Dawson's Creek
After Hours

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Jessica: C+ | 1 USERS: B
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After Hours

Big thanks to Shack for sitting in for me last week! I surely appreciate it. Previously on Dawson's Creek Has Got To Be Almost Over For The Season Because, My God, My Fingers Hurt: Jack had an unfortunate run-in with Ambiguously Gay Eric (tm C-Span), which led to Jack leaving his fraternity; Dawson met the fairly cute, basically non-annoying film critic Amy Lloyd; Jack confessed that he was flunking out of school; and Sherilyn Fenn took over Liberty Hell, fired Audrey, and kissed Pacey.

Fade in on Pacey, still living at Chef Danny's, taking groceries out of a bleached cotton tote bag. Nothing's manlier than a nineteen-year-old boy carrying cutesy little tote bags full of arugula. Jack's studying at Pacey's breakfast bar. He looks pained. Studying will do that to you, I find. Especially when you haven't been to class. I once threw my linguistics book (Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self) against the wall. I still have it; the side is all smashed in. Anyway, Pacey makes some snippy comment about Jack's silly spring break suicide attempt; Jack retorts that having Dawson heave you out of the bottom of a pool forces you to change your ways. Pacey takes some canned tomatoes out of his Environmentally Friendly Bag O' Organically Grown Fruits And Veg and agrees that Jack's spring break shenanigans "do qualify [him] for rock bottom." Jack tells Pacey that all he has to do is master "advanced multivariable calculus" in order to stay in school, and therefore get his life back. Here's my question: why the hell is Jack taking multivariable calculus? According to the Desktops (and just insert the standard "why are plot points explained on the Desktops and not the show?" rant here), he was enrolled in the class by his fraternity brothers. Leaving aside the fact that they'd have to know, like, his security code and student ID or Social Security number to do that, there's no explanation for why Jack didn't drop the class as soon as he found out he was enrolled. Pacey tells Jack he'll be at the restaurant all night, and he's welcome to study at Chef Danny's. Jack shakes his head and gets up, putting his math book into his backpack. "I think it's okay to get back to Grams'," he says. "She and Mr. Smalls have to be done practicing choir by now." Pacey snorts that he doesn't think Grams and Clifton are really just singing songs about Jesus. Jack stares at him. "Please. Don't try to take the myth away from me, all right? There are some things we just don't have to know about," he says. He turns to go. "Does being propositioned by your boss count as one of those things?" Pacey calls after him.

Jack turns around. "New boss? Boss that fired Audrey?" Jack asks. "Boss that kissed me directly after I asked her to give Audrey her job back, boss," Pacey clarifies. Jack sputters that this is "sexual harassment!" Pacey snorts that he thinks Audrey would concentrate more on "the sexual and not the harassment." Jack thinks about this, then advises Pacey to keep his mouth shut about the entire thing. Pacey spews some crap about honesty being the cornerstone of his relationship with Audrey, which is totally true except for the part where Audrey lies to him every week about, say, the number of men she's slept with or the nature of her relationship with stupid faux movie stars. "She kissed her old boyfriend at spring break and told me," Pacey says. No, Pacey, you walked in on that. Although I suppose you could argue that she was planning to tell you, but I suspect that's just because she knew you were going to figure it out anyway. And how quickly has the worm turned for Audrey and me! Three weeks ago, she was delightfully sassy. Now, she just won't stop screeching and I sort of want to duct tape her mouth shut. I think it all stems from how irritated I still am at the way the writers handled her sexual history. See, she loves Pacey! And she's really not slutty at all! Feel free to embrace her as a proper consort for Prince Pacey! Embrace her! LOVE HER! And when I once adored her, now I'm all, "Audrey, shut up." Jack asks Pacey if the Kissing His Boss thing is going to happen again. Pacey hems and haws. From this hemming and hawing, Jack deduces that Alex must be "hot." Pacey's brows race toward his hairline. "I was a victim of unwanted sexual advances!" he squeaks. "So, how hot is she?" Jack asks. Pacey just gestures with his chin. Alex, of course, is standing right behind Jack, because Rule #7 of Predictable Television is "Whomever you are talking about will turn out to be standing right behind you 80 percent of the time." Jack turns and gets an eyeful of the erstwhile Audrey Horne, who is starting to look like Courteney Cox Arquette to me, all bony face and flat hair and really overplucked eyebrows. It's sad, because Sherilyn Fenn was so spectacular as Audrey Horne. And actually I saw a spread on her house in InStyle a couple of months ago, and she looked stunning in that, too. I think that maybe the blown-out hair is the culprit; she needs some volume around her face. Or something. Anyway. "Hi," Alex purrs at Jack. Who stammers and stutters and forgets his name. No, really -- he introduces himself as "Jake" before managing to remember that his name is Jack and he's SUPPOSED TO BE GAY. He turns to Pacey. "You, my friend, are in trouble," he says.

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