December 23, 2011
Dawson’s Creek 4.5, A Family Way: Knocked Up
Summary: Dawson and Mitch are concerned about Gail because she’s been sick. She’s more focused on keeping the restaurant going. Mitch finally convinces her to go home before the customers all catch her illness and they “have to rename the restaurant Leery’s Pending Lawsuit.” (Heh.) After Gail leaves, Gretchen tells the guys that it sounds like she’s pregnant. At home, Gail takes a pregnancy test as Mitch and Dawson wait outside the bathroom, which is pretty awkward. Even more awkward: Dawson’s cool reaction when the test comes back positive.
Joey and Pacey make out at his place, but he stops them and suggests they watch TV instead. Joey’s confused. Jack’s still healing from his shoulder injury, and Andie has roped him into helping her coach a kids’ soccer team. Jack is surprisingly good with the kids, with the exception of a girl named Molly who doesn’t seem to like anyone or anything. Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ house to pay off his debt after the boat incident as Mr. Brooks criticizes his photography. He says the pictures are “cold” and “unemotional.”
At school, Jen complains to Joey about a grade on a test, but Joey, of course, did well. Joey confides that she thinks Pacey’s getting tired of waiting for her to be ready to have sex with him. She’s getting impatient as well, but she’s not sure how to know when it’s time. Jen suggests that she go to a clinic for birth control and sex advice so she’ll feel more prepared. At their own doctor’s office, Mitch tells Gail that Dawson’s in shock but will come around. She’s worried about sending Dawson to college while raising another child, especially now that they’re older. She’s open to having an abortion.
Jack meets Molly’s flirtatious sister, Caroline, who’s 28 and doesn’t seem to mind that Jack is ten years younger. He tries to tell her he’s gay, but he can’t get the words out. Gretchen looks at some of Dawson’s pictures and tells him that Mr. Brooks is crazy if he doesn’t think they’re good. He takes pictures of her, then says she was right about Gail being pregnant. He admits that he was upset when he found out – his parents don’t have much money, their relationship isn’t that stable, and they were irresponsible. Dawson does want to be happy for them. Gretchen notes that Gail’s going through something even more difficult than he is.
Joey goes to a clinic for a chat about sex, birth control, and STDs. (It’s a lesson for all of us!) Jack tells Andie that he thinks he’s bringing Molly out of her shell. Caroline is the problem, as Jack thinks she’s more than flirting with him. He’s worried that coming out to her will cause a problem since he’s working with kids. Andie promises to help. Dawson develops his pictures of Gretchen, then apologizes to his parents for how he reacted to the news about the baby. Mitch informs him that there won’t be a baby.
Gail admits that she suspected she was pregnant for a while but put off finding out because she knew what she would want to do. Dawson’s surprised that Mitch is on board for the abortion. Gail can tell that Dawson thinks she’s making a horrible decision. She’s considered everything, and she knows she can’t raise another child after all the mistakes she’s made. That plus the money situation and everything else means she can’t keep the baby. Gail makes it clear that it’s her decision and she’s not discussing it any further.
The next morning, Mitch plays messenger for Gail, telling Dawson that she knows he’s upset. Mitch isn’t sure what he wants, but he doesn’t want Gail to go through with the pregnancy if it’s not what she wants. He tells Dawson that they tried for three years before they conceived him; they tried again for five years after he was born, but ultimately had to accept that they wouldn’t have another child. Mitch is pleased with the life he has, and though he may wonder what things could have been like, he’s grateful for Gail and Dawson.
Bessie finds birth control info and condoms in Joey’s room, then pretends she didn’t. Caroline visits another soccer practice and starts to ask Jack out, but Andie interrupts, lying that Jack already has a girlfriend (Natasha Boyardee). Caroline wants her to mind her own business. Jack finally tells her the truth, and Caroline tries to pretend she already knew Jack was gay. Dawson meets up with Gretchen, looking for help dealing with the news of Gail’s abortion. She thinks he’s had his “illusions of parents infallibility” destroyed. Dawson guesses that Gretchen has been in Gail’s situation and thinks she can help him understand it.
Gretchen admits to getting pregnant last semester; she was 20, she had tons of student loans, and her grades weren’t that great, so she decided to have an abortion. However, before she could, she miscarried. She felt guilty for having a solution handed to her, as well as for getting herself into a situation where she needed a solution like that. Dawson thanks her for trusting him with her story and promises not to tell anyone.
At the bed and breakfast, Bessie confronts Joey about the birth control (in front of guests – way to go, Bess). She doesn’t think her little sister is ready to have sex. Joey notes that Bessie let her sail with Pacey all summer. Bessie replies that Joey didn’t exactly give her a choice. She thinks Joey’s making a huge mistake. Joey tells her she’s not having sex yet, but it’s coming, and Bessie can’t stop it. Bessie doesn’t think she can handle the responsibility and consequences that come with sex. Joey replies that her whole life is about responsibility and consequences.
At soccer practice, Molly tells Jack that word has spread that he’s “dangerous,” so some kids are leaving the team. She assures him that she knows there’s nothing dangerous about him. That night, Joey tells Bodie that Bessie lucked out by getting a good kid as a sister. Bodie says that Bessie just wants better for Joey than she has, what with getting pregnant without being married and being stuck in Capeside. Joey admits that she’s still not ready to have sex. Bodie says that no one can tell her what to do, but, just as Jen said, if she isn’t prepared, she’s not ready.
Dawson tells Gail that she missed something when she considered all the facts: She was a great mother and taught him to never be held back by his mistakes. He always had an idea of the perfect childhood in his head, but his parents gave him something even better. If they had another child and were half the parents they were to him, that child would be incredibly lucky. Pacey and Joey have another makeout session, and this time when he interrupts it, she doesn’t argue. She tells him about visiting the clinic and being closer to getting prepared.
Jack chastises himself for telling Caroline he was gay and trying to convince himself that no one would care. He considers quitting coaching the team. Andie notes that the alternative is not telling people who he really is, and no one wants to live like that. He needs to focus on the coaching and ignore the parents and their issues. Jack hates that people see something horrible when they look at him. Andie’s sure that things will blow over sooner or later.
Mr. Brooks criticizes more of Dawson’s photos until he comes to one of Gretchen. He thinks it’s the first one that has emotion and shows something of Dawson himself. Meanwhile, Bessie and Joey make up, Jack mopes by himself, and Gail looks at Dawson’s baby pictures.
Thoughts: It might have been more interesting storywise if Gail had gotten an abortion (since we all know she doesn’t), but I guess it would have taken the show to a little bit of a darker place.
I wonder what kind of review the bed and breakfast would get on Yelp after that incident with Bessie talking about sex in front of the guests.
Alexander is too cute! I can’t take it. That should have been Dawson’s argument in favor of Mitch and Gail having a baby: “Look how cute this one is! You can have a cute baby, too!”
I hope Michelle Williams went off and did something really fun when she got almost completely written out of this episode.
I wish there had been more hints about Gretchen’s big secret before Dawson figured it out. It was basically just her not talking about it for four episodes.
It took two seasons, but I finally feel something positive toward Jack rather than something neutral.