Drinks Taken: 26
Last week, Meredith asked me how I feel about the way the show handles Jen’s sexuality – at times, Jen expresses positive (and healthy!) attitudes about sex, but then stuff like Vincent happens, and Grams’ reaction and Jen’s own guilt get a little slut-shamey. Honestly, I think the show does a pretty good job with the mixed reactions and behaviors regarding sex. I think when it comes to people judging Jen, and maybe I’m wrong, but it’s really just the show being honest about the conflicting attitudes regarding sex, particularly during high school when the lines are super blurry and ill-defined. Luckily, one of this week’s episodes addresses this really well.
Let’s drink to confusing sex feelings!
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
Let’s get started!
2.06 “The Dance”
The school dance (or a school dance, anyway) is approaching, and Andie is PUMPED. Dawson, Joey, and Pacey? Not so much. The gang’s watching Footloose and Andie is really into it, but when everyone explains to her that they’d much rather complain about high school than create actual high school memories, Andie aptly replies, “You mean you would rather watch a movie about something than doing it yourselves?” I mean, to be fair, isn’t that how most people live?
Anyway, Andie uses her delightful pluckiness to convince everyone that the dance is a good idea because dancing is like foreplay, or something. Turns out the dance is not such a good idea, but we’ll get to that.
Bessie gives great advice as always to a guilt-ridden Joey, assuring her little sis that it was just a kiss, and since Jack initiated it and Joey felt nothing (well, you know, kind of), it doesn’t count. Best to just ignore it and spare Dawson from overreacting over nothing. And now would be a terrible time to tell him since Gail and Mitch have decided to have a trial separation. Also, it is LITERALLY never a good time to talk to Dawson about ANYTHING because this kid’s whole life is whiny, reactionary, self-centered drama.
Andie drags sweet, awkward, and totally huggable Jack along to the dance to help introduce him to the potential women of his dreams, but he’s still kind of hung up on this Joey thing. Andie and Dawson try to play matchmaker by getting Jack to dance with Jen, and while that doesn’t necessarily set off any sparks, it is the start of a very beautiful and meaningful friendship between these two. Meanwhile, Pacey is refusing to dance with Andie because dancing just isn’t his thing, so she dances with Jack for a bit before swapping partners with Dawson, which means that – YUP – Joey and Jack are stuck together.
Sweet Jack tries to apologize for the whole kiss thing, and then Dawson finds out and sucker-punches Jack, who will probably never try to leave his house again (also why is Jack never seen at school? It’s weird). Jack walks Jen home and their newfound friendship begins to solidify and it is the super cutest. I love this odd coupling.
Back at the dance, Joey and Dawson get into a fight in the courtyard – a callback to earlier in the episode when Dawson spotted Kristy (Ali Larter) fighting with her dumb jock boyfriend in the school hallway, at which point Dawson tells Joey there’s nothing more mortifying than being That Couple. Surprise! They’re That Couple now. Joey throws an amazing diss at Dawson about how he’s turning this into some big cinematic melodrama, to which he replies – in the most melodramatic way possible – “Don’t turn who I am against me!” BARF. I am 100% Team Joey on this one – this isn’t about Dawson for once, not that Dawson can see that.
There’s even more trouble when Pacey runs into a bummed-out Kristy in the hallway, throwing herself a pity party because Abby is successfully stealing her dumb boyfriend. Pacey inappropriately flirts with her, and then he AGREES TO DANCE WITH KRISTY even though he told Andie he does not dance. It is the rudest thing. Also, now is a good time to criticize Pacey Witter’s Worst Shirt:
Andie confronts Pacey about dancing with Kristy, and he gives her this speech about how he was just living out a fantasy and was caught up in the moment (ugh, whatever), and that he wishes he had shared that special moment with her instead of Kristy. Andie is a total angel because she forgives him for being an idiot, and the two trade some friendly snark and share a dance on the school lawn. It is super cute.
Dawson gets home to find Joey in his room, where she tells him that although she’s always wanted to be with him and he does make her happy, she won’t feel comfortable in their relationship until she learns how to make herself happy. Dawson encourages her to go figure out what she wants to be and who she is, but then Joey breaks his heart by telling him she has to do this alone, and then Dawson desperately tells her that he loves her, and she says she loves him, too, but she leaves anyway. And then we reach peak Dramatic Dawson:
How many times did I have to drink?
Most recognizable song
“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer! Which just makes me want to watch She’s All That, as if I ever need an excuse.
Abby’s best line
“Brett Tompkins is just a dim bulb with good hair and tight pants. A classic him-bo.” I love everything that comes out of Abby’s mouth.
Gail’s biggest hair
BIGGER THAN EVER
Most likely dialogue
Dawson, to his parents: “Yeah, well I conclude that your conclusion sucks.”
Least likely dialogue
Dawson, about his parents: “You know, I’m just going to let them work out their adolescent traumas on their own.”
Best pop culture reference
Pacey: “I don’t dance. This includes dances of all speeds, all types, and all cultures, including, but not limited to, fast dances, slow dances, and whatever Patrick Swayze was doing in Dirty Dancing.”
Way harsh, Tai
Abby tells Jen, “I have to tell you, I love your dress. In fact, I have the same one… in a smaller size.”
2.07 “The All-Nighter”
This episode is EASILY one of the best of the series so far – like, as good as the detention episode, if not better. While Dawson and Joey act passive-aggressive and bicker about how she needs space and he’s just trying to oblige, Andie and Pacey continue to be the cutest little couple on the planet. Andie wants to take a purity test in Jane magazine (I MEAN, REALLY), but Pacey says he’s embarrassingly pure – yeah, okay, whatever you say.
Meanwhile, Chris Wolfe is hitting on Jen in class by sending her this note straight from his douche canoe:
Jen straight-up beams over it, but if some dude sent a note telling me to smile, I would promptly shove my fist in his mouth to show him how it’s done.
There’s a big midterm the next day, but the study session is canceled so Chris invites Jen, Andie, and Pacey over to his place to cram and Pacey is particularly agreeable because Chris’ family is loaded. But then Andie invites Joey and Pacey invites Dawson, neither aware that the other will be there, and of course they’re both acting like each of them is trying to manipulate the other. Obviously, there’s not a whole lot of studying going on, much to the chagrin of our favorite control freak, Andie, but she does indulge the group when that Jane purity test resurfaces.
Unsurprisingly, Chris is the least pure, followed by Jen, with Joey and Dawson somewhere above average, and Andie proudly declaring herself 92% pure. Pacey doesn’t turn in his answers, so Chris paddles by in that damn douche canoe to out his big, Tamara Jacobs-sized secret. Andie is hurt, but Pacey convinces her to accept his past and they happily move on. Meanwhile, Chris’ 12-year-old little sister Dina uses Joey’s test answers to try and bribe Dawson into her first kiss, but when he finds out that Joey’s answer sheet claims she’s been in love twice, he FLIPS OUT and starts cry-shouting at this little girl about how woefully unprepared people are for all the bullshit that comes from ONE KISS.
It is… unfortunate.
The whole purity test thing takes us back to the question Meredith asked me last week – and I think this particular plot accurately depicts the confusing, conflicted views of teenage (and sometimes adult) sexuality. When Andie and Dawson get upset about Pacey and Joey’s answers, their reactions are not only irrational, but entirely driven by jealousy and insecurity. And that’s kind of why teenage sex can be a bad idea – not because it means you’re slutty, but because a lot of our high school (and sometimes adult!) decisions are driven by insecurity, fear of judgment, and our peers, and not by what we actually want.
Speaking of which: after assuring Dawson that she’s aware of Chris’ intentions and has some ideas of her own (SPOILER: they’re the same as Chris’ ideas), Jen tries to be friendly to Joey and is once again met with a scowling dismissal. Jen’s over it:
SOMEONE HAD TO SAY IT. Obviously, Joey is very nice after this happens. But I do relate to Joey because my mom tells me I have Resting Bitch Voice, so I totally get it.
Jen heads down to the hot tub and Dawson cries on the porch by himself (REALLY), and Joey tries to make Dina feel more optimistic about kissing boys by giving her a pep talk paraphrased from the Facts of Life theme song. Dawson goes to Joey and says he’d take their first kiss back if he could, but he’d erase all the good with the bad and hey, wait, isn’t this the lesson we’re supposed to learn from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Anyway, these two are going to be okay.
The next morning Jen wakes up in bed with Chris and it is very obvious that they went to Bone Mountain because there are TWO used condom wrappers on the nightstand and Jen’s hair is having a moment. Chris is, unsurprisingly, very flippant about the whole thing. Shocker.
After a quick, intense cram session, the kids jump in the pool and Pacey and Andie continue to be adorable:
After discovering that their teacher called out sick and their midterm has been postponed, Pacey takes everyone out for a nice nap on the football field in a scene that would make John Hughes proud.
How many times did I have to drink?
Chris is played by Jason Behr, the star of ANOTHER hit teen series, Roswell! I never watched it, but I know Meredith and many of you will appreciate this. And, to be fair, he’s kiiiiind of a babe even though he plays a total jerk infected by the same leather necklace disease that’s gripped so many TV babes.
Hello from 1998!
Confession time: I tried to imitate Jen’s sassy short haircut complete with tiny hair clips and it was DEPRESSING. The less said about this time in my life, the better.
Most likely dialogue
Dawson, to Jen, “I’m worried Chris doesn’t exactly have the best of intentions here.” 1. How very Howdy Doody of you, Dawson. 2. UH DOYYYYYYYY.
Least likely dialogue
“Gauging our level of sexual expertise is not my idea of joy abounding.” Pacey tryin’ to put the Wit in Witter.
That’s it for this week! Meredith, a question (or two) for you: How thrilled are you about Jen and Jack’s new friendship? I vaguely recall how important it is, but I am just so happy she is making friends with someone who won’t criticize the size of her dress (AHEM, ABBY). Oh, and also, did I miss something, or is there a reason why Jack is never at school? Aside from taking care of their wacky mom or whatever.
Join Meredith back here next week when she covers “The Reluctant Hero” and “The Election”!
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.