Wilmington Star, March 23, 2003
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Should it end in a wedding? Perhaps a double wedding? And, if so, what lucky residents of Capeside/Boston will be tying the knot? For as many questions as there are about a possible end to the WB series Dawson’s Creek, it seems there are just as many fans of the show offering up suggestions. Those who have committed several hours of their lives during the past six years to the adventures of Dawson, Joey, Pacey, Jack, Jen and Audrey all have high expectations of what the season finale will bring.
“It will be nearly impossible to satisfy all the fans,” said Laura Blake, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Everyone wants their own ending.”
More than a dozen people contributed those ideas to the Sunday Star-News when we asked readers what they would do if they were a writer for the show. We got back ideas of car accidents, survivalist training in the Green Swamp and pregnancy.
Using creativity, originality and knowledge of the show as criteria, the judges awarded the first-place prize to Julie Noble of Wilmington.
When writing her entry, she took a tongue-in-cheek approach: Joey (played by Katie Holmes) realizes that Capeside isn’t in New England, but in North Carolina, writes a book and everyone gathers to celebrate her tale of life on the creek.
(This was also one of the few entries that didn’t pair Joey off with either Dawson or Pacey – instead, Joey simply gets a pet.)
Ms. Noble, who won a Dawson’s Creek director’s chair for her entry, started watching the show when she lived in California – as a chance to see her soon-to-be new home of Wilmington.
“It’s sort of like a soap opera,” she said. “I got hooked. Quite frankly, I’m going to miss it when it goes off the air.”
The 43-year-old had kind of a fantasy that producers would ask her to appear on the show as Joey’s mom.
“And then I could ask her to pull her pants up,” she said.
Because we got so many good tales, judges also decided to award a second-place prize – an autographed cast photo – to Katie Waters of Knoxville, Tenn.
In her lengthy entry, Joey’s skill at writing and Dawson’s love of moviemaking come together as the two make a television pilot together and, no surprise, realize that they still love each other.
The other entries differed in plot line, but they all had some similarities. Most of the fans won’t be satisfied unless they have some glimpse of what life will be like for the characters.
It’s good then that the series finale, set for May 14, is rumored to take place two years down the road, after the characters graduate from college, so all of the Dawson’s Creek fans will see how their favorite characters turn out.
Most people also voiced an opinion about Joey’s love life. During the series, the character played by Katie Holmes has been involved with Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and then Pacey (Joshua Jackson).
Even though this season brought her a new love interest in the form of Eddie (Oliver Hudson), most of our wannabe writers chose one of the two original sweethearts as her partner for life.
“Everyone is asking who Joey will choose in the end, Pacey or Dawson,” Ms. Blake said. (She thinks it should be Pacey.)
One contestant, Katie Udell, from Wilmington, sees a bit of legal drama in getting Pacey and Joey together. After Pacey is sent to jail for his involvement in a stock scandal, Ms. Udell proposes, Joey does some legal research, comes to his aid and realizes her calling is to attend Harvard Law School.
Whoever doesn’t marry Joey, readers think, should marry her roommate Audrey (played by Busy Philipps), who is currently in rehab in Los Angeles on the show.
Most contestants stayed true to Dawson’s love of filmmaking, as well as Jen and Jack’s (Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith) current loves and lives.
Our readers also used a bit of tragedy to bring drama in their final episodes, in the form of a boat accident or a terrorist attack that causes the Creek characters to hide in the Green Swamp.
But we’ll just have to wait and see if any of our contestants had the benefit of precognition.
Here are a few ways ‘Dawson’s Creek’ fans suggested the show should end:
“Since Kevin Williamson is writing the final episode, he will have Dawson and Joey together in the end. (I liked them in the first couple of seasons, but come on, that ship has sailed and SANK.)” Katie Udell
“They commandeer a Humvee at the Texaco truck stop and load it with supplies from the store – tents, sleeping bags, beer, food, etc. They then take Prosper Road en route to the Green Swamp.” Jimi Dean Allen
“True it is ‘DAWSON’S Creek,’ but as the show has developed over the years, it has become clear that Joey is the one running things around the creek.”
“In the ‘DC’ pilot, Pacey was punched out by a big guy at the movie theater after a popcorn spill. I would love it if this guy shows up as a new teacher and Pacey (beats him up).” Rick Forrester
“If I were a writer for ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ I would bring back ‘Female Student’ of episode No. 616, ‘That Was Then.'” Leigh Merrill Jones, also known as ‘Female Student’ from episode No. 616
“I basically want to know what all of the characters – that are still alive, that we’ve grown to know and love, or have never seen before but heard lots about – come back so that we can see where everyone is. There would probably have to be a big event, such as a wedding or funeral. And while I would prefer wedding, either would work.” Ashley Dickerson
“I would like to see Jack becoming interested in football once |again. I think the writers have forgotten how when he was in high school he was passionate about it because it really gave him a sense of belonging.” Erica Paluck
“I would definitely go against the ‘happily ever after’ final episode. Why might you ask? Because that would leave the door open five or 10 years later for a reunion of sorts. Let’s face it, reunion shows never catch the magic of the original series.” Brian Bennett
“The way I would end their last season is to roll credits.” Reggie Hayes
“Dawson needs to land some lone movie deal where he actually submits the screenplay himself. One he has secretly been writing over time and is based on his own life story.” Christian Verzaal
**i believe these are the complete winning entries below**
Everyone is back in Capeside to celebrate the publishing of Joey’s first book.
Jen became a psychologist and has a reoccurring dream she is on Oprah.
Jack is married. Turns out he likes women, just not women who wear their jeans below their panty lines.
Dawson decides his fate is not in B-rated horror films. He is back in LA going to school. It took 500 “I will not snub USC film schools” on the blackboard and a promise to wear cooler clothes to get him re-enrolled.
Pacey moved home, was profiled by police and thrown in jail for impersonating an educated stockbroker. This only made him more attractive to Joey, who is still working on issues with her dad.
Joey finally took a geography course in college and learned her whole life was a lie. Capeside is really in North Carolina. She quit school, moved home and wrote a successful novel about puppy love. Instead of committing to a relationship, she got a dog and named it Dawcey.
The last line of the episode is Joey reading the final line in her book to her friends, “and that was life growing up on Dawson’s Creek.” Screen goes dark – and Cut!
Second place, Katie Waters, Knoxville, Tenn.
I think it is absolutely necessary for the ending of Dawson’s Creek to be set in the future – after college graduation.
The show starts out by showing snippets of what has happened to each character from the time we left them last episode.
Dawson Leery is living in Los Angeles being a director. In spite of some early movie failures, he is still hopeful for his big break.
Joey Potter graduated Worthington University with honors and has stayed around the university as a graduate student. She has decided to become a teacher, hopefully to motivate someone like herself, a girl who defied all odds to become something. While still in school, she is writing short stories about her childhood in Capeside, Mass.
Pacey Witter left the brokerage firm and decided to go back to his roots. With the money he amassed in Boston, Pacey buys a restaurant in Capeside. There, he is the head chef and the restaurant is very successful.
Jen Lindley moved back to New York City. After graduating with a degree in social work, she got a job in the New York City Social Services Department. She counsels drug addicts and rape victims.
Jack McPhee also moved to New York City after graduating with a degree in communication. He now works for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) as a media manager to promote gay equality in the media.
Audrey Liddell quietly moved back to Beverly Hills after failing out of Worthington University. There, she works as a hostess at the ever-exclusive restaurant Spago. She auditions for TV shows and movies in her spare time.
The show jumps to Joey coming home to her apartment after a long day of class. As she checks her mail, she pulls out at large manila envelope. Inside she finds one of her short stories about Capeside. Included in the envelope is a letter stating that the manuscript has been turned down for publication. Joey drops the story on the floor and heads toward her bedroom. As she readies for bed, the telephone rings. It is Harley, a former professor’s daughter and friend of Joey. Harley is upset about boys, school, etc. and asks if she can come over to talk for a while.
Jump to Dawson in LA. His latest movie pitch has just been turned down. Depressed, he heads toward the beach to clear his head. There he spots a beauty of a blonde – Audrey. They make small talk about what each other is doing and about their circle of friends, especially Joey. Dawson reveals to Audrey how he still thinks of Joey every day and has often thought of calling her.
Back at Joey’s apartment, Harley sneaks a peek at Joey’s manuscript. She thinks it is good and sneaks it into her backpack while Joey is out of the room. Harley leaves and gives Joey’s story to her father. He sends the manuscript to a friend in LA.
Back in LA, the manuscript is received. All who read it are impressed and think that the plot would make a great movie of the week/pilot episode for a television show. The television honchos give Joey a call and ask her to come to LA. Joey agrees.
See Joey get off the plane and be greeted by Audrey. Joey later goes to the television studio where she meets with the big wigs. Later, she is introduced to the director of the movie/pilot. It is Dawson. It is decided that the movie/pilot will be shot on location in the idyllic town of Capeside.
Dawson, Joey, and Audrey (who has no reason not to re-mingle with friends) head to Capeside. Once there, Joey and Audrey stay at the bed and breakfast with Bessie, Bodie and Alexander. Joey continues her studies at Worthington via the Internet. Dawson stays with his mom and Lily.
Dawson and Joey work on the movie, while Audrey finds a job at Pacey’s restaurant. During this time, Pacey and Audrey finally talk about what transpired between them when Audrey was in college. After sorting out and talking through everything, the two find themselves growing closer once more.
Finally, after weeks of hard work, the movie is finished. To celebrate the finished project, Dawson and Joey invite their friends to a screening. Jack and Jen fly in from New York to share in the enjoyment. Jen surprises the others with an engagement ring and fiance in tow.
During the screening of the movie, Dawson and Joey are sitting beside each other. As the scene showing “Joey” climbing into “Dawson’s” window appears, Dawson reaches over and grasps Joey’s hand. She, in true Joey fashion, pulls it away. They both sit in the theater uncomfortably. After the movie, Dawson thanks everyone for their hard work and dedication.
The next day is when everyone must go back to their normal lives. Audrey has decided that she does not want the LA lifestyle and prefers the simple life of Capeside. She and Pacey have also decided to give it a go again. Jen, her fiancé, and Jack say bye to all their friends and promise to stay in touch.
Joey and Dawson both are shown packing up and getting ready to leave Capeside.
As Joey leaves the inn for the train station, she notices a rowboat tied up outside the B & B. A thought hits her, and she drops her suitcase and runs to the boat.
Dawson is saying his last goodbyes to his mom and sister. He takes his bag to his mom’s car, ready to leave for the airport.
During this time, Joey gets out of the boat at the back of Dawson’s house. She spots a ladder laying in the yard. Just like so many times in her childhood, she climbs the ladder into Dawson’s bedroom. She finds the room empty. She at first looks sad, but as she glances around the room, she remembers what good times she and Dawson have had over the years.
As Joey turns to leave Dawson’s room, the door opens. Dawson comes into the room, surprised to see Joey there. They say nothing, but rather meet in the middle of the room for a kiss that makes time stand still for both. They step back, look nervously at each other, then kiss again.
The show ends with seeing Dawson and Joey kissing through the open window, then panning out for a full view of the house, all the while the theme song I Don’t Want to Wait by Paula Cole is playing.