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.
In the opening scene of episode 9 (real title: "Roadtrip"), Dawson laments his breakup with Jen by listening to Savage Garden (freakin' Savage Garden) and staring longingly out the window. Joey calls him an idiot and yells at him for being sad. Glad to see that this, the dysfunctional foundation of their weird friendship, remains intact.
In the next scene, someone other than Joey is climbing a ladder. AND HEY-O, IT'S BROODY MCCONVERTIBLE!
Never mind that he's never been inside Gram's house so it seems unlikely that he would know which window is Jen's. This is a great moment for everyone who was wondering if Gram had screens in her windows. She doesn't. If you were wondering, then, if she kept the windows closed to keep the bugs out, the answer to that is also no.
Anyway, Broody climbs into Jen’s room and walks around snooping for a while, then lays on the bed (as you do) just in time for Gram to walk in and find him. She reacts pretty calmly, not pulling out a crucifix and waving it at him like you might expect, but just asking Jen to come upstairs and bring the phone.
Turns out that Broody somehow heard that Jen broke up with Dawson (seriously, how would he hear this?) and so he stuck around Capeside. Jen tells him she's not looking to replace Dawson, which makes Broody angry. "YOU'VE CHANGED," he says, and then he leaves, once again using the window, even though Gram knows he's there now and so he could, ostensibly, use the door.
Naturally, the first thing Broody does after leaving Jen's house is go stalk Dawson downtown, because sure, why not. He tells Dawson that Jen's not the only girl in the world and that he's willing to take Dawson to a club in Rhode Island where easy college girls hang out. Essentially what's happening here is that Broody is trying to get Dawson laid. Nothing in this scenario computes.
Joey's walking to school when a jock driving a Jeep slows down to hit on her and offer her a ride, so I guess he never heard about that other jock who she punched in the lunch line. The jock is played by this guy:
who's been in basically everything, including What Women Want, which is ironic because in this scene he doesn't really know anything about women want. He basically spends his screen-time alternately hitting on Joey and then bashing her relationship with Dawson and her virginity. She tells him, haughtily, that she is totally a virgin by choice and mostly it seems like this ride was a mistake for everyone involved.
At school, Dawson tells Pacey about his impending trip with Broody, and Pacey immediately declares that he's coming. They're skipping school to do this but I guess they had to come to school beforehand so that Dawson could turn in his math homework, so, you know, facepalm. Broody shows up in the hallway and he and Pacey run into Jen, so Broody immediately tells her that he's taking Dawson to Rhode Island for a sweet bachelors' night out. Jen says the last thing Dawson needs is to be hanging out with Broody McConvertible, and Broody responds by saying that Dawson was complaining about how it was hard to get laid in Capeside so now he's taking him to Providence, where apparently everyone gets laid all the time. This is clearly a slam on Jen, and I feel sort of bad for her because we can't go one episode without someone either slut-shaming her for her sexual past, or virgin-shaming her for her celibate life now.
She never really stands up for herself, though, she just makes that face, so maybe she's fine with it. Anyway, Joey somehow comes to think that Broody is taking Dawson to a whorehouse (literally, she uses the word "whorehouse"), an assumption that Broody doesn't correct. The boys leave for the promise land, and Jen immediately corners Joey and asks if she had sex with Warren, the jock with the Jeep. Joey is all, "I AM A VIRGIN BY CHOICE," and Jen says, "Well, good for you, but he's telling everyone you did the deed with him." This is Joey's reaction:
She confronts Warren in the lunchroom and he doesn't deny spreading the rumor, but tells her she should just go with it because it'll be great for both of their reputations - his as a jock with venereal disease, and hers as a girl that maybe someone would ever want to date, ever. Joey is not pleased, and as she turns to leave Warren says, loudly, "LOOK, I NEVER SAID I'D BE YOUR BOYFRIEND." Everyone in the cafeteria laughs and starts whispering. This is Joey's reaction:
Then she flounces out of the cafeteria in a flounce that would make Dawson proud. Jen, probably accustomed to trailing after the Dawson flounce, follows her and says she has a way they can get revenge on Warren.
Meanwhile, the boys are taking a ferry to Rhode Island. Pacey tells Dawson it's so weird that he's skipping school 'cause he's normally such a well-behaved guy. Dawson gets angry, the way he does whenever Pacey pokes him verbally, so a few minutes later when they notice some drunk guys harassing an old lady on the ferry's lower deck
Dawson decides to prove his manhood by doing something stupid to teach the men a lesson.
Joey's making copies when 34-year-old Abby bursts in to confront her about the sex with Warren.
Joey starts crying and tells the 34-year-old that she had an entire relationship with Warren and that he was really sweet, "until the pee strip turned blue," at which point he told her that their impending lovechild was "her problem and her problem only." The 34-year-old is appropriately shocked, calls Warren "a little puke" and leaves the office. Once she's gone Joey immediately drops the sad face and returns to making copies. This, I guess, is Jen's brilliant plan for revenge - taking one untrue rumor and extrapolating it into a more harmful and ridiculous rumor. DID TAMARA AND PACEY TEACH US NOTHING, LADIES?
Dawson's revenge plan consists of chaining the drunk guys' car to the ferry.
The drunk guys don't notice because they're busy pouring beer on the old lady's windshield.
I mean this ferry ride is clearly like seven hours long so who knows why that woman is even still in her car, she’s gonna suffocate. Maybe they were just worried about her health. When the ferry pulls in, Pacey moons the drunk guys and they get mad, gun their engine and their truck, chained to the ferry, falls apart. Honestly, the drunk guys don't even seem that upset, probably because they're all drunk
but Dawson is really proud of himself.
When they get to the bar it's suddenly nighttime so I guess it was a long ferry ride and then a long drive from the bridge. Broody is doing his best to educate Dawson and Pacey about how to find a girl at a bar. Quantity over quality, y'all, you just hit on them relentlessly until you find one who bites. Dawson scans the crowd and, of course, spies a girl wearing a shirt with some movie reference I don't understand, so he goes to hit on her. His pickup line is, "Hi. My name is Dawson." She is unimpressed. She is also in her mid-30s.
Eventually he wears her down, though, as is his wont, so we learn that her name is Nina. She fishes for compliments, but Dawson doesn't understand anything and tells her that it was really just her shirt that attracted him to her. Instead of ending the conversation there like a sane human, she says, "Are you a film buff?" and ugh, this girl sucks.
After a teacher encourages her to enroll in a family-planning class, Joey goes to Jen's and suggests they call off their weird revenge plan. Jen says that Warren deserves what he's getting, and somehow the conversation devolves into a fight about Dawson (probably just because he ruins everything). Jen tells Joey that ever since she broke up with Dawson, Joey's been scared, because now she has no reason not to go after Dawson, and when he rejects her - AND HE WILL - she'll have no one to blame but herself. This is Joey's reaction:
Broody comes over and tries to swoop in on Dawson and Nina, but Nina isn't into it and asks Dawson if he wants to leave with her. Outside Dawson acts all squirrelly, and Nina tells him that it's kind of obvious that he and his friends were just trying to score with girls. He says that he just got dumped and so he was kinda sorta looking for some breakup sympathy sex, and Nina kind of agrees to give it to him but at the least second he says he kind of still wants Jen back so he shouldn't sleep with Nina. They kiss, and then Nina leaves. Dodged a bullet, girl.
At a college fair at school, the 34-year-old tells Jen that she knows Joey made up the whole pregnancy rumor to try to land Warren as her boyfriend. She knows this because her friend dated Warren and he was, shall we say, unable to perform during sex, which of course means that he must always be unable to perform all the time with anyone and thus would be unable to impregnate Joey.
Dawson comes back into the bar and Broody tells him that it's pretty clear how he blew things with Jen, since he was unable to seal the deal with Nina. Dawson says he knows that Broody just wanted Dawson to get laid so that Broody could tell Jen about it, thus destroying any chance of them reuniting. Broody gets hella pissed and ditches Dawson and Pacey at the bar. In Rhode Island.
Joey confronts Warren in the hallway and tells him she knows that he's incapable of having sex, and that if he doesn't clear this whole thing up she's going to tell everyone. Warren says fine, but that he only picked her up that morning because "I thought it would be nice" and then he proceeds to ask her out on a date. I mean, they just spent an entire day destroying each others' reputations by claiming to have had sex and a love child, but sure, I could see how that could blossom into a loving and healthy relationship. This is Joey's reaction:
Jen’s reading by the light of six tapered candles.
She'll be wearing glasses before she's 20 if she keeps that up. Joey comes in with a bag of ice cream and they dig in, and then, because she's apparently incapable of talking about anything else, Jen asks if it's possible to keep Dawson from coming between them. Joey says, "Yeah, he's only in love with one of us, so," and Jen says, "You're right." She gives Joey meaningful eyes, so I suppose that means it's Joey.
Joey changes the subject by asking if Jen thinks Dawson has had sex with a hooker yet. Smooth!
It's morning and more Savage Garden is playing, great! Joey's waiting in Dawson's room when he gets back and asks him if he got "everything you went there for." She asks him to tell her about the trip and he says he wants to, but he's too tired. "But for a while, nothing reminded me of Jen," he says, then gives an extremely fake yawn to remind us that he's tired.
Joey tucks him in, whispers, "Yeah. I can wait." And then. She just sits there. And watches him sleep. Ostensibly for the next eight hours.
I just. Can't.