Follow the whole rewatch here!
I am SO EXCITED to arrive at Season 5. I love the college years of Dawson's Creek, and Season 4 turns into such a giant bummer by the end that leaving it behind is definitely cause to celebrate.
Let's drink to Audrey Liddell!
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"
Pacey wears a shirt that makes you want to blind yourself
Audrey declares something risqué or insane with utter confidence
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!
If watching Joey and Dawson say goodbye for 45 minutes isn't your thing, "Coda" is not the episode for you! Since I'm so excited about Season 5 and pretty over Season 4, I'm going to rush through it. After Pacey left town, Joey and Dawson have been spending a lot of time together. It seems like it might be getting sort of romantic? Dawson's got to leave soon because he's enrolling in film school early, and both he and Joey are clearly sweating the farewell. It doesn't help that everyone in their lives is making such a big deal of this goodbye, including Jack and Jen, the traitors. Anyway, they finally say adios (like four times), and watch E.T. together (an excellent callback to the pilot), and rehash a bunch of old memories, some good and some bad, and talk and talk and talk and talk and then they eventually kiss by the window until the credits roll. GUYS. GO TO COLLEGE. MEET NEW PEOPLE.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* We get five minutes with Pacey, in which he calls Dawson to apologize once more and admit he misses their friendship, and Dawson tells him he's proud of him for graduating and living his life the way he wants to live it. It's nice.
* Mitch is freaking out and picking fights with Dawson over every little thing, which Gail rightly calls "the last gasp of a dying dictatorship." She finally gets him to admit that he's just sad Dawson is leaving.
* Jen's a tad panicky about leaving the house where Grams and Gramps lived for so long, but Grams is unsurprisingly pragmatic about it. She, Jen and Jack share a wonderful last night in the house together, with Grams telling stories about Gramps and making all of us cry. <3
How many times did I have to drink? 5.
The truest thing anybody said this week: Grams, telling Jennifer she knows college will be better for all of these kids, "You children, the way you carry on, always so dour and depressed about everything. Things can only get better from here." AMEN, GRAMS.
The second truest thing anybody said this week: Dawson, finally seeing the light about his magnum dopus "Creek Daze," calls it a "self-indulgent piece of crap."
Number of episodes until we meet Busy Philipps' character Audrey: JUST ONE MORE!!!
Oh, Mitch: When Dawson gets home from one of his many Joey goodbyes, Mitch apologizes and confesses how much he's going to miss his son, and tries to cram in some last minute dad advice about drugs, unprotected sex and fraternities.
Pacey's worst shirt: We only get him for a few minutes, and he's wearing THIS?!
Best callback: In an episode full of them! As "Coda" represents the last of the high school years, Dawson's Creek jammed it with references to previous episodes, including the E.T. moment above. But my favorite callback is when Jen says to Dawson, "Wit. We like that here," just like he said to her in the pilot. Those two have a really great goodbye.
Most recognizable song: Another callback! We hear a cover of "Daydream Believer," which Joey admits is her favorite song and brings us back to the karaoke moment at Aunt Gwen's.
5.01 "The Bostonians"
Ahhh it's Season 5! Everyone's at college! (Except Pacey.) The episode seemingly opens where Season 4 left off, with Joey and Dawson macking by the window, until we hear a voice-over and we're like, "Is that Ken Marino's voice?" It is! He's Joey's professor, David Wilder, and he's reading her story about making out with the boy across the creek. She gets some valid criticism, but Professor Wilder tells her she's definitely a writer, so that's promising. Then, of course, he somehow assigns her extra credit where she has to figure out what the kiss means, like that would ever happen in college, and naturally this sends Joey down a Dawson spiral. But before we get to that, let's talk about Professor Wilder some more. He's a babe. All the girls are writing "LOVE YOU" on their eyelids like he's some Indiana Jones shit, but really, it's just Ken Marino with a messenger bag. It works.
Joey and Dawson talk on the phone a whole lot during this episode, and apparently he's supposed to come visit for the dozenth time but has had to cancel for the dozenth time because film school is a lot of work, I guess. They're both disappointed and maybe pretty into each other, so of course neither of them is actually enjoying the single college life. Dawson gets an internship for a wunderkind director, Todd, who's a real dick. Dawson also meets the producer, Heather, who's a real dick. Todd seems impressed with Dawson but then berates him in front of the crew, and Dawson gives him a patented Earnest Dawson Leery Dressing Down, to which the crew applauds. Dawson's fired from his internship, because he's not the golden boy in Hollywood that he was in Capeside.
omg, why am I talking about all of this boring stuff when there is AUDREY LIDDELL TO BE MET. So, meet Audrey Liddell. She's played by Freaks and Geeks' Busy Philipps, aka the greatest. Audrey is Joey's roommate, and she's fun and outrageous and promiscuous and AWESOME. Joey, naturally, hates her immediately, due to the fact that Joey is fairly lame. But Audrey weasels her way into Joey's good graces, because she's very intuitive and wise. Those are her words, not mine. Oh, who am I kidding? They're my words, too! Anyway, Audrey's going to be Joey's new best friend, and Joey is so much better off for it. This is Audrey. Have I mentioned that I love her?
Joey, Audrey, Jen and Jack (both of whom are OBSESSED with Audrey right off the bat because they have impeccable taste) all head to a frat party, and Joey's hit on by a nice guy named Elliott, whom she turns down. She realizes she isn't living the real college life, so she calls and leaves a voicemail for Dawson telling him she has to let him go - and then she opens her bedroom door to see him standing right in front of her. He clearly didn't get the message. They hug, and she looks happy and then worried, and then the credits roll. "Joey looks happy, and then worried, and then the credits roll" should be a drinking game rule.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* College Jen and Jack are so cute and fun! I love it when Jack scolds Jen for being celibate since Henry. SERIOUSLY, JEN. Henry?!
Jack's still with Toby, but clearly feeling a little lonely in the midst of this LDR. He's the one who drags Jen and Joey to the party (but not Audrey. Audrey's going of her own volition, because she's fun) after a cute frat boy invites him.
* Jen, however, is not terribly fun, and she spends most of the frat party glaring at every guy who tries to approach her. This is not judgment! I'm also not fun, and would totally glare at any frat guy who tried to approach me. I respect that about Cool Jen Lindley. What I do NOT respect, however, is that the one guy who breaks through her walls is Cool Dude In A Band Charlie. If you never read my Gilmore Girls Rewatch Project, you may not be aware that I loathe Chad Michael Murray. I call him ChaMM. That is his stupid name, because he's stupid and has stupid hair. Anyway, he plays the sensitive "I'm different from those other guys" card, and somehow it works on Jen. This is stupid ChaMM as stupid Charlie. GET A HAIRCUT, YOU RUFFIAN.
* Nobody knows where Pacey is. They all posit he's sailing his way through different parts of the globe, but it turns out Jen Lindley actually knows: he's living on that Worthington guy's yacht, which is docked right in the middle of Boston's most populous bay. Why is he hiding? Who knows? He's a drama queen. He seems happy, however, and when Jen goes to visit him, they have a cute rapport. She invites him to the weekly dinner Grams hosts for the kids (and btw, we get a quick glimpse of the blissful domesticity shared among Grams, Jen and Jack and it is THE BEST), but he declines. He asks her to keep his secret, and she says...
How many times did I have to drink? 8, and please note that the drinking game rules have been updated for Season 5.
The cutest thing anybody said this week: Audrey tries to seduce Jack to heterosexuality, and he swings his arms around Jen and Joey and says, "I have been kissed by two of the finest female specimens this world has to offer, and that didn't do it." So cute!
Excellent new haircut, Dawson: Seriously. This dorky boy is turning into the fine-ass MAN we're all crushing on in 2016.
But this is not appropriate first day attire, Dawson: For his first day at the internship, he wears cargo shorts, a barely-buttoned shirt and open-toed sandals. I know it's California, dude, but this is not okay.
Nicely put: When Jen describes Jack's cute frat boy as hot in a "dumb guy with a dream kind of way," Jack concedes that this is "nicely put." He then volleys it back to her when describing Charlie.
Most meta moment: Dawson's producer Heather tells him she wants Todd to direct the movie version of Seventh Heaven, some of Dawson's Creek's lower quality competition on The WB. Dawson accurately replies, "That's...weird." Can you imagine a movie of Seventh Heaven?! No thank you.
Guess who? Heather the producer is played by Bring It On's Nicole Bilderback.
Guess who x2: And Todd the director is played by Hal Ozsan, who's guest-starred on a ton of stuff including The Blacklist and 90210.
Audrey Liddell's greatest hits: After breaking up with her latest conquest, Audrey tells Joey that he wanted to have a threesome with her. "I may be easy, but I'm not sleazy. We're through." ILU, AUDREY!
That's it for this week! Readers, hit me up: how do you guys feel about the college years of DC? Is this where you checked out the first time you watched it, or are you a fan, like me? AND HOW GREAT IS AUDREY? (There is only one correct response to that last question.)
Meet me here next Wednesday morning as I cover "The Lost Weekend" and "Capeside Revisited."