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Dawson's Creek

Season 5 Episode 4

The Long Goodbye

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Lifelong friends Dawson, Joey and Pacey put past grudges behind them in the wake of the tragic death of one of their fathers. Along with Jack, Jen and Grams, each tries to find the words and actions to comfort their friend.

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  • Mitch is dead. Gale, Dawson, Joey, and Pacey have flashbacks of him. Jen, Jack, and Grams try to be supportive.

    RIP Mitch Leary :( This is such a sad episode. I am juts kind of speechless of what to write. Let's start of with Dawson. Dawson has all this emotions stuck in him and he won't let him out. I like the flashback of Mitch giving him his first camera. I liked how Dawson freaked out when the answering machine was on. And I liked how he cried and just let it all out at the end of the episode. Now onto to Joey. I feel so bad for Joey. I mean, she's gone through everything Dawson is going through, and Dawson just wanted to be alone. It was so sad when she was crying. I also liked the flashback of Mitch and Joey On to Gale, I feel even worse for her. I mean when she asked Dawson to go get some milk, then she throw that milk carton into the garbage and started bawling her eyes out, it was very sad. I liked her flashback of Mitch too. Pacey is such a good guy in this episode. I like how he takes Dawson to the spot where his dad died. I liked how he told Dawson that it's not his fault. I liked the flashback of Mitch teaching Pacey to drive. Jen, Jack, and Grams aren't as close to Mitch as Gale, Joey, Pacey and Dawson. It was so sad when Grams said that she's not on speaking terms with the lord. I give this episode a 10/10.moreless
  • The aftermath of Mitch Leery's death. Dawson and the gang return to Capeside for the funeral.

    This episode had me in floods as there were lost of flashback sequences of Mitch's encounters with the various members of the gang over the years and it reminded me of what a nice character he was, particularly the scene where he is reflecting on how lovely his own life was. Dawson, of course blames himself for the death, firstly because he left for Boston against his dad's advice which meant that Mitch would have been driving him to the airport to go back to LA at the time of the accident if he had followed his advice. Secondly he believes himself to be responsible because he had milk with his cereal in the morning, resulting in the Leery family running out of milk and Mitch was killed on the way to the shops to buy some more. All in all, pack some tissues and enjoy!moreless
  • This was an incredibly sad episode.

    I can’t believe Mitch is gone. I never expected for this to happen. How will Gail go on? She has Lilly now and she will have to raise her without Mitch. Sooo sad. Loosing his father is going to turn Dawson’s life upside down. The parts that get me the most though are when Dawson, Joey and Gail see Mitch after he dies. Dawson is 12 again and Mitch is giving him a camera to shoot movies on, for his birthday. Also, when Joey sees Mitch putting up the ladder to Dawson’s room and Gail is watching him put together Dawson’s crib, I almost cried. All of these scenes were big moments in their lives. Mitch and Gail preparing for Dawson’s arrival was the start of it all. The ladder was Joey’s access to Dawson and the start to their endless love and the camera was what started Dawson’s need to become a director. I loved how, at the end of Mitch’s life, they showed how he contributed to the start of everyone else’s. It was very big of Pacey to go to the funeral; I wondered if he would. Pacey was Dawson’s best friend forever and although he doesn’t know it, Dawson needed him there. I can’t believe that Pacey would take Dawson to the place that his dad died. Pacey has a way of doing things for people that help them in ways that they could not even imagine, but the way he does it always seems to surprise me. I just wonder how Dawson will react to this when it is all over. I really hope that they will become friends again. Now is the time in both of their lives that they need each other. I am glad that Dawson finally cried at the end. It was not good for him to keep his emotions bottled up. I think that what the clerk at the store told him was what he needed to hear to let go.moreless
  • Such a sad episode.

    The way this episode is done is incredible. I mean at the beginning with the sad music, a couple walking up to the restaurant, and then the sign. "Closed Death in the familly" So incredibly sad. I love how each individual one of the friends has this visual of them Dawson and the camera, Joey and the ladder, etc. Also when Dawson is standing there talking to the woman and the phone rings and Mitch's voice comes on and Dawson kind of loses it, that's where I always cry. Just seeing a young teenage kid who loved their father so much and is trying so hard to keep it together for their family. I don't know what else to say about this episode other than it is one of the saddest Dawson's Creek Episodes ever.moreless
  • One sad episode.

    In this episode, the gang goes back to Capeside for Mitch's funeral and Dawson feel gulity for his father's death because of how he told his parents about wanting to drop out of USC and move to Boston to be near his friends and Joey.

    As the episode wore on, I found myself not liking how Joey was acting towards Dawson, like she was always around him, wanting and trying too hard to be his shoulder to cry on. I found her to be too overbearing in wanting to help, just because of how she went through the grieving processs when her mother died.

    However, how his friends and their family were there for Dawson and his family is what made the episode, special, yet sad. I found it a little sad that it took a death in one of their family's to bring them together in Capeside.

    In all, this was one well written episode.moreless
James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek

Dawson Leery

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes

Josephine "Joey" Potter

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Jennifer "Jen" Lindley

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Pacey J. Witter

Kerr Smith

Kerr Smith

Jack McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Mary Beth Peil

Mary Beth Peil

Evelyn "Grams" Ryan

Jodi Thelan

Jodi Thelan


Guest Star

Benjamin Shelfer

Benjamin Shelfer

Funeral Director

Guest Star

Terrence Currier

Terrence Currier

Mr. Brennan

Guest Star

Nina Repeta

Nina Repeta

Bessie Potter

Recurring Role

Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps

Audrey Liddell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: In the intro to this episode, the camera is going through some family photos of the Leery family. There is a close-up of a photo of Dawson and his parents, where Gale has the long hairdo she only wore in season 1, although Dawson has shorter hair and looks older than he did in that season. Apparently the photos were put together just for this episode.

  • QUOTES (27)

    • (To Gale)
      Grams: We merry widows have to stick together.

    • (Telling Dawson about his last conversation with Mitch)
      Mr. Brennan: Well, when I mentioned your name, his whole face just lit up. He said you were this brave kid, but he had no idea how you got to be that way. He said you had a romantic streak a mile long, and he said he was proud to know you. I'm sorry if that makes you sad, Dawson, but I figure if somebody says that about you, you ought to know it.

    • Audrey: How's Dawson doing?
      Joey: I wouldn't know. Didn't want anything to do with me. I thought I'd be able to help him. I thought I would be this incredible resource 'cause I've been there, you know? He didn't want anything from me. He didn't even just wanna sit there in silence. He wanted me out of his sight.

    • Gale: Honey, you don't have to be so strong all the time. You can fall to pieces just about any time you want. There's nothing to be ashamed of.
      Dawson: I'm not ashamed. There's... everybody keeps on asking me, "How you doin'? How you feelin'?" Truth is, I don't feel anything. Not a thing. I'm numb. Which, to tell you the truth, is really not so bad.
      Gale: Um, that's great... until it all comes crumbling down.
      Dawson: Well... until then.

    • Pacey: I... oh, look. If anybody understands the various shades of gray here, it's me, and I think it's time the two of you got your shot... because the way I see it, you never did, and this world could use as many Romeo and Juliet's as it can get.
      Joey: Look what happened to them.

    • Grams: Oh, it's a strange thing we do.
      Gale: What's that?
      Grams: Falling in love. You share your life with another person. You... you give them your heart to the extent that losing them could potentially destroy you. It's a crazy thing to do.
      Gale: You're right. It's insane.

    • (To Gale)
      Grams: You know, every night for 46 years, I prayed the good lord would take me first. I never wanted to go on without him. I didn't think I was capable of it. But somehow, I was. It wasn't easy, but inevitably there comes a day that isn't as bad as the one before it.

    • (To Joey)
      Dawson: Do you have any idea how much it sucks to know that my father was disappointed in me the day he died? And he was right. I was acting crazy like a spoiled brat, and if I'd listened to him, he would've been driving me to the airport instead of driving to his death.

    • Joey: It'll get better. I promise.
      Dawson: That's good. Any, uh, advice on how I should deal with the fact that my father's death was almost entirely my fault?

    • Dawson: My mom's a wreck. I gotta keep it together.
      Joey: She's allowed to be a wreck, and so are you. I'll make you a deal. You take care of your mom, I'll take care of you.
      Dawson: I gotta say, Jo, I... when your mom died, I sympathized with you, and I really felt bad, but I had no idea it felt like this.

    • (To Gale)
      Joey: You know, growing up, spending that time with you guys... I think I was too little to really understand it, but I... I always knew there was something special about the way you guys looked at each other. Like you were in on this great little secret that the rest of us weren't privy to, and my parents never had that... not even in the best of times. I'm not gonna sit here and... and try to pretend to know what was going through his mind before he died, but... I know your husband loved you very much.

    • Joey: You know, I know this probably doesn't mean much now, but he's not really gone, you know. 'Cause if ever there was someone who was an absolute reflection of his father, it's Dawson.

    • Gale: How's our boy?
      Joey: Great. He's keeping it all together.
      Gale: Which is exactly what bothers me.
      Joey: Me too.

    • Jen: I'm gonna give you a hug, and I'm not gonna let go for a really long time. I'm gonna tell you that I love you, which is actually a pretty good deal, 'cause that means that I'll do anything on the off chance it'll make you a little less sad.
      (She gives him a huge hug)
      Dawson: That sounds very good to me.

    • (Joey is recalling old times)
      Mitch: Sooner or later, Joey, he's gonna pull his head out of the sand. He'll figure it out. Probably not as soon as you'd like, boys are stupid like that.

    • Dawson: So, what's yours?
      Grams: My what?
      Dawson: Your platitude.
      Grams: I'm afraid I'm fresh out.
      Dawson: Really? I thought for sure you'd whip out "the lord works in mysterious ways".
      Grams: Hmm. The lord and I, we... we aren't on speaking terms this week.

    • Grams: Why don't you let me take her for a while, dear?
      Dawson: I'm afraid I can't do that, grams. Lily here offers a great buffer. As long as I hold her, people tend not to come up to me and offer their platitudes.

    • (Dawson grabs a suit from the back of his door)
      Joey: Is that what you're wearing? It's nice.
      Dawson: Uh, no. Actually, it's for my dad. He's gonna be buried in it.
      Joey: I'm sorry.
      Dawson: Jo, that's ok. You couldn't have known that. I won't be long.

    • (Recalling when he got his first camcorder)
      Dawson: Dad, this... this must have been really expensive, but you're not gonna regret it. I swear, I'm gonna make so many movies on this. This is not a phase.
      Mitch: Oh, don't worry about that, just enjoy it. Let the things you love be your escape.

    • Jack: Dawson is alone in this, ok? There isn't a word or a sentence in the English language that can take away the kind of pain that he's dealing with.
      Jen: Well, so then, what do I do?
      Jack: You've just gotta figure out your own way of being there for him.

    • Pacey: Maybe he doesn't want me there, Jo.
      Joey: Ok, your father dies tomorrow. You're at the funeral. You look up, and you see Dawson. Would that mean something to you? Would seeing one of your oldest friends mean som...
      Pacey: Just give me 5 minutes.

    • Pacey: How's Dawson doing?
      Joey: Well, he's not so good. His father's dead.
      Pacey: Right. That's a stupid question.
      Joey: No, you're entitled, believe me. I've said about 800 stupid things to him in the last couple of days.

    • Funeral Home Salesman: How are you?
      Dawson: People ask me that a lot. It's a weird question. Every time I start to give too long of an answer, which I'm starting to do right now, those same people get very uncomfortable. Not you, though, huh? I guess you're an old pro at this.

    • Jen: I couldn't sleep last night. I was up and tossing and turning, trying to figure out what to say, how I was gonna act.
      Jack: No one ever knows what to say...

    • Joey: Pacey, I've got some bad news.
      Pacey: Aw, why don't you look like you're kidding?

    • (At the place where Mitch was killed)
      Dawson: What the hell are we doing here?
      Pacey: I want to show you something. (Waiting for Dawson to get out of the car) Now according to my brother, your father was driving down the road here at about 45 mph, which is granted, a little bit above the speed limit, but not at all unusual for this stretch of road. At the same time, a man name Gary Peters was getting off work, driving down the road a little father up, just around the bend. Gary Peters is a pretty average guy. 35 years old, wife, two kids, works as a baggage handler for Blue Star Airlines, and Gary had to pull a double shift that day and it must have been a real bitch, because when he came around that bend he was asleep at the wheel.
      Dawson: Why are you doing this Pacey?
      Pacey: Why? Because I want you to know that it was a man named Gary Peters who killed your father. A guy who should have known better than to get behind the wheel of a car, a guy who for the rest of his life will carry around the guilt of taking Mitch Leary away from his wife and two kids and I want you to know that that guy is not you. It's not you Dawson. Do not blame yourself for this. You want to grieve, go right ahead, be my guest, but do not for one single second think that this is your fault, because it is not your fault. You got your father for 18 years and that is a hell of a lot more than some people get and your father did one hell of a job Dawson. He made you into a man. He made you into a man that people care about and admire and respect and most importantly, love. So why am I doing this? I'm doing this because once upon a time, you and I were best friends and that means that whenever you need me, I'm here; anytime, anywhere, any place, forever. You understand that?
      Dawson: We should get going.

    • (Standing over Lily after the funeral)
      Dawson: Mom, you ok?
      Gale: Yeah, for the moment. (After long pause while staring at Lily) You wanna know what the worst part is?
      Dawson: What?
      Gale: She'll never even know he existed.
      Dawson: Not if I have anything to do about it. She is going to hear about her daddy every chance I get.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Dawson cries in this episode which marks the third time Dawson has cried in the series with the first time being in season two and the second in season three when Joey left to be with Pacey.

    • Music featured in the episode included:
      Down Here by Lori Carson
      Ghost! by Eastmountainsouth
      Ruth Marie by Mark Kozelek
      Fallen Angel by Michaela Foster Marsh
      Fire and Rain by James Taylor

    • This episode marks the last appearance of Mitch Leery, played by John Wesley Shipp.

    • This episode marks the first time in the series that the usual version of Paula Cole's I Don't Want To Wait isn't played over the opening credits. Instead, it featured a special slow tempo piano arrangement of the theme song, as composed by Dawson's Creek's composer Adam Fields.


    • Pacey: If anybody understands the various shades of gray here, it's me, and I think it's time the two of you got your shot... because the way I see it, you never did, and this world could use as many Romeo and Juliet's as it can get.

      Allusion to William Shakespeare's early tragedy Romeo and Juliet.