My apologies for not getting this episode up a little earlier last week. I know I promised those of you who follow on Facebook that it would go up on Wednesday, but the week got away from me. I still blame Netflix.
Pacey shows up to Dawson’s room with a Betamax player for some reason. Those things were obsolete the day after they hit the market, so I don’t know why he’d need one. I don’t have to wonder long. Dawson has been asked by his mom to do a documentary for her new station because there’s a time slot to fill and apparently she hates it there and wants to get fired. I still don’t understand the need for a Betamax. Dawson, having an opportunity thrown in his lap rather than having to work for it, bitches about how documentaries are lamer than cornball romance movies that people inevitably hate. Pacey thinks that real life is more exciting than fiction and asks who/what his subject will be. It’s Jack. Gay football player who’s dad can’t look him in the eyes; it’s all there. Dawson starts watching old home movies and we’re treated to the first time he met Joey. As if to confirm my suspicions that she’s always been the worst, Joey immediately pushes Dawson to the ground.
As head cheerleader, Jen has decided that she still needs to rebel, and has goth-ed out, with black stockings and all. She calls it “a statement”. Grams is appalled that Jennifer would ever sully the good reputation of the pep squad, and Jen reminds her that when she was a cheerleader, all the guys were watching for one reason only – they wanted to stuff her. Gross.
As we’ve learned in other school event-centric episodes, Pacey and Joey are too cool for the homecoming bullshit that’s going on at school. Pacey suggests that they skip instead, because he has something cool to show her, and if that gets him in her pants, he may be a genius. Joey initially tells him to fuck off, but he keeps being so vague about it that she eventually gives in to the intrigue and follows him.
Dawson is interviewing Jack about football and stuff. Jack didn’t know he liked football and was just as shocked as everyone else when he caught the ball because this is a fucking TV show where all the protagonists get everything they fucking want without working for it. Coach Bro Dad interrupts and tells Jack to do some laps and other football stuff. Dawson tries to interview him as head coach (see the Protagonists’ Lament, above), and Coach Bro Dad tells him to kick rocks.
Everyone is gathered around Jimmy Darmody, who’s name on this show isn’t Jimmy at all; it’s Henry. What a stupid name. Is Harold making his big debut next week? Anyway, he has Doug Fluties’ mouth guard (I see you, 90s), that he’s keeping as a good luck charm. Jen comes up and is disgusted by the thing. Henry tries to blurt out some shit to Jen, but ends up sounding like Rain Man. After she leaves, he tells Jack that he’s still hung up on her and has no idea what to do.
Back in school, Jen tells the other goth-ed out cheerleaders that she’s getting tired of all the school spirit bullshit. They surprise her by explaining that she’s not done quite yet; there’s a silent auction where the winner gets to shove their tongue down the head cheerleader’s throat. Jen is so pissed at being auctioned off without her consent that she quits. I think the comparison to slavery is a bit much, but what kind of safeguards are in place to prevent pedophiles from bidding? HAS ANYONE THOUGHT ABOUT THESE THINGS!?
Andi runs into some dude who has a folder with an ETS logo on it. What’s ETS? Why, the Education Testing Services, because that’s totally a thing. There’s some problems with the recent PSAT, which, again, the “P” stands for “Practice”, so I still don’t get what the big fucking deal is. Anyway, Andi starts acting weird about it, because she’s so fucking guilty and acting and all.
Pacey and Joey are walking on a deserted road. Joey is pissed at Pacey for being so intriguing/vague and for making them walk to their destination. Pacey tells her to stick her fucking thumb out and hitch them a ride if she’s so angry about it, and she tells him to fuck off, then immediately changes her mind when a car starts approaching. Pacey makes a glorious swan dive into the bushes. No really, it’s awesome.
And would you look at that, the generous transport provider turns out to be none other than their principal. He’s fucking pissed too. Pacey comes out of the bushes and the principal tells them he’s taking them to school, right after Pacey drops the poison oak he’s holding. Hijinks!
Coach Bro Dad is working late, trying to create new plays for the match and stuff. Dawson comes in and asks if he can interview him and Coach Bro Dad tells him to kick rocks again. When Dawson explains that it’s for his mom’s news station, Coach Bro Dad gets fucking pissed and tells Dawson that revealing they have a gay football player will be tantamount to sabotaging their season. Wait, what? Dawson gets all whiny, complaining that football is more important than his future, and Coach Bro Dad tells him to stop being so dramatic. Dawson knows what he needs to do, which is to make the right decision.
Dawson goes to Joey for advice about his dad, because, on one hand, he feels bad for him, what with the shittastic year he’s had, and doesn’t want to destroy his self-respect. Joey, ever the helpful friend, tells Dawson that he needs to figure out what he wants to do. No shit, Joey! That’s why he came to you for advice! Dawson’s afraid that airing the story will kill Bro Dad.
In another creepy move, all the cheerleaders and Grams are watching Jen sleep, making remarks about her face. That’s not weird at all. Jen wakes up and understandably wants to know what the fuck is going on. Some mystery bidder bid $500 (I knew you needed pedophilic safeguards!) for the chance to kiss her, so they came to convince her, because otherwise the guy walks. Jen reminds them that she’s not for sale, and the cheerleaders reveal that they’ve all time traveled back to the Dickens Era, because the money from the auction goes towards an orphanage.
The principal finds Andi and tells her he has a problem and she needs to come see him on Monday. Why not just do it that day? Seems like you’ll avoid a bit of confusion and stress for an already super neurotic Andi.
Part of the reason for the delay is because he still has to deal with Joey and Pacey. Joey’s pissed at Pacey (shocker) for getting them in trouble, and the principal tells them he has a creative punishment for them, what with them hating school spirit and all. What’s this guy’s deal with school spirit? He’s really all about it. He opens a box and Pacey and Joey are appalled, but we never get to see what it is. Hopefully it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.
Jack approaches Andi and she’s just shocked that Jack did the interview, you guys. Jack doesn’t see what the big deal is and Andi gives him this diatribe about how he just publicly shamed himself. Jack’s all, “So what, man? It’s my life!”, and Andi gives her real reason for being concerned; her father. She asks Jack to think about how it will affect him, and tells him to really think things through, because actions have consequences. That’s called being supportive, you guys.
So apparently Dawson went ahead with the interview, as he and Bro Dad watch it together. When it’s over, Bro Dad tells Dawson he just lost their first game, because Jack just became a target, rather than a sleeper. Wait, if Gail is in Philly, does that mean this was nationally televised? Get the fuck outta hear with that! He’s 16. Dawson tells Bro Dad he needs some perspective, because their team has been shit for years. He doesn’t understand why they don’t talk anymore, and everything is about football. He gets all whiny about how Bro Dad probably wishes Dawson was a football player, and Bro Dad tells Dawson that he needs to get his head out of his ass. All he’s trying to do is get Dawson to be a little less selfish and think of others more. I totally agree, Bro Dad. Dawson, not getting his way, flips and tells Bro Dad that he’s the fucking father in the relationship, and he’s tired of raising a grown man. Bro Dad is hurt.
It’s the day of the big game, and Jack is getting absolutely slaughtered on the field. It appears that Bro Dad was right. In one of the tackle piles, one of the guys calls him a, and I quote, “limp-wristed homo”. You can’t help but laugh. Jen and Dawson are watching the game because Jen’s agreed to help the orphanage and is going through with the kiss. We finally learn that Pacey and Joey’s punishment is that they have to wear a mule costume, so they argue over who gets to be the head and who gets to be the ass. I thought their mascot was the Minuteman…
We cut to Andi confessing about the test. She makes up some excuse about a guy, and we get to relive the story of her fucking another dude behind Pacey’s back and their breakup. You see, when they broke up, she felt like she lost a huge part of herself, and bombing the PSAT (I’m shaking my head so hard right now), would’ve been like her losing her whole life, so she cheated. It should be mentioned that the whole monologue is filmed about 4 inches from her face, so I’m sure there will be some kind of reveal here. She asks for forgiveness and the camera cuts back, showing that, sure enough, she’s in her bathroom. Is there gambling for TV writing?
So it’s 21-0 at the half. Obviously, The Creek is losing, otherwise where would the dramatic, last second underdog win come in? We’re treated to a hilarious montage of Coach Bro Dad trying to motivate the team, and he finally starts in with a comparison to “The Art of War”, when Dawson interrupts. Bro Dad taught him all about “The Art of War”, so Dawson took it upon himself to come up with a game winning plan. First, they’ll cover up their numbers with mud, so it’s harder to pick out Jack. Part 2 isn’t explained, but we know it will be good, because all the cheerleaders come into the locker room.
As the players take the line, the opposing team seems confused. Why? Because all The Creek players put on makeup and look like drag queens!
Someone got paid to write this.
So obviously, it’s now 21-24 with seven seconds left on the clock, and The Creek have the ball. In a completely shocking twist, Jack makes the catch and the touchdown, so The Creek wins! Everyone storms the field. The principal is thrilled. Jen, not so much.
On the field, Andi approaches the principal and begins babbling incoherently. The principal asks her what the fuck she’s talking about and she reminds him about his request to see her on Monday. He tells her that he’s beginning a new disciplinary committee, and wants her to head it up. She’s obviously relieved, and when he asks her what the hell she was babbling about, she makes up some bullshit about patience.
Following the win, it’s time for the gross auction winner to get their action. Turns out that the winner was none other than Henry. How’d he come up with $500? Well, he sold his Doug Flutie mouth guard. Jen is touched by his chivalry, and follows through with the kiss. Henry’s stunned and probably embarrassed for popping an erection in front of 100 people. Everyone is gathered around and the whole display is really stupid. What would’ve happened if they’d lost? There’s no way anyone would’ve stayed. Anyway, there’s another surprise for Jen, and that’s that she was chosen as Homecoming Queen! She’s shocked and kind of a bitch about it.
Andi’s brush with expulsion has made her suddenly optimistic. She tells Jack that she’s proud of him for doing the interview and that their dad will be fine. Jack doesn’t understand her bipolarity, and she explains that she’s just glad it’s all over.
We get a quick scene where it’s revealed that Joey and Pacey conned some nerds into being the mule. We find out what the surprise from earlier was a boat. A pretty beat up one, too. Naturally, Joey’s a wet blanket about the whole thing, telling him it’s a piece of shit and that he’ll never get it to sail, let alone be able to sail around the world. Being The Creek where everyone is bipolar, she comes on board, and Pacey tells her that he named the boat “True Love”. How fucking cheesy is that? No seriously, that’s so fucking lame. He then puts Joey to work sanding and we get this weird 30 seconds where they’re silhouetted against the skyline that fades into shots of beach grass with weird atmospheric music. It’s bizarre.
Coach Bro Dad tells Dawson the story of the day he was born. Dawson, not himself. He bawled like a baby for three days straight. He loves Dawson, and tells him that raising a son takes faith, because his job as a father is to help Dawson see the whole picture, not paint it for him. I…don’t know. This turns into him telling Dawson to never let anyone stand in his way, even his old man. They start throwing a football, which cuts to old home movie footage of them doing the same thing. Everyone’s so happy in the past.
Turns out that Joey is watching said home videos. She smiles as the footage of her and Dawson plays for us again, then gets sad, probably because she realizes she wasn’t bitchy enough and will never get those moments back.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons