A shot of a couple dancing pans over to a fidgety Jack sitting at a table with Ethan "Gayoda" Brody. "Hey, can you believe we wore the same thing?" Ethan says, and cracks himself up, but when Jack doesn't laugh, Ethan sighs, "Yeah, well, I thought it was pretty funny." That was pretty funny, especially coming from Gayoda. ["I'll cop to a snicker." -- Wing Chun] Jack doesn't answer, just sighs himself. Ethan says sort of snottily that he won't ask Jack to dance with him, "if that's what [he's] worried about." Jack denies worrying about anything. Just then, Jen and Henry appear -- Jen has a champagne-colored gown on and her hair in ringlets, and she looks very nice -- followed by Dawson and Joey, and Jack looks really relieved to see his other friends. The other couples sit down with Jack and Ethan, and Jen compliments Joey on the earrings, and Joey thanks her; Dawson beams at Joey with proprietary pride. Just then, outside the shot, we hear Jack greeting Andie and Pacey, and Joey looks up and quickly tries to hide her crestfallenness just before we cut to a shot of Andie, who's wearing a cheap-looking lilac satin shift and way way too much lavender-y eye make-up, and Pacey, standing behind her and clearly wishing for a hole to open up and swallow him. Dawson whips it out and marks Joey with urine by asking, "Shall we dance?" Joey nods, but as she gets up, she shoots Pacey an "oy vey" look. In the background, an ovary murders Tom Jones's "It's Not Unusual." Pacey and Andie sit down, and Andie and Jen compliment each other on their dresses; Pacey stares glumly at Joey and Dawson dancing, and Joey looks sadly past Dawson's giant head at Pacey and then looks away.
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.