Mitch stares earnestly off-screen

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S5.E03 “The Long Weekend” + S5.E04 “Capeside Revisited”
Released: 2001
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 12

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Dawson’s Creek.

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, in which we’re about to witness one of the most ignoble deaths in the history of fiction. 

Let’s drink to Mitch, who deserves better, kind of:

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!

Jen and Jack, both looking at something off-screen, their heads tilted at identical angles

5.02 “The Lost Weekend”

Dawson and Joey have spent a lovely weekend together, a weekend that was presumably romantic but also certainly sexless, since this is Dawson and Joey we’re talking about. But now it’s Monday morning and the glow is beginning to wear off, especially when Dawson finally checks his voicemail and discovers that Joey was dumping him the very moment he was on a plane flying to Boston. Stuff immediately gets angsty – what are we doing here, what’s our future, how are we going to make this work cross-country, blah blah blah – so Joey checks out so she can drop her creative writing class with Professor David Wilder, because she’s making her very first C, which is obviously unacceptable to perennial over-acheiver Joey Potter.

She asks Wilder to sign the drop form, and he’s disappointed and tells her he thinks she has great promise as a writer, but signs it anyway. She stands in an endless line – remember when we used to have to stand in line to get stuff done in college? These kids today are so lucky with their computers – and, hours later, finally makes it to the registrar, who informs her that her form is null because it’s signed by Oscar Wilde, a dead person. That rascally professor! Joey’s quite pissed, because that’s her thing, and confronts Wilder, and he confronts her right back, making her admit that she’s bailing because she’s never made less than an A in her life. He thinks she’s a great writer and just wants more out of her. He has her write her feelings down in a blue book or something, and then gives her an A on her feelings essay, so she decides to stay in his class. It would all be kind of dumb except for the fact that it’s Ken Marino, which makes it rather charming. 

So here’s what Dawson’s doing with all this free time while his… girlfriend? (seriously, have they even kissed since the S4 finale?) is off flirting with an older man. Audrey offers to take him on a tour of Worthington campus, because it turns out she’s the tour guide, as well as a person of whimsy and spontaneity. (I’ve spent years believing this tour guide thing was a clever nod to Philipps’ wonderful turn in Undeclared, but that ep aired a year after “The Lost Weekend” so it’s either a coincidence or Undeclared was giving a shout-out to Dawson’s Creek instead. I now choose to believe the latter.) Audrey spends the day cheerfully flirting with Dawson, because that’s her thing, but when he makes it clear he wouldn’t mind making out with her, she has the best response:

No. Because, even though she would probably deny it with every last breath in her body, Joey is my friend. Or at least, she’s going to be. And I don’t think she would like it too much.

I love Audrey! She also does her typical wise and insightful thing and gets Dawson to admit that he kind of hates LA. Of course Dawson hates Los Angeles. He’s not the golden child there! Anyway, after their day of inner reflection with near strangers, Dawson and Joey kind of cutely make up, and Dawson decides not to fly back to California. 

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Jen and Jack are stalking Charlie, because Jack is still WAY too invested in getting Jen laid. They find him, and of course he’s a DJ for the college radio station, because what else would he be? He and Jen do some weird on-air flirting that represents foreplay for college students:


They go back to Charlie’s dorm room and Jen sort of accidentally immediately has sex with him. She wakes up afterward feeling guilty and regretful, but Charlie’s cute about it (at least, as cute as ChaMM is capable of being with that hair), and tells her:

Please don’t do this, pretend that what just happened didn’t happen. Something did happen. I met you. I liked you. You liked me. We had sex. So if you could just take a second, stop, and appreciate that fact, because that is a frickin’ amazing day for me. And if it’s all the same to you, I don’t want to have to go out next Friday and start the process all over again with a girl I don’t like half as much as I like you.

Jen’s into this whole line of thinking, so it looks like somebody’s got a new boyfriend with squinky eyes and hair like a chrysanthemum!

* We get a little glimpse into Pacey’s new boat life, and it doesn’t look too shabby. He has a beautiful new girlfriend named Melanie, who also happens to be very rich. Doug stops by (Doug!) to ask Pacey what he’s doing with his life and to urge him to get a job at a posh restaurant called Civilization, owned by Doug’s pal Danny. Pacey, being stubborn, isn’t interested at first – until Melanie insists on paying for dinner because Pacey’s unemployed, and then she calls him her “cute slacker boyfriend,” which is entirely accurate but hurts Pacey’s little pride. So he goes back to Danny’s restaurant and charms/bullshits his way into a job in Civilization’s kitchen. Danny likes Pacey’s chutzpah. Cute snarky waitress Karen Torres pretends not to like Pacey’s chutzpah, but let’s be honest, all women do.

How many times did I have to drink? 

7

Guess who

Pacey’s girlfriend Melanie is played by Once Upon a Time‘s Jennifer Morrison!

Jennifer Morrison as Melanie, about to kiss Pacey

Guess who x2

Snarky waitress Karen Torres is played by and Cashmere Mafia‘s Lourdes Benedicto.

Lourdes Benedicto as Karen

The truest thing anybody said this week

Audrey, about Joey: “She’s a handful, that girl, isn’t she?”

The second truest thing anybody said this week

Professor Wilder, also about Joey: “You fluster really easily, don’t you, Ms. Potter? You have this almost amazing inability to roll with the punches.” I love how much everyone screws with Joey in her college years. She is constantly being called on her shit, and it makes her a better person. It’s the exact opposite trajectory of Rory, who just gets worse and worse once she’s in college.

Dawson walks away from his house with an introspective look on his face, as Mitch stares after him, far away on the porch

5.03 “Capeside Revisited”

The episode opens with Joey, Jen and Audrey enjoying a fancy girls’ night out at Civilization, and let me first say that I LOVE watching these three girls hang out and be fancy. I’d watch an entire episode of that. But of course Joey sees Pacey working in the kitchen and realizes he’s been in Boston this whole time. She’s stricken, especially when she discovers that Jen knew but Pacey asked her not to tell Joey, so it’s clear he’s been avoiding her. This really hurts her feelings, understandably, and as much as she tries to keep her guard up around Audrey, Audrey gets her to confess about her history with Pacey, then assures Joey that Pacey really does want to see her:

After much hemming and hawing and gnashing of teeth, Joey makes up her mind and heads to Pacey’s boat – where they have an absolutely wonderful, mature conversation and it’s clear that they’re going to be friends again. She even invites him to Grams’ Sunday night dinners – we better SEE one of these dinners soon, because just hearing about them has me all warm and fuzzy.

Pacey, meanwhile, has been learning the ropes at Civilization and is proving himself to be a pretty decent cook. Karen’s super annoyed with him all the time, and he can’t figure out why until he realizes that she wanted his job, and she thinks he only got it because he’s a dude and she’s a lady. Considering Pacey has NO restaurant experience and Karen’s been working at Civilization for months if not years, plus Danny seems to have a giant boy crush on Pacey, I think Karen might be right.

Dawson’s decided to drop out of USC’s prestigious film school for good, and stay in Boston so he can basically hang out with his friends and hopefully get to see Joey’s boobs for the first time in their entire lives. (I’d like to remind you here that USC film school was supposedly Dawson’s dream.) He takes the bus home to Capeside to break the news to his parents, and they are obviously pissed. How much did they pay for Dawson’s first semester at USC, which he ditched in OCTOBER? Yes, it’s the second month of the school year and Dawson’s already bailed. He’s so certain this is the right move for him, refusing to listen to poor Mitch, while Gail admits she doesn’t exactly hate the idea of Dawson being only a couple of hours away instead of across the country. He and Mitch fight and fight and fight, but Dawson sticks to his pretty stupid guns, and then before Dawson gets on the bus back to Boston, Mitch tells him he’s disappointed in him, which is pretty harsh, but that he’ll always, always love his son. I’m glad he said that last part, because the episode ends TERRIBLY. Mitch is getting ice cream in the middle of the night, and jamming out to the car radio, when his ice cream scoop falls off his cone. He leans down to retrieve the scoop, and the lights of an oncoming truck flood his car, before the episode ominously fades to black. It’s pretty clear what happened here, and it sucks. 

Other stuff that happened in this episode:

* Jen and Charlie are still bangin’ all day every day, but Jen’s feeling weird that she doesn’t actually know anything about him. So she insists on a 12-hour sex hiatus so they can find out if they have anything in common, but the more they learn about each other, the less they have in common. They eventually shrug it off and have sex anyway. 

* Jack’s pledging that frat, which is gross but I guess I can’t stop him. He learns that the fraternity wants him to fill a quota as a gay man, and he’s uncomfortable with that. But the head frat brother tells him that they like lots about Jack beyond his quota-filling qualities, and Jack decides to join. Everyone celebrates, but this whole storyline is yuck and I don’t approve of it. You’re better than this, Jack McPhee!

How many times did I have to drink? 

5

We need to talk about Jack

NOTHING ABOUT YOUR SEASON 5 STORYLINE IS OKAY, JACK. Least of all this haircut and your liberal application of bronzer.

Jack, with a shaggy bronde haircut and dramatically bronzed skin

Gross

Charlie refuses to watch movies with subtitles. Why are you with this guy again, Jen?

I doubt it.

Dawson assures his parents that he’s “thought a lot about” dropping out of film school so he can live in Boston. I don’t think you’re thinking with your big brain there, D.

Grams rules

She makes a package of Rice Krispie squares for Dawson’s bus ride to Capeside. These dummies are so lucky to have her.

Bummer

Dawson reports on all of the Capeside gossip to Joey, including the fact that they’re tearing down the Rialto and replacing it with a sixteen-screen multiplex. Boooo!

Best pop culture reference

After much talk of boys and bangin’, Joey tells Jen and Audrey that she’d like to push pause on “this week’s episode of Sex and the City.”

Audrey’s greatest hit

After Joey chides Audrey for inviting herself along to the girls’ night, Audrey scoffs, “Would you stop? No one believes that you don’t adore me.” I LOVE HER PERSISTENCE. It’s totally working. Joey’s dropping her guard WAY faster than she usually does.

Best foreshadowing

After Joey mentions her promiscuous roommate to Pacey, he jokingly pretends to be super interested in hearing more. Oh, you’ll hear more, Pacey. You’ll hear LOTS more.

The least true thing anybody said this week

Mitch ends his lecture to Dawson by saying, “I will always be here for you.” 🙁 

The most recognizable song

Mitch is wailing along to “Drift Away” in the car.

Oh, Mitch.

Listen, I have beef with Mitch’s death. I get it. Dads die. Especially on TV shows when wayward sons need incentive to grow up. But did Mitch, poor Mitch who never gets any damn respect on this show, have to die like this? He drops his ice cream cone by enthusiastically pointing during a car serenade and then DIES? It makes me so sad, but I have to admit – it also makes me laugh. Every time, I laugh a little, because what a truly, truly ridiculous death this is. 


That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: HOW RIDICULOUS IS MITCH’S DEATH? Am I the only one who’s legit appalled at the way this went down?

Meet me here next Wednesday morning as we cover “The Long Goodbye” and “Use Your Disillusion.”

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.