Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Northern Lights (3.13)

I have no idea how it happened, and I can't explain why I'm feeling this way. It's scary and uncomfortable and I'm not sure it's at all rational... but I'm actually liking Dawson Leery right now. Aaaaggghhh!! Damn. That feels strange. He's currently stuck in this life-block, where he's calling into question everything he thought he knew about himself, notably his filmmaking credentials. But, unusually for Dawson, he isn't all panicked and neurotic over it -- instead he's remarkably calm, like he's more excited than anything else at the potential of self-discovery.

There's this great scene in Northern Lights where he talks about seeing Jurassic Park as a kid, and being horrified that these two older kids in the audience were making out all the way through it. But now he sort of understands the fun they were having, and how he wishes he were more like that. It's an interesting perspective, the idea of a guy beginning to realize his own flaws and growing determined to improve himself. Dawson's also improving in other ways. He's not all volatile once he discovers that Joey is dating, and stays calm enough during Pacey's angst that Pacey himself comments on how weirdly 'Zen' he's become. It makes for a welcome development.

The rest of Northern Lights isn't as interesting. The school play, which would have only been interesting if it had been explored a little more effectively as a behind-the-scenes thing (think Smash), did push Andie and Pacey into new (less annoying) corners of their relationship but, like A Weekend in the Country, it didn't justify the blandness that preceded it.

Elsewhere, they really dropped the ball with Jen and Henry. Their relationship has always fluctuated by the episode, but I have no understanding of what the writers are trying to do with these two. Last episode implied some kind of breakthrough, but here we see Jen being all awkward around him and Henry being all impulsive and bratty. It's like they're spinning around in circles, and I don't really give two shits anymore.

It's awkward that the only thing that really worked here involved Dawson, everybody else stuck in sort of a 'blah' lack of direction. It did at least have a scene or two with Joey and Pacey being all cute with each other, but everything else was a drag. C

Guest stars
Michael Pitt (Henry Parker); Robin Dunne (A.J. Moller); Bianca Lawson (Nikki Green)
Writer Gina Fattore Director Jay Tobias

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