Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Show Me Love (3.21)

Show Me Love instantly increases the melodrama, Dawson's petulance surfacing in an overtly "TV show" form with the regatta rivalry and the boat race; but the honesty of the show's major love triangle keeps things intact for now. All three parties have gone their separate ways since the events of last episode, and they all spend most of this week trying to get back into the groove, so to speak. Joey tries to stop her guys from feuding, Pacey goes crazy over Dawson's arrogance, and Dawson tries to act as if nothing has happened. Three guesses who comes out of this the worst.

Dawson always seems to do this. He initiates angst and turmoil, only to entirely back-track over those events a couple of days later. I guess it's a sign of his age, but it's pretty hilarious to see him trying to be all friendly with Joey, while all she can think about is what's happened. At the same time, Dawson is greater invested in destroying Pacey than anything else, determined to humiliate him at the regatta and prove that his love for Joey is built on something solid, compared to whatever Pacey is feeling. Again, it's funny seeing this guy paint Pacey as some kind of creepy molester, when his relationship with Joey has always felt more genuine and heartfelt than whatever Dawson had with her two years ago.

Joey, on the other hand, is trying to somehow fit both men in her life. She hates the situation, but she still has feelings for Pacey, regardless of her blaming him for everything that's happened. But Dawson is important to her, too, and that final scene (with the neat throwback to the pilot) sees her gently easing her way back into the fold, despite the lingering elephants crowding up the room.

In other news, Andie has no right to be pissed at Pacey. She dares to use Pacey's lack of forgiveness for her affair as an example of his hypocrisy, when they were both entirely different events with little in common. She has that last-minute breakthrough, but it's still hard to understand her motivation. It's a similar problem with Jen, who is all won over by Henry, despite the fact that every week seems to be the same with these two. There's always a cute-bordering-on-insane proclamation of love, some grand romantic gesture, and Jen convincing herself it's real. Ugh.

I should also add that Rodney Scott's character leaves the show with a major whimper. I guess this was a WB-issued request to get people to tune into Young Americans a couple of weeks later, but I can only assume the writers resented having to shoehorn him into their show, since his entire presence has been a wash. Why would anybody be intrigued enough by him to follow him over to his own series? Gah.

Show Me Love is occasionally overwrought and lacks the subtlety of The Longest Day, but the love triangle is dramatic dynamite, particularly because Dawson insists on being this raving asshole all the time. It's hilarious. B

Guest stars
Michael Pitt (Henry Parker); Rodney Scott (Will Krudski)
Writers Liz Tigelaar, Holly Henderson Director Morgan J. Freeman

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