Original air date: October 13, 1999
Ok, to start off, I hate this episode. It's probably not the worst the series ever put out or anything and it's not horribly written, I just hate it because it is just one giant pile of Dawson acts like an absolute asshat to everyone while everyone pretends that he's such a great guy and that it's so out of character for him to be this way, only it isn't. Guys, Dawson is a character that I loathe with all my heart, he is everything that I hate about self-proclaimed "nice guys" and just everything that I hate in general. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say Dawson Leery is not a nice guy, he pretends he is but he's not. He's a self-righteous, self-involved, asshole to the highest degree. Now that I've got that off my chest, allow me to show you why:
We start off this episode in Dawson's room, only Eve is sitting with him and they are not watching a movie but *gasp* television. Now here is where the writers delight in giving us a bit of meta humour because you see, Dawson doesn't like TV. Nope. Dawson thinks that it's a bunch of "pablum used between beer commercials." While movies are art. Uh-huh, like his movies, guys, his movies are pure art and not at all just a simple creature feature and teen romance crap.
The show throws a bit more meta at us as Dawson starts in on Felicity which is the show they are watching which was a show that actually aired on the WB along with Dawson's Creek. So, in Dawson's Creek universe, Felicity as we know it, exists. Interesting. Dawson complains about the character Felicity and says this:
Dawson: All right, you know what? Take Felicity, for example. I mean, if you've seen one hour of whiny, over-analytical teen angst, you've seen them all. Don't get me wrong, she's pretty, but what kind of a heroine is she? She's indecisive. She's basically paralysed by some romantic notion of the way things are supposed to be. If you ask me, she's kind of chatty.To which Eve responds:
I've never seen Felicity, didn't interest me when it came out, but I'd wager that Felicity is not as big of an asshat as Dawson is. Eve loses me when she claims Dawson is a hero because no. Dawson says that she should have seen "last season" because he was not and I completely agree but probably not for the same reason Dawson or the writers are going for. He continues to complain about the fact that television is too perfect and doesn't test the characters or make them learn.
|You're describing yourself and only yourself again, Dawson.|
Also, you're far from perfect but you certainly think you are.
Eve claims that this is where she comes in. The "character" who shakes things up and tests the hero's limits.
Eve: Don't you know that's where I come in? You know, second season, shake things up. Screw with the status.
No, we're in the third season, Eve. Get your facts straight...unless the writers want us to forget the first season happened? I can't blame them, I mean, they tried to make Ms. Jacobs a sympathetic statutory rapist and just no. Anyway, cut to the opening credits just as they are about to kiss.
The next day we see everyone in the gang, save for Pacey, studying hard for their PSATs. Joey has a stress dream about it but it seems more like it's about her whining after Dawson so, I didn't pay much attention. Her dreams this episode make no sense. Anyway, Principal Greene is holding a PSAT prep class and is testing the students on their knowledge. I'm not sure how PSATs work because I live in a country that doesn't have them, so I don't know if it's normal or not for a principal to be holding the study sessions for them or not. We'll just go with Capeside logic on this one and roll with it. He calls Joey aside to talk to her.
Pacey and Andie bump into each other in the hallway and Andie kind of acts like a bitch. It makes me sad because they are kind of trashing her character. Here's what she says to Pacey:
Andie: Don't worry, Pacey. This isn't going to be one of those horribly awkward "hope-boy-didn't-mean-all-those-hurtful-things-he-said-during-the-breakup" moment.Ok, two things wrong with this. 1) Andie, you cheated. You were the one that broke the trust in the relationship. Don't guilt Pacey out because you fucked up and didn't like the consequences to your actions. 2) Pacey was not all that mean to her during the break up. We all saw it, I quoted it in last episode's recap. Go read it and tell me if that was overly mean or not. I don't think it was. He said truthfully that he didn't think the relationship meant as much to her as it did to him, he gave her forgiveness, he just said that he couldn't forget what she did and couldn't go back to the way they were before which is fair enough because she cheated. This scene irritates me so let's move on.
Principal Greene informs Joey that she has a chance at a National Merit Scholarship and Joey reveals that she's aware and very stressed out about it. Principal Greene asks if she's feeling under pressure and Joey reveals that she couldn't sleep again last night. Except that we saw her dreaming last night so she clearly did sleep but I'm nit-picking again. I know she probably meant didn't sleep well so we'll move on. Principal Greene then tells her to take the evening off and do something fun to try and relax a bit about the test.
Joey runs up to Dawson because she's a moron and is still hung up on him and asks him if he will hang out with her that night. Unfortunately, Eve shows up and Dawson reveals that they have plans already. He tries to invite Joey to go along with them but Joey is not a pathetic loser and declines.
Jack is practicing football by trying to run through a gauntlet of players while holding onto the ball. He fails and complains that the team is being hard on him for being gay. Mitch tells him that they are singling him out but not because he's gay, because he's the new person on the team and hasn't proved himself yet. He tells him to run it again but he still fails.
Joey asks her skeevy boss if he'll give her the night off so that she can study and he skeevily agrees while telling her about how he paid some "brainiac" to take his PSAT for him. I don't know why he'd think that would impress her but he clearly thinks he's being Mr. Charm instead of Mr. Sleaze. She thanks him for giving her the night off and says she owes him one and her boss takes the opportunity to welcome a sexual harassment lawsuit by saying she could let him take her out for a post-PSAT celebration. Yeah, because then an employee feels like they can say no. This guy is gross. I forget his whole role in this season but I swear to Gods I will punch each and every Dawson's Creek writer in the face if they try and get her together with this guy, no matter how brief.
She tries to brush him off but he keeps pestering her until finally she has to be like "Can I just say no?" to which the guy is all "Yeah sure" but walks away all butt hurt about it. Sexual Harassment lawsuit a-hoy!
|If you have to ask if you are allowed to say no, |
there is a serious problem here
Dawson is reading in his room when Eve arrives on Joey's creeper ladder. She gives him an apple because they really want to drive home how much of an evil, jezebel, temptress Eve is. Do you get it yet? Women are evil and men are saintly and good just being preyed upon and lured astray by the evil harpies. You know, I love this show for all it's cheesiness and drama and it is usually fun but every once in a while, I fucking hate this show and how it depicts women.
Eve reveals that she also has brought him the answers to the PSATs. Dawson claims he could never use it so Eve is like, you must know someone who can use it and then tells him that the apple was the metaphor but the test answers were the real thing. Then she's all, bye!
|'Kay, I've set up your dilemma for the episode. See ya!|
So, of course, Dawson then takes it to his friends because he's a complete douchenozzle who wants to do bad things but still remain virtuous in his own eyes, so that they can decide for him what to do. Why does he do this? Why, so that when shit hits the fans, he can blame his friends because super just and righteous Dawson Leery would never do anything bad, he just brought it to his friends and they backstabbed him because they are all awful while Dawson is a saint.
So, yeah, they all argue over what to do with it and if it's real. Pacey goes to open the envelope but Andie chastises him about going back to his old ways which is way harsh. Then Pacey shoots back that maybe she'd like to open the envelope since cheating is her thing these days. Ouch, right in the feels. Jack wisely tells Dawson to not open it, take it back to where ever he got it, and pretend that none of them ever saw it. Good plan. Jen says they should take a peek and they argue some more until a fire alarm goes off. The Principal is hovering so Dawson is forced to leave the PSAT test answers in the classroom. Not sure why, lots of people grab stuff with them during fire alarms but I guess he didn't want to draw attention to himself.
When they come back inside, the test answers are gone and Dawson is freaking out. Thus, we have our mystery for the episode, who took the envelope?
Joey is distracted while working at the gas bar and over fuels a boat. Her boss, Rob, yells at her and tells the people that the gas is on them. Joey thinks it's not a huge deal that she overfilled the boat and just says, some gas spilled. OK, Joey, but spilled gas can be dangerous so it kind of is a big deal. Rob says he's taking the money out of her pay and that her night off is cancelled. The money is justified the reneging of the night off is not. Joey tells him as much and accuses him of treating her like crap because she dared turn him down for a date. He pretends like he has no idea what she's talking about. This is so wrong and is so sexual harassment but I have a feeling that the show is completely going to gloss over this.
Jen is bandaging up Jack's ribcage because she's an awesome friend while Jack complains to her about being on the football team. He tells her that he is going to quit and Jen tells him that he can't and gives him a pep talk because she's an awesome friend. I love these two. Jack tells her that her pep talk was cheesy.
|Never diss Jen's advice|
Dawson and Eve have gone back to the school at night to try and look for the envelope again. Dude, it's gone, someone obviously took it. How stupid are you? Just as I ask this question, Dawson answers by whispering to Eve as they are hiding from a security guard who is searching the room that they are in. Although, at that point, I'm not sure who's stupider, Dawson for talking, or the security guard for not being able to find two students who are hiding under a freaking table and whispering back and forth.
|Dude, they are right there! And talking! Your flashlight beam is on them!|
How are you not finding them!?
Eve finally has to point out to Dawson that someone took it and that someone is in his group of friends.
After the break, they are all sitting in the Principal's office and being berated for cheating. I'm super confused because how the hell would he know they were the ones who had the test, what the hell did I miss? Then Joey gets up and walks over to the fire alarm and pulls it and I realize it's a dream. The weird thing is, the dream seems to be from Dawson's perspective. Joey seems to be doing something uncharacteristic of herself and he's questioning her and is confused. So, you'd think this is Dawson dreaming, right? Nope, it was Joey's dream. Dawson's Creek writers suck at dream sequences, I hope they quit doing it.
Dawson gathers his friends in a circle and tries to get whoever took it to step forward and own up. Good luck, Dawson. No one is going to step forward and endure your derision. Further point, Dawson is all worked up about nothing. So what? The test went missing, not your problem anymore. No one can prove it was yours unless you were stupid enough to write "Property of Dawson Leery" on it. Although, honestly, I wouldn't put it past Dawson to be that stupid but going on the assumption that it was an unopened envelope just randomly sitting on the table, I don't think it could be traced back to him.
|He probably wrote his name on it|
Joey agrees with me and tells Dawson to just let it be lost. Dawson is all wound up about it though and demands to know who took it. Joey then chastises him for being completely under Eve's spell which is stupid, it's Dawson who's being the douchenozzle here, not Eve. Anyway, Dawson says he's left his locker unlocked and whoever took the test has until the end of the day to slip the test back into his locker. Ok, I'm starting to think that this isn't about Dawson wanting to do the right thing, but Dawson being butthurt that he can't use the test to cheat anymore since someone took it from him. Seriously, why can't he just let it be lost?
Andie pulls Pacey aside just to be a bitch, apparently. She gives him a box full of things he gave her and basically says she's cutting him completely out of her life since he dumped her. She's a lot crueller about their break up than Pacey was, IMO, and it makes me sad because the writers seem really intent on torching her character this season.
Henry gives Jack some pointers about running through the gauntlet and tells him to come up with a mantra to chant in his head so that he can stop thinking about getting through the gauntlet and just get through it. Jack thanks him but questions why he's helping him. Henry reveals that he wants to win a football game and he's convinced Jack can help with that and also...because he wants to get with Jen. This is such a creepy thing to me that it just furthers my belief that he's a serial killer. Just look at this:
Henry: I dream about her, Jack. Every night, heavy dreams about, about … about her lips, her breasts, her legs. If she would just allow me near her, just smell her sweet smell, maybe even kiss me, or take me in her arms, deliver me from suffering and falsity it would prove that there wasn't anything bad, or … or anything empty-hearted in this world that couldn't be corrected.And tell me you don't see this:
|Well, I'm certainly terrified that you're going to carve Jen into |
pieces and keep her body parts in your freezer....
So, Jack knows that Henry is talking about Jen and basically laughs in his face and tells him he has zero chance with her because he's a lowly freshman.
|You just made the list, Jack!|
Pacey shows up at Joey's work and at first she's all pissed that he's messing around at her work, drunk but then she realizes that somethings wrong and asks him what's up. He tells her that Andie gave him a bunch of stuff back and said she had to cleanse him from her life to keep her sanity. He trips over himself and the box falls in the water. Pacey then asks Joey to call his dad and tell him that he's hanging out with her. Joey agrees and Pacey watches a picture of him and Andie float down into the water.
|Their 'ship has officially sunk, guys.|
Dawson goes to check his locker, confident that the test has been returned while Eve is all "lol NOPE!" She's right and Dawson is all pissy until she tells him she will tell him who took the test. Instead of telling him though, she puts it on him and asks who he thinks took it. Dawson claims he doesn't know and she says that he does because it's whoever he was thinking of first but doesn't want to think it. Then she basically pushes the thought that it's Pacey because of course, Dawson would think it was Pacey.
Dawson confronts Pacey at the gas station and asks him to give the test back but Pacey says he doesn't have it. Dawson doesn't believe him and accuses him of being a shitty friend (look in the mirror to see what a shitty friend looks like, Dawson). Pacey fires back that a friend would believe his friend when he tells him something. He then laughs and tells Dawson that he finds it amusing that Dawson is so hell bent on figuring out who took the test when it could have easily been him. Dawson didn't throw away the test or give it back to Eve, he brought it to them. Dawson whines that he wanted to consult the people he cares about to figure out what to do but really, he shouldn't have needed to do that unless he was considering using it himself and just wanted some validation from his friends. Dawson is the worst. He continues to be the worst by continuing to badger Pacey about taking the test and calls him weak and self-motivated.
Pacey asks which he's supposed to be and Dawson shoots back that "You are what you are, Pacey" Fuck you, Dawson. You are the worst friend. Pacey calls Dawson "self-righteous son-of-a-bitch" which makes me love him even more than I already do. Then Dawson jerks it up by telling Pacey he's cold hearted for not taking Andie back after she cheated on him. Pacey counters that at least he didn't send her dad to jail (but he probably should have because seriously, Mr. McPhee is the worst.) and Dawson counters that Pacey just drove her crazy.
|I want to watch this forever|
Dawson punches back and that's when Joey comes out asking them what the hell they are doing. Pacey is, of course, the bigger man and says that it's his fault and apologizes while Dawson just stands around being douchey. Joey tells Dawson that this has to stop and then tends to Pacey because fuck Dawson.
Joey talks Pacey down from his anger towards Dawson, which is sweet even though his anger is 100% justified. He sulks about how Dawson thinks he's a loser even though he thought he'd earned his respect. Have we been watching the same show, Pacey? Or were you just too moony over Andie to notice Dawson's belittling of you at his birthday party last season? Because Dawson has made it very clear that he needs you to be a loser so that he can feel good about himself because he's an awful human being who is worthy of neither of your time. Joey paints a different picture which is, I'm sure, what the viewer is supposed to see and that is that Dawson is of course super guilty about wrongfully accusing Pacey. But I don't think he is.
Now we come to the part of the episode that really pisses me off. Get ready for some patented Dawson Slut-Shaming. Eve finds him and asks if he got the test back, Dawson says he didn't but did get a black eye. She asks what happened and he pissily responds that she did. He then accuses her of knowing what would happen when she gave him the test which is all kinds of stupid because I think the only thing she would assume was that he would grapple with the decision to cheat or not on his own, not that he'd bring it to his friends and that it would get stolen. I guess that is what we're supposed to believe because she claims he's threatened by the fact that she opened him up to how the world really works and moves in to kiss him. He pushes her away and says this:
Dawson: Eve, if the purpose of us spending time together was to get to know each other, you know what? Now that I know you, I don't really like you.Now, fair enough because I don't really like her either but not for the same reason the writers want me to. So, this episode has been really heavy handed in painting Eve as some kind of evil Jezebel but you know what? I'm not buying it. Is she a stupid character? Oh god, yes and annoying too but what has she really done that's been all that evil?
- crashed Mitch's boat...no wait, that was Dawson because he couldn't handle driving and getting head at the same time. He should have stopped the boat or he should have not taken the boat out at all. She never asked him to take his father's boat, it was actually Pacey's suggestion but still, Dawson did not have to take it. That was his choice. Nope, not her fault.
- threw a party at Dawson's house...nope. It was Pacey's suggestion again but Dawson agreed to it and threw it so that he could get the money to fix the boat that he crashed.
- sex during an assembly...no wait, it takes two to tango and they didn't even get that far before they were caught. He can pretend she tempted him and forced him all he wants but he wanted to have sex as much as she did and even went and got the condoms for it. Also, sex is not a bad thing.
- stole PSAT test answers and gave them to Dawson...this is the only legit thing she's done wrong per se but did she really get him in trouble for it? He had options, she didn't hold a gun to his head. She gave him the test to see what he'd do with it, which is a little weird and a bit manipulative but it isn't evil. Dawson could have easily said no thanks to the test, he could have taken it and thrown it out but he didn't. Some part of Dawson wanted to use the test which means that Eve was right, he was morally not pure. Sure, Dawson isn't the type to track down test answers and actively cheat but given the right circumstances, everyone is capable of cheating.
So, of the things she's done so far, there's really only one thing she did that was bad but didn't really mess up Dawson's life. Dawson messed up his own life by bringing the test to his friends, obsessing over it being stolen, and accusing his friends of being thieves. Eve didn't tell him to do any of this, it was all Dawson's doing and it is really pissing me off that Dawson is pretending that she's this she-devil who forces him to do bad things. If anything, the one who pushes Dawson into doing things that are bad is Pacey but still, Dawson can always say no. Eve's character annoys the pants off of me because she's solely there to push Dawson to do "bad" things but still let Dawson be the "Nice Guy" the writers want him to be because clearly, it's all that skanky Jezebel, Eve's fault that he does these things, obvs.
Let's move on to something less upsetting. Jack's football practice is going on and he's pumped because he figured out his mantra to say in his head to clear it of thought. That word is "fug" which is weird but whatever, it seems to work because Jack finally makes it through the gauntlet and everyone cheers for him. Yay for Jack but just about the most amazing and uncomfortable thing happens after this.
Henry sees Jen cheering for Jack and decides that he's also going to use Jack's mantra to get up the courage to
|I am literally terrified for her life right now|
Look at the terror in her eyes as he runs at her, it's like she knows that he's going to chop her up into bits and feed her to his pigs.
|Yes, you will be a fine meal for my pig|
The next day is the PSATs and just as they are about to start, Dawson gets up, hands his test back and walks out of the room. Pacey follows suit but not before this:
|Pacephine for life!!!|
Anyway, they did so as an act of solidarity or friendship or something. I don't really get why Dawson walked out but I guess Pacey felt he had to in order to prove that he didn't take the test. Dawson sucks. I guess it is only the Practice SATs but still, seems like a stupid thing to not take the test for. Anyway, Dawson says this:
We close off the episode with the test beginning and it is revealed that Andie is the one who stole the test. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! So, we are continuing to torch her character. Great. Also, when you think about it, it makes her indignation that someone in their group of friends "breached trust" earlier seem all that more calculated or just downright hypocritical. The writers probably didn't want us to think that hard about it or were hoping we'd forget that. They clearly wrote those scenes as a way to keep us guessing who did it but it just makes Andie seem more awful that she was acting all indignant to cover her tracks. But, whatever, we are clearly supposed to dislike Andie this season and it makes me sad. I think there could have been a way to break them up and get Pacephine together without completely torching Andie's character but oh well.
And that was None of the Above. Get ready for more of Dawson being a douche (wild guess) in the next episode, Home Movies.