Follow the whole rewatch here!
Welcome back to the Dawson's Creek Rewatch Project! This week, we say farewell to the True Love, which I'd like to say isn't an omen but is probably totally an omen.
Let's drink to the True Love, that fair but fleeting maiden of the sea!
The Dawson's Creek Drinking Game
Drink Once every time:
Joey purses her mouth or chews on her lip
Joey tucks her hair behind her ear
Sex makes Dawson and/or Joey extremely uncomfortable
Grams says "Jennifaaah"
Andie gives an impassioned speech (or rant)
Jack wears the straightest shoes possible
Pacey wears a shirt that makes you want to blind yourself
Drink Twice every time:
You have literally no idea why Joey is mad
Pacey gives someone a really good hug
Cool Jen Lindley is totally crapped on by the universe
Onto the episodes!
4.03 "Two Gentlemen of Capeside"
A storm is blowing into Capeside, and once again, somehow no one is prepared for it even though it says so RIGHT THERE IN GRAMS' FARMER'S ALMANAC. Drue Valentine is making his own sort of waves, somehow finagling to get himself, Joey and Dawson working on an extra-credit Two Gentlemen of Verona project because he wants to stir the love triangle pot. You're only punishing yourself here, Drue.
Pacey, meanwhile, is celebrating his first A since buckling down with Joey (how is it that Pacey literally only knows how to study if he has a girlfriend?), and since his girlfriend is currently working on a project with her "ex-soulmate" and Jen is suffering from post-Henry heartbreak, the two ex-friends-with-benefits go out on the sea together. Soon the storm has blown in and Joey's a basketcase, worrying about Pacey and Jen, so Dawson does the honorable thing and steals a boat to go save them. Joey joins him, and it's all very exciting! Lots of breaking waves and thunder and lightning. It looks like The Perfect Storm up in here, a reference that Jen does not fail to make.
While Joey's concern and Pacey's reassurance will make for a really nice hug later (stay tuned), and while Dawson and Joey seem to be getting along better, and while I'll always appreciate a good pal time between Pacey and Jen (who do some confiding in one another on the True Love), the relationship that gets the most attention in "Two Gentlemen of Capeside" belongs to the two gentlemen of the title: Pacey and Dawson. Dawson tells Joey that the reason he's been able to forgive Joey but not Pacey is pretty simple: Pacey hasn't asked. Well, when you put it that way. And then Pacey tells Jen, as it looks like this storm might be their last, that his only regret is that his friendship with Dawson ended so badly. Aww.
Their radio's out, but he knows a cove where they can take cover. And he also knows his former friend will find him there.
And he's right:
I think we can all admit that this is a really nice friendship beat for these two boys, which Joey, of course, cannot help but point out:
So Dawson and Joey find Pacey and Jen and save them, but they're not able to save the True Love. Pacey tries to go down with his ship like so much Dido, but Dawson won't let him. He knows how stubborn Pacey is, so he tells Pacey that everyone needs him, and he convinces Pacey to surrender the True Love to the destruction of the sea. It's all very dashing! Everyone is so relieved that Pacey and Jen are okay - especially Joey and Grams, who both make me cry a little - and Pacey has lived another day to try and rectify his one true regret.
Pacey is so sweet and earnest and tearful in this scene, and it kills me, but no big shock there. The real surprise is that Dawson's actually pretty great here, too. When Pacey thanks him for saving his life, Dawson says, with absolute confidence, "You would have done exactly the same thing," which we all know is true, but it's nice of Dawson to say. And when Pacey wears his heart on his sleeve to apologize, Dawson seems truly touched, and like he might be feeling some regrets of his own.
I can't help it. I want these fellas to be friends again!
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* We meet Mr. Brooks, the grumpy old club regular who hates everyone. It's his boat that Dawson and Joey steal, and when he tries to get Dawson to use his college savings to repair the damage, Grams GOES OFF on him, indicating some sort of history between these two:
That boat is a thing. A replaceable thing. This young man risked his life to save my granddaughter, and the fact that you can't appreciate his courage explains to me why you've lived all alone all these years in that godforsaken house. And if I find out that you let him dip into his college fund, I will personally kick your shriveled old butt.
* Andie's in the thick of college interviews, and she arranges a meeting with Ms. Valentine, an alum at one of Andie's many safety schools. Ms. Valentine seems very impressed with Andie until she learns of her history in a mental health facility, and then she tells her she doesn't think Andie can handle the high-pressure environment of college. But when the storm blows into the club and wreaks havoc, it's Andie who keeps her cool while Ms. Valentine loses it. Afterward, Ms. Valentine tells Andie that she'd be happy to recommend her, and Andie is stone-cold awesome: "Just give me the recommendation that you see fit, because if anyone at that university knows you half as well as I've gotten to know you, it's not going to count for much anyway."
* At the end of the episode, Jen runs into Drue Valentine and they're both VERY SURPRISED. Turns out they knew each other in New York, and Drue seems much happier about this accidental meeting than Jen.
Drue does not RULE.
How many times did I have to drink? 7.
Most meta moment: This is how Joey summarizes the plot of Two Gentlemen of Verona, which I fear is an oversimplification of its themes:
It's about a girl who comes between two guys. I didn't think it was very realistic. I mean, Valentine is this cardboard-cutout hero, and Proteus is unfairly painted as a villain. I just think these scenarios are actually a lot more complicated.
Best pop culture reference: Her teacher chuckles nerdily, "Right you are. Two guys, a girl and no pizza place."
The truest thing anybody said this week: Drue Valentine may be a dip, but he's got some real insight into Dawson's character, "You are obviously Luke to this Pacey guy's Han Solo. See, you're the stuff of pre-teen daydreams. Cute. Smart. Non-threatening. Which is great and all, but not for Princess Joey here, who's clearly smack dab in the middle of her bad boy phase."
Guess who? Mr. Brooks is played by Harve Presnell, who is known from many things but I know him as Lois' dad on Lois & Clark.
Pacey Witter's best hug:
That head cradle! <3
Grams' best hug:
She learned it from watching Pacey.
Suck on that, Henry!
4.04 "Future Tense"
It's college application time, and everyone's handling the stress in different ways:
Dawson, Jen and Pacey are kind of weirdly zen about the whole thing (well, it's weird for Dawson, anyway); Andie has pre-applied at every school on the planet, of course, so she's focusing her energies on poor Jack; and Joey is panicking for reasons that will become clear later, because she's #4 in her class and shouldn't really have anything to worry about.
Jen's got her hands full with Drue Valentine, who's trying very hard to hang out with her the way they used to back in her partying NYC days, but Jen would rather do without the temptation. He throws a birthday party for her, even though it's nowhere near her birthday, mainly because he wants to hang out. Poor Drue. This boy is SO lonely. The entire school goes to Jen's unbirthday party, and Jen is pretty annoyed, but it ends up being a fun time (mostly thanks to Joey, as you'll see). Jen finally thaws a bit and thanks Drue for the party, and then she apologizes for assuming he had nefarious motives. Of course, Drue then reveals his nefarious motives by giving Jen two hits of ecstasy as her unbirthday present. Jen angrily refuses them, and Drue tells her he'll just leave the pills out to see what happens. We, the audience, do not see what happens, because the scene ends before we know what Jen decides to do with the pills.
Joey and Pacey go to the party and Joey immediately gets AWESOMELY drunk. I say "awesomely" because she is so fun like this! She has goofy, adorable conversations with everyone there, my favorite being with Jen and Andie, who are having a BLAST with Drunk Joey. All three girls guess what their lives will be like in five years, and then they decide they'll meet back up in five years to see if any of it comes true. Joey cracks me up by saying, "But how will we remember today's date? It's not really Jen's birthday!" and Jen promises, solemnly, that she will remember. I love these girls, who walk back into the party with their arms around each other like the coolest coven of '90s teen witches since The Craft.
Joey gets back to the party and tries to play strip poker, which is when Caveman Pacey shows up to save the day:
Finally, Pacey gets her home, and Joey adorably, drunkenly, hilariously but honestly admits the source of her stress: she's worried about getting into a good school without Pacey, and she doesn't want to leave Capeside without him. Pacey, unsurprisingly, has the perfect answer, and have I mentioned yet that I love Drunk Joey?
Gosh, they're cute.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* Jack has injured himself and ended his short-lived high school football career, so he's in a VERY bad mood. Andie's pressuring the ever-loving crap out of him to finish his college applications, and we see him snap at her uncharacteristically. They make up, of course, because the McPhees are the greatest, full stop.
* Gretchen is now bartending at Leery's Fresh Fish, and she and Dawson do some more innocent flirting. They play a booze-free game of quarters and she gets him to confide in her, about how hard it is for him to see Joey so completely in love with Pacey, but when it comes time for Gretchen to open up, she cutely refuses. We still don't really know what Gretchen's doing in Capeside, or why she's no longer at school, but I'm happy for Dawson that she's here.
How many times did I have to drink? 5.
Most meta moment: Joey nails it with this one, "Maybe I'll just go to one of those fictional colleges. You know, like on those lame high school TV shows that go on for way too long? And then, just in time to save the franchise, all of a sudden it turns out that there's this amazing, world-class college that's right around the corner where all the principal characters are accepted."
Hello, from 2000:
Andie's HAIR, you guys.
The truest thing anybody said this week: Jen to Joey, "New York is finishing school for cynics like us."
The least true thing anybody said this week: Joey, in response, "I'm not a cynic!"
Jen's Sixteen Candles moment:
It's made somewhat less romantic by the non-consensual gift of drugs.
That's it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you. Who's your favorite Joey: Drunk Joey, Inexplicably Angry Joey, Artist Joey, Sexy Boho Boat Babe Joey or (SPOILER) Lusting Over Her Professor Joey?
Meet me here next Wednesday morning as I cover "A Family Way" and "Great Xpectations"!