Recap: At Casa Leery, Dawson freaks out to Pacey about how he's about to turn sixteen in a few minutes, and that he's still the whiny loser he was a year ago, which...well d'yuh. Pacey half-heartedly tells him that that's not true - but Dawson continues to rail about how everyone but him is growing up and moving on while he remains in the exact same place he was in a year ago. Pacey's like, "OK, whatever, just try to enjoy your birthday" while Dawson wrings his hands about being stagnant in his life, which he now believes is the reason Joey dumped him for a gay guy. Pacey urges him to figure out what he wants out of life and make it happen, and Dawson says that what he wants is to win Joey back. %$#@!
Mitch drops by Casa Leery to cook Dawson his traditional birthday breakfast, much to the surprise of both Dawson and Shaggy D.A. Mitch serves Dawson his birthday meal, then asks Shaggy D.A. to head out to the porch with him so they can discuss birthday present stuff. Shaggy D.A. tells him it's a bit late, given that today is Dawson's birthday, and smugly informs him that she bought their son a Ford Explorer. Mitch clucks disapprovingly and calls that "a big decision" that they should have made together - but Shaggy D.A. asks what the point of that would be since he has no cash. A few feet away, Dawson is trying to enjoy his birthday breakfast, but is unable to avoid eavesdropping on his parents' bitchy argument.
Over at the the Ice House, Pacey and Joey are going over their plans to successfully implement Dawson's surprise birthday party, which will take place at Casa Leery. As Jack spacily wanders past, Pacey discreetly asks Joey how that awkwardness is going, and Joey rolls her eyes about how everyone keeps asking her that, then admits that while she's still shocked about Jack abruptly switching teams, she's doing A-OK.
Abby and a couple of snooty looking gal pals - Tracy and Kelly - arrive at the Ice House for lunch...and when Jack brings them menus, Tracy and Kelly marvel at his courage in coming out of the closet by reading a gay poem to his English class. Abby concurs, but then calls it "a waste" given that he's a total babe, and Jack snarkishly calls her Satan before storming off. Abby chases after him to apologize and acknowledge that they've gotten off on the wrong foot, then points out, "Sometimes people can surprise you" and saucily adds that he should know all 'bout that...and Jack responds by staring back at her with an inscrutable expression before turning and sauntering off.
Andie is at her first therapy session, telling Dr. Sumner she's the glue that's been holding her fragile family together, the side effect of which has been some serious panic attacks. Dr. Sumner remarks on how overwhelming that must have been and asks Andie to articulate what she wants out out life, so Andie says she'd looooove to rid herself of her constant worries, just "sail through life", and not give a hoot what anyone thinks of her. Dr. Sumner chews on that for a few seconds, then prescribes "one night of imperfection", and Andie stares concernedly into space as she mulls over that prospect.
Bessie dismisses Joey from her Ice House shift early so she can head over to Casa Leery and help get everything ready for Dawson's surprise party. Joey self-piteously says she really doesn't need to waste her time getting all gussied up, given that she permanently turned Jack off to women. She then glumly acknowledges that she knows Jack's sexual preferences are solely about him not her, then unhappily cries, "What am I supposed to doooo?" Bessie suggests she paint and/or discover what makes her happy - just as Dawson arrives for a tête-à-tête.
Tyson is over at Jen's place, wrapping Dawson's birthday gift, when he tells Jen that he can feel her eyes burning a hole into his back...which, yep, they definitely are. The two engage in some flirty back and forth before Tyson orders Jen to close her eyes so that he can lean in for a smooch and then share a giggle with her about having smooched.
While strolling along the dock, Dawson comes right out and tells Joey that he wants her back, presumes to know that she feels the same way, and declares them soulmates. Joey winces and tells him that her reason for dumping him was 'cause she needed to pretend to sort out some complicated life stuff...and Dawson pissily retorts that she doesn't know nuthin' if she doesn't fully realize that they're meant to be, then bitchily storms off.
Over at Casa Leery, Joey, Bessie, and Shaggy D.A. are putting out all the party food. Bessie assures a glum Joey that Dawson will get over their argument earlier and be in a great mood when he arrives with Pacey and Andie.
Pacey is driving his brother's police cruiser [which I continue to insist can't possibly be legal] with Dawson in the passenger seat and Andie behind the cage in the back. Dawson continues to bitch and moan about his pathetic life going nowhere, and is extra annoyed that he's third-wheeling it with them on his sixteenth birthday. Pacey urges him to concentrate on the positive, while Andie announces that she's cutting loose tonight and would like Pacey to drive them to a cool night club so that she can go a little wild.
When Jack arrives at Casa Leery for the party, Abby and her gal pals are all, "Hubba hubba!" and gush about how hot he's looking. A perplexed Jack tells them that the only thing different about him tonight is some gel he put in his hair.
Elsewhere at the party, Jen tells Tyson she can now feel his eyes burning a hole in her back...and after the two smooch, Tyson tells her that he's a bit freaked out about them getting closer. She asks him if that's a problem, and he's like, "Uh, kinda" 'cause he's worried about their canoodling getting out of hand. Jen perks up at the possibility of things getting out of hand, then coos about how adorable he is whenever he acts as if he's a 1950s choirboy.
At the night club, Dawson is still pouting when Andie announces that she's going to allow herself to indulge in her desires and worst instincts during the cutting loose process. Dawson says he definitely likes the sound of that, so Andie proposes they egg each other on all evening to make total arses of themselves in public. As Pacey heads off to the men's room, Andie and Dawson hoodwink the waitress into believing they're old enough to be ordering multiple rum and cokes.
Abby follows Jack onto the Leery's front porch and asks him how it feels to turn this shitty hamlet on its heels, and he's like, "Why are you even talking to me when I clearly hate you?" Abby points out that, like him, she's an outcast...then wanks him when she pronounces that there isn't any such thing as "being gay" 'cause she figures that all humans are bi-sexual animals just trying to get by in a puritanical society.
Dawson orders another round of rum and cokes for himself and Andie, and a clueless Pacey asks them how many cokes they're going to guzzle. The manager then gets on stage and announces that it's open mic night and that he'd welcome some volunteers to sing the blues. Dawson and Andie decide that this is their moment to start embarrassing themselves and run onto the stage, where Dawson belts out what sounds suspiciously like a prepared-in-advance tune about having the blues after the love of his life dumped him for a gay boy. Andie then takes the mic and is also able to magically come up with rhyming lyrics about the state of blues her life is in...and, back at the table, Pacey stares at them with his arms crossed and looking less than impressed with their performance.
After Dawson and Andie (mercifully) stop singing, Pacey suggests they head off to Casa Leery, where Dawson has correctly guessed that a surprise birthday party awaits him. Pacey takes a sip of Andie's "coke" and finally realizes that she and Dawson have been drinking heavily all night - just as the waitress storms over and asks for their IDs. Andie's like, "You should have done that, like, five drinks ago" - LOL - and chides the waitress for breaking the law, and Pacey hustles his friends to the nearest exit.
Mitch tells Shaggy D.A. that he took a peek inside the garage and saw the Explorer she bought for Dawson, and that it's not the kind of jalopy he would have purchased for their sixteen year old son. Shaggy D.A.'s all, "Whatever" and makes clear that she doesn't feel even a tiny bit bad about her gift-buying decision.
Over in the garage, Jen and Tyson are steamily making out inside the Explorer...and parodying Titanic's hand slapping scene against the car's steamed up window. Tyson abruptly puts a halt to the heavy petting, tells Jen he can't do this, then chides her for tempting him when she knows full well that he doesn't believe in pre-marital sex. Jen's all, "Who said anything about sex?" and bursts out of the car...and Tyson rushes out after her and explains that with her slutty history, he just assumed she'd be expecting a pre-marital ride atop his baloney pony. Jen gets angry at what was probably a pretty reasonable assumption, tells him to shove it, and storms off.
Jack asks Abby if she seriously believes that everyone is bi-sexual...and when she's like, "Um, yeah..?", the two go upstairs to Dawson's bedroom. He tells her he's starting to warm to her company and that he no longer regards her as Satan.
Dawson drunkenly staggers into his house with Pacey and Andie in tow and yells, "Surprise!" - LOL - and then he and Andie proceed to climb onto the kitchen table and dance, while a peeved Joey and Pacey urge them to get down. Joey then escorts Dawson upstairs so that she can privately funnel some coffee down his throat as a means of sobering him up - but when they enter his bedroom, they catch Jack and Abby lounging atop the bed looking disturbingly cozy. Dawson stares at them in shock before bursting out in laughing and singing his 'I have the blues' song, while Joey shoots her ex the stink-eye before storming off. Jack runs out after her, while Abby seems somehow entranced by Dawson's drunken buffoonery.
Abby heads back downstairs, where she smugly informs Tracy and Kelly, "He's not so gay anymore." Except that...yes, he is.
Shaggy D.A. brings out a large birthday cake for Dawson - just as she realizes he's hopelessly drunk. At the sight of the cake, Dawson ponders aloud what his birthday wish should be..
He then pretends to look around the kitchen and announces - a ha! - that he "found" Joey, then makes a beeline over to her and plants a big smooch on her lips. She reacts by shoving him away from her, which implausibly causes him to fall face-first into his large birthday cake...which made [me and] some of the partygoers laugh heartily at the messy spectacle, while his parents and the less amused partygoers stare down at him in horrified shock.
Later, Dawson and Andie are repeatedly vomiting in the bathroom, expressing mortification at their behavior, and vowing to never drink alcohol again.
Shaggy D.A. tells Mitch that she's taking the Explorer back to the dealership now that Dawson has so clearly demonstrated that he's not ready for the responsibility of owning a car. Mitch suggests splitting the cost of the downpayment on a jalopy so that Dawson is forced to continue to make his own car payments and can learn the value of a dollar, and Shaggy D.A. agrees that that's an idea she can get onboard with.
Joey tells Jack what a terrible surprise party this turned out to be, then asks WTF about him canoodling Abby...and that she hoped if he were going to switch teams again, he'd at least choose a quality female. Jack insists that he's still definitely gay, but doesn't like the feeling of being singled out for his sexual preferences...and Joey reminds him how lucky he is to have so many supportive people around him, and cautions him to not lose sight of that.
Tyson is waiting on Jen's porch to tell her that they prolly shouldn't see each other anymore, and explains that he's so against pre-marital sex 'cause his whole life has been centered around the church. Jen sourly points out that his Christianness seems to conflict with his desire to frequently booze it up, party at night clubs, and judge guys like Jack for coming out gay. Tyson concedes that it's a struggle to be a judgey, horny teen, and that the desires of his penis are in direct opposition to what he's been taught to believe. He apologizes for acting like such a prudish douchebag earlier and says that his insults had nothing to do with her - but Jen calls bullshit on that and argues that they had everything to do with her. She nonsensically claims that when they were dry humping in the Explorer Titanic-style, she was merely looking for something pure - not sex! - then storms inside and slams the door in his face.
Joey sits by Dawson's bedside, where he's quietly laying and staring at the ceiling. He apologizes for his drunken boorishness earlier, and she easily forgives him and says he's allowed to make a mistake...even if his mistake was expressing his true feelings. Dawson moans about how hopelessly lonely he is, then asks her to fully come clean about why she dumped him. Joey assures him that it truly was more about her than him, and that she wants to see if she can be a whole person on her own, aka without the guy her life has been so intertwined with since childhood. Dawson urges her to find herself quickly, then moans, "God, I love you" ... and as he closes his eyes and passes out, Joey murmurs, "I love you too, Dawson" then ambles over to the window to watch the snow gently falling.
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