In the midst of all the soap opera dreck, Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith, and Mary Beth Peil manage to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Quite frankly, I had lost all interest in the show when the finale aired, as it seemed to be doing nothing but slowly circling the drain. I tuned in to the finale expecting to have a good time mocking it, and saying goodbye to a pleasure that had gotten increasingly guilty.
And I ended up a sobbing mess.
There are no words to describe how little I cared about the resolution to the Dawson/Joey/Pacey triangle that had been going on far too many years at that point. What made the episode for me was watching Jen, Grams, and Jack, each quietly dealing with Jen's death. Her actual death scenes were hackneyed, but were played with such aching sincerity by Ms. Williams and Ms. Peil, it's still hard for me to watch and remained dry-eyed today.