Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Discovery (1.4)

Watching Dawson's Creek again, I realize that I'm gonna have to put myself back in my pre-teen shoes to truly enjoy the show. It's a little unfair to criticize the characters and their strange personalities with the knowledge and conscience of somebody in their twenties, since I'm sure I was very similar to these people back in the day. I was initially going to open this review with another Dawson rant, this time about his frazzled opinion of Jen after she reveals her checkered sexual history, but you have to remember that this is a fifteen year-old with absolutely zero experience with women and even less experience with complex human emotions.

It does, however, make his relationship with Jen a little awkward. You can understand why Jen would be attracted to somebody who is so clean-cut, but Jen is miles ahead of Dawson on a truly mature level, and it's sad to see her desperate to actually converse with him about real feelings, all the while with Dawson stuck acting cutesy and romantic but with very little personality to it. Their 'thing' is so doomed. They should probably leave it a couple of years.

Discovery, appropriately, is about just that. Dawson discovers his mom's affair, and instantly piles the guilt onto Joey (naturally) for not telling him about it. It once again folds into his latent immaturity, and his belief that everything has to be sign-posted and confronted like things are in some Spielberg movie. In a lot of ways, this episode is all about Dawson being left behind. Everything he thought he knew about the people around him is radically changing, and he's almost being forced to grow up faster than he would like. The tragic irony is that this is all related to sex (Jen's virginity, Pacey's virginity, the sexually-adventurous Parents Leery), when it's his emotional immaturity that's the real problem.

Elsewhere, Jen is proving to the only true voice of reason on the show, still trying to befriend Joey and eager to get Dawson to open up to her. Pacey struggles with his affair with Tamara, and you just know the whole thing will end in tears. Discovery is another strong episode, and whether you like it or not Dawson is by far the most interesting character right now. Sure, most of it is for the wrong reasons, but the dude sure is fascinating. B

Guest stars Leann Hunley (Tamara Jacobs)
Writer Jon Harmon Feldman Director Steve Miner

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