Joey and Dawson sit on the stairs, looking upset

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S1.E05 “Hurricane” + S1.E06 “Baby”
Released: 1998
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 34

 

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome to Week 3 of the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project! Last week, Britt asked me two questions: if I were Joey, would I have told Dawson about his mom bbboning Bbbob, and am I as grossed out by Pacey and Tamara as she is? I probably would have told Dawson about Gail, just because I’m nosy and can’t help myself, and I am INFINITELY repulsed by Tamara and Pacey. KEEP YOUR MIDDLE-AGED PAWS OFF MY PACEY, I want to scream, even though my own paws are now middle-aged, themselves, and also so is Pacey.

Let’s drink to Tamara’s overdue exit!

Jen smiles while holding 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

Joey climbs into or out of Dawson’s window

Sex makes Dawson and/or Joey extremely uncomfortable

Jen brings up her atheism

Grams says “Jennifaaah”

Someone says the words “black boyfriend” in reference to Bodie


Drink Twice every time:

Dawson mentions Spielberg

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

Mitch stands on the porch, looking angry

1.05 “Hurricane”

It’s hurricane season in Capeside, school’s out for the storm and our residents are preparing as best they can – mostly by shoring up at the Leerys’, because for some reason everyone flees to the Leery house whenever anything dramatic happens. It’s a nice house, I guess. Spacious.

Dawson’s at first refusing to deal with the Bbbob situation, leaving poor Mitch in blissful and fleeting ignorance – until Dawson overhears Gail making kissy noises on the phone with Bbbob, because she is DETERMINED TO GET CAUGHT. Only by the grace of Mitch’s inherent cluelessness have you made it this far, Gail. Anyway, this is the last straw for Dawson, and he loses his temper at Joey, at Jen, at Gail – and exactly one of those women actually deserves it. Dawson’s shaky, self-righteous, Scarlet Letter-inflected speech to Gail blows this whole thing open, and she tells Mitch the truth – while forcing poor Dawson to stay in the room for the excitement. (“No, Dawson. We’re family. This falls on all ears.” Uh, great parenting, lady.) Mitch is stunned and furious, and he spends a lot of the episode screaming at Gail and telling her that he chooses to hate her now while she sobs her apologies. It’s really sad. After the storm’s over, they have a calm but unhappy discussion wherein Gail admits that she cheated on Mitch because, basically, she had everything she ever wanted and was bored. But she says it eloquently, and garners some sympathy from me, if not from Mitch. Poor Mitch. Poor Gail: 

Gail stands in the rain, looking heartbroken

And poor Dawson, because he’s managed to alienate the two other ladies in his life in addition to being forced to deal with parental discord. I literally can’t tell why Joey’s mad (drink!), but she drops the “AT LEAST YOU HAVE A MOM” card and that shuts Dawson up but quick. Jen has a MUCH better reason to be mad, as Dawson’s still giving her grief for having a sex life before she met him, and she tells him off and then kills me with this tearful admission:

Jen cries and tells Dawson she can't apologize for her past
Jen: I can’t apologize for my past. I’ve learned from it. I’m a better person. It’s gotten me here.

JEN LINDLEY, YOU ARE AMAZING. But Dawson’s too pitiful for the girls to stay mad at him for long, so at least he makes up with his girlfriend and girl friend before the episode is over.

Meanwhile, we meet Pacey’s brother, Deputy Doug. 

Pacey's brother Doug in police uniform on the beach

Pacey and Doug find themselves holing up at Tamara’s house for the storm, presumably to protect her from the big bad hurricane but also because both men want to sex her. One of the men, the one who isn’t actually a man but instead a 15-year-old boy, is already sexing her, but poor Doug thinks he has a chance. All the Tamara stuff is SO annoying and stupid (she and Pacey almost get caught making out a couple of times, she appears to be flirting with Doug to make Pacey jealous, Pacey tells Tamara that Doug is gay and DOUG RESPONDS BY PULLING A GUN AND MAKING PACEY RECANT LIKE A COMPLETELY INSANE PERSON), but the way Doug so zealously downsizes Pacey the entire episode gives us an idea of how crummy Pacey’s home life is, and we get the sense that Doug learned this behavior from their dad, Sheriff Witter. 

How many times did I have to drink? 

18.

Least likely dialogue 

Joey, apropos of pretty much nothing: “Fasten your seatbelt, Dawson. It’s gonna be a bumpy life.”

Most recognizable song 

REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” because every show in the late ’90s or early 2000s employed this song.

My least favorite Pacey Witter 

I know it’s his only recourse in the face of relentless disapproval by his perfect big brother, but all of Pacey’s “ur so gay” jokes are NOT a good look.

New Bodie! 

We have a new Bodie, played by Obi Ndefo. Don’t get attached – this show foolishly squanders its only black character, and we rarely see New Bodie after these first few episodes.

Obi Ndefo as Bodie

Best Grams, Worst Grams

Grams makes a few wholly uncool statements to Bessie and Bodie about their upcoming baby (Bodie: “We don’t even know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.” Grams: “Or black or white”), forcing Bessie to tell her, awesomely, “Part black, part white, it doesn’t matter, Mrs. Ryan. This child will be 100% loved.” It’s a reminder that Grams wasn’t always so great, and that Jen’s influence on her is as important as her influence on Jen.

BUT she gives Dawson a wonderful speech and convinces him to forgive his mom, because poor Gail doesn’t need her son choosing to hate her right now, too.

Jesus, these kids are judgey

When Jen also tries to get Dawson to see Gail’s point of view, that dickhead responds, “You would defend her, it makes sense. Who better to understand a woman’s need to have multiple partners?” I want to physically remove Dawson’s giant noggin from his stupid body, but Jen tells him off SO WELL and he apologizes very nicely, so I guess that isn’t necessary.

Joey Potter’s dead mom card

“May I suggest you get down on your knees and thank god you have a mother? Sorry, Dawson, I forgot for a moment – this isn’t about me.” Oh, Joey. You’re right. Dawson’s parents’ impending divorce truly isn’t about you.

Oh, Mitch

Of course, of COURSE, Mitch is working on his stupid scuba restaurant model, the miniaturized symbol of his emasculation, when Gail breaks the news to him that she’s been unfaithful. What a sweet, handsome, moderately useless doofus.

Mitch sits at his scuba restaurant model

The SCREAM factor

I remember how weirded out everyone was when Kevin Williamson, the twisted mind behind Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, took it upon himself to create a soapy teen drama, but he always ushers in some real horror on this show, and not just in the Halloween episodes. Right after Gail’s confession, the lights flicker out, the camera angles get all intense and Mitch’s fury is pretty terrifying to behold. “DON’T YOU CRY! YOU DON’T GET TO CRY!”

Gail stands in a darkened room, looking terrified

BFFs

Jen and Joey share a really good conversation this episode, in which Joey tells Jen that she didn’t deserve Dawson’s judgment and they (AGAIN) ponder the size of his penis. Sweet moments between these two girls are too few and must be acknowledged. 

The truest thing anybody said this week

Jen, sighing ruefully, “Well, I guess I’m no longer the virgin queen of Dawson Leery’s hand-held fantasies.”

GROSS

Tamara giggles to Pacey that they have to be careful, because “Quick reminder, this is a felony.” Pacey responds, “That’s the attraction, isn’t it?” GROSS. brb, need to bleach my brain.

Joey and Pacey sit on a bench

1.06 “Baby”

Bessie’s having her baby! And her timing is for shit, because Bodie’s out of town with the car, and Joey and Bessie’s phone’s been turned off because money is always tight. So, as is the custom on Dawson’s Creek Season 1, everything goes down at the Leery house. Joey rows poor Bessie’s water-breaking bod across the creek and it’s all very hilarious and exciting: 

Joey and Bessie row across the creek

They just want to use Dawson’s phone, but it turns out there was a traffic pile-up in the neighboring town of Ducksbury, and because Capeside is teeeeny tiny, its only ambulance is unavailable. So Joey screws up her nerve and heads to Grams’ house, because Grams used to be a nurse and they need help. Her speech to Grams is so good:

Look, I know you don’t like me or approve of my family. And I know that you could think of at least 80 reasons why Bessie and Bodie are just about the worst sinners. But right now, as we speak, my sister’s sitting next door in Dawson’s house, inches away from giving birth and, of those 80 reasons, I can’t think of any that the baby’s actually responsible for. So, If you could remember that, as a nurse, you took an oath to help others in need and, well…. that would be really nice.

But the best part is Katie Holmes’ scowly delivery, especially the way she kind of mutters thatwouldbereallynice while giving one HELL of an eyeroll. As unconvincing a plea as that was, Grams rushes right over and jumps in charge, to Bessie’s understandable dismay at the “borderline racist” who will be delivering her child.

Grams holds Bessie's face as she's in labor

But of course it turns out to be a great thing that Grams is there, because it’s a difficult birth. Grams keeps her composure and schools all of the idiot teenagers who audibly panic when Bessie starts to bleed, sending Bessie into her own emotional tailspin. Jen, who starts the episode on a big ol’ atheist kick, even helps Grams pray over Bessie’s womb, and although that sounds weird and creepy, the whole thing is pretty sweet. The baby’s born, everyone’s happy, and Grams moves up a notch in my book and in Jen’s, who admits that while her faith in God is unchanged, “I think I may have come around a little on man.”

Meanwhile – let’s get the last of this gross plotline over with, shall we? Pacey’s talking about Tamara to Dawson in the bathroom and the school stoner overhears, so soon the entire school knows. Pacey’s chagrined and Tamara has the nerve to be FURIOUS with him, like, YOU ARE HAVING SEX WITH YOUR 15-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, LADY. She gets called in by the school board, and Pacey arrives and tells everyone he made it up, humiliating himself and earning another Deputy Doug downsizing in the process. Tamara quits while she’s… ahead (?) and decides to move to Rochester, she and Pacey say a tearful goodbye, SHE LEAVES FINALLY, GAH, and Dawson’s Creek is much, much better for it. And not for nothing, but in addition to all of the other reasons I’m glad this story is over with, it allows Pacey to start joining the A-plot with the rest of the kids. In these first six episodes, he’s always shuttled to the side, doing his own Tamara thing and missing all the real fun. 

How many times did I have to drink? 

16.

Joey Potter and Pacey Witter’s long-simmering tension

As Pacey’s brooding on a bench, Joey shows up and, in a rare act of kindness, commiserates with him, because she knows what it feels like to be the subject of small-town gossip. It’s a sweet scene between these two, and a signal of something to come.

Most recognizable song

Susanna Hoffs’ “All I Want,” which has been in my head ever since I saw this episode.

GROSS

Tamara, listing reasons she and Pacey need to break up, “I want to have children before it’s too late. I mean, I want to be their mother, not their girlfriend.” ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU FEEL THE NEED TO CLARIFY THAT, WOMAN.

Pacey Witter’s best hug

Not that she deserves it, but Tamara gets the first of Pacey Witter’s most excellent hugs on this show. Joshua Jackson also does this on Fringe – he’s clearly just an all-time hugger.

Pacey hugs Tamara

Dawson the director

He’s filming Bessie’s labor since Bodie can’t be there, which would be cool except for how INCREDIBLY INVASIVE he is the entire time, even celebrating the conflict between Bessie and Grams because it makes for a better movie.

The least sexual love triangle in television history

Dawson invites Jen over for movie night, to Joey’s IMMENSE displeasure. None of these three have any romantic chemistry whatsoever (I blame Dawson), so scenes like this, where everyone’s just sitting several feet apart and staring ahead awkwardly, make me laugh. It’s not exactly Anna, Seth and Summer.

Grams + Jen 4ever

After they make it home, Grams tell Jen, “Just because we don’t say certain things to each other doesn’t mean we don’t feel them,” and it’s the first almost-expression of real affection between these two. Jen feels it, too.

Aww

When Bodie finally makes it home, and Bessie and baby are home safe, too, she hands her new son over to Joey and says, “He’s got Mom’s eyes, you know?” Joey agrees, “Yeah, that’s the first thing I noticed,” and I love this little alternative family so, so much.

Bessie and Joey hold the baby

That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: are you, like me, charmed by Joey’s scowly self-absorption, or does she get on your nerves? I know all of the dead mom card-pulling should get old, but I just love everything about this grumpy little jerk. 

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning, as she covers “Detention” (SHE IS SO LUCKY) and “Boyfriend.” Would you look at that – we’re already halfway through the first season! 

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.