Ken Marino as Professor Wilder


Title: Dawson’s Creek S5.E12 “Sleeping Arrangements” + S5.E13 “Something Wilder”
Released: 2002
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 15

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Dawson’s Creek.

Welcome back to Dawson’s Creek, which actually takes place in Boston now, far away from any creeks. The College Years continue to tickle me with their pleasant lack of drama, which might not make for the most exciting television but is a very soothing method of whiling away a couple of hours every week. 

Let’s drink to dubious collegiate decisions!

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's crew hangs out on the dock next to Pacey's houseboat

5.12 “Sleeping Arrangements”

Jennifer Morrison has returned! She’s here with good news and bad news – her uncle, who owns the boat Pacey’s been living on, has sold the boat, but he’s about to take a trip around the Greek islands for several months and wants Pacey to sail with him. Pacey immediately tailspins: this feels like the perfect opportunity for him, but he’s really fitting in at Civilization and Danny‘s been a good mentor to him. Plus he’s been having a great time with his friends and is really getting along with Audrey, who’s charming her way through her new waitressing job at the restaurant. He confides in her with his dilemma, and she’s an excellent listener as always, but also super cute and flirty with Pacey. (He also hooks up with Jennifer Morrison this week, and he manages to do both without seeming at all like a hound dog. That might be Pacey’s secret power.) Eventually, after Audrey very cutely plans a surprise goodbye party for Pacey and the gang gives him a beautiful sextant as a going-away gift, he admits he’s sticking around. He likes his job, he likes his friends, and (this part goes unspoken) he likes Audrey. But now he needs a place to live! Jen offers up poor Grams’ overcrowded house, but Pacey wisely demurs.

Meanwhile, Jen and Dawson seem to be having a few growing pains, mainly because Jen flees from commitment at every opportunity. She has a toothbrush-related freakout, a personal space-related freakout, a couple of other freakouts, but Dawson (who confides a little in Grams and it is SO CUTE) handles them all perfectly, staying calm and supportive and letting Jen know he’s not going anywhere. That does the trick, and they end the episode adorably brushing their teeth together like so much Bring It On

Jen and Dawson brush their teeth side-by-side in the bathroom, smiling cutely at each other in the mirror, just like that scene in BRING IT ON

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Professor Ken Marino sees a guy hanging around after class, staring moonily at Joey, and he grandly pushes the poor boy to ask her out. This nerd is Elliott, whom we met in the S5 premiere at a house party. He seemed to like Joey, but then she saw him leaving her dorm room and assumed he was one of Audrey’s conquests, so when he asks her out now, she declines. She finds out later from Audrey that Elliott just walked her back to their room to be a gentleman, so then Joey goes back to him and asks him out. Elliott’s a drip, so let’s all move on.

* Jack has decided Grams’ house is getting sort of crowded (probably because Jen keeps inviting strays to live there), so he moves into the frat house. Then he realizes that another frat boy, Eric, moved into a different room because he didn’t want to share with the gay guy, and Jack almost moves back out because of it. But Eric apologizes and promises he’s working on his homophobia, so Jack decides to stick around. Ugh, these guys suck. Stop hanging out with them, Jack. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who

Eric, the homophobic frat boy, is Ryan Bittle, who played Todd in Sweet Valley High – with Dawson’s Season 3 fling Brittany Daniel as Jessica Wakefield!

Ryan Bittle as Eric

Crispin Glover thing

Joey describes Elliott as having a “Crispin Glover thing,” and while that’s accurate, I don’t quite understand why it’s something she wants. 

Elliott with shaggy hair and a clueless expression on his face, much like Crispin Glover in Back to the Future

Audrey’s greatest hit

Pacey describes her as “bawdy,” and she replies, “Ew, bawdy? You make me sound like I’m Bette Midler or something.” (Audrey totally has a Bette Midler thing going, and that is why I love her.)

ILU Grams

Dawson catches her playing one of Jack’s handheld video games, and she sighs, “I think it must be the work of the devil. It’s had me under its spell for two hours now.”

Best callback

Grams, appreciating the chill-out effect Jen has had on her, “Once upon a time, I couldn’t even say the word ‘penis.'”

The truest thing anybody said this week

When Dawson stupidly comments that he didn’t realize Jen was “that into makeup,” Jen replies, “You have no idea how much makeup it takes to make a girl look like she’s not that into makeup.” 

The second truest thing anybody said this week

Audrey to Pacey, “Pacey. I have boobs. You would sleep with me.”

Professor Wilder and Joey stare moonily at each other

5.13 “Something Wilder”

Elliott and Joey have a date on Friday, and I kind of feel like it isn’t an accident that Professor Ken Marino then schedules a dinner with his independent study group, also on Friday. Instead of just telling Elliott that she has to do this thing for class, she lies and says she’s sick, then goes to dinner with the group. She and Ken Marino flirt outrageously the entire time, and once the group disperses they end up walking alone along the water, with Ken Marino offering his elbow. They sit on a bench and flirt some more and then TOTALLY MAKE OUT, and while Katie Holmes and Ken Marino are both EXTREMELY attractive adults who have great chemistry, on a narrative level, this isn’t appropriate behavior. I admit it took me a long time to acknowledge this, even here in this very rewatch! Because their characters are, in fact, played by extremely attractive adults who have great chemistry. But in the story: a college professor and a freshman? Inappropes.

After a minute they jump away from each other – though I note that Ken Marino doesn’t jump away until Joey does – and then he pretends he’s worried he’s going to get arrested, like this is the first time he’s ever made out with one of his freshman students. I DOUBT IT, KEN MARINO. Joey jokes, “I think we can leave the feds out of this one. I think I may have even been an accomplice,” but then she hurries outta there. She heads back to her dorm to find an elaborate get-well basket from Elliott that’s frankly a bit of nice guy overkill, and then she breaks up with him, which feels like the right move. Audrey, it must be noted, is very proud of Joey.

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Jen’s so cute and happy with Dawson that she’s losing her edge on her new sassy advice radio show. It’s Dawson’s first day of class at his new film school, and Jen buys him a ton of school supplies, including an ET Trapper Keeper, and it’s so super adorable. But then Oliver shows up and demands Dawson direct Oliver’s new script, and he requires so much of Dawson’s time and is generally very annoying and pushy, and Jen gets her edge right back. Also, Oliver’s going to star in the movie, so Dawson’s in trouble because Oliver is a handful and a half. 

* Ugh. Jack’s on academic probation, and though everyone in his life is telling him this is a big deal, he doesn’t seem to understand that it’s a big deal. When the head frat boy tells him he needs to keep his grades up to stay in the fraternity, Jack gets pissy and drunk and defensive, and then he and the head frat boy come to blows at Civilization and the frat guys all gang up on Jack. Pacey wants to know why the hell Jack’s throwing away his life to hang out with these jerks, and I want to know the same, but Jack just storms out rather than answer him. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


PJ Jen

No joke, she spends almost all of Season 5 in her pajamas. It should be a drinking game rule. It’s the most accurate aspect of college life on all of Dawson’s Creek, and I love it.

Jen in a cute pair of blue thermal PJs

Audrey’s greatest hit

Daydreaming about Joey and Ken Marino, she says, “[The dinner] could end up with date-like circumstances, the two of you wrapped around each other like squid.” Alas, she is not wrong.

On a scale of 1 to 10

Joey tells Audrey that Ken Marino’s kiss was a 20. I refuse to believe he is a better kisser than Pacey, so this kiss must have been a 30.

The truest thing anybody said this week

When Jen wonders why her radio show isn’t doing so well, Pacey posits, “Nobody likes happy people.”

That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: how does everyone else feel about this Ken Marino plotline? I know it’s trashy and stupid and professors should never make out with their students, but it’s also kinda scandalous and fun when the rest of S5 is so mild. (Don’t get me wrong – I like the mild.)

Meet me here next Wednesday morning as we cover “Guerrilla Filmmaking” and “Downtown Crossing.”

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.