Season 3, Episode 17: Cinderella Story

In which we follow up last week’s white knuckle episode with one of the most boring.  Not just on this show.  Of all time.

Pacey is driving Joey to the train station, because she’s heading off to Boston to watch A.J. do some kind of reading.  It’s a big deal, you guys.  Also, at this point, I feel like Pacey’s not allowed to be pissy about being Friend-Zoned, what with literally driving Joey to meet another guy.  Tell her to kick rocks and find someone else to do it.  Be the bad boy, Pacey.

Anyway, Joey is super psyched for A.J.’s dumb reading, but refers to him as her “friend”, which Pacey thinks is weird.  She bores everyone by talking about how it’s a long distance relationship, so it’s casual, prompting Pacey to call the whole thing fake.  Thoroughly offended, Joey gives Pacey shit for being so negative, talking about how dreams can come true.  What dreams, Joey?  Statutory with a nerdy college guy?


As if I wasn’t expecting this; everything with Gail’s restaurant is going to shit.  The chefs who’ve come in have all made terrible dishes, there’s no menus, and they don’t even have a name for it yet.  Someone mentions something about calling it “The Fish Bistro”, which, in the history of unappetizing restaurant names, ranks somewhere around “Holocaust Herb’s House of BBQ”.  Jack and Andi show up and Dawson recruits them to try more shitty food.

As atonement for kicking that badass Caulfield’s ass, Pacey has to do some kind of Big Brother program.  Hey, his Little Brother is Jonathan Lipnicki!


Only difference is that rather than being precocious and adorable, Jonathan, henceforth known as Buzz, is a little shit.  He keeps calling Pacey “Pissy”, which is admittedly funny, and tells him that he’ll fold and request a new Little Brother in two days time.  Sounds like a challenge.

Meanwhile, at the train station, Joey sees a someone holding a sign with her name on it.  She gets all excited because A.J. is just so romantic, until she realizes that it’s some chick.  She introduces herself as A.J.’s oldest friend, but seems nice enough.  Joey is a frigid bitch to her.


To fulfill his community service, Pacey takes Buzz to the arcade, where he’s still a little shit.  Dude, arcades at 10 were awesome!  He hassles Pacey for Pokémon cards, and Pacey agrees to shell out $20 (!?!?) in exchange for Buzz giving him a break.  Buzz agrees, then immediately starts trying to hit kids with a Whack-a-Mole hammer.  I kind of like him.

Joey and this new chick, Morgan, meet A.J. at the diner.  He’s totally freaking because he doesn’t know what to read, forcing Morgan to chime in all about how talented he is.  There’s obviously chemistry between the two, which causes Joey to act off-putting (read: a frigid bitch).  Taking a hint and realizing she’s third wheeling, Morgan leaves them to be boring nerds together.


Jack and Andi think all the cooks are fucking awful.  Well, maybe branch out from strictly fish dishes, you idiots.  Jen comes in and tells Dawson that she wants to pitch in at home, so she’s looking for a job.  Without considering her qualifications, or the fact that she’s still a minor and can only work certain hours/shifts, Dawson hires her, because I guess he’s in charge now.

A.J. won’t shut up about his stupid reading and how it’s the biggest moment of his life.  Yeah, okay guy.  Joey mentions that Morgan is pretty and asks why he never mentioned his best friend before, and he has no idea.  Probably because he knew you’d act like this, Joey!  She keeps acting weird about his relationship with Morgan, a girl, and he kisses her knee for some reason.  It’s weird.  He does it for way longer than necessary too.  Is…is that his fetish?  Knees?  This sexual patella attention gets Joey all hot and they kiss.  Of course, Morgan walks in and “ruins” everything.


What, you thought I was joking?

Pacey, having enough of his shit, puts Buzz to work painting his boat.  Totally forgot about that.  Buzz keeps mouthing off, then casually mentions that his dad is dead.  Pacey opens up about his dad, which Buzz hyper-analyzes and relates to Pacey’s issues with authority.  I don’t know if I’ve grown so inured to the unrealistic dialogue in regards to characters’ ages on this show that I don’t address it anymore, but fuck this kid.  He asks Pacey why he’s mentoring, and gets freaked when he finds out that it’s because Pacey kicked someone’s ass.  Maybe now he’ll behave.

Besides being nicer and prettier than Joey, Morgan is also an artist in France.  Joey loves her work.  Morgan keeps gushing about A.J., which is kind of strange to do in front of his girlfriend, but I guess Joey is willing to give friendship a chance, and joins in on the gushing.  When talking about how A.J. is a good kisser, Morgan reveals that she totally agrees, because they kissed once.  But things got awkward afterwards.  Joey gets weird, and Morgan tells her that there’s nothing between them.  Being bipolar, Joey switches back to friendly and invites Morgan to the reading.  I’m sure this won’t be awkward at all.


Things are still a nightmare at the restaurant.  Well, it’s literally only been a few hours.  I don’t imagine all those problems would be solved in the time it takes to catch up on your DVR.  Bro Dad shows up and offers to help, which makes Gail all flustered for some reason.  Bro Dad explains that Dawson asked him to help, which absolutely shocks everyone.

Back at the boat, Buzz is still being an annoying little shit, trying to figure out who the girl is that Pacey named his boat “True Love” after.  Pacey keeps denying that there’s a girl, and Buzz tells him that whoever she is, Pacey needs to nut up and tell her how he feels.  Jesus Pacey, if Jonathan Lipnicki is saying the same things as your friends, it may be time to listen.  Look how that worked out for Jerry Maguire.


At the reading, A.J. is still super nervous and keeps asking if he should leave.  Just shut up and do the fucking thing!  He still manages to be super nerdy, though.  Finally, his moment to shine comes, and he takes the stage and starts his stupid poem.  It’s about love, and there’s a moment where he mentions “her” and looks at Morgan, who the poem is clearly about.  Oh snap!  Joey, as always, is not pleased.

Pacey whines to the social worker at Big Brother about how Buzz hates him.  Dude, you thought forcing manual labor on a 10 year old you just met would endear them to you?  Talk about shitty first impressions.  The social worker isn’t surprised, and talks about how Buzz’s dad set up shop with another family, which causes him to act out as a way of handling feelings of rejection.  Pacey can relate.  She mentions that she’ll find someone else for Pacey to mentor, and he’s all “Bitch, I never said anything about being reassigned!”.


Gail is fucking furious with Dawson for telling Bro Dad that she needed help.  He gets all whiny about how she always told him that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it, and Gail tells him that her restaurant is bigger than any of his dumb movies and storms off.  If the restaurant is bigger than any of his dumb movies, shouldn’t she absolutely ask for help if things are spiraling out of control?  Anyway, good dig at Dawson’s dumb dreams, mom.

Morgan is still third wheeling after the reading, and decides to go off on her own when Joey asks to go to A.J.’s room.  Subtle, Joey.  She’s acting super weird, and when he asks her what’s up, Joey tells A.J. that he should go join Morgan, because she’s clearly his muse.  He needs to realize it.  The whole conversation catches him off guard, and Joey tells him that she knows what it’s like to have unrealized feelings for someone.  It sucks.  A.J. gets all clingy, telling Joey that he wants a chance with her, and she tells him to wake the fuck up and see that Morgan wants him.  What an awful position to be in, A.J, having two girls want you.  He tries again to convince Joey she’s overthinking it, and after denying that she isn’t, proves that she is by asking why he looked at Morgan during the reading.  He doesn’t know.  Eye contact with multiple people is a key tenet of public speaking, you dummy.


After a pause, Joey tells him that she’ll always remember him.  He tells her that he’s heart broken, and Joey does little to make him feel any better, telling him there are worse feelings than that.  I’m surprised she doesn’t mention NARC’ing on your dad or your mom dying of cancer, the callous bitch.  Wait, is she still going to spend the night?  If she’s going to his room, where does he sleep?

Pacey shows up at Buzz’s to make dinner.  Wait, what time is it?  Why is Buzz home alone?  Even more importantly, why is he letting someone he just met into his house?  Not sketchy at all.  As they’re making dinner, Buzz admits that he lied about his dad.  This honesty gets Pacey to feel confessional, and he admits that the true love is Joey.  Buzz asks if she’s hot, which, isn’t weird for a 10 year old at all, and Pacey gushes about how hot Joey is.


Oh man, the next bus back to The Creek is at 9:00 AM, so looks like Joey is going to have to show a little leg and hitch a ride.  Or not.  She calls someone.

Following his fight with Gail, Dawson is moping on the dock when Jen approaches him.  She overheard the fight and asks Dawson if he wants to talk.  He was only trying to help take the pressure off of Gail because it was making her crazy, you guys!  Jen overanalyzes and says that she thinks Dawson was trying to put his family back together, which he immediately denies.  He’s totally over their divorce.  Jen then brings up their first dance on the dock, and uses that to compare the new Dawson to that Dawson.  He’s not a naive baby anymore, and knows how to reject reality, and it’s totally okay if he still wants his parents to get back together.


Turns out that Joey called Pacey to pick her up.  Did she have Buzz’s number or something?  This was before cell phones.  Despite the fact he clearly drove somewhere that otherwise requires a train to travel to, Joey doesn’t want to talk about what happened.  What a bitch.  Honestly Pacey, you do this to yourself.

Dawson apologizes to Gail, now that she’s had some time to cool down.  She asks him to try the coffee, which is surprisingly good.  Well, looks like Bro Dad was able to right the ship, because all their problems are solved and “Leary’s Fresh Fish” is going to be amazing.  I don’t know that naming your bistro something that sounds like a fish market is the way to go, but whatever.  Gail confesses that she was too proud to admit she needed help, and Bro Dad intervened.  He’s going to be the general manager.  What about his school job?  I imagine this is a step down in every conceivable way.  Who’s their chef, you ask?  Why, none other than Bodie, who’s going to run the kitchen part time so as not to endanger the livelihood of the inn.  Also, they fired Jen, because she sucks as a waitress.  Not to fear, though; they made her the hostess.  Looks like everything worked out in the end.  How nice.


So it’s clearly the next day at this point and Joey and Pacey are still driving.  Joey’s not talking, and what’s more, she’s really laying on the bitch towards Pacey.  Not cool, Joey, especially if he drove 6 hours to pick you up, which has to be the case here.  Finally, she admits that Pacey was right and there was another girl, which was all too real for Joey because it made her realize she’s a bitch and that she’s going to die a spinster.  She’s so fucking dramatic.  Pacey correctly tells her that she needs to grow up, because she’s 16, and Joey makes a comment about how Dawson and Pacey are the only people who really “know” her.

Pissed, Pacey pulls over and asks her what the fuck she meant by that.  Why did she call him to pick her up?  What does it all mean!?  What’s in the box!?  Joey is understandably confused at this point and Pacey, finally having enough blue balling, kisses her.


The episode literally ends mid-kiss on the version I watched, so I have no idea if he chokes to death, freezes or if she stabs him.  Looks like I’ll have to wait with bated breath until next week.


Crying Dawson Scale

3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons


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