Season 4, Episode 10 “Self-Reliance”
Is it weird that this is one of my favorite episodes? (Answer: yes.) Continue reading →
Well, Andie didn’t die. I know—it’s shocking. But this is good-bye, and if you’ve read ANY of these recaps you know that Janes and I aren’t exactly sorry to reach the end of her reign of perky terror. When we next see her, Stalwart White Knight ex-boyfriend Pacey is, for whatever reason, dropping by her room on the regular to bring her her homework even though I’m pretty sure she and Pacey aren’t on the same track. Andie’s father, who can be surprisingly supportive with straight people problems, suggests Andie take off the rest of the year and go to Florence. Bye Andie! [Sob.] [JK.]
When I first watched this episode at fourteen years old, I didn’t enjoy it, because it was just too real. I didn’t want to watch these characters go through the awful college process–why would I need to, when I was already in the thick of it? But now that that’s all over, I really love these college-centric episodes. Although none of these teen shows really understood how the process worked, Dawson’s did a much better job than most of capturing the paralyzing uncertainty of this period (and the inherent stupidity of ubiquitous questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?”). Plus… the return of Drunk Joey!! Continue reading →
Okay, yes, we’re going to get to the good stuff: True Love, the first gay kiss on network television, the cry face… but first–it’s the first prom episode of the series, guys!
Like actual proms, prom episodes are hotbeds for drama and hormonal teen hijinks (especially since they fortuitously happen in spring, right before the season finale), but also tend to be a little bit of a letdown. But among its many accomplishments, Dawson’s Creek can boast not one, but two classic prom episodes during its run, starting with the ultra-romantic, wonderfully melodramatic “The Anti-Prom.” Continue reading →
This is one of the most romantic episodes of the show and one of my favorites. I think the best thing about it is that it delivers a cogent argument for why Joey wants Pacey, and why she should be with Pacey: that Dawson is safe and comfortable, but Pacey makes her feel alive. It’s extremely well done, and convincing; the way the two of them look at each other so intensely throughout the episode, like they’re all raw nerves and excitement and longing, just shows how alive they really are. And you can see how carefully the show was trying to bring its original viewers along with it; they had gotten attached to Dawson and Joey as the story, and it was going to be hard to make people root for the pairing that would be in direct competition with that. That transition can be hard to convince people of, and this episode makes the best effort it possibly could. (Of course, the next few episodes also help things along from the opposite direction, by showcasing long-known but ever-more-obnoxious aspects of Dawson’s character.)
We made it!!
We’re very excited about the next three episodes, if you couldn’t tell. But before we get to that series-altering (read: life-altering) moment, we need to get through “To Green With Love,” a racially awkward episode of television aptly named after a classic, racially awkward movie.
Pacey is getting ready for his big theatrical debut that we’re all supposed to care about even though the whole thing only started last episode, and he assumes Joey is coming to opening night, but she has to admit that she’s going to a date with AJ on opening night. “COLLEGE GUY?” shrieks Pacey. He declares that AJ wants to get into the “Potter pantalones” (God, this kid kills me! He’s so funny!) but Joey is hellbent on her intellectual new manfriend, and Pacey is obliged to make his theatrical debut on his own.
“First Encounters of the Close Kind” is much better than I remembered. The whole time I was watching it, I was thinking, “This episode is tightly written, has a clear theme, and arguably has a more mature perspective on the characters than anything we’ve seen thus far. Why do I hardly ever rewatch it?” And then I remembered–no Pacey! Continue reading →
It’s been awhile since Dawson hijacked an episode in order to avoid doing his actual homework by convincing his teacher to let him make a movie. This time around, he’s getting out of writing a paper on The Crucible by making a documentary about a local legend known as “Witch Island,” to “tell a larger story about hypocrisy and religious persecution.” (He conveniently fails to mention that witches were also persecuted for one other big reason: they were women.) Anyway, the legend is that supposed witches were sent to Witch Island, until one day a fire killed all of them. Dawson wants to bring his crew out to the island to make a movie about it.
And he does a TERRIBLE job. If you thought “religious persecution” was a classically inadequate way to describe something that was all about sexism and the patriarchy, try this one: Dawson and Joey turn the whole thing into a saga of two young lovers who were torn apart by circumstance.