Dawson's Creek
Four Stories

Episode Report Card
Sars: F | Grade It Now!
The Scarlet N

Gretchen leaves. Dawson looks around the garage, then heads to the upper story; his hair has taken on the greasy-yet-prickly look made famous by Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites. He unearths a like-new poster for Turn Away, My Sweet (whatever), and as he gazes at it nostalgically, a grey-haired man comes into the garage and introduces himself as the attorney handling the Brooks estate. Dawson comes down and shakes hands, and the lawyer asks if Dawson can come by his office later to discuss Mr. Brooks's will, and he gives Dawson his card and asks if Mr. Brooks used to be some kind of movie star or something. Dawson near-tearfully soliloquizes about Mr. Brooks's misanthropic tendencies while not answering the guy's question at all, finishing, "He was a friend of mine, and I'm gonna miss him." Dawson, the lawyer wants to know what Mr. Brooks did for a living. "Di-rec-tor." Say it with me now. The lawyer whatevers that he'll see Dawson that afternoon. Oh no -- more slo-mo as Dawson picks up the fedora, regards it sadly, and hangs it on top of a dressmaker's dummy. Oh, the violin, she is sad.

"Excess Baggage." Please, oh Lord, let it end.

Accompanied by The Ska Music Of Failed Physical Comedy, Jen lets herself into an office and gets her bag strap caught on the doorknob. She rings a buzzer a few times, and a guy named Tom Frost materializes and introduces himself, and they go into his office. Good god, this entire segment is so unrelentingly stupid that I just can't bring myself to recap it properly, so here's the gist: Tom Frost is a therapist, and Jen has to see him because of Mini-Bar-Gate. Jen is nervous and defensive, as shown by her inability to decide where to sit; she doesn't think she needs to be there. Tom Frost is cold and Freudian and has a tiny mouth; he turns all of her answers around on her, and he takes notes. Several awkward silences. Cursory mentions of her parents, her friends, and her drinking. After a so-not-funny-it's-almost-physically-painful moment where Jen stumbles through an explanation of her relationship with Jack and says the word "homosexual" about thirty-five thousand times, Jen accidentally breaks a framed copy of one of Tom Frost's diplomas, and then there's more ska. The questions get pointed, and Jen decides that "this is not gonna work" and makes to leave, but not before informing Tom Frost that he's "not very easy to talk to," and he tells her she should go now -- he'll tell the school she's "fulfilled the requirement." She doesn't believe him at first, then shrugs and turns to go again, but then turns around again to ask, "Am I totally screwed up?" Tom Frost says that it's too soon to tell, but he can guess that her sarcastic exterior hides "a scared, lonely young woman," her parents have fucked her up in ways she hasn't begun to deal with, and she doesn't trust people -- especially men -- and that leads her to seek acceptance in destructive ways, and in a best friend who will never fully reciprocate her feelings. Jen freezes, her hand on the doorknob; Tom Frost has clearly hit a nerve. Tom Frost adds that they don't really know "why [she's] here yet," but he'd love to help her find out. Jen looks at him, then says, "You got me for the hour -- but I'm not promising anything," and says he shouldn't think she didn't catch the whole reverse-psychology trip he just pulled on her. Tom Frost grabs his pen and his notebook with unabashed delight (hee), and we go to a montage of Jen reclining on Tom Frost's Marimekko couch and talking about meeting the gang for the first time. The segment is annoying and perpetuates a number of irritating falsehoods about psychoanalysis, but Michelle Williams does a good job with the crappy material, and I like Tom Frost. I don't know why. His mouth is weird, but I like him and I hope we see more of him.

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Dawson's Creek




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