List of Dawson's Creek episodes

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Dawson's Creek, an American television series, was created by Kevin Williamson, who was the executive producer until the end of the show's second season. Paul Stupin shared the executive producer role until Williamson left, and remained until the series finale along with Tom Kapinos and Greg Prange. It is produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television.

The series stars James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery, an aspiring film maker. Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson portray his childhood best friends Joey Potter and Pacey Witter respectively. Michelle Williams plays Jen Lindley, the new girl who moved from New York City to Capeside. Kerr Smith plays Jack McPhee, a teen who struggles with his sexuality; Meredith Monroe plays overachiever Andie McPhee; and Busy Philipps plays Joey's college roommate Audrey Liddell. Rounding out the cast are Mary-Margaret Humes and John Wesley Shipp as Gail and Mitch Leery, Dawson's parents; Nina Repeta as Bessie Potter, Joey's older sister and legal guardian due to their mother's fatal cancer and father's incarceration for blue-collar crime; and Mary Beth Peil as Evelyn "Grams" Ryan, Jen's maternal grandmother and legal guardian in Capeside.

Between January 20, 1998, and May 14, 2003, Dawson's Creek aired six seasons on the American television network The WB, the first a mid-season replacement and the following five as regular seasons. One hundred and twenty-eight episodes were produced over the show's six-year run, and concluded with a two-hour series finale. All six seasons are available on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4.

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113January 20, 1998 (1998-01-20)May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19)
222October 7, 1998 (1998-10-07)May 26, 1999 (1999-05-26)
323September 29, 1999 (1999-09-29)May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)
423October 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)May 23, 2001 (2001-05-23)
523October 10, 2001 (2001-10-10)May 15, 2002 (2002-05-15)
624October 2, 2002 (2002-10-02)May 14, 2003 (2003-05-14)


Season 1: 1998[edit]

"No. in series" refers to the episode's number in the overall series; "No. in season" refers to the episode's number in this particular season. The first season, 13 episodes, ran from January 20 to May 19, 1998. The episodes were shot in 1997, before the series premiered.[1]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Steve MinerKevin WilliamsonJanuary 20, 1998 (1998-01-20)1006.75[2]
Film addict Dawson is making an amateur movie with his friends Pacey and Joey when filming is interrupted by the arrival of beautiful Jen, the granddaughter of Dawson's next-door neighbor. Pacey develops a crush on Tamara Jacobs (Leann Hunley), an older woman he meets at the video shop, but is stunned to discover that she is his new English teacher. As the friends start high school, Joey discovers Dawson's mother, Gail, is having an affair, a fact that neither Dawson or his father, Mitch, know.
22"Dance"Steve MinerKevin WilliamsonJanuary 27, 1998 (1998-01-27)1018.04[3]
Dawson casts Jen as the new leading lady in his film, but creates a messy off-camera scene during her date at the school dance. Meanwhile, Joey confronts Mrs. Leery about her liaisons and Pacey gets under Tamara's skin with his public flirting.
33"Kiss"Michael UnoRob ThomasFebruary 3, 1998 (1998-02-03)1027.34[4]
While working on the film class's movie, team player Dawson has a hard time being stuck in the background. Meanwhile, as he plots to give Jen the "perfect kiss", Joey is swept away by a handsome stranger and Pacey tries to graduate to manhood with the help of teacher Tamara.
44"Discovery"Steve MinerJon Harmon FeldmanFebruary 10, 1998 (1998-02-10)1036.48[5]
Dawson learns of his mother's affair, and upon discovering that Joey already knew, he turns to Jen for comfort and advice. He regrets doing so when she tells him about her past and the real reason she moved to Capeside. Meanwhile, Pacey reveals to Dawson that he lost his virginity to Ms Jacobs.
55"Hurricane"Lou AntonioKevin Williamson & Dana BarattaFebruary 17, 1998 (1998-02-17)1048.04[6]
When a major hurricane moves inland, several characters take refuge in the Leery home, where Dawson rages at Jen about her past, and Mitch storms out after Gail confesses to her affair. A tormented Dawson is left to deal with the fallout. Elsewhere, Pacey conducts sabotage as his brother Doug (Dylan Neal) attempts to secure a date with Ms. Jacobs when they are all trapped at her beach house during the hurricane.
66"Baby"Steve MinerStory by : Joanne Waters
Teleplay by : Jon Harmon Feldman
February 24, 1998 (1998-02-24)1057.34[7]
Another student overhears Pacey and Dawson discussing Pacey's his abusive relationship with their English teacher, and within hours the rumors are all around school and the rest of Capeside. Ms. Jacobs and Pacey find themselves in legal trouble before the day is out. Over at Dawson's house, Bessie gives birth to baby Alexander, aided by Joey, Dawson and Jen and an unlikely ally, Evelyn Ryan.
77"Detention"Allan ArkushMike WhiteMarch 3, 1998 (1998-03-03)1067.52[8]
Dawson, Pacey, Joey and Jen all wind up spending a Saturday in detention at Capeside High under the supervision of Mrs. Tringle, the school librarian. The day takes on a "Breakfast Club" type air as Abby Morgan (Monica Keena), the school trouble-maker, stirs the pot by initiating a telling game of truth or dare to break up the monotony of the day. Joey's secret longing for Dawson threatens to reveal itself.
88"Boyfriend"Michael FieldsStory by : Charles Rosin & Karen Rosin
Teleplay by : Jon Harmon Feldman & Dana Baratta
March 10, 1998 (1998-03-10)1077.50[9]
Dawson feels the heat when Jen is visited by an old boyfriend from New York. Elsewhere, a guy creeps on Joey at a beach party and she is almost sexually assaulted, saved only by Pacey's intervention. In the Leery family, tensions between Mitch and Gail reach boiling point as they attempt to rebuild their marriage.
99"Roadtrip"Steve RobmanRob ThomasMarch 17, 1998 (1998-03-17)1087.05[10]
Hoping to get over Jen, Dawson agrees to skip school and join Pacey and Billy (Jen's ex) on a road trip. The three of them end up in a bar where Dawson finds some emotional clarity. Meanwhile, Jen handles damage control after Joey becomes the subject of a wild rumor at school concerning her having sex with a boy named Warren (Eric Balfour). The two of them join forces to perpetuate an act of revenge for the slander.
1010"Double Date"David SemelJon Harmon FeldmanApril 28, 1998 (1998-04-28)1107.12[11]
A double date finds Jen and Cliff (Scott Foley) joined by Dawson and Mary-Beth, whom Dawson asks out solely as part of a ploy to make Jen jealous. Pacey and Joey work together on a school project, with a strange turn of events leading Pacey to admit possible feelings he may have for Joey. He later discusses this with Dawson, who is passionately against Pacey pursuing his emotions.
1111"The Scare"Rodman FlenderMike WhiteMay 5, 1998 (1998-05-05)1097.26[12]
Friday the 13th dawns in Capeside, and Dawson plans a séance for the group. While shopping for supplies for the evening, they meet a distressed woman in the middle of a nasty row with her boyfriend. She accompanies them back to Dawson's house. In addition to being spooked by the woman and the séance, emotions are heightened by the knowledge that a serial killer may be headed towards Capeside.
1212"Beauty Contest"Arvin BrownDana BarattaMay 12, 1998 (1998-05-12)1117.80[13]
Capeside's annual Miss Windjammer beauty pageant gets turned on its ear when it draws some unexpected contestants. Jen tries to persuade Joey to enter; she is reluctant until she learns the winner receives a $5,000 prize for college tuition. Even more shockingly, Pacey enters, and in the process exposes some hypocrisy.
1313"Decisions"David SemelStory by : Jon Harmon Feldman
Teleplay by : Mike White & Dana Baratta
May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19)1127.89[14]
In the season finale, Dawson and Joey are forced to confront their true feelings. Joey visits her father Mike (Gareth Williams) in prison and debates leaving to go to France. Jen's grandfather dies and she turns to Dawson for comfort; however, the season ends with Dawson and Joey finally kissing.

Season 2: 1998–1999[edit]

The second season ran from October 7, 1998 to May 26, 1999. This season takes place during the characters' sophomore year of high school.

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
141"The Kiss"David SemelJon Harmon FeldmanOctober 7, 1998 (1998-10-07)2017.93[15]
After their kiss at the end of season one, Dawson and Joey have doubts about the future of their relationship as Joey is still mulling over plans to go to France. Meanwhile, Pacey plays a trick on new girl Andie, but later finds himself the victim of her revenge trick on him.
152"Crossroads"Dennie GordonDana BarattaOctober 14, 1998 (1998-10-14)2027.26[16]
Dawson violates Joey's privacy by reading her journal. Dawson unreasonably gets upset about what he finds, and forgets Pacey's 16th birthday. Andie gets her brother Jack a job at the Icehouse. Meanwhile, Abby and Jen start to bond. Jen tells her that she's is in love with Dawson and wants to win him back.
163"Alternative Lifestyles"David SemelMike WhiteOctober 21, 1998 (1998-10-21)2037.75[17]
An economics class project pairs Dawson and Jen as husband and wife, Pacey and Andie as a married couple and Joey as a single mother with two children. Jen tries to use the project to get closer to Dawson. Pacey gets to know more about Andie's troubled family life and Joey begins to see that she has a chance of success in the real world while doing her project solo.
174"Tamara's Return"Jesus TrevinoMike WhiteOctober 28, 1998 (1998-10-28)2045.96[18]
Tamara Jacobs, who left town after the news of her relationship with Pacey was exposed, shares an awkward reunion with her former lover. The encounter triggers old emotions in Pacey and curiosity in Andie, who sheepishly confesses to Dawson that she has feelings for Pacey. Meanwhile, Jack and Joey bond over their shared interest in art.
185"Full Moon Rising"David SemelDana BarattaNovember 4, 1998 (1998-11-04)2055.88[19]
Parental problems cast a shadow over Dawson and Joey's new romance. Pacey is troubled when he sees the McPhee's homelife and struggles to comfort Andie when she unloads her emotions onto him. Jen has a date that makes Abby jealous and Joey and Jack share a late night kiss.
196"The Dance"Lou AntonioJon Harmon FeldmanNovember 11, 1998 (1998-11-11)2066.95[20]
Two tragedies rock Dawson's world. First he learns the awful truth about his parents' marriage. Then, at the Homecoming dance, he witnesses a heated moment between Joey and Jack, during which their illicit kiss is revealed. Dawson is heartbroken as his lifelong friendship and newfound romance with Joey is shattered. The big night also introduces Jen and Jack for the first time. Pacey tries to open his heart to Andie, but something she witnesses ends up hurting her.
207"The All-Nighter"David SemelGreg BerlantiNovember 18, 1998 (1998-11-18)2076.42[21]
Facing the scariest English test of their lives, the gang has an all night study session at wealthy, horny Chris Wolfe's house. During the night, secrets are revealed and friendships are altered. The truth about Pacey's "affair" with Tamara is publicly revealed, much to Andie's horror. Dawson and Joey discuss their relationship.
218"The Reluctant Hero"Joe NapolitanoShelley Meals & Darin GoldbergNovember 25, 1998 (1998-11-25)2086.76[22]
Joey's "semi-date" with Jack prompts a resentful Dawson to join Jen at a party where he carries her like a caveman outside to stop her from doing some things she'll regret. Pacey proves his worth when Andie's mother has an episode during their study session. Mitch fails to understand Dawson's views on their divorce.
229"The Election"Patrick NorrisDarin Goldberg & Shelley MealsDecember 16, 1998 (1998-12-16)2096.62[23]
Andie's decision to run for student council takes a dark turn when Abby begins advertising her family situation. Jen helps Dawson take steps to deal with his powerlessness over his parents divorce and tries to teach him how to be a teenager. Jack shuts out Joey during a family crisis.
2310"High Risk Behavior"James Whitmore, Jr.Jenny BicksJanuary 13, 1999 (1999-01-13)2106.80[24]
Epic tryouts for Dawson's new movie prompt a steamy dialogue between him and Jen that could recast her role in his love life. Jack poses nude for Joey's art project, which prompts an intimate moment between the two of them. Pacey sets out to give Andie her dream date and to make their night truly memorable. Andie collects her anti-anxiety medication and lies to Pacey that it's for her mother.
2411"Sex, She Wrote"Nick MarckMike White & Greg BerlantiJanuary 20, 1999 (1999-01-20)2116.43[25]
Abby and Chris find an anonymous note at school, revealing that one of three class couples featured in the previous episode ended the night by having sex. Abby sets out to expose the affair. Working from clues about Joey's night of nude sketching with Jack, Dawson's steamy stop over at Jen's, and Pacey's bed and breakfast trip with Andie, Abby calls together her list of suspects and reveals the dirty secrets of Capeside. Jen is furious and berates Abby for her endless cruelty to other people.
2512"Uncharted Waters"Scott PaulinDana Baratta & Mike WhiteJanuary 27, 1999 (1999-01-27)2126.16[26]
The gang explores uncharted waters when Dawson and Pacey go on a father-son fishing trip with Mitch Leery and Pacey's critical and abusive father, Sheriff John Witter, who uses the trip to tell Pacey how useless he is. But tensions really begin to rise when Pacey invites Jack along, who tries to make amends with a reluctant Dawson. Meanwhile, Jen, Joey, Andie and Abby spend a day with Gail doing a report on teenage girls in the consumer world, with Abby naturally not passing up the opportunity to insult and provoke conflicts and tension between Mrs. Leery and the girls.
2613"His Leading Lady"David SemelShelley Meals & Darin GoldbergFebruary 3, 1999 (1999-02-03)2136.19[27]
The filming of Dawson's new movie, Creek Times, brings back memories for the filmmaker and for Joey, who grows to dislike the actress playing her. Andie's emotions are running high and she attempts to break up with Pacey, who refuses to let her dump him. Dawson begins to bond with Jack.
2714"To Be or Not to Be..."Sandy SmolanGreg BerlantiFebruary 10, 1999 (1999-02-10)2146.84[28]
In a compelling two-part episode, the Capeside High School gossip mill kicks into overdrive after Jack bears his soul in an English assignment and is forced to expose his innermost secrets while reading his poem aloud in class; the poem alludes to feelings that Jack may have towards another boy. Dawson, Joey, and Andie are shaken by the implications of what it all means. Meanwhile, Pacey tries to defend Jack in the face of an adversarial teacher, Mr. Peterson, who forced Jack to read the poem aloud in class, and Jen finds her latest suitor, Tyson "Ty" Hicks, is full of surprises. Jack later tells Joey that the poem meant nothing sexual and that it may have been about his deceased brother.
2815"...That Is the Question"Greg PrangeKevin Williamson & Greg BerlantiFebruary 17, 1999 (1999-02-17)2155.93[29]
On Dawson's advice, Joey attempts to heal the wounds of her new romance with Jack, which were left exposed by the poem and the resulting innuendo. Jack again reassures her. However, when Jack confronts his innermost secrets, he is forced to confront the fact that he is in fact gay, formally coming out to his supportive sister and less-supportive father. Elsewhere, Pacey takes on Mr. Peterson and challenges his abusive teaching methods. His insistence on making things right in the school alienate Andie, and the two of them must work hard to put their relationship back together.
2916"Be Careful What You Wish For"David SemelHeidi FerrerMarch 3, 1999 (1999-03-03)2166.45[30]
On the night of Dawson's 16th birthday, Dawson and Andie follow her therapist's advice and throw themselves into an unabashed night of recklessness. They arrive at a blues bar, and unbeknownst to Pacey, Andie and Dawson start drinking. Meanwhile, back at the Leery house, Joey is putting together a surprise party for Dawson, and Jack must own up to her about his orientation. Jen and Ty face up to their potentially irreconcilable differences, and Gail and Mitch come to a decision about how to raise their son in light of their separation.
3017"Psychic Friends"Patrick NorrisDana BarattaMarch 10, 1999 (1999-03-10)2176.42[31]
Dawson's confidence as a filmmaker is shaken when Miss Kennedy, the new film teacher, turns out to be a movie studio executive on sabbatical in Capeside, and gives his amateur movie a scathing review. The future is unsure for Joey as well, when a psychic advises her to be open to every new opportunity that crosses her path. Andie also visits the psychic and is told less than positive things about her future.
3118"A Perfect Wedding"Greg PrangeMike WhiteApril 28, 1999 (1999-04-28)2185.26[32]
With Joey's father suddenly back in town, Bessie and he decide to expand the Icehouse to also cater for weddings. Needing help, they enlist Andie, who says she hates weddings, and Pacey, who loves them. Joey doesn't think her father, recently out of jail, should be seen so publicly in Capeside. Dawson feels sorry for his mother, who arrives to the wedding alone, a feeling that is exacerbated when his father shows up with Miss Kennedy. Jack and Dawson battle to help a scared bride, while Andie and Pacey accidentally damage the wedding cake and then scramble to fix it. Dawson and Joey reconnect romantically. Jen and Abby crash the wedding, but when Andie kicks them out, they head to the local docks, where Abby, half-paralyzed with drink, falls into the ocean and drowns.
3219"Abby Morgan, Rest in Peace"David SemelMike WhiteMay 5, 1999 (1999-05-05)2195.25[33]
Abby's death shocks everyone, and all of Capeside is united in mourning over a girl none of them liked. All the hypocrisy is making Jen crazy and in a later discussion with Grams, she denounces God and angers Grams in the process. When making a speech at the funeral, she further embarrasses Grams by announcing that Abby taught her the falseness of God. The funeral dredges up memories of Andie's deceased brother, and Andie's emotional reactions scare Pacey. Abby's mother asks Andie to give the official eulogy, incorrectly believing they were friends; Andie struggles to give a speech that is both honest and respectful, eventually settling on the idea that Abby's abrasive attitude helped Andie grow stronger. Joey is reluctant to go to the funeral, since she hasn't been to one since her mother died years earlier. While at the graveyard, she and Dawson decide to visit her mother for the first time. Grams is so disgusted with Jen's speech at the funeral that she packs her bags and tells her to find somewhere else to live.
3320"Reunited"Melanie MayronGreg BerlantiMay 12, 1999 (1999-05-12)2206.17[34]
Dawson decides to take Joey out to dinner to celebrate their first month together. Mitch Leery also makes reservations at the same restaurant, and when the management fail to realise there are two Leery parties, all four are forced to sit together. Miss Kennedy, Dawson and Joey fight causing Miss Kennedy to leave. Later, Jen (who is now living at the Leery house) arrives with Gail, and she and Joey conspire to get Gail and Mitch together again. Alas, the plan is unsuccessful. Also reunited are Andie and her deceased brother. Pacey and Jack catch on that she thinks he is with her, but it is just a figment of her imagination. After a showdown with Andie, Jack and Pacey engineer a plan to aid her medical recovery.
3421"Ch...Ch...Changes"Lou AntonioDana BarattaMay 19, 1999 (1999-05-19)2215.23[35]
All of the gang's lives go through changes. After Andie began seeing her dead brother Tim in the last episode, Jack and Pacey agree to call Mr. McPhee, who announces that he wants his daughter to be treated in Providence, not Capeside. Andie and Pacey must decide if Andie's mental health is more important than being together; Jack also must decide whether or not to go with Andie. His decision is solidified when his father implies that Jack's homosexuality can be 'treated.' Dawson, while helping Mr. Potter extend the Ice House, interviews him for a film project about how Mr. Potter turned his life around and transformed from drug dealer to model citizen. Dawson then inadvertently catches Mr. Potter in the act of a drug deal. Jen decides to make a change so she calls her mother and inquires about returning home or visiting. She is upset to be told that it is an inconvenient time. She ends up moving in with Jack, as she has no other place to go. Andie leaves, and Jack and Pacey watch her go.
3522"Parental Discretion Advised"Greg PrangeGreg BerlantiMay 26, 1999 (1999-05-26)2226.32[36]
Dawson is unsure about whether to tell Joey about her father's drug dealing. Sheriff Witter stakes out the Ice House, believing that Mr. Potter is back to his old tricks. When the gang is studying in the restaurant, one of Mr. Potter's unruly competitors sets it on fire with everyone still inside, increasing Dawson's anguish. Gail tells Mitch that she has been offered a new job in Philadelphia, and that she intends to accept it, with Mitch moving back into the Leery house to supervise Dawson. Pacey becomes depressed now that Andie is gone; his father mocks his pain, which results in a physical confrontation between them. As a result, Sheriff Witter comes to understand Andie's importance in Pacey's life and that he has been a bad father. Jack becomes worried that Jen is suicidal when she didn't immediately leave the burning Ice House. Later, Grams and Jen reconcile, causing Jen to move back in; Jack joins them, as the McPhee residence has been sold. Dawson has already confronted Mr. Potter about backing out of the drug business; the arson convinces his parents that he should go to the police, but instead he goes to Joey. She aids the police in arresting her father, understanding it is the right thing to do, but afterwards tells Dawson she will never forgive him for his role in forcing her decision, bringing their romance to a second grinding halt.

Season 3: 1999–2000[edit]

Season 3 aired from September 29, 1999 to May 24, 2000 and features twenty-three episodes. This season takes place during the characters' junior year of high school in Capeside. There were several cast changes from season two. Kerr Smith and Meredith Monroe joined the main cast as Jack and Andie McPhee, respectively. The two had previously held special guest star roles in the previous season with Smith appearing in twenty episodes and Monroe appearing in twenty-one.

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
361"Like a Virgin"Greg PrangeTammy AderSeptember 29, 1999 (1999-09-29)3016.05[37]

Dawson returns from spending the summer in Philadelphia with his mother, and on the journey home meets a beautiful blonde girl, Eve (Brittany Daniel), who takes a liking to him. He hasn't spoken to Joey all summer. Jen gets an unexpected offer after she stands up to the school's popular crowd. Mitch becomes the new coach of the high school football team, and leaves for a coaching conference. Eve shows very clear interest in Dawson, and he takes her out on Mitch's motorboat with the intent of impressing her; it works, but during a moment of distraction (which is implied to have involved fellatio), he crashes the boat into the docks. Eve, it transpires, is a stripper, and Pacey, who is trying to distract himself while waiting for Andie's return, hatches a plan to host a house party with her co-workers at the Leery residence to raise repair money. Joey takes that moment to return to Dawson's life. She offers herself to Dawson, but he rejects her.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
372"Homecoming"Melanie MayronGreg BerlantiOctober 6, 1999 (1999-10-06)3025.39[38]
As Pacey and Joey leave Capeside to collect Andie from hospital, Dawson is manipulated by his father and the new school principal, Howard Green (Obba Babatunde), to produce a film about football for the upcoming pep rally. However, the ultimate stars of the film, which is seen by many students and teachers, are Dawson and Eve, who inadvertently appear semi-clothed. The same night, Jen is revealed to be the new head cheerleader and Jack, the new star of the football team, two facts which stun Pacey, Joey and Andie, who are watching from the audience. Pacey is overjoyed to be spending time with Andie, but she doesn't appear as excited to see him, and when confronted by her boyfriend, admits to having had a one-night stand with a fellow hospital attendee over the summer. Jack has an unexpected encounter with his father, who has returned to Capeside.
383"None of the Above"Patrick NorrisBonnie Schneider & Hadley DavisOctober 13, 1999 (1999-10-13)3035.83[39]
Dawson is stunned when Eve presents him with an advance copy of the PSAT exam he and his friends will be taking shortly. The entire gang are tempted to cheat for various reasons, and when the test goes missing, it becomes obvious that one friend in particular was unable to resist the temptation. In the quest to discover who stole the paper, Dawson gets into a fight with Pacey, who is still reeling from his break-up with Andie. As the gang takes the exam, the thief is revealed to be Andie, who is desperate to ace the test to prove that she is recovered from her medical problems and stole it with no other character noticing. Elsewhere, Jack is adamant he will be giving up football until a persistent Jen manipulates him into thinking otherwise.
394"Home Movies"Nick MarckJeffrey StepakoffOctober 20, 1999 (1999-10-20)3044.92[40]
Mitch and Dawson clash when Gail gives Dawson an opportunity to produce a news report for local television. The subject of the report is Jack, Capeside's first gay football star, and Mitch is concerned that the timing of the piece could jeopardize his chances to win the upcoming game. Joey and Pacey are handed a strange punishment for skipping classes together, but when Pacey later reveals a personal project to Joey (a small boat that he is restoring), she stops blaming him for getting her in trouble. Meanwhile, Andie begins to panic when Principal Green asks to speak to her, believing her cheating in the previous episode has been discovered. Jen decides to quit her position as head cheerleader, but the other girls will not let her go without a fight, especially when she is voted homecoming queen. As part of the fundraising, the cheerleaders auction off a kiss with Jen, which is bought by Henry Parker (Michael Pitt), the starting quarterback and innocent freshman.
405"Indian Summer"Lou AntonioGina Fattore & Tom KapinosOctober 27, 1999 (1999-10-27)3054.34[41]
Dawson gets increasingly annoyed when Eve won't give him any details about her mysterious life: he doesn't know what she's doing in Capeside, and she has falsified her enrollment at Capeside High and at her claimed place of work. He and Pacey set out to find out more, leading him to steal a photograph from her residence. Demanding its return, Eve eventually reveals that she is an adoptee on a quest to find her biological mother, who is pictured in the photo; she admits she has had no luck in Capeside and leaves town. Joey's misgivings about her slimy boss, Rob, lead her to gatecrashing his date with Andie, but her goodwill backfires when Rob later fires her. Jack deceives Jen in his effort to set her up on a date with Henry. Finally, as Dawson visits the Ryan house on unrelated business, he sees a picture of Grams' daughter -- Jen's mother... and, so far as he can tell, the woman depicted in Eve's photo.
416"Secrets and Lies"Greg PrangeGreg Berlanti & Alex GansaNovember 10, 1999 (1999-11-10)3064.47[42]

Dawson struggles with whether or not to tell Jen the truth about Eve, who has by now left town. Later, his mother returns to Capeside, but it isn't initially clear why. Jen is reluctant to plan a big homecoming event thrown by all the homecoming queens of Capeside High, but is persuaded to get involved by Henry who is friends with the host of the event. She repays him by asking him to be her date to the party, but later disappoints him when she rejects his advances. Dawson also attends the event as an escort for his mother, herself a former homecoming queen, and accidentally discovers that she is having career difficulties. Elsewhere, Andie calls Joey in a panic: she is at a party with Rob and claims he has pushed her too far. Joey and Pacey rescue her, and Andie and Pacey spend the night on Pacey's still-being-refurbished boat, True Love. However, in the morning, Andie is convinced they have gotten back together while Pacey feels no such thing, and politely but firmly sets her straight. Meanwhile, Rob tells Joey that he made no unwelcome advances. Andie accuses Joey of sabotaging her chances of a reunion with Pacey, all but admitting that she falsified the story of Rob's sexual assault, but the two girls end up bonding when Andie realizes Joey is not to blame.

Absent: Kerr Smith
427"Escape from Witch Island"James Whitmore, Jr.Tom KapinosNovember 17, 1999 (1999-11-17)3075.26[43]

In an effort to add excitement to a dull school project, Dawson decides to make a documentary, enlisting the help of Joey, Pacey and Jen. The group head to a small island near Capeside, rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of thirteen girls killed in the 17th century after being accused of witchcraft. Joey finds similarities between her own life and that of one of the dead girls, which provokes some deep reflections on her strained relationship with Dawson. After some exploratory conversations, Jen and Pacey make the decision to become friends with benefits. Back at school, Andie gets a little too involved with her role as head of the school disciplinary committee. When Dawson screens his documentary for his class, Joey is forced to again question her opinions about love and happiness.

Absent: Kerr Smith
438"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"James CharlestonHeidi FerrerNovember 24, 1999 (1999-11-24)3084.05[44]
When Jen's mother, Helen, unexpectedly arrives in Capeside to spend Thanksgiving with her mother and daughter, Dawson tells her what he knows about Eve. She asks him not to tell Jen, but a poignant speech at the dinner table forces Helen to think again, and she eventually tells Jen that she has a half-sister. Upset and confused by her mother's confession, Jen attempts to change her relationship with Pacey to the more physical, but finds comfort in another unexpected way. It also allows her to make peace with Helen, as she realizes that her mother's decision to bundle Jen off to Capeside was driven not by distaste for her daughter's conduct, but rather shame over her own poor mothering. Mitch and Gail reveal that their divorce has become final.
449"Four to Tango"James Whitmore, Jr.Gina FattoreDecember 1, 1999 (1999-12-01)3094.37[45]
To win a scholarship for college, Joey enrolls at a local dance school; as her partner, she chooses Pacey, who is blackmailed into joining her when he comes to beg her for help with trigonometry. Pacey, meanwhile, has chosen Dawson's empty bedroom as a place to attempt to tryst with Jen, but they discover a total lack of sexual chemistry; additionally, when Dawson returns unexpectedly, he finds an unused condom on the floor. Crossed wires lead him to believe that Joey is Pacey's partner -- either discouraged or encouraged by the dance teacher's pronouncement that Joey and Pacey's poor dancing is due to unresolved sexual tension. After careful consideration, Pacey and Jen realize their lack of chemistry cannot be overcome, and revert to friendship without benefits. Meanwhile, Jack attempts to meet up with a gay student from another high school, who saw the story Dawson produced about him several episodes ago. Andie annoys Jack with her relentless encouragement, but ends up soothing him when things don't go as planned.
4510"First Encounters of the Close Kind"Greg PrangeLeslie RayDecember 15, 1999 (1999-12-15)3102.96[46]

Dawson, Joey, Jack and Andie spend the weekend at a Boston university for an advance look at college life. Dawson enters his "Witch Island" documentary in a student film festival; it is derided as a The Blair Witch Project knockoff. Elsewhere on campus, "Joseph" Potter is assigned to English major and Teaching Assistant A.J. Moller (Robin Dunne); the two get off to a rough start, but smooth things over after bonding over childhood literature. Andie's pursuit for an advanced admissions interview leads her to some inspirational advice from an unlikely source, and Jack takes a risk and explores the local gay community. The weekend ends with the promise of three new romances: Joey gives A.J. her number; Jack bonds with a gay man, Ethan Brody (Adam Kaufman), who is returning to Capeside after a failed romance; and Dawson encounters another young filmmaker, Nikki Green (Bianca Lawson), who coincidentally turns out to be his principal's daughter.

Absent: Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams
4611"Barefoot at Capefest"Jan EliasbergBonnie Schneider & Hadley DavisJanuary 12, 2000 (2000-01-12)3113.42[47]
Dawson experiences an identity crisis when Nikki emerges as filmmaking competition, and Joey experiences her own crisis when Dawson won't open up to her about the pain of his parents' divorce. Meanwhile, Jack's first efforts to hit on Ethan are rebuffed; Pacey and Andie uncomfortably find themselves involved in the same after-school activity (the school's theatre production of Barefoot in the Park) which Pacey, agreed to star in exchange for a passing grade in English; and Jen finally sees that she may have passed up the chance at something special with Henry.
4712"A Weekend in the Country"Michael KatlemanJeffrey StepakoffJanuary 19, 2000 (2000-01-19)3124.10[48]
Joey's friends and their families work together to ensure the success of the Potter family business, a new bed and breakfast. Joey explodes at Pacey after he invites a renowned critic to spend the weekend with them on the B&B's opening weekend, as the business has in no way worked through its growing pains; indeed, the night turns cold and the furnace gives out, stranding the "guests" -- the starring cast -- without heat. While everyone congregates around the fireplace, Grams leads a reminiscence session, mentioning that she knew she had found true love with her late husband when she found herself satisfied watching him sleep. The clear bonds of affection between the guests results in the critic giving the Potter business a positive review. Meanwhile, Jack and Andie find some common ground and Jack ends up moving back home. Jen works through some issues with Henry, who is surprisingly calm when he hears about her past indiscretions. Dawson attempts to reconnect with his parents, and Mitch helps Gail rediscover a long-forgotten dream by showing her a potential venue for a restaurant. After a conversation with Mitch, Pacey reflects on his new closeness with Joey; at the end of the episode, he finds her asleep on the couch, covers her with a blanket, and settles down to keep watch over her.
4813"Northern Lights"Jay TobiasGina FattoreJanuary 26, 2000 (2000-01-26)3134.18[49]
Dawson, lacking inspiration, makes the radical move of dropping out of film class to spend some time re-evaluating his life. Back at the bed and breakfast, Joey is torn between attending Pacey's opening night and her date with A.J., who has come to Capeside for the evening. At the play, Andie must take over as director when Mr. Broderick falls ill. Jen agrees to meet Henry, but she throws him another block by bringing Grams as her date.
4914"Valentine's Day Massacre"Sandy SmolanTom KapinosFebruary 2, 2000 (2000-02-02)3143.42[50]
Joey disapproves when Dawson is convinced into attending an illegal Valentine's Day party by Pacey, who berates Joey for being too protective of Dawson. After reconsidering, Joey decides to attend the party, along with Jack and Andie, who bring along Kate (Alex Breckinridge), a childhood friend of theirs. The party, thrown by local bad boy Matt Caulfield (Michael Hagerty), soon descends into total chaos, and the gang are rounded up by Doug and thrown in the drunk tank. All except Pacey are later rescued by a stern-looking Mitch. Doug retains custody of his little brother on the advice of their father, and the two later have a heart-to-heart, during which Pacey reveals for the first time that he has feelings for Joey. At the end of the episode, he attempts to talk to her about it, but ends up offering her driving lessons instead. Elsewhere, Jen goes on a date with Henry, which ends in a hospital trip when Henry tries too hard.
5015"Crime and Punishment"Joe NapolitanoGina FattoreFebruary 9, 2000 (2000-02-09)3154.38[51]

Joey is chosen as one of only a handful of students selected to paint an inspirational mural on a school wall. At the unveiling, it is revealed that Joey's mural has been vandalized, and when Pacey identifies Matt Caulfield as the culprit, he takes vigilante action which lands him in troubled. As part of his punishment, Principal Green enrolls him in the Capeside mentoring scheme, and Pacey seems excited at the chance to help local kids; Caulfield is expelled after his alibi accidentally reveals that he is the only person (besides Joey) who actually knows what the mural looked like. Andie's PSAT scores come back and Principal Green reveals that she is one of the country's top scorers. Racked with guilt about her dishonesty over the test, Andie, against the advice of Jack, confesses the truth to Principal Green, who is deeply disappointed. Pacey's home life becomes over-crowded when his sister Carrie and her children come to stay. He decides to move in with Doug, who is less than pleased with the idea. Pacey and Joey bond further when Dawson inadvertently pushes Joey to see how much Pacey genuinely cares for her.

Absent: Michelle Williams
5116"To Green, with Love"Kenneth FinkGina FattoreFebruary 16, 2000 (2000-02-16)3164.00[52]
Joey enlists the help of her friends to rally the school in protest after Principal Green is pressured to resign over Matt Caulfield's expulsion. Gail, who notes biased reporting from local news stations, is convinced by Dawson to create her own contrasting report on the situation, and the two get back in front of and/or behind the camera. This leads to a job offer from the station -- which she happily turns down in favor of starting her restaurant, having realized that her chance to decline was enough to wash away the frustration of being fired. Pacey's feelings for Joey are becoming more and more obvious, and he turns to Jen to talk about things. In an effort to encourage Joey's creativity, Pacey rents her a public wall to paint as she chooses. Principal Green refuses the orders of the school board and upholds Caulfield's expulsion at the cost of his own job; the students of Capeside High applaud him as he leaves for the last time.
5217"Cinderella Story"Janice CookeJeffrey StepakoffMarch 1, 2000 (2000-03-01)3174.45[53]
Pacey delivers Joey to the train station so that she can travel to Boston for a date with AJ, who has been selected to perform a reading of his work; Pacey warns her not to get too excited over her fairy-tale opportunity. Jen, Jack and Andie assist Dawson and Gail in the restaurant, before Dawson admits defeat and angers his mother by asking his father for help. She relents after realizing he was right. Pacey mentors a young boy named Buzz (Jonathan Lipnicki) who reminds him of himself. Joey is met at the train station by AJ's best friend Morgan (Deborah Kellner), who has known him since childhood. When AJ's reading turns out to be about the unrequited love Morgan harbors for him, Joey -- drawing on her own experiences with Dawson -- breaks up with him and encourages him to pursue Morgan. For herself, she calls Pacey for a ride, and he uncomplainingly drives through the night to retrieve her. Pacey pushes Joey to tell him what went wrong with AJ, and when she confesses, he asks why she called him for help, certain it must mean something. When Joey has no idea what her actions could mean to Pacey, he gives up on words and kisses her.
5318"Neverland"Patrick NorrisMaggie FriedmanApril 5, 2000 (2000-04-05)3184.11[54]
After the kiss, Joey is upset by Pacey's impulsive actions and they both head home to discuss the situation with their siblings. Pacey receives encouragement from Doug, and attempts to tell Dawson how he feels during a camping trip to their childhood fort, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Buzz and his friends. Jen has learned that Henry is about to have his birthday and invites him out, only to learn that 1. he is already having a party, 2. he has not invited her, 3. he has lied to her face about doing so. Joey attempts to make sense of everything by having a rare girls night with Jen and Andie, and a moment of clarity with Jen forces her to acknowledge that Pacey might not be the only one in a state of confusion. The night takes them to the local roller rink, where Jen discovers Henry with his family, attacking a piñata; he admits that the childish party, thrown by his relatives, embarrasses him, leading him to exclude Jen from the guest list. She reminds him that his innocence endears him to her, and the two reconcile. Finally, Jack has invited Ethan to stay the weekend since Mr. McPhee will be out on a business trip, only to learn that his father has canceled. Ethan attempts to reconcile the two, as Jack is still frustrated by his father's homophobia -- an anger stoked further when Ethan and his father begin to bond over a shared love of classic cars. Ultimately, he takes Ethan's advice and extends an olive branch to his father... only to be met halfway, as Mr. McPhee canceled the business trip for the express purpose of bonding with his son.
5419"Stolen Kisses"Greg PrangeTom KapinosApril 26, 2000 (2000-04-26)3194.00[55]

Jen and Henry go through a bumpy time when she is consumed with jealously over his friendship with a waitress at Gail's restaurant. Dawson, Joey, Andie, Pacey and Will Krudski (Rodney Scott), a childhood friend of the gang who has remained close with Pacey and is using several episodes of this show as a backdoor pilot for Young Americans, head to the house of Dawson's Aunt Gwen (Julie Bowen) to spend their school holiday away from Capeside. The trip is filled with tension as Joey and Pacey attempt to fight their feelings. Andie and Will appear to have a connection, and Dawson tries to bond again with Joey, who is preoccupied by her feelings for Pacey. Encouraged by Dawson's aunt, the friends have a karaoke contest. Pacey kisses Joey again and informs her that she must make the next move. At the end of the episode, Joey initiates a kiss with Pacey.

Absent: Kerr Smith
5520"The Longest Day"Perry LangGina FattoreMay 3, 2000 (2000-05-03)3203.86[56]

The day Pacey and Joey's relationship goes public is played out four times, each time revealing a little more of what happened, a structure inspired by the film Go. Each repetition stars a different character:

  • As Pacey christens True Love, he promises Joey that he will tell Dawson the truth about their burgeoning relationship. He encounters Andie and Will at the library, where Will asks advice on asking Andie out on a date. As Pacey goes up the steps to Dawson's house, Joey intercepts him to stop him, and the two get into an argument until Dawson hears them and emerges with questions.
  • As Joey hesitates over what to tell Dawson, she admits the entire affair to Jen. She thinks twice when Andie admits Will has asked her out, but that she's still in love with Pacey. Dawson asks Joey to join her for a movie night; she finds him watching The Last Picture Show, the film he and Joey watched on their first date, concerning unrequited love tearing apart three friends. Chickening out, she intercepts Pacey outside Dawson's house, and the two get into an argument until Dawson hears them and emerges with questions. Dawson reveals that he already knows what they're about to tell him.
  • As Dawson hands Pacey a bottle of champagne with which to christen his boat, he fails to notice the tension between Pacey and Joey. At the library, Will asks for advice on staging first dates. He goes to talk to Jen, and she tells him about Pacey and Joey (believing, incorrectly, that Dawson has learned of the situation and needs emotional support). Joey drops in as he watches The Last Picture Show, and his description of the film -- which Joey perceived as oblivious chatter -- is revealed to be pointed commentary on the situation. When Joey and Pacey get into an argument, Dawson emerges and castigates them for their betrayal.
  • As Jen hangs out with Henry, Dawson interrupts and she accidentally reveals the situation. Henry seems oblivious to the emotional turmoil she has caused, and they fight. Meanwhile, Will and Andie have their first date, but it ends when they stumble upon the argument outside Dawson's house. Andie upbraids Pacey for falling for Joey, who she claims is unavailable due to her allegiance to Dawson.

As the looping perspectives end, Dawson gives Joey an ultimatum: if she continues her relationship with Pacey, she will be subsequently ending their friendship. Joey is brokenhearted at losing either Dawson or Pacey, but reluctantly ends things with Pacey out of guilt.

5621"Show Me Love"Morgan J. FreemanLiz Tigelaar & Holly HendersonMay 10, 2000 (2000-05-10)3214.73[57]
Capeside prepares for its annual regatta. Pacey has entered with Will as his crew and Leery's Fresh Fish, Mitch and Gail's new restaurant, as his sponsor. Dawson decides to compete as well, bringing in Jack and Mitch as his crew and with Potters' Bed and Breakfast as his sponsor. Both Joey and Pacey realize Dawson is trying to make Joey the prize, though Dawson himself is oblivious; during the race, he breaks the rules by cutting off True Love and is disqualified despite being first across the finish line. Joey scolds him for it, and tells both boys that she is not worth fighting over. After many weeks of deliberating, Gail finally makes things happen with Mitch. Henry, attempting to make up for his insensitivity in the previous episode, begs Jen to forgove him, and they spend a romantic night together on the roof of the restaurant. Grams is disappointed at Jen's conduct until Jen reveals that the two did not have sex.
5722"The Anti-Prom"Greg PrangeMaggie FriedmanMay 17, 2000 (2000-05-17)3223.93[58]
Dawson, Joey and Andie organize their own counter-cultural prom when they learn that Jack has been the victim of homophobic discrimination over his choice of prom date (Ethan). Dawson asks Joey to be his date to the group's anti-prom, and Andie asks Pacey; both see an opportunity to win back their exes. Both are stymied when Joey and Pacey share a moment on the dance floor, their innate chemistry overwhelming their dates' machinations. Joey goes to visit Dawson the next day, and tells him she isn't ready to make decisions. Jen brings Henry to the prom, where she learns that he will spend the entire summer at football camp -- and, more importantly, that he never saw fit to tell her while she planned their whole summer together; the two break up. Jack's date with the older Ethan also goes poorly: Ethan admits that Jack is braver than he is, as he has yet to actually ask a man out; but he also realizees that Jack is not ready to "act" gay, and is able to prove it when he invites Jack to kiss him and the latter is not able to do so. Finally, Gail responds to Mitch's doubts about her commitment to their relationship by proposing to him. He accepts, witnessed by Dawson and Joey from the doorway.
5823"True Love"James Whitmore, Jr.Story by : Greg Berlanti & Jeffrey Stepakoff
Teleplay by : Tom Kapinos & Gina Fattore
May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)3234.83[59]
Gail and Mitch prepare for their hasty wedding, with Dawson as best man and Joey as maid of honor. Joey is distracted by news that Pacey is planning to leave on a three-month trip to the Florida Keys via True Love; however, she makes an effort to soldier through the rehearsal dinner and ceremony for the sake of her friendship with Dawson. While throwing a farewell party for Pacey, Jen and Jack bring up their regrets over how their most recent relationships ended; Grams encourages them to seize the day. She drives them down the freeway in search of Henry's tour bus, and she begs him to take her back, which he does. They then travel to Boston, where Jack takes his courage in both hands and kisses Ethan ... in front of Brad, Ethan's ex, whom he has re-united with. At home, Jack angsts about how everyone hates him for being gay, but his father confesses how proud he is to have a gay son. As the day goes on, it becomes obvious that Joey wants to be with Pacey, and Dawson swallows his own anguish and tells her to do so. She kisses Pacey and the two set sail the next morning. Dawson, returning to his house, finds Jen, Jack and Andie sitting on his bed, waiting to support him after his rejection by Joey.

Season 4: 2000–2001[edit]

Dawson's Creek fourth season started on October 4, 2000 and ended May 23, 2001. This season takes place during the characters' senior year of high school in Capeside.

Meredith Monroe left the series after episode, "You Had Me at Goodbye", but continued to be credited episodes remaining in the season, returning only to participate in the episode "The Graduate".

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
591"Coming Home"Greg PrangeGreg BerlantiOctober 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)4.014.98[60]
Pacey and Joey return from their summer vacation on True Love. Now they have to deal with Dawson's feelings, who has been deeply hurt over the past few months. At first, he doesn't want to talk with either one of them, but Jen convinces him to talk to Joey. Meanwhile, Pacey's older sister, Gretchen (Sasha Alexander), arrives in Capeside and moves in with Doug, making Pacey homeless. He refuses to live with his parents anymore (going so far as to declare that he would rather sleep on death row), and after exhausting all other options, ends up back on his boat. Dawson tells Jack about his childhood crush on Gretchen. Andie meets two French boys, and she is attracted to both of them. Joey apologizes for hurting Dawson, but he tells her he isn't sure if he wants their friendship back. As Joey reconnects with all her friends, she discovers a recurring curiosity as to whether she and Pacey consummated their relationship during the trip; everyone asks but Dawson, who claims that the answer could kill him out of jealousy. He is, therefore, the only person to learn that the answer would not in fact kill him.
602"Failing Down"Sandy SmolanTom KapinosOctober 11, 2000 (2000-10-11)4.025.37[61]
Joey is looking for a new job and gets one at the Yacht Club, a high-end restaurant, by lying to the proprietress, a Mrs. Valentine (Carolyn Hennesy), that she knows a very influential family. She then falls afoul of the son of that family, who instantly sees through her lies... and is additionally revealed to be lying about his identity himself; he is actually Drue Valentine (Mark Matkevich), here with his divorced mother. Mitch, now a guidance counselor at Capeside High, tells Pacey he will not graduate unless he makes up for his bad grades from the previous academic year. Pacey doesn't want Joey to know, but Mitch tells Dawson, who tells Joey, showing that he still cares about Pacey. Joey confronts him, and Pacey manages to admit that he needs help.
613"The Two Gentlemen of Capeside"Sandy SmolanJeffrey StepakoffOctober 18, 2000 (2000-10-18)4.035.02[62]
The Yacht Club becomes the center of attention as characters converge on it for different reasons: Andie interviews with Mrs. Valentine for college; Joey has been assigned a last-second collaboration with both Dawson and Drue; and boats call in for docking permission as a massive storm sweeps in to Capeside. This leaves Joey in terror, as Pacey and Jen are on the water; Pacey got an 'A' on an assignment and had decided to go sailing in celebration. Andie, who had already been snubbed by Mrs. Valentine for her history of mental illness, ends up taking charge of the situation: Dawson and Joey "borrow" a motorboat from the middle-aged Arthur Brooks (Harve Presnell), while Mrs. Valentines contact everyone's parents, Jack boards up the windows, and Drue mops the floor. The rescue is successful, though Pacey is forced to abandon True Love to the elements. Pacey later apologizes to Dawson for the fact that he got hurt, and both admit that they miss their friendship. Finally, Jen is surprised to run into Drue, who knew her during her partying days in New York.
624"Future Tense"Michael LangeGina FattoreOctober 25, 2000 (2000-10-25)4.045.04[63]
Everybody starts to think about their future, and their higher education options. Joey is concerned about Pacey not having grades good enough to get into college and gets drunk to forget her worries. Drue makes everybody think it is Jen's birthday so he can have a party to get to know more people. Andie takes over Jack's applications and drives him crazy with her obsessive behavior. Gretchen applies for a job as bartender at the Leery's restaurant and appears reluctant to admit her reason for not going back to college.
635"A Family Way"Nancy MaloneMaggie FriedmanNovember 1, 2000 (2000-11-01)4.055.20[64]
Gail drops a bomb on the family by confirming she is pregnant. Joey, whose physical relationship with Pacey has reached the limits of what she's willing to do, discusses her lack of sexual experience with Jen. Jen advises her to go visit a doctor for contraceptives and advice, pointing out that being prepared and being ready are two different things. Jack begins to coach a children's soccer team, and later finds himself in an awkward situation when a woman attempts to proposition him; after he reveals his orientation, several children are forced to quit the team by homophobic parents. Dawson struggles to accept the presence of a younger brother or sister, and has just managed to do so when Gail announces her intention to abort; he turns to Gretchen for help in understanding what his parents are going through, and -- because of the strength of her insights -- realizes that she left college after facing the same situation. Joey's stash of contraceptives, accidentally discovered by Bessie, spark an argument between the two sisters, and Joey accepts she's not ready (as does Pacey). Finally, throughout the episode Dawson repaints Mr. Brooks' house in apology for damaging his boat, with Mr. Brooks taking the opportunity to criticize Dawson's new hobby of photography; Mr. Brooks only approves of one photo, which he claims depicts empathy from Dawson towards the photo's sorrowful, contemplative subject: Gretchen.
646"Great Xpectations"Bruce Seth GreenNan HaganNovember 8, 2000 (2000-11-08)4.065.64[65]
Andie gets accepted into Harvard in advance, but accomplishing what should be the biggest thing in her life doesn't exactly makes her happy. She decides to explore different paths in her life by going to a rave. At the party, ecstasy tablets that Drue has given to Jen find their way to Andie, who takes them in a bid to feel happy for one night. The tablets react with her anti-depressants, a disastrous combination which almost leads her to death. Mitch and Gail decide to keep their baby, news that makes Dawson very happy.
657"You Had Me at Goodbye"John BehringZack Estrin & Chris LevinsonNovember 15, 2000 (2000-11-15)4.074.54[66]
While Andie is recovering from her near-fatal drug overdose at the party, Jack is blaming Jen for the whole incident and is refusing to talk to her. Jen blames Drue for her life falling apart when he turns Grams and the whole town against her by telling everyone that they intentionally gave Andie the drugs. After Andie comes home from the hospital her dad offers her the chance to spend the rest of the school year in Italy with her aunt, telling her that she has more than enough credits to graduate. Andie decides to go and plans a goodbye dinner with the whole gang. She tells them how important life is and not to waste valuable time with useless bickering. Jack and Jen get things straight and Andie tricks Dawson and Pacey into playing nice with each other.
668"The Unusual Suspects"James Whitmore Jr.Jon KasdanNovember 22, 2000 (2000-11-22)4.084.68[67]

The population of Capeside High arrive to find that this year's senior prank involves a sailboat belonging to Principal Peskin (Harry Shearer) in the school swimming pool with the words 'Class of 2001' emblazoned on the sail in white paint. On board the boat is his dog, Chester, who was kidnapped the previous day. Dawson, Pacey and Jack are prime suspects: Pacey is the only senior with access to the boatyard whence Peskin's boat was stolen, Dawson has keyholder access to the school through access to his father's keyring, and a nervous Jack attracts attention from Chester, as well as admitting to buying white paint. However, their alibis are airtight: Jack, after meeting Drue by the hardware store, was teaching a soccer game (from which he got fired, after he puts a girl in as goalie over the objections of several helicopter dads); Dawson, after Drue drops off some keys he had accidentally lost, spent the afternoon cleaning Mr. Brooks' house and bonding with him after learning that Mr. Brooks is an established film director;and Pacey spent the day on a ride-along with Doug, during which he helped Drue investigate a call of trespassing at the boatyard. Peskin concludes that Drue organized the prank; Drue is suspended without appeal, and tells tells Joey to congratulate "the boys." When she does so, Dawson reveals that, hypothetically, he, Pacey and Jack could have indeed orchestrated the prank and pinned it on Drue; he later works with Pacey to bury the evidence.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
679"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"Perry LangTom KapinosNovember 29, 2000 (2000-11-29)4.094.96[68]

Dawson has discovered that Mr. Brooks was a former movie director, and waxes rhapsodic over the chemistry between the lead actors in his final film, Turn Away, My Sweet; he turns to the older man for advice in writing a college application essay to USC film school. Joey takes Pacey to a dinner hosted by (the fictional) Worthington College, hoping to impress the alumni rep Walter Kubelik (Peter Jurasik). This prevents her from attending the Leery Christmas party, which Gail and Mitch were not going to throw until Gretchen convinces them she can organize it single-handedly. Jack learns that Jen has yet to submit a single college application. He collaborates with Grams, who hasn't spoken to her since Andie was hospitalized, and at the Christmas party Jen learns that the two have filed applications on her behalf. Joey is perturbed by how well Pacey fits in with the college crowd, and almost has a breakdown before realizing that Pacey is schmoozing on her behalf. Mr. Brooks, attending the Leery Christmas party, admits he left moviemaking after the leads in Turn Away, My Sweet -- his best friend and his girlfriend -- fell in love under his nose. He then finds Dawson and Gretchen under the mistletoe and encourages them to kiss; Joey and Pacey walk in just as Dawson does so.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
6810"Self Reliance"David PetrarcaGina FattoreDecember 20, 2000 (2000-12-20)4.104.24[69]

Joey can't find a moment alone to study or deal with her feelings concerning Dawson kissing Gretchen. Dawson's collaboration with Brooks -- a documentary of the director's life -- begins, rejuvenating his filmmaking spirit. Jen takes Jack to a "Gay-Straight Teen Coalition" meeting, but she seems to fit in with the crowd more than Jack does: Jack is uncomfortable being reduced merely to a stereotype. This results in conflict with the coalition's leader, Tobey (David Monahan), who seems intent on doing just that -- though the stereotype he's most concerned about is "jock." Finally, Dawson approaches Gretchen about their kiss during the party, which Gretchen dismisses as merely the spirit of the moment.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
6911"The Tao of Dawson"Keith SamplesJeffrey StepakoffJanuary 10, 2001 (2001-01-10)4.114.87[70]

Dawson, who is finally hanging out with Pacey again, admits that he is crushing on Gretchen. Pacey hates the idea, so when he and Gretchen go on a road trip to college to retrieve her car from her ex-boyfriend Nick (Christian Kane), Pacey tries to get them back together. However, he soon sees Nick is not nearly as good a guy he thought he was; Nick, attempting to seduce Gretchen for one last tryst, posits that Gretchen can't resist him because he's the jar of cookies she's been forbidden to sample. Gretchen admits that the girl she was did indeed feel that way about him... but that she is no longer that girl. Back in Capeside, Joey has her fair share of problems when she gets locked in the Yacht Club's basement storage room with Drue, who has been given bus tickets and ordered to see his father in order to secure child support payments; they are freed when Drue's mobile phone goes off, but Joey inadvertently learns Drue orchestrated the "accident" to avoid seeing his father. Dawson observes the affection growing between Brooks and Grams and fears that Grams will get hurt when she finds out that Brooks is terminally ill; Grams, who has been a nurse for decades, points out that she knows already, and made her decisions with the fact in mind. When asked what he plans to do about Gretchen, Dawson claims that the eponymous "tao of Dawson" is to do nothing; but dual influences from Jack and Mr. Brooks convince him to go for it. Gretchen, returning with her car, new perspective, and Pacey's approval, reciprocates, and the two kiss.

Absent: Michelle Williams and Meredith Monroe
7012"The Te of Pacey"Harry WinerMaggie FriedmanJanuary 17, 2001 (2001-01-17)4.124.49[71]

Joey decides to help Pacey's mother (Jane Lynch) throw a surprise 18th birthday party for Pacey, not knowing about Pacey's self-professed 'birthday curse'. The party goes downhill fast as Pacey's family makes Pacey feel worthless and everyone else feel uncomfortable. Dawson becomes upset when he feels that Gretchen doesn't want anyone to know about their new relationship and postpones their first real date to go to the party. Pacey and Joey again walk in on Dawson and Gretchen kissing, this time more passionately, and Gretchen admits that she feels the need to hold back in case she leaves; Dawson convinces her to live in the moment. Jen, doing community service, correctly suspects that Toby might be harboring romantic feelings for Jack.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7113"Hopeless"Krishna RaoNan HaganJanuary 31, 2001 (2001-01-31)4.134.54[72]

The senior trip is coming up and Joey needs to get the time off from work; Mrs. Valentine agrees to the trade, but requires that Joey and Pacey double-date with Drue and Anna Evans, a girl (whose family Mrs. Valentine intends that) he wants to impress. This is difficult, as Drue is his typical self-centered, dishonest self, to the point that he cannot admit he does in fact like the girl; Joey and Pacey help the two sort out their feelings. Dawson has his own problems when he and Gretchen go out with her friends from college and he is confronted with their age gap. Jack gets some positive attention from Toby, who encourages him to volunteer at the library teaching kids to read in lieu of coaching youth soccer; however, this is intended as a segue to Toby's romantic intentions, which Jack declines. Pacey and Joey, prompted by the fact that Drue and Anna have already slept together, confront the topic of their own (non-existent) sex life; Joey admits that fear is holding her back. Finally, Dawson and Grams learn that Mr. Brooks has been refusing his pancreatic cancer medications, preferring to go out on his own terms; Dawson, the next morning, finds him passed out on the floor.

Absent: Michelle Williams and Meredith Monroe
7214"A Winter's Tale"Greg PrangeZack Estrin & Chris LevinsonFebruary 7, 2001 (2001-02-07)4.145.10[73]

While the rest of the class is on the ski trip, Dawson stays behind to care for a near-death Brooks, but he is overwhelmed when he is asked to make a life or death decision. Meanwhile, there's a lot more than skiing going on when the senior trip doesn't go exactly as planned. The evening takes an unexpectedly romantic turn for best friends Jack and Jen, while Pacey and Joey find their own ways to keep warm on the cold night.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7315"Four Stories"David PetrarcaTom KapinosFebruary 14, 2001 (2001-02-14)4.153.95[74]

Pacey and Joey talk about their feelings the morning after they have sex and what it meant to Joey. Dawson comes to terms with the death of Brooks and is surprised to discover he has been named in his will. Meanwhile, as punishment for breaking into her hotel mini-bar during the class ski trip, Mr. Kasdan decides to send Jen to a psychologist where she can discuss her issues. Back in Capeside, Joey and Dawson's paths collide and they spend an evening catching up on the past weekend and its many happenings. Dawson makes the state of Joey’s virginity his business because he still thinks of it as his property. Joey struggles with Dawson’s question about her virginity.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7416"Mind Games"David StraitonGina FattoreMarch 28, 2001 (2001-03-28)4.162.35[75]

The results of the senior polls have ramifications for Dawson, Joey, and Pacey, as the three try to ignore the tauntings of Drue Valentine. While Pacey and Joey try to find some alone time, Dawson finds his night with Gretchen more awkward than he'd expected. Gretchen learns something that would hurt Pacey but she tells him anyway, even though it is none of her business. Meanwhile, Jack is suspicious when Jen drags him on some mysterious errands, and his suspicions are confirmed when he learns that she is stalking her therapist.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7517"Admissions"Lev L. SpiroBarb SiebertzApril 11, 2001 (2001-04-11)4.173.25[76]

Joey receives some good college news, but while she glows, Dawson is forced to face a crushing rejection. Joey's elated mood, however, is tempered by a sobering revelation that her family's lack of savings may prevent her from achieving her dreams. Dawson offers Joey money for college knowing that without it she won’t go. Joey tells Dawson that she lost her virginity to Pacey. Dawson is crushed knowing that she is no longer a virgin even though it is none of his business nor did it belong to him. Jen and Jack oddly get into a lot of the same prestigious schools and struggle to figure out which best suits them. The two want to attend college together but hit a stumbling block when Jack decides that New York is the place to go and Jen isn't so sure she's ready to return to the Big Apple. A therapy session forces Jen to confront her past with the help of Drue.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7618"Eastern Standard Time"David GrossmanJon KasdanApril 18, 2001 (2001-04-18)4.184.13[77]

As senior ditch day arrives, Joey is excited to find herself accompanying Jen on an excursion to New York under the guise of attending a college meeting. It isn't long before Joey sees that they are there for an entirely different reason. Jen finally talks to her father, for the first time since she left for Capeside. She witnessed her father in bed with another woman before she moved to Capeside, and that her attitude towards men and herself has been harmed by what she saw. Meanwhile, Gretchen and Dawson take off on a road trip. Back in Capeside, Pacey and Drue find themselves the only seniors in school. Out of frustration, they head for a bar. The night ends in disaster, however, when Pacey is arrested for public drunkenness.

Absent: Kerr Smith and Meredith Monroe
7719"Late"David PetrarcaJeffrey StepakoffApril 25, 2001 (2001-04-25)4.194.15[78]

As Gail's delivery date approaches, the women in her life throw a baby shower for her, but it is an experience that throws Joey through a loop when she discovers she might be pregnant. She needs Pacey but unfortunately he is on a trip with Doug and she can’t get in contact with him. While Dawson awaits the arrival of his new sibling, he and Gretchen wonder what their future holds. Meanwhile, Jack faces an unexpected situation when he learns that Toby has fallen victim to a violent crime.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7820"Promicide"Jason MooreMaggie FriedmanMay 4, 2001 (2001-05-04)4.204.32[79]

As everyone gets ready for the year's senior prom, some bad news causes Gretchen to reflect on her life. Joey is concerned about Pacey and his lack of interest of wanting to do anything remotely sexual. Pacey sets out to make Joey’s prom special but ends up letting his insecurities get the best of him. The festivities cause conflict for Gretchen, as she questions her relationship with Dawson, while an unhappy Jen is rescued by unlikely hero Drue after she and Jack meddle in each other's lives and arrange dates for each other.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
7921"Separation Anxiety"Krishna RaoRina MimounMay 9, 2001 (2001-05-09)4.214.78[80]

The school year draws to a close, and changes are abound for the class of 2001. While Joey and Dawson deal with their respective break ups, Jen makes a startling decision about her future. Meanwhile, Dawson has his own decision to make with regards to Gretchen when an unusual opportunity comes their way. A professor from Worthington asks Joey to bring Pacey with her to a party for incoming freshman, which fills the pair with hope that they might be able to have a future together after all but eventually, Joey and Pacey have to come to terms with the end of their romance.

Absent: Meredith Monroe
8022"The Graduate"Harry WinerAlan CrossMay 16, 2001 (2001-05-16)4.225.45[81]
As graduation approaches, Joey has a tough time preparing her speech, and Dawson helps her find some bittersweet inspiration. Joey gets a surprise gift from her late mother. Pacey wonders if he's going to graduate at all, and he worries that his last final will be the toughest one. He walks out of the test after the teacher makes a comment to him, nearly costing him his diploma. Meanwhile, Andie McPhee returns home for the cap and gown ceremony, and is surprised but happy to meet Jack's new boyfriend, Toby. Drue, who is staying at Jen's after a fight with his mother, convinces Jen to help him pull a hilarious senior prank. Pacey tells Andie he has decided to take a job offer on a boat for the summer.
8123"Coda"Greg PrangeGina Fattore & Tom KapinosMay 23, 2001 (2001-05-23)4.234.85[82]

Accepted early to USC, Dawson finds his last night in Capeside has arrived much sooner than everyone had originally anticipated. While Dawson looks forward to spending the evening with Joey, Jack and Jen, Mitch has other ideas. Meanwhile, Dawson is not the only goodbye Jen has to deal with, as she bids farewell to the house she's been sharing with Grams. Finally, Joey attempts to say goodbye to Dawson, but in the process ends up telling him that she wants him to stay. The two of them share a goodbye kiss.

Absent: Meredith Monroe

Season 5: 2001–2002[edit]

Season 5 started on October 10, 2001 and ended May 15, 2002. The season takes place during the characters' freshman year of college in Boston.

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U.S. viewers
821"The Bostonians"Greg PrangeTom KapinosOctober 10, 2001 (2001-10-10)5014.47[83]
Dawson is a freshman film student in Los Angeles, while Joey starts college at Worthington College, an “Ivy League” university, in Boston. Instead of focusing on their new lives, they find themselves distracted by the distance between them and their unsettling last kiss, and Joey’s amnesia regarding her most recent relationship. Jen and Jack try to settle into their new hometown of Boston, with Jack taking the chance to tease Jen about her lack of love life. Joey's new roommate Audrey makes her first appearance and Pacey is seen to be living on a newly docked boat in Boston, his location known only to Jen.
832"The Lost Weekend"David PetrarcaGina FattoreOctober 17, 2001 (2001-10-17)5024.99[84]
Pacey reluctantly gets a job at a restaurant and meets an attractive waitress named Karen. Although Karen has a mysterious boyfriend, that doesn't stop Pacey from feeling attracted to her. Dawson arrives to visit Joey, but ends up spending more time with Audrey who jokingly flirts with him while giving him a guided tour of the campus. Jen helps Charlie at the radio station and lands a job there herself.
843"Capeside Revisited"Michael LangeJeffrey StepakoffOctober 24, 2001 (2001-10-24)5034.40[85]
Joey is weirdly shocked to discover that Pacey has been living in Boston for more than three weeks and has made no attempt to contact her despite her relationship amnesia. Dawson heads home to Capeside, having made the decision to drop out of university and move to Boston to be with Joey and all his friends. While Gail is understanding, Mitch is not. Dawson and his father have a heated argument which Dawson refuses to concede. Dawson leaves the family home, still sure that he will not be returning to USC. Later, Mitch leaves for the local shop, but tragedy strikes during the journey.
854"The Long Goodbye"Robert McNeillTom KapinosOctober 31, 2001 (2001-10-31)5044.48[86]
The group reconnects back in Capeside in order to support Dawson at the funeral of his father. They make separate attempts to let him know they are there for him; Pacey makes an emotional attempt at convincing Dawson that he was not to blame for his father's death. Dawson and Gail are devastated that Lily will never remember her father.
865"Use Your Disillusion"Perry LangRina MimounNovember 7, 2001 (2001-11-07)5063.77[87]
Dawson takes Joey up on her invitation to spend a weekend in Boston, but the two have difficulty connecting once there. Meanwhile, Jack is surprised when his boyfriend Toby shows up unexpectedly forcing Jack to choose between fraternity hell week and spending time with Toby.
876"High Anxiety"Jason MooreJoshua Krist & Allison RobinsonNovember 14, 2001 (2001-11-14)5074.50[85]
Dawson is having trouble with anxiety attacks since his father's death, so he tries to escape reality on a night of debauchery with Jack and his fraternity brothers, which ends with Dawson accusing Joey of causing his father's death (by way of being the central cause of his decision to stay in Boston, which in turn was the cause of the argument on the night of Mitch's death). Jen seeks revenge on cheating Charlie. Audrey's critical mother visits. And Pacey makes a discovery about Danny and Karen.
887"Text, Lies and Videotape"Marita GrabiakKarin LewickiNovember 21, 2001 (2001-11-21)5083.41[88]

Jen helps Dawson go to the grief counsellor (played by Pauley Perrette) he ran away from the week before. Dawson finds the idea of sharing his thoughts with a complete stranger uncomfortable, but he is surprised with how much he learns from it. Back in Capeside, Dawson and Gail run into problems handling Mitch's will, the main problem being that Lily is not included in it. Meanwhile, Joey is working on a project about old letters authored many years ago by a recently deceased writer, and with the help of Audrey's audition tape for "The Real World: Ibiza", she manages to catch something no one of the fellow students did. Pacey confronts Karen about the risks she is taking by having an affair with Danny. Later, Karen is hurt when Danny's wife shows up at a party they are both attending.

Absent: Kerr Smith
898"Hotel New Hampshire"Lev L. SpiroDiego GutierrezNovember 28, 2001 (2001-11-28)5094.19[89]
Dawson takes Jen on a road trip to a small film festival in Hooksett, New Hampshire where his documentary about Mr. Brooks has won a prize. The spotlight is intoxicating for both of them as they share one of the single most momentous events in Dawson's life, which results in them becoming a couple. Meanwhile, Jack brings Joey and Audrey to a frat party under false pretenses. Pacey takes Karen on a non-romantic date.
909"Four Scary Stories"Krishna RaoJed SeidelDecember 12, 2001 (2001-12-12)5054.00[85]

After watching scary movies, Joey, Pacey and Jack talk about their creepiest experiences and urban legends. Joey shares her story of how she was almost attacked by the librarian on Halloween and saved by the creepy man she was running from. Jack tells the story of when he was helping clean the frat house basement and found a guy strapped, who later he found out to be a ghost. Pacey reveals that he was chased by a black car while giving Karen a ride home, but there was nobody driving the car. Grams arrives and says she has the scariest story: the time when Jen got locked out of the radio booth.

Absent: James Van Der Beek
9110"Appetite for Destruction"Harry WinerAnna FrickeDecember 19, 2001 (2001-12-19)5104.20[85]
Pacey offers to cook for the gang at their weekly dinner (an event they always plan on doing but have so far failed to stick to). Jen and Dawson return early and decide to keep what happened between them, but they are caught by everyone kissing at the door. The dinner continues with a tense atmosphere, with Joey's reaction being at the forefront of everyone's minds. She reluctantly accepts Dawson's new status with Jen, but is wounded when Dawson tells her that because of their history, it hurts to be around her. Charlie also drops by, causing some tension between Dawson and Jen. Joey talks to Pacey about her real feelings about Dawson and Jen.
9211"Something Wild"Michael LangeJeffrey StepakoffJanuary 16, 2002 (2002-01-16)5113.75[90]

Joey and Audrey go to a nightclub to celebrate Joey's excellent grades. There, Audrey tries to convince Joey to have some real fun. Charlie is also there and he hits on Joey, who turns him down because of what he did to Jen. But Charlie doesn't give up so easily and dares Joey to do something wild. She accepts the dare and goes on the stage to sing with the band. Excited about it, she impulsively kisses Charlie. Meanwhile, Pacey joins the girls at the club to celebrate his new promotion. Dawson and Jen go back to Capeside, where they have their first fight over what Dawson will do with his life. He ultimately decides to move to Boston and live with Jen and Grams.

Absent: Kerr Smith
9312"Sleeping Arrangements"Mel DamskiJed SeidelJanuary 23, 2002 (2002-01-23)5124.31[91]
Dawson and Jen see that living together is not as much fun as they hoped it would be. Between ruined toothbrushes and bathroom overcrowding, they get on each other's nerves. Jen faces a new challenge at work after she turns her regular show into an advice show. She mainly gives advice to other girls with problems, and makes statements on men that hurt Dawson's feelings. She comes home expecting a fight, but Dawson surprises her by saying he won't ever treat her badly. Meanwhile, Melanie (Pacey's ex) shows up offering Pacey a job working on her uncle's new boat in the Greek Islands. After a lot of thinking, Pacey decides not to go, since he has made a successful life in Boston. Jack, somewhat estranged from Jen, moves into the fraternity house and gets his own room, but has some problems staying there after he discovers he was supposed to be rooming with another guy who felt uncomfortable living with a gay guy.
9413"Something Wilder"David PetrarcaRina MimounJanuary 30, 2002 (2002-01-30)5134.13[92]
Dawson's first day in his new film school arrives. Oliver (an acquaintance from the Hooksett festival) starts showing him around and wastes no time in asking Dawson to direct a movie he wrote. Reluctant to direct someone else's work, Dawson starts giving notes to Oliver on the script, and ends up accepting the job, thanks to Jen's incentive. Jen has problems of her own. Her current state of happiness from her relationship with Dawson is reflecting in her on-air performance. Now she has to go back to the sharp-tongued, edgy advice she used to give instead of the romantic, love-themed offerings. Elsewhere, Jack is on academic probation. Irritated, he goes out and has a few too many drinks, which results in a fight with his fraternity brothers.
9514"Guerilla Filmmaking"Julia RaskJon KasdanFebruary 6, 2002 (2002-02-06)5144.38[93]
Directing Oliver's movie is not an easy task. First, Dawson has to deal with lead actress Audrey who has complaints about Oliver's kissing skills. Then he has to recast the other lead role after discovering that Oliver is a terrible actor. Jen's slimy ex Charlie is the only one who fits the bill. During the shooting Audrey has a crisis and locks herself in the bathroom because she kissed Pacey and felt like she was betraying her best friend. Joey arrives to help smooth things over and gives Audrey and Pacey her blessing. Meanwhile, Jack is fed up with his friends and decides to move out of the fraternity house after he and Eric almost kiss and Jack is accused of forcing himself on Eric.
9615"Downtown Crossing"David PetrarcaTom KapinosFebruary 13, 2002 (2002-02-13)5154.03[94]

Joey is forced at gunpoint to clear out her bank account by a mugger, who is accidentally run over by a car just after robbing Joey. Joey stays with her attacker, checking up on him and trying to get an ambulance to get him to the hospital. Bizarrely, they find common ground, after Joey sees the similarities between him and her father. When the police and paramedics arrive, Joey faints and is also taken to the hospital. After recovering, she accidentally meets the mugger's estranged wife and daughter and soon finds out that the man died from his injuries. Joey decides not to tell the truth about the man to his daughter and tells her instead that her father pushed her out of the way when she walked out in front of a car and died a hero.

Absent: James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith
9716"In a Lonely Place"Keith SamplesGina FattoreFebruary 20, 2002 (2002-02-20)5163.98[95]
Jen and Audrey are tempted to risk their new relationships with Dawson and Pacey after interviewing a couple of cute musicians. Meanwhile, Pacey is caught by surprise when Jack takes him to a gay bar, and Dawson and Joey spend the evening together.
9817"Highway to Hell"Sanford BookstaverAnna FrickeApril 3, 2002 (2002-04-03)5174.52[96]
Charlie asks Joey to sing with his band at a distant club, which requires Pacey to drive them there. Pacey and Charlie hate each other, and it takes a patient Audrey to keep them from going at each other's throats. Joey is nervous and isn't well received by the audience, until Charlie helps her with a duet. Dawson, Jen, Jack and Grams drive to Capeside for Lily's first birthday, and Dawson is uncomfortable with his mother's friendship with a man. Jen confesses to Jack that she wants to break up with Dawson.
9918"Cigarette Burns"Les SheldonTom Kapinos & Jon KasdanApril 10, 2002 (2002-04-10)5184.15[97]
Oliver tells Dawson he has arranged a screening for their movie, which is yet to be finished. Dawson freaks out, but Joey comforts him saying the movie is brilliant. At the screening, Dawson meets a beautiful woman, and after exchanging insults she reveals herself to be Amy Lloyd, movie critic for Boston Weekly, whom Oliver secretly invited. She storms out, and it is up to Dawson to bring her back. They go out for coffee and have a heart-to-heart talk. Meanwhile, Joey is scared about her feelings towards Charlie and goes to Jen for advice. Jen, recently reunited with Jack, struggles to deal with the fact that Grams has a new boyfriend, Clifton Smalls, an African American member of the Baptist faith. Pacey asks Audrey how many men she's slept with, and she tests his reactions by saying 27, then 57, when it was really only five.
10019"100 Light Years from Home"David PetrarcaRina MimounApril 17, 2002 (2002-04-17)5193.51[98]
It is Spring Break and the group goes to Miami to party. Audrey and Pacey go through their first relationship test when Audrey's high school boyfriend (and her first true love) shows up with tickets for the M2M concert at an MTV event. She is torn with the memories of the past, and eventually kisses Chris. Pacey stays cool about it and asks Audrey to be his official girlfriend after she confesses she loves him not Chris. Meanwhile, Dawson and Oliver hit to road to NY to meet a film agent who is interested in their movie, but never make it there. Dawson starts to tell Oliver his story with Joey and decides to surprise her in Miami, looking to resuscitate their romance. But when he gets there, all he finds is a drunk and depressed Jack (who is flunking out of college) and Pacey, who tells him his story with Joey is over. Charlie shows up and he and Joey end up spending the night together, while Dawson is left with nowhere to go and a broken heart over Joey.
10120"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"Robert DuncanNicole RanadiveApril 28, 2002 (2002-04-28)5203.46[99]

Charlie's band lands a deal for a tour and he asks Joey to go with him, but she doesn't want to leave college in the middle of the semester. Charlie then decides to quit the band and stay with her, which freaks Joey, who thinks they're jumping too many steps. She breaks up with him so he can go with his band on tour. Meanwhile, Oliver and Dawson finally get to NY to meet with an agent, but Oliver ruins the meeting. Dawson threatens to end their partnership but Oliver begs for another chance. Pacey meets the nasty new manager of the restaurant, Alex Pearl. She promotes Pacey to head chef but fires Audrey. Pacey tries to get Audrey her job back, but all he gets is a kiss from Alex.

Absent: Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith
10221"After Hours"Mel DamskiJeffrey StepakoffMay 1, 2002 (2002-05-01)5213.64[100]

Pacey's new boss proposes more professionalism in the workplace and promises to leave behind her attraction towards him, even offering Audrey her job back. Audrey suspects something is going on between them and refuses to return. Later, Alex drops by at Pacey's and Audrey walks in on them talking about their kiss. She storms out in anger, leaving the future of their relationship unknown while Pacey struggles with the growing attraction he feels for Alex. Dawson runs into Amy Lloyd, the movie critic, and they end up in bed together. Afterward, they talk about movies and she gives him a copy of the Woody Allen film, What's Up, Tiger Lily?. Joey and Jack focus on studies, and while she has problems concentrating, he has to catch up an entire semester and even goes back to the fraternity house asking for help. Luckily, Eric (the same guy who caused Jack his expulsion) shows up with the needed notes.

Absent: Michelle Williams
10322"The Abby"Michael LangeDiego Gutierrez & Jon KasdanMay 8, 2002 (2002-05-08)5224.31[101]
Pacey leads a revolt against Alex at Civilization. Dawson, Joey, and Audrey return to Capeside, leaving Audrey to wonder about their pasts. Joey decides to see her father for the first time since his latest incarceration, while Dawson finally pays a visit to his father's grave. Jack and Jen wonder how they'll spend the summer.
10423"Swan Song"Greg PrangeGina Fattore & Tom KapinosMay 15, 2002 (2002-05-15)5234.38[102]
As summer approaches, everyone gets ready for various travels. Dawson prepares to head out for LA with Audrey, while Jack and Jen get ready for their Costa Rican adventure. Left behind in Capeside for the summer, Joey and Pacey lament their fates – until they make a crucial last-minute decision that changes everything.

Season 6: 2002–2003[edit]

The sixth and final season of Dawson's Creek began October 2, 2002 and ended May 14, 2003 with a special two-hour series finale. The season takes place during the characters' sophomore year of college and the series finale takes place five years later. The show saw the addition of Busy Philipps as Audrey Lidell, who previously guest starred throughout the entire fifth season.

No. in
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Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
1051"The Kids Are Alright"Greg PrangeTom KapinosOctober 2, 2002 (2002-10-02)6015.33[103]
Dawson returns to Boston after working as an assistant director in Los Angeles over the summer and reunites with Joey who has spent a relatively angst-free summer in Capeside. Audrey and Pacey return from LA with a surprise passenger, Audrey's childhood friend Jack Osborne.
1062"The Song Remains the Same"Robert McNeillGina FattoreOctober 2, 2002 (2002-10-02)6025.33[103]
Dawson and Joey's reunion leads to an evening of truth and intimacy, which is ruined on Joey's birthday when Dawson receives a phone call from another woman. Pacey gets a job interview that could change his life. Sparks fly between Jen and C.J., a handsome new peer counselor she meets at school.
1073"The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest"Joanna KernsAnna FrickeOctober 9, 2002 (2002-10-09)6034.90[104]

Joey's worst nightmare comes true when she accidentally sends a very personal e-mail she wrote for Dawson to the entire student body. The next morning, Joey's e-mail is the topic of virtually all campus discussions when Professor Hetson decides to debate it with his students. Meanwhile, Jack makes an attempt to get to know a little better his cultural professor, Mark Freeman, who pays no attention to Jack. Pacey, while struggling to survive the first days on his new job, closes a very important deal for the firm, which his wheeling-dealing mentor Rich Rinaldi takes full credit for. Eddie, a student in Joey‘s reading class, who also works as the bartender at Hell‘s Kitchen, persuades Joey to confront any challenge that Hetson throws and not show any weakness since Hetson thrives on it.

James Van Der Beek only appears in the last scene of the episode, and doesn't have any lines.
1084"Instant Karma!"Robert McNeillMaggie FriedmanOctober 16, 2002 (2002-10-16)6044.17[105]
Dawson finds himself in an awkward situation when he is put between Joey and the intoxicated leading lady of his film. Audrey allows herself to be taken in by another man's charm.
1095"The Imposters"Michael LangeGina FattoreOctober 23, 2002 (2002-10-23)6053.80[106]
Dawson manages to "get the girl" when a producer visits the "Wicked Dead" movie set to fire Natasha and close down production. Audrey is excited when asked to be the lead singer of Emma's band but is crushed when Pacey misses the gig. Joey demands the truth from Eddie.
1106"Living Dead Girl"Les SheldonTom KapinosOctober 30, 2002 (2002-10-30)6063.94[107]
When Dawson assists Todd in throwing a blow-out Halloween party, Todd and Natasha have Dawson believing he is seeing the ghost of a legendary film actress. Jen becomes suspicious about C.J., and Joey gets stuck taking Professor Heston's daughter to a haunted house with Eddie.
1117"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"Jason MooreAnna FrickeNovember 6, 2002 (2002-11-06)6074.38[108]

Audrey gets drunk before her band performs and worries her friends, especially C.J. who suspects a deeper problem. Meanwhile, Eddie and Joey agree to go on a real date. Pacey hits it off with a beautiful woman while on a business trip to New Orleans, and is shocked to discover that she's a call girl. When Professor Freeman announces that he's leaving he and Jack have a heart-to-heart talk about their future.

Absent: James Van Der Beek
1128"Spiderwebs"Bethany RooneyGina FattoreNovember 13, 2002 (2002-11-13)6084.77[109]
Dawson comes through with No Doubt concert tickets, but his and Natasha's first public date ends in a brush with the law. Joey and Eddie have to sneak into the concert, while Pacey come to blows with C.J. at the concert when it is revealed that he slept with Audrey.
1139"Everything Put Together Falls Apart"Kerr SmithMaggie FriedmanNovember 20, 2002 (2002-11-20)6094.33[110]

Natasha is drawn to a handsome new actor who arrives on the set. Meanwhile, Joey spends the night at Eddie's apartment but misses Professor Heston's final exam which results in him flunking her. Later, Heston visits Hell's Kitchen restaurant where he harshly tells Eddie that he resents a guy like him taking up Joey's time and when Heston insults Eddie, he falls into Heston's trap by punching the mean professor in his face which results in Eddie getting fired. Elsewhere, Pacey invites Emma to his office party and sparks between the two turn to passion.

Absent: Michelle Williams, Busy Philipps
11410"Merry Mayhem"David PetrarcaTom KapinosDecember 11, 2002 (2002-12-11)6103.94[111]

Dawson and Gail invite everyone back to Capeside for Christmas, but Dawson confronts Natasha about her one-night stand. Joey's happiness with Eddie turns sour when her father expresses his disapproval. Audrey gets loaded during the dinner at Dawson's. At the Christmas dinner, a drunk Todd delivers a hysterical prayer and ends up airing some dirty laundry. When he is finished Audrey airs the rest of the gang's dirty laundry then storms off.

Absent: Kerr Smith
11511"Day Out of Days"Robert McNeillGina FattoreJanuary 15, 2003 (2003-01-15)6113.63[112]
Back in Los Angeles, Dawson is asked by the studio to direct re-shoots but is conflicted about being disloyal to his mentor. Meanwhile, Joey hasn't heard from Eddie since Christmas and finds his apartment empty. Pacey starts skipping work to spend time with Emma. Jen's insecurities as a peer counselor are compounded when C.J. is assigned to train her; and Audrey still on a destructive path, returns to Los Angeles to party with old friends including, Jack Osbourne.
11612"All the Right Moves"Arlene SanfordMaggie FriedmanJanuary 22, 2003 (2003-01-22)6123.55[113]

Joey follows Eddie to his family home where they face up to their true emotions and the obstacles they must overcome to be together. Back in Boston, Pacey is invited to an exclusive party where he receives a promotion and is recruited to be part of a special project but is tipped off that the project maybe not be ethical. Audrey returns from Los Angeles and is welcomed back into the band, but blows her chances by getting drunk just before taking the stage.

Absent: James Van Der Beek
11713"Rock Bottom"Robert McNeillTom KapinosJanuary 29, 2003 (2003-01-29)6133.10[114]

In Los Angeles, while directing re-shoots on "Wicked Dead", Dawson finds his authority questioned by Heather Tracey and the other producers when Natasha refuses to do a nude scene. As a result, Dawson adopts an aggressive take-no-prisoners attitude, similar to the one that Todd has, to take control of the situation. In Boston, Joey is unable to say good-bye to Eddie who is moving to California to register at a college when she convinces him to help her take Audrey to a rehab clinic in Los Angeles, and the three of them, plus a guy Audrey picks up, drive cross country where the four constantly quarrel with each other. Jen spends her time consoling a dumped Grams, and Jen and C.J. set a lonely Grams up with C.J.'s Uncle Bill, who turns out to be quite randy.

Absent: Joshua Jackson, Kerr Smith
11814"Clean and Sober"Michael LangeAnna FrickeFebruary 5, 2003 (2003-02-05)6143.40[106]
In Los Angeles, Dawson visits Audrey at the rehab clinic where he spots a big time film producer, named Toni Stark, and follows her into a therapy session hoping to talk to the woman who‘ll direct Dawson to better contacts. Meanwhile, in Boston, Pacey throws a party at his place to celebrate his new success at his job as well as purchasing a new super-sized TV set and is surprised when Joey, still sulking over the departure of Eddie, lets loose by getting drunk and setting up a spontaneous game of spin the bottle. Before getting the chance to kiss the game is interrupted. Pacey carries Joey to his room and he admits to Joey that Audrey was right at Christmas when she said that he is not over her and they kiss. Jen catches the reformed alcoholic C.J. with a drink which leads to them arguing, and making up by having sex for the first time. Also, Emma tries to stay in the country to get her green card by courting a stoner to marry her until Jack offers to marry Emma.
11915"Castaways"Greg PrangeGina FattoreFebruary 19, 2003 (2003-02-19)6154.20[106]

After agreeing to pose as Pacey's sister at a business party, Joey demands to be taken home. When Pacey makes a quick stop at a local K-Mart they are accidentally locked inside the store overnight. The two are forced to talk about their relationship and spend the night bonding. Pacey lets Joey shave his face finally getting rid of his horrible facial hair. After that he tells Joey that he had been wanting to kiss her all night and they kiss. They have a heart to heart before they go to sleep and kiss again. They get closer to each other and kiss. They leave that morning happy about the time they spent together and are left to ponder what is in store for them.

Absent: James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith, Busy Philipps
12016"That Was Then"Perry LangAnna FrickeMarch 26, 2003 (2003-03-26)6163.05[115]

Professor Heston orders Joey to baby-sit for Harley to make sure she does her homework. But Joey ends up serving as relationship counselor when she finds Harley's boyfriend, Patrick, hiding in the house. Patrick starts to drool over Joey which makes Harley jealous. Meanwhile, Dawson pays a visit to his past when he's asked to speak to Mr. Gold's class at Capeside High about how it is to be working in L.A. One of the students asks Dawson to watch his film. While watching the film Dawson realizes that he's moved on from the teenager he once was. Pacey also returns to Capeside when his father is admitted to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Pacey has an argument with his brother, Doug, about the way Pacey's been treating the family by shutting them out.

Absent: Michelle Williams, Kerr Smith, Busy Philipps
12117"Sex and Violence"Frank PerlAnna Fricke & Tom KapinosApril 2, 2003 (2003-04-02)6173.26[116]

Joey agrees to be Pacey's temporary assistant but their mutual jealousy leads to disaster in the office. Dawson sells his idea for a coming-of-age movie, but when the studio wants to change it to a teen sex film, he must decide whether to stick with his original concept.

Absent: Kerr Smith, Busy Philipps
12218"Love Bites"Bethany RooneyLiz GarciaApril 9, 2003 (2003-04-09)6183.39[117]

Jen's seemingly happy world comes crashing down when she learns that Grams has breast cancer. Meanwhile, Joey's tumultuous love life continues when Eddie reveals his true reasons for returning to Boston, and Pacey agrees to join Joey as she chaperones for Harley's school dance, but what should be a magical night doesn't feel right for Joey. Feeling too scared to jump back into a relationship with Pacey, she goes back to Eddie. Although he is at first reluctant, Pacey agrees to invest Dawson's life savings to finance his new film project.

Absent: Kerr Smith, Busy Philipps
12319"Lovelines"Joshua JacksonJason M. PalmerApril 16, 2003 (2003-04-16)6193.12[118]

Joey's and Eddie's emotional and sexual relationship is played out on stage during a counseling center benefit with hosts Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla (playing themselves). At the same event, Jack and David deal with the insecurities in their relationship; Jen opens up to C.J. about Grams' cancer; and a sober Audrey returns to Boston and surprises everyone at the benefit.

Absent: James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson
12420"Catch–22"Robert McNeillLaura GlasserApril 23, 2003 (2003-04-23)6203.47[119]
Pacey learns he has lost Dawson's money in the stock market after investing in a med stock that just went bust. Pacey then asks his boss Rich Rinaldi to borrow $18,000 to refund Dawson's money, but Rinaldi refuses. Frustrated and angry after Rinaldi insults Pacey one-too many times by calling him a loser, Pacey (having heard enough of that from everyone he knows) punches Rinaldi in his face which results in Rinaldi instantly firing Pacey. Back at school, Joey passes her English final with an 'A', which earns her a C+ average grade, and is relieved that her long ordeal with the insufferable Professor Heston is over. However, Joey later tells Heston that she wants him as her adviser when she decides to choose English as her major. Eddie surprises Joey with a trip to Europe for the summer, but a fiery conversation about how differently they live their lives leaves both of them questioning their future together. Eddie ends up breaking up with Joey with a letter. Elsewhere, David finally breaks up with Jack, who ponders if he was only with David to prove to himself that he could hold a steady relationship.
12521"Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road"Peter KowalskiAnna FrickeApril 30, 2003 (2003-04-30)6213.80[120]
Joey returns to Capeside to find Dawson's script on her doorstep and is overwhelmed that he has written a story about three friends, but Dawson's movie-making dreams are shattered when Pacey arrives comes clean about losing Dawson's money. The ensuing verbal fight opens old wounds and leaves the three friends believing their friendship will never be the same. Also, with classes at Worthington over, Joey says goodbye to Audrey who has to stay behind to attend summer classes. And Jen invites her mother, Helen, over to Grams' house where she wants her to tell Helen about her cancer.
12622"Joey Potter and Capeside Redemption"Michael LangeGina Fattore & Tom KapinosMay 7, 2003 (2003-05-07)6224.88[121]
When Dawson gives up his dream of making his film, a strong-minded Joey rallies the old group back to Capeside to help Dawson begin production before pursuing her dream of traveling to Paris. Jen, Jack and Grams must say their goodbyes and leave for New York.
"All Good Things..."
"...Must Come to An End"
James Whitmore, Jr.Kevin Williamson & Maggie FriedmanMay 14, 2003 (2003-05-14)623-6247.30[123]

Five years have passed and everyone now age 25 is reunited in Capeside for a special wedding. Dawson has been living in Los Angeles producing his autobiographical television series The Creek. Joey is now a book editor living in New York City with her boyfriend, Christopher. Pacey has reopened Joey’s family’s old restaurant and his fashion sense has gotten slightly better. Jen is a single mom living with Grams in New York and managing an art gallery in SoHo, and Jack is a teacher at Capeside High and has fallen in love with Doug who is now the Sheriff of Capeside. The group gets together at the Icehouse to hangout before the wedding. During the wedding Jen is sent to the hospital and it is revealed that she is dying from a terminal heart condition. Dawson helps Jen make a video for her daughter, asking her to never stop loving and dreaming. Joey breaks up with Christopher which prompts Jen to ask Joey for her last wish to end the chasing and running and to finally pick between Pacey and Dawson. Joey tells Jen that she has always known who she is supposed to be with but runs her feelings because she is too scared. Jack tells Jen that she's his soul mate and asks to raise baby Amy for her. Jen passes away with Grams by her side. Jen’s death forces everyone to grow up and to stop running. Doug tells Jack he's willing to spend his life with him and wants to help raise Amy. Pacey tells Joey that despite his endless love for her, he feels like he is holding her back as she has fulfilled her dreams of leaving Capeside, where he feels like he is destined to be. She tells him that she loves both him and Dawson but before she can continue they are interrupted. Before returning to New York, Joey sits with Dawson and confesses that even though they may never be together, he and she are soulmates and nothing should ever change that. Even though the two recognize that they are soulmates, it does not compare to the love between Pacey and Joey. Joey finally stops running from her feelings for Pacey and chooses to be with him over Dawson. Dawson, Joey and Pacey’s greatest wishes come true. Dawson is successful in Hollywood, and Pacey and Joey both make it out of Capeside and get to be together. The episode ends with Pacey and Joey together in New York calling Dawson after watching the season finale of his show. Dawson tells them that he is going to be meeting his idol Steven Spielberg tomorrow and ends on a shot of the opening credits from season one.

In 2011, the whole two-part finale was ranked #16 on the TV Guide Network special, TV's Most Unforgettable Finales.[122]

Absent: Busy Philipps



  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete First Season (2003-04-01) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete Second Season (2003-12-16) From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete Third Season (2004-06-29) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fourth Season (2004-10-05) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fifth Season (2005-05-03) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Dawson's Creek: The Complete Sixth Season (2006-04-04) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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  122. ^ TV's Most Unforgettable Finales – Aired May 22, 2011 on TV Guide Network
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External links[edit]