Episode 10: Double Date
By: Carlos Uribe
Dawson's Creek is a show about teenagers growing up. It ran from 1998-2003 and was created by Kevin Williamson (creator of the Vampire Diaries and the Secret Circle).
Dawson is not over Jen, not even close. The previous episode had him going to a bar to try and see if he could get distracted by another woman. While the episode had ended with him claiming that he had temporarily been able to forget Jen, he's back to missing her by this episode. It's been two weeks since she broke up with him and he still wants to get back together with him. This explains his actions for this episode that relate to Jen. While he's trying to find a way to win Jen back, his feelings for Joey are finally brought to a forefront and he can't really deny them anymore. This leads to a serious breakthrough in the love triangle: a character realizing that he has feelings for another. It's complicated for Dawson as he has feelings for both women but it's not fair to anyone in Capeside. When the episode ends with Pacey asking Dawson to chose one or the other, he gets no response. That will have to wait for a future episode but Pacey's delivery of the line makes it work well as an effective cliff-hanger. The love triangle has been the focus of the season but the way this episode closes it brings it to a whole other level. It's calling attention to it. By bringing the viewer's attention to the actual love triangle, it's better to examine it. That's because while Dawson is trying to ruin one of Jen's dates, Joey's feelings for him may have gotten in the way of Pacey.
I guess some explanation is needed. As you can guess from the episode's title, there's a double date. Who goes on the double date? Jen and Cliff are one couple and the other is Dawson and Mary Beth. I believe Mary Beth is introduced in this episode and she's more of a plot device than anyone. When Jen brings up the potential of friendship with Dawson, she gets roped into going on the double date with him. Dawson is hoping to sabotage Jen's date and he asks out Mary Beth. She accepts his invitation. When she learns it's a double date with Dawson's ex-girlfriend, she almost leaves but she's convinced to stay with a lie. When Dawson finally admits the truth, Mary Beth reveals her own secret and probably the real reason she stuck around: she has a huge crush on Cliff. They have similar goals and Dawson is able to get on the Ferris wheel with Jen as Mary Beth goes with Cliff. This leads to a nice confrontation scene between Jen and Dawson. The reason she had broken up with Dawson was because she claimed she was tired of dating. It seems a bit odd then that she has only started dating after so soon. Dawson soon realizes the truth: the only men that Jen had gotten tired off was Dawson and Billy. Here's hoping that the truth will allow Dawson to move on so that the series can explore the other side of the love triangle for now. Notice though how Dawson's feelings for Jen lead to him trying to sabotage Jen's date. It's as if he doesn't want anyone else to have her.
He also doesn't want anyone else to be with Joey. When Pacey and Joey are made lab partners, they find themselves to be getting along. This comes as a surprise to both of them. It's confusing and surprising. Due to some circumstances, it does lead to a scene where Pacey actually checks out Joey. Not only does he end up enjoying spending time with her but he feels attracted to her. This leads to him asking Dawson if he can kiss Joey. He knows that Dawson and Joey have a subtle attraction bubbling on the inside but since Dawson is preoccupied with Jen, Pacey wanted a crack at Joey. Dawson's reaction is telling: he first gives permission, retracts it almost immediately, then gives it again. The permission didn't matter. Joey doesn't kiss him back and reveals that if she had, she would have been thinking of someone else. That someone else obviously being Dawson. The episode has Dawson being bothered by the idea of Pacey kissing Joey and he goes to the video store to try and take it back. He's too late but it does show that Dawson can't have a claim to both Jen and Joey simply because it affects multiple people. The love triangle has affected Pacey and it was expertly done.
Who will Dawson pick? Will Pacey's attraction to Joey be momentary or a sign of things to come? Having Pacey have initial feelings for Joey does open up story opportunities for the series. It certainly could lead to some interesting conflicts. It's also possible that this attraction only exists for one episode and is meant as a way to show the effects of the love triangle on other people. In the end, this was a solid episode that had a great ending-Pacey's question lingers into my mind and makes me want to see the next episode immediately.