Dawson's Creek
…That Is The Question (2)

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...That Is The Question (2)

Andie sits at the breakfast table as Mr. McPhee clatters down the steps with his bags. He slept there? When Andie asks, he says he has to "get back," and hands her a list of nurse companies for Mrs. McPhee: "We'll get some help in here for you." Andie asks if he can't stay longer, and he says no, "it's not possible," and Andie reminds him that they said they'd discuss it but they haven't yet, and her father dismisses her with, "Andie, don't get emotional. I'll be back in a few weeks," and over Andie's continuing objections, Mr. McPhee begins to gather his things for Abandonment 2: Electric Bugaloo. Enter Jack, who snaps, "Don't bother." Mr. McPhee: "Excuse me?" Andie tries to intercede, but Jack repeats, "Don't bother coming back." Mr. McPhee tries to pull rank: "Would you like to explain your comment?" Jack won't hear it: "You don't want to be here, so don't come back. We have everything under control, save yourself the gas mileage." Mr. McPhee gets up in Jack's face and thunders, "I will not suffer that tone from you, I work too hard," but Jack cuts him off and says that he always uses that excuse, and why does he work so hard to support a family he doesn't even care about? Realizing full well that Jack has just busted him, and hard, Mr. McPhee makes I-don't-have-to-listen-to-this-I'm-leaving noises, but Jack leaps in front of him and slams the door shut, and when Mr. McPhee tells him to move, Jack yells, "No! This is one conversation that you can't run away from!" Mr. McPhee gapes as Jack keeps shouting, "You don't want to talk about Tim's death, about Mom being sick, or even why she's sick, you don't want to address the reality of why your daughter's been on and off prescriptive drugs for the last two years, that's fine too [?], but we are gonna talk about me!" Andie huddles in the doorway as Mr. McPhee recovers with, "You calm yourself down!" and Jack screams, "No, I will not calm down and I will not be quiet!" As Mr. McPhee blinks in surprise, Jack half-sobs, "You want to resolve this, then you ask me again!" Mr. McPhee, blustering over his shock: "Ask you what?" Jack, determined to get this out: "The question! Ask me the question again! Ask me if I'm gay."

Mr. McPhee blinks some more; Jack whimpers, "Ask me." Mr. McPhee informs him firmly, "You are not gay," and Jack cries, "Yes, I am!" Andie bites her lip. Mr. McPhee turns away as Jack bawls at the back of his head, "You know it! I see how you look at me, and I know you know! Think about the way that you treated me and the way that you treated Tim." Mr. McPhee turns around as Jack continues, still sobbing, "Because he was the real son, and I was different, and as hard as you've tried to stamp it out, and to ignore it, I have tried harder! I have tried harder than you to be quiet, and to forget it, and not bother my family with my problems." Andie looks close to tears herself; Mr. McPhee, completely nonplused, just stands there as Jack walks around him and sits on the stairs, crying: "But I can't try anymore, because it hurts. I'm sorry, Dad." Still Mr. McPhee says nothing. Jack apologizes to Andie also. Andie shakes her head that he doesn't have to as he sobs, "I don't want to be going through this but I am," and then she goes and sits by him on the stairs. Mr. McPhee doesn't know what else to say, so he heads for terra firma: "Stop crying. Both of you." Andie stares at him as Jack keeps sobbing; he repeats, "I said, stop crying," and Andie stares at him with plain loathing and snarls, "Leave." When their father tries to tell her again that it doesn't concern her, that "this is between Jack and me," she gets up and growls, "Not anymore it's not. Just leave -- get outta here!" Mr. McPhee grabs his stuff and looks back at his sobbing children, and then he leaves, and Andie sits back down next to Jack and rests her head on his shaking shoulder. Wow -- a harrowing scene, overall, and although Kerr Smith's crying technique probably won't win him an Emmy, I still teared up during this part and felt relieved that a commercial finally arrived. Oh, and Mr. McPhee? Shut up.

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Dawson's Creek

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