Dawson's Creek S1E4: Discovery
It all started when my mom met my dad, fell in love, and then they had me. Hi, I'm Dawson, and my life is kinda crazy.
Oh heyyyy. We’re back!
This week’s episode is a doozey so we’re going to skip a lengthy introduction and go straight to the good stuff (with just a real quick thank-you for your nice comments about our Alternate Endings and CreekBeat Clubhouse segments!).
If CreekBeat has in some way entertained you, we’d be super grateful if you could like, comment and share - it really helps. Now on with the show!
The story so far:
Dawson finally shared a kiss with Jen, who was still concerned that Dawson had unrealistic expectations of her, and their romance. Joey enjoyed a one-time date with Anderson, whilst continuing to hide that Gail had cheated on Mitch from Dawson.
Dawson’s movie, which we have renamed Behind Schedule, got some unexpected bonus footage when the camera that Dawson rigged up in The Ruins accidentally recorded Miss Jacobs having sex with Pacey.
We start as we always do:
Interior. Dawson’s bedroom. Night:
Dawson shows Joey the footage he took of Jen at the end of last week’s episode. He continues to emotionally waterboard Joey by banging on about how perfect Jen is. Joey says that Jen is pretty in an obvious kind of way, before then painting a graphic and frankly horrifying picture of what Jen’s future holds, which I won’t recap but safe to say Future Jen would fit right in on an episode of Real Housewives of New York.
Dawson: You’ve put quite a bit of thought into this.
Dawson asks for Joey’s help in choosing a 20th anniversary present for Gail and Mitch. Joey makes a dig about the state of their marriage, which, as it does not directly affect Dawson, goes completely over his head.
Dawson: I wonder what to get my Mom and Dad for their anniversary….
Joey: May I interest you in this fine Pandora’s Box?
This might have been a good opportunity for Joey to unburden herself of the fact that she knows Dawson’s mother is having an affair, except the footage on screen has skipped past Jen’s highlight reel and is now playing scenes that will surely one day be displayed to a jury. Miss Jacobs having sex with Pacey.
(all together now)
🎶 I Don’t Wanna Wait 🎶
Cut to the Ice House. Dawson and Joey immediately tell Pacey and Jen that they have accidentally acquired a sex tape of Miss Jacobs riding an unidentified younger male. Jen’s like ‘oh Miss Jacobs from fifth period?’ because she’s from New York, bish, where these things are NBD. Pacey, who is very much not from New York, plays it less cool.
Pacey: “MY Tamara?! WHY??????”
Because nobody pays any attention to Pacey, they have not clocked the QUITE OBVIOUS clue that Pacey, not exactly famed for his scholastic enthusiasm, is calling his English teacher by her first name, which might in some circles indicate a closeness, or perhaps an intimacy, or maybe a - oh, never mind.
Dawson walks Jen home, and once again proves himself to be an awful friend by throwing Pacey under the bus, telling Jen that whilst Pacey might talk a good game, he’s still a card carrying member of the V-Club. Jen says that in her experience, the more someone talks about sex, the worse they are at it, and Dawson has the downright nerve to reply ‘well I NEVER talk about it’.
Dawson leans in for a kiss but Grams, otherwise known as the Patron Saint of Fallen Women, appears at the window and kills the mood. Now, S1 Grams is awful, but thank God she’s back because it actually gives Jen something to do other than orbiting Dawson and Cliff and their equally-terrible film projects.
Jen tells Grams that she has only kissed Dawson. Grams is like well that’s how things started in New York, isn’t it. Nice, Grams. Grams asks Jen why she thinks her parents sent her to Capeside in the first place, so I guess the answer to that is NOT ‘to help take care of my grandfather’, which is just as well since Grandpa Lindley went for a nap in Episode 1 and hasn’t been seen since.
Over at the Leery Residence, we’re treated to yet another example of Gail failing to remember some minor random detail about Mitch’s life, thus further proving that she is a BAD WIFE. Dear DC Writers Room, you have pretty much ticked that box already by having her cheat on him repeatedly. We get it. Fondest regards, etc etc.
Dawson escapes to his bedroom where he finds Pacey frantically rifling through Dawson’s belongings in search of his sex tape. The most hilarious part is Dawson’s wail of ‘DUDE YOU’RE MESSING UP MY DAILY’S’ as though a tidy workstation is what matters when your best friend has banged his teacher and you’ve accidentally filmed it.
Dawson: I shall deal with this situation once I have completed the task at hand. My normal duties include include typing, and some light filing. If I encounter a problem that I cannot resolve, I will refer directly to my line manager.
Pacey tells Dawson that he’s falling for Tamara and that even though he knows it’s crazy, he wants things to work out between them.
Pacey then asks if, in Dawson’s opinion, it looked like Pacey performed well during his first sexual encounter, which is about as much use as asking the Taliban for feedback on your plans to advance the women’s movement.
Dawson and Joey go shopping to find an anniversary gift for his parents, when they bump into Gail and BOB. Gail could not look more guilty if she tried, but Bob manages to divert Dawson by pretending as though he’s interested in Dawson’s stupid movie. Joey burns a scarlet letter into Gail’s sensible blouse while Dawson’s like ‘hmm maybe Bob isn’t so bad after all’.
Jen is on her way to meet Dawson but first must get past Grams. Grams explains that she is concerned about Jen’s fledging relationship with Dawson on account of how she has seen that Potter girl (love it) climbing in and out Dawson’s bedroom window for years. Jen tries to reassure Grams with the truth, but Grams isn’t buying it and in her position I’m not sure I would either.
Elsewhere, the Kim and Ray J of Capeside are having lunch. Tamara is choosing the next book for Pacey’s English class and Pacey demands something with sex in it because once you pop you can’t stop, I guess.
Tamara has no issue with bending the curriculum to meet the whims of her paramour, and Pacey tells her that it’s entirely possible that two people can meet, have sex, and enjoy a relationship together. Tamara seems into it, until he tries to hold her hand and she pulls away, because they’re in public and I guess she doesn’t want a side order of jail time with her Capeside Salad Special.
Meanwhile, Jen has escaped Grams and is watching a rough cut of Dawson’s swamp movie. Dawson is very much in needy, please-say-you-like-my-movie-or-I’ll-drown-myself-in-my-own-creek mode.
Said nobody ever:
Dawson needs to do some additional audio dubbing on his film, and apparently Gail lets him use the equipment at the network which seems like an improper use of facilities but this is a woman who is dips her nib in the company ink on the regular, so what else should we expect.
Jen and Dawson kiss, but Jen, presumably heeding Grams’ prophecy, prevents it from going any further.
We cut straight to the station, where Jen flounders in her delivery of rehearsed screaming in the audio booth. Dawson is in his element, barking casual instructions to the hapless audio guy who pointedly asks him ‘is your mom around’. Turns out that Gail is more than around, she is in-fact RIGHT THERE being kissed by Bob. No hiding it this time. Dawson’s seen it all, and he’s pissed.
Outside, Jen tries to console Dawson, telling him that even though this is probably the worst thing that’s happened in his life so far she wants to be there for him and hopes it will bring the two of them closer.
Dawson: ‘G2G. Must Find Joey’
Dawson is understandably upset about his mother’s affair, but becomes even more upset when he deduces that Joey has known about it for weeks and not told him. Joey defends herself by pointing out that she knows Dawson well enough to know that he’d shoot the messenger so why would she put herself in that position? Fair enough. What is slightly less fair enough is Joey’s follow up point suggesting that Dawson would have figured it out himself if he hadn’t been so enamoured with Jen.
Dawson storms out, only to then run into Gail. Gail’s like ‘uh oh you look stressed, is it women problems?’
Dawson THEN goes back to find Jen. Jen admits to being hurt by the fact that Dawson immediately ran to Joey when he had a crisis, rather than speaking to her, especially given that she was literally right next to him.
Jen decides now is as good a time as any to tell Dawson that she’s not actually a virgin. She explains that she made some choices that she regrets and that she was sent to live in Capeside by her parents to take her off a self-destructive path.
But of course, all is not fine. Jen has acted out of free will which simply will not do, and Dawson gives her the ole ‘I’ll call ya’ brush off the next morning at school.
Pacey continues to spy on Tamara and her chit chats with Mr Gold, although he relaxes a little when Tamara points out that Mr. Gold is gay and therefore not competition. The only competition that stands in the way of the Pacey/Tamara love story is a pesky little thing called THE LAW, and Tamara tells Pacey she is just as freaked out as he is.
Speaking of freaking out, Dawson, having run out of women to confide in, suddenly remembers he has an actual best friend to talk to and tells Pacey that Jen isn’t a virgin. Pacey’s like so what? He then says what Joey, Jen, Nellie, Mr Gold, Mitch, the Avengers, the Care Bears, some Storm Troopers, have all been saying for weeks, which is that Dawson’s approach of trying to direct his own life and cast everyone in their neat little boxes is only going to lead to disaster.
Dawson: I completely understand oh btw PLOT TWIST I am going to tell Mitch that Gail is cheating on him.
But turns out Dawson can’t do it. This whole scene is a bit bananas, because Dawson builds it up like I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU PAPA, and then bottles it by finishing with ‘Happy Anniversary’.
Jen decides to visit Joey at the Ice House to get some advice on how to handle the Dawson Situation.
Joey has only ever given Jen a slightly warmer reception than Grams, so Jen must feel strongly for Dawson if she’s going to brave a conversation with his standoffish best friend. Joey isn’t keen on the opportunity for some girl time until Jen reveals that she isn’t a virgin.
Jen explains to Joey that Dawson was disappointed in her revelation. She feels judged because she opened up to him, and he acted like she had offered him a subscription to her OnlyFans.
Joey explains that even though Dawson uses a lot of long words he’s actually still quite immature. He only sees things in black and white, and freaks out when he can’t control the uncontrollable. Jen asks what she should do, and Joey tells her to wait, because every good guy was a dumb guy once, and damn, because that’s actually good advice.
Elsewhere on the ranch, Pacey is trying to find out Tamara’s magic number, and we’re not talking about her age. She’s 35, and tells him that of the people she has slept with, only 3 mattered, and of those 3, he is one.
Since she seems to be getting little sense anywhere else, Jen has resorted to the age old trope of delivering a monologue to someone who’s unconscious. In this case, it’s Grandpa Lindley, who is either in a coma or having one hell of a nap. She (rightly) defends herself against the judgements of her grandmother and her boyfriend, but whether Grandpa Lindley agrees or not will remain to be seen.
Dawson has returned to the aptly named Ruins, this time for a showdown with Joey. Joey tells him that he is going to screw up his relationship with Jen if he keeps punishing her for failing to live up to Dawson’s impossibly high standards, but Dawson replies that he isn’t even sure if he and Joey are friends anymore so he’s not interested in having this conversation right now.
They’re back to where they were at the end of the pilot episode; establishing whether they have a friendship, what it should look like, and how it should work. They call a truce, acknowledging that in some other world they’ve probably been married for fifty years, and have become the kind of couple who maybe, perhaps, somehow save each other. Or maybe they don’t.
📚 I’m still reading ‘The Cousins’, by Karen McManus and so far I’m really enjoying it. I’ve promised to post a link to my Good Reads review once I’m done, so I’ll make sure to share that here over the coming weeks. I’ve also started reading Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, which is a fictionalised version of the life that Hillary Clinton might have led if she had turned down Bill’s proposal. It’s a great concept and got me thinking about all the other ‘what if’ stories that are out there waiting for someone to find them.
📺 I’m definitely going to do a big Elite re-watch in advance of the new series, but in the meantime I binged Fate: The Winx Saga. I’m going to need a second viewing before I write about it. There’s definitely some problem areas but I think the potential for improvement outweighs those issues. Plenty of others disagree with that assessment though, so if you’ve seen the series, sound off in the comments and tell me what you think.
🎧Everyone (well, apart from CreekBeat) has a podcast these days, but I came across one called ‘The Apology Line’ on Stitcher that looks awesome. It’s a six episode series focusing on the story of a telephone line in Manhattan that you could call anonymously and apologise for anything you’d ever done wrong in your life. The guy at the other end of the phone, after hearing nothing but confessions of lies, infidelity, murder, deception for nearly 15 years, becomes consumed by his own creation, and ultimately takes matters into his own hands.
📸 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!
Grandpa Lindley smiled at the angel who sat at the foot of his bed. He knew his time on this mortal coil had come to an end, and had more than made his peace with it. He knew Jennifer would be safe in Evelyn’s care, and even though they would miss him, he would always be there to watch over them. Now all there was left to do was to give in to the light, and enjoy the relaxation of eternal peace.
“So that was your granddaughter?” The angel consulted his notes, “Jennifer. From New York?”
“That’s her. A good girl”.
“Oh absolutely. And tell me”, The angel leaned forward conspiratorially, “How is she getting on with Dawson? Do you think they’ll make a go of things?”
“Goodness. I have no idea. She doesn’t let me on in her private life”. Mr Lindley glanced at the clock, “So, do you think we should be going, or…”
“And what about Josephine?”
“Joey, Potter. We have her mother up there of course, she’s dying - forgive the pun - to know how Joey’s getting on. She thinks that Joey is far better suited to Dawson than Jennifer, but she’s her mother so of course she’d say that. Personally, I think Joey would have a much better time with Pacey, but he’s all tied up in that Tamara business…” The angel looked at Mr. Lindley expectantly. “But I suppose you have your own perspective on all this. Insider knowledge, so to speak. Am I right?”
“My dear fellow, I’m afraid I don’t know any more than you do. Even less, in-fact. What, for example, is a ‘Pacey’”?
“You don’t know anything?” The angel’s mouth dropped open, “Nothing at all? But, we’re all obsessed. And Jen confides in you. I just saw her”.
“Only because she thought I was asleep!”
“So you really know nothing more about all this than we do”. The angel’s shoulder slumped a little in disappointment. Mr Lindley began to feel a bit sorry for him.
“I expect she might confide in me a little more had I been able to stay around”, he said, apologetically, “But these things being what they are, it just wasn’t meant to be”.
The angel sat up a little straighter, “So what you’re saying is, if you had more time, you think Jennifer might confide in you again. Maybe give you some of the goss?”
“I suppose it’s possible, but we’ll never know, will we?” Mr Lindley waited what he hoped was a polite amount of time before continuing, “Now, when I get to the gates, do I just go in, or do I knock, or…”
“You’re not going!” The angel snaps his notebook shut. “It’s not time for you yet. You have more to do”.
“More to do?!”
“Yes. Now, just lie there. Relax. And if your granddaughter should happen to pop in again, just, you know, nudge her in the direction of Dawson vs Pacey. In-fact there’s a wonderful game the Capeside Teaching Staff play, called Shag Marry Kill…”