Kerri Russell kicks off the episode on Dawson’s TV, reminding me that I should probably be catching up on The Americans rather than subjecting myself to this stupid show. Dawson and Eve are watching Felicity as part of Dawson’s attempt at getting to know Eve before fucking her. She still clearly doesn’t give a shit and just wants to get stuffed, but is going along with it anyway. I do not see the appeal, Eve. You could be off banging any other dude in the school. Anyway, Dawson tells her that TV shows are for the lowest common denominator, calling Felicity out on being an overly idyllic version of teen romance. So tongue-in-cheek, writers! Eve tells Dawson the reason he hates Felicity is because he is Felicity, making more references that are obviously tongue-in-cheek allusions to this show. After more talking, Eve decides to shut Dawson up by shoving her tongue down his throat.
Joey’s alarm goes off and she looks terrified. At school, she can’t get into the library for some reason, where everyone is taking the PSAT. I guess the door is locked or something and, oh wait. It was just a dream.
Over some quick cuts, we see that everyone is studying for the PSATs.
At school, Dawson is just thrilled that he has to take the PSATs, and the principal tells him to shut the fuck up because it’s the standard measure that colleges use to determine applicant eligibility. Dawson doesn’t see how a test is going to prove that he’s going to be a great filmmaker, and he’s right; his previous shitty works have already discredited him. As everyone leaves, the principal asks Joey to stay behind.
Hoo boy. Time hasn’t eased the tension between Andi and Pacey, you guys. They are uhhhh-gly to one another. Andi thinks that Pacey is being a dick, having broken up with her rather than forgiving her, and Pacey essentially calls her a slut. She refers to their animosity as a “bump in the road” in their relationship. Yeah, no. That’s not quite what you call infidelity.
The principal sits down with Joey and remarks about what a great student she is, and tells her that she’s definitely on her way to a scholarship. Having thrown that pressure on her, he then asks if she’s stressed. Again, it bears mentioning that everyone’s studying for the P-SATs. You know, the PRACTICE SATs that don’t matter for shit. Since Joey is so stressed, the principal tells her to take the night off. She agrees to do so.
In the hallway, Joey runs into Dawson and asks him if she can come over and watch a movie at his place that night to unwind. Dawson sputters and stutters as Eve approaches because they have plans that night, so he invites Joey along because if you’re going to lose your virginity, might as well try for the threesome. Joey tells them that she’d rather suck on a shotgun barrel than spend time with Eve.
Jack is having a hard time getting the hang of football. Something about not protecting the ball properly. He tells Coach Bro Dad that everyone is singling him out for coverage because he’s gay, and Coach Bro Dad tells him that’s not it. Knowing a little bit about football, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they’re tackling you because YOU HAVE THE FUCKING FOOTBALL! We then get this really funny slow motion scene of Jack trying to plow through the linemen and failing spectacularly. No seriously, they cut to first person helmet cam angles and everything. It’s fucking wonderful.
So that guy that Joey works with at the dock/diner (I honestly have no idea what it is) is named Rob, and over some discussion, we find out that he’s so rich that he paid someone to take the PSATs for him. If you’re rich in The Creek, you’re obviously a dick (see also: Chris last season). He asks Joey out after the PSATs after offering to cover her shift so she can study on Friday. She makes some excuses, then flat out tells him she wants nothing to do with him.
Dawson is distracted in his room and keeps looking out the window. Mysteriously, an apple appears, followed by Eve, who asks him to join her on the roof. Oooooh, the apple and Eve; pretty clever! Being completely clueless, Dawson starts talking about Joey and we learn that Eve was an army kid who understands the whole “girl next door” allure. She then brings out an envelope that holds none other than a copy of the dreaded PSAT. Dawson is uncomfortable and tells her he doesn’t want it.
The next day, Dawson summons the gang to the library to reveal the stolen test. Right. Because school is exactly where I’d go to break that news to my friends; right where any teacher could overhear or see. Anyway, everyone is shocked that he has the test. No one knows what to do, which devolves into them throwing shade at one another for having various motives to justify using the test. Again, this is the fucking PSAT everyone’s stressing about here. The principal comes in to administer some practice session when the fire alarm goes off. He tells Dawson to leave the envelope on the table and everyone leaves.
Naturally, when everyone comes back inside, the envelope is missing! Dawson starts freaking and everyone’s all, “You fucking dumbass; why’d you ever put us in this position!?”, when the principal comes in and tells everyone to shut the fuck up and get to work.
Back at the docks, Joey is clearly distracted and ends up spilling fuel all over the dock. Rob comes out and tells her that she’s working on Friday now to make up for the spillage. Joey’s all, “What the fuck? Just because I don’t want to go out with you!?”, and Rob tells her to deal with it.
Jack has been playing so hard that he has busted ribs. He tells Jen he’s quitting and she attempts to use reverse psychology on him, telling him that if he quits once, he’ll always be a quitter. He tells her that was a nice try, and she gives him some speech about how maybe that random football he caught was fate and that he can’t turn his back on fate or some shit. It works, and he agrees to tough it out.
Dawson, ever the panicky weenie, broke into the school with Eve to find the test. Right, because it’s going to mysteriously come out of hiding and end up back on the table where it vanished from. Adding a B&E is really smart thinking there, Dawson. A security guard stumbles into the library, forcing Dawson and Eve into hiding under a table. She tells him that whoever took the envelope knew what its contents were, implying that it had to have been one of his friends.
Looks like the principal took the envelope, because he is fucking furious! He wants someone to talk or they’ll all be expelled, so Joey gets up and pulls the fire alarm. Oh cute, another lame dream.
Once again, Dawson calls everyone together to plead for the culprit to give the test back. They all start throwing shade at one another again, and finally Joey tells Dawson that this is all his fucking fault for being a fake ass to get into Eve’s pants, and is making everyone suffer in the process. Dawson proposes an ultimatum that Pacey thinks is really stupid, but Dawson, having now been humiliated by Joey, storms off anyway.
After Dawson leaves, Andi asks Pacey to borrow him for a minute. You see, she has all their shit from when they were dating and tells him that he can have it back. Pacey’s feelings are hurt, and she tells him that he can’t drag out their break up forever, and that he needs to take their shit. Pacey acts all butthurt, but agrees to take it, acting like a snarky teenager in the process.
Jimmy Darmody, quarterback extraordinaire, tells Jack that he needs a mantra in order to get better. Jack asks why he’s helping him so much and Jimmy tells him that it’s because a) he thinks that with Jack, they actually have a chance to win, and b) he knows that Jack is friends with Jen and he’s finding himself absolutely obsessed with her. It’s kind of creepy how long he goes on about her. Jack laughs in his face, because everything is about Jack, apparently. Way to be a good friend.
Pacey shows up clearly drunk as shit to Joey’s place of business, whatever that may be. He tells her he needs gas to build a bonfire, trips, and drops the box of all his useless love trinkets right in the water. Oh no! He asks Joey to call his dad and tell him he’s chilling there. After she leaves, he spots one photo that didn’t fall into the water, but wouldn’t you know it, he’s so drunk he knocks it in! He watches it slowly sink with a pained look on his face.
Back at the school again, Eve tells Dawson that his ultimatum was fucking stupid and that he’s hopelessly naive. Dawson thinks she’s a pessimist, only to open his locker and find that no one has returned the test. Womp womp! Having had enough of her shit, Dawson finally tells Eve to leave him alone. Unmoved, she tells him that she knows who took the test, then offers this cryptic revelation that he knows who did it too; he just refuses to believe it because he wants to believe a horse can change its stripes. I’m assuming the implication is that it was Pacey.
Sure enough, Dawson finds a drunk Pacey still chilling at Joey’s employer. He asks Pacey where the test is, and Pacey tells Dawson that he’s not so sure they’re friends, because friends have a tendency to believe one another. So then Pacey didn’t take it? Their confrontation quickly breaks down, with Pacey calling Dawson a self-righteous b-hole and Dawson making some crack about Pacey driving Andi insane. And oh shit, Pacey fucking hits him!
And Dawson fucking hits Pacey back!
Joey, having heard the tussle, comes out and tells Dawson to get the fuck out.
After Dawson leaves, Joey takes Pacey inside and gives him a soda for his swollen lip. Pacey tells her that if Dawson thinks he’s a loser, then maybe it’s time for him to accept that he’s a loser. Joey tells him that he’s not a loser and that he and Dawson are still friends, despite what he may be feeling at that moment. Pacey asks Joey if she cares about the envelope, and she basically tells him she doesn’t give a shit about it anymore.
Dawson is sulking, as he does, when Eve shows up. With some pressing, Dawson reveals that he has a black eye and tells her that it’s all her fucking fault that this happened in the first place. She tells him to vilify her if it will make him feel better, but that he ultimately was the one who took the envelope from her. Dawson tells her to fuck off and she calls him a baby. Having suffered that sick burn, Dawson tells her that now that he’s had the chance to get to know her, he doesn’t really like her. He leaves.
So apparently Jack’s mantra is “fug”. Yes, with a “g”. Of course, now that he has said mantra, he does really well, making it through another slow motion, first person helmet-cam scene where he plows through the entire defensive line. Question: why did Coach Bro Dad take him from wide receiver, the position he recruited him for, and decide to put him through the ringer as a running back? No wonder his ribs are busted; dude weighs like 90 pounds. Anyway, everyone cheers for the newly fugged Jack. Jimmy Darmody sees Jen cheering, and we get this really bizarre scene of Jimmy charging directly at Jen, who’s understandably terrified and confused, then veering off at the last moment. It’s really weird.
Yo, Jimmy, I told you lay off the bath salts!
So, the principal is finally administering the PSAT. Dawson gets up, turns his copy in before the test even starts, telling a confused principal that it’s a “long story”. Long and really stupid, if you ask me. Pacey, moved by Dawson’s moral standing, follows suit. Oh no, not their fucking PRACTICE SATs! What ever will they do now!?
Outside, Pacey asks what the hell they did that for, and Dawson makes some cute remark about how if they were ever going to get into fisticuffs, he figured it would be over a chick. Lulz!
Back in the library, Andi is burning through the test, acting really shady about it. You see, you guys, Andi was the one who took the envelope, and she’s the one who’s cheating on the test! Guess what they say is true; once a cheater, always a cheater.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons