Anddd we’re back! A review of Dawson’s Creek Season 3 comin’ at ya like shards of broken glass after Andie McPhee breaks a mirror in the bathroom. If you’re just joining us, I’ve been watching DC from the beginning, because as a tween I missed out on this major pop culture experience and would like to see what all the hubbub is like as an adult (You can read my season one and season two recaps here).
At the end of season two, The Potter family restaurant catches on fire all because of Joey’s drug dealer dad who goes back to jail per the nudging of Dawson, which makes them split up yet again. Andie’s off in the looney bin, Pacey’s trying to deal with the fact Andie’s off in the looney bin, Jack is still gay and Jen is still trying to make sense of her life. Got it? Here we go.
In general, I’d like to say that it’s interesting to watch this without knowing the cultural impact from the outside. Like obviously when this was on in real time circa 1999, the main cast were huge stars. By this point, James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson were also off doing major movies like Varsity Blues, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Dick and Cruel Intentions, respectively. I vaguely remember it being big, but it’s funny how none of that matters – or even shows – when you watch it years later after their popularity has come and gone.
Anyways, school has started and Joey not talking to Dawson isn’t the most awkward thing about this episode.
It’s that Jen Lindley is becoming a cheerleader. And these cheerleaders – are typical bitchy Jawbreakers like girls who just want to ruin everyone’s lives and literally use the phrase ‘you look like a prize hog’ about an overweight girl who wants to try out.
It’s that Dawson has met a rando girl who is a stripper (?) and super mysterious and I hate her.
It’s ACTUALLY that Joey comes back to Dawson and attempts to have sex with him but he’s all no thank you and it’s a whole bunch of second-hand embarassment. Joey is clearly not going to be able to face Dawson anytime soon, so he asks Pacey to look after her and make sure she’s okay… ruh roh.
Notable Quote: “It’s a new year. You never know. You and I might even become friends.” Pacey to Joey and I cannot wait to see how this plays out (spoiler alert: I know they’re going to be a couple, I just don’t know when and for how long!)
Since Dawson’s dad became the coach of the Capeside High football team and Jack’s the first openly gay football player on the team, I’m half expecting someone to get hurt during the game and get stuck in a wheelchair and they’re all like ‘Cape Cod Forevahh’, essentially turning it into an episode of Friday Night Lights.
Dawson gets caught making out with Mysterious (Summer’s) Eve at the Homecoming game in front of the entire school, kinda like Hugh Grant making out with Natalie at the Christmas Pageant in Love Actually.
Dawson’s in shock, yet still takes a bow and stands on stage for a while, soaking in the applause.
Notable Quote: “I’m just a girl standing in a janitor’s closet. Asking him to kiss her.” MS Eve to Dawson or first draft of Notting Hill’s best line?
Hey what happened to Joey’s brother-in-law? Too many black people on the show? Seriously, why have I not seen him since season one?
Basically this MS Eve storyline is that she goes by the name Eve Whitman, and ironically, I really hope they wrap up this Dick Whitman/Mad Men storyline up real soon because it’s getting annoying.
Okay, I guess we’re learning things because Jen’s mom apparently had another kid and that’s MS Eve??
Notable Quote: “Mrs. Ryan, who is that in that picture?” Dawson
“Oh we’ll that’s our Lord Jesus Christ as interpreted by one of our gifted young Sunday school students.” Mrs. Ryan/Grams
“I meant the one below it.” Dawson (turns out it’s Jen’s mom, it’s the same pic Eve had when she said she was looking for her mom)
DRAG QUEENS. DRAG QUEENS AT A CAPESIDE GALA. I CANNOT.
Wait now Dawson works at the video store? And why are there random pop corn boxes being used as replacements for VHS tapes? Was this some kind of contest the WB held to count how many popcorn boxes you can find in the episode and then whoever wins gets a free t-shirt with a WB frog on it?
Okay so we know the show’s creator Kevin Williamson was also the guy who did the Scream movies, but is he really going to make Halloween parody episodes every year? This particular one leaves them at a creepy island and it’s like Blair Witch meets The Craft meets Professor Trelawney’s Potion’s class from Harry Potter.
Notable Quote: “Nobody brought snacks? No Doritos? No Ho Hos?” Pacey to his ‘friends’ and their lack of thought into their adventure. This line isn’t even that funny but the way it was delivered was pure gold.
“Roswell’s on in five minutes.” Jen to Pacey, which is also comical because Roswell was on after DC in 1999 AND Jason Behr, who played the rich guy that hosted the Cosmo sex quiz party S2, was on Roswell. WB INCEST.
I just noticed this but Alex Gansa is an executive producer on this show – this is the guy who currently runs Homeland. Alex Gansa is responsible for both Dawson Leery and Carrie Mathison. Think about that one for a second…
Guys it’s happening… I’m starting to ship pacey and Joey. It could be a problem. I’m warning you now. Joey recruits Pacey for these dance lessons to try to get a scholarship in exchange for tutoring him in math. Except Dawson thinks they’re having an affair and it all comes to a head at the end.
Here we are again with Dawson vs. Joey vs. Pacey triangle but I have to say this story line is starting to stretch the limits of believability. Maybe I just want Pacey and Joey together already, but really, their bickering is so sophomoric… You guys are Juniors now, come onnn.
Notable Quote: “I’m trying to lead but Janet Reno here doesn’t exactly make it easy on a fellow, you know what I’m saying?” Pacey can’t dance, neither can Joey and it’s like the best meet-cute if they hadn’t met already.
Dawson, Joey, Jack and Andie all head to Boston to check out Harvard (because that’s a common thing that 4 friends are all considering the same Ivy League school). Joey meets this douchebag guy, Andie befriends the Dean’s secratary and Dawson meets a girl who is also interested in filmmaking.
This person look familiar? Because it’s Bianca Lawson – BIANCA LAWSON WHO DOES NOT AGE. Like Stacey Dash has nothing on her. She played a teenager in Saved by the Bell: The New class (’93), Sister, Sister (’96), Buffy (’98), Save the Last Dance (’01), and Pretty Little Liars (’12). YOU TIME TRAVELLING DEMON.
Meanwhile, Jack is still out (literally) checking the gay scene in Boston and as someone who went to a school in Boston where the unofficial slogan was ‘Gay by May or your money back,’ I can vouch for the gay scene there. Poor Jack though, he straight up (gay up?) ran away from a guy in a gay bar because he was so nervous and didn’t know what to do. Bless.
Update: Bodie (Joey’s brother-in-law/Bessie’s husband who I’ve been calling Jeff?) is back and they’re acting like we were supposed to know where he’s been? Am I missing something? Quite possibly.
Joey’s painting some mural on the wall of the school and Pacey comes to visit and all I can think about is when they’re getting together. Does it happen in like the third to last episode and there’s a kiss and they won’t address their real feelings until the season finale? Come onnnn.
However, I must say that the writing as improved so much since the first season – it’s less cheesy and the dialogue is more Gilmore Girls-y than Saved By the Bell-y.
And then someone vandalizes Joey’s mural and Pacey and Dawson (mainly Pacey) go on a man hunt to find who did it. And here’s some dialogue proving Pacey is starting to become the only smart person on this show. Everything he says in this bit o’ dialogue is why he is such a good guy at heart and is clearly in love with Joey.
Pacey: Well, not to stick my nose in here, but to just stick my nose in, of course it was a personal attack.
Pacey: Well, there are only three murals in that hallway. Yours was the only one that got touched.
Pacey: So, either someone didn’t like what Joey was trying to say, or someone just didn’t like you.
Dawson: Your logic leaves a lot to be desired.
Pacey: Dawson, we’re in high school here. It’s a veritable society unto it’s own, with a pecking order that makes the caste system look forgiving. Who knows what subtle line you may have crossed or what offence you may have given, without even knowing it.
Dawson: Paranoid much?
Pacey: You don’t think there’s a possibility that there’s somebody out there who hates Joey just for being Joey? Who hates the way she talks, the way she dresses, the way she chews on her lower lip?
Joey: Look, I don’t chew on my lower lip.
The guy who Pacey beats up because he thinks he vandalized the mural, Matt Caufield, legit looks like 25 and not a 25 who passes for a 17 year old.
In fact all of the main cast are starting to look older. James van der Beek legit looks like a college kids visiting his old high school on Christmas break. And where is Jen? Shooting a movie? Just because Bessie’s MIA hubs is back means they had to take Jen off the payroll.
Notable Quote: “I did what any self-respecting kid would do in the cellular age, you know? I whipped out my Startac, I dialed home.” Man-child Matt Caufield, encapsulating the 90s in a single line.
“That’s what I like about you Pacey. You just go so deep.” Josephine Potter THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!
Ah yes the time old tradition of an episode that deals with race! Basically Principal Green, who is black (and Bianca Lawson’s father) decided to expel Man-child Matt for vandalizing the mural (despite being an arrogant, rich, over-privileged white kid) and the parents were pissed off because he had such a hard punishment. The school board is about to go all HAM on Principal Green and removed him from his post because they ‘don’t agree with his decision’ but Joey organizes a Save Mr. Green rally in an attempt to keep his job.
At the rally, a bunch of students show up, telling their own personal touching stories with Mr. Green, including Minkus from Boy Meets World?
Proud Pacey even intros Joey and he’s wearing a Boston Bruins jersey and REMEMBER WHEN JOSHUA JACKSON STARTED HIS CAREER IN THE MIGHTY DUCKS AND HE’S PROVEN HE’S NOT JUST SOME CHILD STAR?!
I’M SORRY I HATED ON THIS EPISODE BUT NOW IM OVERWHEMLINGLY EMOTIONAL AND THERE IS SOMETHING IN MY EYE MAKING ME TEAR UP BECAUSE THESE KIDS ARE JUST BEING SO RESPECTFUL TO THEIR PRINCIPAL AND HE’S LEAVING FOR SUCH A STUPID REASON BUT HE’S ONLY DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR THE KIDS AND HE’S SO PROUD OF THEM NOT JUST FOR FIGHTING FOR HIM BUT FOR SPEAKING UP AND STANDING TOGETHER FOR A CAUSE AND THEY EVEN LINED UP IN THE HALLWAY AND DID A SLOW CLAP FOR HIM AS HE LEFT
And this is an actual song that played while he walked down the hallway to really hammer the theme home.
bought rented an entire brick wall so Joey can actually paint a mural. Like, let’s get ‘er done folks.
Pacey’s punishment to punching the lights out of Man-Child Matt is to be a mentor to a kid, and that kid is Jonathan Lipnicki.
Pacey with a witty child is my favorite thing – next to Pacey with a witty Joey.
THEY KISSED IT HAPPENED Y’ALL WHAWT IS WRONG WITH ME
Joey’s all ‘mad’ that Pacey kissed her, so natch this causes awkwardness between them because she knows she obvs likes him. Too bad they’re spending the weekend away in the same house 24/7 with a young Julie Bowen as Dawson’s cool Aunt Gwen. Joey and Dawson visit her every year because she’s all hippie and cool and the rest of the gang follows.
AND BY COOL AUNT GWEN I MEAN CLAIRE DUNPHY IS A COCK BLOCK WHO WON’T LET JOEY AND PACEY KEEP KISSING.
Slash I’m kind of in love with the scene. Joey admits that she actually felt something between them and … PACEY WITTER, DREAM MAN.
Joey: This morning. Your arm brushed up against me in bed, and… And I felt it.
Pacey: How did it feel?
Joey: Made me feel alive.
Pacey: Ok. Joey… I’m going to kiss you now.
Joey: You can’t.
Pacey: Jo, you can’t say something like that to me and expect me not to kiss you, so that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna kiss you in about 10 seconds. And if you don’t want me to kiss you… Well, if you don’t want me to, I guess then you’re just gonna have to stop me. 10.
They’re employing this ‘tell a story from the beginning multiple times from different perspectives’ that many a series and movie employ and guess what – it actually works. I bet the writers had this idea in their arsenal for years but wanted to keep it until it was a special episode and this was definitely it.
That being said I totally get all this teen angst and everything but it’s so annoying that Joey would just give up this potential relationship for Dawson, who they’ve already established is not going to work out with. I get it, but looking at this situation as an adult and watching these kids it’s frustrating that they can’t just work their shit out. I guess that’s what teenage angst years are for.
Dawson holds an anti-prom because the real prom folks won’t let Jack bring another guy as a prom date, proving that Dawson’s good guy streak. Joey ends up going with Dawson and Pacey with Andie, who clearly bought all her items – including her makeup – from the DeLiA*s catalog.
Have I become incensed or is Dawson acting like a little bitch who doesnt belong w Joey ? Like GTFO. I mean he kissed Joey and I literally said ‘gross’ out loud… I think I’ve binge watched too fast…
And I’m so over Dawson’s parents being all lovey-dovey then deciding to divorce then not divorcing. Dawson’s just like his parents trying to hold on to something they had in the past.
You know who has turned into not an asshole? Deputy Doug Witter. He purposely pulled Joey over to warn her about Pacey leaving.
And I guess I was wrong about Dawson’s parents. They’re getting remarried. And Dawson’s the best man and Joey’s the maid of honor. lolololol.
Grams decides to be youthful and go on a road trip in the name love and drives hours to find a bus with Jen’s boyfriend who’s going off to football camp and Jack’s friend who he was afraid to kiss because he had never kissed a guy before. And she’s reallly excited to see her granddaughter get some. Also, I am more giddy about Jack finally getting some gay action than anyone else on this show. Ok sans Pacey/Joey. Jocey? Pacey? Oh wait.
OH MY GOD. As a frequent user of the internet and reader of ONTD I have seen this ‘Dawson Crying’ GIF/Meme make its rounds online. When I started watching DC, I wondered when I would be able to watch the GIF in all its glory. And I totally forgot until now. I have a feeling it’s about to happen and I literally paused to type this because I need to prepare myself.
BEFORE THE STORM:
GUYS I GOT TOO CARRIED AWAY W THE SCREEN SHOTS ON MY COMPUTER THAT IT KEPT PAUSING AND I HAD TO WATCH THE SCENE LIKE 3 TIMES AND IT TOTALLY RUINED MY EXPERIENCE BUT OH MY GOD I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING
CAN U EVEN
So Dawson’s butt hurt that Joey’s leaving him for Pacey, and Joey runs to meet Pacey before he sails away. BUT – this bitch had time to change her clothes, despite the fact she literally ran away from the wedding and she’s now running to the dock to stop Pacey from travelling the seas without her all summer ?? AND she’s worried about the lack of clothing. Honestly, you knew you were going there to get on board with him so bring a bag or something. And money.
DOES SHE NOT LOOK LIKE SURI HERE HOLY SMOKES
And then when they were sailing away I felt a sense of familiarity as if I had seen it before, but then upon discussing it with Molly, realized it reminded me of The OC season 1 finale when Seth sails away on his boat to Catalina, which seemed far at the time, but now that I live in LA, realize it’s really not that far. It made it seem like he was sailing to Hawaii by himself.
Side note: per my research, Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson only dated the first two seasons which would potentially make this awkward for them, but she said they had a “Dawson-Joey type relationship”? Okay. Luckily it’s not weird and their chemistry just oozes from the screen. Remember when Adam and Rachel broke up but still shot a WEDDING SCENE in The OC!? Oops sorry. Spoiler alert?
So what will happen next? Will the True Love-birds make it on their three month adventure still obsessed with each other or will they sink like the Titanic? Is Dawson still crying on his dock?
Tune in next month for season four!