The next day Joey informs Dawson and Jen that she has been selected as a scholarship recipient, allowing her to study in France. And while they are both openly supportive of the idea, Dawson isn't so sure if he likes the idea of Joey moving away. Joey is now faced with the biggest decision of her life, and she only has two weeks to make it. As if this was not enough, her life is further complicated when her sister, Bessie, informs her that it is her turn to visit her father in prison on his birthday.
Joey and Dawson take a four-hour bus ride to the prison only to find out that they have arrived five minutes after visiting hours. To avoid making the long journey home again that night, they agree to rent a motel room. The next day they go to visit Mr. Potter. The meeting is filled with tension. Joey's Dad is desperate for any type of interaction with his daughter, but Joey is hardly able to utter a word or even look him in the face. Her eyes seethe with hatred until she finally ends up storming out of the room leaving Dawson alone with her father. Mr. Potter asks Dawson to tell him something, anything, about his daughter. Dawson proceeds to give him more than just surface level information, he actually reveals how much Joey truly means to him. When Joey asks Dawson what her father told him, he tells her she needs to talk to him and deal with the issues that are eating away at her. Completely rejecting Dawson's suggestion, Joey reiterates her hatred toward her father and basically makes up her mind to go to France.
Family problems aren't limited to Joey. Pacey is having serious trouble dealing with his father who has learned that Pacey is in danger of failing several classes. In a moment rarely scene between the two characters, Pacey and Joey find out that they have more in common then they once thought. Pacey reveals that he once overheard his father tell his brother Doug, that at least he had one son that wasn't a failure. In a moment of self-pity Pacey says he is a disgrace to his family. Joey adds that at least his family is not a disgrace to the whole town. Joey comes to the realization that she needs to talk to her father and she needs to do it now. Pacey agrees to"borrow" his Dad's car and give her a ride.
While the drama is building in Joey's life, the condition of Jen's Grandfather has been taking a toll on both her and Grams. When he comes out of his coma momentarily to utter the words"goodbye Jen," it boosts her spirits temporarily. However, things take a turn for the worse when he suffers a second stroke just when his condition seems to be getting better. Grams turns to prayer and her deep faith in God. Jen, who rejects such faith, sinks deeper into sadness and despair. When Jen finds out that her grandfather has died she meets Grams at church where she is sitting alone. Jen finally acknowledges Grams faith by joining her in prayer and the two share a good cry. Needing comfort, Jen runs to Dawson's house and climbs in through his window. She asks if she can share his bed tonight as friends like he and Joey do. Dawson agrees and Jen proceeds to cry herself to sleep.
Back at the prison, Joey approaches the fence separating her from her father. In one of the most touching moments of the entire season, she explains that as a 15-year-old she thinks nobody loves her and then sheepishly asks if he does. Coming to tears her father answers that he loves her more than she could ever know. He asks for her forgiveness and even tells her that Dawson Leery loves her too. He knows because Dawson looks at her like he once looked at her mother.
Invigorated and joyful, Joey returns to Capeside early the next morning and climbs through the window in Dawson's room. To her horror, she sees Jen and Dawson laying next to each other in a seemingly passionate way. Despite Dawson's attempts to explain, Joey manages to run away. Dawson feels horrible and looks all over town for her. He finally finds her in his closet. The two enter a passionate discussion about honesty and when it seems like Dawson is about to let Joey leave once again without expressing his true feelings, we can hardly stand to watch. Dawson does not let us down. In a split second he acts and takes Joey by the arm pulling her toward him. The two embrace and the kiss we have been waiting for all season finally happens.
Story by Jon Harmon Feldman
Teleplay by Mike White and Dana Baratta
Directed by David Semel
Originally Aired Tuesday, May 19, 1998 9pm/8pm C
The WB Television Network