Joey Potter's on-off-boyfriend throughout season 6 with the repeating pattern of him leaving her. Still they're having a unique and special relationship - intellectual and emotional at the same time by having a big influence on each other's life and getting the other half to push boundaries and grow as a person.
Eddie has his first appearance in the class of Professor Heston at the beginning of season 6. He appears to be a fellow student and stands out because of his almost endless knowledge when it comes to literature.
Actually Joey and Eddie are "introduced" to each other in class when Professor Henson asks him for his opposing opinion on Selby's "Last Exit to Brooklyn" after Joey disappointed the professor by admitting she hadn't read the whole book. It's a first peek on what their future relationship builds up in the upcoming episodes: Eddie becomes a stimulating partner to discuss the reading they have to do for their literature class when she starts to work at Hell's Kitchen too.
While working together they get to know each other better and better, teasing each other and dancing around each other while it becomes obvious that one finds the other truly interesting. He's a very intelligent, witty, eloquent, observant and poised young man who seems very confident by what one can tell after his first couple appearances. It is much later that Joey gets a look behind his appealing poise topped with a light bit of arrogance.
When Eddie and Joey deliver food to the film set Dawson's a part of he gets to learns about Joey's past. Joey kisses him the same night while they're closing up the bar. She says that she followed an impulse - referring to their earlier discussion of Kerouac's "On the road", but he disagrees not minding her kissing him if she wanted to, but not doing so to deal with her situation with Dawson. However this is a sweet scene because it's the first time he shows a bit of affection without any irony or teasing her.
A bigger gesture showing he's not indifferent about Joey is when he stands up for her in Heston's class when the professor's bashing her during her class presentation. In that context by using literary metaphors Heston discloses that he knows Eddie's not an official student at Worthington whereupon Eddie leaves class. Irritated at first asks her colleague Emma about him. She learns a lot more about Eddie and his background too when she seeks him out at his place where Eddie acts cool and gets defensive. Later that night however Eddie goes to the bar where he tells Joey about how he ended up being a "student" himself. He accidently happened to sit in a class for the first time when passing his lunch hour outside and found himself being part of a discussion about Shakespeare whose entire works he read later on. That actual day he was reading "Moby Dick".
At the end of ep07 Joey & Eddie agree to go on a proper first date together which happens to be a No Doubt concert. Because Joey actually forgets the tickets at the dorm they have to sneek in and it happens that Joey gets to know Eddie's father who's working at the arena, so they end up in the rafters looking down at the concert. At the end of the night Eddie asks Joey about her Dad and her plans for the future. That scene again marks another step them actually getting close and intimate with each other.
Eddie gets second thoughts about his relationship with Joey after visiting her in Capeside for Christmas - facing a lot issues that bother him: Joey's father seeing a loser in him and him actually not being the "most-together guy on the planet", the ghosts of Joey's past relationships and doubting they can actually be together - the circumstances, expectations and their families' opinions all combined. Kissing her on the forehead he leaves.
When Joey gets back to Boston after the holidays she can't get hold of Eddie and going to his apartment she finds it empty and realizes he's gone. It's Eddie disappearing for the 1st time.
When her colleague Emma asks Joey to clear Eddie's locker at Hell's Kitchen she finds a manuscript and rejection letter from a publishing company. The manuscript had an address and phone number on it and because of that Joey comes to know that Eddie's in Worcester at his parents place. But not able to speak to him she hangs up the moment he answers the phone. It's actually Henston's daughter that lures Eddie back to Boston telling him Joey was pregnant. Eddie showing up proves that he's a decent guy after all.
However they discuss how things ended between them, Eddie revealing he disappeard having Joey's best interest in mind and that leaving her was the hardest thing he'd ever done.. He thinks of himself of being worth nothing at all and of Joey deserving better than him - an unemployed bartender with no future and her truely not wanting him but "the guy in the English class". Nontheless Joey asks professor Heston to read Eddie's short stories ("Greetings from Worcester") who admits Eddie's got potential. Heston agrees to help Eddie getting into a writer's program in California.
Visiting Eddie at his parents' house after that Joey tells him not to give up on life and his future. She reminds him of the man he once told her he wanted to be, a man taking chances. As a response to that he kisses her, but Joey's repulsing him. To stop her from leaving and not giving up on him at the same time he tells her that he loves her. Telling him she loves him too Joey still leaves.
Eddie takes Joey's words to heart and decides to actually try to get into the writer's program in California. When he stops at the dorm to say goodbye to Joey they end up driving Audrey and her fling all the way to California together where Audrey's supposed to go to rehab. For Joey it's a way to deal with another goodbye since she's not ready to let Eddie go yet. This road trip leads to them splitting on good terms.
After that Joey briefly reunites with Pacey but when Eddie returns to Boston to be with her until he'll start school in the fall, she breaks things off with Pacey to be with him. But after him repeatedly leaving Joey has trust issues and struggles to get intimate with Eddie. At a foundraiser for the Counceling Center that Jen's hosting Dr. Drew calls both of them up on stage to discuss their sex life. But it's not until after the show that Joey opens up about her feelings. By telling her to take a leap of faith and that he loves her more than anything in the world Eddie's able to dispel her fears.
Although one could think they finally could be happy together, it wasn't meant to be. Eddie surprises Joey with the plan spending the summer traveling all over Europe together after her finals. Stoked and excited about what the summer will have to offer they make plans together and you get an impression on how happy they could actually be together - enjoying eachother's company and sharing their love for writing and literature by following the footsteps of famous writers.. But they get into a fight because of Joey mentioning they had to be practical after all and that one can't run away from the problems that wait around the corner with fall approaching. And that's when their characters collide - her tendence to anxiety and rationality meet his spontaneity and impulsivity.. a fight wonderfully fought with lots and lots of arguments coming from literature - the thing that once brang them together. It's so beautiful and has a taste of tragic irony.
After spending that night apart Joey discusses her final with professor Heston who opens her eyes to faith and taking a leap of hope by making her read a part of "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller actually reflecting her current situation and fears.
The passage is from page 451: "I'm not running away from my responsibilities. I'm running to them. There's nothing negative about running away to save my life." Enlightened by those lines she decides to take the trip with Eddie only to find a goodbye letter on her phone from Eddie being the third and final goodbye.
Letter for Joey
- – Dear Joey, as you know I'm not good at goodbyes. But I guess that's what it is. A real one this time. Because as much as I thought I wanted us to be together, I guess what I want more is to be one of those people who lives every moment of his life without indecision and without regrets. Someone who dares to disturb the universe without a thought to the consequences. And you're not one of those people, at least not yet. Maybe you'll prove me wrong about that one day. I hope you do. But who knows? Maybe people can't change. Maybe we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again no matter how hard we try. I always hope for a happy ending. How crazy is that? Take care of yourself.