Follow the whole rewatch here!
Welcome back to the Dawson's Creek Rewatch Project, where this show is equal opportunity with its hot but immoral professors.
Let's drink to Boston's debauched professorial staff:
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!
6.03 "The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest"
Joey spends all night drafting an email to Dawson, seeking closure after their horrific breakup of the previous week. She hilariously, as you can see above, titles the subject of this email "The Incident." Though Audrey wisely advises against this move, Joey's determined to do it, but in her sleepiness she accidentally hits the "Campus Wide" recipient list rather than "Dawson Leery." It reminds me of that time Felicity accidentally plays her most embarrassing Sally tape for the entire school. Joey spends all day listening to students gossip and laugh about her, and it's pretty mortifying. Of course that jerk Professor Hetson reads the email to his class, because he's the devil. Joey also gets some guff from Eddie, who isn't interested in her little melodrama because Eddie's so above it all. Joey is, naturally, drawn to this taciturn bartender who has no interest in her love life, because everyone else she knows is obsessed with her. In the end, she finally holds her head up high and goes back to Hetson's class to give as good as she gets. The professor seems impressed with her new moxie, and it's clear this might be something of a tough love situation, though I still believe Hetson's mainly just a sadist.
At the very end of the episode, we see Dawson for the first time, drafting his own email to Joey. He gives up and deletes it - and she never sent hers to him, either (just to everyone else on the planet), so it looks like we'll have to wait another episode for the Joey and Dawson post-mortem.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* Pacey, Jack and Emma are really settling into their roommate routine. I love Emma, and these three have a cute dynamic.
* Pacey is having trouble, meanwhile, settling in at his new stock market job. It's kind of unethical and he's not sure how he feels about it, until he makes a big sale and he feels great. But then his slimy boss Rinaldi takes credit for his sale, and when Pacey confronts him, Rinaldi's just like "Deal with it." Audrey wants Pacey to quit because this job makes him miserable and she never gets to see him anymore, but he tells her he needs some respect from the world, and he feels like this is the way to get that respect. DUDE, Pacey. Become a chef. Remember when that was your path? I liked that path.
* Jack's crushing big-time on his and Jen's professor, Matt Freeman. Professor Freeman is married to a woman, but this doesn't stop Jack from going up to him after class to give an impassioned speech about how much the class means to him, and inviting his professor to a party like a lunatic. The professor seems mildly weirded out, and Jack's humiliated and flees.
How many times did I have to drink? 5.
Guess who? Professor Freeman is played by Sebastian Spence, who's had a ton of TV roles, including that of Ted Kord on Smallville.
Audrey's greatest hit: After saying that Joey just "nuded up" with Dawson, she amends that. "Oh, I'm sorry, or did you guys do it through a hole in a sheet, because that's very Dawson and Joey to me."
BFFs: Have I mentioned lately how much I love Audrey and Joey's friendship? Audrey's so cool and supportive to Joey in the wake of her Dawson fight.
The most cringe-worthy part of Joey's email: "In the moment when we touched, maybe we went somewhere else that rose above all this, but then we landed, and I think maybe we crashed." Everyone read this! Poor Joey.
Best pop culture reference: Jen refers to Jack as both "swimfan" and "Tracy Flick" as he stalks their professor.
6.04 "Instant Karma!"
To make up for barely seeing Dawson in the last episode, "Instant Karma!" is a Dawson-centric episode. He's back in Boston, working on the set of Todd's slasher, and it's clear Todd adores him as his right-hand man, even if he sort of treats Dawson like crap. He tells Dawson he has to go pick up and win over the lead actress, Natasha, because she's apparently very persnickety and hard to please. Trouble is: Natasha's the woman Dawson callously dumped via answering machine after having sex with Joey. These Nice Guys can be BRUTAL. So he picks up Natasha and she does everything she can to make his life miserable. She gets drunk and keeps messing up the scene, which is being filmed on a very tight schedule, and seems to enjoy downsizing Dawson for sport. Dawson's being very professional and pleasant, but Natasha ain't having it, and I frankly don't blame her.
Meanwhile, Joey and Eddie have been flirting a lot, and it's clear there's a vibe there. They leave to make a big food delivery together, and wouldn't you know it, but it's to Dawson's set. Joey runs into Dawson just as Todd and Natasha round the corner, and Todd cluelessly introduces everyone. Natasha's furious, thinking Dawson brought the woman he dumped her for to the set just to hurt her, and she tells Todd to fire Dawson. Todd's heartbroken and doesn't want to, but Dawson understands and accepts the firing. (I mean, he probably shouldn't have had sex with the lead actress and then dumped her via answering machine. I'm pretty sure you SHOULD be fired here, Dawson.)
Before Joey leaves, she and Dawson finally have that post-mortem, and it's sad but good. Joey says she thinks it's good things ended so badly between them, maybe. "I mean, maybe it's the only way that we could finally stand on our own. You know, to hurt each other so much that we have no choice but to let go. Maybe otherwise we never would." Dawson looks devastated but agrees, and Joey leaves. Natasha watches the whole scene, looking sad for Dawson, and then she goes up to him. She tells him she got him his job back, and acknowledges that she was acting kind of nutty. She said she was drinking because she was nervous to see Dawson, because he hurt her so much. She really liked him, and he dumped her via answering machine. He apologizes, really sincerely, and she tells him she knows and forgives him. Aww. I like Natasha. She deserves better than Dawson.
Then Joey and Eddie go back to the bar, and Eddie's talking earnestly about literature like he does, and Joey just lays one on him.
It looks like a nice kiss and Eddie certainly seems to enjoy it, but then he tells Joey he knows she just did it because she was still feeling sad and confused about Dawson. The next time she kisses him, he wants it to be for the right reasons. Joey looks like she might already be feeling those right reasons right now.
Other stuff that happened in this episode:
* Audrey's missing Pacey like crazy. He apparently never wants to have sex anymore and spends all of his time at work. He's studying for his stock broker certification exam, his Series 7, and she wants him to join her for a party. He tells her he has to study, and she's bummed but understands. But then Pacey's slimy boss Rinaldi forces him to go to a strip club with some clients, and as Audrey's headed to the party with Jack and Jen, she runs into Pacey just as Rinaldi's mentioning the strip club. She's furious and thinks Pacey lied to her, so she storms off to the party and gets super wasted. A drunk guy basically tries to date rape her, until Jen rescues her, and it's sad and awful. Pacey comes by her dorm to apologize, and she just asks him to get in bed and hold her. Gah. This storyline is so sad, and it's about to get sadder.
* Jen's also pretty drunk at the party, but way less so than Audrey. She runs into CJ and is embarrassed and defensive about being drunk in front of him, though to his credit, he doesn't seem to care. He helps her with Audrey and then they have a nice talk, about Jen's history with guys like the one who was about to take advantage of Audrey. CJ tells Jen he admires her, and Jen smiles tearfully up at him.
* Also at this party: Professor Freeman! He and Jack spend the whole night drinking beer and talking, and the professor admits that his wife is at a conference, but called him that day to tell him she's pregnant. Jack seems happy for him, but when the professor's giving him a ride home, he admits to Jack that he's confused, and he only came to the party to see Jack. Jack wigs a bit and bails. Yay, Jack has his own Ken Marino this season!
How many times did I have to drink? 4.
With the thing: When Pacey apologizes for missing the party, he makes an intriguing vow. "Okay, look, tomorrow night, I promise you an all-night Witter-Liddell shag fest of epic proportions. Plus I'll do that thing that you like. You know, with the..." And Audrey replies, "With the thing?" Pacey solemnly agrees, "Yes. With the thing." GUYS. What is the thing!!
Best pop culture reference: Jack wants to skip the party because "Kate and Leopold is on cable tonight. Hugh Jackman's a hottie." I love new, unencumbered Jack.
Guess who: Natasha is played by Bianca Kajlich, who's had runs on lots of shows, like Undateable and Boston Public.
DAAAMN: I love this little speech by Natasha, in front of Todd, Joey and everybody:
You have the nerve to bring her here tonight, the girl you dumped me for after I gave you the best sex of your life? I'm just quoting you, Dawson. You're embarrassed? Because I wouldn't want to embarrass Dawson Leery, what with his chivalrous nature and oh-so-quiet dignity. See, Dawson's the kinda guy who'll walk a girl home, you know, help her over a rain puddle? Real gentleman. Then he'll sleep with her, tell her she's the best he ever had, and break up with her answering machine. So nice to meet you. I'll be in my trailer if you need me.
Dawson, you SUCK! You totally deserve that.
That's it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: how do you like these new characters? I love Emma, like Natasha, tolerate Eddie, dislike Professor Freeman and loathe Professor Hetson.
Meet me here next Wednesday morning as we discuss "The Impostors" and "Living Dead Girl."