Dawson's Creek
In A Lonely Place

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In A Lonely Place

Previously: mugging and kissing.

So, Joey and Dawson are watching a movie in her dorm room, which, in addition to being the biggest dorm room in the world, is also the cleanest. I mean, I'm well aware that I'm certainly no poster child for neatness (at one point toward the end of finals week my senior year, my roommates and I decided we were too lazy to throw our empties in the trash, and therefore had a pile of Diet Coke bottles and cans in the middle of our living room. I know. Disgusting. Anyway), but this place is so neat, Joey and Audrey must have a cleaning service. "What'd you think?" Dawson asks, clicking off the television. Joey makes a face. "It's so…" she begins. "So?" Dawson prompts. "Boring," Joey says. Dawson makes a mock-appalled face. "What are they teaching you at Worthington?" he asks, before yammering some film-geek twaddle about Pauline Kael and Godard. "Does Jen know about you and this Pauline person you keep talking about?" Joey asks. "Jen understands my need to see other film critics," Dawson grins. Except that Pauline Kael is dead. But whatever. So, Joey grins that she can't believe Dawson's homework consists of watching movies. And he can't either! His life is so good since his dad went to the big Baskin Robbins in the sky and he finally got laid! Whee! He invites Joey to come with him to do more homework; apparently, he has to go see some screening of some masterpiece of the French New Wave. "So, are you guys doing this babysitting thing in shifts, or what's the pattern here?" Joey asks, smiling at him. Dawson explains that her friends "just want to hang out" with her. And he'll pick her up at seven. Joey swears that she's fine. Dawson knows. She knows that he knows. Joey looks down at her hands. "You're just not going to let me tell you how happy I am that you're okay," Dawson says. "Nope. Sorry!" Joey chirps. "But it has been nice, seeing you again and hanging out," she says. And he agrees. And then he leaves. And Joey smiles.

Paula Cole. This might be the place to mention that I can't believe I've gotten sucked into this stupid show all over again. Just when you think you've gotten out, they suck you back in. Seriously, I was all ready to boycott this show after last season, but this year has been, well, sort of entertaining. There's enough stuff to hate to keep me sharp, but not so much that I want to kill someone. Like myself.

Grams's House Of Premarital Sex. Jen enters the attic and orders Dawson to put on one of his "cooler t-shirts." Allow me to say that while Jen's hair looks okay here, it's really way too long. Michelle Williams's hair isn't thick enough to pull off the long straight thing, and I think she looks better with a little movement to it. Anyway. So, Dawson has no idea where they're supposed to be going. Jen whirls around and bleats that they're going to see "Veneer," this band that she's interviewing at the radio station. Dawson looks up from his laptop and sputters that he made plans to go to the movies with Joey. And he doesn't feel right leaving her alone, right after she killed a man with her singing. Jen flops down on the bed and makes a series of pained faces. "No. Of course not," she says. Dawson asks if his spending time with Joey bugs her. "I just wish we'd have a clean slate sometimes, that's all," she says. Dude, Jen, it's not like Joey had his baby or something. Get over it. "Hi, I'm Dawson," he offers. Jen rolls her eyes and looks at him, and he makes this goofy "what the hell?" face. "Hi, I'm Jen," Jen whines unenthusiastically, then cracks up in spite of herself and tells him to go ahead and take Joey to the movies. She thinks he probably would have hated the concert anyway, so she'll take someone who will appreciate "the finer points of rock and roll" instead.

Cut to Audrey, putting away her laundry and shaking her ass to, yes, rock and roll. She's also touched up her roots, and her hair looks lovely. There's a knock at the door, because every single scene on this show opens with someone knocking on someone's door, and there's no clever way to work that into the recap other than saying "someone knocks on the door. It's Pacey!" It is Pacey. Audrey's face falls when she sees him. "Oh, it's you," she says, and asks if she's "late for work." Pacey grins and reminds her that it's their day off. And Joey has classes, so…. He reaches for her. Audrey pulls away and announces that "it's never going to happen again." Pacey makes a frustrated look. "I should have called!" he berates himself. "Why didn't I call?" This continues for several long minutes. "Pacey," Audrey says. "Clearly, when you and I had sex, we created some sort of cosmic imbalance, okay? Like a karmic disturbance, if you will." Apparently, the sex caused some bad mojo to engulf them all. Or something. Pacey doesn't get the logic here, so Audrey has to clearly spell out for him (and the audience) that they were having sex in his car at the same time Joey was getting mugged by The Bantering Bandit. "That's it? That? No, come on, be serious," Pacey pleads. Audrey just escorts him to the door. "We don't have to have sex!" Pacey protests. They could just hang out! And disperse bad karmic energy. "And I can get much better about this When To Call thing," he says. Audrey pouts. "No. I'm sorry. I'm not interested. I can't just hang out with you, Pacey, not after what happened," she says. "Maybe if the sex had been bad." Pacey grins proudly. "You thought the sex was good?" he asks. "Well, yeah," Audrey says. "Didn't you?" Pacey nods. "Yeah, but thank you." They grin flirtatiously. "You're welcome," Audrey purrs. "See!" she says, snapping out of it. "This is exactly why I just can't hang out with you. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to subject myself to some kind of platonic torture test." She pushes him out the door. "I'm just not that kind of girl!" Oh, all right: heh.

Worthington College For The Worthy. Saint Joey, Patron Saint Of Better Living Through Learning From The Criminal Element, waits for Professor Creepy. Finally, he escorts an academic-type chippy from his office and awkwardly ushers Joey inside. She takes a seat. Staring. Sitting. Staring. Looking. Awkwardness. Finally, Creepy comments that "every day is Groundhog Day for [them], except [they] never seem to get any smarter." Also, no Bill Murray. "I thought I'd change our luck by changing the venue," Joey offers hopefully. "I had a real good time last week and thought you might like to go with me to sing to patients in the prison ward." Creepy plays with the stuff on his desk and wonders if this is "a social visit." She tells him that she "owes him an explanation" for standing him up. Because, apparently, Creepy is pissed that she never came back to his place. Joey says there's a very good reason. Wait, so he didn't call her to make sure that she was all right? He just assumed she stood him up? Even though she was clearly on her way right over there for the sex? What a moron. Also, Joey didn't call him right away to tell him that she'd been mugged and could he please come over and comfort her? (Don't get me wrong; I think their relationship is gross. But if she's that into him, wouldn't it follow that she'd want to tell him immediately about the mugging? And I still can't believe he didn't call to check on her. What the hell is wrong with these people?) But Creepy doesn't want to hear her explanation. It would ruin "the very writerly effect" she's created. Joey furrows her brow as Creepy compares her to Lily Bart. Dude, can we leave Wharton out of this? What did she ever do to you? Joey informs Creepy that no one's ever compared her to the House of Mirth heroine, and then ruins the ending of the book for anyone in the television audience who's never read it. Blah blah more pretentious literary posturing, during the course of which Creepy likewise compares Joey to Jane Eyre, despite the fact that Jane Eyre and Lily Bart aren't all that much alike, and also, Joey ought to be insulted because Jane Eyre is a moron. I'm sorry, but Rochester? Not a catch. He lied to her about having a crazy wife secreted in the attic for years! And he's cranky! And blind! Hey, if Joey is Jane Eyre, does that mean that Creepy is married, but his wife is just locked up somewhere? Because that might be kind of cool.

And then Creepy calls Joey "the girl in the 19th-century novel who would say 'yes,' sleep on it, recover her moral principles and break the guy's heart the next morning." He leers that "principles are sexy." I think that, especially in an English professor, knowing that House of Mirth was published in 1905, and is thus not technically a 19th-century novel, is sexy. ["Not missing the point of The House of Mirth by a country mile would be pretty hot, too. Pfft. Idiot." -- Sars] Not to mention the fact that, all such date-related quibbling aside (because I suppose you could say close enough), Wharton and the Bröntes? Fairly different. And they said I'd never use my degree! "Look, can I talk now?" Joey asks. Only if she promises not to explain, Creepy says. Hmmm, an English professor who can't keep his genres straight and who will only allow you to speak on specifically approved occasions? Hot, hot, hot. Not. Joey has to explain, she says. "Then I'm afraid we're at an impasse, here," Creepy declares. Joey's face falls, and she whines that they can't be "over" just because he says so. "We haven't covered endings, yet, in class, have we?" Creepy asks, twirling around in his chair. He demands that she name "the best ending in literature," and instructs her not to say Ulysses, because "everyone says Ulysses." Well, everyone lies, because no one I know has ever made it all the way to the ending of Ulysses. But whatever. ["And 'everyone' says Gatsby, anyway. Look it up, Creepy." -- Sars] "You can't be serious," Joey sputters. Creepy thinks they "both know what happened Friday night." Joey raises both brows. "We do?" she asks. Creepy nods, and tells her that she "saved his life and career." Joey's lips draw into a tight little line. It's beyond me why she doesn't stand up, announce that she was mugged Friday night, and stomp out dramatically. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't need to know why you didn't come back. I just need to say thank you," Creepy says. Because even when Joey Potter is the victim of a violent crime, she helps others. She's staring at him all googly-eyed when a woman pops her head in

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