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618 - Love Bites



Love does bite! At least this episode wasn't terrible, even with the sad Poey break-up... and at another dance, no less! We guess a happy school dance wouldn't make for very compelling soapy teen drama...

One question: Why do we need to keep seeing Harley and her world? Is it to give Joey something to do? Is it to draw parallels between Harley and Joey? Because... meh.

From Charles: "At one point, Eddie calls Joey 'the most decent person I know,' which I think is a really sweet compliment. It’s in the same family of compliments that I tend to give (I once told Traci that she was my 'good friend'), and honestly, it sounds very Boston. 'Wicked decent.'"

Episode links:

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Comments

  1. I didn't mind the ratings, even if a bit inconsistent, buy what Charles said about context. It can be about impossible to keep track and tough to judge pulling back to prior episodes. I'm fine with just letting the initial reaction fly and letting the ranking land as it may..

    This episode....Meh. Don't get why it took them going through a school dance (and pretty dumb Joey and especially Pacey end up at a HS dance for younger kids...) to get to the Poey imploding. Joey knew she was gonna when Eddie showed up, I wish they quickly got to her decision and got more Joey+Eddie time to at least build them more and show that he's too impulsive and while she likes him, is too practical. Instead they just end up there quickly anyways. Oh well.

    Who are the 5 characters Traci is talking about as almost done? Also, I mean, there's only 4 more real episodes left of S6 (and then the 2-part finale set in future) so I guess to me it's just quickly going to be a series wrap on everyone. I assume she means like the David, CJ, Eddie, Rich, Heston level lesser characters? I didn't care about any of them, was more sad to hear and remember they low-key series wrapped more important ones (Mr. Witter, Mr. Potter and BODIE!). It's a real shame none of them were in the finale.

    Also I was worried Traci was going to slip or hinting too much about the financial downfall of Dawson and Pacey. Seems like Charles didn't pick up much on it. And I think that's fair, all we know of Pacey is he has nice suits, a BMW, he is good at his job so far. I know I wasn't expecting that to happen, even if hindsight it's a bit obvious and a great twist.

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    1. In 6x20, we have a series wrap on David, Eddie, Sadia Shaw, Hetson, and Rich Rinaldi

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    2. Gotcha, thanks! Yeah since 619 Lovelines is kinda a bottle episode to use Dr. Drew and Adam, they do wrap up most the non-Capeside threads by 620 (except for Audrey, thank goodness). But of all those 5, to me only Eddie means much to the show overall, and even he is just so flighty and spends so much time either off-screen or missing he's just a whatever type of character.

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    3. It's a shame that David doesn't end up meaning more, honestly :( I agree with you as far as actually having any kind of relevance or story arc, but it's still sad. What a missed opportunity for poor David.

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    4. I was surprised this episode got the same rating as Sex and Violence though. Sex and Violence was just so over the top and offensive, and this episode you actually got some really nice scenes between Jen/Grams, Dawson/Gale, Joey/Pacey, and even Dawson/Pacey briefly.

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    5. I agree. I always skip past Sex and Violence (apart from that closing scene) but I always watch Love Bites. (Even the closing scene.)

      No way are those two on the same level, and no way is Sex & Violence better than Clean & Sober, which Charles gave 6.5 to, but we'll wait and see if he re-evaluates any of his rankings at the end of the season.

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  2. I love this episode so much. #NospoilersforCharles Granted if this had been the last word on the Poey it would be too sad to watch but happily since it’s not I can revel in all the angst.

    That last dance scene is so good cause it’s such a mirror image of their third season prom dance. Then Joey was determined to stay away from Pacey because she was scared and here she’s determined to run away because she’s still scared.

    Either way for Pacey he can’t make her stay. But what he does do is keep his promise to give her that prom she never got the last time they were together. He resolves to still be the man he wants to be for her, even if he can’t convince her to give him another chance. So unlike senior year he’s stays kind to her instead of punishing her for being honest with him. Ahhh, Poey.

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    1. That last dance scene is one where it makes me mad that they changed the music, because the original song (which hopefully Traci and Charles heard) was "Just Another" by Pete Yorn, and I love it for that moment.

      I find Joey SO frustrating in this episode. I (kind of) get why she does what she does - at least, I understand why she isn't ready to rekindle things with Pacey. (On paper, anyway. In reality, I don't see how she can resist.) But for Eddie? EDDIE? What is the appeal of Eddie? I DON'T GET ITTTTT.

      Ahem. Joey, I love you, but you're the dumbest girl in Capeside. (Shoutout to Creek of the Week.)

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    2. I know I know. Joeys ambivalence about reigniting things with Pacey is much more understandable in the context of their own history. You could see it when he cracks a joke about their prom and she’s not laughing. But to dump him for Eddie?!? Eddie is so terrible all on his own. It’s a little
      endearing when he thanks her for everything she did for him but the moment she pushes back on something he dumps her. I think you can see the uncertainty on her face after that terrible kiss.

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    3. Yeah I think it's not so much that she breaks up with Pacey (although I still hate that, because I was waiting for SO LONG for them to get back together, I do kind of get it) but she uses Eddie as an excuse and that's just the dumbest reason. Oh, Joey. Wake up, girl.

      In the next couple of episodes though (excluding Lovelines because a) that one doesn't count as an episode in my mind and b) I have no clear idea what happens in it because I've only seen it once) Joey's spine does make something of a reappearance as she gets better at standing up for herself and what she wants. Welcome back, Joey's spine.

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  3. I did not care for this episode, apart from the sweet Jen/Grams scenes. Eddie is such a poor man's Pacey - the black sheep without a shred of Pacey's charm, humour or personality. The sooner he packs up and leaves the better.

    I'm so over Harley and this other boy, I can't even remember his name I don't care that much - he's just Oliver from the O.C in my eyes. I feel like the writers are using so much unnecessary screen time on these pointless characters it winds me up. Why do we care if Harley and Oliver from the O.C fight or make up? No-one does. They're bratty and have no other personality traits. All they do is take away screen time for characters I actually care about, like Jack. Eurgh.

    I've been reading and LOVING the reviews of DC on the Adversion blog (https://advers.io/ - I think someone may have posted about it on here) from Season 1 onwards (I'm currently mid way through Season 4) - they are a lot harsher about some characters but their reviews from a 2019 perspective are so interesting and often hilarious.

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    1. I love those recaps! Although I just went and read their recap for this episode and WOW are they mean to Jen. Why do they hate Jen? Why were they on CJ's side in the last episode? I am flummoxed. Have the super broad shoulders gone to their heads?

      Anyway. I liked this bit from their Love Bites recap:

      "Gail is kind of a dick for raising Dawson to believe that the world revolved around him and to have no doubt of his own genius and entitlement to success, and then suddenly, at twenty, when it’s way too late to undo her parenting, get all condescending with him about a backup plan."

      and this:

      [Eddie] gives her this whole long speech about how much he loves her, and it reads like a parody of a white male writer describing their love interest: “You have incredible eyes, and the sexiest voice, and a smile that breaks my heart.” That’s it. Nothing about how smart she is, or ambitious, or interesting. As a white male writer, he “needs her around” because she’s beautiful and makes him feel good. So basic. And accurate.

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    2. Regarding Gail, I cut her a pass, and I think it felt true to character. As this ep says with Mitch and the gum story – HE was always the fanciful dreamer and the one coming up with not very practical ideas. Like the Scuba restaurant. IMO that’s what they harp on as Dawson’s biggest parenting influence. Mitch was the creative, he was the one to buy Dawson a camera or dream with him that he would be the next Spielberg.

      Gail is the more practical one. When she supported Dawson’s dreams (like having him shoot her news reports all those seasons ago) it was more grounded and life-based. So I think it makes sense that she’s the one a little more concerned about a backup plan and why this 20-year old has moved home and regressed into restoring his teen years with no real path for the future aside from making a film about his past.

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    3. Yeah I agree, Mitch was definitely the dreamer and Dawson inherited that from him, but also something of his mother's pragmatism since she's the one who actually got shit done.

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    4. "WOW are they mean to Jen. Why do they hate Jen? Why were they on CJ's side in the last episode? I am flummoxed. Have the super broad shoulders gone to their heads?"

      I know! They think that she stalked him when he clearly said he wasn't interested, and that she over reacted to the whole Audrey/CJ business.

      The analysis of Eddie's speech to Joey is so accurate though. He is insufferable and I can't believe at the beginning I said I quite liked them together. I take it all back.

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    5. It's sad how they are so mean to Jen. Even in this episode with her sad storyline, they don't care for her. Poor Jen. I know she's not a very well written character a lot of the time, and makes some questionable decisions, but she's not that bad. Certainly not as bad as Dawson, who I just cannot like, no matter how many times I watch the show and how many passes I attempt to give him.

      Jen was a bit stalkerish at the start, and it did take her far longer than it should have to stop pursuing CJ, but he's an ass and she deserves better. If the show called him out for that, I wouldn't mind but it treats him like he's a good guy and he is NOT.

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  4. Re: James directing Castaways, I dug up this post from Forever Dreaming (https://www.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3238&start=40#p29116) but that's the only spoiler that isn't sourced. Again, who knows. But given the pattern of how actors were directing episodes they weren't in, it leaves it as a likely candidate

    Re: the writers thinking there would be a season 7. Michelle Williams was on the Daily Show in July of 2002 and was pretty adamant that it was the show's final season. Not HER final season, the show as a whole. (http://www.cc.com/video-clips/5jhgq3/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-michelle-williams) So either the network was holding out on officially cancelling the show while they tried to get some of the actors to renew their contracts (let's be real, just Katie Holmes.) Or the network was trying to lay the foundation for some backdoor pilots with all the new characters they were introducing. Eddie could have had a spin off in California, with Emma reappearing with a new work visa to try to make it big with her band in LA. Oliver Hudson did eventually get a WB series The Mountain two seasons later, so the network obviously liked him (and Jensen Ackles, obviously)

    Re: Joey/Pacey/Eddie. Ugh. Just ugh. I just don't know what the show was trying to do with this triangle. It's not like Eddie and Joey had some epic love story. And like you pointed out, yes, they ended with a big cinematic kiss, but in the episodes leading up to that, Eddie straight up ghosted Joey. What exactly earned their big reunion kiss at the end (and just highlighted that KH has a much more natural chemistry with JJ than OH, because that kiss was so lock jawed and cold.)

    I often wonder why the writers decided to throw Joey and Pacey back together just to punch their fans so completely and harshly in the gut ("I just don't feel it, sorry.") I had drifted in and out of the show's orbit while it aired, and came back when I knew it was ending, and I feel like they hastily threw Pacey and Joey back together to draw back lapsed fans (every preview from Clean and Sober through Lovelines is Joey/Pacey heavy.) I, of course was thrilled that my favorite pairing was back together, but the more time that's passed, the more annoyed I get with this arc. Because while I've fanwanked that Joey wasn't ready for Pacey (given how the series eventually ends), erasing future knowledge and coming in with no spoilers, it plays like Joey is no longer into Pacey and really wants to be with Eddie more, because even when everything is perfect, it still doesn't feel right. And it almost makes it worse to think that the show was originally supposed to be Dawson/Joey, so THIS was supposed to be the closure to Pacey and Joey's relationship!

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    1. " I, of course was thrilled that my favorite pairing was back together, but the more time that's passed, the more annoyed I get with this arc. Because while I've fanwanked that Joey wasn't ready for Pacey (given how the series eventually ends), erasing future knowledge and coming in with no spoilers, it plays like Joey is no longer into Pacey and really wants to be with Eddie more, because even when everything is perfect, it still doesn't feel right. And it almost makes it worse to think that the show was originally supposed to be Dawson/Joey, so THIS was supposed to be the closure to Pacey and Joey's relationship!"

      YES to all of this, especially the phrase 'fanwanked' hahaha. I love Castaways like any normal person, but all the other P/J Season 6 content just leaves me cold. It's incomparable to how good they were in Seasons 3 and 4 and I wish they would have somehow just had Castaways as a stand alone episode, brought Eddie back the next episode and quickly had Joey explain she had to give it another shot with him as she felt it was unfinished business (but really she was scared and wanted an easy way out), then gone straight to the finale. I feel like that would have been more believable to P/J's history.

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  5. "What exactly earned their big reunion kiss at the end (and just highlighted that KH has a much more natural chemistry with JJ than OH, because that kiss was so lock jawed and cold.)"
    1000x this. That kiss was so unearned and there's a moment in the Eddie kiss where he tries to pull back and she leans in and keeps kissing him, but it's so close-mouthed and just passionless and it makes me yell at Joey every time. GIRL! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

    That spoiler thread was interesting! Especially the part about the Poey kiss being originally meant to come after a ballroom dancing scene instead of the goatee being shaved off. I much prefer the goatee version but dancing wouldn't have been bad either, and I did kind of appreciate the shoutout to Prom. I'm not sure whether Joey kissing him after he mentioned Prom would have annoyed me or played into the idea of pretending they have a clean slate, but in the end she can't get past the pain he caused her that night. In the long term, it might have been more effective... hmm.

    I agree that they should have either had Castaways as a standalone as you say, or have got Poey back together earlier in the season, kept Eddie out of it and just had Joey come to the conclusion on her own that it wasn't right - mostly because she doesn't feel ready to settle down yet, whereas Pacey is. Which is why I maintain that she should have had a proper friendship with Jen so she would have had someone to talk to about this! I want to see Jen talking to Joey about it. I want to see Pacey talking to his roommate Jack about it! (Does anyone remember Jack?) The Poey is revisited in complete isolation from the rest of the cast, and we never even find out if anyone else even knows that they were back together, however briefly. Do we ever find out how they feel about it? Or was it a secret relationship? Joey has done the 'secretly dating Pacey' storyline before and that ended badly.

    Speaking of which, as loathe as I am to bring Dawson into the Poey, his reaction to them getting back together is something that would at least be on Joey's mind, especially since she slept with Dawson at the start of the season. I would have loved her to mention him in conversation with Jen, as an obstacle to her and Pacey being together, and for Jen to tell her that she can't let Dawson keep coming between them and she has to stop letting Dawson's feelings dictate her decisions, especially about her love life. Straight-talking wise Jen is my favourite Jen and I miss her.

    Although thinking back, even in the finale there is no Dawson reaction to Poey. Pacey dip-kisses Joey at the wedding right in front of him - did Dawson see that? I guess Jen passing out is understandably distracting, but it would've been nice to have a moment between them later on where Dawson accepts that Joey is free to make her own choices and tells Pacey that he's finally learned that if you love someone you have to let them go. Which could have actually inspired Pacey's later speech to Joey about how he just wants her to be happy and go and live the life she wants for herself, so he's letting her 'off the hook'. Except in his case, she doesn't want to be off the hook, she wants to be with him. (Aww.)

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    1. You're so right, and *I sound like a broken record* is again what is so bad about season 6, they seem to have forgotten any of them are friends and the show is about them all being friends.

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    2. Agreed. I just read this recap and I mostly agree with this too:

      "It's interesting to add that the show was generally at its best when the writers really pushed the incestuous romantic drama of those four lead characters. As much as it sometimes got a little contrived and repetitive, the overwritten pseudo-intellectual romantic babbling really became the heart of the show after a while, and I don't think it's a coincidence that once the show split those four characters apart and turned a tight ensemble into a bunch of self-involved characters dating anonymous newcomers, the quality and entertainment value hit a roadblock."
      - http://unwelcomecommentary.blogspot.com/2013/03/dawsons-creek-must-come-to-end-624.html

      (I say mostly because I disagree that there are only four main characters, but other than that, word.)

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