"Alternative Lifestyles"

image Dawson has actually come to enjoy Mitch's nervous sex lectures concerning Dawson's relationship with Joey. When Mitch tries to ban their unsupervised time together, Dawson turns it into a game and a challenge. However, Mitch's preoccupation with Dawson's sex life might only be the result of his flickering one with Gale. Still stinging over his suggestion of an open marriage, Gale tries again to make-up. It works, but only temporarily.

image Jen continues to bond with Abby, whose friendship still proves to be a poor influence. She challenges Jen to "make it happen" with Dawson, and in Economics class, Jen sees her chance. In a class assignment, the teacher teams up students to work out imaginary budgets for imaginary households. Jen lucks out when Dawson draws her name for partners. The pessimistic Pacey is not surprised when Andie picks his name, and Joey ends up handling her own budget as a "single mom". Dawson tries to take the assignment in stride, but Joey is not thrilled and a little worried about the overzealous Jen.

imageJoey also finds herself caught between obligations of school and work. At the Ice House, Bessie is in over her head trying to prepare for an upcoming inspection by the health department. Bessie offers to help Joey on her school project pulling from her own life experience, but Joey feels Bessie isn't the right example that she wants. Bessie is hurt by this, and takes it personal when Joey looks for help from a young, successful interior designer instead.

Pacey and Andie have a hard time working together on their schoolwork without compromising and their conversations resort to their typical argument. When Pacey finally unloads and calls her a spoiled brat, it is all Andie can take. She leaves him in a huff, and Pacey feels a tinge of guilt over pushing her too far.

imageMeanwhile, Jen is doing everything she can to get Dawson's attention and try to rekindle any flame he might have for her. Unfortunately for her, the flame has long since burnt out. Jen interrupts a make-out session yet again between Joey and Dawson looking too good for Joey not to notice. She refuses to leave Dawson's room after they finish their project, and when she asks if she can stay the night, Dawson doesn't bite. He tries to call her on it, and Jen tries to reverse it on him before finally coming clean. She makes it quite clear to Dawson - she is an option for him.

image At the Leery household, tension has returned. Mitch again grows angry and jealous when Gale gets a ride from a co-worker and decides that the open marriage option is the way it shall be. He turns down a nice dinner by Gale to go out on the town and try his luck forcing Gale to retaliate by doing the same. They each experience a lonely evening, but claim to have fun when they return. It is a lie for each of them, although Gale does the better job of hiding it.

At the Ice House, Joey starts offering advice she learned from her school assignment. This causes Bessie to lash out hiding her true feelings of fear and failure. Joey storms out, contemplating Bessie's suggestion of moving out and going back home. The next morning, they both have had time to cool down and do some thinking. Bessie wants to fire Joey knowing it is for her own good. Joey won't accept that and promises Bessie she is staying. Bessie should have no fears of how Joey feels about her. Joey could not be more proud or more appreciative of all the things that Bessie has done.

Pacey had talked to Andie's brother and discovered his accusations of her being spoiled might have been presumptuous. He makes it up to her by showing up to class with their entire assignment finished. Pacey apologizes and Andie is shocked and surprised. Their serious argument returns to playful bickering, or in other words, back to normal.

image As Andie and Pacey walk off, a pair of eyes watches them go. Sitting unnoticed in her car is Tamara, the teacher fired by the school board for having an affair with Pacey. She watches him intently, her intentions hidden behind her icy stare...

Written by Mike White
Directed by David Semel
Originally Aired Wednesday, October 21, 1998 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network

Synopsis Written By Lance Whinery