Drinks Taken: 24
Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project! As we come to the end of Season 2, Meredith asked me which episode is my favorite, and I have to say I’m torn. I love “The All-Nighter” with the sex quiz, which takes a great approach to the complexities of teen sexuality, and I love “His Leading Lady” because Rachael Leigh Cook rules eternal. I’m also very fond of “To Be or Not To Be,” which features some A+ Pacey moments, but so does “Reunited.” UGH this is hard.
Let’s drink to Season 2 being way better than I thought it would be!
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!
2.22 “Parental Discretion Advised”
This is pretty heavy stuff for a season finale – there’s no cutesy cliffhanger and hardly any actual joy. It’s just bleak drama and familial tragedy, where even the heartwarming moments make you feel like you could use a heavy SSRI and a pint of $10 ice cream (which is something I legit bought last week and it was totally worth it).
Now that Andie is gone (ugh), the drama turns back to Mr. Potter, who has been dealing cocaine out of the Icehouse like he’s in an old episode of Miami Vice. Remember when Joey found out about Gail’s affair and didn’t tell Dawson about it? Welcome to karmic retribution, because this is just like that, but with way bigger repercussions. Dawson copes with the situation by having a lot of third-person hypothetical convos, asking his mom what “a person” should do if they see “another person” doing a bad thing, etc. etc. He takes a similar approach to confronting Mr. Potter (I keep calling him that and now I am imagining him in Azkaban), with lots of “a good man would do this” and “a better man would do that” and blah blah.
Meanwhile, Pacey is not dealing with Andie’s departure very well at all, but can you really blame him? Now that Andie is gone, he’s lost the will to take exams. But at least he’s still studying – like at the Icehouse with his friends, where Mr. Witter shows up to question Mr. Potter. After giving Joey reason to suspect that her dad’s up to no good again, Papa Witter runs through his usual demeaning routine with Pacey before slapping him across the face, literally and figuratively. Inside the Icehouse, someone tosses a molotov cocktail (where are we?!) through the back window while Mr. Potter tries to dump his bags of cocaine down the toilet before the fire eats him/the cops show up.
Everyone deals with this situation differently: Jack is concerned but level-headed, Joey is wailing like someone just ran over her kid, Dawson acts all heroic, and Jen… just stands there in a daze, seemingly hypnotized by the fire. Let’s back up for a sec: While Dawson’s been trying to deal with this Mr. Potter problem, Jen has been casually mentioning suicide to Jack, who thinks she should consider Grams’ offer to move back in – which just makes her act all indignant, but Jack isn’t Grams, and he’s not Abby (RIP beautiful monster), and he sure as shit isn’t going to enable Jen’s petulant selfishness. Why? BECAUSE HE IS A GOOD FRIEND.
So Jen puts on her best grown-up outfit and goes to Grams’ house, where she says she’ll move back in if they can realistically address why she left in the first place, and if Grams will acknowledge that Jen has had a pretty rough go of it for someone who is only (allegedly) 16 or whatever, and if they agree to be an actual family and take care of each other… and Jack, too! Jack is going to live with them! It’s the best! Then they hug and I almost cry, except I am distracted by how Jen is dressed for a job interview at TJ Maxx.
Pacey and his dad resume their fighting post-fire, where Pacey lays it all out (don’t badmouth Andie, you’re a terrible father, etc.) before laying his dad out (i.e. punches him in the face).
Dawson goes to Mitch and Gail for advice, and they tell him that he has no choice but to go to the cops. Even if it upsets Joey, it’ll be nothing compared to how devastated she’ll be when her dad goes back to prison – or worse. Gail has a nice way of putting it: “Joey’s in danger and she needs your strength. Even if that strength doesn’t come in the way that she wants.”
Speaking of which, Gail tells Mitch that she’s decided to move to Philly, and he attempts to reconcile with her but it’s a little too late. I feel kind of bad for Mitch and his sad-dumb-cute puppy face.
Dawson tells Joey about her dad and his plan to go to the cops, which elicits the exact reaction you’d expect. The next day, Joey confronts her dad and he admits to dealing drugs, but he says he just didn’t know how else to take care of the situation. That’s when Joey, sobbing, says, “I took care of it for you,” and lifts up her shirt to reveal a wire. If this was not TV and it was HBO, I can guarantee you that Idris Elba would have Joey’s body dumped in one of the vacants because snitches get stitches.
While Joey’s relationship with her dad is being torn apart again, Pacey’s relationship with his dad is on the mend. Mr. Witter says that Andie called for Pacey, but he ended up talking to her instead, and she told him everything about what happened between her and Pacey this year, and with Jack and Mr. Peterson, and all of Pacey’s big changes. He apologizes for being a tool, and then they hug and it’s weird but good, and even though she’s hundreds of miles away, Andie is still being amazing.
Dawson goes to check on Joey, who looks like she just served a single presidential term compressed into 60 seconds. She’s aged four years between the kitchen and the front yard. She tells Dawson that she hopes to forgive her dad someday, and that maybe she can even forgive herself, but she’ll never forgive him. Yep, Joey and Dawson are done. Again. Shocker.
How many times did I have to drink?
Most likely dialogue
Dawson, to Mr. Potter: “Some situations are too tragic to have a hero. This is one of them.” He sounds like he’s narrating the opening of a new Law & Order spinoff.
Least likely dialogue
Mr. Witter to Pacey: “I’m sorry I’m not the kind of father that you felt you could share your story with.” Next week, on Oprah.
Most recognizable song
“That I Would Be Good” by Alanis Morissette OMG REMEMBER ALANIS WHERE IS SHE. Better yet, remember when Alanis dated Ryan Reynolds? Like they didn’t know that famous Canadian people weren’t restricted to only dating other famous Canadian people.
Joey’s best cry face
It’s like she just watched Paula Deen deep fry some mayo on a stick.
3.01 “Like a Virgin”
On the bus ride back to Capeside after spending the summer in Philly with his mom, Dawson flirts with a mysterious girl who is practically serving herself up on a platter – like a waiter desperately pushing the restaurant’s fish special before it goes bad. They bond over Risky Business and then she disappears. Later, Pacey takes Dawson to a strip club for whatever reason (I mean, obviously we know why two high school boys are at a strip club, but also, like, why?), where Dawson tells the story of Mystery Bus Girl. Turns out, she’s their waitress, and Dawson offers to take her on a date, while Pacey is certain that this is the year that Dawson will lose his virginity.
When they head to Dawson’s house after school the next day, Mystery Bus Girl has let herself in and is WAITING INSIDE THE HOUSE. It is psychotic. But Dawson is into it (of course he is), so he takes her out on Mitch’s boat where she continues to come onto him so heavily that I’m beginning to suspect that she’s actually 42 and recently divorced from the only man she’s ever slept with. After making out with him a bit, she tells Dawson her name is Eve (ugh of course it is), but then she distracts him and he crashes Mitch’s boat. Ruh-roh.
They take the boat over to the docks, where Joey has a new job with a crummy boss whose name I could not be bothered to learn. Joey and Dawson haven’t spoken all summer – she lied to Bessie and said that they made up at school, but when she sees Dawson with Eve, Joey comes clean to Bessie about their issues.
Meanwhile, Jen and Jack have settled into being blissful BFFs, and I am loving New Jen. She gets sassy with the cheerleaders when they try to throw some shade her way:
And then she decides to attend cheerleader tryouts just to see what the big deal is. Instead of auditioning, Jen delivers a totally accurate – and hilarious – reading of Belinda and tells the squad to stop blindly following her. Not only do they put Jen on the squad, but they make her head cheerleader. What a world.
Inspired by Risky Business, Pacey decides that Dawson should throw a house party while Mitch is out of town so they can raise the $3,000 they need to fix the boat. They invite some strippers and charge a $20 door fee, and it’s not long before they’ve raised the money. Dawson heads up to his room and finds Joey (what is it with the stalker behavior this week?!), who apologizes for everything and says things can be different this time – and then she takes her shirt off. Dawson stops her and Joey is humiliated, assuring him that she wasn’t trying to get him back. He tells Joey that there’s still love between them, but that makes it even worse. Joey concludes, “So you love me. You just don’t want me,” and leaves, utterly heartbroken.
Mitch comes home to find all these crazy teenagers in his house, while Eve invites Dawson to go fool around. Just as he’s about to ditch the party and avoid a confrontation with his dad, Dawson’s moral compass kicks in and he decides to stay, while Pacey rows his boat over to Joey’s to check up on her. Dawson told him what happened, obviously, and the two share a pretty sweet moment:
How many times did I have to drink?
Brittany Daniel plays Eve Whitman. Brittany and her twin sister Cynthia were the stars of Sweet Valley High. I’ve always been partial to actresses named Brittany. *hair flip*
Grams got jokes
Seeing Jen and Jack’s morning routine, Grams asks, “And how long have you two been married?”
Pacey Witter’s worst shirt
A new season, a new set of bad shirts. Aloha:
Best pop culture reference
During the cheerleader tryouts, one of the young ladies sings a spoof of Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” which is the ORIGINAL (and in my heart the ONLY) Dawson’s Creek theme song.
Most cringe-inducing dialogue
Joey: “I can be sexual, Dawson.”
That’s it for this week! Meredith, a question for you: Do you think Eve is the worst, or is she the WORST? I don’t want to seem like I’m slut-shaming, but she just lays it on way too thick.
Join Meredith back here next week as she continues Season 3 with “Homecoming” and “None of the Above”!
About the Contributor:
Britt Hayes is a writer and sensible sweater enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She loves movies, watches too much television, and her diet consists mostly of fruit snacks and revenge.