Dawson's Creek Turns 20: The 10 Most Gut-Wrenching Episodes



The Dawson's Creek pilot turns 20 today (WTF)! I wrote this and thought I'd submit it for you guys since a few of you requested I do that. :o)



1. Season 1, Episode 12: "Beauty Contest"

While many fans remember the episode where Joey enters the Miss Windjammer pageant in the hopes of winning $5,000 toward her college tuition for her rendition of "Own My Own" from Les Misérables or Pacey’s outlandish monologue in the style of William Wallace as the only male contestant, there was a lot more going on.



"Beauty Contest" is the first time Dawson Leery sees — truly sees — his lifelong best friend as something more. Jen instantly picks up on this backstage as they watch Joey perform, and Dawson grasps it even harder afterward when he and Joey have yet another conversation about how their feelings are changing. It’s no surprise their first (real — the staged one in "Detention" doesn’t count) kiss was only one episode away.

Standout Quote: "It's just makeup — and hairspray — and tomorrow I'll be back to being Joey. Just Joey. The too-tall girl that lives on the wrong side of the creek." — Joey Potter

2. Season 2, Episodes 14 and 15: "To Be or Not to Be"/"…That Is the Question"

This two-parter revolved around Jack McPhee — who is new to Capeside, alongside his sister Andie — coming to terms with the fact that he is gay and being forced by the actual worst teacher in the history of teaching to read a poem out loud that he is not ready to read.

If the close-to-tears tone in Jack's voice and Mr. Peterson forcing him to continue reading weren't enough to get waterworks going, the moment Pacey spits in the latter’s face was (secondary to the cheers, of course).



The second part sees an extremely emotional Jack pleading with his estranged father (played by the late David Dukes) to face the situation head-on, and the acting by Kerr Smith during this heated exchange still has many fans wondering why he doesn't have an Emmy on his home mantel.



Luckily, Jack has a huge amount of support from his sister, friends and Jen's Grams. And he and his dad do work it out — but not for a season and a half.

Standout Quote: "If Jack is gay, he doesn't need your judgment, young man. The Lord above will be the one to judge him, as he will judge all of us." — Evelyn "Grams" Ryan

3. Season 3, Episode 20: "The Longest Day"

Season 3 remains one of if not the strongest season of Dawson’s Creek in that it represented the true climax of the series. Boiled down to one episode, that climax is "The Longest Day," when Joey and Pacey finally work up the (admittedly hesitant) courage to tell Dawson they have romantic feelings for each other. It’s told from three different points of view, which also makes it a pretty unique episode, emotional impact aside.



As one would expect, Dawson reacts very poorly, even though he was the one who asked Pacey to keep an eye out for Joey after Dawson himself rejected her. But that’s textbook Dawson — and it doesn’t change the fact that anyone who has been on the receiving end of betrayal not only from their best friend but also their assumed romantic soulmate knew what the poor guy was feeling, lash-outs and all. And it sucked.

Standout Quote: "Ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?" — Joey Potter (voice-over)

4. Season 4, Episode 20: "Promicide"

Pacey spends two entire seasons making everyone fall in love with him as Joey does (remember when he watched her sleep, and as a teenager that wasn’t at all creepy but now sort of is?), then promptly smashes that visage with a temper tantrum at the gang’s prom that ends with him dumping Joey in front of the entire senior class.



And it's not because Joey is upset that he messed up the flowers and the limo or other items on the laundry list of things he thinks he has to do to make Joey happy. It's because deep down, Pacey thinks he isn't good enough for her, and she's going off to college to become something great while he's stuck in Capeside with his insecurities.



For those who had been rooting for this couple from the beginning, it was a rough 44 minutes. Luckily, the writers put Joey and Pacey together in the end, and for that they deserve the world.

Standout Quote: "You break my heart into a thousand pieces, and you say it’s because I deserve better?" — Joey Potter



Source; Video Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Can't believe it's been 20 effing years. What's your favorite/most tear-inducing DC episode, ONTD?
  • Current Location: Capeside, Mass.
  • Current Mood: Angsty
  • Current Music: "I Don't Want to Wait" - Paula Cole