Jen stands on the sidelines of a football field in a cheerleading uniform she's modified to look more alternative, along with her tough-girl accessories, crossed arms and a sardonic look on her face.

About:

Title: Dawson’s Creek S3.E02 “Homecoming” + S3.E03 “None of the Above”
Released: 1999
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 26

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where OH BY THE WAY it’s Season Threeeeee! Last week, Britt asked me if Eve is the worst or the WORST, and the answer is both, and also the wooooHOOOoorst. She’s only in four episodes total, but it feels like many more because she sucks so wholly. 

Let’s drink to getting three of those four episodes out of the way! 

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”

Andie gives an impassioned speech (or rant)

Jack wears the straightest shoes possible

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

And a quick note! I’ve been getting many of my gifs from Snark Squad, so a big thank you to them for their excellent Dawson’s Creek gif curation. 

Onto the episodes!

Jack and Michael Pitt as Henry in football practice gear on a field

3.02 “Homecoming” 

Eve is still bafflingly preoccupied with the idea of having sex with Dawson Leery. She keeps showing up in random places and trying very hard to have sex with him. Puritanical Teenager Dawson Leery finally starts to be onboard with her endeavors, so he buys condoms in a hilariously awkward scene that almost makes all of this Eve garbage worth it, as a group of random adults who see him standing uncomfortably in the condom aisle offer unsolicited advice on which condom is best.

I love these sex-positive adults! And speaking of sex-positive adults, Mitch is now the football coach at Capeside High, which might seem implausible until we discover that the Capeside High Minutemen are a DISMAL bunch, and Mitch is the only person they could find to coach these losers. He asks Dawson to produce a propaganda video supporting the team, and while the film is playing at the pep rally, Eve pops up out of nowhere (AGAIN) and starts initiating sex with Dawson from behind the video screen. Of course, the screen rises while they’re almost en flagrante, and the entire school – including a stricken Joey – sees Dawson and Eve macking shirtless. Dawson tells Eve he wants to slow down and get to know her before they have sex, because Dawson LOVES to sexually reject women, but all of this silliness is somewhat productive since it’s caused Joey to realize it’s time to move on for good. She and Dawson have a nice post-mortem talk, and we can finally take a break from the Dawson and Joey Romance Roller Coaster for a good long while. 

Joey looks over at Dawson and asks him a question, a thoughtful look on her face
Joey: “So, what are we now?”
Dawson looks back at Joey and smiles slightly
Dawson: “We’re Dawson and Joey.”

Jen hates being head cheerleader OBVIOUSLY, but it’s great because the cheerleading sheeple have started writing these “nasty, sardonic, self-aware cheers” and dressing like Jen in ripped fishnets and crimped hairdos. I love it! While Mitch is coaching a seriously sad team of footballers, one of them throws an errant ball that almost hits Jen in the face, but Jack steps up and catches it. Mitch sees talent in him and convinces him to join the team. Jack’s unsure – he’s worried being gay will lead to bullying from his teammates – but he really is good at football, and the Minutemen are lucky to have him. Shit, they’d be lucky to have me. They are BAD.

OH AND – there’s a cute little freshman footballer named Henry, who has talent even though he is teeny-tiny, and he and Jack play well together, as quarterback (Jack) and receiver (Henry). Of course, Jack’s newly discovered athletic prowess causes Miserable Butthole Mr. McPhee, who has moved back to Capeside, to suddenly have interest in being Jack’s father, but Jack wisely decides to stay with Grams and Jen rather than move back in with his dad. 

FINALLY, and most importantly: Andie is supposed to return to Capeside this week, and Pacey is so excited and nervous he can scarcely stand it. He and Joey are still continuing their new friendship of last week (yay!), and she goes with him to surprise Andie and pick her up a day early from her mental health facility. The nurse doesn’t want to let Pacey inside to surprise Andie, so Joey pretends to have “psychiatric concerns” and acts as a decoy while Pacey sneaks by. It’s so cute!!

Joey distracts the nurse while Pacey army-crawls past on his chest

But when Pacey makes it to Andie’s room, he finds her ensconced in a deep and flirty conversation with another patient named Mark. Pacey shakes off his mistrust, but Andie continues to behave really strangely around him – distant and awkward, avoiding one-on-one time with her perfect boyfriend. Finally, he calls her on it, and she admits that she cheated on him with Mark. It’s a heartbreaking scene – Andie’s so, so sorry, and she only cheated on Pacey because she was scared and alone and Mark understood how she felt, but Pacey can’t forgive her. He storms off, furious, as she sobs behind him, but then Joey gives him some really great advice: 

So Pacey goes to Andie and tells her that he understands what she did, and he forgives her, but he can’t find it in himself to stay with her. 

Our relationship was this beautiful thing, and I don’t think you ever realized how powerful it was. You changed my life, Andie, you were that person for me. You inspired me to be a man that I’d only ever dreamt about being. When you first started to get sick, it dawned on me that I might not be that person for you. I can never go back to loving you the way I did knowing that my love wasn’t strong enough the first time around.

GAHH!! 

How many times did I have to drink? 

14.

Guess who

Britt is going to be so happy, because adorable little Henry is played by MICHAEL PITT!!

Michael Pitt has Henry in football gear, clearly crushing hard on Jen in cheerleader gear

I love this H-O-T promotional photo of Michael Pitt and Michelle Williams: 

Michael Pitt has Henry in football gear, clearly crushing hard on Jen in cheerleader gear

The truest thing anybody said this week

Andie, in disbelief at the pep rally: “Jen’s a cheerleader and Jack’s on the football team? I got sane and everybody else went crazy.”

Best pop culture reference

Eve sucks, but I love her Notting Hill shout-out here: “I’m just a girl… standing in a janitor’s closet… asking you to kiss her.” (They were in a janitor’s closet because EVE IS EVERYWHERE.)

Andie McPhee’s cutest look

Pigtail braids and overalls are, for real, my ideal look for right now, as a 34-year-old woman living in the year 2016. 

Andie, Pacey and Mark in Andie's room. Andie looks adorable with pigtail braids, a striped tee and denim overalls.

DAAAAMN, Jack

When Mr. McPhee first tells Jack that he thinks he should stay with Grams and Jen, Jack accuses him (accurately) of not wanting to live with a gay son, and Mr. McPhee replies, “Must you assume that every decision I make is based upon my lack of character?” Jack snaps back, also accurately, “No, just the ones that concern me.” It makes it doubly satisfying when, after the pep rally, Mr. McPhee asks Jack to move back in and Jack politely but firmly refuses him. 

Least likely dialogue

Dawson, giving his unasked-for approval of Pacey and Joey’s new friendship: “I’m glad she has somebody. It’ll only help as Joey and I weave our separate ways through these pathless woods we call life.” You might be less glad later, buddy.

Most excruciating dialogue

Eve, to Dawson: “Sex. Sex turns me on, Dawson.” Uhm, yeah. That’s pretty much the point of it. 

Cool Jen Lindley’s sex advice

When she discovers Dawson is planning to lose his virginity to Eve, she gives him some pretty useful ice cream metaphors. 

See, first you have to watch the sundae, admire the sundae, then, just before it’s about to drip, you let your lips lick around the exterior, savoring every inch. You want that sundae to last a long time… but not too long, because then the sundae ends up all over the table instead of in your mouth. But Dawson, if you remember one thing, let it be this: if you don’t get the whipped cream all over your face, you’re not doing it right. 

Oh my! 

Andie, Jen, Jack, Dawson, Pacey and Joey all sit in the principal's office, looking nervous and sullen

3.03 “None of the Above” 

It’s PSATs time, and the kids are all handling it in different ways: Joey’s having Dawson-inflected stress dreams, feeling the pressure to be perfect so she can get out of Capeside; Dawson’s “getting to know” Eve during various sexy study breaks; Jen and Jack are trading flash cards together adorably; Pacey’s back to slacking, which is so disappointing I can hardly handle it. 

And Andie? She’s determined to get over Pacey as soon as possible, keeping her eye on her future and definitely bottling some feelings while she’s at it. She’s studying during sit-ups, staying perky and focused and demonstrating some unjustified anger at Pacey for refusing to forgive her. She returns a box of his stuff, including gifts he gave her and pictures of the two of them together, and Pacey’s really hurt. They keep sniping at each other, and it’s a pretty big bummer. 

Meanwhile, Eve gets really on-the-nose with her temptations, arriving in Dawson’s window with an apple that was really just a metaphor for the answers to the PSATs. Dawson consults the group, who are divided on how to handle it. Team Not Cheat: Joey, Andie, Jack. Team Cheat: Pacey, Jen, maybe Dawson. A fire drill interrupts their conference, and when they get back inside, the cheat sheet is missing. They all panic, and Eve continues to stir the pot by telling Dawson someone in the group must have stolen it, and that it’s exactly who he thinks it is. Dawson, naturally, thinks it’s Pacey, because Dawson will NEVER have faith in Pacey, no matter how much he grows. 

Pacey’s hanging out at Joey’s new job, drunk and heartbroken after Andie returned his belongings.

Pacey's walking down the pier holding the box of his belongings Andie returned to him when he does a spectacular pratfall as Joey watches bemusedly.

So it’s poor timing when Dawson shows up to confront him for supposedly cheating. Dawson says a lot of terribly unfair things about Pacey’s character, so Pacey punches him, and they get into a little fistfight before Joey breaks it up. Joey scolds Dawson for submitting to Eve’s gross influence, and Dawson realizes she’s right. He tells Eve he doesn’t want anything to do with her, yay!!!

Awesome. And then Dawson, weirdly and pretty much senselessly, walks out of the PSATs without taking them. Pacey follows him, and they make up, bonding over this inexplicable and future-compromising stance. 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Joey and Pacey are just super adorable throughout this episode. Their friendship includes lots of sly smiles and warm-hearted teasing. 

Pacey sits with a shiner after his fight with Dawson while Joey teases him

And after Dawson’s upsetting lack of faith in poor Pacey, Pacey asks Joey, “When does a person start believing the general consensus about themselves?” Joey replies firmly, “When it’s right,” and Pacey looks comforted. <3

Meanwhile, Henry is becoming dangerously obsessed with Jen Lindley, despite Jack’s wise advice that a freshman will NEVER be able to handle that bodacious babe. Henry says weird stuff like this about her:

I dream about her, Jack, every night, heavy dreams, about her lips, her breasts, her legs… If she would just allow me near her, to smell her sweet smell, maybe even kiss me or take me in her arms, deliver me from suffering falsehood! It would prove that there wasn’t anything bad or empty-hearted in this world that couldn’t be corrected.

Jeezy chreezy, you need to ease up, freshman. But he does not. In fact, Henry tries to talk to Jen at football practice and it goes something like this: 

Jen is standing on the sidelines during football practice, and Henry starts to approach her, and then just starts BOLTING in her direction while she looks more and more alarmed

Terrifying! Meanwhile, Jack’s having trouble fitting in with the football team, and he’s performing poorly on the field, until Henry suggests that he get a mantra. Jack’s mantra is, for some reason, “FUG.” And with the word “fug,” Jack McPhee finally starts quarterbacking but good. 

OH AND BY THE WAY: the episode ends with Andie consulting her cheat sheet for the PSATs. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Andie was the thief and the cheat. We’ll discuss this further below. 

How many times did I have to drink: 

12. 

Most meta moment

Dawson and Eve start the episode watching Felicity (yay!), and Dawson predictably says that TV isn’t an art form like film. He then says, with perfect un-self-awareness: 

If you’ve seen one hour of whiny, over-analytical teen angst, you’ve seen them all. Don’t get me wrong. She’s pretty, but what kind of a heroine is she? She’s indecisive. She’s basically paralyzed by some romantic notion of the way things are supposed to be. If you ask me, she’s kind of chatty.

Sound familiar? Also DON’T YOU DARE DISRESPECT FELICITY UNDER MY ROOF, YOUNG MAN.

I love you, Joey Potter

Joey’s boss is still being a total lech, hitting on her mercilessly. He grants Joey the night off to study for the PSATs, but when she (nicely) turns him down after he asks her on a date, he rescinds the night off. Joey’s response is so badass: “This is about your bruised little ego. Not used to female rejection, are you, Rob?” 

Best foreshadowing

Dawson, with a black eye, smiles on the school front steps to Pacey [off-camera] as they make up after their fight.
Dawson: “If we’re gonna beat the crap out of each other, it should at least be over a chick.”

That’s it for this week! Okay, here’s my question for you, Britt: how do you feel about Andie’s Season 3 arc so far? I have to say, I don’t believe it’s a betrayal of her character. Andie’s always valued control over all else, including Pacey. I can see her cheating on him to battle her own fear and feel in control when she’s in the mental health facility. AND I can see her cheating on the PSATs to regain some measure of control after losing Pacey despite her best efforts. It sucks, because Season 2 Andie is one of my favorite characters ever, but I also like that she isn’t perfect, and she isn’t just a victim to her own emotional instability. She makes mistakes, big ones, and I think that’s a fair development of her character. 

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “Home Movies” and “Indian Summer”! 

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.