Dawson's Creek
That Was Then

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That Was Then

Back at the hospital, Pacey sticks his head in his father's room, where Doug and Pa Witter are watching television. He's heading home, he says, but promises his father that he'll drop in before he goes back to Boston in the morning. Pa Witter thanks him for the private room, and Doug makes a bratty baby face. Pacey just looks around the room for a moment. "No, that wasn't me. Doug took care of the room," he lies carefully. "Nice seeing you, Pa. Good-bye." Doug looks vaguely stunned and then smiles at his father.

Flip-Flops Manor. Finally, Joey just opens Harley's door. The girl is reading InStyle. Maybe she can advise Joey on her hair problems. Harley pointedly ignores Joey until she sits on Harley's bed and assures her that "wouldn't go after [Harley's] guy." "Go after her guy"? What am I watching, American Dreams? Actually, at this very moment, I am, but that doesn't make that turn of phrase any less dated. Anyway, Joey tells Harley that going after Patrick wouldn't "be kosher." She doesn't mention the fact that trying to put the moves on a sixteen-year-old boy would be gross at her age. Harley admits that she knows Joey wouldn't be interested in Patrick. She thinks Patrick was "just testing [her]." She simply doesn't understand why Patrick would want to test something that's already on shaky ground. She asks if Joey had this hard a time when she was in high school. Joey laughs that of course she did, but that everything seems 20/20 in hindsight. Now, she says, the problems she had with Pacey seem "petty" and all the obstacles she ran into with Dawson seem "unnecessary." Harley furrows her brow. "Dude, how many boyfriends did you have?" she asks. Joey laughs that it wasn't as "racy" as it sounds. Darling, it doesn't even sound that racy. Harley asks Joey what she would tell her old self, if she could. Dude, who talks like this? That's such a contrived question. Joey thinks about it, however, and then admits that lately she's been wondering why she can talk to Oliver without feeling scared, and that she realized that when she was sixteen, everything was motivated by fear. "Maybe it's just about taking a deep breath and forgiving yourself for yesterday's mistake," she says, telling Harley that she's going to want to "punch Patrick in the face" when she sees him at school, but that he's going to say something that might make her want to change her mind about doing him bodily harm. "Hear it, Harley. Don't be afraid to move forward." Or, you know, go ahead and punch him in the face. It'll be good for ratings. Harley wraps her arms around her knees and asks Joey why she didn't go to Los Angeles with Oliver, if she's so ready to move forward. Joey smiles. "Because it's not just about him. It's about me and what I'm ready for," she says. Oy. Harley asks what it is that Joey's ready for. "That's none of your business," Joey tells her, and directs her to get back to her essay. "When is this battle ax thing going to end?" Harley asks. "You're becoming most unpleasant." Joey slides off the bed and says that it's never going to end. "I'm honing my wench skills," she says, and, turning the radio on, leaves the room.

Pacey stops by Casa Leery on his way back to the Witter homestead. And who does he run into? Dawson! They awkwardly explain what they're each doing in Capeside, and walk down to the deck to talk. Pacey says that it's so disconcerting to see his father ill. Dawson says that he understands, although, really, Dawson never saw the Flash ill -- just very orange, and then felled by a marauding ice cream cone. Anyway, Pacey says that seeing his dad in the hospital made him think of Dawson. "I wasn't ready for that, you know," he says, admitting that all he wanted was to be a kid again, and let everyone else take care of him. Dawson smiles sympathetically and says that he knows exactly what Pacey is talking about. He wonders when they turned into adults. Pacey shrugs, and Dawson tells him that, when he was watching this stupid kid's stupid film over at Capeside High, all he could think was the "[he] didn't know anything." I have to admit, this scene is kind of nice. It feels natural, and it's nice to see the boys interacting again. And the older I get, the more I feel like I don't know anything, either. Probably because I really don't. Especially as far as math is concerned. Dawson tells Pacey that he'd like to "start all over again. Do things the right way." Pacey gazes thoughtfully across the creek. "Yeah," he says quietly. "Yeah, I'd like the time back. But I wouldn't have it the way it was. I just want to pinpoint that moment in your life when everything goes wrong." Dawson looks down at his shoes. "I think it was puberty for me," he says. "I could skip that, too," Pacey agrees. The boys laugh, and Dawson makes some comment about how he can't afford to make a movie, now that he has something to say, and Pacey says something about how he's the go-to guy as far as raising capital goes, and how obvious is it that someone's setting up some kind of money-related plot twist with that little conversation? Anyway, Dawson comments that it's cold, and invites Pacey into the house for some coffee, and the boys walk up the path and into Casa Leery together. As much as it pains me to admit it, that scene was nicely done by both actors.

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Dawson's Creek

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