Sexual tensions and frustrations are the main theme of "Detention" as the episode opens with Joey and Dawson discussing what men and women are really looking for in each other. Dawson's idealism is snuffed by Joey's insistence that girls are looking for guys with the biggest biceps and "joysticks", while Joey's teasing about his and Jen's lack-there-of only encourages Dawson's ever-growing sexual inferiority complex.

In true "Detention" form each of our stars is sentenced to Saturday detention for one reason or another. Jen's heated battle with her teacher over euthanasia lands her a spot with the club on Saturday. Joey gets into it with high school super-jock Grant first in class during a presentation and then after he cuts in front of her in the lunch line. Grant's categorization of Joey into either servant or concubine earns him a swift kick between the legs and Joey a trip to join her friends. When Pacey calls Dawson by his despised childhood nickname of "oompa loompa" during a one-on-one basketball game he loses it and nails Pacey in the face with the ball and himself a spot with the others on Saturday.

The next morning Dawson and Jen arrive at detention to find Pacey already seated at a table. School mega-bitch Abby Morgan and Joey are not far behind as a seeming day from hell is about to begin. Pacey refuses to say why he is in detention mumbling only about "a long story" and Abby makes vague references to an orgy, ecstasy and the boy's locker room. Boredom leads to an "innocent" game of truth or dare, and when Pacey chooses "dare" over having to reveal the truth of why he is in detention he is instructed to kiss Jen. Pacey's extended kiss with Jen only raises the tension between Dawson and his friend. Pacey then chooses Joey and asks her who she likes. Rather than exposing the truth, she chooses a dare that ends up being a kiss between her and Dawson. Joey feigns protest, but the truth she tried so hard to hide becomes obvious to all during her passionate delivery. Joey's simple question to Jen about who she is most attracted to spurs a half-hearted response that only sinks Dawson's ever-lower sexual self-esteem.

The supposedly friendly game gets really nasty when Jen unloads on Joey about her obsession with her and Dawson's relationship and lack of a boyfriend of her own. Dawson breaks the tension by leading a jail brake down the hall in true "Detention" tradition. Jen proceeds to quickly identify Pacey's anatomy during a proceeding match the butt on the copier machine contest. This brings Dawson's and Pacey's macho competitiveness to a head that can only be decided in another one-on-one basketball game. The testosterone boils on the court while Jenn and Joey verbally spar over their Dawson driven rivalry. When the group loses track of time they are discovered by Mrs. Tringle the school librarian and punished with the chore of sorting library cards.

In the final moments of their Saturday detention and the concluding moments of the episode the building sexual tension and frustration are brought back to earth with a dose of reality. It turns out Abby's sexploits in the boys locker room were a mixture of fiction and fantasy designed to make the day more interesting. Dawson's feelings of sexual inadequacy are somewhat dissuaded when Pacey admits that the real reason for his detention was from getting caught playing with more than the ball in the bathroom. Jen lets Dawson know that while she is not ready for sex it is not because of her lack of attraction to him.

In the end, while Dawson, Jen and Pacey find release from their hormonal frustrations, Joey is left to bottle up her true feelings for Dawson. Tearfully, she decides that her friendship with him is more important than the words that would change everything.

Written by Mike White
Directed by Allan Arkush
Originally Aired Tuesday, March 3, 1998 9pm/8pm C
The WB Television Network