Joey stands in front of her ruined mural, looking horrified, while Principal Green looks on in concern


Title: Dawson’s Creek S3.E14 “Valentine’s Day Massacre” + S3.E15 “Crime and Punishment”
Released: 2000
Series:  Dawson's Creek

Drinks Taken: 20

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome back to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project. Last week Britt asked me if I can remember the first time I made out with a boy during a movie. And I do remember! It was on a field trip to The Lufkin Zoo in sixth grade, and we watched the 1977 schlock fest Planet of Dinosaurs in the screening room. And made out! Best field trip ever. 

Let’s drink to Planet of Dinosaurs!

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

Onto the episodes!

Andie and Joey are in a golf cart, with Joey driving, both of them bundled up for winter, and it's nighttime.

3.14 “Valentine’s Day Massacre” 

So, unfortunately, it seems like Joey’s still dating AJ. But fortunately, we don’t have to see him this week! Pacey invites Joey and Dawson out to Matt Caufield’s big Valentine’s Day bash, because AJ is spending Valentine’s Day studying like the lame-ass he is. Who’s Matt Caufield? He’s supposedly some stud who had, I guess, a double threesome with six cheerleaders, but he looks like this idiot: 

A "popular" guy surrounded by jocks on campus, but he looks way too old to be in high school

No way did six cheerleaders have sex with this guy. Not separately, and certainly not all at once. Also that is a thirty-year-old man.

Joey’s in hardcore Prude Mode: Dawson and Pacey just want to cut loose a little, and she legit thinks she’s out to save Dawson’s soul. Look, Joey, just because he’s been somewhat unambitious lately and wants to go to ONE party doesn’t mean you’re losing him to the depths of hell. Dawson’s annoyed with Joey’s interfering because it’s a little embarrassing, frankly, and Pacey’s annoyed because he thinks this is a sign of Joey’s romantic feelings for Dawson. He’s also probably annoyed because Joey’s being annoying. 

Also at the party, to Jack’s consternation: Jack’s ex-girlfriend Kate. She’s a good friend of Andie’s and Andie invited her, because Kate just went through a rough breakup. Jack’s gearing up to come out to Kate when he finds out why she was most recently dumped: her post-Jack boyfriend is gay, too. Girlfriend’s got an understandable but unfortunate type: closeted gay teenage boys. But Kate’s here to party, and after Pacey points Dawson in the right direction, it seems like they’re getting along: until Kate gets so drunk she vomits. Meanwhile, Pacey gets so drunk he’s hanging upside down from a tree, and Pacey’s brother Deputy Doug shows up to bust up the party, landing all of the dumb teenagers in jail. Great, now you’ve made Joey right! I hate it when she’s right!

In jail, Joey freaks out when she learns that Dawson and Kate almost kissed, which is SO SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND BACKWARDS, I can barely stand it. Let the boy have some fun, good lord! Pacey’s sick of it, and so am I. He makes the following series of statements, then vomits. Joey and Dawson are both offended but both totally deserve this truth bomb. Mostly Joey right now, to be honest:

Revelations abound in this jail cell! Kate finds out that Jack is also gay, but she handles the news with aplomb. And then after the rest of the crew is picked up by their parents, Pacey and Doug have this great little heart to heart: 

Aww, I love Deputy Doug. So Pacey heads to Joey’s house to do just that, only he loses his nerve at the last minute. But that doesn’t stop them from having a very cute exchange: 

OKAY PRETTY CUTE. But you’re still not off the hook for how annoying you were being this week, Miss Josephine Potter. 

MEANWHILE, Jen and Henry are planning their first date – on Valentine’s Day! What a dumb idea! Grams is very supportive, however, because she is wonderful, but I still maintain that this is asking for trouble. Jen is nervous, but looks amazing: 

Jen, getting ready in the mirror as Grams looks on, is wearing a pretty top with curled hair and a nervous expression on her face.

Henry is nervous, and looks like a vampire: 

Henry, standing at the door, looks deathly pale.

You see, this little nerd has been selling all of his plasma to afford the perfect date with Jen. And though she seems game to try, and the restaurant is nice and all, the date can’t help but be hampered by the fact that he PASSES OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT AND HAS TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. As they’re wheeling Henry away on a stretcher, he hands Jen the object of his plasma money: a Hungarian red ring (?) that doesn’t fit. He loses his mind, “No! I wanted this to be perfect! Everything was supposed to be perfect!” but for some reason, Jen does not run away. (I would run away so fast.) Grams talks her into giving him another chance, and Jen visits Henry in the hospital and tells him that if he chills the hell out, this can work, but they both have to stop trying so hard. (She mostly means him, I’m sure.) They have a cute moment over hospital jello, and I guess this is going to work out. For a while. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best pop culture reference

Dawson opens the episode by trying to teach Joey to drive, badly and with little patience. She snaps that he’s no Lloyd Dobler (of Say Anything fame), and the episode ends with Pacey teaching Joey to drive with the perfect amount of Dobler-esque patience, saying, “Congratulations, Potter! We’re finally getting somewhere.”


We are indeed. *rubs hands together in anticipation*

Best Archie Comics reference

I hate Matt Caufield, but I have to nod in appreciation when he refers to Andie and Joey as “Betty and Veronica.” 

The truest thing anybody said this week

After Joey goes on an epic anti-Pacey rant, Andie smiles. “You know who you sound like? Me, just before I started dating him.”

The second truest thing anybody said this week

Pacey, absolutely correctly: “You know, I’ve actually always seen myself more as the Han Solo type. Roguish good looks. Devil-may-care attitude.”

The least true thing anybody said this week

Jen, to Grams about Valentine’s Day: “Who’s jaded? I think it’s great we have a day that commercializes on our emotions.” I can hear your sarcasm from here, Lindley. 

The grossest thing anybody said this week

When Kate drunkenly tells Dawson she knows he’s a nice guy, he replies, “Maybe I could be trying to take advantage of your situation.” THAT IS TERRIBLE FLIRTING, DAWSON. 

Guess who

Kate is played by American Horror Story‘s Alexandra Breckenridge! Also known as Hot Young Moira: 

Alexandra Breckenridge as Jack's ex-girlfriend Kate

Hell yeah, Kate

Kate gives it to Dawson but good, telling him, “Quit whining. There are people dying in the Balkans. Call me loco, but maybe if you just acted instead of hemming and hawing and debating and conversing, then maybe you’d actually see some results.” 

Pacey’s celebrity crush

…is Heather Graham. Yeah, that checks out.

Joey and Principal Green stand in the hallway, Principal Green smiling proudly and Joey looking nervous

3.15 “Crime and Punishment”

Joey’s been asked, along with a couple of other artistic students, to create a mural representing “unity” for Capeside High. She’s flattered and nervous, and Bessie and Bodie (he’s still back!!) are both so proud. So are Dawson and Pacey, so when it comes time for her to reveal her mural – a Chinese-inspired tribute to the idea of possibility – and someone’s vandalized it, the boys handle it in different ways. Dawson tries to tell her that this isn’t about her, and tries to convince her to paint it again, a prospect that holds very little appeal for Joey, who’s furious and deeply hurt.

Pacey’s reaction is more biblical in nature, and he starts hunting down the bastard who did this to the woman he loves. (I may be projecting a bit.) That bastard is Matt Caufield OF COURSE, and Pacey first scares him in the lunchroom then wails on him in the parking lot. It’s super hot, I admit it. 

Joey is less impressed, because it looks like Pacey might get suspended or expelled, either of which hurts Pacey’s already slim college chances. She goes to his house (actually, to Doug’s house, because Pacey’s now crashing there and I’M SO EXCITED, I love Doug and Pacey as roomies) to confront him, and Pacey accidentally lets it slip that he and Joey started hanging out together because Dawson asked him to. Joey is DISPLEASED. 

She’s really wounded, and she storms off to Dawson to yell at him for this “little wife-swapping scenario.” She makes it clear that what’s hurting the most is the idea that Pacey never really wanted to be friends with her, and Dawson drops a great truth bomb of his own, right outside the classroom where Pacey is currently getting reamed out by Principal Green on Joey’s behalf: 

Joey: I never asked for your pity!

Dawson: It wasn’t about pity. I couldn’t be there for you, but I wanted you to have someone you can turn to, someone you could talk to. Now tell me, where is the harm in that?

Joey: Well, it just would have been nice if that someone could have meted out a shred of genuine concern, Dawson.

Dawson: That someone is in that room right now because he’s got a hell of a lot more than a shred of concern. Joey, why are you doing this?

Joey: Doing what?

Dawson: Casting aspersions on people who obviously care about you. You really think that I don’t want the best for you? Pacey is a lot of things – impulsive, thoughtless, stubborn – but after everything that’s happened this year, can you honestly doubt for a second that he doesn’t truly care about you?

THANK YOU, DAWSON. Joey looks appropriately chagrined, and when Pacey later makes it out of his meeting with Principal Green, he and Joey share a great scene. It is so, so sweet. I really love it. 

Pacey: So…You gonna thank me?

Joey: For what?

Pacey: Well, for all manner of things. You know, like defending your honor, bucking the system…

Joey: …Tilting at windmills while in the throes of a misguided hero complex?

Pacey: Well, yeah, that, too.

Joey: Pacey, if I was going to thank you for anything, it would be for being yourself, and for not caring what anybody else thinks and for knowing in your heart what’s right and wrong and… for being there this year… when I needed you the most.

It’s so nice to see terminally ungrateful Joey Potter thanking Pacey in such a lovely way, and the look on his face KILLS ME, like he can barely believe what he’s hearing, like he wants to scoop her into his arms and kiss her right there. It’s super swoony. 


Dawson walks by and sees Joey and Pacey repainting her wall together and laughing, and he looks pleasantly pensive, an enlightened state of expression that, I’m sorry to say, will not last.

Now, let’s talk about the MVP of “Crime and Punishment”: Principal Green! First, instead of suspending Pacey, whom he knows was just trying to do the right thing for his friend, he assigns him to be a mentor in a Big Brother/Big Sister-type program, which is just the cutest. Second, even though Matt Caufield’s super rich and his dad is on the school board, after Principal Green hears THIS shitty little proclamation, he throws the book at him, expelling him for destroying another student’s art, disrespecting school property and having the worst attitude of anyone on this show: 

Matt: Ok. You got me. Busted. Yeah. I Jackson Pollocked some meaningless mural. You know what? For one thing, it was ugly. You know? It was an eyesore. And not to mention, why do I have to look at some trivial girl’s little message to the masses every morning? Frankly, it offends me.

Principal Green: Possibility is offensive to you?

Matt: I’m white. I’m rich. That’s all the possibility I need.

Matt warns Principal Green that his father will have something to say about this, but that badass man refuses to be cowed. I love him! And in our B-plot, Andie’s been weighed down with guilt for cheating on the PSATs, especially when she learns she’s a National Merit finalist. She resigns from the disciplinary committee, and then comes clean to Jack in a scene that I think does perfect justice to the character and the challenging journey she’s taken this season: 

I thought that, you know, if I aced the test, then everybody would think I was okay again. That that would somehow convince them. But now that I really am okay, I’m having a hard time living with myself.

Jack urges her not to tell Principal Green and potentially ruin her future, but she has to do the right thing to feel okay with herself again. Principal Green is so disappointed, and she’s crying in the most heart-wrenching way, ashamed of herself and assuming she’s going to be expelled. And I LOVE PRINCIPAL GREEN AGAIN: 

Principal Green: What do you want me too here? What am I supposed to do about this, Andie?

Andie: Well, I heard that Matt Caufield was expelled from Capeside today. And what I did was no less grave of an offense.

Principal Green: Is that what you think?

Andie: I cleared out my locker, and I know that all actions have consequences. Most of all, I’m sorry for letting you down and for letting myself down.

Principal Green: Andie, you and Matt Caufield have nothing in common. He is a selfish, spoiled young man who has no sense of right or wrong, who actually takes pleasure in hurting others. The only person that you hurt is yourself.

Andie: But I did cheat. And it was wrong, and I should be punished for it.

Principal Green: When you were on the disciplinary committee, one of the things that I tried to teach you was the idea of proportionality. Make the punishment fit the crime, yes, but also look at the person. Now, Matt Caufield doesn’t deserve, nor would he benefit, from my leniency. But Andie McPhee… she just might.

She’s overwhelmed with gratitude, and I just love these two so much. Of course, the PSATs board will have to be notified and this is going to screw with Andie’s permanent record, but whatever. She’s in a good head-space, she did the right thing, she hasn’t been expelled and she’s back to being the woman of integrity and ambition that we all know and love. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Pacey’s most prized possession

A black velvet painting of the baby Elvis. 

Doug’s house rules

Doug: Number one – We don’t eat anything that mom sends over. The woman thinks that iceberg lettuce is haut cuisine.

Pacey: Agreed.

Doug: Number two – The coaster. Live it, love it, use it at all times.

Pacey: Done.

Doug: You will keep the CD collection in alphabetical order by last name, not first. Do you understand?

Pacey: Oh, yeah, perfectly. But I don’t foresee the need for me to dive into your diva collection anytime soon.

Doug: Oh, I think you would be surprised at how a tortured, impassioned female voice can soothe an achy breaky heart.

Pacey: Heart’s just fine, thank you very much.

Doug: Oh, sure it is, little brother. Sure it is.

So cute! Also he asks Pacey how he is at decoupage. I love how deeply, blatantly gay Deputy Doug is. 

The truest thing anybody said this week

Bodie, about Capeside High, “What are there, like, ten black students at that school?” Joey corrects him, “Eleven.”

The least true thing anybody said this week

Joey, indignantly and completely inaccurately, “I don’t chew on my lower lip!” 

That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: are you coming around on Pacey and Joey, a couple you once called “basic”? You have to be by now, right? RIGHT? (Right.)

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning to hear the answer to that burning question and to follow her as she covers “To Green, With Love” and OH MY GOD “Cinderella Story.”

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.