Season 3, Episode 8: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

We open on Pacey and Jen shopping.  Pacey’s irritated, because he called Jen to get it in, per their sex agreement, and her idea of spending time with him was to help her with her Thanksgiving shopping.  We learn that the two haven’t slept together yet, what with it being super awkward since they’re friends, and every time they try, it devolves into immature giggling.  Pacey tells Jen that he isn’t looking forward to the Witter Family Thanksgiving, given that his dad is a giant asshole to everyone.  I can’t say I blame Pacey one bit; Mr. Witter is a miserable fuck.  The topic switches over to Andi, and Jen gets really awkward after telling him that Andi will be at her dad’s for Thanksgiving.  I get that exes can be a weird conversation topic, but why would Jen be weird about it?  She barely likes Andi and Pacey is just her fuck buddy – there’s not supposed to be emotional attachment.  All this talk of Andi gets Pacey’s juices flowing, and after he compliments Jen’s smell, she spurns his advances.

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So everyone is going over to Grams’ for Thanksgiving.  It looks like Gail made a pumpkin pie, all while that lazy slob Bro Dad watches football in the living room.  Gail’s been staying in the guest room at Dawson’s because she hasn’t been able to find an apartment.  A job might help with that too, Gail.  Bro Dad comes in and tries to get some of her pie (the literal pie, you perverts), and they sort of, kind of flirt.  Dawson remarks how familiar it’s all starting to feel.

Jen gets home with the groceries and Grams is immediately up her ass, being all “These are my friends, please don’t embarrass me!” while Jen repeatedly tells her to chill.  As Jen keeps interrupting Grams, she keeps missing some important piece of Grams’ concerns.  That is, until she opens the door and finds her mother standing there!

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Bessie is freaking because she fucked up the turkey.  Hey, where’s Bodie?  Remember, Bessie’s baby daddy who was also supposed to be a bomb-ass chef?  Maybe he could have made the turkey without fucking it up.  Joey is sad because their mom wouldn’t have fucked up the turkey.  Try to be a team player, Joey.  Just once.

Gail tells Dawson that she saw Mrs. Lindley and compliments him on his bravery for telling Jen that she has a sister, because why the fuck should he mind his own business?  Also, why would he tell Gail?  God, what a busybody.  Dawson reveals that he hadn’t told Jen yet that Eve was Mrs. Lindley’s daughter who was given up for adoption.

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Jen is pissed at Grams for keeping her mother’s visit a secret.  Grams, rather than reminding Jen that she wouldn’t shut her mouth long enough for Grams to get a word in edgewise, apologizes.  Jen tells her that her mom is only there because she’s afraid of being alone, since her dad is stuck in Europe on business, and that it has nothing to do with her.  Grams thinks that Jen is finally mature enough to deal with her mom, having grown up in her short tenure in The Creek.  She knows that Jen will do the right thing.  This compelling speech is enough to convince Jen to return to the house.

Pacey shows up at Jen’s and wouldn’t you know it, Andi is there for Thanksgiving!  Obviously, they’re super awkward towards one another.  Apparently, Mr. McPhee had business to attend to, so Thanksgiving was cancelled for them too.  Did they institutionalize her mother?  Also, I love how all the fathers are workaholic douchenozzles or, in Bro Dad’s case, unmotivated mooches.  Pacey tries to be nice to Andi and she flips on him, because she’s tired of him always getting to be the nice guy.  Pacey offers to leave when Jack intervenes, telling them to cut the shit, because it’s Thanksgiving.

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Over a short scene, pretty much every main character on the show arrives at Grams’, short of Henry and the principal.  Guess everyone’s family lives out-of-state or something.

Jen takes everyone’s coats upstairs and finds her mom chilling in her room, dressed all snazzy and shit.  She asks Jen to zip up her dress, and when she does, she compliments Jen on turning into such a beautiful young woman.  This leads to Jen reminiscing about when she was younger and looked up to her mom.  Mrs. Lindley busts out a pearl necklace (no, pervert) and gives it to Jen, saying that it’s some kind of family heirloom and it’s high time Jen gets it.  Jen declines, because The Creek isn’t a pearl necklace town, at least not until her and Pacey get some alone time, amirite?  The mood in the room instantly becomes icy when Jen throws some shade at her mom for making her feel expendable.

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Jen comes into the kitchen and is really pissed about her mom’s presence in The Creek.  She tells Dawson that she doesn’t give a shit that she’s there. but keeps being vague as to why.  Dawson keeps pressing her for details and finally Jen lets it slip out that she’s felt alienated by her mother since she was 13.  Joey chimes in that everyone feels alienated at 13, and, before we’re even allowed to think she has a heart, manages to make Jen feel guilty, because at least she has a mother.  Never change, Joey.  Having managed to selflessly guilt trip Jen into feeling bad, Jen tells her that she’ll give her mom a chance.

Dawson leaves to introduces himself to Mrs. Lindley.  He then gets all fidgety and tells her that he hopes he’s not out of line, but he totally knows about Eve and her being put up for adoption.  Mrs. Lindley doesn’t deny it.  Dawson tells her that he hasn’t told Jen and Mrs. Lindley tells him he better keep his fucking mouth shut.  Dawson continues to dig a hole for himself and tells her that he thinks it would be better if Mrs. Lindley told Jen, rather than keeping it a secret.  She tells him that he’s out of line, and leaves him alone with his far-too-adult-for-16 thoughts.

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Andi is sulking because of Pacey’s presence at Thanksgiving, even though she was the last minute addition.  Joey tells her that she understands what she’s going through, having been dumped three times in about as many months.  Andi admits that she’s been struggling to move on, and Joey tells her that it will get easier to spend time with Pacey as friends, she just needs to give it time.

Meanwhile, Pacey asks Jack if Andi ever talks about him.  Jack tells him that she does, and Pacey expresses some confusion as to what he’s supposed to do, since he can’t forgive her.  Jack’s all, “If you’re experiencing pain, then maybe you should stop being so selfish and think of Andi’s pain,” which weakly convinces Pacey to rethink his attitude.

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So everyone gathers around the table and starts giving thanks for your typical Thanksgiving bullshit: friends, family, dead or missing parents, and, uhhhhh, strays?  Okay, yeah, those are a little more random than I’d expect from this cheesy-ass show.  By the way, we cut to Bessie, who’s holding a black baby, so it’s not like the producers forgot about Bodie completely?  How weird would it be if it were suddenly a white baby?  But seriously, where is he?  Anyway, we get to Jen, who says that she’s thankful for second chances, which makes her mother so emotional that she has to leave the table.

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Jen chases after Mrs. Lindley, who tells her that she’s not sad; she actually thinks it was a good thing they sent Jen away to The Creek because now she has friends.  Are you saying she didn’t have friends in New York?  A guy plowing her in her parents’ bed would seem to hint otherwise.  Jen tells her that’s all well and good, but friends aren’t family, and starts crying when she asks her mom why the fuck she never called.  Her mom doesn’t have an excuse for the lack of communication, which is kind of shitty.  Jen wants to know what the fuck she did wrong and Mrs. Lindley tells her she’ll try to explain and, oh goddammit.  They cut away.

Dawson’s parents are still being friendly toward one another, so he decides to ruin the moment by telling them he’s had enough of them being friendly, and wants to know what’s going on between them.  Are they getting back together?  Have they banged it out on the coffee table yet?  Bro Dad tells Dawson it’s not that simple and Dawson gets all demanding, telling them that he has a right to know what’s going on.  They look at each other and, oh Goddammit!  Another cut away.

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So apparently Mrs. Lindley told Jen about Eve and Jen is not pleased.  She calls her mother a hypocrite, what with her giving a kid up for adoption at 14, then shipping Jen off to bumblefuck when she caught her banging a dude at the same age.  At least Jen didn’t get pregnant.  Her mother tells her she had Jen’s father to think about and Jen tells her that she’s a coward for being afraid of her father and not divorcing him.  Mrs. Lindley says it’s not that easy and Jen burns her good, telling that she’d rather be alone than ever be in a loveless marriage.  At this point, she decides to skewer her, telling her that she’s selfish for shipping her off to The Creek, and that she’s too afraid of being alone, because she’ll have to look in the mirror and see what an awful person she really is.  Jesus, Jen.  Just put her out of her misery already.

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Dawson finds Joey and tells her that he didn’t like the answer he got from his parents.  Apparently, their divorce is final.  Why this would suddenly lead to them being super chummy again, I can’t figure out.  Dawson’s all proud of himself, because when they told him, he congratulated them.  Whoa there, Lewis Black!  No need to completely eviscerate them.  He admits to Joey that he’s kind of relieved, because at least a decision is made and everyone can move forward.  That said, he wants to cut loose with Joey that night.  He suggests sex, drugs and rock and roll in one of the more laughable Dawson moments of the season.  Joey laughs right along with me, and instead he suggests sitting and talking for three hours.  Jesus, dude.  Can you find a more needy, nerdy way to cut loose?  Also, the table they’re at is still covered with dishes.  Maybe stop thinking about yourselves for five minutes and help Grams clean up, you self-centered douche nozzles.

Jen grabs Pacey for some good, old fashioned nookie.  He denies her because angry sex precludes the emotional part of their sex agreement.  He asks her what happened with her mom and she tells him that she hates her fucking mom because she’s such a hypocrite.  Pacey gives her this little speech about how she’s at a defining moment in her life, because she’s realizing that her mom has problems too, and that she’s not invincible, and if she chooses to forgive her, it’s liberating.  This brings Jen to tears and they hug.

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Having been thoroughly taken to the shed by Jen, Mrs. Lindley decides to leave.  Jen tells her that her lips are sealed re: Eve, but that she doesn’t take back what she said.  Her mother gives Jen the sage advice of never marrying a cold man, because you won’t be able to divorce him for social reasons like cocktail parties and fundraisers.  Wait, that’s why you shipped Jen off to The Creek?  To protect your social image?  Jesus, that’s cold.  Anyway, she tells Jen that she never hated her.  Actually, she hated herself for not being able to stand up to Jen’s father and shipping her off to The Creek.  However, she’s proud of Jen for being stronger than she is.  As she goes to leave, Jen says goodbye, calling her “Mom”, and telling her to call.  This new found acceptance warms Mrs. Lindley’s heart.

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After her mom leaves, Pacey shows back up.  He tells Jen that he realized he’d rather be with his friends for Thanksgiving than his miserable family and asshole father.  Jen apologizes for almost using their sex agreement in a manipulative way, and thanks Pacey for being a gentleman about it, rather than sticking it to her for the sake of getting it in.  He admits that it was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do.

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So The Gang are all sitting around a fire when Jen and Pacey show up.  The only seat available for Pacey is next to Andi, and, in the spirit of burying the hatchet and moving on, he takes it.  Dawson gets all sentimental, saying that it’s really nice that they’re all together once again, now that everyone is over being butthurt over their petty breakups and squabbles.  The camera pans out as Dawson says that he’s thankful for friends to lean on in bad times and everyone laughs because friendship is magic!

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Rating

Crying Dawson Scale

3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons

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