Season 2, Episode 8: The Reluctant Hero

It would appear that our friend Dawson has returned to his old self again, opening our episode with him watching “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” with Pacey.  Pacey encourages Dawson to branch out and watch some more modern movies, which I’m sure he’d love to do if the producers would pony up the royalty fees.  Pacey tells Dawson that he’s too nice and, even if he won’t admit it to himself, watches these old movies because they hold some idyllic version of manliness that Dawson aspires toward.  As if on cue, Jen falls through the window, muttering some stereotypical tropes that indicate she’s wasted.  Dawson remarks that it’s the third time that week, and further proves his nice-guyness by helping her get her shoes off.  Pacey gives him the “I-told-you-so” face and we fade to the crappy, fake theme.


Dawson finds Bro Dad hanging in their kitchen and asks him what’s up.  Bro Dad tells him that he just wants to spend some QT with Dawson, who responds that he wants things to be different.  Cut the guy some slack, Dawson!  He’s fucking trying!  Dawson continues to express his displeasure with Bro Dad until he produces a letter for Dawson.  He takes it without even saying thanks, reads it, and his face lights up.  What’s in the letter!?

Pacey’s guidance counselor essentially tells him that he’s a failure in all aspects of his life.  Like, almost over the top to the point that I kind of feel bad for Pacey.  He keeps insulting Pacey, delighting in it the whole time, telling him that he has no career objectives and can look forward to a lifetime of living off the system (no really, that’s totally what he says).


We find out that the letter was from the Boston Film Festival.  Apparently Dawson submitted his cornball monster movie and came in first place, winning $2,500 towards his next cornball movie.  He’s thrilled and tells Joey that he couldn’t have done it without her as producer.  He can’t wait to start working on his next project with her as producer, much to her chagrin.  Joey reminds Dawson that the two of them working on a movie together isn’t her idea of him giving her space.  She says she can’t help with his next cornball movie, but that she’s thrilled for him, and that he should be too!

Following her total rejection of Dawson, Jack finds Joey and wastes no time in hitting on her, even though they just broke up.  Well, like two weeks ago, which is like a lifetime in high school years, but still.  He tells her that he wants to make things right and that she needs to stop avoiding him.  She’s all, “OMG, you were totes right, I was mad at myself for kissing you back,” and Jack tells her to get over it.


Dawson is typing away on his bitchin’ laptop, working on his new script when Jen sits down with him.  He tells her the news and Jen tells him how proud she is of him!  Pacey laments to Andi that the counselor called him a glorified retard and she goes off on a tirade about how he’s supposed to encourage students, not call them on their bullshit, and the cafeteria bursts into applause.  Don’t encourage him, Andi.  In fact, encourage him by telling him to try harder and not glorify in being a fuck up.

Chris swings by the table Dawson and Jen are eating at and explains that he’s been getting Jen hammered every night and fucking her senseless.  He invites Jen to another party, and, showing a complete lack of self-respect, or ignoring that he basically called her a whore, agrees to go.  She invites Dawson along.  He’s initially a dick to her about it, and after getting all butthurt, she changes her mind and revokes her invitation.  Realizing that he’s slowly losing friends and should try harder with real life people, he changes his mind.  Jen tells him that’s fine, but he better check his judgmental tendencies at the door.  Have you met Dawson, Jen?


Jack is trying way too hard to get into Joey’s pants.  However, she’s oddly into his dorky charms.  He asks her what she’s up to that night and asks her out on a date.  Way to try to get your space, Joey.  He tries to be all quirky and say that it’s not a date because it’s not a full moon and I’m already more over these two than her and Dawson.

Jack, unable to conceal his throbbing hard on for Joey, tells Pacey that he has a date with her.  Pacey tells him he doesn’t give a flying fuck and to leave him out of it.  Why would Jack say anything to Pacey, Dawson’s BFF?  Salt in the wound or Asperger’s would be my guess.  Andi and Jack then get into a conversation about their mom’s new medication that I’m sure isn’t some kind of foreshadowing.  Jack is worried about his mom and Andi tells him to cool his shit; she’s got this.


Dawson goes to Joey’s and gives her half of the prize money.  WHAT!?  He tells her that he just wants her to be happy and that she can use the $1,250 for art lessons or some shit.  He then realizes that she’s all dolled up and asks her what’s up.  She lies to him and says she’s just hanging out and asks him what his next cornball movie will be about.  He says it’s a romance where the guy gets the girl, loses her, then wins her back.  Joey looks visibly uncomfortable by the obvious parallels, and then OH FUCK, Jack shows up as Dawson is leaving!



Dawson helps Bro Dad move into his new apartment and immediately tries to bail.  Bro Dad asks him to stay and tells him that even though he lives elsewhere, things don’t have to change.  Dawson tells him he sucks as a person now and Bro Dad says that he needs to respect his wishes while he figures his shit out.  Dawson freaks out at him some more and Bro Dad tells him that he needs to fucking chill.  As he tries to give Dawson a key to the apartment, Dawson tells him that he doesn’t want a friend, he wants a fucking father, and maybe Bro Dad should try to respect that wish.

Having had it out with Bro Dad and seeing how Jen’s been dealing with adversity, he takes her up on her offer to go to the party.  She reiterates the ground rules, telling him he can’t be a judgmental douche all night and that she won’t be his rebound.  Pot, meet kettle.  Seriously, does she not realize that she’s been letting a dude fuck her sadness away?


Holy shit, this is a HUGE party.  I’m pretty sure it’s a school night, too.  Jen immediately bails on Dawson, a situation we’ve all experienced before.  Using the power of acting, he shows concern with his face muscles.

Pacey and Andi are studying at her house when her mom comes in and mention her dead brother, Tim.  After she leaves the room, Pacey makes some dick-headed remarks about her mom’s condition that Andi just kind of blows off.  He recovers by remarking about her aptitude, and she tells him to stop hitting on her, because if he doesn’t focus, he’s pretty much fucked, life-wise.


Jack and Joey’s date is a picnic by The Creek.  He tells her a story about how he was almost struck by lightning, which explains so much about his social awkwardness.  Joey manages to insert Dawson into the conversation, and Jack gets offended.  Joey tries to defend Dawson’s attack on Jack at the dance, and Jack tells her that it’s cool; he’d be pissed if he let Joey slip through his fingers too.  Hang on, they were still dating at that time, Jack.  You just inserted yourself into the situation and Joey’s mouth without an invitation.  He tells Joey that he’d fight Dawson for her and they act like a bunch of dorks while the sky lights up and I hope that “almost” from Jack’s story about getting struck by lightning becomes a “most assuredly”.

At the party, Jen is cementing herself as the bicycle, flirting with everything in sight.  Chris saunters up to Dawson, and asks if he every screwed her.  Dawson gets all butthurt and Chris tells him to lighten up.  It’s a party, dude.


Meanwhile in NerdLand, Andi continues to waste her time, tutoring a wholly unreceptive Pacey.  Just give up on him, Andi.  Get out while you still can!  The phone rings, and Andi gets super upset when she answers it.  We smash cut to the grocery store, where her mom is acting super spacey and everyone is freaked the fuck out.  Inordinately so.  I don’t really get why.  This was 1999.  My great-grandmother died of Alzheimer’s-related causes about five years before this, so I don’t get why everyone’s acting like she’s covered in blood, holding a severed goats head.  Pacey proves that his life has some value by talking gently to her, effectively bringing her back to earth.  No joke, this moment is kind of touching.  Fuck you, “Dawson’s Creek”.


Dawson is still being a wet noodle at the party when he catches Jen about to be double-teamed by Chris and some other guy.  No, seriously.


Sensing that something bad is going to come from this, Dawson interrupts the menage-a-trois, rudely, and carries Jen out on his shoulders.  Chris and the other guy are all, “What the fuck do we do with our wieners now?” but don’t do anything to stop him, leading me to think they’re probably going to boink each other.

Jen, meanwhile, freaks the fuck out on Dawson, telling him to stop acting like everything is great in his life and to have some fun.  He asks her if double penetration is her idea of fun, and tells her that she needs to stop avoiding how she feels.  She tells him that he’s the saddest person she knows, and not in a boohoo kind of way.  Dawson seems taken aback that the drunk girl may be on to something, then gets vindication when she throws up all over the fence.


As he tries to help her, she shows her gratitude by telling him that he needs to stop being a judgmental prick and accept that not everyone needs saving.  Especially not her, given that she has no hope.  Jen, your Gramps died, which would be sad for anyone, but you need to put some things in perspective here.  Dawson tells her that she’s special and offers to let her come over.  Speaking of, where’s Grams been in all this?  I mean, they remarked earlier that it had been the third time that week that Jen had shown up wasted, and the party was in full swing in broad daylight, so shouldn’t Grams be concerned at having not seen Jen for like a week?

Jack brings Joey home, unstruck by lightning it would seem, and she tells him that she had a good time with him.  Isn’t Jack kind of taking advantage of Joey?  She just broke up with Dawson and has no idea what she’s doing with her life, so saying she’s vulnerable is kind of an understatement at this point.  Jack asks her if she’d like to go out again, and she does the Joey lip-bite-smirk.  Be worse, Joey.


Pacey and Andi put Andi’s mom to bed and proceed to talk about her like she’s a child.  Andi’s panties are all wet over Pacey’s heroism at the grocery store, and she tells him how proud she is of him.  He takes advantage of the situation and proposes going to her bedroom, but not for some good, old fashioned nerd sex, but to continue nerd studying.  Boo!

So Dawson brought Jen to Bro Dad’s apartment?  Oh right, Bro Dad wants to be the cool friend, so he won’t care that Jen is super shit-housed.  Dawson talks about how Jen’s been having some coping problems and has been crashing at Dawson’s every night.  This leads into a father/son talk wherein Bro Dad tells Dawson that he realizes he’s flawed and asks if he can be Dawson’s father AND friend.  Dawson accepts because everyone on this show is bipolar.


Dawson, sensing Jen’s forthcoming hangover, brings her some water.  She tells him that he’s her hero, and he declines, saying he’d rather be her friend.  Dude, you could have been in!  She asks about Cornball Movie 2, and he tells her that he wants it to be a romance, but that he doesn’t know how it should end.  Jen passes out again, but not before telling Dawson to fuck making it a happy ending.  Life isn’t that way, and it’s time he accepts that.

Joey climbs in through Dawson’s bedroom window to find that he’s not there.  Where did he go?  Where could he be?  Seriously though, what was her purpose of going over there?  To rub her date in Dawson’s face?  Anyway, we get a fade out over this long lingering shot of a stuffed shark.  What the fuck is that about?



Crying Dawson Scale






3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons


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