A brief note about the grade I gave this episode: despite the fact that I wasn't happy with what happened in the course of it, this episode was awfully well done, especially in comparison to last week's train wreck. Likewise, this was the first episode in recent memory during which I found myself being legitimately emotionally involved. I mean, "Castaways" was really good and I enjoyed the hell out of it, but this episode made me cry. (Don't tell anyone.) I think that some of what happens is questionable as far as plotting goes, but we haven't seen the way the Joey/Pacey or the Joey/Oliver relationships are going to play out, so I can't yet hold TPTB responsible for any hellacious crimes against humanity as far as that goes. Well written, well paced, very well acted: I have to hand it to the folks behind the scenes this week. That being said, if Joey has left Pacey for Oliver for good, my rage will be boundless and no one will escape its fiery power. Just a warning.
Previously on Dawson's Creek: Pacey and Joey rekindled their romance, to the delight of viewers everywhere; Joey Learned Valuable Lessons About Her Past, courtesy of Harley Flip-Flops and her Pacey-esque boyfriend Patrick; Dawson decided to make a movie with his own money and talked about financing it with High-Powered Money Man Pacey; and Oliver came back from California all of a sudden, causing Joey to make the dreaded Melted Wax Face and throwing Joey/Pacey fans into a pre-emptive and furious tizzy.
We open right where we left off last week, in Liberty Hell's kitchen. Joey stares at Oliver. I don't know if it's the lighting, or what, but suddenly her hair doesn't look nearly as two-toned. She wonders why he's in Boston, not California, and Oliver explains that he just left the west coast "for a while," but he hastens to assure her that everything worked out perfectly with The Best Writing School In The World and he starts in the fall. He tells Joey that he nailed the interview and that The Powers That Be loved his writing. "Which is surreal," he says, "because no one has ever loved anything I've done, except for you. Which is why I'm here." Um, call me crazy, but whatever happened to calling? Like, pick up the phone and give her the good news, Oliver. I guess one could make the argument that he's come back to Boston to live with his family before the fall term starts, so I'll let it slide, but still. Anyway, Oliver launches into Part One of this week's Celebration Of All Things Joey, telling her that she believed in him, she changed his life, she missed a final to have sex with him, she had the "decency to see the decency in him," she's the most decent person he knows, she's the most perfect person ever and blah blah blah, he can't write without her. Basically, he's asking her to be his muse. It occurs to me that there aren't nearly enough people asking me to be their muse. Let's get on that, people!
Anyway, I guess Oliver is still talking. Listen, people: Oliver Hudson is really cute, and he's not a bad actor. He and Katie Holmes have decent chemistry. But the only reason that the fans embraced him at all was because we all thought that Joey and Pacey were never going to get back together, and Oliver is a decent Pacey substitute. He's the Diet Coke of Pacey. But now that the fans have seen Joey and Pacey reunited, it's going to impossible to sell us on Oliver. Generally speaking, I mean. I suppose there are people out there who hate Pacey and love Oliver or something, so they might not be unhappy about this. Oh, just take the sentences above and substitute the word "Jessica" for "fans." Fine! Fine! The truth is out! I love Pacey and I don't care!