Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dawson's Creek - 302 - Homecoming

Original air date: October 6, 1999

OK, so here it is. The episode that both upsets me greatly but makes me happy because I was a girl split between two ships. Although, I at least had Pacey and Joey potentially getting together to get me over the heartbreak of the end of Pacey and Andie. I can't even imagine how much people who hated the idea of Joey and Pacey hated this episode. Shall we dive right in?

We start the episode with Pacey telling Dawson how excited/nervous he is about getting to pick Andie up from the um, did they ever say what the hell she was going to? An asylum? A psychiatric facility? A mental home? Well, he's going to pick her up anyway and apparently Joey is going with him. Dawson is psyched about that, so just file that one away for later, Dawson is happy that Joey is out of his hair and hanging out with Pacey.

Pacey asks about how things are going with Sweet Valley Eve. Dawson claims that she disappeared after the big party that landed him in trouble with Mitch. He even tried looking back at the strip joint but apparently she didn't work there anymore because she was just a temp.

That's a very good question, Pacey


It's one that the writers will not answer because writing is hard and they want her to be a cool mystery for Dawson so shut up! This was just for homework anyway and they don't care if you like it or not! Where was I? Oh yeah, Dawson is complaining because he wasn't able to get any with Eve and now he can't find her. Pacey goes on a rant that screams that the writers only view women as virginal girlfriends or slutty sex kittens meant to be objectified and since they've had sex, that is all they want and fucking love being used for sex. Ugh, Dawson's Creek writers, ugh. We've got a long way to go with Eve but we're not at the point that really pisses me off about her character yet so I won't go on a long spiel, I'll just say, I hate her and I hate that the writers just want her to be a sex object.

Shock of all shocks, Dawson is pulled into a closet by none other than Eve, leaving Pacey to wax poetic about how much Dawson can use a girl like Eve since she's tainted goods and is perfect for objectifying and for the sex with no meaning (FUCK YOU WRITERS!!) to himself. She and Dawson then make out in the closet and she welcomes him to the school and welcomes the audience to the opening credits.

And welcome to the opening credits


Dawson asks Eve what she is doing at Capeside High School and she claims she is a student. Even Dawson doesn't buy that. Do you see what I mean when the writers just want to make her a big mystery but don't actually want to write anything that makes sense? How the hell was she working in a strip joint then? Why the hell wasn't she in school before? She claims she's a senior but what the hell? I guess if she was left back she could be 18 but how old do you have to be to work in a strip club in the States? Like it could be 18 but don't those places serve alcohol? Wouldn't you then have to be 21 to work there? Then again, they are continuously letting 16 year olds into bars in Capeside, maybe she could have fooled them but she would have to have a valid ID unless the club is really shady I guess. I am putting way too much thought into this when the writers clearly have not. I'll stop now.

So, Eve is now a student because why not? She kisses him again and then claims she is late for bio. Dawson tries to get a last name out of her but he bumps into his father and the Principal. They ask him to put together a video trying to pimp out the football team, which are apparently a bunch of losers. Dawson tries to protest but Mitch makes it clear that Dawson is doing this favour for him because Dawson owes him one.

Go Mitch!


Meanwhile, what's this? Mr. McPhee is back in the picture? Apparently, he was feeling bad about being named Capeside's Worst Parent last season, being beaten out by both a drug dealing loser and an abusive fuckwad who both came off better than him and is trying to make things right. He's apparently moved his business to Capeside so that Andie can stay where her friends are. So...why did he sell the house then? Remember, that was why Jack had to move in with Grams and Jen? Are we going to address that? No? OK, Dawson's Creek Writers.

But anyway, now that Mr. McPhee and Andie are back, I guess that means that Jack can move back home, right? NOPE. I guess Mr. McPhee realized that he really liked having a trophy of any kind and is going for the Worst Parent of Capeside Award for the second year. That's right, Mr. McPhee has decided that it would be better if Jack stayed with the Lindley's. Why? Because he's a horrible person who is uncomfortable with having a gay son and has decided to cast him aside. How fucking horrible and how the hell is Grams supposed to deal with that shit? "oh great, you're back so I guess Jack will be moving...you want him to stay here still? But...he's your son...I...you're horrible!" Jack rightfully calls him out for being the biggest tool on the show.

YES! Because you're horrible!


You win. You win Worst Parent in Capeside again. I don't even have to keep watching this season. You just win it.

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! My spirits are lifted with this next scene! Do you remember last season when Joey wanted to go visit her dad in prison and Pacey took her there? Then when they were there, visiting hours were over but Pacey helped her get in anyway? Well, the tables have turned my friends! Pacey can't get in to see Andie to pick her up because visiting hours are over and he complains to Joey and then this:

Too adorable!!



Joey then talks to the nurse to distract her so that Pacey can sneak in to find Andie. This is when Joey became awesome, you guys! I did like her in the third season! I did and do!! Although I groaned at the fact that her distraction story is all about Dawson. Ugh.

After agreeing to make the Principal's football recruitment video, Dawson runs into Eve again. He tells her he is done chasing after her because he spent all of last year chasing after a girl and he refuses to make it a habit. For some reason, Eve still finds this somewhat charming but in reality, talking about how much effort you put in for your ex and how you're not going to put the same amount of effort into the new girl would so not work in your favour.

In Dawson's World, however, it totally turns Eve on because not being over an ex is hot or something. She's wild and carefree while Joey is small town, therefore she is all about the sex! She wants to have sex with Dawson bad because...I don't really know exactly.

Every day is your day in Dawson Land


Meanwhile, Pacey finds Andie's room and opens the door to reveal Andie on her bed talking with some mystery guy. Unlike last time, this mystery guy is not a figment of Andie's imagination, he is very real and Pacey is very jealous of it. Andie acts hella guilty so you know something is up with this because she's more awkward about Pacey being here to pick her up than happy about it. Joey comes in at that moment and excitedly greets Andie, this makes me sad because Andie very well could have been Joey's friend but this show refuses to let the girls be friends and with the way things are going to go this season, they aren't going to be friends at all.

Joey mentions that if they don't get going, she may be forced to stay so Andie starts packing her things. Pacey gives Joey a worried look because he can tell something is up. It's super cute and my Joey/Pacey shipper side is all "YAYYYY!!" while my Andie/Pacey shipper is all "Noooooo!"

I think "YAYYY!!" wins out ever so slightly
because look at them!


Jen is lamenting to Jack about being made head cheerleader and the fact that the cheerleaders are all starting to dress like her and only want to do sardonic cheers. Jack thinks it's funny but Jen is in hell because she didn't want to be involved with the school at all. As they are talking, footballs continuously fly their way because the players really suck but Jack catches them all and throws them back.

Jack then complains about how his father doesn't want him to live with him and Andie because his father is the Worst Parent of Capeside. Jen says she knows how it feels to have parents that don't want you and Jack tells her that at least she has Grams. Jen throws back that he does too and he has her. Awww, you guys, I can't even deal with how cute their friendship is. They are the best thing about this show. Anyway, balls keep flying their way and Jack keeps catching them with ease and throwing them back.

At the same time, a freshman kid, named Henry, is begging Mitch to be allowed to play but Mitch isn't having it because he's a freshman but probably also because he'll kill you on site if you cross his path.

Because he's a straight up murderer
Like cold blooded fucking killer who dresses in Dexter's kill suit

Have I made my point yet? Sure, both Funny Games and Murder by Numbers came out after this season but he still looked creepy to me and like he could be a serial killer, these movies just proved my theory that he makes a better psycho than a love interest. Basically, he always creeps me out whenever I see him thus destroying the supposed sweetness of his story arc this season. Now Henry is ruined for you all too. You're welcome.

We then have to be traumatized further by witnessing Dawson purchase condoms. Although, kudos to the show for showing a guy be responsible and picking up birth control himself. Very cool. However, it is a very awkward situation to watch because people start helping Dawson with his condom choices and it's weird and I don't think I have ever encountered people giving me advice about which condoms to buy but then I haven't bought very many. Maybe this is more a thing that happens to guys?

I really wish it wasn't, Dawson


Pacey acts like a jealous douche as he tries to get information out of Andie about who Marc is and why he is there. Joey tries to warn him about prying too hard but Pacey ignores her and presses anyway. Andie asks him if he is jealous and Pacey admits that he is because Marc got to spend all summer with her when he didn't get to. She is moved by this and they kiss. Yay! or Boo! or Yay? no boo? I-I don't know how to feel!!!

Why must I like both couplings!?

Back at football practice, Henry is finally being allowed to play and he really wants to impress Mitch. So, how does he go about doing this? By asking Jack to be a ringer for him. I don't understand, is this to prove that Henry is a good player or that Jack is? It seems like a weird way to prove yourself by bringing a really good player onto the team who also isn't a freshman and therefore might steal your spot but whatever. This is his plan and it works. Henry throws the ball and Jack catches it. Yay!

The next day at school, Jack finally gets to say hi to his sister and she is happy to see him. Pacey interrupts their reunion to ask her on a date. Andie says that she wants to hang out with everyone which is supposed to seem odd but really, she just got back so I can't begrudge her wanting to spend some time with her brother and friends. Wait, this show hates friendships except for Jen and Jack because they're awesome. But she would still want to hang out with her brother maybe. Sorry, I'll stop yammering. Jack says he's going to a pep rally with Jen and Andie gets excited and wants to go, leaving Pacey to be all pissed because he wanted alone time with Andie and she's clearly been avoiding it and is not that happy to be back with him.

Mitch officially asks Jack to be part of the football team because he and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer were really great together. Jack is hesitant because he's gay and apparently that means he's not allowed to play football but Mitch says that's stupid because it is and he persuades him to give it a chance.

Dawson bumps into Jen at the pep rally and she spots his stash of condoms. She is impressed by the new Dawson and asks him who the lucky girl is. Dawson refuses to tell but he asks her for advice. Her advice is kind of awesome:

Jen: Let's say that you have an ice cream sundae right in front of you and you have no spoon. Now, it's a hundred degrees out and you're starving. Now, do you lick the ice cream or do you bite right in? 
Dawson: Bite right in. 
Jen: Too fast. See, first you have to watch the sundae, admire the sundae, then, just before it's about to drip, you let your lips lick around the exterior, savouring every inch. You want that sundae to last a long time... ...but not too long, because then the sundae ends up all over the table instead of in your mouth. But Dawson, if you remember one thing, let it be this...If you don't get the whipped cream all over your face, you're not doing it right. You see what I'm saying?
Dawson is confused as hell because he thought girls existed to pleasure him and didn't consider that he'd have to try and pleasure the girl. This is why Jen is awesome, because she pointed out to him that women want to enjoy sex too. This is also why Dawson sucks because he's always only thinking of himself and what he will get out of things. Boo, Dawson.

Pacey, Andie and Joey show up and are watching the pep rally. They are all surprised to see that Jen is now a cheerleader and Jack is on the football team. In fact, this is Andie's reaction:

Look, the writers aren't very sensitive about mental issues or knowledgeable...
Also, can we discuss how dire that hair do is? Wow, hair people,
what did Meredith do to piss you off so much?


Anyway, the pep rally continues as the team is introduced. Henry's name is called and he bumbles onto the stage and falls into Jen. I think this is supposed to be their meet-cute but since I'm predisposed to think of him as a psycho killer, it looks more like he's plotting her murder:

Go on a date with me or I'll stab you!!!


Pacey is fed up with Andie constantly brushing him off and refusing to be alone with him, so he grabs her by the arms and leads her out of the auditorium. Shit is going to go down and I'm still confused as to how to feel. On the one hand, their end means the beginning of my very first ship on this show and I'm so excited for that to happen, on the other hand, they are about to end and they were so cute together. Can Pacey just have all the girls? I know, I know, illegal and stuff but damn it, that man just has chemistry with everyone.

Dawson starts to play his video about the football team when Eve shows up. Dawson, being the true nerd that he is, wants to watch his video instead of getting it on with Eve. Eve just tells him that's a lame ass excuse and pulls him to her anyway. Why the hell does she want to be with Dawson though, seriously? The guy has zero charisma.

Pacey and Andie are outside and he demands that she tell him what's up. Andie doesn't want to talk about it but agrees to tell him only if he lets her say everything she wants to and not talk until he's done. He promises that he will let her talk and so she tells him that her and Marc were extremely close and shared all the same fears and yadda, yadda, yadda, Pacey guesses that she had sex with him and she says she did but regrets it. She begs him to forgive her but he just walks away. I really hate this because I can see both sides. Andie is completely regretful of her mistake and I guess I can see why it happened, but I can also see why Pacey wouldn't be able to forgive her because it hurts when you trust someone and they betray you. *Sigh* This is it, the end of Pacey and Andie and it has always somewhat tarnished my joy of finally getting to see Pacey and Joey together because damn it, I loved Pacey and Andie too.

Why must shipping be so hard and confusing sometimes?

Dawson and Eve try to get it on but Dawson accidentally hits the button that lifts the screen up and exposes them to everyone including his father and Joey. They bow to the cheering audience but it's clear Dawson knows he's in trouble. Eve tries to get him to leave with her but Dawson refuses and wants to get a ride home from his father. God, he sounds lame right now. He admits to Eve that she is just sex to him and that he wants his first time to mean more. Eve confesses that she wanted to have sex with him because she looked into his eyes and saw an old soul. That's weird but Dawson is flattered by it so win for him, I guess. She tells him her full name is Eve Whitman but refuses to give him her number and she disappears again because she must remain the appealing mystery sex girl.

Joey talks Pacey into talking to Andie and trying to forgive her even though he is really mad at her. She gives some really great advice about it too and it actually sounds like she's acknowledging her own mistakes and learning from them. Here's what she says:

Joey: You think that just because the two of you were together what she did hurts more? It doesn't. There's no difference, Pacey, I mean... Look, she's sixteen years old and so are you. We talk like we know what's going on, but we don't. We don't have any idea. Look, we're really young and we're gonna screw up a lot! You know, we're going to keep changing our minds and ... and sometimes even our hearts. And through all of that, the only real thing we can offer each other is forgiveness. And I couldn't do that. Or at least I did it too late. Don't let yourself get so angry that you stop loving because one day you wake up from that anger and the person you love will be gone.

Like, holy crap. Whole new Joey. I'm really liking her so far this season. I knew there was a point in this series that I liked her and of course, it's when she's with Pacey. Pacey makes everyone better.

I will keep posting this and you will all like it!!


Ugh, it's another Mr. McPhee scene where he basically just commands the Worst Parent of Capeside award yet again. Grams told him to get his ass down to the school to see his son because she's awesome and somehow, Mr. McPhee screws it up. Why? Because now that his son is a strong, manly, football player, it is acceptable for him to come home. Fuck you, Mr. McPhee. Jack tells him off for the same reason and points out that it shouldn't take a football jersey for him to accept his gay son. Mr. McPhee tries to agree but realizes how much of a douche he comes off as and backs down. Jack throws him a bone by asking his father to ask him to come home again sometime. It's quite sad, because he clearly wants to go home but wants it to be because his dad truly wants him there, not just because he lived up to some symbol of masculinity in his dad's head.

Pacey talks to Andie again because the show wasn't done ripping out my heart with their earlier scene. They had to go and make Pacey say this:

Pacey: Whether or not I can forgive you, Andie, is not going to be what keeps us apart. What you did... Our relationship was like this beautiful thing, and I don't think you ever realized how powerful it was. You changed my life, Andie, you were that person for me. You inspired me to be a man that I'd only ever dreamt about being. When you first started to get sick, it dawned on me that I might not be that person for you. I can never go back to loving you the way I did knowing that my love wasn't strong enough the first time around. I could always forgive you, Andie, but I will never forget.
But then Andie has to say this:



And then Pacey shuts her down with:


Right. In. The. Feels.

Dawson and Joey also talk things out but it's boring and I don't ship them so I tuned out. Basically they are OK with each other and agree to not date or try to date for a while. They also agree to branch out and meet new people. They also get a bit pretentiously annoying with this:



Oh dear God, I hope not. The world does not need multiple Dawsons and Joeys, especially not together because they become horrible people when they are together. Seriously. Just no. No. What a horrible thought. End episode.

So, this was the episode that ended one of my favourite couples and I do think it's kind of unfair. I hate that it made Andie out as the bad guy just so that Pacey could be sympathetic when he moved on to Joey. I hate that it kind of went against Andie's character to have her cheat, she just did not seem the type at all. And I hate that they are over when they only had a season together and I hate that I know there is no future rekindling of this relationship because I know (spoilers) she gets written out of the show. I don't think it was fair to her character and she kind of goes downhill from here too which is sad. This show basically torches every female character except for Joey which also makes me sad. However, I am excited for Pacey/Joey so, at least I have that to look forward to.

Next episode is None Of The Above. Find out if Sweet Valley Eve will steal Dawson's V-card from Joey, if Henry has plans to take Jen to his kill room, and if the Pacey/Joey friendship will continue to blossom.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dawson's Creek - 301 - Like a Virgin

Original air date: September 29, 1999

Hello dear readers and welcome back to the Creek recaps. Season 3 is upon us and this season is a bit of a doozy. As I already explained in the last post, Kevin Williamson has left the creative team for greener pastures. So, we now have a bit of a different Creek on our hands. Now, I think I said before that people were scandalized when the show first aired but somewhere around the second season, the show seemed to garner a reputation of being kind of wholesome or, at the very least, safe. Now, I should point out that it was mainly parents and, I assume, FOX News that were scandalized by the show while the people who viewed the show as tame or safe were teens. So, we have a show creator who has left, and a network with a desire to spice things up, that together helped shape what is season 3 of the Creek. Shall we dive in and see what we find?

We start off the season with Dawson returning to Capeside by bus from what I assume was his tour de force as the quarterback of a southern football team where he exposed the coach's corrupt steroid practices and where he did not want his father's life.


He's even still rocking the auburn 'do


An unnamed girl, who was totally on Sweet Valley High, 

See?


The slightly bitchy looking, twin strikes up a conversation with Dawson who is watching Risky Business on a portable DVD player. Gee, I wonder if something related to Risky Business will happen in this episode? Sweet Valley High is intrigued by Dawson and, of course, asks about his girlfriend because all side characters must sense the powerful, undeniable, connection between Dawson and Joey, even without any context or knowledge that Joey exists! It's that powerful, guys. They're soul mates, I swear!!

Cut to the next day and Joey is working at a gas bar, apparently. I like that they've obviously kept with the storyline of the Ice House burning down and not just doing a whitewashed, it's all better now, type of thing. Joey is clearly unhappy working there but then again, she's unhappy working anywhere. No, scratch that, she's just generally unhappy and snippy with everyone.

The true soul mates of Dawson's Creek prove their connection on screen and wordlessly to perfection as they get ready for school. I'll just show it to you now:


Awwww, they're so cute. I love them.

Dawson is recounting his bus trip with Pacey, claiming that the mysterious girl vanished as if she was never real. I don't buy it but then again, it would be pretty easy to slip away from Dawson undetected when you confuse him enough.

Shh, just back away silently and he'll think you've
vanished when he snaps out of it

Pacey starts asking about what Dawson is going to say to Joey when he sees her. Surprisingly, Dawson is remaining adamant that it is over between them. Good for him, they suck together and maybe Dawson will become better by not being around her. He did have a glimpse of turning into a decent, if boring, character when they were apart for most of season 2. Pacey says that Dawson will not have the willpower to say no to Joey and I laugh because he finally has less faith in Dawson than I do. Of course, we get our first glimpse that Pacey might be a little more into Joey than anyone thought.
Pacey: Now, just to play devil's advocate here, let's say you go to school today and Joey comes up and starts apologizing. She does that cute little hair flip thing she does and locks those truly remarkable brown eyes of hers on you...what do you do? 
 He cries because he realizes that you have the hots for Joey and that means he has no chance at getting her back this season. Just you wait, you guys. No one believed me when I was a teen about this moment right here and at the end of the episode. No one. But oh how wrong they are. They just couldn't see the truth:

Yes, I will use this gif to death because it's the truth!

Just then, Mitch comes in and gives Dawson a rundown of where he'll be for the weekend and Dawson informs us that Mitch is now Capeside High's varsity football coach. Get it? Because Varsity Blues happened and was popular!

Let's just pray that Dawson doesn't sing the blues again

Oh Dawson's Creek writers, you are too cute. I love how blatant this all is. The only thing that would have made it even more blatant as to slap you in the face, is if Dawson became the team captain or some junk but thankfully, that doesn't happen. Mitch leaves for the weekend. I hope no wacky, Risky Business related high jinx ensue.  

At school, Jack and Jen are sitting in the auditorium waiting for a school assembly to start. The head cheerleader, Belinda, who we have never met before, seems to have a problem with Jen. She asks Jen if she's had any gang bangs lately and I want to respond no, because Dawson totally cock blocked her the last time she tried for a Devil's Three way. Jen however comes back with a liposuction insult which makes Belinda sulk off. I guess that works.  

The new Principal, Mr. Green, walks in and makes a clunky speech about how the kids at Capeside act like people twice their age which is totally a meta commentary on some of the criticisms that Dawson's Creek received. That the characters on the show don't act like actual teenagers because they are too mature. So this is kind of like the promise from the writers to correct that mistake, even though I thought most of them acted like teenagers last season save for a few very mature conversations, I suppose.  

Pacey points out Joey to Dawson like some excited Joey/Dawson shipper and it's really annoying. I don't know why they are making him so invested in this when previously, he was annoyed by their whole thing but maybe the writers were trying to make us really surprised when Pacey eventually developed feelings for her, even though most of us knew he already had. Mr. Green spots him talking and calls him out. Pacey introduces himself and Principal Green congratulates him for being the first student at Capeside to actually act like a student (Writers: See? We do write real teenagers! All you critics can suck it!). He then gives Pacey a Saturday detention.

There it is again

OK, sidebar for a minute here. What is with this show and Saturday detentions? Is this a throwback line to Season 1 or is this an actual thing that happens? Why? Why would any teacher want to give Saturday detentions? That just means that they have to be at work on Saturday too so why? I seriously want to know if Saturday detentions actually exist or if it's just a thing that happens on Dawson's Creek and in the Breakfast Club for plot reasons.  

Cut to later and the cheerleaders are trying to sign people up for try-outs or not trying because apparently these cheerleaders don't want any new recruits unless they fit their mould. They turn away a girl for being too fat and then Belinda accuses one of her squad members of putting on a few which made the girl comfortable enough to approach them. This Belinda girl is needlessly rude, I hope no one comes along to giver her a comeuppance. Cue Jen, who walks up and signs her name to the shock of everyone. Belinda tries to deny her but Jen challenges her to let her try out and Belinda accepts, I guess because she thinks Jen will humiliate herself or something.

Pacey and Dawson are talking in the hall when he spots Joey. Worried that he's going to crumble, Dawson asks Pacey to take him somewhere away from her and that will distract him. Pacey says he knows just the place.

Cut to Joey arriving home for dinner. Bessie proves that she is kind of a weird guardian for Joey and just weird in general because she starts excitedly asking her about what it was like seeing Dawson again. Why is everyone in town so goddamn obsessed with their non-relationship? Did nobody know how coldly and cruelly Joey dumped his ass? Let me refresh you guys:

Harsh

Joey, for some reason, lies to her sister about talking to Dawson because she doesn't want to let her sister down. I think that's stupid as hell but Bessie is absolutely thrilled about this and goes on and on about how they are meant to be together, she's sure of it. Are you, Bessie? Are you sure you're sure? Because I'm sure that they don't belong together and guess who's sureness is right?

Pacey and Joey forever!
(photo by damon_elena)

Next we see that Pacey has taken Dawson to...a strip club? What the actual fuck, writers? Is this your way to make them seem more like high school students or to make the show "edgier"? Because, I'm sorry, last I checked, they card you before you can get into a strip club. I know that the actors are older and thus don't look 16 but in this show's universe, they are 16 and supposedly do look it. Could they have gotten fakes? Maybe but, is this not a small town and is Pacey's father not the town Sheriff? I would think people would recognize him and not let him in for fear that it would bring the cops down on them. Also, is this normal high school behaviour or is it just high school boy fantasy? I don't doubt that a lot of teenaged guys would love to get into a strip club, I just doubt it would be easy for them to get in.

But I digress, so for the sake of getting through this review: Pacey and Dawson are at a strip club after school, like you do, and they are discussing the prospect of Dawson getting laid this year. The prospect grosses me out because I hate Dawson. They are interrupted by the waitress who turns out to be Sweet Valley High girl from the bus. The weirdest thing is, she gets him to identify her by feeling her neck because as we learned on the bus, which I failed to mention because I didn't think it would be a thing, is that she "runs a little hot". Dawson thought she'd had a fever or something. I don't know if this is supposed to be a character trait or something that is building up to a reveal. I seriously can't remember because I tuned it out because teenaged me, and present me, hate Sweet Valley High girl with a passion. She was/is annoying as heck. 

So, we cut to next day where we learn that nothing happened from the exchange at the strip club except that Dawson gave her his number. Pacey gives him a hard time about not hooking up with her and Dawson says that she has his number and can use it but he doubts she will. Cut to:

Uhoh, get ready for some crazy Risky Business related hi-jinx to ensue
 
Pacey pulls Dawson aside and tells him to take Sweet Valley High, or Eve as the show calls her, out for a ride on Mitch's boat. I don't understand why because he already has the house all to himself, so he really doesn't need to get creative but he decides to run with Pacey's idea. I'm sure this won't back fire in any way.  

At cheerleading tryouts, Belinda continues to be a great big B, content to fuel the fire even more for her inevitable comeuppance. A girl is trying out with the Dawson's Creek theme song, the real one, and I just found another reason to hate Run Like Mad. This joke makes no sense with a different theme song and it just shows how much the show associates itself with I Don't Want to Wait

Anyway, Belinda belittles the girl before calling Jen up to the stand. Jen gives a great big speech about how useless Belinda is and how she'll basically peak in high school and become a desperate housewife, addicted to Prozac. She then tells everyone not to bother being like Belinda because of this and the crowd cheers.

The only thing missing is a mic drop

Joey's boss walks in on her when she's in the middle of changing and acts like a big, skeevy, pervert, no doubt eager to fuel the fire for his own comeuppance. This scene is basically here to make us hate her boss so that her snarky attitude towards him is justified; which it more than is.

Snark on, Joey

Dawson is giving Eve a ride on his boat and she asks him to take his shirt off. He is too embarrassed to because he's just a shy little virgin. You know, it kind of bugs me that Dawson is all giddy about Eve being sexually experienced but completely belittled Jen and gave her a hard time for the same reason. Dawson has a weird set of standards. Like, the girls he likes have to be perfect little untouched virgins and if they don't live up to that ideal, he views them as Slutty McSlut-sluts, sullied by other men. However, if he wants to just "have some fun" and get over Joey, it is perfectly acceptable to have a "girl with more experience". Screw you, Dawson. 

She moves in to kiss him and he acts all scandalized and I'm thinking, dude, what is the big deal? You've kissed two girls before. You even made out a whole lot with Joey. Why is he suddenly so shy about kissing? It's weird but before I can think too much on it, this happens:

What the whaaaaaaaat?

OK, I do not remember this happening. How could I forget this happening? Dawson totally got a blow job!! That's why he crashed the damn boat, I knew he crashed it, I just thought it was because they were kissing. Holy shit, so Dawson was not a complete virgin when he went to college like I remembered. Crazy. There you have it, folks. Dawson's first blow job in all it's glory. You are welcome for that imagery invading your brains.  

Of course, he crashes into the marina docks where Joey works. Womp, womp, womp! Joey immediately realizes what the hell just happened and runs away all miffed because that's her reaction to everything and she'll be damned if Sweet Valley High's weird face got to go down on Dawson before her, Goddess of Capeside and most beautiful girl in the world.  

Her boss calculates the cost of fixing Dawson's father's boat and his docks to be about $3,000. Dawson has been made to feel bad and like he did something wrong. How do you think he'll handle this?
A) be mature and accept the consequences of his actions
B) blame Eve for being a slutty slut who forced him to misbehave with her slutty slut powers 
C) hug a puppy
Of course he picks "B", have you guys learned nothing from his encounters with Jen? It is quite obvious that Dawson is the epitome of virginal goodness and the slutty slutty women are trying to corrupt him against his wishes. Dawson is an angel, y'all and he'd never do anything bad if it weren't for those damn Jezebels.

I really hate the Dawson's Creek writers sometimes

Eve isn't going to take his shit though and she basically tells him off and leaves. Good for her, perhaps she's not that annoying after all.

Jack spots Jen walking down the hallway in a daze and he asks her what's up. Jen reveals that the cheerleaders have mutinied and kicked Belinda off the squad. Bye bye, Belinda! She served her purpose and now she will vanish with the likes of Nellie and Cliff into the room of lost side characters, likely never to be seen or heard from again.

Save us...save us...

Jen then reveals that she was asked to join the squad but not just join it. They made her their new leader. Jack thinks this is hilarious.

Joey whines to her sister about the fact that Dawson was getting a beej from a girl that wasn't her. Bessie is confused because Joey told her all was good and Joey admits that she lied of at least that it was wishful thinking on her part. Joey moans about how poor she is and how her father is in jail and we all should pity poor Joey Potter but then her sister says that she needs to stop feeling sorry for herself. Joey then whines about Eve some more saying that she is everything Joey isn't. Bessie gloats over the fact that the last time there was a blonde in the picture, Joey won out but Joey claims that everything is different now. Joey really hates blondes, you guys.

Dawson is hurriedly searching under couch cushions for some money while Pacey reminds him that unless he finds a Rolex under the couch cushions, he's screwed.

Suddenly, Eve appears at the door. She felt bad because Dawson slut shamed her or something and she took up a collection at her work. In a surprise turn of events, Dawson decides to accept responsibility for his own actions but I'm kind of irked because they make Eve apologize for "pushing Dawson too far, too fast" and just no. Dawson wanted to do it every bit that she wanted to. If he didn't, he could have said no, she's not some magical vixen who forces innocent men to do her bidding. Take some responsibility for your own sexuality, Dawson, don't pull that I want it, no wait she made me want it bullshit. 

At any rate, Dawson refuses her money because he says it's his problem and he has to find a way out of it. Pacey then puts on sunglasses, looks in a mirror and gets an idea, complete with a music sting of Old Time Rock and Roll but just short enough that the show probably didn't have to pay royalties to Bob Segar. Which means that it's time for Risky Business style shenanigans to ensue:

Let's Tom Cruise up this joint!
Pacey suggests that instead of giving away their money, the strippers should give up their time and work for free while teenaged boys ogle them. Not joking, this is his idea and Eve loves it. I don't understand it. Why is it better for the strippers to work for free rather than just give a little bit of extra money and why is this more acceptable than just accepting the money they already gave? It's still Dawson's problem and he'd still be accepting help from strippers. But whatever. They decide to turn Dawson's house into a strip club, never mind about bouncers to keep the girls safe, or the fact that they may have an actual shift at work for the weekend, no Dawson needs their help. OK, I've got a serious problem with this turn of events, apparently. It just really makes me mad that this show would assume that a bunch of strippers would gladly do this for a bunch of teenagers because they are soooo slutty and couldn't possibly be individuals with lives of their own that are trying to make a living or pay their way through college or something. No, they clearly just are loose girls who love taking their clothes off for men, for free. Ugh, OK I'm just going to assume that the cover charge goes to Dawson but that any tips they make will go to them but I still think it's weird that they'd all be available on a weekend night to do this for Dawson. What would the strip club owner think? Wouldn't he/she want some kick back and...I'm going on a tangent again. Sorry. OK, they are having a stripper party at Dawson's house, end of.

 The party looks like it is a huge success, which makes sense because a bunch of horny high school guys would probably love to see strippers and they wouldn't be carded at Dawson's house. I really think they could have set this logic up better by having Dawson and Pacey turned down from entering the strip club earlier and bumped into Eve going in to work. But, this is Dawson's Creek where nothing really needs to make sense as long as there's:

Exactly

Dawson decides that he's tired of the party and goes upstairs to hide in his room, only someone else is already hiding in there...Creeper Joey! Joey actually apologizes for her behaviour at the end of season 2 which actually shocks me, I thought they were going to forget about what she did and make her out to be the complete victim in the dumping so it was nice to see her take responsibility. Dawson tells her she should have contacted him over the summer and Joey admits she didn't because she was ashamed or some junk. She then asks Dawson if he missed her, which he did and she's happy because she's totally going to put the most awkwardly uncomfortable moves on Dawson.

I don't know why this scene makes me uncomfortable, but it does

Dawson rejects her because he doesn't want to go through another year like the last and if they do have another year like the last, there will be no love left between them. Joey is offended and runs away crying. Downstairs, Pacey reveals that they have earned more than $3,000 and decides to open up their party to the public. Dawson wants to stay to make sure his house doesn't get burned but Eve pulls him aside and says she has a surprise. Dawson says he will meet her and goes to Pacey to tell him about Joey and how she wants him back but Eve also wants him. Pacey says this:
Pacey: Always comes down to this, my friend, doesn't it? The Madonna or the Jezebel...
Grrrr, the writers are trying to make me hate them with this shit, right? I mean, really? I was mocking Dawson's attitude about women earlier but it's clear that the writers themselves believe that women can only be virgins or sluts. Pure and good or sexual and evil. I am so done with this attitude, it's not funny, it's not true, and it's not a healthy attitude to have. And do you know what really pisses me off? Joey tried to explore her sexual side but Dawson refused her because she's a "good girl" and thus, is too pure to be sexual with. No, she is to be put on a pedestal and admired while the nasty sexually experienced Eve is for men's sexual pleasures and nothing more. It figures they made her a stripper too, just a sexual object for men's pleasure but not for dating. OK, I've got to stop myself because I can feel my blood pressure rising as I'm typing this but basically,

Bad writers! Bad!

Anyway, after Pacey disappoints me and crushes my soul with what he said, Dawson makes Pacey promise to go after Joey and make sure she is alright. Pacey begrudgingly agrees. Now that he's had his best friend take care of his virginal goddess, Dawson is now free to explore his sexuality with his slutty Jezebel.

Eve is waiting for Dawson by her boss' boat and asks if he wants to go for a ride. Dawson is nervous about that since last time they were in a boat together, he crashed it. She almost coaxes him to go but Mitch shows up just then and cockblocks him. I laugh because Dawson didn't deserve to have fun after the shit he's pulled. Sucks to be you, Dawson. Now go and get grounded.

Meanwhile, the greatest scene begins as Pacey pulls up to Joey's dock. Joey is crying and is angry that he is the one to see her like this, since they supposedly hate each other. Pacey ignores her and says that Dawson did the right thing. I kind of agree because Dawson and Joey are horrible together. Joey gets pissed off because how would Pacey know what is best for them. Pacey then schools her with this quote:
Pacey: You're probably right. I'm sure I don't have any idea what you're going through. How hard it is to let someone go. How painful it must be to know that as right as you two are for each other, it doesn't mean you're right for each other right now. I wouldn't know a thing about that. About how it makes you want to scream, or hit someone... or cry.
Joey is embarrassed that Pacey is seeing her at her most vulnerable and Pacey says that it's a new year, so they could end up as friends. Joey snarks that she's upset enough as it is but she lets him comfort her. 

I squeed

So, that was the first episode of the third season and it sets up quite a bit. This isn't going to be like the last two seasons, Jen is more sardonic, Dawson is looking to become more sexual, Pacey is being a goof again but shows he can still be mature, and Joey is softening a bit with her friends and is reserving her snark for people who deserve it, like her boss. All in all, it's a fair start to a new season but time will tell if the writers can really bring something new and interesting to the table or if they ultimately stick to what's safe. 

Stay tuned for the next recap, Homecoming. This episode breaks my heart and confuses my shipper brain. It should be fun.