Spoiler alert: this episode is depressing as hell, y'all. My husband wandered into the room during the back half of it, watched for five minutes, and pronounced it "full of feelings." And it is! Many feelings. Much sadness. And yet still a whole lot of WTF, so fear not, on we go.
Season 2, Episode 5 (real title: "Full Moon Rising," pour some out for CCR) opens with Joey and Dawson sitting on the roof gazing at the moon, which is almost full but not quite full. That's fine with Joey, who says it’s a "scientific fact" that strange things always happen during a full moon because people are made up mostly of water.
Dawson does not even care, he just wants to eat Joey's ear. Maisy does that too! She also eats her own poop. Infer from this what you will.
Then he almost falls off the roof...
but he doesn't. It's very sad. (For me.)
The next shot is of downtown, and we did not do a great job of concealing the North Carolina flag, if I'm being honest.
Tamara and Mr. Leery are walking downtown and he asks if he can ONCE AGAIN see the plans for her warehouse. She's like yeah fine but I would actually like to sell this thing at some point? Maybe you could make a decision, ideally without having to look at the damn blueprints 87 more times? Mr. Leery says if he can just see those plans ONE MORE TIME he will totally make a decision.
I don't know of anyone who has ever requested to see the blueprints of a property before buying it, nor do I know anyone who's sold a property who just happened to have the blueprints on hand, but whatever. For all of his interest in those things, they'd better at least have pictures of boobs on them.
Jen’s walking downtown and Vincent The Older Fisherman comes to see her! He says he’s “been at sea” for the last 18 days with a bunch of smelly dudes so he’d like her to “show him the gentler side of Capeside," which really sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime movie, but Jen is totally into it. They schedule a date, which will begin with Vincent picking her up at Grams' house, so this will go well.
EVERYONE IS DOWNTOWN THIS MORNING! Andie heads to the video rental place. Pacey sees her come in and freaks out but tries to act super casual.
Turns out he's watching porn! He handles it very smoothly by assuring Andie that "the most interesting part of a porn is the title."
Then he awkwardly changes the subject to tell Andie that they may end up getting hurt with their "verbal sparring" and so they should just go out on a date "and get it over with." Andie, having learned something from the last episode, said she might go if she's asked politely.
YEAH GIRL! So Pacey finally asks her nicely, and she says OK. He offers to pick her up and she gets real squirrelly about where she lives, almost calling off the date, before relenting.
Jen’s shopping for sultry makeup for her date with the fisherman when Abby pops in and tries to make friends again. She also sees it as an opportunity to do some shoplifting!
“Let’s never let a guy come between us again," she says to Jen as she pockets a lipstick. "Men will come and go, but you and I are kindred spirits.”
Jen, excited to have a friend again, tells Abby about her date with Vincent. Abby is not so much over that whole Vincent incident (VINCIDENT), it turns out.
She accuses Jen of stealing Vincent, calls her a bitch and an "easy lay" and slut-shames her, which is fun since we haven't seen that in awhile. Jen is apparently about as done with this shit as I am, because she smacks Abby right on the face!
"NEVER TALK TO ME AGAIN," Jen says. Abby makes this face
aaaaand it's kind of amazing. Far be it from me to condone violence, but it turns out I kind of hate Abby, so...I guess I am, in this very specific instance, condoning violence. Sorry.
Joey and Dawson are doing homework, and Mrs. Leery is making dinner because she's hosting some reporter from out of town. Mr. Leery is really mad and says it’s Saturday and “not Thursday," and that he is totally not comforted by the fact that the guy is a potential coworker. "At least I have coworkers," Mrs. Leery replies. Mr. Leery looks confused,
but I don't know why, because literally all the guy does is play with toys and pretend to be interested in buying real estate.
It gets awkward in the kitchen so Joey and Dawson leave, and on the way out she tells Dawson not to worry because his parents are only wigging out because of the full moon. And then we get the first in an episode-long series of... DRAMATICAL SHOTS OF THE FULL MOON!
DUN DUN DUN. (!!!!!!!)
Jen’s putting on lipstick and Grams asks if she’s sure she doesn’t want to come to Bible study. Jen’s like nah I’m good I’m going to get laid by a fisherman.
Then Abby shows up and yells at Jen for slapping her. Jen throws her out.
Mrs. Leery is hosting reporter guy at her house and they’re drinking wine. The doorbell rings and it’s MF-ing Tamara looking for Mr. Leery!
She’s dropping off those damn blueprints for the warehouse. Mrs. Leery, thinking this is an open-marriage date, is hella pissed. She vents her anger by reminding Tamara that she totally knows about her sleeping with Pacey.
Poor Tamara. She's just tryna sell a warehouse and leave her statutory rape days behind her.
UGH JOEY IS STILL DRAWING THINGS I GUESS. This time, she's sketching this old dude at the restaurant
and she's doing it while sitting in the drink drain. This right here is a prime example of why the Icehouse has to freak out whenever they think the health inspector might be coming.
She stops sketching to count the night's tips and are mad that they only amount to $2.08. Maybe that's because you're spending your time butt-down in the drink drain drawing the customers instead of, you know, waiting on them?
Jack tries to tell Joey that waiting tables is great because you get to encounter “so many different walks of life” but Joey’s not having it (the bright side not being her thing), so he asks why she's so angry. She blames the full moon, but he's like, "No I meant in general, you're always kind of awful."
Joey's uncomfortable, probably because nobody ever calls her on any of her shit.
Tamara and Mr. Leery are looking at the damn blueprints and drinking wine while Mrs. Leery and her reporter guest drink wine in the other room. Dawson’s spying on both of them, and then they meet in the kitchen to get more wine for their respective dates.
Mrs. Leery tells Mr. Leery that it’s stupid to be pretending to buy a warehouse; it's clear to her that he's having an open-marriage Thursday night date when it is not even Thursday. She's saying this in front of her teenage son, who asks, again, what significance Thursdays have.
Mr. Leery tells him to go away. In any other moment I'd be fist-pumping that, but everyone's awful and I'm officially on Team No One here.
With Dawson taken care of, Mrs. Leery asks Mr. Leery exactly how he’s planning to buy this warehouse. He says he got a loan ALL BY HIMSELF THANKYOUVERYMUCH, and she says she's glad, because she's tired of "indulging his whims." They get into a fight and Tamara and reporter man both hear it.
Dawson, having heeded his dad's call to GTFO, flops dramatically on his bed, only to find freakin' Abby inside his room at his window looking out with binoculars. UGH. ABBY.
Pacey pops up at Andie’s house to pick her up for their date. He's greeted by her mom, who’s setting the table and seems nice.
She says Andie’s dad will be home soon and that Pacey should meet Tim, Andie's older brother, who goes to Columbia. She asks Pacey to finish setting the table and says he can stay for dinner and then goes upstairs to get Tim, and while she's nice, there's a creepy air to this whole thing, and you really get the sense it's going to end with someone being murdered.
Jack’s communing with the lobsters when the power flickers in the restaurant.
The pump shorts out in the lobster tank and Joey freaks that they’re all gonna die, so she and Jack are putting them on ice when Andie comes in looking for Pacey. She says she waited at the movie theater and he didn’t show and they had discussed meeting at the Icehouse and he’s not here either, and then it dawns on her that he must be at her house. (I don't understand why this is confusing? They pretty clearly agreed to meet at the house?)
She asks Jack what she's going to do if he went to the house, probably because her mom is making a suit out of him right this second! Then she runs out, and we are treated to....
...ANOTHER DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON!
Over at Grams', Jen asks Vincent about his most embarrassing sexual encounter. His, he says, is that he almost had sex with a drag queen. “He, or she, or whatever, was actually really great about it. We stayed up all night talking and laughing. He’s a great guy." I can't decide if this is offensive or if it's handled well, particularly given that this episode is from 1999. Somewhere in the middle?
Jen says her most embarrassing sexual encounter was when she got caught gettin' busy on her parents' bed. Vincent either really likes this story or really doesn't, as he responds by smearing what appears to be ketchup (or maybe blood, there is a full moon) on Jen’s lips.
And then he kisses it off. This seems like the opposite of romantic. Also, he keeps his pinky in the air while they kiss.
What's that about? It's not tea time.
They pause, and Vincent says he hopes Jen's not a man. Aaaaand we've crossed over to offensive! Thanks for solving that for me, Dawson's!
Meanwhile, Abby's still in Dawson's room with binoculars, watching the ketchup slurp-fest at Jen's house. Dawson is like, "Yeah, but really, what the hell are you doing in my room?"
Abby pretends that she's just concerned for Jen's safety since Vincent is an older guy, but Dawson isn't having it and tells her to just go away. She says she knows he's just upset because of his parents; she heard them screaming while she was squatting in his room and assures him that it'll be fine because eventually they'll get a divorce! A RAY OF SUNLIGHT, THIS GIRL.
Then she starts massaging his shoulders. Dawson looks awkward.
She tells him that he smells good. He's like, "Thanks, but this isn't going to happen." Abby says it's fine and Joey doesn't have to know (this, the girl who enjoys repeatedly calling Jen a slut). Dawson still says no, and Abby finally says, "Can we just kiss in front of the window so Jen can see?"
JSUTHAHAIUDHHGA ABBY. YOU ARE THE WORST CHARACTER EVER.
Dawson's the second-worst character ever, though, because his only reply is that Jen would never buy it. Abby says he could just tell Jen that he and Joey are having an open relationship, so he shoves her out the window. The ladder was taken away several episodes ago so that Dawson couldn't have sex so I'm not sure how Abby is going to get down? MAYBE SHE IS DEAD. SAD.
Mr. Leery and Tamara are still looking at those fucking plans and Mrs. Leery is still talking to reporter guy and Dawson interrupts both conversations to ask if they’re having an open marriage.
They look like that 'cause the answer is, "Yes, but doing so very poorly."
Jen and Vincent are going to town on the fake grapes on Gram’s kitchen table. Jen’s trying to stop him repeatedly and he won’t and then finally she says, “I’m 16, OK?” AND THEN GRAMS COMES IN.
She unleashes the power of prayer, saying, "Not even God will be able to save you if you don’t get your hands off my granddaughter.” F YEA, GRAMS!
Vincent is appropriately wigged by the invocation of Jesus.
He runs away.
Andie finally makes it to her house and tries to get Pacey to leave with her, but he says he told her mom that he'd stay for dinner and he doesn't want to be rude. Andie totally freaks out, saying that her family is none of his business, and Pacey says that Andie's mom obviously doesn't agree since she thinks he's worthy of meeting Tim. Andie downright begs him to leave. He finally says, "Are you really that ashamed of me?"
Andie finally admits that Tim is dead. I mean, he was either going to be dead, imaginary or chained up in the basement, so frankly this is probably the best option.
Joey’s freaking out because the lobsters are gonna die and somehow it’s going to be her fault, because Joey is the center of the universe and so naturally controls the whims of Capeside's electrical infrastructure. Jack's trying to fix it but he makes the lights go out, and then the mysterious old man tells him to “unplug the power source and plug it back in” which means he must have an IT background because that advice is the first line of defense for all technology repairs.
Joey’s still mad because the guy isn’t leaving and all he is ordering is coffee, and Jack’s like, I think he’s probably just here because he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Joey’s like oh RIGHT, I always forget that I'm not actually the only person in the world and that other people have lives and problems!
JK she just makes this face.
While they’re debating the guy’s hypothetical backstory, he sneaks out. Even though she spent the whole night talking shit about him, drawing him and being annoyed that he was just ordering coffee, Joey is pissed because he didn’t leave her a tip. He just left a note on a napkin, but UNDER THE NAPKIN IS A MOFUCKIN BENJAMIN.
Joey says, “Oh my god Jack, we’re rich!” which is definitely not true, even if you adjust for inflation. Jack shows her the note, which is a poem about how the guy’s true love died under a full moon or something, but Joey doesn't care because DOLLA DOLLA BILLS Y'ALL!
The lights shut off again, just time for a....
DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON!
And then Jack kisses Joey.
OK so I guess he’s not gay? I really thought he was gay. Seriously, why did I think this?
Joey freaks and goes back to wiping the counter and Jack makes this face.
Dawson sits his parents down for a good stern talking-to.
Mrs. Leery tells Dawson that she agrees that this situation is bonkers and would also like to know why her marriage is now an open one. Mr. Leery repeats his stellar logic about how an open marriage is going to ~heal their wounds~ and Dawson's like, "REALLY? REALLY." For some reason, this really gets through to Mr. Leery, who now seems to understand that this whole idea was insane from the beginning.
But he also says that Mrs. Leery has no reason to be angry, because it's her fault that he wants an open marriage in the first place! Mrs. Leery rightly tells him that she can't apologize for her affair anymore, and that she has to get back to her New York colleague so that she can keep her job and financially support Mr. Leery in his desire to maybe possibly buy a warehouse to open a restaurant, or possibly just look at blueprints every day for the rest of his life. Mr. Leery says that's crap, because she NEVER supports him!
Honestly, I can't even. This man sits around all day building ships in bottles and coming up with half-baked business plans in his waterfront home and until now his wife has never said one mean or passive-aggressive word about any of it. I understand that his masculinity is threatened because she had an affair, but seriously, he could not have dealt with any of this more poorly if he tried.
^ BASICALLY. Anyway, Dawson is pissed. He says it's clear that his mom just made a mistake and that his dad needs to let it go, forgive her, and fix their family. Then Mr. Leery starts crying.
He spouts this monologue about how his dead dad taught him to shave and drive and save money and build a house but never mentioned what to do if his wife cheated on him, so I guess his lack of coping skills is totally his dead dad’s fault.
Dawson pats his dad on the back, and his dad grabs Dawson's hand and it's just terrible. This scene solidified for me that this episode was a real downer, and I'm sorry to tell you that it does not get better from here.
Jen tells Grams that she totally had the Vincent situation under control but Grams is NOT HAVING IT.
She says that Jen cannot go back to being a freewheeling hussy while she's living in Capeside. "YOU WILL ACT LIKE A LADY," she thunders. "HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR YOURSELF?" Then she storms inside, leaving Jen crying alone the steps.
And then there's another....DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON!
Andie’s telling the story of Tim’s death! I realized in this moment that I watch too much House Hunters because I just kept thinking that this kitchen has serious potential.
Stainless-steel appliances! So much room for entertaining!
Anyway, Tim died while he was in the car with Andie and Jack's mom. She was driving and didn't see an oncoming truck, which collided with them, killing Tim. Andie asks Pacey not to tell anyone because she doesn’t want people gossiping about her mom. He says he won't and asks if her mom is getting help, and Andie says they tried, but her dad bailed on the family, so it's basically just her and Jack, and Andie's the one who mostly takes care of their mom. Pacey tries to hug her and Andie says, "DON'T PITY ME!" And Pacey says, "It's not pity, just c'mere." And they hug. And I'm like, "Aw, PACEY." If I'd watched this show back when I was part of its target audience, this is the moment I would have developed a crush on Pacey.
UGH, THE LADDER IS BACK, so I guess Abby isn't dead.
Dawson and Joey are climbing up to his room and he says she was totes right about the full moon wreaking havoc on all that water inside everybody. Dawson asks if they can just sit on the roof for awhile. He doesn’t want to go inside “because it’s like the house of despair,” and that right there is what they should have titled this episode, both because it's both more accurate than the actual title and also less of a Creedence Clearwater Revival bastardization. Joey tries to tell Dawson that Jack kissed her, but Dawson cuts her off and says he just wants to stare at her face in the moonlight. They kiss and she looks drugged. Dawson stares up at the sky, which naturally allows for a....DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON.
They talk about the man in the moon and how it’s actually a woman. I don't have a lot of details because this chat was really boring and I spent most of it flirting with the idea of playing Candy Crush.
Joey once again almost tells Dawson that Jack kissed her, but she stops at the last second and says, finally, "You're right. It's a beautiful moon."
CAN YOU GUESS WHAT COMES NEXT? IF YOU GUESSED A DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON....
YOU ARE RIGHT!
Mrs. Leery is sitting in her slip staring contemplatively into space!
Mr. Leery joins her. She says, "It's time." He says he knows. He's gonna move out. PRAISE THE LORD, A RESOLUTION TO THIS BORING PROBLEM. "Hands" by Jewel starts playing as we cut to...
...A DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON!
The rest of the episode is just a montage of everyone being miserable. First, crying Dawson. (No, not that crying Dawson.)
Then Jack, staring at the moon poem from mysterious loner-man.
Next, A DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON. POW! BETCHA DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING!
Pacey and Andie, still hugging.
Mr. Leery, staring at the ceiling fan.
Mrs. Leery, who's moved the staring-into-space party outside. She's rocking really aggressively in her chair which sorta takes away from the moment.
Jen, still crying on the porch.
Joey’s rubbing Dawson
and then she looks up to see...
a DRAMATICAL SHOT OF THE MOON!
Then it clouds over.
And blissfully, that's the end.
I needed a glass of wine after this episode. I won't judge y'all if you do too.