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Gail Leery is the wife of Mitch Leery. The two were college sweethearts and married in 1980 after four years of dating. They tried for several years to get pregnant, and just when they thought about giving up, Gail became pregnant with their first child. She gave birth to Dawson Leery on March 14, 1983. Fifteen years later, Gail works as an anchorwoman for Capeside's local news channel. On May 18, 2001, Gail gives birth to her and Mitch's second child, a daughter whom they name Lily, in honor of Joey's mother.
In the months before the twentieth anniversary of her wedding to Mitch, Gail begins having an affair with her co-anchor, Bob. During a hurricane, the affair is revealed to Mitch who reacts badly, and tells Gail that he no longer loves her. Gail's son Dawson, and his friend Joey, have already found out in previous episodes. Mitch and Gail battle through their issues, and at the end of the season, we see them apparently happy and reconciled.
Gail and Mitch begin counselling to try to repair the marriage that they both want to save. After this fails to work, Mitch seeks advice from a friend, which leads him to suggest to Gail that they try having an open marriage, the motive being that if they remove the need for trust in the relationship, they might actually be able to gain it back. Gail goes along with it because she still feels guilty about the affair, but it is made clear that she doesn't want to go down this path. When Dawson discovers the arrangement, Mitch and Gail realise that their relationship is no longer working, and it is time for them to split up. Shortly after this, Mitch serves Gail with divorce papers. Late in the season, Gail attempts a last minute reconciliation, but when she sees Mitch with another woman (the new film teacher at Capeside High School), she decides to take up a job offer in Philadelphia to put some distance between them. Just as she is about to leave, Mitch tells her he wants another chance to repair their relationship, but Gail decides that her leaving is the best thing for all concerned and she goes.
Gail returns to Capeside a few episodes into Season Three and it emerges that the job in Philadelphia has not worked out and she is struggling to find another one. She and Mitch try to establish a new friendship between them, and when this results in them acting the part of a married couple in order to help the Potter family who have just opened a bed and breakfast, Dawson becomes somewhat uncomfortable, as he doesn't understand what is happening. Shortly after this, Gail opens a fish restaurent in town, and Mitch helps her with this and eventually becomes the general manager. Towards the end of Season Three, it becomes clear that there is chemistry between Mitch and Gail again, and they begin to reconcile. They remarry in the final episode of the season.
Shortly into the season, Gail discovers she is pregnant with her and Mitch's second child. After considering an abortion, the couple decide to go ahead with the pregnancy. Towards the end of the season, Gail gives birth to a baby girl, whom the couple name Lily, in honour of Joey's mother, Lillian, who was a close friend of Gail's. In the final few episodes of the season, Gail and Mitch deal with Dawson's graduation from high school, and saying goodbye to their first born as he leaves for university in California.
In October 2001, Mitch is killed in a late night car accident on the way back from buying milk for Lily for her breakfast. Gail finds it very hard to cope emotionally, and Dawson blames himself for the accident, as he used the last of the milk the night of the accident. Jen's grandmother ("Grams"), Evelyn Ryan helps Gail grieve for Mitch, and Dawson's friends, Pacey, Joey, Jen and Jack gather at the Leery home to remember him and say goodbye. Meanwhile, Gail is left to care for Lily. She becomes friends with a man named Nathan, a single father of a little girl named Hailey.
Gail doesn't appear in many episodes in the final season, but reappears on a few occasions. In 2008, Gail marries for the third time (her first two marriages both being to Mitch), and many characters gathers at the Leery household to celebrate with Gail.
|Episode list | Official Site|
|Production||Kevin Williamson | Paul Stupin | Young Americans|
|Primary Cast||James Van Der Beek | Katie Holmes | Joshua Jackson | Michelle Williams | Kerr Smith|
|Main characters||Dawson Leery | Joey Potter | Jen Lindley | Pacey Witter | Jack McPhee|
|Secondary characters||Audrey Liddell | Bessie Potter | Gail Leery | Mitch Leery | Andie McPhee | Doug Witter | Abby Morgan|
|Locations||Capeside | Capeside High | Worthington University|