And we're back at the alter-not-ive prom after commercials. Joey and Dawson dance; Dawson's hair looks like a lobster claw that mated with a bale of moldy hay. Andie and Pacey dance; Pacey looks wistful. Jen and Henry dance. Jen asks what Henry's thinking, Henry denies thinking about sex, and Jen tells him he's allowed to think about sex but reminds him that "tonight it's not a factor." Shut up, Jen.
At the edge of the dance floor, Ethan tells Jack that he's glad Jack "had the courage to bring [him]," and that he knows it's not easy, and he starts to launch into a story about when he and his ex first started dating, but Jack stops him: "Can we maybe put a pin in the 'when I was a young gay boy' stories for tonight? It's not providing me with a lot of solace right now." Thank you for finally acknowledging how patronizingly Ethan comes off, writers -- but do y'all receive a bonus every time you fit the word "solace" into a script? Because that's twice in three weeks, and it's annoying. Anyway, Ethan confesses that he and Brad never "did anything" in public, that "for all [his] bravado, [he's] never asked a guy to anything like this," and Jack snaps in disbelief, "You mean, all that crap about actualization -- you've never actualized?" Ethan thought they could jump that hurdle together. Jack, annoyed: "At my high-school prom, where you know no one, and I know everyone? Tell me, how 'together' is that, Ethan?" Jeez, Jack, lighten up. You departed the closet in view of the entire school; it's not like they don't already know, and besides, you invited Ethan, not the other way around.
"So you win in the courage department," Ethan snarks, but Jack corrects him that courage would have meant telling Ethan that he didn't feel ready for this, regardless of Ethan's proselytizing about Jack's sexual maturation, and he adds that he really doesn't want "to be here right now" and prepares to stomp off. Ethan, stung: "Well, I'm sorry." "So am I," Jack growls, and Ethan asks where he's going. Jack's getting a soda, but not before busting what's left of Ethan's chops: "You know, I was wondering, wise gay sage that you are -- Coke? Diet Pepsi? What's better for my self-actualization?" Then he stomps off for real. "Wise gay sage" -- heh.
Elsewhere, Jen says that they can talk about other things besides sex. Henry says of course they can, but he can't come up with a topic off the top of his head. "Summer," Jen suggests, and she outlines a few of the things she thought they could do, like day trips to Nantucket and concerts "up in Boston," and for the last time, Boston is down from the Cape, not up, unless Capeside is Lower Cape, in which case Boston is over, not up. Buy a map, writers. Henry says they can do those things after he returns from eight weeks of football camp in Cleveland. Jen gets mad because he's "leaving [her] for the whole summer" and it's the first she's heard of it, and bitches him out for springing it on her at the prom; Henry doesn't understand why she's getting so bent out of shape, and frankly neither do I. Then she says that he can forget about any hope he cherished of getting laid that night, to which he responds that he thought they'd already decided they wouldn't have sex, and Jen sneers that she only said that to alleviate the pressure and "make it seem spontaneous when [we] actually do it -- of course there's a chance, it's our prom." She trucks on out of there. Henry makes a "wuh duh fuh?" face and says, "Damn!" Whatever, Jen. Quit yanking his chain; it's getting old.