Capeside, where Dawson stands in his front yard and looks at the creek and the trees and the grass and all the fall foliage, and the camera swirls and twirls around, and The Piano Music Of The Prodigal Son tinkles in the background. Soon, it's joined by The Flute Music Of Twirling In The Front Yard And Thinking About The Past. After about two weeks, Mitch "The Flash" Leery opens the screen door and stares at his son. "Dawson?" the Flash asks, his face lighting up. "Hey, lover -- I mean, 'Dad,'" Dawson calls.
Inside The Leery House Of Father Figures Marked For Death. Gale hugs Dawson, worrying that he looks far too thin. Her bangs are far too long. The Flash rubs some more self-tanning lotion into his left arm and says that he wants to hear all about Los Angeles. Gale says something about cookies. Neither one of them asks Dawson what the hell he's doing on the east coast in the middle of the school week, which is odd. He hesitantly tells them that he hasn't actually been in Los Angeles; he's been in Boston. Gale and the Flash make confused faces. Dawson huffs enormously, and then makes his big announcement. "Guys," he says, "USC is not for me. I want to drop out." Gale looks completely appalled. The Flash makes a face like the dude at GNC just told him they were out of bodybuilding supplements. Dawson keeps whining about how he spent the whole summer in LA and he went to all of his classes and he hates it, he hates it, he hates it, and besides, all of his friends are in Boston! Gale wearily offers that Dawson will make new friends in Los Angeles if he just gives it some time. "Mom, it's more than that," Dawson announces. "I'm at a profound crossroads in my life." Sweet God. I don't know if you read any of Aaron's recaps, but he has this system wherein he grades the episodes according the amount of time it takes for a certain event to occur. In The Sopranos, for instance, it's until Tony appears in his bathrobe. He calls it Start to Robe, or StR. It's quite funny. Anyway -- and I do have a point here -- were I to apply this formula to Dawson's Creek, I'd have to use StV: Start to Vomit. And we're at "vomit," right here. Gale also looks disgusted; she closes her eyes.