Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Sleeping Arrangements (5.12)

This was another one of those overly soapy episodes where everybody is split into their respective subplots, with the only tenuous link between each one being the idea of moving in or moving out. So all you can really do is talk about it one story at a time. The most successful one this week was probably Jen and Dawson's. Traditionally for the character, Jen is approaching her new relationship with a ton of pessimism, sure that it'll eventually fall apart. To be fair, this isn't a crazy opinion, considering they're both fresh out of high school and haven't got the greatest track record when it comes to long-term relationships. But it allows Jen to anchor a story for once, all that initial silliness with the toothbrushes and Jen's neurotic tendencies when it comes to living together all giving way to some more character-driven drama.

Pacey is also weighing up his future, offered another gig traveling the seas and deciding whether or not to take up on it. It's never in doubt which way he'll fold, but I liked the clash between his standing at the restaurant versus his on-again/off-again relationship with Richie Rich Girl Melanie Shea Thompson, who still can't help but see him as sort of 'less than'. Plus, Pacey has actual prospects in Boston, his job working out so far, and a potential 'thing' with Audrey lurking on the horizon. As she keeps reminding him, he totally wants her. Aww, I continue to like these two.

Elsewhere, Jack hit his requisite "gay-bashing" story for the season, this week moving into the frat house and stuck in a room by himself because his frat brothers are worried about catching the gay. Snore. Jack confronts it, bros deny it, he confronts it again, they confess their issues, blah, blah. It's already clear that Ryan Bittle's character (who to me will always be the jock attacked by the invisible girl on Buffy) is a huge closet case with an even bigger crush on Jack... but I wish Jack just had a steady relationship for a change, not one wracked with gay panic or insecurity.

Finally, Joey accepted an offer to go on a date. That's pretty much all she did this week. If you can get past Elliott's hideous Zoolander hair, he seems like the type of guy she'd be in to, all literary and unassuming. There's a little bit of confusion because he once appeared to have slept with Audrey, but that turns out to be false advertising. Not that that would have been a huge issue, at least in my opinion, but Joey seems annoyingly distracted by those kinds of details.

Sleeping Arrangements returns to the early-season five 'everybody split apart' formula, but at least features the cast evolving in one way or another. Jen with her new job as a radio call-in gal, Pacey moving out of the boathouse, Joey getting back in the dating pool. It's all pretty neat. B-

Guest stars
Ken Marino (Professor David Wilder); Busy Philipps (Audrey Liddell); Ian Kahn (Danny Brecher); Ned Brower (Elliott Sawyer); Jennifer Morrison (Melanie Shea Thompson); Ryan Bittle (Eric)
Writer Jed Seidel Director Mel Damski

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