Back in the kitchen of the No-Fault Hacienda, Andie is cramming cheesies into her mouth. The evidence of other junk food consumption is littered all over the table. Abby says she's bored and suggests a field trip to Dawson's room. The others initially demur, but Abby goes anyway, and one by one they all follow her. Uh, wasn't the point of the bonding that the Bride of Flash was supposed to be in on it? For the record, she's nowhere to be seen.
Back on the boat, Jack comes out of the galley with a cellophane-wrapped sandwich, which he silently offers to Dawson, who is, believe it or not, still pouting silently. Dawson says, "No thanks." Jack says, "You know, Dawson, it's not imperative that you and I become friends." Dawson says, "Good." Jack says, "I just thought it might be nice, that's all," and takes off his lifejacket before continuing, "Look, know this, all right? I didn't steal Joey away from you. I mean, you of all people should know that she's got a strong will and the intelligence of a Rhodes scholar. She's not the kind of girl that lets herself get stolen." Dawson says, "Okay, you don't know anything about her. And secondly [sic], if you think that things are over between Joey and me, and done with, you're severely delusional." Jack says, "Maybe. The fact of the matter is, Joey and I have something. You don't gotta like it. But if you have any respect for Joey, you better respect me." Dawson scoffs. Interesting approach, McPhee.
Meanwhile, Abby is parting clothes on the rack of the closet in the Sanctorum Dawsonorum and yammering about being on the verge of finding "paydirt." As she steps further into the closet, Jen and Joey close the doors and stand in front of them, smiling at each other as Abby hammers on the doors from the inside. Okay, I don't deny that Abby adds nothing to these proceedings, but that being the case, why did Jen ask her? Whatever. Andie calls their attention to a video in her hand: "Guess what I found tucked behind Jaws? Good. Will. Humping." Jen and Joey look intrigued and go over to Andie, allowing Abby to emerge.
Back at the boat, Pacey is messing around with a lure when a tug is perceived on one of the lines. The Sheriff comes over and starts to struggle with it, only to have the line snap. He asks Pacey where the other rod is. Pacey says it's on the starboard side. The Sheriff glares at him. Pacey says it doesn't matter which side of the boat the pole is on. The Sheriff says, "This is what I mean, Pacey. It's the same thing with you over and over again." Pacey slumps, since evidently this is a lecture he's had many times before. The Sheriff goes on: "The simplest instructions in the world and you'll find any excuse not to follow them. How do you expect me to give you more responsibility if you can't even adhere to the most rudimentary directions? When I speak, you listen. Don't think, just do. Please! I'm not asking that much." Pacey gets a beat to absorb the impact of his spiritual de-pantsing before Dawson comes stomping out of the galley, saying, "Now that I've finally shaken Jack for two seconds, can you tell me what the hell were you thinking inviting him?" Instead of leading with, "Ask me if I care about your pedestrian neuroses," Pacey says, "Listen, man. I'm sorry, okay? Andie's just been nagging me incessantly about including the guy. He doesn't know any guys in town, and their mother just keeps getting worse and worse. Guess I took pity on him, yeah?" You might think that Pacey's mentioning Jack's mentally ill mother would cause Dawson to, I don't know, think about someone else's bigger problems for a single second and, I don't know, shut up for once, but it doesn't, and he pushes forward with the Dawson Agenda, dismissively saying, "Okay, that's fine; how could you forget to tell me?" Pacey stares at Dawson for a second, giving him another chance to SHUT UP, which Dawson doesn't take: "Pacey, come on! A little bit of preparation time before facing my adversary." I guess it's the word adversary that triggers Pacey's crap detector, since he has had to face a much worse adversary every day of his life, and Pacey, thank God, says, "You know what? Screw you, Dawson. Not all of us can be the fair-haired embodiment of perfection, all right? Not everybody gets 'wunderkind' and 'genius' attached to their name. Some of us are just simple-minded folk trying to make it through the day without breaking something." Dawson, instead of saying, "I'm sorry," or "What is this about?" or "My God, what a jerk I am!" just raises and lowers his eyebrows a couple of times in mute befuddlement. Pacey, honey, you go.
Back in the Sanctum Dawsonorum, the girls are sitting on Dawson's bed giggling and making grossed-out faces at the porn video running on the TV. Abby says, "You are aware that where this tape begins, Dawson finished." Andie says, "Finished what?" Jen answers, "Shaking hands with the unemployed," which, I admit, made me laugh. Joey offers, "Boxing the bald-headed bishop." Abby contributes, "Test-firing the missile." Andie says she gets their point. They make a few comments about the flexibility of the women in the movie, leading Jen to ask what sort of career this is. Abby says, "Hey, getting paid for something you're good at, something they [sic] love. Hey Jen, in a couple of years that could be you!" Joey laughs her ass off. Jen's face immediately falls and she says, "You know what, that's really not funny." Joey, still laughing, says, "I didn't say anything." A few more giggles follow, and then the Bride of Flash appears in the doorway and asks what they're watching. Andie leaps up to shut off the tape and answers, "Nothing. We're watching an educational video for school. It's, um, we're studying human anatomy." Abby says, "No! It's a porno we borrowed from Dawson's video collection. Mrs. Leery, you have to face the music. Your son is a pervert!" Jen says, "Abby!" Abby says she's not going to lie: "Unlike some people, I do have morals." The Bride of Flash says, "I think we should leave poor Dawson's room, don't you?" "Poor Dawson," indeed. The four girls file out, Jen and Joey last. Jen stops Joey as she's closing the door to Dawson's room and says, "Joey? Um, I've played armchair psychologist for so many hours, trying to analyze why you're so consistently hostile to me in your actions, and in your attitudes, and the only theory that I've been able to come up with is that you somehow felt threatened by my relationship with Dawson, but that theory just doesn't stand up anymore." Joey, meanwhile, is giving Jen the weirdest stink-eye I've ever seen. "I mean, you won in that rivalry, Joey, hands down, and I just want to know why you're still treating me like I'm this vixen that came into town and stole away your one true love." Joey sneers, "You are so disingenuous." "What?" says Jen. Joey says, "Look, you want our relationship to change, Jen? Then stop encroaching on what's mine. I mean, you systematically continue to recast yourself in my role. I mean, every time I turn around I've been replaced by you in some form, and then you feign shock and surprise when I resent you for it." Jen asks, "How have I replaced you, Joey?" Joey says, "Oh. Well, first you were Dawson's girlfriend, and now you're his producer, his collaborator, his best friend. I mean, you've adopted his interests and his dreams and now his mother. I mean, what's next? You gonna get a job at the Ice House and take up watercolours?" Jen says, "I love how you demonize me, Joey, instead of recognizing your own rampant insecurities." Joey says, "Fine. Maybe I am slightly insecure. But maybe you just won't own up to your own motives. See, when Dawson chose me, I think your ego was bruised. And deep down, you still want to win. You still want him back." Jen has no response to that.
Then the Men are at some dive bar and The Sheriff is saying they should put the day's "display of angling ineptitude" behind them. The Flash chuckles. The Sheriff says there's a dartboard calling his name and wants to know if The Flash will "go toe-to-toe with the master." The Flash says he'll give it a try. The three little boys play pool. Dawson watches The Flash throwing darts and comments, "I hope my dad doesn't have too much fun. Otherwise, by tomorrow he'll be drawing up plans to open a seedy dockside tavern." Pacey stares at him in disbelief and says, "How can you possibly find justification to criticize a man like your father?" Dawson explains, "I'm afraid his mid-life crisis isn't going to end, and he's going to wind up a homeless street mime." Pacey takes a shot and says nothing. Dawson observes the lack of comment on his last pronouncement and asks, "What the hell is your problem?" Pacey says, "You don't see what's going on, Dawson?" Dawson gives his head a brief shake. Pacey says, "Come on. Nobody's that oblivious -- not even you." Go Pacey. Dawson whines, "All right, well then why don't you tell me whatever it is you have up your ass, all right, because you're about to rip the felt, Pacey. If you're mad at your dad, tell him. If you're mad at me, lemme have it." Excellent advice, Dawson, and not at all facile! Pacey wearily replies, "It's just that simple for you, is it, Dawson?" Dawson shrugs as if to say, "How could it not be? How could it be that my wise counsel could be insufficient for you?" Pacey continues, "You just go up to your dad and say, 'Gee whiz, Pop, I have a problem. Let's talk about this heart-to-heart, man-to-man.' That's your wonderful life, not mine." Jack looks on in silence. Pacey concludes, "You've gotten a glimpse into the hell that is my life." Without any sympathy for this speech, Dawson manages to turn the subject back to himself, and very quickly says, "So then why is my mere presence suddenly a detriment to your happiness?" At this ridiculous query, Jack jumps in: "Because Mr. Witter's put you up on such a towering pedestal that you're a, what, 'mere presence,' Dawson? Come on, it's an icon Pacey can't possibly live up to." Let's review. Jack has known Pacey about three months and has a clear and empathetic understanding of his family circumstances. Dawson has known Pacey sixteen years and still has yet to find a subjec