Drinks Taken: 22
Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project, where I promise things are much more entertaining after last week’s snoozefest. Speaking of which, Meredith asked me how I feel about Henry Parker right now – on the one hand, I am eternally obsessed with forever babe Michael Pitt, but on the other hand, he’s doing some typical Nice Guy BS that I would never tolerate, and YET… He’s still Michael Pitt. I mean, he’s a teenage boy. If Grown-Up Michael Pitt acted this way, we’d have a problem. Mostly I find Henry endearingly clueless and sweet and he just likes Jen so damn much. I’m Team Henry. SORRY.
Let’s drink to Michael Pitt’s pouty little face!
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
Onto the episodes!
3.12 “A Weekend in the Country”
Hello, and welcome to the Whitest Episode of Dawson’s Creek, which opens with Pacey, Dawson, and Joey watching The Big Chill, the “definitive movie of the entire Baby Boom generation,” and mocking the dancing-in-the-kitchen scene. We call this “foreshadowing.”
Anyhow, Joey is frustrated (when is she not) because the Potter bed and breakfast isn’t working out, and with college on the horizon, Bessie is thinking of taking out a mortgage on the house – the one thing they have left from their mother. Also not helping? Every time the phone rings or someone knocks at the door, it’s never a potential guest, but it DOES give us this epic Joey Potter reaction face:
Dawson decides to film a commercial for the inn (because of course), while Pacey gets a little more proactive in his approach and invites a writer from the New York Times travel section – I mean, as IF that would ever happen, but sure. Oh, and just so this fancy pants writer actually thinks the B&B is doing okay, Pacey invites everyone to stay the weekend so it looks like the place is booked. Even Grams helps out! It’s adorable. There’s just one teensy issue: Pacey also invited Mitch, who decided to invite Gail to make things more believable.
Back at school, Henry tells Jen he scored a free meal in exchange for working on the roof (yeah, I dunno, either) of this fancy restaurant, but instead of ASKING Jen out, he just tells her she’s going with him. To her credit, Jen handles this poor earnest boy with grace and tells him she’ll think about it.
Meanwhile, things at the inn are a little bumpy: the travel writer is a fussy, snobby brat about the bathroom and the temperature in the house, and Dawson is making Mitch and Gail’s whole situation about him – as usual. He petulantly confronts his parents and scolds them – again – for not knowing what they want, and man, this kid is heading for such a rude awakening. Thankfully, Gail explains it in terms Dawson can understand by comparing their relationship to Dawson and Joey. They may not be together, and it may not have worked out despite how badly they wanted it to, but they still care for each other and want what’s best… you know, because they’re friggin’ grown-ups.
Even though she promised not to push Jack into doing things that make him feel uncomfortable, Andie spends the entire weekend pushing him to move back home with his homophobic dad. Really, Andie’s just too proud to admit that she needs Jack and it has nothing to do with their dad, but like, honestly girl, Jack would be more inclined to move home for you than for any other reason uh-doyyyy.
The weekend wraps up quite nicely, with everyone sitting around late into the evening and talking about their favorite smells: the fish house, vanilla (the best!), mothballs, new car, bacon… and just when you thought this could NOT get any whiter, they all end up dancing together in the kitchen, just like in The Big Chill.
And the travel critic ends up giving the B&B a great review, thanks to the warm family vibes!
Later, Jen meets up with Henry and tells him all about her sordid past and sexual history, and much to her surprise, he doesn’t run away. Instead, he says the best thing he possibly can:
AWW! Our little Henry is growing up so fast. But if we’re being real here, of COURSE Henry didn’t run away – too-cool Jen Lindley just told a straight teenage virgin boy about her sexual exploits. What did she really think would be his reaction here?
Jack decides to move home after all and shares a Pacey-level hug with Jen:
…while Pacey finds Joey sleeping on the couch and adorably covers her with a blanket and watches her sleep – which would be creepy if literally anyone else did it.
How many times did I have to drink?
Henry, to Jen: “When given the opportunity to say no, you do. So I’m not giving you the opportunity.” Um, ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? (It’s okay, he totally redeemed himself later.)
Preach, Sister Josephine
“Dawson, I do toilets and I do windows. I don’t do faux perkiness.”
Most likely dialogue
Dawson explains his favorite smell: “Phenylene diamine. It’s the main chemical used to process film, might’ve been the first time I ever opened a film canister. It’s an intense smell. At the time, it smelled like possibility.” IT SMELLED LIKE POSSIBILITY.
Least likely dialogue
Jen, to Henry: “So you’re not acting disgusted or self-righteous or intimidated or even agog?” Agog. AGOG, she says.
Finally, we have an answer, sort of. Bessie says they don’t have enough money for Bodie to live at home, like basically they can’t afford him? I mean, wouldn’t his additional income be helpful right now? Anyway, he randomly shows up at the end of the episode, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just disappears for another season.
Truest thing anyone said
Pacey, on “That Potter girl” – “She’s physically incapable of keeping her mouth shut for more than two seconds at a time. She’s got an opinion about everything. I mean, it’s uncanny, all right?”
3.13 “Northern Lights”
If you, like me, find A.J. to be totally 100% boring, then this episode is not for you. But if you, like me, have found yourself slowly falling for this whole “Pacey falling for Joey” thing, then this episode IS for you. It’s a real conundrum, but let’s get into it.
Pacey is fuh-reaking out about his part in the play and super worried that he won’t be able to remember his lines – it’s not helping that Andie is just as freaked out, especially now that her teacher has handed total control of the play off to her while he deals with kidney stones. You really can’t even tell who’s in more pain here: the guy trying to push a rock out of his body or Andie the Perfectionist.
Joey is getting ready to go on a date with A.J., who’s in town to take her to see the Northern Lights (hey, that’s the title of this episode!), but Pacey shows up first and begs her to come to the show because he needs her support. He’s having a total neurotic breakdown, and when Bessie bursts in to announce that A.J. has arrived for their date, Pacey shoves her out like this and it’s amazing:
Anyway, Pacey warns Joey that A.J. is just going walk in, tell her she looks great and offer to help her with her coat as an excuse to touch her and…A.J. does exactly what Pacey said he would. Poor Pacey.
Meanwhile, Jen tries to talk to Henry at school but he literally RUNS AWAY from her because he’s worried that she’ll cancel their date. She promises that’s not the case – she just needs to postpone so she can attend the opening night of the play, and Henry, to the surprise of no one, invites himself along. Jen neglects to mention that Grams will be there and then proceeds to use her own grandmother as a human shield (see delightful header image above). To her credit, Grams says she gladly would have stayed home so Jen and Henry could have some alone time. Grams is getting v progressive.
After the play, Henry sort-of-rightfully freaks out because it’s clear that Jen is embarrassed to be seen with him. And after how kind and wonderful and adorable he was in the previous episode, I’m kind of on Henry’s side with this one. He climbs up on the rafters to imitate a scene from the play and makes Jen admit how she feels:
I mean, I dated dudes in high school and didn’t realize I wasn’t into them until I realized I was embarrassed to be seen with them, so I get it – AT THE SAME TIME, Jen ends this episode by having a sweet talk with Henry and then they KISS. Jen, please make up your damn mind. (And by that I mean please stay with Henry you tragically cool, beautiful idiot.)
As for the play, Andie refuses to let Pacey back out and shoves him on stage where he gives his best Ewan McGregor as Michael J. Fox performance, and it’s pretty charming. After, the two share a lovely moment and Andie tells Pacey that he’s always been perfect just the way he is. It’s very Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary:
What’s our boy Dawson Leery up to this week? Well, Nikki confronts him about dropping out of film class when they were supposed to be preparing a new pitch. When she prods him for more info, Dawson tells this story about seeing a movie with his parents when he was younger and watching all the people who were making out instead of watching the movie. Somehow this has something to do with his parents and how he doesn’t make out during movies and also how he’s not having fun. It… does not make much sense. Anyway, he’s done with movies for the next five minutes.
Joey’s date doesn’t go as well as she’d hoped – A.J. is pretentious and boring and when he kisses her, it doesn’t have the intended effect. She talks to Pacey about it, and he suggests that she doesn’t feel the same way for A.J. that she did for Dawson, but she says she doesn’t feel that way about Dawson anymore, either. Pacey makes her talk to A.J., and she concedes that they aren’t a good match. SMELL YA LATER, A.J.
When Joey gets home, Dawson is waiting and they talk about how lost he’s been. Joey thinks he’s lost his “true north,” the fixed point that keeps him moving in the right direction. Just then, the Northern Lights appear and Joey notes that it’s so typical for her to experience these things with Dawson. Watch it, you two.
How many times did I have to drink?
12. I needed extra to spite A.J.
Pacey, to Joey: “Like I’ll come home from work early and we’ll wallpaper each other.” OH WILL YOU.
Valuable life lesson
“Alcohol isn’t exactly the most sophisticated way to seduce a girl.” Take note, young men.
Pacey, to Dawson: “I seem to recall the last time you and I were on a basketball court together, I ended up getting my nose broken, didn’t I?”
Worst pickup line
“You know, I think maybe sometimes that happens to girls who lose their mothers when they’re really young. They’re really driven to succeed.” Your game needs some work, A.J.
The truest thing anybody said this week
I think Dawson just had what psychiatrists refer to as a “breakthrough”: “I’m this third person who’s so busy analyzing everything that I can’t enjoy anything.”
That’s it for this week! I have a question for Meredith: Do you remember the first time you made out with someone during a movie? Mine was during Can’t Hardly Wait!
Be sure to join Meredith back here next week when she covers “Valentine’s Day Massacre” and “Crime & Punishment”!
About the Contributor:
Britt Hayes is a writer and sensible sweater enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She loves movies, watches too much television, and her diet consists mostly of fruit snacks and revenge.