Joey and Pacey look at each other with a LOT of tension.


Title: Dawson’s Creek S3.E18 “Neverland” + S3.E19 “Stolen Kisses”
Released: 2000
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 16

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where things are GETTING SWOONY. Last week, Britt asked me if I’m rooting for Gail and Mitch’s reconciliation, and the truth is, I totally am. A lot of times we don’t care about the adult storylines on teen shows, but I’ve always mildly cared about this one – mostly for Gail’s sake. I like Gail. Mitch is an idiot, but also a babe, and Gail rules. 

Let’s drink to Gail! 

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!

Jen, Andie and Joey hang out at a slumber party, wearing face masks and giving themselves mani-pedis while eating popcorn. It's extremely cute.

3.18 “Neverland”

The episode opens where the last episode ended: with Joey and Pacey sucking face. It’s AWESOME, until Joey freaks out and starts punching Pacey, which is also kind of awesome in its own way.

Pacey immediately gets annoyed right back at her, all “You LET me do it!” and “Forgive me if I think a kiss is just a kiss,” but she’s going on and on about the “monumental implications” and how this will affect Dawson, until she storms off and a grumpy Pacey has to grumpily beg her to get back in the car. It’s all pretty hilarious. 

They spend the rest of the episode avoiding each other, and we cut to Joey complaining to Bessie while Pacey simultaneously complains to Deputy Doug. They’re both angry and annoyed and clearly SMITTEN, and both older siblings say as much. Doug advises Pacey to tell Dawson, in a way that Dawson will find impossible to be angry at him, so Pacey invites Dawson on a camping trip to their old hallowed grounds, some cute little campsite that cute little Pacey and cute little Dawson once inhabited. But before Pacey gets a chance to tell Dawson everything (and it does look like he’s trying), cute little dirtbag BUZZ shows up with all of his tiny dirtbag friends. Buzz tailed him there and now Pacey and Dawson are stuck babysitting, and it’s precious. Also, Dawson finds an old picture of “little Joey Potter,” and both boys swoon in a pretty obvious way, so Pacey can tell that he’s losing the opportunity to tell Dawson he’s in love with Joey before Dawson makes his own announcement of the same nature. 

Meanwhile, Joey’s denying what happened in her own way: girls’ night! God bless Andie McPhee for suggesting it, saying extremely excellent things like “this mood of yours is in clear need of a little estrogen energy boost” and “don’t you guys think it’s a little abnormal that the two of you never hang out with anybody who doesn’t have a penis?” and “in this cold, cruel world, a girl can rely on one thing: her sisters.” Hell yeah, grrrl! Jen’s also badly in need of a girls’ night, because she finds out that Henry is having a birthday party and invited everyone but her. She’s hurt and betrayed, and very enthusiastic at the prospect of hanging with Joey and Andie all night. It’s SO CUTE.

They confide in one another and each girl chooses an activity. Andie chooses facials and pedicures, Joey chooses roller skating, and that just so happens to overlap with Jen’s activity: wearing feather boas and silk robes. It is the BEST.

THIS IS SO GREAT!!! While they’re at the rink, Jen runs into Henry, hitting a piñata at his total child’s birthday party, and it becomes clear that this is the only reason he didn’t invite her: he’s embarrassed by what a kid he still is. They make up, and then Jen and Joey do a little bonding, too: Jen reveals that she knows something’s going on between Pacey and Joey, and when Joey tries to maintain that it means nothing, Jen wisely demurs: “You should ask yourself, Joey, if this is really nothing… then why are you so upset and so confused?” BECAUSE IT’S NOT NOTHING IT’S EVERYTHING DUH. 

Meanwhile, Jack has invited Ethan to spend the weekend while Mr. McPhee is out of town, but Mr. McPhee happened to cancel his trip to spend some QT with Jack. He tries to get Jack to send Ethan on his way, but Jack refuses, and Mr. McPhee tries to bond with both boys. Ethan’s kind and welcoming, but Jack is so, so angry, and he keeps snubbing Mr. McPhee’s attempts, still furious about the way his father has treated him his whole life. But Mr. McPhee is clearly trying to be a better father, and Ethan tells Jack as much, saying “You have to let go of some of this anger.” So Jack tries, and he and his dad share a game of chess and a very sweet moment. 

Finally, after an episode of avoidance, Joey and Pacey run into each other, because Capeside is a very, very small town. Pacey’s brought Buzz to the convenience store, and he and Joey have a bittersweet moment in the aisle – each one trying to assure the other, and themselves, that their kiss meant nothing, while also feeling hurt that the other person said so. 

Pacey walks off with Buzz, and Joey watches after them with a lovestruck look on her face, because who wouldn’t be lovestruck at this outrageously cute sight?

Pacey walks off wearing a backpack, with tiny little Buzz by his side.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Least likely dialogue

Oh, Joey. Give it a rest: “Do you have any idea of the monumental implications of that meaningless little impulse? The ripple effect that it could create in our small but fragile universe?”

Dreamiest dialogue

Pacey to Doug: “And then she gives me this look. What was I supposed to do? Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for her to give me that look?” <3

The truest thing anybody said this week 

Doug, to Pacey: “Oh, grow up, little brother. Do you think she would’ve reacted so strongly if she didn’t feel something for you, too?”

The least true thing anybody said this week

Poor clueless Dawson to poor guilty Pacey: “It finally occurred to me what in my life hasn’t lost its luster with time. It’s my friendships. You know, I might be unsure of a lot of things in my life, but I’m always gonna be sure of you, and Joey.” You’re gonna be hella UNSURE pretty soon, bub.

Best pop culture reference

Andie, selling girls’ night to Joey and Jen: “Haven’t you ever seen Thelma and Louise?” Joey replies, reasonably, that they killed a man, and Jen adds, also reasonably, that they drove off a cliff, but Andie just says, “Yeah, but the point is, they did it together.”

Joey and Pacey embrace and kiss in a beautiful nighttime scene, surrounded by a campfire and twinkly lights. It's pretty dreamy.

3.19 “Stolen Kisses”

It’s Spring Break, and Dawson’s Crew is headed to ol’ Aunt (pronounced the fancy way) Gwen’s cabin. Who is Aunt Gwen, you might rightly ask? She’s Dawson’s free-spirited artist aunt, and Joey and Dawson used to spend every summer visiting her. So this is a little pilgrimage back to childhood for those two, but they’re bringing along Pacey, Andie and Pacey’s longtime friend Will, because Jack’s determined to spend bonding time with Mr. McPhee. 

Andie and Will are very flirtatious, and we learn a whole lot about Will’s childhood and the fact that he’s a pool shark or some such, but none of it matters because it was all in service of a failed spinoff called Young Americans. If you want to know about Will, watch the eight existing episodes of that show. I’m not gonna spend much time on it here. 


Everyone’s having fun at Aunt Gwen’s because she’s making them – she’s really pretty annoying, to be honest. She keeps pushing Dawson and Joey together, like, MIND YOUR BUSINESS, WOMAN, and Pacey keeps mooning soulfully after Joey during Aunt Gwen’s obvious matchmaking attempts. Dawson admits to Joey, during one of their patented over-serious talks in Aunt Gwen’s barn, that he doesn’t understand why they’re not together, and I’m happy to remind him: you sexually rejected her! Anyway, this carving on the barn floor is supposed to mean something, and I’m glad they’re friends and all, but that is NOT an important part of this episode to me. 

Joey's sneaker hovers over a carving on the barn floor that reads "Dawson + Joey Best Friends Forever"

During a cutesy karaoke session… well, first, let’s watch the cutesy karaoke session. Mostly for Pacey’s looks:

Pacey can’t stand the cuteness, and walks out, and Joey follows him. He tells her how much all of this sucks, knowing Joey doesn’t feel the same way he feels about her, and she admits that she felt something in bed with him. (Actually she says “I felt it” and I laugh because I’m twelve.) This look crosses his face, and he tells her he’s going to count to ten and then kiss her, and she lets him, and it’s H-O-T. Till dumb ol’ Aunt Gwen shows up and interrupts, because she is SO NOSY MIND YOUR BUSINESS GWEN. She tells Joey that she needs to tell Dawson about Pacey, and that’s true, but Joey doesn’t really get a chance to come clean. Instead… well, let’s get to this other stuff first. Okay but first first, let’s watch that H-O-T kiss:

At Leery’s Fresh Fish, Henry’s started working as a busboy so he can spend more time with Jen. A hot waitress named Shelly starts hitting on Henry, and even “offers sex,” in Henry’s hilarious words, and Jen gets really jealous, but refuses to admit she’s jealous, until all of a sudden she’s yelling at Shelly in front of the entire restaurant. She runs away, embarrassed, until Henry comforts her and admits that he likes that she was jealous. Great?

Also an old friend of Gail and Mitch’s has passed away, and his widow goes to see them. In the wake of her grief, they realize how petty their own arguments have been, and that they’ve been wasting time they should have spent together. They end the episode dancing while watching their wedding video, and it’s pretty clear these two are officially an item now. (Again.)

OKAY. NOW. Joey goes back outside to talk to Pacey, and he tells her he can’t keep doing this – he can’t keep kissing her while she just stands there, passively allowing it. He tells her she must not feel the same way he does, or she wouldn’t be able to stand the distance, and then Joey grabs him and lays one on him and IT IS SO GREAT AND HOT AND WONDERFUL. Let’s watch!

Let’s watch again, in gif form!


How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who? 

Aunt Gwen is played by Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen. 

Julie Bowen as Aunt Gwen

Guess who 2? 

Shelly is played by Everwood and Chuck‘s Sarah Lancaster. 

Sarah Lancaster as Shelly

Guess who 3? 

Will is played by Rodney Scott, known not only from Young Americans but also American Dreams. He does look pretty much like what Hollywood thinks all Americans look like. (White, male.) 

Rodney Scott as Will

The truest thing anybody said this week

Say what you will about Henry, but this little missive from Shelly is VERY ACCURATE in describing Michael Pitt: “He’s got that cute little ragamuffin-with-a-dream look. Makes you want to take him home and give him a bath. And then maybe hop in the tub with him.”

Jen’s cute hair

She’s made follicle leaps and bounds since last season.

Jen's got adorable bouncy pigtails (and a very jealous look on her face).

Mitch’s wedding hair

Mitch has ALSO made follicle leaps and bounds.

A grainy shot from Mitch and Gail's old wedding video. Gail is wearing a very '80s, lace-heavy wedding dress with a giant veil, and Mitch has a straight-up mullet.

We’ve finally found something Andie McPhee isn’t good at

She is TERRIBLE at karaoke. She really butchered The Five Stairsteps’ “Oooh Child.”

Aunt Gwen’s maudlin art

This is supposed to be Little Joey Potter and Little Dawson Leery. WE GET IT, YOU THINK THESE TWO LITERAL CHILDREN ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER. Get your own life, woman.

A painting of young Joey and Dawson encircled by heart-shaped vines, butterflies and the night sky.

That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: I’M SORRY, I CAN’T STOP ASKING IF YOU LIKE JOEY AND PACEY TOGETHER YET. I promise I won’t ask again. I just want you to like them so much!!!

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “The Longest Day” and “Show Me Love.”

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.