Follow the whole rewatch here!
Welcome back to the Dawson's Creek Rewatch Project, where our college freshmen (and Pacey) are embarking on a vital rite of passage: Spring Break! But I'm pretty sure they're doing it wrong.
Let's drink to beer bongs and Girls Gone Wild - or in Dawson's Crew's case, cardigans and suicidal tendencies:
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!
5.18 "Cigarette Burns"
Oliver's scheduled his and Dawson's movie for a public screening in two days - without telling Dawson, of course, because Oliver is a handful. Dawson's still gloomy from his breakup with Jen, and the movie is TWO HOURS AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LONG, so I agree with him when he says it needs a stronger edit and isn't ready for public consumption. But that ship has sailed, and this screening is happening whether Dawson wants it to or not. The screening night arrives and Dawson's frantically setting up when he overhears a heated breakup between a beautiful, somewhat older woman and her boyfriend on the phone. Somehow she and Dawson get to talking, and they argue about movies and this idiot ends up calling her a "sentimental drama queen with really crappy taste in movies." WHY, DAWSON. That is so rude! She was sort of rude first, but barely, and honestly, that response is pretty out of character for Dawson, but it makes for some good narrative drama.
Here's why: that sentimental drama queen is Amy Lloyd, the film critic assigned to review Dawson's movie! He's chagrined, especially because he's a huge fan of her writing. He tells her as much, and when she scoffs, he quotes her Almost Famous review to her, and she's charmed. They go to a bar to hash it out, thereby delaying the screening by a couple of hours, and they have mad chemistry and sparks. Seriously, Dawson has better chemistry with Amy Lloyd than with any other woman he's ever been paired with on this show. They kiss, and it's pretty hot. So eventually the screening starts, and Dawson gives a looooong intro, and I swear to you, as a person who is literally paid to watch movies for a living, if I went to a screening of a TWO HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTE STUDENT FILM, and that film started two hours late and THEN the director tried to give a long intro? I would murder him. Or maybe just leave. Or probably not even go in the first place, let's be honest. What kind of film critic writes about student films? Anyway, everyone seems to love the movie.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* Grams has a new boyfriend! His name is Clifton Smalls and I love him! Jen is cute and grills Grams and calls her "young lady" when she sees them making out in the hallway, but it's clear she's really happy for Grams, and later she tells Joey about it and says that this is a sign of hope: maybe one day, they'll both meet their own Clifton Smalls. PS I love Clifton Smalls. Wait, I already said that. But it's true.
* Joey is officially into ChaMM. They flirt endlessly and it's exhausting, and it seems like they're getting somewhere when ChaMM makes a dumb crack about doing "ungodly things" to her body and she storms off. But then she comes back and he apologizes and they flirt again and UGH, it's so tiresome.
* Jen and Dawson are doing okay but a bit awkward, post-breakup. Oliver admit he wants to ask Jen out, and Dawson laughs, like, "Go with God." So Oliver does, and he promises Jen's going to see him in a new light, giving this weirdly confident speech that maybe partially works on Jen? I kind of doubt it, however. At least, it shouldn't work. Oliver's an idiot.
* Audrey and Pacey are having SO MUCH SEX, so it's time for them to finally have The Talk. No, not "Will you be my girlfriend, Audrey?" but rather "How many guys have you had sex with, Audrey?" Pacey, you moron, don't ask her that! At first she doesn't answer, and then she tells him the number is 27 and he WRECKS HIS CAR, and then she amends it to 57 and he straight up nearly passes out. But then Pacey sees the light, and he tells Audrey he's falling hard for her and doesn't care how many men she's slept with, so she admits the number is 5 - although she freely admits she was something of a "makeout slut" in her prime. Audrey was just testing him, of course, and Pacey aced. Eventually.
How many times did I have to drink? 9.
Aww: Joey loves Dawson's movie, and she tells him tearfully, "It's a pretty amazing thing to be there for the moment your best friend becomes exactly what he's dreamt about his entire life."
Best pop culture reference: Oliver refers to Jen and Joey as "Betty and Veronica."
Post-coital Audrey and Pacey:
Pacey's number: He tells Audrey he's had sex with seven women, including her. So that's Tamara (ugh), Andie, Joey, Jennifer Morrison, Karen Torres, Audrey...and who? Who is that other lady? Inquiring minds are dying to know!
We need to talk about Jack's hair: This is not okay, Jack.
Guess who? Amy Lloyd is played by TV vet Meredith Salenger. She's cool!
This is Clifton Smalls: I LOVE HIM.
Audrey's greatest hit: While she's torturing Pacey for asking such a dumb question, she says, "Let's put it this way. Have you ever heard of Emmanuelle, Lady Chatterley, Madonna? PRUDES."
5.19 "100 Light Years from Home"
Everyone's headed to a beach house for Spring Break, except Dawson who's going to a movie meeting in Hollywood with Oliver. On their road trip, Oliver asks Dawson about his history with Joey, and the episode breaks into these weird montages of Dawson and Joey memories that don't really fit the tone of the rest of the episode. But yeah, they remind me how tedious Dawson and Joey can be, so mission accomplished, I guess?
Back at Spring Break, everyone's having fun and being cute, especially Audrey and Pacey:
That is until they run into Chris - Audrey's high school boyfriend, the one she refers to as "my Dawson" - and it turns out he's a movie star. Audrey lies and tells Pacey they were just friends, because she's worried how he'll react, but he sees right through that, so he gets really macho and tells Audrey they're not exclusive so she can do whatever she wants. She and Chris definitely have a connection, and they kiss pretty deeply, which poor Pacey sees. But Audrey immediately confesses it to Pacey, and tells him she wants to be exclusive, and he cheerfully agrees. Yay, these two.
Meanwhile, ChaMM has stalked Joey to this beach house. No, seriously. For some reason she seems to like it. They just flirt endlessly but finally spend the night together, right as Dawson has talked himself into showing up and telling Joey he loves her. Where did this come from?! Pacey wisely tries to talks Dawson out of it - "You gotta give that thing up. That thing that you guys do to each other, the heroes of bad timing. You've got to give that up. It's over." THANK YOU, PACEY - but it takes finding out that she's with ChaMM for Dawson to give up the ghost. Ugh, whatever.
But I'm glad Dawson's there anyway, because Jack's drinking like a maniac and hitting his bottom. Dawson finds him tottering on the roof over the pool, and he jumps into the pool and could have died if Dawson hadn't been there to pull him out. Jack cries and tells Dawson he's failing out of school, and he doesn't know where he went wrong. He has to ace all of his finals to pass, and even worse, he found out that Toby has a new boyfriend. That’s both rough and 100% your fault, Jack. Which, of course, makes it even rougher.
It’s really sad and scary, but in the end, I think Jack’s in a better place, having broken down like that. He knows he needs to change his life, and his friends are there to help him do so. Jack’s going to be okay.
How many times did I have to drink? 10.
This is Chris: He may be a movie star, but he's no Pacey.
The truest thing anybody said this week: Pacey admits to Joey that he overreacted about Chris, "because she said 'he's my Dawson.' Which is, of course, my personal kryptonite." Poor Pacey!
GAH: But I have to say, I love seeing Pacey and Joey give each other romance advice about other people. I can't wait till they (SPOILER) get back together, but I really do love their friendship.
Pacey Witter's worst shirts: He's done pretty well in S5, but Spring Break brings out the worst shirts in even the best of men.
More Jen PJs: Literally, all she wears in S5 are PJs.
Pacey's strip poker reasoning: It's hard to argue with him here.
Joey Potter's Perfect Spring Break: Mine too, girl:
Most meta moment: Joey refers to Dawson as "a golden god" in the same episode where Jack jumps off a roof into a pool. Combine this with the Almost Famous review in the last ep, and it's clear the Dawson's Creek writers have been getting their Cameron Crowe on.
That's it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: has Jack's storyline resonated with you at all? I think Kerr Smith is a great actor, and Jack is one of my favorite characters on Dawson's Creek, but his arc just doesn't land for me this season. I can't buy him as a drunk frat guy who fails out of school.
Meet me here next Wednesday morning as we cover "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" and "After Hours." We're almost through with Season 5!