Fade back up on the front porch of Reconciliation Ranch. Joey makes a feeble excuse to get the hell out of there, and does so. Dawson trains a tight passive-aggressive smile on his parents, and Gale suggests that they talk about what Dawson "just saw." The Flash offers to talk to Dawson and tells Gale to go ahead to the restaurant, and Gale leaves, giving Dawson a kiss on the cheek as she passes him. Dawson brats, "This should be good," and heads into the house. Oh, you want to talk "should be," Lawrence Of Bad Hair-abia? Because your father "should be" delivering a Rockport moccasin to the seat of your XXXL pants for the 'tude you keep copping with him and your mother. Also, shut up. The Flash follows him into the house, shooting a "thanks a lot" look in the direction of the departing Gale, and asks, "You okay?" Dawson says yes and heads for the fridge. The Flash begins, "About what you just saw --" but Dawson cuts him off, saying he's seen it "about five million times" before; The Flash asks if, "under the circumstances," Dawson wants to talk about it. Dawson describes himself as "numb" to the situation, calls his parents' relationship "a little dramatic," and complains that he's "been in the middle," and he goes on to say that he realized recently that he doesn't "need to do that" -- he can sit back and "watch from afar." Well, no, Dawson, you didn't need to do that, because you put yourself in the middle, so the next time a rescue helicopter flies over your house and drops one of those rope ladders down, use it to get over yourself. The Flash tells Dawson that what's going on between himself and Gale "is a lot more than casual." Dawson asks suspiciously if that means they're getting back together, and when The Flash says that they "haven't discussed" that possibility, Dawson tells his father to leave him out of it "entirely," but apparently that doesn't include not giving The Flash lip, because he says all dismissively that The Flash hasn't talked to Gale and doesn't "know what she's feeling." The Flash reminds Dawson that he was married to Gale for twenty years and knows some things "without having to ask." Dawson makes a snotty "whatever" face. I know I keep saying this, but it bears repeating -- The Flash must have the longest fuse in parental history, because my father is no tyrant, but if I'd given him that kind of tone at age sixteen, he'd have put me out with the trash.
Anyway. Cut to Pacey "Welcome To The Doghouse" Witter, standing in the doorway of his room and asking Andie "Captain Perk" McPhee, "How's the studying going?" "Fine," she says. Pacey offers to get her a drink, but she says, "No, I'm good." He sits down heavily in a chair, and Andie, seated at the coffee table, looks up and asks hesitantly if he wants her to leave; he says no: "Why would I want you to go?" She says she just gets that feeling, but he repeats that he doesn't want her to go. After a brief silence, Pacey tries to explain: "I just, sometimes I . . . I just feel kinda . . ." "Thirsty? Tired? Mad, sad?" Andie prompts, and Pacey says, "Yeah." Andie, concerned, repeats, "Sad," and Pacey stammers that it's "something like that, yeah." Oh, poor Pacey.
Andie chirps that he should "come out of this cave" already and "get back out there," and when Pacey asks, "Back out where?" Andie perks, "Out there! You know -- go to the prom!" Oh, great idea, Dr. Love. Not. Pacey looks disgusted and asks, "With who, Andie?" Andie shrugs, "I don't know, anyone, a girl," adding oh-so-casually, "you could go with me if you wanted to." Pacey expresses disbelief that Andie doesn't have a prom date; Andie dissembles that she's "sifting through offers" and hasn't made a decision yet. Pacey gives her a look and asks if she wants him to ask her to the prom; Andie grins, embarrassed, and answers that she just wants to see him happy again. Pacey says dully that he doubts the prom will do the trick happiness-wise, so she'd "be better off" going with one of the other guys who asked her. Andie says, "I'm sure I will," and looks back down at her notebook.