Dawson's Creek
Four Stories

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Anyway, pan down over the rooftop of the Brookshaven, accompanied by the Counting Crows, to the Gretchenmobile pulling into the drive with Dawson "Bad Heir Day" Leery at the wheel. ["For those of you writing a book, that's the song that was playing while Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon did it in Cruel Intentions." -- Wing Chun] It's not even his car -- how come he's driving? He heaves a sigh as the car comes to a stop; Gretchen "Martha Raye" Witter leans over and kisses him on the cheek and tells him, "It's gonna get better. I promise." They get out of the car, and Gretchen gets an expositional assist by asking what Grams wants. Dawson doesn't know; Grams just told him to meet her at Mr. Brooks's after the funeral, and "she'd be in the garage." Then we get a filler shot of Dawson and Gretchen walking arm-in-arm to the garage. They had the funeral already? According to the timeline of this episode, it's only one day later. It happens all the time on TV shows and in the movies, and it drives me nuts -- you can't just decide to have a funeral the next day. You need to arrange for all the funeral home stuff and have the body embalmed and prepared and dressed, notify friends and family, call the paper to give them the death notice, start probate proceedings, organize a memorial service, and get a damn grave dug. All of these things take days to take care of, and you cannot do all that in one day, not unless you belong to an organized-crime family. It's not like running out to pick up a McRib sandwich or something. Jesus.

Moving on. The garage. The two enter to find Grams "Little Old Lady From Kick-Ass-A-Dena" Ryan sighting a pistol, and stop dead in surprise. Grams explains that it's a prop Mr. Brooks saved. "Maybe I could use this to keep my granddaughter in line," she cracks, but Gretchen and Dawson don't laugh. Dawson looks around at all the movie paraphernalia, commenting that he had no idea Mr. Brooks had saved all that stuff. Grams says that, in spite of what he might have said, Mr. Brooks "was fiercely proud of what he accomplished in his career." Silence from the kids. Grams remarks that "it was a lovely service, wasn't it?" Dawson nostril-flares, "Yeah, quite a turn-out, too." Grams shoots him an appraising look; Gretchen steps up to assure her that yes, "it was a lovely service, Mrs. Ryan. How can we help?" Grams says Mr. Brooks didn't want his things just "collecting dust," so she thought they might donate it somewhere. Dawson uses his entire body to roll his eyes and turn away from her, and when Grams pointedly asks him if he has any suggestions, he gripes, "What's the point? Nobody even knew he existed." Maybe there's something Dawson would like to take, to remember Mr. Brooks by? Dawson starts to say something, then walks past Grams and out of the garage without a word. Gretchen and Grams exchange a "the hell?" look, and Gretchen starts to go after him, but Grams says, "No, let -- let me," and follows Dawson outside.

Outside, there's a long, violin-soaked shot of Dawson brooding in the yard. Grams approaches him tentatively and apologizes, saying she knows it's not easy for him. Dawson shocks the nation by apologizing himself, saying that that doesn't give him "the right to be rude." Wow. Nice manners, and for once I mean that. Grams philosophizes about how everyone deals with death in his own way and "there is no right or wrong." Dawson asks why she wants to "subject" herself to coming to the Brookshaven that day, calling it "completely morbid." Grams puts her hands in the pockets of her sweater-jacket and tells him that they've lost a dear friend, the pain won't just go away, it will disappear eventually but not right away, there's nothing they can do about it, fishcakes. Dawson raises his gargantuan eyebrows in acknowledgement. Grams adds that closure is important. Dawson doesn't think the lack of closure is what's bothering him. "What is it, then?" "I don't know." Grams suggests that Dawson "spend some time with him -- with his space, with his things -- find a way to say goodbye," and maybe that will help. An agonizingly long slo-mo shot of Dawson kicking the dirt in the yard, then slo-moing inside; a weird filler shot of the pier at sunset, despite the fact that, in the scene we've just watched, it's an overcast day.

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Dawson's Creek

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