Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Indian Summer (3.5)

It's becoming clearer as time goes by that the show had no idea what to do with Eve. Thankfully appearing for the final time, Eve is once again depicted as a different person this week. A girl who started off as a porno movie caricature is now this knowing, self-aware stereotype aware of how ridiculous she is. In Indian Summer, Eve's levels of insanity inspire an elaborate film noir pastiche -- all awkward camera angles, moody lighting and melodramatic dialogue. But thankfully it again explores the absurdity of her character, Gina Fattore and Tom Kapinos' script almost making her as batshit as possible to complete this lengthy form of satire. At least that's how it comes off.

It's no surprise that the show would dispense of its most cartoony cast member in a story that feels hilariously fantastical, with Dawson investigating Eve's background and discovering that she's essentially been this creepy con artist all along. But all of that pails in comparison to that nutty final twist where she's revealed to be Jen's half-sister, a twist so unlikely and contrived that it can only read as a comment on how soapy and ridiculous this whole story was. It's so disjointed and absurd as a plot twist that they could have revealed that Eve was a cyborg and it would be almost as believable. Whatever this mess was, at least we can all rest with the knowledge that Eve died on the way back to her home planet.

The rest of Indian Summer continues the show's gradual return to form, but while things aren't exactly hateful anymore, most of the stories remain stuck in 'blah' mode. The show seems to recognize that Andie is drifting on the fringes of the show at this point, so it was neat seeing her paired with Joey. Unfortunately, the date with Joey's chauvinist boss Rob only helped in painting Andie as this masochistic nutcase with zero self-awareness. Balls.

The episode also recognized Henry's creepy tendencies, with Jen confronting him over his romantic manipulations and complete inexperience when it comes to the opposite sex. I'm still not sure where the story is going, and it'll presumably go somewhere romantic due to Michael Pitt's long tenure on the show... but I like seeing Jen being pro-active and intuitive again, after drifting for a while.

There are parts of this episode that feel less alienating than the previous four episodes, and at least the Eve thing is finally done. It's still all pretty ludicrous and 'blah', but at least the writers seem to be aware of the fact. C

Guest stars Brittany Daniel (Eve Whitman); Niklaus Lange (Rob Logan); Michael Pitt (Henry Parker); Dylan Neal (Doug Witter); Obba Babatunde (Principal Howard Green)
Writers Gina Fattore, Tom Kapinos Director Lou Antonio

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