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617 - Sex and Violence

We were so hopeful that the last two episodes were signaling a huge shift in how this season was going! But alas... this one was a bit rough. We're especially unhappy with what's going on with Jen. Why are the writers pretending like it's OK for CJ to speak to her that way??

Episode links:

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  1. Another great pod! I was kinda surprised by the ratings but this was a tough one to judge, pretty uneven with good moments and bad.

    A couple things that bothered me:
    --Joey getting uppity and saying she was above doing admin work. Honey, in the last 6 years you've almost continuously been a waitress at the Ice House, country club, Hell's Kitchen. You know how to make a pot of coffee. I get that she wanted to bristle against the "boys club system" of the office, but it's a temp job she willingly took. That's the type of qualities that made later-season Joey kind of annoying.
    --Agree 100% with Traci and Charles about CJ/Jen. First, it's beyond weird to be so openly and comfortably talking about sex with someone's GRANDMOTHER! Also, even though this is Cool Grams, she knows how turbulent Jen's life and how devastating sex and bad relationships have been for an already young lady. Her reaction and encouragement of a clingy and poorly-intention Jen suitor makes no sense!
    --All Dawson has is making movies about his life, when nothing has really happened in his life! Isn't this like the third effort to make a movie to tell the Joey story (Creek Days, the follow-on he was writing, this Hollywood pitch). And, spoiler, we know where he gets to in the series finale, seems like all he has is autobiographical material that isn't even that great. Doesn't sound like the path for a very successful career for him, his beloved Spielberg wasn't pouring in so much work to bringing his own life to the screen. (I get it, for the purposes of this show, just saying...Gets me worked up hah).

    But I did love the meta references- T&C talked about the "sleeping with a teacher" line, but I thought the stripper point was a call-back to the Eve debacle. (Remember when Dawson and Pacey saw her in the strip club and she brought all the strippers to Dawson's house for a HS party?) Thought that was kind of a nod to how the network probably pushed for spicing up S3 with a mysterious, sexy, new girl in Eve that was a disaster.

    Also, does anyone else feel like CJ = Henry? All they do is whine and beg/guilt Jen about sex. (But, as a man, I guess that's most boyfriends, ha). At least Henry was a HS freshman, CJ is supposed to be this wise college peer councilor. And he's just a sleazy weirdo going through a story we've already seen Jen basically go through where she wants to connect with a partner deeper than sex and they are dumb and prioritize the physical side of things. Just ugh, feel like if they had Jensen Ackles for a season they put him in the dumbest of narratives.

    1. I was surprised by the ratings too - Charles gave Clean & Sober 6.5 and this one 7.5 - that does not compute.

      I really don't like this episode. I always skip past it when I'm rewatching, except for the first and last scenes.

      Joey's behaviour is appalling. They clearly wanted to bring some conflict into the scenario, but don't do that by making Joey act like an entitled and unprofessional b***h. Those scenes are so cringe-worthy, despite the Poey chemistry being as strong as ever. Charles was spot on when he said it feels like fanfic.

      Jen and Grams could've had a really interesting conversation in this context, showing how far they've come since the days when Grams wouldn't even say the word penis, but her take on it sucks. She should've told Jen to kick CJ to the kerb. (Although she has already shown that her judgement is questionable given the Henry debacle.)

      Dawson has no stories, only the vaguely interesting things that have happened in his life. After his TV show ended, I wonder what he ended up doing in Hollywood. Did he direct other people's projects? Did he write his own? Did he come up with some new ideas?

      Yep I thought it was about Eve too. It made me laugh, far more than the teacher part, because that still makes me deeply uncomfortable.

      CJ is a hotter version of Henry, and Jen has already been through this (I want a relationship deeper than sex) with Charlie too. What were the writers thinking? Why does Jen get such crappy romantic entanglements? I've said it before and I'll say it again - JUSTICE FOR JEN.

  2. Okay I LOVE you guys and this podcast and usually agree with most of what you say but have to throw my opinion out there:

    The claim that the “fighting Poey is not what we’re used to with them” is so off base! You gotta change your perspective here.

    The pre-credits scene has them in an awkward near kiss. And it’s cute, for sure, but it also exemplifies how uncomfortable they are with each other. They’re not sure where they stand or if they can get back what they had and it’s just very “walking on eggshells.” It’s very polite and all that, which isn’t who two people who were in love and have known each other for 15 years should be acting.

    Pacey and Joeys chemistry began with their ability to bicker back and forth. That was the fire that ignited the ship, dating all the way back to Double Date in season one! So while we don’t want to ALWAYS see Poey fighting, that bickering nature (which is also them challenging each other) sets them off in a way that breaks the barrier—pushes them past the “politeness” and “awkwardness” and reminds them of their old dynamic that pushed them together in the first place!

    Plus it’s not a bad fight—it’s lighthearted and silly and yes a little fan-fiction like but it’s banter and bicker it’s not passion fueled love/hate kind of emotion. It’s playful. And it helps them feel comfortable again.

    (And no spoilers for Charles but that kind of goes along with the Joey picking Eddie thing in the next episode because she feels too much like she’s depending on something safe and comfortable like she did with Dawson...even though it’s not like that at all. Not really, anyway.)

    That’s all! Had to say my peace.

    1. I'm not sure of the exact moment when "fighting Poey isn't what we're used to" was said in the podcast, but I agree that Poey argue and bicker a lot - they said as much in Castaways.
      Joey: "You know, we fought constantly."
      Pacey: "Oh, don't I know it."

      I don't mind the awkwardness in the opening scene, and I like the gentlemanly way that Pacey just kisses her hand and departs (which is one of many reasons why he's so much greater than CJ). I think what you're saying is that the build up and the fight is what gets them past that awkwardness and back to being together (as we see at the end). I agree that was probably the intention of the writers, but Joey acts like such an idiot in this episode that I just can't get onside with her. The moment when she pours creamer on Sadia is just beyond stupid. I know Joey has a history of such things, and maybe they thought it would be a neat callback to her tipping a jug of water over Abby Morgan's head in season 2, but this is season 6, and she's risking Pacey's reputation by acting that way. I just don't get it. I think the writers were aiming for something that they didn't quite hit with this one.

      That said, the final scene in the episode (before Eddie arrives) is one of my favourite season 6 Poey moments and that kiss is HOTTT.

    2. I don't know if they were trying to callback to Joey and Pacey's first real kiss (if they were, they didn't do a very good job at it) but the elements were all there: the fight, the look, floodgates. It was just terrible within the context of the episode, and in the context of the episode, came off as bad fanfic. Yes, Joey and Pacey banter, Joey was being such a brat this episode, it really wasn't cute. She's lucky that Pacey's boss is just as unprofessional as she is.

    3. @Kat: That's fair. They did fight a lot! I think what we were trying to get at was that we didn't like seeing them fight in the context of the situation we got in this episode.

  3. This episode made me feel like such a 30 (and some change) year old! Joey, your resume consists solely of waitressing and minor B&B upkeep (we all know Bessie does ALL the work), administrative assistant is a step up the White Collar ladder for you! Sit down, shut up, and learn some Microsoft Excel so you can throw that shit on your resume! And for $600 a week? Joey, most college kids have to do the work of 3 full time employees to get that kind of pay! Make some damn coffee and ask if you can sit in on some phone calls to get better exposure. Joey's so used to opportunities just falling in her lap, season 1 Joey would be so disappointed in her!

    Poor Jen and her shitty relationships! I think the only healthy romantic relationship she had was with Cliff in season 1, and they literally went on 3 dates. I'd say Jen was definitely shafted in this series, but she did have Jack. Jack and Jen were the most deep and enduring relationship of the series, so she was definitely winning in that department. Too bad Jack disappeared off the face of the earth, and you know if he showed up in this episode, he'd be on Team CJ too. #cjsbroadshoulderscansuckit

    1. You've absolutely nailed it when it comes to what REALLY bugs me about this episode. Joey wasn't even a good waitress, honestly. She was always rude to the customers if she didn't like them. Probably still is. I was an English major and I spent years after I graduated working as a PA, even though I hated it. You do what you have to do to pay the bills, and you take the opportunities you can get. In my case I ended up doing some editing/writing/proof-reading as part of my job, which I could then take samples of and add them to my resume for future job applications, so that down the line I could get work in that area. (Which I did.) I worked at a big accounting firm for a while and one of my jobs was to lay out a few apples and oranges and some cookies at 10am every day, and sometimes people would complain if I didn't do it on time, even though the fruit was in a box like right there, how hard is it to get it out yourself? But I just smiled and apologised and did my job because that was MY JOB.

      Also, I am thirty-something and I make $600/week right now so that kind of money in 2003 for a college student was insane and she should have been falling all over herself to be the best possible employee and keep that job. I think that's what really bugs me about the whole storyline, not to mention how rude and disrespectful it is for poor Pacey, who got her the job, and she just goes out and whines and complains and embarrasses him. She's super lucky that Pacey's workplace is terrible and that he loves her so much because nobody else in their right mind would forgive her so easily for that.

      Jack and Jen were the underserved MVPs of this show. I am and will always be here for Poey, but I wish we'd got to spend more time with Jack and Jen.


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