One of my biggest complaints about Dawson's Creek's first season was that everything became a little insular towards the end of the year -- Dawson, Joey and Jen all trapped in this annoying triangle bubble where they only talked about themselves and struggled to interact with anyone other than each other. Season two is already making strides to get over that problem -- and fulfilling this show's interest in meta referencing and knowing comedy, Crossroads sees Jen and Pacey both acknowledge how self-involved Dawson and Joey have become, as a result trying to find new acquaintances and interesting new experiences.
Pacey's storyline is really adorable here as he becomes Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles and has his birthday forgotten by those closest to him. Understandably angsty, he decides to host a party, but typical teenage problems occur when half the town shows up and he realizes he doesn't actually know any of them. Somebody he does know is Andie, who re-appears with that same snark and banter with him. I remember being bothered by Andie as time went on, but I really like these two together right now. Joshua Jackson naturally has chemistry with everyone, but there's a relaxed romantic tension beneath the surface of all their scenes together that is kind of awesome.
Similarly awesome is the genius pairing of Jen with Abby. It's easy to forget that there was a time before Jen became an annoying pine-monster whose entire life revolved around the lunkhead next door... and that she was kind of a bad girl. So much that even Abby is impressed by her. I continue to love that side of Abby, in that she's outwardly edgy and kinky, but is in actual fact sort of romantic and eager to actually experience all the stuff she claims she's already involved in.
Dawson and Joey have another argument here, and it once again comes from Dawson's horrible personality. After peeking at her diary (!), Dawson is shocked that Joey at one point wrote off his lame horror movie last season, and uses this as evidence that Joey supposedly never knew him. It's so melodramatic and ridiculous, but it is Dawson... and Joey should damn well realize that this is what she'll need to deal with every freakin' week when she's in a relationship with him. At least there's handsome newbie Jack McPhee invading her territory, maybe she could pursue that? Ahem.
Crossroads is another strong episode, one that may center on an annoying Dawson/Joey yelling party but at least has the knowing humor to have one of their romantic scenes immediately cut to Jen and Abby barfing over the side of a boardwalk -- it's like they're speaking directly to us. B+
Guest stars Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee); Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee); Monica Keena (Abby Morgan)
Writer Dana Baratta Director Dennie Gordon