For the third episode in a row, we open on Dawson and Joey watching a movie in his room. I’m sorry, his studio. My bad, everyone. So this is how every episode is going to open, I guess. You know, Dawson, variety is the spice of life. There’s nothing wrong with going out to a football game, or bowling, or whatever it is that teenagers did in 1998. Sock hops? Go to a Sock Hop, Dawson.
The movie is some black and white piece starring Debra Carr (editor’s note: who?), and Dawson pauses the movie on the beachy kiss to tell Joey that he wants to kiss Jen the same way. Joey is blown away by Dawson’s lack of game, and he explains that he wants to storyboard the kiss, taking any sense of romance in spontaneity out of the equation. Joey says as much to him, and he calls her cynical and jaded. While he’s not wrong about Joey, I’m siding with her on this one. Dawson says that his lack of grounding will be his downfall. Everyone on this show seems so self-aware of their personal flaws, yet no one ever acts to improve themselves in any way. It’s quite frustrating at this point.
So Dawson is sitting in film class where they’re discussing their football movie’s ending, or lack thereof. Wait, this episode was written by Rob Thomas!? Man, how 90s would that be if it was the same Rob Thomas?
Anyway, Dawson can’t keep his mouth shut, despite that being the only rule that allowed him to sit in on the class in the first place, and suggests that they kill off a character to make the uplifting football movie a tragedy. Nellie (you may remember her as Dawson and Pacey’s movie store co-worker) finally chimes in and says that as producer, he needs to kindly shut the fuck up. Go, girl!
Pacey tries flirting with Tamara after class again, taking his lack of receiving his test back as some kind of sign. She tells him that he didn’t get his test back because he’s a moron, scored a 23, and it would be an embarrassment on her part as an educator to acknowledge his lack of effort. Pacey says he’s proud to be a jackass, because now his dumb ass needs after school tutoring, and who better to provide it than his hot teacher? That’s incredibly manipulative, and Tamara sees right through it, but agrees anyway. Way to set boundaries. Pacey has yet again learned that there aren’t any consequences to his actions since you just rewarded him for his clearly inappropriate behavior. I hate them both.
Dawson visits Joey’s restaurant on his bitchin’ 12 speed and discusses the new ending that he thought up for his cornball movie. See, since the film class that he’s merely supposed to be observing shut his idea down, he’s going to change his horror ending into a tragic ending. Of course, this involves taking Jen up to “the ruins” all by herself. He did it. He storyboarded his first kiss. Some hockey haired prep gets Joey’s attention as he walks in, and holy shit, she showed some sign of overt sexuality. She’s not just a frigid ice princess. Pacey sees her showing interest and, naturally, acts like a jackass, calling out to the guy and mocking Joey’s attraction. She tells him she’s going to stab him in the head with a screwdriver when he’s sleeping, and I’m waiting with bated breath, because that would be amazing.
While prepping to film the football movie, Jen shows up and says that Cliff gave her a part as a cheerleader with two lines. Dawson gets all butt hurt because he doesn’t think that Jen can be in two movies. Those two lines are really going to occupy her time, Dawson. Cliff burns Dawson by calling him “Dave”, and this is slowly becoming my favorite episode, which isn’t saying much, given that it’s only the third.
Pacey is being tutored by Tamara, but spends the entire time trying to learn more about her when she was in high school. It’s true that part of any relationship is learning more about the other person, but she has the power to stop all this, and only keeps baiting Pacey. However, she tells him that his dumb, houseboat-living ass wouldn’t have been anywhere near her smoking hot bod in high school. At least she’s trying to tutor him, by telling him to shut up and do the damn assignment.
Joey is wandering the docks of The Creek, enamored by the sound of a violin playing. Of course it’s being played by hunky, preppy guy! Her panties are all wet, until he talks to her, when she rolls her eyes. God, Joey, knock it off! We learn that his name is Anderson Crawford, because of course it is, and he invites Joey to go sailing with him the next day. He finally gets her to tell him her name, and she says it’s Debra Carson, a callback to the episode’s opening.
Dawson is being a condescending prick about the content of the football movie while it’s filming, and Nellie calls him on his bullshit, telling him that she had to work to get into that class and be the movie’s producer, whereas he manipulated the system to get in and can’t obey the one fucking rule he was given in order to do so. She wrote the script, and he needs to back the fuck off! At least one person’s actions on this show are finally starting to have direct consequences.
How long have Pacey and Miss Jacobs been tutoring? It has to have been days by now. Pacey actually learned the material she gave him, and now he expects his reward. He wants his reward to be sex, you guys. Miss Jacobs says she hadn’t thought that far ahead because she figured Pacey would find some way to fuck up private tutoring. Since he’s not taking the hint, she calls his bluff and tells him to grab condoms and get naked; they’ll do it on her desk. Taking it a step further, she mocks him for being a virgin and hurts his feelings. She’s trying to illustrate the lunacy of the situation to Pacey, but still won’t end their relationship for good, so whatever. Pacey leaves.
Not only is Joey taking Anderson up on his sailing offer, she glammed herself up for the date too! She must really like him. Apparently, she also spent the entire night creating a persona for Debra, her alter ego, that included studying hours of sailing text, because she’s having no problems on the boat. They stop at a beach, and over a rousting round of Frisbee, we find out that Anderson thinks Joey is kind of frigid, and that the number one trait he’s looking for in a girl is honesty. Ya done goofed, Joey!
They’re having problems getting a shot for the stupid football movie because the camera guy can’t run backwards and film at the same time. Nellie is pissed, and Dawson decides to not help the situation by interjecting his advice. She calls him Doggy Dawson and sends him to run an errand. Two burns for Dawson in one day. That’s too much adversity.
Anderson is explaining, ugh, the Magic Bullet theory to Joey with sand castles, and she goes to knock them down with the Frisbee. This leads to some mild flirting that almost ends in a kiss, but Joey spurns his advance and tells him to take her ass home.
Cliff is getting pissed because they still haven’t filmed the backwards camera shot, when Pacey fortuitously shows up in a wheelchair. Dawson tries one last time to get them to let him get the shot using said wheelchair, and Cliff tells Nellie to just let him do it already. See kids, if you’re an obnoxious pain in the ass, you can always get what you want! Of course, Dawson is successful and Cliff is thrilled. Nellie, not so much.
Joey shows up late for her shift at the restaurant, and Dawson and Jen can’t help but notice how some mild flirting has made Joey seem more upbeat. Bitch smiled, that’s all. If that’s upbeat, I’m Richard Simmons. But, oh shit! Here comes Anderson. If he sees Joey working a job like all other teenagers, he’s going to see her for who she is! She takes her break and sits next to Dawson, who immediately salts her game by asking who “Debra” is when Anderson says hi to Joey. Jen covers for her, but Dawson is having a real mental block about Debra-gate and keeps asking who that is. Thankfully, Bodie the Black Guy shows up and plays the part of convincing-guy-who-just-played-along-with-a-really-shitty-ruse, and Anderson leaves.
Oh snap, Mr. Gold the film class teacher is flirting with Miss Jacobs! He’s going to walk her home! Pacey can’t stand to hear this and flips out on Tamara. Yet again illustrating the bipolarity of the character writing in this series, two seconds later he’s acting desperate, giving her puppy dog eyes and telling her that all he wants is her. God, I hate you so much, Pacey.
Continuing the theme of desperate guys, Dawson trespasses into “the ruins”, which is really just a garden with lots of Grecian columns, with Jen to film his movie’s ending and get him some. He hangs up curtains and lights candles, and even Jen says it seems schmaltzy to her. He explains that it’s a tragic ending to his monster movie, and gives her some stage directions about loss and revitalization. She stares blankly into the distance. This is apparently the “perfect” ending Dawson had in mind, and as he moves in to kiss her, she flips out when she sees that he’s recording the whole encounter like a weirdo.
Anderson meets up with Joey and says that he’s leaving, but that she should take his number and give him a call if she’s ever in New York City. She mentions some restaurant on the East Side, and he makes a face that seems to say “what the fuck are you talking about?”. Joey just shot herself in the foot. More consequences!
Jen is furious with Dawson and says that he tries way too hard and overthinks everything. Didn’t we already get this same bit of exposition from Joey in the opening? Dawson then babbles incoherently and Jen says that she’s scared that she’ll disappoint him now. Damn, everyone is just shooting themselves in the foot!
Hahahahahahaha, Joey asks Bodie about the restaurant she mentioned to Anderson, and he says it’s in Tribeca and has been closed for years! Serves you right! I may be getting on board with this show now that these aggravating characters are beginning to experience consequences for their actions. She throws Anderson’s number out the car window, and will probably never learn to love again.
As Dawson and Jen are packing up, they’re forced to hide when some other people show up to get their freak on. He leaves behind his camera and monitor, and I’m suddenly really distracted by the fact that there’s no way there’s electricity in that garden. I get that the camera could run on battery power, as almost all do, but the monitor is definitely not battery operated. Where is he getting electricity from? Anyway, as they’re hiding in a gross, mossy hideaway, Dawson and Jen kiss, which serves to teach Dawson that not everything in life needs to be scripted. Good for them.
Oh shit, the other people who came to the ruins were Pacey and Tamara! We know this, because we see him railing her on Dawson’s monitor that conveniently has electricity. Now the whole ordeal in caught on camera!