Recap: At Casa Leery, Jack is showing Dawson and Pacey the model replica of "Creekside" he created so that Dawson can film faux arial footage of the fictional Creekside village for his new movie. After a few minutes, Pacey excuses himself to go home and finish his homework for Mr. Peterson's English class, while Jack opts to stay and watch Dawson stay and do some test shots of the village with his video camera. Jack mentions that Mr. Peterson assigned the class to write a poem about the significance of their being and wonders how in the heck he's going to be able do that, and Dawson advises him to listen to his innermost self and be willing to open up to his English teacher about his homosexual tendencies.
The next morning at school, Pacey runs into Mr. Milo, who applauds Pacey for all of the good work he's been doing this term and gaily tells him to keep it up. Pacey makes a beeline over to Andie and spins her around before planting a big 'thank you for inspiring me to finally get my act together' smooch on her lips. As Joey and Jack watch the PDA, Dawson wanders over to make arrangements with Jack to get together later to work on the movie...and a few seconds later the bell rings, and Jack and Pacey head off to Mr. Peterson's English class.
Tyson chides Jen for not returning his phone calls, and she admits that him taking her on a date to his bible study group totally freaked her out. He tells her he's so much more than a bible reader and implores her to give him a chance - but she tells him that since he goes to bible study meetings three times a week, she really doesn't see their relationship rising above the barely platonic level.
Mr. Peterson glares at the poem Pacey is submitting and says his penmanship is so wretched that he wants it rewritten and handed in tomorrow. Pacey mutters to Jack that Mr. Peterson somehow seems to get meaner every day...and when Jack concurs, Mr. Peterson zeroes in on him and orders him to read his poem aloud for the class. Jack's all, "Ack!" and reminds him that the poem was supposed to be for his eyes only, and Mr. Peterson shrugs and says he justs dickishly changed his mind. Jack says he really really doesn't want to read his extremely personal poem aloud, and Mr. Peterson says he doesn't give a rat's ass what he wants and barks at him to start reading. An anguished looking Jack reluctantly stands up and starts reading about an unnamed male who's "the image of perfection" with his smooth supple lips, then questions his fear of what these thoughts means that he could be...and a few seconds later, he bursts into tears before bolting from the classroom. Pacey gets up to follow him out - but Mr. Peterson snappishly tells him to sit his ass back down, and Pacey complies while glaring back at his teacher hatefully.
Over in the computer lab, Dawson and Joey are tapping away at their workstations when they overhear a couple of their classmates cackling about Jack and his gay poem, then concur that "McPhee is a total homo."
Later, Dawson drops by the Ice House to ask Joey if she talked to Jack about all the rumors swirling around his gay poem, and she says she hasn't - despite the gossip mill in Capeside running wild. She tells Dawson she's opted to delude herself into believing that Gay Poem-gate is all a big joke, and he's like, "Is it?" and looks visibly concerned about her denial of what's pretty clear to anyone with even the basest level of gaydar. He tells Joey he thinks she should get to the bottom of what's really going on with Jack, and she responds by angrily accusing him of nefariously plotting to break her and Jack up.
Over at Casa McPhee, Andie tells Pacey she's choosing to believe that Jack's poem and its strong homoerotic undertones was totally misinterpreted by everyone, not least 'cause he's always had kind of a "different drummer" thing going on. Pacey argues that clearly something much deeper is going on with the lad and urges Andie to try to get Jack to open up about his sexuality - but Andie insists that Jack can't possibly be gay, as is evidenced by how crazy for Joey he is. Pacey asks her how she'd feel if Jack were to come out, and she says she'd be disappointed...which is why she's fervently clinging to the hope that Gay Poem-gate is nothing but a hilarious misunderstanding.
Tyson phones Jen to ask her out on a non-bible study date, and she responds by hanging up on him. He then demonstrates his annoying persistence by promptly phoning her back twice, and eventually succeeds in wearing her down.
Back at the Ice House, Bessie urges Joey to talk to Jack, who's clearly troubled about all of the gossip surrounding his gay poem. After she heads off, Joey wanders over to Jack and mutters, "Long day, huh?" and he irritably tells her to just come right out and ask him exactly what's on her mind. Joey reminds him that people are talking and that he hasn't yet offered her an explanation regarding the gay leanings of his poem...and when he snappishly says, "I don't owe you one", she's like, "Uh, you do actually", since, as his girlfriend, it'd be nice to know why he wrote a poem about a physically perfect guy he became so emotional about that it caused him to burst into tears. Jack explains that he merely wrote about the first thing that popped into his head last night, which just happened to be an image of a masculine, but not necessarily (though more than likely) a sexual being. He says it could have been him or his brother and weakly insists that there wasn't anything remotely non-hetero about it. Joey chews on that for a few seconds and looks as if she's ready to buy that nonsensical explanation, then assures him that she doesn't believe the rumors. Jack reminds her that he didn't do anything wrong and adds that if he had written a love poem, it would have been about her...then moves in for a hug while Joey audibly breathes a sigh of relief.
Tyson takes Jen to a dance club with live music and orders two alcoholic drinks...and when the singer on stage starts to croon, the two begin to slow dance together.
The next day at Capeside High, Jack's poem has been printed up, photocopied, and littered in every hallway of the school...and Mr. Peterson decides 'why not make a bad situation for a student I humiliated yesterday infinitely worse?' and asks Jack to continue to read aloud his "now public work" poem. Jack stares back at him incredulously and says, "You can't be serious", and Mr. Peterson assures him he is, chides him for leaving the class "high and dry" yesterday, and says that in order to receive a completed grade for the assignment, he must endure a second round of public humiliation [to which no other student in his class is being subjected]. An incensed Pacey leaps up, grabs the poem from Jack and reads it aloud to the class, prompting an even more incensed Mr. Peterson to order him to the principal's office asap. Pacey accuses the bitter assbag of indulging in pathetic scare tactics, and Mr. Peterson comes right out and gleefully says he's been waiting for months to fail him, and adds that he's destined to be a failure in life. He rails, "Trying to teach people like you is like spitting in the face of the entire educational system", and Pacey responds by literally spitting in his face (!) and capping it off with, "No sir, that is spitting in the face of the entire educational system" before storming out...and the entire class is all, "Wha-at just happened?!" as a stunned Mr. Peterson wipes the spittle from his eye-glasses.
Pacey tells Principal Markey he refuses to apologize for the spitting, and she assures him he'll be relentlessly pressured to do so, regardless of the circumstances that led to the loogie being hocked in his English teacher's face. Mr. Milo chimes in to call Mr. Peterson out for making a student cry and then acting like a complete douchewad towards another, but Principal Markey's just like 'whatever...don't make me have to dooooo my job by reprimanding an abusive teacher' and decrees that they shall all reconvene tomorrow, at which time Pacey will be leaned on even harder to apologize or risk suspension.
When Pacey exits the principal's office, he finds Jack sitting in the waiting area. Jack grumbles at Pacey for making a spectacle of him and his gay poem, and chides him for not just staying out of his bidness.
Tyson brings Jen a cupcake and asks her if she had fun last night, and she scrunches her face perplexedly about the dichotomy of him being both an avid churchgoer and nightclub partier, and Tyson perks up at what he interprets as a compliment and asks her out again.
Dawson urges Pacey to swallow his pride and apologize to Mr. Peterson for spitting in his face, but Pacey argues that the fuckbag doesn't deserve an apology, and that he's pretty sure the abusive way he's behaving towards his students can't possibly be OK. As that's happening, Jack and Joey meander down the hall and see that everyone's tittering about the slur FAG that someone spray painted on Jack's locker. A visibly mortified Jack shuffles over to his locker to get the books for his next class, and Joey decides that the best antidote to all the homophobia surrounding them is to march over to her not yet un-closeted boyfriend and give him a long smooch while everyone looks on confusedly.
Over at Casa McPhee that evening, Andie apologizes to Jack for resenting him for sparking so much gay hoopla over his homeoerotic poem, assures him it's a beautiful piece of literature, and that she suddenly doesn't give a hoot if he's gay or straight.
Joey climbs into Dawson's bedroom and tells him she strongly suspects that Jack is gay, but somehow can't bring herself to come right out and ask, 'cause then Jack will deduce that she's considered the possibility that he's gay...even though the horse is already out of the barn on that imminent reality. Dawson points out that she has the right to ask her boyfriend if he doesn't generally have heterosexual tendencies and reminds her that relationships should be based on honesty. Joey mulls that over, concedes that he's probably right 'bout that, then kisses his cheek and climbs back out of the window from whence she came.
At school the next day, Mr. Peterson glances over at Pacey and Dawson, who are sitting in Principal Markey's waiting area, and shoots Pacey the stink-eye as he enters the office. Pacey wonders aloud if maybe he should just bite the bullet and apologize for the loogie, then asks Dawson if he'd be ashamed of him if he's not able to bring himself to do it - just as Mr. Milo summons Pacey into the office.
Principal Markey asks Pacey what he has to say for himself, and Pacey admits that while he's ashamed of having spit in Mr. Peterson's face, it can't be denied that the man is a ginormous shitbag who's had a big wet face loogie coming for awhile now. He says that the students in his class are afraid to speak up, and points out how pathetic it is that a teacher has been allowed to strip a particularly vulnerable student of his dignity in front of an entire class without repercussions of any kind from his superior [aka you, useless Principal Markey].
That evening, Pacey is moping by the dock when Andie wanders over and asks him how his meeting with Principal Markey went...and he tells her he's been suspended from school for a week, then chides her for her complete lack of support this episode. Andie's all, "How dare you!" and says she can't be expected to agree with everything he does, and that there are better ways of dealing with a douchebag teacher that don't involve spittle. Pacey retorts that he stepped up to defend Jack 'cause Mr. Peterson is less able to bully him...and Andie expresses surprise that he feels so much responsibility to defend her hapless brother. She asks him if he wants to head off and stroll hand-in-hand with her, and he mumbles, "Not tonight" and dejectedly shuffles off by himself.
At the Ice House, Joey comes right out and asks Jack if he's gay...and after following that up with some incoherent nattering that I mostly tuned out, he weakly insists he's not gay and leans in for a smooch. A relieved Joey decrees, "No more sexually-unambiguous poems!" ... and Jack agrees and hugs her while covertly looking sadly contemplative.
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5/25/2022 09:07:03 pm
This was one of my fav DC's episodes!! I read recently that the story was inspired by a true story... Kevin Williamson knew someone who was closeted and wrote a poem about being gay and the teacher forced him to read it in front of the class and he was bullied afterwards. That ep was written about 25 years ago but it holds up very well IMO!
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