Recap: Pacey learns that he's just failed the written part of his driver's test and attempts to entice the instructor to change his score because it's his sixteenth birthday...but she's like, "I really don't give a shit about your birthday" and tells him to go pee up a rope.
Mitch is trying to engage Dawson in a father-son sex talk 'cause he's worried he might knock up Joey, but Dawson assures him it isn't necessary, given that they're both virgins who have no intention of doing anything more than kissing while fully clothed. Out on the front porch, meanwhile, Shaggy D.A. is showing Joey a book about how to prevent teenage pregnancy and telling her she's more than welcome to come to her with any sex-related questions she might have. Dawson overhears the last part of that conversation and hastily announces that he and Joey are heading off to school now...and as the two beat a hasty retreat, Mitch and Shaggy D.A. stare after them and agree on how fast their little dorkboy is growing up.
Grams barges into Jen's bedroom, opens the curtains to let in the sunshine, and chirps, "Rise and shine!" When Jen just grumbles about how she wants to stay under the covers all day, Grams sternly orders her to be out of bed and ready for school in the next five minutes.
Pacey glumly tells Dawson he failed his driver's test, but Dawson's just like, "Bummer" and natters about how obsessed with sex his parents are now that he's dating Joey. Pacey repeats that he failed his driver's test today of all days and asks Dawson if there are any special wishes he'd like to extend to him, then stalks off in frustration when Dawson just stares back at him blankly.
Pacey finds Jen moping by the pier and seats himself beside her. He moans about how he's suffering from "a bad case of the Molly Ringwalds", and she mulls that over for a few seconds and correctly guesses that everyone forgot about his sixteenth birthday. Pacey complains that Dawson always plans a special birthday road trip for the two of them - but forgot about it this year 'cause he's so preoccupied with his and Joey's new status as boyfriend/girlfriend. Jen's all 'fuck those two' and suggests he "live it up" by making his own birthday plans - and Pacey perks up at the notion of pursuing his own lead storyline rather than always being portrayed as Dawson's wisecracking sidekick.
Jen is excused from gym class due to fake menstrual issues, but gets assigned to clean-up duty, aka gathering up used towels from the bleachers. She runs into Abby Morgan, who brags about how she got out of gym class altogether by forging a doctor's note using letterhead she recently swiped from her doctor's office. Abby chides Jen for generally being lame and assumes that her life in New York was about as lame as it is in Capeside - but Jen's all, "Girrrrl, the things and places I have talked myself into and out of would blow your mind." Abby looks impressed by her new friend's cheesy bravado and says she'd be mostly interested in hearing about the various guys she hooked up with.
Over at Casa Potter, Dawson tells Joey he's sooooo happy to be dating her 'cause she totally gets what weirdos his parents are...and he also likes the fact that they don't have to wade through the kind of getting to know you crap they'd have to wade through if he didn't already know absolutely everything about her. Joey argues that he doesn't quite know everything about her - just as her nephew starts mewling from the next room. While Joey rushes out to check on the tot, Dawson notices her journal and decides 'what could go wrong with reading my girlfriend's deepest musings?' - but then looks visibly troubled by whatever trash talk she must have penned about him. When Joey comes back into the room, Dawson's like, "Gotta go!" and abruptly heads out, leaving a confused Joey staring after him.
Pacey is posting flyers about the birthday pier party he's decided to throw for himself when Dawson wanders over to complain about how Joey ridiculed his horror movie in her journal. When Pacey mutters, "So what?", Dawson adds that she also described him as "a talentless dreamer with no cinematic future". [Based on the snippet we saw of his horror movie, that sounds about right.] Pacey growls back that no one cares about his uninteresting life and filmmaking aspirations, pissily adds that he's sick and tired of hearing about his Joey drama, and snarls, "Get over yourself, Dawson. Deal!"
Andie introduces herself to Joey and tells her her brother Jack is interesting in working at the Ice House. Joey says they're always looking for help and tells her to have Jack drop in sometime and ask for her.
While ambling home from school, Dawson asks Joey what she thought of his horror movie, and she waxes on about what a masterpiece she thinks it is. Dawson says he's relieved to hear that 'cause it's sooooo important to him that she regard him as a talented filmmaker, and Joey shoots him a suspicious glare and asks him if, by chance, he read her insults about his movie-making abilities in her journal. When he sheepishly admits he did, she admonishes him for violating her privacy, snaps, "How dare you?!", and storms off.
Shaggy D.A. is at home planting flowers when Grams drops by to return a casserole dish and dispense marital advice - just as Mitch is discussing his marital woes with a fisherman friend. The fisherman tells him to avoid divorce at all costs 'cause the man always seems to lose everything when stuff gets divvied up (right??), while Grams advises Shaggy D.A. to do everything possible to keep her marriage intact. The fisherman suggests to Mitch that he redefine the notion of fidelity to include additional sex partners and nonsensically declares that he and Shaggy D.A. becoming a swinging couple might well be the only thing that can prevent a costly divorce...and Mitch stares contemplatively into space as he mulls over that grisly visual.
Pacey is putting his party flyers on the windshield of every car near the high school campus when he runs into Andie. The two bicker back and forth, a tropey indication that the two will soon fall for each other, and Andie half-heartedly apologizes for pranking him with Kristy last episode and says she's totes down with attending his little clambake.
Jen and Abby are hanging out in Jen's bedroom, ogling photos of Jen's ex, Charlie. Abby cackles about how super hot he is and asks Jen why she'd ever settle for a dork like Dawson...then suggests they get hammered on a giant bottle of bubbly she just happens to have in her purse and crash Pacey's pier party. Jen gigglingly agrees that that sounds like a fantastic idea.
Dawson shows up at the Ice House to plead with Joey to forgive him for reading her journal - just as Jack arrives to inquire about a job. Joey irritably directs him to the kitchen so that she can continue bickering with Dawson...but a few seconds later Jack returns to report that Bessie won't let him into the kitchen 'cause she's not actually aware he's been made an employee. Dawson puts his sad face on and admits to Joey that perhaps he doesn't know her at all, and Joey concurs and snarkishly adds, "Maybe you never did."
Andie arrives at Pacey's pier party decked out in a bright orange bikini and natters at Pacey about how meeting too many new people at once makes her nervous. Elsewhere, Jen and Abby drunkenly stumble onto the pier, and Abby eggs on Jen to smooch the next guy she sees. When Dawson makes his entrance at that exact moment, Jen scampers over and forcibly smooches him, but he's all, "The fuck is wrong with you?", and a humiliated Jen flees while Abby mutters, "Nice going, Romeo."
At the Ice House, Joey glumly tells Jack that she and Dawson just had their first fight as girlfriend/boyfriend, and he urges he to see the silver lining: now they can enjoy the pleasure of making up. He then offers to lock up the restaurant so she can go and sort everything out with Dawson, and she's like 'you've barely worked a single shift; why the hell not?'
Dawson finally twigs onto the fact that he forgot about his best friend's birthday and profusely apologizes to Pacey and promises to make it up to him. Pacey says he's bummed that everyone in Capeside seems to have written him off, and poutishly says that their friendship can no longer compare to his (Dawson's) budding romance with Joey.
Shaggy D.A. canoodles Mitch and suggests they redecorate the living room, and he tells her she's welcome to do whatever she wants, then coldly extricates himself from her smoochy closeness. He tells her that while he doesn't want to file for divorce, they're going to need to explore some new possibilities...and when Shaggy D.A. scrunches her face confusedly, he suggests they somehow "reclaim their honesty" by hitting the sheets with other people, and an aghast Shaggy D.A. just stares back at him in icked-out horror.
As rain pours, Joey and Dawson stare at each other from several feet away...then grin happily and slowly walk towards each other. The two embrace, then stroll down the street to recap the episode's drama. Dawson says he forgot all about Pacey's birthday and can't blame him for being hurt and angry...then changes the subject to her journal and asks if she really thinks that his dream of becoming a filmmaker is stupid. Joey explains that whenever she's feeling angry or frustrated she unleashes her wrath inside her journal 'cause she finds it cathartic to "trash life" without verbally alienating anyone. She then wanks him about how she's always believed in him 'cause of how extraordinary and talented he is, and considers herself his biggest fan. Dawson in turn gushes about how she amazes him every day, and Joey grins and approvingly says 'good' before the two get into some more smooching action.
A blitzed Jen and Abby are hunched over the pier as they vomit into the water, then glance over at Dawson and Joey kissing. Abby predicts that the two will soon sleep together, but Jen says she highly doubts that 'cause the dullards seem more like brother and sister. She adds that she desperately wants Dawson back, and an amused/aghast Abby assumes she's only saying that 'cause she's drunk...but when Jen insists that Dawson is the fella she wants, Abby promises they'll do something to connive her way into winning him back.
Andie seats herself next to a glum Pacey and gives him a wrapped birthday present, which turns out to be a fortune telling 8-ball. Pacey perks up and asks it if he's going to pass his next driver's test - all signs point to yes - but when Andie starts playing with it, she accidentally drops it into the water. She apologizes to Pacey for her clumsiness, but he just shrugs and says it's the thought that counts, then laments being Pacey Witter, aka the village idiot who's failing biology. Andie breezily suggests that maybe he's just a regular guy who's still trying to figure it all out [but who also should probably study more].
While cleaning up after the pier party, Dawson apologizes to Pacey for being such a jerk this episode, then natters about how everything is soooo complicated now that he and Joey are an item. As the two speed off by boat, Dawson assures him that they'll always be BFFs, and suggests they steal Mitch's car keys and go on a last minute annual birthday celebration road trip to Maine, and a happy Pacey says he definitely likes the sound of that.
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