Recap: Pacey, who has spent his week-long suspension at Casa Leery, is sacked out in Dawson's bedroom watching Jerry McGuire. A few seconds later, Dawson returns home from school, hands Pacey his assignments, then provides updates about..
Dawson urges Pacey to call Andie and make up, but Pacey says he's still miffed at her for blaming him for the fallout of Gay Poem-gate. Dawson tells him it's stupid to avoid his girlfriend indefinitely and advises him to just suck it up and apologize - but Pacey argues that he was merely standing up for what was right and doesn't feel that he has anything to apologize for.
At school the next day, Dawson gets an eyeful of Jen smooching Tyson and calls their coupling "a beautiful thing". Jen beams happily and invites Dawson to tag along with her and Tyson this evening for a fun excursion.
Joey and Jack are hanging at his locker when a group of jocks blurt out a homophobic slur as they amble past. Joey grumbles about how much she hates the gay jokes after Jack has insisted that he's not gay, and Jack jokingly suggests they remove all suspicion about his sexuality by indulging in some public sex and then hosting a "going into the closet party" ... and Joey somehow refrains from retorting, "Me thinks you doth jokingly over-compensate too much." After Jack heads off to Mr. Peterson's English class, a visibly bummed looking Joey runs into Dawson, who invites her to Jen's/Tyson's fun evening excursion, but she declines and says that she and Jack have plans to study. Dawson makes an ew face and suggests the two of them come along to the excursion, or at least do something more romantic than study together...and Joey scrunches her face perplexedly at the notion of Dawson giving her and her gay boyfriend relationship advice.
Mr. Peterson makes it clear how utterly un-delighted he is to have Pacey back in class, and Pacey manages to keep from hocking anymore loogies at the fuck-face's face and submits all of the assignments that were due during his suspension week. Mr. Peterson accepts them while nattering sarcastically, then hands Pacey back his poem, which he graded an F. When Pacey asks what was wrong with the poem and politely requests some constructive criticism on how he might improve his grade, Mr. Peterson growls, "It stunk. Write better." He then smugly turns his attention to the rest of the class and outright admits that their grades are subject to the whims of his personal taste...and that those who are smart enough can figure out how to appeal to him, while the rest should "come to terms with their inevitable failure". It's really waaaaay past time for this demented troll to either retire or stumble into a new career that involves as little human-to-human interaction as possible.
During the lunch hour in the cafeteria, Pacey tells Dawson that Mr. Peterson is looking for any excuse to fail him, then shows him his poem with the F scribbled across the top in red. He then notices Andie entering the cafeteria...and as he stares over at her in sullen contemplation, Dawson urges him to go and talk to her.
Joey presents Jack with a menu for dinner items at her place tonight, and he coos about how romantic that sounds and credits her with being very supportive [of his imminent coming out of the closet].
Pacey wanders over to Andie...and the two snipe back and forth about who owes each other more of an apology. She eventually declares that they're never going to see eye to eye on the matter...then rushes off to see the school counsellor, who apparently has summoned both her and Jack for an important meeting. A few seconds later, Andie is stunned to see her father in the counsellor's office and happily hugs him while a miffed looking Jack glowers in his direction.
Jack calls Joey to cancel their dinner plans, then explains that his pa is in town from Rhode Island and wants to take him and Andie out to eat. Apparently, Mr. Milo blabbed to Pa McPhee about Gay Poem-gate, so he figured he should probably stop in to see whether his remaining son is gay or nay...and Joey assures him it's no problem, and then calls Dawson to tell him she's up for a fun night out with him, Jen, and Tyson after all.
The four arrive at a club with live music...and when Tyson orders four stiff drinks, Joey and Dawson promptly change their order to cokes. A few seconds later, Tyson is summoned to the stage, where he starts playing piano for the singer - much to the surprise of Jen. Dawson asks her if Tyson's religion doesn't frown on drinking and clubbing, then says he can't help but remark on the irony of him being out at a club for the evening with two girls who dumped him. As he chuckles about what a pathetic loser he is, Jen says she's more pathetic 'cause her boyfriend is "a bible thumping hypocrite", while Joey argues that she's the most pathetic 'cause she has to glumly acknowledge that her boyfriend is likely gay.
Pacey is at the library, researching codes of conduct for all county public jobs, including teaching guidelines. The librarian helping him gather his research asks why he's doing this - and asks him this as if it's any of her damn business - and he cryptically tells her that he's just trying to make the best of a bad situation.
During the McPhee family dinner, Andie gives her pa an update on her mom and earnestly tells him she made honor roll again...and Pa McPhee's all, "That's nice", then turns his attention to Jack to tell him that Mr. Milo called him to inform him of Gay Poem-gate, and grumbles about how the call forced him to disrupt his life so he could look into whether or not anything was seriously wrong. He then comes right and asks, "Are you gay, Jack?" ... and when Jack sourly asks him if he'd care if he were, Pa McPhee says he would on account of the family has enough problems to deal with. Jack asks if being gay would qualify as a problem, and Pa McPhee's like, "Well d'yuh" and reminds him that now that Tim is six feet under, he's the only McPhee son left - meaning that people [who have nothing better to do] are more likely to notice him and titter cattily about any non-hetereo life choices he might make. When Andie implores her father to shut his stupid pie-hole, he tells her that Jack should recognize that the family has had enough problems, and that he should be grateful for everything he has...aka a hapless mother who can no longer cope with life and an absentee shit-stain of a father.
Back at the club, Joey is slow dancing with Dawson and telling him what a nice time she's having. She then blurts out, "You think he's gay, don't you?" and Dawson's like, "Um duh."
Tyson tells Jen he thinks that Dawson and Joey make a great couple, then shakes his head in bewilderment as to why Joey would opt to be with a "fruit fly" like Jack. Jen gives him a 'the fuck?' look and denies this bitchy categorization of Jack, and then the two get into an argument about whether or not being gay is a choice. As Jen gets visibly miffed, Tyson gets her even more miffed when he declares that men can not be gay if they don't want to be.
Andie drops by Jack's bedroom to remind her brother that Pa McPhee hasn't had it easy, and that she'd loooove it if he rejoined the family to help them take care of their checked-out mother. Jack's all, "Ack!" at that prospect and says that, from his perspective, they lost their pa when he bailed on the family shortly after Tim's death. He then chides her for seeking the dickwad's approval all the time...and when Andie says she merely wants her father to be proud of her, he urges her to stop and wonder sometime if she's proud of him.
Grams makes Tyson a sandwich and covertly gushes to Jen about how much she likes the well-mannered young man as Jen stares dispiritedly into space. Tyson notices Jen's sullen expression and stupidly insists again that, according to the bible, being gay is not OK, then tries to enlist Grams to support his side of the tedious argument. As Jen urges Grams to please stay mute on the touchy subject, Grams refuses to hold herself back from shooting Tyson the stink-eye and pointing out that if Jack were gay, he'd need all of the love and tolerance he can get...and that he (Tyson) should defer his petty cattiness about homosexuality to someone who has a helluva lot more wisdom and life experience than a cluelessly judgey teenager such as himself.
Dawson walks Joey home and asks what's bugging her, so she asks, "Am I sexual?", then follows up the odd question by explaining that she now wonders if Jack chose to date her 'cause she's "safe" and could easily be kept at a distance. Um, probably. Dawson assures her that she's very sexual, not to mention witty, feisty, and intelligent...and that this 'not a girl, not yet a woman' stage of her blossoming is extremely sexy. He then asks her to contemplate why she chose Jack, then heads home and leaves her to chew on that ill-fated decision.
Pacey runs into Principal Markey when she arrives at school early the next morning, hands her a document he prepared, and decrees that Mr. Peterson is in violation of the 'bylaws of ethics' that include all city employees, including teachers. Principal Markey scrunches her face in annoyance and asks what his point is, so Pacey quotes from his report about how teachers are supposed to behave professionally towards their students, meaning free of vindictiveness, recrimination, harassment, and general douchebaggery. Principal Markey sarcastically asks if she should summon Mr. Peterson to her office and give him Saturday detention...and Pacey [somehow refrains from suggesting that she could do her fucking job by at least issuing a formal warning to the shitbag about his abusive behavior and making it clear that relentlessly denigrating students in front of their peers is a fireable fucking offence and] says she doesn't need to do anything 'cause he took it upon himself to gather twenty testimonies from other disgruntled students and sent them to every school board member so they can publicly reprimand Mr. Peterson at the next board meeting. He then needlessly apologizes to the principal for going above her head - but figured that since she wasn't willing to do fuck all about her subordinate's shitty behavior, he did the best he could with the resources available to him.
Pa McPhee announces that he's off to Rhode Island, then hands Andie a list of nurse companies to help care for her mom. As Andie implores him to stay, he barks at her for getting emotional and half-heartedly promises to be back in a few weeks. Jack enters the room and snarkishly tells him not to bother coming back...and when Pa McPhee admonishes him for his tone and reminds him how hard he works, Jack snorts derisively and asks why he's bothering to support a family he doesn't even care about. He then orders his father to ask him again if he's gay so that he can dramatically admit he is - then bursts into tears and wails about how he can no longer ignore his sexual identity, even if it means risking his father's ire or "bothering" his family with yet more "problems". When Andie too starts sobbing, Pa McPhee orders her to leave the room so that he can continue to have this conversation privately with Jack, but she refuses and yells at him to get the hell out...to which he's like, "Can do!" and happily beats a hasty retreat.
The next morning at school, Jack tells Joey he'd like them to get together tonight, and she perkily says she's good with that.
Mr. Peterson has left a note on the door of his classroom stating that today's English class has been cancelled, and that everyone should report to study hall. When Pacey arrives at school, Jack gives him a hearty, belated thank you for sticking up for him in front of the class...and a gratified and also curious Pacey wanders into the English classroom where Mr. Peterson is packing up his stuff in a cardboard box. He wryly tells Pacey he's leaving Capeside High so that he doesn't have to bother explaining to the board why he's been such an abusive turd to his students, then breezily adds that he was going to retire in six months anyway. Pacey asks him why he's so damn mean all the time and points out that respect is earned through compassion - not fear. Mr. Peterson's like, "Blah blah.." and asks Pacey if he should respect him after he just abruptly ended his career, then self-piteously asks, "Where's the compassion?" Pacey somehow refrains from pointing out that it was his own callously fuckwitted behavior that ended his career, then stares sheepishly into space as Mr. Peterson shuffles out of the classroom with his box o' stuff, hopefully never to be seen in Capeside again.
Tyson drops by Jen's place to see if their budding romance is salvageable, but Jen tells him she can't get beyond his intolerant views on gay people. Tyson implores her to see him for the open-minded lad he's suddenly pretending he is, then turns the tables and asks if her liberal views are as open as he's willing to be, and if they can't just continue to date and see what happens next. Jen chuckles at his persistence and concedes that he's very charming, even though...meh.
Pacey ambles over to Andie to apologize at the same time she tries to apologize to him. She assures him that she doesn't need a knight in shining armour, but rather a boyfriend who loves her despite her faults...and Pacey grins happily as he chides her for making her apology so much better than his, and the two sweethearts-once-more kiss.
Jack arrives at Casa Potter as Joey is creating a romantic ambiance in her backyard with tiki-torches. Jack tells her she shouldn't have gone through the trouble, as in she really shouldn't have, and alarmed looking Joey stares back at him as she anticipates the bad news he's about to deliver. Jack tells her that this morning he told his dad he's gay...and when Joey asks if he's maybe just part gay, he chuckles at her idiocy before confirming that he's completely, 100%, full on gay...and that their hetero-on gay coupling should probably come to an end, like yesterday.
Jack explains that when he was writing his gay poem, something inside of him, which had been dormant for a long time, suddenly clicked. He then credits Joey for being such a great friend to him and insists that he doesn't want to hurt her in any way or lose their friendship. Joey responds by thanking him for being honest with her.
Jack returns home, and Andie gives him a smile and a supportive hug.
Dawson is watching TV in his bedroom when Joey crawls through his window and starts sobbing. Dawson correctly assumes that she finally got the 'I'm gay' confirmation from Jack and gives her a comforting canoodle as she weeps.
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