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❝ Nobody's suited for public ridicule, Andie, you just deal with it ❞
—Jack

To Be or Not to Be... is the 14th episode on Season 2 of Dawson's Creek.[1]

Synopsis

REVELATIONS – In a compelling two-part episode, the Capeside High School gossip mill kicks into overdrive after Jack (Kerr Smith) bears his soul in a English assignment and is forced to expose his innermost secrets while reading the poem aloud in class, leaving Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Joey (Katie Holmes) and Andie (Meredith Monroe) shaken by the implications of what it all means. Meanwhile, Pacey (Joshua Jackson) tries to defend Jack in the face of an adversarial teacher, and Jen (Michelle Williams) finds her latest suitor Ty (guest star Eddie Mills) is full of surprises.[2]

Starring

James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery
Katie Holmes as Joey Potter
Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley
Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter
Nina Repeta as Bessie Potter

Special Guest Stars

Meredith Monroe as Andie McPhee
Kerr Smith as Jack McPhee

Guest starring

Eddie Mills as Ty Hicks
Edmund J. Kearney as Mr. Peterson

Co-Starring

Jesse Jankowsky as Student #3
Mike Johnson as Student #2
Jenifer Kruskamp as Sherry
Matt Lutz as Student #1
Richard K. Olsen as Mr. Milo
Irene Ziegler as Jane Markey

Jack's poem

Today
Today was a day the world got smaller, darker
I grew more afraid
Not of what I am, but of what I could be
I loosen my collar to take a breath. My eyes fade
And I see... Him. The image of perfection
His frame strong, his lips smooth. I keep thinking, "What am I so scared of?"
I wish I could escape the pain, but these thoughts, they invade my head
Bound to my memory, they're like shackles of guilt
God, please set me free
Free from the pain and this guilt
So that I may face Tomorrow, Today

Quotes

❝ Pacey Witter is leaving early, to do homework ❞
—Dawson to Jack and Pacey
❝ Peterson makes him read his poem in class and he starts crying. Here's the best part: the poem... is about a guy. McPhee is a total homo ❞
—Three horrible high school guys
❝ You've heard about it? I've heard everything from 'Jack is seen regularly wearing dresses down main street to he's checked into a monastary to deal with his sexual ambivalence ❞
—Joey to Dawson
❝ The hell I can't, I've been waiting to fail you all quarter! ❞
—Peterson to Pacey
❝ I didn't need a hero! I recognise it's an addiction of yours, but this is an instance where you should've just keep your nose out of it ❞
—Jack to Pacey
❝ In my lifetime, Pacey, I will never be ashamed of you ❞
—Dawson
❝ While I respect this system, I don't respect men like you, Mr. Peterson. I don't, I can't and I never will ❞
—Pacey to Principal Markham, Mr. Milo and Peterson

Trivia

  • This is the first episode where all three male leads hang out alone together.
  • Mr. Milo informs Pacey that he has received two As and three Bs on his midterms.
  • Pacey's poem is entitled Ode to the Sports Car.
  • Dawson guesses at whether Joey's online handle is JuicyJoey or PerkyPotter while Joey retorts whether his is SpielbergStud.
  • People at Capeside High print Jack's poem and post it everywhere.
  • Pacey is suspended for a week.

Music

slide | GOO GOO DOLLS
pacey twirls andie
know what you mean | SISTER 7
dawson and joey; andie and pacey
I do | LISA LOEB
jen and ty on the phone
come rain or come shine | HAROLD ARLEN
performed by jenifer kruskamp
walk slow | CHRIS ISAAK
jen and ty
in my life | TRINA HAMLIN
jack and andie; joey visits dawson
smoke | NATALIE IMBRUGLIA
pacey in the office; pacey and andie
only lonely | HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH
jack and joey hug

Pacey's Desktop

From the series interactive feature, Pacey's two assignments[3]
Pacey Witter
Creative Writing
Mr. Peterson
Poetry Assignments
HAIKU
I'd buy the Viper
if I had twenty-five grand
I don't, so I can't
SONNET (ODE TO THE SPORTS CAR)
Shall I compare thee to my favorite Porsche?
Thou art almost as lovely as its shine
Thou surely art more lovely than some Borscht.
and lovelier still since my dear you're mine
How do I find the words to say "you drive?"
I'm grounded cause I stole my father's car
I'm grateful that your car is still alive
without it you and I would not get far
So even though you drive like you're on crack
I like to watch your face behind the wheel
and though we may be dead before we're back
I still think you're the only thing that's real
I'd choose you o'er a sports car any day
but both would be ideal I have to say!

Photos

screenshots

Notes and references

  1. It is the first of a two-part storyline about Jack McPhee
  2. The episode placed in the 2018 EW Dawson's Creek: The 12 best episodes (April 2018)
  3. Pacey's Folder on fansite
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