Liberty Hell Restaurant. Karen, The Bitchiest Waitress In The World, comes slamming into the kitchen, complaining bitterly about a customer who sent her salad back. I think Karen might benefit from some pharmacological assistance in regulating her moods, because healthy people aren't this obviously unhappy. Clearly, she and Pacey are being set up as a potential couple, taking into account his preference for women with mental health problems (see: McPhee, Andie). Possible chemical imbalances aside, Karen is also enormously unpleasant. This whole time I've been typing? She's been berating Pacey for not wearing a chef's hat. "There are health regulations, you know," she snips. Are we supposed to like her? Because when Pacey tries to turn on the charm, and she walks away from him while he's in the middle of a sentence, I have a hard time warming up.
Boston Bay College Of Contrivance, Dormitory For Real Good-Looking Scruffy Guys. Charlie opens his door, and lets Jen inside. She tells him that "this" isn't going to become "a regular thing," "this" being the whole booty call deal. Charlie starts kissing on her, murmuring that she certainly took her time. He could have gotten a pizza in the amount of time it took her to get there, he tells her. "Two pizzas. Deep dish. Chicago style," he clarifies. Jen pulls away from him and asks, interested, if he's from Chicago. "Not exactly," he says, and jumps back into the kissing. Jen wants to talk, though, instead of immediately hopping into the sack. She starts asking him questions, about where he grew up and where he went to high school. Charlie won't give her any straight answers, though; he's not interested in talking. Jen pulls away from him. "These are not real answers," she says. "The real answers are boring and long," Charlie tells her, although he finally does admit that he hails from Highland Park, Illinois. "Not exactly the birthplace of cool," he says. Jen smiles and tells him that she's just glad to know something about him. And they get down to business. If you know what I mean. And you do.
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.