Did you know that this episode of Dawson's Creek is sponsored by Verizon Wireless? That's important, so make a note. Also, Verizon provided a fairly amusing commercial in this post-credits ad space, which I will briefly recap for you (as requested by some people on the forums). You know those Verizon commercials where the dude is walking through, like, the tundra or some shit, and he's all, "Can you hear me now?" and the point is that Verizon has really good reception? It's that guy, on the dock. Dawson's dock. "Can you hear me now?" he asks. Next, he's doing the CYHMN? thing, standing in the rowboat in the creek. Yeah, that row boat. That creek. That's actually a pretty clever marketing idea, and I wonder if Verizon is doing it for other shows. Like, calling from The Bronze for Buffy, or Trauma Two for ER.
Back to Stupid, Stupid Joey and Her "Charming" Mugger. "What, you thought I was going to let you walk off after the handgun made an appearance?" he asks, pulling her into a storefront and telling her to hand over her cash. She AGAIN says she doesn't have any. Joey. Give. Him. The money. It's not like Mr. Mugger believes that you're empty-handed, since he saw you come out of the ATM. "Rich little college girl like you?" he sneers. "Where do you go? Harvard? Wellesley?" "Worthington," Joey chokes out. "See? That's very nice," Mr. Mugger says. "Doesn't make me any less broke at the moment," Joey stutters. "Are you getting scared? You don't have to be scared," Mr. Mugger says. "Easy for you to say, you're holding the gun," Joey sniffs. Mr. Mugger concedes the point, and confides that he doesn't really intend to shoot her. "This from the guy who, twenty seconds ago, told me he had no intention of mugging me?" Joey sasses. What is this? Mugging banter? "Just trying to put you at ease," Mr. Mugger says. "Maybe you should have thought twice about, you know, mugging me," Joey says. It is mugging banter. Just when I think this show couldn't appall me any more. "What's done is done," Mr. Mugger shrugs. "Water under the bridge and whatnot. I think we're going to have to get past it, if we're going to have a successful mugger-muggee relationship here." "Whatnot"? I think I'll take that as a shout-out, as I use "whatnot" all the time. It's an excellent catch-all word, people. Try it! Joey glares at him. "Is there any chance that gun might accidentally go off in your pants? Because that would be really great," she says. He throws her against the wall. "You, young lady, are a wise-ass," he spits. "I just might have to shoot you yet. Now, let's go. Give me what you've got. Come on." At long last, Joey hands him her well-guarded twenty. "Twenty bucks, you scored," she informs him bitterly. Mr. Mugger can't believe it. "This is barely bus fare," he complains. This man is the worst mugger ever. Joey's lucky; if he were a professional, she'd be dead by this point. "Guess I left my wads of hundreds in the other jeans," she snaps. And then Mr. Mugger takes her cell phone. Because this episode is sponsored by Verizon: the cell phone of choice for sticky-fingered deadbeats everywhere. "This is a nice one," Mr. Mugger coos. "This is, like, really light. Looks cool." Because Verizon? Is the bomb! Nice and light and cool, and perfect for your mugging needs! While he's admiring his newest acquisition, Joey kicks him in the face. Oh, holy crap. Are you kidding me? Where was the face kick fifteen minutes ago? Mr. Mugger drops the phone, and Joey stops to pick it up -- Verizon! Don't leave it behind, even if you're in the middle of a violent attack! -- and then, finally, she runs.
Mr. Mugger catches her easily. He tackles Joey and straddles her. "That was not cool," he says. "Sorry," Joey says. "How do you know I'm not going to kill you for that?" Mr. Mugger asks, getting all in her face. "Is that what you're going to do? You're going to kill me?" Joey asks. "I don't know; I haven't made my mind up yet," Mr. Mugger says. "Well, in the meantime, could you get the hell off of me?" Joey grouses. He sits on her for a few more minutes and then finally gets up. She scrambles up. He puts her phone back in his pocket. "What is your name?" Mr. Mugger asks. "None of your business," Joey snaps. Mr. Mugger flashes her the gun again. "Joey," she admits. "Joey. I like Joey. I like boys' names for girls. It's cute," Mr. Mugger says. Okay, so he's a nutjob, right? Because, from what I understand, if you're mugging someone, it's considered proper form to take their money and book ASAP before someone catches you, rather than standing around and yammering. "My parents will be thrilled," Joey says. ["Can I just say…I don't care how much stress she's under; Joey would never snap off a snarky one-liner about her parents. One's in the ground and the other's in the clink. No way is that line organic to the character. Sorry, but sometimes it's the little things." -- Sars] "Look, you have my money and my cell phone. What else do you want?" He gives her a lecherous look. "Please, you're going to have to kill me," Joey says. I'm sorry. This episode was humorous in its complete awfulness the first time I saw it, but as I'm writing this recap, it occurs to me that I really hope no one is looking to Dawson's Creek for accurate information about what to do if, God forbid, you're attacked. Because I learned to give muggers my money and, whatever happens, just try not to die. And that seems to be the opposite message from what's being presented here. ["As a veteran of a mugging myself, let me reiterate what Jessica just said. If for whatever reason you find yourself in that situation: 1) Give up the goddamn money. All of it. Immediately. 2) Do not talk back. Ever." -- Sars] Mr. Mugger instructs her to empty her wallet. "Credit cards: fairly useless," he says. "You'll just cancel that the first chance you get. Unless, of course, I kill you. Kidding!" I also hope that no muggers are looking to this episode to learn how to be a more effective criminal, because everyone knows that if someone gets murdered, one of the first things the cops look into is when and where their credit cards were last used. Doesn't anyone watch Law & Order anymore? Murderers out there? Listen to me: use cash. So, Mr. Mugger announces that they're going back to the ATM, where Joey will empty her account for him. "I only have twenty-seven dollars in my account," Joey whines. "I don't believe it for a second, Joey Who Goes To Worthington," Mr. Mugger snarks. Joey insists that it's true. Mr. Mugger wants her to prove it. This is all just so horrifying.
ATM. "All right, work your magic," Mr. Mugger orders. Joey's checking account contains but twenty-seven dollars. "I got kicked in the gut for forty-seven bucks?" Mr. Mugger asks. "Well, don't forget the cell phone," Joey says. Verizon: It's Worth Getting Kicked In The Gut. Mr. Mugger decides to empty Joey's savings account as well. That account contains $507. "Disco!" Mr. Mugger crows. Joey's face falls. "Don't worry, sweetie, I'm sure Daddy will cut you a check first thing Monday," Mr. Mugger tells her. He doesn't understand! That Joey's dad! Is in the big house! But he will soon enough. Oh, he will. "You really want to punch me in the face, don't you?" he asks. I don't know about that, but I'd like to punch them both in the face, personally. "I mean, I understand. I really do. I just have bills to pay. I'm sorry if that's slightly more important than you buying yourself a pair of Manolo Blahniks," he says. Wow, what a cultured mugger he is! How many common criminals know about Manolo? That shows how little I know about the mugging community! Apparently, they spend a lot of off-time reading Vogue and window-shopping at Saks. Joey sneers and suggests that Mr. Mugger get himself a J.O.B. Funny, coming from Ms. I Won't Take Out So Much As A Student Loan. Mr. Mugger insists that he has a job. "You could say I'm in sales." Blah blah blah setting up a parallel to Joey's bad dad-cakes, he's a drug dealer. And some of his clients go to Worthington! "You should stop by some time. We could catch up," Joey remarks snidely, then starts to go. "You know, call me crazy, but I like you, Joey!" Mr. Mugger calls after her, and she TURNS AROUND TO LISTEN TO HIM COMPLIMENT HER. Seriously, my mouth has never hung open this far. The mugger likes Joey (presumably, because she has It), and she'd like to hear more! I hope he shoots her. "Except for that little kung fu kick out there, you've made this experience a very pleasant one. Lot of people, they would have pissed their pants by now. But you? You've held it together. You've kept your sense of humor. You know what? I won't hold that violent little outburst of yours against you," Mr. Mugger speechifies. Because even muggers fall in love with Little Joey Potter. Because she's poised. And smart. And pretty. And not incontinent. She's pleasant, even while being violated.