Monday, 22 September 2014

Dawson's Creek - 308 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner


Original air date: November 24, 1999

I'm going to level with you guys, writing this recap is going to be a huge chore. It's not that this episode is bad or anything, it's just that, coming from the high of the gloriousness that was last week's episode, this is just boring. It's slow and listless and really feels like a half hearted attempt to try and give closure to Jen's half-sister dilemma without really addressing it because the writers got bored of the whole film noire/Eve angle they were going for at the beginning of the season. So, they gave her a stupid explanation for being in Capeside, realized that it raised too many questions and should have involved Jen, so they churned this episode out to shut us up. I don't know whether that's exactly how it happened, mind you, but it sure as hell felt like it. So, without further ado, on with the recap.

We start the episode...not with Dawson at all!! This is awesome! Ok, maybe this episode isn't so bad. No, we start with my favourite characters, Pacey and Jen. They are shopping for a thanksgiving meal and Jen asks Pacey not to let her forget to get creamed onions.

My thoughts exactly. That sounds revolting!


Anyway, Pacey is upset because he thought Jen had called him up for sexy times and Jen apologizes but says that Grams' Thanksgiving dinner takes precedence over their would be sex lives. It's sweet that Jen is putting Grams above her own wants, yes that's what I took away from this scene. I also took away that this is setting up the problem that they will have being casual sex partners, they aren't ready for something like that and Jen's stalling is kind of proof of that. This is especially driven home by the fact that Jen laughs at the thought of them being intimate.

Yeah, they're better off as friends


Dawson walks into the kitchen, past Mitch who is watching football in the living room, to find Gail baking in the kitchen. Gail asks for Dawson's opinion on the pies since she wants them to look perfect for Grams' Thanksgiving thing. So, the Leery's have been invited to this as well. Dawson assures her that they are perfect and asks her how apartment searching is going. Gail looks worried and asks if he minds her staying in the guest room, Dawson says he doesn't because it feels familiar. Mitch comes in and tries to take some pie but Gail stops him and they banter for a bit until Dawson awkwards things up by mentioning that this is like an episode of The Waltons. Gail tells Dawson to go change for dinner because her and Mitch are now completely uncomfortable.

Jen comes home with the groceries and finds Grams nervously trying to tell her something. Since this is tv and not real life, instead of just asking Grams what she wants to tell her, Jen pretends like she knows exactly what Grams wants to tell her by saying that she promises to think of something to be thankful for and that she'll clean out her closet so that the guests can hang their coats in there. This is all so that Jen can be completely shocked when she goes to her room to get ready only to find her mother there.

Drama!


Bessie and Joey are in the kitchen of their own house and Bessie is complaining about her lack of culinary skills. Uhhhhhh....why do you own a restaurant then? Why are you going to open a B&B? I guess you could argue that Bodie does the cooking but he's been absent for so long that I'm starting to think he split town and Bessie is a single mom now. So, who's going to cook for your guests if you suck at it, Bessie? Anyway, they reminisce about what a great cook their mom is and mention that they are happy that they are going over to Grams' place for Thanksgiving.

Gail checks on Dawson and mentions that she saw Helen Lindley (Jen's mom) in town and wonders what it means. Dawson says he can't guess and then Gail asks if he thinks they are talking about Eve. Huh, so I guess Dawson told his mom about the whole Eve thing? Anyway, Dawson says probably not because he never told Jen about Eve because he's a gutless tool. Gail is surprised by his restraint which is kind of hilarious but Dawson reaffirms my suspicions by saying he is just gutless. I'm pretty sure this scene just exists to remind us of the whole Eve is Jen's half-sister nonsense.

Grams tries to talk to Jen about the fact that her mother is in town but Jen is rightfully pissed and doesn't want to talk to her. Grams points out that it might be good that Jen's mother arrived because now she and Jen can finally discuss their feelings. Grams says that she's super proud of Jen and how far she's come since she got here 14 months ago. Ok, so season 1 and 2 are supposed to be one year and this is the second year. Sorry, I just needed to point that out to myself because the timelines on this show are kind of hard to follow. Jen agrees to at least go back to the house and greet the guests.

I love softer Grams


At the Lindley's, Pacey arrives at the same time as Andie and Jack do. He's taken aback because Andie and Jack weren't supposed to come but it turns out, their father bailed on them again.

Jack: Well, that was plan A, but he got stuck in Chicago. You know, any other dad would find a plane, train, automobile … anything to see his kids. But not Joseph McPhee.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Joseph McPhee, the worst parent in Capeside indefinitely. Seriously, Andie and Jack might as well get emancipated because they live sufficiently enough with no parents around anyways.

Pacey and Andie awkward a bit and then argue over who should go and who should stay. Jack tells them both to get over themselves and stuff it because it would be rude to not show up when Grams was nice enough to invite them all. I don't know whether I agree with this logic, especially since it might result in everyone being subjected to their unbearable break up tension.

Joey remarks to Dawson that it's weird to see his parents together again but that she's happy for him that they are getting along. Dawson looks moody about it. Grams gathers everyone inside while Jen offers to take everyone's coats.

Jen heads upstairs with the coats, only to run into her mother again. Helen asks Jen to zip up her dress and says how beautiful Jen has become. Jen looks a little uncomfortable with the compliment. Helen then says that she has something for Jen and takes out a felt case from her luggage. She opens it to reveal a pearl necklace that apparently had been given to her from Grams and she wants to pass them down to Jen. Jen says thanks but no thanks to the pearls because she'd have no where to wear them in Capeside. Jen's mom tells her to save them for a special occasion but Jen says that she taught her that pearls lose their lustre if they're not worn. Jen points out that pearls are like people in that regard, they shouldn't be hidden away, they should be held close and cherished. She then peaces out.

I'm out, bitch!


Dawson and Joey ask Jen about her mother but Jen is really ticked about it and complains that her mother has done nothing but stare at her with a mild disregard since she was thirteen. Cue Joey being mopey about the fact that she doesn't have a mother. I know, I'm mean about this but Joey does bring it up at any opportunity she can. However, in this instance it is justified and she's a lot more humble about it, so yay for character improvement. She points out to Jen that time is short and that she should at least try and talk to her mother and resolve things before it's too late.

Dawson takes it upon himself to talk to Jen's mother and to introduce himself as Jen's ex boyfriend because it was super imperative that Jen's mother know that she dated Dawson. Dawson is a tool. He also tells Helen about Eve and basically tells her to tell Jen about it. Helen is obviously taken aback by this and says that since Eve left town, there is no reason to tell Jen. She then leaves because who the hell wants to be stuck in a room with Dawson Leery?

Pacey talks to Jack about Andie while Andie talks to Joey about Pacey. Pacey vents about how much he's hurting over the break up with Andie while Andie confesses how much she regrets hurting Pacey and how much she's hurting now because of it. Joey does her best to comfort Andie and it's really sweet. I wish this show would focus more on friendships, especially female ones.

The gang has finished their thanksgiving feast and are going around the table and saying what they are thankful for. Since this world revolves around Dawson and his friends, they are the only ones shown giving their thanks. Most of the thanks go smoothly, until we get to Jen.

Jen: Let me think. Well, I– keeping with the theme I guess I’d like to give thanks for second chances. For the opportunity to try and rebuild bridges once thought beyond repair. And for the promise of many more Thanksgiving’s to come.
This causes Helen to walk away from the table in a hurry. Grams starts to follow her but Jen offers to go after her instead.

Jen catches up with her mother and apologizes for upsetting her, claiming that she was just being honest. Helen claims that she wasn't upset at all but just thinking. Sure, you ran off from the table and caused a scene just because you were thinking and not upset. No, apparently Helen was just super happy that Jen has such great friends and thinks that she did the right thing sending Jen here. Jen counters that "sending" isn't the way she'd put it and points out that as good as friends are, they still aren't family. Helen admits that Jen is right and says she's sorry she wasn't there for her.

Jen then gets very upset and it's really heartbreaking and I wish that I liked this episode better because of it. She confronts her mother about why she never called or wrote letters and how much it hurt that she shut her out. Helen claims that she wanted to and tried but ultimately didn't. Jen then says this:

Right in the feels


Helen tries to say that Jen didn't really do anything wrong which doesn't jibe with the whole, being sent to live with your Grandma in Capeside thing. Helen says she will try and explain everything.

Dawson confronts his parents about their chummy behaviour because he can't stand it anymore. I'll give this to him because it's very teenagery and also kind of justified considering how confusing it would be to have your divorced parents living together and getting along so well but for some reason not getting back together. He demands that they be honest with him about what's going on.

Cut back to Jen and Helen. Helen has just finished telling Jen about Eve and Jen is rightfully pissed. Instead of her mother sharing her past experience with Jen and helping her through her own troubles, Helen instead became a hypocrite and pushed her away. Helen insists that was more to do with her father which kind of paints this picture of Mr. Lindley in my mind where he's this rich socialite and Helen is trying to be his perfect wife and has to hide her past from him at any cost. It's kind of sad and I think I'm right because Helen is just a really blank person which Jen calls her out for. Jen says that Helen is afraid of being alone because the day she is, she'll have to look inside herself and find what Jen's known for years, that there's nothing there.



Joey goes to talk to Dawson and asks him how his conversation with his parents went. He tells her that their divorce was made final and that they are officially no longer married. He apparently told them "congratulations" in probably the most self-righteous way imaginable because he's Dawson and walked off. He does concede that any decision at this point is probably a good thing but that he's still upset. Joey understands and Dawson asks if they can just hang out and talk for a while.

Jen has decided to use her anger to finally break into casual sex with Pacey. She is dragging him out to a back shed so that she can fuck away her anger which can be a fairly solid plan with the right person. Pacey sees through her desire and asks her how things went with her mother. Jen tells him that her mother was basically like her but still punished her for it and Pacey tries to make her feel better by telling her that sometimes seeing your parents as people can be a bit liberating. Jen starts to cry and he comforts her because he's awesome.

Aw, this is why they work better as friends


Jen goes back to confront Helen and says that she promises not to spill anything to her father because it's not her place but she does not regret anything that she said to her. Helen says that it's ok because she deserved it. She then begs Jen not to make the same mistakes as her, marrying a cold man because then she'll wake up when she's 40 and be clouded with regret. Jen asks her why she doesn't just divorce him and Helen explains that when women like her get divorced, they get forgotten by all the other socialites and just disappear. Jen then realizes that she was sent away not because Helen hated her but because Helen hated herself. Helen apologizes for not telling Jen that and making her feel unloved but says that she doesn't have to worry that Jen will turn out like her because she's already so much stronger. They hug, Helen leaves and Jen asks her to call sometime.

Jen then finds that all of her friends have stayed and it's really sweet. She apologizes to Pacey for throwing herself at him but Pacey shrugs it off and says that it's not every day a beautiful woman throws herself at him. She then thanks him for being a gentleman enough not to let her go through with it.

They rejoin the group and they all remark about how cool it is that they all ended up as good friends. Joey then throws some foreshadowing down by saying that she's sure they'll find some reason to be estranged soon enough. But right at this moment they are friends and it is kind of nice.

Besties!


You know, I wish they'd done more to build these characters as friends because it would create some more meaningful and interesting dynamics then just who's dating who. I wish they'd hang out as friends more often on this show.

Despite a few bright spots in this episode, Jen confronting her mother and the gang hanging out, it's just really forgettable to me. Nothing really of interest happens here. To be honest, when Dawson said that the divorce was final, it didn't come as a shock to me, I thought they'd already gotten divorced. Jen and Pacey are still dancing around the idea of a fuck buddy relationship but really do work better as friends so nothing new there either. And the Helen situation was weird. She came down suddenly because her husband was on a business trip but why did she never try to come before if she was so against what her husband thought? She didn't come to ask Jen to come home so why did she come? Really, the only reason she was here was so that they could quickly close out the Eve subplot that had already died out. It was rushed and boring and wasn't nearly the dramatic payoff that I would have liked. It smacked of the writers saying "There, see? We addressed it! Now get off our backs about the Eve thing so that we can get back to relationship drama!" Therefore, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner just falls flat as an episode to me and it bored me.

Exactly


Let's hope that the next episode, Four To Tango will be a lot more interesting.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dawson's Creek - 307 - Escape From Witch Island


Original air date: November 17, 1999

Guys, I am super excited to be recapping this episode for many reasons. 1) I love ghost/spooky stories and always welcomed the scary specials in shows with open arms, 2) This is so horribly done that it's awesome and it leads to humiliation for Dawson so yay! and 3) It is such an obvious rip off/cash in of the popularity of The Blair Witch Project that the episode itself points it out to us on multiple occasions. If we point out that we're aware that we're ripping something off, it totally becomes an homage! Also, it's kind of hilarious that they once again air their "scary special" well after Halloween. Gushing out of the way, let us dive into, Escape From Witch Island.

We open the episode in...holy crap! Dawson still has that movie store job? I forgot almost completely about it. Was it shown at all last season? Crazy. Well, apparently, Dawson still works at the movie store and Joey comes barging in looking for a copy of The Crucible. Joey's been a bad girl who has forgotten to do her reading amidst the whole B&B building at her house and helping her sister care for Alexander (you remember, the illegitimate baby Bessie had with a black man?) Dawson is confused because he's a shitty friend, unlike Pacey, and didn't realize that she wasn't working with Creepy McSexualharasser anymore or that she and her sister were turning their home into a B&B. In turn, Joey didn't realize that Eve had left town and it's kind of hilarious that this is the only thing that she doesn't know about Dawson's life. Like, she's been going through shit with her boss hitting on her constantly, then firing her for basically not dating him/interfering with him getting some with Andie, and that she is working with her sister to open a B&B. Whereas the most interesting thing that happened to Dawson that Joey didn't know about was that his sexy fantasy girl has skipped town.

Stay interesting, Dawson


So, Dawson tells Joey that there may be a way to get out of writing a paper on The Crucible and that is if she helps him, Pacey and Jen make a movie. Joey is hurt that she wasn't invited in the first place but gracefully moves it along and asks what the movie is about. Such an improvement on her character, season 1 Joey would probably have lashed out at him or something and then sulked in Dawson's closet. Dawson tells her that he is making his movie on witch trials that happened in their own backyard on a place called Witch Island. Ooooohhh, spooooooookyy.

YEP!


I love how painfully aware the writers are that they are just ripping off a popular movie that they think if they mention it, it absolves them from the laziness of ripping it off in the first place. Either that or they think the audience is so stupid that they need to be told what movie they are trying to make the episode like and be reminded of it constantly throughout the episode. You decide. Either way, I am posting a screen grab of every time the movie's name is dropped for my own amusement. With that aside, Joey agrees to tag along and the episode gets on its merry way.

After the credits roll, we are treated to what Blair Witch did at the beginning of their movie, interviews with locals about the incident. Principal Green is the one who sets up the legend by telling us that in 1692, thirteen young girls, teenagers, were banished to a small island off the New England coast for practicing witchcraft. One year later, a fire broke out on the island, killing them all. Oooohhhh! We also get Mitch telling us it was a make out spot and Gail telling us that the island was where she and Mitch fucked for the first time (but with cleaner network TV language) and Dawson gets uncomfortable much to my amusement. Loving this so far. Then we get Jen name dropping again:

Me either, Jen


Joey admits the movie scared her and Pacey bugs her about being a scaredy cat, nice that they've kept that consistent with her character. Also this:

Awwwwwww


Then we get Dawson name dropping:

He would think that


Then we get the four of them bantering about witches. Jen says she thinks the witch trials were just a way for men to punish women who were sexually free and then Joey snarks that it's good that Jen lives in a time where she is free of persecution. Uhhhhmmmm, not entirely true. I mean, yeah, we don't get burned at the stake anymore but women are still slut shamed hardcore to this day, by people like Dawson. Jen takes Joey's bitchiness in a playful manner and jokes that she would've been burned at the stake by now. I guess this means they are kind of friends now? I don't know, Joey's comment was pretty damn catty though.

Dawson asks Joey to help him set up for interviews and leaves Jen and Pacey to talk about why they've never dated. Pacey says it's because they never needed anything from each other. Jen was over experienced and needed someone like Dawson to slut shame her be virginal with her and he needed someone who would push him to become a better person. It's pretty sound logic, I suppose and Jen is impressed with his deconstruction skills.

Andie is being annoying and pushy with Principal Green about the whole Head of Discipline Committee stuff. She says she has some ideas she'd like to run past him. Not interested in this subplot because the writers have made me dislike this character. I'm sorry, Andie.

Dawson yammers on about how happy he is that they get to do this again and Joey is all super excited and happy as well, until Dawson reveals that he's talking about making movies not them being friends again. Joey is hurt and Dawson stammers that he's missed the whole "let's make a movie bug" that they shared (Jesus, he's selfish and is still making things about him and his movies) but that he's glad they're friends.

Joey is sad


I think this moment right here totally justifies the series finale. Also, don't worry, Joey. You're going to have a much better love interest this season.

Dawson interviews Grams and Bessie about Witch Island next. Grams is completely doom and gloom about the whole thing which I'm torn on. On the one hand, it does seem to be in character for her to think that the girls were "harlots" who totally deserved to be banished to the island and that the Lord punished them for their sins via fire but...what about Jen? I thought Grams had softened at least a little bit towards Jen and her past? I don't know why it bugs me because it does seem that Grams really does believe that the girls were witches but I guess her use of the word "harlot" saddened me.

Bessie tells the story of a kid in her high school who went to the island and disappeared. Saying some people figured he just got wasted and drowned while others think the witches got him. This is backed up by a girl who tells them that a bunch of kids have gone missing at the island but she doesn't think it was the witches that got them. She believes that it was the CIA or NSA because she's clearly a government conspiracy theorist.

The gang is at the dock and ready to be taken out to Witch Island. Dawson wants to interview their boat driver but he'll only do it if Dawson answers his questions. The guy then pulls out his own camcorder and asks Dawson what his movie is about. Dawson tells him that he's making a documentary about Witch Island. Then Dawson asks what the guy is making a movie on and he hilariously responds with "I'm making a documentary about all the people making a documentary about Witch Island." And I just laughed and laughed at that because Dawson is the most uncreative person on Earth and the show just proved it for me. Also

Another Blair Witch plug!


The guy then weirdly tries to scare them off about the island, saying that they shouldn't get caught there after dark but then tells them to get aboard anyway. Alright.

At Witch Island, they are greeted by a girl called Wendy. She is a tour guide from the Capeside Historical Society and...hold up. So, this island is a popular hang out spot but it's also a historical site that also has a gift shop? You'd think that they'd close the place off and have security in that case. Otherwise people would be vandalizing a historical landmark and possibly stealing things from their business. I don't understand the logic of this place.

Anyway, Jen and Pacey head off to the gift shop for snacks and to check out the souvenirs. Wendy then confronts Dawson and asks him if he's making a movie. Side note: does Dawson not have to get boat guy and Wendy to sign a consent form to be able to film them? Does he not have to get permits to film on the island? Also this:

I'm going to have to start counting this up because this is getting ridiculous


Wendy then offers to take them to the cemetery because apparently, the townspeople bothered to make these girls, who were banished for being evil witches in their books, gravestones. Yeah, sure, I buy that. Also, Dawson gets snippy with Joey because Blair Witch was just a movie but his film is real. Also,

See?


In the gift shop, Jen finds a spell book and a spell for luring the object of your affections. Pacey scoffs at the idea of the spell working and Jen says she wants to try it out. She says she'll try it out on him since he is in no way attracted to her and Pacey very quickly agrees to that assessment, which hurts Jen's feelings. Pacey then tells her that she's gorgeous, just not his type which makes her feel better. Jen agrees that Pacey is not her type either, than they trade barbs over their failed past relationships. Pacey bugs her about dating Ty the "bible beater" and Chris Wolfe the "skirt chaser" but Jen's shot is much harsher.

Jen: This from the guy whose last two relationships have ended with the girl either leaving town to avoid prosecution or cool out in crazy camp for the summer.
Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

Back at the cemetery, Joey proves how super smart and special she is by proving she can count. She points out that there are only twelve graves when there were thirteen witches. Wendy is super amazed by how super smart Joey is because no one else has ever picked up on this fact. No one. Only Joey was smart enough to notice. Mark this down as stage one in Joey's transformation into the most perfectest Mary Sue of Capeside. She's mostly good this season but she definitely devolves into the writers' dream girl.

Anyway, Wendy explains that the thirteenth girl is named Mary Waldeck and her body was never found. I still find it odd that the townspeople cared enough to look for them...unless I guess you could say they wanted to make sure they were dead but then why go through the trouble of making gravestones for any of them? I guess you could say that the Historical Society created the cemetery as a tribute but then why not include all girls and just write on her tombstone that her body was never discovered? This makes no sense to me. But, whatever, just go with it. The story is that Mary was an orphan and was adopted by a family with a son. She and the son fell in love, the parents were icked out by this because they wanted them to be siblings, labelled her a witch, and shipped her off to the island so that their son would meet someone else.

Now, the interesting thing about this story is that it kind of parallels Jen's back story. Look at this line about Mary:

Wendy: One night, Mary and William were found in bed together. This did not go over well with the god-fearing Bennet’s, and in the blink of an eye, Mary was no longer their daughter. She was a witch.
Is that not exactly what happened to Jen, minus the whole adopted sibling as sex partner and being labelled a witch? She was caught in bed with a guy and she was no longer her parents' daughter, she was a slut and had to be shipped off to Capeside. This could have been a very powerful scene for Jen to be a part of and to help her in her struggles with her past but nope. The writers aren't smart enough to realize that they wrote the same back story for a ghost story nor to actually use it as a way to explore an actual character's past. Nope, let's have her be a side plot in this episode and never mention the similarities. Lazy writing, FTW!

No, you want to know what they think this parallels? Why, Dawson and Joey's relationship of course! Joey points out that they are soul mates torn apart by circumstance and that this is what his movie should be about. Dawson ignores her and asks Wendy where the fire started. Wendy tells them it started at the church so Dawson asks if she'll take them there. Now, this is the really hilarious part.

Wendy: No. Because I never ever go into the woods. And if you kids are smart, you won't either. But if you do decide to go, we do have maps in the gift shop.
You...you're a tour guide and a historical worker who's job it is to take people to see the sights on the island and explain the history but you've never gone to the church where the fire actually took place? On top of that, you won't risk your life to go to the church but you're perfectly willing to let teenagers go alone and possibly damage a historic landmark because you're too scared to supervise them? You suck at your job, Wendy.

Back at the gift shop, Jen has made her spell because apparently, this gift shop comes stocked with every ingredient you need and a cauldron to mix it in. Weird. Both she and Pacey drink the potion but before they can really see if it works, Wendy interrupts and is super pissed that they are doing this. Guess you should actually supervise the people who come to the island then. Idiot. She then grabs a map and shoves it at Dawson and Joey and then says this:

Wendy: Here, this will take you through the woods and to the church. And, oh yeah, don't get lost because it's very dark, it's very dangerous, and there's an excellent chance that you will never be seen or heard from again, okay?
Liability? What's that? Now, take this map and go through the extremely dark and dangerous woods to a historical site that I refuse to go to and try not to get killed. Worst. Tour guide. Ever. This is laughably bad and is clearly just a way for the writers to only have our main characters at the church, despite the fact that it doesn't make a lick of sense.

The four argue as they make their way through the woods. Joey thinks that William forgot about Mary while Dawson thinks that if they were meant to be, they found a way to each other. They bicker with each other until Jen calls them irritating. Thank you, Jen. Pacey then leaves the gang to find a private place in the woods to go relieve himself. Sorry, I wasn't going to trouble you with that detail but it sort of comes into play later.

Back at Capeside to Andie's unimportant and forgotten story. Seriously, did any of you remember she was in this episode? Well, it has nothing to do with what's going on with the main four so of course you did. It also serves to make her more annoying as she is passing out slips to every student in the hallways for nitpick-y wrongs they've done. These infractions include, wearing spaghetti straps which is laughable because all of the main girls have worn them at some point on this show, a guy hanging pin up girls in his locker, and a guy who has sideburns. Sideburns. Riveting stuff, guys.

What happened to you?
Also, I refuse to believe Sideburns is a high school student


Oh and Belinda makes an appearance as she seems to watch Andie and get some sort of idea. What it is, I have no fucking clue because she doesn't talk at all and there is literally only this scene and one last one at the very end of this episode so both this subplot and the Belinda appearance are pointless.

Back at the church, the gang learn that the townspeople built the church so that the girls would find God. They sent a minister every Sunday but the girls teased him so much, he stopped coming. Both Jen and I agree that we could hang with these girls. Jen wonders absently if Pacey loves her yet, because of the potion while Joey...maybe discovers that the girls were murdered? She says that men treated the island as a brothel and the Churchies didn't like that, so they took all the girls into the very church they are standing in and lit it on fire. t don't know, this episode is very confusing. Like, clearly people have been in here before because there are a shit ton of candles and if the island burned down, and it started in the church, then I'm assuming that someone came and rebuilt the church and included all of the information. Which means, that it should be common knowledge that the girls were murdered but Joey acts like no one knew this before. Also, if this is clearly part of the island's attractions, since someone must have rebuilt the church recently, then why the hell wouldn't it be included in Wendy's tour? You get my confusion?

Dawson decides that it's time to go back to the boat since it is starting to get dark but Pacey hasn't returned yet (see? Told you it was kind of important). Jen offers to stay and find him and tells Joey and Dawson to head back to the dock to make sure that the boat guy doesn't leave without them.

Joey and Dawson argue all the way back to the dock. Joey calls Dawson out for being an absent jerk and a shit friend because he doesn't know anything going on in her life, nor does he seem to care about asking but just assumes they are still friends. Dawson apologizes for being distant but insists he thought it was what they needed. Before they can get too into it as to actually start discussing things, they hear the boat motor start up and run towards the docks.

Boat Guy is happy to see them and urges them onto the boat. Joey explains that they can't leave because they got split up from their friends. Then Boat Guy calls them stupid and says he told them not to get caught on the island at night. Dawson assures him that they'll be back any minute but Boat Guy pretty much says "fuck that, you guys are on your own. I'll be back in the morning to pick up your corpses." Like, what the hell kind of business does this guy run? No one questions him bringing people onto the island and leaving them there, especially if they've gone missing? If I were a cop, he'd be the first person I'd question and he would be a top suspect on my list of suspects. "Oh, so another group of kids went missing and you brought them there? Why didn't you bring them back? Oh, you were too scared to wait a couple of minutes? Are you a coward or a serial killer?" Hmmmm...

Boat Guy and Henry are in cahoots! 


Jen and Pacey are walking through the woods with a flashlight, trying to find their way back to the dock and Jen says this:

Jen: Yeah, I know. I gotta say, the idea of a wholesome, biblically-themed meal this evening with Grams isn't sounding too gosh-darned unappealing. I'd even consider saying grace. But instead I am traipsing around some haunted forest with the likes of you.
Good job, writers. You have raised another major plot hole in this episode. What about everyone's parents? Where the hell are they and why wouldn't they be like, why didn't they come home? What? You left our children on the fucking island!? Well, since I, Mitch, have a speed boat, I will be a man and go get the kids so they don't freeze out there in the dark. This episode is so gloriously stupid and poorly thought out.

Anyway, they get to talking about their failed love lives and come to the conclusion that love fucks everything up. They also agree that sex is good. Thus begins the very weird sub-plot of Pacey and Jen attempting to be fuck buddies. Let's chalk this up to the writers trying to be more risqué with the series to draw ratings with the younger viewers.

In the gift shop, Joey is reading from the diary of Mary Walbeck. I don't know how such a thing was obtained if the island caught fire but nice touch that the author (or compiler?) is Wendy. Anyway, Joey reads some line about Mary not hearing from William and wondering if their bond was an illusion and then Dawson is all butt hurt and asking if that's what Joey thinks of them, that their bond was an illusion.

Exactly, Dawson


They bicker some more about their relationship and Dawson asks what happened to her romantic side that believes love doesn't die and Joey responds that she offered herself to the boy she loved and who she thought loved her and he rejected her. Dawson doesn't want to deal with that so he just spouts off that if they are meant to be, they will find their way back to each other. Joey doesn't think that will happen and reads another of Mary's diary entries that talks about how her bond with William is growing weaker by the day. Then a bell starts to ring. They assume that it's Pacey and Jen at the church, calling for them and run off to find them. And for some reason, Wendy is still there.

I'm scared of the island and yet I live here. I'm perfectly willing to let teenagers
risk their lives to go to a church that I supposedly don't go to but obviously
studied because reasons! I also don't lock any of the buildings at night and let
everyone wander around my gift shop, free to take anything they want despite
the fact that this is how the island probably makes its money to
keep everything taken care of. I'm awesome at my job!

They all meet up at the church but none of them rang the bell. The bell is ringing on its own. Scratch that, there is no bell! Dun, dun, DUN!

Shit just got real!


Joey says she is sufficiently "wigged" and I laugh because that is such a Buffy thing to say and then I think that she could handle this ghost witches nonsense much better than anyone on this show could. Then I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if Buffy showed up right now and saved them all?" and my brain spiralled into a much better episode than what I'm watching right now because it would totally kick ass if Buffy showed up on the supernatural episode of Dawson's Creek and she'd punch Dawson for being a slut shamer, and would totally get with Pacey. Oh my god, Puffy! Their shipper name could be Puffy! This is just writing itself. And...OK, I'll get back to the actual episode now. Still...

Oh my god, yes! Somebody made this a thing! I love you, Internet.


Apparently, not long after being wigged, Joey is comfortable enough to chill and start reading more diary entries. Jen asks her how it is and Joey explains that Mary just got a letter from William. Mary wrote that William promised to take her away and the anniversary is the same day that the gang is on the island. The last entry is that one. How convenient. Joey remarks that love isn't enough and that William probably played her for a fool and then got with some main lander instead. Jen gives her a much needed reality check.
Jen: And I hate to be the one to burst this whole subtextual bubble that you're living in, but do me a favour, Joey. Don't let somebody else's love life dictate your own.
Exactly! Especially since Mary's banishment works far better as subtext for Jen's life but whatever. The writers hate Jen for some reason.

Pacey asks Dawson why he's not filming anymore and Dawson explains that he's not feeling in the mood to film. He then asks Pacey if he made a mistake. Pacey's response?

And I laughed forever and ever


Dawson clarifies that he means that when he told Joey that they needed time apart. Pacey, being a better friend to Dawson than he deserves, tells Dawson that he wears his heart on his sleeve and that when he made the choice to be apart from Joey, he was just following his heart so he can't have made a mistake in that regard. It's sweet but kind of stupid. I am of the opinion that Dawson has no heart and is in fact, a robot. Just my opinion though.

Later that night, after Dawson and Joey have fallen asleep, Jen and Pacey discuss their plans to be fuck buddies. They test things out by kissing. It's kind of awkward and I can't wait for this to be over. They work better as friends but again, that's just my opinion. They continue kissing until a loud noise interrupts them.

Suddenly, the church erupts into sounds of screams, chanting, and the place lights on fire. They scream and try to get out but can't. A large fireball bursts through a window and everything goes quiet again. The gang quickly run outside because now they can get out for some reason and race through the woods. Due to contrivances and time constraints, there is a boat that is magically at the docks. Who put it there? Who knows? But the plot says a boat is there and the gang pile on it and get the hell off the island, leaving the poor sucker who brought the boat over on the island. Fuck him/her, he's not in the main cast and we'll never mention it again or go over if someone is missing. I think we're made to think the boat guy did it but he was shit scared of being at the island after dark so why would he come back instead of just waiting for them and taking them home at the start? This whole thing is just a big pile of dumb.

The next day or next week or whenever the hell the paper was due, Dawson is showing his film to the class who are staring at it in utter awe and it makes me want to gag. Stop feeding his ego random classmate extras! Principal Green does me a solid by saying this:

A Dawson diss and movie title drop in one!


A girl in class points out that there are two people on the docks watching them leave in Dawson's video. Dawson rewinds the tape and is somehow able to zoom in, even though it's VHS because this was the 90s, bitch. Principal Green is called away to a "situation".

The situation is that Andie has given practically every kid in school a citation and is handing out detention like candy. Oh and Belinda is standing next to her and I guess has joined forces with her but who the fuck knows because she never says a word. Principal Green yells at Andie for giving all of the kids detention based on out dated rules from the 1950s and tells her to dismiss everyone and see him in his office. Belinda, scamper back to the room of forgotten side characters, where you belong.

Jen pops by Pacey's work...hey he also still works at the video store. I guess they are going to bring that back. Maybe. Anyway, she has not been deterred by their disastrous and unexplained interruption of their first foray into fuck buddy town and wants to continue with it. Pacey agrees and they shake on it because neither one of them wants to do it yet.

Dawson and Joey bicker over whether the people on the docks are the ghosts of Mary and William or just Wendy and Boat Guy messing with them. That would be epic and I'm inclined to agree with Joey that it was just those two dicking them around. It would at least somewhat explain why they were so cavalier about the gang supposedly risking their lives. Yeah the fire at the church thing was weird but it's not like anyone is going to talk about this episode past this or explore it further.  So, sure I buy that Wendy and Boat Guy  staged a fire show and were playing recordings to spook a bunch of kids for their own amusement. Whatever.

Dawson apologizes to Joey for taking their friendship for granted and for being selfish enough that they could just easily pick up where they left off like nothing happened. Joey thanks him but says it was partly her fault as well. Which is true, she's the one that dumped him epically last season. They agree to be friends and to take things slowly.

Joey then mentions that they are never going to solve this "X-File" (because that was also a thing back then) and Dawson suggests that they go back for a sequel. Joey is not for that idea and says this:

Spoilers, it does not open well and I can't wait


Thus endeth the episode. Well, that was Escape From Witch Island and while it was not a strong episode, by any means, it was a very entertaining and memorable episode. I was looking forward to this one from the start of these reviews because it's one of the ones that really stuck out in my head. The Blair Witch Project was name dropped a total of 7 times this episode and it makes me kind of excited for the No Doubt episode in season 6. How many times will they name drop No Doubt, do you think? More or less than The Blair Witch Project? Place your bets now.

Next up is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? Seriously, guess. Who's it gonna be? I'll give you a hint, it's not Eve or Belinda because they've been banished to the room of forgotten side characters.

Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Dawson's Creek - 306 - Secrets and Lies


Original air date: November 10, 1999

Welcome back to another Creek recap. Last episode was rage inducing and I thought this one would be too but it more just makes me sad. Let's take a look and see why. 

Jen is complaining to Dawson about being made Capeside's homecoming Queen and how she's turning into her mother. This is apparently horrific to her because she doesn't want to be just a vapid high society girl. Dawson, to his credit, actually tries to make her feel better about her situation. They run into the school's guidance councillor and he introduces Jen to all of the previous homecoming queens. I seriously didn't realize it was such a huge deal that all past generations of homecoming queens came to meet the new ones. That's weird. Americans have weird obsessions with high school stuff.

Anyway, one of them is named Constance Freckling and is the oldest living "HQ" which apparently entitles her to be like the president of homecoming and throwing homecoming dances or something to do with organizing it. I guess she's rich and has a huge house that she offers up to the occasion. Jen is less than thrilled.

I hope you don't try to shock me with your
sexy, non-religious, and rebellious ways


Pacey and Joey are at her place and talking to Bessie about the fact that they are turning their home into a bed and breakfast. Now, they are adding an addition or something but I'm still confused because I thought they lived in a hovel that was so tiny that Joey couldn't have a bedroom. Am I just making that up? I thought she'd complained about having to be in the living room or something. Whatever, now their place is big enough to house them and to have people stay the night or weekend. I'm guessing the addition will be the extra bedrooms needed but if I'm right about Joey's living situation then burn on her. Guests get bedrooms before Poor!Joey.

Pacey asks Joey if she's alright because he's an awesome friend and way better than Dawson in every way. Joey admits that she's nervous about opening a bed and breakfast and really wants it to work out as they are putting most of the insurance money into it. I guess they've decided to completely abandon the Ice House? She also mentions that she does not want to ever go back to working at the marina. Pacey asks her what happened with her creep boss and Joey says that it's a long story because she clearly doesn't want to tell him about Andie being stupid enough to date said jerk. Because Pacey is awesome, he calls her out on her half lie and forces her to tell him about it and Joey admits that it's Andie and Pacey has a sad.

Awwww, I want to give him a hug


Dawson walks into his kitchen to find his mother there. He asks her what brings her back to town and she admits to being a former HQ from an "undisclosed year in the late seventies." Mitch teases her a bit and they make awkward conversation until Gail mentions that she's going to need a date and asks Dawson who looks extremely uncomfortable as his father is standing right there.

AAAWWWWKWAAAAAAARRD!!!!


Pacey and Joey are sitting together at lunch when Andie just comes and joins them like it's no big she cheated on Pacey and inadvertently got Joey fired from her job. Pacey bails quickly and Andie asks if Joey told him about Rob. Joey admits that it slipped out over breakfast which piques Andie's curiosity but Joey explains that Pacey has been helping her and Bessie build the bed and breakfast that they need to open soon so that they can barely scrape by. Andie immediately comes back with that it wasn't her fault that Joey got fired and then gushes about how much she likes Rob. Why? He was an asshole to your supposed friend, Andie. Joey tells Andie that she can do whatever she wants.

Preach


Jen goes to visit Miss Freckling to basically tell her that she didn't really ask to be an HQ. Miss Freckling shoots back that she didn't ask for Jen either and that most girls who come through her door are super excited to be where she is. I kind of have to agree. I mean, some girls want nothing more to be HQ of their school, so I hear, it would suck if the person who won was all "Wah! Why am I an HQ? This is stupid! I don't want to do this!" Jen, you're not being a very good sport about this and if you really didn't want to be an HQ, couldn't you just have declined the title and given it to someone who really wanted it? But no, plot contrivances dictate that Jen must go through with it because it's funny to force her to do something she doesn't want.

Jen hears a loud bump upstairs and Miss Freckling explains that her handy boy, Hank, is setting up twinkle lights on her roof. I'm just going to show you a shot of her house:

Check this behemoth out and note how high the roof is


Kind of got a feel for its size now? Ok, so Jen basically leaves after Miss Freckling gives her a talking to about bucking up, showing poise and wearing a bra which made me laugh because yeah, these girls hardly ever wear a bra on this show. It's very noticeable. Jen leaves in a huff and this happens:

Yikes!


Ok, look at the house and then remember, it was specifically said that he was on the roof putting twinkle lights up. He totally should not have come out of that fall completely unscathed. That just makes no sense. However, Capeside logic dictates that we are just supposed to laugh at the zaniness and forget about the laws of gravity. Also, Hank is apparently Henry. Joy.

He screams at her that there are bees and tells her to run for her life and literally all I can think of is this:

Not the bees! Not the bees!


Pacey and Joey are hanging out at her place, fixing up the addition when Bessie comes in with the phone. She says it's for Joey and that whoever it is sounds upset. Joey answers and we hear Andie crying on the other end and asking for Joey's help.

She was at Rob's house for a party and so Pacey and Joey arrive there to find Andie crying outside under a tree. Pacey and Joey get her to tell them what happened to make her upset and Andie claims that Rob attempted to rape her but failed. She tries to tell them that it was no big and that she just wants to go home but Pacey isn't having it and runs into the house to find Rob.

Take that, you creepy fuck!


Apparently Jen and Hank/Henry have been hiding from the bees in a greenhouse for some time because they ran away in daylight but it is now night time. Jen admires the flowers and Hank-ry tells her some of the names which sound suggestive. This makes Jen laugh a bit and teases Hank-ry. She complains about Miss Freckling but Hank-ry explains that she's just lonely and that the HQ is one of the only things she has in her life. That is fucking depressing. He also tells Jen that Miss F was looking forward to meeting her because he told her all about Jen. Why does that sound creepy to me?

Anyway, we cut back to Pacey, Joey, and Andie. Joey is trying to convince Andie to go to the police but she refuses because she insists nothing really happened anyway. Joey then tries to convince Andie to stay over at her place because she shouldn't be alone. Wow, Joey is a super awesome friend this season. Good job, Joey. Andie doesn't want to though and Pacey offers to take care of her.

We cut back to Miss Freckling's house where Hank-ry has taken Jen back in to see her. He's all, I bumped into Jen outside and convinced her to come back in and I expected her to be like "My word! That was four hours ago, what the fuck were you two doing?" Because that's what I would've asked if I were her. She is in Capeside time too though so she seems unfazed by their re-entry at night time when Jen clearly left when the sun was up. Jen and Miss Freckling make up and begin to plan the HQ gala. Jen then mentions that Hank-ry will be her date.

Don't do it, Jen!


Pacey has taken Andie to his boat and she mentions that the name for his boat is ironic. Not sure why but I guess because she figured he didn't believe in it because he broke up with her...because she cheated on him? Whatever, he explains that he brought her to his boat to show her that he's ok and is trying to make something beautiful out of his heartache. She says she's not ok and is not over him and wants to get back together. Pacey is all "nah, not doing that again." but Andie is insistent that they belong together and keeps putting the moves on him. He keeps turning her down because he knows it's not cool to do this on the same night she supposedly almost got raped but Andie's just like "well if me getting almost raped gets us back together then I'm cool!" Which raises some major red flags with me. Pacey caves and they end up kissing.

The next morning Andie is all super happy and chipper about what happened and wants to know if Pacey is feeling the same way. He claims he is but you can tell that he's unsure of them getting back together so quickly.

Rob goes to Joey's house to plead his case which makes no fucking sense because why does he care what his ex-employee thinks of him? It makes a little more sense when he asks her if Andie has gone to the police, I guess he wanted to get info on how fucked he might be. He admits that he did knowingly sexually harass Joey but that it's totally different from sexual assault. Joey tells him he can draw his own line in the sand if he wants but that both are against the law. She tries to slam the door in his face repeatedly but he keeps grabbing her and begging her to believe him that he would never force himself on a woman. He'd have an easier time convincing Joey of this if he wasn't constantly forcing her not to leave by grabbing her.

Exactly


At the HQ gala, Miss Freckling is apparently quite satisfied with the way everything is going. Dawson and Mitch are talking when two characters that we'll never see again come up and start talking to them about Gail's job in Philly. She tries to retreat but not before the bitchy woman blabs about the fact that it was absurd that Gail was fired for being too old for the pubic to relate to. The characters then disappear into the land of forgotten side characters having served their sole purpose for being. Dawson asks his mother what the hell happened in Philly and why she didn't say anything about it.

Jen and Hank-ry enter the party looking completely stupid or perhaps they were going for rebellious? I don't know what look they were trying for but all I can see when I look at Hank-ry is Austin Powers.

Yeah, baby!


Miss Freckling is upset with their attire and demands they go change. She admonishes Hank-ry for dressing the way he did because no one should dress up like Austen Powers. No one. Jen says that she put him up to it and smugly says that she hasn't seen anything yet. Cue the drag queens to enter and Miss Freckling's shocked face. Oooooh, Jen is shocking old people with her crazy sexual, non-god-faring ways again!

Andie and Joey are talking and Joey asks if she's told her dad about the almost assault. Andie is weirdly nonchalant about her almost rape and acts like it's completely no big and that she doesn't need to tell her dad because nothing really happened. Joey is as confused by her behaviour as I am and she tells Andie about Rob coming by her place to plead his innocence. Andie accuses Joey of siding with Rob but Joey says she isn't but wants to make sure that they are doing the right thing by not going to the police. She feels awful about not reporting Rob herself because then maybe Andie wouldn't have been hurt. Andie then says, in the creepiest way possible, that maybe all of it happened for a reason and that something good came out of it. Joey is like "what the fuck are you talking about?" and Andie explains that she and Pacey are back together as of last night while giving the creepiest look possible.

Her stare gives me the wiggins. Her whole attitude, lately, does


Back at the HQ gala, the drag queens are performing "It's Raining Men", naturally, and Hank-ry worries about Miss Freckling being pissed at him. Jen claims that he won't be in trouble because deep down, she's sure that Miss Freckling "gets it". Homecoming Queens or Drag Queens, they are all just people playing dress up. She then asks Hank-ry to dance. Meanwhile, Miss Freckling is doing the most awkward toe-tap of all time:

Of all time!


Andie stops by where Pacey is working on his boat and gives him a skipper's hat. Pacey starts to talk about wondering whether he'll be able to fix the boat again and Andie acts all concerned because they are really talking about whether they can rebuild their relationship. She asks him to stop with the boat metaphor and Pacey admits that he thinks they made a mistake last night. Andie says they didn't because she felt super happy about it. Pacey says it felt like he did the wrong thing and Andie accuses him of punishing her. He tells her he isn't but that maybe she slept with that guy because it was her heart's way of telling her that she and Pacey aren't meant to be. Pacey then admits that his heart is telling him that she isn't the one for him either. Andie gets understandably upset and runs off as Pacey tries to apologize for hurting her.

Jen apologizes to Miss Freckling and admits that she was trying to shock her. Miss Freckling is cool with it but wants to clear things up about Hank-ry. Jen tells her it's just a crush but Miss Freckling says that he likes her a hell of a lot but she can tell Jen doesn't feel the same way. Jen admits that she doesn't like Hank-ry and Miss Freckling tells her to stop leading him on then. She knows that's the path that will lead to Jen's body being dragged out of the creek.

Because, as we've discussed, Henry is a serial killer


Jen confronts Hank-ry and basically tells him that she does not like him in that way. He tells her that he's in love with her and both Jen and I laugh at that because he barely knows a thing about her beyond, "she's hot." He protests a little bit but Jen basically tells him it's never going to happen and then Hank-ry runs off to plan her murder crying.

Gail finally tells Dawson about Philly and the fact that she was fired and was too ashamed to admit it. He encourages her to talk to Mitch about it all because she could use a friend. That feels a little too...like Dawson is only encouraging her to do it in the hopes that they'll get back together but it is nice, I guess. Gail is not too keen on running back home but agrees to talk to Mitch about everything.

Andie confronts Joey and accuses her of telling Pacey that she made the whole story up to get him back. Joey didn't and tells her that she hadn't seen Pacey since they dropped her off. Andie doesn't quite believe this and basically admits to making everything up just to play into Pacey's hero complex and win him back.

I think I just might be worn out from all the raging last week but I just can't be as pissed as I want to be about this. Morally, lying about a rape or even an attempted rape is so wrong because it basically gives ammunition to people that like to give actual victims of sexual assault a hard time. It is completely, undeniably, unquestionably a reprehensible thing to do and I have lost all respect for this character but at the same time, it's also extremely sloppy writing. This is a girl who has severe mental and emotional problems to the point that she was sent to a specialty home/hospital thing to take care of it and while it is mentioned in this episode, it is only mentioned by the guy who is definitely a creep as a way to knock down her accusation. In reality, her behaviour the past few episodes should be a major red flag to all of her friends and family that maybe she should be sent back to the hospital because she just doesn't seem ready to be out and on her own. So, in that regard I do feel bad for her.

So, while I want to be angry, at this point, I am just tired. Exhausted with this show and it's treatment of women. Rob was set up to be a complete prick and completely capable of forcing himself on a girl but instead, once again, the girl is the villain here because she was just lying in order to get her boyfriend back. I think this is a pretty irresponsible storyline because instead of using this storyline as a way to get her some much needed help, it is basically one big "see? Women lie about rape all the time just to get what they want" and nothing more. Rob is innocent which is laughable because he has been extremely inappropriate with both Joey and even dating Andie in the first place. But that is wiped away because Andie was this big, crazy evil mastermind who lied about everything. I could almost get behind this reveal and the whole thing with the PSATs if the writers had been willing to address her mental issues again, other than using it for their gross creeper character's excuse as to why she'd be lying. They needed to take the time to have Andie be like "I'm not ok, I think I still need help." but instead, they'll pretend like none of this happened in the next episode. So, I'm just tired at this point.

We get it, writers. Women are evil


We end with a montage that sees Jen sitting with Miss Freckling and the Drag Queens, Henry walking alone and looking like he's either sad or constipated, Gail and Mitch talking, and Joey consoling Andie. The end.

That was Secrets and Lies and you know what? I actually don't mind this episode that much. It's more boring than anything but I'll give it that it focused more on characters I actually don't mind and less on Dawson which was nice. I remember being really happy that Jen finally settled things with Henry and that he would be gone but unfortunately, I was wrong. He does come back. Also, how stupid was it that Miss Freckling called him "Hank"? It was obviously just so we'd be all surprised when it turned out to actually be Henry. Blah.

After these last few episodes of boredom, rage and sadness, I am super stoked for next week's episode. You have no idea how much I've been looking forward to it. It's terrible but it's memorable and actually entertainingly stupid so it will be a breath of fresh air to me. Stay tuned for the hilarious Blair Witch rip-off that is Escape From Witch Island.