talking and they are into each other now. *SIGH* I guess I have to endure this further but I still don't get what the hell his problem with her was in the first place or why she thinks he's such a great guy now. Whatever, she gives him her number and walks onto the train where she bumps into Dawson and Kendra. Dawson introduces Joey to her but Joey is too preoccupied with making moony eyes at AJ to notice or care that Dawson has made a female friend.

Dawson is not pleased

We end the episode with Dawson and Joey talking about their weekend in his room. Dawson is still whining about the festival and saying that he should go into fast food. Joey rolls her eyes at him and tells him to stop worrying about winning and just love what he does and learn to be excited about the process. Win for Joey. Joey then expresses her fear but ultimate excitement at the prospect of college, showing that she's finally ready to open herself up to new experiences. Ladies and gentlemen, we end the episode with a very telling quote that seems to show just how ill suited these two are for each other:
Joey: So is it just me, or– or does this room seem a lot smaller all of a sudden?
Dawson: Really? I was kinda thinking it seemed ... safe.
 Joey wants to get out and explore the world and be exposed to new things and different ways of thinking, Dawson wants to hole himself up in his bedroom and be a kid forever. If there was ever a moment that so accurately showed why these two don't work as an endgame couple, it's this. And that, my friends, was First Encounters of the Close Kind. A little slow at times but I got a lot of entertainment out of the much needed calling out of Dawson this episode. Loved it.

Stay tuned for Barefoot At Capefest where Jack continues to pursue Ethan and the psychotic Henry returns to manipulate Jen with his icy demeanour into liking him. I'm not joking, that happens. Until next time, folks.