Recap: While watching Footloose in Dawson's bedroom, Andie jigs - not unlike the Footloose dorks - and squeals about how excited she is about the upcoming homecoming dance. Pacey, Dawson, and Joey are all, "Meh.." and tell her they think school-sponsored events are too uncool for their sensibilities and are therefore not worth attending. An appalled Andie calls them cynics who are not going to have any fun high school memories years from now, then saucily points out that dancing can serve as foreplay (the way it did on Footloose)...and Pacey perks up at the prospect of foreplay and says he definitely likes the way she thinks.
As Bessie is dropping Joey off at school, Joey spills the beans about Jack kissing her and laments how she can't gab about it to Dawson: the boyfriend the way she could with Dawson: the platonic friend. Bessie concurs that it'd definitely be a bad idea to confide in Dawson about the illicit kiss, then breezily tells her it's no big deal and advises her to put it behind her and pretend as though it never happened...'cause, frankly, she's much too busy with her own life problems to seriously give a fuck.
Jen and Abby are watching Kristy [with her allegedly fake hooters] drag her football player boyfriend (Brett) away from his friends. Abby remarks that she'd loooove to make a play for Brett, and Jen makes a blech face and is like, "You're on your own with that."
In the next scene, Brett is berating Kristy for pulling him away from his friends just now, and she snaps back that she'd appreciate it if he'd acknowledge her whenever she enters his orbit. Dawson gives Joey an amused WTF? look and makes her promise that they'll never publicly air their problems like that...'cause, yeesh, what an embarrassing spectacle [that will be when they do it later in the episode]. The two then discuss the homecoming dance, which Andie has convinced them to attend, and Joey quips that she's mostly going 'cause dancing can end in "tawdry smut action". A few seconds later, Jen ambles by with Abby, who snarls at Dawson to "wipe the drool" ... and as Dawson stares after her perplexedly, Joey says she doesn't like the idea of Jen and Abby being so chummy and suggests they put some distance between the two by inviting Jen to come to the dance with their little clique. She then spots Jack at the end of the hall and abruptly rushes off in the opposite direction.
Andie tells Pacey and Dawson that she'd like to invite Jack to attend the dance with them 'cause he's kind of a shy loner, and Dawson perks up at that idea and suggests setting him up with Jen. Pacey argues that that sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Andie ignores him and says she'll extend an invitation to Jack asap.
When Dawson returns home from school, Mitch and Shaggy D.A. sit him down on the front porch and inform him that they've officially decided to separate. A crestfallen looking Dawson says he'd prefer them to return to counselling and/or plan more family outings - but Mitch makes it clear that they're not open to his suggestions and that they've firmly reached this conclusion. Dawson growls, "Your conclusion sucks!" and storms inside the house.
While waiting downtown to meet Pacey, Andie tells Jack she's looking forward to a rare night off from worrying about their wacky mom. She then tells Jack that maybe he'll meet the woman of his dreams at the dance - just as Pacey arrives to pick them up in his brother's police car...which can't possibly be legal, even in podunk Capeside.
Mitch packs an overnight bag, tosses it into the trunk of his car, and tells Shaggy he's off to go live at the local motel. As she stares back at him sadly, he reminds her that their separation is only temporary and that she can call him whenever she wants. She sobs as he drives away, while Dawson stonily watches from his bedroom window.
Dawson tells Shaggy D.A. he's off to the homecoming dance...then notices how sad she is and offers to stay home so they can spend the evening moping together. Shaggy D.A. assures him she's fine and urges him to go to the dance and have a good time with his friends.
Homecoming dance! Joey and Dawson arrive at the school and quickly meet up with Pacey, Andie, and Jack. A few seconds later, Jen ambles over and is introduced to Jack for the first...which seems weird, 'cause I would have figured in a small town high school, the two would already be well acquainted with one another. Following that is a lot of superfluous footage of the Capeside High kids jigging on the dance floor - except for Pacey, who channels his inner Willard Hewitt by stubbornly refusing to dance and watches from the sidelines. Abby struts over to Jen and greets her in a snarky-bitchy manner 'cause she has zero clue how to interact like a normal person even at the best of times.
When the DJ plays a slow song, Andie urges Jen to invite Jack to dance...and Jen indulges her, then asks Jack if he too is getting the strong impression that they're being set up in a very non-subtle manner.
Joey notices Jen and Jack dancing together and tells Dawson she really doesn't approve of Jack being subjected to that she-devil. A bemused Dawson asks her why she's getting so worked up, not least 'cause she was the one who suggested inviting Jen along in the first place, and she denies being worked up and says she's merely expressing an opinion.
Andie implores Pacey to dance with her, but he refuses and cites his strict 'no dancing' policy. Andie vows to find someone who is willing to dance with her, and Pacey glances across the gym and looks wistfully at Kristy while she dances with Brett.
Andie wanders over to Jen and Jack - just as Jen says she needs to go outside and get some air. Andie then drags Jack over to where Dawson and Joey are dancing and announces that she'd like to cut in 'cause it's too weird for her to publicly dance with her brother. Joey visibly stiffens when she begins dancing with Jack, who says he takes full responsibility for their recent smooch. She snaps back that he's only saying that 'cause he feels guilty about what he did, then storms out of the gym. Jack races after her to apologize and ask her why she's so angry - apart from her default angry disposition - so Joey chastises him for not respecting her relationship with Dawson. Jack says he doesn't buy that and suggests that maybe she's more mad at herself for kissing him back - just as Dawson suddenly appears from out of nowhere and is all, "Wuh? Kissing you baaaaack?" and scrunches his face into an expression of troubled confusion. Joey responds to the awkwardness by making a beeline over to the nearest ladies room.
Abby has somehow finagled a dance with Brett, and is pressing herself against him and cooing about what a muscular hunk he is...even though: meh, not so much. Jen, meanwhile, thanks Andie for inviting her to the dance, assures her she's having a fantastic time, but really really wants to leave pronto. A few seconds later, Jack rushes over and says he's definitely ready to leave - just as Dawson storms over to confront him about the kiss conversation he just had with Joey. Jack confesses that, yep, he kissed Joey in the light of the full moon the other night, then defiantly says he'd do it again. Dawson retorts by punching him in the face and sauntering off...and, across the gym, Abby gasps in delight and visibly looks turned on by Dawson's senseless act of violence. LOL.
Pacey exits the bathroom and sees Kristy moping about Brett dancing with Abby. Pacey wanders over and asks her whassup, so she tells him how annoyed she is that her boyfriend is such a flirt, and that she's bummed by his public sassing of her by dancing with a vacuous twit like Abby. An incredulous Pacey says he can think of 800 guys who, in a heartbeat, would line up to replace Brett, assures her she's super hot, and clarifies that he finds her super hot. As Kristy blushingly digests the series of compliments about her hotness, she invites him to slow dance with her in the hall, and he's more than happy to oblige.
Mitch is eating takeout in his motel room while Shaggy D.A. sits alone in her kitchen and eats ice cream. Mitch calls her to report the various TV channels he has access to at the motel, and Shaggy D.A. remarks on how big their house is when she's alone inside of it. He replies that right now the house is too small for the both of them, and she reminds him that the front door is always open to him. She then ends the call, and the two dullards stare sadly into space.
Andie catches Pacey slow dancing with Kristy in the hall and gives him a 'the fuck? I thought you didn't dance' glare before running off. Pacey stares after her looking sheepish.
Joey follows Dawson as he storms out of the school and tries to explain that Jack was the one who kissed her, and adds that, yeah, it's true she didn't do anything to stop him...but that he shouldn't blow it completely out of proportion. Dawson pissily retorts that there's no justifiable reason for her to be receptive to a kiss from Jack after she's been coveting the idea of a Joey/Dawson hookup for so many years. Joey's like, "This is about me, not you" ... which leads to an embarrassing bickerfest that draws the attention of everyone within earshot. Dawson suddenly looks horrified by the Kristy/Brett-esque spectacle he's making of himself and bolts.
While walking Jen home, Jack says he's generally a sucker for lost causes, e.g. his crush on Joey (or, um - gay spoiler - any girl), and Jen thanks him for doing such a good job of hiding how much he would have rather been on the dance floor with someone else.
Mitch drives over to Casa Leery, sees Shaggy D.A. wandering past the window looking sad, then drives off. Not sure what the point of that drive-by was.
Pacey finds Andie moping by the docks and tells her he's been looking everywhere for her. Andie calls him out on close dancing with Kristy after declaring several times that he doesn't dance, but then concedes that since they're not boyfriend/girlfriend, he really doesn't owe her any explanation. Pacey says he had a great time with her tonight...then admits to getting swept up in the moment when he ran into a tearful Kristy, and describes their slow dance as a fantasy he couldn't help himself from wanting to act out. When Andie sadly murmurs that she had been trying to do that all night, an incredulous Pacey asks her why she's remotely interested in a fucktarded screwup such as himself. Andie's like, "Dunno", then tells him he's funny, kind to her, and didn't run screaming after meeting her unstable mother. She wanks him further about how sharp, witty, and brilliant he is, then adds that these compliments are soooo much more than he deserves at this moment. Pacey sheepishly says he's truly sorry for carrying on with Kristy, and that it's now obvious to him that he danced with the wrong person. Andie blushes at that revelation, observes that the two of them are currently "having a moment" of their own, and happily accepts his invitation to slow dance.
Dawson returns home and finds Joey waiting for him in his bedroom. She tells him she's sooooo sorry, has no idea why she's been pulling away from him since they officially coupled up, then natters something or other about needing to figure out who she is, what her future holds, and what she wants to accomplish in life...and specifies that she really really needs to explore this journey of self-discovery on her own. An anguished Dawson asks what she's saying before blurting out, "I love you!" Joey returns the sentiment, but declines to kiss him when he looks like he's about to lean in for a smooch. He miserably wails, "How can it be oooooover?!" and Joey just shrugs and is all, "I gotta go" and climbs out the window and down the ladder. Dawson rushes over to the window to watch her run off into the night, then angrily shoves the ladder so it crashes to the ground.
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