Recap: Pacey is over at Dawson's, complaining about how boooooored he is having to watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and reminds Dawson that the local video rental place has all of the latest releases available. Dawson insists that the film is a classic...and a few seconds later, Jen climbs in through his bedroom window, drunkenly staggers over to his bed, and mumbles that she's in desperate need of a place to crash. A dismayed Dawson tells Pacey that this is the third drunken Jen visitation he's had this week. Jen sits up for a moment and says she may have to throw up...but when Dawson shoves his garbage can under her nose so she doesn't vomit all over his sheets, she says it was a false alarm and promptly passes out. Dawson worriedly tells Pacey that Jen is spiraling out control and that he has no idea how to help her.
The next morning, Mitch returns to Casa Leery to pack up more of his stuff. He asks Dawson to help him settle into his new digs after school, then suggests they get a bite to eat afterwards and make the outing "like a friend thing". Dawson snarks that he has actual friends to do friend things with and makes it clear how much he haaaaates this marital separation. Mitch says he totally gets why he's pissed off at him, but insists that this new living arrangement is his decision. He then hands Dawson a piece of mail he received earlier, and Dawson opens it as he heads off to school and looks excited about some very happy news.
The school guidance counsellor tells Pacey, with openly amused disdain, that his grades and his general aptitude suck, and that, "Most people with your academic record can't walk upright." LOL. Pacey asks what his options are, so the counsellor tells him he can/should enroll in summer school, maybe repeat the school year, then expect to be on welfare for his entire adult life.
Dawson finds Joey in the hall and tells her they won the Boston Film Festival (the junior film division) and excitedly adds that the award comes with a check for $2,500 to put towards their next project. Joey looks less than thrilled by the prospect of having to work on another wretched Dawson production, so she pretends she's waaaay too busy with school and her art classes...and Dawson looks visibly deflated by her lack of interest in his good fortune, but then pretends he's A-OK with creating his next moving pictures masterpiece without her.
Jack tells Joey he really wants to make things right with her, explains that he only kissed her during the Full Moon Rising episode 'cause the full moon made him, then apologizes for his presumptuousness and hopes she'll stop being so cold to him so they can go back to being friends. Joey tells him she's not deliberately being cold to him and concedes that she's more mad at herself for not rebuffing his lips. Jack looks relieved and tells her to get over her self anger already 'cause, for some God-only-knows-why reason, he misses hanging out with her.
At lunchtime in the cafeteria, Dawson is tapping away at his laptop when Jen seats herself at his table. He shows her the letter and the $2,500 check he received from the Boston Film Festival, and she says she's proud of him and is honored to have been the leading lady in his swamp creature flick.
Pacey tells Andie how disastrously his session went with the guidance counsellor, so she rails - within hearing range of everyone in the cafeteria - about the nerve of that jerkwad writing him off so quickly, and points out that a hapless teenage dumbfuck such as himself needs to be rescued not ridiculed.
Chris and a fugly friend amble over to where Jen and Dawson are sitting and cackle at Jen about how totes awesome last night's alcohol-fueled sexfest was. She says she recuperates well after such nights of debauchery, and Chris gives Jen a creepy shoulder rub while declaring his mission to "party until breakfast" ... and Jen tells him she's definitely into doing that all over again. After Chris and Fugly saunter off, Dawson asks Jen what in blazes she's doing boozing and sexing with those lecherous cretins...and she chides him for sanctimoniously lecturing her about her partying, and assures him that she's not so much out of control as she is indulging in fun sexcapades while recklessly abusing alcohol.
Andie tells Pacey he should prolly be a lot more nervous about his dismal future - but Pacey argues that, on the contrary, he's relieved that the school's guidance counsellor has officially declared him the village idiot. Andie tells him she's not indulging his pity party and points out that he can always reinvent himself as a non-wisecracking dolt...and when Pacey tells her he has no idea how to live like that, Andie advises him to start from the inside and says that heroes are made, not born.
Elsewhere in the cafeteria, Jack asks Joey out on a dat (an abbreviated version of a full-fledged date), and suggests they steer away from convention and make up their own rules for the evening, the most important being: have fun. Joey decides 'sure, why the hell not?', so then Jack makes a beeline over to where Andie and Pacey are sitting and happily announces that he has a dat with Joey tonight. Andie tells him that she and Pacey have plans to study at their place tonight, and that she's confident that their mom will be acting far less squirrelly than usual now that her new meds have kicked in.
Joey is at home primping for her dat when Dawson stops by to give her a check for half of the $2,500 film festival prize money. When she half-heartedly tells him she can't accept it, he insists that she deserves it for helping produce his film...and Joey mulls that over and says she really could use the money, then thanks him and says she hopes they can get back to acting totally normal with each other. When she asks him what his next movie is going to be about, he summarizes the overplayed story arc: boy meets girl, loses girl, gets girl back. A few seconds later, Jack arrives to pick up Joey for their dat, and Dawson looks less than thrilled that the two are spending the evening together.
Dawson helps Mitch unpack his stuff and settle into his new loft apartment...and when he tries to rush off, Mitch suggests they hang out for awhile as regular dudes and chat about what's going on in his life. Dawson sourly retorts that Joey dumped him and appears to be falling for another guy, and that Jen is drunk all the time. When he inches towards the door, Mitch asks him to please respect his wish to want to be separated from Shaggy D.A., and Dawson angrily says he's soooo sick and tired of having to respect the shitty-for-him wishes of other people. Mitch gently explains that, since the world doesn't revolve around him, other people's life decisions aren't necessarily intended to upset him...then hands him a key to the loft and tells him to think of this place as his. Dawson bitchily retorts that he wants a father, not a friend or buddy, then asks if he can respect that, and Mitch replies, "I guess I'll have to."
Dawson drops by Jen's place to tell her that he's up for a night of debauchery after all, and Jen correctly assumes that he had a change of heart 'cause of a bad run-in with Joey. She says he's welcome to partake in tonight's drunkfest - but only if he doesn't act like his usual uppity-judgey self about how self-destructively she likes to party. She then clarifies that this is, in no way, a date 'cause he's way too far gone after Joey's dumping of him to even to be considered an acceptable rebound.
When Dawson and Jen arrive at Casa Wolfe, Dawson wanders around and looks less than impressed by the crowd of partygoers. They're soon greeted by Chris and Fugly, who invite the two to come inside to dance. Jen takes them up on it, while Dawson opts to remain outdoors and sadly wander about.
When Pacey arrives at Andie's house for a night of studying, Mama McPhee offers to make them something to eat and tells them that if they need help with their schoolwork, Tim's favorite subject is U.S. history. Pacey discreetly asks Andie whaddup with her mom not remembering that Tim is no longer among the living, so Andie explains that she mostly lives in reality - but slips sometimes. She then brings Pacey into her room, and he's visibly impressed by the various ribbons, awards, and trophies she's won over the years and marvels that she somehow finds the time to rescue him. She shrugs and replies, "You do what you gotta do", then warns him that he's facing academic disaster and needs to buckle down asap if he has a hope in hell of graduating from high school.
Joey and Jack are enjoying a picnic in the park and watching a lightning storm break out in the distance. Jack says he nearly got hit by lightning once, thought it was amazing, and describes it as "nature's version of performance art". Joey starts nattering about how she and Dawson once tried to replicate Ben Franklin's experiment using a kite and key, and Jack grumbles about her bringing up her ex-boyfriend while on their dat. Joey apologizes, then continues to babble about Dawson, for whom everything is a movie: the good guy punches the bad guy for stealing his girl. Jack chews on that for a few seconds and says that he too would be angry if he let a hottie such as herself slip through his fingers.
Back at the party house, Chris tells Dawson that Jen is a good party friend to have, admits that, yeah, he's a total pig when it comes to indiscriminately having sex with whoever's drunk or willing, then sashays over to where Jen is chatting with Fugly.
Andie tries to explain to Pacey the art of highlighting important passages as a helpful study technique, but he just stares back at her blankly 'cause it doesn't look as though the general concept of book learning seems to be getting through. A few seconds later, Andie gets a phone call from the nearby Mollie Market, where apparently her mother has wandered off to while wearing her bathrobe, and is now mumbling incoherently to customers. Andie tells the clerk she'll be right there, and then both she and Pacey rush off.
The Mollie's Market clerk snappishly reminds Andie that this is now the third time this has happened, then warns that if she can't keep her spaced-out mom out of her store, she's going to call the police. Andie approaches her mom and urges her to leave with her pronto, but Mama McPhee insists on finishing her grocery shopping. Pacey steps in and "helps" her shop by putting a few grocery items into her shopping basket, and she lights up and smilingly tells him she has turkey and roast beef in her fridge at home. Pacey says that that sounds like the makings of a delicious club sandwich and asks her if she wouldn't mind making him one, and she tells him she'd be delighted, then sadly leans against him as he escorts her out of the store.
When Dawson notices an inebriated Jen heading upstairs with Chris and Fugly, he's all, "Not on my watch!" and follows the trio, bursts into Chris's bedroom, and interrupts what looks like a date rapey ménage à trois about to unfold. Dawson picks Jen up and slings her over his shoulder while hastily exiting the house...and when he puts her down, she rails at him for pulling the plug on her good time. He points out that engaging in a threesome with Chris and his fugly friend cannot possibly constitute a good time - OMFG, right? - and Jen suddenly gets hit with a wave of nausea from all the boozing she's been doing and leans over the Wolfe's white picket fence and vomits. She tearfully implores Dawson to accept her general inability to make intelligent life decisions, along with the fact that there are people in the world who don't need saving...and after the two bicker back and forth about their respective unhappiness, Jen softens and marvels at how special he is for his innate sense of hope and optimism. Dawson wanks her about how she too is special, gives her a hug, and offers to take her somewhere that isn't either of their houses.
Joey tells Jack that she had a unique night of fun, kisses him goodnight, and says she'd be into them hanging out again some time.
After putting Mama McPhee to bed, Andie gushes to Pacey about the spectacular way he helped her tonight and that she's very proud of him. Pacey says he's not used to people using glowing words with respect to his behavior, then suggests they head upstairs. When Andie perks up at that and flirtily asks him what he had in mind, he primly reminds her that they still have three chapters to read for their study session...and Andie grins approvingly as the two head up to her room to hit the books.
Dawson brings Jen over to Mitch's loft apartment so she can sleep off her hangover. He explains to his dad that he's been very hard on him lately 'cause of how larger-than-life he considers him to be, and Mitch points out that it's impossible for anyone to live up to a big screen image that doesn't exist. Not to mention that, for a grown man, he generally comes off as an immature bonehead. Mitch reminds Dawson that people are flawed and that he's happy to be his father...and his friend, if he'll let him. Dawson chews on that prospect for a few seconds, then says he's becoming more open to the two of them exploring the friends route.
When Dawson brings Jen a glass of water, she calls him her hero - but he insists he's merely trying to be a good friend. She asks him what his new movie is about, so he describes it as a tale of two star-crossed lovers whose fate hasn't yet been determined 'cause he hasn't finished writing the script. Jen urges him to consider avoiding the stereotypical happy ending 'cause they're "bogus and unrealistic" and points out that most things in life don't end happily.
Joey climbs into Dawson's bedroom window and looks disappointed to find the room empty. She sits atop his bed for a moment, stares contemplatively into space for a few seconds, then climbs back out of the window and down the ladder.
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