Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Season 1, Episode 6: Baby

Bessie goes into labour, a week early! But Bodie's gone out of town for...some work thing, Bessie gets the ute stuck in mud, the phone's not working so she can't call an ambulance (another one of those subtle “Joey's family's poor” reminders) so Joey, in an ultra suspicious plot twist has to row her across the creek to the closest phone. At Dawson's house. Where CONVENIENTLY:

  • Mitch and Gail are away at a couples' retreat (guess he decided NOT to hate her in the end)
  • we learn there is only one ambulance servicing Capeside but it's an hour away at a traffic accident and women in labour are not a priority

Faced with an...irate...pregnant woman none too thrilled at the thought of two high-school students delivering her first child, Joey sucks it up and goes next door to ask Mrs Ryan, a registered nurse, for help.

This pleases Bessie EVEN LESS than the prospect of Dawson and Joey being in charge, given Jen's gran has OPINIONS on Joey's family (basically, the Potters are wicked sinners: not only is there the whole druggie dad in jail, but Bessie and Bodie are a mixed race couple LIVING IN SIN AND BREEDING).

Guess what? The ambulance never arrives (quelle surprise!) and Mrs Ryan has to deliver the baby.
Here's what we learn through this turn of events.

  • that although just moments prior, Mrs Ryan and Jen were shown, YET AGAIN arguing about religious beliefs, with Grams expressing her dislike for the arty naked men calendar Jen has on the wall and then hiding a Bible in Jen's drawer (implicit: JUST COME TO CHURCH ALREADY JEN); and although previous episodes have indicated that Mrs Ryan has definitely got a problem with Joey's family, SHE CAN PUT HER PERSONAL FEELINGS ASIDE AND ACT IN THE TRUE, NON-JUDGEMENTAL SENSE OF HELPING THOSE IN NEED. I am not a Christian but it's always struck me that THAT is (or should be) what true Christianity is about? Isn't that really ''love thy neighbour” when you get down to it?

  • Up to a point, I am all “OMG Mrs Ryan is SO BADASS AWESOME”. She puts her judgement aside to take leadership of the situation; she smacks Dawson's camera out of the way as he is filming Bessie (which did seem a little bit mean, he WAS only trying to help and he IS only a 15 year old boy...but haha she essentially punched Dawson in the face by proxy, which is HILARIOUS); and she lays a super-smackdown on Jen who so had it coming. Seriously, if I was in a situation where someone was giving birth and there was a registered nurse in charge, dishing out instructions, I would FREAKING DO AS I WAS TOLD, not question every single instruction and freak out the expectant mother by mentioning scary details I really have no experience of like “THERE'S A LOT OF BLOOD SOMETHING'S WRONG ISN'T IT?” Grams uses this as an opportunity to teach Jen about having faith – like “If you are going to stay and help, I need you to develop some faith IN ME, and shut up and DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD because I know what I am doing”. 

  • But it doesn't. Dawson's Creek writers wreck things, and make me throw out my new Team Grams button, and also make me THROW UP IN MY MOUTH at the point where Bessie is exhausted and losing too much blood, and can't push, and wants something for the pain. Jen is being an unhelpful idiot, and going “GIVE HER A SEDATIVE!” Do you SEE any freaking sedatives just laying around, Jen? Because I'm pretty sure Grams would have shoved them down your throat a while back to shut you the fuck up. (Hey guess what? Looks like I'm off Team Jen! WOOT). Grams gets this weird, beatific glow, which is creepy, because it is like it is coming out of Bessie's vagina, and starts reciting the Lord's Prayer.
No. NOOOO. (Bessie pretty much says the same thing). And Grams goes “Oh, it's not for you! (subtext: because you're living in sin with a BLACK man. I really hope Jen pipes up at some stage and points out Jesus was black) It's for the BABY.” Cue all three of them – Grams, Bessie and FREAKING JEN, that atheist, reciting the Lord's Prayer until the baby pops out.

Meanwhile...Pacey reveals this episode that he is a 4 million times better human being, not to mention far more adult, than that insane burned out wreck of a woman he's been sleeping with (otherwise known as his English teacher, Ms Tamara Jacobs).

Everything about their relationship to my adult eyes is just so painful and twisted to watch. Pacey is pushing Tamara for a real date outside of Capeside where they can go out in the open with their relationship, instead of being confined to hiding inside her house on the pretext of a tutoring session.

(Pretty sure I don't need to spell out everything that is horrifically wrong about Ms Tamara Jacobs, but to seduce a student already in need of academic help – and use ''study sessions'' as the cover for your shenanigans, thereby ensuring he doesn't RECEIVE the academic help he needs...you're not just a sick person, you're a terrible teacher).

It all goes horribly wrong when Pacey – understandably excited and in the flush of youthful passion (as misguided as it may be) – confides the news of the potential date with Ms Jacobs to Dawson in the ''privacy'' of the boys toilets at Capeside High. He fails to properly check whether any of the cubicles are occupied, however, and a rumour that “Pacey Witter and Ms Jacobs are having a hot affair” spreads through the school - and the town - like wildfire.

Joey and Pacey have AN AWFUL LOT IN COMMON. Both of them put themselves second in this episode, stepping up for someone else at the last minute (Pacey for Ms Jacobs; Joey puts her fear aside to be beside Bessie as she gives birth). But it's a scene near the beginning of this episode that fills me with anticipatory JOY – despite Pacey and Joey's antagonism toward each other, Joey is the first to comfort Pacey in the aftermath of the rumour getting out. She knows how he feels and doesn't try and take the pain away, just lets him know he isn't alone. It's my favourite scene in the whole episode.

Pacey reacts like a 15 year old in love: he doesn't know any better than to try and work it out with the person he (thinks he) loves.

Tamara reacts like...she's been in this situation before.



Inevitably, there's a hearing in front of the school board. Tamara Jacobs, the 36 year old adult woman, in a position of power, who KNEW Pacey was her student, who knew better than to get involved – this is her time to front up to her involvement in a federal offence.

You could wait forever for that to happen. Pacey, poor, smitten, love-struck Pacey, fronts up, and claims the rumour was the fantasy of his adolescent mind. That Ms Jacobs is innocent.

Pacey's speech is another Dawson's Creek genius metaphor moment, and a really poignant painful one, at that. Pacey DOES WHAT MS JACOBS, that irresponsible, CRIMINAL BITCH, is incapable of doing - he rises above his own selfish feelings. He lets it go, and lets Ms Jacobs go, and takes the blame, and no-one but Dawson (and Ms Jacobs) will ever know the truth.

Of course, Dawson's Creek has Pacey go and attempt a final goodbye with Ms Pedophilia 1998 because he is 15 and still thinks there's a chance they can be boyfriend-girlfriend. HA! Turns out SHE'S RESIGNED (shocker, also HALLELUJAH) and is going to visit her sister in Rochester.




  1. Classic captioning at the end. Womp womp!

  2. Also; do we have a position on Michelle Williams and plastic surgery vs just grew up and lost some of the puppy fat in her face? I'm leaning towards the latter.

  3. Hmmm. Michelle does look different now but not unnaturally different. I think maybe she just grew up.