The empty, litter-strewn auditorium. Dawson sits glumly in his XXXL clothing at the edge of the stage. Eve approaches, sits beside him, and asks, "Are you ready?" Dawson says he'll probably just catch a ride home, and they proceed to have more or less the same conversation that they did in the previous episode, to wit that if Dawson ever gets around to having sex, he wants it to mean something. Eve says that sex for its own sake isn't a bad reason to sleep with someone, but Dawson holds his ground in saying that, for him, it is the wrong reason. Not a terribly realistic sentiment coming from a sixteen-year-old boy, true, but still, sort of a sweet one, and one I should have kept better sight of a few times my own self. And I hesitate to say it, but the writers actually made Dawson somewhat likable in this week's episode. Anyhow, Eve tells him her last name -- "Whitman" -- but balks at giving up her digits.
Pacey drops Joey off at the Bastard Barn. She says she doesn't think they'll go to any pep rallies in the near future, and Pacey drones lifelessly, "Probably not," and Joey thanks him for the ride, and he drones just as flatly, "No problem." Joey starts to get out, presumably to fetch the bra she totally forgot to wear in this scene, but stops to give Pacey some advice; prefacing it with the idea that he probably doesn't want to hear it right now, especially not from Joey, she plows ahead anyway as Pacey rolls his eyes. "You have to talk to her," Joey says, and Pacey says sadly, "No. Not right now. I couldn't even look at her right now." Joey presses him, "You have to, Pacey. You have to hear her out," and Pacey explodes, "Why? What's the difference, Joey? Huh? No matter what she says, the ending's still the same -- she slept with somebody else!" Joey leans forward and says, "You think that just because you two were together, what she did to you hurts more?" I don't get what she means; either she means that Andie feels just as hurt as Pacey, or that what Joey saw Dawson do tonight hurts just as much as what Andie did to Pacey, but either way it doesn't quite make sense. Anyway, she continues, "It doesn't. There's no difference, Pacey, I mean, she's sixteen years old and so are you. We talk like we know what's going on but we don't. We don't have any idea. We're really young, and we're gonna screw up a lot. You know, we're going to keep changing our minds and, and sometimes even our hearts." Pacey grits his teeth and stares straight ahead. Joey adds, "And through all of that, the only real thing we can offer each other is forgiveness. And I couldn't do that. Or at least I did it too late. Don't let yourself get so angry that you stop loving, because one day you'll wake up from that anger, and the person you love will be gone." Pacey looks at her, then closes his eyes. Joey gets out of the car.
Hallway. Jen complains to Jack about her itchy fishnets. Mr. McPhee appears, and Jen makes herself scarce so the McPhees can talk. Mr. McPhee says that Grams called him and said he should go down to the school, but he didn't know what for until he saw Jack on the stage. He starts to clap Jack on the shoulder but stops himself, instead saying stiffly, "Congratulations," and walking down the hall with Jack. Mr. McPhee, practically choking on the words: "Seeing you on that stage made me realize -- I was wrong." Jack doesn't understand. Mr. McPhee says, "I, I honestly thought I was doing what was best for you. I thought living under my care would be too hard, that there were too many differences between us," but adds that when he saw Jack in his football jersey, he saw himself in Jack. Oh, so now that Jack plays football, he can come home? The hell? Jack busts him for that, and Mr. McPhee admits that Jack has a point. Then he says softly, "I would like very much for you to come home." Jack says no. Mr. McPhee, obviously a bit hurt, looks down and stammers, "Well, I figured that would be your response. But I needed to ask." Jack says, "Thanks." Mr. McPhee wishes him goodnight and hurries away, on the point of tears, and Jack stops him and says, "Dad, ask me again sometime?" Mr. McPhee nods and goes on his way. I found that kind of touching.