Jack stands in the hallway, staring cutely off-camera (at Joey)


Title: Dawson’s Creek S2.E08 “The Reluctant Hero” + S2.E09 “The Election”
Released: 1998
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 24

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project! Last week, Britt asked me how excited I am for Jack and Jen’s new friendship, and the answer is MAXIMUM POSSIBLE EXCITED. I genuinely believe this is one of the most important fictional friendships in television history, and it’s responsible for many of Dawson’s Creek‘s best moments.

Let’s drink to Jack and Jen, and while we’re at it, let’s update this drinking game for Season 2!

Jen smiles, sitting in bed with a bottle of champagne

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

Let’s get started!

Dawson kisses Jen's forehead

2.08 “The Reluctant Hero”

Dawson’s trying to give Joey her space, sort of, after she dumped him last week, but when he gets some good news (finally, really – Dawson deserves some good news. He’s had a hell of a month), she’s the first person he runs to tell. He’s won the junior division of the Boston Film Festival with his sea creature send-up, and they sent him a check for $2500 to finance his next film! Joey’s also on the award letter, as producer, and Dawson excitedly starts planning their next movie – when Joey cuts in and tells him, regretfully, that she doesn’t think she’ll have time, between school, work and art classes. (And Jack, she thinks but doesn’t say.) Dawson handles this okay, except he shows up at her house to give her half of the money which feels… weird? Listen, I believe him when he says, “My intentions are honorable here,” and half of that money really is Joey’s, but at the same time, it’s intended for a film project she doesn’t want anything to do with, and also I know of at least three different girls who, after they broke up with their boyfriends, the boyfriends then gave them MONEY, ostensibly to fund the girls’ future happiness or whatever, but probably as a creepy last-ditch effort to woo them back. (I am one of those girls.) Anyway! Joey accepts the money, because homegirl is BROKE, and Dawson tells her his new script will be a love story. “You know, boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. You know me, I’m a sucker for happy endings.” THIS IS NOT WHAT SPACE LOOKS LIKE, DAWSON.

Dawson’s crowding is working out great in Jack’s favor, as he asks Joey on a date in a really precious way (“More like a dat. You take out the ‘e’ from ‘date’ and you have a dat. There’s really no code of conduct. Etiquette is definitely optional. We just kind of make up our own rules and the only requirement is that we have a great time. Oh, and don’t worry. I checked out the lunar calendar. No full moon for weeks.” JACK YOU ARE THE CUTEST!!!) and Joey agrees, mostly because Jack is not Dawson. They have a lot of fun together and it’s cute, but honestly, these two have ZERO romantic chemistry. I think we all know why. Still: cute!

Meanwhile, Jen is still making some Choices after last week, and those Choices include getting trashed and passing out and/or vomiting in Dawson’s room every night. What a good friend this guy is, just handing her a trashcan and letting her pass out on his bed. I mean, he’s still a HELLA JUDGEY friend, constantly scolding her for this behavior, but honestly, Jen could use some scolding right now. Get yourself together, young lady!! She invites Dawson to Chris Wolfe‘s party to celebrate his festival win, and after Dawson sees Jack arriving at Joey’s house for their date (and stares him down like “John Wayne challenging me to a duel at sunset,” says poor Jack), Dawson decides to join her. Although he promises to let Jen have a good time without harshing her buzz, when he finds her extremely drunk and about to have sex with Chris and Chris’ way uglier friend, he throws her over his shoulder and marches her out of the party. A) this is vintage dramatic Dawson but B) what a good friend. She’s FURIOUS, but also way too drunk to make a decision about whether or not she should have a threesome with two idiots. She yells at him, pukes on a white picket fence and eventually lets Dawson hug her. She’s gonna be okay.

Finally, ANDIE AND PACEY ARE THE BEST COUPLE EVER!!! The school counselor writes off Pacey, because his grades are so bad, and Andie is OUTRAGED. She is seriously the best here, one of her all-time speeches. I’m just going to quote it in full.

Andie: Just because a student doesn’t fit into some cookie cutter mold that the public school system deems acceptable, they’re ready to write them off. I mean, Einstein failed second grade and not because he was stupid, but because he was bored. And the incompetency of an inferior public school system failed to recognize it. You know, they’d rather just dismiss someone who’s in obvious need of some guidance, rather than reach out to him. I mean, if someone along the way had just taken two seconds to notice, to care, they would have noticed that you need to be rescued, not ridiculed.

Pacey: Ladies and gentlemen, Andie McPhee.

Andie: This isn’t funny, Pacey. It’s just that your entire future is on the line here, and I think you should be a little more nervous. I mean, you’re so not nervous, you’re making me nervous. 

Pacey: Now that all my postulating of legitimacy has been duly documented, I kind of feel like a weight’s been taken off, you know?

Andie: If that’s the way that you perceive yourself, then that’s the way people are going to look at you. If you act like a joke, people are going to treat you like one.

Pacey: You finally figured it out. I’m not Luke Skywalker, I’m not even Luke Perry. There’s no hero here, Andie. I am a joke.

Andie: I’m not coming to your pity party. You know I don’t think you’re a joke, Pacey.

Pacey: But it’s too late. I’ve spent too long being a screw-up, I’m kind of past the proverbial point of no return.

Andie: Well, change your course. Break the chain. Anyone can re-invent themselves. I mean, it’s America. Madonna does it every week.

Pacey: But I don’t know how. I don’t know where to start.

Andie: Try starting from the inside. Anyone can change their fate. Heroes are made, not born.

This AMAZING speech causes Pacey to look at Andie like this:

Pacey gazes at Andie with total heart eyes.

and who could blame him? So that night, they embark on Pacey Witter’s Redemption with a marathon study sesh. They’re making some good progress when they get a call from Molly’s Market, because Mrs. McPhee has shown up and is wandering around in a daze, scaring customers – again. Apparently this happens a lot, which breaks my heart. Andie and Pacey show up, and Andie is frozen with fear and mortification – so Pacey steps in, talking calmly to Mrs. McPhee, helping her shop, treating her like a HUMAN, and that’s really all she needs. She breaks out of her fugue, and offers to take Pacey home and make him a sandwich. He hugs her and says that sounds great, and he’s so incredibly sweet and wonderful here. Now Andie’s the one looking at Pacey with heart eyes, and who could blame her?

Later, once they’ve gotten Mrs. McPhee safely back home, Andie takes Pacey’s hands. “Look at you. Taking care of my mom, then saving me. Don’t you see? You just proved yourself wrong, Pacey. You can be anything you want. What you did for me tonight was nothing short of spectacular. I’m proud of you.” He’s so touched, because no one’s ever told Pacey they’re proud of him, and when he tells her he wants to go back upstairs to her room, Andie cocks an eyebrow and teases him about being horny. But no! Pacey wants to continue studying! GAHHH I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best pop culture reference

In light of this week’s two honorable fellas (three, if you count Jack, who doesn’t do anything particularly honorable but is just honorable by nature), the episode opens with Dawson and Pacey watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

The least true thing anybody said this week

Jen tells Dawson, the morning after she vomits in his room, that she’s been having fun. But she looks like hammered shit, which is not fun.

Jen looks hungover, messy and exhausted.

GET SOME REST, JEN. You’re too young to look so damn tired. And later, after the near-threesome, she tells Dawson she was having a good time. But she does NOT look like someone who was just having a good time.

Jen is drunkenly sobbing

Jack, hurry up and save this woman from herself.


At least there’s this – when Jen invites Dawson to Chris Wolfe’s party, she says, “And this is not a date. You’re way too far gone as a rebound case for me to be even remotely interested.” Thank lord for that.

Pacey Witter’s best hug: 

Pacey casually hugs a tearful Mrs. McPhee in the grocery store

It’s for Mrs. McPhee! What a dreamboat. I won’t even rib him about his terrible shirt. 

Pacey hugs a smiling Andie and kisses her on the cheek as they walk down the hallway

2.09 “The Election”

It’s school government election time, and of course that means Andie McPhee is running for president. Can she hurry up and run for President of the United States so I can vote for her, please? She asks Joey to be her running mate, which I think is really sweet (Pacey’s her campaign manager <3), but of course Joey is all GIRL, NO. I DO NOT JOIN THINGS. That is, until she learns that Abby and Chris are running as President and VP, respectively, and Abby makes the mistake of trying to intimidate Joey out of running by harassing her at the Icehouse. “You actually think that you have any chance running against me? Get real. You throw the trash out, you don’t vote it in. The truth hurts? Well, if you want to embarrass yourself and your entire family even further than nature intended, then by all means, throw your amazing girl-next-door quality into the ring.” And then Joey does THIS:

IT IS AWESOME. So of course Joey decides to run, mostly out of spite, which is the only reason Boss Bitch Joey Potter ever does anything. And the campaign goes pretty well, with Joey, Andie and Pacey all using their collective powers to rack up votes. But it’s hard to fight evil with good, and Abby and Chris’ campaign keeps getting nastier. Then comes speech time, where Abby goes nuclear and I stop finding her mean girl antics even remotely cute:

In the end, Pacey gets Abby back by tricking her into accidentally spewing a bunch of her poisonous shit about the student body and her running mate over the intercom, making it so the nerds no one has ever heard of win the election, but the damage to Andie has already been done. She screams and sobs and breaks the bathroom mirror and then retreats into herself, and only after a LOT of coaxing from Pacey and Jack does she start to open up a bit. She ends the episode taking medication, something she’d been hoping to avoid but clearly needs. Oh and Jack explodes at Joey when she tries to ask him about his family problems, but later he admits that it wasn’t fair of him, and they make up. Joey wants to be there for Jack, but he’s clearly a Family First kind of guy.

Meanwhile, Jen is giving Dawson notes on his new script, and those notes include a lot of words like “inauthentic,” “lacking relevance,” “naive” and “fluff.” She tells him it’s because his teenage experience lacks so much relevance, and she tries to convince him to break out of his erudite, good-boy shell and live a little. He balks – he won’t cut class with her (although he had no problem doing just that with her ex-boyfriend), he won’t shoplift with her… but he WILL skinny-dip with her, surprise surprise. They grow closer, and the experience does seem to help Dawson get out of his head a little, but then he tries to kiss Jen and she SHUTS IT DOWN. Thank goodness. He handles that okay, and it’s a nice episode for these two.

Finally, Gail asks Mitch over to help with the dishwasher. The thing explodes because, honestly, Mitch has no useful skills of any kind, and they both get drenched. Mitch frees himself and his GIANT MUSCLES from his wet t-shirt, and all of a sudden Gail and Mitch are bangin’ on the counter, just like old times! Also, this makes for two naked Leery men in one episode, which is one too many. (Mitch can stay. He’s an idiot, but a total babe.) Dawson comes home and sees part of this, and he’s so happy because he thinks it means his parents are reuniting, and I bet poor Gail thought the same – until Mitch serves her with divorce papers LIKE A DICK. I mean, sure, get a divorce, but maybe don’t send the papers 24 hours after your ex sex. Gail and Dawson are both crushed, and Dawson goes over to Jen’s house to cry. I’m glad he has her.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Beefcake Mitch


Mitch stands, shirtless, wet and handsome in the Leery kitchen.

Joey Potter’s worst hat

What is this nonsense?

Joey wears a brown crocheted bucket hat and a supremely scornful look on her face

Also that is the most Joey Potter face of all time.

The truest thing anybody said this week

Jack to Joey, talking about his screwed-up family but probably also OTHER STUFF, “I can’t even explain it. It’s like my whole life is one big secret.” 

The grossest thing anybody said this week

Jen asks Dawson if he’s ever had a sex dream about her, and she uses the most heinous phrasing here. “Have you ever woken up sweating? Blanket in a little pup tent?” GAHHH STOP STOP MAKE IT STOP

That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: have you started to feel any sympathy for Dawson? He’ll always be drama, and he’ll always be self-righteous, but I think he improves drastically in Season 2. Mostly because his life really is terrible now, so he finally has a reason to whine so damn much. 

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “High Risk Behavior” and “Sex, She Wrote”! 

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.