Season 2 deals with a lot of issues. None of them all that comprehensively. It sort of blankets, making funerals comedic, love stories tragic and fathers general bastard beings. It’s a heady mix of getting turned on (so much snogging) then having someone fall off a pier/dock/cliff/insert your own option here (basic message: ABBY HAD TO DIE).
I don’t want to spoil plot points, but if you didn’t know already Abby died, I can’t help you. This happened like 14 years ago. There’s no catching up for you.
The episode’s called A Perfect Wedding. Clue. It’s not PERFECT, you guys.
On the fateful day, everyone else has been asked to waitress at a wedding Joey’s family is catering. Her dad is, like, super legit now, and can cater any affair at short notice. And it’s totes not a cover for anything. He doesn’t sell drugs no more, okay? Honest. Honest. Honest. Honest. Daddy do you sell drugs again? No? Honest? Honest. Well okay then, pa. *hugs*
But Jen’s not invited. Having gone off the rails because she decided too late she wanted to fuck Dawson (right around the time he started fawning *heh* over Joey), Jen’s bored, up for anything, too much of a live wire to waitress. We don’t want her fucking the groom, y’all! (Note: see Kill Her Off (Jen Lindley was a slut and sluts die))
Sad and dejected, Jen tracks down Abby, and they decide to have the best night of their lives. Think Springbreakers with more clothes (this is network TV), shit music (they replaced it all with cheap, unheard of singer-songwriters on the DVD versions, cheapskate Sony fuckwits), and literally nothing to do. Capeside is dreamy. Party, it is not.
Jen finds Abby doing some crazy pom-pom shit with her hair in the bathroom mirror, tells her how bored she feels, living a safe existence, that she’s climbing the walls, ready to set the place on fire (PLEASE). Then the following happens.
Jen: “When I think back on the best times I’ve had this year, I’ve had them with you.”
Abby: “I think hat’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” BUCKET LIST FULFILLED & READY TO DIE.
Cue ‘Kiss Me’ by Sixpence None the Richer (factoid: they were a Christian rock band, converting one Creeker at a time), and after some Pacey/Andie filler we cut to a Dawson/Joey moment, in which she feeds him (spank bank). The gang work the wedding, and when Jen and Abby crash, they’re thrown out by a disgusted Andie. Even though they’re only there for the “free champagne, older men in tuxedos.” Cannot be blamed. Abby suggests Jen graduate from “nymphette to homewrecker,” making Abby the most astute person in town.
Jen and Abby end up on the boardwalk with a stolen bottle of champagne, talking about their futures: “Living in some cookie cutter house with some snot nosed little brats, driving car pool baby.” That’s some pretty sharp feminist discourse, yo. Neither can picture themselves as stay-at-home wife or agreeable homemaker. They’re not fit for that mould, but they found each other: no need to conform when your partner in crime is as inappropriate as you are. Because in Capeside circa 1999, it’s inappropriate to not want the norm. Sure, Jack is gay, and affairs are aplenty, but past that, you’re meant to strive for conformity, like the white dress cake topper this episode circles around, and if you can’t win that role, there ain’t no place for you at this party.
And Abby knows this. “I don’t think I’ll ever be happy,” she says, “wherever I am, I’ll always wish I was some place else. Whatever I have I’ll always want something different.” Profound as fuck. None of that fake philosophical bullshit Dawson and co. spout, this be some heart-grazing, truth-telling. Fuck, if Abby isn’t the person I resonate most with in this moment, in this episode. Hell, in the whole of season 2, when everyone’s doing so much good I could vomit pure Splenda. My sixteen year old self knew NOTHING (except that this show was pure gold. And knowing that is knowing everything).
She finishes with, “I just don’t want to be a cliché.” Which in horror movie etiquette means, surely, you’re done, gone, adios motherfucker. She drinks, falls, hits her head and then accidentally dive bombs off the pier, dock, whatever the fuck they’re sitting on. Jen jumps in after, survives, but Abby’s a body bag, zipped as the Bride-Groom dance.
That’s not even the worst of it. No, that’s where it gets interesting. Dawson and Joey dance (well, Dawson cuts in on drug mule papa, because he gotta). Chantal Kreviazuk plays (thank fuck they didn’t replace this one), and Joey thanks Dawson for BEING HER FRIEND. And then they say I love you. Then they lean in for like 20 seconds of pure, unadulterated snogging. Their parents proudly watch, which is a bit fucking weird, but I get it, no judgement, I feel all tingly too.
And the kiss pretty much fades into Abby’s dead face. I don’t know what the fuck the writers/editors were thinking here. Well I do: got to end the episode on the drama. But this much sexual energy hasn’t been fused with ambulance chasing since Crash, and I’m pretty sure you were considered a deviant if that was your go to? But I honestly don’t know what to do with this?
Hence, snogging versus death.
The Dawson/Joey kiss we’ve waited for all season long, juxtaposed with a death, a quick offing, sandwiched between twee true love sentiment and the suggestion that to want something else, other, unknown, is wrong.
Abby gets a send off in the next episode, but we’re mostly waiting for Dawson/Joey to kiss again. With tongue this time, please. We’re simple creatures. Confronted with the bluntness of life we just want cute tunes and rehearsed kisses to forget the pain of the future, and the pain of now, which spins us into bad decisions and repeat trysts with less hot beaus.
Whatever. R.I.P. Abby. You deserved better. But you’re not Joey Perfect Potter. YOU MUST DIE.Elsewhere in the episode: Andie denounces marriage as a pointless ritual, foreshadowing the demise of her and Pacey’s love fest (if you must fuck other people!) Joey’s dad uses the family restaurant as a front for his coke business (pre-Breaking Bad, that’s like totes forward thinking). Dawson’s parents eye fuck the shit out of each other. Jack stops the bride from doing a runner, proving he too thinks it’s best to conform. Bring on Jack’s awakening! Written by Mike White (I couldn’t love you more, Mister!)