Recap: Dawson and Joey are hanging in Dawson's bedroom, laying atop his bed watching the end of E.T. Dawson then clicks to the local news channel, where his mom in her unspeakably over-poofed Shaggy D.A. hairdo is delivering the nightly news with her co-anchor Bob. Joey climbs off of the bed and puts her shoes on, and Dawson's all, "Hey, don't go. Spend the night" - but Joey says she doesn't think it's a good idea for them to be doing that anymore, given that 1) they're not kids anymore, 2) they're heading back to high school on Monday, and 3) "I have breasts! You have genitalia!" Dawson giggles at that last thing as Joey adds, "Our emerging hormones are destined to alter our relationship, and I'm trying to limit the fallout" ... and Dawson refrains from asking, "The fuck you just say?" as if it's perfectly natural for a fifteen year old to use the kind of over-engineered dialogue that the Dawson's Creek writers embraced, stubbornly clung to [for six full seasons], and tried to pass off as plausible teenspeak. Dawson asks Joey if she has a "thang" for him, and she doth protests too much about definitely not having a "thang" for him, but that she does think they need to make adjustments to their friendship now that they're in the throes of puberty. Dawson disagrees and says he believes they can transcend such problems, tells her not to get "female" on him, and threatens to start calling her Josephine. Joey's all, "Noooooo!" and leaps atop the bed, where they wrestle playfully while carefully avoiding any accidental hanky panky action. Dawson insists that they're besties for life and says he doesn't ever want to talk about this again...and Joey agrees, then slips between the sheets, where she curls up on one side of the bed and falls fast asleep.
After the opening credits, Joey is sunning herself on a dock when a swamp creature leaps out of the lake, grabs her, and pulls her into the water. Behind the rolling camera, an irritated Dawson yells, "Cut!" and admonishes Pacey for not properly timing his cinematic grabbing of Joey, and Joey snaps at Pacey for grabbing her ass during every take. A few seconds later, a yellow cab pulls up in the driveway next door, and a teenage blonde girl steps out. Dawson's all, "Wuh?" and stares at her dreamily...and the camera goes all slo-mo while she lumbers in his direction. She introduces herself as Jen Lindley, reminds Dawson that she's his neighbor's granddaughter and that they've met once before...then says the story she's sticking to (for now, anyway) is that she's temporarily living with her Grams, who needs help caring for her ailing Gramps. Joey scowls at the interloper before bitchily introducing herself as someone she's never met before, and Jen's like, "OK then" and says she should probably go say hey to her Grams now.
Pacey razzes Dawson about wanting to nail Jen as the two enter Casa Leery, where Mitch (Dawson's father) is dry humping Shaggy D.A. in the middle of the living room. A mortified Dawson's all, "OMG, mom and dad!", and a red-faced Mitch and Shaggy D.A. abruptly pull away from each other and are all, "OMG, son! We didn't expect you home so soon!" Shaggy D.A. smooths her mane and says she should prolly head to work now, then smooches her husband before rushing out.
Joey rowboats to her house and runs into her sister's boyfriend Bodie, who asks her to taste something he just whipped up in a saucepan. Joey's pregnant sister Bessie emerges from the house, and she and Joey argue about something or other before Joey stomps past her like a petulant turd.
Dawson and Pacey are working a shift at the downtown video rental place when a sexy middle aged blonde woman ambles in wearing a skimpy, thigh baring sundress. She introduces herself as Tamara and says she's new in town and wants to rent a video, and Pacey smarmily introduces himself and offers to help her find something sensual to enjoy. She shoots him a coquettish smile, then purrs about how eager she is to re-watch The Graduate - subtle, show - and Dawson rushes to the back room to fetch the video. He registers Tamara as a new member and hands her the video, and she tells Pacey it was nice to meet him. As she sexily sashays out, Pacey boasts to an icked out Dawson about how desperately Tamara wants to [commit a felony and] hit the sheets with him.
Dawson returns home and finds Jen sitting on the dock, staring contemplatively at the water. He wanders over, shows her the videos he checked out, and explains that he's researching swamp things for the movie he's currently filming. He then invites her up to his room so he can show off his collection of Spielberg movie posters...and when Jen jokes that he doesn't appear to be living in reality, he argues that, on the contrary, all of life's answers can be found in a Spielberg film [except for dreck like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 'cause the only life lesson there was that Spielberg should have begun and ended the Indiana Jones series with Raiders of the Lost Ark].
Joey is climbing up the ladder to Dawson's bedroom, but stops when she hears Dawson nattering at Jen about an upcoming film festival. From next door, Gram screeches at Jen to get herself home now, and Jen tells Dawson she should probably go see what the old woman wants. Joey waits for Jen to leave before climbing through Dawson's window, and the two settle onto the bed to watch the local news. Dawson carefully studies the banter between his mom and her co-anchor Bob and says he gets the feeling that the two are getting it on - but Joey says it can't possibly true 'cause no woman in her right mind would cheat on a hot mimbo like Mitch.
The next morning, Jen checks in on her unresponsive grandfather. As she sadly stares down at the massive incision scar on his chest, Grams appears in the doorway, tells her that breakfast is ready, and urges her not to be late for her first day of school.
As Grams whips up scrambled eggs, Jen tells her it's not necessary to go to the trouble 'cause she doesn't normally eat breakfast, then asks what the deal is with Dawson and Joey. Grams purses her lips disapprovingly and says that Joey has been climbing the ladder into that dork's bedroom for years...and that since neither goes to church, they're what people - and by people, she mostly means herself - would call "the wrong elements". She then clasps her hands together and says grace, urging Jen to do likewise - but Jen says she's not into church, the bible, or any kind of "prayer stuff". She declares herself an atheist, to which Grams responds by staring back at her in horror.
At Capeside High, a cute blonde approaches Jen and introduces herself as Nellie Oleson - but quickly adds that she's nothing like the catty bitch from Little House on the Prairie her parents named her after. She asks Jen if she likes to party...and Jen says that if by party she means have fun in a wholesome, substance-free way, then sure. Nellie mumbles something unintelligible and strides off - just as Dawson ambles over and creepishly looms over Jen before offering to walk her to her biology homeroom.
Pacey is stunned when he saunters into his homeroom and sees that Tamara is his new English teacher. She gives him a friendly hello, then discreetly adds that he should probably refer to her as Miss Jacobs during school hours.
Jen enters biology class and seats herself beside Joey, after either ignoring or being oblivious to the bitchy way that Joey was slinking in her chair as if she thought it would prevent Jen from noticing her.
Dawson complains to the teacher of Capeside's only film class - hey, it's the twin (!) of the guy who played Mel Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210! - that he was denied admittance to the class. Mel explains that he was denied 'cause he's a sophomore and that he's only allowing seniors to enroll 'cause of the high demand among students to earn what sounds like a pretty easy course credit. Dawson sneers at the stupidity of the policy and moans about how passionate he is about filmmaking and how badly he neeeeeeeeds this opportunity - but Mel tells him that the class is maxed out and to get the hell out of his classroom.
After first period, Jen asks Joey if she and Dawson have a thing, and Joey mumbles that they're just friends, to which Jen replies, "Like we're going to be, I hope." When Joey just rolls her eyes in disgust at the idea of not behaving like a rude dickwad to Dawson's new crush, Jen tells her that Grams has warned her to steer clear of her and Dawson. Joey says that while her Grams is "cracked", the townsfolk are known to be judgey about her family members' colorful-for-Capeside history:
She then glares at Jen as she bitchily informs her that Dawson likes (as in likes likes) her, then storms off. In the next scene, Joey spends the lunch hour scowling at Dawson while he gives Jen the lowdown on various Capeside teachers, then asks her if she wouldn't mind looking over his latest movie script.
Pacey stops by Tamara's classroom to give her another May-December themed movie suggestion, but she tells him she's not interested in renting anything tonight 'cause she has plans to see the new film that's playing at the Rialto. Pacey perks up at that and says he'll consider it an open invitation to join her there...and she refrains from confirming that that's precisely why she told him exactly where he'd be able to find her this evening.
Pacey tells Dawson that, by scripted coincidence, the hottie from the video store just happens to be his new English teacher...then begs him to accompany him to the Rialto tonight so he can stalk Tamara and keep his fingers crossed that it'll result in the loss of his virginity. Dawson's all, "Ew..", then looks dismayed when he sees Jen talking to a cute football player. Pacey urges him to be more assertive, so Dawson wanders over and invites Jen to the Rialto tonight with him and Pacey.
Dawson runs into Joey while she's ambling down the street and invites her to join him, Pacey, and Jen at the movies so that Jen won't feel weird being the only girl with him and Pacey. Joey makes a blech face and grumbles, "I'd rather go down in a plane crash", then hems and haws before finally agreeing to come along.
Jen tells Grams she's off to the movies with Dawson tonight, and Grams grants her permission as long as she attends church with her on Sunday. Jen's like, "Mmm...no" - but then reverses that and agrees to go if Gram says the word penis. Grams looks horrified at the prospect, and an amused Jen tells her she's going to have to lighten up about naming naughty parts aloud on command.
Dawson tells Mitch he's off to the movies with Jen...and Mitch holds up a tiny plastic doll wearing scuba gear and says he's fleshing out a stupid idea for an aquatic themed restaurant. He then turns his attention to the TV and watches Shaggy D.A. deliver the news, and moans about how watching her work is like foreplay. Dawson's all, "OMG, dad! Eww!" and rails about how everyone on this show constantly talks about sex, sex, sex, and more sex. Mitch points out that sex is a big part of being human, and Dawson primly says he strongly feels that sex should be kept tightly under wraps, the way Saint Spielberg does in his films.
Bessie chides Joey for her relentless bitchitude, then forcibly applies a layer of lipstick on her scowling lips before giving her the entire tube so she can freshen up while on her movie "date".
While walking to the Rialto, Jen compliments Jo on her lipstick and asks what shade it is, and Joey bitchily retorts by asking her what number blonde dye she used on her hair. When Jen politely says she just uses highlights, Joey abruptly changes the subject and demands to know if she's a virgin...and Jen somehow refrains from snapping at the twit that a near stranger's sex life is none of her fucking business and fibs that, yep, she's a virgin all right. Through all this, a mortified Dawson just groans uselessly.
In the darkness of the movie theater, Joey watches Dawson reach for Jen's hand and interrupts the tender moment by boorishly asking Jen how important penis size is to her. Jen says that since she's [pretending to be] a virgin, she hasn't given a lot of thought to penis size...and a fed up Dawson grabs Joey by the hand and forcibly drags her out of the theater.
Pacey sees Tamara arrive and makes a beeline over to where she's sitting. As he seats himself beside her and babbles about more of his favorite 'pubescent-boy-gets-laid-by-a-horny-cougar' themed films, Tamara's date (Mel Silver) wanders over with a giant bucket of popcorn and offers to escort Pacey back to his seat. Pacey refuses to leave, and the ensuing skirmish results in Mel's popcorn bucket goes flying and spilling onto the man sitting in the row behind them. The man reacts by leaping out of his seat and punching Pacey in the face - a senseless act of violence that probably shouldn't have made me laugh as hard as I did.
Dawson asks Joey what hell her problem is, so she rails about how little attention he's been paying to her ever since "Little Miss Highlights" breezed into Capeside. Dawson admits that indeed he's smitten with Jen and asks for a little understanding, and Joey contorts her face miserably and nonsensically rambles, "I'm tired of understanding! All I dooooooo is understand!" She squawks about how nothing penetrates with him 'cause of how far removed from reality he is and can't see what's right in front of him...and when he stares back at her confusedly and asks what in blazes she's talking about, she natters about how he has no idea he's living a fairy-tale life and that the only conflict in his life is limited to the pages of his movie scripts. She snappishly tells him to stop living in the movies and grow up, then angrily stalks off.
Dawson walks Jen home and starts to lean in for a goodnight kiss - but she doesn't look into it and keeps her mouth occupied by babbling about how she holds herself responsible for tonight's debacle. Dawson disagrees and says that he's the loser who "pulled the pin and tossed the grenade" - but Jen argues that he's very sweet, smart, and cool without being obnoxious about it. She thanks him for helping make her transition from New York to Hicksville a smooth one...and when Grams turns on the porch light and stands in the doorway, Jen tells Dawson she's going to pretend that they just kissed, then scampers up the front steps...leaving a blushing Dawson staring after her.
Pacey runs into Tamara as she strolls along the dock. She coos sympathetically over his shiner and says she'd like to clear up the misunderstanding she's helped create by acting so flirty-kittenish every time she's been in his presence. Pacey accuses her of being a liar, then bitterly describes her as a well put together woman who clearly enjoys it when a hot young buck such as himself is attracted to her...and can't help fantasizing about what it would like to be boned by "that boy on the verge of manhood". He tells her she blew it and that he's "the best sex you'll never have" - bwahahaha! - and she interrupts him to correct him about one thing, namely: "You're not a boy." [Re-correction: uh, yes he is, pedo.] She leans in and gives him an intense smooch, then pulls away and moans, "Oh God!" before running off. 'Oh God' indeed.
Dawson returns to his bedroom and finds Joey moping in his closet. He admits to her that he probably does under-appreciate his perfect life, apologizes for being "an insensitive male", then tells her that even though he thought she looked really pretty wearing lipstick this evening, his feelings didn't go beyond that observation. Ouch. Joey hastily pretends as though she didn't actually want to be the one holding his hand in the movie theater, but for some unknown reason didn't like the idea of Jen being the one holding it...and a tortured looking Dawson asks where this leaves them, then moans about how complicated all of this contrived nonsense is. Joey heads toward the window and says she definitely can't sleep over anymore, and that they can't talk about everything the way they used to. When Dawson insists that he can tell her anything, she challenges that claim by asking when and how often he walks his dog [which took me a second to translate to 'spank the monkey', which is kind of a dumb thing to expect an answer to, 'cause does anyone other than the Sex and the City skanks have any real desire to discuss the frequency of their masturbatory pleasuring?]. Dawson just stares back at her mutely before saying good night, and Joey hurriedly crawls out the window and rushes down the ladder before tearfully fleeing to her rowboat. A few seconds later, Dawson pokes his head out of the window and bellows, "Usually in the morning! With Katie Couric!" Joey giggles at that disturbing visual as she begins the row home...and then happens to catch sight of Shaggy D.A. as she's being dropped off by her co-anchor Bob. Joey covertly watches as Shaggy D.A., who somehow appears oblivious to the fact that she's currently situated in front of the house she lives in with her husband and son, walks around to the driver's side of the car and leans in to give Bob a long, hot smooch.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
7/25/2020 09:23:24 pm
Ahhhh this is *so* *so* good!!!
Isabel K. French
7/25/2020 09:53:10 pm
Say what? Mel Silver has a twin?? Fascinating. I had not watched this series prior to this recapping project, and I applaud anyone who could actually watch it purely for entertainment with that dialogue. As for “walking the dog”, I momentarily wondered if had somehow missed the existence of a family pet. LOL..
7/26/2020 04:59:55 pm
I am thrilled beyond belief that you have started recapping Dawson's Creek - a guilty pleasure from WAAAY back...I recently re-watched the series on Prime and was laughing out loud at the ridiculously convoluted dialogue, contrived situations, super-annoyingly egotistic Dawson and Angelic Joey Potter whose godlike attributes were heralded embarrassingly every week by the writers (it reached Tori-Spelling-on-90210-levels) even though she supposedly was oh-so-humble...HA! I will admit that my crush on Joshua Jackson remains intact (and has grown with "Fringe" and "The Affair"). I can't wait to read the next installment, Isabel...Stellar!!
Isabel K. French
7/26/2020 05:10:04 pm
I am so enjoying recapping this show! I can only hope I do the ridiculousness justice. Prior to watching this series, I only knew Joshua Jackson as an adult (mostly from "The Affair")...and I will say that he has only improved with age. Thanks for the kind words, and keep tuning in to the site!
Sam I Am
7/27/2020 02:12:07 pm
Thanks for taking up Dawson's Creek - one of THE best so bad it's good HS -themed shows that exploded in the 90s and into the early 2000s. Hope you eventually find the time to get into taking apart Gilmore Girls for which Dawson's Creek was in some ways the prototype for in terms of it's ridiculously ornate dialogue and mix of twee humor and self-seriousness. .
Isabel K. French
7/27/2020 04:36:03 pm
I attempted to watch Gilmore Girls, and gave up after the pilot. Which probably makes it an excellent candidate for recapping. :)
Sam I Am
7/28/2020 08:05:05 am
Trust me...it's a jewel. The multi-generational dysfunction, the self-consciously eccentric (and super irritating) townfolk, the machine gun pop cultural references that are supposed to be hilarious but mostly aren't - it's ALL there
7/28/2020 02:30:21 pm
I'm rewatching Gilmore Girls right now! When I was young, I had only watched Seasons 1,2,3 so I'm looking forward to seeing the entire thing... when I was watching it as a tween I thought Rory was sooo nice and perfect. But so far in my rewatch I find her fairly annoying and not very nice.
Sam I Am
7/29/2020 12:37:07 pm
Are you re-watching the ones that air most late nights on Disney Jr. I only watched the 1st couple of seasons originally as well - it was my straight male guilty pleasure @ the time. But I lost track of it and now seeing it again it's 10x more annoying than it was originally...now it's funniest when it's supposed to be serious and when it's actually supposed to be funny - UGH.
7/29/2020 12:39:01 pm
No, I’m rewatching them on Netflix! All seasons are there :)
Sam I Am
7/31/2020 09:56:37 am
Don't have Netflix alas.... : (
8/12/2020 03:44:39 pm
I'm so excited that you are reviewing Dawson's Creek! I absolutely loved this show when I was in my late teens/early 20s (shut up). It moves so quickly from so bad it's good to just bad bad bad. As stated above there are Tori Spelling levels of badness. And I really hope you can stick with it that long! I only watched part season 5 because I knew that Jensen Ackles showed up in season 6! He aaaaaaaalmost made it with it.
Isabel K. French
8/12/2020 04:35:04 pm
Hey - I was able to make it through ten seasons of Beverly Hills, 90210 so I'm sure I can make it through Dawson's Creek. It was a tough binge-watch though, I'll grant you.
12/4/2020 04:55:19 pm
Why is the theme song diferente on Netflix? Does anyone know?!
2/3/2021 10:51:08 am
It's kinda a long story, this article explains it: https://decider.com/2020/11/02/dawsons-creek-theme-song-netflix/
Leave a Reply.
Dawson's Creek Homepage
Recapper: Isabel K. French
Your contributions help keep the site ad-free
Television of Yore
Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics