Season 5 of WB 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.


Following their kiss before the summer, Joey and Dawson tentatively embark on a romance. Jen and Jack attend Boston Bay College, though eventually find themselves drifting in different directions, and Pacey, having toured the world working on a yacht over the summer, finds himself working as a chef.


James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery
Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley
Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter
Katie Holmes as Joey Potter
Kerr Smith as Jack McPhee
Mary Beth Peil as Grams

Recurring cast

Busy Philipps as Audrey Liddell
Ken Marino as Professor Wilder
Ian Kahn as Danny Brecher
Lourdes Benedicto as Karen Torres
Chad Michael Murray as Charlie Todd
Jordan Bridges as Oliver Chirchick


  • Four Scary Stories is orginally episode 5 and was scheduled to air as the Halloween episode, but was moved due to the events of September 11, 2001.


Season 5/Gallery



The Bostonians

10 OCTOBER 2001 Tom Kapinos 1 82
Dawson (James Van Der Beek) takes his first step in fulfilling his Hollywood ambitions as a freshman film student in Los Angeles, while Joey (Katie Holmes) finally escapes her small town roots by starting college at an Ivy League university in Boston. Instead of focusing on the new lives they have worked a lifetime for, they find themselves distracted by the distance between them and their unsettling last kiss.

The Lost Weekend

17 OCTOBER 2001 Gina Fattore 2 83
As Dawson (James Van Der Beek) spends time in Boston with Joey (Katie Holmes), he begins to wonder if his place is truly in California or alongside his friend - until a heartbreaking phone message from Joey expressing her desire to end their friendship causes him to demand a straight and final answer of her feelings towards him. Meanwhile, Pacey (Joshua Jackson) discovers what may be his true calling and Jen (Michelle Williams) finds true love with a handsome stranger (guest star Chad Michael Murray, "Gilmore Girls").

Capeside Revisited

24 OCTOBER 2001 Jeffrey Stepakoff 3 84
Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is hit with tragedy after he heads home to Capeside to break the news to his parents (Mary-Margaret Humes and John Wesley Shipp) that he is dropping out of USC to be with Joey (Katie Holmes), who is in shock herself after she realizes Pacey (Joshua Jackson) has been in Boston for weeks.

The Long Goodbye

31 OCTOBER 2001 Tom Kapinos 4 85
Lifelong friends Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Joey (Katie Holmes) and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) put past grudges behind them in the wake of the tragic death of one of their fathers. Along with Jack (Kerr Smith), Jen (Michelle Williams) and Grams (Mary Beth Peil), each tries to find the words and actions to comfort their friend.

Four Scary Stories

Season5 cast003
12 DECEMBER 2001 Jed Seidel 5 86
Jen (Michelle Williams) 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.

Use Your Disillusion

Season5 cast003
7 NOVEMBER 2001 Rina Mimoun 6 87
Dawson (James Van Der Beek) finally takes Joey (Katie Holmes) up on her invitation for a weekend in Boston, but the two have trouble getting back to where they once were. Meanwhile, Jack (Kerr Smith) is surprised when his boyfriend Tobey (guest star David Monahan) shows up unexpectedly which forces Jack to choose between fraternity hell week and spending time with Tobey.

High Anxiety

14 NOVEMBER 2001 Allison Robinson & Joshua Krist 7 88
Jen sets out to get a bit of revenge on Charlie for cheating on her, while Dawson joins Jack for a night of frat. Joey supports Audrey, whose mother is in town and Pacey throws a party on his boat.

Text, Lies and Videotape

21 NOVEMBER 2001 Karin Lewicki 8 89
Dawson (James Van Der Beek) struggles to find direction and considers returning to USC to honor his father, while Pacey (Joshua Jackson) makes his move with Karen (guest star Lourdes Benedicto, "ER") despite her relationship with his boss (guest star Ian Kahn).

Hotel New Hampshire

28 NOVEMBER 2001 Diego Gutierrez 9 90
Dawson (James Van Der Beek) takes Jen (Michelle Williams) on a road trip to a small film festival in New Hampshire where his documentary is being honored. The spotlight is intoxicating for both of them as they share one of the single most momentous events in a boy's life.

Appetite for Destruction

19 DECEMBER 2001 Anna Fricke 10 91
Pacey (Joshua Jackson) decides to throw a dinner party at Grams' (Mary Beth Piel) house to bring the dissolving group back together - unknowingly setting Joey (Katie Holmes) up for a big surprise when Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Jen (Michelle Williams) are caught in a lip-lock.

Something Wild

16 JANUARY 2002 Jeffrey Stepakoff 11 92
After Pacey (Joshua Jackson) teases Joey (Katie Holmes) about loosening up, she surprises everyone by taking up with the last person anyone would dream of - Jen's (Michelle Williams) two-timing ex-beau Charlie (guest star Chad Michael Murray). Meanwhile, newly romantic Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Jen head back to Capeside where they face a disapproving Gale (Mary-Margaret Humes).

Sleeping Arrangements

23 JANUARY 2002 Jed Seidel 12 93
Pacey (Joshua Jackson) is torn between his new life in Boston and the calling of the high seas after an old flame offers him the chance of a lifetime. Meanwhile, Jack (Kerr Smith) decides to move out of Grams' (Mary Beth Piel) house into the fraternity only to discover that one of the guys has a problem rooming with someone who is gay, and Jen (Michelle Williams) stirs the pot with Dawson (James Van Der Beek) when she discusses their love life on the radio.

Something Wilder

30 JANUARY 2002 Rina Mimoun 13 94
At his new film school in Boston, Dawson runs into the socially awkward Oliver, who wants Dawson to direct his film. Jack's unhappiness with the frat house comes to a head, while Jen is struggling to keep her radio sass in her current state of puppy love bliss. Joey is asked out by Elliott, but lies to get out of it when Wilder hosts a literary group at his house.

Guerilla Filmmaking

6 FEBRUARY 2002 Julia Rask 14 95
Dawson's (James Van Der Beek) student film puts new and old lovers to the test after he solicits Jen's (Michelle Williams) help to recruit Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) for the lothario lead role and Joey's (Katie Holmes) influence to calm down his female lead, Audrey (Busy Phillips), after her guilt over her and Pacey's (Joshua Jackson) heated kiss drives her into a locked bathroom.

Downtown Crossing

13 FEBRUARY 2002 Tom Kapinos 15 96
Walking by herself at night, Joey (Katie Holmes) is robbed at gunpoint, and then watches stunned as the fleeing mugger (guest star Samuel Ball) is struck by a hit-and-run driver. Awe-struck by the similarities between the drug-dealing mugger and her own wayward father, Joey stays with him at the hospital in hopes of finding answers about her father.

In a Lonely Place

20 FEBRUARY 2002 Gina Fattore 16 97
Jen (Michelle Williams) and Audrey (Busy Philipps) are tempted to risk their new relationships with Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) after spending the evening with a couple of cute musicians. Meanwhile, Dawson keeps a close eye on Joey (Katie Holmes) after her mugging but she is thrown for a loop when they run into Professor Wilder (guest star Ken Marino) on a date.

Highway to Hell

3 APRIL 2002 Anna Fricke 17 98
The flirtation between Joey (Katie Holmes) and Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) continues after he persuades her to join him and his band on the road for a gig - with her as the lead singer - and they end up in a "no-tell motel" with Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Audrey (Busy Philipps). Meanwhile, Dawson's (James Van Der Beek) world is rocked after he discovers his mother (Mary-Margaret Humes) has a new boyfriend.

Cigarette Burns

10 APRIL 2002 Tom Kapinos & Jonathan Kasdan 18 99
Joey (Katie Holmes) sees Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) in a whole new light after watching him in Dawson's (James Van Der Beek) film and decides to give his constant flirtations a chance. Meanwhile, Audrey (Busy Philipps) tests Pacey's (Joshua Jackson) true feelings for her and Dawson hooks up with a sexy film critic (guest star Meredith Salinger).

100 Light Years from Home

17 APRIL 2002 Rina Mimoun 19 100
Joey's (Katie Holmes) icy demeanor melts when Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) follows her to Florida where she is enjoying Spring Break with the gang, and she spends the night with him unaware that Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is on his way to tell her that he loves her. Things heat up when Audrey's (Busy Philipps) first love Chris (guest star Chris Hartford, MTV veejay) shows up and comes between her and a jealous Pacey (Joshua Jackson).

Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

24 APRIL 2002 Nicole Ranadive 20 101
Pacey's (Joshua Jackson) new boss Alex (guest star Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks") works fast, putting the moves on him and firing his girlfriend Audrey (Busy Philipps) in one night, while Joey (Katie Holmes) finds her carefree fling with Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) has taken a turn for the serious when he turns down a chance at rockstardom to be with her.

After Hours

1 MAY 2002 Jeffrey Stepakoff 21 102
Pacey's (Joshua Jackson) undeniable attraction towards his sexy new boss Alex (guest star Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks") gets him into trouble after she makes a late night visit to his apartment and Audrey (Busy Philipps) catches them together. Meanwhile, Dawson (James Van Der Beek) runs into an old friend at the movies and ends up in the older woman's bed.

The Abby

8 MAY 2002 Diego Gutierrez & Jonathan Kasdan 22 103
Pacey (Joshua Jackson) finds himself in a dangerous situation with his new boss Alex (guest star Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks") after he stages a work revolt in front of important restaurant investors which causes her to lose her job - and her mind. Meanwhile, with school out for the summer, Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Joey (Katie Holmes) head back to Capeside to reconnect with their fathers - Joey heads to prison to visit her father unaware that he was paroled months ago while Dawson goes to the cemetery for the first time.

Swan Song

15 MAY 2002 Tom Kapinos & Gina Fattore 23 104
With school out, everyone makes big summer plans: Dawson (James Van Der Beek) heads to L.A. to work on his movie along with Audrey (Busy Philipps) who's heading home, while Jack (Kerr Smith) and Jen (Michelle Williams) plan the epic Costa Rican adventure, leaving Joey (Katie Holmes) and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) feeling perpetually stuck back in Capeside. However, all plans change when Joey and Pacey race to the airport to reclaim their loves and a special someone crosses paths with Jack.

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