Dawson's Creek: Season 2, Episode 11

Sex, She Wrote (20 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.5
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Abby and Chris find an anonymous love note at school and set out to find who wrote it. Abby figures out that the author and intended recipient apparently has sex the night before and, in ... See full summary »

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Title: Sex, She Wrote (20 Jan 1999)

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Gail Leery (credit only)
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Mitch Leery (credit only)
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Evelyn 'Grams' Ryan (credit only)
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Abby and Chris find an anonymous love note at school and set out to find who wrote it. Abby figures out that the author and intended recipient apparently has sex the night before and, in her true devious fashion, she sets out to expose the affair. The three suspect couples are: Dawson and Jen; Joey and Jack; Andie and Pacey. Abby and Chris work from clues about Joey's night of sketching after discovering her drawings of a nude Jack, while angry Dawson sets out to find Joey and Jack, while Pacey becomes distant towards Andie after their romantic dinner. In a true Gothic themed mystery novel backdrop complete with a thunderstorm and lighting, Abby and Chris gather all six suspects into a classroom after hours to bring out the author and which couple, if any, went "all the way". Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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20 January 1999 (USA)  »

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Abby Morgan: [Convinces Chris to help her solve the mystery] I'll let you touch me in bad places.
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References Murder, She Wrote (1984) See more »

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Faithless
29 January 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Dawson Creek's obvious tribute to Agatha Christie is a curious mix of triumphs and failures (no epic fails here, fortunately). The premise itself is a good example: while the *subject* of the mystery is something that definitely will engage the viewers, the actual mystery itself, as Abby puts it, can be solved by simple logic, both within the fictional world of the series and the real world in which the series exists.

Within the series, it is as logical as Abby proves. In the real world, there are *repercussions* the show-runners have to take into account and once you start to think about those repercussions, you will solve the mystery. For all it's revolutionary (in the 1990s) realism, Dawson's Creek again falls into predictability. In *real* life, ALL three solutions would have been viable, but the show *has* to play it safe... And the tribute to Agatha Christie comes off as so out-dated it is a wonder if anyone believes that the characters of Dawson's Creek in this episode exist in the 1990s instead of the 1930s.

Not that there aren't rewards: Monica Keena finally gets to expand her bitch role, and attacks every scene with gusto, delivering Abby's most memorable appearance yet. And still, Keena remains a "Special Guest Star". The show *needs* her character, which will later break out of the cliché it started as. And Keena makes Abby an almost impossibly irresistibly devilish - a proof of her talent which sadly did not post-Dawson's Creek lead her to Katie Holmes-like stardom.

Joshua Jackson gets another winning scene, which surprisingly does not involve smart cracks or mischief. He truly was the breakout star of this show, as Fringe (among other things) would prove. Meredith Monroe is also dealt a great hand by the writers and she continues to deliver the goods convincingly. Jen gets solid but not great scenes. Sadly, Dawson and Joey do not.

The BIG problem lies in the mystery and its repercussions in the real world. Earlier, the show-runners painted themselves in a corner with the Dawson - Joey romance, so at this point they most likely have been thinking that they have only one option left: to break through the wall. Their chosen method is ill-judged. There are two scenes near the end that contradict each other. The first one feels incredibly real. In it's light, the "aftermath", as it were, does not make any sense. Dawson is not a problem: his character is written exactly as he should: he reacts to the aftermath as many men would. I myself have been in a similar situation. But Joey - her character becomes contradictory in the aftermath. Sure, the writers can always play the Teenagers Act Contradictorily Because They Are *Teenagers* card, but that is just sad. Joey's behavior in the first of the two scenes is so *strong* that her flat behavior and decisions in the aftermath are just baffling. But

  • the demands for the series in the real world dictate her characters


behavior in the show. That is even sadder, considering how brave Dawson's Creek truly was in the first season. At this point it is "only" 7/10 (still GOOD). I wish the show-runners had had the vision to take a leap of faith out of the corner.

*) HOW THE RATING IS GIVEN: Since the average between the lowest rating (1) and highest rating (10) is 5.5, everything gets a starting rating of 6. After that, points are either added or subtracted depending on the actual content: Plot, script, acting, directing, music, production values and so on. Also, the content is weighted against previously rated works, which act as a guideline. Also, to get the lowest or highest possible rating, the work must approach the worst or best thing ever seen, respectively. And as the laws of probability state, both are *extremely* rare.


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