I apologize for the two week hiatus, but this season’s ridiculousness is draining me and I needed a recharge.
Pacey and Jen are in Dawson’s room, trying to get the sexy times going in his bed. That’s…really gross and kind of dicked to do to your friend. I say “trying”, because they still haven’t been able to get over the awkwardness hump (see what I did there?), so their sex pact has been a waste. They can’t seem to figure out why, and Jen proposes that they give it one more week before they call the whole thing off. As they get up to leave, they hear someone enter the house, which panics Pacey because Dawson and Bro Dad are supposed to be at school. He literally shoves Jen out the window before lying on the ground as Dawson walks in, understandably confused. Pacey makes up some bullshit about not caring about school and wanting to play Crash Bandicoot before they leave together. Except, LULZ, Pacey is only wearing one shoe!
So apparently Jack’s gay football player video that Dawson made has garnered quite a bit of feedback, because of course it has. Not all of it is good though, with one person calling him a “homo” in a derogatory way. However, someone else named Ben reached out to Jack with a similar story about taking a dude to prom, and tells Jack to get in touch if he ever needs someone to talk to.
Pacey’s been called to guidance because his counselor has taken notice of the fact that his grades are for shit. He asks Pacey what’s up, and Pacey tells him it’s laziness. After a few more questions about lifestyle changes, Andi’s name comes up and the counselor tells Pacey he needs to keep his chin up, and lets him go. Way to take a special interest. “Hey, thanks for 30 seconds of your time! It will get better! Now get out of here and get your grades up, you crazy kid!”
Andi keeps pushing Jack to write back to that Ben guy. Jack keeps telling her to shut the fuck up and drop it, and on cue, Jack gets an AOL Instant Message (remember those?) from someone who coincidentally has “Ben” in their username. Jack writes back “Hi”, and of course has his own name in his handle. Could you search for people by first name on AIM? If not, this just became super creepy and stalker-y. Think about it.
Pacey asks Joey if he can borrow her math notes, then makes it very apparent he has no idea how to math when he asks what a cosine is. Joey tells him he’s a fucking moron and has no hope of passing midterms, so he asks for her help. She balks at the idea, then seems to change her tune when he tells her he’ll do anything.
That anything, naturally, is ballroom dancing, because we need some kind of pseudo-romantic interaction to kick of their romance. Joey explains that it’s for a scholarship opportunity, and not some shitty pretense to get a guy to touch her. Obviously, they’re both terrible dancers.
Dawson finds a condom in his room, clearly from Pacey and Jen’s lack of sex earlier. He seems perplexed.
Back at school, Joey tells Pacey that he needs to take her study buddy help seriously, as she has high expectations from him. He tells her that’s fine, but they have to keep the dancing a secret, because that would be social suicide. Dawson shows up and asks what’s going on and they both sputter out some bullshit about home improvement. The actual improvement, not the Tim Allen vehicle. Dawson asks if he can talk to Pacey in private and Pacey blows him off.
Jack’s learned a ton about Ben by IM’ing him. Andi is stoked that Jack has a gay friend, and tells him to ask for a picture. Jack tells her that’s weird, and Random Character A tells them how the first online date she ever had was with an uggo. This seems to change Jack’s mind, because what teenager isn’t superficial?
What the fuck? Dawson is working at the video store? Jen pops in looking for Pacey, who lied to her about having a shift that night. Dawson notes how weird Pacey has been lately, and asks Jen about the condom. Dawson seems to think that Pacey is banging teachers again because what other possible explanation could there be? Jen deflects, but makes it very obvious that she’s uncomfortable talking about the condom.
Pacey is frustrated because he just can’t seem to get focused on studying. He psychoanalyzes himself and says that he needs a “reward” for studying because Tamara and Andi used to bang him when he did well. Joey is disgusted, because, have you met Joey? She thinks it’s a pickup line and in trying to clarify that he is, in fact, trying no such thing, mentions the sex pact with a random someone. Again, Joey is disgusted by him, and tells him that if he really wanted to fuck this girl, he would have done so by now, but can’t because something is causing a hangup in his mojo.
I swear, I see this face in my dreams.
So Ben sent over a picture, and Jack likes what he sees. Andi encourages Jack to meet up with Ben because he’s conveniently two towns away (sigh) and Jack freaks the fuck out about how things are moving too quickly. Andi tells him that he has nothing to lose, and to just ask him to coffee, which he reluctantly does. Ben agrees.
Jen is helping Dawson with a display when they spy Pacey and Joey walking together. They decide to abandon the video store to follow them, because no one ever gets fired for doing that in real life. Seriously, fuck off.
As the two spy on Pacey and Joey in the dance studio, the teacher spots them and suckers them into joining the lesson. When they see who the new recruits are, Joey and Pacey are NOT amused.
Because why the fuck not, Dawson and Jen are really good dancers together, while Pacey and Joey still suck royally. The instructor posits that it’s because Dawson and Jen have a dating history, which has alleviated any sexual tension between them. This “screwball mating ritual”, as she refers to her own dance lesson, is exactly why Pacey and Joey are terrible dancers; the sexual tension is too distracting. Pacey gets all huffy and tells her that’s not true and she basically tells him that she’s studied it over the years and knows they want to bang.
Prior to Jack’s date, Andi comes in to give him a pep talk. He’s still freaking out because he knows it will be a disaster. He’s not sure he’s ready to take his homosexuality to the next level, because once he does, he’ll officially be gay, rather than just the guy who came out. Andi gives him this schmaltzy speech about how he’ll be gay regardless of the evening’s date, but why not be gay and happy?
Hijinks alert! The instructor pairs Dawson and Pacey together for the next part of the lesson. Dawson is still weirded out by Pacey being in his room and Pacey reiterates he did it all for the Playstation. They switch partners and Pacey tells Jen about Dawson’s suspicions. Jen tells him he needs to chill because Dawson has no idea whose condom it was. They switch again and Dawson tells Pacey that he thinks Joey and Pacey are doing it. Pacey asks him why that would be so wrong, given that Dawson was the one who imposed the “break” between the two. He gets hyper defensive and tells Dawson that he needs to realize that one day Joey might go out with someone besides Dawson, and that he needs to nut up or shut the fuck up because he can’t be so protective. Do you guys think Pacey has a thing for Joey yet?
After freaking out, Pacey leaves and Jen follows him into the coat room, which is huge, for some reason. He starts going off about how he’s confused why he can’t get it up, because he loves sex and all. Jen blames society, because why the fuck not, which gets Pacey all hot and bothered. They start making out.
Jack goes to the coffee shop, looks in the window and sees Ben and…we’ll never know because they cut away as he reaches for the door handle. I’ll anxiously await the resolution to this cliffhanger.
Joey and Dawson walk in and find Jen and Pacey making out. Joey looks shocked.
They ask them what the fuck is going on and both repeatedly say that it’s nothing. Joey throws shade at Jen for being a slut and Pacey tells her she needs to chill, and repeats that there’s nothing between them. Not consoled, Joey storms off and Dawson just smiles and leaves.
Upon being alone again, Jen asks what that was all about and Pacey tells her that he mentioned their sex pact to Joey, and that she’s smart enough to figure out what was going on in the closet. He was confused as to why their genitals weren’t clicking, which forces Jen to ask why he went to Joey for advice. Like a light switch, Jen then goes off on a tirade against Joey, wanting to know why the fuck every guy is so transfixed on her frigid, snobby ass. She accuses Pacey of wanting Joey, hence not being able to get it up for her and he says he doesn’t. Looking at it, I can understand why she’d be pissed. First Dawson, now Pacey. Girlfriend can’t stay girlfriend for long next to that bitch. Jen finally tells Pacey that there’s nothing between herself and him, and that there never will be. Pacey admits that he’s disappointed, but also relieved.
Andi is still hanging at Grams’, waiting for Jack to get home. That’s not weird at all, given that neither Grams or Jen are there. She’s surprised when Jack walks in earlier than expected and he confesses that he didn’t go into the coffee shop. Surprise. He panicked when he saw a girl and guy sitting at a table next to Ben and realized that he didn’t want to be himself. I’m guessing Jack wasn’t a huge role model for teenage gays in the early 00s. He doesn’t think he was brave enough. Andi tells him he’s always been brave, and that he’ll know when it’s the right time.
Dawson catches up to Joey and tries to comfort her by telling her that it was inevitable that two sex-charged maniacs like Jen and Pacey fucked. Joey flips on Dawson, asking how his hopelessly romantic self can be so passive about their gross relationship and he tells her that they’re lonely. While he doesn’t necessarily condone their sext pact, he understands the sexual impulse and the need to have someone, even if there’s no emotional connection. Joey is still pissed and doesn’t get it and Dawson tells her that she needs to chill, because you can’t control feelings.
Joey returns to the dance studio to get her coat and finds Pacey still hanging out. Pacey reiterates to her that he and Jen didn’t bang, and for the first time in this series, Joey sincerely apologizes for overreacting. Cue the balloons and confetti! Anyway, she explains that she took pity on Pacey because of Dawson and how he screwed her up right good. Pacey laughs at the idea and tells her they should practice if she’s going to get the scholarship. The instructor overhears and tells them that there is no scholarship anymore due to fewer clientele. Hijinks! She offers them six months of free dance lessons to make up for it because she apparently doesn’t understand business at all, and, after going back and forth on it because it would be super romantic and a great way to start their relationship, they decline.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons