Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Reunited (2.20)

Andie glimpsing Abby's ghost in the last ten seconds of Rest in Peace could have easily read like the show indulging in vaguely supernatural hooey for no other reason but to lend the episode some metaphysical intrigue. Instead, Reunited turns what could have been something silly into something tragically real -- since it was the first of a run of events in which Andie hallucinates the dead people closest to her, her mental problems surfacing once again. It's a saddening story, Meredith Monroe making Andie's sometimes obnoxiously manic personality this vivid and upsetting thing rather than something to dislike her over.

It's always difficult to play something as serious mental illness on a show with romantic tribulations and WB irony, but by focusing on the emotional implications rather than exploiting it for a ratings stunt, Andie's story proves especially affecting. It's just plain traumatic seeing Pacey desperate to get through to the girlfriend he's rapidly losing, as well as glimpsing Jack's pain as he experiences this crazy déjà vu so soon after his mother's internal collapse. The whole story is being handled well.

Elsewhere, there's definitely a 'French farce' vibe to the events at the restaurant, like Dawson mentions, but I actually enjoyed the bait-and-switch of Mitch and Gale almost reuniting, even if I never cared much about their break-up. I could also understand Dawson's anger over Nicole, especially since she seems so eager to support him in Hollywood despite her prior insistence that the town would eat him alive. Then again, she does have an emotional stake in Dawson now, so you can hardly blame her for wanting to be nice and nurturing. I guess it was just unfortunate timing.

One thing I'm noticing is that the season doesn't have a huge amount of drive right now, and besides Andie's story there isn't a whole lot of forward momentum... which is surprising considering the season wraps up in two episodes. Most of the characters seem almost unusually calm. There's little drama between Dawson and Joey, Jen doesn't seem too broken up about her homelessness, and Jack has eased comfortably into his sexuality. It's not necessarily a problem, just a general flatness that has appeared. B

Guest stars Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee); Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee); Madchen Amick (Nicole Kennedy); Scott Denny (Tim McPhee)
Writer Greg Berlanti Director Melanie Mayron

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