Recap: Joey and Dawson are sacked out in Dawson's bedroom watching From Here to Eternity...and during the iconic beach kissing scene, Dawson dreamily predicts that this is exactly what his first kiss with Jen will be like. Joey rolls her eyes and wearily says, "Just kiss her already" and not expect it to be a perfectly crafted cinematic moment 'cause, unlike the real world, kissing scenes in movies have been engineered to have the perfect sunset as a backdrop, carefully scripted dialogue, and a curated soundtrack playing in the background. Dawson chides Joey for being such a bitter and jaded un-romantic, and insists that the deluded fantasy world he likes to inhabit could one day become a reality.
At Capeside High, the Mel Silver twin leads his film class on a discussion of potential storylines to wrap up Capeside's production, Helmets of Glory. As the students struggle to come up with reasonable plot ideas, Dawson rolls his eyes derisively and is unable to refrain from blurting out that they need to create dramatic tension, e.g. by structuring the movie around an underdog who desperately needs to win the football game...then cites Rocky and The Karate Kid as examples. Nellie Oleson calls his outburst pathetic, and an irked Mel Silver reminds Dawson that he had agreed to keep his pie-hole shut while sitting in on his film class.
Tamara gives Pacey back his latest English quiz and grimly tells him he failed...and that she's heard from other teachers that he's failing across the board. Pacey stupidly "explains" that a lot of energy goes into the boneheadedness he's demonstrating in deliberately failing all of his classes, then saucily requests one-on-one tutoring sessions with her so that she can sexily slave-drive him into improving his English grade. Tamara agrees to the tutoring part of that request and tells him to come back this evening after she's done with her teacher's meeting and everyone else has gone home for the night...and Pacey beams at that disturbingly mixed message and happily accepts her offer.
Joey is slingin' hash, along with her pregnant sister and boyfriend-in-law in the family's restaurant, the Ice House. She heads onto the patio, where Dawson is complaining to Pacey that Mel Silver assigned him to be Nellie's production assistant on the set of Helmets of Glory. He then natters about his plans to shoot the last scene of his swamp creature flick on a privately owned Greece-inspired estate 'cause it's the perfect venue for his movie and will make a romantic backdrop for a cinematically perfect first kiss with Jen. Pacey says that he too has a date (sort of) tonight and orders a bagful of female-orgasm-inducing oysters - just as a cute guy entering the restaurant glances over at Joey, and the two openly ogle each other. Dawson notices the ogling and asks Joey who the guy is, and Joey feigns confusion by going, "Who's who?", then threatens to kill Pacey in his sleep after he loudly announces in the cute guy's direction that Joey is finally noticing the opposite sex and finds him very attractive.
Dawson is toiling away on the set of Helmets of Glory when Jen shows up dressed as a cheerleader and explains that Scott Foley cast her as an extra.
During the after hours one-on-one tutoring session, Pacey asks Tamara if she would have debased herself by dating a flunky such as himself when she was in high school, and she says, "Probably not", then adds that her high school years were a long time ago (um, right?) and that she's a lot smarter now...despite the fact that her confounding lack of judgement in smooching Pacey on two separate occasions strongly suggests otherwise. Tamara shifts the conversation back to their one-on-one tutoring and gives Pacey a series of questions on Ethan Frome to contemplate and provide answers for.
While tossing a bag of trash into the Ice House's dumpster, Joey hears live music and ambles down the dock to investigate. She finds the cute guy she smiled at earlier sitting on a boat, playing a violin. He introduces himself as Anderson Crawford - aka a rich boarding school kid - and invites her sailing tomorrow...and Joey introduces herself as Deborah Carson, fibs about being a fellow rich kid, and happily accepts his invitation to go sailing.
Nellie overhears Dawson mocking the inanity of the Helmets of Glory script and threatens to tattle to Mel Silver about his negative 'tude. Filming abruptly comes to a halt while everyone within earshot listens to Nellie as she rails at Dawson for trashing a script she worked hard on all summer, then snarks at him to shape up and show some damn gratitude for being allowed to participate in this project. As Dawson stalks off shame-faced, the cast and crew resume filming.
After a marathon tutoring session, Pacey is finally able to answer the most basic questions about Ethan Frome. He tells Tamara he'd like a reward for demonstrating his smarts and starts getting all touchy feely with her...and she's like, "Not here, not now, this is my place of employment." And it's a felony. When Pacey points out that everyone has gone home for the night, she calls his bluff and starts unbuttoning her blouse, shuts off the lights, and orders him to strip so they can get it on atop her desk...and Pacey sullenly says that this isn't exactly the romantic tryst he envisioned for the popping of his cherry. Tamara wearily tells him to go home and find a girl his own age - aka not some "insane, middle aged woman" - and tells him that their flirtation is "beyond wrong" ... to which Pacey argues that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing. Though not when it comes to anything resembling a pedophilia-related sex romp, 'cause what in the actual fuck, writers??!
Joey meets up with Anderson for their sailing date and fibs about attending Choate and how she considers her life at boarding school as "a privileged existence". The two sail to a deserted island and play frisbee on the sand, where she continues to fib about being the daughter of a rich CEO...and Anderson tells her that the number one attribute he looks for in a girl is honesty.
The Helmets of Glory cameraman is having a tough time jogging while filming two football players who are jogging and talking without the footage looking jiggly. Dawson tells Nellie he knows of a technique that can solve this problem - but she snaps at him to shut up and fetch more film. While on that errand, Dawson runs into Jen and bitches about how horrible the film is, then asks Jen why she volunteered to be a part of this amateur dreck. When she replies, "'Cause I knew you'd be here, hellooo..?", Dawson perks up and asks her if she'd like to meet up with him later to film the final scene of his swamp creature flick...and she happily agrees and wanks him by adding that she can't wait to work with a real director. Bwahahaha!
Joey and Anderson are bantering about JFK and UFOs as they clown around and sensually wrestle atop the sand. When he hovers over her in a pre-kiss position, she says they should probably head back 'cause her parents are expecting her. She adds that while today was fun, he needs to know the truth...and by the truth she nonsensically explains, "I'm not Cinderella", and a confused Anderson's all, "OK. Wait - huh?"
When Nellie and her film crew prove unable to resolve the conundrum of the jiggly jogging scene, Scott Foley allows Dawson to step in and try his suggested technique, which is holding the camera steady while sitting in a wheelchair that Pacey is swiftly pulling across the football field. When the scene results in the desired jiggle-free footage, a delighted Scott Foley yells, "Cut! Perfect!" while the rest of the crew cheers at Dawson, who takes a sanctimonious bow.
Joey is working another shift at the Ice House when she spots Anderson arrive. She hastily seats herself at the counter beside Dawson and Jen, who have just placed a sandwich order, and tells them she's taking a quick break. Anderson enters the restaurant, looks over at Joey and goes, "Hey Deborah", and a slow-on-the-uptake Dawson is all, "Wuh? Deborah? Who's Deborah?" - while Jen, who has managed to swiftly grasp the situation, "explains" to Anderson that it's startling to hear him call their friend Deborah 'cause they usually address her simply as Deb. Anderson ignores the weirdness of that exchange and tells Joey he's here to order some takeout and invite her out tonight - just as Bessie pops out of the kitchen and snarks at Joey to get back to work 'cause her sandwich order is up. Joey pretends she's not the person Bessie is talking to and accepts Anderson's invitation, then beams gratefully at Bodie when he emerges from the kitchen a few seconds later to wink knowingly at Joey and hand deliver Dawson's/Jen's sandwiches.
Pacey eavesdrops on Tamara flirtily bantering with Mel Silver and gets incensed when he offers to walk her home. He angrily confronts Tamara, who warns him that Mel is within hearing range and to stop acting like a jealous boyfriend before things get out of hand. Pacey rightly points out that the horse is already out of the barn with this pedo/underage boy situation, then blurts out that he wants her...and Tamara responds by staring back at him in mute, stupid helplessness.
Dawson brings Jen to the Greece-inspired estate to surreptitiously film the final scene of his swamp creature flick. He leads her over to a giant fountain that will provide a romantic/haunting backdrop as she stares sadly into space after the horror of learning that she just killed the swamp creature, who was somehow also the man she loved. LOL. Jen obliges...and her sorrowful gaze pleases Dawson so much that he goes, "Cut! Print!" to the non-existent crew and waxes on about how amaaaaaaazing her performance was. He then glances around and says it seems a shame to waste all of this great production design - sunset, music, soft candlelight - and leans in for a smooch. When a startled Jen notices that the camera is still rolling, she asks him what in blazes he's doing...and he stares over at his equipment and stammers, "Um.."
Joey finds Anderson aboard his boat, playing the violin. He tells that he and his parents are heading back east tomorrow, but that he goes to New York often and would love to meet up with her there sometime. Joey tries to politely rebuff him, but he insists on giving her his number and invites her to call him sometime...then leans in and plants a sweet smooch on her lopsided mouth.
Jen admonishes Dawson for trying to sneakily film an intimate moment between them, so he natteringly explains that he sooooooo badly wanted to create the most special environment possible for their first kiss. Jen says he's trying way too hard and asks him why he can't just be a normal guy and let the kiss happen in a more natural way...and Dawson admits that being an overzealous dork is his downfall - but insists that his intentions are honorable. He then moans that he wants to kiss her soooooo bad that he's worried he'll explode...and Jen says it wigs her out that he's building up their first kiss into being such a big fucking deal that she's worried her lips will prove to be a UGE disappointment for him.
Joey climbs into Bodie's pickup truck to hitch a ride home with him and Bessie...then stares morosely at the piece of paper with Anderson's phone number written on it before tossing it out the window.
Dawson hears someone approach their makeshift movie set and tells Jen it could be the crotchety owner of the estate and that they should probably hide. The two crouch behind a cobwebbed wooden fence as an oblivious Pacey and Tamara flounce over and head towards the fountain. Jen and Dawson remain hidden...and when Dawson helps Jen pull cobwebs out of her hair, the two stare at each other longingly before mashing their lips together in a tender looking smooch. Tamara, meanwhile, is unwittingly being filmed with Dawson's still rolling camera as she climaxes while gyrating atop an unseen Pacey's baloney pony...and afterwards she and Pacey spoon naked while the scene fades to black so that viewers have no choice but to mentally chew on that horrific visual. OMFG.
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