Another award-winning episode title.
Well, surprise of all surprises, Joey is super stressed about finals coming up. Dawson, who I don’t think I’ve ever heard mention any school assignment that wasn’t film related, is far more stressed because prom is coming up. He mentions some pact he and Joey had to go with one another if they didn’t have dates, which, let’s be honest, she’s a frigid bitch and he has four other friends, one of whom is gay, so they obviously don’t. Joey thinks it’s kind of weird if they go together, and he tells her he’d rather go with someone he cares about; not a stranger, which, again, four friends. Joey agrees on the condition that they’re just going as friends, and they open the door to find Bro Dad and Gail making out.
Seeing a genuine display of affection, Joey excuses herself to refreeze. Dawson is kind of caught off guard, so Gail also excuses herself so that Bro Dad can talk to Dawson. Dawson’s all, “It’s cool, Bro Dad, I’ve grown numb to your hot and cold relationship with my mother.” He’s been just casually observing them from afar, and asks Bro Dad to define the relationship, like some kind of needy teenage girl. Bro Dad tells them it’s casual, but they’re not together and Dawson throws shade at him about maybe making sure Gail knows where they stand on that ambiguous definition.
Andi and Pacey are studying, when Andi asks Pacey why he’s been so off-putting. He’s sad, you guys. Just so sad. She proposes that maybe he just needs to get back out there and offers to go to the prom with him. Yeah, Andi, seeing couples happy together is exactly what he needs right now. She subtly tries to get Pacey to ask her to prom, but he tells her to kick rocks and have fun with one of the other myriad of guys who’ve asked her.
Joey whines to Bessie that maybe agreeing to go with Dawson was a mistake. Bessie tells her that she wasn’t a fucking idiot and knew exactly what she was doing by agreeing; inserting herself right back between Dawson and Pacey. Joey just wants Bessie to offer her a solution that doesn’t hurt anyone and Bessie tells her to wake the hell up because there isn’t one. How many fucking times do we have to hear this?
Andi’s all sad because she has to go to prom alone. See, she lied about there being a ton of dudes who want to take the psychotic chick to prom. Jack doesn’t think she’s over Pacey, which she doesn’t deny. Turns out that Jack is bring Ethan to the prom, but is having second thoughts because he’s not ready to take that step into announcing his homosexuality. Dude, people already know. Remember? They wrote “FAG” on your locker and everything. I don’t get his reservation because the damage has been done at this point.
Meanwhile, Jen won’t shut up about how dumb and lame prom is to Henry, which just ends up being her roundabout way of asking him to be her date. Obviously, he’d love to.
The next day, everyone is buying their prom tickets, part of which involves disclosing who your date will be, which has Jack all freaked out. It’s finally his turn, and when he reveals that it’s a guy, the prom bitch refuses to sell him a ticket. Holy shit, she’s super intense. She’s like a sign you’d see at a Westboro Baptist Church protest, talking about how it’s immoral and will cause a scene. She settles for looking into whether it’s allowed, and Jack tells her to fuck off.
Dawson then buys his ticket and says that his date is Joey, which Barbara, the prom bitch, is tickled to hear. Not so tickled is Pacey, who overhears. Dawson turns and they lock eyes, and it’s super tense between the two of them.
Joey is all set to crucify prom bitch and, OH GOD NO, not another “Joey the Activist” episode! That was horrible and I cannot do it again! Jack’s not going now because he thinks it’s bullshit that the whole thing is political, when it’s supposed to be fun. Good job, Joey. In an act of solidarity, Joey and Andi agree to not go to as a boycott, which, Jesus. Just don’t go. Stop further politicizing it, you losers. Hearing that Joey doesn’t want to go anymore totally deflates Dawson’s erection, so he proposes holding an “Anti-Prom” as protest. What? How are they going to put that together? They’re all in. Goddammit.
You smug prick.
Dawson asks Gail if he can hold the Anti-Prom at her restaurant because building a new set or filming on site is fucking expensive, you guys. He finally feels like he’s found something to get his head in the game, so they agree to let him. He scampers off like a happy puppy, giving Bro Dad the chance to tell Gail that Dawson is okay with them banging again. He asks what they’re doing, and she tells him not to over-analyze and just enjoy the ride, which pisses Bro Dad right off.
Naturally, because these idiots will never fail at anything, the Anti-Prom is selling like gangbusters. Barbara, prom bitch, accuses Jack of being gay and immoral, revealing that she’s a good Christian girl in the process. Jack calls out religious hypocrisy of good Christians hating gay people, and she tells him that at least she isn’t going to Hell. Good God, this is getting so stupid.
Grams has a tux for Henry, because he doesn’t have parents or something and takes her leave. This prompts Jen to bring up prom night sex, which is apparently a thing. Henry denies thinking about it, which is obviously a lie, given his “shut up and suck my D” attitude two episodes ago. Jen just thinks it’s always bad and doesn’t want to do it. Henry tells her that he’s not in a rush, but lets her know that he’s horny as shit.
Pacey visits Andi, who explains that she didn’t really have any prom offers. Again, high schoolers talk, so chances are everyone knows she’s fucking whacked. He asks why she didn’t just tell him that, and she tells him that she didn’t want a pity ask. He’s all, “Yo bitch, I’d be honored to take you,” and asks her if she’d like to go with him.
Dawson picks Joey up for prom. Or, Anti-Prom. I can’t keep writing that or there will be a fist sized hole in my monitor. He apparently bought her diamond earrings for the occasion, what with his hour a week salary. Seriously, does he ever work? Never mind, her borrowed them from Gail. Being Joey, she doesn’t want to wear them, forcing Dawson to guilt her into it. Solid boyfriend material right there.
Apparently, Dawson is also an excellent event planner, because the Anti-Prom is super elaborate and fancy. Why won’t these people ever fail!?
Jack is being super weird towards Ethan, who obviously notices, because nothing on this show is subtle and he’d have to be an idiot not to.
Everyone sits together at a table when Pacey and Andi show up. Why would Pacey agree to go to the Anti-Prom when he knows that Dawson is hosting it? Sure, Andi wants to protest, but it just seems so backwards. Since Dawson isn’t done rubbing his dick in Pacey’s face, he immediately asks Joey to dance, forcing Pacey to pathetically watch from the table.
Henry and Jen are dancing too when Henry blurts out, “I’M NOT THINKING ABOUT SEX!” Smooth, you weirdo. She assures him that it’s totally cool if he imagines giving her his meat stick, but reiterates that it is totally, 100% not happening.
Ethan tells Jack that he’s proud of him for bringing him as his date, and Jack tells him to shut the fuck up about how Ethan is the superior “out” guy in their relationship. He thinks that Ethan somehow tricked him into taking him to the prom as a way of asserting his homosexuality or some shit. Yeah, I don’t know. He gets all pissy and leaves.
Now that Henry blurted out his horniness, he can’t think of anything to talk about, so Jen starts talking about their summer plans. Only problem is that Henry is going to football camp for eight weeks. Being bipolar, Jen flips the fuck out, telling him there’s no way he’s fucking her now, understandably confusing him since she’s been asserting their chasteness all evening. She tells him to get his head out of his ass, because there was always a chance they were going to bone, but he ruined it.
Dancing, Joey asks Dawson why he brought her to his dumb Anti-Prom. He tells her he cares about her, and she tells him she realizes he’s been a giant asshole and has been proudly rubbing Pacey’s face in their date like a sadist. Dawson starts bitching about how there was another prom Pacey could have gone to, not “his” prom. Joey tells him to stop parading her around, and starts whining about how everything is her fault. Dawson, clearly only thinking of himself and not his hurting friend, casually proposes starting over, and Joey bails. I cannot stress how ignorant Dawson seems to be to his friend’s suffering.
Outside, Joey finds Jack sulking. He admits that Barbara was right; he did create a scene, hurting Ethan in the process. He realizes that Joey is upset and tells her that it’s sad to hide from what you want, which, in his case, I’m assuming he means Ethan. Joey, having someone new to bitch about her situation to, whines some more about how she wants everything to go back to normal, and Jack tells her that she’s the only person that can make her life resume normalcy; Dawson and Pacey have to figure their shit out on their own.
Gail asks Bro Dad if she can spend the night, and he tells her he doesn’t think that’s the best idea. Jesus, these two. He wants to know what’s going on between them and Gail asks him what he thinks and he tells her that he’s tired of being played, and she needs to define the relationship. Looks like no prom night sex for Gail.
Ignoring Jack’s sage words of wisdom, Joey asks Pacey to dance. Yup, definitely not taking any sides there. Pacey thinks the earrings are gaudy and just aren’t Joey because Joey is simple and elegant, not flashy. He compares her to the bracelet that she got from her mom, and tells the story of how he knows that it was her mom’s bracelet, which surprises Joey. He knows, because he remembers everything that Joey ever said to him. Having not realized that they’re AT A PROM WITH DATES, Andi spots them and starts crying, while Dawson looks super pissed and leaves.
Joey follows Dawson outside and he flips the fuck out on her, asking if she’s trying to hurt him. She AGAIN whines about how she wants things to go back to the way they were and Dawson screams at her that they never can. Yeah, you’re making yourself look real desirable right now, Dawson. You see, he made the Anti-Prom as a way to dance with Joey and hold her, not sounding clingy at all. He tells her that she has to pick one of them and deal with the consequences, but that if she picks Pacey, she’ll be missing out on a lot with Dawson. Having watched one too many romantic movies, he kisses her and tells her that’s how their night would’ve ended, and leaves. What great prom memories you two kids created!
Speaking of great prom memories, Jen is still fucking furious with Henry about football camp, because apparently in going, he wasn’t thinking about Jen when she was thinking about him. Wow. I know that eight weeks in high school relationships seems like an eternity, what with kids celebrating anniversaries by the week, but holy shit, Jen, you need to dial it down a notch or two. She continues bitching about how she wouldn’t make a decision like that without talking to him and, Jesus, it’s fucking football camp for eight weeks. Give up your damn passions for love, Henry. That’s a solid message for kids. She starts to go inside and Henry tells her if she shuts the door, it’s over for good. Good for you, Henry. Except, shit, she shuts the door.
Ethan is at the train station when Jack shows up to apologize. He just wasn’t ready for that night being the next step in their relationship. Ethan asks Jack to define “their relationship”, and Jack isn’t sure that Ethan likes him. He does, but isn’t ready to take any steps until Jack is ready. Jack’s all, “I’m ready, take me to Pleasuretown,” and Ethan dares Jack to kiss him. Instead of kissing him, Jack starts crying, causing Ethan to leave in disgust. Are you gay, Jack!? It’s just a constant struggle with you.
Pacey apologizes to Andi and explains that he wanted to go to prom because Joey was going. At least that explains that bit of ridiculousness. Andi understands, but she feels really bad for him. He tells her that he’s sailing to Key West for the summer, which I guess means he’ll be dying at sea, what with being a relatively inexperienced sailor with a high school salary. Andi asks him if he told Joey how he really feels, because he’s not a coward and doesn’t back down from anything. He has to tell her how he feels before he leaves to almost certainly be lost at sea, otherwise he’ll die with regret.
Joey returns Gail’s earrings to Dawson, and tells him that she did feel something when he kissed her. Gross, Dawson. What she felt was that she can’t keep hurting people, but she can’t choose either, which isn’t really a feeling so much as a revelation. Don’t make her choose, she’s not ready! He’s cool with that; he’ll wait. You see, he’s at the end of his season-long soul searching journey (*vomits on self*), and what he found was Joey. So fucking corny.
In the house, Gail admits to Bro Dad that she was afraid of screwing up again, but doesn’t want fear to hold her back anymore. She’s ready to move on, and they start making out while Dawson and Joey, who’ve come inside, look on. Dawson smiles, because he’s a creep who just remembered all the times he’s walked in on his parents fucking and realized that’s probably going to start up again.
Or, I guess he could be happy that his parents are getting back together. What do I look like, a mind reader?
Holy shit. Next week is the season finale. Finally!
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons