Monday, November 15, 2021

RW450 - Dawson's Creek S04E09-10 - Kiss Reliance


In this weeks episode of The Dawson's Creek Rewatch, Cory and Tom find an old classic to watch by themselves as they discuss of season 4 episodes 9 & 10, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and "Self Reliance."

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:

Written by: Tom Kapinos

Directed by: Perry Lang

Original airdate: November 29, 2000

Gretchen hangs out with Dawson in his bedroom, watching one of Mr. Brooks’ films and he comments on how good it actually is, much to Gretchen’s surprise. He later goes to see Mr. Brooks, revealing he found his film. Brooks is in his usual grumpy mood, scolding him for calling it a film rather than a picture and asks to be left alone to eat his dinner. Dawson compliments him on his talent and respect for his pictures but Brooks is done with the conversation, asking him to leave. 

Meanwhile Joey is doing some school work at the yacht club when Ms. Valentine shows up, talking down to her as usual. The alumni rep for Worthington College, Walter Kubelik, shows up, asking about his party that is set up for the next evening, and Ms. Valentine assures him that everything is ready and that Joey herself will be working. Joey explains that she can’t work the event because she is actually an attendee, much to Ms. Valentine’s chagrin. Additionally, Mr. Kubelik reinforces Joey’s status as being one of their most promising applicants while Joey suggests Drue fill in for her. 

Dawson, having been questioned by the school counselor about his essay lacking some focus on explaining why he wants to make films, takes Gretchen's advice to ask Mr. Brooks for some help. Mr. Brooks however answers Dawson's request with his usual negative-filled retorts, leaving Dawson to walk out, commenting that he had hoped they had made some progress and were beyond the cutting remarks. Brooks realizes that he may have gone too far this time, but the boy is already gone. 

Jen meanwhile has been avoiding her college applications leaving Jack to ask Grams to try and prod her but she refuses, stating that Jennifer is a big girl who right now doesn’t want her help. Later as Grams shows Jen some Christmas presents her parents sent, Jen rejects them, telling her to send them to Goodwill.

Gretchen asks the Leery’s if she can plan their Christmas party for them, seeing how they are overwhelmed with the coming baby and the restaurant, and being that the parties were always a memorable part of her youth in Capeside. She then gives Dawson advice about his essay, enabling him to come up with some solid ideas for it. 

At the yacht club, Joey tries hard to fit in with the elites, and finds herself feeling intimidated. During the dinner, her conversation is stilted but Pacey acts like his normal self, charming Mr. Kubelik easily. Joey accuses Pacey of lying to the elites and sucking up to them, when Mr. Kubelik asks Pacey to come meet the dean. Joey later is found crying by Mr. Kubelik who reassures her that she didn't do anything to take her out of the running at all, and in fact was quite pleased by Pacey who told them all about Joey's hard work and how she has been helping him to succeed as well. Joey finds Pacey later and he explains that he found it easy to talk with everyone because he had nothing to lose. The two reconfirm their feelings for each other and decide to retreat to the Leery Christmas party. 

Back at the party, Mr. Brooks shows up and gives Dawson a book that he says will explain to him about the dream of making movies. He then goes on to explain to Dawson why he was so short with him, revealing that when he directed the movie Dawson was asking about, his own girlfriend fell in love with the male star of the movie and the two ran off together. The experience left him broken and he retired back to Capeside. Dawson invites him inside and he reluctantly goes along, but it's not long before Grams sees him and the two begin trading barbs, which Dawson sees through as they are actually flirting with each other. Dawson reveals to Brooks that he has decided that his next movie will be about the untold story of the former director himself. 

Meanwhile, Jen confronts Jack and Grams after the guidance counselor finds her at the party and congratulates her on filling out her college apps. Grams explains that as angry as she may have been, she will always be there for Jen, and that despite the young girl  not wanting to ask her parents for help, Grams will make sure that she gets to college one way or another. 

As Dawson talks with Gretchen about how he will always remember seeing how happy his parents were in this moment, Brooks walks by and points out that they are standing under the mistletoe, and prompts Dawson to just kiss the girl. The kiss lasts a bit longer than expected, as Pacey and Joey enter the party with shocked expressions.

Dawson's Trivia:

Peter Jurasik played Mr. Kubelik. He’s had a long career making guest spots in tv shows and movies since the late 70’s, but we have seen him before in three episodes of Sliders as Doctor Oberon Geiger, the doctor who ended up taking Jerry O’Connell’s character and combining him with Robert Floyd’s Mallory character. His biggest roles were in Babylon 5 as Londo Mollari, and in Tron as Crom. He did have a recurring role in Hill Street Blues as Sid the Snitch, and he also played Howard Stringer in Late Shift.

The Dean Cain movie mentioned by Jen is The Broken Hearts Club (An insight into the turbulent lives and loves of a gay clique based in Los Angeles), a film written and directed by Greg Berlanti. It stars Timothy Olyphant, Zach Braff, Jennifer Coolidge, Justin Theroux, John Mahoney, Billy Porter, and Kerr Smith himself, amongst others.

When Brooks visits Dawson to discuss his career as a filmmaker, he hands him a copy of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Pauline Kael. This is an actual book, and the second collection of her reviews compiled from several publications from 1965-1968. In it, she gives a rather unfavourable review to The Sound of Music, calling it “The Sound of Money.” The book's title is a reference to James Bond, who was often referred to as Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in international markets, and is "perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies. This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what makes us despair when we begin to understand how seldom movies are more than this."

Self Reliance:

Written by: Gina Fattore

Directed by: David Petrarca

Original airdate: December 20, 2000

As Jack leaves Dawson’s house, they discuss his kiss with Gretchen. According to Dawson it meant nothing, and Gretchen shows up to reassure Dawson that to her the kiss also was just a holiday tradition kiss.

Meanwhile Pacey and Joey are preparing for some alone time as Bessie and Bodie are off for a few days, leaving baby Alexander in their care. Pacey wants to talk about Dawson and Gretchen kissing but Joey is not interested. Instead she goes off to study for a test in the morning, but is interrupted by Pacey and Alexander playing and banging pots in the kitchen. Joey decides she would be better off taking care of the baby alone and sends Pacey home. However, no sooner does she do that when a family of four shows up looking for lodging.

Jen convinces Jack to go to something called a “gay straight coalition” but once arriving Jack is put off by the leader, Toby, who talks down to Jack when he winces at being known as the gay football player. After further admonishment from Toby regarding Jack’s inaction on protesting the homophobic soccer dads, Jack is ready to get out fast, whereas Jen agrees to join the group for a bowling excursion, to see if a local bowling alley is discriminatory against gay relationships.

Dawson explains why he wants to do a documentary on Mr. Brooks, likening it to famous filmmakers who did similar things in their past. Brooks has a moment to show that he actually HAS kept up with movies and directors, albeit he seems to misremember some of the facts about said directors. Brooks agrees to be in the film, and they start with Dawson filming him answering questions about movies and why the greatest pictures are about love triangles. He proceeds to tell Dawson about how he met his girlfriend, the woman who left him for his friend during the shooting of their movie, however he again misremembers some facts about movies and asks for some bourbon, falling asleep while Dawson goes to retrieve it.

Pacey goes to see Joey and learns that she didn’t do well on the test because of the responsibilities of taking care of Alexander and the guests at the same time. Pacey convinces her that she needs to talk to Dawson given that his kiss with Gretchen is still on her mind. Joey visits Dawson and he gives her a Christmas present, a photo of her and Pacey together, beautifully shot and framed. Joey explains her feelings about Gretchen and explains that she would be lucky to have a guy like Dawson, who says even if he were interested, she isn’t, and they’re content to be just friends.

Meanwhile, Pacey tries to talk to Mr. Kasdan about letting Joey take a make up test due to the extenuating circumstances at home, but he tells him it just wouldn’t be fair. However, later Mr. Kasdan tells Joey that he has decided to do a make up test for those who want to take one, remembering Pacey’s passionate defense and reminding Joey that even the greatest writers didn’t write what they did all alone, that they had help along the way, as she could have had the previous night as well. 

Jack ends up at the bowling night due to Jen blackmailing him, and he gets into it again with Toby, this time pushing back more and calling him and his group out on their holier than thou attitude and telling him to not judge him. Toby ends up explaining about how his sister used to have to fight his battle for him when he was younger and getting bullied for being gay, and once again talks down to Jack who admits he doesn’t know what that is like, but not knowing that doesn’t make him any more straight.

Dawson runs into Mr. Brooks’ nurse who explains he takes medication that sometimes makes him forget things while Brooks motions her out of the house and he continues his story of meeting his girl, Ellie Andrews.

Dawson finds Gretchen at the annual tree lighting ceremony and after talking with Brooks about taking a gamble on things, he brings up the subject of the kiss, and tells her that he actually does like her and it’s ok if she has reasons for not liking him back, because he has learned that rather than live in fear, he would start taking gambles on things, and that Gretchen is worth risking everything for, even their friendship. She unfortunately lets him down gently saying sometimes a kiss just means happy holidays.

Dawson's Trivia:

For no apparent reason, Jack calls Dawson "Dawsey" in this episode...

David Petrarca started out as a stage director. He moved into television directing with an episode of the series Nothing Sacred, starring Kevin Anderson and Ann Dowd (A priest has a crisis of faith). Other shows he’s worked on include Early Edition, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, Hung, Big Love, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Gracepoint, Wayward Pines, and The Expanse. He also directed the movie Save the Last Dance 2, which co-starred Aubrey Dollar who played Marcy Bender in S3 of DC and Sage (the anxiety girl) in the previous episode “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” David is currently working on an adaptation of David Lindsay Abaire’s Fuddy Meers, about a woman who wakes every day with no memories of her life.

The Nurse was played by Elaine Nalee. She previously appeared as PTA Board Member in the Dawson’s Creek episode “To Green, With Love”, and will return to Dawson’s Creek in another season as a front desk woman. She’s had a few guest roles over the past 40 years including on Star Trek: the Next Generation, Hill Street Blues, Muppets From Space (mashed potato lady), Sleepy Hollow, and Surface (teacher #2). Most recently, she appeared in Halloween Kills.

Toby was played by David Monahan. He was in a few episodes of Big Little Lies (the apparently perfect lives of upper-class mothers, at a prestigious elementary school, unravel to the point of murder when a single-mother moves to their quaint Californian beach town), and had a brief run of episodes in Crossing Jordan (despite a checkered career, sexy, brilliant Boston medical examiner Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh goes above and beyond to solve cases), as well as a handful of other guest spots here and there. In recent years he has worked as a writer on the shows Liv and Maddie: Cali Style, Insatiable, Life In Pieces, and Ginny & Georgia. He was also in one episode of Rizzoli & Isles.

Mr. Kasden mentions to Joey that he is holding a second make up test because Ian Prange was at the orthodontist. This is a reference to director Greg Prange’s son.

The coffee barista, who was in the last episode as well, has had a number of small guest spots. Most notably, a movie called Hotties whose tagline reads “Wild, Wanton, Women on a Rampage”. They actually made 2 of these movies in the same year (2005) and the second was called Hotties II: The Hot, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Essential Playlist:

Classic Creek Critiques:

ONBoy20 asks: Anyone else miss Andie? I think she was the best character this season......she was the only one who didn't fight or complain, she was a wacko last year but in the ending sest....I will miss her so much.......there are 3 guys and 2 girls......who will be the new 3rd girl? You know they have to have one....I MISS HER

Whitney says: YES!! This first episode without her was so weird and she definitely could have added to the show.

fat cheeks says: Andie was by far the adult of the group. You Had Me at Good-bye confirmed it. I miss her too. Even though I am pro J P I've gotta admit, I truly do miss Andie and Pacey. They were so adorable I was sickened with envy.

Martin says: Agree!!! I miss her terribely !!!! but I heard that we will see Andie again in the graduation eps... does it true???

PJ says: It is unconfirmed. but her father said something to the effect that all she has to do is walk to get

her diploma (which is not required by the way. she has officially graduated. the ceremony is just a formality. she doesn't have to come back if she doesn't want to). so it sounds like they are setting up that she could be back for that.

RnBwBrYtE2o03 says: I don't miss Andie at all. I didn't like her. I thought she was annoying and way to chipper.

KristiLea87 agrees: i don't miss Andy!!! i thnk that her character was pointless most of the time. there were a few episodes where the character was important and Mederith Monroe really shined but overall, i am really glad that she is not on the show anymore.


Jennifer wonders: How does everyone think the show will go next season? by some miraculous event, will the entire group end up together? how unbelievable will it get? i'm asking because i do like the show, but what are the chances we'll get to see the characters all interacting on a regular basis?

Michelle Sentner says: i'm not even sure if their will be a next season. Unless they follow each person individually. I can't see all of them staying there & not going to college. Joey & pacy seem to be going together with whichever school she picks(which i hope comes true i'm so tired of every episode having the writers have a make out session with those to. It seems so fake) Dawson should go to a college out of town also. Same as for the other members. I can't see them making the season ender with something so bad in it that they all give up their college dreams & work in minimum wage jobs just to stay together. It seems way to cheesy to have everyone of them go to the same college. I can't see how they can have another season at all.

Ryan3178 says: I can definantly see the main four going to college. Jack too, least he could make a fresh start with out any anti-gay people bothering him at college. Andie is the big mystery since she only returns for the Graduation Ep. Don't know if she's returning after that. So, its a realy big up in the air right now. But I did read that their choices for college and pre-college life will be a focus starting in a few weeks.

Brandon Bartelds says: There is always a chance they will try and push it for a few more even if we loose some of the main cast....we know J & P will be together, and maybe if Dawson doesn't get in where he wants to (seeing as he applied to dumb schools as far away as he could) maybe he will be stuck going with joey and pacey...and although there are other characters, I could see those 3 being the important ones to keep together if there is to be a show....and then yes, Jack could follow seeing as he didn't spend much time on picking a 3 or 4 of the characters could stay, and some new ones will join....that is a stretch..but ya never know what they will try to do, to keep people watching TV...and then new characters come in, and we get occasional appearances from old cast.... OR...although it would conflict with seasons, maybe it would change to be about everyone returning home for the summers? I dunno...just trying to spark some ideas...

Whitney, Pacey and Joey hater says: Hey, how do ya'll know that Joey and Pacey are going to end up in the same place together? I'm hoping they don't. It makes Pacey seem like such a whipped lame ass. He can't even have his own say in where he wants to go to college? I know that he told Joey that he would follow her, but c'mon! What if they break-up? Do you guys honestly believe that they'll be together forever? I hope not. Hopefully, Dawson will end up at UCLA or USC or some other film school in LA. I can see Jack and Jen in New York or somewhere like that. Maybe Jack at NYU and Jen at some smaller design school or maybe even Columbia. But anyway, I have NO idea where the show will go next season.

Happy Toucan says: Well, the fact that many times so far in this season they have poked fun at shows like 90210 and Saved by the Bell where all the friends went to the same university (or at least a majority of the friends) this probably wont happen, but it is a possibility...Here's my predictions… Joey will probably leave the show, and go to some ivy league school entirely on her own, hence leaving the show. The only way that Dawson and Pacey will ever truly be friends again is if neither gets the girl.... Dawson and Pacey will go to the same school....the school that Gretchen is currently on break that the possible Dawson/Gretchen love can blossom, as can Pacey and Dawsons friendship… Jen an Jack are the trump cards....I could see them staying together, maybe going to New York....Jen's role in the show is declining, hence I think she will join Joey in the black hole....Jack Im not too sure of....  

Mal P says: They'll do a "Party Of Five" deal. That is, pairs of the characters will goto different schools, and storylines will revolve around them as individuals. I'll miss the character interaction though.

Brandon Bartelds says: You do have a good point....BUT....has everything that has happened so far in the show been common, and has it made sense? Sometimes television will try and push to keep a popular show i don't know for sure. Everything you say does make sense… they SHOULD go in those directions...except your comment on Pacey...I don't think he will follow just cause he loves Joey...but rather because he doesn't have much of a future in post secondary I could see him  following and going to a smaller school to learn a trade or something.... Just my thoughts. i will scream if they break off, but try and follow more than one location....ESPECIALLY if they do it like Buffy and Angel....2 shows doesn't work so well...I love the characters isn't the same when they are not with one another

Dinya says: Heck, they could all go to one large city where there are many institutions of higher learning. New York would work well for that. Columbia for Joey, whatever for the rest, and a trade college for Pacey. But, next weeks episode will be interesting to learn about this Worthington College for Pacey. (Especially since I think he's smarter than he thinks and with effort could go to a non-trade post secondary institution).

Sweetie143823 says: Pacey doesn't really seem to care where he goes to college. Heck, if it weren't for Joey, who knows if he would even GO to college?

Lady… says: Dawson HAS to go to film school, that's his life's dream. And the show has to follow Dawson. Unless they change the show name or do a spin- off. And I hope they don't split it up like Party Of Five.

If Dawson leaves for college at the end of the school year, he won't be there to see his new little sister (or brother) born. He won't even get to know this new sibbling. Somewhere before the summer Dawson has got to realize that if he leaves now, he will never be a part of his new little sister's life. He will only visit on holidays and vacations. Not to mention the fact that his mom could really use his help while trying to care for a newborn and run a restaurant at the same time. So Dawson will postpone college for one year while he cares for his sister and tries to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Pacey will flunk and have to repeat his senior year. And Joey will realize she still doesn't have enough money for college. She will get a deferrment on her college entrance and stay behind to be with Pacey while she works full time to save money for school.

Curly says: But you know, that they'll split up in one of the next episodes, right? I don't think they'll stay together. But the next season will surely be about "The Last Summer" - that causes the moving of the production. I think, Joey will go kinda crazy, coz she doensn't how to decide: pacey or dawson? Or maybe someone else? But I can't imagine, that Joey won't have enough money. I think she gonna get a paid-study...


Slyn reviews: I (like Mal) was extremely happy after watching "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" - it really touched a chord in my heart. And for the first time I am actually glad that the promos were way off the mark. Instead of getting a cliched "I am not over my ex" episode, we got a moving character study. We got to see Dawson re-connect with his passion - film, but also with his soul. He seems to have lit up after his conversations with Gretchen and Mr. Brooks. It was like his old world of wonder was suddenly restored. Not to say that all that has happened over the past year has not affected him, but he definitely has started to learn that life goes on and it can be good. That is the best kiss that I have seen Dawson have on the show - ever. It was very brief, yet so electric - I know that Pacey and Joey could not be thrown by it.

Jen and Jack have an excellent chemistry (yes friends have chemistry too) I love to watch them interact. I genuinely feel how much they care about each other when they are on screen. And now I am completely convinced that Jack is my favorite character on the show. The little dance he did when he came into Jen's room (to the Wheetus song) was so real, and goofy - that sealed it for me. He really comes across like a real person - not just an actor playing the part of Jack. Kerr makes Jack truly three dimensional. I can't wait until he gets a really good storyline.

The scenes at the yacht club party were the most revealing. We got to see (as if we didn't already know) how bright, charming and charismatic Pacey Witter can be. He truly wowed those college people in a way that no other character on that show could (remember Mr. Fricke?). I was a bit surprised at first that Joey would be so upset that Pacey was such a hit with the Worthington people, but then I realized that she was not really upset at Pacey but at herself for not being able to shine and sell herself. She blamed Pacey for stealing her thunder, but really she was not generating any charm. I don't think that Pacey was happy about schmoozing academic professionals, but I think he was happy about being with Joey (his Audrey Hepburn or more appropriately his Diane Court from Say Anything). Pacey will do anything to help Joey, including charming everyone in the room to help her get into college. I think right now the only motivation Pacey has in life is Joey - helping her fulfill her dreams, making her feel secure and loved etc. Maybe

even Pacey's furious struggle to graduate with his class is not ultimately about himself, but about his need to get out of Capeside - his need to be worthy of her and not someone she leaves behind for greatness. I only hope that Pacey realizes that he will only get that feeling of self-worth from within and not from Joey.

This episode made it abundantly clear to me that Pacey and Joey's relationshipis heavily influenced by the move "Say Anything" written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler). Aside from the factthat they mentioned Lloyd in this episode, the writers are using that movie to

help create P and J's relationship. First there was the teaching Joey to drive stick reference. Lloyd did it for Diane in the movie - and on the Creek Pacey does that for Joey. Then there was the "ask me to stay" moment where Pacey sprawled that on the blank wall. That was clearly inspired by the endearing moment in Say Anything when John Cusack holds up a radio blasting their song (In your Eyes by Peter Gabriel) in the middle of his girlfriend' street as a plea for her to take him back. Not to mention that Pacey is a beautiful brain (like Diane Court in the film) and Pacey is the simple nice guy without direction (like Lloyd), but is devoted to doing whatever it takes to make Joey happy.


Mal P reviews: Oh my goodness, what an [b]incredible[/b] episode! It was sweet, touching, humorous and was put together very well. At the end, I was practically jumping up and down with a huge grin on my face, this is easily the best episode since "Coming Home". I can't articulate my excitement enough, even

after going out to dinner and incurring a minor traffic accident could not dent my mood, the fellow from the NRMA (local road service agent) was looking rather oddly at my perpetual smile! The sheer display of emotion amongst the characters was at times breathtaking. Suffice to say, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" was instrumental in the continued development of these characters, as it answered some questions that were

deemed long forgotten. All credit to the writers, who have rejuvinated my faith in the production of this show this season, they really seem to be hitting some wonderful form. Dawsons Creek has been often criticized in the past for concentrating on the storylines, rather than the characters, and thus, to see such stringent attention paid to the lads and lasses of the Creek, is not only welcomed but commendable. 

The opening scene between Dawson and Gretchen, with the obligatory "hiding" of who the character was, having a movie night brought some sadness to me. What I recall most fondly from season 1, was not the romantic implications between the characters, nor was it the sub-plots involving the various other supporting casts... what I enjoyed, no, loved, about season 1 was the simple friendship between Dawson and Joey. Before growing up ruined their relationship, Movie night, was where those two would come together, and be friends... they'd laugh, cry, argue and speak of the world as if they knew it all. They were innocent. Sigh. However, my sadness was soon gone, because the lovely Gretchen - played so perfectly by the talented Sasha Alexander, proved not only upto the task of following in Joey's significant footsteps, but offered wisdom and maturity that the years sometimes brings us.

As they conversed about Mr. Brooks's classic masterpieces of the pulp genre, I noticed how... comfortable they are around each other. As if they've been friends for 15 years, but have outgrown their adolescant awkwardness. And so, it is with ease that the question of Dawsons missing passion for film, was brought up. It's not easy to give up something that has been such a constant in your whole life such as film, just like that, and indeed put it away in the closet. Not that simple. In fact, it parallels a certain situation with a certain girl we all know... something to think about as the episode progresses.

Of course, what better way to highlight Dawsons struggle to find his passion, than through the most important few essays he'll write in his life - college applications. While the place of study, the restaraunt, isn't the most suitable for writing such important documents, the entire scene did setup the Christmas party. I'm so glad that Mitch and Gale have brought the magic back into their relationship... perhaps they're example, of love lost and then found again, is why Dawson is still not completely over Joey... the

eternal optimist in him still believes that Joey will all of a sudden realise what she's done, and come back to him.

The scenes with Mr. Brooks, praising his film, asking him for advice, were all wonderful demonstrations of how much... closer they have become. Yes, I realise that on the exterior, Brooks remains the same, gruff, bitter old man, but something has changed in their relationship. This was noted in the way Brooks showed remorse on his face for the way he indeed tore down 17-yr old Dawson when Dawson asked him for advice on such a personal matter to him, such a personal matter as film. Also, in the scenes where Dawson praised Brook's film work, I noted tolerance on behalf of Brooks, that is, until the "chemistry" notion about the co-stars in the film was brought up. Immediately, I knew it was about another love triangle :)

When Brooks came to Dawsons parents Christmas party, I was glad to see that the external facades had been dropped between the two... they were bonding... a young film maker, to an old. Tenderness, and understanding was shown, especially in light of the love triangle Brooks faced, somethinf Dawson could easily imagine! This is of course, a prime example of the sheer inner strength Dawson has. Unlike Brooks, Dawson didn't break. He didn't shut people out of his life, and just because one thing that was so close to him hurt him, he didn't shut the other, film, out of his life. I only wish, Brooks had an inspiration and example such as that he portrays for Dawson when he was younger.

The scene between Dawson and Gretchen, where she tries to point out the reason for his melancholy towards film, was interesting. Profoundly interesting, as Gretchen raised some excellent points, and not just about the girls of the WB! :) I've never thought about the direct correlation in Dawsons lack of inspiration for film, and how he feels about Joey. The writers presented this angle very, very well... I was amazed at how much subtext was built into the storyline. See, when Dawson went off on his soul-searching journey last year, he dropped film, something he loved, as well as Joey. He needed to exist apart from those two elements that have been such a constant in his life.

Of course, the hurt Joey caused him, time and time again, sort of blocked everything else, including his feelings for the cinema. He was hurt so much, he blocked out such rogue elements of his life, refused to believe he needed them, refused to believe he loved them. So, when Gretchen's and Mr. Brook's words hit home, he came to a realistion. He loved film, loved it with a passion. But he also loved Joey, he loved her so much. And he let her go this episode, he really did. By admitting the fact, he was free of her ghost, of her haunting memory whispering in his ear. He was no longer, as Gretchen said, "waiting for the childhood crush to come around". But, at the same time, he managed to bring film closer to him, he let it into his heart again. The soul-searching journey had come full circle, he had found himself, found what he wanted. All this, now allows him to persue romantic relationships with other people, namely Gretchen

That kiss at the end at the Christmas party, was electrifying. Both of them obviously wanted something more than just a little peck under the misteltoe, and by God, they got it... their mutual desires, their love, was expressed so wonderfully. Dawson, free from Joey, let himself be drawn into the moment, and the fireworks still sizzle. Oddly speaking, I personally thought the absolute *best* scene in the entire show, was between Grams and Mr. Brooks at the Christmas party! It was absolutely hilarious, I was laughing so hard at the chemistry they showed. Such talented actors. You go you little flirt you, Brooksie :)

Moving onto Jen and Jack. I'm so glad these two are getting screen time, they light up the show when they're together! The Will and Grace comment was indeed a classic, it describes those two so perfectly.

I was dissapointed that Jen, despite having the love and support of Jack, was shying away from her college applications. Of course this was explained later, but I'm so glad she still has people in her life, like Grams and Jack, making sure she's alright, at least, in the end. When she said "Merry F'n Christmas" to Grams, my jaw dropped open. I couldn't believe that Dawsons Creek even implied the use of the word, the first time since season 1 (the scene between Joey and Mrs. Leery, talking about Mrs. Leery's affair). Still, I can understand the hurt Jen must feel... the slightest mistake, and Grams shuts her out. However, I feel this has been done before, many a season ago. You know, Grams dissapointed in Jen etc etc... that was perhaps the only weak link in an overall sound script. Nevertheless, it did allow both Jack and Grams to come to Jen's rescue, by Jack writing the college applications for her! Jen, scared of going to College because she fears rejection from her parents, is completely understandable. They, and many other loved ones in her life, have rejected her so many times, why not now, when she needs financial support? I did feel Grams words, that she'll always be there for Jen, rang hollow, especially considering she hasn't really been there for her during the last few weeks and is the direct cause of Jen's melancholy. What was far more interesting, was that Jack read her diary. Uh-oh, I smell a season 2 Dawson and Joey situation here. Jack should NEVER have done that, it's a blatant invasion of privacy and I deplore that action, just as I did back with Dawson. Still, the results were interesting. Jen has a crush on Jack?? Very interesting indeed! Of course, it's entirely possible to fall for a gay man, it has happened before, or at least, in celluloid! Still, unlikely that anything can happen, considering Jack is out and out gay. In two weeks, the response should be fascinating!

Onto Joey, and it seems by direct implication these days, Pacey :) Gretchen was completely right meaning Pacey will go anywhere Joey wants do, the boy is whipped beyond belief. But I digress. The timid Joey we saw with Mrs. Valentine was endearing. Showing to her "oppressor" that she was in fact one of the brightest and talented young studnets, despite her background, despite her social standing, brought a smile to my face. She is going to shine. Now, when Joey, or in this case Katie Holmes, walked out in that dress in the shop, she was absolutely beautiful. Stunning is a word that doesn't come close. The conversation with Gretchen went over my head I must admit! :) Anyway, I played it back later, and I detected a note of wistfulness in Joey, as Gretchen recalled how Dawson turned a bunch of videos into a

life-altering extravaganza. Joey *is* sorry she ruined something so special with Dawson, I'm sure of that.

I must say I was a little dissapointed with Pacey's lack of enthusiasm for Joey's big event, come on, was he seriously asking her to drop it, simply because it would be boring? I'd like to think that he was just putting up a front, that inside, he'd be there for Joey, no matter what. Perhaps this will be proved later on?

Now, at the actual dinner at the yacht club, we actually saw a smiling Pacey. Pacey, similing? Happy? Nooo! Dammit, I so wanted him to go through a soul-searching journey like Dawson did, and come out a stronger, better man. I swear, if the writers don't execute that... a semi-automatic, several rounds of ammo, lots of innocent people and Mal having some fun is what's going to happen. Oh wait, that's politically incorrect right? :)

However, I'm glad to see that finally, Pacey seems to be coming around, that Joey really does love him, unconditionally. He's starting to appreciate her, and rejoice in their relationship without the ghost of boyfriends past hanging over their heads. His comment, with that grin on his face about Joey being an Audhrey Hepburn, was dead on, Joey does possess an immense amount of grace and charisma. In fact, I'd say Katie Holmes would play the part of Ms. Hepburn in that new movie about her life far better than Jennifer Love Hewitt! Joey is still, despite her new found maturity, a tremendously insecure young girl. Especially, when she encounters her dreams, places where she's always wanted to be. Such as with the glitterati at the yacht club.

The scene with Drue the "waitress" was an example. I felt extremely sorry for her, having to face such thinly veiled judgement from the snob, the "No. 3" of the class. Now, despite however much the writers try to make me, I can't dislike Drew! I love the bloke! He's absolutely hilarious, charming and delightfully evil. His crack about expressing physical violence goes down as a classic. Drew, get together with Joey. Jo, you know you want him. You know you're still "secretly in love with him" :lol: As Pacey, Joey and the bloke from Worthington college sat around the table and talked, Joey's nervousness and morbid fear was apparent. Especially fumbling about New Work... cringeworthy. Now, at first I was furious at Pacey for joking around, doing the "usual Pacey routine" as Gretchen described it, but later on, I realised he was onto something. There's no way he'd ruin Joey's night to shine like that - he cares too much. This was

further apparent when he lied about going to the left side of the U.S. in terms of college choices. Pacey is not one to care about what people think of his academic standing, thus the only reason I concluded, was because he was trying to prop up Joey, by giving an illusion of class. What a wonderful thing he's doing for her. Side note, perhaps he should apply for Worthington? Hmm... something to think about.

Now, Joey, being Joey, didn't get it. In fact, not only did he look miserable and hurt, she looked angry. She thought her love was ruining her one chance, no, was humiliating her. Dragging Pacey away, before she has a chance to hear what Pacey is trying to do, he's dragged off with the Worthington guy, and leaves her alone. And she cracks. She starts bawling, really crying... the first I've seen her do. She thought her future, her dreams was destroyed as a result of that single night. And I'm glad she faced the Worthington fellow, letting her heart out into the open. I felt like holding her, the pain on her face was so real. Great acting Katie. As it was explained to her what Pacey was doing, Joey realised, really found out, what Pacey was upto. Propping her up, helping her out on her night of nights. Now, I posted a thread asking what Pacey and Joey saw in each other. I, along with some others, made comments about wanting it precisely defined, what makes them love, what makes them tick. And by God, did I get it in that scene inside. The expression of pure, untainted love was beautiful, and I'mso glad these two are so happy. Love is a precious thing, hold onto it long. My only thought on that is, is such strong, strong love, even as the

Worthington guy said, wanting to live life with each other, possible at such a young age? Either way, incredible job by the actors, as Pacey nailed who Joey is right there sincerely, he shred her of her insecurities, and made her believe in herself.

Joey was dead on when she said Pacey's mother had done a superb job raising him. Despite all my comments heavily criticizing this teenage boy for makingmistakes, I did see what Joey saw then, that Pacey is a good, wonderful, person. He has heart, dignity and passion, and what he did that night for

Joey, cannot be described in words. Of course, if only Pacey's deadbeat father had done his job, unlike Pacey's mother. He didn't give Pacey confidence, strength to believe in himself and drive, and that is so sad. Oh well, as long as there's something to achieve. Overall, a remarkable, heartfelt, and fantastic episode, I give it a solid 9 out of 10. If this season continues like this, it will be my all timefavourite.


Hans asks: Anyone have any ideas what Gretchen was going to say when she was interrupted at the end of the most recent episode? I was sitting there thinking "what the . . . ?". Guess the writers are doing what they're supposed to do . . . keep us coming back for more. But, it was damn annoying of them to leave us hanging. So, any thoughts? . . .

Mal P responds: "I don't know" would be my estimation of what Gretchen thought. We all know what Dawson would gain from the relationship - a beautiful, sweet, intelligent and loving woman being his girlfriend. She has maturity and experience to offer him. But what would Gretchen gain? A boy coming off

heartbreak in the purest form... no doubt adding complexity as Gretchen is the sister of the boy who's girlfriend caused all that heartbreak. We'll see. I'm all for the pairing... and I'm delighted Dawson had the guts to put himself out there. Will Gretchen bite?

CoolHandDukeThe BlueDevilMan snacks: Tough to say -- would Dawson enjoy that sort of thing, or is he not that adventurous? :)

Hans says: It'll definitely be an interesting next episode. . . Considering that this is supposed to be the gang's final year at Capeside High, there may be some justification for having Gretchen stick around next season - the two of them may go to college together (wouldn't that be an interesting twist). I think it'd be good to see the writers let the two of them "experiment" with one another. At least if it doesn't work out, you can't blame them for trying, right?

Hope2Change says: I think you get to see Pacey's Mother when the next new episode airs. It should be interesting.


LndsyGriff says: how i think season 4 final ep should end is Joey spending some of the money they have earned thanks to the B&B doing so well, and bringing up Paceys boat True Love, that says it all, sound slushy enough what do you all think.

^astro^ says: RUMOR has it that Pacey is going to propose to Joey in the final episode of the season. It obviously hasn't been shot yet, but it was one of the ideas the writers were throwing around.

Mal P says: This would be most interesting, as I'm sure Joey would say "no" because she's too young etc and then the season would end on a cliff-hanger, with both of them going to the same college while distinctly uncomfortable around each other, perhaps even broken up due to the rejection. Then next season, we could see Joey start with a college guy or even Dawson heh and have another triangle.

^astro^ says: If she says no then I'd be upset but I'd get over it...But if she gets back with Dawson then I'd be MAJORLY pissed off. The writers have spent this whole season showing us how devoted she is to Pacey. So if she was to go running back to Dawson I think I'd lose faith :o( If there was another guy though, I wouldn't mind as much. I also read on Project Nookie's spoiler board that next season is going to be set in Boston(even though it probably will be shot in Vancouver). I thought all Dawson's college apps were for CA...So he hopefully wouldn't factor into any rejection. I'm still hoping that she says 'yes' though. They don't have to get married straight away, but just them being engaged is enough for me :o)


Randy asks: Are Gretchen and Dawson going to be an item? Kinda confused with the ending of the episode this past week.

Cherity13 responds: I think that they are leaving that open. But it is a definate possibility. They are writing so as it won[t come as a surprise when it happens. I think it is in the cards though

Mal P says: Oh I think so. This is a great oppourtunity for the show to highlight the drama that can occur when you date someone older and more experienced than you. Hopefully, love will win in the end.

Curly says nope: I don't think that Gretchen & Dawson end up together. The way of Dawson's reaction ("Happy Holidays"), after Gretchen explained herself to him, shall be a sign, that he changed his mind at all. Not in the point "liking her" but in the way love comes and goes. In the ep 401 he said that he realized over the summer that he doesn't choose what you love but the love chooses you. I think that's such a moment. And as Joey said to Dawson - they are still friends although a tough change of life through the past 2 yrs - and Gretchen and D. can still be good friends at all. I think he realized at the end that their friendship is much more worth thana relationship. You see, that Dawson changed over the past 2 yrs?

Mal P disagrees: Some good points there indeed, but I do have to respectfully disagree with your conclusions. You're quite right, when romance is introduced into a relationship, whatever friendship existed is altered forever. We saw that with Dawson and Joey - the moment Dawson kissed her in the finale of season 1, everything those two thought about their relationship changed as they started the slow ascent into adulthood. The heartbreak that ensued and the problems it caused for them highlight how romance does often ruin friendship. I deeply miss what Dawson and Joey had in season 1, the understanding and the magic - the way they could analyze a film to death and compare it to real life. Just exchanging words withour much awkwardness… However, in my opinion, "Self-Reliance" highlighted that it's worth it. It's worth persuing romance and love, becuse you cannot live your life in constant fear of having your relationships ruined. You need to experience and feel - and hopefully, in the end, you're still talking to the other person LOL - like with Dawson and Joey. After all that's happened, they're "still friends". I'm glad.

Curly responds: Just can tell you (even if it's much too intim to be told here): I made experiences in domain "risk friendship 4 love" - i gotta say it changes EVERYTHING and it gets even worse than before (with all the heart longing)! I can't recommand to risk true friendship for love. Friendships lasts (mostly) so much longer than friendships and I think real friends are more important than a relation. Tell me if you think different!

Tessa Kampman says: Although that maybe true, I still think that if you don't try, you will always regret it. Plus, if you don't show your real feelings to the other, there something missing in the friendship anyway… it's true that love can ruin things, but if you're that good of friends, you should be able to keep being friends, even if the love thing doesn't work out...and I'm sure it will be different and maybe you won't get back that "thing" you had together, but now you have a totally different thing, which is very precious as well.

Sorrow Ruffian says: The best love relationships start as friendships. And true friends will STAY friends through anything -- even romance.

Curly says: Okay, maybe you have made different experiences as me, but as said: Friendship is not worth being risked for love. And even if you confess love to your best friend and he/her feels the same and you get together, later or earlier, you'll split up. And I don't know any relationship which broke that one part of the couple still loves the other partner. And that's the hard part: To get over someone who's your best friend. You can't face the person you need most in that time, coz you try to forget your feelings for him, but you need to talk to someone. So you're tied up in a feelings-conflict. I don't wanna go through something like that never again. And I can't recommand it.

Terri S says: I guess I have had all three types of experiences. I have been friends with someone and not risked the friendship for the feelings I had for him, I have risked the friendship and found a great love and stayed friends after we found but we just weren't long term compatible that way, and have risked the friendship and found out that not only were we not great boy/girl friend but we didn't have a strong enough bond to remain friends after we broke up. My personal opinion is that it is up to you to judge whether you want to risk anything, either the friendship or getting your feelings hurt. Sometimes it is worth it and sometimes it is not. I guess only you, in your situation, can decide if you want to risk it.

Tessa Kampman says: I think you are totally depends on yourself and the situation.....I guess you just have to do what you heart says on moments like that. 

You are so certain that there will be a splitup, which doesn't have to be. I think that it could really work out. But I also think that if you're still young like Joey and Dawson were, so if you are teenagers, that it's almost impossible to work out...but I really think that if you are somewhat older and ready for a relationship that it can work out for the best. It's just that most youth think they want a relationship, but I think it's not very good to have a very serious relationship at this age, cause there are lots of things to do yet. I mean, you're young, and you want to go out, flirt, can spend the rest of your life with the partner of your dreams.... Of course you can still fall in love when you're young, but like you say, it won't last most of the times. Anyway, gotta go now...I've got a date....LOL, that's this thing, btw, I really like this guy, but I don't want it to be too serious......what should I do?


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