Season 3, Episode 15: Crime and Punishment

Oh good, we’re revisiting Joey’s art career.  Glad we didn’t let that one disappear into the forgettable plot line mist.  Joey’s painting some kind of mural on the school wall when Pacey shows up.  He’s been sort of kicked out of his house because his sister is there or something.  Turns out, Joey’s painting is of some Chinese symbol that was commissioned by the principal to symbolize their school’s spirit or some shit.  Personally, I hope it says “Dookie”.  Pacey is unimpressed.  Joey explains that she thinks art is a way of bringing people together and Pacey reminds her that not everyone has boring hobbies like she does.


Dawson tries to sneak a peek at Joey’s stupid mural when she stops him.  He asks her what she’s going to say in her speech and…what?  Much like everything on this show, these murals are part of some kind of school function, and there’s some kind of to-do about it where the artists get to speak.  Unreal.  Being Joey, she thinks that the speech is dumb.  These two are acting really weird around each other.  It’s off-putting, or at least more off-putting than usual.  Dawson keeps trying to see her mural and Joey tells him to fuck off, because she’s concerned that he won’t like it.  She compares it to someone looking into her soul.  I really hope she fucked up and painted the word “Dookie”.

Meanwhile, there’s a disciplinary committee hearing because some kid cheated on his quiz.  A fucking quiz!  Never mind the fact that this inane story line is being retread; he’s getting grilled for cheating on a quiz.  And it looks like the school is utilizing their resources well, having an entire classroom set up like a court room for this bullshit.  Oh, and Andi of all fucking people is responsible for choosing the punishment.  Yeah, because teenagers have never been dicks to one another.  I’m sure she’ll be fair and partial.  Or not.  She gives him an F on the quiz and a three hour detention.  The principal, being the voice of reason, is all, “Dude, Andi, you need to fucking chill!” and overturns her verdict.


After the meeting, the principal asks Andi to hang back.  You guys, I need to take a moment before I go on.

Well, it turns out that her fucking PSAT score was so high that she’s earned a merit scholarship.  To reiterate, her PRACTICE SAT score got her a fucking scholarship!  What in the fucking name of all Bro Dad apocalypses is this shit?  As a reminder, she totally cheated on the PSATs to get that schore.  She’s stunned, the hypocritical bitch.

Imagine Dougie’s surprise when Pacey shows up to crash at his place.  Almost immediately, he starts in with the gay talk.  Hey Pacey, you catch more flies with honey.  Dougie isn’t going to let a dick crash at his place.  At least not if he’s straight.  Dougie’s not thrilled with the idea, but relents, on the condition that Pacey doesn’t mope about his romantic failings.  There’s a Party of Five reference, which may be the first time I thought of that show in 10 years.  Wasn’t Jack from LOST on that show?  Was it better than this ridiculous bullshit?


Joey, ever the bitchy wet blanket, doesn’t want Bessie to take pictures at this stupid unveiling.  Hey, Bodie’s still around!  He finally makes reference to the lack of diversity in The Creek as some kind of tongue in cheek joke.  Seriously, this show is so white bread.  Bessie keeps encouraging Joey, telling her that her Dookie painting will be great.

We get a quick montage of the other artists talking about their murals.  Hang on, why would antisocial, anti-school spirit Joey do a mural on unity?  Hypocritical bitch.  Anyway, as expected, her speech is contrived.  It’s all about how the only unifying theme for the school body is “Possibility”, because, for them, anything is possible.  She goes to unveil her mural to find that, OH SHITSNACKS!  SOMEONE VANDALIZED THAT MOTHERFUCKER!


Everyone is shocked, murmuring “Rhubarb, rhubard” and looking around in confusion.  Joey, having been bested by Banksy, takes off.




Outside, Dawson catches up to a clearly humiliated Joey.  This is amazing.  I’m drinking her humiliation in.  Dawson tells her that she shouldn’t take it personally because it was probably a stupid prank, and Pacey shows up and tells her that she absolutely should take it personally.  They both pontificate as to who would hate Joey enough to do something like this.  Where does that line even begin?  Joey, ever the realist, likens the whole thing to an existential crisis.

Andi admits to Jack that she’s thinking about quitting the stupid disciplinary committee.  Jack keeps pressing for why, and all she has for him are bullshit excuses.  Jack is shocked by this development, because apparently shock is the only emotion the writers could convey in this episode.


Dawson visits Joey at the inn, and she’s now super deprecating about the whole project.  It was just so stupid of her to take it seriously.  Dawson tells her to repaint the mural to get back at the hero jerk.  She’s not interested, which amazes Dawson.  He can’t believe she’s defeated.  He tells her to nut up and stop being the victim, which is Joey’s last straw.  You see, coming up with idea to paint a Chinese symbol for “Dookie” took Joey a month and she can’t just start over.  Holy shit.  What?  A month?  She compares her defeat to Dawson giving up movies and starts whining about how she can’t afford to chase her pipe dreams.  What the fuck is she babbling about?  How is painting a mural at your school a pipe dream?  I’m so lost.

Anyway, Dawson, obviously not in the mood to talk about his movies for once, absolutely crushes her.  He tells her that he thinks that she was too afraid to put herself out there and be critiqued, which he was totally able to do.  And he’s always handled said criticism with such aplomb.  Oh wait, no.  He quit his film class when the teacher crushed him, and quit movies altogether when his stupid documentary bombed.  He leaves the keys to the school on the counter for her.  How the hell did he get the keys to his school?


Back at school, Pacey is trying to figure out the culprit of this heinous crime with a wager.  The two guys he asks say their money is on Caulfield, a badass in a leather jacket.  Pacey confronts him directly, because why wouldn’t he just lie to his face, and we learn that Caulfield is not only a leather jacket wearing badass, he’s smug too.  He denies doing it, but his demeanor says otherwise, because he’s a badass.  Pacey tells him to turn himself in, because he made the mistake of fucking with someone that he cares about.

Dawson asks Andi if she’s seen Joey, and it turns out that she’s not in school that day.  I kind of hope she killed herself.


Not content with Caulfield’s badass smugness, Pacey confronts him again in the parking lot, acting all macho and tough.  Caulfield gets up in his face and Pacey legit goes nuts.  Just screaming at him and acting psychotic.  Maybe you and Andi do belong together, Pacey.  Caulfield finally decides that he’ll apologize to Joey, except that he’s totally kidding.  He just wanted Pacey to back down so that he could fucking hit him!


The two get into a full-on fight for about 30 seconds, and I gotta say, Pacey does a pretty good job of kicking his ass before the principal shuts the whole thing down.


After the fight, Andi finds the principal and tells her that she needs to resign from the committee.  The principal is all, “Bitch, I do NOT have time for your shit!” and dismisses her.

So the principal, frustrated by neither Pacey or Caulfield explaining what the fight was about, called in Dawson and some other dude to shed light on the situation.  Naturally, Dawson blows the whistle and mentions the painting.  Caulfield again denies, asking why the fuck he’d want to vandalize a painting of the Chinese symbol for “Dookie”, totally outing himself because how would he know that it was a symbol for “Dookie”?  Oh snap!  He confesses that he did it because he thought it was ugly and the whole mural project was trivial.  The principal asks him why the fuck he’d think that, and he gives a smug, badass response of “I’m white and rich”.  Bad.  Ass.


Andi confesses to Jack that she cheated on the PSAT.  Why in God’s name are we still on this?  WHY!?  Jack’s shocked that she would ever cheat, and she explains that she thought that getting a good grade on the PSAT would make her seem okay again.  But now she can’t live with herself and needs to make amends.  Jack disagrees and acts as the voice of reason, acknowledging that it was the PRACTICE SAT, so it doesn’t matter.  Thank you, Jack.

Joey shows up at Dougie’s and tells Pacey that she thought he was an idiot.  Wow, Joey.  Be more of a bitch.  Pacey is just as amazed that she’s being a bitch to him when he was defending her and in his frustration, mentions Dawson’s secret plan of being tasked with keeping an eye on her.  Joey, surprisingly, doesn’t get pissed, but rather seems pretty hurt, because she thought that maybe there was something developing between the two of them.


At the disciplinary committee, Caulfield is still an unapologetic badass.  The principal gives him a bunch of shit about being an entitled, rich asshole and decides that the only punishment that will have any gravity is to expel him.  Even in the face of this, Caulfield is still a cocky badass, and utters the phrase in the center square of Rich A-hole Kid TV Trope Bingo: “Do you know what my father is going to say about this?”


Bad.  Ass.

Dawson’s been creeping outside the committee, waiting to hear what Pacey’s punishment for the fight will be when Joey shows up.  She tells him that she learned about he and Pacey’s arrangement and Dawson tells her that she’s over blowing it.  He was just looking out for her.  This causes Joey to freak the fuck out about how all she wanted was someone to be concerned about her at that point in her life and Dawson tells her the get her head out of her ass; Pacey very obviously cares about her.

Oh my God.  We’re treated to this super dramatic scene of Andi cleaning out her locker like she’s about to go before a firing squad.  Jesus.


Pacey emerges from the disciplinary committee ecstatic.  Turns out he’s not going to be suspended.  In fact, the principal made him a mentor, which Dawson thinks is hilarious.  Why shouldn’t you encourage your friend whose been nothing but supportive of you over the years?  Dawson brings up their little secret about Joey and Pacey asks him if he’ll consider forgiveness.  I guess it’s not in the cards at the moment.

The principal outright calls Andi a disgrace and doesn’t know what he’s going to do with her.  However, he seems more concerned with the work he’ll have to do in order to fix this.  Again, it’s the PSATs.  Cannot emphasize that enough.  Andi mentions that badass Caulfield and how he was suspended, and thinks that she deserves the same punishment.  The principal tells her that he was trying to teach her leniency when she chaired the disciplinary committee, and that she needs to consider more than just the crime.  She’s nothing like Caulfield, and he’s going to be lenient with her.  That said, he doesn’t know what her punishment will be.  Andi is grateful.


Having realized that she can’t let the terrorists win, Joey shows up to repaint her mural only to find that Pacey is already there, painting over the vandalism.  Obviously, she’s a bitch to him, and he gives her her millionth chance, asking for a clean slate.  When she agrees, he ruins that good grace by asking if she’s going to thank him, and she calls him an entitled ass for thinking that she should be grateful for helping her.  After a moment, she goes ahead and thanks him for being there when she needed someone.  Just get this shit over with already.


Dawson walks by and sees them painting.  I think we get his blessing, because he gives an approving smile.  So seriously, can those two start hooking up already?



Crying Dawson Scale




3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons


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