Saturday, 1 November 2014

Dawson's Creek - 311 - Barefoot at Capefest

Original air date: January 12, 2000

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

Sigh...let's get this over with

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

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

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

I love them

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

Wouldn't that have been amazing?

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

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

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

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

Andie is not impressed

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

Dude, learn to read the room

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My God, he's adorable

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

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

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

Oooh, sick burn!

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

No, you definitely are self-obsessed

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

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

You decide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  1. Okay but how come we haven't discussed the fact that Ethan is Parker Asshole Abrams?

    1. Also you made a Sweeney Todd reference so I love you forever.

    2. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THIS FACT!? Noooooooo! I'll never be able to look at Ethan the same again. Jack, stay away! He'll just use you for sex and then compare you to a toilet seat to his friends! :(

      Also, you are welcome for the Sweeny Todd references.