Recap: Shaggy D.A. has just finished watching Dawson's new film, and she wanks him about how "impressive, moving, funny, and real" she found his dreck to be. Dawson grumbles that she's only saying that 'cause she's his mom, and that he had a vision for the film that maybe didn't translate so well on the big screen. He frets, "What if I can never make a good film?", and Shaggy D.A. half-heartedly urges him to stay tenacious and not let someone's negative opinion of his work derail his filmmaking dreams. She then changes the subject to Mitch and asks if he's enjoying his new job, and Dawson shrugs and says that the dolt seems to like being Capeside High's newest faculty member.
Over at Casa Potter, Mike is making breakfast when Joey ambles into the room. He tells her how glad he is to be home again, and assures her that he's not going anywhere. A smiling Bessie enters the room and informs Joey that she and Mike stayed up late brainstorming about how to expand the Ice House's profits, and decided to fill in for a cancelled caterer at her friend's wedding this weekend. Joey's all, "Wha-a-a?" and expresses deep concern about them being capable of successfully pulling off a big catering job - but Mike coos at her to not worry so much, then hugs her and gushes about how awesome it is that they're suddenly a family again.
At school, Joey tells Jack about the catering gig, and he too expresses doubt that the Ice House can seamlessly make the transition from Yokeltown eatery to wedding caterer, then says she must be thrilled to have her ex-con daddy back in the house. Joey says it's nice, though kinda weird...and that she can't just pick up where they left off three years ago, and is very very anxious that the Potters are going to screw the pooch on the upcoming catering gig. She worriedly wrings her hands about how excited Bessie is about Pa Potter's return and doesn't want to rain on her parade, and Jack's like, "OK, well whatevs" and says he'd be happy to pitch in this weekend as a wedding caterer waiter.
Dawson tells Pacey he's going to re-edit his movie 'cause he's questioning whether he "put the pieces together wrong" ... which I'm guessing is the least of the film's problems. He then glances across the school lawn and looks less than thrilled to see his dad gabbing with his hot new gal pal, Mädchen Amick. A few seconds later, Jack bounds over to tell them that..
Jen finds Abby primping in the ladies room and apologizes for the snarkitude she dished out at her during their falling out earlier in the season (however much Abby totally had it coming). Jen laments never fully being accepted by the Capeside crowd, and that she's finally come to the realization that the most fun she's had during Season 2 were their contrived adventures. A flattered looking Abby says that that's possibly the nicest thing anyone's ever said to her, declares their bad blood water under the bridge, and agrees that they should totes hang together this weekend.
Pacey proposes to Andie that they combine their caterer waiter earnings to enjoy a special evening out on the town. Andie grumbles that she absolutely haaaaaates weddings, as well as the general notion of marriage 'cause it's an antiquated institution that's designed to set people up to fail. Pacey's all, "Say wuh?" and suggests she stick to him during the wedding so that she can see first-hand what a beautiful thing marriage can be...and bets that if she doesn't change her mind 'bout that, he'll give her his caterer waiter earnings. Andie's all, "Boring wager accepted!"
Dawson drops by the Ice House, warmly greets Mike, and says he'll be more than happy to help out at the wedding. When Mike heads back into the kitchen, Dawson asks Joey how she's handling her dad's unexpected release from prison, and she tells him that Jack has been coaching her through it, then hastily adds that she only turned to Jack when she couldn't immediately track him (Dawson) down. The two then overhear two catty women gossiping about Mike Potter's sordid history as a drug dealing philanderer...and Joey scrunches her face in frustrated irksomeness before rushing off.
Wedding Day! Dawson stares worriedly at Joey and asks her if she's OK, and she assures him she's fine, and that she's directing all of her energy into serving delicious Ice House food to the wedding guests.
Shaggy D.A. arrives at the wedding as a guest and asks Dawson if she's seen Mitch, who apparently is also a friend of the bride or groom. She then smugly announces that she's going to do her best to win him back, and Dawson smiles happily - but his smile quickly fades when Mitch arrives with a sleek looking Mädchen Amick on his arm.
Andie is railing to Pacey about the stupidity of weddings and how she has no intention of even witnessing the ceremony. As she rants about the general dysfunction of most marriages, she flails her arm about and knocks over the top layer of the cake...and a few seconds later, Joey enters the room, sees the cake mess on the floor, and shoots Pacey and Andie the stink-eye.
Dawson finds Pam (the bride) in a room by herself, hyperventilating and wailing about how tempted she is to do that stupid TV tropey thing where brides suddenly realize, a minute before the wedding's supposed to take place, that they're not actually sure they can go through with it, and then dramatically flee the venue while decked out in a billowy white gown. When a stunned Dawson's all, "Wha-a-a-a?", she babbles about how she's suddenly unsure if she loves the groom and worries that marrying him could be the biggest mistake of her life.
Over at Casa Lindley, Jen and Abby dance around Jen's bedroom...then admit that they're bored senseless. Jen suggests going somewhere tonight where they can have "a blast", and Abby agrees and specifies that she wants this blast to include booze and boys. Jen tells her that the entire Capeside gang is catering a fancy wedding that no one thought to invite them to, and Abby's all, "We have to crash it!" and Jen says she definitely likes the sound of that ill-thought-out idea.
Jack asks Dawson whassup with the bride holding up the ceremony, so Dawson explains how freaked out she is about getting married to a man she worries may not be the one. Jack offers to talk to her...and when they go into the room where Dawson found her, they find it empty - but then breathe a sigh of relief when they see that she hasn't fled through the window, but has merely locked herself in the bathroom.
A frazzled Joey freaks out to Bessie about what a disaster the food is, and nervously natters that she has no idea where their pa is, that Jack and Dawson too have disappeared, and Andie broke the wedding cake. Bessie urges her to calm down, assures her that everything is under control, and that the hastily thrown together Ice House Catering Company can successfully feed the wedding guests. Joey nonsensically rails that their pa can't expect to put their family back together after so dickishly breaking it apart with his infidelity and drug dealing...then glances over at the doorway, where Mike Potter is standing, looking visibly hurt by the rant he's just overheard.
After urging Pam to emerge from the bathroom so that everyone can go on with the wedding (or not), Jack opens the door and finds the bride perched atop the toilet, wringing her hands about whether or not her husband-to-be is her soulmate. Jack points out that everyone is flawed, no love is perfect, and that she'd be short-sighted if she walked away from "something real" when the perfect thing doesn't even exist. Pam mulls that over for a few seconds and decides 'I guess I can marry the dumb lug after all!'
Pam is walked up the aisle by her father while Shaggy D.A. and Mitch exchange pensive, troubled looking glances...and Joey and Dawson grin at each other.
Pam thanks Jack for saving her life, credits him with being right about the 'no love is perfect' platitude, and realizes she's suddenly sooooo happy to now be Mrs. Whatever Her Husband's Name Is. Dawson good-naturedly tells Jack he's a tad miffed that he was able to successfully counsel the woman in a matter of minutes after his efforts failed, and Jack just shrugs modestly and says he was merely able to say something that resonated with her. He then assures Dawson that he is, indeed, Joey's soulmate...and that if he can't quite connect to her, he needs to keep pressing ahead and force that connection.
Pam tries to get a look at her wedding cake, but is blocked by a panicked Andie, who tells her it's bad luck. Pam seems satisfied with being barred from going anywhere near the cake and remarks on how the cake's top layer is the most important layer of all, 'cause it's the one that couples eat on their anniversary. Once she's out of earshot, Andie urges Pacey to continue trying to fix the cake, and in exchange is willing to concede that marriage is the world's most romantic institution.
Joey finds her dad in the kitchen, working on the rest of the food prep. He tells her they're pretty much all caught up, and a pleasantly surprised Joey gushes about how amaaaaaazing everything looks. He sheepishly confesses that he didn't spend a single second considering how his sudden prison release might affect her, and concurs that he really has no business expecting everything to magically feel normal now that he's free, blah blah... I'm really starting to find their 'we can't just resume being a family again' conversations tedious and [spoiler] am kinda looking forward to his swift return to prison.
Shaggy D.A. asks Dawson who Mitch's tart is, so he explains that Mädchen Amick is a fellow teacher at Capeside High - just as the two wander over to say hey. Shaggy D.A. hastily slinks off as Dawson shoots his dad the stink-eye and tells him it was douchey to bring a date to a wedding he knew Shaggy D.A. would be at...and Mitch argues that he enjoys spending time with Mädchen Amick and adds that he had no intention of putting him in the middle of their marital strife. Dawson bitterly retorts that that's exactly what happens when he decides to date one of his teachers, then storms off.
Jen grumbles to Abby about the lack of cute guys at this wedding - just as Andie stomps over to berate them for crashing a private wedding. Jen suggests to Abby that they head over to the boardwalk and come back when everyone has loosened up after a few glasses of booze...and on her way out, Abby grabs a full bottle of wine and cackles at her gumption.
Dawson finds a tearful Joey in the kitchen and asks her whassup, and she tells him she has a lingering fear of getting her heart broken again by her ex-con father. Dawson says it's perfectly natural to be wary of the crimes Pa Potter is likely to re-commit in the near future, then gushes about the inner strength she's demonstrated for the last three years despite all the cunty gossip she's had to eavesdrop on from judgemental Capesiders. He tells her she has nothing to be ashamed of, and isn't alone 'cause she now has her sister and her dad in her life - plus she'll always have him. Joey thanks him for the kind words and gives him a grateful hug.
As the wedding wraps up, Joey happily tells her dad it all went smoothly, and that she's proud of him being able to hold his head high despite his infidelity and drug dealing that got everyone in Capeside gossiping behind their backs for the last several years. She squeaks, "I love you" and tells him she's glad he's home and that she'd now like to show him off in front of all the petty gossipers - but he tells her he isn't ready and needs to take things slow.
Pacey wheels out the wedding cake he somehow expertly repaired despite the top layer being a pile of mush after Andie sent it hurtling to the floor. The bride and groom start feeding it to each other...and Andie looks moved by the romantic spectacle while Pacey stares over at her in smug satisfaction.
Over on the docks, Jen and Abby climb to the top level, giggling and swigging from the bottle of wine. Abby drunkenly rambles about how unhappy she is wherever she is, then suddenly stumbles and hits her head on a wooden beam. Jen reacts by laughing heartily, which annoys Abby, who unwisely seats herself onto the top edge of the dock, then promptly loses her balance and topples backwards and into the dark water below. A horrified Jen's all, "OMG! Abbbbbbbyyyyy!!" and jumps in after her in an attempt to rescue her friend.
Back at the wedding reception, Pacey invites Andie to dance, and she accepts and admits that he was right about weddings being sacred, romantic affairs. Elsewhere, Dawson sees Shaggy D.A. sitting at a table by herself looking glum, so he wanders over and asks her to dance. He tries to buoy her spirit by giving her the same advice she gave him about his poorly reviewed movie: stay tenacious and don't let anyone derail what you want outa life.
Joey tells Jack she's very glad the wedding is over, and is extremely relieved that the Ice House was able to deliver tasty food to the guests. A few seconds later, Mike Potter enters the room, looking well groomed and spiffy in a fancy suit. He hands Joey a rose and asks her to dance, and she happily accepts...and Bessie enters the room a few seconds later and looks on happily. Mike then spots Dawson dancing with his ma and tells Joey there's probably someone who really really wants to dance with her...and the two couples swap partners so that Joey and Dawson can stare deeply into each others' eyes and exchange I love yous.
Back at the dock, first responders have managed to fish Abby out of the water, and zip her grisly looking corpse into a body bag before transporting her to the morgue. A sobbing Jen stands in the street, wrapped in a blanket, staring after the ambulance.
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