Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dawson's Creek - 213 - His Leading Lady

Original air date: February 3, 1999

Now that I've gotten the theme song rant off my chest, I guess it's time for me to recap the events of the episode, His Leading Lady. When we last left off, we learned a little bit about Pacey's complicated relationship with his father and his shitty home life, Joey and Jen kind of, sort of, made up and Dawson was boring and kind of douchey but apologized for it. Do we get to expand on Pacey's home life some more? No. Do we get Joey and Jen building a friendship? No. We get to see more of Dawson making his movie!


Hooray...

We open the episode up in, Dawson's room and what's this? Dawson and Joey are back watching movies together! And all the Dawson/Joey shippers rejoiced. It's only a matter of time now that they get back together and be soulmates for life!

Hold onto your hats, people. There is still so much angst to get through. Like Joey worrying whether or not Dawson is ok with them hanging out, Dawson obsessing over who to cast in the Joey role of his movie, Joey being pissed that Dawson is ok with their break up, and Joey being even more pissed that Dawson has "let her go."


You were never supposed to get over me, dammit!

Joey bails and acts like she's the one hurt by all this and I throw my hands up in frustration both at her character and the writers. Hello? Am I the only one who remembers that Joey is the one who dumped Dawson? Why the hell should I feel sad that Joey is sad that Dawson decided to move on? Joey crushed his heart and then jumped into the arms of another man, it is not fair that she gets to move on and have another relationship while expecting Dawson to not get over her.

Moving on. We cut to the next day as Joey is in art class. Dawson walks in because his movie is the most important thing ever and he doesn't have to pay attention to other people's schedules, least of all Joey's, or the other students, or the art teacher. No way, his film takes priority over school. He wants to give her his revised script, Joey doesn't care about that right now because she's in a college level class and Dawson is treating it like it's highschool. Dawson suddenly notices that the girl Joey is sketching is nude and behaves like a typical teenaged boy.

Hey, remember how I keep saying that Dawson's Creek is the show that embraced and showcased anything and everything popular? For a brief while, there was a popular young actress who got very big because of a movie, a movie I've already recapped on this very site, She's All That. That's right, our very special guest star this episode is none other than 90s girl,


Rachael Leigh Cook!

We next cut to Pacey and Andie hanging out in her room. Pacey is goofing around while Andie is, for some reason, getting ready for bed? I guess sleepovers aren't reserved for just Dawson and Joey. She's taking a while in the bathroom because she has to dramatically take her anti-crazy pills.


I don't always take anti-crazy pills,
but when I do, I take them dramatically

I find it funny just picturing her dramatically taking her pill every freaking day, just like that and then Jack walking in and being like "Andie, stop being such a drama queen and take the damn pill already!"

Anyway, they joke around together and then Pacey goes into the bathroom. In the trash can, he sees her empty bottle of anti-crazy pills which are also known as ZanX.


Pacey is confused

Dawson bumps into Rachael Leigh Cook in the college library and she informs us that her name is Devon and that she is actually a drama major. Dawson is super excited by this and tells her that he is making a movie. She says that she didn't know the college had a film school and Dawson has to admit that he's still in high school.


This girl is pretentious as hell but I laughed at this

Dawson gets all butthurt and tells her that it is his second movie and that this movie is funded by the Boston Film Festival. He gives her his script and asks her to read for the part of "Sammy" which is Joey's character. He also asks her to give her opinion on it. Risky move, Dawson. She warns him that stronger men have been hurt by what she thinks.

At the Lindley household, Grams walks in the door with a younger man. Grams introduces him to Jen as Tyson Hicks but he prefers to be called Ty. I'm guessing he knew who Grams was and that Jen was her granddaughter because I don't think he would have helped her carry her groceries all the way home otherwise. It's also really obvious that he wants Jen. Grams has told him about the movie Jen is working on and Ty wants to help out. Jen is all too happy to get more help as they are apparently short-handed.


Whoa, easy boy. Grams is right there!

Pacey is trying to get advice from Dawson on what he found in Andie's bathroom. Dawson sounds annoyed to me because they are not talking about his movie. I kid, I kid, he is actually making good points, one being that if Pacey is worried, he should ask Andie about it and talk to her. Pacey then explains that he doesn't want to confront her because she's been really stressed out lately and he doesn't want to make it worse. Dawson then gives more good advice by telling him that if Andie is stressed, then the only thing Pacey can do to help is try to help her relax. Dawson is actually being a good friend this episode.


I am shocked

They are in Dawson's room and Dawson is decorating it for the movie shoot. Pacey calls Dawson out on setting his life story in his own room being a bit...creepy. I agree but I get that he doesn't have a ton of money to be able to build a bedroom set so it makes sense.

Then we cut to Dawson outside, setting up a cardboard tv and what looks like some lawnchairs that are supposed to be his bed, I think? So, does this mean that Pacey shamed him into trying to create his bedroom outside? Because that looks really cheap and why would you do that if you have a perfectly good indoor location to shoot in? It looks so fake and how the hell would he be able to trick anyone into thinking the shot was inside when they would clearly be outside, especially if they happen to have to shoot on a windy day? 


Ok, ok, fine. You'll fix it in post


Devon has read Dawson's script and Dawson is anxiously awaiting her praise:
Devon: I didn't love it. 
Dawson: *disappointed* Really? 
Devon: I mean, all the angst and the over-analyzing and the hesitancy to act on...anything. I mean, I really had to search my psyche and call back my adolescence.
Devon goes on to say that she managed to break through all of his psycho-babble and get to the core of the character he wanted her to read for but Dawson has shut down because she didn't immediately praise him for his genius and splendor. He goes so far as to say that he doesn't want her to read for the part because he thought about it some more and says she's too small and the part isn't right for her. She responds by tearing him a new one.
Devon: So what you're saying is because I had an opinion of your script, you're not going to let me read for the part? Here's the cold, hard truth, Dawson. If you can't take a little constructive criticism. You're never going to make it. Good luck in high school. I'm sorry I wasted my time.
He realizes the error of his ways though and begs her to come back and read. She does and he thinks she's awesome or something and gives her the part. The next day, Joey is telling Jack that she has to leave work early to help Dawson out with his movie shoot. Jack is totally cool with it and asks if Dawson will keep them all day. Joey is confused by this and Jack explains that he will be helping too since Jen asked for his help. Joey is even more appalled by this news because she's a horrible person who likely enjoyed two guys fighting over her and is sad that they are not. Basically, Joey is Rachel:
 
But less funny and more infuriating


Joey then goes to take care of a table and surprise! It's Devon, who is creepily watching her and mimicking everything she does and says. I guess she's a method actor and doesn't care how freaking crazy she looks. Joey is creeped out and asks Jack to take over Devon's order for her. Jack goes over to Devon and she then asks him if he knows Joey. He says he does and then she asks him to tell her everything he knows about Joey. The scene cuts there and while Jack looks perplexed, I'm kind of curious as to whether or not he actually answered her or told her to get off the premises and stop being a creeper. 

Pacey has decided to confront Andie about the medication he found. She still tries to pretend it's her mother's but Pacey sees right through this and asks her to stop bull-shitting him. She tells him that she started taking the pills after her older brother died but that it doesn't matter because her doctor isn't going to prescribe any more and wants her to try therapy instead. Pacey thinks that therapy might be good for her and Andie tells him to butt out because she can take care of herself and that she is fine. He asks her if she would tell him if she wasn't fine and she reassures him weakly that she would. 

The next day, Dawson has a massive film crew assembled and they are doing rehearsals. Remember last season, when he made a movie with only help from Pacey, Joey, and Jen and yet this time he's got a crowd of crew and cast but he's short staffed? Confusing. Anyway, Abbie is late for rehearsals so Dawson asks Jen to read her part...so she's basically reading as herself. That must be awkward for her. 

Joey sees this and looks pissed off because, I guess she is jealous that Jen was asked to read? Hmmm, remember last episode how Jen and Joey sort of made up and Joey apologized for lashing out at Jen for "taking what's hers?" Yeah, I guess we're throwing that out because Joey is jealous again. 

The scene unfolds much like the scene from the begining of episode 6 in season 1, where Jen has intruded on their movie night. Except Max Ford hilariously tries to turn it into a porno scene. Dawson tries to correct him by saying that his character is supposed to be interested in "Kim" and that "Sammy" is just his friend.  

Ahh, this show and it's meta humour.
I live for these moments in this show

Dawson tries to explain that he isn't ignoring her feelings, he's just "unaware" of them and Max still looks confused because this:  

Sorry, Dawson still is

Dawson spots Joey and waves excitedly. Devon also perks up and rushes over to them to meet her. They have an awkward introduction where Devon admits that Dawson told her that Sammy is based off of Joey and that she was studying her the other day. Then Dawson reminds Joey that she should recognize her from art class because he enjoys making people more awkward, I guess. Dawson further proves my theory by ditching Joey with Devon and telling Devon to study her mannerisms. Dude, you might have asked Joey's permission before giving some strange girl license to study her and copy everything she does for your stupid movie. Dick. 

Devon wants to ask Joey a bunch of questions which annoys Joey but Devon plows ahead anyway and annoys me by becoming one of those extra characters that serves to tell us what great soulmates the leads are.
Devon: Well, I think that Sammy and Wade are soulmates who will be forever connected by an overpowering, transcendent love...what do you think?
I think you can blow me, Dawson's Creek writers. Show me that they are soulmates and I will believe you but the more you keep telling me, the more I just don't believe it. 

Things with Dawson's shoot are going a bit sour and Dawson tells everyone to take a break. Jen advises Dawson that he should get the first shot done before calling breaks and then goes to deal with the issue herself. Ty had been manning the camera and she asks him if there is a problem, he uses the opportunity to flirt with her by saying that he finds it hard to concentrate with her around. She tells him to cool it but is clearly interested too. 

Jack asks Joey if she's ok with her break up with Dawson being put on screen for everyone to see and she claims to be fine with it. He then rightly says that it's obvious that Dawson isn't over her but Joey insists that he is. Jack seems ok with this and says that as long as Joey is over Dawson, that's all that matters.  

Joey looks like she's not over
Dawson though

Jen asks Ty out because she's badass and doesn't wait around for a guy to ask her and Ty eagerly agrees with the stipulation that Jen leave the date planning to him. She agrees. 

Both Max Ford and Devon are having a hard time understanding their characters' motivations because Dawson and Joey do not opperate like normal humans and trying to portray them is challenging. I sympathize with them. Dawson explains it as best as he can while giving Dawson and Joey shippers more to drool over as he goes over the pain he felt upon losing his "soulmate." 

Devon is intrigued by Dawson's explanation that Joey is an angry person and so she goes over to talk to Joey about it. She tries to provoke Joey into being angry so that she can study how Joey does it. She acts like a complete over the top bitch about it too by bringing Jack into the mix and asking him how it feels to be the "transition guy" and Joey predictably loses it. I don't blame her in this instance because Devon is really grating on my nerves at this point in the episode. 

Meanwhile, Pacey spots Andie freaking out over a lost hair clip that is a prop for the movie. She is hounding Devon about where it is but Devon has no idea and is clearly getting annoyed with Andie. Pacey pulls her aside and tries to calm her down but she only gets more upset and then she dumps him.  

Pacey is crushed and my heart breaks with him
 
A little later, they are filming the infamous Dawson/Joey breakup scene. This time, they nail it and Dawson is super thrilled. He's a little bit too thrilled with Max Ford though. I mean, just look at this:  
Annd IIIIIIIIIIIIIII
eeeeeeeeee-IIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Will allwaaaays

Looove yooouuuuuuuu!!!

I love how in this screencap, it looks like
Devon is giving Dawson a "WTF?" face
as he stares longingly at Max

I think he's supposed to be impressed that the dim-witted, sex obsessed jock has nailed Dawson's complex (*snicker*) script and emotions but it comes across more like Dawson has just realized that Max is the love of his life. Then again, I'm pretty immature sometimes. 

Joey pulls Dawson away from his true love because she was way pissed with watching that scene and wants to let him know about it. She drags him into an empty classroom to unleash her fury. She berates him for wanting to relive the most excruciating moment of their lives and asks if he's punishing her or moving on. Dawson claims to be doing neither and then she chides him by asking if their relationship meant nothing to him and then makes a snide comment about him finding it so easy to move on. 

Uhhh, Joey, you moved on first. You know, you got with Jack two seconds after breaking up with Dawson? You really have no right to be this bitchy. Thankfully, the writers acknowledge this by giving Dawson a backbone for once:
Dawson: Wait a minute, wait a minute! Let's take a little refresher course, Joey! You broke up with me, okay? You have a new boyfriend. You found your art passion. You have a whole new life! And what do I have?
He storms out and leaves Joey alone to think about what a bitch she really is. This next scene is probably my favourite of the episode. Grams is helping with the clean up and begins to talk to Jen. You think for a second, that she is going to chide Jen for something but what happens is this:
Grams: You know, Jennifer. I watched you today and you know what I saw? 
Jen: Why do I feel a lecture coming on here? 
Grams: I saw all these young people working together as a team for a common goal and I was so impressed. Then I realized who was in charge of everyone and I was so proud. I found myself watching a beautiful, accomplished, young woman who just happened to be my granddaughter.
I think I have something in my eye

Ty walks in just as Grams mentions that Jen can be whatever she wants to be without a man by her side. You can tell Jen feels a little bad about the timing of things but Grams tells her to have fun and that she deserves it. 

I awwwww'd again
 
Dawson runs into a distraught Pacey in the hall who tells him that Andie has dumped him. Dawson asks if she meant it and Pacey says she did. Dawson then, fueled by his fight with Joey, urges Pacey to forget about Andie and move on. Pacey points out that Dawson has not exactly moved on from Joey but Dawson insists that he's trying to. I've got to post another quote here because what Pacey says to this is awesome.
Pacey: You know, Dawson, as text-book healthy as the letting go theory sounds, and, you know, it may work out for ya, it doesn't apply to me. I mean, this isn't just a case of teen romance gone sour. I know what I want. I want Andie. And she's hurting right now and whether she knows it or not...she needs me. I have absolutely no intention of letting her go.
Oh my god, does this ever perfectly capture the myriad reasons that Pacey is a better character than Dawson. Dawson just lets things happen to him, while Pacey has the guts to stand up and fight for what he wants. He won't mope, he will try his damnedest to win her back because:  

Suck it, Dawson
 
Jen and Ty are off for their date. Jen suggests they go get something to eat because she's hungry but Ty said he promised some friends that he'd stop by their place for a party but assures her there'll be food there. Jen says she's always up for a party and is really excited, until she gets inside and realizes that it's a bible reading party. 

Whomp, Whoooomp

Meanwhile, Pacey makes good on his word to win back Andie and appears at her house with a rose. She won't be so easily bought though and slams her door in his face. Undeterred, Pacey goes to climb up the trelice to her bedroom window, creating a Romeo and Juliet-esque visual. I approve and Andie's resolve to shut him out cracks a little too as she shows concern for his safety. 

He gives her the rose and tells her that he is not going to stay away from her or let her push him away. He is a member of the Andie McPhee Fan Club and his adulation never waivers, through the good times or the bad. Andie finally confesses that she just wants to feel better and Pacey reassures her that she will and he will help her. She asks him how he knows she will get better. 

Awwwwwwwwwww!
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

Dawson's movie shoot has wrapped for the day and Devon and Chris invite him out for a bite to eat but he declines. Devon sticks around just long enough to pat Dawson on the back for showing potential as a film director which probably totally makes Dawson's day because he won over the bitch who criticized him earlier. She tries to invite him out for dinner once again but he again declines. 

Joey walks up to Dawson as soon as Devon is gone to apologize to him about being a complete bitch earlier. She admits that she was unfair and that she was uncomfortable with watching her private life being aired in front of half of Capeside. To Dawson's credit, he also apologizes for hurting her by writing his script about their lives but he thought that it would be cathartic to air out his feelings so that he could move on. He admits that despite trying to, he can't, he just wants his friend back. 

Joey confesses that the break up was hard on her too and this is something I've never gotten about Joey. Why did she have to break up with him then? From what I recall, he was trying to be supportive of her interest in art but she pushed him away. She said she just wanted to find herself and figure out her own identity without him and fine, I might be able to get behind that but then she starts up a new relationship with Jack. Isn't that just another distraction from finding herself? Why did she get with Jack if she still liked Dawson? If she wants to be with Dawson, what the hell is holding her back from being with him? It isn't the finding herself shit she went on about, she's not doing that anyway. She just comes across as a messily written character with very cloudy motivations. I guess you could attribute it to her being a teen and a ball of hormonal emotions but I guess I just never related to her because, even as a teen, I was never this messed up. I thought fairly rationally as a teen so her character was one I just couldn't relate to and I still can't. To me, there's just no real reason driving these two apart and even less of one connecting them back together. 

Jack walks up and interrupts them. Dawson thanks him for the help which is nice because it shows that he's maturing a little bit about the whole situation. Jack offers to stay and help clean up but Dawson tells them both to go home. The episode ends with Dawson walking through his film set as someone else cleans it up for him.

Pretty sweet deal for him

That was His Leading Lady. I like that we're finally starting to address Andie's problems again because the Andie/Pacey B plot was always the most compelling and interesting to me this season. I'm disappointed, but not surprised that they continue to not develop Jen and Joey's relationship. I always wanted these two to be friends but I'm not sure it ever really happened now that I'm looking over things again. In fact, are either of them really friends with Andie either? What is with teen shows and not being able to write in good female friendships? It seems they only exist to be girlfriends for the boys and/or to fight with each other over said boys. It's kind of sad. 

Stay tuned for the next episode recap To Be or Not To Be... in which the question relates to Jack's sexuality.

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