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  02x18 - A Perfect Wedding
 Posted: 05/16/99 09:56
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Episode 218, "A Perfect Wedding"

James Van Der Beek: Dawson Leery
Katie Holmes: Joey Potter
Joshua Jackson: Pacey Witter
Michelle Williams: Jen Lindley
Meredith Monroe: Andie McPhee
Kerr Smith: Jack McPhee

Nina Repeta: Bessie Potter
Gareth Williams: Mike Potter
Gail Leery: Mary-Margaret Humes
Mitch Leery: John Wesely Shipp
Abby Morgan: Monica Keena
Nicole: Madchen Amick

Written by Mike White
Directed by Greg Prange

Original Air Date: April 28, 1999

(Dawson is showing his film to his mother. It ends. He turns to look at her reaction.)

Gail: Dawson, that was ...very impressive. It was moving. It was funny. (pauses) It was real.

Dawson: You're just saying that because you're my mother.

Gail: No, I'm not! You are incredibly talented.

Dawson: (gets up to go turn off the lights) You are incredibly biased. (pauses and turns around) You know what? I had such a distinct and clear vision for this movie. I-I mean, I saw every moment. I heard every word of dialogue. I guess I just...failed to translate that vision onto film ...bring it to life. And what about all the visions that I have for the future? What if I can't bring those to life either?

Gail: Sweetheart, the trick is to stay tenacious. Not to let any minor, (looks at the screen) and in this case, very minor, setback derail your vision.

Dawson: I supposed I could re-edit it.

Gail: There you go. Your movie may not be Citizen Kane ...but it's no Bride of Chucky either.

Dawson: The way my film teacher described it, you'd think it was the worst, most expensable, piece of junk ever captured on film.

Gail: Ah, honey, that is just one person's opinion. (She walks towards the door and turns around) Speaking of teachers at your school, how's your father enjoying his new profession?

Dawson: He likes it, I think. I mean, it's weird to see him in the teacher's lounge ...consorting with the enemy. (pauses) You really miss him, don't you?

Gail: Yeah. (pauses) Lately more than ever.

Dawson: Well, if you know what you want, maybe you should take some of your own advice.

Gail: (smiles) Maybe...

(She walks out of the room. Cue opening credits.

(Cut to Joey watching her dad cook breakfast.)

Mr.Potter: 'Morning Joey. Hope you're hungry. I think I might have overdone it here.

Joey: Dad...

Mr.Potter: I am so glad to be home. I never thought making breakfast for my two daughter's would make me so happy.

Joey: I thought, for sure, that I would wake up this morning and discover that last night was just a dream...

Mr.Potter: It's all over, Joey. I'm not going anywhere ever again.

(Bessie walks in.)

Bessie: Hey Dad. I was thinking with the catering and expanding our hours, our finances are going to be straightened out in no time. (sees Joey) Joey! Good morning!

Mr.Potter: Your sister and I were up this morning scheming up ways to turn up a profit with the restaurant.

Bessie: Remember my friend Pam? She's getting married this Saturday at the Atheneom and the caterer fell through and--

Mr.Potter: Icehouse to the rescue.

Bessie: So do you think you could ask a few of your friends to work as servers?

Joey: (shocked and trying to digest everything) Sure...

Mr.Potter: Give me my grandson (reaching for Alexander.) C'mere. (Takes him out of the room)

Bessie: Isn't this exciting? I mean, we're finally on our way to getting out of debt!

Joey: Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, we're not an upscale catering service. We grill cheeseburgers!

Bessie: Don't worry ...with Dad's help we'll be fine.

(Mr. Potter walks back into the room.)

Mr.Potter: We're the Potters. We're quick studies and we always land on our feet, right?

(Bessie takes Alex back and Mr.Potter looks at Joey's worried face.)

Mr.Potter: Joey, I'm the father. It's my job to do the worrying. Your days of worrying are over. (pauses) I missed you so much.

(They hug and Joey closes her eyes and says with her face held close to her father's shoulder...)

Joey: I missed you, too.

Mr.Potter: We're a family again. Everything's going to be better. You'll see.

(Bessie smiles, agreeing.)

Mr.Potter: You'll see.

(Joey's face drops to a face clouded with worry. Cut to Jack and Joey walking out on the schoolyard.)

Jack: (confused) Since when do we cater weddings?

Joey: (speaking quickly) Since my father got paroled and took over the restaurant.

(Jack stops. He stares at Joey questioning the situation and her reaction to the situation.)

Joey: Yeah, I know. Yeah, I walked home last night ...and, ah, found him standing on the porch.

(Jack's is shocked by this and he searches Joey's face for some kind of a reaction to this.)

Jack: You must be thrilled (he smiles).

Joey: (smiles, looks a little faked) Yeah! I's ...uh, just a little weird. (pauses) Like I've been broadsided by a bus. A happy bus. But, just reeling from the shock I guess...

Jack: Sure! Of course. (studies her expression) Something's wrong.

(She looks at him and she shows that there is. She walks towards a bench and sits down.)

Joey: Jack...I don't know..

(He sits down beside her.)

Joey: Last night I was laying in bed, I couldn't sleep. I was shaking. (pauses) I have a pit in my stomach the size of a granade and...I've seen my dad one time in three years. I mean, we can't just pick up where we left off. This whole catering plan is just compounding my anxiety. I mean, all the blue-bloods of Capeside are going to be at this wedding. I mean, this isn't the most low profile setting for my father to reemerge into society.

Jack: Yeah. Maybe you need to tell your father that this catering plan is ill-conceived. Too much, too soon, you know? And I think that you need to deal with this reunion with your father on a personal level before you do it in public.

Joey: You should have seen Bessie's face this morning ...she was so excited. I don't want to rain on their parade.

Jack: Well, don't worry. (pauses and leans in close to her) I'll be there.

(Joey smiles. Cut to Pacey and Dawson walking down the halls.)

Dawson: So I think I'm going to go back and re-edit the ending because I'm thinking maybe I just put the pieces together wrong, you know?

(Pacey shrugs. Dawson spots his father with his film teacher in the teacher's lounge.)

Dawson: You know, it's bad enough that my parents are separated and my mother is heartbroken, should I really have to be subjected to this?

Pacey: Well ...she does have certain assets, Dawson.

Dawson: Pacey!

Pacey: I'm sorry, bro! But--

(Jack walks up and interrupts.)

Jack: Hey guys. Did Joey talk to you yet?

Dawson: About what?

Jack: Well, the Icehouse is catering a wedding on Saturday and we need some extra hands. (raises his eyebrows like meaning 'You interested?') It'd pay $60 for the day.

Pacey: Sold! For $60 I'd carry your ass!

Jack: Well, ...that won't be necessary.

Dawson: The Icehouse is catering weddings now?

Jack: Yeah, Mr. Potter's brainchild.

Dawson: (confused) Mr. Potter?

Jack: Mm-hm. You--(realizing) oh, Joey's dad got paroled yesterday.

Dawson: (his eyes bug in shock) Really?

Jack: Yeah...he's back home.

Dawson: Wow...

(The bell rings and Jack makes motions like he needs to be going and he leaves. Dawson stands there absorbing everything for a minute, sighs and then goes into class. Cut to the girl's bathroom. Abby is putting on a horrid feathery black jacket over her outfit. Jen walks in.)

Jen: I figured I'd find you in here. Abby, could I, um, talk to you for a second?

Abby: Funny. I've been under the misconception that we weren't speaking. After Dawson's movie wrapped, I figured you had no use for me.

Jen: (sighs) You know, you're right. Nevermind. (walks towards the bathroom door and out) See you later.

Abby: (follows) No! Jen, wait!

Jen: Abby, I woke up this morning frustrated. Like, all I wanted to do was climb the walls or, or light the place on fire.

(Abby starts laughing.)

Jen: No, it's not funny. I am so serious, I am so tense. And I am so ...just bored. And I feel like I'm going berserk. I feel like I'm going berserk here.

Abby: Well, Jen, there was once this scientific experiment where they put this rat in this small box without any of it's ...rat toys or sawdust or stimulation. Well, eventually, the rat started gnawing off his own feet.

(Jen laughs.)

Abby: You are that rat. Capeside's the box. Need I say more?

Jen: I mean, I've tried changing my image. And if no one here's going to accept me, what's the point in living this pristine and tedious existence, you know? And then, thinking back on all the fun times I've had this year ...I've had them with you.

(Abby laughs.)

Abby: I think that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.

(Jen smiles.)

Jen: So, then, what do rats do for fun on the weekend?

Abby: Oh, I don't know, but, you know us rats. We can always sniff out something (smiles).

(They laugh and turn to go into their class.)

Abby: Late again.

(Cut to Andie and Pacey walking out the door of school.)

Pacey: 60 bucks for you, 60 bucks for me equals 120 dollars.

Andie: Do you have an abacas in your pocket or did you just add that in your head?

Pacey: What I was thinking is a trip to New York, dinner, catch a show, then a nice romantic carriage ride through the park, what do you say?

Andie: On $120?! What decade do you think we're living in?

Pacey: Alright, not the Big Apple but how about a nice romantic evening here in Capeside.

Andie: I hate weddings. Bridesmaids in hideous dresses, people getting all's too sentimental for me.

Pacey: Too sentimental for you? A girl who just yesterday was brought to tears by a Nike commercial.

Andie: Well, I draw the line at weddings. The whole institution of marriage is an antiquated construct. I think that if a couple wants to stay together, they should do so by choice. I mean, all those sweeping vows and public ceremony, it just sets people up to fail miserably!

Pacey: I know you have issues where this is concerned, but you've never been to a wedding with me. You come with me on Saturday. If by the end of the night, you're not convinced that they are the most beautiful ritual that mankind has ever created, I'll let you keep the money. All of it. Yours and mine.

Andie: Hm. I have been itching to buy a new pair of Nikes that I just recently saw advertised...

Pacey: Andie McPhee, your days as a wedding cynic are numbered.

Andie: Ah, we'll see about that one.

(They hit their bottles of water together and then take a drink.)

(Cut to Joey coughing talking to her dad.)

Joey: I think...that you may have overdone that on the horseradish. It did clear my sinuses though.

(Mr. Potter spots Dawson.)

Mr.Potter: Dawson Leery, I thought for sure that when I came back you two would be (missed word), what happened?

Joey: Long story.

Mr.Potter: Hello, Dawson!

(They shake hands.)

Dawson: Mr. Potter.

Mr.Potter: You're a sight for sore eyes.

Dawson: Thank you, congratulations, welcome back!

Mr.Potter: Thank you. (pauses) You're looking good.

Dawson: Thank you.

Mr.Potter: You kids are all grown up. It's amazing, but let's catch up later. I have a horseradish issue to deal with.

Dawson: Ah..

Joey: We're catering a wedding.

Dawson: I know. I told Jack I could help out.

Mr.Potter: Good! Tell your parents I said hello.

Dawson: You'll actually be able to tell them yourself. They'll be guests at the wedding on Saturday.

(Mr.Potter smiles and goes back into the kitchen. Dawson looks at Joey and raises his eyebrows.)

Dawson: Wow! So your dad's back? How long have you known?

Joey: Total surprise.

Dawson: (sympathetic) That's got to be a lot to deal with. (concerned) How are you doing?

Joey: (she stares almost in a daze into his eyes and snaps out of it) I'm okay.

Dawson: Okay?

Joey: I mean, I was kind of on an emotional overload this morning, but, uh, I ran into Jack and with his typically intuitive insight, he was able to calm me down.

Dawson: (seems a little envious of Jack, smiles fakely) Great!

Joey: I was looking for you ...but then I had to cut school early to come here to help out.

(Awkward pause.)

Joey: Taste this. (she turns around and grabs a plate) Horseradish and (missed word) salmon. We're serving it at the wedding.

(She puts the fork up towards his mouth when they overhear a conversation between two women at a nearby table.)

Woman #1: ...what he did to their mother? He cheated on her while the poor woman was dying of cancer! I don't think he should ever be allowed back into Capeside. I mean, he's a drug dealer!

Woman #2: Shhh! Keep your voice down!

(Cut back to Dawson and Joey. Joey's obviously upset by this)

Dawson: Well, that's Capeside for you.

Joey: (talking fast, the way she always does when she's trying to escape something) You know, I gotta get back into the kitchen but thank you for helping out this weekend!

(She walks back towards the kitchen.)

Dawson: Joey! (pauses) Joey!

(Commercials. Cut to Joey giving orders before the wedding.)

Joey: Okay, Pacey and Andie, I need you to take care of the wedding cake and arrange the tables. (they nod) Jack and Dawson, if you guys could take care of the champagne and the appetizers. (they nod) (to all) And if there are any catastrophes, you can come to me. I'll either be in the kitchen or out on the floor.

(Bessie walks in.)

Joey: Bessie, the guests are already starting to arrive. We're going to survive this, right?

Bessie: Of course we will! Just relax, and breathe.

Joey: I don't have time to breathe...

(Joey starts turning the corner and Dawson follows her holding two champagne bottles.)

Dawson: Joey! About those women at the Icehouse...

Joey: What about them, Dawson? They're just a bunch of Capeside's ignoramuses. What do they know? I mean, it's bound to happen when your father's an infamous philanderer and drug dealer.

Dawson: Are you okay, though? I'm worried about you.

(Joey quickly snaps towards him, obviously jumpy and stressed.)

Joey: I'm fine! Dawson, I'm fine. Honestly, I don't care about those idiotic women, there are 100 people out there, waiting to eat, and at this point, getting them fed is the only thing on my mind!

(She walks off quickly and Dawson looks after her and sighs. Cut to Dawson out on the floor serving glasses of champagne. He runs into his mother.)

Gail: Hey, Dawson. Have you seen your father?

Dawson: No, I haven't.

Gail: Well, you were right that I should take some of my own advice. I've decided that this has gone on long enough. I'm going to get your father back.

Dawson: (smiles) Well, you look beautiful.

Gail: Thanks, honey.

(She kisses him on the cheek and walks past as Dawson glances at the entrance and sees his father with his film teacher. He looks back at his mom, who is also noticing. Dawson accidentily knocks over the last champagne glass standing and he goes to clean up the mess. Cut to Andie and Pacey wheeling in the cake into a room.)

Pacey: Isn't this romantic, sweetheart? I mean, can't you just feel the anticipatory excitement in the air? Two young lovers about to be united in the bounds of holy matrimony. I'm getting goosebumps, how about you?

Andie: Yeah, don't push me. I've got a cake knife in my hand, Pacey.

Pacey: (laughs) Okay, let's just finish this thing off and we can get out there and watch the ceremony.

Andie: I'm not watching the ceremony.

Pacey: Sure, you are. You can watch it from my lap.

Andie: Yeah, right, in your dreams.

Pacey: You know, I wish I had money like these people. When someone in my family gets married, you end up wearing polyester, they serve fishsticks for appetizers, and the whole thing winds up in a drunken brawl. That's why I like to make moments like this perfect. Beautiful location, best champagne, and every penny in place.

Andie: It may look perfect, but stretch beneath the surface and you will find distrangement, despair, and dysfunction. I mean, at least your family's imperfection reflects reality. My family, we look perfect, but on the inside we're falling apart.

Pacey: You're just a regular Polyanna today, aren't ya? Go easy on the sunshine, sister.

Andie: (angry) Alright, Pacey. I told you I didn't want to come to this wedding. I told you it would only put me in a bad mood, and you forced me to come. So you know what? Now you're going to have to deal with the consequences--

(She moves her hands out to prove her point and she knocks over the top layer of the cake which smashes to the ground. Joey saw the cake drop and she closes her eyes and sighs.)

Andie: Ahh..

Pacey: Oh, dear lord...

(Cut to Dawson going into the room where the bride's at. She's sitting in a chair, obviously upset.)

Dawson: (surprised) Hi.

Pam: Hi...

Dawson: Are you okay?

Pam: I think I'm having a heart attack.

Dawson: D-do you want me to get somebody?

Pam: No! Don't get anybody! Just help me get this window open (she goes over to a window.)

Dawson: Wh-What are you trying to do?

Pam: (hesitantly) Can you keep a secret?

Dawson: Yeah..

Pam: I'm not going through with this. I can't get married.

Dawson: W-why not?

(Pam starts crying.)

Pam: I want to diieee....oh, please, just let me die...

Dawson: What's the matter? Don't you love him?

Pam: I don't know. That's the thing. What if I marry him and it's the biggest mistake of my life?

Dawson: I-I don't know what to say...

(Dawson just kinda stares at her wondering how the world he got himself into this mess. Cut to Jen's house. Abby and Jen are in Jen's room.)

Grams: Jennifer! Would you please turn that down!

Jen: Sorry, Grams!

Abby: (mocking) Jennifer! Would you please turn that down!

(They laugh)

Abby: I'm bored.

Jen: What do you want to do tonight, huh? I'm determined to have a blast no matter what.

Abby: I don't know. I think we're in desperate need of the 3 B's: booze, boys, (tries to think of the other, starts over)...booze, boys..

(Jen laughs.)

Abby: Well, that's only two B's. So what are Dawson and those other lame excuses for teenagers doing tonight?

Jen: The Icehouse is catering this wedding at the Atheneom...everybody's there. Guess nobody thought to invite me. I guess I'm not really part of the 'inner circle'.

Abby: The Atheneom? Free champagne, older guys in likes.

Jen: One problem, Abby. Lack of invitation.

Abby: Well, an invitation has never stopped me before. I say we get really dressed up, and crash that wedding. We'll show Dawson and his little click a wedding they'll never forget.

(They laugh. Cut to the people in the ceremony looking at their watches, waiting. Cut to Dawson in the room with the crying bride.)

Dawson: Okay, I don't want to put any pressure on you but the ceremony is about to've really got to make a decision.

Jack: (from outside the door) Hey Dawson!

Dawson: (to Pam) Hold on! I'll handle this.

(Dawson opens the door.)

Jack: Were you in there long enough?

Dawson: Well, we've got a little problem. The bride wants to jump out the window.

Jack: Where is she?

Dawson: She's in there. She's hysterical. We might have to cancel the wedding.

Jack: Let me talk to her.

Dawson: I really don't think you could do any good right now.

Jack: Where is she?

(Dawson opens the door and the place where Pam was sitting is empty.)

Dawson: She was right there.

(They look at the closed bathroom door. Cut to Joey in the kitchen. Bessie walks in.)

Joey: Where's Dad?

Bessie: Why? What's happening?

Joey: This wedding is rapidly becoming a disaster. Jack and Dawson disappeared. Pacey and Andie just ruined the cake and the food isn't even ready yet.

Bessie: Joey, just calm down. Everything's going to be okay.

Joey: No, Dawson's right! I mean, Bessie, we have enough to deal with now that Dad's back without taking on this wedding! We were so blinded by all of a sudden paying back our debts that we overlook the now painfully obvious reality that we have no idea what we're doing!

Bessie: It's not that bad! Everything's under control. We're just experiencing a few glitches.

Joey: A few glitches? Bessie, we're going to ruin this wedding and humiliate ourselves, again, in front of all of Capeside! It's the story of our lives.

Bessie: No! It's not over yet. We can do this. I don't think we should get Dad all worked up about it?

Joey: Why not?! This was his bright idea in the first place! He tore our family apart and he thinks he can just put it back together in a day, well, he can't!

(Bessie's face drops and she turns around and walks out of the room and Joey closes her eyes and slowly turns around hoping she won't see who she thinks she will. Her father overheard the whole conversation.)

(Cut to people impatiently awaiting for the ceremony to begin. Cut to Dawson and Jack leaned against the door of the bathroom.)

Jack: If you don't open up the door, I'm going to have to get your mother.

(Dawson gives him a look.)

Jack: It was worth a try.

(All of a sudden they hear something. They move away and open the door.)

Jack: Hey! How you doin'?

Pam: I'm going to be sick.

Jack: Are you havin' second thoughts?

Pam: I keep thinking...what if Alan isn't my soulmate? What if my soulmate is still out there and I just haven't met him yet? And now, I'm giving up my one chance for perfect love.

Jack: You could spend your whole life looking for perfect love, and I promise you. You'll never find it.

(She starts crying again.)

Jack: No! It's-it's-because love isn't perfect! Everyone's flawed. Including you. Including Alan. But Alan loves you, and that love is real. Are you sure you want to walk away from something that's real? For a dream that may not even exist?

(She smiles. Jack smiles.)

Jack: C'mon. You're just suffering from an acute case of the wedding day jitters. It wouldn't be a wedding without em. It's a tradition! It's like throwing a bouquet or taking off the garter. Besides, I bet when you start to walk down that aisle, and you look into Alan's eyes, all your fears are just going to dissolve away.

(Cut to Pam walking down the aisle. Cut to Mitch looking over at Gail. Cut to Dawson looking at Joey, she looks back at him and smiles. Cut to Pam walking up to Dawson and Jack.)

Pam: (to Jack) I don't even know you, but you saved my life. Thank you.

(She kisses him on the cheek.)

Pam: I'm so happy.

(She walks off.)

Dawson: Okay, I talk to her for 20 minutes and she wants to jump out of a window, you come in and in two minutes, you save her marriage. (confused) How do you do that?

Jack: Well, I train with this Indian shamin who lives up in the woods.

(They laugh.)

Jack: I don't know. I guess I just happen to say the right things.

Dawson: (pause) There's a time where she used to come to me.

Jack: Joey?

Dawson: Yeah. Whenever she had bad news or something she wanted to talk about, she would climb through my window and we'd talk for hours and hours. Now she goes to you.

Jack: Dawson, I don't think you should draw any conclusions about your relationship with Joey based on something so circumstantial. I may be friends with her...but you're her soulmate.

Dawson: You just told the bride you don't believe in soulmates.

Jack: I don't believe in perfect love, but I do believe that there are people who's lives are inextricably intertwined, who have a bond that lasts forever. That can never be broken. And she needs you now, man. You're the only one that knows her whole history. You're the only one that knows what she's going through.

Dawson: I know! And I keep on reaching out to her but between her pride...and this wedding. It's--I can't connect.

Jack: Maybe what she needs is for you to force a connection.

(Dawson thinks. Cut to Andie watching at the door to a back room.)

Andie: Ohhhh my God! Hurry up, they're coming!

(Pacey takes the stuff away from "the cake")

Pacey: How's it look?

(It looks like a blob)

Andie: What have you done?! That looks worse!

Pacey: Well, I don't know! I'm not a pastry chef, alright?

Andie: Oh my God, Pacey!

(Pam opens the door.)

Pam: Hi!

(Andie jumps in front of it.)

Andie: Hi!

Pam: Is the cake back here? I want to see it.

Andie: No, it's--it''s very bad luck for the bride to see her wedding cake on an empty stomach!

Pam: Really? What will happen?

Andie: She'll get fat!

Pam: Ohh.

Andie: They say.

Pam: I've only heard that layer of the cake represents the marriage.

(Andie's eyes get huge.)

Pam: (cont.) We're supposed to put it in the freezer for good luck and (getting teary-eyed) eat it on our first anniversary.

Andie: Awwww.

(Pam turns and leaves. Andie shuts the door.)

Andie: Did you hear that? That's an omen! If their marriage breaks up it will be our fault.

Pacey: Our fault? I think you mean your fault. It was your wild instrictulations that sent this baby flying in the first place.

Andie: Ohhh God, when she comes in to cut the cake she's going to be horrified! I should not have come. Not only have I wrecked their wedding, but I've put a curse on their marriage!

Pacey: Andie, would you settle down! Weren't you the one that was just yelling about anti-symbolism anyhow?

Andie: Yeah, but her wedding day is supposed to be perfect! I mean, look at that cake! And the little itsy bitsy groom is covered in frosting...

Pacey: (squints his eyes at her) I knew it. (pauses) I'm not working on this cake for one more minute until you admit to me that you're a closet romantic.

Andie: I am not. I already told you. It's a bogus, sentimental convention.

(Pacey walks towards the door and holds it open.)

Andie: Oh my God, the groom! Pacey! (through clenched teeth) Come on!

(Pacey raises his eyebrows and shakes his head no.)

Andie: Okay! I admit it, you're right. I'm a sucker for taffeta, the sight of the little flower girl makes me weepy! I'm a wedding fanatic! There! Are you happy?

(Pacey smiles and walks back towards the cake.)

Andie: Hurry up. The cake.

(Cut to Mr.Potter finishing up some plates and Joey walks in and sets her tray down.)

Joey: Hi Dad.

Mr.Potter: Hey. I think we're pretty much caught up here. The Potter's will find a way.

Joey: It looks amazing.

Mr.Potter: When you spend three months alone in a prison cell, it can make you monstrously self-absorbed. I never even considered how my presence here would adversely effect you.

Joey: I'm really stressed out. I didn't mean any of those things.

Mr.Potter: Well, whether you did or didn't, you were completely right. You two have been so strong. You've done so well and here comes your criminal father, coming back to Capeside to bring you more shame and scandal.

Joey: You can't expect to come back and have everything be back to normal again. Things have changed and I think we need to deal with this as a family before we invite in the malignous scrutiny of total strangers...

Mr.Potter: I'm the father. I'm the one who's supposed to be protecting you against all the harsh realities of the world and here you are protecting me. Yet again I'm failing in my parental duties.

Joey: Please don't say that.

Mr.Potter: I better go check on that salmon...

(He leaves. Cut to Gail taking a glass of champagne from someone.)

Gail: Thank you.

(Dawson walks up.)

Dawson: How you doin', Mom?

Gail: Dawson, who is that woman with your father?

Dawson: That would be my film teacher at school. The notorious one who told me that my film was insipid.

(Mitch and the film teacher start to head over.)

Gail: How long has he been seeing her?

Dawson: I don't know.

Mitch: Hello, Gail. This is Nicole.

(Gail gives her an evil look.)

Mitch: And of course you know Dawson.

(Dawson manages a smile.)

Nicole: Well, it was a lovely wedding, wasn't it?

Gail: Honey, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find my seat.

Dawson: Okay. Dad, can I talk to you for a second?

Mitch: Yeah.

(They walk away.)

Mitch: Dawson, I know this is awkward for you. Truthfully, I didn't know you were going to be here.

Dawson: That's not the point, Dad. You knew that Mom was going to be here.

Mitch: Nicole is a colleague. She's smart and she's funny and I enjoy spending time with her and if your mother has a problem with that she's going to have to deal with it. I have to live my life.

(He notices he's getting too loud and some people are starting to watch. He pauses and starts quieter.)

Mitch: I'm sorry. The last thing I want to do is put you in the middle.

Dawson: Well, that's exactly what you're doing by dating teachers from my school.

(Cut to Abby and Jen standing idly behind the tables at the wedding.)

Jen: Abby, there are no cute guys here. It's totally the middle age set.

Abby: I think you need a father figure, Jen. Somebody who has more sexual experience than you, if that's possible.

Jen: Oh, shut up.

Abby: I'm just kidding.

Jen: I'm sure that they're all married.

Abby: Well, maybe it's time to graduate from nymphet to homewrecker. Cheers.

Jen: Cheers.

(They hit their champagne glasses together and Andie walks up to them.)

Abby: Oh, look. Love the outfit, Andie. You look like a little penguin.

Andie: What are you guys doing here?

Abby: Raising hell, what are you doing here?

Andie: Okay, look, I don't think it's a very good idea for you guys to be here, okay? This is a romantic occasion, please don't ruin it!

Abby: Oh, well we'll just keep you company then.

Andie: Look, we're in the middle of handling a crisis here. We don't need this kind of distraction.

(She starts dragging them towards the door.)

Abby: (confused) Are you kicking us out?

Andie: Yes! This is not a tailgate party, it's a wedding! It's invitation only and your being here is going to get us all in trouble so please just leave.

Abby: Geez, you might want to try upping the dosage on those mood stabilizers!

Andie: The exit is that way.

Jen: Listen Abby, why don't we just go on down to the boardwalk and we'll come back after dinner when everyone's a little more toasted and not so uptight.

(They walk towards the door and Abby grabs a bottle of champagne out of a bucket and turns back to Andie.)

Abby: For the road...buh-bye!

(She leaves and Andie angrily walks back towards the back room. Cut to Dawson carrying some cups into the back. He finds Joey in a room.)

Dawson: Joey, what's wrong?

Joey: Nothing.

Dawson: Joey, you've been crying. Don't tell me nothing's wrong. I know you.

Joey: Dawson, it's just been a really hectic day, I'm fine.

(Dawson looks at her and she looks him in the eye and tries to prove she is fine but she can't and she looks down and gives in.)

Joey: I'm just really scared.

(Dawson seems almost relieved that she's telling him.)

Joey: I just get him back and what if he hurts me again? I can't keep getting my heart broken by him.

Dawson: (comforting) Joey...

Joey: I can't...

Dawson: I think in the back of your mind, you've always felt that as soon as your father got back, everything would be fine. Life would be perfect. I think your father probably felt the same way, too. As soon as he got back he could just clean up every mess, right every wrong, but ...he can't. You two are both suffering under the burden of such impossibly high expectations right now and all this hurt and pain and anger that you're feeling isn't going to just disappear ...and that's okay.

(She looks at him, questionably.)

Dawson: Joey, for these past three years you have been so unbelievably strong. I mean, you've let the petty gossips and judgements of this town roll right off you. Don't let them get to you now. (pauses) Now's the time to dig in your heels and show them that you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.'re not alone in this. You have a father now. You have a family again. And you will always...have me.

Joey: (whispers) Thank you.

(They hug. Cut to Joey walking back into the kitchen with a tray.)

Mr.Potter: Hey! How'd it go out there?

Joey: Well, no one's complained of bachelorism yet. I think it went well.

(There's a long silence.)

Joey: Dad, do you remember Melissa Barry? She always wore her hair on top of her head and a ponytail?

Mr.Potter: Yeah, she was a friend of yours.

Joey: Yeah...(pauses) the day you were arrested, I was at school in the bathroom in one of the stalls and I overheard her talking about you. About how you were a drug dealer and how we lived in a crack house and she was laughing and, I remember, I was so upset. I ran home and I cried for hours and Dawson came over and he cheered me up. The next day I went to school and I walked up to her and I looked her straight in the eye ...and I smiled and I walked away like nothing ever happened.

Mr.Potter: Joey, I'm sorry.

Joey: No, that's not my point. People are always going to talk. That's tough and I'll always walk with my head held high and they can't crush me. And I know that you've been through a lot. You've made your mistakes,'re my dad. And I'm proud of you. The thing is...protecting your strength from the outside world is one thing...please don't pretend with me and I promise I won't pretend with you. (pauses trying not to cry) But, um, I just wanted to say...I love you and I'm really glad that you're home.

(They hug and a tear rolls down Mr. Potter's face.)

Joey: Come on. I want to show my dad off to all of Capeside.

Mr.Potter: I think you were right before. When it comes to the outside world, I think we should take things slow.

Joey: But I don't care about the outside world. I care about you. There's a celebration going on and we have so much to celebrate. Come with me.

Mr.Potter: I'm not ready, Joey. Not yet.

(He walks off and Joey looks down at the ground. Cut to Pacey and Andie wheeling the cake out.)

Pacey:, how's it look?

Andie: It--It looks great! Thank you!

(She turns to hug him and almost knocks it over again.)

Pacey: Wo-wo-wo.

Andie: Oh, yeah...we should probably get this on top now.

(She starts to lift it and Pacey stops her.)

Pacey: Andie, why don't I take care of that for you?

(He gets it on and the bride and groom walk up.)

Pam: May I..May I see the cake now?

(Andie moves out of the way.)

Pam: Oh, it's beautiful.

(They kiss. Cut to Pam putting cake into Alan's mouth. Cut to Pacey and Andie watching.)

Pacey: You must just be disgusted right now with all this sentimental bogus symbolism.

Andie: Shut up, Pacey.

(Cut to Abby and Jen walking drunkedly up the stairs.)

Jen: Do you ever think that you'll get married?

Abby: Married? To some beer-swiggling, football-watching bonehead?

(Jen laughs.)

Jen: Living in some cookie cutter house with two snot-nose little brats. Driving the car pool baby.

(They sit on the edge of the docks with their back facing the fall towards the water.)

Abby: Grocery shopping.

Jen: Climbing the walls.

Abby: Popping Valium.

Jen: Suburban nightmare.

Abby: You know, I don't think I'll ever be happy. Wherever I am, I'll always want to be somewhere else. Whatever I have, I'll always want something different.

Jen: I hear ya!

Abby: I just don't want to be a cliche.

Jen: Or a whore.

(Abby laughs and takes the champagne bottle from her.)

Abby: Let me have a drink!

Jen: Amen!

(Abby leans back and loses her balance and falls over and hits her head on one of the wooden poles and drops the champagne bottle. Jen starts laughing like crazy.)

Abby: Don't laugh: that hurt, you bitch!

(She tries to regain her balance but slips and falls over the back of the dock and falls into the water.)

Jen: (Yelling) Abby! Abby!!! Oh my God! Abby!!!!! Abby? Abby!

(After surveying the water for any sign of Abby, Jen jumps in after her. Cut to the wedding where everyone's dancing.)

Pacey: May I have the pleasure of this dance, Miss McPhee?

(She puts her arm in his.)

Andie: Pacey, I guess wedding's aren't that bad.

Pacey: See, I win. I knew you'd come around.

Andie: I think that when we get married ...we should do it in Venice.

(Pacey's face falls.)

Andie: It's the city of romance. What do you think?

Pacey: I think by the time we're married that city will have already sunk into the sea.

(Andie gives him a look.)

Andie: We'll see.

(Cut to Mitch and Nicole dancing. Cut to Gail sitting at a table by herself. Dawson sees her. He walks over.)

Dawson: Mom? Will you dance with me?

Gail: (smiles) Yes.

(They walk out onto the floor.)

Dawson: You know, a very wise person told me that knowing what you want is half the battle. The trick is to stay tenacious and never let a minor setback derail your vision.

Gail: Thank you, honey.

(Cut to Joey and Jack standing beside the dance floor.)

Jack: Well, you did it. The wedding was a success.

Joey: I'm just glad it's over. I mean, no money in the world is worth this kind of stress.

(Jack's face changes as he spots something across the room. Mr.Potter walks out of the kitchen in a tux.)

Jack: Joey.

(He motions his head for her to look. She sees him and smiles.)

Joey: Daddy.

(She walks closer and he pulls out one red rose and gives it to her. She smiles.)

Mr.Potter: May I have this dance?

(They start dancing. Cut to Dawson's face smiling watching Joey dance with her dad. Cut to Bessie walking out of the kitchen and smiling when she sees Joey dancing with her father. Cut to Pacey and Andie dancing then to the bride and the groom dancing. Then back to Joey and her dad.)

Mr.Potter: I think there's someone else who wants to dance with you.

(Joey looks at him confused and he looks over at Dawson and Gail.)

Joey: Dad.

Gail: Hello, Mike. Welcome home.

Mr.Potter: Thank you. Would you like to dance?

Gail: I would love to.

(They start dancing and Dawson and Joey look at each other. Joey sighs and wraps her arms around his neck and they start dancing.)

Joey: Hey.

Dawson: Hey.

Joey: So, thank you.

Dawson: (smiles) For what?

Joey: For being my friend, for understanding me better than anyone, and for putting up with me for the last 16 years. (pauses) I love you.

Dawson: I love you, too.

(They kiss and then they pull away from each other and they lean in and start kissing again. Gail and Mr. Potter notice them and smile. Jack sees them and he smiles. Cut to a zoom out shot of everyone dancing and Dawson and Joey are still kissing on the dance floor. Cut to an ambulance while paramedics are zipping up Abby Morgan, now dead with mud on her face, in a body bag as Jen stands next to the ambulance wrapped in a blanket crying. Zoom out of the shot. Cue ending credits.)

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