Recap: Joey rows all the way to Dawson's place to tell him that she can't bear to spend another evening with him watching movies or TV re-runs, and Dawson's like, "Yeah, whatever" and turns the TV on and squeals about the cliffhanger he just flipped to. Joey rolls her eyes and says that cliffhangers are soooo predictable, then criticizes TV producers for putting characters in contrived positions in a season finale despite the fact that nothing ever changes. Dawson mulls over how the Dawson's Creek writers are going to handle the obnoxious 'will they?/won't they?' dynamic of their relationship at the end of this season finale and says, "Maybe this time it's different" - but Joey shakes her head and declares cliffhangers "just one big tease".
Grams is sitting by Gramps' bedside, telling him how great she and Jen are getting along - just as Jen pops in to ask how the inert old man is doing today. Grams says, "The same" ... but a few seconds later Gramps's eyes flutter open and he mutters something incoherent, and Grams and Jen are all, "Hurray! He's semi-lucid!"
At school, Jen tells Dawson she's sooooo happy that Gramps momentarily regained consciousness that she'd like to let loose and have some fun. She asks him if he wants to do something later, but he declines and says he has plans with Joey - just as a grim-faced Joey spacily wanders by. When they ask her why she looks even more joyless than usual, she tells them that Mrs. Tringle informed her that she's been selected to spend a summer semester in Paris and has two days to decide [even though what's to decide?? Go to Paris!] Joey says she has to see about getting a passport, then shuffles off while Dawson stares after her sadly and Jen points out to the dolt what a fantastic opportunity this is for her.
Later at the Ice House, Joey tells Bessie she's not sure if she likes the idea of spending the summer in Paris, and Bessie says, regardless, that their dad will be proud of her when she tells him all about it during his birthday prison visit tomorrow. When Joey stares back at her in horror, Bessie reminds her that it's her turn to go...and that despite how angry at him she is, he's still their deadbeat, drug-dealing father.
Doug tracks down Pacey and tells him that their dad found out he failed all of his midterms and wants to berate him for being such a scholastic failure. Doug shakes his head in dismay and warns Pacey that one day soon he'll tire of being a punchline that no one wants to laugh at anymore.
Dawson agrees to tag along with Joey for her dad's prison visit. She tells him she hasn't seen her dad in two years and can't bring herself to forgive him for running drugs and cheating on her saintly mother...and also can't bring herself to decide if she wants to spend the summer in Paris. When she asks Dawson for advice, he half-heartedly tells her that if going to Paris makes her happy, then he's happy for her.
When the two arrive at the prison, the guard informs them they just missed visiting hours and couldn't care less about how long they just rode the bus to get here. As Joey irritably snorts and huffs, Dawson suggests they find a place to spend the night and come back first thing in the morning.
Dawson and Joey get a motel room for the night, and they both agree it's a bit weird to sleep together in a bed that's not his. As they settle onto the bed, Dawson tells Joey he'd really miss her if she went to France., and that he's been thinking a lot about the two of them lately...but can't seem to perform a thorough analysis of what's going on in his head and heart. Joey shoots him the stink-eye and snarls, "What are you so scared of?" and rolls over on her side, and Dawson scrunches his face confusedly at the bitchiness of her question, but then murmurs, "I dunno."
At the hospital, Grams tells Jen that Gramps' tests are going well, and that she's convinced it was her daily prayers that helped heal Gramps. Jen says she highly doubts that, and the two start bickering about the power (or not) of prayer, blah blah..
Dawson accompanies Joey inside the prison...and when Papa Potter enters the visitor's room, he gazes at his daughter and says, "Joey, you're beautiful" to which Joey sourly retorts, "No, I'm not." Pappa Potter says he's amazed at how grown up she is, then asks her about school...and she rolls her eyes and snarks, "Is that what you want to talk about?" He ignores her bitchy 'tude and says they can talk about whatever she wants, then laments how lonely prison is and that he really really misses her and Bessie. Joey snidely asks him if he misses her mother too, and he earnestly replies, "Very much" and invites her to tell him what she's thinking - but Joey just mumbles, "You don't want to know", calls this visit a mistake, then blurts out that she's going to France this summer (yay!). She then declares to her father that his family no longer exists, and storms out. Papa Potter implores Dawson to stay behind and tell him all about Joey...and Dawson describes her as a hostile chore to be around, even on the best of days - I mean smart, beautiful, funny, honest, and stubborn. He refers to her as his best friend, then glowingly adds, "She's everything."
When Joey and Dawson return to Capeside, Joey asks Dawson what her dad said after she stormed out of the room, and Dawson reports that Papa Potter expressed his deep fatherly love for her and that he misses her. Joey snorts derisively and says she still has to deal with the legacies he left behind and won't forgive him, so Dawson urges her to deal with her feelings of anger and resentment and tell her dad that - but Joey changes the subject and says she's definitely going to France this summer (yay!). Dawson argues that running away isn't the answer - even though spending a summer semester in Paris can hardly be considered "running away" - and when she fishes for a declaration of love by asking him to give her one reason she should stay in Capeside and he just stares back at her mutely, she snippily says, "I thought so" and climbs into her canoe to row home.
Grams breaks the bad news to Jen that Gramps suffered a stroke and is in the ICU. As Jen is all, "Wha-a-a-a?", Grams explains that his heart is very weak, but that God has a plan for everything [that hopefully includes mercifully unplugging the poor man already]. Jen argues that Gramps' weak heart won't change God, and Grams argues that prayer changes people, not God.
Pacey stops by the Ice House just as Joey is closing up, and begs her to find something for him to eat so he doesn't have to go home and dine with his shitty family. He stares sadly into space and (rhetorically?) asks her when he became the town loser and an embarrassment to his family, then recounts how his lousy excuse for a father would berate him whenever his pee-wee baseball team would lose, then turn to St. Doug and say, "At least I have you." Joey clucks sympathetically and says he really should tell his father how hurtful his horrendous parenting has been, then decides right then and there that she needs to follow her own advice and asks Pacey if he can scrounge up a car and give her a lift to her father's prison.
Jen sits at Gramps' hospital bed, holds his hand, and tearfully asks what she can do to bring him back into her life - but since he's inert and intubated, he's unable to respond.
When the prison guard informs Joey and Pacey that visiting hours are long over, Pacey pulls the guard aside and offers him $20 to arrange a visit at the fence between Joey and her father, and the guard's like 'sure, why the hell not?'.
Jen climbs through Dawson's bedroom window to tell Dawson that Gramps is barely clinging to life, and that it feels as though she's losing everyone. She laments blowing it with him, then asks him if she can spend the night in his room the way Joey's always doing...and he stares bewilderedly into space for a few seconds before hesitantly agreeing. The two settle onto the bed, and Jen cuddles with him before bursting into tears.
Through the prison's chain-link fence, Joey tells her dad how badly he messed up - mostly 'cause he doesn't even know his own daughter. She says she thinks she turned out pretty good, with no help from him, then squeaks, "Do you love me?" ... and Papa Potter tearfully replies, "More than you'll ever know" and says he thinks about her every minute of every day. Joey cries about how she self-piteously spends every day of her life feeling like no one loves her, so he assures her that nothing could be further from the truth, then points out that it's pretty obvious that Dawson is in love with her. Joey perks up at that and says that she's totes in love with the dork too, and Papa Potter urges her to tell him. The two clutch hands through the fence, and Joey tearfully says, "I love you, dad", then ambles off in search of Pacey so that he can whisk her back to Capeside.
The next morning, Jen and Dawson wake up in his bed - just as Joey is rowing towards Casa Leery. Oh dear. Jen caresses Dawson's face, then leans in for a kiss at the exact moment Joey appears in Dawson's bedroom window and gets an eyeful of the smooch. As she's all, "Ack!" and flees the scene, Dawson leaps out of bed and races down the ladder so he can explain why Jen was in his bed...but Joey has already started rowing away.
Grams tells Jen there's no change with Gramps, then invites her along to church later. Jen retires to her bedroom, looks at Grams' and Gramps' wedding photos, then lays in bed hugging one of the framed photos.
Dawson, meanwhile, is running all over Capeside in search of Joey, but can't find her anywhere.
Someone from the hospital calls Jen to inform her that Gramps has finally expired, and Jen passes the sad news along to Grams.
Later, Jen enters a church and finds Grams sitting alone in a pew. She seats herself beside her, and Grams tells her that Gramps is in the Lord's hands now, and the two pray and sob together.
Dawson returns home and finds Joey hiding in his closet. He insists that there's nothing going on between him and Jen, and she tells him how tired she is of the [aggravating to watch] manner in which they relate to one another, says they're in the same place with each other as they were in the series premiere, and that they both need to grow the hell up. Amen to that last thing. She then explains that she decided to stop by when he wasn't home and camp out in his closet until he stumbled upon her hiding spot so that she could declare she's officially moving on from their friendship/one-sided romance and spending the summer in France (yay!). Dawson implores her to give him a chance to grow with her, but she wearily says, "I'm so tired of dancing around these big words" and asks him if he's really truly absolutely ready for the truth...but then proceeds to stare at him in mute hostility before shaking her head and muttering, "I'll see ya, Dawson." Dawson stops her from climbing out of his window by rushing across the room and planting her with a giant smooch, which Joey quickly gets into...and then the camera pans to the exterior of the house, where we see the silhouette of the two smooching through his bedroom window.
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