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Old 03-06-2016, 06:09 AM
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Before I get to the points you have made, I think we need to do a bit of background clearing in order to set the context for this disagreement.

Essentially, it is really a disagreement about what this show, Dawson’s Creek, was about. To most D/J shippers I have spoken to, the show is about the idea of a soulmate, explored through the story of Dawson and Joey. That is essentially what the show is trying to address. Personally, I think the idea of a soulmate, while a nice one, has no basis in reality. I am prepared to accept that in fictional universes, the idea has traction. In Dawson’s Creek, it was the abiding idea.

Related to this fundamental idea of the soulmate – for which Dawson and Joey were the example used to work the idea through – were the many warnings that if soulmates don’t end up together, they will live an unfulfilled life. This is an idea repeatedly returned to throughout the series (in other couples like the two on Witches’ Island, for example), but perhaps most significantly in the Season 4 A. I. Brooks character. The man who actually married Brooks’ soulmate returns to tell Dawson, and indeed tell the viewers, that the three people involved in that triangle had made a mistake. Brooks did not marry his soulmate – she married their friend, and while that marriage was reasonably happy it
wasn’t what should have happened and that, if there is an afterlife Brooks and his soulmate will be together. This is a key storyline in a season where Joey has ‘chosen’ someone other than her soulmate. The clear (indeed, only) implication of this is to put a gigantic red sign over Pacey/Joey to indicate that: this is a bad idea. Soulmates, whose destinies are connected forever, whose lives are bound up in each other. And who should choose each other because if they don’t, they will lives ultimately unfulfilled lives. The suggestion here is that Dawson could end up like Brooks, and Joey end up like Brooks’ soulmate, ultimately regretting the bad choices they make.

This is also a series that believes in the power of transcendent dreams, their power to overcome the effects of so-called reality. It is no mistake that Joey’s favourite song is ‘Daydream Believer’. A belief in the power of the imagination is one of the major connections between Joey and Dawson. She believes in dreams and transformative love, in the same way as she believes in Dawson (‘she believes in me…and I need that because I am a dreamer’). He is a dreamer, and she is a ‘daydream believer’. This may be corny, but corny is one of the things that this show did well. Their connection is reaffirmed constantly as a somehow transcendent one, beyond explanation (‘I hear you Dawson…I hear you too Joey’; ‘we are beyond friendship, beyond lovers…It’s always you and me’ ‘Soulmates’). I won’t here go into what I think is the meaning behind the final scene of the show which, in my mind, does not hold good things for Pacey and Joey (she kisses Pacey, but is riveted by the sight of herself and Dawson getting together in the ‘dream’ screen). To paraphrase Pacey himself at the start of Season 3, when he is speaking to Joey about Dawson’s rejection: Dawson and Joey are right for each other, they are just not right for each other at this moment. For D/J shippers the moment when they are finally right for each other at the right time was the finale…and the writers bottled it and gave in to fan pressure.

The many and various references to other pop culture texts where the ‘wrong choice’ was made (essentially, where the soulmate was not chosen), such as Les Mis, Little Women and Pretty in Pink, also situated Dawson’s Creek as a kind of ‘correction’ which would put things to right.

The basis of the show in ‘soulmate’ theory is, to most D/J supporters, self-evident. The viewer is constantly reminded of it. And this is what everything else needs to be considered in relation to. This is one of the reasons why it is crucially important to understand the reason why Joey and Dawson break up in Season 2. You say:

First Off, we disagree on the severity of the first two arguments mentioned. You say That's fine. Its the least interesting part of what we are discussing!
My point is: no, this is where you start going wrong (probably because you don’t recognise the show’s premise in the soulmate idea). Why do soulmates break up with each other – that is the question posed by Season 2. The answer is – because they get together at the wrong time. Joey needs to figure herself out. Season 1 is about Dawson coming to a realisation; Season 2 is about Joey coming to a realisation. Joey has so many issues in her own life to confront that she cannot be in a healthy relationship. She really should have gone to Paris at the end of Season 1 and started to confront them there. In Season 3, as Dawson explains, Pacey becomes Paris (‘Pacey is this year’s Paris’), and she needs to choose to go to Paris in order to figure out that she has everything she wants at home (which is why ‘Feels Like Home’ is a song to which Season 2 Dawson and Joey reconcile). Joey is constantly trying to escape home because it is where she feels her life and her identity fall apart. Dawson is intimately tied up in this identity crisis for her. It is why she constantly talks about getting away. And she needs to in order to see, as Dawson tells her in the last episode before the finale, that she had everything she wants waiting for her all the time (‘I like how you see me’). By the end of Season 6, tragically for Pacey/Joey shippers, Pacey was not even Paris. Paris was Paris again (in that silly montage sequence) with the implication that Joey would find out once there that actually she wanted to come home (and to everything that ‘home’ signified to her). That is the series arc, with the final 15 minutes of the finale throwing in the spanner to suggest that Joey still hadn’t worked it out. Maybe the death of close friend just heightens feelings of vulnerability for her again, and Pacey/Paris becomes momentarily attractive as a distracting mechanism. As Pacey well knows, however, she will never have that soulmate kind of love for him (he explicitly asks her about this in Season 3, and her silence tells him everything he really needed to know). And the soulmate kind of love is what this series is most invested in. if viewers don’t see this investment, and are distracted by the initial sexual chemistry between Josh Jackson and Katie Holmes, that is to miss the main thing this show is interested in.

You say that Dawson in the ‘Longest Day’ ‘clearly thinks she is still in the throes of it in the season 2 sense. Also note that Joey and Pacey parallel in this. Trying to get out of Dawson's shadow. In Crossroads Pacey said that he was tired of being Dawson's sidekick and was going to get a storyline of his own. A few episodes later Joey reflects on the same thing, that so much of her life is tied up in Dawson to the point she doesn't know who she is without his influence and she's trying her own thing too, her art.
You’re missing a lot here. Dawson is right: she is still in the existential crisis of Season 2 (I would make the case that none of the characters ever get over Season 2). Joey is not trying to get out of Dawson’s ‘shadow’. She is trying to figure out who is she is independent of her love of him. That is a completely different kind of struggle. Dawson grows up completely confident about who he is, has great and supportive parents who tell him he’s great. Etc. etc. He doesn’t have much of an identity problem for a lot of the time. Joey does for obvious reasons.

You have completely misconstrued Pacey’s comment in Season 2 ‘Crossroads’. Again, he does not want to get out of Dawson’s influence – he wants to stop being a supporting character in the Dawson/Joey show. Who can blame him. And he gets his own show – with Andie McPhee. Sadly, in Season 3, he goes back to once again being a supporting character in the Dawson/Joey roadshow, though he makes a determined effort to take over the lead role this time (relegated again to supporting role by the end of Season 4). It is one of the tragedies of the Pacey character arc. For a brief while in Season 2 he develops his own storyline, before throwing himself under the bus again in Season 4 (as Jen points out in Season 6, she and Pacey – and Jack – are just roadkill in the Dawson and Joey show).

In Season 2 Joey is confronted by Abbie's death and that is what segues into Joey thinking about her mother. Each character having a relationship with death and what it means. I'm not arguing that Dawson didn't mean anything before her mother died, I'm saying that since Joey has latched on to those around her much more closely. She mentions this a lot in relation to Dawson, Gale and Mitch. She is terrified of losing this solid foundation because she has nothing else.
Joey’s mother is always in the back of her mind. The death of Abbie was cathartic for her because it made her (after a season of trying to ‘find herself’) confront and accept her mother’s death. That was why it was so crucial for her to bring Dawson with her to her mother’s grave. This is the moment when her family is healed and her relationship with Dawson can actually develop properly (and why the building of the white picket fence by Dawson is crucial (beside the fact that Joey finds a sweaty Dawson incredibly sexy) – this is a show that actually believes in white picket fences for soulmates). The everything comes crashing down and Joey will make bad choices for the rest of the seasons.
I don't see the problem with her father in Season 6. In fact, his random appearance and lack of issues is startling. Suddenly he's back and Joey is fine with it, again its very 5 and 6 bad writing, ignoring and dropping huge emotional fallout because they don't have time or it doesn't fit their interests.

These things don’t need to be explicitly laid down with a trowel! The viewer should have by that time already gathered that Joey has clear issues with her father and these are bound up with Dawson (because her mother used to look at her father the same way Dawson looks at Joey – another indication that soulmates really can mess each other up if they don’t watch it – by going off with someone else…remind us of anyone (Joey with Pacey, perhaps?) – and cause incredible hurt). We get it (or should) and shouldn’t need constant reminders.

I believe Joey and AJ completely. He represents what she wants, he’s in a prestigious college, he’s winning awards, he has a future, he takes her to nice dinners Joey is attracted to that. You could argue the same with rich boy Anderson who she faked it with to fit in. He was wealthy, something she wanted by wasn’t. Joey can be a bit snobby in this way, attracted to her aspirations. I even get Joey and Eddie until he ditches her. Joey Potter does not take that cowardly loser back but the weird College Joey apparently does, multiple times. I do not get Joey and Charlie. Not one lick of sense there. He cheated on Jen and Joey doesn’t care? Joey Potter of Season 1-4 would have ridiculed him to high heaven. This is the girl who thought casual sex between consenting adults was a major moral flaw.

I don’t think we are in huge disagreement here about Joey behaving out of character many many times in the later seasons – as I said, the only way to make sense of these incidences is to see Joey as still working through the ramifications of Season 2. I don’t accept she makes sense with AJ (another character who eventually chooses his soulmate over his casual fling), except that he is a distraction. The show points this up when it indicates that she tries her best to experience the northern lights with him RATHER than Dawson (just to prove to herself that she can), but then the plot works it so that she does indeed watch them with Dawson (becaue this is a show that genuinely believes that some love is written in the stars – corny, but this is what the show believes).

I would say that the arrested development is on Dawson's side ever since the pilot. Dawson is Peter Pan and Joey is Wendy coming through the window. Joey is constantly telling him to grow up, that his childish fantasies do not exist. But I do think Joey got suckered into his fantasies. This is why I think the triangle works so well.

Daydreamer Dawson - Joey the natural cynic wanting to believe the fantasy - Realist Pacey

Joey's journey in letting go of the fantasy, the daydreams and embracing real life is the journey of growing up. This dichotomy between Dawson and Pacey is really set up a lot, even in season 3 Jen says 'You'll always be that boy who denies reality and who just wants his parents back together'. In 'Home Movies' there is a long pre amble between Pacey and Dawson about the merits of make believe and real life. Dawson will be back to make believe soon. Its part of the fisticuffs in season 3 where Pacey chastises Dawson for not having time for people who don't fit his rose tinted 1950s lifestyle. Joey says the same multiple times about how Dawson sees the world in black and white, a world that doesn't exist. She says that was the reason she fell for him. The cynic who wants to believe in better but its not real. Look at how she bursts his bubble about 'From Here to Eternity'. Its just another take, they aren't using tongues, the girls bored, the guy is gay, it is make believe. I think through the triangle we see Joey move past these fantasies and into real adult life. Its not there for Dawson until the very last episode 'For the first time in a long time, my life is real'. He makes his real life a fiction! That was a wake up call.

I’m not sure I’ve ever bought the claim that Pacey was ‘real’ as opposed to Dawson being ‘unreal’, but even if we were to grant this, the claim that Joey should choose Pacey because he represents reality ignores the basic premise of the show which is that fantasy really does trump reality in a world in which there are such things as star crossed lovers, destinies, soulmates, etc. etc. (and where the consequences of choosing someone other than your soulmate are laid out as a life of perpetual restlessness and feelings unfulfillment). Pacey is, in any case, far from ‘real’ – he’s the guy who wants to play the hero in a fantasy in which he is always coming to save the day. It’s sweet, but it isn’t ‘real’. Now is not the time to get into disputing the claim that Dawson wants to live a 1950’s lifestyle (which bears no connection to Dawson’s very 1980s Speilberg version of fantasy. Pacey is usually wrong when he criticises Dawson. At worst Dawson is the kind of fantasist that Frank Capra represents as drawn out by their discussion of this filmmaker – who has had a huge influence on Speilberg – in Season 2, where Jen basically misunderstands Capra while Dawson explains how this version of fantasy actually works – it’s a version of fantasy that does indeed believe in soulmates, and destiny – Some Kind of Wonderful – but does not deny the darkness of the world, the – hint hint – Mr. Potters who almost ruin things [at times I wondered whether the signposting could be any more explicit, but Pacey/Joey shippers appear oblivious to them in their complete commitment to a version of the show which consigns Dawson to Neverland)). Both he and Joey believe in a kind of sweet, romantic comedy, soulmate world which this series was supposed to be about to oppose the cynical alternatives in other shows. Joey is a true believer. The arc of the series is about how Joey realises that this is the script in which she makes sense – not the script where a different kind of fantasy entirely (a fantasy called ‘Paris’ or ‘Pacey’ operates). The notion that Pacey is not a ‘fantasy’ for her, in bizarre. He is just a different kind of fantasy – and, the show repeatedly emphasises, the wrong one (wrong for him, too, given that their relationship almost destroys him…twice).

About Dawson’s gift of a photograph to Joey, you say: Well I should say I don't think it meant anything romantically. It was important in their friendship but we're talking love stories here. Remember the scene after where Joey says to Pacey she has put the ghost of Christmas past behind her and was ready for the ghost of Christmas future. Dawson=Past, Pacey=Future. How can you say that there is a romantic implication to that scene when that follows it and it consists of Joey telling him to pursue another woman? Its warm, its heartwarming, its about their friendship but not about romantic love. As Joey says later, she hadn't thought of him in that way for years. Although the show did like to exaggerate time, the last time Joey considered Dawson as a love interest was Witch Island I believe, a year and a half previous. They did the same in Season 6 when Audrey says Joey broke Pacey's heart 'all those years ago', it was a year and a half.

I can say that this is a turning point in that Season for very straightforward reasons. This is a season about the movement of Joey away from Pacey and turning back to Dawson. That is the season arc. My view is that people should try to put everything that is said and done in the context of the arc of both the season and the series as a whole (which was always, as most people now know, written with a Joey/Dawson endgame until that very last few days of the shooting of the finale and the last 15 minutes of the show). Once you put things in that context, comments and conversations become clear. I would put Joey’s comment about her future to Pacey in the context of the overall arc that Dawson is ‘a huge part of my past, present and future’. Joey’s jealousy about Dawson/Gretchin – and her terror that Dawson/Gretchin have actually slept together – tells me enough. I’m not sure exactly why anyone thinks this is in any way ambiguous, since, as Joey tells us in ‘Coda’, the magic with Pacey (magic – the kind of magic/fantasy Pacey represents) has worn off, while that with Dawson has always persisted. The notion that Joey hadn’t thought about Dawson ‘in that way’ since Witch Island is, I’m afraid, simply not true. The sexual tension between them in many many episodes of Season 4 was obvious even to Pacey who resented it big time. Even Drue noticed the ‘sexual tension’ between them, the couple so much in love that it makes everyone want to puke. Basically, all the other characters in the show could see that Dawson and Joey loved each other more than they loved anyone else – every other character (the scene in the finale when Joey asks those gathered around her table who she is supposed to be with, and everyone looks at her with a bit of disbelief that she doesn’t get it yet – and claiming that they mean Pacey won’t work since one of those around the table is Bessie, who was always one of the cheerleaders for Dawson, and also given that when he wrote that part of the script, KW hadn’t yet changed his mind).

Well I think we have to take in to account what Joey actually says about such jealousy in 'Appetite for Destruction'. Yes, there is such a thing as an unreliable character, they don't always say what they mean but that is usually signposted in the writing. There is no indication or contradiction to what Joey says when she says she isn't jealous of Jen but that her insecurity comes from where she places in his life. And this is supported multiple times in the show very explicitly.

This is rewriting history. At the start of season 5, Joey is hoping for a renewed relationship with Dawson, a renewed romantic relationship. This looks like it is going to happen, and then Mitch dies and puts the skids on it. Next things she knows, Dawson is showing up with Jen as his girlfriend. Joey feels jealous – not resentful that she is not Dawson’s friend any longer. Again, I’ve not met anyone who ever claimed that Joey was not jealous (in a romantic sense) of Dawson and Jen’s relationship in Season 5 (the writers probably thought they could regenerate Season 1 dynamics at this stage…They couldn’t). This romantic jealousy is confirmed repeatedly to banal degree at every stage of this series – Joey cannot bear to have Dawson show a romantic interest in anyone other than her. Again, I thought this was just obvious, and that even Joey/Pacey shippers knew this - and it rightly irritated them greatly.

Not by Promicide. His insecurities about Dawson and Joey in the present tense are in 'Failing Down', 'Great X Pectations' and 'Self Reliance'. They are resolved in Self Reliance when he encourages her to talk to him, the last of those insecurities regarding Dawson are gone after they sleep together. In Mind Games when Drue is playing his little class couple skit it doesn't bother Pacey at all. Even when he finds out about Joey's lie he forgives her because she told the truth in the end. That is why its Promicide. Its foreshadowed by Gretchen at the start of the season, he was going to sabotage the relationship and that is what he did. He blew up, Dawson didn't have to do anything, Pacey did it himself.

There may be a universe where Pacey, who really really wishes Joey would feel a kind of ‘soulmate’ love for him, is not insecure about her relationship with Dawson. In the finale he says something like ‘I hope we are beyond that now’ (which signals that indeed they were not beyond it even 5 years earlier). One of the reasons he so desperately wants to sleep with Joey is that he hopes that once that happens he will have a claim on her (a ‘first’) that Dawson won’t have, and is bitterly disappointed to find that even after this, she is still drifting back to him – that she is at her happiest hanging around with Dawson, and not with him. It is sad, desperately so, that Pacey/Paris (and don’t forget the Romeo/Juliet references abounding in the series) doesn’t get their role as a supporting player – because supporting players end up as roadkill in this series. It is important to note that the 100th episode which was a kind of summation of what the series was about, had a series of flashbacks relating to Dawson/Joey’s relationship, not Joey/Pacey whose scenes merely served as a kind of bump on the road of that primary relationship. Charlie and Eddie are other, less significant bumps, though Joey would choose Eddie over Pacey (probably because Eddie is a bit closer to Dawson).

P/J shippers are not a monolithic entity. Some might agree with you. It seems clear to me that from The Te of Pacey onwards it was about his future. Even when they talk about their break up, he doesn't say that its because of Dawson. He says that they are going in two different directions, she's on the up, he feels he's going down the drain. Her reaction is that he's breaking her heart into a thousand pieces for her own benefit? Quote:
Here we enter the Looking Glass. This is a show which constantly sets up comparisons between couples and characters, starting with Joey and Jen (‘Is it the blonde or the brunette’), moving to Pacey and Dawson, Pacey and Dawson and Eddie, the Witters and the Leerys, the Leerys and the Potters, etc. etc. The view that we are not to compare Andie and Joey as girlfriends of Pacey is a stretch that I am not buying.
Joey and Andie are never put in direct competition or comparison except by Drue in one episode. And its unfair to suggest that different characters must have the same reactions to match up. They have different situations, different temperaments. We were meant to compare Jack and Dawson at one point, is that to mean we are meant to wonder if Dawson's into guys? Of course not. Unless you think there is a direct parallel to force us to compare beyond 'post - coitus' because if that is the case are we meant to compare it to Jen/Chris too? And even if we were, Andie cheated on him. She was that OK with sex.

Of course, Joey and Andie are not in ‘competition’, but I don’t think we are meant to ignore direct contrasts that are made between the characters (the Witters seem worse because they are not the Leerys; Mr. Potter is worse because he is not Mr. Leery; Mr. Witter is worst because he is neither of the other two). I’m not suggesting that these different characters must have the ‘same’ reactions to match up (I’m not trying to match them up). What I am suggesting is that if we look at these two situations, one shows two teenagers having fun; the other shows a relationship in deep trouble, a trouble that is not solved by sex – as shown by the fact that they become increasingly divided from each other until the end of the season. Sex does not bring them together or closer – it is an extra ingredient that helps to drive them apart by the end (the whole ‘am I pregnant’ fiasco for which Joey clearly blamed Pacey is sufficient evidence of this).

Lets look at Joey's sexual history with Dawson. When given the chance to have sex with him in a relationship she declines. She offers to have sex with him when she thinks its her trump card to getting him back from Eve. Its the same thing Jen tries when on her downward spiral in season 2. Its not meant to show Joey at her most clear headed and comfortable moment when 3 months earlier when not feeling pressed she didn't want to do it.

You’ve seen a different show. You must have. Joey and Dawson are building up to having sex in season 2 (‘they won’t be the poster children for virginity for much longer’ Abbie astutely recognises), and if they had not bumped into Jen on the way home from the wedding they would have had sex. She offers to have sex with him at the start of Season 3, yes to get him back, but not because she doesn’t want to – she’s ready. Now you are comparing characters (Joey and Jen!!!) trying it on with Dawson. However, Jen was in a crazed depression in Season 3; Joey wasn’t. There is never any indication that Joey doesn’t find Dawson sexually attractive (she has thought about his penis size long before they ever get together, and enthusiastically gets into the make out phase of their relationship when they start going out).

If Joey found Pacey such a disappointment in bed why did the show go to lengths to show us this wasn't the case.

The evidence for Joey and Pacey having a great sex life that you provide are a couple of funny scenes, in one of which Pacey does most of the talking. Again, you need to place everything into the context of the arc of the season, and the series, or things will be misunderstood. Pacey’s neediness in bed is highlighted by their the-morning-after-the-night before conversation, where he signalled to her that for him a great deal depended on whether she liked having sex with him. In this context alone, Joey feels pressure to tell him that everything is alright down there, nothing is wrong. Andie, I expect, would just have told him what she liked and what she didn’t. Joey just doesn’t know how to communicate with Pacey (probably because she is so used to Dawson understanding her so quickly and her understanding him so easily – ‘I hear you Dawson’ ‘I hear you too Joey’).

Joey wasn't embarrassed to be with him at the Worthington dinner. She was embarrassed that she didn't know the gallery name and it went down hill from there. She then said that Pacey fit in better than she did, a situation inverted at the end of the season to highlight their break up, she's going up in the world and he's not.
Joey does feel unnecessary guilt about Dawson. This is the guy that put pressure on her regarding her sex life right at the start of the season. He got that emotional blackmail in quick 'I'm the only person who the answer could possibly kill'. Wouldn't you feel bad and concerned if someone told you that about doing something you've wanted to do? She shouldn't care but she's a good person so she does. Pacey never puts that type of pressure on her.

Again, you are missing the context of the season as a whole, and all the emphases on soulmates going on in other parts of the plot, in your comments about Worthington. The context is the slow, ‘conscious uncoupling’ of Pacey and Joey, and the reconnection between Dawson and Joey. That is what is happening through the whole season! Pacey at the Worthington dinner is just another example of how they don’t work together. Pacey managed to embarrass her completely by accident (that is what I meant by my claim that she was embarrassed to be with him), with the implication that Dawson would never have made her feel like she didn’t belong. I’m not saying Pacey wanted to make her feel that way – I’m sure the opposite was the case – but that is how she felt. It wouldn’t have happened, the suggestion is, had she been with the person who knows her best (Dawson – who writes the essay for her). I’m not going to comment on the attempted character assassination of Dawson – because it seems to me that this is usually what Pacey/Joey shippers fall back on. They just don’t like Dawson and don’t like the way he behaves and tend to misconstrue everything about him (usually concluding by telling us that his forehead is too big).

Yes and she does call out Dawson for not noticing for all that time. If he considered her so sexually alluring why didn't he see it? Dawson claims its because he's an idiot. Notice that she also never brings up the fact that Pacey very clearly found her sexual in season 1? He tried to kiss her and told her he found her attractive. Why is she ignoring that? He's also been grabbing her ass and complaining she's a prude. I'd agree that for all Joey talks in season one she has a very big issue with sex and that Jack was no different from the safe to lust at from afar Dawson of Season 1. Isn't that what Aunt Gwen alludes to in 'Stolen Kisses' in her analogy. Her husband was a safe relationship chosen too young but Richard made her feel alive.

Once again, no. She has to go to Dawson in order to feel sexually reaffirmed (odd to go to someone for sexual confirmation if you don’t feel sexually attracted to that person!). She does give out a bit because he didn’t seem to recognise her sexuality in Season 1, but he says he was an idiot, and affirms that she is growing in sexuality every day. That is again why she runs back to Dawson when Jack makes his confession. With him she feels that, yes, she is accepted and is found sexually attractive. Pacey found her sexual in season 1? Well, of course! Every heterosexual boy who watched season 1 found Joey sexually attractive! The season is about Dawson coming to the realisation that he loves her completely not just as a friend, and that this includes finding her sexually attractive. Pacey is a normal heterosexual boy and of course he tries his luck with Joey when given the chance! This doesn’t require any special bond between them. He accepts that ‘if you kissed me back you would have been thinking of someone else’ – ie, in this sexual situation, you would have been thinking of Dawson. I’m afraid I would project this forward – to the sexual relationship she has with Pacey in Season 4. She ‘ignores’ Pacey finding her sexually attractive in season 1 because she recognises it for what it is: a horny teenage boy trying it on. It isn’t significant. Even when they start going out she doesn’t say: Pacey, remember how you found me so attractive in season one, and I ignored how important this was for two years, but now I realise how significant it was! No, Pacey’s horny reaction to a hot girl taking her clothes off in his mirror is not important, except that when he asks Dawson’s permission (funny how everyone asks permission in this world for romantic relationships) it jolts Dawson into a realisation.
Joey chooses Jack to divert herself with while she sorts her identity out precisely because he was a safe experiment. But he isn’t equivalent to Dawson in Season 1, precisely because Season 1 Joey told us that she feels sexually attracted to Dawson.
Regarding Aunt Gwen - you realise that she is a Joey/Dawson-shipper!

Joey declined sex with him at the end of Season 2. It took Dawson 5 years and he had one significant sexual relationship in 6, Natasha. Jen did not last long. He had two one night stands, one of which was Joey (in her own words) and had the 'best sex of his life' with Natasha. Then nothing at all in the back half of the 6th season.

You seem to be mistaking a fairly normal sex life with a lack of sexuality in Dawson. Just because he isn’t jumping everyone’s bones like Pacey in Season 5 and 6 doesn’t mean he isn’t a fully grown up, sexual person. He has fewer opportunities, I’d suggest, because he isn’t as physically attractive as Pacey. I didn’t hear Jen complaining that in bed Dawson was asexual or pre-pubescent, or Joey, or Natasha. I’m happy he had the best sex of his life with Natasha. As a purely physical act, I’m sure it was good. He had the greatest night of his life, including sex, with Joey.

I wonder how he will feel when Joey forces him to watch The Creek every week, and she sees the sexual side of her relationship with Dawson played out in front of him.
He'll be comfortable enough in his relationship to find it moving and cry, we saw that. Maybe he'll give those 2 Season 6 episodes a miss. What I always find amusing is that we see the end of Season 1 of The Creek. It mirrors Season 1 of Dawson's Creek. How does Season 3 of The Creek end after Dawson leaves the show? Is it this never ending cycle of doom where The Creek ends with Colby losing the girl to Petey and making a TV show 'Colby's Creek' about it?

The season will present Pacey with a serious problem: the lie that he has told himself, that Joey and Dawson’s relationship was ‘asexual’ or ‘prepubescent’ and ‘innocent’ (a weasel word if there ever was one) will be undermined by the next season of The Creek. Those insecurities so on show at the start of the finale when he was having an affair with a married woman? Are they gone away? Because of a food fight, just before Joey went off again to reaffirm her soulmate relationship with Dawson? Season 3 of The Creek doesn’t happen. Unlike Season 1 of Dawson’s Creek, which was about Dawson choosing Joey, Season 1 of The Creek ends with a rewriting of the end of Season 3 of Dawson’s Creek (which had Joey choose Pacey over Dawson – at his suggestion). Therefore in The Creek, Joey chooses Dawson over Pacey in Season 1. Therefore, no Season 3 of Dawson’s since that has been resolved. And Joey is riveted. To her fictional fantasy character choosing Dawson. In the next season she’ll witness how these problems which kept them apart could have been resolved. It’s not looking good for Pacey – and I am genuinely sad for him, because he remains my favourite character on that show.

I’m going to pass the baton on for now – I think we have engaged each other for long enough, and it is time to let others have their say, and this very interesting conversation, as you indicate, has taken up enough time. Plus, I have really said all I think I can say for now. I need a bit of a break.
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