Up the "Creek" - S2e1, Hellfire And The Suspension Of Time
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 the series, 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 series for the first time. New posts 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.
I took last week off because there is only so much of this one person can handle in consecutive weeks before her brain starts to hurt. Anyway, hi, y'all! I'm soldiering on to season two. Don't get too excited. Let's just take this a season at a time, you and me. My tolerance could run out at any time.
Lest you be concerned that the week off will leave you confused about where we are in the Dawson universe, WORRY NOT.
We're picking up right where we left off, with dramatical kissing silhouettes! I take this to mean they've been standing there kissing for two straight weeks, or since I finished the last episode of the first godforsaken season. Since that is a long time to be kissing, it's now time for them to break apart and discuss the fact that they kissed and what it means that they kissed, and then to dedicate some time to acting awkward about the fact that they kissed and accusing each other of not wanting to have kissed. This goes on until Joey throws a tantrum and Dawson shuts her up by kissing her again.
Frankly, if season two is just Dawson kissing Joey to make her shut up, I will have no problems with it at all.
Joey’s sister spent the off-season losing the weight from birthing that enormous baby and is pissed because their truck isn't working. Joey tells her it will be fine, and because Joey is being even remotely pleasant, her sister is instantly suspicious. She says Joey is Miss Perma-Scowl. Seriously, I'm glad someone else noticed.
Joey spills that she and Dawson kissed, and then we're treated to a back-and-forth montage of the two of them discussing it while Dawson discusses it with Pacey. Joey's conversation takes place while she and her sister attempt to fix the truck, and Dawson and Pacey chat while getting their hair shampooed.
They hit the high points of the kiss and speculate about what's going to happen next. While that's happening, let's just take a moment to discuss Pacey's new hairdo.
He gets his tips frosted in this scene and there isn't a good close-up, so this is my MS Paint reenactment of it. You will see the real thing in a minute. You will realize the MS Paint version is more flattering. Children, this was the 90's. Many a male teenager fell prey to this style. It involved a LOT of crunchy hair gel and frosted tips. Up until a couple of years ago, my friend Dustin still did this. He used LA Looks Absolute Party Hard hair gel. Extra hold. It was teal. I digress.
Horrible hairdo intact, Pacey leaves the salon and hops into his dad's police car, which he stole. At that moment, the girl who wore the whipped-cream bikini in Varsity Blues shows up, so he tries to follow her in the police cruiser and instead crashes into a girl in a convertible. He could have saved a lot of trouble if he just asked Dawson to introduce him to whipped-cream bikini, seeing as how they starred in that movie together. And thus, we meet Andie.
She becomes an important character, I think. She has just moved to town and apologizes profusely for hitting Pacey's cop car, even though he's totally at fault for pulling out into traffic. Pacey pretends to be a cop and threatens to revoke her license and she gets all panicky, so I guess Andie must be super smart, because Pacey is obviously her age and is also driving around with FROSTED TIPS while wearing a shirt that he stole from Ray Liotta.
Dawson and Joey meet up at school, and she tells him she turned down the semester in France to hang out in Capeside with him. Dawson responds by asking her on a date. She keeps being rude and bratty and pretending not to like him, which I guess is as close as Joey Potter gets to flirting. To that end, I guess she's just been flirting with him this whole entire time, you guys. After discussing Dawson's level of arousal, they lean in to kiss when Jen shows up.
She tells them that her grandpa died. Then she says she’s going home. Glad she came to school to let them know, though. Dawson goes to see if she’s okay and Joey pouts.
Elsewhere in the hallway, Pacey's bragging about playing cop when Andie pops up behind him. She tells him she’s been having major anxiety attacks, "like to the point of medication," since he pulled her over. I think that happened like 10 minutes ago, so I guess it's been a really rough 1/6 of an hour for her. Pacey says her anguish is nothing compared to the hell his father gave him for stealing and damaging the
cop car. Apparently we’ve suspended time for this episode, since I find it unlikely that, in the last 10 minutes, Pacey would have been able to return the car home, get yelled at, get another ride to school and still make it there without being late for class. Also, what time did he and Dawson get their hair done? Did that happen at 6 am? Sunrise hair bleaching? Whatever. TIME SUSPENSION. Being on the inside of this phenomenon, Pacey and Andie don't discuss it, but she does mention that she knows whipped-cream bikini and promises to introduce her to Pacey.
Over at Dawson's house, Mrs. Leery is late to meet Mr. Leery and she has a full-scale freak-out explaining why she was late.
I like to think that her hair size coordinates with her stress levels. Mr. Leery is all, please calm down, I believe you. Then he leaves for “an appointment that’s arisen suddenly,” and you can tell Mrs. Leery thinks he's leaving to arise suddenly with another woman, if you know what I mean.
Andie tells Pacey that whipped-cream bikini is ready to meet him, so he strolls over to her. She’s cheerleading or something in the world's least supportive sports bra.
He asks her out and she says yes, then jiggles back over to her cheerleading squad.
Jen gazes out at the water as Dawson rolls up in yet another sweater vest. Jen tells him he looks "spiffy."
I just. These people. And their love of the sweater vests.
He tells her he's headed to movie night at the Rialto and Jen tells him that Grams is totally going to the same movie. She asks if he's going with Joey, and he says, "Yeah, who else?" She asks how things turned out. He says, “We’re just Dawson and Joey. We’ll always be Dawson and Joey.” She says, “How about Dawson and Jen?” I cringe. He tells her it's obvious that she needs a friend, and then they hug and she makes moony faces over his shoulder. Perhaps the close proximity to the vest has gone straight to her head.
Dawson, sensing her growing excitement, says he has to go. And then he heads to Joey's house. In a speedboat. I wish I were kidding.
LOOK AT HIM. I want to punch him in the face. It’s been established in previous episodes that he can drive to her house. Why would you not drive? You're going to a movie theater, are you really going to boat there? Since when do the Leerys even own a boat? We’ve seen their dock in previous episodes and there has never been a damn boat tied to it. And then he gets off the boat and the wind hasn’t even messed up his hair, and then he bends down and PICKS A FLOWER THAT IS GROWING IN JOEY'S YARD, IN FULL VIEW OF JOEY, TO GIVE TO JOEY. Who does that? What if someone grew those? Way to show you put no forethought into bringing her flowers until you stepped into her yard and just saw them growing there. UGGGGHHHHHH.
YES. THEY ARE.
He presents the flower to Joey. She is of course thrilled, as years of desensitizing exposure to Dawson have primed her perfectly for this moment. They banter for a while about motel rooms and porn stars, and it's awful, and finally Dawson’s like, "I’d like to hold your hand." You know, for the long walk. TO HIS BOAT.
Then they’re off to Thalian Hall!
Which for Capeside purposes is the Rialto. Dawson says it's the last night they'll ever be able to come there because they're tearing it down. You can't actually tear down Thalian Hall, you guys. It's Historically Significant. Dawson says, “I guess future movie-watching will have to be restricted to my bedroom,” and they stare at each other until the lights go off.
This whole episode is essentially about whether they're going to kiss again. You already did this. We spent an entire season wondering if you'd kiss. Just stop. Don't make me do it again. But they hate me, so they spend the movie staring at each other until, WHAT DO YOU KNOW, Jen shows up.
I like how Joey and Dawson both look appalled, like this sort of wildly inappropriate behavior is something neither of them would ever consider doing. As for Jen, I suppose we can conclude that one season in Capeside is the amount of time it takes for you to turn from normal outsider to psychotic native, complete with lack of boundaries and no sense of societal norms. Take note.
After a period of annoyed silence, Dawson says, "Um, isn't your grandmother here? Hint? Hint?" Jen's all, yeah but I want to sit with you! After the movie we should all go get some food! She seems legitimately confused that they aren't delighted to see her, and then she bolts. And instead of letting her go, like he should, Dawson runs after her. This annoys me a lot, a little because Jen's being obnoxious and he's catering to her weird whims, but mostly because it means I have to side with Joey.
After fighting with Jen in the lobby, Dawson returns to find that Joey's left. She’s poetically left the daisy, though, maybe to remind him that picking other people’s flowers isn’t a nice thing to do.
Whipped-cream bikini shows up like three hours late to meet Pacey on the riverwalk, and then only to tell him that her boyfriend's waiting in the car because it's their "five-week anniversary."
She tells Pacey that he is super brave on account of his "heart condition" that could "kill him at any moment." Andie told her all about it, she says, and she just couldn't bring herself to turn him down when he asked her out. Better to say yes, leave him waiting for hours and then show up with your boyfriend in tow, I guess. Then, and this is fantastic, she says, “I suffer from asthma, and I would hate it if people treated me differently because of that.” And then she leaves. This was truly a more useless subplot than even the Leerys. I thought that was impossible.
After leaving whipped-cream bikini, Pacey goes to buy groceries or something and runs into Andie.
He yells at her for setting him up, but Andie says it's not a big deal because whipped-cream bikini was never going to break up with her stud of a boyfriend to date Pacey, and at least this way he saves face. Pacey explains that he is just super bummed because dating whipped-cream bikini was going to be the thing that changed his screwed-up reputation. It's unclear how this would happen; perhaps he would have rocked her world by getting her fitted for a proper athletic bra. His frosted tips, he adds, were totally also going to help with his rep. Andie says, "Yeah, the tips aren't really helping your cause," and then supplies him with the proper hair dye to exorcise himself of the bleached monstrosity on his head.
His brand of choice is Revlon, just fyi.
Mrs. Leery found a business card from the divorce lawyer's office and is hella pissed.
I just. Do you need a business card? Are you really going to forget the name of your lawyer? Why is everyone on this show so bad at keeping secrets? Mr. Leery tells her he’s not sure he can stay married to someone he loves and hates in equal measure. He says he just wanted to know what his options are and he doesn’t know, yet, what he wants to do. I literally could not care less about the Leerys and their requisite 30 seconds of screentime on every episode. Also, homegirl, that shirt really doesn't fit you properly. You look a mess.
Dawson finds Joey on the docks at night, and in an uncharacteristically human move, she tells him it's okay that he ran after Jen. And then she tells him that she didn't go to France because it was an easy way out of her sad life, and that sticking around Capeside will make her stronger. “Well, and there’s you too,” she says, which is very touching. Dawson tells her, “What you and I have may never be simple, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be scorching.” SCORCHING. LIKE THE FIRES OF HELL, THIS IS. I CANNOT.
^^Accurate depiction of hellfire. And then, Dawson says they can pretend they're in France, and he invites her to swing on le swingset. LE. SWING. SET.
He reminds her that even in Capeside, she can have French toast, and French fries, and then they finally kiss again and I swear, if one of them says "French kissing," I am going to lose what little composure I have managed to maintain throughout this episode.
It is loud kissing, y'all. There is smacking and sucking noises. And because we've established that Dawson and Joey hate me, I'm sure you can imagine what happens next.
I HATE YOU BOTH.