Jen reviews what Helen has just told her: "Okay, let me see if I understand. Mother finds daughter in compromising position, and instead of sharing her own experiences as a teenager, when she actually got pregnant -- and had a child, mother instead turns into a hypocrite and sends her daughter into exile?" Throughout Jen's speech, Mel Harris adopts a serene "what a lovely poem" mien completely inappropriate to the scene, and at the end of the speech Helen fobs responsibility for the decision off onto Jen's father. Jen makes a snide comment. Helen asks Jen to put herself in Helen's place for just a minute. Jen demands to know why Helen didn't share this with her earlier, because it might have helped Jen and made things easier on her. Helen answers, with all the conviction of a boiled carrot, "It was a shameful secret, a secret I've had to carry for over twenty years." So how old does this make Eve, again? Jen snaps, "So the answer was then to make me feel dirty and ashamed?" "That was never my intention," drones the HAL 2000 -- uh, I mean, "Helen." Jen accuses Helen of wanting to hide "your indiscretion" from Jen's father, and complains that just once she'd like Helen to take her side and believe her instead of siding with her father. Helen says evenly that Jen can think what she wants, "but I was not and am not prepared to wind up alone." Jen quavers, "That's the difference between you and me, Mom, because I would rather be alone than in a pathetic, loveless marriage." Jen starts to stomp away. Helen gets up and says, "Don't go." Jen rounds on her and says, "Mom, you are the most intensely selfish person I've ever known." More selfish than Dawson? That I doubt. Jen sneers, "I mean, look at you -- you can't even cry! Something's taken that away from you, you're numb, and you know what, you're grateful for it." More "you fear ending up alone because you have nothing inside yourself" self-actualized twaddle from Jen, who delivers the "there's nothing there" big finish and walks away sobbing; Helen smoothes her hair and looks about as perturbed as if she'd found a ladder in her stocking. Hey, Mel? Next time, let the assistant director give you glycerin.
Okay, I giggle every time that Arizona Jean guy gets hit in the goolies with the softball. Every damn time.
Alexander is having a teething moment. Joey offers to leave with Bessie, but Bessie -- bad bangs, cute twin set -- tells her to stay and "be with your friends." No, Bessie, don't go! Don't leave us here with . . . Dawson, who walks over to Joey, and I plug every orifice in my head with a Maalox bottle in preparation for the inevitable use of the word "soulmates." Happily, it never happens; Joey quizzes Dawson on "what's up with" his parents, and he says he just saw "the final chapter in the Mitch-Gail saga." Evidently, the Leerys' divorce is now final. Dawson melodramatizes, "The Leerys of Capeside are officially finished as a family." Joey gently expresses her condolences, and Dawson accepts them. Joey asks what Dawson said when they told him, and Dawson said he "really let them have it this time -- I looked them both in the eye, and I said, 'Congratulations.'" He smiles ruefully; Joey also looks rueful and says, "Good for you, Dawson." Huh? Dawson rambles on a bit about finally having a decision one way or the other and the only homes we have are the ones we make ourselves, pity-partycakes, and Joey sighs, "I know what you mean." Dawson suggests that they "really cut loose tonight," and when Joey raises a brow, he goes on, "Act out our teenage ennui in wanton and destructive ways." First of all, "ennui"? Second of all, "wanton"? And third of all, what would this destructiveness entail, Dawson -- ramming your cranium into the side of a building and watching it collapse in on itself? Joey makes a skeptical face and asks, "What d'you have in mind?" and Dawson replies, "Sex. Drugs, rock 'n' roll," and Joey smiles and rolls her eyes. Dawson says, "Or we could just sit right here and have a mind-blowing three-hour conversation." Yeah, you do that. Outside. On Cape Cod. In November. In your freakin' shirtsleeves. While everyone in the viewing audience searches frantically for a six-gauge needle with which to pierce their eyeballs.