Skip to main content

616 - That Was Then

Happy 2020! We're back and in the homestretch of our final episodes... and what a nice way to return to the show: with a return to Capeside – and the show's "heart"!

From Traci: "Before we began recording this, I accidentally deleted a handful of production notes so there are a couple of things I forgot – the most important being a shout-out to one of our listeners, Cat, who started this fun 'book bingo' that is Dawson's Creek themed! Go check it out here!"

Episode links:

Got something to say? Leave it in the comments below, or you can email us at, call us at 732-98-CREEK, or find us at @dawsonsspeakpod on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Okay, I've only gotten through the Screen Rant rant so far, but had some thoughts...

    I would definitely swap Pacey/Natasha for Dawson/Audrey on that list. As was already mentioned, Audrey and Natasha are kind of similar, but Dawson and Audrey's connection has always held more sincerity, so while I think Audrey would still loosen Dawson up and make him fun, I also think there would be less head games, and they'd have a more genuine relationship.

    I'd also swap Joey/CJ (wtf?) for Jen/Eddie. Jen is the type of old money rich girl that Eddie despises, and I think she would have given him a new and interesting perspective. Plus, I think her sardonic wit would match up nicely with his.

    And, I'm sort of shocking myself here, but I'm kind of on board with the Joey/Chris Wolfe suggestion. He's sort of a Charlie equivalent character, and I think that pairing would have been more interesting in season 2, when Joey still had an edge and wasn't the IT girl, held on the highest pedestal like she was in seasons 5 and 6. Plus he could get wrapped up in Mr. Potter's new drug empire, leading to their relationship imploding.

    Also, side note, but Traci, if you haven't watched Spinning Out yet on Netflix, you need to ASAP. It's definitely the type of show that would have aired on the WB or ABC Family back in the day.

    Be back when I finish the episode...

    1. Jen/Eddie would have been interesting, for sure. Dawson/Audrey I can take or leave, I liked their scenes together but I prefer them as friends. Joey/Wolfe though...I wasn't on board with that at all until you mentioned him getting tied up in Mr Potter's drug empire, and then my head started spinning with possibilities. Also, as you say, Joey had an edge in season 2 - in fact she's a stone cold b*tch at times in the early seasons - and they would have been an interesting combination. Chris never really got fleshed out as a character though, because Jason Behr left to be on his own show. (Which I loved back in the day but find borderline unwatchable now. The books are still fun though.)

  2. Oh, they mean 10 hetero couples ... /rant


  3. To Traci's point about not understanding what the Joey storyline was, was it filler, it wasn't. Just not that interesting. They made it pretty clear Harley is the next Joey (even included the clip in the pod of Harley saying "if you could go back and tell yourself one thing what would it be)

    So that's the parallel to Dawson seeing his younger-self at Capeside, reflecting on where he was. And Joey reflects on how she has grown and is better at dealing with boys. And Pacey reflects upon it obviously with Doug and his dad's health about where he is now, compared to where he came from as the family screw up.

    And now as I listen Traci basically gets there. A pretty good episode for the S6.

    PLUS - points to Charles for almost getting to "Dawson and Pacey as professional partners" in this ep! That's a really good observation by him to see they've unfrozen the Pacey-Dawson distanced relationship and are about to be in business together....

    1. I was quite sad listening to the Pacey/Dawson scene in this episode, and Charles's predictions, because I know how it ends and it's all going to go screaming back downhill very soon. Such a shame, because that scene was one of the first ones in years, possibly since season 1/2, that I actually believed in Dawson and Pacey as friends.

  4. The Screen Rant list is just...NOPE. The only two on there that I agreed with were Dawson/Nikki and Jen/Drue (not that I wanted them to date necessarily but I thought they should have done more with them together). I'm also onboard with Joey/Anderson, it was a shame that character left so soon.

    I listened to this in the car (and again didn't shout at Charles at all, what progress we are making!) on the way to work this morning and jotted down some notes as I finished listening.

    Joey's storyline with Harley is annoying, I don't like Harley and I like Patrick even less. I'd have preferred an alternate storyline for her that could have still led her to the same conclusions (I haven't come up with said storyline yet, admittedly) or even better, to relegate Joey to the background for a while and have a Jack and/or Jen storyline (the audacity!) instead. I'd have liked this as a two-parter as Charles suggested, 'That Was Then'/'This Is Now' where each of our core five are taken back to a part of their youth that they reflect on, like Jen could have had a parallel with someone she talks to on the Helpline who is struggling with a slutty reputation or being a new fish in a small pond; Jack could have had a storyline that involved Andie, because at this point we're all seriously wondering what happened to her... These storylines could have been spread out and delved into a bit more in 2 eps as opposed to one.

    Re: Pacey's dad, I agree that the show keeps trying to give him a pass for the years of emotional abuse, although his line to Pacey about how he "always knew" that Pacey would turn out good actually rang authentic for me, not because I think it's true, but because I think it's totally the kind of thing that someone like Sheriff Witter would say and has probably even convinced himself of. He might even think that his prior treatment of Pacey was what had motivated his son to prove himself and take credit in that sense. And Pacey's response that he should have been listening harder or something was a blatant lie but he told it to make his father feel better, which he does mention later when he's talking to Doug that he doesn't want his father to die thinking his son hates him. I think that's core to Pacey's character and I don't hate it.

    The Pacey/Dawson scene is a good one. Probably my favourite in the episode (although I do also love the Poey scene at the start.) The Dawson/George scene leaves me cold, mostly because I find George annoying (though if he's a mini-Dawson that completely figures, LOL). The episode does try to set up their mini-Joey, mini-Dawson and mini-Pacey but they all miss the mark, IMO.

    Doug is always great. Dylan Neal did a great interview with the Creek of the Week guys which is fun to listen to. More Deputy Doug would have been great. More Witters in general honestly would have been great. We know so little about their family. And why doesn't anyone EVER mention Gretchen?!?!

    1. As someone whose father was very hard on him, the Pacey/dad relationship hit home, even with rationalizing/lying to make them feel better when that's not a normal trait, so I bought that all the way. Also agree with you about Mr. Witter rationalizing his treatment of Pacey and probably looking back thinking Pacey's childhood wasn't bad (or was actually good and normal) because he ended up successful and well-adjusted. Even though that's really no thanks to the sheriff in a positive way.

      Agree with everyone that all the couples on the list were dumb. The only one that's good is Dawson/Nikki but in no way, shape or form did high school, controlling, whiny, idiotic Dawson deserve Nikki at all. It's also kinda weird since literally everyone who could have been a couple pretty much were at some point; save Dawson/Andie and Dawson/Audrey, so I'm not sure there's a lot of untread territory for a soapy drama leaving any material left..

      Love your idea of "These storylines could have been spread out and delved into a bit more in 2 eps as opposed to one." and more Jen. (I'm a few ahead of this and rarely watch S6 [besides Castaways] and in a few eps they do the Grams cancer angle. Could have brought that up a few episodes and done that with all the rest you propose and I think it could have tied in nicely, or given a reason for the core group to get together to support Jen+Grams since Dawson is back on East Coast and they're all, roughly, together at this point again.

    2. I think it's also fair to say that Pacey is not actually as "successful and well-adjusted" as Sheriff Witter probably thinks he is. I mean, he's successful right now, but that's all about to implode and he is going to slump back to a near-total lack of self-confidence very soon. So Pacey is giving an impression to everyone around him that he's doing really well, when actually he's the same old Pacey just dressed in a suit, and he knows it. The Pacey/Sheriff Witter relationship is one of the most complex on the show, and I will miss it from now on.

      " no way, shape or form did high school, controlling, whiny, idiotic Dawson deserve Nikki at all."
      Oh I COMPLETELY agree. But she would have taken him down a peg or several. (Well, she would have if she continued to act in character, but she was already starting to slide downhill into pandering to Dawson's feelings, so perhaps it's better that she left when she did.)

      I also forgot about the Grams cancer angle - that'd be perfect for Jen's 'That was then/This is now" storyline. Often it's only when we're at risk of losing something that we realise just how much it means to us and has shaped our lives over the years. Jen's life would have been so different if she'd never gone to live with Grams.

  5. So I don't hate Joey's story. I think it was needed, since we obviously knew where Pacey stood on pursuing their relationship again, but we hadn't fully explored Joey's POV. I do think that Harley and Patrick are super annoying though. I would have preferred for her story line to involve Jen or Jack (or hell, even both!) and for her to confide in them as she's done in the past. But why would you include main characters on your television show? That's just weird.

    This is going to be a tumultuous few weeks in ratings, I can already tell. Next week's episode is ROUGH. I already know Charles is going to hate it. But then 6x18 is one of the season's best, only to be followed again by another really rough episode or two. The last two episodes before the finale are good though! I promise!

    1. "But why would you include main characters on your television show? That's just weird."
      Such a bizarre concept, I don't know how you came up with it ;) I completely agree - we did need to hear Joey's thoughts on pursuing a relationship with Pacey, and I get what they were trying to do here by drawing a parallel between Joey/Pacey and Harley/Patrick but H/P are just such annoying characters that it doesn't really work.

      I agree, I hate the next episode (except for the closing scene in the bar, that's super cute, up until the very end anyway - which is why I usually turn the episode off as soon as Pacey leaves the bar). Then 6x18 is heartbreaking but great (again, except for the very end) and then after that I just skip straight to 6x21 and go from there. I had to look up what 6x20 is and I honestly don't know what happens in that one, I think it's where they try and tie up some loose ends of storylines they never bothered to properly develop in the first place. I guess I'll find out when we get to that podcast.

      I also think that 6x19 is the worst episode of the series and is completely unwatchable. Am I alone in that?

    2. Oh my god, 6x19 is sooooo baaaaaaaaaad!! I completely skipped it as soon as I realized what it was about (and that there was no Pacey). All I can remember was thinking "They're really trying to make us understand why Joey likes Eddie, but the entire episode consists of him showing her why she should break up with him".

      Damn, the ending of this season is such a roller coaster. So many amazing moments followed by terrible ones. I agree that H/P are super annoying and tbh, it's kinda offensive that Joey sees her relationship with Pacey in them. Pacey was milesss ahead of Patrick, he was constantly the most mature character out of the main ones. The writers really did forget what he was like before season 5 and it shows. Or is is just me? I only vividly remember Poey's opening scene and Pacey's relationship with his father in this episode -- everything else I think I just blocked from my memory.

    3. It's definitely not just you! Patrick is NOT Pacey, not even close. Maybe he's a bit like season 1 Pacey, but that guy was only around for a handful of episodes before Pacey became the show's MVP (IMO). Patrick is the worst. He has zero redeeming qualities and he treats Harley like crap. Worse, the show seems to be telling us he's only doing that because he likes her. An idea that Joey keeps perpetuating (especially in 6x18 which is a great episode marred by Patrick's presence) and yet one that Pacey doesn't exhibit at all. (Eddie does,, Joey's an idiot.)

      When I'm rewatching, I go from Castaways to the opening Poey scene of 6x16 and then I usually just skip forward to the end of 6x17 (but turn it off before Eddie turns up), then I watch all of 6x18 before skipping to 6x21. There really is no other way to watch it.

      6x19 doesn't have Pacey because Josh Jackson directed that episode. Kerr Smith directed an episode earlier in the season (6x09 from recollection) and apparently Josh and James immediately started begging to direct an episode (according to the commentary for Kerr's ep). James never did but Josh was given 6x19. Presumably because the script was so bad that nobody else wanted to do it?? I can't imagine that it was an enjoyable experience for him, since everyone looks like they want to die during the course of the ep. And I can't say whether or not his direction is any good because I have only seen it once and I refuse to put myself through that again.

      6x19 was also written by someone who had never written for Dawson's Creek before and who, from what I can see on IMDb, has written a few episodes of sitcoms and not much else. Which is probably why that episode is so bizarre and worthless. It's the most out of character that these characters act in the entire series, and that's saying something at this point.

    4. Interestingly enough, James was actually supposed to direct CASTAWAYS! I think Josh and James were barely speaking at this point, so it surprises me that they would give offer him an exclusively Joey/Pacey episode. (But yay that they're friends again!)

      Also, I think that Patrick was supposed to be like season 1 Pacey, and his relationship with Harley was supposed to parallel how Joey and Pacey were before they fell in love. It's a stretch, but I think Joey's big revelation was that people can grow and evolve, and that season 1 Pacey, who bugged the crap out of her most of the time, could turn into one of the great loves of her life. She's at a crossroad where she's wondering if she should revisit that relationship, but afraid it will crash and burn like it did in season 4, and seeing a "young version" (I use the term loosely) is a reminder that they can move past all their high school BS and have an adult relationship. But I'll dig deeper into WTF was the point of all this in the 6x18 discussion, because WTF was the point of all of this?

    5. OMG I can't imagine James directing Castaways! Seriously, of ALL the episodes...that's just bizarre. Thank goodness he didn't, especially if the animosity between him and Josh was so high at the time. I guess they were like "well, he's not in this one so he can direct it" but...nah. Did he turn it down? How did you hear about this?

      "WTF is the point of all this?" is such a great question. Truly one for the ages. I get that they were using Patrick to show the evolution of Pacey, but they also romanticise this complete idiot as being worth Harley's time, when Joey couldn't STAND s1 Pacey. So what she really should've said to Harley was "he's a total doofus and don't let him treat you like that, but don't discount him entirely"? Maybe...I don't know. As you say, we'll get to this when discussing 6x18.

    6. Whoa! JVDB was supposed to direct Castaways?? Is there somewhere we can find this info out or learn more??

    7. Same! I tried finding it but I didn't get a thing. Maybe it was on a dvd commentary? Very interesting if true

    8. @ Katie The onnnnly thing that I respectfully disagree with is the notion (and the show has the characters say it too) but I disagree that Joey hated Pacey in season one or that they hated each other. I think there were lots of teasing and eye rolls and she refused to kiss him for the movie but there's no doubt under all of that playful animosity and banter, that they were friends and their friendship just got deeper in season three. I have a season one Pacey theory about his feelings for Joey but of course I don't think the writers intended it to be the way I see it but Pacey in my mind has always loved Joey and in my headcanon if she wasn't obsessed with Dawson during season one, I think she would've kissed Pacey back or at least been open to the possibility of being with him.

    9. That's so true actually, I just listened to another podcast that was talking about 1x10 Double Date and there's definitely mutual appreciation for each other in that episode - slightly differently in Pacey's case from Joey's but they had a good time working together on the project, and even before that in 1x06 she comforts him when he's upset about his relationship with Tamara, and he saves her from the drunk guy at the party one time... I guess I was thinking of the constant insults and snarking at each other and refusal to kiss him, but you're right. Although I don't think Pacey ever really actively disliked Joey - any active dislike was more on her part than his. I can imagine young Pacey being a real pain in the ass, so it makes sense that it would take a while for Joey's opinion of him to change as he changed and grew up. Whereas Joey has probably always been pretty much the same snarky opinionated girl, and Pacey just came to appreciate that about her instead of being annoyed by her being so uptight all the time.

      That's where I think the show gets confused when it constantly tries to do this 'relationship starts out with snarky banter and evolves into romance' storyline that only really worked with Poey, because when they tried it with others (Tobey and Eddie spring to mind) it just comes across as mean, because that underlying respect and knowledge of one another isn't there the way it was with Poey.

      Patrick is still very much a discount version of Pacey that lacks all his redeeming features though and you won't change my mind about that.

    10. Oh I wholeheartedly agree. That snarky banter thing with any couple other than Poey just did not work on this show. I agree it was the lack of underlying respect and I also think it was lack of chemistry. Other than Dawson and Gretchen, and Pacey and Andie, couples with great chemistry (besides Joey and Pacey of course) was seriously lacking on here imo Every couple felt rushed and not written thoroughly

    11. Re: James van der Beek directing Castaways, I don't think there were any sorts of press releases, because it never came to fruition. I remember there were spoilers back in the day that were fairly accurate for Castaways (at one point they danced in the lighting department, which was later changed to Pacey shaving, but all the dialogue they posted was pretty spot on...) that said James was to direct the episode, but scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out. Seeing as Josh and Kerr both directed episodes they weren't in (or in the case of Kerr, were barely in) it makes sense that James would be slated for Castaways. I can't remember if I read it on TWoP or somewhere on Fan Forum, so grain of salt.

  6. Really didn't care too much for this episode for some reason. I loved the Pacey and Dawson conversation though. I know James and Joshua didn't always get along but they really do have great on screen chemistry when Dawson is being civil lol

    I really hate Sex and Violence. It's terribly written and Joey acts obnoxious until the end. I don't like Eddie returning mostly because I don't see what Joey sees in him. I do agree that that relationship needed to be revisited eventually leading to closure for Joey. I don't like it but I get it.

    Another thing I don't like but have now started seeing in a new light due to some of the comments on here- I hated Lovebites. Always skipped it during my season six rewatches. Now I've come to agree with those who say Joey and Pacey needed to break up. They both needed to do some more growing and exploring and I feel it wasn't the right time to get back together for the characters. It felt right as a Poey fan but realistically for these two characters, it was a bad time so I no longer hate that episode. I don't appreciate the writers having Joey tell Pacey that being with him didn't feel right but she did express her doubts in Castaways and in That was then so I guess I can. He broke her heart coldly and they did fight a lot (thanks writers for not giving us a chance to enjoy happy and blissful post boat Poey for more than 10 seconds) so I understand her apprehension and her desire to explore the "What If" with Eddie. I also don't like the ending for Lovebites when Eddie and Joey have that supposed emotional reunion. I feel it was not earned. So besides all of that, even though I don't like the episodes after Castaways, I do like that they had Joey choose herself eventually and that she ended up with the right guy in the end. The finale is one of my favorite finales of any show. Very well written but KW had help and outside influences. I wouldn't trust him at all with a reboot just fyi lol

    1. "He broke her heart coldly and they did fight a lot (thanks writers for not giving us a chance to enjoy happy and blissful post boat Poey for more than 10 seconds)"

      THIS. Season 4 should theoretically be my favourite season - my OTP dating for almost the entire season? yes please - and yet so much of it is wrapped up in fights (mostly about Dawson) and the characters making poor decisions and not communicating and ughhhh. And don't even get me started on that break up. I still can't watch it without wincing.

      "I also don't like the ending for Lovebites when Eddie and Joey have that supposed emotional reunion. I feel it was not earned."

      100% agree. It also has ZERO chemistry and is one of the worst kisses on the show. At one point, you can see Oliver Hudson visibly recoil. Dawson and Joey kiss with more passion than that. (Ugh, again.)

      "So besides all of that, even though I don't like the episodes after Castaways, I do like that they had Joey choose herself eventually and that she ended up with the right guy in the end."

      100% agreed again, and I actually quite like that final scene on the docks between her and Pacey, even if it always feels disappointing at the time.

      "The finale is one of my favorite finales of any show. Very well written but KW had help and outside influences. I wouldn't trust him at all with a reboot just fyi lol"

      Also agreed agreed agreed. Who helped KW, do you know? I love the finale but I hate the idea KW threw out for a reboot - well, I like the idea of Dawson getting the success of Hollywood and yet not finding emotional fulfillment in it, I think that could be an interesting exploration of what happens when your dream come true doesn't make you as happy as you thought it would. But I do NOT want to watch a divorced Pacey and Joey fighting over their children. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

      I have a story in my head for a reboot, and now that's the only version I would accept. (That's a lie, if they did a reboot with all of the original cast, I would of course watch it. TBH I would probably watch it if it was only Dawson, which is sad since I can't stand him, but I know my weaknesses and I wouldn't be able to resist.)

    2. I know he had Greg Berlanti in his ear, he also had a woman tied to DC that went on to help him with other projects and I think her name was Julie but I'm not sure. She was pro Poey and he had her in his ear as well. Possibly more but I don't remember off the top of my head. Have you watched the DC writers gathering on stage to talk about the show? Maybe KW mentioned it during that?

      A just Dawson spinoff would be good but to me I think KW would mess it all up. Lmao KW in my eyes should stay away from his creation. Greg Berlanti is the only way to go or that Julie person I can't seem to remember. While yes under Berlanti Dawson became a Disney villain but Greg also turned him into a likeable character in season four when he wasn't prying into Joey's life. KW did do right by everyone in the finale (except Jenn but don't get me started) but again, I think for a reboot he would erase all the good he did in the finale. I do think Poey should be left alone and brought on only for visits with their kids but nothing too long where KW would most likely have Joey drawn to Dawson in some romantic way.


Post a Comment