Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dawson's Creek: Castaways (6.15)

That sound you hear is the writers finally doing something right for a change. Castaways successfully restructures the show after recent weeks of drifting, firmly positioning Joey and Pacey as Dawson's Creek's go-to central couple. Stuck in a locked K-Mart after hours, this is a beautifully-written two-hander, one that explores both of them as individuals, as well as what remains of their relationship. Along the way, old resentments and disappointments are unearthed, but Gina Fattore's script remains steadfastly adorable, both actors easily slipping back into their old rhythms together and quickly making the audience at home collectively squee over the thought of them hooking up again.

A lot of the material this week will feel familiar to anybody who has been in a relationship that has fallen apart, particularly whenever the issue of post break-up scarring is raised. Pacey talks about how Joey seemed to get over their relationship pretty quickly, something Joey doesn't deny but protests isn't even an issue. She's left generally freaked by his blathering, his feelings having clearly resurfaced since last episode. But once the air is cleared and Pacey begins to open up more, the two of them begin to reminisce about their time together and address the feelings that could never rationally go away. It's all genuinely warm, notably in that ridiculously romantic moment in which Joey shaves off Pacey's hideous goatee and smoochiness naturally occurs soon after.

Gina Fattore's script also breaks up the potential monotony with a ton of 'trapped in a mall' comedy schtick straight out of Career Opportunities, Joey and Pacey playing Battleship and goofing off over the intercom. The concept of being stranded in a mall late at night with nobody else around is one of those cool, innocent fantasy scenarios familiar to most little kids, and Castaways has fun with turning these over-analytical young adults into silly tweens for a couple of hours.

But the episode's strongest success is the way it grants the series something resembling forward momentum. By this point, the writers must have been aware that the show was coming to a close, and thankfully they seem to have dropped a lot of the weaker side-stories and instead focus screentime on those more deserving of it. If it's any indicator for the rest of the year, they should be able to salvage what has, up to this point, been a crummy wash of a season. A

Credits
Guest stars
Jud Tylor (The Sure Thing); Noah Segan (George)
Writer Gina Fattore Director Greg Prange

2 comments:

  1. This is one of the best episodes of S6. Like many others I also did not enjoy S6 all that much. As the season went on I no longer cared because it just wasn't good, then comes this ep and the one before it and two after. Finally I cared again! The show was alive again! This episode was so hilarious, fun and romantic. I smiled and paid attention to the show. No other DC couple or fling can beat these two. Only Joey Potter can finally murder that godawful goatee! I thought that thing was going to survive the entire season and that was a scary thought. lol The episode felt like the DC we loved for 4 seasons.

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  2. This ep is lame and contrived. Who ends up with their high school bf after watching them fuck their roommate for a year? Who gets locked in a kmart? And where is Dawson?
    U crazy.

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