Andi is pop-lockin’ it to the dulcet tones of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” while everyone looks on in confusion and horror. You see, the school dance is coming up and she is SUPER stoked for it. She asks the three amigos if they’re going, and of course they aren’t. You see, they’re too cool for school and have never attended a school sponsored event. Andi is appalled. They reiterate that dancing is for lameasses until Andi equates dancing to sex as a form of foreplay, then everyone pops boners.
Bessie is dropping Joey off at school and Joey tells her that she has a problem. When doesn’t Joey have a problem? Her sister is probably so tired of her mopey bullshit. She tells her about Jack’s kiss and Bessie thinks it’s hilarious. Joey still hasn’t told Dawson about it and Bessie advises her not to; it was a surprise and it’s not like she kissed Jack back, right? RIGHT!?
Hey, Ali Larter is back! I thought for sure she was going to be in that one episode as eye candy and a contrast to Pacey’s 90s “eh”-ness. Apparently her name is Christie (Kristy?). Abby and Jen talk about her tits for a few minutes, taking bets on whether or not they’re real. I guess they’re friends again? So strange how their friendship is based on convenience to the plot. Anyway, Abby talks Jen into going to the dance, because her goal is to fuck Brett, Kristy’s boyfriend. God, Abby is the worst.
Dawson palyfully asks Joey why they haven’t discussed sex yet. I’m amazed the conversation doesn’t make Joey’s habit pop off, until Dawson reminds me that they used to talk about sex all the time when they were friends. Yeah, we remember you flog it to Katie Couric, Dawson. Don’t remind us. Joey says that they’ve been taking it slow. No shit, Joey. Dawson, remembering Andi’s sage words of wisdom on getting in the opposite sex’s pants, proposes going to the dance.
Jen and Abby walk by and Abby throws shade at Dawson. Joey remarks that she’s worried about Jen and Abby being friends and Dawson is as shocked as I am that Joey is concerned for someone other than herself. He suggests inviting her to the dance with them, which again, I’m surprised Joey consents to. As Dawson leaves, Joey spies Jack and acts like she’s suffering from PTSD, standing there with a horrified expression on her face before taking off in the other direction.
Pacey finds Andi and proposes meeting her somewhere, out of respect to her batshit mom. They bicker back and forth about Pacey’s lack of desire to actually participate in the dancing. He must have assumed that the foreplay part of dancing took place standing against the wall. Hot. Andi wants to bring Jack to the dance because he’s a weirdo who needs to get out more and Dawson tells her that he would be perfect as Jen’s date. Pacey, with absolutely no explanation as to why, exclaims that this will end badly. The only way I see it ending badly is if Jack is such a bad dancer that he stomps on Jen’s feet. There’s literally no other way that a high school dance can go that badly.
Dawson’s parents are sitting silently on the porch. When he shows up, they very Chris Hansen-esquely ask him to sit. They babble and sputter some nonsense to him before finally getting it out that they’ve decided to spend some time apart. Dawson acts all condescending, completely ignoring that there’s no way this was an easy decision. He’s also apparently forgotten how awkward things got last week. They tell him that it’s the best conclusion and he counters that he, “concludes that their conclusion sucks!”. Burn!
Jack and Andi fight about their mom, because Jack thinks it’s bullshit that she’ll be home by herself. Hey Jack, you’re the one that got a job and left Andi to take care of your mom by herself all the time. Let her cut loose, footloose for one night. Pacey stole his dad’s cop car, of course.
As Bro Dad leaves with a suitcase, he tells Gail that it’s only temporary. She asks him if there are rules to their separation and if they can talk, and Bro Dad gets all sentimental and tells her that of course they can talk. Dawson watches the whole exchange from his bedroom window as Gail cries in the yard.
Dawson comes downstairs and Gail is still crying. She tells him that it’s just the onions, which TV and movies love to pull. I’ve never had my eyes tear up while cutting onions. Am I buying the wrong kind of onions? Are there specialty onions out there that are produced solely to make people cry? Dawson offers to stay home and Gail tells him to go get his groove on. He asks her to look at him and she refuses. Give the lady a break, dude. Her heart is breaking.
What in the world is Pacey wearing?
Everyone seems to be having a great time at the dance except for Pacey, the wallflower, and Jen. Honestly, Jen refusing to have a good time at the dance seems right up her alley, but the other three being too cool for school was kind of a shock. I would’ve thought for sure that they were all school spirity, except maybe for Pacey. And Joey. Definitely Joey. Which would mean that Dawson, via peer pressure, would also hate school spirit. So it looks like I was wrong.
What was I saying?
Right, everyone is really having fun at the dance. Abby walks up to Jen, who isn’t having a great time with dullard Jack, and throws shade at her. Why the fuck are these two even friends?! If I was Jen I would’ve slapped Abby and told her off an episode ago. Oh. Jen finally decides to slow dance with Jack and Pacey again predicts disaster. Dawson confides to Joey that he actually kind of misses the sex antics of his parents. Why? Why do you even want to think about your parents fucking, Dawson? That’s at the top of the ick factor list for most people. But, he says that now that Bro Dad and Gail aren’t porking on the coffee table, that leaves an opening for he and Joey. He then remarks that Jack and Jen seem like a cute couple, and Joey freaks the fuck out on him, getting all pissy and saying that Jen is a whackjob who should stay far away from Jack. Could it be that Joey kissed back after all?
Andi keeps pestering Pacey to dance, and he continues to insist that he doesn’t. I’m beginning to think he’s afraid of popping a high school slow dance boner. Andi tells him he can fuck off then; she’ll go dance with someone else. Realizing that dancing with her brother would be social suicide, she asks Dawson to dance, putting Jack with Joey. Uh oh! While they’re dancing Jack apologizes for kissing Joey and she gets fucking furious at him. He apologizes again and she storms off. He follows as Dawson watches, all concerned.
Jack asks Joey why she’s being such a bitch and she freaks out on him, telling him that by kissing her, he disrespected her and her relationship. Chill the fuck out, Joey. It’s not like he grabbed your tits and howled at the full moon. Plus, dude’s trying to apologize. Jack makes the situation worse by telling her that she’s not mad at him for kissing her; she’s mad at herself for kissing back. And, OH SHIT, he says this while Dawson is standing right behind him! I swear to God, Dawson is going to go postal soon and the last three seasons will just be them visiting him in prison.
Andi and Jen are becoming friends over discussions about Jack. Dawson comes back into the gym and confronts Jack who quickly proves that maybe his awkwardness is really Aspergers by telling Dawson that he can go fuck himself because he’d totally do it again! Dawson rightfully lays him out.
Kristy, who saw Abby rubbing her ass all over her boyfriend, is sulking in the hall when Pacey spots her. She tells him that her boyfriend sucks balls and Pacey uses that as the opportunity to flirt with her. What about Andi? He tells her that she’s super hot and that he gets an erection every time she walks by. Did she totally forget that she thinks he has some kind of weird medical condition? She asks him to dance, right there in the hallway, and he agrees. I sit there waiting for an Andi reveal that never comes, surprisingly.
How typical. Bro Dad is staying in a dumpy motel. I’ve never understood the tropey insistence that when couples are fighting, one always stays in a dumpy motel. That shit would get expensive really quickly. Do people lose all their friends when they’re going through relational spats or something? Anywho, Bro Dad calls Gail and asks how she’s doing. She’s weirded out by how big their house is and tells Bro Dad that she doesn’t know if she can “do this”. Bro Dad tells her that they have to do this and Gail tells him that the door’s always open, should he finally decide to figure his shit out and come back.
Jack seems bitter that Dawson punched him. Maybe if you hadn’t been such a cocky ass, that wouldn’t have happened! As Andi walks him out of the gym, she spies Pacey dancing with Kristy. There it is! I should be a screenwriter.
Joey, who stormed off like Dawson did something wrong, suddenly wants to talk to him. He calls her on this bullshit too, so good for him. She tells him that it was a mistake, then turns around and makes fun of his passion for movies in the process. God, what a bitch. Dawson flat out calls her a liar, which isn’t entirely true. She’s more of an omitter. Joey loses her shit and tells him that it’s not about the kiss, but about her. I have no idea what that means. We don’t clarification either, because she realizes that they’ve been fighting in front of everyone at the dance and bolts.
Jack walks Jen home and she asks him if he likes Joey. He says he’s not sure, because it seems like a lost cause, what with getting punched because Dawson is so happy to be with a frigid psychopath. Jen tells him that he’s a romantic and thanks him for making her feel like he wanted to be with her, not someone else, which is a pretty stellar dig at Dawson, who isn’t even there. As he goes to leave, she tells him to keep fighting for his lost cause, because he never knows when his luck might change.
Bro Dad pulls up to the house and stares at Gail, then leaves. Seriously, Bro Dad, figure your shit out. If you want her back, forgive her and take her back. Forgiveness isn’t that hard!
Pacey finds Andi staring over The Creek and tells her that he’s been looking all over for her. She calls him on his bullshit about not dancing, and says it looked like he and Kristy were getting pretty close. Again, she equates dancing to foreplay. These two have never once defined the relationship, so she’s kind of pissing me off. Pacey tells her that he got swept up in the moment and was acting out his fantasy. Really smooth, Pacey. I’m sure that won’t hurt Andi’s feelings at all. Andi tells him that she was trying to act out a fantasy all evening but he had his head too far up his own ass to realize it. He asks her why she likes him so much and she rattles off about 30 adjectives about him including funny (eh), kind (I guess), nonjudgmental (sure, why not?) and smart. NOPE. Wrong. There are lots of things I’d call Pacey, and smart is pretty much buried at the bottom of that list. He apologizes for looking for the perfect moment with the wrong person and for the second time on this show, they dance on the dock, completely lacking music, and kiss.
Dawson comes home and finds Joey in his room. He really needs to start locking his windows. He wants to know what’s been going on between them and why she’s become such a bipolar bitch since they started going out. When asked to think of herself, naturally Joey has no fucking clue. He tells her that it’s bullshit that she’s been pulling away from him since she got what she wanted and she tells him that maybe that’s exactly what’s wrong. She got what she wanted, and now she has nothing else to aspire to. What? What about your dumb art, Joey? Or college? Is your life that fucked up that you have nothing to challenge yourself with now that you’re making out with Dawson? She tells him that she needs to find her thing that will make her happy and that it can’t include Dawson. I’m not entirely sure why they can’t be mutually exclusive and she has to have one or the other. Dawson shares my confusion. As she goes to leave, he acts desperate and tells her that he loves her. Heeeeere we go. She reciprocates but pulls away when he goes to kiss her. She tells him that it’s over and he freaks out and starts getting all weepy. She leaves.
Dawson trashes his room in angst while Joey pauses to look sad on the roof. She finally leaves, impressing me by both climbing down a ladder and running in heels. He goes to chase her, but she’s gone. In a final act of symbolism, he kicks the ladder over. It really is over, and now his parents’ homeowner’s insurance premium will go down.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons