"A Perfect Wedding"

Still stung by Miss Kennedy's review of his film, Dawson gives his mom a screening. After Gale delivers the predictable, positive review of the movie, Dawson expresses doubt over his filmmaking talents. Gale tries to convince Dawson that he can't let one person's opinion hold him back. When the subject of Mitch's new job comes up, Gale admits that their separation has gone on too long, and she misses Dawson's father.

Joey wakes up the next morning and finds her dad, Mike Potter, in the kitchen, making breakfast. Bessie walks in shortly and informs Joey that their father made arrangements for the Ice House to cater a friend's upcoming wedding at the Athenaeum. Joey doesn't approve of the idea, but Bessie insists that this will get them out of debt. At school, Joey tells Jack about her father's parole and the wedding job. Jack notices that something else is on Joey's mind. She explains that her father's presence at a high-profile setting this soon after his release from prison doesn't make sense. Inside the hallways of Capeside High, Jack fills Dawson and Pacey in on the wedding details, asking for their help as servers. Unaware of Mr. Potter's parole, Dawson hears the news from Jack first. Elsewhere, Jen tracks down Abby and expresses her displeasure with her own role in life. Jen confesses that she spent her best times in the past year with none other than Abby, who decides for the both of them that they need to make their own fun. Outside, Pacey persuades Abby to help out with at the wedding, despite her objections to marital ceremonies. At the Ice House, Dawson welcomes Mike Potter back. After Mike heads into the kitchen, Dawson and Joey overhear two ladies expressing their disgust over Mr. Potter's return to Capeside.

At the Athenaeum, Joey hands out the various assignments to the servers. In the main room, Dawson greets his mother as she arrives. Gale tells her son that she intends to get her husband back before the night is over. However, Mitch has other plans on his mind, as evidenced by his arrival with Miss Kennedy. In charge of the wedding cake, Pacey and Andie continue their discussion about weddings. Upset over being forced by Pacey to attend this wedding, Andie accidentally knocks the top of the wedding cake to the floor, right before Joey's panicking eyes. Dawson finds the bride alone in the one of the rooms, completely hysterical. She claims that she can't go through with the wedding, fearing that it could be the biggest mistake of her life. Without success, Dawson tries to calm her down and talk her out of splitting. Shortly, Jack knocks on the door, wondering what's going on. Dawson steps outside and explains the situation. Jack offers to help, and they both head back into the room, where the bride has locked herself inside the bathroom. Meanwhile, Jen tells Abby about the wedding that she wasn't invited to help out with. Seeing an opportunity for mischief, Abby devises a plan to crash the party. Back at the Athenaeum, Joey is in a fit over the present situation. Bessie tries to assure her sister that everything will be okay, but Joey has had enough of this. She tells Bessie that they have no idea what they're doing and should never have agreed to cater the wedding in the first place. Joey then blames their father for getting them into the mess, claiming that he can't possibly fix all the mistakes he's made in the past in the course of one day. Bessie turns and walks away, noticing what Joey does not. Turning around, Joey sees her father standing in the doorway. Disappointed, he walks off.

After making Dawson and Jack wait endlessly outside, the bride unlocks the bathroom door. Jack convinces her that the search for a perfect love is a hopeless one, and that she shouldn't give up what she has now for something that doesn't exist. Motivated by Jack's words, the bride finally walks down the aisle, joining her waiting groom at the end of it. While the reception begins, Joey talks to her father in the kitchen. She tries to take back what she said earlier, but Mike knows that his daughter was right. Meanwhile, Andie does her best to prevent the bride from getting anywhere near the cake while Pacey tries to fix the mess. After the bride walks away, Andie laments over the disaster that they're responsible for. Realizing that Andie's true opinions are far different than what she proclaimed, Pacey vows to cease work on the cake until she admits her love for weddings. Seeing that Pacey is not joking about walking out, Andie caves and confesses her weak spot. Elsewhere, Dawson talks to Jack about how Joey used to come into his bedroom whenever she needed help with anything. In response, Jack claims that Dawson and Joey will always be soul mates. Jack makes it clear to Dawson that he's known Joey longer than anybody else, and that he needs to help her with all that she's going through right now.

Dawson informs his mother that Mitch's date for the evening happens to be his film teacher, Miss Kennedy. Mitch walks up and introduces his date to Gale. Dawson pulls his father aside to talk about what's going on. Mitch believes that he needs to live his own life, regardless of how it might affect Gale. Spotting Jen and Abby amidst the crowd of wedding guests, Andie orders them to leave before they cause any trouble. On their way out, Abby grabs a bottle of champagne. Away from the reception party, Dawson finds Joey and talks her into telling him what's wrong. Dawson then reminds his friend of how strong she's been ever since Mr. Potter was sent to prison. Joey listens as Dawson urges her to keep that strength alive, now more than ever. In the kitchen, Joey tells her father that she doesn't care what everybody has to say about their family. All that matters to Joey is that he's home with them now. Breaking down into tears, Mike Potter hugs his daughter tightly. However, when Joey tries to take him outside of the kitchen to mingle with the guests, Mike tells her that he's not ready yet. Outside, Jen and Abby walk by the docks, repeatedly taking swigs from the champagne bottle. After climbing the stairs to one of the lookout stations, Abby claims that she'll never be completely happy, for no matter where she is, she'll always want to be somewhere else. Standing on the railing, Abby takes the bottle out of Jen's hand and lifts it to her lips. She stumbles and falls to the railing, hitting her head on the hard wood. As Abby clutches her bruise and props herself up on the railing, Jen laughs uncontrollably at her clumsy friend. Drunk and in pain, Abby falls off of the railing and into the water below. Jen rushes to the railing and looks down, screaming Abby's name. When Abby doesn't resurface, Jen jumps down into the water.

Back inside the Athenaeum, Dawson sees his mother sitting at one of the tables, depressed. Setting his drink tray down, Dawson asks Gale to dance with him. Mike Potter, out of his chef's outfit and in a dark suit, walks into the main room, looking for Joey. As they start to dance, Bessie walks in and smiles in pleasant surprise upon seeing her father dancing with her sister. During their dance, Mike notices Dawson looking in their direction. He leads Joey over to Dawson and Gale, who greets Mike. Mike asks Gale for a dance, leaving Dawson with Joey on the dance floor. Joey thanks Dawson for everything he's done, said, and been. Joey tells Dawson that she loves him, and Dawson returns the sentiment. Sensing a common desire in each other's eyes, Dawson and Joey join lips and kiss, never missing a step in their dance. Mike, Gale, and even Jack smile as they see the two best friends back in each other's arms. While everybody enjoys the rest of their magical evening, Jen can only cry and mourn as Abby, dead from drowning, is sealed inside a body bag and loaded into an ambulance. As the paramedics leave, Jen remains motionless, wrapped in a warm blanket, crying in the cold, dark night.

Written by Mike White
Directed by Greg Prange
Originally Aired Wednesday, April 28, 1999 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network

Synopsis Written By Alan Hufana