Welcome to Up the Creek, y’all! In honor of the 15th anniversary of Dawson’s Creek – which premiered on Jan. 20, 1998, and which filmed here in Wilmington – we’re revisiting season one, one episode at a time. I’m Kate Elizabeth Queram, the StarNews environment reporter/former weather blogger, which obviously makes me perfectly suited to be your guide here (I totally bet that creek has water quality issues). I’ve never watched the show – though I think I tuned in for the very last episode SO I DO KNOW WHO JOEY ENDS UP WITH OMG – so please join me as I see the first season for the first time. New posts will go up every Friday. Legal parameters force me to say that all screencaps, and the teenage angst contained therein, are the property of Sony Television. Let’s hit the creek.
Episode 6 (real title: "Baby") opens with Joey and Dawson watching a movie. She says she has to leave because her sister's all pregnant and about to pop, and then we find out that Jen is there too. She feels awkward for intruding on Joey and Dawson's "personal ritual" of watching movies in his creepy room. Turns out Joey feels awkward that she's there, too, so the two of them have a passive-aggressive conversation about how they should both leave. Throughout all of this, Joey is wearing overalls. Short overalls.
Both girls decide it's too awkward and they are pissed and they leave. Dawson is sad and left with a stack of rented videos, though I'm not sure why he's sad because it seems like that would pretty much be his dream night.
I guess Joey left Dawson's for no reason because her sister is still pregnant. She is eating a Popsicle and whining about pregnant lady things and then Bodie mentions that he has an interview at a new French restaurant in Hyannis, because don't forget, they live in Massachusetts. Joey squabbles with her pregnant sister because she's pregnant and mean, and Joey's sister is like, "If you don't like it you can move out of my house whenever you want."
Joey is pissed about that so she rolls her eyes and grabs a Diet Coke. Which is weird since the show has been allll about the Pepsi until now.
Bodie tells Joey that he knows that her sister is all evil and pregnant but soon she'll pop that kid out and be back to normal. Joey, having no where else to live except in Dawson's closet, seems to accept this.
Over at the school, Pacey asks Tamara out on a date. They’re talking next to her sweet convertible, which she can inexplicably afford on her teacher's salary along with her enormous beachfront home.
If you ever needed more proof that this show was definitively not filmed in Massachusetts, look no further. Nobody who lives in Massachusetts would ever drive a convertible because it is cold in Massachusetts for a minimum of six months out of the year. My mom had a convertible when I was a kid and we lived in Wisconsin and we were freezing for nine months out of the year because a cloth roof is NOT PRACTICAL for climates that are not Wilmingtonian. (It's OK, Mom. I don't hold a grudge or anything.) Anyway, Pacey says they need to spend more time in public together. Tamara - clearly the only person on this show who knows how to have any sort of illicit affair - tells him that's not practical. But Pacey is all cute and says, "Will you please go out with me, Miss Jacobs?" and so she is powerless to resist his Pacey charms.
So I'm all high on Pacey and Tamara but then in the next scene Pacey and Dawson discuss his upcoming date while they pee and that pretty much kills the moment for me.
Just further proof that every time Dawson shows up, everything starts to suck. Dawson is the reason we can't have nice things, y'all.
Pacey says that Tamara didn't say yes but she didn't say no, and that "once I get my learners' permit, she's gonna be all mine." Then he checks the stalls to make sure no one overheard that comment, probably because it's super embarrassing. It seems the stalls are clear but once they leave the bathroom we discover that this bastion of productive youth was holed up on the toilet smoking a joint.
So, cat's out of the bag, because random stoner dude totally knows about Pacey and Tamara. The rumor takes approximately no time to spread through the school, and Jen hears about it approximately 2 seconds later and asks Dawson if it's true. Dawson runs to find Pacey, but Joey finds them first and they stare as Pacey gets hit on by a girl in a hideous overall dress. Probably she borrowed it from Joey.
Then Dawson and Pacey see each other and make really serious faces.
Pacey and Dawson go into a closet so he can have a meltdown, but Dawson tells him that he can control the rumor, he just has to act smooth, like the whole thing is so ridiculous he is above acknowledging it. Pacey's like, "I CAN TOTES BE SMOOTH," so you get the sense this is going to be a damn disaster.
It turns out that "acting smooth" means "walking through the hallway nodding and smiling...
...and then collapsing against a bulletin board," so, yeah. Seamless plan.
Joey’s pregnant sister is going into labor and their truck is stuck in the mud. Their phone is broken, Bodie is already at his French job interview, they can't get the truck out of the mud so they decide to go to Dawson's. Naturally, the only way to get there is to take the rowboat, so they take to the water like pregnant pirates. While they're out there, Joey's sister's water breaks.
They make it to Dawson’s in time, but it turns out that Capeside only has one ambulance and it has to go to the scene of a car accident first. It seems sort of clear that they could go to a neighbor's house and ask to borrow a car or have someone take them to the hospital, but that would not be interesting, so panic sets in as they all realize that logic has no place in this world and they are going to have to birth that baby right in the Leerys' living room.
Pacey goes to Tamara's and tells her that he didn't know that stoner boy was in the bathroom when he was talking about the effect his learner's permit was going to have on her loins. She reminds him that the first rule of dating a teacher is that you do not talk about dating a teacher, and that all of the other teachers are talking about their relationship so she's probably going to get fired or thrown in jail. He says he’s really sorry, but she breaks up with him anyway by whipping her hair cape around and walking away.
Joey's sister is still having a baby, so Joey goes over to Gram's house and instead of asking for a ride to the hospital, asks if Nurse Gram could please overlook the fact that her sister is unwed and please come help birth the heathen baby. Gram makes this face
but I mean she's already wearing a birthin' smock so obviously she's going to say yes.
Pacey walks home sadly and Doug runs into him and says that he heard that Pacey made up a rumor that he’s banging Tamara. He’s all, "Tammy is so fly, why would you do that to her?" He does his best Top Gun impression as he tells Pacey that the superintendent is holding a meeting that night to see if charges need to be filed against Tamara and that it's likely that Pacey will be summoned.
Joey’s sister is still having a baby and Dawson’s contribution to her giving birth is cajoling her to allow him to film it. BECAUSE OF COURSE IT IS, and also because who wouldn't want to remember this moment?
Apparently Pacey got his summons pretty quickly because he's heading to downtown Wilmington for the meeting.
He goes to talk to Tamara but the high-powered attorney she has apparently hired in the last 10 minutes won't let him. Pacey says okay, but then asks, “Can you tell your client I’m sorry?” and then everybody looks sad.
Dawson’s still doing this.
In the meeting, the school board says they heard the rumor that Tamara was sleeping with a student and ask her, point-blank, if it's true. She kind of hesitates (I guess she's not as good at the affair thing as I thought), and then Pacey bursts through the door and says the rumors aren't true. He says a bunch of really nice stuff about Tamara and how he's not good enough for her, and that while he would love to believe that she would ever have sex with him, he made the whole thing up. Tamara gives him the love face right in front of the school board, officially cementing her place in the Worst Affair-Haver Hall of Fame, right next to Dawson's mom.
Joey’s sister is still having a baby and Joey cannot handle it at all.
Joey's sister kind of freaks out about all the blood and asks if she's okay. Dawson juts his stupid face in and says of course everything is fine because he wouldn't be filming it if it wasn't okay, and then Gram smacks his camera away and says he's being stupid and kicks him out of the room, which is great, because if I were having a baby the last thing I would want is Dawson's face up in my lady parts.
Jen asks if the blood is really not a big deal and Gram says "It's more blood than I'd like," and adds that she could really use Jen's help, even though Jen hates Jesus or whatever. Right on cue, Joey's sister says she needs medicine for the pain and Gram says she has no medicine but they can pray, y'all! So she makes Joey's sister pray. Jen looks awkward 'cause it's awkward.
But not even Jen can resist the power of Jesus so eventually she joins in and Gram is REALLY EXCITED. And then it's time to push!
Joey’s outside ‘cause she sucks at birthin’ babies. Dawson comes out and tells her that her sister is going to be fine, and Joey’s like, whatever, that’s not even why I’m out here, who cares about my sister. She tells him that sometimes her sister is so much like their dead mom that she cannot even deal with it. It turns out that her sister carrying on while she is in pain reminds Joey a lot of their mom when she was going through chemo, so F that noise, Joey is going to sit by the water where there are no loud women in pain. Because again, y’all. Everything is about Joey.
Inside, the baby’s crowning and like every woman on TV ever, Joey's sister is all, “I’m done, I’m too tired to push.” But then Joey comes in and touches her hand and gives her the power of Grayskull, and now she has the will to give birth.
The baby’s out and it’s a boy and he’s fine! He is also freaking enormous so no wonder this birthing was so dramatical. Seriously, y'all, that baby is at least 6 months old. He's also really white so I'm sure Gram is happy.
Pacey goes to talk to Tamara. Apparently, it's still the same day, and it hasn't even started to get dark yet. He says, can we not break up because I am never talking to anybody about our illicit relationship ever again. She says, I know you won't, because we are totally broken up and I’m leaving Capeside. She’s selling her sweet beachfront property for millions of dollars and moving in with her sister in Rochester. She totally cares about Pacey, though, but she’s 36 years old and she wants to have kids, like" to mother, not to date."
He asks if they can just make out one more time and she says, well, I'm not really sure that I can handle any more sweet Pacey lovin'. They hug and he tells her, "I hope you enjoy Rochester." And she says, "I hope you enjoy high school."
Then I made this face.
If those two can't make it work how is there any hope for the rest of us? AND DOES THIS MEAN WE AREN'T GOING TO SEE MEL SILVER ANYMORE?!
Hey, a bird.
Gram, having birthed a baby, settles in with a crossword puzzle.
Jen comes in and says, long day huh? WORD TO THAT SISTER, LONGEST DAY EVER. GLAD IT'S FINALLY DARK OUT. Grams tells Jen that just because she doesn't say "I love you" doesn't mean that she doesn't love her, it's just that Jen isn't Jesus so she has a tough time talking about it. Then she asks if Jen believes in God after having seen, in brutal close-up detail, the miracle of birth. Jen says, meh.
Bodie's back from Hyannis and they all crowd around the enormous baby. Seriously, this kid weighs at least 25 pounds. He is at least half as big as Joey.
Pacey spies on Tamara through her window. I'm not sure if she sees him, but she symbolically turns off the lamp in front of the window, just like she TURNED OFF THEIR LOVE.
Pacey says, "Bye Tammy," and then he walks away alone into the night. Don't get mugged, Pacey!
By my estimation this one day in Capeside was about 47 hours long. The episode felt similarly interminable. Also, want to feel old? That enormous baby is probably a junior in high school right now. You're welcome.