God bless YouTube (?). After concerns last week that this little experiment may be over, we’re back in business.
Dawson and Joey are watching some romantic movie starring Catwoman and Bill the Butcher, and Dawson has to stop it because he can’t stand the cloying nature of love stories. You literally just made a romantic movie, dummy. Joey prefers sad stories to love stories because they’re more realistic than “love conquers all” bullshit. She relates sad stories to their relationship, saying that they may not be strong enough to overcome all circumstances and I can’t help but feel like this is some serious foreshadowing. Dawson asks if she loves him and she replies that it “doesn’t matter”. They make out because that response was incredibly hot.
Dawson beats around the bush re: Mr. Potter’s new found source of income to Gail. She tells him to wait and let the truth come out if he’s too much of a pussy to tell Joey. She drops the bomb of all bombs (not really) and tells Dawson that she’s decided to take the job in Philly since Bro Dad clearly doesn’t give a shit about her anymore. Finally, you’re learning, Gail.
Dawson swings by Joey’s to pick her up for school and throws a big ol’ heaping pile of shade at Mr. Potter, who’s nothing but his nice self. So he’s selling coke, Dawson. It’s not like he tried to burn down a restaurant with five teenagers studying inside. Geez.
Everyone’s been studying fastidiously for finals. Apparently, Jen’s been studying up on teen suicide because, and I quote, “Lots of teens think about it”. You know, drop a fucking statistic, you idiots. You have a platform to say something about teen suicide and all you can muster is, “Yeah, sometimes people think about it”. Ugh! Anyway, Jack admits that post-coming out, he’s thought about it on occasion and…that’s the end of that discussion because Grams shows up and asks Jen to come back home. Jen tells her to fuck right off.
Pacey’s dad drops him off at school and is just as dickheadedly nasty as ever. Pacey overhears that the cops are monitoring The Ice House (ohhhhhh, they’re renovating it) and tells Mr. Witter that they should back off. Since the audience is dumb and can’t pick up on subtlety, Mr. Witter explains that Pacey’s attitude has become worse since Andi left and that he better not fucking fail his exams. As he gets out of the car and runs into Dawson, he reveals that Andi hasn’t called him since she left. Trouble in paradise.
The guidance counselor is proctoring the exam and Pacey clearly doesn’t give two flying fucks, putting his head down on his desk instead.
Dawson goes to The Ice House to confront Mr. Potter and tells him that he doesn’t believe what he saw. If you don’t believe it, Dawson, why are you making such a big deal out of it? Mr. Potter tells him that he’s stuck, and Dawson offers the incredibly valuable piece of advice to unstick himself.
Gail tells Bro Dad that she’s going to Philly. He gets all pissy and makes her sound like a selfish bitch, despite the fact that he’s selfishly been banging Dawson’s teacher and failing to forgive Gail. She doesn’t miss a beat and tells him that she’s leaving the next day, so he can suck it, because she’s tired of his shit. He says nothing.
So everyone is studying at the restaurant, because buildings under renovation make ideal locations to prep for finals. Mr. Witter shows up and asks if he can talk to Mr. Potter. Jovial Mr. Potter’s all, “No, man, I haven’t seen that shady drug dealer Louis from the last episode,” which is more than enough to convince Mr. Witter that everything’s kosher. Joey’s all, “Why the fuck can’t our boring family remain boring!?”, getting all upset at Dawson. They make out.
Mr. Potter goes into the back and shows a great big bag of drugs that he’s hiding, in case we weren’t sure that he was dealing by this point.
During a study break, Jack tells Jen that maybe she should go back to living with Grams. She gets upset and starts accusing Jack of being a prick, and he calls her on her bullshit, asking if she turned every discussion with Grams into a fucking fight, and if so, is she really surprised that Grams kicked her ass to curb. He tells her that she can’t stay because his dad is going to sell the house.
Someone throws a Molotov cocktail into the restaurant, and it catches on fire. Who ever could it have been?
Meanwhile outside, Pacey’s dad is fucking furious at him for doing jack shit with his exam. He tells Pacey to get his shit together and they get into a tussle that results in Mr. Witter straight up punching Pacey. Are you guys aware that Mr. Witter is a dick yet?
Mr. Potter grabs the drugs and runs into the bathroom to start flushing them. Wait, did he set the fire? The study buddies smell smoke and discover the fire in the back room. Rightfully, everyone starts to panic, including Mr. Potter, who can’t get out of the bathroom/office (?) he’s in because the fire’s blocked him. If he is the one who tossed the Molotov cocktail, he seems incredibly surprised that everything is playing out as it is. If you throw a Molotov cocktail indoors, you’re gonna have a bad time. What follows is this super intense scene that culminates in Dawson throwing the fire extinguisher that may have helped had he spent more than three seconds using it, through the window and grabbing Mr. Potter. After a tense five seconds outside, everyone emerges from the fire safely.
After the commotion dies down, Dawson confronts Mr. Potter again and asks him if that was his plan. I assume “that” is setting the fire as an excuse to flush the drugs, which…makes absolutely zero sense. He could’ve just flushed the drugs… He tells Mr. Potter that the situation is getting dangerous, which, no shit, Dawson. Joey comes up and calls Dawson a hero which he uses as an opportunity to throw shade at Mr. Potter again, saying that he doesn’t feel like a hero because the situation is super shitty.
Villainous Mr. Witter is still being a raging asshole to Pacey, telling him that he knows it was Mr. Potter who started the fire. It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’. Pacey tells him to maybe try and give the guy a break, and Mr. Witter decides that’s a great time to call Andi a whackjob. Pacey’s finally had enough of his shit and punches him.
Upon recovering from the shock that his son has a pair (he literally says that, because, as we’ve mentioned, he’s an asshole, you guys), Pacey tells him that if he EVER talks about Andi again, he’ll fucking kill him. He finishes up his tirade by comparing his dad to Mr. Potter, calling his own father “worthless” before storming off.
Back at home, Joey is beginning to get suspicious about her dad, and asks him if he started the fire (na na na na na na). Bessie’s all, “Bitch, what the fuck? He almost died!” and, hey, Bessie’s back! Mr. Potter swears that he doesn’t know what’s going on or who started the fire, which is all it takes to convince Joey.
Dawson’s parents tell him that he needs to go to the police because if a guy is willing to jeopardize the lives of five teenagers by cooking them alive, maybe it’s time to accept that the situation has spiraled out of control. Dawson’s worried, because he doesn’t want to ruin Joey’s life by breaking her family apart again. They tell him that snitching is the best thing for Joey, and Dawson tells them he has one more idea up his sleeve.
Apparently at some point during the fire, Jen refused to run away, which is disconcerting for Jack, given her studying up on teen suicide for her final exam and all. Jen explains that she doesn’t want to kill herself; she just didn’t care enough to run away. Jack understands how she feels, she starts crying amd he tells her that she can’t push people who care about her away and expect to be happy at the same time. They hug it out.
Dawson finds Joey on the dock and tells her he saw her pops with the drugs and knows he started the fire. You know, setting a fire to a building when there are unsuspecting teenagers in the other room is straight up sociopath behavior, but everyone’s concern level is at about, oh, a four. Joey doesn’t believe Dawson and wants to know why he’s trying to ruin her life. She tells him to leave it alone and let her be happy, and Dawson tells her that he can’t; he has to do the right thing, and that’s not letting her be happy. He asks her again to help turn her dad in, even though she hasn’t seen shit to convict him.
Looks like little Joey Potter decided to listen to Dawson, because Mr. Witter explains that Mr. Potter’s competitors started the fire and tipped Mr. Witter off to the drug activity at The Ice House. Wait, what? Why isn’t Mr. Witter at all concerned about those guys? They could’ve potentially roasted his son and four other teenagers alive. What the fuck? During the discussion, it’s revealed that they don’t really have evidence against Mr. Potter, which turns Joey off to the whole idea. Dawson asks for a minute and Joey is fucking pissed at Dawson for making this decision without talking to her because now it’s too late to help without tearing her family apart. Dawson’s all, “Durr, it’s the right thing,” prompting Joey to flip about how she sees the world in grey, whereas he sees in black and white, which is what’s tearing them apart. Chill out, Joey. Jesus.
Bro Dad and Gail are chilling at home and he’s super proud of Dawson. In fact, the whole situation has made him feel like a husband and a father again, prompting him to ask Gail to stay. Finally! Gail, you sly devil, you got what you wanted! Except not. She tells him she thinks Philly feels right and OH MY GOD, THIS SHOW IS SO FRUSTRATING. She gives a little speech about how absence may make Bro Dad’s heart grow fonder, because that’s worked so well so far.
Jen slinks back to Grams’, and for a second, I’m convinced she’s going to try and sneak up and give the old bat a heart attack. She tells Grams that she’s willing to come back, on three conditions. 1) They need to address what happened before to acknowledge what mistakes were made 2) She needs support from Grams; not judgment. You see, she can handle herself, but she needs a family. She’s tired of being alone. Grams agrees with that sentiment and asks what the third condition is. Jen looks down at the swing set, where Jack is lazily swinging. Grams says she’s been wanting to clean out Gramps’ bedroom, which means Jack is getting some of that good, old fasioned religion, folks!
Mr. Witter approaches Pacey and tells him that he deserved to be punched, so there’s no hard feelings there. Pacey’s all, “Dick, I wouldn’t apologize to you if you were on fire,” or some shit. Mr. Witter tells him that Andi called and they chatted. He really likes her and is sorry for judging her. Their conversation made him realize that he doesn’t know his own son, because Andi called him her “hero”, which made his heart grow three sizes that day. He called the school, explained what was going on, and they agreed to let him retake his final. What if he didn’t want to? He apologizes for being a shitty dad and forcing Pacey to see Mr. Potter as a model parent, and gives Pacey a hug because Andi asked him to. Pacey starts crying because he really misses Andi.
Joey tells her dad that she was at the police station and asks him if he’s started dealing again. He starts crying as he confesses that he has, indeed, been dealing. You see, he just wanted to provide for his family, because his previous shortcomings of selling drugs to provide for his family have been haunting him by making him feel like a failure. He admits that he’s been weak and Joey flips the fuck out on him for lying and setting their restaurant, you know, their only means of income, on fire. He tells her that he wishes he’d died in the fire because he doesn’t know how to fix this, and Joey reveals that, oh shit, she’s been wearing a wire the whole time! That’s cold, Joey!
Mr. Potter walks outside where the police are waiting for him. Apparently Joey wanted to make a big thing out of this, because Bessie is there too. However she can’t bring herself to look at him or Joey as she goes into the house. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Bessie. They haul Mr. Potter to the clink.
Since he has the situational awareness of a turtle, Dawson shows up and asks if he can do anything to help Joey. She tells him he could’ve looked the other way, and Dawson tells her that she did the right thing. She disagrees. She tells Dawson that it’s going to be hard, but she’ll figure out a way to forgive her father. However, there’s no way in hell that she will ever be able to forgive Dawson. She asks Dawson to get the fuck off her property, because she doesn’t want to know him, and this proved that love doesn’t conquer all. Burn! Dawson just stares at her in stunned disbelief as she walks away, and I’m actually surprised that his moral high ground provided enough support to prevent him from blubbering like a baby after being broken up with again.
No but seriously, who started the fucking fire?
Ugh, that’s a wrap on Season 2.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons