And he's not in good shape. He's got a sucking chest wound. That's not the only thing sucking around here. Joey goes into Mr. Mugger's room and stares at him. "How do I look?" he asks, weakly. "Hideous, actually," Joey says, taking a seat. Mr. Mugger apologizes. Joey won't forgive him, she says, but mentions that she met the wife and kid. "Your daughter is, uh, really beautiful. Too bad she has such a dickhead for a dad," she says. Mr. Mugger wheezes that it sounds like Joey's dad was kind of a dickhead, too. Just in case we don't get that Joey's got issues with her dad. And that this whole thing is all connected to that. I don't know if that was clear. Dawson's Creek is sometimes so subtle. "Look how well you turned out," Mr. Mugger continues. "Smart, funny, reasonably hot." No comment. I'm going to stop commenting on the Donna Martinization of practically every character on this show, other than to say that attempting to make your characters likable by having others constantly praise them is weak writing. Not to mention annoying. Finally, Joey asks Mr. Mugger what the hell he wants from her. "You asked me why. I want to tell you," he intones. Why her father choose the bad in his life over the good, he mumbles. It's the least he can do. "I'm listening," Joey snips. So, Mr. Mugger launches into some sob story about how he took five hundred bucks from Harmony that was supposed to go toward Sammy's daycare and used it to buy blow. See, he loves his family, but he is who he is: "Nothing is going to change that. There is no 'why.'" Joey rolls her eyes and calls this "crap." If he really loved Sammy, she says, he wouldn't do this. Hang on. I want to make sure that everyone is following this. Do you get it? Do you? See, Joey feels unloved. She's a sad pathetic unloved orphan child. And yet, somehow, she has grown up into Saint Joey, whom everyone worships and adores. It's a miracle! Praise Saint Joey! Mr. Mugger insists that he does love his kid. And if she comes to him and asks him why he was a drug dealer, fifteen years down the line, he's going to tell her to "get over herself," and not to blame him. That is so touching. Joey smiles wryly. "I really admire that tough-guy bravado," she says, "but you know what? It just doesn't track. You obviously cared enough to try to get that money back. And now it looks like you're going to die alone. How does that feel?" she asks. "Big deal," Mr. Mugger coughs. "Everybody dies alone," he forces out. Wow, I have never heard that line before.
Joey stands up and tells Mr. Mugger she'll let him "get to it," then. But he calls her back. "Do you think she'll ever forgive me?" he asks. Oh, shut up and die already. "Your daughter?" Joey makes a thoughtful face and sits back down. He heaves. And so she tells him this story about how, on her tenth birthday, her suck-ass father took her to the park and he was so popular and she was so proud and then later she figured out that he was so popular because everyone wanted some of his drugs but, nevertheless, that day still stands as the best of her life. That is the worst story ever. "Heartwarming story. What's your point?" Mr. Mugger asks. "My dad did a lot of crappy stuff," Joey explains. "I mean, this is the guy who cheated on my mom with a cocktail waitress while she was dying of cancer. Let me and my sister down, time and time again, so many times and so many ways that it became funny." Yeah, I didn't see a whole lot of laughing during all those sad-sack episodes about Joey's shitty father. ["Which is ironic, since the actor who plays said father is downright hilarious. Unintentionally, of course, but still." -- Sars] "But that day at the park still goes down in the books as my favorite day ever," she repeats. "Really?" Mr. Mugger coughs. "Yeah," Joey says, looking sad. "What was that song you were singing?" Mr. Mugger suddenly asks. Joey doesn't know what he means. "You were singing a song just before…" he begins. "You walked into my life?" Joey finishes. "Yeah." She thinks. "It was a song my dad used to sing to me," she says. Anvils? Too light and fluffy for this moment. I think those are cannons falling from the sky. "Oh yeah? How'd it go?" Mr. Mugger asks. And then he starts to sing. Yes, you read that correctly. "Every time /You are near," he rasps. Joey looks thoughtful. And then JOINS IN. "Close to you," she sings. Oh my God, they're singing "Close To You." Am I high right now? "Just like me / They long to be / Close to you," the Mugger and the Muggee sing in sweet harmony. A single tear rolls down Joey's face. And THEN MR. MUGGER FLATLINES. Yes. He DIES. While they're singing. While they're singing "CLOSE TO YOU." Joey's eyes well as the crash cart team runs in. She just sits on her ass while they do their thing.
So finally Joey walks outside and runs into Harmony and Sammy. She shakes her head. Harmony heaves a sigh and starts to bawl. Sammy makes a sad baby face. Joey kneels next to her. "Did my daddy do something to you?" Sammy asks. "No! He did something nice for me," Joey lies, and then tells Sammy that Mr. Mugger saved her from getting smashed by a car. "Did you hear that, Mama?" Sammy marble-mouths. "Daddy's a hero!" Oh, holy crap. Daddy's a hero? Shoot me right now. I mean it. Drag me out back and put me out of my misery. Yeah, I know the episode is almost over, but it's not like I'll ever be able to erase it from my mind. Harmony hugs her kid. "Thank you," she mouths to Joey. Saint Joey. Perfect, flawless, selfless, beautiful, pleasant, polite, smart Joey. And as Harmony and Sammy hug, Joey takes her wad of cash and shoves it into Harmony's purse. Oh my God. Doesn't she need -- well, maybe Dawson can advance her another fat check. An ovary begins to wail "Close To You" as Joey sadly shuffles out of the hospital. Why do birds suddenly appear every time Joey Potter is near? Apparently, everyone wants to be close to her. Why? Got me.