Making (Non)Sense of Teen Drama

How this works:

  • I run a random number generator to pick an episode.
  • I watch the episode.
  • I fill in the gaps.

Random Number: 65

Episode: “You Had Me At Goodbye”

As I watched this episode, I really tried to find each character’s trajectory and the driving forces that brought them all together. There is an overarching connection, which we’ll discuss later, but first I want to cover a couple individual characters’ stories.

The episode opens in a high school guidance counselor’s office with Joey Potter sitting in a chair while the counselor sifts randomly through a filing cabinet. With a look of fear and uncertainty, Miss Potter mentions college-application related stress and her lifelong dream of going to clown college.

Years later, in the series finale, Miss Potter would finally receive her letter of acceptance and standard-issue bottle of seltzer water from the prestigious Toby’s Clown School #296 in Lake Placid, Florida.

In a later scene, we are introduced to the infamous creek owner: Dawson Leery. This scene marks the instance where we finally learn Dawson’s true origin. It becomes quite clear that Dawson Leery, seen here whitewashing a fence, is, in fact, none other than Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain’s famous text.

On a muggy day in the summer of 1885, Tom stowed away on a steamboat on the Mississippi River. It just so happened that Nikola Tesla was also aboard the steamboat on a tour of America, and had brought along some of his more impressive inventions. Tom, being a perpetual rascal, stole a space-time manipulation device from Tesla’s luggage and was instantly transported to Massachusetts in the early 1990s. He changed his name to Dawson and did his best to blend in.

The last character I want to talk about is Drue Valentine. It’s clear early on that Drue is a sociopath with an extra case of the crazies. In this episode we see him repeatedly trying to ruin Jen Lindley’s life. In a season five montage, Drue’s character becomes a little more fleshed out (pardon my pun) when we see him killing dozens of minorities and wearing their skin in a last-ditch attempt to get hired via affirmative action.

Drue’s actions can probably be traced back to the ridiculous spelling of his name.

And finally the driving force between the intertwined lives of the people of Capeside: genetic research. The Capeside Six (Joey Potter, Dawson Leery, Pacey Witter, Jen Lindley, Jack McPhee, and Andie McPhee), as they came to be known, are the end result of decades of genetic research in radiation alteration, as shown in a season six montage before the montage about Andie’s career in international espionage. Before high school, The Capeside Six were entered into a secret government program called Project Alpha Race. They were subjected to acute radiation and came out with genius-level intelligence, model-level bone structure, and mid-twenties-level aging.

So, there you have it. Dawson’s Creek in a nutshell. Notice I didn’t go for the obvious Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes joke regarding the episode title. Anyway, I hope you learned something. Happy Dawson’s Cweek!

– Patrick McDonald, Staff Writer


About Patrick McDonald

Writer, human. I like to ruin TV shows.


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