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Old 03-02-2016, 11:57 AM
  #1
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Discussion Topic: Dawson & Joey or Pacey & Joey? #2

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Originally Posted by filmdk (View Post)
Are you Pacey/Joey fan or a Dawson/Joey fan and why?

ETA: Since shipper discussion can get heated quite quickly, we would like to remind you all to remain respectful towards other posters. You can say why you like & dislike a couple, but please refrain from bashing

Thank you all,
Continue....
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:39 PM
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Jarlath1 has some good points and I'm glad you agree with me.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:10 PM
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Sorry to have taken so long to respond to some of your other points. Once again, your own statements are in bold:


You see I don't think that mocking was meant to appease PJo fans, they certainly didn't do anything else to appease them that year after all. We have to remember PJo was a critical favourite too. It wasn't just screaming Pacey girls. Critics were raving about it. I think those lines were trying to take the usual complaints about DJo as a bit of a manifesto as to how they were going to prove us wrong. While also backtracking on the Coda kiss that they pushed in there because they thought Season 5 would never happen.
The writers didn’t do much to please Pacey/Joey fans in this season…apart from keeping Dawson and Joey apart for much of it for spurious reasons (having Dawson blame Joey for the death of his father was one of the lowest things the writers ever did to him). There was no ‘backtracking’ of the ‘Coda’ kiss. There was just no resolution of it (until a very bad season finale). If they did little to please Joey/Pacey fans, they did very little to please Dawson/Joey fans either. Putting Joey with Prof. Wilder! Getting Dawson and Jen back together (and then having them live together and then splitting up in the course of a few months…ridiculous!) Let’s all admit it – the final two seasons were (apart from a couple of episodes and a couple of characters here and there) a washout, with little to please either of the shippers.
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You'll have to refresh my memory, was there a part of Anti Prom were Dawson commented on her bracelet like he didn't know it was her mother's? I never got the impression that is what that line was about. The point was about showing how close Pacey and Joey had become that year, how he wasn't impressed by the diamonds like everyone else was. It was more like Beauty Contest where everyone is marveling at how pretty scrubbed up Joey looks and Joey says 'Its just hairspray'. When he remembers everything he's saying he's remembering every little moment they had together, including the one where she mentioned the bracelet in her blue snowflake sweater. And it makes her remember how she felt during that time and how happy she was compared to how she felt in that moment. I will also point out that knowing about someone isn't necessarily knowing someone. When Pacey is saying 'This is you' he's saying he knows Joey and what matters to Joey. And this is born out through the course of the series, how Pacey can see right through her. He's the first to know she's crushing on Dawson, he's the first to call her out on it when Dawson is oblivious. He can get to the heart of what she doesn't want to say, like the 'You don't want to lose your place' comment in season 5. So when he says 'Its not you', its very consistent with Pacey understanding her nature if not her exhaustive biography. I don't think that excludes Dawson, its not really about him.

The Pacey line: ‘I remember everything’ was clearly meant to suggest (since he was in open competition with Dawson at this point) ‘and Dawson doesn’t’. It is a low blow, given the fact that Dawson actually knew Joey’s mother and cared about her, whereas Pacey and Joey didn’t even like each other when they were younger. Your suggestion that Pacey knows about Joey (better than...who?) is stretching things. That he figured out in Season 1 that Joey was in love with Dawson (not crushing on him) hardly demonstrates any great powers of perception. Everyone knew that she was in love with Dawson (including the dogs on the street), apart from Dawson. Everyone. Jen knew it. Grams knew it. Dawson’s parents knew it. Her father knew it (from prison no less). Bessie knew it. The ‘psychic’ woman in the Halloween episode knew it within a minute and a half. Everyone knows. Even Pacey. Joey tells us who knows her best: Dawson. She asks him to write that part of her college application for her (which Pacey is not particularly happy about).


You never heard the complaints about Pacey in season 5? They had no idea what to do with him at all and he risked becoming a walking STD. How many girls did he have that year? I want to say 6, he said he slept with 7 girls before Audrey I think and we know of 3 between 1-4. So he had named, Melanie, Audrey, Karen, he nearly cheated on Audrey after so that leaves 2?

I did hear the complaints from Pacey lovers about Season 5. I wasn’t particularly impressed with these complaints then because I didn’t hear these same fans complaining when Dawson and Andie had their characters assassinated to facilitate a Pacey/Joey pairing in Season 3. In any case, I didn’t think there was any attempt to destroy his character in Season 5. He did behave out-of-character, but as I said before they were all behaving out of character at various times through the series. For example, not once did I buy it that Pacey would sleep with a married woman as he does in the finale. It wouldn’t happen. Nonsense. That he slept with 7 girls before Audrey…ok, I think it’s a stretch but it doesn’t bother me. But he would never encourage someone to cheat on a marriage or get involved in that kind of triangle.


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Its not so much that she is over Pacey in season 5, its just that its ignored beyond one scene. Rememeber that part where Audrey is talking about Joey dating other guys with Pacey there and Joey is really uncomfortable. JJax improved the extreme discomfort of Pacey while in the room and complained off screen 'There is no history on this show'. It hangs about as something that is not really said beyond a line or a mannerism. I remember in Four Scary Stories Joey says 'Who's Karen?' and Pacey says 'Do we really want to go through this now?' to which Joey replied 'Sorry, sugar rush'. Later in the season Audrey tries to set up a fake fight between her and Joey over Pacey that turns into a real one that blurs a line between joke and reality. Audrey clearly feels second best to Joey but that is mostly in Season 6 as they ramp up to Merry Mayhem. How do you reconcile 'I just don't feel it' with 'Its hard to be sorry for something that has been in the back of your mind' or her phone call at the end of that 'That was Then'? Or in Sex and Violence when she agrees to go to his apartment to sleep with him? The smile on her face that just drops when she sees Eddie and the way she says she moved on from him? Or in Clean and Sober when honest drunk Joey (the same honest drunk Joey that kissed Dawson in Season 1) says she never got over Pacey before kissing him? They were well into getting back together before Harley brings up bad memories of Prom. The british channel E4 did a great trailer focusing on how Joey ran hot and cold in those episodes.

Pacey and Joey's past relationship is not ignored in Season 5 – it’s just over (whereas, as she acknowledges, Dawson is her past, present and future'). As most viewers should have easily understood – there isn’t really any way to come back after ‘Promicide’ without requiring everyone to suspend credulity just to get two hot people together. The writers bring it up: they explicitly have Audrey ask Joey’s blessing because of her history with Pacey. Her past relationship with Pacey is emphasised. She explains something important to the viewer in that episode (and to Pacey – only he didn’t listen very closely): she doesn’t care who he sleeps with or who he is in a relationship with. All the viewers should know this by now because, as she explained carefully in Coda: the magic was gone. I completely agree with Pacey that ‘this show doesn’t do history’, and agree with your complaint that they tended to rush ahead without referencing back (hence all the Out of character behaviour). However, they did reference Pacey/Joey – to indicate why it didn’t work. In Season 6, after she is dumped by Eddie, Joey tries to give Pacey another go. He’s kind of an interregnum thing for her, filling in time. I don’t need to reconcile anything here – Joey’s last words to her relationship with Pacey clear things up beautifully. The second attempt with Pacey was for obvious reasons from Joey’s point of view: let’s see what happens between us if Dawson is not there in the foreground reminding me of other possibilities. And she finds out what happens – she doesn’t feel it, as she explains, ‘even without Dawson’. That she could drop Pacey for Eddie has always been the hardest thing to explain for Pacey/Joey shippers. Usually Dawson is held to blame for Joey’s supposedly bad choices, but here Joey explicitly sets out that Dawson is not the cause of this break up. The relationship with Pacey just doesn’t feel right. All the other episodes you are quoting come from before this breakup. Connecting ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Dawson in Season 1 to ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Pacey is Season 6 is a stretch. She would have preferred kissing … Eddie, had he been there. Basically, Joey gives the relationship a second go to see would it work without Dawson, and she finds out that the answer is, no, it wouldn’t.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:29 PM
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Right gang, lets do this.


First Off, we disagree on the severity of the first two arguments mentioned. That's fine. Its the least interesting part of what we are discussing!

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No, I don't agree. – Joey clearly had come to terms with her mother’s death until we reach the end of Season 2. That is what the visit to her grave is supposed to indicate. She brings Dawson with her to show that now that her father is back and having reconciled with him, and with Dawson as her boyfriend, she can heal. Remember that throwing Pacey into the works was not even thought of at this stage and Dawson/Joey was definitely still endgame. Dawson was always important to her – not only since her mother’s death! The point about Dawson and Joey is that their relationship goes back to when they were 4 or 5. Season 2’s arc had her existential crisis ‘solved’ by the second last episode (that existential crises don’t tend to get solved in a couple of months is also not the point – we are talking about a TV series).

Well we know that Dawson brings up her existential crisis in 'The Longest Day'

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Dawson: Why, Joey? Because you keep on saying that you want to go find yourself. Is this what you've been looking for the whole time? Is Pacey what you've been looking for?
He 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.

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.


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The finale then throws her back into that crisis. I would argue she never gets over it (father issues return in Season 6 with a bang – lack of trust in her father is intimately tied up in her fear that Dawson will hurt her, hence why she always ‘runs away’ from a fully grown up relationship with him). I try my best to forget Eddie – I agree with you that she behaves wildly out of character here (though not just here: I also don’t buy the following – Joey and AJ; Joey and Eddie; Joey and Wilder; Joey and Eddie’; Joey and whoever that guy was in the finale; Joey jogging when in college – all ridiculous, and all symptoms of writers who had to fill 23 episodes a season.
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.

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.

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If we agree to suspend disbelief and have to come up with a way of explaining these ridiculous things all I can suggest is that they are symptoms of a tailspin caused by the conclusion to Season 2, from which she never recovers. This is the only semi-coherent explanation I buy, and it would mean that Dawson’s comment in Season 6 that it is Joey who hadn’t grown up (rather than him) would be resonant in so many ways. I would go so far as to say that all her non-Dawson relationships are potentially symptomatic of her being stuck in some kind of arrested development, and (if I could give the writers so much credit) this would be particularly interesting since it reverses the dynamic of Season 1, where she repeatedly tells Dawson to grow up. Joey truly needs to get to the point where she finally sees, as Dawson tells her, that her story is about a girl who looks everywhere for answers only to eventually find that she had everything she really wanted all along. Sadly, thanks to the last 15 minutes of the show, Joey remains stuck in a limbo.
In universe, I really can't justify Charlie and Eddie. The writing is too bad, its a different person. 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.

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You didn’t see the scene between Dawson and Joey when he gave her the picture as a big D/J moment!! I suspect that may be because you don’t like their scenes together in general, and don’t like it when they share these emotional moments. The moment is indeed the turning point of that season. Can you imagine Pacey giving Joey a photograph of Dawson and Joey together (rather than pointing a flame thrower at it)? Of course she tells Dawson to follow his heart as she holds his gift to her to her heart – the fact that Dawson can give her such a picture after the blow out of the end of Season 3 means that the picture is a symbol of the fact that Dawson and Joey’s relationship can overcome things which seem initially to divide them. That is why she cries! I think here we have evidence that when P/J and D/J shippers watch the same scene they actually see two different scenes.
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.

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There is a straightforward reason why Joey is jealous of anyone who goes out with Dawson. It’s not that difficult to understand. The difference between her reaction to Dawson/Gretchen and Pacey/Audrey is very very telling. It is a constant point of difficulty for Pacey/Joey supporters to get over (which is why they tend to so dislike Season 5, for example). She says in the first episode of season 5 that she will always be in love with Dawson in some part of her heart. She says at the end of Season 4 that there is no magic with Pacey anymore. At this stage it is really quite straightforward. There is no coming back from the disastrous Season 4 relationship with Pacey (who would want to rekindle that whining, nagging nightmare again anyway).
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.

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I’m not sure what to say about your claim that Pacey is not insecure about Dawson and Joey’s closeness in the present. I’ve never come across such a claim before – I suspect because it is so obvious that he feels insecure about anything and everything to do with Dawson and Joey – their past, their present and their future. He just can’t deal with it. But who can! As Jen says at some stage, she and Pacey are just roadkill when it comes to Dawson and Joey. Joey and Pacey fight practically every single week in that season about Dawson, and not just about their past! Even P/J-shippers admit this, and got sick of it by the end. Joey constantly has to try to soothe Pacey’s doubts about their relationship – just to shut him up.
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.

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?

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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.

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Joey wasn’t afraid of sex…with Dawson. She just didn’t really want to have sex with anyone else. And when she did she was …underwhelmed. Pacey needing to be reassured the morning after didn’t help much. Pacey/Joey-shippers need to ask themselves: who genuinely made Pacey’s life better? The girl who made him feel like nothing, or the girl who made him feel like he was worth standing up to his father for? The girl who believes he is brilliant, or the girl who is embarrassed to be seen with him at the Worthington dinner; the girl who fights for him, or the girl who constantly puts the feelings of another boy ahead of him? As for ‘repeat performances’ of sex with Pacey – well, of course! Once they enter into a sexual relationship, it would be a bit strange to say: well, we’ve tried it once, let’s never do that again, but let’s keep going out together anyway!
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.

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

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Pacey: You considered that, didn't you? You did. I saw it in your eyes. You, Josephine potter, actually considered skipping A.P. Bio and engaging in illicit sexual activities with your boyfriend... On school grounds, no less. Naughty girl. Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk.
Joey: Well, it is second semester senior year. I guess these grades don't really count for anything.
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Joey: We spent 9 months talking. We've been doing this for 2 weeks.
Pacey: Wait, that still doesn't mean that you get to treat me as a sex object.
Joey: Aww, I can tell you're all broken up about it.
Pacey: Yes, I am.
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.

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This is rewriting history. Joey doesn’t call him out on not finding her sexual. She is afraid that no one finds her sexual in Season 2. And it is Dawson who reassures her that she is ‘so sexual’ and that he can see it more and more every day. When Jack come sout it is Dawson who reassures her that this has nothing to do with her being ‘non-sexual’ (if I remember the line he says something like: the issue isn’t why did Jack choose you, but why did you choose him…? The answer being…because he was a safe chance to experiment before going back to Dawson).
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.

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Once Dawson gets going sexually in season 5, he just keeps going. There is no sense that he is ‘asexual’ as a character – Dawson and Joey were not talking ‘big’ in Season 2, they were getting ready to have sex. They just want that sex to be meaningful. I’ll leave aside the issue of whether or not there is ‘sex’ in Spielberg, because once Dawson and Joey start going out their relationship is physical – very physical. Constantly touching and being physically present to one another. It’s sweet but sexy too.
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.

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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?

I'll do part 2 tomorrow, that took an hour and a half!

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Old 03-05-2016, 03:56 PM
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Wow, I don't know how you guys do these long essays, but they are interesting and thought provoking.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:09 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.

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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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Old 03-06-2016, 02:04 PM
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Part 2, Don't go getting ahead of me!




Quote:
Originally Posted by jarlath1 (View Post)
The writers didn’t do much to please Pacey/Joey fans in this season…apart from keeping Dawson and Joey apart for much of it for spurious reasons (having Dawson blame Joey for the death of his father was one of the lowest things the writers ever did to him). There was no ‘backtracking’ of the ‘Coda’ kiss. There was just no resolution of it (until a very bad season finale). If they did little to please Joey/Pacey fans, they did very little to please Dawson/Joey fans either. Putting Joey with Prof. Wilder! Getting Dawson and Jen back together (and then having them live together and then splitting up in the course of a few months…ridiculous!) Let’s all admit it – the final two seasons were (apart from a couple of episodes and a couple of characters here and there) a washout, with little to please either of the shippers.
The last two were pretty dire. I don't think Dawson and Joey were apart the whole season because of PJo. If that were the case wouldn't they have put in some PJo angst? I think a common complaint with 5 and 6 is that they didn't amount to anything. Wilder is an irrelevance, Charlie is going nowhere, Eddie kept coming back for some reason. I don't think there was any DJo or PJo significant development in either two seasons. It felt like using either in 5 and 6 was something they were forced to do. They had to deal with the fallout of Coda, it doesn't go anywhere. They need a DJo finale, just in case, only to do the same thing in season 6 when they get rid of it straight away. They had to do a PJo story before the series ended because that was too popular and wasn't being killed like they needed it to be. There was more character movement in the last episode, than in two seasons!

Quote:
The Pacey line: ‘I remember everything’ was clearly meant to suggest (since he was in open competition with Dawson at this point) ‘and Dawson doesn’t’. It is a low blow, given the fact that Dawson actually knew Joey’s mother and cared about her, whereas Pacey and Joey didn’t even like each other when they were younger. Your suggestion that Pacey knows about Joey (better than...who?) is stretching things. That he figured out in Season 1 that Joey was in love with Dawson (not crushing on him) hardly demonstrates any great powers of perception. Everyone knew that she was in love with Dawson (including the dogs on the street), apart from Dawson. Everyone. Jen knew it. Grams knew it. Dawson’s parents knew it. Her father knew it (from prison no less). Bessie knew it. The ‘psychic’ woman in the Halloween episode knew it within a minute and a half. Everyone knows. Even Pacey. Joey tells us who knows her best: Dawson. She asks him to write that part of her college application for her (which Pacey is not particularly happy about).
If 'I remember everything' was meant to be about Dawson, surely we would have been shown a part where Dawson forgot something that was of meaning to Joey? Not everything is about Dawson, its more likely its to refer to what he says to her in 'Double Date', 'And I would have remembered if I listened when you talked to me'.

I never said 'better than'. Saying that Pacey has a connection with Joey doesn't mean any third person needs to be brought into it. In the words of Pacey Witter when Joey tries to do the exact same thing 'Right, 'cause god forbid I might just be talking about you and me right now.'. Pacey is written to know Joey is hooked on Dawson before Jen does, he's known since before the series started. Other examples, their heart to heart in Decisions where he uses his own problems to force her to do what she knows is right regarding her father. the earrings in Anti Prom as I said shows he knows her core values, 'Other Joey', her need to lose control in Clean and Sober and more. Pacey is the guy who says what Joey doesn't want to hear but she knows is true and part of the reason their banter works so well is that they understand what will get a rise out of the other without going too far. One of the more comedic ones, Pacey knowing Joey will relent and ditch school with him in 'Home Movies' but he 'thought she'd last at least 8 [seconds]'.

When Joey talks about who knows her best, what does she say? She talks about when she broke her leg, when her mother died etc... I'm talking about understanding a person. The difference between knowing what someone did and why they did it, the way they think.

And Pacey did know Lily Potter, Pacey, Joey and Dawson have been friends/frenemies since at least the age of 6. Joey was invited to Pacey's first boy-girl party. We hear Aunt Gwen talk of Pacey chasing Joey as a child. Mr Witter clearly knows Joey in the Season 2 finale but that is their first scene together. Gretchen also mentions the three of them in the past and how she thought Joey and Pacey would end up together but she's been absent at least 2 years at that point. To say Pacey didn't know Joey's mother is a stretch when Joey clearly knows his father and his home phone number in 'None of the Above'. Pacey even mentions how blind he was not to have noticed Joey was beautiful when he was a kid, we saw him find that out in Season 1. We never see anything of Pacey as a kid, not even in his own house, we just hear of it. He was always there though. Dawson says as much, he's heard Joey and Pacey argue (banter) nearly every day of his life.

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I did hear the complaints from Pacey lovers about Season 5. I wasn’t particularly impressed with these complaints then because I didn’t hear these same fans complaining when Dawson and Andie had their characters assassinated to facilitate a Pacey/Joey pairing in Season 3. In any case, I didn’t think there was any attempt to destroy his character in Season 5. He did behave out-of-character, but as I said before they were all behaving out of character at various times through the series. For example, not once did I buy it that Pacey would sleep with a married woman as he does in the finale. It wouldn’t happen. Nonsense. That he slept with 7 girls before Audrey…ok, I think it’s a stretch but it doesn’t bother me. But he would never encourage someone to cheat on a marriage or get involved in that kind of triangle.
Andie definitely suffered in Season 3 but the alternative was her never coming back from the mental hospital at all. She was only ever meant to be temporary, just like Jack. Kevin Williamson knew that he was going to do PJo, not as endgame but that he would get there. He said it would have been Season 4 with him.

Dawson, well he attempted to murder someone and held Joey to a completely different standard to his best friend despite them doing the same thing but therein lies the drama. Originally, Pacey was meant to try and push Dawson into the rocks in the boat, DJo was going to reunite at the end of Show Me Love but obviously that was scrapped. I did sort of buy it though on Dawson's side. He always had only child syndrome, that was part of his character. It was extreme though.

I believe Tom Kapinos, when confronted with how Pacey was behaving in Season 5 he said 'Man's gotta eat' or something similar. They didn't know what to do with him. You probably won't like this but I always thought they should have kept Joey and Pacey together to mid-5. Do the comedy living together angle, get Pacey into Boston with a better excuse than 'I turned up on a boat so why not?', give him bearings and when they break up (because DRAMA!), reason to stay.

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In Season 6, after she is dumped by Eddie, Joey tries to give Pacey another go. He’s kind of an interregnum thing for her, filling in time. I don’t need to reconcile anything here – Joey’s last words to her relationship with Pacey clear things up beautifully. The second attempt with Pacey was for obvious reasons from Joey’s point of view: let’s see what happens between us if Dawson is not there in the foreground reminding me of other possibilities. And she finds out what happens – she doesn’t feel it, as she explains, ‘even without Dawson’. That she could drop Pacey for Eddie has always been the hardest thing to explain for Pacey/Joey shippers. Usually Dawson is held to blame for Joey’s supposedly bad choices, but here Joey explicitly sets out that Dawson is not the cause of this break up. The relationship with Pacey just doesn’t feel right. All the other episodes you are quoting come from before this breakup. Connecting ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Dawson in Season 1 to ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Pacey is Season 6 is a stretch. She would have preferred kissing … Eddie, had he been there. Basically, Joey gives the relationship a second go to see would it work without Dawson, and she finds out that the answer is, no, it wouldn’t.
Joey doesn't let anything happen between them in Season 6. That is sort of the point. They are discussing getting back together and by Sex and Violence she seems on board. She's going to sleep with him after all. Then Eddie comes back, she tells him she's moved on, then she gets Promicide flashbacks and goes cold. The week after its like the Pacey thing never happened and she's arguing with Eddie about how she doesn't trust him like he's never left. Dawson isn't even raised as a factor in Season 6 for Joey and Pacey. He's just not relevant there.

The season 1 kiss and season 6 kiss are exactly the same. Pacey/Dawson talks to a semi coherent Joey who then lets her feelings out in a kiss. Katie even performs it in the same way, watch where her hand is in both kisses. Its hard to see in the S6 one but she cups their face and lands one on them. Clean and Sober even had deleted dialogue to explain that Joey wouldn't remember it the next morning. Pacey tells her what she did in 'Boyfriend' and she denies it because 'Dawson and I never had any fun'. Thus explaining why she doesn't remember kissing Pacey in Castaways. Those last 5 PJo eps were meant to have a 'greatest hits' feel about them. Castaways is full of them, the Wall of televisions, the dialogue after he kisses her is reminiscent of 'Double Date', instead of shaving they were meant to do an 'Anti Prom' dance where Joey brings up Prom and Pacey said 'I remember nothing'. Then you got the mini-mes and Joey contemplating her past and looking to the future with Pacey in 'That was Then' and of course Love Bites, Promicide part 2. Only this time, Joey self-sabotages.

Joey was definitely 'feeling it' in Sex and Violence, why was she so jealous? Why did she bang her head in Castaways when she sees the blonde with her hand on Pacey's leg? Which makes the Audrey thing even weirder. Joey even says in Castaways that its past time for her to be complaining about Pacey and other women then she goes on to complain about the blonde he wanted to hook up with. Suddenly she's Joey catching Jen and Pacey again about it.

In the PJo thread we've been discussing Joey's fear. Its mentioned a few times in the last eps of season 6. Pacey calls her out as afraid in Love Bites, Eddie then goes on to figure out she's afraid of really loving someone and that he's been blinded (again Pacey seeing through her when it takes everyone else much longer to figure out, Eddie and Joey's last fight is about going away for the summer and then coming back, she's afraid to take that leap again because of how her relationship with Pacey ended), she mentions her fear to Harley and about how she's not afraid with Eddie (presumably because she isn't as invested in him as Dawson and Pacey) her last speech is about not being scared any more while running away to Paris!

Last edited by AsgardianJane; 03-06-2016 at 02:22 PM
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:13 AM
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I had about 10 minutes to catch up before leaving for work, but man, it's going to take more than 10 minutes to soak all this in, so I will have to revisit this tonight.

Keep it coming, I'm loving the different POVs.

I only have time to comment on one thing.

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The writers didn’t do much to please Pacey/Joey fans in this season…apart from keeping Dawson and Joey apart for much of it for spurious reasons (having Dawson blame Joey for the death of his father was one of the lowest things the writers ever did to him). There was no ‘backtracking’ of the ‘Coda’ kiss. There was just no resolution of it (until a very bad season finale). If they did little to please Joey/Pacey fans, they did very little to please Dawson/Joey fans either. Putting Joey with Prof. Wilder! Getting Dawson and Jen back together (and then having them live together and then splitting up in the course of a few months…ridiculous!) Let’s all admit it – the final two seasons were (apart from a couple of episodes and a couple of characters here and there) a washout, with little to please either of the shippers.
The writers did a few things like that which were uncharacteristic of some of the characters:

- Joey blaming Dawson for her father in S2
- Andie cheating on Pacey
- Pacey blowing up at Joey
- Jack spiralling in University
- Audrey's drunken bar bash while singing

I actually liked when they put Dawson and Jen together because I never really thought they had a great shot in the first season since Dawson was just too young to really know what was going on.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:22 PM
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I actually liked when they put Dawson and Jen together because I never really thought they had a great shot in the first season since Dawson was just too young to really know what was going on.
Yeah, I wish that Dawson and Jen lasted a bit longer instead of him going on to sleep with other women in S5. He almost caught up with Pacey. I realize they were older and out of HS, but the sleeping around became tiring.
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jarlath1 (View Post)
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.
I'd agree with that in so far as Kevin's vision of the show in Season 1 and 2. It broadened in 3 and 4 to the point where they have Andie say the focus is on Pacey, Joey and Dawson. 'You always go back to those that were there at the beginning and in the beginning it was the three of you'. In the final episode you'll notice the Capeside musical theme that was the first music cue of the pilot doesn't appear until Dawson, Joey and Pacey meet up. The idea being that 'We're back home, we are back to the beginning'.

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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.
Witch Island was purposely vague about whether the girl was rescued or not. Joey the cynic doesn't believe she was. Dawson the dreamer romantic believes she was. Its as much an exploration of their worldviews as anything.

I never got the impression the love triangle with AI Brooks' was meant that way. It reinforces the specialness of First Love and that there is a part of the other person you just can't have but how many people marry their first loves? Brooks' best friend is as much a warning to Dawson as anything. Brooks didn't mend his relationship with his friend until his death, he lost everything by holding onto that grudge. As much as Dawson is like Brooks, Pacey is like his friend. Self defeatist. The woman doesn't get a say, there is nothing to say she regretted her decision. He mentions they had three children and a good life. Its the same episode Pacey and Joey sleep together, maybe we are meant to see the woman's decision through Joey's. Pacey even echos Brooks' friend.

Brooks' friend: Still, all that time, he had that part of her soul you give your first love.

Pacey: What I am scared of is that little piece of your heart that will always belong to Dawson leery.

If we are meant to take Joey's response in tandem with this dead woman's:
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Dawson: Yeah, me, too. You know what? I feel like I'm doing the right thing. That's the strangest part.
Joey: What do you mean?
Dawson: I mean...At some point it...Ha... The whole thing just becomes too much for your brain to process, you know, and all you have to rely on is your heart and natural human instincts. And it's liberating. I mean, it's terrifying at first, but... I guess that's the point, isn't it?
Joey: What's that?
Dawson: If we weren't so afraid to let go, we wouldn't feel so free when we finally did.
Joey: You make it sound so simple.
Dawson: Ha. It's anything but that. But I think that's what brooks is waiting for. You know, even in his state, I think he was... He was waiting for his friend.
Joey: To say good-bye?
Dawson: Something like that.
Joey: That can be really hard.
Dawson: Yeah. [Long Pause]
Dawson: Good-bye, Joey.
Joey: Good night, Dawson.
She wasn't holding on. She let go. She followed her heart and did what she felt was right. That scene wouldn't be nearly as powerful if DJo had ended up together in my opinion. But that is me.

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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.
I never connected Little Women before, Jo doesn't marry Laurie the boy next door. I struggled through that book as a kid. I never read the sequel but I remember the movie, its never represented as a fault on Jo's part despite the fan outrage of the time. Maybe the book is different? I also don't recall Molly Ringwald getting judged for not choosing Duckie in the film. I have never seen Les Mis.

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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.
If you really want to get aboard the soulmate train Kevin Williamson does think Pacey and Joey are soulmates. They do fit it down the the letter throughout the series, intentionally or not. Dawson mentions how just knowing your soulmate is out there is enough, it brings comfort which is then echoed by Pacey later 'the act of being in love with you is enough for me'. I'm not even sure its intentional and it would be kind of funny if it wasn't as so much of PJo is an accident!
I think between these two vids, they pretty much have the clips right
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK8DIW_v7SU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub2LLbqloow

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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).
Joey is very clearly trying to extricate herself from his shadow. Note another Pacey and Joey parallel:

Joey: I mean, our lives have always been so intertwined that in many ways I feel like you partially invented me, Dawson. And that scares me so much. I need to find out if I can be a whole person without you. I need to find out if I can be a whole person....alone.

Pacey: You know, if I'm loyalty, Dawson, it's only 'cause you cast me in the role. You're the storyteller, you know? You see everything and figure out what it means. Did you see the look on those kids' faces while you were telling them that story tonight? How caught up they were? You're the guy who builds this fantastic world. You just let the rest of us live in it.

It sets Dawson up as the director of their lives. He's casting them into the space he wants them, he's writing their lines, and he's about to discover in that last one that the characters aren't playing by the script.

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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.
The white picket fence is definitely representative, its used earlier in the season when Jen pukes on one. Is it necessarily a good thing? Does Joey want to be fenced in? Joey wants to get out of Capeside after all. Here is Dawson fencing her in. It is also symbolic of Joey's semblance of regular family suburban life coming together but it will be destroyed by the end because her father isn't the type of man to live a 'White Picket Fence' sort of life. That isn't who Joey is either, that is Dawson with his perfect family. Joey is an outcast from the wrong side of the creek. She doesn't do white picket fences but I do agree its also one of those things Joey aspires to because of what it represents. She wants to be something she is not for a long time.

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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.
If Mr and Mrs Potter were soulmates we are all doomed. He was a philandering criminal. He slept with other women while she had terminal cancer. I don't see what you mean about Joey and Pacey here. They never cheated on each other and didn't cheat on anyone with each other. I think you are stretching with the looks things. Mr Potter can tell Joey's feelings for Dawson because she looks at Dawson like her mother looked at him sure but that is only mentioned in one episode, its not a motif carried through. Joey looks like her mother.

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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).
Joey doesn't actively tries to avoid the Northern Lights with AJ. He kisses her and she goes running to Pacey. The particles unable to resist. But she does end up seeing them with Dawson which was 'typical'. I guess she means big events in her life always seem to have Dawson around.

You say that AJ goes to his soulmate and you compare this to Dawson and Joey. The episode pulls a bait and switch though and we realise the comparisons are about Joey and Pacey. Joey is of course oblivious to this until the kiss at the end. An international channel did a great little 'spell it out' trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmgmnvllKLs

You've also got things like 'Don't let the friendly banter fool you, we really hate each other' and 'He's buys you paper and demands that you be yourself' (You bought me a wall?). Joey is relating them to her and Dawson when what is actually going on is Joey and Pacey. 'The loudest sound of all, love unspoken', spoken by episode's close. I can be forgiving of AJ as he is clearly there only to serve a bigger storyline.

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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).
The show disavows Neverland at the end of Season 1 when Dawson was supposed to get out of his Peter Pan phase. It never really happens. We are meant to see the deconstruction of Dawson's fantasy life, his mother is cheating on his father, his friend knew, his best friend seems to be outshining him, his girlfriend isn't the virginal princess he thought she was, kisses aren't perfect moments, human interaction can't be determined by tropes etc...

Joey is not a natural believer in Dawson's fantasy, she spends a lot of season 1 trying to get Dawson to see the world around him. 'Clap harder Dawson, you may be Tinkerbell's last hope', she falls into his dreams when she kisses him. Suddenly she had what she wanted, maybe wishes do come true but that fades again and by season 3 she's the cynic again.

What fantasy is Pacey? A Cinderella Story clearly puts Pacey in the role of 'real thing' which is done again in the finale. He does have a Knight in Shining Armour complex but it usually ends with him beaten and in serious trouble.

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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).
Again, you are assuming that what Joey says is not true. Do we have any reason to believe she's lying in her essay in The Bostonians? At least Joey is coming off a horrendous break up, the realities of their future being too much at that time.

Drue was there to cause trouble, he tried everything to get at Joey and Pacey until he hit on Pacey's insecurities when he took him drinking. He would say anything, just like Abby Morgan when talked about the Joey/Dawson kiss. She's trying to provoke a reaction. Same with Drue, that is their function. He wanted Joey and Pacey broken up the entire time, just like he tried to use sex in A Winter's Tale or Andie in Great Xpectations and Anna. Every trick in the book. Joey and Dawson weren't actually voted class couple.

I agree that in Part 1 of the finale everything points to DJo. Bessie was in for a shock!

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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.
How can it be rewriting history when I'm asking you to notice what the character actually says. Joey actually says these things to Pacey. Why must we assume she is lying? Does she show a similar problem with Natasha? We also have to remember Joey's comments about Dawson being a safety blanket and they need to let go. Which is consistent with her arc in Season 3 and 4 away from him. Does she want him or as she says in 'Appetite for Destruction' is he what she's supposed to want. This is a girl who has everyone telling her all paths lead to Dawson, she doesn't want what she's supposed to.

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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).
'I hope we're beyond that now' doesn't state when they got beyond it. Pacey so desperately wants to sleep with Joey? He's waited 9 months, its getting weird. He's been that patient. Of course he wants to sleep with her, he loves her. But it does give him comfort that she shared her first time with him and not Dawson. Pacey is a man of action, not words, it proved to him that she really wants him and not Dawson Leery. You act like Pacey is such a predator!

I'd say Eddie is 30% Dawson in that he is a writer, who sits in on classes he 'shouldn't be in', and who ends up going to California. He's not at all like Dawson in personality.

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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).
Did you see when they were in the little rowboat at the end of season 2 and Joey says she considered sex but she felt they were too young? I'm not making that up, its right there. Joey didn't feel ready to have sex in season 2 and that is that, front her own mouth. If the show was heading towards them sleeping together in season 2 it would have happened. Yes, I am comparing Joey and Jen in situations that are a lot more specific than reactions post sex. Joey and Jen had broken up with Dawson, they'd been through some huge crisis and wanted Dawson back. They both saw sex as a way to do that and he turned both of them down. Both were not in the right state of mind at all and were using sex as a means to an end rather than as an emotional fulfilling experience. Losing your virginity in a desperate attempt to get a high school boyfriend back is a very realistic teen thing to do but its not good and its not portrayed as good in either case.

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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’).
Yes, they are funny scenes, and cute but that doesn't make them untrue. The writers are playing two characters in love who love exploring this new phase of their relationship. They are having fun. The sexy banter later is cute too

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You know, when I told you that whole thing about telling me what you want, I didn't really expect a request to come in writing

You're trying to get rid of me. You had your way with me, my conversation has grown tiresome, and now you're giving me the boot.
And she's wearing his robe and liking that he likes it. The problem isn't the sex, there is a shift in tone at the end of that episode as it becomes apparent she lied about it. What is interesting is the switcheroo, you think the lie is going to end them but its not.

Pacey is a teenage boy insecure about whether he 'performed well'. Give him a break, he was tactless and inconsiderate but it wasn't anything more than that. And you may be forgetting that Joey is actually very honest with Pacey in Four Stories. Listen to her dialogue again, she won't remember the clumsy positioning or the awkward morning after she'll remember how when he was on top of her he made her feel like he would always be there to protect her.

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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.
Joey was embarrassed by herself. Look at the start of the episode and the way she is treated at the club. That she'll be serving and not attending. She feels low class. Then she gets the location of the gallery wrong which makes her feel even more low class. Not everything is about Dawson. Meanwhile Pacey is charming the pants off everyone. And we have this speech here:

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Joey: Well, I think I blew it tonight. And it's just, um, this is kind of a whole new world for me, and I, um, I don't really know what to do or what to say, and I know that I don't fit in very well
Walter: Joey, you didn't blow anything. Your academic record stands on its own. You're a stunningly bright young lady. No one is grading you on your social skills. Be that as it may, you couldn't ask for a better character witness than that boyfriend of yours. Seriously. He just talked the Dean's ear off, all about you. How you've changed him, how you've helped him. How he couldn't imagine a better life than one with you by his side. What a rare gift, to have someone say such things about you.
If your intention is to show two people woefully mismatched don't have someone tell your leading lady that. Even more, don't have your leading lady say

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Joey: She raised a perfect boy. And maybe things like that just tumble out of my mouth because I happen to be head over heels in love with you, but the scary thing is, I think it's true.
You take everything as a signal of doom. They are in a relationship, a year long one. They have fights, they have insecurities, they have ups and downs. Even after their massive break up blow out, they work it out very quickly. They just can't stay mad at each other, likely a lifetime of practice there. Pacey and Joey are very strong, planning long term up until Graduation stares them in the face. There is something Jen says in episode 3 about whether 2 teenagers can sustain a relationship and Pacey and Joey do damn well until the nature of being a teenager rears its ugly head. You're not done yet, you need your independence to do what you have to do to be the person you become. You can't define your life based on someone else at 17 or 18.

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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).
I can assure you, I don't care about James' forehead and I think its crass to insult it. He can't help his looks like we can't. We are in no position to judge!

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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.
No one is arguing she wasn't obsessed with Dawson in season 1. Throughout season 1 Joey thinks she is ugly. She has awful self esteem not helped by Dawson's obliviousness. 'Dawson will always see me as the gawky little girl down the creek with band-aids on her knees and the one braid falling out. I don't know maybe that's how it's meant to be.' in the next scene Dawson says 'Pacey I know you're obsessed about with this little theory of yours, but the truth is I've never though of Joey in a romantic context. I've always thought of her as like a sister. I just don't think I could ever get past that. If Joey and I got together it would be, a little incestuous.'. Its more than idiocy.

Joey never finds out about the striptease incident so she can't connect that with why he kissed her and even so, she's complaining about not being found sexual. The entire thing was about sexuality and it the inverse of episode 4 when she is mooning over mystery man's over the shoulder 'throbbing neck muscles'. You say Double Date is never brought up again, that kiss is shown as PJos first in the finale montage. They don't cut it and act like it was nothing. I believe Kevin Williamson said they saw what was happening and 'put a lid on it'. And its shown as more than being a horny teen boy its preceeded by one of four scenes in season 1 where PJo show significant support to each other. Baby, when Joey can comfort him about his statutory rape being revealed when Dawson can't. Boyfriend where he turns up to take her out after she tells him about the baby keeping her up. Double Date where Pacey encourages Joey about her future as she reveals she needs financial help for college (Notice how Dawson shows a distinct lack of support in Beauty Contest in this area until Joey spells it out 'I would never laugh at you'. 'You just did'). Decisions were he takes his Dads car, drives her four hours, pays a prison guard $20 and likely got told off by his father so she can resolve her issue with her dad. Oh wait, they hated each other. I forgot!

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Regarding Aunt Gwen - you realise that she is a Joey/Dawson-shipper!
I do. I also realise that her analogy to her husband and the man she left him for was about Pacey-Joey-Dawson. That is why Joey asks her for advice and says what Gwen says 'It made me feel alive'.

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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.
Hey, I've complained about walking STD Pacey have I not. Its not that. Its that Dawson doesn't take so many opportunities to do the deed 1-4. He was not waiting for Joey, no matter what he says or what guilt he tries to lay on her, he bought condoms to sleep with Eve and considered sleeping with Eve after declining Joey in the Season 3 premiere. He talks and talks and talks. His first time with Jen was practically an accident after he tells her she didn't find him sexually attractive. 'I'll prove you wrong' sex where Jen had to initiate it. If she hadn't he may never have slept with anyone!

Did Dawson ever talk about how good Joey was in bed. He's the only character to rank sex partners with Natasha coming in at number 1. Even in the finale, he's skipping out on dates. He's over worked Ok, but there is always an excuse somewhere for Dawson.

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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.
Again, Its hard to argue when you find direct quotes unreliable. Joey says her relationship with Dawson was innocent, not Pacey. She said it. And she slept with Dawson, Pacey knows that, he got the morning after earful.

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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.
The insecurities are gone because they have grown up. Dawson and Joey haven't been a couple since they were 16. They end the series 25. If Joey really wanted Dawson she could have gone off to him in that 5 years but she didn't. And Joey has no obligation to get back together with Pacey. He tells her, if she wants Dawson then be with Dawson. She could have ran all the way back to New York. She didn't have to resume their relationship. Why would she throw herself into that drama again when she could just get another Christopher or Eddie or *insert meaningless pretentious writer here*? You are saying it yourself now, her relationship with Dawson has found its proper place. She is riveted to her 'fictional fantasy character choosing Dawson', not real Joey who can find fantasies entertaining and turn them off and go back to her actual life. That is what Dawson is working through too, working through the fantasy to get back to reality after, to his dismay, he lost sight of the real world.

Last edited by AsgardianJane; 03-08-2016 at 02:35 AM
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:40 AM
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I couldn’t resist the temptation to respond to AsgardianJane. I’ve really enjoyed the discussion about a show that both of us have clearly thought a great deal (too much?) about over a long period. I have decided not to respond in the point by point way we have been communicating as I think that is going around in circles.

Instead, I want to return briefly to what I think is a serious contradiction in your argument about the show.

1. You agree with me (or at least you seem to), that the show originally had a Dawson/Joey endgame envisioned by KW. You have also pointed out that when the series looked like it was about to come to an end in Season 4, the ending written was Dawson/Joey (the much loved/hated ‘Coda’). You have also accepted that Season 5 ended with Dawson/Joey. You have agreed that Season 6 didn’t end with an explicit Dawson/Joey (because you claimed that three such season endings in a row would be a bit much), but with a heavily implied Dawson/Joey. You have also said that the writers felt compelled for reasons of loyalty to stick with Dawson/Joey endgame throughout the 4 post-KW seasons. You have also agreed that the first episode of the finale was written with a Dawson/Joey ending in mind. As is obvious, I agree with all this, 100 per cent.
2. You then maintain that somehow, from Season 3 onwards, a Pacey/Joey ending was being prepared and signalled as the best possible ending, and have now gone further and started to argue that if we look closely at Season 1, there is evidence of this ending even there.

I don’t think both of these claims can be maintained simultaneously (writers had one ending in mind yet were simultaneously undermining that ending by providing us with a much better one – from the get go). I think there is a much simpler explanation for the ending we got. Pressure.

Let me explain. Planning for Season 3 is going nowhere fast, as bad idea piles on bad idea. Berlanti comes up with the notion that a new love triangle will be introduced: not the Eve (as a Jen replacement)-Dawson-Joey triangle that everyone must have realised was ridiculous and wouldn’t work even as they were working hard on it, but Pacey-Joey-Dawson. Pacey’s kissing of Joey is the kiss that saved a show, or so we are told. The difficulty for the writers with this triangle is that 1. There is no real foreshadowing of it in the first 2 seasons (in other words, I don’t for a minute buy your claim that the episode in season 1 where Pacey fancied Joey was anything other than a way the writers could get Dawson to start to face the fact that he was in love with Joey); 2. Fans had been shipping ‘Pacey-Andie’ (fanatically) and ‘Dawson-Joey’ (for two seasons). Therefore they had to work hard to make the new element of Pacey-Joey in any way credible and acceptable. So, first, Pacey-Andie have to be broken up, but Pacey cannot be to blame (so, Andie – someone fans loved in Season 2 – is destroyed and made to behave in ways that are just inexplicable; and Dawson becomes a complete douchebag – though, for the long term plan of a Dawson-Joey ending the writers had to maintain the soulmate narrative). The writers are more spectacularly successful in terms of the character destructions than they could have dreamed, and by the start of Season 5 have to get rid of Andie completely. By the end of Season 3, a substantial section of the viewers have decided that they not only want Pacey/Joey but that they hate Dawson. The vitriol poured out on Dawson on fanboards and foura in this period is extraordinary in terms of a major character in a series, and despite a sizeable number remaining loyal to Dawson-Joey, the majority do seem to have switched their allegiances (though the writers remain committed to Dawson-Joey).

Another factor that wasn’t fully counted on was the fact that the sexual chemistry between KH and JJ turns out to be fairly electric. This was because while KH genuinely likes JVDB, she actually fancied JJ (as she admitted in a recent interview, there was a ‘reality’ behind the kissing scenes with JJ that there wasn’t with JVDB). As much as I like KH, she is a limited actress, who finds it much easier to sell a scene when she personally feels it. JJ is a better actor, so can sell most things to viewers, but KH needs some help. While her scenes with JVDB are perfectly fine and good, they never match the scenes she has with JJ – but the key issue here is that the writers didn’t factor this intensity into their calculations. The gap between Pacey/Joey and JJ/KH becomes blurred for a lot of viewers in a way it never did with Dawson/Joey and JVDB/KH (where they were actually acting rather than being ‘real’). Hence the obsession with claiming that Pacey/Joey seemed ‘more real’ than Dawson/Joey: this has, I suggest, little to do with the writing, and more to do with the skill sets of the actors involved here. (on a side note, the best actors in the series were, in my opinion, in order of ability: Michelle Williams, Mary Beth Peil, Josh Jackson, Meredith Monroe, Monica Keena, and Mary-Margaret Humes).

The Pacey-Joey-Dawson triangle was invented as a way to get ratings up and a way to keep Dawson/Joey apart for a bit longer (the Moonlighting effect in operation here – if you get the two characters who are meant to be together too soon, the dynamic of the series will die; ironically, as Dawson’s Creek is first introduced as a mid-season replacement without any certainty as to whether it would be picked up for a second season, KW had written it as self-contained, so the proper ‘ending’ had already been reached, which meant an increasingly desperate attempt to find ways to keep the soulmates apart). In other words, Pacey/Joey was designed to be a part of the Dawson/Joey journey, and that design was maintained until the last fifteen minutes of the finale.

You say that I don’t tend to believe things that characters say about their relationships when they don’t conform to my idea of the series. This accusation is probably true to a certain extent, but it is also true of everyone. We all suffer confirmation bias, and look for evidence to confirm the theories we have already formed, and try to explain away evidence against that theory. So, for example, I certainly, completely, totally believe the characters when they try to explain themselves most of the time. I believe Joey, for example, when she says she has no problem with Pacey hooking up with Audrey. I believe her when she says she doesn’t feel it with Pacey and when she chooses Eddie over Pacey. I believe her completely when she says that the magic with Pacey faded away, but her relationship with Dawson is ‘pure magic’. I believe completely when Pacey says that being with Joey makes him feel like he is nothing. You tend to explain these things away. You put forward various reasons why you think we are not to take these statements as indicating that these characters really mean what they are saying, or that they are just too caught up in their emotions at the time. Fair enough. It is hard to know how to judge who is right in such debates. What I say is that we need to weigh up the various statements against the arc of the plot (always, always always – until the last 15 minutes – supposed to end with Dawson/Joey). When I do that, certain statements made by certain characters make more sense than others which I then contextualise as banter or evasion.

Finally, regarding Mr. Brook’s friend (his former best friend, who married Mr. Brooks’s soulmate). It is no coincidence that he was played by Andy Griffith; it is no surprise that this speech takes place in a season in which we are watching another example of what happens when two soulmates are separated by a friend This is not an accident – it is a direct comment on the events of Season 3 and 4, and takes place in an episode where Joey decides to have sex with Pacey. Its significance is crucial to recognise (and is consistent with the arc we agree that the writers had committed to). You also miss the most significant part of what he says to Dawson: when Mr. Brooks dies ‘he'll be with her. I suppose that's the way it…should have always been.’ I had to look that one up, as I haven’t seen the episode since it was first aired, but I remembered the importance of this conversation and the parallels (sometimes clunking ones) the writers were trying to draw.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JJH85 (View Post)


The writers did a few things like that which were uncharacteristic of some of the characters:

- Joey blaming Dawson for her father in S2
- Andie cheating on Pacey
- Pacey blowing up at Joey
- Jack spiralling in University
- Audrey's drunken bar bash while singing
Mostly agreed. There is a longer list. It would include Grams's behaviour Seasons 5-6. I think that - given the season that it was - Pacey would have blown up at Joey. However, I have never believed that he would do it in front of everyone else. No matter how mad he felt - not happening. I also don't think that Pacey would have failed to tell dawson that he had feelings for Joey in Season 3 before anything happened betwen them. Pacey never lacked in courage, and while we see that he intended to tell Dawson, he bailed out and lost his nerve. This is not something Pacey would do - if anything Pacey grabs the bull by the horns and has it out with people when it is necessary. The plot required him to bail out because it increased the tension, but looking back, it was completely out of character. If he had something to say he would have said it. It also could have avoided a lot of the bitterness around the Pacey-Joey-Dawson triangle, which would not have suited the plot either.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:17 PM
  #13
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And again I'm running out of time to comment, so only got to a few this time. Heading off to bed now.

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The Pacey line: ‘I remember everything’ was clearly meant to suggest (since he was in open competition with Dawson at this point) ‘and Dawson doesn’t’. It is a low blow, given the fact that Dawson actually knew Joey’s mother and cared about her, whereas Pacey and Joey didn’t even like each other when they were younger. Your suggestion that Pacey knows about Joey (better than...who?) is stretching things. That he figured out in Season 1 that Joey was in love with Dawson (not crushing on him) hardly demonstrates any great powers of perception. Everyone knew that she was in love with Dawson (including the dogs on the street), apart from Dawson. Everyone. Jen knew it. Grams knew it. Dawson’s parents knew it. Her father knew it (from prison no less). Bessie knew it. The ‘psychic’ woman in the Halloween episode knew it within a minute and a half. Everyone knows. Even Pacey. Joey tells us who knows her best: Dawson. She asks him to write that part of her college application for her (which Pacey is not particularly happy about).
Everyone except Dawson which I think it kind of the point of the statement about Pacey and Joey becoming closer. I don't think anyone was trying to say that Pacey knew her better, just that he knows things about her (and remembers everything) from their time together. And I don't think it was a low blow, it was an observation.

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Pacey and Joey's past relationship is not ignored in Season 5 – it’s just over (whereas, as she acknowledges, Dawson is her past, present and future'). As most viewers should have easily understood – there isn’t really any way to come back after ‘Promicide’ without requiring everyone to suspend credulity just to get two hot people together. The writers bring it up: they explicitly have Audrey ask Joey’s blessing because of her history with Pacey. Her past relationship with Pacey is emphasised. She explains something important to the viewer in that episode (and to Pacey – only he didn’t listen very closely): she doesn’t care who he sleeps with or who he is in a relationship with. All the viewers should know this by now because, as she explained carefully in Coda: the magic was gone. I completely agree with Pacey that ‘this show doesn’t do history’, and agree with your complaint that they tended to rush ahead without referencing back (hence all the Out of character behaviour). However, they did reference Pacey/Joey – to indicate why it didn’t work. In Season 6, after she is dumped by Eddie, Joey tries to give Pacey another go. He’s kind of an interregnum thing for her, filling in time. I don’t need to reconcile anything here – Joey’s last words to her relationship with Pacey clear things up beautifully. The second attempt with Pacey was for obvious reasons from Joey’s point of view: let’s see what happens between us if Dawson is not there in the foreground reminding me of other possibilities. And she finds out what happens – she doesn’t feel it, as she explains, ‘even without Dawson’. That she could drop Pacey for Eddie has always been the hardest thing to explain for Pacey/Joey shippers. Usually Dawson is held to blame for Joey’s supposedly bad choices, but here Joey explicitly sets out that Dawson is not the cause of this break up. The relationship with Pacey just doesn’t feel right. All the other episodes you are quoting come from before this breakup. Connecting ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Dawson in Season 1 to ‘honest drunk’ Joey kissing Pacey is Season 6 is a stretch. She would have preferred kissing … Eddie, had he been there. Basically, Joey gives the relationship a second go to see would it work without Dawson, and she finds out that the answer is, no, it wouldn’t.
You know the same could be said about Joey and Dawson in S2 after their second break up and in S5 when Joey is "relieved" that someone other than herself has to worry about Dawson.

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Joey clearly had come to terms with her mother’s death until we reach the end of Season 2. That is what the visit to her grave is supposed to indicate. She brings Dawson with her to show that now that her father is back and having reconciled with him, and with Dawson as her boyfriend, she can heal.
Well technically Joey didn't take Dawson to the Graveyard, they were already there for a funeral and I believe Dawson asked if she wanted the company, which was very sweet of him. He did get her feelings when it came to her mom.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:09 AM
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Everyone except Dawson which I think it kind of the point of the statement about Pacey and Joey becoming closer. I don't think anyone was trying to say that Pacey knew her better, just that he knows things about her (and remembers everything) from their time together. And I don't think it was a low blow, it was an observation.

Hmmm...This is an interesting observation. However, I think AsgardianJane was indeed making the argument that Pacey knows Joey better than Dawson ('I'm talking about understanding a person. The difference between knowing what someone did and why they did it, the way they think.'). My understanding of what AsgardianJane is saying here is that while Dawson knows more about what Joey 'did' (the things that happened in her life), Pacey actually understands her better. My point was the opposite. She doesn't get Dawson to write the essay on her college application becausae he can list off the things that happened to Joey in her life, but because he is the best person to explain what kind of a person she is, because he knows her better than anyone else in her life (including her current boyfriend). Dawson doesn't just know things about her - he knows her. Well, we might say, if he knows her so well, why on earth did he not realise in Season 1 that she was in love with him? The answer to this is fairly obvious and is made clear in their final scene in that Season: dawson is afraid of what falling in love will mean for their relationship because he is afraid of growing up. Everyone also knows that he is in love with Joey, but just doesn't want to face up to it. Does he 'know' she is in love with him...? Probably. He just doesn't want to face up to what that means.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jarlath1 (View Post)
1. You agree with me (or at least you seem to), that the show originally had a Dawson/Joey endgame envisioned by KW. You have also pointed out that when the series looked like it was about to come to an end in Season 4, the ending written was Dawson/Joey (the much loved/hated ‘Coda’). You have also accepted that Season 5 ended with Dawson/Joey. You have agreed that Season 6 didn’t end with an explicit Dawson/Joey (because you claimed that three such season endings in a row would be a bit much), but with a heavily implied Dawson/Joey. You have also said that the writers felt compelled for reasons of loyalty to stick with Dawson/Joey endgame throughout the 4 post-KW seasons. You have also agreed that the first episode of the finale was written with a Dawson/Joey ending in mind. As is obvious, I agree with all this, 100 per cent.
2. You then maintain that somehow, from Season 3 onwards, a Pacey/Joey ending was being prepared and signalled as the best possible ending, and have now gone further and started to argue that if we look closely at Season 1, there is evidence of this ending even there.

I don’t think both of these claims can be maintained simultaneously (writers had one ending in mind yet were simultaneously undermining that ending by providing us with a much better one – from the get go). I think there is a much simpler explanation for the ending we got. Pressure.
No. I believe that a DJo ending was planned all along but that doesn't mean they didn't build up a credible PJo relationship and that not everything about them was about Dawson. You tie every argument, every moment to Dawson.

We know there is evidence in Season 1 that they would get together. Objectively. Kevin Williamson told us so. It was seeing their chemistry in season 1 that made him want to pursue PJo later on. At the ATX festival last year he doesn't dispute it when Julie Plec says you can see it coming in the Pilot. Season 1 was where they decided to do PJo. Double Date was the moment it happened that they would go all in. As stated in Detention, there is meant to be sexual tension between the 4 of them. The kiss in Double Date is not out of nowhere, he's been grabbing her ass and trading sexy banter with Joey for the past 9 episodes. And on top of that in Season 3 they go further and say that Pacey has been chasing Joey around for years. Joshua Jackson of course adlibbed that bit in the finale. 'I have always, always loved you' because he was not happy about the PJo amnesia.

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Let me explain. Planning for Season 3 is going nowhere fast, as bad idea piles on bad idea. Berlanti comes up with the notion that a new love triangle will be introduced: not the Eve (as a Jen replacement)-Dawson-Joey triangle that everyone must have realised was ridiculous and wouldn’t work even as they were working hard on it, but Pacey-Joey-Dawson.
I think you are confused with the timeline here. Eve-Dawson-Joey was never going to be a major thing. See the end of Season 3 episode 1 on the dock. PJo is moving forward full steam ahead from that moment. That was Berlanti's central take on where he was going. His time on the show as main story writer is summed up by the rise and fall of PJo.

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Pacey’s kissing of Joey is the kiss that saved a show, or so we are told. The difficulty for the writers with this triangle is that 1. There is no real foreshadowing of it in the first 2 seasons (in other words, I don’t for a minute buy your claim that the episode in season 1 where Pacey fancied Joey was anything other than a way the writers could get Dawson to start to face the fact that he was in love with Joey);
No foreshadowing beyond Pacey telling Dawson he found Joey attractive and wanting to ask her out? Williamson said himself they purposely kept 'a lid on it'.

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2. Fans had been shipping ‘Pacey-Andie’ (fanatically) and ‘Dawson-Joey’ (for two seasons). Therefore they had to work hard to make the new element of Pacey-Joey in any way credible and acceptable. So, first, Pacey-Andie have to be broken up, but Pacey cannot be to blame (so, Andie – someone fans loved in Season 2 – is destroyed and made to behave in ways that are just inexplicable; and Dawson becomes a complete douchebag – though, for the long term plan of a Dawson-Joey ending the writers had to maintain the soulmate narrative). The writers are more spectacularly successful in terms of the character destructions than they could have dreamed, and by the start of Season 5 have to get rid of Andie completely. By the end of Season 3, a substantial section of the viewers have decided that they not only want Pacey/Joey but that they hate Dawson. The vitriol poured out on Dawson on fanboards and foura in this period is extraordinary in terms of a major character in a series, and despite a sizeable number remaining loyal to Dawson-Joey, the majority do seem to have switched their allegiances (though the writers remain committed to Dawson-Joey).
I also think you are mistaken here. Pacey and Andie were for all purposes broken up in Season 2. She was going to do a Henry. Its the very fact that because she was popular she was brought back. 3 months to be 'cured' of mental instability her mother is institutionalised for? She was there to be an interim love interest for Pacey, like Jack was to be an interim love interest for Joey. Only with Jack his sexuality made for more of a story. They tried to make stories for Andie, it didn't work. Once she was not a problem for PJo there was no plot left and she went.

The problem with Dawson is the same issue they have in season 1. For all the complaining about season 3 Dawson, Season 1 Dawson with Jen is probably worse. The way he judges her, shames her, doesn't have any trust in her and feels owed because he is a 'nice guy'. I don't see Season 3 Dawson as that far off.

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Another factor that wasn’t fully counted on was the fact that the sexual chemistry between KH and JJ turns out to be fairly electric. This was because while KH genuinely likes JVDB, she actually fancied JJ (as she admitted in a recent interview, there was a ‘reality’ behind the kissing scenes with JJ that there wasn’t with JVDB). As much as I like KH, she is a limited actress, who finds it much easier to sell a scene when she personally feels it. JJ is a better actor, so can sell most things to viewers, but KH needs some help. While her scenes with JVDB are perfectly fine and good, they never match the scenes she has with JJ – but the key issue here is that the writers didn’t factor this intensity into their calculations. The gap between Pacey/Joey and JJ/KH becomes blurred for a lot of viewers in a way it never did with Dawson/Joey and JVDB/KH (where they were actually acting rather than being ‘real’). Hence the obsession with claiming that Pacey/Joey seemed ‘more real’ than Dawson/Joey: this has, I suggest, little to do with the writing, and more to do with the skill sets of the actors involved here. (on a side note, the best actors in the series were, in my opinion, in order of ability: Michelle Williams, Mary Beth Peil, Josh Jackson, Meredith Monroe, Monica Keena, and Mary-Margaret Humes).
PJo happened entirely because of their chemistry. You often find it in shows that you can't cast chemistry. It springs up where you least expect it. So while there was meant to be a frisson between them with their back and forth it was explosive. You can't separate acting and writing as two separate things, they both combine to make the show. As much as you can write 'a kiss for the ages' if the actors can't sell it its not there. You can put as much mood music behind it as you want. What ended up happening is that PJo was in some ways accidental. Even when they got them together as planned, it was just too good. They are going to end PJo in Show me Love, its too good so keep it going. They are going to end PJo in True Love, its too good, the aftermath and potential is too great so keep it going. They are going to end PJo early in season 4, it provides great outlets for the characters, keep going. They could have probably found reasons to keep it going for even longer, like I said, Pacey and Joey living together was never shown. That banter would have been comedic gold like when Ben and Felicity moved in together for an episode.

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The Pacey-Joey-Dawson triangle was invented as a way to get ratings up and a way to keep Dawson/Joey apart for a bit longer (the Moonlighting effect in operation here – if you get the two characters who are meant to be together too soon, the dynamic of the series will die; ironically, as Dawson’s Creek is first introduced as a mid-season replacement without any certainty as to whether it would be picked up for a second season, KW had written it as self-contained, so the proper ‘ending’ had already been reached, which meant an increasingly desperate attempt to find ways to keep the soulmates apart). In other words, Pacey/Joey was designed to be a part of the Dawson/Joey journey, and that design was maintained until the last fifteen minutes of the finale.
Last 45 minutes of the finale. And I agree with that. I just don't agree with your assertion that every bump for PJo is the death knell or that there was no set up for PJo prior to season 3.

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You say that I don’t tend to believe things that characters say about their relationships when they don’t conform to my idea of the series. This accusation is probably true to a certain extent, but it is also true of everyone. We all suffer confirmation bias, and look for evidence to confirm the theories we have already formed, and try to explain away evidence against that theory. So, for example, I certainly, completely, totally believe the characters when they try to explain themselves most of the time. I believe Joey, for example, when she says she has no problem with Pacey hooking up with Audrey. I believe her when she says she doesn’t feel it with Pacey and when she chooses Eddie over Pacey. I believe her completely when she says that the magic with Pacey faded away, but her relationship with Dawson is ‘pure magic’. I believe completely when Pacey says that being with Joey makes him feel like he is nothing. You tend to explain these things away. You put forward various reasons why you think we are not to take these statements as indicating that these characters really mean what they are saying, or that they are just too caught up in their emotions at the time. Fair enough. It is hard to know how to judge who is right in such debates. What I say is that we need to weigh up the various statements against the arc of the plot (always, always always – until the last 15 minutes – supposed to end with Dawson/Joey). When I do that, certain statements made by certain characters make more sense than others which I then contextualise as banter or evasion.
But I don't believe the characters are necessarily lying or purposely not saying what they really feel unless we are guided to. When Joey says to Pacey that they have to deal with the people they used to love and that her future is with him, we are given no indication its a lie. When she says her future is with Pacey in Self Reliance there is no indication its a lie and the previous instance she said it supports it. Using the examples you give:

Joey has no problem with Pacey hooking up with Audrey- No one disputes that in the context of the show (the summer diaries on the website did. They had Joey write that she had to appear OK with it but that she doesn't like it and she doesn't like the idea of Pacey having an experience like their summer away with Audrey. Why not put that in the show?) We are saying that its weird and not emotionally real.
Joey 'Doesn't Feel It'- We dispute that because its contradictory to her words and actions in the previous 4 episodes. Also the fact that when she goes back to Eddie she isn't exactly delighted when her face falls as they hug. The writers also set up Joey's fear in 'That Was Then', 'Love Bites', 'Catch-22' and 'Joey Potter and the Capeside Redemption'. We are given reason to doubt she actually feels that way. That was then used to form the basis of Joey's 'Off the Hook' reply and the 'I've always known' speech.
'Pure Magic'- I don't dispute this. Magic isn't real. It doesn't really dispel my vision of Joey. Reality hit her hard at the end of Season 4 with the harsh reality that she can't live happily ever after at that time. She wants to hold on to 'magic', 'fairy dust', 'childhood' longer.
'I feel like I'm nothing'- Remember earlier in the episode Pacey says he is angry at Joey but doesn't know why? His Promicide rant is clarified in their talk after and in 'Seperation Anxiety'. He doesn't just blow up and leave it at that, there is an afterword. Which of course ends with 'If I were lucky enough to own a boat and I would ask the woman I love to come sailing with me, would she?' 'You wouldn't have to ask Pace'. PJo, not done. Which makes Season 5 even weirder but like I said, they worked very, very hard to get people back on the DJo train.

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Finally, regarding Mr. Brook’s friend (his former best friend, who married Mr. Brooks’s soulmate). It is no coincidence that he was played by Andy Griffith; it is no surprise that this speech takes place in a season in which we are watching another example of what happens when two soulmates are separated by a friend This is not an accident – it is a direct comment on the events of Season 3 and 4, and takes place in an episode where Joey decides to have sex with Pacey. Its significance is crucial to recognise (and is consistent with the arc we agree that the writers had committed to). You also miss the most significant part of what he says to Dawson: when Mr. Brooks dies ‘he'll be with her. I suppose that's the way it…should have always been.’ I had to look that one up, as I haven’t seen the episode since it was first aired, but I remembered the importance of this conversation and the parallels (sometimes clunking ones) the writers were trying to draw.
I know the quote, hence why I said 'self defeatist'. Pacey is the same in Season 4, waiting for the other shoe to drop and for Joey to leave him. That does not mean she had the intention to no matter what he thought. He left her in the end. As I said, the woman doesn't get an opinion. In the end, its less about her and more about the relationship between the two men. Griffith's character and his insecurities despite a happy life with the woman he loved, and Brooks who lost his best friend and lived as grumpy old man on the other side of the country. But these two men clearly loved each other and had regrets.

Joey chooses to follow her heart and sleep with Pacey, she mimics the decision of the woman to choose Griffith and not Brooks. She never expresses regret for this and never says sorry for it. As I said, that scene between Dawson and Joey is so much more touching to me because they don't end up together. It is a key moment in them saying goodbye. Similarly the last scene from 'Home Movies' where the Jude song plays about a woman marrying another man while she watches the video of her and Dawson as a kid. The same episode 'True Love' is revealed which starts with Pacey telling Dawson she's a heartbreaker. So much in those seasons is made richer with the ending we got.
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