Rather Freudian shot of Dawson zipping through reeds in his powerboat. Ew! Okay, Joey is getting ready for the big date, and we see a time-lapse of her trying out and rejecting various hairstyles until she settles on just leaving it down the way she always does, because Dawson loves her for who she's always been. Except with boobs. Or something. Dawson and his penis-surrogate speedboat; Joey and her time-lapse lipstick. Dawson penis-boat; Joey necklace. For the sake of all that is holy, please let this date begin sometime before I start collecting Social Security. Finally, the phallus-craft pulls up to the Potter pier and Joey comes out onto the porch and the two of them gaze at each other in their not-dressy-dressy outfits -- you know, the casual clothing you have that makes you look like a stone fox but not like you tried too hard, so you save it for when you go out or when you have a proper date -- as more X-chromosome wailing goes on in the background, and Joey holds her arms out from her sides all stiffly, and Dawson with his Flow-Bee haircut picks her a flower from beside the pier, and Joey comes shyly down the steps all smiling and happy, and I do NOT remember the downshift from "friends" to "dating" happening this smoothly with me and my boyfriend, and we had ten years on these kids. Dawson says, "As my first act as your date" -- as if he had just been sworn in or something -- "I thought, chocolates, diamonds, convertibles...but I settled for foliage," and he holds up the flower, and Joey says in a come-hither voice, "Foliage is good." Another almost kiss, but it doesn't happen because Dawson tramples on the moment with hobnailed boots by wondering, "Should we go?" Then he says he's glad they've "already bypassed the end-of-the-evening 'will she kiss me?' drama," and as the camera circles them in their awkwardness you can actually SEE Flow-Bee tracks in his hair, which looks like Dog Boy's on Liquid Television, and then Joey comes back with some pseudo-witty line about checking into a motel and making like porn stars or something, and then Dawson says he could handle that, and I must disagree because they don't make bigger prudes than Dawson Leery, and then he wants to hold her hand, which I assume the writers intended as retro sweetness but which comes off, like so many other lines in this show, as thuddingly self-conscious and annoying. So they hold hands.
Cut to the theater. Dawson "can't believe they're tearing this place down." I can't believe they expect us to accept that a town of maybe three thousand people in a summer community has an art-house theater to begin with. Dawson and Joey find seats while decrying the forces of change, and Dawson gazes at Joey with that creepy smile that makes him look like that guy Pete from "Benson," except with more hair. Another almost kiss. Okay, I think we may have gotten the point. The lights go down and they take hands again and Dawson is still totally staring at Joey and making her really uncomfortable so that she twirls her flower around and looks anywhere but at Dawson, and the movie, "The Last Picture Show," begins. Okay, I think we may have gotten that point as well. Dawson, stop leering at Joey and watch the goddamn movie.