Recap: At Casa Leery, Dawson is in his room watching The Partridge Family while Jen reads his movie script. When she finally finishes, she tells him the final verdict is that she didn't totally hate it, but considers it the kind of insipid fluff that can only be borne of someone whose view of the world is startlingly naïve. Dawson argues that his story emanates from "the age of innocence" - but Jen's all 'meh' and tells him that while the script is funny and well written, "it lacks relevance to today's society". In other words, the lackluster thing has no oomph. She urges him to loosen up and focus the story on the raw kind of pain that comes with being a teenager, and not write from the perspective of a rube boy-man who refuses to allow himself the experience of being a fifteen year old. She adds that if he needs help regressing, she'd be more than happy to do all she can to help him reclaim those missing years.
The next morning, Andie runs into Joey at school and natters about the epiphany she had last night: she suddenly got a burning desire to run for sophomore class president and wants a smarty-pants like Joey to be her running mate. Joey says she could not possibly be less interested in that, but Andie earnestly points out that since she consistently earns top grades, she has a responsibility to let the academically less fortunate benefit from her wisdom. Joey warns Andie that adding her name to the ticket could only hurt her chances of getting elected, given her sordid family history, but Andie breezily chalks that up to being ancient history and points out that since teenagers have an attention span of two seconds, her slate is clean. She urges Joey to at least think about being on the ticket, but Joey says she'd really rather not screw up her chances of winning.
As Chris and Abby hand out fliers promoting their student council candidacy, Andie tells Pacey that she's planning on running against them. Pacey asks her why in blazes she'd want to waste her time on school politics when she could be spending all of her leisure time with him, so she tells him that being class president looks great on college applications....then appoints him campaign manager and says that she needs to find a decent running mate.
Jen eggs on Dawson to cut class with her so that he can experience all the joys of being a rebellious fifteen year old. He pretends he's definitely into that idea...but when she's not looking, slips into his homeroom.
Mitch is over at Casa Leery, attempting to fix the leaky dishwasher. When water suddenly starts spraying everywhere, Shaggy D.A. bursts out laughing, then looks visibly turned on by the sight of Mitch removing his soaking wet t-shirt. The two stare hungrily at each other for several seconds, then start going at it...and Dawson arrives home and unwittingly walks in on them, looks visibly pleased that his parents are about to bump uglies, and discreetly exits the room.
Over at the Ice House, Joey asks Jack which parent he most takes after...and when he swiftly changes the subject in lieu of answering, Joey calls him out on the weird way he gets whenever she brings up the topic of his family. A few seconds later, Abby enters the restaurant (with Chris Wolfe in tow) and snappishly asks for a couple of menus. Jack urges Joey to strongly consider being Andie's running mate 'cause of what a born leader she is...and Abby, who's eavesdropping on their conversation, chuckles dismissively, calls Joey "a born loser" whose existence is depressing and meager, then warns that if she enters the race she'll only embarrass herself and her family. Joey responds to the catty bitchitude by pouring a pitcher of cold water on Abby's head, to which Abby reacts by shrieking, "You're dead!" and storming out. As Chris toddles after her, Joey turns her attention back to Jack and says, "Tell Andie I'm in."
The next day, Pacey tells Andie he's been doing some reading on Bill Clinton and warns that, since Abby is her opponent, the campaign is likely to get ugly. Andie reacts by happily telling him she's impressed that he's been doing campaign-related research, gives him a thank you kiss, and firmly declares that she intends to take the high road and make "government good and safe again". Pacey marvels at the genius of her sound bytes...and the two praise each other's awesomeness and lean in for a canoodle - just as Joey storms over clutching several fliers that constitute Abby's/Chris's smear campaign against their candidacy. She says she wants to fight back, but Andie adamantly refuses to lower herself to their mudslinging tactics and insists that winning will be their best revenge.
While browsing in a downtown shop, Jen tells Dawson he's in desperate need of a "regression sponsor" to help walk him back to his teen years. When Dawson resists regressing, Jen says she specifically brought him to this store so that she could pressure him to shoplift something and get him to feel the rush of thieving something trivial...like a tube of lipstick, for example. When Dawson looks appalled at the idea of breaking the law, Jen orders him to stop over-analyzing and just put the thing in his pocket. When the two depart the store, Dawson pretends to feel exhilarated by just having shoplifted - until he admits that he simply can't bring himself to steal anything from anyone and ended up putting the lipstick back. He insists he's A-OK with his adult[ish] perspective on life - but Jen argues that he's far too mature for his age and that he should allow the growing process by experiencing the joys of committing petty crimes.
The Capeside High student council candidates deliver speeches about the various issues they'll have zero control over. Abby continues going down the mudslinging route and mocks Andie for being Little Miss Perky whose mother is "one shock treatment away from a permanent residence in the loony bin". As the student body looks on in mute shock, Joey snarkishly challenges Abby to stick to the issues and says that Andie's kooky mom has nothing to do with how Andie would function as class president. Abby rolls her eyes and proceeds to tell the entire school that Mama McPhee is responsible for the death of her eldest son and points out that mental illness is hereditary...and the faculty member who's been presiding over this clusterfuck of a rally finally decides to get off of his ass to tut tut Abby about her bullying. Abby responds by chuckling and claiming that she's merely expressing her concern for the safety of her fellow students, all of whom are aghast and continue to stare at her in horrified dismay. Abby then awkwardly turns the floor over to Andie, who's despondently staring into space while tears stream down her face. A few seconds later, she flees the gym...and Pacey runs out after her.
Joey tells Jack that she now feels terrible for peppering him with questions about his family - but he snaps back that his family situation is complicated, and that right now he's solely concerned with talking Andie off whatever ledge she's twitching atop. Joey implores him to let her help in some way, but he growls that he doesn't want to talk about it and storms off.
Pacey finds Andie crouched atop a toilet in the ladies room. He assures her that their campaign will surely weather the "scandal" the way Bill Clinton weathered his, but Andie says she hates the fact that everyone knows about her family tragedy and fears that they're all going to laugh at her. Pacey [refrains from pointing out that anyone who'd laugh about the death of her brother and the mind-altering effect it's had on her mother would be a psychotic prick to say the least, then] tells her that everyone's family is dysfunctional to some degree. Andie rails that politics used to mean something, and Pacey reminds her that, at the end of the day, this is just a high school election...and also thinks that the whole thing will quickly blow over by tomorrow. Andie paces as she frenetically rails about her need for order and balance, and Pacey chides her for being too hard on herself and says there's really no such thing as normal. Andie chews on that as she stares at her reflection in the mirror, laments what a tearstained mess she is, then screeches, "I really hate this!" and throws the hardcover book she's holding at the mirror, shattering it. Yeesh.
Dawson drops by Mitch's loft apartment and says he happened to witness the amorousness between him and Shaggy D.A. the other day. Mitch tells him that that situation is complicated, and that he's not exactly comfortable talking to his son about it. Dawson assures him he's A-OK with their recoupling, and is even fine with him staying overnight at the house after future booty calls. Mitch firmly states that his impromptu boning of Shaggy D.A. was less a reconciliation than it was a sex slip, and that they fell back into something familiar and easy. He adds that he no longer wants to take the risk of finding himself in that kind of predicament anymore, then makes it clear to Dawson that the sex didn't change anything about his and Shaggy D.A.'s separate living arrangement.
Dawson drops by Jen's house to admit that he now recognizes he has perception disorder, then starts nattering about how his boy-man brain is in constant conflict with his teenage emotions, which always seem to take a long time to kick in. He says he's open to engaging in some reckless teenage antics and yearns for the nonsensical, and Jen says that since being a foolhardy youngster is right up her alley, she'd be more than happy to help him develop a distinct devil-may-care attitude about life, law, and order.
Andie is sitting in a rocking chair, despondently staring out the window, when Jack enters her bedroom, points out that her highs and lows seem pretty intense these days, and suggests she go back on her meds. Andie tells him she's fine, says she just had a rough day, and insists that she doesn't need medication.
After TPing a house, Dawson and Jen flee to a nearby lake, where Jen suggests he drop his pants and go skinny dipping. As Dawson whines that it's too cold out and that he doesn't want to swim alone, Jen quickly strips off her clothes and then runs into the water. Dawson takes a more modest approach: hiding behind foliage as he strips off his clothes and then wades into the lake. The two playfully splash each other...and when Jen admits that she has naughty dreams about him from time to time, he responds by leaning in for a kiss. Jen's all 'the hell?' and chides him for crossing a line, and he scrunches his face confusedly and says he figured she'd welcome a kiss, given that she's been coming onto him pretty hard ever since he hooked up with Joey. Jen explains that since they're finally back to being close pals, she doesn't want either of them to do anything to mess that up.
Chris and Abby are campaigning over the school's PA system...and by campaigning, I mean that Abby is openly mocking her opponents for being losers, and asks if anyone out there really wants anyone but her or Chris running the school - even though it's the salaried administration that actually runs the school. When it's Andie's turn to speak, she decides she can't do it after all and flees the room...and Pacey asks Abby what her fuckin' deal is, covertly turns the microphone back on, and asks her to explain in detail why she's slumming it as a VP pick when everyone can clearly see that she's the brains behind hers and Chris's campaign. Abby chortles and admits that she's merely using "that walking penis" for his popularity, and that she'll ultimately destroy him the way she destroyed Andie. As her cartoonishly evil rhetoric is broadcasted throughout the entire school, she smugly declares that victory is easy when one has no qualms about walking atop other people to get it...and that, if anyone's actually dumb enough to vote for her after witnessing the astonishing cruelty she lobbed at Andie during the rally, she plans to rule this school like a malevolent dictator. She then gets all in Pacey's face as she bitchily adds, "And you and all those other halfwits are too stupid to stop me." Pacey gleefully reveals that he purposely pressed the on button just now to broadcast her "annoying nasal whine" to the entire school...and she's all, "Wuh?" then helplessly stares into space with an expression of sheepish disbelief etched across her face.
Shaggy D.A. informs Dawson that Mitch served her with divorce papers this morning. She assures him she's fine, then continues with her frenzied housecleaning.
Jack apologizes to Joey for being so snappish to her after the campaign rally and says that, in his defense, it's been a tough few days. Joey gently chides him for shutting her out, so he tells her how difficult he finds it to open up to a non-family member, and that he's always so heavily burdened by how much his mom and sister depend on him. Joey says she totally gets that, and tells him that when her mom was dying, her best friend [who shall not be named, but whose name rhymes with Lawson], comforted her by simply sitting beside her and quietly holding her hand. Jack chews on that for a few seconds before reaching for her hand, and then the two amble down the street together, hand in hand.
Pacey calls Andie to invite her out for the evening, and she tearfully tells him she's not up to it, but promises to be back to her normal self tomorrow. As that's happening, she tearfully stares at a bottle of Xanax that's been prescribed to her, and takes a couple of pills.
Dawson drops by Jen's place to tell his "regression sponsor" that his parents are divorcing, and that he's been living in denial about that situation 'cause of how hopeful he was that they'd reconcile. He wonders aloud if he should allow himself to feel the pain and shock that a normal fifteen year old would feel when his parents are on the verge of divorcing...then finally decides to let his raw emotions win out. He starts weeping and thanks Jen for being there for him, and she gives him a comforting hug and thanks him for allowing her to be there for him.
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