I’ve gotta admit; after last week’s horseshit episode, I had my reservations going into this week’s episode. Those reservations would prove to be unfounded.
Holy shit! Rather than watching a movie, Dawson is watching TV! Yeah, like flipping through the channels with a remote and everything! Oh wait, nevermind. He stops on American Movie Classics, i.e. AMC. Joey climbs in through the window and says that she hasn’t been sleeping because of the new baby and that it’s affecting her GPA. Dawson tells her that she can spend the night at his place, which doesn’t lead into a conversation about the awkwardness at the library at the end of the last episode, for some reason. She falls asleep.
Hey guys, Dawson’s parents are back! You would’ve thought there’d be some mention of them following the life-altering affair revealed 3 episodes ago, not to mention the fact that an old woman delivered a baby in their living room when they weren’t around, but no. They make no mention of the affair and seem perfectly happy until they mention their marriage counselor and that things are getting better. Dawson’s dad is off to an investor’s meeting for his ludicrous scuba restaurant, and I only mention this because Gail brings it up a second time to illustrate to me, the stupid viewer, that things aren’t as perfect as they may seem.
Pacey is bitching about being bored to a homeless guy on a bench when he almost gets run over by some TV trope-ish douchebag in a convertible. He asks Pacey where the high school is and after some back and forth between them, takes off.
At the school, Dawson and Jen make plans for the weekend. Apparently Dawson has been avoiding Jen since the awkward reveal from the previous episode that he wants to bone her and she’s just not that into him. As they’re going to class, Jen gets distracted by the tool bag from the previous scene and bails on Dawson. I realize that this was pre-9/11 America, but it was definitely post-Columbine America, so where was security? Dude just waltzed right into the school like he owned it!
He tells Jen that he misses the “love of his life” and came to surprise her. Jen tells him that she’s changed and isn’t a hoe anymore while Dawson warily watches the exchange from around the corner. D-bag asks Jen to take ride with him and she obliges because she apparently forgot the whole “getting an education” thing, plus there’s no security at the school, so who cares? Football Guy (remember him!?) pops up behind Dawson and asks if he and Jen want to come to a barbecue later. He then asks Dawson for a favor which turns out to be helping him get into Jen’s pants. Dawson politely squashes his nuts and tells him that he’s Jen’s boyfriend. I’m sure these events won’t affect Dawson’s take on how Jen views him at all.
New things are afoot at Dawson’s house as his parents try to find a hobby they can both enjoy to add some variety to their marriage. Gail suggests scuba and Bro Dad shoots it down. Hey, Bro Dad, you’re pitching a scuba themed restaurant to investors! If you hate scuba, you might want to change your plans a bit. He says they should try swinging and Gail gets offended and asks Bro Dad when he’s going to stop punishing her. He bites his tongue mid-sentence after essentially telling her he’ll forgive her when he can stop picturing her naked beneath Bob the co-anchor’s throbbing buns.
Jen’s boyfriend, Billy, isn’t taking any of Jen’s hints that she’s not interested, so Dawson intervenes. Billy can’t leave town for the night to get back to NYC because it’s late (it’s not) and he’s out of money for a hotel. This begs the question; what was his plan? Sleep over at Grams’? Because that would go well. Jen volunteers Dawson’s domecile to Billy, which doesn’t thrill Dawson. He pulls Jen aside and asks what the fuck is going on and she says that Billy was the boyfriend her dad caught her banging and he’s come to get her back and there’s totally nothing between them Dawson, and if you hadn’t shown up she would’ve had a chance to tell him that! Dawson agrees to let Billy stay for the night, which was pointless because Billy’s already grabbed his backpack and is ready to go. Why would he do that? He just drove to The Creek. Now they’re going to walk to Dawson’s and leave his car at the high school?
At Dawson’s house, Billy addresses how awkward their situation is, and lets Dawson know that he has no intentions of leaving in the morning, unless Jen comes with him. You’ve got to appreciate how stupid his plan is, because you know Grams would hunt his fucking ass down if Jen just took off with him. Dawson tells Billy he can’t get in his head because he already knows what happened in NYC, and Billy proves him wrong by offering to give him the details of Jen’s O-face.
Dawson splits, leaving a complete stranger in his home, and goes to Joey’s. He explains what’s going on and Joey tells him he sound panicked and insecure. She tells him that these sound like the most stereotypical high school relationship problems she’s ever heard and that everything will be okay. That seems to make him feel better and he leaves.
Dawson confronts Jen and says that clearly Billy isn’t getting the message that she’s over him. Jen admits that she’s been stalling and hasn’t put her foot down because Billy respected her and treated her well, despite fucking her in her parents’ bed. Dawson says that what she’s doing isn’t fair to either of them, and Jen says that Dawson isn’t being fair, letting her ex-boyfriend crash at his house while he tries to win her back in front of Dawson. Dawson storms off after Jen essentially tells him that she loves them both.
Joey stops by the movie rental store and asks Pacey for “The English Patient”. Apparently it’s the only movie that puts the baby (and myself) to sleep. Joey asks Pacey what the news is with Billy, and Pacey says that Joey must be thrilled that he showed up, because he’s the wedge that she’s been looking for in Dawson and Jen’s relationship. She deflects, naturally, and Pacey teases her for having a thing for Dawson.
Over a quick scene, we learn that Bro Dad and Gail’s counseling sessions aren’t going well because Bro Dad is fighting it.
Using some fancy camera work (shaking, awkward angles and violent panning), we learn that Joey is frazzled at work, most likely because of the baby. Pacey stops by and asks her if she wants to crash Football Guy’s barbecue with him. Joey acts like a bitch and tells Pacey to fuck off until he says that Dawson is going by himself, giving her some alone time with him. You know, because she doesn’t climb through a ladder into his room and watch a movie with him every fucking night. Bessie finally chimes in and tells her to go and get the stick out of her ass.
Bro Dad stops by Dawson’s room and asks how things are going. Dawson tells him they’re complicated and Bro Dad says that he can relate. They talk about how nice guys always finish last, and Bro Dad tells Dawson that pain is a part of life, but that the key is how you deal with it. Dawson tells him he’s right, then asks if he was giving his sage wisdom to Dawson, or to himself. Bro Dad just smiles.
Billy has Jen under a bridge by The Creek and tells her that he really wants her back. She’s says she’s got Dawson now and he needs to leave. He agrees to go if she’ll give him one last kiss and she obliges him, barely.
So the barbecue is really a party, and Blink 182’s “Dammit” is playing. I was going to remark that Blink 182 must have made bank off of that song because it seems like it was featured in every 90’s high school party movie, until I realized that the reason it seems so familiar is because it was used for a party scene in an earlier episode. I guess a Producer was like “We bought the rights to this fucking song, we’re going to use it!”.
You can tell it’s a party because of the red Solo cups. They make the party, you guys. Joey, naturally, isn’t enjoying herself and Dawson asks her if they want to bail on the party and go rent a movie. Joey agrees and makes this really weird smile that implies she’s going to bang Dawson.
Jen shows up to the party and apologizes to Dawson. Dawson decides that Joey can go blow herself and takes off with Jen instead. Joey sees them leave and takes a beer from a weird, Viking-looking dude. Oh man, are we going to get A Very Special Episode about booze here? I hope so!
Because he’s a dick, Billy followed Jen to the party. He tells Dawson that they kissed. Jen says that she did it to get him to leave, and Billy tells her that the kiss didn’t really mean that he wanted her to leave.
Joey is getting drunk and Pacey tells her that maybe it’s time they leave. She tells Pacey to fuck off and starts flirting with the Viking-looking guy again.
Dawson and Billy are still in the middle of their pissing match over Jen. As things get heated, Dawson says that while Jen was a slut in NYC, she’s changed because of the magical powers of The Creek. No really, he flat out says she was a slut. Rather than face the problem head-on and settle this shit, Jen gets butt hurt and leaves, because why not?
Pacey tries to get Joey away from the Viking, and he tells Pacey to go fuck himself. Pacey manages to finally avoid a punch, successfully landing one of his own! During the fisticuffs, Joey got knocked over, and as Pacey tries to help her up, she thanks Dawson for being her hero.
Since Joey is wasted, Dawson and Pacey volunteer to take her home. Pacey sneaks off to keep the baby quiet, which you’d think would’ve been easy by, you know, avoiding the baby. But we are treated to a scene of Pacey reenacting “The English Patient” to help the baby sleep that legitimately made me LOL, so I guess there’s that. Silver linings.
Dawson is putting Joey to bed and tells her drunk ass that he’ll always be there for her. In her stupor, she kisses him! He seems awestruck by the sexual attention he’s finally receiving.
As they’re canoeing home, Dawson tells Pacey about Joey’s drunken kiss. He chalks it up to her confusing him for Brad Pitt, and Pacey tells Dawson to get his head out of his ass and see what everyone else sees; Joey likes him. Dawson denies it because he can tell the difference between friendship and love. He never says it aloud, but I’m sure his ability to distinguish between the two has something to do with him being a filmmaker.
Billy is packing up his shit at Dawson’s and tells him that Jen ended it with him. He congratulates Dawson for being the nice guy who finally wins something, then makes an odd threat about how he’s only three and a half hours away, without ever really elaborating on what that means.
In his happiness, Dawson sees Jen on his dock (not a misspelling) and goes down to apologize to her for being such a baby. Jen tells him that it’s officially over with Billy, but that she doesn’t think her life has changed at all since New York. She still uses relationships as a form of escapism from her problems, rather than facing them, and for that reason she needs to break up with Dawson too. Dawson tries to convince her not to, and when she shows her resolve, he calls her a whackjob and tells her to go fuck herself, because she’ll be back for him, and when she is, it will be her loss because this nice guy will be with someone else!