Dawson's Creek
That Was Then

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Jessica: B | Grade It Now!
That Was Then

Joey smiles at him. Oh, you two! Just make out already! "Pace, I don't know," Joey says. "Don't you think this is a little too delicate to handle without a plan?" Pacey grins and says that, while he appreciates her love of organized living, he doesn't exactly know how to schedule life-changing decisions. Joey admits that she just needs to know who's going to call whom and when. Mid-plan-making, however, Pacey stops her. "Like you've ever needed an excuse to call," he says, and smiles and leans in to kiss her, but she moves her face away gently. "I should go," she says. I don't understand why they don't just make out. What's so wrong with making out? Can someone please make out here? "Of course," Pacey tells her. Joey starts to go, but then turns and smiles. "About that pizza," she says. "Well, that would be an entirely different story," Pacey agrees, and they stare longingly at each other, right into the credits. Is "pizza" a code word for "making out"? I really don't get why they have to do all this talking about everything. I mean, I get it -- this show is all about people running their sassholes when they probably ought to just shut up and make out -- but it's ceased to be interesting. Television is a visual medium. Can someone on this show actually do something for once instead of talking us all to death?

Worthington College For Girls Who, Against All Reason, Will Not Make Out With Pacey. Joey and Professor Flip-Flops walk through campus together. He, by the way, is remarkably well-preserved, because he really could pass as a student rather than a professor. I think that's partially because James Van Der Beek is aging so poorly, but the show has us conditioned to believe that he's nineteen, which means that, comparatively, Flip-Flops is believable as, like, a grad student. Anyway, Flip-Flops is harassing Joey to have pity on him and watch Harley, because he's scored a hot date with a sociology professor. He says that Joey and Harley can study and he can "try and find a button-down shirt from this decade." Joey rolls her eyes and agrees, although she tells him that she's unsure about "this whole dating thing." She thinks he needs to "look inward." Flip-Flops smirks. "You're so wise, since distance left you single," he snarks. Joey has no response to this, so Flip-Flops continues, telling her that Harley has been "extra loopy" lately. "I think she's into the drugs," he worries. Joey assures him that Harley's loopy behavior can be attributed to hormones, and tells him not to worry about it. He doesn't seem to hear this, telling her that Harley has pictures of boys pasted over her bed. "Why there, Potter? What purpose do you suppose those pictures could serve in that particular location?" he asks. Joey stops and looks at him. She assures him that Harley is normal, "even clichéd." My question is this: Why do we care about Harley's hormonal development? She's been on two episodes. Could it be that she's here to teach Joey a lesson? Surely not! Anyway, Flip-Flops retorts that he corrupted "a lot of normal girls," and he'd rather Harley turned out like Joey: "Anxious, bookish, prone to having boyfriends who live far, far away." Joey sarcastically thanks him and keeps walking. "So, no boys at the house. No boys calling the house. No boys slowing down walking past the house," Flip-Flops calls after her. Joey turns and warns him that the more attractive he makes the opposite sex seem, the more Harley will want to bone one of them. Well, not in so many words. "I've just accepted that I am powerless against the high school alpha male. I can't fight them, so I'm going to build a moat around the house," Flip-Flops sighs. He's really kind of grown on me. Is that wrong? I guess I always fall for the snarky adult who says mean things to the protagonist. At this point, Flip-Flops asks Joey about her high school boyfriend, which stops her in her tracks. She shortly responds that "people change," and walks away. "Three-thirty, Potter. And leave your open mind at home!" Flip-Flops calls after her.

Next, we cut to The Obligatory Dawson Storyline In Which He Interacts With No Other Regular Character Because All Of The Actors On This Show Hate The Beek. The Head stands on the lawn of Capeside High and stares at its front doors. Oh, God, here we go. This is so clearly The Our Hero Revisits His Past So As To Learn Something Meaningful About Himself plotline. Also known as: naptime. "Dawson Leery, this is your life," Mel Silver says, coming up behind him. (Now, don't go writing me snippy emails: I know that the guy who plays Film Teacher Mr. Gold is, in fact, the identical twin of the actor who played Mel "Father of David" Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210, but as far as I'm concerned, it's close enough. They're identical! They're both Mel Silver to me, now and forever.) "I was just thinking that," Dawson says. Mel Silver thanks him for coming to speak to his film class, and Dawson takes this as an excuse to complain about how poorly his career is going, what with The Worst Movie Ever Made going straight to cable and whatnot. Mel Silver nods sympathetically. "Slow going?" he asks. Dawson retorts that he's wondering why he didn't go to law school. Law school? Dude, try getting an undergraduate degree first. Not to mention the fact that you're only nineteen! I'm pretty sure that it's not too late for a career change. Mel Silver, however, just smiles. "Sounds like you're ready to take over my class. Let's go, Dawson," he says.

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Dawson's Creek




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