Pacey starts off his 16th birthday by failing his drivers test. What makes things worse though is when trying to vent to Dawson, his best friend can do nothing but talk about Joey and their situation. Pacey suddenly realizes that Dawson forgot his birthday. Demoralized by this, he leaves and unloads to Jen instead. Together they decide that Dawson's relationship with Joey sure seems to get in the way of his friendship with both of them. She convinces Pacey to try to forget about the happy couple, hardly being one to follow her own advice.
Dawson and Joey continue to get along great, and Dawson can't help to credit it with how well they already know each other. When Joey leaves the room, however, Dawson makes the mistake of snooping through Joey's personal journal and is shocked at what he reads: That Joey feels his filmmaking talent is dismal and his career will certainly take him nowhere. Dawson leaves in a huff, feeling the sting of his bruised pride.
Dawson tries to unload his problem to Pacey, but Pacey is still in no mood to listen to him. He decides to confront Joey with what he read and when she discovers that he went through her private things, their first fight as boyfriend and girlfriend begins. Dawson, full of apologies, shows up to her work later in an attempt to work it out, but Joey isn't having it. Dawson leaves unsuccessful, and all Joey succeeds in is hiring Jack, Andie's brother, as a new dishwasher for the Icehouse.
Pacey has decided to throw a party on the docks to take his mind off things and perhaps better his social standings. Unfortunately for him, the only one willing to talk to him is Andie, his new town rival. Jen has made an unlikely friend in Abby and the two decide to show up to the party drunk. When Dawson arrives, Jen attempts a passionate kiss and runs off humiliated when Dawson pushes her off. Dawson has no better luck patching things up with Pacey. After being clued in on missing his best friend's birthday, he feels horrible. To Pacey though, the damage has been done and he lumps Dawson in with all the others in the world who he believes doesn't care about him.
At Dawson's home, things aren't going any better. After talking to a friend, Mitch gets some bad advice on what might save his marriage. He brings up the topic of an "open marriage" to Gale and her look tells him how hurt she is and how wrong he was for suggesting it.
After talking to Jack after work, Joey is inspired to put this fight behind her. She heads to the party and from across the dock her eyes meet with Dawson's. In a glance, they know all is forgiven. The hug that ends the walk to each other confirms it. She tells Dawson of how she has had to stifle her true feelings for him for a long time, and maybe that day, her frustrations got taken out on the wrong place. She does believe in him, and Dawson realizes that not knowing everything about Joey only allows her to continue to amaze him. Unnoticed, Jen and Abby watch from above, and Jen confesses her love for Dawson and her need to get him back. Abby vows to make that happen, no matter what it takes.
Pacey is about to chalk up the night as a total loss when he is surprised by Andie. She gives him a birthday present and they connect. They both feel like they don't have anyone in this small town, but at the moment at least they can share their loneliness with each other. After Andie leaves, Dawson comes back for one more attempt to make peace. Pacey forgives Dawson, knowing that what hurts the most is the thought of losing his friend to Dawson's new relationship. Yes, it will be hard, but he'll deal. Dawson knows that Pacey won't have to deal though. Because Pacey's friendship means as much to him as well. And Dawson isn't going anywhere.
Written by Dana Baratta
Directed by Dennis Gordon
Originally Aired Wednesday, October 14, 1998 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network
Synopsis Written By Lance Whinery