Thursday, October 23, 2003

on endings

Studio 23 recently aired the last episode of Dawson's Creek, culminating in the death of one of the cast members (and no, it's not Jen's grandma). As per the storyline, it's been ten years since Jen moved to Capeside, Joey was climbing ladders into Dawson's bedroom, and Pacey was a problematic underachiever. Since the season when manic-depressive Andie left to be institutionalized and Joey and Pacey started dating, I didn't really follow Dawson's Creek except for that one episode after a few years when Joey and Pacey were locked in a K-mart together and they used all the stuff there (looked like fun--I think that was one of the fantasies of my childhood, although nerd that I was, I fantasized about being locked in National bookstore after hours... bad idea: no food).

Anyway, "fast forward to a few years later", Jack is still gay but having a hard time maintaining a relationship, Joey still has that goofy look and is now a book editor, Dawson's hair is mercifully short--he is the writer-producer of a TV show loosely based on the goings-on in Capeside and still in love with Joey, Pacey is a hotshot businessman but still in love with Joey too, and Jen has a one-year-old daughter and is dying. Yes, it is Jen's funeral that ends it all. But they were able to wrap it all up: Jack and his boyfriend make up and go public with their love, Jack promises to take care of Jen's baby, Joey and Pacey end up together, Dawson overcomes his writer's block for his semi-autobiographical series and finally comes to terms with his life.

It's so nice to think that everything can be neatly wrapped up in an "ending". In a bridal magazine recently (thanks to D&A's preparations, I am constantly browsing -but not buying- bridal magazines), I saw a fairy-tale themed wedding and in one of the pictures the bride and groom were kissing, with a flower girl in front holding up a sign saying "and they lived happily ever after..." It all ends like that, doesn't it? The boy gets the girl, everyone is happy. But it doesn't end up that way in real life does it? Because there are really no endings, only constant change. A wedding is not an ending, it is a beginning. Even graduation is called commencement--commence meaning to 'begin', right? We begin real life. Even death, for those with faith, is merely a beginning.

It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when Pacey and Joey, Wesley and Buttercup, or Jerry Maguire and Dorothy end up together at the end, but of course that's not all there is to it. What happens when they have their first baby? Or when one of them dies? But that's the pessimist in me talking. Actually I'm a sucker for happy endings, evidenced by my constant re-watching of the Two Towers' interspersed scenes of Gandalf and the Rohirrim hordes' arrival at Helm's Deep and the storming of Orthanc by the Ents (thank heavens for DVDs). But the victory at Helm's Deep only foreshadows the greater battle against Mordor, when a greater battle but happier ending will be won. And so in life, there will be many, mini-happy endings. But they come and go, and then you may be dragged in turmoil again; but eventually there's going to be other happy endings, and maybe an ultimate happy ending at the end of this journey.

So here's to endings... which are only actually new beginnings.
Except in movies and fairy tales.
Unless there's a sequel.

Told you I'd write about Dawson's Creek.
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