Opening scene is Gretchen spreading her aged wisdom about the senior class skiing trip being a rite and passage and how it’s cruel and unusual. For all they bitch about the cruelty of life in this town, when the alleged poorest kid in town, Joey Potter, can afford to go on a ski trip I’m not convinced of anything other than privileged whining.
But apparently on Gretchen’s trip, a girl got pregnant, another arrested and someone’s hair caught on fire. And I guess this is normal and yet the ski trip remains a thing?
Before Pacey and Joey leave, Gretchen tells Joey to call Dawson. Sounds like he’s taking Brooks’ death hard. Jen is telling Jack she should be at the hospital with Grams. So is Brooks not dead then? I’d wonder why Grams is letting Jen go on a trip where it’s normal for teen girls to get pregnant, but I suppose she’s distracted by her ailing gentleman friend.
Anyway, Jen is complaining about the trip because that’s what these people do. Ugh, skiiing!
Pacey says it’s good to get out of town and for some reason Joey is being an ass about that comment, “Are we those types of people…?”
On the bus, Jen’s like, I don’t even know how to ski! And she’s acting like this is the first time she’s considered that. Joey, meanwhile, looks surprised and startled when the teacher reaches the letter P on the roll call and actually calls her name for attendance. She seems equally shocked to turn around and see Drue sitting behind her. Like you wouldn’t have noticed your arch rival taking the seat behind you.
Jen is still trying to push Toby on Jack. Jack is not into someone as flaming as Toby. Jen doesn’t know any other gay dude, so apparently this means Jack has to fall for fucking Toby whether he wants to or not. Because Jack’s lack of attraction to this guy is not seen as a good enough reason not to bone him.
Pacey asks Drue if he thinks he’s going to get away with this. Is Drue not supposed to be on the trip? Drue taunts Pacey about him not getting laid this weekend.
At the hospital, Dawson talks to Grams, who is staying with Brooks who is in a coma, still has cancer and is decidedly not going to make it.
At the ski resort, Pacey wants to carry their shit but Joey insists on doing it out of a misunderstanding of what feminism means. Pacey’s like, fuck this, and grabs the huge bag and carries it way more easily. I think it’s weird they are sharing a bag.
A teacher says all sleeping arrangements are same sex and the keys to the mini bars have been confiscated, amidst groans. Drue takes the keys and starts tossing them out to people as the teacher walks away. Like this would ever happen anywhere. This level of supervising ineptitude explains the aforementioned pregnancy last year.
Jen slips on the ice.
At the hospital, Dawson learns that because he signed a paper to be able to pick up Brooks’ meds, it now means he has the power to decide to take him off life support too ’cause Brooks has no immediate family. Is Dawson even legally old enough to make this choice?
They call his parents (First sign maybe he’s not?) who are incredulous, the doctor is totally unhelpful and now they gotta figure this out. Mitch thinks he should pull the plug and Gail thinks Dawson should sit back and do nothing.
Outside at the resort, the teenagers are running amok like children and hopefully no other guests are there getting hit by snowballs.
Pacey and Joey are actually in this fucking room. Looks like a suite with a king size bed and fireplace. What high school would book this room for sharing between teenagers? Pacey has turned on the TV and there’s porn. AGAIN, wtf? It’s hard to suspend my disbelief that this scenario is even possible.
Joey looks weirded out and Pacey turns it off. They talk about the sex they’re not having.
In Jen and Jack’s room, there’s two twin beds. Again, not something most resorts have. Two double beds, sure. Jen thinks her ankle is sprained. She wants Jack to help her take off her pants so she can have a hot bath. Jack thinks that crosses the boy-girl boundaries. Jen hobbles toward the bathroom and starts undressing and Jack puts the kibosh on that.
Gretchen comes to visit Dawson while he’s mulling over his choice. He’s like, I’m 17, how can I make this decision? And I’m wondering the same thing. Plot hole, much? Gretchen gives Dawson a pep talk about how his choice will be the right one.
Jen, Jack, Joey and Pacey meet up to decide where to go for dinner and Jen slips on the ice again.
At the restaurant, Drue’s talking about how easy it is for girls to have sex, and they should carry around condoms and boys are cheering. Joey says not all boys walk around with condoms in their wallet. Now all the boys are opening their wallets. Condoms everywhere. Pacey says he left his wallet back at the lodge.
Outside, Joey wants to know why Pacey didn’t show his wallet when it’s in his pocket. D’uh, Joey, it’s cause he has a condom in there and he didn’t want to embarrass her. He hands it to her, she opens it and finds a condom.
Jesus, if looks could kill. She silently walks away. Christ, Joey. What a priss.
Dawson talks to Grams in the hospital’s chapel. They talk about praying. Life and death. Light stuff. Dawson says his instincts are to keep waiting.
At the resort, kids are skating. No skiing yet. Jack and Joey are talking. She says sex is her problem because it’s always her problem. That’s not true, but moving along. She’s going over about the right time and shit. I’d think the right time might be with the boy you love, who you’ve been with the better part of a year in a private hotel suite when your graduation from high school is assured. But whatevs.
Jack tells her she’s basically overthinking it and it’s just a choice, no right or wrong one. She says she feels fear. Probably because she’s overselling herself the experience as life-changing or something. Note to teenagers: your virginity is not an actual tangible thing that defines you, it’s just a state of mind.
Jack tells her worthwhile things tend to be a little scary. So he’s essentially telling her to shit or get off the pot. Which, as you’re reaching adulthood, is pretty decent advice when it comes to stringing someone along.
At the hospital, an old man comes to visit Brooks. It was the friend who stole his girlfriend. He says he never told Brooks about Ellie’s death because he thought it would hurt him too much, but when he dies he’ll see her.
Dawson wants advice about choosing to pull the plug. The old guy says Brooks believed the answers to life’s questions could always be found in the movies:
So I guess Dawson’s going to watch a bunch of movies to figure this out, but I don’t think ET or Jurassic Park can help him now.
At the resort, Jack comes back to the room to see Jen knee-deep in the mini bar. This couldn’t be more stupid. Those tiny bottles are hella expensive and how’s she going to explain that shit to Grams when she’s sent home with a bill for hundreds of dollars?
Jack says he wants to get dangerous and stupid tonight. Jen wants to stay in and get hammered.
Some girl comes to Pacey and Joey’s room (No teachers have checked in at any point to make sure there’s no nonsense) and she’s wearing a bikini under her open coat and invites them to the hot tub. Joey uses this as a way to pick a fight with Pacey, who is trying not to take the bait, but in the end calls her passive aggressive. Which she totally is.
Pacey then calls out the elephant in the room about why Joey’s so scared of sex with him. Dawson. She immediately disagrees, but it’s totally the reason. Pacey says she’s scared because she thought her first time would be with Dawson, and he’s scared she’s holding back because of that. Joey’s then affronted (because no one can ever make her happy) and Pacey leaves.
Jen and Jack have a heart-to-heart drunk chat. And they kiss. Perhaps he hadn’t worked out all his confusion with Joey yet.
Joey and Dawson are talking on the phone, about letting go. He’s talking about Brooks and she’s applying it to her own situation.
Pacey’s walking outside and sees that bikini girl who says he looks down and wants to help.
Jen and Jack are making out on the floor. But Jen calls a stop to it because Jack is too drunk, lonely and gay for this to be a good idea. She gets up and is walking around normally. So no sprain after all…?
At the hospital, Dawson has chosen to end Brooks’ suffering. Mitch, Gail and Gretchen are there for moral support along with Grams, who all leave him for a private goodbye after Brooks dies. I’m sort of taken out of the moment by seeing Brooks still breathing.
Outside, Jen is busted by a teacher dumping the empty bottles. He’s all what the hell? To think, you leave a pile of teenagers unsupervised with access to alcohol and this happens? Anyway, Jen brushes him off and walk away and the teacher does nothing. Yep.
Bikini girl comes onto Pacey, who’s like, n’ah, I love someone else who I want to be with for more than a night and I wouldn’t consider hurting her, so I’m not interested.
And there’s Joey, who watched the whole thing and is happy now. I’m thinking tonight’s the night.
Pacey offers to read her a story.
At the Leery house they do a screening of one of Brooks’ movies.
In their room, Pacey starts brushing Joey’s hair for her, and she subtly inquires about the condom, which in my old married state is a reasonable response to having my hair brushed.
I can see Joey’s hip bone. Eat a sandwich.
Oh look, they’re going to have sex! And Joey lists all the reasons she wants to. And he’s still so cautious just in case she pulls the rug out, but nope, I think it’s a go.
Here comes the credits.
Yep. It’s happened.
MVA: Joey. “The amount of sexual pleasure the average teenage girl gets from the average teenage guy at some random keg party hook-up is negligible at best.”