For the first time in a long time, the episode starts off at school rather than Dawson’s room with a movie playing in the background that loosely ties into the episode’s plot. Jen, being a stereotypical teenager, laments that being voted homecoming queen means she’s somehow turning into her mother, who was all about that shizz. She doesn’t understand why everyone would vote for the used-to-be-slutty, New Yorker who let her friend drown after getting her hammered. Dawson tells her that it’s because she’s an outsider, so everyone feels more comfortable around her. That has never, in the history of high school, been true. The two Columbine guys were outsiders, and I can guarantee no one felt comfortable around them. History might have gone a bit differently, otherwise. They run into the guidance counselor, who introduces Jen to all the previous homecoming queens, who are in town for the Homecoming Queen Gala. Is…that a thing? The eldest queen introduces herself to Jen, along with a secret handshake, which is honest to God one of the dumbest things I’ve ever written.
At some point that was never explained, Pacey and Joey set about turning some place into a bed and breakfast for Bessie. Wait a second, where’s Bessie’s boyfriend been this whole time? Remember, the one who knocked her up out of wedlock? Wasn’t he black? Way to perpetuate a stereotype, guys. Joey tells Pacey that the B&B thing really needs to work out since she was fired from the marina. She gives an incredibly vague recreation of the events that led up to her firing, making sure to redact Andi’s name from the story. Pacey, however, isn’t as dumb as we’d believe and figures it out pretty quickly. He tells Joey that it’s okay if Andi gets stuffed by other dudes.
Gail’s back in The Creek, you guys! Turns out that she’s only in town for the Homecoming Queen Gala (ugh), because she was voted queen back in the 70s. Dawson and Bro Dad are still happy to see her, though. When Dawson reveals that Jen was this year’s lucky winner, Gail is taken aback, but not as taken aback as Dawson when she tells him that he’s going to be her escort.
Back at school, Andi swings by Joey and Pacey’s lunch table and Pacey bails. As she tries to strike up conversation with Joey, Joey tells her to fuck off, because it’s totally Andi’s fault that she got fired for being a cockblock on Andi and Rob’s date because if Andi hadn’t gone out with the creep in the first place, she wouldn’t have had to be a cockblock. Sound logic, there.
Jen swings by some mansion and just lets herself inside. There’s a note on the door, so I guess she could have been invited in. Inside, she wanders a bit until she finds a room with a nice dress in it. The old bat from earlier comes in and starts going on and on about the dress and the gala. Jen tells her to shut the fuck up about the gala because she doesn’t want to do it, and the old bat goes right the fuck off on her, telling her that she had doubts about her being elected homecoming queen, what with her being an uncouth ho from the Big City. Jen excuses herself and as she’s leaving the house, some dude falls off the roof because of BEES! and as they’re running, Jen exclaims, “Henry!?”.
Pacey and Joey are working on the bed and breakfast when Andi calls, clearly upset, because something happened with Rob. They tell her they’ll be right there.
Right there, Pacey and Joey find a distressed Andi outside of a party of sorts, who regales them with the story of how Rob took her up to his room and tried to turn some making out into full-on molestation. Obviously, this pisses Pacey off, so he joins the party. Once he finds Rob, he punches him. After a bit of a scuffle without any additional violence, Rob tells Pacey that he has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about in regards to said molestation.
So it turns out the Henry knows his shit about orchids, because he’s lived next door to the old bat for 10 years and learned from her. He tells Jen that the old lady is lonely and looks forward to two events per year. I’m sure you can guess what one of them is. Jen tells him that he needs to nut up and not feel so badly for her, and he makes her feel guilty by telling her that the old bat was looking forward to not only the Gala, but meeting Jen, who has something different from other homecoming queens.
Joey tries to convince Andi that she needs to go to the police and report Rob, and Andi tells her that it didn’t go “that far”. That’s a terrible attitude, Andi, that will only create more victims. Joey starts getting frustrated, so Pacey steps in and offers to help.
Jen returns to the mansion and asks the old bat for a do-over. The lady gladly accepts and they get right into planning for the party. The old bat is all, “This is my house and here are my rules for the gala: no fun”, leaving Jen to book a string quartet. Touched by his knowledge of old ladies, or flowers (not sure which), Jen asks Henry to be her date.
To calm her down, Pacey took Andi to his shitty boat. She wants to know why the fuck he thought that was a good idea, and he tells her that the boat is some symbolic way of showing her that he’s been okay since their breakup. For whatever reason, Pacey’s punching Rob for being a perv and taking her to a boat in the middle of the night leads Andi to believe that they’re back together. Pacey assures her they aren’t and she gets upset. She tells him that it feels like they’re getting back into the swing of their old relationship, and Pacey tells her he just wants to know she’s okay. She is now. They kiss.
The next day when Pacey drops Andi off at home, she’s back to her old self, rambling about what happened the night before. Pacey tells her that it’s all cool. They kiss again and, hang on, why does Pacey have yet another police vehicle? I’d be pissed if I was a taxpayer in The Creek knowing that the chief’s son can just commandeer taxpayer property whenever the hell he feels like it to help his sex life.
Oh boy, Rob decides to show up at Joey’s all angry and shit and tells her that he’s not a rapist. Joey keeps throwing shade at him for what happened with Andi, blatantly calling him a sex offender, and for some reason he thinks he can help his cause by getting angrier and trying to grab Joey. It’s kind of implicating that he’s so worried about if Andi went to the cops. He tells Joey that Andi totally wanted his D and Joey tells him she’s still not convinced. As she slams the door on him, he admits that he was a total creep to Joey, but that he totes didn’t it, making a point to mention Andi’s mental issues. Interesting.
We cut to the gala, with the old bat looking around and saying “splendid”. Guess Jen did a good job. It does look fancy. Gail and Dawson show up and she immediately tries to avoid another debutante, all too late. Over a quick conversation, it’s revealed that Gail had been fired from her Philly gig for being too old.
Jen finally decides to show up to the gala, and the old lady is pissed. Henry is wearing some kind of Austin Powers-esque cravat, which only fuels the old bag’s anger. Jen tells her they’re just getting started and a bunch of drag queens walk in behind her. Oh, Jen! Why can’t you just play The Game, even for a second? Or, if you have to rebel, then why not go big? Hire GWAR. That would’ve been fucking awesome.
Joey asks Andi if she told her dad about Rob and Andi confesses that she hadn’t. Joey is starting to get a bit suspicious and tells Andi about Rob’s visit earlier that day, and Andi freaks the fuck out about Joey taking Rob’s side. Whoa. That came out of nowhere. Joey tells Andi to chill, because she just thinks that she should have gone to the police. Andi starts getting weird, telling Joey that she didn’t go to the police because she thinks that maybe it was the universe’s way of getting her and Pacey back together. Yikes. Joey is understandably defeated.
So the gala has devolved into a drag show. The old lady is fucking furious. Dawson is clearly amused as he takes in the show, and Jen is obviously very pleased with herself for being able to make the gala all about herself and her confused feelings regarding conformity. Oh wait, the old lady is tapping her foot to the rhythm of the music. Looks like she’s enjoying herself after all!
Andi visits Pacey at some kind of wood shop. He admits that he’s depressed, because his boat is in bad shape, and rebuilding is often harder than starting something from scratch. It’s clearly a metaphor for he and Andi getting back together. He thinks that things can never be the same once damaged, and when she asks how badly his boat was damaged, he says it was “totaled”. Burn! She tells him to drop the stupid metaphor, and he tells her that he thinks their kiss was a mistake. Andi thinks that it’s all good now, and Pacey tells her that maybe she isn’t remembering the chain of events leading to their breakup correctly. Andi starts yelling at him about how he needs to stop punishing her for what happened because she’s sorry. I don’t know Andi; I think most people have a hard time forgiving infidelity, let alone those who manage to ever being able to truly look themselves in the mirror again and see a self-respecting person staring back at them. She starts going on about what’s in her heart and Pacey tells her that he can’t possibly be “the one” if her heart told her to fuck another guy. He deals the final blow by telling her that she’s not the one for him.
Everyone’s having a shitload of fun at the gala, and the old bat tells Jen that it’s a success. Jen apologizes for trying to ruin the event because she needs to grow up and can’t deal with who she’s becoming. The old lady tells Jen that Henry doesn’t shut the fuck up about her and is obviously crazy for her. Jen tells her that the feeling isn’t mutual, and the lady tells Jen this story about how some dude led her on when they were younger, and that after he left her for some other chick, it broke her fragile heart to the point that it never recovered. Hence her being a lonely broad with only two things in life to look forward to.
Having heard the old lady’s boring story, Jen finds Henry in the arboretum. He tries to kiss her and she stops him, telling him they’re just friends and that he can’t love her. Henry asks Jen why she won’t give him a shot and she tells him that it’s not fair of her to let him love her when she won’t be able to reciprocate. He needs to find someone who will. He starts whining about how he just wants to fall in love. Yeah, dude, we get it. Jen tells him that she can’t right now because she still isn’t able to look at herself in the mirror, and she needs to before she’ll ever be able to find love. Henry tells her that his heart is broken for the first time. Go listen to some Dashboard Confessional, buddy. You’ll be alright.
“I’m totally going to try to kill Sandra Bullock now.”
Dawson asks Gail why she didn’t tell him about her job getting shitcanned, and she tells him that she didn’t want him to think she was a failure. Dawson tells her that he’d never think she was a failure, and that she could totally get her job back in The Creek, and that she’d have a friend in Bro Dad. Gail admits that she’s not ready to move back yet, and doesn’t think it’s a great idea to be friends with Bro Dad. Dawson tells her that she needs to give it a shot.
Andi shows up at Joey’s and starts freaking the fuck out on her. She totally blames Joey for their breakup, saying she somehow manipulated Pacey into thinking that the rape was a con job. Joey tells Andi that she didn’t say shit to Pacey, because she doesn’t believe that Andi is capable of doing something so heinous. Andi’s all, “You don’t know my darkness, Joey!” She starts crying, saying she just wanted Pacey back, implying that, holy shit, maybe she did cry wolf on the molestation. That’s insanity and kind of wrong on so many levels, writers.
We finish the episode out with a montage (we haven’t had one of those in a while) of Jen doing a shot with the old lady and the drag queens. I promised I wouldn’t comment on that anymore, and I’m sticking to it.
Henry walks alone along The Creek.
Gail and Bro Dad are talking. Looks like she’s ready for a new friend after all.
Pacey working on his boat.
And fade to black on Psycho crying into Joey’s shoulder.
3.5 out of 5 Crying Dawsons