Andie McPhee, mid-speech

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S4.E07 “You Had Me At Goodbye” + S4.E08 “The Unusual Suspects”
Released: 2000
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 15

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Dawson’s Creek.

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where Andie McPhee is a perfect angel who heals a rift that we thought could never be healed by virtue of her preternatural kindness. 

Let’s all toast farewell to Andie, the best human being in Capeside or anywhere: 

From "Be Careful What You Wish For" - Andie sings the blues into a microphone

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!

A black-and-white photo of Dawson's Crew posing with their arms around each other at Leery's Fresh Fish

4.07 “You Had Me At Goodbye”

Everyone’s mad at everyone this week in Capeside! Jack and Pacey are still mad at Jen for “giving” Andie drugs and endangering her health, even though Andie keeps telling everyone that she actually stole the X from Jen. Jen’s mad at Jack for not trusting her or hearing her out. Then Drue Valentine ruins everything even more by “confessing” to the following crime: that he and Jen were both on ecstasy, and that Jen gave a pill to Andie. Now he and Jen have 100 hours of community service together, and Grams is FURIOUS with Jen, and so disappointed, and doesn’t listen to a word Jen has to say. Well, I’m disappointed in you, Grams, for not believing your granddaughter. Also it’s clear that Drue pulled this shit merely because he wants to spend 100 hours of community service with Jen. This boy is SO lonely. 

Meanwhile, Joey’s bulldozing her way through her college applications, until her advisor tells her she needs a peer evaluation from the one person who knows her best. Instead of shrugging it off and asking Bessie the way any low-drama person would, Joey predictably injects this scenario with more philosophical import than any peer evaluation should ever have. She obviously thinks Dawson’s the person who knows her best, but worries (accurately, as it turns out) about Pacey’s response – and about Dawson’s. She asks Dawson to just consider it, and he does, but ultimately tells her he doesn’t think he’s the right person. She’s crushed, and Pacey catches the end of this scene and makes a big fuss, as expected – though he does make a good point when he says, “The person who knows you best. When do I get to be that person?” So now Joey and Pacey aren’t speaking, either. Great.

Among all of this stressful conflict, Mr. McPhee tells Andie he thinks she should take a break. She has more than enough credits to graduate a semester early, she’s already been accepted to Harvard, and she’s obviously in a vulnerable place. Why doesn’t she take her spring semester off and spend six months in Italy with her Aunt Georgia? WHY INDEED. He makes a good point, that the next four years are only going to be more intense (academically, if not hormonally, since hopefully these kids will start to grow up at some point), and she deserves a rest. Andie’s obviously tempted, but Jack doesn’t want her to leave for understandable but selfish reasons. He tells her, angrily, that she’s just running away, and she goes to Pacey for the “tie-breaker” vote. Pacey is perfect, as per yuzh: 


Andie makes up her mind – she’s going to go to Italy. (Hell yeah she is!) But instead of saying “peace out” to all of these drama queens, flying to Florence and never thinking about them again, like I would do, she decides she’s going to fix everybody’s problems before she leaves, which is the most perfectly Andie McPhee resolution possible. She Parent Traps her entire group of friends, inviting each member of Dawson’s Crew separately to dinner at Leery’s Fresh Fish. And once they’re all seated, she gives the heartfelt Andie McPhee speech of a lifetime: 


She, with warmth and wisdom, gently scolds each feud individually. She tells Jack she knows she won’t have to worry about leaving him “without a sister,” because Jen will always be his sister. And she tells Joey, Pacey and Dawson that they’re squandering a lifetime of friendship over a meaningless fight. “In the end you always go back to the beginning. And in the beginning, there were the three of you.” Everybody cries, I cry, and then everybody makes up, because ANDIE IS MAGICAL.

First to make up: Dawson and Joey. He tells her he’d love to write her peer evaluation if she’ll still have him, and she happily accepts. And this acceptance is made easier by the fact that Pacey apologizes for overreacting, and tells her he understands why she wanted Dawson to write the recommendation. Joey says just the right thing. She asks Pacey who he’s going to be in ten years, and when he doesn’t have an answer, she does:


Also making up: Jen and Jack, who are just my dang favorites: 


I keep crying, especially during Pacey and Andie’s beautiful goodbye, which also counts as Pacey Witter’s best hug of the episode: 


And Andie finagles one last Parent Trap before she goes (don’t go, Andie! These dummies need you!). During a group photo staged by Dawson, she slips her way out from under Pacey’s arm so he’s forced to put his arm around Dawson. They both smile knowingly, and gosh I love her: 


Other stuff that happened in this episode: 

* I feel like Gretchen is always relegated to the bullet points, but that’s because Dawson’s Creek hasn’t given her much to DO yet. But I always really enjoy her: here, she can tell Joey’s in a funk so she sends Pacey away on an errand, then gets Joey to spill. Joey tells her about the peer evaluation, and Gretchen advises her, simply and kindly, to do the right thing for herself, not for either of those boys.

* Also relegated to the sidelines is Mr. Brooks, who is still being crotchety but seems to be bonding, in a weird, grumpy way, with Dawson. Dawson can tell how lonely he is. (Not as lonely as Drue Valentine, however. Drue Valentine still wins Loneliest Boy On Earth.)

How many times did I have to drink? 

10 

Least likely dialogue

Drue to Jen: “Just remember, Jen: that which does not kill me makes me more diabolical.” Ugh, spare me.

Best literary reference

Jen describes Drue’s “inner Iago.”

Aww

During the credits, Dawson's Creek showed a framed pic of David Dukes, Mr. McPhee, with the words "In Loving Memory, David Dukes, 1945-2000"

This was a wonderful episode for David Dukes to go out on – Mr. McPhee is now supporting his daughter and getting along with his son, and making the best decisions for his family out of love and selflessness. He’s come a long way on this show, from cartoon villain to fully-actualized person. 

The truest thing anybody said this week

Andie, to Pacey: “Come on, Pacey. You almost made a hobby out of saving this damsel in distress.”

The ACTUAL truest thing anybody said this week

Pacey, in response: “I didn’t save you. You saved yourself. You just took me along for the ride.” Goodbye (again), Andie McPhee. I’ll sure miss you. 

Dawson, Pacey and Jack are lined up, being questioned

4.08 “The Unusual Suspects”

“The Unusual Suspects” is a fun, offbeat episode of Dawson’s Creek, framed like a noir detective story. The central mystery: who stole Principal Peskin’s sailboat and dog Chester and stranded both in the middle of Capeside High’s swimming pool? 

A sailboat with a flag reading "Class of 2001" and a golden shepherd sitting on top, floating in the middle of the school pool

The culprits are narrowed down to Pacey, Jack, Dawson, Drue and two unnamed black students, presumably suspected for the “crime” of being two of eleven black kids at Capeside High. 

The scenes volley back and forth between a typical noir interrogation scene – complete with dark room, lamp, glass of water and a single student sitting at a table while Peskin and Mitch (guidance counselor, remember?) grill him – and flashbacks as the boys offer their alibis. It seems that Pacey and Dawson are of particular interest because they had a pact four years ago to execute the greatest senior prank ever, but they protest that they barely even speak anymore, and they both kind of try to throw each other under the bus. All the while, the flashbacks make it seem like the guys are trying to befriend Drue Valentine, who is seriously SO excited to be included (poor, lonely Drue Valentine), but of course they were actually just working together to frame Drue while giving themselves airtight alibis. And it works! Everyone but Drue gets off scot-free, and Drue is suspended.  Instead of being angry, Drue just admires the guys for their flawless execution, which I unwillingly admire about him. Joey corners all of the boys in Dawson’s bedroom and gets them to spill, and they proudly rattle off the details of their scheme in an archetypal parlor room scene. 

Finally, as Dawson and Pacey are burying the evidence, they have a really nice talk. It’s hard to tell from the gifs here, but Dawson’s obviously very open to the idea of reconciling with Pacey. How can anyone stay mad at Pacey Witter for long??


(I like Dawson a lot more this season, but it’s worth noting that his “number one with a bullet” worst moment is because Dawson’s life has been pretty easy and charmed up until this point, his parents’ temporary divorce aside. Pacey’s had it MUCH rougher, which is why his moment is only in the Top 5.)

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Jack convinces Jen to spend her community service helping him coach the kids’ soccer team. He asks the sweet little weirdo girl Molly to become the new goalie, and the parents are mad because she’s not quite as strong a player. They fire Jack, and Molly is so heartbroken and blames herself, but he tells her sweetly that those idiot parents fired him because of who he is (gay), not who she is (a girl). I bet both can be true at once.

* Dawson’s still working for Mr. Brooks, and he discovers a box of old memorabilia. He does a little digging and learns that Mr. Brooks was once a very promising and talented young director, many, many years ago. He cracks open the grouchy old codger’s shell a tiny bit. 

* Aww, as part of Pacey’s alibi, he does a ride-along with Deputy Doug. He’s sarcastic and belittling for a lot of it, as is the Pacey Witter Way, until he realizes that he’s hurt Doug’s feelings. Then he starts paying attention, and realizes that Doug is actually a wonderful cop: attentive, smart, truly caring and kind. Pacey brings him a donut peace offering and tells him how proud he is of him, and these two boys have the SWEETEST exchange in the world.

Pacey: To be perfectly honest, I should be so lucky to someday ride shotgun with you.

Doug: I think that would be a mistake.

Pacey: Hey, you don’t think I’d make much of a cop, huh?

Doug: No, not really, no. Pacey, I think that you’re a daring original. I think you have a talent for flying in the face of conventionality, and I think that you were born to break the rules, not enforce them. And you know what? I actually admire that in you. I really do.

All I can say is: squeee! Love those bros.

How many times did I have to drink? 

5

Guess who? 

Principal Peskin is played by none other than The Simpsons‘ Principal Skinner, one Mr. Harry Shearer: 

Harry Shearer as Principal Peskin

Best pop culture reference

Dawson teases Mitch for the “NYPD Blue thing you’ve got going.”

Most unfortunate phrasing

Chester the dog is friendly to Jack, making the principal suspicious, so Jack jokes, “The dog fingered me!” 


That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: since this is Meredith Monroe’s real exit from the series (she comes back in dribs and drabs, but this is her last consistent appearance on Dawson’s Creek), what is your favorite Andie McPhee moment of all time? I’ll tell you mine: this speech, in “You Had Me At Goodbye.” She has so many amazing moments, but that she refuses to leave her friends until she’s helped them heal their wounds is so powerful and perfectly Andie to me. Now YOU go!

Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as I cover “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “Self Reliance”!

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.