"Ch...ch...ch...Changes"

Dawson is struggling with his film class final, for which his assignment is to compare and contrast Humphrey Bogart's character arc in Casablanca to one in his own life. Joey suggests that he interview somebody, which Dawson thinks is a great idea - and he turns the camera to Joey as his subject. She politely declines. The next day in school, he tries to get Jen to talk about the changes she's gone through this year, but she's not interested in being his subject either. Dawson tries to catch Jack, who's having a rough day, and also turns Dawson down. When Dawson sits down with Pacey, he thinks he might have something, but the talk turns personal - more personal than Dawson thought it would be - and he turns off the camera. Pacey reveals that he feels he's failing Andie when she needs him most.

Back at the McPhee household, Andie comes downstairs to find her father, who explains he's there because he's worried about her. She protests, saying she's fine, but her father has decided to take her and Jack back home to Providence with him anyway. Andie doesn't want to go. Feeling she can get help in Capeside and still be with Pacey, she tells Pacey, who begins to think up a strategy to convince Mr. McPhee to let Andie stay. When Pacey questions him, and tries to convince him that staying in Capeside would be good for Andie, Mr. McPhee lets it be known that his mind is made up, and that they'll all be leaving.

Jen, meanwhile, is contemplating her own future, and thinking about leaving town as well, to go back home to New York. Jack suggests that she's changed, and maybe her parents have changed, too. Jen calls New York to inquire about the situation at home.

When Dawson comes across Joey's dad working on a renovation project in the restaurant, he realizes Mr. Potter might be an ideal subject for his film project. Mr. Potter agrees to be interviewed, and Dawson rolls the camera, but when talk turns to Mr. Potter's relationship with his daughters, Joey walks away. Dawson takes a break from filming, and Joey lets him know that she's upset that her father is talking to Dawson about this. She thinks that he should turn the camera on himself, but he admits that he's scared to - because he's afraid he's not enough for her, and he never will be, and that if he interviews himself and opens up, she'll realize it. Joey protests, saying that not only is he enough for him, but that she loves him, she believes in him, she is proud of him, and she is proud to be with him. The only thing missing from her fairy tale, she says, is a white picket fence.

Jack tries to convince his dad that staying in Capeside with them is what's best for the family, but Mr. McPhee isn't changing his mind. Again, he encourages his father to at least let Andie have a choice. Upstairs, Andie and Pacey are talking, and Pacey suggest that they get out of the house and go on a real date, a night out on the town, with just the two of them. She agrees, and Pacey goes home to get changed. While he's gone, Andie talks with Jack. She tells him that her father has given her a choice, and she's thought a lot about the decision. She tells Jack that she's thinking seriously about leaving - not because she doesn't love everyone in Capeside, but because she does - and she really wants to get better so that she doesn't drag everyone down. Most days, she explains, she fine, but some days, like the days when she imagined that she saw her dead brother Tim, she is definitely not fine. She doesn't want to have those days any more, and she doesn't want to be a burden to everyone. Jack decides that he's staying, for himself, rather than sacrificing for everyone else. When he tells his father, Mr. McPhee is upset, and says that he blames himself and not being around enough for the fact that Jack is gay. Jack explains that he had nothing to do with it, and that it isn't a choice. It's who he is.

Pacey returns, and he and Andie go on their date, returning to the site of their first kiss. They remember that first kiss, when her knees were shaking, and his heart was pounding in his chest, boom-boom, boom-boom. Nevertheless, Andie tells him that she's decided to leave tomorrow. They hold each other in a long embrace.

As Jen prepares to get on a bus, Jack tries to stop her. Jen is prepared to go home, even though her mom informed her that now was not a very good time for her to reenter her life, and her dad said he's still getting over her last stay with them. Jack tells her that going back to them is no place for them, that they are incapable of love, which is even worse than not being loved. He convinces her not to get on the bus but to come back to his place instead. He says he could use a roommate.

The morning after their talk, Dawson wakes Joey up and brings her out back in her pajamas. A white picket fence, or at least a section of one, is waiting for her there. Dawson stayed up most of the night making it himself. When Dawson goes to return Mr. Potter's tools, though, he sees into the back room, where it appears that Mr. Potter is dealing drugs again.

Though they said there would be no goodbyes, as Andie and her father prepare to leave Jack behind, Pacey comes running up to say thank you to Andie before she leaves. Andie asks for a kiss. Like their first kiss, her knees are shaking, and his heart is pounding in his chest, boom-boom, boom-boom.

Written by Dana Baratta
Directed by Lou Antonio
Originally Aired Wednesday, May 19, 1999 8pm/7pm C
The WB Television Network