Season 5, Episode 10 “Appetite For Destruction”
Maybe I have fifth-season goggles on, but this is a great episode! Where actual things happen! The core group is all present, everyone talks about sex for the whole episode, and Pacey and Joey talk to each other several times. In seasons three or four, this would be par for for the course, but in season five, it’s a freaking unicorn!
We open on the kids getting ready for their weekly Sunday night dinner, which, realistically enough, Joey exposits have kind of fallen off recently. And yet, the atmosphere is almost unprecedentedly chipper. Pacey is cooking risotto, Audrey is being a delight as per usual (shot), and even Joey looks like she might accidentally stumble into a good time. What could possibly go wrong?
To quote Joey circa season four, the answer is sex. Sex is their problem, sex is always their problem.
Dawson and Jen arrive home and the post-coital glow is jumping off of them. Outside of Grams’ house, they start to have a classic DC handwringing session about what to say to Joey, whether they should sneak around, etc. But Post-Mitch Dawson wants to be all European about it and just enjoy it before worrying about telling anyone. They then go inside and start full-on making out, and I can’t even express how stupid this is. They literally just agreed not to say anything to their friends yet, and then they make out right in the doorway, where Jack lives, and where Joey often has Sunday night dinners. Like, why??????
And then when they’re inevitably caught, they get this deer in headlights look that annoys me to no end. Like, WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.
When we get back from the theme song, the dinner party devolves into an unmitigated disaster. They’re all eating in deliciously awkward silence, and no one can leave, because Pacey has already cooked like, seven courses. Dawson and Jen are sitting next to each other, still barely able to contain their glow, and exposit that they didn’t know everyone was coming for dinner, which only makes their stupidity slightly less stupid. Audrey ostentatiously spills risotto on herself and drags Joey into the bathroom for much-needed girltalk. Joey is all embarrassed, but um, I’m sorry, that’s just what good friends do. (Take a shot for Audrey’s unappreciated awesomeness!)
Joey claims she’s fine because they were “just kissing,” and Audrey tries to shake her out of her denial. “I know you’re just this nice country girl who grew up on a stream–” (Hee!) “but clearly relations were had.” Joey insists she doesn’t care, but is clearly lying. Jen decides this is the right moment to get up from the table and offer to help, which frankly seems insensitive. It was obvious to everyone that Audrey’s spill was a pretext, so why would Jen interrupt their clearly private conversation? Is she secretly hoping to walk in on Joey saying that she’s jealous of her?
With Jen gone, the boys are left alone, and the house basically becomes a non-musical (and decidedly less awesome) version of “Summer Nights” from Grease, with Pacey and Jack gleefully pushing Dawson to “tell them more.” Pacey is a little too enthusiastic when he presses Dawson about why he decided to take Jen–as opposed to Joey–to the festival, which is a little weird, since he’s basically asking Dawson why he decided not to fuck their mutual ex. Speaking of whom, Joey walks by just as they start talking about rounding the “bases.” Awk.
Dawson follows her to the kitchen so they can *talk*, and Jack says to Pacey that he can tell they had sex. Or he can tell Jen did, anyway. “Sick as it sounds, I know the look.” On the one hand, I love that, but on the other hand, how?? From the one person she’s slept with since she and Jack became besties? (Take a shot for wild overestimation of Jen’s conquests!)
Dawson and Joey have two conversations about this, and they’re both painfully awkward in the best way. First, Dawson makes a big deal about telling her that he and Jen had sex, starting with the ominous, “There’s no graceful way to have this conversation.” I would say that it’s super weird and dysfunctional that he feels the need to report all of his sexual activities to his ex, but he demanded to know about her sex life last season, so I guess it makes sense that he feels obligated now. Her face falls as she realizes that Dawson lost his precious flower, and she unconvincingly smiles and says cheerily, “We don’t have to make this a thing!” Yikes.
I have to hand it to the writers: Joey’s reaction to this news is played perfectly. She makes a feeble attempt to leave, she smiles, she tells everyone that she’s fine, and she generally pretends to be all European about it. And at first, you assume that she’s just bottling it up because she’s embarrassed to be vulnerable. But then, when Audrey presses her to express how she’s feeling, she explains that she really is okay with it, or at least she feels like she has to be okay with it because Dawson lost his father, and she understands that that “canceled everything out.” “So if this broke my heart a little, I wouldn’t have the right to say so.” It’s a very nuanced, realistic response, especially since young women are taught to swallow feelings that aren’t “fair” to other people.
The rest of the episode basically becomes a game of musical chairs, where every permutation of core characters discusses this development. Joey, Jack, and Pacey talk about how “weird” this development is, Jen tells Joey that she hopes this doesn’t risk their “friendship” (uh, who now?), Audrey and Pacey bond over being the only ones who don’t want to kill anyone at the table, and Jack randomly gets on Jen’s case about hooking up with Dawson when he’s vulnerable about his dad and Jen is vulnerable about Charlie. This seems uncharacteristically nosy and judgmental for Jack, but it effectively reveals the wounds that have been festering in their relationship. Jack is sad that he had no idea that she even had feelings for Dawson, and Jen is offended that he chose his frat bros over his boyfriend. (Wait, this is about Toby? Weird. Why can’t it just be about Jack becoming a misogynistic asshole who tries to lure his female friends to date rape lairs?) [Are you looking for a less disheartening answer than “Because men are more important than women”? 🙂 –Nerdy Spice] Their fight becomes about how much they’ve grown apart in the past few months, and how they don’t really know anything about each other’s lives anymore.
Then, Dawson reveals that he’s thinking about moving to Boston, but obviously not for Joey this time. He follows her into the kitchen again, and says the single most obnoxious thing he could say at this moment: “Whatever your reasons are for pretending you’re fine, I appreciate it, but you don’t have to pretend with me.” UGH! Like you’re God’s fucking gift, Dawson. This would be a perfect recipe for a vintage D/J fight, where they get defensive and possessive and generally toxic with each other, but instead it’s just sad and vulnerable. Joey sadly says that their lives used to “happen together,” but now he’s moving there and she has nothing to do with it. He admits that he was originally going to move to Boston for her, and she says, “What happened? How did I go from being just around the corner to being nothing at all?” Dawson hems and haws a bit, but then tells her that everything shifted when his father died, and the path he was on didn’t make sense anymore. He says that everything has always come back to her, that the thought of her had always been a “constant comfort,” but now, “I can’t go back. It just hurts.” Usually the D/J star-crossed lover, “bad timing” stuff feels contrived, but damn. This is sad.
Oh, also, there’s this weird little interlude where Charlie shows up to try to win Jen back. When they’re alone, Charlie makes his feeble attempt, and pretty much admits that he’s only going back to Jen because Nora wouldn’t get back together with him. Even Jen has more self-esteem than this, and she sends him packing, telling him re: Dawson: “I think I finally made the right choice.” Heh. Good luck with that.
Speaking of whom, Dawson leaves the table to check up on them, and Pacey gives a cute speech about how Dawson shouldn’t start off his new relationship with mistrust and jealousy, or else it will have a “needy overtone” that he doesn’t want. Dawson has the nerve to say, “That doesn’t sound a lot like me, why do I get the feeling that you’re this guy?” Um, WHAT?? Pacey wasn’t perfect with Joey, by any means, but between the two of them, Dawson thinks Pacey is the jealous, controlling one? Shut up, Dawson. (And take a shot for blatantly rewriting history!)
Surprisingly, Dawson plays it really cool with Charlie. He casually asks if they should wait for her to eat, then gently says, “Take your time,” and goes back inside without even introducing himself. If you’re going to obnoxiously stake your territory before the relationship is even official yet, that’s the way to do it.
The episode ends on a sweet, almost heartwarming note. Everyone sits around the table and talks about how they’ve all drifted apart, and maybe they need to take a break from each other for a while. (It’s Joey who says this last part, to no one’s surprise. Shot!) But then Audrey looks around and exclaims how lucky they are to still have each other after all these years, and they all agree that they shouldn’t take each other for granted. Then Grams comes home and meets Audrey, who is hilariously obsessed with her. A blissfully ignorant Grams says it’s “lovely to witness this little reunion,” and all is right in the world, for a few minutes at least.
Sorry this got so long, but it’s hard to keep it short when things actually matter! Our season five write-ups have been much pithier so far, mostly because nothing of consequence ever happens, but this is like a season four throwback, with the focus on the core group, the endless discussion of everyone’s romantic histories, and the actual narrative stakes. More of this, please!
- Pacey makes risotto. That’s definitely the highlight. (Or would be, if it weren’t, apparently and audibly, so “gummy.”) —Nerdy Spice
- I love that Pacey just laughs when he sees Dawson and Jen. It seems like the right reaction. Plus I wonder if there’s a bit of “I can’t believe I spent months getting used to the idea of Dawson and Joey getting back together, all for naught,” under there. —Nerdy Spice
- Joey tells Audrey she’s fine and they “didn’t have to make a scene,” and Audrey rolls her eyes and is like, “Well, of course we didn’t have to, but…” Ha! Love her. (Shot!)
- I love how Audrey pulls Joey aside and claims to be “wise” and to have studied Joey’s people, but girl, GET YOUR HAIR OFF YOUR RISOTTO BOOB. —Nerdy Spice
- Who is the “rehabilitated rebel” that Pacey lists among Jen’s past love interests? Is that supposed to be Pacey himself, or a much-needed Drue reference??
- I love that everyone keeps saying it wouldn’t have mattered if Jen and Dawson had only kissed, as if the past four seasons hadn’t taught us that every kiss means *something*, most likely that EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED and it’s THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. But now that they’re in college and they have their big-girl pants on, people have to have actual sex to make everyone lose their shit. Growth!
- Audrey’s disgusted face at Dawson and Jen kissing is perfect (take a shot!):
- “I’m the last person in the world you could call naive,” Joey says. Wow, it’s been a long time since she made a joke. —Nerdy Spice
- Jack says of raw chicken, “Why not? Cavemen used to do it.” He’s so ahead of his time, using cavemen to justify his eating choices. —Nerdy Spice
- Jen tells Joey that she “didn’t plan on this,” but let’s be real. We all saw that guilty face she made last week.
- Joey pretends to be cool, but when she goes, “That’s exactly what Dawson needs right now,” I feel like… she could’ve left off “right now” and it would’ve been a LOT more convincing. —Nerdy Spice
- So… Jen sure likes blonde boys with necklaces. Although I guess given the times, that was just all blonde boys. —Nerdy Spice
- And then Dawson is all magnanimous like, “Take your time.” THANKS DAWSON. Since you own Jen’s time and everything, that’s so generous of you. —Nerdy Spice
- Oh my God, how many times are these kids going to excuse themselves from this damn table?! —Nerdy Spice
- I love how Jack’s insulted by being written off as a “two-dimensional beer-guzzling frat guy.” Uh… I think that’s actually a very kind description of what he actually is, which is a guy who is willing to sell off his female friends to the highest-bidding date rapist. —Nerdy Spice
- Jack says that he knows her and Dawson super well, and even they were platonic, Jen was putting herself on this “first love pedestal.” Um, does he know them very well, because Joey was definitely the one on the “first love pedestal,” while Jen was definitely the one in the “bad girl from New York sinkhole.” Take another shot for rewriting history!
- “Dawson, how did I go from being on the corner of possibility to… being nothing at all?” I’m almost glad that ended up with an anti-climactic non-metaphor, because the natural ending to that sentence was something like “to the abyss of a could-have-been,” and that would have been even sillier. —Nerdy Spice
- Pacey makes CHOCOLATE CAKE. Now THAT’S the highlight. Or maybe it’s when Joey asks if there’s “expresso” [sic] in the center. —Nerdy Spice
- Jen says attics are less scary than basements because basements have stairs. Is she Joey Tribbiani? —Nerdy Spice
- Also, having Jen and Dawson giggling and roughhousing is … weird and gross. I like them OK, but not when the show pretends they’re all flirtatious. —Nerdy Spice
This episode is firing on all cylinders almost the entire time, but nothing could beat a sweet heart-to-heart between Pacey and Joey. After the dinner, Pacey walks Joey home, and Joey tells him how much she admires him for moving on [shot!] and doing something new after graduation. “I feel like I’m acting how I think Joey Potter is supposed to act,” she says, and it’s true, because this is the most real we’ve seen her all season. She tells him she’s “floundering,” and he jumps into a classic Pacey string of compliments: “You’re stronger than I’ve ever seen you before. You have the new school, the writing, the new friends. You’re becoming the woman [shot!] that I always knew you were going to become.” Awwwwwww!!!
You know, I always remembered season five as forgetting that Joey and Pacey were ever together, but this scene provides a great thesis statement for why D/J don’t belong together. She tells Pacey that while everything was changing [shot!], she expected them to stay the same, which was unrealistic, because they didn’t even know who they were yet. Then, she admits that she was relieved when he leaned on Jen instead of her, and that she’s not sure that she really wanted to be with him to begin with. “You just didn’t expect to lose your place?” Pacey asks, wisely. He tells her it’s okay to be human once in a while, and then they hug!! It’s so cute, I almost forgive the writers for Karen.
Most cringeworthy moment:
Jen and Dawson roughhouse and coo at each other before bed, and it’s just wrong. [Yeah–I like them OK, but not when the show pretends they’re all flirtatious. –Nerdy Spice] I get that the relationship feels secure and safe, but they have like, no physical chemistry. Then Jen puts on this high, girly voice and tells him she’s afraid of “things hiding under beds” like she’s five years old, and he thinks it’s just adorable. “It’s something only boyfriends are privy too,” she purrs, presumptuously, since they haven’t even had a DTR talk yet. Gross.
Eleven, mostly for Audrey’s awesomeness and the return of Joey’s growing-up talk.
Season 5, Episode 11 “Something Wild”
By Nerdy Spice
Dawson and Jen’s burgeoning romance continues to, well, burgeon. They’re late to visit Gail because they apparently just had to stop by the side of the road to have gross car sex, like ewwww, stop. Or at least don’t tell us about it. Dawson decides to tell his mom “We stopped for a little while… to… rest” (euphemism shot!). Um, GROSS. (Here are my original play-by-play notes, typed up while I was watching: EWWWWW. Dawson and Jen are late to his house because they stop on the way to have sex in the car?! GROSS!!! And why TELL your mom that you stopped on the way? Just say you hit traffic. GROSS. And then he kisses Jen on the cheek when he leaves. Gross?!)
So poor Gail has to listen to all this nonsense and then point out that Dawson’s t-shirt is on inside out. She isn’t super thrilled about the relationship, but when she and Jen bond over wanting to manipulate Dawson into making the life choices they think he should make (i.e. going to a film school in Boston), she’s suddenly won over. Hooray? (For once it’s an actually appropriate time to mention Freud, yet no one mentions him.) But then when Jen urges him to stop being so protective of his mother, he accuses her (in this horrible calm smug voice which people use when they know they’re saying something that will rightfully piss you off and can’t wait to accuse you of being emotional for being rightfully pissed off) of not being the right person to talk about this because she has a shitty family life. Jen rightfully tells him she doesn’t want to talk to him at all right now.
Then Jen and Dawson break into Grams’s old house to build a fire and have sex. As in the previous episode, there are a lot of scenes where they try to convince us that Jen and Dawson have this, like, giggly, sexy chemistry, which completely ruins the actual chemistry they had of being friends who quietly care deeply for each other and can count on each other. Ah well. This relationship isn’t long for this world, anyway.
Meanwhile, Pacey comes to rescue Joey from a boring winter break back at home stressing over her grades (blink and you’ll miss Bessie, who makes a rare appearance), and drives her back to campus, where she discovers to her surprise that Audrey’s back too. He’s been promoted to chef at Civilization, the restaurant where he works, and he helps get Audrey a job as a waitress there when Joey turns it down. (Danny likes Audrey because she can “put Witter in his place,” which I believe in many circles is known as “flirting.”)
While they’re at Civilization, Joey goes off to look for her grades on a big old blackboard where supposedly every professor at the entire school has publicly posted all their grades, which I sincerely doubt ever happened. She runs into Professor Creeper, who says he has her grades and then makes fun of her calm response. “You’re about to find out the result of months’ worth of sweat and labor and ‘Oh’ is all you can say for yourself?” Ugh, no amount of shots can make that charming. Yet for some reason Joey decides to leap into his arms for an inappropriate, and very long, hug. GROSS.
That night, Pacey, Joey, and Audrey go out to a bar, where Pacey and Audrey flirt over a game of pool, while Charlie, of Jen-and-Nora fame, promptly zeroes in on Joey as a likely prospect for his cheesy lines. Joey pretends to put up with his “I never do this” routine for a little while before calling him on the fact that he definitely does this, and did it with Jen. So he goes, “At least I’m not afraid to take a chance,” and asks if “they teach classes in uptight at Worthington, or is it just a prerequisite for admission?” [I want to say it’s contrived that Charlie calls Joey “uptight” just when everyone else is bugging her about not being wild enough, but judging from my own college experiences, that’s like, Creepy Pick-up Line #8. –Janes]
Joey insists she’s not going to recount her reckless behavior for him, which is a good start, but within an hour she’s stripping off her demure cardigan on stage and singing “I Want You to Want Me.” [Joey is a terrible singer, and yet when she sings, it’s always completely awesome. I’m already looking forward to “Highway to Hell.” –Janes] So basically, what this episode proves overall is that Joey is a huge sucker for men who neg her. Audrey and Pacey love this, and Audrey drags Pacey away so that Joey will have a chance to flirt with Charlie. They end up having a brief heart-to-heart and a peck on the cheek as he drops her off.
For her part, Joey kisses Charlie in exuberance after the show, but insists on walking home alone. (Side note: Charlie is not the first man to slowly pursue Joey while she walks home, just begging her to give her a ride. Pacey already did that and much cuter.) She tells him there is an “Other Joey” but that he shouldn’t tell anyone about her. Whatever, Joey. Stop dating men who insult you. (Also, like… is she not aware that that bar was full of people who saw Other Joey singing up on stage?)
- Title of episode spoken by character! Bessy wants to know when Joey last did “something wild”–and adds that letting her hair air-dry doesn’t count. Heh. You can always count on Bessie for some gentle humor.
- Pacey makes a reference to “A Weekend in the Country” when he netted the Potter B&B a visit from Frederick Frikke, Famed Made-Up B&B Critic. YAY.
- On their drive back into Boston, poor Pacey has to listen to Joey rant on and on about Dawson and Jen, like, you two JUST BROKE UP, maybe have a little tact, Joey!
- Audrey’s slippers are AMAZEBALLS and immediately render her the MVP of this scene. Shot.
- “I love the way everything comes on a bed of, or drizzled with something. It’s so thrilling!” Audrey says of the menu at Civilization. Ahhh, the beginning of the foodie revolution. How easy it was to impress back then.
- Then she asks what foie gras is. How does Audrey not know what foie gras is? That’s like… no. First of all, anyone who watches TV knows what foie gras is because it’s like the shortcut for lazy writing about fancy food starting in about 1985. So the only way that the question “What is foie gras?” is believable from anyone is if she’s Ron Swanson and has never seen a TV or eaten meat that wasn’t roasted on a spit over a fire. But given that in this same episode Audrey’s family is supposedly skiing at Telluride, which is already kind of an uppity thing to be doing, and she’s never heard of foie gras? That doesn’t even make sense in a world where foie gras is actually remotely obscure.
- Danny winks at Audrey with BOTH EYES when he tells her to taste the foie gras. Huh.
- I love that Pacey gets all affronted that Audrey got the job at Civilization without a real interview, when Pacey literally told Brecher he didn’t want the job, and he still got it. He’s allowed to leverage his privilege, but she’s not? –Janes
- I like how Joey is sitting at home with Bessie waiting for her grades but also the professors post them on a big blackboard.
- And I like that Joey got As in everything but is incapable of following a line with her eyes between her name and all those As, and has to trace it with her finger.
- Ha! They didn’t even bother to use different grade sheets for Joey’s different classes. (These are all different pictures, btw.) –Janes
- Do you think Professor Creeper withheld the grades specifically to motivate Joey to come by his office to ask, or just because he’s incapable of meeting deadlines that all the rest of the professors at this school could make?
- Audrey and Joey pick out Charlie from across the room as “gorgeous.” Shot!
- How does Joey recognize Charlie?? They definitely never met, and Jen wouldn’t even have had FB pictures to show her! –Janes
- Pacey meets Joey at the club and says, “So this is where all the beautiful, smart girls hang out.” And Audrey isn’t even with them! They’re so cute and flirty! 😉 –Janes
- Pacey bopping his head to Audrey’s singing is SO dorky and cute.
- Charlie tells Joey she can drop the tough act around him: “I’m not like one of those pre-epoch Neanderthals, I’ve never done this before.” Shot!
- Charlie tries to make up for creeping on Joey by… offering her an uncovered drink that she didn’t see him make. Sounds about right. –Janes
- I always cringe when Dawson says he’ll move in and Jen happily says, “We can decorate!!” Her radio producers are right, Happy Jen is annoying. –Janes
- Way to stand up for yourself, Jen.
- Dawson says he plans to go to school but “I just want to make sure that you and Lily are set first.” Um… WHY? You’re a CHILD. She’s the FAMILY BREADWINNER. For Christ’s sake. I feel like I write this rant every week.
As if to just remind us that Pacey doesn’t suck and Charlie does, Pacey gently tells Joey that she is capable of letting loose, and reminds her of the summer they went sailing. He leans so close they could almost kiss, then grabs her shoulder and they make eye contact for a long time, and UGHH it’s so cute.
Most cringeworthy moment:
It doesn’t last a full thirty-four seconds the way Joey’s reunion hug with Dawson did, but her hug with Professor Creeper is way too long and involves way too much ecstatic smiling. Get off him, Joey!
Five shots, definitely not enough to make Professor Creeper or Charlie seem charming.
Season 5, Episode 12 “Sleeping Arrangements”
Remember when Dawson and Jen were somewhat tolerable? Yeah, that’s over. Jen spent the entire last episode convincing Dawson to move into Grams’ house with her, but immediately resents his presence. She uses his toothbrush to “separate her eyelashes,” barely even pretends to be sorry, and then won’t let him use her toothbrush because of cooties. Usually, I would say that Dawson is being annoying for feeling entitled to her personal items, but she’s the one who destroyed his toothbrush! She should let him use it once, or at least offer to replace it! What a jerk.
Then she starts giving snarky love advice at her radio station, as if she weren’t irritating enough already. Dawson tunes in just as she’s saying something cynical about how love doesn’t last and men always leave, blah blah blah. (Unless you’re “blessed with a proclivity for other women,” she says stupidly. Take two shots for a pity party and Jen’s fake, heteronormative, “men are dogs”-type feminism!)
Dawson realizes that Jen is acting like an asshole because she has trust issues or something, so he–I kid you not–starts acting like a goddamn saint. He waits outside for her and sweetly asks her if she wants to go out with him for a while, to which she promptly bites his head off about how busy she is. But he doesn’t even blink. He just tells her that he cares about her, that he won’t fight with her or hurt her like her other boyfriends did, and that she can either trust that or “keep testing [him].” Um, he’s being super sweet right now, but is that really the moral of the story? That good boyfriends never fight with their psychologically damaged girlfriends, even when their girlfriends are being complete assholes for no reason?
In the end, Jen does finally get Dawson a new toothbrush, but then she acts like she’s done him this huge favor. Um, when you’re the one who ruined it, it’s not a favor, it’s just common courtesy! She’s the worst.
Meanwhile, Professor Creeper’s creeping continues. He plays matchmaker with Joey and Elliott, the Dawson lookalike from the season premiere, in the most inappropriate way possible. He loudly asks Elliott if he’s trying to “flirt” with Joey, then when poor Elliott sputters “no,” he says, “Too bad. Looks like you’re not half the man I thought you were.” [Now that I’m closer to Professor Wilder’s age, it has become even clearer how gross it is for him to pimp out his female student to a male student in the class. —Nerdy Spice] Ew, stop trying to live vicariously through him, Creeper!
Anyway, she blows off Dawson 2.0 because she thinks he hooked up with Audrey, and that would make him a terrible person, or something. It’s kind of a silly reason, but it’s totally her right to reject him, and he still follows her around like a puppy dog long after she’s made it clear she’s not interested. Bad sign. But still, Audrey informs Joey that they didn’t sleep together, and instead just talked about how “wonderful” Joey was all night, and Joey is all flattered that her It Girl wiles have struck again. I still think it’s a little creepy that he’s like, madly in love with her when they’ve barely said two words to each other, but I guess compared to Professor Creeper, it’s pretty easy to come off relatively safe and well-adjusted.
Joey goes over to Elliott’s room, babbles a little bit about thinking that he slept with Audrey and how she wasn’t over Dawson yet, and then asks him out to coffee. He pretends to blow her off, and then tells her he’s kidding, he just “wanted to see if [she] would be disappointed.” Ew, gross! He’s still better than Creeper, but not by much.
Pacey’s rich-girl ex, aka Cameron from House, returns, and the writers simultaneously act like she’s much more important than she is and feel the need to exposit exactly who she is in case we forgot. She’s also almost as insufferable as she was on House, calling Pacey her “cute, slacker boyfriend” and confirming that she’s started dating guys “more appropriate to her station in life.” Gross. Anyway, Melanie Shea Thompson (which is her name, just in case you forgot she was rich) tells him that her uncle wants him to work on his fancy yacht again.
Then Pacey gets all conflicted about whether to quit Civilization, where he’s due for a promotion, and I’m not at all sure what the stakes are here. They try to push the “Danny is a mentor who really believes in him” angle, but they spent so much time telling us Danny is a misogynistic asshat, I don’t know why we’re supposed to care. Plus, we all know Pacey’s not going to leave, and he doesn’t. The end.
Speaking of things that are completely predictable, Jack moves into his fraternity (and tells Dawson to “take care of [Jen]” for him, because apparently Dawson is the man of the house wherever he goes) and discovers that–shocker!–frat guys are raging homophobes. That terrible rapist-in-training Eric, the one who talked about “muscles and fitness” with Audrey, makes a big stink about not wanting to room with him. If you haven’t figured out by now that Eric is in the closet, you haven’t watched nearly enough 90s TV.
- I already have so many questions about this scene with Pacey’s rich ex-girlfriend. First of all, why do they keep saying “Melanie Shea Thompson” like we care what this person’s name is? And why does she act so surprised that her “cute slacker boyfriend” has a job when she met him because of his job? What an asshole. —Nerdy Spice
- Dawson to Jen: “I didn’t think you were all that into makeup.” Jen: “You have no idea how much makeup it takes to look like you’re not that into makeup.” True.
- Jen smudges her eye makeup by sucking on a Q-tip and then smearing it onto her eye skin? And she uses old toothbrushes to separate her eyelashes? Is that normal?! Because it sounds like a recipe for the world’s worst case of pinkeye. —Nerdy Spice
- Dawson gets all freaked out because he opens “Jen’s drawer” in the bathroom, which I find hilarious. What could she possibly have in there? Is that horrified “ew, cooties!” look on his face really just for tampons and/or birth control pills?
- Jen has insight into what’s wrong with music in 2001: “No one rocks anymore. You have your Britneys and your Justins, but where is the rock?” Wow. Original.
- Oh wait, she also hates Limp Bizkit?? Never mind, she’s such a maverick.
- Dawson tells Grams that he doesn’t fit in at film school because he’s “not that mad at the government,” he “doesn’t smoke clove cigarettes,” and he “doesn’t know enough about the French New Wave.” Heh! Although I think that last one is code for, “I told everyone my favorite director is Spielberg.”
- Did Grams have to say “penis” and then give Jen credit for her growth? Ugh. —Nerdy Spice
- Jen is supposedly great at this whole “snarky love advice” thing, but when a woman calls and asks for help because her boyfriend is acting cold towards her, Jen’s answer is, “Yeah, there’s really nothing you can do. Love ends and nothing is beautiful and everything hurts.” Um, she’s probably not wrong, but THAT’S NOT EVEN ADVICE!
- Pacey is going through such a rite of passage: the first time you quit a job and you’re convinced everyone is going to be super mad at you and then you realize that no one actually, you know, cares that much about you and your entry-level skills. I nearly had a heart attack before I quit my first job and all my bosses were like “K bye.” —Nerdy Spice
- Professor Creeper is all, “Shameless isn’t it, assigning my own book?” like he thinks it’s cute, but it actually IS shameless and inappropriate. In all my time in my MFA, I had one teacher assign his own book, but he handed out free copies to all of us so that he wouldn’t make any money off of it. Professor Creeper did not do that. —Nerdy Spice
- Why is Jack’s frat bro named “Blossom”??
- Speaking of whom, Blossom thinks he needs to be “sensitive to [the homophobe’s] feelings,” so he switches out his room for no reason. You just know Blossom is now on Facebook calling for “civility” towards racist Trump supporters.
- I want to like Pacey and Audrey’s scenes together, because they’re both treasures, but I’m not into it. Their flirting is boring and mildly sexist (Audrey says men “don’t have types” and Pacey says she’s too “bawdy”), and then when Melanie shows up for sexy times, Audrey tells Pacey “Don’t push her head down, girls don’t like that.” Ew! Does he really need to be told that?
- Melanie Shea Thompson drives me nuts. Why is she always laughing? She even laughs when she shows up at the restaurant to see Pacey before he even says anything. WHAT’S SO FUNNY, WEIRDO?! —Nerdy Spice
- Jen’s producers say that she’s “Boston’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw.” No. On so many levels, no.
- Ew, Melanie Shea Thompson refers to her relationship with Pacey as “fraternizing with the help”! Why, why do you exist?
- It seems like the writers are trying to make some sort of parallel between Cameron from House and the job on the boat, like working at Civilization is “making an honest living” while working on the boat is just working for rich people. But whatever, they’re both jobs.
- Aw Dawson got Pacey a sexton as a going away present! In case he gets lost like he did in the storm last season! And Joey hugs him at the end! Twoo wuv!
I love this cute little scene between Joey and Audrey, wherein Audrey informs her she didn’t sleep with Elliott). Audrey kicks her shoe all the way across the room as she walks in from work and collapses on Joey’s bed, where they proceed to cuddle and have girl talk. I wish they passed the Bechdel test a little more often, but girl talk is fun too!
Most cringeworthy moment:
When Joey runs into Creeper at the school bookstore, he banters with her a little, and then says, “You’re getting a little too sassy for your own good, Joey Potter. Soon, you’re going to have all the boys in my class flirting with you.” Yeeeeew. This was my face watching this whole scene:
Three, not nearly enough to like either Professor Creeper or Dawson 2.0, who you just know is a Nice Guy in the making.
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