"The Reluctant Hero"

image After a night in which Pacey mocks his best friend's earnestness and a drunk Jen crashes in her former boyfriend's bedroom for the third night in one week, Dawson gets a mixed bag of good and bad news the following day. On his way to school, Dawson discovers his father eating breakfast in the kitchen. Mitch explains that he's packing up a few more of his belongings and moving to a new place. He asks Dawson to help him move, to which Dawson reluctantly agrees. As Dawson heads out, Mitch hands him an envelope that arrived in the mail. Upon stepping outside, Dawson opens the envelope and pulls out a letter from the Boston Film Festival. His horror movie was named Best Short Film of the Junior Division. The envelope also contains a check for $2500, which was been awarded to Dawson and producer Joey Potter to fund their next film.

image Dawson runs into Joey in the hallways of Capeside High and tells her about the letter he just got. Joey then disappoints Dawson by telling him that she won't be involved in the next movie. After Dawson walks away, Jack walks up to Joey and tries to get her to talk to him again. Joey admits to Jack that she really was mad at herself for kissing him back on the night of the full moon. Meanwhile, Pacey learns from his guidance counselor that, due to his GPA and various academic shortcomings, he may have to attend summer school and repeat his sophomore year. At lunch, Andie offers to help Pacey get on the right track to graduation. Elsewhere in the cafeteria, Dawson types his newest script while Jen joins him at his table. Chris Wolfe and his friend Todd walk up to Jen and invite her to party, which will be held that night at Todd's house. Jen immediately accepts, then offers an invitation to Dawson. He refuses the offer. In the cafeteria line, Jack asks Joey out on a date. She accepts, and an excited Jack sits down at Pacey and Andie's table to tell his sister the good news.

image After unloading the last of his father's stuff, Dawson starts to head out when Mitch asks him to stick around for a little while. Dawson can't take any more of his father's attempts to forge a new friendship with him, telling Mitch that he would rather have a father instead of another friend. Mitch gives Dawson an extra set of keys to his new home, assuring him that he can come over as if it were another home to him. Over at the McPhee residence, Pacey and Andie are stopped on their way to the entrance by Mrs. McPhee, who proudly tells Pacey that her son Tim could help him study. Inside, Pacey tries to get Andie to admit whether her mother's condition is improving or not. Not in the mood for this conversation, Andie takes Pacey to her bedroom where they plan to study for the next few hours. Meanwhile, Dawson stops by Joey's house on his way home and gives her half of the award money. Joey asks Dawson what his new movie is about. Dawson tells her he's planning on making a love story with a happy ending. Just as he's leaving, Jack arrives to pick up Joey for their date. Dawson glares at Jack before heading back to his boat. Afterwards, Dawson goes over to Jen's home and accepts her invitation to Todd's party.

image While Dawson and Jen arrive at the party, Joey and Jack eat and sit by the lake, watching the lightning crack in the sky. They discuss the look that Dawson gave Jack earlier. Jack tells Joey that can understand what Dawson must be going through, considering the fact that he was losing Joey. Meanwhile, Andie gets a call from Molly's Market, informing her that her mother is causing another scene. Andie and Pacey arrive in time to witness Mrs. McPhee talking to a group of bewildered customers about her husband, who abandoned the family a while ago. Andie can't convince her mother to come with her, but Pacey steps in and talks Mrs. McPhee into making him a sandwich back at home. Back at the party, Dawson watches Jen take in drink after drink, then go upstairs with Chris and Todd. Dawson follows them up the stairs and into the bedroom. Seeing Chris and Todd about to have sex with Jen, Dawson rushes in and carries her out of the house. Furious, Jen orders Dawson to put her down, which he doesn't do until they reach the lawn. Jen criticizes Dawson for interfering with her good time and always trying to be the hero. Jen tells him that she can't live like he does since she doesn't carry the same hope. Dawson comforts Jen by telling her that she is special and not like everybody else. While Dawson takes Jen over to his father's place to spend the night, Andie and Pacey tuck Mrs. McPhee in for the night. Andie tells Pacey how grateful and proud she is of him, but Pacey has only one thing on his mind right now: studying. Elsewhere, Jack kisses Joey after walking her home. Joey isn't mad this time, and she tells Jack that she had a good time. Over at Mitch's new home, Dawson makes amends with his father before checking up on Jen. When Jen asks him what the new movie is about, Dawson describes it as a love story, although he hasn't finished writing it yet. Jen suggests that he avoid any happy endings for realism. While Jen crashes for the night, Joey climbs into Dawson's empty bedroom. Not expecting Dawson to be out for the night, Joey quietly leaves.

Written by Shelley Meals & Darin Goldberg
Directed by Joe Napolitano
Originally Aired Wednesday, November 25, 1998 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network

Synopsis Written By Alan Hufana