The previously-on-Dawson's-Creek montage: Joey busts Gail, Dawson plays Jen's passive aggressor; TaMAHra and Pacey kiss and make up.
Fade up on the Sanctum Dawsonorum. Joey "One-Spiner" Potter and Dawson "Forehead Of The Class" Leery watch a scene from From Here To Eternity in which a buff Burt Lancaster smooches with Deborah Kerr in the surf. Dawson freeze-frames the movie during an especially fervent kiss and says, "This is the Jen moment, this is my future we're watching -- me and Jen. Jen and I." Joey doesn't hide her contempt: "Hm, a black-and-white future. How retro." Dawson, unfazed: "No, I'm talking about the romantic apotheosis. My first kiss with Jen is going to be just like that." "Apotheosis"? Joey protests, "Whoa, wait a minute -- we're back to that? You mean you haven't even kissed that girl?" Dawson spouts what Jen told him in the previous episode: "It's not about the kiss, Joey, it's about the journey. It's about creating a sustaining magic." Joey asks doubtfully, "Did Jen fall for this warped movie logic?" Dawson says smugly, "It's not warped, it's romance." Joey gets up off the bed: "It's old, Dawson -- just kiss her, will you? Take the elevator to the next floor and get off, it's time." Damn, for a second there I thought she would tell him to take the elevator to the next floor and get over himself. Oh, well. Anyhow, Dawson sits up and says, "Okay, it's not that simple, Joey, it's about creating the perfect moment." Oh, for god's sake -- it's "about" getting your tongue into Jen's mouth, Dawson, so do yourself and everyone else a favor and stop overthinking it. No such luck; Dawson then muses, "It has to be planned, with the right music and lighting and dialogue." Joey tells him he "can't storyboard a kiss," and Dawson replies, "Sure you can," and Joey tries to point out that he shouldn't base his actions on movies, but Dawson disagrees, calling them "images grounded in the reality of imagination." Joey asks, "Did you just pull that one out of your butt or what?" Dawson bemoans the fact that everyone thinks of movies as fantasy, and says, "But they don't have to be." He says that anyone can "have" From Here To Eternity -- "that woman on the beach could be yours. You could be Deborah Kerr." Joey snorts, "Mm, sand in my crotch. Heaven." Dawson lectures on Joey on her "attitude," which keeps storybook romances from happening, and calls her "cynical" and "far too jaded," even for their conversation -- all the qualities we treasured in Old Joey which have, alas, disappeared. Joey rolls her eyes in response and informs him, "Romance doesn't come with a John Williams score," and when Dawson breaks in, "It's called a stereo," Joey continues, "And it doesn't come with a sunset or starlit summer night, either, and I'm personally offended by this movie mentality that would have us believe that Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock are gonna magically drop from the sky and sweep us off our feet."
Dawson, as usual, misses the point entirely: "I didn't know you had a thing for Brad Pitt." Joey, exasperated: "I don't, it's an analogy." Dawson: "Sandra Bullock?" Sars: "Like, ha ha. Not." Joey: "Dawson! Movies aren't real!" She gestures at the TV and explains, "They aren't kissing with their tongues -- it's take twenty-two, the girl's bored, the guy's gay, it's celluloid propaganda." Dawson groans, "Joey, Joey, Joey, you bitter, jaded, cynical -- thing." Joey narrows her eyes: "You used to be bitter and cynical too. You were far more interesting." Dawson, self-satisfied: "Now I choose magic." Joey tells him that naïveté "will be your downfall," which prompts Dawson to lecture her that, one day, she'll know the feeling of longing for someone and desiring him and wanting to kiss him, and then she'll come to him and say, "Dawson, you were right." Joey, who apparently already does know this feeling, gives him a flat stare as he says brightly, "See, Joey, all you have to do is believe." As she goes out the window, Joey snipes, "Clap harder, Dawson. You may be Tinkerbell's last hope."