Alongside Dawson's Creek

Rev. 22-Feb-1998
Chaz Boston Baden,

Warning! Contains spoilers! If you haven't seen every episode aired, this page will give away big chunks of character development. You Have Been Warned.

On the Beach

In A Prelude to a Kiss, we see the same thing happening to different characters. Granted, one set of characters is at a fictional remove from the rest - the man and woman in the shot from "From Here to Eternity" - but still, since it's what helped inspire this page I'll lead with it. To recap, the episode opened with Joey and Dawson watching an old black and white movie clip, which turned out to be the kissing-in-the-surf scene of "From Here to Eternity." Dawson is waxing nauseous about how he wants His First Kiss With Jen to be special just like in the movies. Meanwhile Joey is throwing out potshots about getting sand in your shorts, and how the actors themselves had other things on their minds besides their characters' fates.

And, later on, Joey meets Anderson, the Richie Rich kid from New York City, and spins him a song and dance about being a boarding school girl herself. They sail off together, and wind up on a miscellaneous island playing in the sand and the surf. Obvious parallel situation to the b-and-w clip, and she gets to find out what it's really like being in that kind of situation.

But on the island we learn she doesn't know her own mind; on the one hand, she probably thinks she's been flirting up a storm, while on the other hand, Anderson reports getting clear "hands-off" signals. That misunderstanding cleared up, they eventually part on good terms... or do they?

The other parallel takes an extra episode or two to crop up. Because in A Prelude to a Kiss, Anderson makes a point of saying he's interested in honesty in a relationship. This makes Joey uncomfortable, and she fidgets because she knows she's been lying to him, and continues to do so right up to the very end. But she reaches too far - she talks about meeting in New York and visiting a restaurant that actually closed down five years before - and realizes that she's blown her cover. And he forgives her. Nothing big about it, but he gives her his phone number anyway, and tells her to call him. [Cynical footnote: assuming he gave out his correct number.] Joey can't face him again, though - because she'd have to come clean - and tosses the note out in the rain and the mud. (Rains a lot in Capeside, especially when it's good for the plot.)

Okay, there's "Honesty in a Relationship" part one. Part two is, of course, Dawson and Carnal Knowledge. He stumbles onto Mom kissing Bob, the co-anchor at work, after having joked about it in Emotions in Motion. And on top of Mom's dishonesty (because obviously she hasn't told Dad), he learns that Joey already knew (having seen Mom kiss Bob good-night an episode or two earlier), and does not handle it gracefully. He declares Joey a non-friend, and preaches the importance of honesty when he talks to Jen - and then immediately blows chunks when Jen tries the honesty thing, just a little.

Which, of course, means that we find out that he's not honest about his own feelings, when he avoids poor li'l Jen at school etc. But leaving that side, we have the Dawson-vs.-Anderson parallel. We never get a chance to see if Anderson would handle the truth about Joey gracefully; we think he would, and perhaps he'll show up again?

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