Title: Dawson’s Creek S6.E01 “The Kids Are Alright” + S6.E02 “The Song Remains the Same”
Released: 2002
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where we have finally entered the last season. There are so many good Pacey & Joey moments in Season 6, you guys! But first we have to wrap up this other Joey Potter high school sweetheart relationship, so let’s hop to. 

Let’s all drink to the Dawson & Joey swan song: 

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”

Pacey wears a shirt that makes you want to blind yourself

Audrey declares something risqué or insane with utter confidence

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!

Dawson and Joey kiss

6.01 “The Kids Are Alright”

Remember how excited I was last week because I thought Joey was going to Paris over the summer? Well, she didn’t. Why, exactly? It makes no narrative sense, but I’m imagining it’s because Dawson’s Creek didn’t have the budget for a quick Paris montage, so they settled for a quick Capeside montage instead. The sixth and final season of Dawson’s Creek opens with a Joey Potter voiceover, because this show has totally become Joey’s Creek, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest. She catches us up with what everyone’s been doing since we last saw them at the airport: 

So I didn’t go to Paris. But I totally could’ve. I mean, what Dawson said that night definitely rang true. He was right. My life was waiting for me out there. But that doesn’t mean I had to max out my one and only credit card and fly halfway across the world to find it. Screw that. Instead, I embraced the simple, relatively angst-free pleasures of a summer in Capeside. I read a lot of books, listened to a lot of CDs, waited a lot of tables at the yacht club. Oh… and I met a boy. He was very cute and very nice, and things were going very well right up until the moment he said, ‘I think I’m in love with you.’ I know. Poor Joey Potter. Cute boy falls in love with her. How tragic. But it was a completely inappropriate display of affection.

Now, Pacey and Audrey, on the other hand, they were smart. They were keeping it simple. They were all about the fun. They came, they saw, they pretty much kicked LA’s ass.

Back in Beantown, Eric the closeted frat boy came barreling out of the closet, and he and Jack had a grand old summer doing all the things that young people in love are wont to do. But then Jack succumbed to a fate typically reserved for heterosexual women: he was dumped for someone far younger and prettier than himself… by e-mail, no less. He was depressed. This much is true. But he got up, dusted himself off, and got right back in the game.

Meanwhile, 3,000 miles away in the tony Hamptons, Miss Jennifer Lindley was the recipient of some very alarming news. Mr. And Mrs. Theodore Lindley sat their only child down and informed her that they were getting a divorce. She was happy! Really, truly happy. She thought it was the most functional thing her parents had ever done.

And Dawson. Oddly enough, what followed was perhaps the truth: we didn’t talk this summer. Not a word. Which is weird, I guess, but at the same time, not. I kept meaning to call him. I did. But one week turned into a month, and before you know it… here we are, back at school. What Dawson said that night definitely rang true – my life is waiting for me out there. I know it. And what’s really cool is that I have absolutely no idea what to expect. But whatever it is, I’m ready for it. I’m excited. Bring it on.

Thanks for that succinct recap, Joey Potter! You’re gonna put me out of a job.

So here’s what everyone’s doing now that their magical summers have ended:

Joey – She’s studious as ever, but in a sassier, more fun way. She’s determined to get into an upper-classmen English class, but she’s only a sophomore. The teacher, a bleached blonde grouch in a surfer shirt named Greg Hetson, is NOT impressed with that plucky Joey Potter can-do spirit. In fact, he seems determined to humiliate her, but she’s refusing to be cowed. Even when a handsome, smirky boy in the class joins Professor Hetson’s disdain of Joey and shoots down one of her theories in front of everyone. 

Jen – She’s in a great mood! She loves being a child of divorce. But her game is somewhat salted when she finds Grams sitting next to her in one of her classes. Grams!! She’s decided to go back to school to give that intimidating brain a work-out. Jen thinks she’s doing it just to impress Clifton Smalls, but Jen should really give Grams more credit. I’m sure Clifton Smalls is plenty impressed with Grams already. 

Jack – He’s been living up that single life, hooking up with enough boys to make up for the five-season dry spell he experienced until now. Jack’s starting to feel like his own game has been a bit salted by living at Grams’ house, so he’s looking to move out, but worries he can’t afford an apartment on his own. 

Pacey – Luckily, Pacey’s also looking for place to live, so the fellas decide to be roomies. Pacey’s been a little worn out by “Hollywood Audrey,” who’s been dragging him all over the city and never sleeping. She even brings her childhood bestie home to Boston with them, and it’s… Jack Osbourne? Like, actual Jack Osbourne. Not Jack Osbourne the actor playing another character. Audrey was best friends with Jack Osbourne. Because of course she was!

Jack Osbourne

Audrey’s clearly pretty worried that she and Pacey are going to break up now that their summer of fun is over, and she probably should be, because Pacey already seems exhausted by her. Joey, adorably, tells him this: 

Look, I’ve got a conflict here, because the part of me that happens to be your close friend and erstwhile paramour says, ‘Hey, life’s too short. You gotta do what makes you happy, right?’ But then the other part of me, the part that happens to be Audrey’s close friend and college roommate says, ‘You know what? You break her heart, I break your face. Got it?’

Pacey’s got a big job interview in the morning – apparently he impressed Audrey’s dad, who’s trying to hook him up with a fancy stock market job – and just wants to go to bed, but then Audrey rents them a fancy hotel room to try and recapture some of that summer magic. Poor Audrey, but it seems to do the trick, and Pacey finally loses his grouchiness. ALSO he finds a perfect apartment he wants to rent with Jack, but the current tenant, a sassy British drummer named Emma, does not seem impressed with the boys and doesn’t really want them to be her new roommates. 

Dawson – He’s been working in LA with Todd, the obnoxious director, but they have a project that’s brought them back to, you guessed it!, Boston.

Everyone meets up at a new bar, where Emma works as a bartender and offers a job to Joey, and they’re waiting for Dawson to finally show up. He’s stuck at work and takes forever, so everyone leaves but Joey. Dawson finally shows up and they flirt and talk and dance and it’s pretty cute, and then they go back to her dorm room (empty, since Audrey’s at the hotel with Pacey). At midnight, it’s Joey’s birthday, and Dawson gives her a Hollywood snow globe, which, I’m sorry, feels like a last-minute airport gift. They kiss and then they have sex! It’s kinda hot? But also kinda lame, in the grand tradition of Dawson and Joey’s romance: 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Hollywood Audrey and Pacey

(as envisioned by Joey during her voiceover)

Audrey’s great new haircut, Pacey’s terrible new goatee

Audrey's shorter hair

Guess who? 

The handsome jerk in Joey’s English class is Eddie, played by Oliver Hudson, brother to Kate and most recently of Nashville and Scream Queens. His hair is a PROBLEM.

Oliver Hudson sits at a desk looking smug

Guess who x2

The jerk professor from Joey’s English class is played by Roger Howarth, who’s been on a million soap operas and The Flash. His hair is also a PROBLEM.

Guy in a Hawaiian shirt

Guess who x3

Emma, the cool British drummer, is played by Megan Gray, who was Sandy on Buffy. I kind of like her hair, though it is also admittedly problematic.

Megan in a black tank top

Of COURSE this is how Dawson and Joey finally have sex

Next to a corny Hollywood snowglobe. How else? 

Joey and Dawson lamely kiss by a cheap snowglobe

But, really, why is Jack Osbourne here

Can ANYONE tell me?

The group sits at the bar

6.2 “The Song Remains The Same” 

haha SO. Joey wakes up the next morning to find a note in her bed and Dawson gone. He returns with coffee and roses, which seems like a sweet (if overblown) gesture, no? Remember that for later. It’s a bit awkward between the two of them, but they kind of work it out, and when Joey tries to talk about “what this means” (sigh), Dawson shuts her up with a kiss and they have sex again. Good for them! Because that was their very last chance. 

They split up to take care of their own various responsibilities – Joey goes back to work at the bar, where it turns out Eddie also works, of course, because Boston is almost as small as Capeside on this show, and Dawson goes to work on the set of his new movie with Todd. Joey visits the set and it’s crazy – Dawson’s influenced the set designer to make the main character’s house and bedroom look exactly like Dawson’s old house and bedroom. While this is a bananas thing to do as a character, it’s a neat way for Dawson’s Creek to bring a bit of Capeside into Boston. Todd seems very impressed with Dawson’s romantic conquest, by the way, which is gross. After work, Dawson takes Joey to the porch of the fake house, and turns on a bunch of twinkle lights and they have a birthday picnic. It’s sweet, and then he takes her back to the dorm room, where the rest of their friends are waiting to throw her a surprise party just beyond the door.

But WAIT – Dawson’s phone rings, and Joey’s teasing him about it, and then she realizes it’s a girl. Dawson admits it’s a girl he was seeing back in LA, and Joey’s stricken, because Dawson had a girlfriend when they had sex and didn’t tell her!!! AND the reason he sneaked out this morning was actually to make a post-coital breakup call to the poor girl. Joey is PISSED. They get into this screaming fight in front of all of their friends, who excuse themselves while Dawson and Joey have it out. (It’s funny – Audrey’s the only one rooting for Dawson and Joey to work it out, while the rest of their friends are wisely like, “That’s not actually the best idea for these two.”) They fight and fight and fight, bringing up years-old wounds and saying hateful things about each other. It’s seriously brutal! Eventually Joey just ends it with Dawson, saying, “Maybe there’s nothing here worth saving. Maybe last night was just two old friends making a huge mistake.” DAAAAMN. Dawson storms off, and Joey cries in bed, and it should be sad but it’s all so JUICY. 

Other stuff that happened in this episode: 

  • Grams and Jen are having a post-class coffee (aww), when a cute boy named CJ overhears them and introduces himself. He recognizes Jen’s voice from her radio show (she’s apparently not doing it anymore after a disagreement with new management), and he asks her if she’d be interested in volunteering at a peer counseling group with him. She arrives and she’s kind of nervous – it’s a sobriety group, and Jen doesn’t think she belongs there. It’s clear she has a crush on CJ and he might have a crush on her, but she excuses herself and says this isn’t her scene. 
  • Pacey has his first day at his new stock market job, and it feels like a really cutthroat environment. Pacey introduces himself to his slimy new boss, Rich Rinaldi, and seems to make an impression with that patented Pacey Witter iconoclastic charm.
  • Pacey and Jack are still trying to convince Emma to let them move into her great apartment. Audrey helps at first, acting as a character witness for the boys, but then she sees Pacey and Emma doing that hate-banter thing that usually precedes sex (at least when it comes to Pacey), and she’s understandably wary. Jack finally wears Emma down and she agrees to let them move in, to poor Audrey’s dismay. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who

CJ is played by Supernatural‘s wonderful Jensen Ackles!! I have an enormous crush on this actor. However his hair is, you guessed it!, a PROBLEM.

The adorable Jensen Ackles with a bad floppy haircut

Guess who x2

Pacey’s boss is played by Twin Peaks‘ Dana Ashbrook. His hair is okay, I guess. But I liked it better on Twin Peaks.

Rich is bent over and looking up at someone

Audrey’s greatest hit

When Audrey tells Pacey that she doesn’t like his banter with Emma, he replies, “That girl? That girl HATES me.” Audrey is totally accurate in her response: “She hates you too much. I don’t trust it.” Poor Audrey. 

The truest thing anybody said this week

When Audrey asks Jen how she feels about Dawson and Joey together, Jen laughs, “I am just the roadkill on the Joey and Dawson highway.” Pacey’s like “amen, sister.”

That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: How are you liking Season 6? Any of you old-time Dawson’s Creekers watch this season live? I dig it. It’s got a fun pace to it. 

Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest” and “Instant Karma!”

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.