DAWSON’S CREEK: It should have been JOEY’S CREEK
Thanks to a Christmas gift of Dawson’s Creek: The Complete Series I embarked upon an angst-filled marathon in late December 2009, finishing all six seasons an alarmingly short time later. Joey loves Dawson. Dawson loves Jen. Dawson loves Joey. Pacey loves Joey. Joey loves Pacey. Exhausting. It was a whirlwind, and kept my mind off the long winter hiatus. It was my first time completely through the series, though I had previously attempted to watch a few years ago. The first time around, I gave up on it, after a slow second season, and the horror that was Eve. I promptly forgot all about it, determined that it was not a show for me. However, after becoming obsessed with The Vampire Diaries, and falling in love with Kevin Williamson’s writing on that show, I really wanted to give Dawson’s another chance. And I’m really glad that I did. Throughout my marathon, I developed a complex, love-hate relationship with the show. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … but I totally get why it was such a seminal show now. I will attempt to break down my thoughts, and provide some analysis below. Warning, spoilers for the series abound, and I tend to go on and on, so get caffeine and some snacks.
Dawson’s Creek premiered on January 20th, 1998, during my junior year of high school. Back then, I turned my nose up at the show. In my 16-year-old mind, it seemed like television for preppy people who wore Abercrombie & Fitch, and the actors looked straight out of a J. Crew ad. This did NOT appeal. Looking back at the fashions for Beverly Hills, 90210, a show that I did watch loyally, my fashion snobbery is mind-boggling. Also the theme song seemed sappy and annoying, and I harbored the mistaken notion that I was too cool for such things. Again, I will point out that I watched Beverly Hills, 90210. Sigh. I have since learned that there are few things that I am too cool for. Also, working against The Creek was that none of the actors conformed to my 16-year old notion of attractiveness—neither girls nor guys. A preppy show with a ridiculous theme song, and no prospective beauty idols or imaginary TV boyfriends? As if.
But, Lucia, you say, “Katie Holmes is gorgeous! What are you talking about? And Joshua Jackson, is beyond sexy! I mean, how could you?” (Hmmm … I can’t help but notice that none of you are trying to defend Dawson.) First of all, let’s just get this out of the way now: I love Joey Potter. I adore her. I even added her overalls-wearing self to my blog header. And Katie Holmes is totally my new girl-crush. Before watching Dawson’s Creek, however, I just did NOT get the Katie Holmes thing. Now I do. Case closed. And Joshua Jackson … well, he was a little awkward looking in the YM, Seventeen, and Teen photo spreads back then. His baby face made him look a bit pre-adolescent, though he was actually 19 years old when the show premiered. Evidence. It was Pacey’s charm and personality that made him so attractive, something that was not showcased until well on in the series. Now, however, Joshua Jackson is all grown-up, and he grew up goooooood. Evidence. Absolutely perfect. In fact, I’ve dumped all other imaginary TV boyfriends in favor of Peter Bishop. Sorry, Dean Winchester. Anyway, I was 16, I was an idiot, and I promise that I’m not as superficial as I seem in this paragraph. I grew up a lot since then. Really.
And speaking of “growing up” (awkward segue alert!), that is really what this show is about. Growing up and falling in love. Because of this, watching the series has a very nostalgic feel, capturing those little moments on life’s journey where you are figuring out complicated things like “I like that boy, but I don’t know if he likes me!” You know, the really important issues. The nostalgia factor was also increased for me by the fact that these kids were growing up right around the time I was also growing up. I mean, the phrase “Be kind, rewind,” was actually used in season one. That’s how old it is. That’s how old I am. A lot of you probably don’t even know what that means … I need a cocktail. Sigh. Also, the music was like a time machine, and it brought back a lot of memories—though I’m told that the original music was not on the dvds, they picked some 90s and early aughts classics—both good and bad.
The thing that really struck me about Dawson’s Creek, and both fascinated and infuriated me, was the meta level on which the show operates. I mean, the show is so self-reflective that it is baffling. On the one hand, this sets it apart, and gives it a distinctive style. And there is much clever dialogue to be had. On the other hand, this can veer towards too much “muchness.” I mean, the first season is sweet, heartbreaking, and beautiful, but the characters are pretty much as self-reflective as you could possibly imagine characters being. These characters, of course, are a reflection of the experiences of the series’ writers, from their teenage lives. Then, the second season proceeds to be all about that season that already happened, reflecting on that self-reflection. Dawson spends the entire second season making a movie about the first season! Ultimately, the series ends with Dawson creating Dawson’s Creek, though it is called simply, The Creek, and he changes the names. We end with Dawson’s friends, upon whom he based his characters, watching this series. It boggles the mind. There is also a lot of awareness of other teen dramas in Dawson’s Creek, and the way that things have generally be done in film and television, so watching is sometimes quite a cerebral experience. I have divided my thoughts up by character, with an extra-special “Favorite Joey and Pacey Moments” list added in for good measure.
Like I mentioned above, I heart Joey Potter. If I had realized how cool she was, I would totally have been watching Dawson’s Creek long ago. I love her sass and snark, and her constant eye-rolling at everything Dawson says. I love that she calls everyone out on their sh#@. I love that she’s super smart and ambitious, and can’t wait to get out of Capeside. I love that she’s from “the wrong side of the Creek,” and has a criminal for a father. I love how she carries around the tragedy of her mother’s death for the entire series. Honestly, I would not have made it through the series without her, as some of the other characters *cough* Dawson *cough* made me want to tear my hair out. Also, this show is slooooooow paced—frustratingly so at times—so I needed to care about a main character in order to justify the sometimes painstaking journey. Thank you, Joey. Now, she is not perfect, especially in the later seasons (she IS perfect in season one), and I certainly do NOT agree with a lot of her life choices, but ultimately I cared about her and sympathized with her.
Some of my favorite Joey moments
- In season 1, episode 7, “Detention,” Joey is standing in line in the cafeteria, when an as@#ole jock in a letterman jacket, Grant, gives her a hard time. He cuts in line and makes dirty jokes about the report she just delivered in class. He says: “We’re like the shoguns and this school is like our castle. Whatever we want we get. You can either be my servant, or my concubine. So what will it be?” Her response? She knees the guy in the nuts, knocks his friend out with her food tray, and then punches Grant for good measure. “Neither,” she replies. My response? I love that girl. Normally I don’t sanction violence, but it was a lovely moment.
- Joey sings “On My Own” in season 1, episode 12, “The Beauty Contest.” Lovely. I mean her voice is not the strongest, but it’s pretty, and vulnerable, and the song is perfect for her. Oh, Joey, if only you didn’t love Dawson. Look to the left: Pacey is RIGHT THERE.
- Joey visits her dad in prison. This happens in season 1, episode 13, “Decisions,” which is also the finale. Joey has been avoiding the prospect, but it’s Papa Potter’s birthday, and since her sister did birthday duty the previous year, Joey’s number is up. Joey’s anger at her father is well justified: the man cheated on her dying mother, and then dealt drugs, and got arrested, leaving her parentless. She goes to the prison and meets with him, and it is sad sad sad. Joey is too angry to really talk to her dad, and before she leaves, she tells him that their family no longer exists. Later, she has second thoughts, and with Pacey’s help (more on that below, in my favorite Joey and Pacey moments) she returns to the prison and has a heart-to-heart with her father. “Do you really love me though? Because I’m fifteen years old, and I go through every day of my life thinking that nobody loves me.” I may have cried. Tears. Whatever.
- Drunk Joey! This happens three times in the series, but the latter two times really showcase Katie Holmes’s drunken acting, which is highly amusing. In season 4, episode 4, “Future Tense,” Joey is stressed out about college and the future, so she decides to drink at Jen’s fake birthday party. DrunkJoey takes a walk with Jen, and hilarity ensues. When DrunkJoey makes a toast for Jen’s birthday, Jen reminds her that it’s not really her birthday. DrunkJoey: “That’s alright. I mean, we’re not really friends. I’m just kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. We are. I think we are. Do you think we are?” Hee. A fitting description of their friendship thus far. Also, when Andie joins them, she asks whether she’s really controlling. DrunkJoey provides this piece of wisdom: “Some people like salad dressing on the salad. And some people like it on the side.” Well said.
- Drunk Joey, reprised! In season 6, episode 14, “Clean and Sober,” Joey gets drunk at another party. Bearded-Pacey is disapproving of her drinking, of course, though he eventually finds it amusing. This episode shows how much the series lightened up about things such as FUN—something which was highly disapproved of in the high school years. Anyway, DrunkJoey takes the opportunity to tell her friends’ significant others’ embarrassing stories about them. Love! Highlight: DrunkJoey tells Jen’s boyfriend C.J. (played by Jensen Ackles): “You know, C.J., I just, I really think it’s great how you’ve turned Jen around. Because before, believe me, I mean she was a troubled young lady. She killed a girl once. Abby Morgan. Killed her with champagne. You want some?” Ha! Then, later, she tells Pacey: “You’re still not over me.” She further explains, “That was one of Audrey’s comments. You’re still not over me. That must suck.” Pacey: “Oh, it does. You have no idea the hardships I go through trying to maintain a friendship with a dream girl such as yourself. But Jack and I cuddle. It eases the pain. He’s very loving.” Ha! Also, DrunkJoey’s antics lead to a Joey-Pacey kiss, something which I always approve of.
- When she sings “I Want You To Want Me” at karaoke night. Despite the fact that this episode—season 5, episode 11, “Something Wild—includes Chad Michael Murray, it was nice to see Joey having fun for a change. Fun of any kind is a rare commodity on this show, even more so when it comes to Joey. Fun involving hair tossing? Priceless.
- ANY time she gives her Joey-patented eye-roll. It’s my favorite.
- ANY time she is mean to people. That’s my other favorite. I’m possibly a terrible person.
Oh, Dawson. *Eye-roll* I must admit that Dawson is definitely my least favorite character on the show. (Sorry, James Van Der Beek. You, however, seem rather hilarious and likeable.) Nevertheless, he’s the title character, so I must address him. In season one he is blindly unaware of Joey’s crush, and head over heels for the new girl, Jen. Stupid boy. He also suffers from Peter Pan syndrome, like his idol Steven Spielberg. Actually, Dawson’s movie-obsession is my favorite thing about his character, as I appreciate geeky tendencies. But back to the Peter Pan syndrome: Dawson is not ready to grow up. He loves the idea of Jen, but not her in reality. The same goes for his eventual feelings for Joey. He is just not prepared for a mature relationship. He is also supremely selfish and self-absorbed. This changes after his father dies, however, when he must step in and help out his mom and baby sister. Of course then in the eyes of all other characters he immediately goes from selfish-teen to martyr. Sigh. Oh, poor Dawson, taking care of his family! He’s so put upon! Sigh.
Another frequent complaint is that he is condescending and judgmental, even towards his closest friends. His relationship with Jen was particularly frustrating in this regard, as he was constantly putting his foot in his mouth when it came to her “past.” When it came to women, Dawson tended to oscillate between romantic notions of championing the damaged damsel, to contempt for her lack of virginity. He never hesitated to throw Jen’s sexual indiscretions, or rocky relationship with her parents, back in her face, whenever things became heated between them. Ugh. He needed to be slapped upside the head. Despite his seemingly open mind, his rather conservative and narrow notions about life were apparent throughout the series.
Most frustrating for me, as a viewer, were the ups and downs of his relationship with Joey. The two were soul mates, supposedly, and he loved her. However, his love was always constricting. He had this emotionally manipulative hold on her, which limited her growth. He was always holding her back, and keeping her from moving on. She gave up Paris for him. She gave up Pacey for him (thankfully that didn’t last long). Additionally, any time that things became romantic between them it just made me uncomfortable. I would have preferred a brother-sister relationship between the two, because their attempts at romance were so non-sexualized that it was just weird. There was no heat. They always just seemed like two kids playing at kissing or something. Again, it made me uncomfortable. Not to mention that each time they went down that road, one or both of them sabotaged it within about five minutes. All that build-up, and then … nothing. Annoying.
Still, Dawson wasn’t all bad. I think at heart he was a good person, and often tried to be a good friend. I especially liked the relationship with Jen that he had in the later seasons, after he had matured. Those two actually had some great chemistry in season five, when they had sex in New Hampshire. I was kind of sad that they ended things so soon, though it was probably for the best. Also, Dawson definitely wins the award for Most Improved Hair. It is an important victory for his character.
There is no question who my favorite Capeside boy is: definitely Pacey. I love his roguish charm and his witty banter. I love that he knows his way around a sail boat. I love his daddy issues. I love his sensitivity and vulnerability. I even love his ridiculous shirts. But most of all, I love the way that he loves Joey Potter. Yes, I will admit it: I ship Joey and Pacey. Normally I avoid fixating on any one couple on a show, quite firmly. However, in the case of Dawson’s Creek, it is a show about love and relationships, so you really have to become invested in at least one to make the show worthwhile. And really, there was only one romance worthy of hooking viewers, in my opinion. Honestly, I find it shocking that anyone, least of all the writers, would want Dawson and Joey to end up together, when PACEY IS RIGHT THERE. From the first biting remarks exchanged between Pacey and Joey, their chemistry was clear. It’s only shocking that the show took so long before the two got together. Making us wait until season three? That’s just cruel. However, along the road towards their true love, there were a lot of great moments. Even in season one, the seeds of their romance were planted.
Favorite Joey and Pacey moments
- Despite the fact that Pacey was cast in the “bad boy” role, he was always a sweetheart, and rarely selfish … unlike OTHER boys on the show. Ahem. In season 1, Season 1 episode 8, “Boyfriend” this is made especially clear. Dawson forgets all about Joey at a party, and goes off with Jen. Idiot. Then an uglier version of Legolas (seriously—go rewatch the episode) plies lonesome Joey with drinks. Pacey steps in to help his vulnerable friend: “Alright, Jo. Say goodbye to the nice serial rapist man.” Legolas takes a punch, and misses. Pacey punches him. Joey collapses (that’s how wasted she is) and when Dawson goes over to check on her, she call DAWSON her hero. Ugh. Pacey rescues her, and Dawson gets the credit. Story of Pacey’s life. He always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop. The boys take Joey home, and she kisses Dawson, while Pacey takes care of the baby and is a total sweetheart. Team Pacey.
- A couple of episodes later, in “Double Date,” Joey and Pacey offer more than a hint at their chemistry. Exhibit A: Pacey, dripping with sarcasm: “You know, it’s amazing. A personality like yours and you still can’t get any dates.” Joey: “Even more amazing, a personality like yours and you can.” Her exchanges with Pacey in the episode are adorable, and near the end, Pacey realizes that he has some feelings for Joey. Ultimately, he steps back for Dawson’s sake, and due to an awareness of Joey’s inexplicable crush on Dawson. Still, this episode does feature Pacey and Joey’s first kiss, though she quickly spurns him. He sadly asks, “If by some chance you would have kissed me back, you would probably been thinking of someone else, right?” She just gives him her Joey-look. Sigh.
- In season 1, episode 13, “Decisions,” Pacey plays a key role in Joey’s reconciliation with her father. After visiting her father in prison, Joey is a mess. However, after hearing about Pacey’s daddy issues, she recommends that he have a talk with his dad. This gives Joey the realization, that she needs to do talk to her father too. She asks Pacey to steal his dad’s car, and he obliges, though refers to it as “borrowing.” Awww. Also, he bribes the prison guard, because it’s after visiting hours. I mean, doesn’t every girl want a guy who’s willing to bribe prison guards for her? It’s the dream.
- There are a lot of great Pacey and Joey moments in season 3, but one that really stands out is in episode 12, “Weekend in the Country,” when Pacey helps out the Potter B&B. He somehow gets a hotshot critic/ reporter type to visit the B&B, but things go awry. In the end, of course, it all works out, but his concern and worry for Joey is soooo apparent throughout the episode. He tries to play it off like he’s only doing it for Dawson, because of their RIDICULOUS deal (ugh), but the truth is apparent. At the end of the episode, he goes to see Joey, but she is asleep on the couch. He sits in a nearby armchair and watches her sleep. And not in a creepy Edward Cullen way, I promise. He’s in loooooooove, even if he doesn’t know it yet.
- Another highlight is in season 3, episode 14, “The Valentine’s Massacre.” The whole gang ends up in jail, after a party. (Sidenote: partying is bad and wrong, and you will end up in big trouble! You got that kids? No fun for you.) In jail, Pacey makes this amazing and on the nose speech: “The ballad of Dawson and Joey. Will those crazy kids ever get back together? […] I mean, honestly, do you have any idea how exhausting it is to exist on your periphery. To witness this perpetual dance that you two have. One week you’re soul mates, the next week you’re giving each other up for the greater good. I mean, do you think it’s possible that sometime soon you could make up your mind, please? And the reverence that you two treat this little saga of yours with, it’s enough to make a guy wanna puke.” Thank you, Pacey! You say everything that the audience is thinking. Gag. Then everyone makes bail except for Pacey. (See, I told you. Pacey always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop.) Deputy Doug comes to visit his cell, and asks what the problem is, guessing it’s a girl. Pacey: “I’ll tell you something though, she is really really annoying. Yeah, I mean this girl is amazing. There’s not a single subject on the face of the planet that she doesn’t have an opinion about.” OF COURSE, he’s talking about Joey. Doug says that must be a nightmare. Pacey then defends her OF COURSE: “No, it’s not quite like that. You got to understand, the girl’s really smart, and when she argues it comes from this really beautiful, pure place, so how can you fight against that? Especially if you’re a jackass like me.” Doug asks if she’s pretty. Pacey: “Yeah, she is pretty. She is very very pretty. She is actually the kind of pretty that gives you butterflies.” Doug: “So the question is, little brother, what are you going to do about it?” Pacey: “No, I don’t think you’re really properly grasping the gravity of this situation, Dougy. You see, if I was actually to do something about this, there is the strong possibility that the sun would cease to shine, that the tides would cease to rise. In fact, I’m betting there’s a pretty good chance that the very earth would crack open and Capeside would become home to a huge Hellmouth that would spew forth endless hordes of monsters and demons that would choke the denizens of this city, make them fall to their knees, and make them pray to return to the days before I took action. That’s really what we’re talking about here.” Poor boy has bought into the Joey-Dawson saga. Sigh. Also, bonus points for the Buffy reference. Pacey goes to apologize to Joey later, for, you know, telling THE TRUTH. Then he teaches her to drive, which previously Dawson totally failed at. Team Pacey.
- Season 3, episode 15, “Crime and Punishment” is also memorable. Now, I’m not one to swoon over Pacey beating some guy up for Joey, but there’s more to Pacey’s defense of Joey than fisticuffs. He asks if she is going to thank him, and she replies: “Pacey, if I was going to thank you, it would be for being yourself, and you know, not caring what anyone else thinks, and for knowing in your heart what’s right and wrong, and for being there for me this year, when I needed you the most.” Pacey: “You’re welcome.” Exactly.
- Then, in season 3, episode 16, “To Green with Love,” Pacey buys Joey a wall. Do I really have to say more? It is almost as good as a really really tall guy building you a car. Almost.
- And of course, this is soon followed by Joey and Pacey’s first real kiss, in season 3 episode 17, “Cinderella Story.” The episode doesn’t start off promising, as Joey goes off to visit A.J. at college. However, when things go south with the new guy, she calls Pacey, knowing he’ll be there for her. Joey is upset during the car ride home, “Because I’m sixteen and in my entire life there have been only two people who have actually known me, Dawson and …” Pacey cuts her off: “This A.J. guy didn’t know you. I don’t care how you felt about him, Jo. He didn’t know, cause if he did, he never would have walked away.” Sooooo in loooooove. Joey: “I was going to say you, Pacey.” He pulls over the car, and asks her what she meant by that. She asks by what. Pacey: “About me, knowing you better than anyone else. Joey: “Exactly what I said, Pacey. You know me, okay. In a way that nobody else besides Dawson ever has.” Pacey is very agitated: “I’m not talking about Dawson right now. I’m talking about me. You can’t keep doing this to me, Potter.” He asks her why she called HIM in the middle of the night. Joey: “You were the first person that I thought of, Pacey.” Pacey: “And what does that mean, Jo?” Joey: “It means that I can talk to you and that you’re there for me.” Pacey: “Don’t you get tired of talking?” Joey: “No.” Pacey: “I don’t want to talk anymore.” Aaaand, he proves it. Smooches!
- Season 3, episode 18, “Neverland,” picks up where previous episode left off. Still kissing! She then pushes him away. Boo. At the end of the episode, they lie to each other that it meant nothing, and shake hands, but don’t worry, that’s not the end.
- In the next episode, “Stolen Kisses,” the two SPOILER ALERT steal kisses. Pacey stands up for himself though, telling her: “I can’t be the one who’s always initiating this. I can’t be the one who’s always giving you the answers.” Word. He’s ready to walk away: “If you felt even one shred of what I feel for you, then we wouldn’t be standing here having this conversation.” Joey finally steps up, calls his name, and kisses him for a change. Awwwwwww.
- In season 3, episode 20, “The Longest Day,” Dawson finds out about Joey and Pacey. He takes it like you’d expect a selfish immature brat to take it. Shut up, Dawson! You have avoided Joey all season. You even hooked up with Eve! And now you have the nerve … ugh. Just, ugh! At the end, Joey ends things with Pacey, due to Dawson’s emotional blackmail. Pacey cries a single tear to rival Dean Winchester.
- In the season 3 finale, “True Love,” things come to a head. Dawson makes a speech about forgiveness at his parents’ wedding, and finally realizes how selfish he has been. He tells Joey: “Pacey’s this year’s Paris. And this time, you have to go. […] You’re free. You can do whatever you want.” Joey is hesitant, as she doesn’t want to lose Dawson as a friend. See what I was saying about emotional blackmail? Dawson tells her to go, before he takes it all back. She does. And then he cries, see the photo above. Joey runs to Pacey’s boat, aptly named “True Love.” She explains: “Look, I don’t want to stop you, Pacey. And I don’t want to stop Dawson. And I don’t want to be stopped. Not by either of you, not by any one. That’s what this whole year has been about. We’ve been trying to stop each other from moving on and growing up. But not you. You’re different. You’ve challenged me every step of the way, and you’ve been there every step of the way.” Exactly. He asks her to get to the point. Joey: “I think I’m in love with you.” Pacey: “You think or you know?” Joey: “I know. [Long pause.] I’ve known it since the moment you kissed me, and maybe even before that. And as scary as it is, I don’t want to deny it anymore, Pacey. I don’t want to run from it, and I don’t want it to run from me.” Finally! He asks her what they’re gonna do and she says she wants to go with him. She says, “I want to stop standing still. I want to move forward. I want to come with you.” He gives her permission to come aboard, and the two sail off into the sunset. Part of me kind of wishes that the show ended there, but alas.
- Instead, we learn that Joey and Pacey spent three months ALONE on a boat, and didn’t have sex. I mean, this show has some unrealistic plot points, but that is the ultimate. In fact, Joey and Pacey don’t have sex until season 4, episode 14, “A Winter’s Tale.” Joey acts weird about it all episode, and makes me uncomfortable. It makes Pacey uncomfortable too, so he brings up Dawson: “I’ll tell you what, do you want to know what I’m scared of? […] What I am scared of is that little piece of your heart that will always belong to Dawson Leery. Ok, I’m scared of that piece of your heart that always envisioned your first time being with him. I’m scared of that part of you that just doesn’t want it to be me. ” Sadness. Pacey then tells a random blonde girl: “For me, it’s not about wanting to have sex, it’s about wanting to share the most intimate thing two people can share.” Joey overhears. They kiss and make up. And they finally make love. Sadly, things go downhill from there.
- After Joey and Pacey break up (NOT listed on my favorite moments), the two eventually become friends again. Of course, eventually, sparks fly again, though it takes forever and a day. Sooooo frustrating. In season 6, episode 14, “Clean and Sober,” mentioned above due to hilarious DrunkJoey, the two have a couple major moments. DrunkJoey tells Pacey: “You’re still not over me.” She further explains, “That was one of Audrey’s comments. You’re still not over me. That must suck.” Pacey: “Oh, it does. You have no idea the hardships I go through trying to maintain a friendship with a dream girls such as yourself. But Jack and I cuddle. It eases the pain. He’s very loving.” Ha! She says that she is a good catch, and then leaves the room, leaving Pacey deeply considering this idea. Sooooo not over her. Later, he brings her home, or at least to a bed. She says, “See, I’m a lovely drunk … people love me.” He agrees. As she falls asleep, Pacey drops this bomb: “What you said earlier was right: I never did. How could I? Just look at you.” Then she kisses him. Woo!
- Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long for another Pacey-Joey moment, which comes in “Castaways.” It is my very favorite episode of the series. And the only regulars in the episode are Joey and Pacey. No Dawson, no Jen, no Jack, no Audrey. Just Pacey and Joey. My bias should be clear. Joey goes to a work party with Pacey as a favor, and she is not having any fun. Pacey is flirting with a blonde, and makes plans to meet up later. Pacey makes a pit stop at a K-Mart for the appropriate one-night stand supplies. Pacey and Joey engage in their usual adorable fighting, and then end up trapped inside the store overnight. He agrees to do one thing he really doesn’t want to do, since she had to do something she really didn’t want to do. Joey knows immediately what she wants. You see, Pacey was sporting unfortunate facial hair in season six, and she is going to make him shave it. Smart girl. Pacey asks, “How does changing my physical appearance help YOU?” Joey: “Believe me, if I don’t have to look at that thing on your face anymore, I’ll consider myself helped.” Word. Pacey runs. Adorable chase scene ensues, but then Joey gives him a reprieve. Eventually, however, Pacey consents to the change, and lets Joey shave the beard off. “Hello, chin, you’re back,” she says victoriously. Love. Then they kiss. Love. Joey asks, “How come you don’t look surprised?” He reveals that he’s been wanting to do that all night. She asks, “So, is this some sort of recent new development in your life?” Pacey: “Wanting to kiss you? No. It’s sort of always there. Like white noise. Or the secret service. Or the threat of nuclear war, for that matter. It’s just something you get used to.” *Swoon* He adds: “What I know is that you and I were one of the few things, perhaps the only thing, that ever made total and complete sense in my life. That’s what I know.” She reminds him of the fighting and the valid reasons for their break up, and how her life is finally on track, etc. She’s flattered, stunned, and confused, but wants to sleep on it. Wrong answer, Jo! Ugh. After they lay down to sleep, Joey does take the opportunity to kiss him, and he kisses her back. She tells him that she misses him, and he misses her too. The next morning, Pacey buys the items they used, on the way out of the store. He says: “I got it. It seems a small price to pay for a dream come true.” Swoooooon. Sidenote: the clerk’s name is Lucia. This is clearly a sign or something.
- Pacey and Joey end up together. Relief!
“This isn’t a funk. It’s my personality.” That quote pretty much sums up Jen. Sorry, is that too harsh? It is. I actually eventually came to like Jen, after a lot of seething dislike. When she was introduced, it was in the part of the “fast city girl” and “blonde bombshell,” and that role did not suit her. Eventually, she becomes more quirky and interesting, and one of the less annoying characters on the show, though her storylines are all pretty dull. Also, we must thank Jen Lindley for a reason to have Grams on the show. What would Dawson’s Creek be without Grams? Far lesser, I’m sure.
Looking back, one of my favorite Jen moments was in season 2, episode 19, “Abby Morgan, Rest in Peace.” Remember DrunkJoey’s line that Jen killed a girl once, with champagne? She wasn’t lying. Yes, Jen and Abby were partying (which is bad and wrong, in case you didn’t know!), and Abby falls off the dock and dies. Seriously. At the funeral, Jen offers this speech: “My name’s Jen Lindley, and I was friends with Abby … as much as anybody could be, because Abby had a toxic personality that bordered on radioactive. Abby could be cruel, and Abby could be spiteful, and Abby could certainly be petty. She spent her days mischievously causing trouble and creating calamity, and generally taking pleasure in other people’s pain. You know, in Sunday school, they teach us that God made man in his image. Well, if God made Abby in his own image, then what does that say about God? God has always been such a mystery to me, I mean, what sort of deity creates a world that is so full of suffering and is so full of tragedy. I’ll tell you what, Abby taught me a lot. That girl taught me how to do a tequila shooter with one hand behind my back. And she taught me how to live my life according to my own set of values, and not to just follow the crowd in hopes of winning some phantom popularity contest. But most of all, what’s most important is that Abby taught me the sadistic nature of our God. And while that knowledge is disturbing, it’s true, and it’s real. And in a world that is so saturated with phoniness and with lies, for that small amount, for that little bit of honesty, I will always be grateful to her.” Gotta love a girl who struggles with her faith, and has the guts to say that in a church.
Jen really became more palatable as a character with her friendship with Jack. The two were adorable together. Of course, all her romantic entanglements still make me want to tear my eyes out, but as a person (um, fake person), I now judge her favorably. Also, what was that whole C.J. relationship about? I mean I love Jensen Ackles as much as the next girl, but his character made no sense. So odd. And bad hair too. Ultimately, I cried when she died in the finale. I mean, I’m not heartless.
Yes, I know I still haven’t written about Jack and Andie McPhee, nor Audrey Liddell. But I have to end this post now, as it is getting unbearably long. If I keep going, I fear that I will never finish, and it’s already taken me forever to post this. I’m planning an additional post covering the characters that I’ve missed, and my thoughts on the series finale. I will leave you with a couple more things though.
- If you are a Dawson’s Creek fan, make sure to visit Teen Drama Whore. Shari (@sizzlemaker), who runs that site, was my Creek-sensei when I was watching the show back in January, and tweeting about it all the time. She has some really great interviews with the writers, producers, and cast members that you do not want to miss: Teen Drama Whore interviews.
- Also, thanks to all my tweeps who talked all things Capeside with me during my marathon, and shared my love of Joey and Pacey. Thanks, guys.
- Back in March, when I visited L.A. for PaleyFest, I had the opportunity to be in the room while Kevin Williamson answered a question about Dawson’s Creek. The only Dawson-Joey fan who exists (she must be, right?) was there, and she was sad that Joey didn’t end up with Dawson. Kevin explained to the girl that Joey and Dawson ARE together: “Joey and Dawson are forever … She’s having sex with Pacey.” That got a big laugh from the audience. Kevin echoes these thoughts on the dvd commentaries as well, explaining that there are a lot of different ways to be soul mates. Anyway, that was a pretty cool moment for me. Squee! (Shhhhhh … don’t tell anyone about the squee-ing.)
*All photos not otherwise attributed are from the DawsonCreek.com official gallery. No copyright infringement intended, so please don’t sue me.