Joey and Pacey sit on a bench, kissing in the snow

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S4.E15 “Four Stories” + S4.E16 “Mind Games”
Released: 2001
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 14

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Dawson’s Creek.

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where Pacey is being the boy-iest boy who ever boyed in Boy Town. 

Let’s drink to… not that: 

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


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!

Pacey and Joey sit outside on a bench in the snow, kissing

4.15 “Four Stories” 

“Four Stories” is another experimental-ish episode of Dawson’s Creek, broken into four titled chapters that tackle the events after “A Winter’s Tale.” Let’s take ’em one at a time!

About Last Night: 

Joey and Pacey wake, spooning, and realize they’ve missed the bus back to Capeside thanks to some classic Drue Valentine shenanigans. They head to the bus station to catch their ride home, and there’s definitely some awkwardness here. Joey’s mostly in a good, if quietly introspective, mood, until Pacey really starts to push his luck by demanding to hear how spectacular he was in bed. Joey tells him that their first attempt at sexin’ was “nice,” and while that doesn’t sound GREAT, her delivery is really sweet, and it’s clear that she means it in a good way. Pacey, however, bros out and wants specifics: namely, did she orgasm. Although Joey never says as much, let me go ahead and answer this one for you, you little dipshit: No, your seventeen-year-old girlfriend did not have an orgasm during her very first attempt at vaginal intercourse with you. 

He keeps pushing and pushing, acting like such an unforgivable BOY, and then says, in this smug, superior tone, “Want to know something funny? You haven’t touched me all morning. And here I was thinking that sex brought people closer together.” Poor, mortified Joey just walks out of the bus station and starts crying outside, and Pacey finally realizes he’s being a massive, disgusting tool. He goes outside and hugs her, and she gives such a lovely speech, it makes me want to hug her forever:

You want to know why it was so nice, Pacey? You probably don’t even remember, but… there was this thing. There you were, above me, and you brushed my hair over my forehead. And it felt really nice. Made me feel safe. Like no matter what, you were going to be there and you were going to protect me. Years from now, when I look back, I’m really not gonna remember the clumsy positioning or the morning-after awkwardness or whether or not the experience itself met the textbook definition of great sex. I’m going to remember how sweet you were. How you took me to this brand new place. Pace, I’m glad I had sex. And I’m really glad that I had sex with you.

SHE IS SO GREAT. He’s smiling, bigger and bigger through this speech, then she sniffles a little and says, “But now, I really just kinda want to go home.” And then she smiles back at him, and starts to kiss him, and amends, “So we can do it again.” 

Joey and Pacey kiss outside on a bench, surrounded by snow

Yeah! Do it again!

So all’s well that end’s well, right? Well, I forgot to mention something. Back when Pacey was being a little snot, he asks Joey what she’d say if Dawson asked her, flat out, if she and Pacey have had sex. She answers that she would have to tell him the truth, which is obviously going to come back to bite her by the end of this episode. 

The Big Picture:

Grams and Dawson are going through Mr. Brooks’ things, sorting out his life and trying to figure out where to put the pieces. Grams is doing this gracefully, no surprise there, and Dawson is doing it petulantly, no surprise there. He’s angry at the way Mr. Brooks wasted his life, in Dawson’s view, until Gretchen gives him another wonderful pep talk (what would he do without this woman), and reminds him that Mr. Brooks created some beautiful art, lived his life the way he wanted and made a big difference in Dawson’s – and he’s responsible for getting Dawson and Gretchen together, because his film inspired Dawson in a way that Gretchen found appealing, and because he forced them to kiss under the mistletoe

As Dawson’s finally coming to terms with his grief at losing his mentor, an attorney shows up and tells Dawson that Mr. Brooks left him a significant amount of money in his will under the following, hilarious and awesome, terms: 

Mr. Leery, this is the money with which one achieves greatness, so don’t go blowing it on women and booze. But should that be your choice, make sure it’s great women and great booze.

Aww, Mr. B <3

Excess Baggage: 

Jen’s punishment for the airplane bottles incident is to go to therapy, which appears to be her worst fear. In the first appointment, she and her therapist, Dr. Frost, sort of bump heads. He’s very cool and detached, and she’s all hot-headed and Jen Lindley-like, and she’s about to storm out for good when he pretty much perfectly navigates her bumpy emotional waters:

Were I to hazard [a guess], I’d say that the smart, sarcastic exterior masks a scared, lonely young woman whose relationship with her parents has scarred her in ways she hasn’t even begun to process. She has a hard time trusting people – men, especially, and who can blame her? When parental ties are severed early on like that, it can send a young person searching for love and acceptance in a variety of destructive ways, which may explain your relationship with drugs, alcohol, and a best friend whose sexuality prevents him from ever fully returning your affections. But all that is really just dime store psychobabble. Truth is, we don’t really know why you’re here yet. But I would love to help you find out.

She’s like, damn, you’re good, and okay, I’ll stay. 

Seems Like Old Times: 

Joey heads to The Rialto for a solo movie when she runs into Dawson. They decide to split and spend the evening together, talking through life and all that they’ve missed in the months they haven’t been friends. They go to the diner, and the swingset at the park, and say a lot of insightful and supportive things to one another. It’s really, really nice.


At least, it’s really, really nice until Dawson asks her the OUTRAGEOUS question if she and Pacey had sex on the ski trip. ON WHAT PLANET IS THAT YOUR BUSINESS, LEERY. On what planet is that a normal, appropriate, civilized way to follow up a warm-hearted evening of friendship with an ex? And then Joey, after stalling for a million years, lies. Oh, Joey

How many times did I have to drink? 

7

Jack McPhee’s celebrity crush

When Jen’s teasing him about their near-miss sexual experience, asking him what he would do if they got pregnant and how he’d explain that to their love child, he replies, “Well, then there would come a day where we’d have to sit down and explain to our said love child that Mommy and Daddy can’t have sex unless Daddy’s thinking about Ryan Phillippe.”

Best pop culture reference

The movie Joey and Dawson almost saw at The Rialto is His Girl Friday, which is a nice touch in an episode where Dawson tells Joey she’ll always be his right-hand gal.

Guess who? 

Rob Nagel as Dr. Frost

Dr. Frost is played by Rob Nagle, a hey-it’s-that-guy who’s had arcs on Buffy and Eli Stone, among other things.

A yearbook page of Joey and Pacey holding hands over the words "Class Couple"

4.16 “Mind Games”

For an episode that’s almost entirely about sex, “Mind Games” is super boring and more than a little irritating, so I’m going to skim it, if you guys don’t mind. 

Joey and Pacey are dying to get some alone time so they can have more sex, but that hasn’t been easy to come by. Pacey finally convinces Gretchen to split for the evening, and she figures out that her little brother and the girl across the creek are finally doing the deed. She approves, mightily, though Joey asks her to please not tell anyone, namely Dawson. Gretchen’s like, “Well, I can’t see why my boyfriend would CARE, but yeah, I won’t tell anyone.” 

Dawson’s parents happen to be out of town at the same time, so Gretchen asks if she can come over. Dawson is so extremely weird about the potential for sex with his beautiful, kind girlfriend. Like, he seems almost offended that she brought a toothbrush? He’s terribly awkward, even though she doesn’t seem to care that he’s a virgin and certainly isn’t pressuring him to have sex. He starts talking about Joey (STOP DOING THAT), and says he wishes she and Pacey would just hurry up and have sex and “put the final nail in the coffin of Dawson and Joey.” (This is dreadful foreplay, Leery.) Gretchen asks him how he knows they haven’t already, and Dawson tells her that Joey told him so. THIS IS SUCH A DUMB CONVERSATION TO BE HAVING WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND. 

Gretchen gets really pissed at Joey and leaves Dawson in a state of confusion. After what I assume was a night of great sex between Pacey and Joey that got ZERO screentime in lieu of this melodrama, Gretchen confronts Joey and tells her she has to tell Dawson, because she’s not being fair to Dawson, herself, Pacey or Gretchen. Joey’s like “Step off, girl,” and so Gretchen tells Pacey that Joey lied to Dawson. This is all so middle school and beneath Gretchen and I hate the whole thing. Pacey and Joey end the episode taking a walk where Pacey is clearly trying to get Joey to admit that she lied to Dawson, but she won’t come clean, and he seems sad. Gretchen and Dawson end the episode making up for the weird fight they had instead of having sex like normal humans. Ugh to all of this!!

Other stuff that happened in this episode: 

* Drue’s somehow in charge of the “Most Likely” polls, and he rigs the “Class Couple” poll so Dawson and Joey win. Joey’s mortified and so Dawson waits for Drue to quit yearbook and then volunteers in his place, so he can list Joey and Pacey as the class couple instead. That’s actually really sweet, Dawson. 

* JEN IS STALKING HER THERAPIST, YOU GUYS. She’s dragging a very reluctant Jack to bookstores and diners to get a sense of what Dr. Frost does when he’s not being Dr. Frost. Jack and I are both worried she’s falling for him, and when he sees her at the bookstore and invites her to a poetry reading, we both worry that Dr. Frost is taking advantage of poor Jen Lindley. Instead, he’s invited her to his girlfriend’s poetry reading, and tells Jen that he knows she’s been following him, and he knows why, too: she wants to know if she can trust him. She realizes she can, and this guy is GOOD.

How many times did I have to drink? 

7

ILU, Joey Potter

When Drue asks Joey if she voted in the “Most Likely” polls, Joey scoffs mightily, “Did I vote? No, of course not. Most popular, best looking. Who cares?”

Uncool, Jen

When Dr. Frost asks Jen if she has many girl friends, Jen replies, “Girls suck.” Uhm, excuse me. Does Andie McPhee suck? Does Joey Potter suck? You take that back, Jen Lindley!

Best pop culture reference

When Jack and Jen see Dr. Frost buying an Anne Rice book at the bookstore, Jack tells Jen he must be gay. “You party all night with eternal youth and a great wardrobe. What other segment of the population does that appeal to?” He’s making good sense here, Jen.

GROSS

One of the ill-advised things Dawson says to Gretchen is that he always thought he and Joey were “destined to lose our virginity together.” That is a HORRIBLE thing to say to anyone, and it is an extra, extra horrible thing to say to your new girlfriend. 


That’s it for this week! Readers, I have a question for you: does anyone else here have ZERO patience for “Mind Games”? It just feels like so much backward water-treading after such solid forward motion the past several weeks. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT DAWSON AND JOEY? They both have excellent new relationships, they’ve forgiven each other, they’re friends again, WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS. 

Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “Admissions” and “Eastern Standard Time.”

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.