Minutes before his sixteenth birthday officially begins, Dawson Leery evaluates everything he's been through in the past year. As Pacey listens, Dawson vows to get Joey back. The next morning, Mitch comes over to uphold the tradition of cooking breakfast for Dawson on his birthday. As Dawson sits down to eat, Mitch leads Gale out onto the porch to discuss birthday present plans. Gale informs Mitch that she already bought her own gift for Dawson: a Ford Explorer. Inside, Dawson overhears his parents arguing about making these kinds of decisions without consulting each other. At the Ice House, Pacey and Joey go over the plan to keep Dawson out of the house while his surprise party gets set up. Joey will be in charge of preparations, while Pacey must find a way to bring Dawson home earlier than usual. During their conversation, Jack walks by. Joey avoids eye contact, and Jack walks away to finish setting up the tables outside. When Pacey asks Joey how she's holding up, she insists that she's fine. Outside, Abby takes a seat at one of the tables with two of her friends, Tracy and Kelly. Abby introduces them to Jack, and they immediately recognize him as the first gay student to ever come out at Capeside High.
Andie meets with a therapist for the first time. Observing Andie's obsession with perfection, the therapist advises her to enjoy one night of flaws. Over at Jen's house, Ty shows off his ability to sense whenever Jen is watching him, even when his back is turned. They kiss, but Ty breaks off the kiss suddenly, leaving Jen slightly confused. Back at the Ice House, Bessie reminds Joey that she broke up Dawson to find herself. Jumping straight into a relationship with Jack may have gone against her original plans. Dawson arrives to speak with Joey. Outside, he comes clean with Joey, admitting that he wants her back. When Joey doesn't see things his way, Dawson stalks off.
Later that night, Joey begins preparations for the surprise party while Dawson is out with Pacey and Andie. Soon, all of the guests arrive, including Abby and her friends. When Jack shows up, Abby follows him around. She tells Jack that all people have a natural inclination towards bisexuality, and that there's no such thing as straight or gay. Jack tries to tune her out at first, but he gradually warms up to her beliefs. Elsewhere in the party, Ty abruptly ends another kiss with Jen, who then asks him what's going on. Aware of how close they've been getting, Ty doesn't know how far the kisses will go.
Meanwhile, Andie talks Pacey into driving the three of them to a club. When Pacey takes a washroom break, Andie tricks the waitress into bringing a couple Cokes with shots of rum for Dawson and herself. Although they've never had alcohol before, Dawson and Andie have no trouble keeping the drinks coming. Because it's open mike night at the club, Dawson and Andie take the stage and sing about all of their personal woes. Pacey watches, both amused and disturbed by his friends' odd behavior. After they return to the table, Pacey takes a sip from one of their drinks and realizes what's been going on. When Andie tells the waitress that they're really sixteen years old, Pacey gets them out of there and heads back to the Leery household.
In one of the quieter rooms, Mitch lets Gale know that he always figured Dawson's first car would be an old jalopy. Little do they know that Dawson's new car is currently home to a heavy make-out session between Ty and Jen. Sensing that things may be going too far, Ty stops and tells Jen that he doesn't believe in premarital sex. Never intending to go that far with him at that moment, Jen gets out of the car. Outside, Ty mentions her sordid reputation, which infuriates Jen. With Andie and Pacey close behind, Dawson finally arrives at his party. Joey suspects that Dawson and Andie might be drunk, which Pacey readily confirms. Not wanting Mitch and Gale to see their son like this, Joey walks Dawson up to his bedroom. Instead of an empty bed for him to lie down on, they find Jack and Abby kissing. While Joey is frozen in shock, Dawson bursts out into laughter. Joey heads back downstairs, and Jack follows her out. After Abby has a few laughs over Dawson's looser self, she heads down the stairs and brags to her friends about successfully corrupting Jack. Dawson soon goes back downstairs, just in time to make his birthday wish. Gale smells the alcohol on Dawson's breath, but she can't stop her son from publicly announcing his personal problems with his parents, Pacey, Jen, Jack, and finally Joey. When he starts kissing Joey, she shoves Dawson away, sending him face-first into the birthday cake.
After all the guests have left, Dawson and Andie's inexperience with drinking catches up with them, sending them straight to the bathroom to vomit non-stop. Finding a rare moment to breathe, Dawson and Andie pledge to never drink alcohol again. On the front porch, Gale tells Mitch that she's decided to return the new car to the dealer. She then agrees to Mitch's plan to get an old car for Dawson, together. Gale suggests that they take care of the down payment only, forcing Dawson to get a job and pay the rest off by himself. Meanwhile, Jack explains to Joey how he ended up in the bedroom with Abby. His experience with Abby has convinced Jack that he really is gay, and Joey assures him that he has his friends' support. Jen finds Ty waiting on her porch, hoping to apologize and make things up. Ty tries to make Jen see that his feelings and desires for her conflict with everything he's been taught to believe since birth. Jen retaliates by insisting that she felt strongly about him and hoped they could have a pure relationship. She then shuts the door, leaving Ty outside in the cold.
Back at Dawson's house, Joey finds the birthday boy alone in
his bedroom. She forgives him, then lets Dawson know that everybody else
will have no problems getting over what he said. Dawson asks Joey why
she went straight to Jack after their break-up. Joey explains that she
hoped a relationship with someone who wasn't so close could help define
who she really is. She then reiterates her intent to find herself before
doing anything else. Dawson tells Joey that he loves her. Joey tells him
that she loves him too... but not before Dawson passes out from exhaustion
and falls asleep. Outside, first snow falls from the sky, bringing with
it the hope and confidence that Dawson and Joey so desperately want.
Written by Heidi Ferrer
Directed by David Semel
Originally Aired Wednesday, March 3, 1999 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network
Synopsis Written By Alan Hufana