And we’re back in Capeside again! Well, technically not Capeside… you’ll see. For anyone that’s new to this series, I’ve been documenting my journey to good old Dawson’s Creek (which, BTW is so inaptly named, I’ll get to that in a second) for the past few months, recapping my thoughts as I watch it for the very first time as an adult (view Season 1, 2, 3, and 4 here!)
We ended with the gang graduating from high school, which for most teen dramas means an inevitable jumping of the metaphorical shark. Dawson’s going off to film school 3,000 miles away from home at USC, Joey (who has broken up with Pacey wahhh) is going to her dream college in Boston at an imaginary place called Worthington, BFFs/OTP Jack and Jen are also off to Boston to go to another fictional college called Boston Bay, and Pacey’s taking care of some rich guy’s boat by sailing around the Caribbean. Let’s see what happens when everyone leaves the Creek…
This episode starts off with a voice over that sounds vaguely familiar – and that’s bc it’s Ken Marino. I would tell you what he’s from but he’s been in so many things, so here’s his picture:
This also starts off with Joey – no sign of Dawson – and proves what I’ve been thinking for the past couple seasons: this show is a misnomer. It’s not Dawson’s Creek. It never has been. Unless they meant it to be like, from Joey’s perspective, it’s ‘Dawson’s Creek’. Whatever, it’s still stupid. Katie Holmes is the only person on the cast who has been in every single episode, so just look at the facts. Also I had no idea that they all went to Boston for college!? It’s giving me all the feels of when I was a freshman in Boston.
Anyways, Ken Marino (a professor) was actually reading one of Joey’s papers about that kiss she had with Dawson, and we’re led to believe that they kissed and they parted for college and nothing else ever happened. Perfect.
Enter busy Phillips. She’s deemed herself Jen’s BFF and I’m already loving seeing the beginning of their IRL friendship! Who doesn’t love a good best gal pal friendship?!
Dawson is actually in LA, quietly achieving his life dream in the directors chair and it’s adorable. But there are so many people milling about on this lot, it’s as if there’s just a free for all at the studio. Not exactly how it happens IRL.
PACEY IS BACK FROM THE CARIBBEAN AND HAS A BOAT DOCKED IN BOSTON. BUT HE’S HIDING FROM EVERYONE BUT JEN WTF.
Jack, Jen, Joey, and new BFF Audrey (Busy Phillips) are at their first big college party AND OH LAWD this frat bro is legit wearing a puka shell necklace. And Chad Michael Murray what is your hair. It is really 2001 all over again.
Dawson gets fired from his internship with a legit movie director because he decided to sass him and leaves LA to go to Boston and shows up at Joey’s door. Just when I thought the writers were making the right decision by not putting them together again. Ugh.
PACEY IS KISSING SOMEONE WHO IS NOT JOEY I’m not okay with it. Slash that person is Jennifer Morrison.
With the help of Dougie, Pacey gets some gumption and gets a job at a restaurant. I’m super happy for him doing something with his life and all, but when is he going to show himself to everyone (read: Joey)? He can only hide for so long. Boston’s a big city, but it ain’t that big.
Well it looks like Dawson’s staying in Boston instead of going back to school in LA, mostly because of Joey. This is no bueno. Unrelatedly, was the general consensus on the last two seasons that it was cursed because now that they’re not in high school, it jumped the shark? Because I get that.
IT HAPPENED! Joey is at the restaurant that Pacey works at and sees him in the kitchen! Let the awkwardness ensue!
Meanwhile, Jack is pledging a frat and I fear that once they find out he’s gay they’re going to take hazing to a whole new level. However, I’ve been proven wrong…
Jack: I’m gay.
Blossom: You thought we didn’t know that?
Jack: Most people are surprised.
Blossom: Most people aren’t Sigma people. You’re sigma people, Jack. You’re one of us.
Jack: You mean, there’s other guys in the house that are gay?
Blossom: You’d be the first.
Jack: Most fraternities are not particularly well known for, you know, their tolerance towards alternative lifestyles.
Blossom: Which is precisely why we need you in this house, McPhee. Listen, Sigma Ep has a reputation for being one of the roughest, party-hearty, alpha male fraternities on campus, a reputation which is not entirely unfounded. The dean wants us to diversify. The dean gets what the dean wants, so, yes, Jack, we know you’re gay, and we want you in this house because you’re gay.
Question: how is this better than affirmative action??
Dawson is back in Capeside and spending some time with his family, particularly with his baby sister, and I have to admit him sitting with her in their front yard under an umbrella is equally hilarious and adorable.
It’s interesting watching this as an adult who has gone through the difficulty of figuring out independence and friendship in the first year of college. I always imagined high school would be like Saved by the Bell – and it wasn’t. I think if I watched this when it was originally on (and I was in high school), I would’ve thought their experience was exactly what college was like. But for me, it definitely was not. As an adult, I watch this season as more of a cynicist thinking, ‘That could never/never happened in college’, where as a teenager, I would have been like, ‘Whoa college is big and scary and filled with frat parties that I would never be invited to’. The first year of college is a day to day thing and you live your life looking at what’s in front of you. It wasn’t a “big picture” thing that the movies and TV portray it as.
Attention: Joey and Pacey finally faced each other and it was actually cute and I hope that they stay friends… for now.
Ok so this is a spoiler I knew was coming: Mitch gets into a car accident. But I did NOT know it’s because he tried to get a scoop of ice cream that he dropped on the floor. DA FAQ just happened. Although maybe he was drunk, because ice cream is his drunk food? No? Just the ice cream? Embarrassing way to go out, man.
Notable Quote: “I don’t know, I could use the snuggles.” Jen, explaining to Joey and Audrey why she’s leaving for a booty call with CMM.
Mitch is officially dead, and I like that they subtly confirm that by showing the “closed for death in the family” sign on the door of their restaurant, because TBH, I don’t need to see an entire episode of Mitch on his death bed. Also, is there really not a better way to get Dawson back to Capeside than having his father killed? I guess dropping out of school wasn’t enough.
Pacey just gave his approval for Dawson and Joey to get back together again, because apparently being at sea has helped him find himself and become a better person.
Pacey: Why on earth would Dawson Leery, of all people, want to drop out of film school? (Looks over at Joey and then knows.) Oh. I get it. It’s ok. You can tell me, Jo. I’m not gonna get upset.
Joey Oh, Pace, I didn’t ask him to, if that’s what you mean.
Pacey: Look. If anybody understands the various shades of gray here, it’s me, and I think it’s time the two of you got your shot… because the way I see it, you never did, and this world could use as many Romeo and Juliet’s as it can get.
Joey: Look what happened to them.
Oh man. Pacey takes Dawson to the crash site to help him realize that it’s not his fault his dad died, and yet again, Pacey Witter proves he is the greatest human #PaceyWitterDreamMan.
I find it comical that Ken Marino has been cast as the hot Englishg teacher when all I picture is him like this:
Jen’s all hooking up with CMM, and it’s to the point where she seems him out at a restaurant with some girl after he told Jen he was working. Pacey attempts to stop Jen from going in there and ripping out his beautiful head of hair and hilarity ensues #PaceyWitterDreamMan
DAWSON – I know it’s really hard, but you need to get a grip and deal with your father’s death. Avoiding it like the plague is not going to help anyone.
Is Pacey’s restaurant the only fancy restaurant they’re allowed to go to on this show, because it really feels that way with the amount of scenes they do here.
In my head, 2001 doesn’t seem that long ago, but please look at Dawson’s caller ID on his Motorola phone:
Why does CMM always play a douche guy? And why does he have a lizard in his room? Is Jen going to become a lesbian? I have a lot of burning questions.
One of those was answered because instead of Jen becoming a lesbian, she tricks CMM to think she’s down for a threesome with his side chick and instead both of them drop him. Again, Jen tricks CMM into a faux threesome. This show.
Yikes, guys. Dawson is drunk this is not going to end weelll. He actually said, ‘Have no fear, Dawson is here.’ He’s the kind of drunk that tells the truth when he’s inebriated so basically he just blamed Joey for his dad dying. sigh.
Dawson finally gets professional help to deal with his dad’s death and this is the therapist he goes to:
Recognize her yet? Time’s up. This is the therapist in 2014:
Well thanks DC writers for perpetualizing the stereotype that frat boys’ main goal is to get laid. Because that’s literally what they’re told to do – bring girls to a party so the brothers can hook up with them, and Jack decides to bring Joey and Audrey. I think it was scenes like this that made me think frats in college were the worst.
PS: Pacey slept with this girl Karen that he works with but honestly she needs to GTFO because she’s playing him like an instrument that you play a lot. And no one messes with our boy.
Speaking of sleeping with people, Dawson takes Jen up to New Hampshire because he won a film contest for the movie he made about his elderly friend Mr. Brooks who died last season. And apparently Dawson and Jen took the state motto, ‘Live free or Die’ to heart because they are into each other again and guess what – Jen gets it in with virgin Dawson! AND she’s wearing these pajamas!
Annnddd they’re dating now. Great.
Notable Quotes: Some guy talking to Dawson at the film festival: “I go to school in Boston. This really weird visual arts place full of freaks and misfits.” – literally sounds like where I went to school.
Ah here’s the annual Halloween episode. Joey, Pacey & Jack are telling scary stories that actually happened to them, and Joey’s is that she was stuck in the school library late at night with a creepy guy and another creepy guy who is Detective Wilden from Pretty Little Liars, so I automatically think he’s sketchy.
In full disclosure I fell asleep and decided not to rewind it.
Guys, turns out I really like Busy Phillips/her character, even after I decided I wasn’t going to like her because of who she ends up dating (hint hint). In the end, she was the right voice to come into the show as they entered a new season – kinda like how Gretchen was the right person to bring in last season. Right character, the right time.
This entire back and forth Pacey and Jack have about Dawson possibility losing his virginity to Jen is fantastic and honestly the best thing that’s happened this season.
For a couple that’s broken up then got back together than broke up and then got back together then broke up, this confrontation between Dawson and Joey re: sleeping with Jen is… WOOF.
Dawson: Joey, it hurts to be around you. When I see you, even from across the room, it brings up a thousand memories. Not just of us, but of my entire life before. It’s like I’m frozen in this place that I can’t bear to be. I care about you so much. As long as I can remember, everything’s always come back to you. I mean, even no matter what was happening between us. Even the thought of you is at least a constant comfort, but… I can’t go back. It just hurts.
Fashion note: I love that Pacey is suddenly Top Chef wearing an apron – and I just noticed he’s stopped wearing those hideous Hawaiian t-shirts. It’s like he was preparing for his voyage to the Caribbean for 4 seasons.
Joey is checking her grades on a board that was printed in computer paper. DO KIDS THESE DAYS EVEN REMEMBER COMPUTER PAPER??
Okay, so maybe I ship Pacey and Joey as friends too because them high giving over his promotion slash her grades is the cutest. Maybe I just really ship Pacey. Have I expressed that feeling yet? #PaceyWitterDreamMan
When is CMM leaving Boston for One Tree Hill, this is absurd. I’m over him. And his ridiculous helmet.
SOMETHING I DID NOT SEE COMING: On My Own reprise!! Well kind of. Joey gets the balls to sing for CMM’s band at this club where all the college kids hang out, and instead of a Broadway song, it’s Blondie. Although it’s less embarrassing than the first time I still can’t help but watch through my fingers. Partly because she started singing with her musical theatre voice and it was weird, but hey, at least she got up there and did it.
Notable Quote: “Right there in the bursar’s office on the formica. It was wild, passionate, hot, animalistic sex.” – Joey, being her usual sarcastic self about hooking up with Professor Ken Marino
Dawson finally decides to go back to film school (in Boston), and as a ‘Back to School’ present, Jen gets Dawson an ET Trapper Keeper and it’s actually super cute. That is the only good thing about this relationship so far. The nostalgic school supplies.
Joey is torn between two lovers – this kid Elliott, a peer and someone her own age who is really into her, and Professor Ken Marino. Joey decides to ditch a date with Elliott in order to go to an academic thing at Prof Ken’s house, and she ends up kissing him. But again, all I can see is Ken Marino. It’s so weird. When she gets back to her dorm, she finds a get well soon basket from Elliott, because she told him she was sick in order to get out of said date. And he made her a card out of construction paper. Look who’s making poor choices again – it’s Josephine Potter.
Notable Quotes: “If that’s what the people want, if they want me to be nasty and sarcastic, I can do that. I just need something that’s gonna take me there. Pacey, say something disgusting.” – Jen
“Sure, would you prefer sexist or just downright vulgar?” – Pacey
DC fans: this is the infamous robbery episode, so brace yourselves. Everyone else – thanks for reading this far but good GOD get ready for an effed up episode (which you can view in its entire below).
I figure this is a ‘Very special episode of Dawson’s Creek because of the different opening credits – it looks like the beginning of a Disney Channel Original Movie.
The episode starts out in Downtown Crossing, which, when I lived blocks away from there, was a bustling area. Even if it’s midnight. Joey is walking by herself at a leisurely pace, staring at stars in the sky. I take this as a bad sign already because no one in Boston does this unless you’re a tourist. Walking is for getting from Point A to Point B. Also, it appears that no one else is around at this time of night – but she said she was taking the subway, and if the subway’s still open, it means there should be people around, but conveniently, there is not a soul in sight.
A man spots Joey going to an ATM vestibule and follows her. Instead of straight up mugging her, he decides to talk to her and tell her he’s not going to rob her. Then asks for money. She says no, but he keeps pushing. Joey being, well, Joey, insists she doesn’t have any and he’s all ‘Bitch I saw you come out of the bank’ (not verbatim). She tries to walk away and he pulls out a gun.
Joey is spending waaayyyy too much time chatting with him. She told him her real name AND the school she goes too NO TIME TO BE SASSY RN JO. THIS SCENE IS LASTING WAY TOO LONG. WHY ARE THEY SPENDING SO MUCH TIME TOGETHER AND WHY ARE THERE NO OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THIS IS THE WORST. NOW SHE’S GIVING HIM DATING ADVICE?? ” I can’t believe I’m even participating in this conversation,” says Joey. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE PARTICIPATING IN THIS CONVERSATION EITHER.
He takes her back to the bank so she can take out money but the two are still chattering on as if they have all the time in the world. The mugger takes note of Joey’s “nice” coat and refuses to give it to him, but he’s all ‘It wasn’t really a question’ and the camera pans to the gun in the waist of his pants. Not really necessary to keep showing the gun, but okay. He takes the money from her savings ($500) and her coat, and walks away, hopefully never to be seen again.
I just found out that the version on YouTube is different from the one on Netflix, which means unless you want to watch this ep on Netflix, you won’t be able to hear this absolutely ridiculous song that includes the lyrics, “Alone again, as I often am/Candles burn, slowly at both ends/Who am I, why am I here/Can I learn to overcome this fear”. And then this happens:
I’M SORRY, WHAT WAS THAT? THE MUGGER STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET TO WAVE AT WHO HE JUST MUGGED AND THEN GOT HIT BY A CAR?? I have seen a lot A LOT of TV programming and this is hands down one of the worst scenes I’ve ever seen in my life.
In one of the more frightening scenes of this entire series, Joey goes to get her coat and money back from the seemingly dead body in the middle of the street, but HE WAKES UP and won’t let her call 911 for help, despite the fact he’s bleeding profusely.
He throws her cell phone and he threatens to shoot her, but bitch still refuses. Turns out the gun wasn’t loaded the whole time, but still. If someone has a gun on you, don’t argue with them and make them angrier. I mean she literally says, ‘If you want to shoot me, go right ahead.’ HELLO?? DID PEOPLE STILL WATCH THIS SHOW AFTER THIS EPISODE??
It’s a hit and run and Joey decides to stay with him until the ambulance gets there. The mugger guy is lit’rally on the ground, bleeding, but still wants a cigarette. He can’t light it himself because HE JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR AND IS INJURED so Joey helps him light it. What even. But then she goes to the hospital to make sure he’s okay… THIS EP SHOULD BE RETITLED JOEY: GO HOME.
At the hospital, Joey finds a little girl who I’m convinced is a little girl ghost, because frankly anything could happen at this point. She’s a real girl, whose mother asks Joey to look after her because she needs to look for her husband – who got hit by a car. Yeah, that husband is her mugger who’s currently bleeding to death on an operating table. They put the pieces together and his wife apologizes and gets the hell out of there.
I think it’s a sign that if the wife can’t even stand by her man, you shouldn’t either, right? Nope. The mugger is awake and requests to see Joey, and they talk even more like can you guys just stop? Did the writers run out of ideas? Why is there an entire episode dedicated to this?
Oh, he dies.
Real talk: was this episode part of a theme week on WB? Like Green Week on NBC? Was it Be Aware Of Your Surroundings Week? Don’t Act Like a GD Idiot Day?
In the middle of everyone taking care of Joey and making sure she’s okay every minute of the day, Pacey and Audrey had sex, and they’re in a weird middle ground where Audrey doesn’t want to continue because of the Joey factor. Relatedly, Pacey has now adopted a Shaft look in lieu of his I work at Trader Joe’s look, and I honestly don’t know what’s worse.
Jack and Pacey’s friendship has always been sweet, and Pacey unknowingly goes to a gay bar with Jack and it is the actual cutest. Not to mention guys are hitting on Pacey and he’s just letting it happen. #PaceyWitterDreamMan
Notable Quotes: “Pacey, you’re not gay.” – Jack “Well I know that and you know that and as far as he’s concerned you’re my boyfriend!” – Pacey
There’s a shot of Flutie Flakes – does anyone outside of Western New York/New England remember Flutie Flakes, the cereal named after beloved football player Doug Flutie?
Honestly why is CMM still on this show? Now he’s chasing after Joey romantically and hoping to recruit her for his band. She agrees to fill in as the lead singer, but I find it hard to believe Joey would just agree to do it. Also they’re (the writers) are so trying to sexualize her and it just isn’t working we know her as the girl next door – which isn’t to say she shouldn’t have a sexy side but throughout this entire season even she’s wearing makeup and it’s WEIRD.
Also weird: Pacey and Audrey blatantly want to check in to this sketchy motel to have sex and Joey is forced to stay with them. I’M JUST NOT OVER PACEY & JOEY, OKAY.
There was legit a side swipe cut into another scene. Did someone edit this on windows movie maker?! What is happening to this program?
Forgot to mention Jen broke up with Dawson in the last episode. Nobody cares because nobody cared about that relationship in the first place.
Wait the real episode credits just flashed on the screen that was showing Dawson’s movie it was so meta and weird and The Simpsons-esque do not like. PS: Dawson has a movie.
Notable Quotes: “Can I say something? My Grams is dating a 65-year-old African American man named Clifton Smalls.” – Jen, telling it like it is.
Ok so the only image I had of busy Phillips on DC prior to this marathon was a random vision of her sitting outside a white beach house on spring break. Literally that is one picture I’ve had in my head for all these years and apparently it’s from this episode.
Really didn’t know CMM was on dc for this long. He really took over WB/CW back in the day, didn’t he?
Pacey is back in his natural habitat (Hawaiian shirts)
Wait who is this random YM featured girl duo featured at the MTV Spring break special on the beach – it’s M2M, who I know better as the girls who sang the song from the Pokemon soundtrack.
Oh a baby Hilarie Burton reppin MTV! Getting hit on by her future OTH co star CMM. Remember when she was literally picked off the street during TRL and now she’s like a legit actress who has a baby w Denny from Grey’s? Some gals have all the luck.
I’m still not convinced Joey completely wants Pacey to fall in love with Audrey it’s still too weird. They’re giving each other relationship advice, and there’s still so much flirting and chemistry that it’s hard to believe otherwise.
Meanwhile Dawson is still daydreaming about a relationship with Joey and has a weird flashback of their time together that’s in sepia tone, but the montage was like it wasn’t even finished. This show is in shambles.
Speaking of shambles – Jack just drunkenly jumped from the roof into the pool & Dawson shows up and has the swim in and save him. The fuck.
Of course Dawson is there to win Joey back, and Pacey is straight up like yo Dawson I’m over this Joey shit. Give it up.
It ends with Dawson barefoot on the beach looking pensive and it’s straight out of Sandcastles in the Sand. Get a grip Simon.
There is literally a scrunchie on the doorknob of Joey & Audrey’s dorm room and I literally said EW out loud when they panned to Joey and CMM in bed. GTFO AND GO TO ONE TREE HILL.
ANNA NARDINI. ARE YOU HERE TO RUIN THE SHOW WITH A SURPRISE DAUGHTER TOO.
YUP ANNA NARDINI IS HERE TO RUIN THE SHOW BY SEXUALLY HARASSING PACEY AND KISSING HIM UNWILLINGLY.
Did I mention she’s his new boss? She’s his new boss. And she’s trouble.
Notable Quotes: “Could he be any cuter?” – Audrey “No, but he could be more in tune.” – Joey, on CMM serenading him outside her window.
Sherilyn Fenn is probably a nice human, but she should stop picking roles that make her look like a homewrecker. She continues hitting on Pacey, even goes to his apartment and Audrey walks in on Alex (Dumb homewrecker Sherilyn Fenn) trying to kiss Pacey. Understandably, Audrey leaves in a fit of rage, and when talking do her does work, Pacey goes back to his apartment to sleep with Alex. PACEY WITTER.You’re better than this!
Pacey leads the employees to oust crazy Alex from her dictator-like position at the restaurant, and it works. But then Pacey gets into a car with her and her inner crazy comes out. She basically almost kills both of them. What is happening.
I’m, like, over this. These are the loose ends that need tying up at the end of the season: Grams may or may not get married in Vegas to Clifton Smalls; Jack stayed in Boston to help his gay frat brother; Jen’s off to try repair her relationship with her parents in New York; Audrey and Pacey embark on a road trip to her home in LA; Dawson is being forced to go to LA and Joey is most likely going to Paris with no clothes or luggage.
Meanwhile, the summer after my freshman year of college I went home and worked at the local amusement park where I sat in a hot ticket box and put wristbands on sweaty Rochesterians. Essentially the same thing.