Thursday, 24 April 2014

Dawson's Creek - 219 - Rest in Peace

Original air date: May 5, 1999

OK, so here it is. We've had our "don't drink alcohol. Alcohol is bad, m'kay" message and now we move onto an episode dedicated to the aftermath of Abby's passing and it does it surprisingly well. Not only do they address the general publics reaction to a young girl's death but also how we tend to whitewash people after death, no matter how bad they are.

OK, there are some exceptions to the rule

At any rate, this episode is another example of the theme song kind of draining the emotional weight of the opener with its cheeriness. We have Dawson and Joey giggling as they make their way up to his room, only for Dawson to be cock blocked by Jen breaking the news of Abby's death. I like yo think that this was Abby's last blow to the gang, delaying the grossness of Dawson and Joey, and I salute her for it.

Joey comforts a sobbing Jen as Dawson stands uselessly in the background because real human emotions frighten him, remember. But it's OK, people, this episode won't get too heavy, the theme song will relax us after the sad!

Awwwww, Abby's dead... :'(

Yay! Dancing on the beach!

Joey, no surprise, copes with Abby's death by making it about her and her mother's death. OK, to be fair, I get that a death can bring up old feelings again and losing your mom at a young age would suck, so joking aside, I do get why she'd be thinking of her mom. Her dad walks in and tells her a story about the dress her mom is wearing in the picture. He then says that he never got a chance to talk to Joey about her mom's death. That's Joey's cue to run away. 

Running away is my one and only response to all problems!!

Meanwhile, Jen is also acting out and running away from her problems but she kind of has better reason to. She's in a group counselling session with a bunch of other students, including Pacey, Andie, and Jack. The counsellor asks if anyone has anything to say about Abby, Jen refuses but Andie speaks up. She talks about how Abby was full of life and has such a great spirit which disgusts Jen so much that she storms out. I have to agree with Jen's disgust though. Andie didn't like Abby at all, hated her even and she had every right and very good reason to. However, why is she suddenly trying to talk nicely about Abby? Shouldn't she be venting about her real feelings about Abby? I get why that would be hard to do in a group so for that matter, why the hell are they just doing random group sessions? Usually counsellors will talk to classes and then offer for students who need to talk to come by their office. 

Meanwhile, Dawson and Joey confess to each other that they hated Abby and how weird it is that people who hated her are making a big deal about her death. Dawson says that Abby was weird, that she died was weird and the way she died was weird. I don't really see how drowning is a weird way to die, I'd say it's a horrific and terrifying way to die but not weird. Whatever, Dawson doesn't understand how humans react to things anyway. Joey says she's not going because, in case you didn't know, her mom died and that's the last funeral she's been to. Dawson says that happened three years ago so she should probably deal with those emotions. Oh Dawson, Joey doesn't deal with her emotions, she runs from them. It's the Potter way. She confirms this by saying:

Joey: I don't know. I guess I'm just...there's a part of me that's still holding on. That little girl inside is just waiting for her return. You know, that her death was just some cosmic error and eventually, God will realize he made a terrible mistake and he'll send her back to me like he did my dad. And ...(smiles) I'll have my mom again.

Andie finds Jen to see if she's OK and Jen lashes out and calls Andie a hypocrite for waxing poetic about Abby's free spirit when before she died, Andie would've said she was a bitch. Andie doesn't think it's appropriate to malign someone's character post-mortem but Jen points out that it's not maligning if it's the truth. Andie then tries to defend herself by saying that she tried multiple times to reach out to Abby but she rejected her. Jen then spits that it was Andie who rejected Abby at the wedding and that's why they were at the docks and why Abby died. 


Dawson comes home from school to find his mother waiting for him. She asks him how school went but she's not really interested in that, she wants to tell Dawson about the job offer she got in Philadelphia. Dawson says he doesn't want to move to Philadelphia and Gail agrees that it's too late in his life to move him and she doesn't want to uproot him or take him away from his friends. Good, Gail, I thought I'd have to slap you for a second there. Then Dawson asks if she's going to take it and Gail explains that she's thinking seriously about it, so seriously that she's planned it out. Mitch will move back to the house to take care of Dawson, she'll come home and visit as often as she can and Dawson can visit in the summer. She says that if she doesn't take the job and she loses her marriage, what else does she have?

Seriously, Gail?

You still have your son, Gail. You know, the person you created? The person you should be putting above your selfish needs?

oh, honey...
That's not enough

Heinous bitch!

Ugh, did you see that look? That look totally said, "oh honey, you don't matter. I just want want your father back. You can't fuck me." Just, heinous. Gail is one of the worst TV parents ever. All that matters is her husband, her kid doesn't factor into her decision at all. It's just, "Mitch doesn't want me back? Nothing's left for me for me here! Nothing!"

Even his mother doesn't want him

Grams checks up on Jen, who is still in bed. She's worried about Jen and even though Grams never liked Abby, she's sad that Jen lost her friend. That's nice but unfortunately she's using her religious views to talk to Jen. Now, I get that this is how Grams deals with death bug ultimately I get as pissed as Jen does when people try to tell me that someone being taken from you, people you care about, is "God's plan" because you know what? If God's plan is to take a young girl's life, Then God's plan fucking sucks. 

We next cut to Pacey and Andie who are at a restaurant. Pacey is absolutely indignant that Jen blames Andie for Abby's death but Andie does feel guilty for sending her away from the wedding. Just then, Abby's mother walks up to them and this, my friends, is where Abby becomes the most interesting side character Dawson's Creek ever produced. Now, one would assume up to this point that Abby's friend that she would have talked to her mother about was Jen but apparently, she talked the most about Andie. Andie, the girl she was constantly ridiculing and terrorising, was the one that she told her mother about. I mean, I find that fascinating. Was Andie the friend she always wished she had or was Andie the perfect cover friend that her mother would approve of, thus letting her go out to do other things? I'm mixed on this one, it could honestly go either way. There were glimpses where Abby did seem to genuinely want to be friends with Andie, case in point the time Abby offered her a ride home after that teen girl thing Gail did. Also when Abby did the mystery project on the sex note, then opted to take a failing grade rather than expose Andie's pain to the entire class. I don't know, I think through all of Abby's nastiness, she was actually just a lonely, bored and mixed up girl. 

Not as cartoonishly evil as we thought?

Anyway, Abby's mom is having a hard time finding someone to do a eulogy because Abby was a bitch to everyone, no mistaking that. She asks Andie to do it since Abby apparently only mentioned her as a friend and Andie actually agrees despite how anxious this makes her. 

Andie decides that to make the eulogy respectful but truthful, she has to get to know Abby. So she and Pacey sneak into Abby's house during the memorial and go up to her room. I briefly wonder why Abby's mom is having both a memorial and a funeral but this could be more common than I think so I'll shut up. Andie finds Abby's journal and despite Pacey's protest, she reads it and discovers that Abby pretty much hated everyone, including her. So, I guess Abby was just using Andie as a way to trick her mother to let her go out? 

In death, you became so much more interesting

Dawson finds Mitch in a classroom and sits down to talk. Mitch thinks Dawson wants to talk about Abby's death but Dawson doesn't care about that. He tells Mitch about Gail's job offer in Philly and Mitch just says that's good for her. Dawson is angry that his father doesn't care and is willing to let his mom walk out of their lives. Yet another reason Gail is a complete bitch here. She blatantly told Dawson that she's leaving because his father won't get back together with her so now Dawson is blaming his father for Gail leaving. That's horrible, she's leaving Mitch with a son who will hate him for making his mother leave town. I fucking hate Gail in this episode because she's being an awful and selfish person which is funny because the writers are clearly trying to make her sympathetic so that the audience will want Mitch to take her back. Well, it's not working on me. 

Jack asks Joey what's up with her and Dawson and she says they're putting things on hold because of reasons. I'm not bothering getting into it because we sell know they're together, this is just a bullshit thing to make you wonder just a little longer. 

Pacey is complaining to Dawson about not being able to protect Andie from dealing with death which is pretty misguided. I love Pacey and I love him with Andie and I remember loving how much he fought for her but this is getting kind of ridiculous. It's not his job to protect her from her feelings or stop her from going over the deep end. He can support her but ultimately, it's her job. 

Your hero complex is showing

Grams confronts Jen on her drinking again. Jennifer wigs out on her for it and lashes out even more about Grams' God speak. She goes out of her way to offend Grams and when Grams gets angry, Jen then chastises Grams for not being infinitely patient. She then says that if she can't speak her mind, she will just move out. 

Whatever! You don't know me!

Joey is pouting over the fact that she can't remember her mother very well so her dad comforts her by telling her that she reminds him of her mother. He also says that her mother isn't gone because she lives on in Joey. It's nice, I'll leave it at that. It's really just there to tell us again about how awesome and strong and beautiful Joey is but it's at least trying to have some heart about it. 

Andie is freaking out because she couldn't figure out what to write for Abby's eulogy. If she makes up nice stuff, she's lying and if she tells the truth, she'll break Abby's mom's heart. Pacey offers to do the speech for her so that she'll stop stressing about it which Andie is moved by but also sets Pacey straight about his role in their relationship. That he shouldn't always rush to be her knight in shinning armour. She says she has to learn to take care of herself so she is going to do the eulogy herself. 

The day of the funeral the people of Capeside show up. Despite the fact that our characters have spent the entire episode going on and on about how awful Abby was and how much they all hated her and that she was a harpy who rode to school on a broomstick, etc the entire gang shows up for her funeral. Why? Because the plot says so. Really, it only makes sense for Jen, Grams, Pacey, and Andie o be at the funeral. Dawson and Joey have no business being there. They flat out said they didn't like her at the beginning, so why show up? Because Joey has made Abby's death about herself and the loss of her mother? 

This funeral for Abby is totally about me and my issues with my mom's death!

Grams sits next to Jen and apologizes for the fight they had last night and says she forgives Jen. Jen says she doesn't need her forgiveness, she needs her understanding and she thinks Grams has never been able to give that. Uh, Jen look in the mirror because you haven't given your Grams any understanding either. Before they can get too into it, people are asked to say a few words about Abby. Jen is the only one yo stand up and she says this:

Jen: My name is Jen Lindley. And I was friends with Abby, as much as anyone could be because Abby had a toxic personality, in fact it was almost bordering on radioactive. Abby could be cruel and Abby could be spiteful, and Abby could certainly be petty. She spent her days mischievously stirring up trouble, and creating calamity, and generally, taking pleasure in other people's pain. You know, in Sunday School, they teach us that God made Man in his image. Well, if God made Abby in his own image then what does that say about God? God has always been such a mystery to me. I mean, what kind of Deity creates a world that is so full of suffering and so full of pain. I tell you what, Abby taught me a lot. She taught me how to do a tequila shooter with one hand tied behind my back, and she taught me to live life by my own set of values, and not follow the crowd, in hopes of winning some phantom popularity contest. But most of all, what's most important, is Abby taught me the sadistic nature of our God and as much as that knowledge is disturbing, it's true. And it's real. And for a world that is so saturated with phoniness and lies, for that small amount, for that little bit of honesty, I will always be grateful to her. 

And Grams looks like this:

I will rain God's vengeance down upon thee!

Then Andie finally gets up and says her piece. She paints Abby as a person who challenges people and pushes them to be stronger. It was truthful but so much kinder than Jen's words. This rightfully makes Jen feel like shit. 

Dawson tells Joey that he's happy about what happened between them but she's too busy being sad face about her mother to show any emotion:

Yes. I am thrilled to be back with you too. Can't you tell by my face?

She snaps out of it and says that she is happy about being back with Dawson too but says she needs to do something first but wants him to walk her there. He looks extremely happy and smug that she needs him. 

Pacey congratulates Andie on how well she's handled everything. Andie spots Jen and goes to talk to her. Jen apologizes for blaming Andie for Abby's death because it was really her own fault. Andie tries to comfort Jen by telling her she was only speaking the truth. Jen says that she was being stupid and that the truth should not be said sometimes. Andie remembers Abby's diary and is worried that Abby's mom will find it and be heart broken. 

Jen returns home to find Grams has packed up all of her things. Grams is pissed, y'all. Grams yells at Jen for basically shitting all over her olive branch and did it in a house of God. She also points out what I did about Jen demanding understanding without giving any of her own. Then Grams tells her to find someplace else to live and, I'm not gonna lie, this scene was hard to watch. They were getting along so well and then this happens and it breaks my heart. 

You were getting along so well!

Andie is getting Abby's diary out of her room when she spots Abby in the mirror, like this:

The fuuuuuck?

But she's not really there:

Don't bother trying to find her, Andie

So, what happened? Did Andie see Abby's ghost or is she going coo coo for cocoa puffs? I guess we'll have to find out next time in Reunited but time will tell if it feels so good. 

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