Dawson and Jen, both looking great and grinning big, stand together at a party

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S5.E08 “Hotel New Hampshire” + S5.E09 “Four Scary Stories”
Released: 2001
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 8

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Dawson’s Creek.

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where Jen and Dawson are probably making a terrible mistake, but I might kind of enjoy it? 

Let’s drink to the fun mistakes we all make in college!

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”

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!

Jen and Dawson are shirtless in bed, smiling at each other (Jen's covered with a blanket)

5.08 “Hotel New Hampshire”

Dawson’s still in therapy, and he admits that he’s having trouble with the fact that none of his friends will confide in him about their problems, because they’re afraid he’s too vulnerable after his dad died. He hasn’t spent much time with Joey for that reason and he’s disappointed when Pacey won’t confide in him about his Karen troubles – but Jen has no problem turning to Dawson when she finds out that ChaMM has been writing love letters to win back his other ex, but hasn’t done the same for her. She feels extra-rejected and wants to get out of town, so Dawson takes his therapist’s advice and invites Jen to join him for that film festival in New Hampshire to accept his award for the Mr. Brooks documentary.

They arrive and start having a really nice time together. Everyone at the festival is flipping out over Dawson’s movie, which is good for his soul, and they’re also spending a lot of time assuming Jen and Dawson are dating, which leads to some pretty flirty looks between the two. It seems like these kids, who have grown much closer since Dawson’s dad died, are starting to feel some sparks.


The only person who doesn’t seem enamored of Dawson is this kid Oliver, who grew up in New Hampshire and usually wins the festival’s head prize. He’s pissed that Dawson snagged it this year (and he clearly has a HUGE crush on Jen, which isn’t helping his resentment), but he’s somewhat appeased after Dawson sees Oliver’s movie and tells him it’s wonderful. The screening of Dawson’s film goes so well, and the festival director mentions in his intro about the impassioned letter Mitch wrote when he entered Dawson’s film in the competition. Dawson’s touched, and gives a beautiful acceptance speech, talking about how much his dad loved movies and how his documentary is dedicated to Mitch’s memory. He gets a standing ovation, and Jen is looking at him from the audience with total heart eyes. Afterward, Oliver tells Dawson he was blown away by the doc, and that he’s currently going to a small visual arts college in Boston that he thinks Dawson would like. Gee, I wonder how this is gonna end up?

Later, in their hotel room, Jen and Dawson start talking about old times, specifically their early-aborted high school romance. They ponder why it didn’t work, and when Dawson tells Jen he thinks it didn’t work because she was never attracted to him, she kisses him to prove otherwise. And then…they have sex!

The next morning, it’s clear that it was really, REALLY good sex. Like, they’re both all stammery and blushy and wide-eyed about how good it was. Way to go, Dawson! They acknowledge the weirdness, promise to not let this ruin their friendship but admit that they both want to see where it’s going. And then they decide to stay in New Hampshire a couple of extra days to continue having distraction-free sex! Aww, good for them (maybe?).

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Pacey asks Karen out on a platonic date to remind her that she deserves better than a married man. He promises to keep it strictly friendly, just a fun night out on the town, but of course he can’t help but be his extremely charming, kind self, so at the end of the date she jumps his bones. Afterward, she admits that she partially only had sex with Pacey to get back at Danny, which hurts Pacey a lot. The next morning he tries to quit the restaurant, but Danny tells him Karen already quit. Pacey and Danny get it all out in the open, and then Pacey finds Karen, who’s moving out of town and looking for a fresh start. She’s glad that Pacey helped her leave Danny, and she and Pacey have a very sweet farewell. Bye, Karen! 

* Ugh. Jack’s got a frat party coming, and he invites Audrey and Joey, which seems sweet AT FIRST. He basically pimps out Audrey to one of his frat bros, and later, at the party, when Audrey isn’t interested in hooking up with the bro, he complains to Jack. Joey overhears Jack calling Audrey “easy” and promising that she’ll sleep with the bro, and Joey and I are both HORRIFIED. She gives him what’s for, and he doesn’t even have the grace to seem remorseful, until he sobers up the next morning and heads to Joey and Audrey’s room to give a very sincere apology to both. Joey and Audrey forgive him, though I do not. This is disgusting, Jack. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES.

How many times did I have to drink? 

5

Guess who? 

Oliver is played by Jordan Bridges, who now stars on Rizzoli & Isles with Dawson’s ex-girlfriend Gretchen (Sasha Alexander).

Jordan Bridges as Oliver

BFFs

Jen and Joey are having a lovely, very intimate conversation at the beginning of the episode, confiding in each other in the best of ways, and Joey admits that it was hard at first for her to not be the person that Dawson needs after Mitch died, but now she’s okay with it. “I’ve been meaning to tell you I can’t think of a better person to see him through this than you. I’m really glad you’re there for him.” It’s a nice sentiment, but you might feel differently soon, Jo. 

The truest thing anybody said this week

Audrey says to Joey, “For someone as progressive as you, it’s amazing how closed-minded you are about frats.” Joey replies VERY ACCURATELY, “The words ‘progressive’ and ‘frat’ do not belong together in the same sentence.”

The second truest thing anybody said this week

When the frat bro first sees Audrey, he says, “Jack was right. You’re a stone fox.” She is a stone fox, but you are an idiot and I hate you.

Joey, Jack and Pacey sit in the living room at Grams' house, lights off and lots of candles lit

5.09 “Four Scary Stories”

“Four Scary Stories” is clearly meant to be Dawson’s Creek‘s annual Halloween episode for the fifth season, but for some reason it aired in December. They use voice-over exposition to make up for the confusion, like the fact that Audrey’s in a Halloween costume and Karen shows up in this episode after saying goodbye the previous week, but it’s still weird timing, made extra-weird because Dawson isn’t in the ep at all. 

Pacey, Joey and Jack are all hanging out at Grams’ house, complaining about a scary movie they just saw that wasn’t very scary. They decide to all tell scary stories that have recently happened to them, and then Grams shows up and tells the scariest story of all. Like all of these Halloween episodes, none of this sounds terribly frightening on paper, but the direction is always pleasantly suspenseful and spooky. 

Joey’s story: she was working in the library by herself on Halloween night, and she saw a creepy old man staring at her. He warns her that she shouldn’t be in the library alone, and she gets the wiggins and confides in the student who’s working at the library that night. He promises to protect her, but later he reveals that he’s the kid who attacked a fellow (female) student recently, and he tries to attack Joey. It’s pretty awful, actually, but Joey fights back and kicks his butt, because she rules.

Jack’s story: he was partying at the frat house when some weird stuff happened, like a radio randomly turning on and playing ’60s music, and a picture of the fraternity class of 1968 falling off the wall. He hears some strange noises and finds a nerdy kid tied up and gagged in a closet. The kid says his frat brothers were playing a prank on him, and Jack’s very concerned. He goes to get the kid some water, and stumbles on the old frat picture again. Jack realizes the kid is in this picture from 1968, looking exactly the way he does today. Jack goes back to find him, and of course the kid has vanished.

Pacey’s story: he was driving Karen home from the restaurant late one night, and he flashes his headlights at an oncoming car to let them know their lights are off. Karen warns him against doing that based on the urban legend that this is how gang members choose their victims, and soon the two of them are being chased by an aggressive car in a Duel-type situation (Spielberg shout-out!). They finally stop and get out of the car to confront their pursuers, and the offending car is empty.

Grams’ story: Jen was working at the radio station late one night when she accidentally gets locked out. She’s walking around a dark, windy street by herself, when she sees a shadowy figure, whispering her name. She’s afraid, but when she gets closer she realizes it’s just a mannequin. She’s relieved, and makes it back into the station just in time for the mannequin to crash through the window somehow? It’s unclear. 

How many times did I have to drink? 

3

Most meta moment

Pacey introduces his story by saying, “What the world needs now is a good old-fashioned urban legend,” and of course Joshua Jackson co-starred in the mediocre 1998 teen horror flick Urban Legends.

Other most meta moment

Joey replies, “Yeah, that’s all we need – more predictable stories about a guy with a hook for an arm that kills the amorous couple,” which is a fairly accurate description of Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson’s I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Audrey’s costume

She’s Carrie from Carrie, of course.

Audrey dressed up in a prom dress like Carrie

Audrey’s greatest hit

When Joey asks why, then, she isn’t doused in pig’s blood, Audrey replies, “Bleh! What cute boy is gonna want to talk to me if I’m all red and sticky all night?”

Guess who

The library attacker is played by Bryce Johnson, who went on to play the equally creepy Darren Wilder on Pretty Little Liars.

Bryce Johnson as creepy library guy

That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: how do you feel about Jen and Dawson hooking up? I honestly don’t know how I feel. I partially like it, partially can’t believe they’re being so stupid. But with their excellent new haircuts, they look so HOT together, so I believe the shallow side of me is winning out.

Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as I cover “Appetite for Destruction” and “Something Wild.”

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.