Dawson's Creek

Season 3 Episode 23

True Love

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM May 24, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

After an emotional day filled with love, tears and wedding vows, Joey ultimately must choose between her love for Dawson and her new feelings for Pacey. Across town, Grams talks about love and regret with Jen, while Jack and Andie make a decision to drive all night so that Jen can see Henry one last time.moreless

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  • One of my favorite episodes of this show.

    Watching Dawson and Jack cry was really emotional, but seeing Jen reuniting with Henry and Joey going-out with Pacey was amazing. I really love this episode, especially seeing Jack being comforted by his father.
  • Joey was obiviously escaping her feelings for Dawson. Dawson is such a big person, i mean to let the one you love go to another guy! This episode made me not like Joey, shes waay to flighty. Jack and Dawsons crying scenes are so heartwrenching!moreless

    Very sad episode, but very necessary in order for the characters to grow. Jack needed to find the courage to be gay and not care what anyone thought. And Joey had to go with Pacey so she wouldn't regret it later. And Dawson had to tell Joey his feelings and let her make her own decision.
  • Great season finale.

    Wow!! First of all the tensions between Pacey, Dawson, and Joey, then the second wedding for the Leery's, and then last minute romance for Jen, and Jack. Of course Joey would be there for Dawson, but she seemed to be just stuck there with him when her heart truly was for Pacey. Although I didn't see why Dawson had to have Joey all for himself and won't let anyone else have her when he stopped talking about his feelings for her for such a long time already. In "Four to Tangle" Pacey already told Dawson that Joey was like a Goddess who every guy'd love to be with. It was always till the very end when the decision would be made. I really didn't like Dawson too much in this episode after all.

    It was too bad that Jack went to find Ethan but only to see him already back with Brad. What a hearbreak to watch that. I think Ethan was such a cute guy, why not another chance. After all it was really jack's first time.moreless
  • Dawson's parents have their second wedding. Grams, Jen, Jack, and Andie go on a road trip. Joey picks Pacey.

    This episode was a great way to end the season. Dawson doesn't get the girl of his dreams. He finally lets Joey go after Pacey. The one thing I didn't get is if Joey and Dawson will still be friends are not. Well of course they will be because there are 3 more seasons to go. Dawson's parents got married and now they are back together. There has been so much drama between them and all of sudden they get married. I thought the wedding was rushed but it made Dawson learn that Joey doesn't love him back. Pacey is leaving Capeside for the summer. Joey finally tells Pacey that she loves him and they leave togther on the trip. One thing that bugs me is Joey didn't tell anyone she was leaving and she brought no clothes except the ones she wearing. The road trip Grams, Andie, Jack, and Jen made was so cool. Grams is one of the coolest grandmothers on television. Wow!! She's a fast driver. I am glad everything worked out between Jen and Henry. Jack finally kisses Ethan but Ethan gets back together with his ex-boyfriend. I liked Ethan but now I think he's a jerk. I liked the end when Dawson, Jack, Andie and Jen were in his bedroom. It looks like they are going to be hanging out all summer. I give this episode 10/10.moreless
  • Fine ending for the season.

    Great to see Joey finally pick Pacey over Dawson. I had always rooted for Pacey. Not that I don't like Dawson - he is emotionally quite mature then his other friends, but he is also quite complex, on the other hand I appreciate Pacey for his simplicity.

    Dawsons weeping on the deck is quite heart wrenching; letting go of a childhood sweetheart takes a lot of courage and emotional maturity. Feeling sad for Dawson.

    Jen gets together with henry with some help from Grams. But not much luck for Jack who finds that Ethan is back with is ex-boyfriend Brad.

    All-in-all a fine ending to the season.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)

Harold Bergman

Harold Bergman

Elderly Reverend

Guest Star

Burgess Jenkins

Burgess Jenkins


Guest Star

Chuck Kinlaw

Chuck Kinlaw

Bus Driver

Guest Star

Dylan Neal

Dylan Neal

Deputy Doug Witter

Recurring Role

David Dukes

David Dukes

Mr. McPhee

Recurring Role

Michael Pitt

Michael Pitt

Henry Parker

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: At the end of the episode as Joey and Pacey sail out into the sunset, the sky keeps changing between shots. It's obvious that those shots were taken at different times of the day.

    • In order to not to miss Pacey's departure, Joey leaves for an entire summer with absolutely nothing with her. She is supposed to get what she needs along the way, but it doesn't seem logical that she would take off for so long without any type of purse, wallet, money, credit cards, ID, etc. She would also need her ID in order to work the odd jobs she later mentions in season 4.

      However, it seems logical to consider that she may have carried some useful items in her pocket and even that she might have sailed past her house.

    • Goof: When Joey is driving the light blue pick-up truck, the North Carolina State Safety Inspection sticker can be seen on the lower corner of the driver's side. However, the Massachusetts inspection sticker would be on the passenger side and look different.

    • When Joey is running from the wedding to find Pacey, there is couple that suddenly run out of the way to clear the way right before Katie is about to run through.

    • When Joey is walking to the pier to talk to Dawson, the wind is blowing her dress back and the microphone wire can be guessed through the light clothing material.

    • Joey confesses her love for Pacey and they literally sail off into the sunset together.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Joey: I expected you to say good-bye.
      Pacey: Right. The good-bye scene. I come to you, heart in hand, and announce my plans. You stare at me, pained. But then the Potter sarcasm kicks in. And I walk off, never getting what I came for.

    • Jen: Oww! A piece of crab shell. That's what I need right now, a chipped tooth. It'll keep men away from me for good.
      Andie: If that doesn't work, you can always join me in the nunnery this summer.
      Jack: At least you got to have relationships before they failed.
      Grams: Good grief, you all sound like a bunch of old ladies!

    • Doug: Miss Potter, I clocked you going...
      Joey: ...You have a radar gun?
      Doug: Visual assessment. You were going a good five to seven miles per hour below the posted speed limit on this particular Capeside thoroughfare.

    • Dawson: To my parents. Who taught me that love doesn't conquer all. That love ends. And then it begins again.

    • Pacey: (To Joey) I spent a hour and a half staring at this half-painted wall after we talked last night. Just staring and thinking. So the way I figure it. It's your turn to stare now.

    • Mr. McPhee: Hey, Jack. Glad you're back. I want to show you something.
      Jack: I'm not really in the mood right now.
      Mr. McPhee: What's the matter?
      Jack: (Walking towards his bedroom) I just want to be alone.
      Mr. McPhee: Hey, you can talk to me.
      Jack: This is something you really don't want to hear about, believe me.
      Mr. McPhee: You don't know that.
      Jack: (Coming back into the kitchen) Really? You wanna hear that I found out that Ethan got back together with his ex? You wanna hear that I found out after I kissed him?
      Mr. McPhee: Well, that's interesting.
      Jack: Yeah, that's interesting, right? Come on, admit it! The thought of me kissing another guy disgusts you. I disgust you.
      Mr. McPhee: That is not true.
      Jack: Yes it is.
      Mr. McPhee: You're angry, you're hurting right now, but I will not let you pick an argument with me, just so you can vent your frustration.
      Jack: Oh no, I spent an entire year developing this relationship. And working on it. Now it's a wash. The whole year's a wash. My whole life is a wash.
      Mr. McPhee: Your life is not a wash. You hurt now because you had the guts to put yourself out there. To go after what you wanted.
      Jack: I can't... (Squatting to the floor and leaning against the kitchen cabinet) I can't keep going through this. It's like having all the problems of a typical teenager and then there's this whole other level of constant fear and pain. Do you know the anguish I went through over a kiss? One stupid little kiss. Most people don't have to do that.
      Mr. McPhee: You're right. They don't.
      Jack: Then why me? I don't want to be different. I didn't ask to be gay.
      Mr. McPhee: No more than I asked for a gay son. But, boy, am I glad that I got one.
      Jack: You don't mean that.
      Mr. McPhee: Yeah, I do. (Goes to Jack and hugs him)
      (Jack cries)

    • Andie: The pain makes us real, Dawson, and we can't do it alone.

    • Joey: I've got to go. I have something borrowed but I don't have anything blue yet.
      Dawson: It shouldn't be too hard. There seems to be some of that going around here lately.

    • Dawson: (To Joey) Pacey's this year's Paris.

    • Jen: This is some alternate reality where our intellects are sharper, our quips are wittier and our hearts, are repeatedly broken while faintly in the background some soon to be out of date contempo pop music plays.

    • Dawson: (To Joey) You want him. You want him like I want you. You love him, like I love you. The only difference is he loves you back, the same way... and you deserve that, ok? And I'm not gonna be the one who stands in the way of you getting that... You're free, you can do whatever you want.

    • Dawson: Just go.
      Joey: But Dawson...
      Dawson: Joey, go. I'm telling you, before I take it all back alright, just go... go!
      (Joey runs off, Dawson starts crying)

    • Joey: But Dawson, I want us to still be friends and I want to know that you don't hate me and...
      Dawson: They're only words, Joey, they're just words. 'Cause after you're done dispensing your pleasantries you're gonna turn around and you're gonna walk away from me, aren't you?

    • Joey: You're so much of my life, Dawson. I mean, your house is my house and your family is my family and there's not a single significant event I've experienced that you haven't experienced with me and I was so afraid of losing that, but, that wasn't the choice, and if I thought that there was a chance that you would forgive me, I may have chosen differently... and you deserve to know that.

    • Joey: I wanna come with you.
      Pacey: What? You crazy?
      Joey: Mmm-mm, I wanna stop standing still. I wanna to move forward. I wanna come with you.
      Pacey: What about Bessie and the B&B? They need you.
      Joey: Not as much as I need you Pacey.

    • Joey: I think I'm in love with you.
      Pacey: You think or you know?
      Joey: I know.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The scene where Jack kisses Ethan was originally longer. The part that didn't air included Jack walking away, going back over to Grams and Jen and breaking down emotionally.

    • Executive Producer Paul Stupin mentions in the audio commentary for this episode that Dawson's Creek's scripts always came in longer than required, so they needed a lot of editing and some scenes needed to be cut due to time constraints. The running time was only approximately 42 minutes long for each episode, but they had cuts coming in up to 55-60 minutes long.

    • The wall that Pacey rents for Joey, actually exists in Wilmington, NC. However, there was a production issue about not being allowed to actually paint on the wall itself so in order to film they had to build a smaller, phony brick 'wall' over the real wall for Pacey's message. Taking a closer look, the phony wall can be seen sticking out from the original wall.

    • Music featured in the episode included:
      Jealous by Sinead O'Connor
      Sleepless by Jann Arden
      The Riverside by Jessica Andrews
      Promise Me This by Pancho's Lament
      Days Like These by Janis Ian
      Walking In My Sleep by Better Days
      I Will Be There For You by Jessica Andrews

    • The kiss between Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee) and Adam Kaufman (Ethan) was the very first gay male kiss aired in a drama on prime-time television.

    • Season 3 DVD Box Set includes a Commentary on this episode with Paul Stupin and Kerr Smith.


    • Jack: And there's those countless references to all things Freud and Spielberg.
      Jen: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that, were not in Capeside anymore, Toto.

      Refers to the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, Steven Spielberg, and Toto, the dog in movie The Wizard of Oz.

    • Pacey: (To Doug) See? That right there is what happens to the male mind when it's exposed to too many Katharine Hepburn movies.

      Refers to the actress Katharine Hepburn.