Dawson's Creek

Season 4 Episode 14

A Winter's Tale

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Feb 07, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
135 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A Winter's Tale
While the rest of the class is on the ski trip, Dawson stays behind to care for a near-death Mr. Brooks, but he's overwhelmed when he's asked to make an impossibly hard decision. Dawson is given the responsibility to decide whether to cut off Brooks' life support. Meanwhile, there's a lot more than skiing going on when the senior trip doesn't go exactly as planned. The evening takes an unexpectedly romantic turn for best friends Jack and Jen. After spraining her ankle, Jen gets drunk and nearly sleeps with Jack while Pacey and Joey find their own ways to keep warm on the cold, snowy night, taking their relationship to the next level.moreless

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  • It's the Senior Trip and Joey is afraid to have sex with Pacey but by the end of the episode she's not so scared anymore. Dawson has been given the decision to let Mr. Brooke stay in a coma or pull the plug. Jen and Jack get drunk, and romantic.moreless

    This episode was awesome because of all the drama. Though it was hard to be enthusiastic about it because I decided to listen to it in Spanish :P In this episode is the big Senior Trip. Joey, Pacey, Jack and Jen decide to go. Let's go on about the Joey and Pacey drama. Joey in this episode is afraid to have sex. I like the conversation she had with Jack. I liked the fight that Pacey and Joey had because it added to the drama. I liked all those nice things Pacey said about Joey when he was talking to Anna. I think it's pretty obvious that Joey and Pacey had sex for the first time at the end of the episode why is why this episode gets such a high rating. Mr. Brookes is in the hospital and he is in a coma. Dawson has to decide to either pull the plug or let not pull the plug. I love the conversation he with Grams in the chapel. Dawson decides to pull the plug. It makes me very sad though. Jen and Jack are what makes this episode the best. First of all Jen falling two times is hilarious. Second I like the scene where they kiss. Then they start making out. I'm glad they stopped though because Jack is gay in all and they are drunk. Anyways I give this episode a 10/10.moreless
  • One of the best DC episodes, and all because of three words "ten,my love"

    One of the best DC episodes, and all because of three words "ten,my love". It was the culminating point of the fan's pressure on the writers for the fourth season's representative couple to finally "close the deal". And believe me, it was not just about the physical aspect of sex, it was all about Pacey and Joey's totall commitmnet to each other. It was about proving the audience that this pairing was the best choice the writers made throughout the show.

    The other plots this episode included Pacey's dismissal of a horny girl's offer. And also very electric moments between jack and Jen. The Dawson's dealing with Brooke's coma however destroyed the episode's mood,and generally was fake and not necessary.moreless
  • Three words: "Ten my love"

    This episode was beautiful. It truly showed the angst and love that we all have come to love about this show. The ski trip was classic. With the Joey/Pacey and Jen/Jack storylines at full force, who can ask for more?

    Joey's fear of sex rang true to her character, but you could see just how she wanted to conquer that fear and be with the man she loved. Her scenes with Pacey were endearing and a bit heartbreaking. They have the sexual tension and a bit of bickering, which all ends when the sweetness and passionate romantic scenes come to play -- everything we love about this couple.

    The last scene of the episode easily made it one of the best episodes of DC ever. Joey's speech to Pacey about why she loved him so much, how much she truly appreciated him, and how much she wanted to make love to him was utterly PERFECT. It was so moving, and the whole scene was nothing but sweet and sexy at the same time. I could never have enough of that scene!

    The only downside? The Dawson storyline (no surprise there!). The Mr. Brooks plot was just so contrived and boring, and thus, I had to mark this episode down a bit with the stupid hospital scene with Mr. Brook's old friend. One of the worst scenes in DC history. It's the only reason this episode didn't get a perfect 10 from me. Just eliminate that part, and this episode is absolutely perfect.moreless
  • Absolutely Beautyful!

    My eyes still get wet to remember the end of that episode! Joey Potter finally loosing her virginity? Here's something to remember! And with Pacey instead of Dawson! Lovely!

    There is, however, just one thing that bothers me about that scene: The way Joey speaks to Pacey while taking his shirt off, calling him "My Love". Just doesn't feel right! They don't speak to each other that way EVER! So why would they speak to each other like that in the very moment they should be most open to each other? But who cares about that, anyway? It is a beautiful scene and a perfect ending for one of the most memorable episode of the show!moreless
  • In this episode, everyone goes off on the senior trip to the ski resort. Dawson unfortunately has to stay behind to take care of Mr. Brooks. Fueled by alcohol, Jen and Jack share an unexpected sexual encounter while Joey and Pacey share a special encountemoreless

    This is my favorite episode of the whole season. The scenes with Dawson and Mr. Brooks are kind of depressing, but everything on the ski trip reminds me why I love Dawson's Creek so much and why it is such a great show. I've seen the episodes hundreds of times so inevitably I know what will happen in the end, but I like the fact that whether Joey or Pacey will have sex is not anticipated. It definitely builds up the moment, and the final scene with the two of them is to die for. The music in the background makes it all the more romantic.moreless
James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek

Dawson Leery

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes

Josephine "Joey" Potter

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Jennifer "Jen" Lindley

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Pacey J. Witter

Kerr Smith

Kerr Smith

Jack McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Meredith Monroe

Meredith Monroe

Andrea "Andie" McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Sabine Singh

Sabine Singh

Anna Evans

Guest Star

Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith

Mr. Brooks' Friend

Guest Star

Tony Hale (I)

Tony Hale (I)

Dr. Bronin

Guest Star

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Gretchen Witter

Recurring Role

Mark Matkevich

Mark Matkevich

Drue Valentine

Recurring Role

Harve Presnell

Harve Presnell

Mr. Arthur Brooks

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Dawson was asked in a previous episode to sign a Health Care Proxy for Mr. Brooks allowing Dawson to pick up Mr. Brooks' medications instead of Grams. However, Dawson is only 17 years old (as Mr. Brooks is aware of because he asked Dawson his age at one point). In the state of Massachusetts, a person must be 18 years of age (legally an adult) to sign such a document. It's possible that because Dawson was under age when he signed the document that he could not be held legally responsible for making end of life decisions for Mr. Brooks.

    • When the doctor first talks to Dawson about Mr. Brooks, the camera has a hair stuck to the bottom right corner of the lens.

    • Goof: When Pacey and Joey run into Jen and Jack outside the restaurants, Jack suggests they all go to the pizza place near them to what Joey and Pacey agree. However, the next shot of inside the pizza restaurant only shows Joey and Pacey seated at a large table with Drue, Anna and the other guys. Jen and Jack are nowhere to be found. It isn't likely that they wouldn't be seated with or near Pacey and Joey for dinner, since they suggested the place.

      EDIT: This is not so weird, considering Jen fell right after they were about to go to the restaurant. So obviously Jack just took her back to their room.

    • When Pacey and Joey sleep together, there's a window to the right of the mirror overlooking their bedroom and bed which curtains are pushed back, offering full view to any eventual passer by.

    • Mr. Brooks dies in this episode.

    • Famous Firsts: Pacey and Joey have sex; Joey loses her virginity.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Joey: Really? Virtually topless female comes knocking on our door, asking if Pacey can come out to play, and you don't have any comment?
      Pacey: Well, no matter what I say, you're just gonna take it wrong.

    • Gretchen: Senior ski trip is a Capeside rite of passage, absolutely guaranteed to be chock-full of the cruel and unusual.
      Joey: Well, knowing our class, I highly doubt it.
      Gretchen: Well, let's just say when I went, somebody got pregnant, somebody got arrested, and this one girl's hair caught on fire.
      Pacey: Joey'll probably keep me out of jail and Lamaze, and I guess I'll watch out for your hair.

    • Joey: The only sexual pleasure the average teenage girl gets from the average teenage guy at some random keg party hook-up is negligible at best.

    • Jack: Whether or not you choose to ski is irrelevant. You know, it's common knowledge that these senior trips are not really about what goes on during the day.

    • Jen: Ha! Fun? That's not likely. Oh come on! Senior trips are notoriously awful. As a rule of thumb, anything you can look forward to for too long is invariably a disappointment.
      Pacey: The internal optimist speaks.

    • Pacey: I have someone that I want to be with for more than just one night. The thought of losing her or hurting her, it's not even a consideration. For me it's not about wanting to have sex. It's about wanting to share the most intimate thing that you could possibly share with someone. No matter how long you have to wait.

    • (Stops making out with Jack)
      Jen: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Jack. You're drunk. You're drunk and lonely... and... gay. And as good as this seems right now and it does seem really, really good... it won't when the feeling pass.

    • Pacey: Look Jo, I refuse to feel guilty about this because the fact of the matter is it's not a bad thing when you want to sleep with someone when you love them as much as I love you.
      Joey: But there is something wrong with not wanting to.
      Pacey: No, no. I just wish I knew what that something was. I mean, I know that you're scared. I get it. You tell me that you want to be scared together but then you won't tell me what you're scared of. And I think you know exactly what it is. You're just too afraid to say his name.

    • Pacey: I want you, Jo. There's no sense in me arguing the point if you're so eager to refute it.
      Joey: I don't doubt that you want me, Pacey. I just... I don't know why or for what reason.
      Pacey: All right, just stop right there. You and I both know that if I was in this relationship for sex and sex alone, I would not have lasted for 9 months.

    • Mr. Brooks' friend: In a situation like this, son... all that's required is a little faith.
      Dawson: I don't have that. I don't even know what that is.
      Mr. Brooks' friend: Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.

    • Jack: Did it ever occur to you that you're so caught up in trying to make the right choice that you've never stopped to consider the possibility that there may not be a right choice, or a wrong choice, just a bunch of choices?
      Joey: Thanks Jack. That's helpful.
      Jack: That's the point. You don't need help. There's nothing to figure out here. There's only what you feel.
      Joey: What I feel is fear.
      Jack: I'm not telling you to sleep with Pacey...
      Joey: But...
      Jack: All the really exciting things in life require more courage than we currently have. A deep breath and a leap. See Joey, the kind of fear you're talking about... sometimes it's how you know what's worthwhile.

    • Dawson: I've had so little experience with death. How could Brooks have been so sure that I would do what he wanted?
      Gretchen: You have better judgment than anyone I know, Dawson. Probably better than anybody that Brooks knew. That's why he chose you. I don't think he saw how young you were and figured that you would be more likely to contribute to his end. I think he saw how old your heart is and he knew that whatever choice you make, would be the right one.

    • Dawson: How did I end up here? I mean, one minute I'm painting the guys' fence and the next... you know? I'm 17 years old. I should be on my senior class trip right now making decisions like glasses or goggles? Who do I room with? Is it safe to ski with a hangover?
      Gretchen: It's never very nice.
      Dawson: What's that?
      Gretchen: When adulthood encroaches on your life.

    • Pacey: Tell me we can laugh about sex now cause it seems to me that's the only rational thing to do. You can't shroud it, you can't run from it, because it's everywhere. It's like food and water and air.
      Joey: Can't we just breathe something else?

    • (Discussing Mr. Brooks' situation with the doctor)
      Mitch: He (Dawson) signed the paper so that he could pick up the guy's medicine.
      Doctor: I know why he signed it.
      Gale: That piece of paper should not give a teenage boy the responsibility to decide when and how a man should die.

    • Drue: (To Pacey) You know what would really suck? Being the only guy not chalk one up this weekend. Right?

    • (Speaking about Tobey)
      Jack: He's gay. He's very gay. It's just that when it's that obvious, it's a bit of a turn off, that's all.

    • Jack: (To Jen) I'm scared that I'm gonna end up alone. I'm scared that I'm always gonna be someone's friend, or brother, or confidant but never quite... someone's everything. Mostly I'm scared that I'm never gonna meet a guy that I love as much as I love you.

    • Pacey: Do you want to know what I'm scared of? 'Cause I'm not scared of whether or not we sleep together, if... if and when you and I decide to do that, it will be right. What I am scared of is that little piece of your heart that will always belong to Dawson Leery. OK, I'm scared of that piece of your heart that always envisioned your first time being with him. I'm scared of that part of you that just doesn't want it to be me. That's what I'm scared of.

    • Dawson: I mean... do I pray for him to make it, to sit up in his bed and tell us that we've all been here long enough and it's time to go home? Or do I pray for him to die, to ease his suffering. And I keep looking for some kind of sign, you know, something to confirm my instincts.

    • (About the condom)
      Pacey: You gonna throw it away?
      Joey: I wanna throw the wrapper away.

    • Joey: Pacey, this is about how you carrried my bag off the bus yesterday. This is about how when we go to the movies and you go and you buy popcorn you always make sure you bring back a napkin so I don't wipe all the grease on my jeans. And this is about how just last week when we were at miniature golf, you took all of the shots first so I would know the correct path.
      Pacey: That was just...
      Joey: You taught me how to drive. And last year at prom, you knew that the bracelet I was wearing was my mom's. You kissed me first, sweetheart. The second time you counted to ten before doing it again just in case I wanted to stop you. You bought me a wall.
      Pacey: I didn't buy it so much as I...
      Joey: We were alone on a boat for three months and you understood without a word why I wasn't ready. Do you have to ask now why I am? Pace... I'm gonna count to ten, and then I'm going to start kissing you. If you don't want me to... then you're just gonna have to stop me. (Pause) Ten, my love.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode was originally planned to be much later in the season. However, and while looking at the broad story arcs planned for season 4, the writers realized that there was no big event happening in the show during the earlier time period, so they moved this episode up to fill the gap and made Joey and Pacey's decision to sleep together a big storyline throughout the season.

    • Meredith Monroe (Andrea "Andie" McPhee) doesn't appear in this episode, although she is featured in the opening credits.

    • Joey's "Ten, my love" at the end of this episode was actually ad-libbed by Katie Holmes.

      According to the crew, Katie Holmes ad-libbed multiple lines throughout the run of the series.

    • Music featured in the episode included:
      Impossible by Brian Charles.
      Hideaway by Epstein's Mother.
      Do It Again by Splytz.
      Sucker For The Count by Revelation Darling.
      Summer Of '69 by Bryan Adams.
      Dumb Love by Brian Charles.
      Sugar Star by Crushing Velvet.
      How Does It Feel by Radford.
      Takes My Breath Away by Tuck & Patti.
      I Will Love You by Fisher.


    • When Joey is talking to Pacey about starting to kiss him, she quotes him in her own way, from the episode Stolen Kisses.

    • The title of this episode, A Winter's Tale, is an allusion to William Shakespeare's play, The Winter's Tale, which shares similar themes with this episode.

    • Mr. Brooks' Friend: Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to, Miracle on 34th Street. Arthur always believed that the best answers for life's questions could be found in the movies. Crazy idea, huh?

      Reference to the movie Miracle on 34th Street.

    • Jack: Is it just me, or does this place have a real strong John Hughes, 80's vibe?

      Reference to the many iconic movies John Hughes made in the 1980's.