Dawson's Creek
That Was Then

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That Was Then

Flip-Flops Manor. Joey reads, Harley types, and Patrick stares at Joey. "Joey, I noticed you're reading Don DeLillo. White Noise is one of my favorite books," he says. Joey snorts. "When in your fifteen years did you find time to read it?" she asks. Patrick enthusiastically informs her that he's actually sixteen, and digs for his driver's license to prove it. Harley finally turns to him and asks him to please shut up. Patrick says that he and Joey can go in the other room if their conversation is disturbing her. Harley shrieks at him that he can just leave. Patrick blinks. "What's your problem?" he asks. "I asked you over here to be with me, not to salivate over my babysitter. I mean, do you have any idea how gross that is?" Harley asks. Patrick rolls his eyes and says that he can't believe Harley still needs a babysitter. "When your parents go out of town, don't they make you stay with the Johnsons?" she asks. "Yeah, that's just for safety reasons," Patrick explains. "Yeah, so you don't choke on your own spittle," Harley snaps. "Spittle" is a sadly underutilized word. At this point, Joey steps in and tells both of them to shut up. "Easy for you to say, Helen," Harley says. Joey makes a quizzical face. "You know, the face that launched a thousand ships? Get people all riled up and then go knit somewhere in solitude?" Harley explains. The knitter is actually Penelope, but that was a nice try, kiddo. Joey points out the mix-up in epic poems, but Harley isn't too humiliated by not knowing The Odyssey and…whatever poem Helen of Troy is in. The Iliad? It's been a while. ["Well, she's actually in both of them, but this show isn't called Classics Geek so I'll shut up now." -- Sars] "Point is, my boyfriend is blatantly flirting with you," Harley says. "Since when am I your boyfriend?" Patrick asks. "Oh, I hate you so much right now," Harley says, turning on him with some serious venom. "I hate you with the burning passion of a thousand STDs." Patrick, still stunned by this "boyfriend" revelation, sputters that they haven't had The Talk, and Harley squeals that they can't -- every time she tries to be serious with him, he turns into "some freak of nature and [does] things like this." Yes. Welcome to adult relationships, Harley. Joey closes her eyes, and Harley launches into a litany of charges against him, which include stuff like selling her out in homeroom and blah blah blah, and then Patrick admits that he likes "to keep [his] options open." At this, Joey covers her face in horror. Harley snits that he can take her off his list of options. "That should make things much easier for your tortured, assy soul," she says, and stomps off. I giggled at the "assy" part, I must admit. Patrick looks at Joey questioningly, and she just looks down at her book. "I probably shouldn't have said that thing about the options," he admits. "To begin with," she agrees.

So, Pacey has to go outside to find Doug to tell him that it's his turn to talk to Pa. Doug is, like, hanging out in an alley, moping. I'd like to make it perfectly clear that I empathize with Doug. It sucks to feel unappreciated, especially when you feel like you're the person who's been doing all the work. However, a family crisis probably isn't the time to decide that you're fed up, and to retreat to poorly lit breezeways to sulk. Anyway, the Witter brothers have this very dull argument about how Pacey's getting all the credit after doing none of the work, and Doug finally admits that he's been taking care of the Witter clan for years and he's sick of it. Sick! Pacey waves his index finger around threateningly and yells that Doug chose to stay in Capeside. And Doug yells that he has made choices -- responsible ones! -- even though he knows that's a foreign concept to someone who plays "musical careers." And so Pacey is all, what's your problem? Am I stepping on your turf, or something? "I'm a member of this family," he reminds Doug. Doug rolls his eyes. "Yeah, conveniently," he says, bitterly explaining that Pacey has this habit of sweeping in with gifts and pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, so they all "forget." Pacey's all, "Forget what? Am I not allowed to change?" Doug has no real response to this, so Pacey starts waving his threatening finger around some more. "Ultimately, this is not about our father, which is kind of pathetic considering the condition that man is in right now," he shouts. "This is about you wanting to see my face every day, knowing you're still the good son. That you're top dog. Well, that's just sad!" Pacey tells Doug that he "had to leave sometime," and points out that it's not as though he's abandoned them forever. He comes back when he's needed, and you know what? Maybe -- just maybe -- Pa Witter is happy to know that Pacey isn't going to hold a grudge against him for the rest of his life! "In a strange way, this might be a good thing," Pacey insists. Doug sniffs, irritated and bratty. "It is a good thing. And it's all yours, little brother. It's all yours. Enjoy it while it lasts." And then he stomps away. Well! Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

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Dawson's Creek

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