Dawson stands by his door, staring down with a thunderous look of rage on his pouty face.


Title: Dawson’s Creek S3.E20 “The Longest Day” + S3.E21 “Show Me Love”
Released: 2000
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 21

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project! I’m sad to say that my cohort Britt will no longer be able to join us on these little trips to Capeside, so you guys are stuck with me! 

Let’s drink farewell to our dear friend Britt! 

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

Onto the episodes!

Pacey and Joey stare at each other intently, outside at night.

3.20 “The Longest Day”

“The Longest Day” is a bit of an experimental episode for Dawson’s Creek, in which we’re shown the same day – D-Day, or Dawson Finds Out His Pristine Little Doll Joey Potter Dared To Kiss Another Boy Day – from three different vantage points: Dawson’s, Pacey’s and Joey’s. Much is revealed from these different perspectives, but it basically all went down like this:

Pacey’s True Love is finally sea-worthy, and he’s celebrating with a party at the docks for everyone who helped him work on the boat. Dawson’s being sweetly supportive, bringing a bottle of champagne for Pacey to break over the side of the True Love. I’m bringing this up because it’s the ONLY time Dawson is at all bearable in either of these two episodes, and I’m about to rag on him pretty hard for the rest of the recap, so I figured I should give him a small amount of credit first. 

Before Pacey and Joey join the rest of the group, they’re busy making out and HOLY CRAP it is so hot. So hot that this gif-creator had to shade the gifs in sexy sepia tones, to adequately express the seduction of the scene: 

Oh MY. So they join the group all breathless and ruffled, and Jen knows what’s up. She talks to them and tells them they need to tell Dawson, and they both know and intend to tell Dawson, but they sort of go back and forth on who’s going to tell him first. Pacey wants to, but can’t find him, then Joey wants to, but also kind of doesn’t want to, and then Jen assumes one of them already has told him because he shows up at her house acting blue. BUT that was just garden-variety Dawson Leery ennui, and Jen accidentally spilled the beans. Poor Jen! She feels terrible. Dawson’s furious, and storms off, and after pretending to be in the dark with both Joey and Pacey, which is a really manipulative move, he finally confronts them in an embarrassingly melodramatic scene where he’s like I WILL SALT THE EARTH WITH YOUR ASHES. 

Joey follows him upstairs, where they have the following conversation: 

Gross! Also gross: Dawson gives her an ultimatum: break it off with Pacey, or else. “THIS RUINS EVERYTHING!” he shouts. You are such a crybaby, Dawson Leery! You didn’t even know you wanted Joey until five minutes ago, you cretin. 

Poor Joey can’t handle the anguish and stress and just wants everything to go back to the way it was. So she breaks up with a devastated Pacey, who knew this was coming. He was so happy at the beginning of this day, gah. 

Other stuff that happened in this episode: 

* Grams is going out of town, and she warns an unsuspecting Jen about Henry’s hormones, but Jen believes Henry will be a gentleman. She is wrong! He’s a total horndog with her, and when she’s upset and trying to talk to him about the Joey-Pacey-Dawson situation, he won’t listen and just keeps sucking on her neck. She kicks him out, pissed. 

* Andie and Will have a date planned, but she admits to a guilty Joey that she still has feelings for Pacey. They happen to walk up just as the big confrontation occurs, and Andie’s very upset to learn that Pacey and Joey have been macking for weeks. She tells Pacey he’s an idiot: “She is never going to love you like she loves him, okay?” Gah, harsh. I wish everyone would stop trying to make the Joey And Dawson Are Soulmates thing happen. 

* Pacey is supposed to watch Buzz but he leaves him with Doug so Pacey can track down Dawson and confess. Cute hijinks ensue. Like all Buzz storylines, it is pointless and yet still charming. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Truth, sister

When Joey tells Jen that she doesn’t want to be the villain in one of those stories, the “wicked, conniving whore who manipulates her way between two brothers or two best friends,” Jen replies sagely, “Joey, keep in mind that most of those stories have been written by men.”


I appreciate how this storyline brings Jen and Joey closer together. Joey tells Jen that she wishes she could be like her: “fearless.” Jen looks touched, and I love it when these two get along. 

Pacey’s single, masculine tear

Pacey stares off with a stoic but heartbroken look on his face, a single tear on his handsome cheek.

Most meta moment

Joey walks up on Dawson watching The Last Picture Show, the subject of their first date and a film in which… well, I’ll just let Dawson summarize for us: 

There’s three friends that grew up with each other. Jeff Bridges is in love with Cybill Shepherd, and she dumps him and breaks his heart, and he’s devastated. And she’s not. She just kind of moves on to the other guy. And it destroys their friendship. And that’s pretty much how it ends: everyone alone, everyone hating each other. It’s really depressing, actually.


Take a hike, freshman

A sexually snubbed Henry tells Jen he’s not interested in her “mini-drama” and that she’s being “irrational,” so I’m totally rooting for her to kick his freshman ass. 

Dawson, Pacey and Joey all stand on the dock, Dawson yelling at them, Pacey looking defensive and Joey looking like she wants to jump into the sea.

3.21 “Show Me Love” 

The episode opens with a montage of everyone being sad – especially poor Joey, who kills me with this storyline. Dawson makes me angry, Pacey breaks my heart, but Joey – confused, guilty, tormented, desperately wanting everyone to get along again – is the character I’m relating to most. I think this is where Joey, a character I’ve always loved, even when she’s an angry little twit, begins growing into an admirable adult. The scene where she enters the cafeteria, and sees Dawson and Andie glaring at her, and Pacey staring mournfully at her, and then she just sits by herself and shoves a sandwich in her face? IT ME. 

But Dawson gets over his glaring and decides to try to seduce Joey back into his life. He tells her that any potential of a friendship with Pacey is dead (UGH), but he’ll do anything it takes to “salvage the one relationship that I need more than any other, and that’s ours.” That is such a crazy way to think! Joey and Pacey “betrayed” Dawson equally, but in order to win, Dawson has to get the girl, so he forgives a susceptible Joey in his quest to beat Pacey. It’s so transparent! Joey, meanwhile, just keeps staring at her blank wall, and tells Dawson that all she wants to do is paint it, which is VERY TELLING. There’s your answer right there, Potter. 

Dawson’s competition with Pacey is spilling over into other parts of his life. Capeside is hosting its annual regatta, and Pacey’s excited to enter with the True Love, sponsored by Leery’s Fresh Fish, an engagement weeks in the works. Dawson decides to get back at Pacey by convincing Bessie to have The Potter B&B sponsor his boat, and he enters the regatta with bad will and a worse attitude. Pacey’s winning the race, until Dawson nearly crashes into him, and Pacey swerves even though he had the right of way, so Dawson makes it to the finish line first, and Pacey last. BUT Dawson’s rightly disqualified for his shitty behavior, and it all blows up in front of a furious and mortified Joey, who just wants all of this to be OVER already: 

Joey tells them she’s sick to death of both of them – “No one person is worth going through all of this. Neither one of you, and especially not me” – and leaves. Pacey lets her go, because he understands what she really needs. Dawson chases her down, because he only cares about himself. He tells her he’ll do anything she wants, and she looks at him, sad and angry, and says, “I need a friend. Someone who will be there for me without any agenda. The person that you used to be.” Good for you, Joey! He promises he’ll try, and they have the most miserable movie night of all time together:

Joey and Dawson lie on their tummies on Dawson's bed, watching a movie, with absolutely miserable looks on both of their faces.

Later, she’s sitting in front of her wall, and Pacey shows up. He tells her he’ll rent the wall for another month, since she’s having artist’s block, and then says, sweetly and simply and perfectly, “I understand. There are no ultimatums here.” HOW IS THERE EVEN A QUESTION BETWEEN THESE TWO BOYS. ONE IS PERFECT AND THE OTHER IS A MONSTER.

Other stuff that happened in this episode: 

* Henry spends a lot of time apologizing to Jen, and she isn’t having it, until he makes her a rooftop picnic. They talk and cuddle and fall asleep, and the next morning Grams is so mad, because she thinks Jen slept with Henry. Jen’s disappointed in Grams for understanding so little about the new her, and Grams AWESOMELY apologizes and tells Jen she’s proud of her for waiting until she fell in love to have sex, then Jen admits that she and Henry still haven’t had sex. Grams is so relieved!

* Will is leaving to go to wherever Young Americans is set. Before he leaves, he tells Andie she has to let go of her anger at Pacey and Joey, because it’s not fair and it’s not good for her. Andie does let it go, and tells Pacey as much, and he’s so relieved that ONE person in this town is talking to him. Poor Pacey.

* Mitch and Gail are officially back together. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Ugh, I guess

Henry stands in Jen's yard looking pitiful and holding a sign that reads "JEN LINDLEY WOULD YOU PLEASE FORGIVE ME?"

Jack knows what’s up

He scorns at Dawson and Pacey’s regatta machismo, joking, “Don’t you think pistols at dawn would be a more suitable, not to mention romantic, way to settle this thing?”


Dawson earns my ire by saying, “Save it, Pacey. You know, everyone else might buy this chivalrous, self-deprecating crap. I don’t.”

Smart girl

When Bessie tells an angry Joey that she couldn’t turn down free advertising by sponsoring Dawson in the regatta, Joey replies accurately, “It’s not free! Dawson may have put down the cash, but you’re obligating me.”

Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as I cover the last two episodes of Season Three: “The Anti-Prom” and “True Love.” Let’s all swoon together!

That’s it for this week! COMMENTERS, I have a question for you: I’d love if anyone who sympathizes with Dawson here could speak up. While I can understand his hurt that Joey and Pacey kept their relationship from him, I cannot condone his reaction or behavior in either of these episodes. It reminds me of the episode where he broke Pacey’s nose: Dawson has always been wildly threatened by Pacey’s easy masculinity, and he’s allowed it to ruin their friendship. BUT if you have another angle, I’d love to hear it!

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.