Monday, 12 January 2015

Dawson's Creek - 313 - Northern Lights

Original air date: January 26, 2000

Well, the last time we left off, the gang came together to help out Joey with her sister's B&B. Only hers, Bessie who? Anyway, this week Andie's play is debuting with Pacey as the star. Will the gang band together to support them? Probably not but let's find out, shall we?

We open the episode at Joey's house again. So, is Joey's house the new Dawson's house for openers this season? I am not really objecting to this because it means less Dawson. Also, only Joey and Pacey are in this scene so this episode is looking up already. They are practicing for Pacey's big play and it's sweet that Joey is helping him out. She stops wanting to help when they get to a lovey dovey scene in the play. Pacey protests because he doesn't know his lines yet and Joey says this:

Joey: Sorry, Master Thespian, but the whole next page consists solely of cooing, tickling and lap-sitting -- three things definitely not in my range as an actress.
This is an extremely accurate assessment of Katie's acting talents on this show as well. She normally only excels at surly, snarky, and petulant. Thankfully, the charisma of Joshua Jackson brings out the niceness in her otherwise I probably wouldn't have been sold on Joey and Pacey.

Joey mentions that she can't go to his opening show and Pacey looks crushed which gives me feels because no one should crush Pacey like that. She explains that she's going out to a party to see the northern lights with AJ, the annoying jerk she met at college tours who magically became not jerky because Joey is awesome or something. I really don't get the appeal, especially when she has Pacey like right there but whatever. Pacey protests and claims that "college guy" is just making up the fact that you might be able to see the Northern Lights in Capeside to get into her pants. Or as he referred to them as "Potter pantaloons."

I love alliteration, sue me. And how do you not giggle at the word "pantaloon?"

Joey rudely says that she'd rather take her chances on stupid AJ and his northern lights party then go support her friend on his opening night because she's kind of a shitty friend sometimes. On top of that, you usually have to wait until really late to see the Northern Lights, so why can't she see his play and then go to the party? Right, because the writers need conflict in any way they can manufacture it.

The next day, Dawson asks Joey what she thinks about his decision to drop film class even though he had to beg and grovel his way in. Joey tells him he'll be bored in study hall which is even dumber because he dropped a class that would help him in his career, not to broaden his horizons but to sit around in what is essentially a spare period. Is study hall an actual thing in American schools? We just had spares where you could go to the library and study or you could do literally anything else that's more fun, like hang out and play games in the cafeteria. We were never forced to sit in a class and study. That seems stupid. Kendra, the Film dream Slayer, walks up to them and calls Dawson insane for dropping film class. Joey cuts out so that Kendra can yell at Dawson some more.

Well, this is awkward

Kendra asks Dawson what's up and if his weird behaviour has anything to do with the film festival. I don't get why she thinks that because he stayed in film class after the festival, he dropped it after their conversation where she said that if your only interest is movies, then you'll end up making movies about movies. Dawson claims he just needs to recharge his batteries but it sounds like he's just quitting to me. You can find other interests while still keeping up with your main passion, Dawson.

She berates him for not giving her a heads up which I was going to find weird until she drops the bombshell that apparently, they were partners in film class and they have to pitch a feature length film  in their class together. I've said this a thousand times already but I'll say it again, Dawson is a douche! Way to leave her in the lurch, asshole. His response is basically a snide comment about how their teacher will probably get her an extension and another partner anyway and that she probably has the assignment finished anyway. She does but he's still a douche for just assuming she'd be ok with being ditched to do the project by herself, and the pitch is in front of the class. I hate public speaking so if I was ditched last minute to do an oral presentation by myself, I'd be super pissed. Dawson shows some insight by saying he doesn't have any ideas for the project anyway but Kendra ruins it by saying this:

Can people stop going on about how creative and original
Dawson is when he clearly isn't?

Oh, fuck you!

At play rehearsal, Pacey is having trouble remembering his lines and Andie is freaking out because Mr. Broderick is a no show. Jack comes in and takes Andie away to show her that Mr. Broderick is in the nurse's office with a possible case of kidney stones. He asks Andie to take over for him but she freaks out that she can't do everything by herself. Jack volunteers to help and Mr. Broderick passes his director's binder to her, telling her it's been her show all along. He then says this:

Mr. Broderick: It's yours now. And as the house lights fall over that magic place we call the theater, all I ask is that you give pause for a fleeting moment... and think of me.

Jack's reaction to this line is priceless

Jen is trying to catch up with Henry who is literally running away from her which is weird because I thought that they were friends now and he seemed totally cool last episode. As it turns out, he's avoiding her because he thinks she's trying to cancel dinner with him. Jen says she isn't but that she does need to postpone their dinner because she wants to support Pacey on his opening night. See? Jen is a much better friend than Jeoy, she's actually willing to change her plans to support Pacey. But in the show's universe, her doing this is bad because it means she's avoiding Henry. This is Dawson's Creek, where the only relationships that matter are boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Le sigh. Henry claims to be ok with the play thing and asks to go with her so that could be their date instead. Jen reluctantly agrees.

Bessie is trying to get Joey ready for her date and comes at her with an eyelash curler.

I like Joey this season, she's actually funny

Pacey arrives at the Potter's because he is freaking out about his bad read through. I barely hear their conversation because I was too busy aww'ing about the fact that when Pacey is stressed, he goes to Joey for help and she immediately tries to calm him down. She apologizes and says she sucks for not being there for him for his opening show. Pacey agrees that she sucks but tells her that she can get back into his good books if she agrees to attend the after party, he also points out that she'll probably need a shoulder to cry on anyway because the Northern Lights thing won't pan out which sounds awful but somehow Pacey makes it adorable and Joey (and I) chuckle a bit and agrees to try and make it to his party. Bessie comes into the room to announce AJ's arrival and this happens:

Awww, poor Bessie...I still laughed though

Pacey begs Joey to reconsider and bail on AJ and it breaks my heart because it's obvious to the viewer that Pacey likes her and we want to see him with her. He then warns her that the first thing AJ will do is pay her a lame compliment about how incredible she looks and it's a testament to how good an actor Joshua is that he can go from spouting diatribe about what a player AJ is and then flip to absolute honesty when he pays Joey the compliment. Anyway, he continues listen things that AJ will probably do, such as help her put her coat on and take the first opportunity he can at the party to get her alone. AJ arrives and indeed pays Joey a compliment and helps her put her coat on.

Can we skip AJ and just get right to these two making out?

At the party, AJ baffles me by first offering Joey a drink and then taking it away because it's alcoholic. I think the writers were going for him being gallant for not trying to get underage Joey drunk but then why the hell did he offer the drink to her in the first place? When the sky clouds over and the rest of the party starts to head inside, Joey wants to follow suit but AJ, as Pacey predicted, asks her to go for a walk with him. Joey looks a bit hesitant but she agrees.

Dawson arrives at the school to see Pacey's play when he's approached by Andie asking where Pacey is. She freaks out when Dawson says he doesn't know so he offers to go look for him.

He finds Pacey playing basketball in the gym, where he's clearly upset about Joey going out with another guy and missing his first night performing. Dawson, of course, thinks it's just nerves about the play. To his credit, Dawson is actually really supportive this scene. This just proves that Dawson and Joey are better apart. The last time he was apart from Joey, he became a better friend too, this is becoming a trend. He also spins the basketball on his finger which is pretty impressive.

Hang on, is he flipping us off?

Pacey chides Dawson for giving up his own dreams and what made him happy just to sit around in study hall with the unmotivated students. Coming from Pacey, that is saying a lot about how wasteful study hall is. Dawson claims he's just spreading his happiness around, instead of focusing it on one thing, which is stupid because he's not exploring another hobby, he's just sitting around like a lump during a free period. Pacey wonders how Dawson can be so chill when Joey is on a date with a college guy but Dawson is pretty low key about it. He says that it had to happen some time and motions for Pacey to go and get ready for his play.

Henry is looking around the auditorium and Jen waves him to the seats she's saved. Henry says that they were supposed to meet out front but Jen claims that she thought whoever got there first had to save seats. She also invited Grams along.


Pacey arrives backstage and tries to tell Andie to send out his understudy. She won't hear it and sends him out anyway. Pacey freezes on stage for a moment but he soon breaks out into the dialogue and has the audience laughing. In the good way, not in the "this guy is a disaster" way. Andie is thrilled that her play is going well.

On their walk, AJ and Joey share an extremely forced and awkward conversation where at one point, he brings up her dead mother as a possible reason why she's so driven. Thanks, bud. It sure gets a lot of girls in the mood when you talk about how their mother's death causes them to be focused on work. Smooth.

Talking about your dead mother gets me so in the mood, don't ya know?

He then starts talking about how sexy it is that charged particles are drawn to the Earth's atmosphere to create the northern lights (I'm not joking, this is pretty much his come on line) and they kiss. Then Joey gets super awkward and says she has to meet someone. They both go.

The play has gone off without a hitch and at the party, Jack gives Andie a bouquet and congratulates her and it's super sweet. Jen congratulates her too and she also tries to avoid the awkwardness of her situation with Henry and Grams. When Jen is left alone with her supposed date and her grandmother, she quickly bails to talk to Pacey.

Jen congratulates him on his performance and it's revealed that no one in his family showed up to see it. Pacey's family is the worst and I have so many feels for him after that line. Jen also points out that Joey is not in attendance and Pacey pretends like it doesn't bug him. Joey of course shows up behind them to ask who they are talking about but of course, Pacey and Jen don't say.

Kendra approaches Dawson at the party and asks him why he dropped film. He tells her that he dropped it when she told him about being passionate about more than just one thing. He then tells a story about when he was little and seeing Jurassic Park in theatres. About how these teenagers were making out and kid Dawson couldn't comprehend why they'd rather kiss than watch the movie and I've actually got a soft spot for Dawson on this one because I was definitely that kid who was completely enraptured by movies. Anyway, Dawson says that he's not the kid that brings dates to movies to make out but he's not the little kid he once was anymore, but something in-between where he overanalyzes everything to the point of not enjoying anything. Accurate thought is accurate, Dawson.

Joey tries to congratulate Pacey on his performance that she's heard was great but Pacey wants to talk about her date with College Guy. Joey babbles about how the sky had clouded over and some big technical terms about not being able to see the northern lights and Pacey correctly guesses that AJ kissed her. Joey says that she's not sure that she'll see AJ again anyway because he's just so much more sophisticated than her  and other stuff. Pacey assumes that she's still hung up on Dawson but Joey says that she doesn't know if she'll feel the way about someone else that she used to feel about Dawson, indicating that she is over him. We all know she'll find someone way better than Dawson, very soon. Unfortunately for now, that person is AJ. Pacey points him out to Joey and tells her to go to him.

Aww, don't give Pacey a sad, Joey

Meanwhile, Henry has somehow got himself up in the rafters because it's what Pacey's character did in the play (the play in question is Barefoot in the Park which I've never seen and have no clue about the context of this scene). Anyway, Henry is up in the rafters and has decided that the best way to win a girl's heart is to embarrass her in front of a bunch of students, teachers, and parents by forcing her to repeat what he says or he refuses to get down. It's a stupid scene and I get it's supposed to be cute but I actually think it's a bit questionable. I think it's because the dynamic between Jen and Henry is that Jen has been shown to not be interested in Henry but Henry keeps persisting and trying to wear her down into dating him or guilting her into dating him and it makes me uncomfortable.

Plus, you know he's going to murder her anyway

Joey and AJ talk and he asks her if he did something wrong. Joey says he didn't and apologizes for running off on him because she was scared. He wants to go out with her again and she agrees but not before they talk a bit more about the northern lights. AJ mentions that he's seen them before and since it looks like they won't be seeing them, Joey asks him to describe them to her. He does and Joey says that they sound scary. I've heard lots of words to describe the northern lights before, beautiful, gorgeous, colourful, mesmerizing, breathtaking, for instance. I've got to say, I have never heard them referred to as "scary" before. That's a new one.

Super scary amirite?

Jack is helping Andie to clean up and mentions that he's sorry that their father wasn't there. Jesus, are none of these kids parents proud of them? It's like Mr. McPhee got wind of the fact that Pacey's entire family didn't show up to the play and felt that his title of Worst Parent in Capeside Forever was being challenged and skipped it too. Don't worry, guys, you all suck equally. Anyway, Jack congratulates her and asks if she's ok. He then points her towards Pacey and she decides to go talk to him.

She talks to Pacey and sympathizes with his parents not showing up. She then does something completely remarkable. When Pacey asks if she's disappointed in him returning to academic mediocrity, she tells him how not disappointed she is and admits that she tried to spruce him up. Then this:

Andie: But, uh, thing is, Pacey, I was wrong. There was never anything about you that needed fixing up. And there never was and there never will be, cuz you're perfect as is.
Amen, sister. Also, thank you writers, for actually making her liable for once this season. They had gone out of their way to just make her utterly horrible this season so far so it's nice to see her admitting to the flaw in their relationship and telling Pacey that he is fine just the way he is. Pacey learned his lesson about his hero complex last season so it's only fitting that Andie acknowledges her need to make everything and everyone around her perfect to fit the perfect life she pictures for herself. Kudos, writers.

Finally, some nice closure for these two

Henry and Jen talk and she tells him to stop it with the grand romantic gestures. She doesn't want him to try so hard. He agrees but I'm sure he'll forget by next episode and still act like an idiot. There is an art to grand gestures, Henry, and Lloyd Dobbler you aren't. Anyway, somehow this turns into Jen liking him again and they kiss.

We end the episode with a scene between Dawson and Joey which utterly bores me because I'm just not into these two. #sorrynotsorry Anyway, Dawson explains that he needed to see her because he felt lost and she asks him what he thought would happen when he dropped the class that was his one passion. Dawson says he didn't think, he just did. Then he notices the northern lights and Joey is irritated that she was waiting the whole night to see them but ended up only seeing them with Dawson.

Ah, his pain is my joy

I'm happy with stopping there because I find it hilarious that Joey outright tells Dawson that she didn't want to see the northern lights with him, despite the fact that the show was trying to go with a "she saw them with Dawson because they are soulmates" thing. We all know that's a lie by now so, I like my ending better. That was Northern Lights.

Stay tuned for the next episode where Henry does more stupid and over the top shit to convince Jen to like him, and the rest of the gang go to some stupid party. Oh, and Jack's ex, the one he had sex with, comes to town. Should be interesting, so stay tuned for Valentine's Day Massacre.

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