Tuesday, July 20, 2021

RW427 - Dawson's Creek S03E08-09 - Coming to Tango


In this weeks episode of The Dawson's Creek Rewatch, Cory and Tom gather in thanks of dancing as they discuss of season 3 episodes 8 & 9, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "Four to Tango."

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner:

Written by: Heidi Ferrer

Directed by: James Charleston

Original airdate: November 24, 1999


As Pacey helps Jen shop for the Thanksgiving feast that Grams is preparing, the two debate their lack of benefits in their new friends with benefits relationship, with Jen unable to take the thought seriously. Upon her return home, Jen discovers her mother, Helen, has come to Capeside for the dinner, her father away on business. Grams implores her to give her mother a chance, but when Helen offers her Grams’ pearl necklace as a gift, Jen denies it, reasoning she won’t have anywhere to wear them now that Capeside is her home, cutting her mother down in the process.

Pacey shows up to the dinner and is met by Jack and Andie and the two former lovers begin to get into a spat but Jack steps in and maintains the peace. 

Dawson and Joey talk with Jen, as Joey offers the advice of someone who would love to see her mother on a holiday, leaving Jen to soften up some towards her mother. 

Dawson approaches Helen and reveals that he knows about Eve, leaving Helen asking him to keep the secret. Meanwhile, Joey comforts Andie and Jack talks with Pacey, both trying to help the other deal with moving on after their break up.

After the thanksgiving feast, the friends and family go around the table and state what they are thankful for this year, with Jen’s speech leaving Helen upset, walking away, while Jen chases after her.

Elsewhere Dawson speaks with his parents who reveal that their divorce has now become final, leaving Dawson’s hopes for their family’s reunion to be dashed. 

Helen explains to Jen about her past and a daughter she gave up for adoption, and how she hid it from everyone, most notably Jen’s father, which leaves Jen aghast that her own mother would send her away when she could have used her past as a way to bring the two of them together. She drops the mic on her mother telling her that she would rather be alone than stuck in a loveless marriage.

Jen seeks out Pacey for some emotional/physical release but the young lad refuses to engage, stating first that their arrangement was with no emotions involved and that anger is an emotion. He then advises her to take a step back and realize, from his experience, that parents are just human beings capable of mistakes as well, and to move on from despising them for it.

Jen and her mother end up making up, with Helen explaining that she fears a divorce, that her life would be changed terribly, losing her friends and social engagements, and gives her daughter advice to never marry a cold man, but knowing that Jen won’t end up like her because she is stronger than she ever was herself. The two part with Helen promising to call her daughter sometime, while Pacey returns to Grams’s house after deciding he would rather spend the time with his friends than with his family, as they sit around a fire and chat the night away. 

Dawson's Trivia:

Director James “Jim” Charleston is a long time working director. He’s directed episodes of Northern Exposure, American Gothic, X-Files, Timecop, The Net, Star Trek Enterprise, and Birds of Prey. We’ve seen him before, he directed the Lois and Clark episodes “Lethal Weapon” and “Virtually Destroyed,” and the Sliders episode “Exodus Part 1.”

Helen was played by Mel Harris. best known for her role as Hope Steadman on Thirtysomething. She was also a lead in Jim Belushi’s K-9 and John Lithgow’s Raising Cain. She was a main cast member in Saints & Sinners, a show about corruption, power, greed and deception in a large southern church. She also had a run of episodes leading the sitcom Something So Right, about a blended family and dealing with exes. She starred in a bunch of TV movies as a lead (and sometimes with stars like Shelly Long, Ian Ziering, Candace Cameron, Barry Bostwick, Marlo Thomas, Valerie Bertinelli, Melissa Gilbert, John Schneider), including one in which she played another mother of similar feelings called What Kind Of Mother Are You?, where a Mother sends her troubled daughter to a juvenile detention center overnight to learn a lesson but she ends up being in there longer and being abused. Other movies include Another Pretty Face, The Retrievers, Out Of Time, A Case For Life, Sharon’s Secret, The Secretary, Welcome To Paradise, and Desperate Journey: The Annie Wilcox Story. She did a 6 episode series with Judge Reinhold called Raising Caines about raising a family, however it was never sold in the US, only overseas. She was also the mother in The Pagemaster.

Four to Tango:

Written by: Gina Fattore

Directed by: James Charleston

Original airdate: December 1, 1999


As Pacey and Jen invade Dawson’s room during the school day in an attempt to make good on their friends with benefit status finally, they are interrupted when he arrives home from a dentist appointment, leaving Jen to escape through the window and Pacey trying to cover by saying he was playing a video game, and then hurriedly rushing out, failing to retrieve a condom that fell to the floor.

Jack begins reading emails from both supporters and haters after his news story aired, with one letter being of particular interest, a fellow gay teen named Ben Street who offers his support after having had a similar experience. 

Pacey gets news from his guidance counselor, Mr. Milo 2.0, who informs him that he is failing math and many other classes as well, and expresses concern that he had heard his girlfriend was sick and that could be the cause of the declining grades, but as per his old school style, Pacey doesn’t take the teacher’s comfort as any help and leaves.

Ben messages Jack and with Andie’s help, the two converse back and forth before agreeing to meet. Jack ultimately goes to meet him, but doesn’t actually go into the shop, not quite ready for this next step, revealing to Andie that when he saw a guy and girl in the shop as well, interacting as a couple, he felt like he didn’t want to be himself, he wanted to be them.

Pacey asks Joey for help with Math and in return she has Pacey join her for dance lessons, which she is doing in the hopes of winning a scholarship the dance school offers. The amount of time Pacey and Joey are spending together does not go unnoticed by Dawson who begins to suspect that the two are having an affair behind his back, a theory that he began creating when he found Pacey’s condom. 

With Jen in tow, they follow Joey and Pacey and see them dancing together. The dance teacher pulls Dawson and Jen into the class and makes them dance as well as the four of them try to find out what is going on, all while having to switch partners throughout the lesson. Pacey and Dawson face off with Pacey telling him that he needs to really deal with the end of he and Joey’s relationship and move on. Pacey runs out and he and Jen end up in the coat room and begin making out.

Dawson apologizes to Joey for what happened and the two go to retrieve Joey’s coat only to discover Jen and Pacey mid-kiss. Joey is more than upset with Pacey, realizing that earlier when he was asking for advice about friends with benefits, he was referring to Jen and just not some anonymous girl she didn’t know. After they leave, Jen suggests that Pacey and Joey actually may have feelings for each other which he quickly dismisses. The two then realize that nothing is really going to happen between them and with them both relieved, Jen heads home.

Joey, after a heart to heart with Dawson outside, goes back inside the dance studio and sees Pacey alone and goes to talk with him. They joke and proceed to leave, but the dance teacher pulls them back in. After a comment about the scholarship, the teacher reveals the scholarship has been canceled due to a lack of funds, but offers the two free dance lessons instead.

Dawson's Trivia:

Ben Street was played by Tony Schnur, best known for voice acting in shows such as Please Teacher, Battlefield Friends, Doraleous and Associates (movie and series about Knights and Magic), X, Mirage of Blaze, and Virtua Fighter (game and series).

Chris M. Allport is listed as Pacey Witter (voice, uncredited) for this episode. He is a voice actor primarily, but was also in the Clueless TV series as Sean Holiday.

Penny, the dance teacher, was played by Amy Parrish. She has a small list of various one-off characters she’s played throughout the years but nothing of great notoriety. 

Jason David is listed as playing Stan Kapinos who we might assume is the guidance counselor, although a name wasn’t given. He has had minor roles in shows like Delilah, Paradise Lost, Homeland, Prisonbreak and The Walking Dead, all as minor characters. He returns to Dawson’s Creek later as Writer #2. He played the Waffle House manager in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. He was in a show called Surface in 2006 as a supporting cast member, with Lake Bell as the lead (the plot reads: what do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in Wilmington, N.C., the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They're all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it's beautiful, the kids may even want to play with it, and it likes to make the water warm. But what they don't know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster. "Surface" is a series full of continuously evolving twists that deliver across several long-term arcs.) 


There is also a woman named Gloria Crist who played the teacher in the library. Gloria did have a small role in the series Brotherhood (gangster Jason Isaacs and politician Jason Clarke).

Essential Playlist:

Classic Creek Critiques:

Glenn P: G’Day I have a review on the Dawson's Creek Concert that was shown on TV in Australia on Tues. night. To start, the program was not so much a televised concert but more of a documentary on DC , the cast & The songs from DC album. We had interviews with cast members,DC producers,DC album producers & artists off the DC album. We saw performances from Paula Cole, Shawn Mullins & Wood playing at the concert, held in Wilmington N.C. on the DC set. There was background info on the cast members & their characters, also previews of season 3 (including parts that I don't think America has seen yet). It was also revealed (with great surprise to even the cast members) that a Songs From Dawson's Creek Vol.2 album, will be released in March or April next year, the contents of the album are still unknown. As a final note the program was an Australian production made specifically for Australia, so for all of you other fans around the globe, you may get to see a different version, or you may not get to see it at all. I have it on video & if I can get it encoded & find enough web space I'll try to put it up for all to see, but in the meantime I suggest you checkout the Network TEN web site at www.ten.com.au & using the feedback Button send an e-mail, asking if they know whether it will be screened in other countries. Failing this, e-mail or phone your local TV station that normally screens Dawson's Creek.

Roxanna: I run an rpg game on Dawson's Creek and have decided to add the oh so

adorable Henry. I would like to know if anyone knows the character's last name.

Dee responds: Just call him Henry Di Caprio, since he looks so much like Leonardo.

Nelson Fernandez asking the BIG question: Ok, in season 1, Betsy was pregnant and the father was around. He suddenly vanished, was it ever written in or do the writers assume we forgot?

Allison responds: He's working on a Cruise ship somewhere in Florida, I think they had a scene

in the Season 2 premiere explaining it but then they cut it out. Hope that helps you out.

Matt Byron proving that the world was just as sucky 20 years ago: I don't like that fact that Jack is gay, but why is he gay? He doesn't mess with any guys, nor does he ever try to get with Dawson or Pacey. They should just make him straight again, because that angle was only

good for 2 or 3 shows. It's dumb! 

Fred1229 drops the mic: You are entitled to your opinion that you do not like the fact that that Jack is gay. By the same token I am entitled to my opinion when I say that I do not like the fact that you are narrow-minded. WHY IS JACK GAY?? Because there are gay people in the world and that is just the way it is. Actually Jack is probably gay because Kevin Williamson, the creator of the show, is gay and it was a topic that he wanted to explore on the show but he didn't feel comfortable doing it through either Dawson or Pacey, who probably also represent different sides of Kevin. As far as just making him straight again...you mean like a dream or something... that might be fine on TV, but that doesn't really work in REAL life... most gay people who try to be straight just end up making themselves and those around them miserable (like the wife and two kids that they drag along the way trying to be straight). And just trying to be straight again probably accounts for a good deal of the high suicide rate among teen agers (especially gay males). it is normal that Jack has not hit on Dawson or Pacey... I don't try to have sex with my straight male friends either. (that I am sure they appreciate that) And the fact that he has YET to get into a relationship doesn't mean anything. Coming to grips with one's sexuality is a big thing...and each person does so on his or her own timetable...some people maybe cool with at 13, others 17, and others take well into their 20's (or beyond) to fully integrate that part of themselves which they have been hiding from everyone...including themselves... into their own person. That's kind of like saying...why can't you just be understanding and accepting of differences in people, especially when they are different from you... but I guess that would be dumb too

Pavel Nikiforovitch did not like the episode (excerpt from a huge rant): -- Both Mrs-Lindley-I-know-you-have-another-daughter and hey-Jen-you-have-a-sister revelations should have had a much more dramatic effect. I guess both Mrs. Lindley and Jen just chose to concentrate on their conflict.

-- Needless to say, Mrs. Lindley's behavior wasn't very commendable. Sending your own daughter away and not having any contact with her isn't an honorable thing to do for a parent. Moreover, she failed to explain why she did it. The explanation she gave was totally devoid of logic. As far as I understand, she said she was afraid the secret about Eve would be known to Mr. Lindley. All right... but what the hell does it have to do with Jen??? What it the connection between Mrs. Lindley's dirty little secret and Jen's behavior that caused her exile? Did Jen's lifestyle, which included a lot of sex at the time, remind Mrs. Lindley of her own past? I guess that's why she hated herself and couldn't stand being near Jen, who she saw as a young version of herself.

-- Now, when exactly did this "indiscretion" happen? I kind of assumed that Mrs. Lindley gave birth to Eve before she met Mr. Lindley. But if she's so afraid that he might find out... does it mean the pregnancy occur when they were already married? I don't think it makes much sense. How could she possibly hide pregnancy from her husband??? Oh yeah, and then secretly give

birth and put Eve up for adoption.

-- Until this episode, not a word had ever been said about Mrs. Lindley trapped in a loveless marriage. Yet we were somehow supposed to know it, for when Jen urged her mother to divorce her father, no additional reasoning was given. As to Mrs. Lindley's "inability" to leave her husband, I feel kind of sorry for her. If she cares more about boring "social life" than about personal happiness... I am afraid no one can help her. Oh well... this is clearly the she-made-her-bed-now-she-has-to-sleep-in-it case.

-- I really hope Mrs. Lindley was just a one-time guest star. She miserably failed to generate any interest or significant sympathy, and I'll be more than happy never to see her in this show again. I'm happy for Jen, though. Now, she won't feel so bad about herself, knowing that her Mom doesn't hate her after all. And Pacey's right about "knowing that your parents aren't flawless" -- it is, in a way, "liberating", so it might help Jen as well.

-- Is it just me, or is Pacey being treated unfairly? Somehow, it seems that everyone thinks that Pacey is at least as responsible as Andie is for their breakup. I find this to be hogwash. "She broke his heart, and he broke hers" does not mean they are equally guilty. If someone attacks you and shoots at you, and then you shoot at him, and you're both wounded, does it mean you're both guilty of the same crime? NO. Whoever started the shootout is the criminal, the other person is a victim. Pacey is completely innocent. He had every right to dump a girlfriend who cheated on him, and no one, including Pacey himself, can blame him for this decision, Period.

Whitney responds about Pacey: Yeah, but did you not catch what Jack said after that? Andie feels completely responsible for it, as it was mentioned many times. 

1st time: Talking with Joey on the porch tearfully.."I just keep thinking about how badly I hurt him and how I hurt myself."

2nd time: Jack talking with Pacey at the table..(went something like this) 

J: You broke her heart.

P: She broke mine. 

J: And how badly do you think that breaks hers?

Obviously Andie feels extremely responsible and guilty and was just hurt when Pacey rejected her in her situation. I don't think she's blaming him for anything really, she was just mad at what he did to her. BTW- I think the last scenes suggests an Andie/Pacey friendship in the works and you know what, at this point, that'd be perfect. The last scene was so sweet between the two of them.

Arisa responds about the relationships: It's not like [I] have anything against Pacey/Andie and Dawson/Joey post- romance friendships... it's just that this show is becoming all friendship and no romance, and I don't like it! Friendship is not nearly as interesting to observe as romance is, and at the moment, we have no romances left. That's why all those ex-lovers can be friends

all they want, but they NEED to find themselves new romantic partners. Besides, friendship between two ex-lovers might work, only if they're both over each other (which isn't so right now in either case). Otherwise, it's totally torturous to spend time with a person you want to hug, kiss, hold... but you can't! If you still love someone, it's better to be strangers than friends with her/him! And that's why it's so important for Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Andie to find new lovers -- that will be the best way to help them get over the old ones and become old lovers' friends. And since the number of full- time characters in this show is limited, my best new-couples bet would be: Dawson/Andie, Pacey/Joey (or Jen, but it's less likely).

L&D Shannon agrees with the OP: hopefully we will never ever have to see Jen's mom again. Her character was so unbelievable I couldn't believe what I was seeing. But more than that, if this story line continues, Eve will be back, and her character annoyed me even more.

Vinny posted a link to a promo for Four To tango hoping for a Pacey Joey relationship (I knew it, I knew Joey had feelings for Pacey!) and supposedly insider information guy JCTWINDAD responds: Oh no Vinny, this promo is extremely misleading to you Pacey/Joey fans. It's misleading because nothing is going to happen with Pacey/Joey, this promo wants you to think they have feelings for eachother though. The promo is only fooling you Pacey/Joey fans which I think is mean. From what I've heard, Joey is just mad at Pacey for not telling her about he and Jen. There's no romance for Pacey and Joey though. Sorry.

CMurph 51 posted about a friend of his seeing Joshua Jackson and Brittney Daniel together at the WB awards and apparently yes, they were dating for a short while back then at this time.

Lisa reviews Four To Tango, generally positive: I thought this was one of the better episodes of season 3. granted i missed last weeks but from the general feeling of the group I would guess it wasnt up there. i think the main reason that this one was better than some of the other season 3 material is because it focused on DIFFERENT storylines for a change. we didnt have to sit through another episode completely focused on joey/dawson. dont get me wrong, i am a joey/dawson fan, but in order for this show to remain watchable we need something other than them for a while. so lets see. the opener, although not movie night, did start in dawsons room...a little disturbing that jen and pacey were gonna close the deal in dawsons bed, but whatever floats their boat. i loved the scene with pacey once dawson came in- it was good old pacey witter the comedian. nice to see that again. i liked the pacey/joey bit....i think as friends they are good for eachother...id be interested in seeing them together for plot purposes, but ultimately they are not a good couple (IMO). i thought the whole bit with the dance instructor analyzing pacy/joey and jen/dawson relationships a little obnoxious and cheese-bally. oh and backtracking a bit, i liked the whole "dawson jealous of joey and pacey" theme going on there. it was interesting to see him in that situation. i loved the part where they kept switching dance partners....corny, yes but funny also. and of course when joey and dawson find jen and pacey hooking up in the coat room....that was classic. i loved dawson in that scene....it was hilarious the way he was laughing about it. finally he didnt completely overanalyze and dissect the situation....he just took it like it was... although i have always been a devout joey fan and prob always will be, i wanted to smack her in this scene. she was completely out of line and it really wasnt her place to criticize them...and the way she made the comment about jen conning pacey into it, bluck. but i guess it was a good way to show that she may have some budding feelings for pacey. nonetheless she was obnoxious....but still my fave character. um, the stuff with jack and andie was just kind of there. i guess im more of a fan of the original four than of the two new characters....but atleast they touched upon jacks sexuality again instead of just letting it be forgotten. all in all, good episode. now we have to wait a couple weeks for the next one, but what can you do? thats how it is.

David A Anderson on the gay vibe: It's wonderful that Jack is getting a romantic storyline, but as a gay man myself, I don't find Kerr Smith very believeable as a gay character, especially a teenage gay character. Age may be part of the problem. I would wager Kerr's been out of high school for a while. Still, I think he has a hard time projecting a gay "vibe" as an actor. It reminds me of one of my best friends--a straight man--who acted a gay part in a play where all the rest of the cast were gay actors playing gay parts. Though my friend did his best, bless his heart, he stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. I think it's a really hard thing to do as an actor, though, of course, gay people usually have a lot more experience to draw on when acting straight than vice versa.

ListenTO…@worldnet.att.net or Craig responds: I am a 19 year old gay guy from Los Angeles. I can relate to Jack in a big way. I came out during my freshman year at college shortly after seeing the episodes last year when Jack came out. Those episodes actually gave me the courage to come out. First I came out to my parents and then to a few friends.Until then I was living a lie and dating girls. What is a gay vibe? No one would have suspected that I'm gay. When I come out to friends I hear all the time how "I don't fit the mold" of a gay guy mostly because I'm so into sports. Is that the vibe that you're talking about? Am I lacking it? I couldn't believe it when I saw how Jack related to arriving for his date because I did exactly the same thing that he did. I arrived and saw the guy who I made the date with sitting in the restaurant. After walking up and down the block a few times and looking in the window and seeing him sitting there I went back to my dorm. I called him later that night and apologized. It took me a good six months before I actually went through with my first date with a guy. I think the progression that Jack is going through is realistic. If he came out and then suddenly went out on a date with a guy I would have thought that was not like real life and too easy. Jack needed time to accept himself before he could date. He is at the stage now where he could go out on a date,

but if he is anything like me, he is going to do it in baby steps. I know that Kerr Smith is 27 yers old but I find that he does a good job with the character and is a good actor. He makes me feel what he is going through and, to me, that is the sign of a good actor.

Mjg16721 responds: Thanks for your post. I have never posted in this newsgroup before, basically because I just like reading the comments, but this post really inspired my to respond as well. Though I am older than you the Jack coming out eps also played a major role in my life. I bawled like a baby after the episodes and ultimately did come out as a result of a lot of soul searching that went on in the weeks following those episodes. Like you I came out to my family first and then to friends, a process that is still underway. It does take a tremendous amount of courage to go through with that first date. I also bailed on my first attempt, though I did finally go through with it. I went on several dates after that and now I am with someone who is bringing amazing joy and happienss to my life. Feelings that I had almost given up hope of ever having. This show will always hold a special place in my heart and I cangratulate all involved for their courage to put the subject on the air in a very real and positive way.


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