Bessie "Plot Advancement? Don't Mind If I Do" Potter, putting socks away in Joey's drawers, finds the birth-control packet Joey got at the clinic. Durex gets a product placement. Joey comes in, Bessie quickly covers, and Joey looks into the drawer that Bessie just closed and cringes to herself.
Soccer practice. Enter Caroline, in a wrap-tied belly shirt, to hit on Jack some more. Banter about how much the team sucks. Whatever -- it's pee-wee soccer. Of course they suck. Even Mia Hamm sucked at age seven. Anyway, Caroline asks Jack out. Andie tries to block by pretending she's his girlfriend, but Caroline busts her, so Andie lies that she's just looking out for Jack because his real girlfriend gets jealous and has a black belt and blah bling blah. Andie then gives the fictional girlfriend's name as "Natasha...Boyardee," which I admit I laughed at. Caroline cattily tells Andie to lay off the overprotective sibling thing, Andie cattily tells Caroline that Jack isn't interested, Caroline snips at Andie to mind her own business, Andie snips that "it's just not gonna happen, okay," and finally Jack gets fed up with the back-and-forth and tells Caroline he's gay. Caroline makes with the "I knew that -- I did! Really!" and walks off, presumably to schedule a face-lift. Andie pats Jack's shoulder.
A pier somewhere. Dawson thanks Gretchen for meeting him there because he didn't want to go to the Witterschloss. Gretchen asks what's up. Dawson blurts that Gale "is having an abortion," and he's not dealing with it too well. Uh duh, Greasy Kasem. He adds that he feels terrible about what his parents must have to deal with, which is patent bullshit, but anyway, Gretchen asks if he's worried about them or bummed because his "illusions of parental infallibility are finally shattered?" Oy. Shut up, Gretchen. Dawson says that those got shattered by his mom's affair, then trails off and changes tacks: "What's your problem?" Huh? Maybe she's tired of your dumping all your so-called problems on her, Oily Golightly -- lose the 'tude! Jesus! For some reason, Gretchen doesn't push his ass over the railing and into the water, asking instead, "What do you think my problem is, Dawson?" Dawson thinks Gretchen went through what his mom's going through. Gretchen looks down and sighs, "You're good." Ah ha! I win the bet; Wing Chun owes me chocolate. ["Dude, when don't I?" -- Wing Chun] Dawson tells Gretchen she doesn't have to talk about it if she doesn't want to. Um, it's a little late for that, don't you think? Gretchen agrees: "Isn't that why you called me here?" Dawson needs to understand why Gale's "doing it." No, you don't! It's NOT YOUR PROBLEM! Dawson adds that he thought Gretchen could help him, or he wouldn't have brought it up, thus once again disregarding the feelings of others in order to place his own misguided neurosis at the center of everyone's universe. I thought he'd gotten better this season, but I thought wrong. I loathe him. LOATHE HIM. But Gretchen doesn't see it that way, and 'fesses up -- she got pregnant last semester after bonking her boyfriend in his Geo Prizm (and regardless of whether she got pregnant, that has got to have sucked), and she remembers that Lynyrd Skynyrd was on the radio at the time, and she hates Lynyrd Skynyrd. Where did she go to school, Simon's Classic Rock of Bard?
Anyway, "there [she] was, twenty years old, with piles of student loans and a 2.9 GPA," so she made a decision, the hardest one she's ever made -- but it didn't matter, because she's a television character. In other words, she had a miscarriage. She thought she'd feel happy about it, but she felt guilty, "for getting off easy, for feeling relieved, and for putting [herself] in a position where [she] even had to make that kind of a decision." I'd like to point out here that having a miscarriage is hardly "getting off easy." I've never had one myself, but I understand they're quite painful physically as well as emotionally; it's not exactly a snap. Anyway, Dawson asks if he can assume that Gretchen's decision "was the same as my mom's." God, Dawson -- SHUT UP. Gretchen thinks for a moment, then asks, "Does it really matter?" "No," Dawson says, sounding surprised at himself. Then he thanks her for trusting him and says he won't tell anyone -- as if he should even have to say that -- and she says she knows.