Dawson's Creek S1E3: Kiss
Don't be fooled by the rocks that she got, she's still Joey from the block (THE CREEK!)
Oh heyyyy. We’re back!
This week’s episode is called ‘Kiss’, and last week’s episode was called ‘Dance’. This is despite the fact that the plot for ‘Dance’ centred around Dawson’s quest to kiss Jen, and the only dancing that took place was some lifeless shuffling courtesy of the low-energy Capeside High extras.
This week we’re adding a few shiny new things after the recap in the CreekBeat Clubhouse, so if you’re interested in recommendations for books, tv shows, and articles, then please check it out.
As always, if you like what you see, we would be super grateful if you could like, comment and share.
The story so far:
Dawson failed to get a kiss & instead settled for a slow dance with Jen, who wants to take things slowly because of WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK. Joey’s feelings for Dawson continued to hide in plain sight, as she confronted Gail with the Good Hair about cheating on Mitch.
Tamara/Miss Jacobs continued her one woman mission to become the subject of a Lifetime Special by kissing Pacey YET AGAIN, and Dawson’s movie - which we have renamed Behind Schedule - remained behind schedule.
Interior. Dawson’s bedroom. Night:
Dawson and Joey are watching the infamous kissing scene in From Here to Eternity. Dawson, on brand as ever, tells Joey how he intends to stage the perfect kiss with Jen, complete with crashing waves, grainy footage, but without Burt Lancaster, which is unfortunate as swapping Dawson for Burt is probably the only way that Jen would actually enjoy the experience.
Joey, speaking for us all, tells Dawson to man up and stop trying to direct real-life. The chance of Dawson heeding this good advice is about as likely as Grams attending a Pride rally, so I guess we know what we’re in store for this week.
In Dawson’s film class, ‘Helmets of Glory’ (lol) has third act problems, which in normal-person speak means it doesn’t have an ending. Or rather, it doesn’t have a good ending. One of the students pipes up and suggests that it should end with a ‘big production number’ and Nellie (yes, still) tells him to shut his goddamn mouth.
The one person who should keep his goddamn mouth shut is Dawson, since he was only allowed in the class on the condition that he keeps quiet. But this is Dawson, so of course he’s like ‘guys guys don’t worry I have the perfect solution’ which is so smug and patronising that everyone ignores him, even though he’s actually right.
Tamara keeps Pacey back after English class to tell him that he’s failed a test. Pacey’s not too bothered but Tamara informs him that she keeps hearing Pacey’s name being brought up by the rest of the faculty. I’m guessing it’s not because the teachers are playing a risqué game of Shag Marry Kill between him, Dawson and Cliff.
(Since you’re wondering; Shag: none of them, because it’s illegal. Marry: none of them, because it’s illegal. Kill: Dawson).
Pacey responds to Tamara’s concern about his grades by suggesting that if she tied him up maybe he’d concentrate more.
Tamara: That is completely inappropriate. However, I shall tutor you. Meet me in my office this evening when nobody else is around. Tell no-one. Bring wine.
Right. I know we’ve joked about this before, but seriously are there only TWO classes in this school? Film Class, which Dawson is too young to even be in, and English Class, which Pacey attends purely to eye-bone Tamara as she burns copies of Wuthering Heights and cries about her poor life choices.
We cut to the Ice House, a restaurant run by Bessie and Bodie (Joey’s pregnant sister and her partner). Dawson is banging on about how becoming Nellie’s PA is somehow his ‘BIG BREAK’ because it means he’ll be allowed to participate in the film class he’s attending. Given that Nellie can’t stand Dawson the only big break that this partnership is likely to see is Dawson’s neck when Nellie snaps it.
Pacey thinks that Dawson is humiliating himself by being Nellie’s bitch, so Dawson promptly changes the subject to how he’s going to set up the perfect conditions to kiss Jen, by taking her to the ruins of some nice garden where he also intends to finish shooting his new movie.
Joey: That’s nice
Pacey makes a brave attempt to share what might be going on in his life, but at this very moment Anderson walks past, locks eyes with Joey, and through the sheer wattage of eye-fuckery alone, makes her a woman.
Pacey doesn’t miss an opportunity to embarrass Joey and bellows across the restaurant that Joey wants Anderson to dock his yacht in her harbour, which is about as sophisticated a metaphor as we can expect from someone failing all their classes. Joey, wallflower that she is, threatens to murder Pacey in his sleep.
The setting of Helmets of Glory is on the school football field and not, as the title might suggest, in the football players locker room. Jen arrives, dressed in a cheerleading outfit, because apparently she serves no purpose in life other than to be the physical embodiment of Dawson’s fantasies.
Dawson questions her outfit, and Jen explains that Cliff has invited her to be an extra in his movie.
This goes down like a lead balloon with Dawson, who immediately is like “BUT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE IN MY SWAMP CREATURE MOVIE NOT THIS AMATEUR TRASH”. To add insult to injury, Scott Foley/Cliff swings by and says ‘Hi David’ to Dawson in-front of Jen which is some BD Energy.
Dawson isn’t the only one who sucks at their job. Over at ‘tutoring’ Tamara asks Pacey how far he’s gotten with his reading. Pacey lies and says that he’s almost done, so Tamara asks him whether he’s got to the part where Ethan has arrived at the County Fair. Pacey says yes and Tamara replies CAUGHT YOU THERE IS NO COUNTY FAIR PACEY. Good one, Tamara. Whilst we’re at it, watching someone read, or pretend to read, isn’t tutoring. It’s supervising.
Pacey wants to know whether Tamara would have been interested in him when she was in high school. Tamara tells him that she probably wouldn’t have dated him back then, but she’s smarter now (well…) before proceeding to tell Pacey if he gets all the questions right on the test she’ll make it worth his while (God…).
Meanwhile, back at the Ice House, Joey finds Anderson playing violin on his yacht. They engage in some back and forth, and Anderson invites her sailing. Because nobody in this town is capable of having a normal relationship, Joey accepts Anderson’s invitation, but decides to pretend she’s called Deborah Carson, a Fellow Rich Youth.
Joey: My name is Deborah Carson. I am of money.
Back on the set of Helmets of Glory, Dawson is muttering feverishly to himself about how much Cliff’s movie sucks, which is true, but not as much as Dawson’s attitude. Nellie calls him out on it, loudly, in-front of everyone, and she’s right.
Nellie’s not the only person at the end of her tether. Shockingly, Tamara’s tactic of implying that she’ll bone Pacey if he does well on his practice test has led to quite a bit of a misunderstanding, and after one too suggestive remarks from Pacey, Tamara snaps, and demands that he does her right there on her desk.
Pacey: This is my first time so maybe we don’t do it on your marking?
Tamara: Not so funny now is it, VIRGIN BOY?
Luckily Tamara calms down a bit and tells Pacey straight that she’s insane, and that it’s probably for the best they stop whatever it is they’re doing before things get any worse.
Joey/Deborah is on her date with Anderson, who asks Joey some rich people first date questions and Joey tells him that nothing ever happens in a one-horse town like Capeside whilst she flicks some imaginary lint off of her imaginary mink coat.
They climb aboard Anderson’s boat where they sail to a sandy beach straight out of every music video that 90’s MTV ever aired. Joey continues to bluff about being rich and comes up with some random story about being heir to a tampon empire.
Anderson tries to find out if Joey has a boyfriend, and she basically replies ‘alas, the young squire who has captured my heart would sooner press his lips to a mannequin that bears my likeness than he would woo me’. Anderson’s all ‘well if that’s your kink, okay, just as long as he’s not a liar, because liars are the worst’.
Things are still a bit tense over on the set of Helmets of Glory. The ‘crew’ are filming a scene that requires the camera to follow two football players as they run through a play, but the picture is so shaky it’s like the cameraman is being chased by the Blair Witch.
Dawson: I have an idea :)
Nellie orders Dawson out of her sight to go and fetch some more film tape. He runs into Jen, who has come to visit him, cheerleader uniform and all. Dawson wastes no time in complaining about Cliff and his god-awful movie to Jen, who amazingly doesn’t seem at all put off by Dawson’s childishness. Jen agrees to film with Dawson later that evening, because it will be nice to work with a ‘real director’. Good God, Jen. You are from New York City. It’s time you acted like it.
Back at the beach, Joey and Anderson are sharing their UFO theories, which I don’t think is a rich youth conversation topic, and I know what I’m talking about because I’ve seen Gossip Girl. Hey, Upper East Siders, what do you think really went down at Roswell? Subscribe to our Soundcloud for the latest theories. XOXO. I don’t think so.
Joey and Anderson playfully wrestle into to the sand, and Anderson leans in for a kiss. For a moment Joey is tempted but she pulls away. She explains to Anderson that she needs to tell him The Truth.
Joey: I’m not Cinderella.
Now, yes, technically, that is a true statement ‘Deborah’, but don’t you think there are a few other personal details you could let your boy in on too? A/S/L, that kind of thing. If you know, you know.
Back on set, and the camera work is still shaky AF. Dawson pipes up again, and even though Nellie’s furious, Cliff/Scott Foley is open to suggestions. Dawson’s bright idea is to have Pacey (or in this case, ‘Steady’, am I right?) pull Dawson along in a wheelchair holding the camera. Seems to me that would still be shaky as anything but apparently it works, and Dawson gets the peer-approval that has eluded him thus far in life.
In the Ice House, Jen is marvelling at Dawson’s brilliance which I assumed was a scene from Behind Schedule but apparently she really feels that way. Also feeling some kinda way is Joey, who is being NICE because she had a nice date with a nice boy, and all is right in the kingdom until Anderson shows up. Joey tries to bluff it out but as usual Dawson’s being a complete moron.
Anderson: Hi Deborah
Luckily, Jen remembers that she’s from New York and therefore has a bit of street savoir faire, and covers for Joey. So does Bodie, who pretends that Joey is a customer even when Bessie is literally screaming at her to hustle with the sandwiches like a good little serving wench. Joey arranges to meet Anderson and his violin later.
Meanwhile, Pacey overhears Mr Gold and Tamara talking about films. Old people films, to be precise. Pacey confronts Tamara and accuses her of flirting with Mr Gold, which Tamara laughs off, until Pacey sulkily drops the mic by telling her, ‘I know what you do with your students’. #sickburn. Tamara asks Pacey what he wants from her, and he replies simply, ‘You’.
Cut to The Ruins, which Dawson explains to Jen is a Greek garden in the middle of Capeside built by a man whose wife desperately wanted to visit Greece but she was too ill to travel, so he brought Greece to her. This whole thing is about as feasible as Joey being heir to Always, but Jen seems into it. Dawson directs Jen through her last scene, which she nails, and he calls out ‘cut, print’ to a film crew who aren’t actually there.
This raises a good point. We know that there’s not a crew there, but does Dawson? Dawson acts like the director of his own life - not to mention the lives of those around him - pretty much constantly. Is he, in-fact, of the belief that he is living in a kind of permanent behind the scenes Truman Show reality? This will require further investigation, but for now Dawson is edging ever closer to his PERFECT KISS with Jen, until, of course, she spots that he is filming it.
Jen: Wait, is that a camera?
Dawson’s imaginary film crew:
Spotted: Little Joey Potter saying farewell to Violin Boy. Smart move, Little J, we guess Anderson is one fiddler who won’t be dancing to your tune. Until next time, you know you love me. XOXO.
Dawson explains to Jen that he just wants everything to be perfect, and she tells him - again - that he’s putting too much pressure on trying to craft a perfect love story between them, and that there’s no way that she, or anyone, could live up to these expectations.
We briefly cut over to Joey, who is in the car with Bessie and Bodie. A piece of paper with Anderson’s telephone number is in her hands. She smiles, sighs, and lets the paper slip quietly out of the open car window.
Dawson and Jen overhear people coming into the Ruins, so break off their argument to hide. LO AND BEHOLD, it’s only Pacey and Tamara. Dawson doesn’t see them, because in their hiding place, he and Jen are sharing a kiss that is perfect in its imperfection. Pacey loses his virginity to Tamara, surrounded by nothing but faux Greek ruins, oh, and Dawson’s video camera, which is still recording.
📚 I’ve just started reading ‘The Cousins’, by Karen McManus. Karen also wrote ‘One of us is Lying’ which was one of my favourite books in 2017. It’s basically The Breakfast Club, but with murder. It’s also being adapted into a TV series, and Darío Madrona, creator of Elite is on board, so it’s definitely going on my must-see list.
📺 Speaking of Elite, if you haven’t watched it yet then definitely check it out on Netflix. It’s a great binge watch, and it’s on the shortlist to be the next show that we start recapping, so if you feel any kind of way about that then speak up in the comments section.
✍ The New Yorker has a great podcast where authors read out their short stories. I’ve linked to January 2021’s, which is entitled ‘A Challenge You Have Overcome’, by Allegra Goodman. If you’re looking for some more Dawson action, then there’s an old Vanity Fair article you might be interested in, that talks about what it was like in the Writer’s Room.
📸 And finally - Creekbeat now has its very own Insta, so if watching millennials haphazardly negotiate their way through Canva and riff songs from YouTube is your thing, come say hi!
As the bow of his yacht crashed through the choppy waves, Anderson untucked the violin from his chin, placing it carefully back in its case and stowing it in his bunk. His journey, like the journey of every young sailor trying to escape his destiny, was always going to be fraught with adventure and disappointment, but he never expected heartbreak.
The crackle of the ship’s radio pulls him back into the present “Hello, is anyone there, over?….” That was odd. A female voice. Not unheard of, but unusual. Especially for these parts.
He grabs the speaker, “This is the USS Four Strings, over”.
“Thank goodness! I didn’t think anybody could hear me! I’ve been so lost…”
“It’s okay, I can hear you, over”. Her voice. So familiar. But how? “Can you tell me your coordinates?”
“25.0000° N by 71.0000° W”
Anderson felt a chill run down his spine. The Bermuda Triangle. It wasn’t possible. “Can”, he said, his throat suddenly thick and dry, “Can you tell me your name?” The answer made his blood run cold.
“It’s Deborah. Deborah Carson”.