Previously: Jack is gay, in case you forgot. Ambiguously Gay Eric was ambiguous. Pacey and Audrey broke up. Pacey got fired. Jack and Jen made plans to go to Costa Rica. Dawson and Joey started dancing around the idea of a romantic relationship, because it's the end of the season and we're contractually obligated to revisit that idiotic plot line every single damn year. I considered jabbing a bread knife through my septum in hopes of keeping myself awake.
We open with Dawson riding the elevator at the airport. His cell phone rings, and he whips it out of his leather jacket while simultaneously examining the Arrival and Departure boards. It must be Pander on the other line, because Dawson says that "they're not sure if they're going to let me direct it yet." No shit, kid -- you're, like, twelve years old and utterly unproven. Why would a movie studio let you direct something? "I know, I'm excited, too," Dawson says. He turns and sees Joey standing on the other end of the bank of computers. She turns -- in slow motion -- and smiles at him, surprised. He hangs up on Pander and looks at her. Soap opera music swells dramatically in the background.
They have drinks in the airport bar. "How long as it been?" Dawson asks. Joey thinks. "Three, four years?" she asks. "Five years," Dawson corrects her. So, we've fast-forwarded to the future, and Dawson and Joey haven't even seen each other in five years? This is already the best episode ever! Dawson sips his beer and tells Joey that he tried calling her, but that "some guy" answered the phone. And then he got started working on his movie, "and before [Dawson] knew it, a year had passed." "I thought I might see you at the premiere," he tells her. Joey shrugs that she "couldn't get out" because she was "working on [her] thesis." I guess Joey's graduate school is like prison, in that they won't even let you out for one night. "But I saw it!" Joey tells him. "Twice. It was good, Dawson." She wonders what brings him to Boston. Dawson tells her that Gale got remarried. Well, thank God. I can sleep at night! And Lily's starting first grade. "Time flies," Joey says, drinking her Cosmo and looking somewhat bored. "Joey, can I tell you something?" Dawson asks, then launches into his standard Soulmates Are Forever speech. Joey smiles painfully. Her cell phone rings, and she has a cheery conversation while Dawson awkwardly drinks his beverage. "Give me five minutes?" she asks. "Bye!" She turns and explains to Dawson that it was her "fiancé" on the phone. Oh, burn! Dawson's face falls, but he sputters a congratulations. Joey chirps that the lucky man is an "environmental rights attorney." Dawson looks at his beer. "Of course he is," he mutters. Joey wonders if Dawson is seeing anyone, and he explains that he was dating an actress for a while, but now he's all alone in the world. All alone! Joey shrugs, and they sit in awkward silence for a moment before she announces that she needs to run. They hug, and Joey spouts the usual "call me the next time you get into town!" lies. The Sad Piano Of Someone's Moving On And It's Not Dawson tinkles in the background. He looks sad as Joey walks away. She stops, though, and turns back to stare at him. "Dawson? I need to say something," Joey says. "You and me? We had our shot. And you blew it. So I moved on." The piano strikes an ominous chord. "And you might want to get on with your life, too. I mean, this is getting sad and ridiculous. I just thought that you should know that. Take care." And that's the end of the show! Best season finale ever! Except for the part where Dawson, at this point, wakes with a start. In his bed in Capeside. Goddammit.