Dawson's Creek Wiki

Season 5 of American teen drama Dawson's Creek originally aired on the WB. This season is the gang's first year in college.


Last season culminated with the bittersweet graduation of Dawson (James Van Der Beek, Varsity Blues), Joey (Katie Holmes, Wonder Boys), Pacey (Joshua Jackson, The Skulls), Jen (Michelle Williams, Dick) and Jack (Kerr Smith, Final Destination). Lifelong friends and confidantes, Joey and Dawson shared one last kiss as they faced being on separate coasts with Dawson following his Hollywood dream at USC film school and Joey fulfilling her academic destiny at Worthington College in Boston. The third side of last spring's romantic triangle, Pacey, begins the fall entering the working world. He left Capeside after graduating from high school and headed for the high seas. At the end of the summer, he reluctantly returns to Boston and faces his future. While his friends are all in college classes and co-ed dorms, Pacey gets a job in a restaurant and gains confidence that he actually might find something he's good at doing.

Jen and Jack continue their running commentary on all things insipid at the ripest of places, party school Boston Bay College. Jack joins a fraternity and embraces this new world with surprising zest, leaving Jen feeling on the outside. The two bunk with Grams (Mary Beth Piel, The King and I on Broadway), Jen's grandmother, who packed up her life in Capeside and moved to the big city. Grams and her weekly Sunday night dinners provide the stability of some semblance of home and family. Leaving their small town cocoon and heading into the unknown, each struggles to find his or her place in the world as dreams don't always match up with reality. Still contemplating his last kiss with Joey, Dawson embarks on his USC program with an internship in the film industry in California while Joey tackles the challenges of living up to her own academic expectations, a new roommate and a life without her best friend. Jen meanwhile finds herself drawn into a whirlwind relationship without the usual discourse and Jack adjusts to a long-distance relationship and life as an openly gay college student.


James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery
Katie Holmes as Joey Potter
Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley
Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter
Kerr Smith as Jack McPhee
Mary Beth Peil as Evelyn Ryan (11 episodes)
Special Guest Stars
Mary-Margaret Humes as Gale Leery (7 episodes)
John Wesley Shipp as Mitch Leery (2 episodes)
Nina Repeta as Bessie Potter (4 episodes)
Busy Philipps as Audrey Liddell (22 episodes)
Chad Michael Murray as Charlie Todd (12 episodes)
Ken Marino as David Wilder (10 episodes)
Ian Kahn as Danny Brecher (9 episodes)
Lourdes Benedicto as Karen Torres (7 episodes)
Sherilyn Fenn as Alex Pearl (3 episodes)
Dylan Neal as Doug Witter ("The Lost Weekend)
David Monahan as Tobey Barrett ("Use Your Disillusion")
M2M as M2M ("100 Light Years From Home")
Recurring cast
Jordan Bridges as Oliver Chirchick (7 episodes)
Ryan Bittle as Eric (6 episodes)
Guest starring
Ned Brower as Elliott Sawyer (3 episodes)
Meredith Salenger as Amy Lloyd (2 episodes)
Pauley Perrette as Rachel Weir (2 episodes)
Jennifer Morrison as Melanie Thompson (2 episodes)
Hal Ozsan as Todd Carr (2 episodes)
Andrea Pearson as Nora (2 episodes)
Brenda Strong as Kay Liddell ("High Anxiety")
Nicole Bilderback as Heather Tracy ("The Bostonians")
Jodi Thelan as Susan ("The Long Goodbye")
Bryce Johnson as Library Guy ("Four Scary Stories")
Jonah Blechman as Tad ("Four Scary Stories")
Drew Wood as Steve ("In A Lonely Place")
Nick Cornish as Wynn ("In A Lonely Place")
Tac Fitzgerald as Chris Hartford ("100 Light Years From Home")
Jack Plotnick as Andrew Waller ("Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)")
Afemo Omilami as Clifton Smalls (2 episodes)
Scott Stevens as Nathan ("Highway To Hell")



Season 5/Gallery


1 The Bostonians Tom Kapinos 10 OCTOBER 2001 82
In the fifth-season opener, the gang takes on college life --- except for Pacey, who's lying low as he docks the yacht in Boston Harbor after sailing away the summer. Joey is struggling in her writing class at Worthington College as she measures her academic dreams against reality and tries to deal with her separation from Dawson, who's continuing his studies at USC with an internship in Hollywood. Elsewhere, at Boston Bay College, Jack and Jen make their way around campus and search for a frat party to attend, as Jack declares that it's time for Jen to meet a new guy and start a "whirlwind college romance."
2 The Lost Weekend Gina Fattore 17 OCTOBER 2001 83
Dawson visits Joey in Boston, and all goes well until he gets an unusual message on his answering machine. Meanwhile, Pacey is interested in the restaurant business; and Jen and Jack go to a frat party, where Jen meets a new guy (guest star Chad Michael Murray, "Gilmore Girls").
3 Capeside Revisited Jeffrey Stepakoff 24 OCTOBER 2001 84
Joey learns that Pacey is living in Boston and working at a nearby restaurant. Also in town is Dawson, who's not happy in Los Angeles and is thinking about staying on the East Coast. Meanwhile, Jack gets used to being a Sig Ep brother; and Jen and Charlie take their relationship to a new level.
4 Four Scary Stories Jed Seidel 12 DECEMBER 2001 86
Jen takes over Charlie's (guest star Chad Michael Murray) nighttime shift on the radio and plays DJ to a host of listeners who call in with terrifying tales.
5 The Long Goodbye Tom Kapinos 31 OCTOBER 2001 85
The Leerys deal with the aftermath of Mitch's car accident. As friends and family gather around to lend support, Dawson tries to come to terms with the last time he saw his father.
6 Use Your Disillusion Rina Mimoun 7 NOVEMBER 2001 87
Dawson takes Joey up on an offer to visit her for a weekend in Boston. Meanwhile, Jack is surprised when his boyfriend (guest star David Monahan) visits unexpectedly and makes Jack choose between spending time with him or the fraternity.
7 High Anxiety Allison Robinson & Joshua Krist 14 NOVEMBER 2001 88
Dawson suffers anxiety attacks while trying to deal with the death of his father, so he takes a trip to Boston to get away from his troubles. While in town, he goes to the frat house with Jack.
8 Text, Lies and Videotape Karin Lewicki 21 NOVEMBER 2001 89
With support from Jen, Dawson decides to see a doctor in Boston about his anxiety attacks, while Pacey makes his move with Karen (guest star Lourdes Benedicto, "ER") despite her relationship with his boss (guest star Ian Kahn). On the college front, Audrey makes an audition tape for "Real World Ibiza."
9 Hotel New Hampshire Diego Gutierrez 28 NOVEMBER 2001 90
Joey is feeling left out of Dawson's life since he has been spending more time with Jen at their post-therapy ritual, and Jen and Jack are growing apart because of the amount of time Jack spends at the frat house. To get away from a while, Dawson takes Jen with him to a film festival in New Hampshire, where his documentary is being honored. While the two enjoy the event, they reach a new level in their relationship that could radially alter their friendship.
10 Appetite for Destruction Anna Fricke 19 DECEMBER 2001 91
Pacey decides to throw a large dinner party at Grams' house to reunite all of his high-school friends, but Joey is in for a surprise when she walks in on a kiss between Dawson and Jen.
11 Something Wild Jeffrey Stepakoff 16 JANUARY 2002 92
Fall break is in full swing as Joey, Pacey and Audrey (Busy Philipps) celebrate their accomplishments at a Boston bar; Dawson takes Jen back to Capeside to tell Gale (Mary-Margaret Humes) they're dating again.
12 Sleeping Arrangements Jed Seidel 23 JANUARY 2002 93
Jen and Dawson adjust to their new living arrangements in Grams' house, while Pacey finds out that he has an opportunity to sail around the Greek Islands. Back at the frat house, Jack finds out that one of the brothers didn't want to room with him.
13 Something Wilder Rina Mimoun 30 JANUARY 2002 94
Jen buys Dawson back-to-school presents to start off his first day of film school in Boston. Meanwhile, Joey gets too close for comfort for Professor Wilder, and Jack learns that he is on academic probation.
14 Guerilla Filmmaking Julia Rask 6 FEBRUARY 2002 95
Dawson starts to direct a film and lets Audrey (Busy Phillips) play the leading lady. Meanwhile, Audrey tries to fight her growing attraction to Pacey. In the frat world, Jack makes a tough decision about being a Sigma Epsilon brother.
15 Downtown Crossing Tom Kapinos 13 FEBRUARY 2002 96
Freshman Joey decides to pay a nighttime visit to Prof. Wilder, so she stops at an ATM to get money for the train, unaware that she's being watched. As she heads for the train station, she's approached by a stranger (guest star Samuel Ball), who asks if she can spare some cash. Joey refuses and the man goes away. But he soon returns and he's no longer asking for a handout: He's demanding her cash and belongings. The situation ends up taking an unexpected turn, one that could radically change Joey's perspective on life.
16 In A Lonely Place Gina Fattore 20 FEBRUARY 2002 97
Dawson and Joey see a film at Dawson's school and Joey notices that Prof. Wilder (guest star Ken Marino) is there --- and he isn't alone. Meanwhile, Jen and Audrey (Busy Philipps) go to a rock concert where Jen is supposed to interview the band members.
17 Highway To Hell Anna Fricke 3 APRIL 2002 98
Joey lands her first gig as the lead singer of Charlie's (Chad Michael Murray) band and Pacey and Audrey (Busy Philipps) decide to take the road trip with her. Meanwhile, Dawson's sister has her first birthday and the rest of the gang heads home to Capeside for the party.
18 Cigarette Burns Tom Kapinos & Jonathan Kasdan 10 APRIL 2002 99
Dawson finishes his first picture since starting film school and learns that Oliver's invited a critic (guest star Meredith Salinger) to review it. At the screening, Joey sits with Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) but tries to deny her attraction to the die-hard ladies' man. Meanwhile, Pacey and Audrey (Busy Philipps) continue to explore their undefined relationship.
19 100 Light Years From Home Rina Mimoun 17 APRIL 2002 100
The gang decides to go to Audrey's (Busy Philipps) beach house for spring break, but they find that some romantic entanglements may ruin the party atmosphere. Meanwhile, Dawson travels to New York to meet with an agent about his newest film.
20 Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) Nicole Ranadive 24 APRIL 2002 101
Pacey learns that he has a new boss (guest star Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks") at the restaurant after he returns from a few days of vacation. Meanwhile, Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) gets the chance to romance Joey and Dawson tries to get an agent to represent him for his next film.
21 After Hours Jeffrey Stepakoff 1 MAY 2002 102
Pacey's attraction to his new boss, Alex, gets him in hot water with Audrey when she catches them together. Meanwhile, Dawson has his own fling with an older woman; and the rest of the gang crams for finals.
22 The Abby Diego Gutierrez & Jonathan Kasdan 8 MAY 2002 103
The gang packs up to go home to Capeside for the summer, and Audrey tries to persuade Joey to bring her along. Meanwhile, Dawson gets an offer to go to Los Angeles; Pacey may lose his job at the restaurant; and Jen and Jack decide to take a trip together.
23 Swan Song Tom Kapinos & Gina Fattore 15 MAY 2002 104
The gang tries to decide where their paths will lead this summer as they seek to broaden their horizons. But when they bump into each other at the airport, they're still up in the air about their itineraries. Dawson muses over a flight to Los Angeles, while Audrey struggles with the thought of going home without a farewell word with Pacey. Meanwhile, Jen and Jack rethink their travel plans when Jack finds a possible love interest, and Joey sees her summer prospects improve when she discovers she has a valid passport.