Joey stands in front of a blank wall at night, staring up at it with a paint bucket in her hand


Title: Dawson’s Creek S3.E16 “To Green, With Love” + S3.E17 “Cinderella Story”
Released: 1999
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 19

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project! Last week, Meredith asked me if I’ve come around at all on this whole Joey and Pacey thing – I once called them “basic,” which Meredith has taken as a deep betrayal of our trust. I get it! I’m SUPPOSED to love them together, but here’s my thing: like, these kids are in high school. They should be having fun and playing the field and worrying about their grades, not cementing a permanent romantic future. No one knows what they want until their mid to late 20s, at best. And you know what? I haven’t been the biggest fan of Joey, but that sort of changes this week. Sort of.

Burn me at the stake if you must! I’ll drink to that.

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 looks at Pacey searchingly as they stand on a dark street together

3.16 “To Green, With Love”

On a Very Special Episode of Dawson’s Creek, one Ms. Josephine Potter is compelled to pick up her proverbial sword and become a Social Justice Warrior for Principal Green when the overwhelmingly white PTA body – along with the superintendent, also white – demand a tamer sentence for that ween supreme Matt Caufield. Green isn’t given much of a choice: either he lessens the punishment or he’ll be forced to resign.

And yeah, this is 100% about race. There’s some real disgusting white privilege on display here as PTA members basically accuse Green of being racist (ugh, as if) and Caufield’s dad says Principal Green’s approach would be better-suited to an “urban war zone,” and Joey is like OH NO YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT. But he did, and since no one else is leading the charge, Joey – at the urging of Pacey and AJ – takes it upon herself to protest and rally and inspire her fellow students to stick up for their principal.

Meanwhile, a snooty blonde reporter who’s taken Gail’s place at the station is covering this high school drama and doing a spectacularly awful and unfair job – not only does she misrepresent Joey, but she throws some major shade at Gail with some passive-aggressive BS about her age and employment status. It’s okay, though, because when she tries to interview Joey during the protest, Joey goes all Sidney Prescott v Gail Weathers – minus the face-punch, sadly.

Gail decides to cover the story herself, even if she doesn’t work in news anymore, and Dawson happily volunteers to be her cameraman – obviously. Although Joey is so very clearly doing the right thing, Bessie starts getting a bit cranky when people call the house and threaten to boycott her business (I MEAN, REALLY), but Bodie (still here!) defends Joey and tries to explain casual racism to his sweet, weirdly oblivious lady love.

Pacey spends most of the episode helping Joey organize a rally, where she overcomes her lip-biting and scowling just long enough to endear herself to the student body and inspire them to stand up for what’s right. I’m a major sucker for people overcoming their differences to unify for the sake of the common good, so yeah, I definitely got a little verklempt during this whole thing – especially when Principal Green finally shows up. He’d been staying out of the fray, until his daughter convinced him he needed to make an appearance:

Jen gives Pacey one of her trademark pep talks when he bemoans the sorry state of romantic affairs in which he’s found himself. Even though Jen can be a bit of a mess, that girl can give one hell of a motivational speech when called for – Coach Taylor would be so proud. And while Joey is too busy to thank Pacey for all his help, Jen assures him that she will, someday.

Guess what? SHE DOES. Yes, Principal Green is ultimately forced to resign because he refuses to back down. He did the right thing, but it sucks. Big time. So, to lift Joey’s spirits, Pacey rents a giant wall in town so she can paint a new mural, and it is the SWEETEST:

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best pop culture reference

Pacey proclaims himself the Duckie of this imaginary John Hughes scenario, and Jen points out that Duckie makes “the girl feel good about herself… and he takes her to the prom.”

This is followed by:

Pacey: Where she promptly dumps him for another guy. [Laughs]
Jen: Alright, the question is, Pace, this… girl, that you have developed impossible feelings for, are you going to stand by her in a very Duckie-like fashion or are you going to let hurt feelings and pride prevent you from being the friend you so innocently purport yourself to be.
Pacey[pause] I guess it just hurts, that’s all.
Jen: Well, that just means that it isn’t pretend anymore.


Shadiest queen

That idiot reporter Sherry cheerfully tells Gail, “Got a deadline to make. You remember those days. Oh. It was great seeing you, Gail.” What a jerk store.

Guess who! 

It’s Lee Norris as “Random Student #2.” 

Actor Lee Norris sits in the auditorium

Many FYA readers will probably know him best from One Tree Hill, but in my heart he will always and forever be little Chuckie Lee Torkelson from The Torkelsons and Almost Home.

Pacey holds Joey's face in his hands and kisses her passionately.

3.17 “Cinderella Story”

Ah, to be young and full of impossible romantic ideals – like Joey, who is positively giddy about going up to AJ’s college for the weekend to attend a fancy dinner event in her beau’s honor. Except… as Pacey points out while driving her to the bus station, Joey doesn’t ever call AJ her boyfriend. She maintains – fairly – that long-distance relationships have different rules, but Pacey bursts her bubble by telling her this whole weekend together with nice dresses and dinners is an “eyes-closed wish,” and reality is going to come and smack her in the face any moment. It’s kind of rude, but also mega true.

Meanwhile, Dawson is helping Gail with her restaurant, where she’s dealing with all kinds of issues – none of which are helped by Jen, who wants a part-time job waiting tables so she can afford to take Henry out sometimes. You know, since Henry’s way of earning cash results in his unconsciousness. But Jen is a lousy waiter, and Gail is too stubborn and proud to ask for help, so Dawson calls Mitch up behind her back. Gail is predictably unhappy about the whole thing, which gets Dawson all worked up about his parents’ nebulous relationship status AGAIN.

Later, Jen talks to Dawson about what happened and although he claims he was just trying to be helpful, she thinks he was pulling a Parent Trap. I mean, she’s not wrong. Still, they share a very friendly, sweet moment in which Jen praises Dawson for his dopey eternal optimism, which she finds endearing:

Girl, you’re the only one who finds this boy’s naïveté charming. Really, every time Dawson starts talking up how much he’s grown, it just reminds me of this:

Michael Showalter in WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER
“I’ve grown up a lot since before dinner when we last talked.”

Later, Gail relents and accepts Mitch’s help, hiring him as the general manager and renewing Dawson’s optimism about their reconciliation. Yawn.

Anyway, up in College Country, AJ is too busy to pick Joey up from the bus stop so he sends his lifelong BFF Morgan instead. Morgan is super cool and fun and friendly and knows AJ better than anyone – and yet, AJ has never told Joey about this important part of his life. There’s like a field of red flags here, and it takes Joey a little too long to realize that she’s basically dating Dawson 2.0, complete with his very own Joey Potter (who also happens to be an artist). Morgan admits that she and AJ kissed one time, and while she insists that it meant nothing, Joey knows better. And when AJ accepts his writing award and reads an old essay that is VERY CLEARLY about Morgan, Joey decides to push these two dummies to do what they’ve been avoiding since childhood.

Joey tells AJ to go be with Morgan, and she calls Pacey to pick her up at the bus stop. Speaking of which, Pacey’s new mentee is an adorable little brat named Buzz who might as well be the miniature version of Pacey. They spend the episode working on Pacey’s boat, where the insightful kiddo teases his mentor for not professing his love to the mystery girl his boat is so obviously named for, and calls Pacey out about his authority issues. Buzz says his own dad died, but when Pacey talks to the head of the mentor program about the kid’s attitude problems, she says Buzz’s dad abandoned the family for another woman – so Buzz’s bratty behavior is really just his way of testing someone’s commitment. GEE, SOUNDS FAMILIAR.

On the way home from the bus stop, Joey tells Pacey he was right about things with AJ and starts throwing a zero-chill pity party because only two people really *know* her and she doesn’t think she’ll find someone to be with – ugh, teenagers are the worst. Pacey abruptly pulls over and tells Joey that enough is enough:

And then they kiss! I’m sure Meredith and most of you are thrilled, but I remain unconvinced of Joey being anything but boring and destined for suburban pleasantries. STILL, it is pretty cute, and I’d much rather have Joey with Pacey than AJ, who was just about as exciting as a piece of plain white Wonder Bread.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Least likely dialogue

AJ’s friend describes Joey as, “Artist, political agitator.” Let’s calm down, okay?

Most excruciating dialogue

“I used to think a broken heart was just hyperbole.” SMELL YA LATER, AJ.

Best nickname

Pacey’s new pal calls him “Pissy,” and nothing could be more perfect.

Best diss

“I wanna know what rock these people have been cooking under” – Andie while sampling Gail’s food.

Guess who! 

Yep, Buzz is played by Jonathan Lipnicki of Jerry Maguire / “The human head weighs eight pounds!” fame.

Jonathan Lipnicki as Buzz

That’s it for this week! Meredith, I have a question for you: I know you’ve seen the show before, so you already know how this turns out, but are you hoping for Mitch and Gail to get back together? At this point, I am – if only so we can have a little less whiny BS from Dawson.

Join Meredith back here next week as she covers “Neverland” and “Stolen Kisses”!

Contributor Britt Hayes

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.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.