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'Dawson's Creek' nostalgia recap: 'Your life is a hurricane'

Season 1| Episode 5 | “Hurricane” | Aired Feb 17, 1998

This week on Dawson’s Creek, Hurricane Christopher bears down on Capeside, while Hurricane Dawson threatens to wreak havoc on the lives of everyone close to him.

Dawson and Joey take a break from their disaster-movie night (always on the nose, these two) to watch the local news. Much to their delight, they learn that school is canceled thanks to an impending hurricane. “It looks like tomorrow would be a good day just to stay in bed,” Gail coos to Bob while Dawson yells at his mother on the TV for being blatantly obvious about her affair.

Joey asks him if Gail knows that he knows (“They don’t know that we know that they know we know”), and Dawson reveals that both parents are still in the dark. Joey tells him he’s going to have to deal with this sooner or later. “Everything is postponed because of the hurricane, my life included,” he says petulantly. “Your LIFE is a hurricane,” she quips. TRUTH.

Pacey is stuck helping his brother, Deputy Doug (Dylan Neal), secure the beach. Pacey incessantly teases his brother by saying that he’s gay, which Doug furiously denies, his showtune-filled CD collection be dammed. “Answer me this: Why did you choose a profession that requires you to dress like one of the Village People?” Pacey jokes. I can’t believe people weren’t up in arms about this dialogue in 1998. It would never fly today. The brothers come upon Tamara’s house to find her freaked out by the storm. Much to Pacey’s chagrin, Doug starts hitting on Tamara, as he is completely unaware that his little brother has been hitting that on the regular. Awkward.

Everyone gathers at the Leerys’. Jen offers to help Dawson with preparations, but he continues to freeze her out. Moving porch furniture is something only virgins can do. It’s in the Bible; look it up. Grams is uncomfortable due to the presence of Bessie, Bodie, and their unborn bastard child, because sin is contagious. Gail has no sense of discretion, and Dawson overhears her on the phone with Bob. “Got a new award for you, Mom,” he says angrily. “It’s not a trophy though. It comes in the form of an A.” She tries to explain herself, but Dawson is having none of it.

Jen warns Dawson that Gail’s affair probably has little to do with sex. Dawson lashes out that Jen would obviously defend Gail and her need to have multiple partners. Fallen women unite! Jen storms out, saying that not everyone can be as perfect as he is. Dawson hears a sneeze come from his closet and discovers Joey in her favorite place. She tries to cajole him into playing Jaws in his closet like they did when they were kids, but Dawson is still mad at her for lying to him last week. She tells him that she knows what he is going through, and he should be grateful he even has a mother to be angry with. That’s right. She played the dead mom card.

At Tamara’s, Doug investigates a crash on the porch. She comments that Doug is nice and Pacey tells her that he’s a closet case (again—way to go, 1998). He goes in for a kiss, which freaks her out, since their affair is a felony and all. She kisses him anyway because the recklessness turns her on. Later, over a game of Monopoly, Doug and Tamara bond over musical theater. Doug asks her out, which shocks her, because she lived on Christopher Street in Chelsea and knows a gay man when she sees one (YUP). Doug pulls his gun on Pacey, demanding that his brother tell Tamara he’s straight. It’s hard to tell who is having more fun in this storm, the Leerys or the Witter brothers.

Gail finds Mitch and Dawson in the kitchen and starts babbling about she’s never achieved her journalistic dream of being the next Diane Sawyer. Knowing that something is wrong, Mitch asks her to get to the point. The point, she says, is that for the past 62 days, she’s been sleeping with another man. The power blows. Mitch doesn’t acknowledge Gail but instead starts gathering candles for everyone else. She starts to cry and pleads for Mitch to talk to her. “Don’t you cry,” he snaps. “You don’t get to cry.”

Jen finds Joey on the porch, where Joey tells her Dawson was wrong to take out his anger on her. “Well, I guess I’m no longer the virgin queen of Dawson Leery’s handheld fantasies,” Jen replies. They joke about his penis size. He should be so lucky to have either of them touch his penis.

Dawson finds an unlikely friend in Grams (showing shades of her latter-season awesomeness). They bond over their love for Capra and Spielberg, and she says the best thing about those movies is that no matter how fall a character fell, they got a second chance. With forgiveness comes understanding, she counsels.

Gail joins Mitch in his car, where he’s been sitting since her confession. “It’s Bob, isn’t it?” He tells Gail about the first time he saw her and how he choose to love her. “But as quickly as I made that decision 20 years ago to love you, I’m taking it back. I don’t want to love you anymore. I choose to hate you now.” He demands that she get out of the car before he has to physically remove her, then speeds off, leaving her sobbing in the rain.

The next morning, Doug apologizes to Tamara for whipping out his (literal) gun and then asks her out again. She says she’s seeing someone, much to Pacey’s delight. Later she tells Pacey that they are getting sloppy. They have to end their relationship … and then she pulls him into her house. Mixed messages much?

Jen finds Dawson and tells him her story: She lost her virginity at 12, which sent her on a spiral that culminated in her parents catching her having sex in their bed. She refuses to apologize for her past. This is who she is, and everything she’s done has brought her to Capeside. She can start over, and she’d like Dawson to be a part of that (ugh). Dawson agrees, but only if she’ll have him; he says that after his behavior, he doesn’t deserve her (ACCURATE). They hug and agree to a “take two.”

Mitch comes home and sees Gail sitting on the porch swing. He sits on the steps and asks her why she cheated. She admits she had no reason other than “wanting to want again.” She woke up one day and realized her life was perfect and that perfection made her restless. But now? She wants back everything she lost. Mitch says he doesn’t want to talk anymore and they sit in uneasy silence.

The last stop on Dawson’s forgiveness tour is Joey. He apologizes and says he wants to be a friend worthy of her. (At least Dawson realizes he deserves neither Jen nor Joey, so that’s progress!) Joey apologizes for playing the dead mom card. Dawson asks what he can do to be a better friend. “Just for tonight, can we put our rapid ascent to adulthood on hold, please?” she asks. Dawson grins and they look toward his closet. After all, nothing says “adulthood on hold” like sitting in a closet with your best friend, playing Jaws.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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