It's funny with a show like this to find certain things fine one week, and annoying the next. Dawson's Creek has always been a series that has straddled that thin line, and Full Moon Rising whiplashed back and forth between both extremes. It doesn't have the most auspicious of premises -- the full moon is making everybody supposedly crazy, something Joey ruminates on in one of her trademark overlong, frowny monologues at the top of the show. The drama, at certain points, resembles both a 7th Heaven shriek-fest as well as an Aaron Spelling soap, with face slaps and cries of 'easy lay'. But, naturally, the show pulls you back in the end.
I couldn't remember the specifics of Andie's back-story, only that it involved some kind of death and mental illness. It's potentially a little overwrought, but Meredith Monroe continues to impress in the role, managing to find levity in some of the less affecting areas. The revelations also introduce new layers to the Pacey/Andie dynamic (just in time, since their insult matches were getting old), and Pacey always seems to play off these kinds of troubled women pretty well, at least he did with Joey last season.
Jack, while not as present as Andie just yet, is also a character that I'm enjoying. He's so the arty antithesis of Dawson that it becomes almost parody, but he has a charisma and quiet charm that makes him understandably intriguing. And judging by Joey's late-episode gaze up at the moon, she too is wondering what she sees in Dawson, and trying to figure out why she's so friendly with her co-worker.
Elsewhere, the show needs to avoid making every episode some kind of Jen Lindley humiliation ritual, this being another week where she ends up weeping and embarrassed. I still love the character, but I always imagined her as a strong survivor, not so much a victim. At least Abby is becoming a little more interesting. Despite being so casually cruel to Jen, she's always the one coming back to her. Unlike Jen, who seems fine on her own, Abby needs that interaction with her. And it just makes her look even sadder. It got a little trashy towards the end, with Abby trying to seduce Dawson, but generally this storyline continues to work.
What isn't working is the Leery family saga. It's fine for Gale to verbally address that she doesn't understand Mitch's motivation anymore, but from an audience perspective it's clear that the writers are still stumbling around in the dark with this whole open relationship thing. It seems Mitch is allowed to date, but any male interaction for Gale is strictly forbidden? It's all messy... which I guess is probably the point. But everybody involved is trying my patience, so 'blah'.
Full Moon Rising isn't so charming, but there are at least a couple of moments of interest, notably whenever Andie and Jack are on-screen. But, regardless, throw together a weepy montage with Jewel wailing on the soundtrack (Jewel!) and I'm pretty much sold once again. Aww. C+
Guest stars Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee); Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee); Monica Keena (Abby Morgan); Leann Hunley (Tamara Jacobs); Joe Flanigan (Sebastian); Caroline Kava (Mrs. McPhee)
Writer Dana Baratta Director David Semel