The end is near for those oh-so-very self-aware Dawson's Creek kids. The drama caps its six-year run on the WB with a two-hour time-tripping swan song on May 14 written by series creator Kevin Williamson. In his first interview since paddling back to Creek, Williamson — who left the show at the end of Season One to focus on other projects — gives TV Guide Online the lowdown on why he decided to return, whether Joey (Katie Holmes) will finally choose either Dawson (James Van Der Beek) or Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and what Creek plot he thinks his successors botched.
TVGO: How did your return come about?
I got a phone call from the WB asking to have dinner, and I said, "No. I can't. I'm in production [on the new horror flick Cursed]. I don't have time. What do you want?" (laughing) Because I knew they were up to something. [They] said, "Well, we want you to come back to Dawson's. We're going to do a two-hour movie farewell, and we just want you to be a part of it." And I said, "Oh." Next thing you know, I'm having brunch with [WB president] Jordan Levin and [ex Creek exec and current Everwood producer] Greg Berlanti and we're discussing all of the possibilities, and I'm going, "I haven't watched the show in three years! I have no idea what to do!" And that's when they got the idea, "Well, let's push it into the future. You can do whatever you want. You can paint whatever picture you want." And then I said, "Well, of course I want to do it. I just want to make sure that I can do it in terms of creatively." And then I got a call from James, and I got a call from Katie, and the next thing you know... I said yes.
TVGO: Sounds like they all ganged up on you.
No, they weren't ganging up. They were just calling to say, "We love you! We want you to do it!" And Katie calls like five times a week anyway... so, it was just, "By the way, I'm supposed to call you... "
TVGO: Where are you in terms of writing the episode?
I have totally mapped out the entire two hours. It has not been written yet, but it has been completely outlined and we have since decided how all of our main characters end up. I have an idea of how I emotionally want to end the show.
TVGO: How far into the future does it take place?
It's five years later.
TVGO: Who will Joey end up with: Dawson or Pacey?
No comment.... [but] I'm going to twist and turn it throughout the two hours. The interesting thing will be, what ever happened to Dawson and his career? Where is he five years later? You know how people ask you, "Where do you want to be in five years?" Well, we're going to find out. There will be some surprises in terms of who shows up, who's doing what, where so-and-so went, who ended up with whom... And the surprises start right in the first frame. There are other surprises we plant throughout the entire episode. And it's all centering around a wedding.
TVGO: Will Dawson be the groom?
TVGO: Are you going to use this as a chance to right some wrongs that took place in your absence?
Well, there certainly is a wonderful opportunity for me. When I left the show, I always envisioned certain things to happen that, of course, I wasn't creatively around to put in my two cents. Now, it's an opportunity for me to do that.
TVGO: What storyline did you have the biggest problem with? And which one did you go, "Wow, that was a great idea!"
I was really thrilled that Pacey and Joey had their relationship, because that was something, even from the very first two episodes, we kept saying, "Joey and Pacey have to hook up." One of my biggest disappointments was the treatment of the character of Andie (Meredith Monroe). I didn't really like the road that she went down, and how she left the show. In my mind, when I created her, I had great plans for that character. I always thought there was a great opportunity for something to forge between her and Dawson, and I was disappointed... in the way she left the show and how, during her last season, that character was developed.
TVGO: Anything else?
Quite frankly, I want Joey to make a decision. I think the last couple of seasons I've gotten frustrated with her character sort of being here, there, everywhere. Also, it's going to be fun to play up... you know how during the first two seasons it was a very self-aware type show? Well, it's going to be fun to watch our characters rendered speechless. I'm going to finally render them speechless. There's going to be a lot of laughs and tears. And we're going to do the whole tear-jerking ending.
TVGO: Speaking of tears, is there any truth to the rumor that a major character will die?
(pausing) I won't say no, and I won't say yes.