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621 - Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Goodbye, CJ, Uncle Bill, and Jack Osbourne. As rough as that fight at the end of the episode was, there's almost something a little comforting about seeing everyone back in Capeside and running through a million emotions again...

Also, thanks for the kind messages during our unexpected break last week!

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  1. Welcome back! Hope everything is okay!

    I'm only about halfway through the episode, but thought Charles' suggestion that Jack Osbourne fund the movie was absolutely brilliant. This was peak Osbourne Family fame. $5,000 or even $10,000 would have been nothing to him.

    And then you brought up the good point about Audrey. Audrey is rich, and Pacey did her a huge favor at Christmas. Why didn't she pay him back, especially knowing that he could REALLY use the money right now. But then the homeowner in me crept up. Did they just fudge the police report to say that Pacey was driving and have Gail file an insurance claim? Or did they keep the whole thing under the table, and have Pacey pay for the repairs in cash to cover it up? Because the difference between paying a $1,000 deductible versus $15,000+ is a pretty substantial favor.

  2. Listen, I don't blame Dawson for being ticked off but I find it so silly that he's still mad at Pacey for getting with Joey and it's so possessive and creepy to me and of course I blame the writers being lazy on this. One - Dawson eventually started to accept Joey and Pacey's relationship and we know that because he gave Joey a Christmas gift of she and Pacey coupled up. Two - Pacey didn't show any bitterness that Joey and Dawson were starting up a relationship again even though it happened five seconds after he and Joey broke up despite Joey's claims during their whole she didn't want Dawson in that way. Besides that Dawson and Pacey started to get closer after Andie left and the shenanigans of Usual Suspects. Pacey was also there for him after Mitch died. WTF happened to all of that? Three - Dawson and Joey had a chance to be together but again as I mentioned previously, it blew up in their faces as it always does so why on earth would Dawson be holding on to Pacey daring to fall in love with Joey. I find it very weird that Dawson can have that touching conversation with Joey inside the house yet throw in Pacey's face that Pacey betrayed him when Joey was part of that same so called betrayal. Dawson was closer friends with Joey growing up and dated her yet he's cool with Joey but holding it over Pacey's head. Also how ironic is it to have Joey tell Dawson he grew up but then in the same episode have Dawson changing the discussion from losing his money which he actually did have reason to be angry about then changing it to a years old grudge which Pacey has already apologized for! I really really REALLY hate the ridiculous writing.

    I did not like this episode at all if you couldn't tell lmao

    1. Interesting take, but it didn't rub me so wrong. Dawson just spent weeks writing his latest screenplay and renovating his room, so it's kind of fitting he's acting like he's 16 again too, hah. But, like Joey says in the next ep, history gets re-written in small ways every day, so I think it's fine for this fresh wound (Pacey ruining Dawson financially) to bring back all the bad memories of Pacey ruining Dawson by "stealing" Joey (even though Dawson was creepy and possessive to think of Joey as nothing more than his). But I feel like Dawson has the wounds fresh since he just constantly re-lives and re-writes the past so much, so any slight is just going to bring him back to the main bad thing he feels Pacey did to him.

      So I think that makes sense. Dawson and Pacey really haven't been friends in a long time. They interact a little here and there, but they're not very close and probably only talk a couple times a year. I do think it tired they fall back to the old love triangle trope, but why not end the show the same way it was defined?

  3. Haven't listened yet, but I know I don't like this episode - although I do kind of love that ending scene if only because Joshua Jackson does such a sterling job during it. Dawson being mad that Pacey has lost his money makes sense, because he did try and get it out of the stockmarket and Pacey persuaded him not to, but going back to the love triangle is SO tiresome. GET OVER IT DAWSON.

    Also, I'm guessing the reason that "15 Things Even Diehard Fans Didn't Know About Dawson's Creek" is linked because it's so stupid, because I knew all of that stuff, and am deeply offended by the suggestion that fans "definitely didn't know" that Pacey's name came from a real life friend of KW's. Stupid list.

    Obi Ndefo is incredible. I hope he continues to get acting roles. If Dawson's Creek ever does get a revival, I hope we get Bodie back. I'm so intrigued as to how he and Bessie and Alexander would be coping with that situation...

  4. That fight scene between Dawson and Pacey gave me so many flashbacks to the longest day its unbelievable they went from fighting about money for about maybe a minute to immediately fighting about joey like wth
    Also i was wondering When you guys finish the series are you guys going to watch the atx writers room about Dawson's creek

    1. As far as I can tell, the season 6 writers were completely Joey-focused (one of them says as much in the atx panel), so I think bringing the Dawson-Pacey fight immediately back to the triangle is just the s06 writers once again making everything about Joey [consider the 6.22 title - the ep is about the whole gang getting together to help Dawson making his movie, but the title makes it clear that the writers think that it's just about Joey.]

    2. I think the last episode title is pretty clearly a reference to Harry Potter, they decided to finish up by pinning a bow on the common surname (given DC came out the same year that HP1 was released). Not that I like the title, but maybe Joey Potter and the Infinite Love Triangle was too meta, even for them...

    3. It's quite possible that Harry Potter is one inspiration for the next episode title, but it surely also alludes to Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which is the Stephen King novella The Shawshank Redemption is based on.

    4. To add to my previous post: I now realized that there is no "the" in the episode title (I thought it was called Joey Potter and The Capeside Redemption), so it's probably a pure Stephen King reference and has nothing to do with Harry Potter at all.

  5. Jen's mom wasn't recast with a random brunette actress. She was recast with Mimi Rogers, the first wife of Tom Cruise (the one who actually introduced him and his family to Scientology)!

  6. I liked this episode more than recent episodes (which isn't that hard, given that they were terrible) simply because there are fewer pointless characters no-one cares about, and the episode focuses on the main gang actually interacting (shock!). I like the scene with Joey and Pacey because you know, Joey and Pacey, and I think Joey speaks a lot of truth. I get what Traci and Charles were saying about Pacey not 'having Joey' but I'm guessing she means as a friend, as someone he can always turn to.

    Fair enough Dawson did want to withdraw the money but Pacey didn't even want to invest it in the first place so to quote Joey in season one 'It goes both ways Dawson, it goes BOTH ways'.

    Finally, I don't like the way Jen acts in this episode - the writers have decided to make Season 6 Jen quite bitter and rude seemingly for no real reason. Uncle Bill is irritating (are we supposed to find him calling Grams a 'skirt' charming and witty??) and basically claims that Grams having cancer is her own fault because she has worked herself up and 'made herself sick'. Sorry what? She just didn't want to date you anymore Uncle Bill get over it. And then Jen has the audacity to say Grams should thank him for 'doing her dirty work'. Sorry WHAT. Poor Grams.

    1. I'm with you on all of the above!

      The P/J scene on the dock is great, and I really like Joey telling Pacey that just because he can't "have" her in the way that he wants, doesn't mean she can't be there for him - she basically tosses the ball into his court as far as their future friendship goes. Since it's Pacey, he's capable of being friends without being creepy and weird about it. I do agree with Traci and Charles that it seems like mixed messages for him because of the way they broke up. (Sidenote: Does he know that Eddie broke up with her? Wonder how he feels about that...)
      I just think they mishandled the P/J reunion and break up in season 6. If they'd got back together, but then Pacey had started talking about being together forever and planning the rest of their life together (over an episode or two), when she was still on the fence about getting back together with him being the right thing, then it would make sense for her to break up with him. They talk later about how "the timing was never right" and I think that should be because of who they are/were, not because of some other guy getting in the way. They still had strong feelings for each other, but if they were looking into the future and seeing two very different things, it makes sense for Joey to break it off before one or the other of them started to compromise their dreams for the sake of being with the other person. It also would've shown Joey having some agency which YAY. Never enough of that in the later seasons.

      Dawson is literally incapable of seeing anything from anyone else's perspective. It's what makes him such a bad writer and will make him such a shitty filmmaker.

      I can't stand Jen in this episode either - outing Grams like that was NOT the way to do it. Listening to this pod ep yesterday (while stuck in traffic in the stinking hot sun, thanks guys for making it tolerable) I kept wishing that the show had brought the Grams cancer storyline in WAY earlier. I'd have liked to see Jen trying to deal with it, respecting her Grams' privacy and pretending everything was fine up until she just couldn't anymore. Slowly crumbling under that pressure, flunking school from stress but pretending to be fine so she doesn't worry Grams, until she HAS to tell someone. Maybe it's Jack. Maybe it's CJ. Maybe it's Helen and she takes a trip to NY to see her. But then she feels awful about telling and swears THAT person to secrecy... OR! What if Jen and Joey were actually friends, and Joey came over and saw something that made her realise what was going on, because HER mother died of breast cancer, so she recognises the drugs or something, or Jen asks enough questions to Joey that she figures it out, and then together they talk to Grams and Joey says fighting is good but you need the people you love around you and to give them a chance to love you while you're still here... *sniffles* It was just such a missed opportunity for a meaningful Jen/Grams storyline.

      But back to what actually happened, even without Uncle Bill coming in and announcing Grams' cancer to everyone, Jen deciding to force Grams to out her illness to Helen and bringing in her OWN support people (Jack, CJ) is super rude. It's literally not Jen's story to tell. I don't think it's fair for Grams to force Jen to hide it, but that's why I wanted a longer, more nuanced version of this story.

      Also yes, Uncle Bill SUCKS. Bring back Clifton Smalls.

    2. This commment is just another example of how we should have written Season 6! That storyline makes so much more sense, and actually involves the main characters talking to each other for once, whilst staying true to Jen's character. And yes about Clifton Smalls - he was nice, he was lovely to Grams, so of course just ditch him without a moment's notice and bring in a complete idiot instead.

      Good point about Eddie - why do they just constantly erase huge swathes of PJ history?!?

    3. "why do they just constantly erase huge swathes of PJ history?!?"
      Because right up until the finale was being written, they thought D/J was end game. Not a good excuse, but it's all I can figure out. Or the writers were just lazy, or they weren't on the same page with how the characters should act/interact.

      It would've been nice to have Clifton Smalls stick around. Grams could've broken up with *him* due to her cancer instead, that would've been more affecting. Old people are allowed love stories too, and not just with crotchety a-holes (Mr Brooks, Uncle Bill). Poor Grams.

      "That storyline... actually involves the main characters talking to each other for once"
      Ah, if only this was a show about people who are friends with each other and actually hang out together.


  7. I like the scene with Joey and Pacey on the dock too. I think when she said you have me she meant as a friend no matter what even though that’s not what he wants. And the “if I wanted to go back into that house I would have” was a nice callback to The Longest Day when she dropped Pacey’s hand and ran inside the house after Dawson.

    I don’t think both guys are equally responsible for their falling out. Pacey apologizes to Dawson more than once in S4 and says he hopes they can be friends again but Dawson is pretty ambivalent each time. He gave that nice photo to Joey (not Pacey) and he never really goes out of his way to hang out with him again except when he was drunk. Pacey was pretty good to him when Mitch died but after Dawson gets back on track emotionally he spends most of his time with Jen and then Joey.

    I think it’s realistic to their characters that they might be friendly but never close again; their personalities are so different and their lives were always going to move out in different directions. They never really competed in school, sports or careers just over Joey. Dawson’s still bitter because in his mind a real friend would have looked out for him: he trusted Pacey to watch over Joey and he lost her, then he trusted him to watch his money and he lost that too. I don’t they he thinks that Pacey’s intentions are ever truly innocent.

    Oh man I know Charles is not a DJ shipper but I don’t think he’s going to like his prediction getting busted in the finale. It’s like a DJ wedding is the only logical conclusion at this point for him lol

    1. To be fair, (shipping aside) if you take the entire show as one long novel -- which watching it as Charles has, one could -- then structurally, a DJ ending makes the most sense - it brings it back to the beginning, and resolves the initiating conflict.

      The ending of s06, without the finale, is a satisfying end to the s05/s06 saga of Joey (though of no one else) - Joey finally grows up, leaves high school & Capeside behind, leaving her friends better off; she's grown out of prof-crush, and free-spirit-boy phases, and finally becomes her own adult person, symbolized by her going to Paris on her own. [I was bored by this Saga, but it is pretty clearly what was being written.]

    2. My theory on this is it's because Joey was the only character who had clear goals and obstacles from start of the show, so she was automatically the easiest to write storylines for. Her goal being to get out of Capeside via education, with obstacles including her family life, lack of money so need for a scholarship, being held back by boys, etc. Dawson's goal was to be a filmmaker but had no major obstacles preventing him from doing that. Pacey had obstacles aplenty but no tangible goals to aim for, and Jen was a cardboard cut out 'loose girl' from NYC with a vague goal of reinventing herself. You can almost peg from the outset that Joey is the main character of the show because she is the one going on the most obvious journey from point A to point B. Just my opinion but I think it checks out. Also, the writers clearly really liked Katie Holmes, and it's easy to forget in 2020 just how famous she was at the time of the show. Michelle Williams is much more successful career-wise but Katie was slated as the Next Big Thing, the new Julia Roberts (back when Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were some of the highest paid women in Hollywood) for a while there.

    3. I agree with Mike, I would think the path is set right now for D/J at the end, with the concept of soulmates and all that hammered in. And I know this won't be popular here but I think the P/J ending is just fan service to salvage the finale and not have everyone furious. (Not that all fan service is necessarily bad).

      Pacey has no business left in Boston and even when he was there his connection to Joey is fading she would leave him far behind in reality. I'm glad it ended like it did just would feel like if Joey ends up with someone from her early days, honestly Dawson makes more sense.

      I do think the end is satisfying to Dawson. He makes his movie the way he wants and it's presumably going to be a big success and send him on a path to direct the way he wants and gets him to the finale where he's still producing entertainment about being 15 like he has for like 10 years at that point lol

    4. That's why I like the P/J ending even more though - despite the fact that D/J make logical 'sense' and in most shows would totally be the most popular couple, they just have so little physical chemistry and Katie and Josh have such undeniable chemistry, even Kevin Williamson, the original D/J shipper couldn't put them together as romantic end game with any conviction. Ha!

    5. @J - "gets him to the finale where he's still producing entertainment about being 15 like he has for like 10 years at that point lol" - HAHAHA so true. At what point do you think Dawson runs out of ideas/Hollywood realises he only ever had one idea?

      I'm not usually into fan service (the Veronica Mars movie is a case in point here) but to me, the P/J ending made more sense and was infinitely more satisfying. D/J just never worked as a romantic couple. They weren't good for each other, and never allowed each other to grow. Dawson never moved forward, we see that with his constant rehashing of his childhood onscreen, and a relationship with Joey would only drag her back into his emotional quagmire as he continued trying to make her into his idealised version of herself.

      Quite aside from the epic chemistry, P/J grew together and built each other up, and although it ended badly you could always feel that the love was still there. It really was a case of circumstances (and Pacey's issues) getting in the way in season 4, and of the timing being off in season 6. I remember being disappointed by the ending of season 6 (prior the finale) but in retrospect I do like Joey choosing herself. Although if that's how the entire show had ended, it would've felt a bit of a letdown since SO MUCH of the show was about the love triangle, to just end it so abruptly breaks storytelling convention and leaves the audience dissatisfied. I'm glad that wasn't the series finale or it would have fizzled out entirely.

      "Pacey has no business left in Boston and even when he was there his connection to Joey is fading she would leave him far behind in reality."
      I mean...maybe. When we see Joey in the series finale, she's living in a swanky NYC apartment and working as a book editor. Firstly, as a junior editor there's no way she's making that kind of money (I always assumed it was her boyfriend's apt), and secondly, editing isn't actually a job you have to live in NYC to do. So I feel like she could live wherever and still have a successful career, meaning she doesn't necessarily have to 'leave' Pacey anywhere. At least not in a literal sense.


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