Dawson (James Van Der Beek) returns to Boston after working as an assistant director in Los Angeles over the summer and reunites with Joey (Katie Holmes) who has spent a relatively angst-free summer in Capeside. Their reunion leads to an evening of truth and intimacy, which is ruined when Dawson receives a phone call from another woman. Meanwhile, Audrey (Busy Philipps) and Pacy (Josh Jackson) return from L.A. with a surprise passenger, Audrey's childhood friend Jack Osborne (guest-starring as himself), and Pacey gets a job interview that could change his life. Sparks fly between Jen (Michelle Williams) and CJ (guest star Jensen Ackles, "Days of Our Lives"), a handsome new peer counselor she meets at school.
Dawson and Joey decide not to talk about their night together and just enjoy the beginning of their new relationship. Pacey starts his new job as a stockbroker and has to deal with a slimy, arrogant boss. The gang attempt to celebrate Joey's birthday with a surprise party, unknowingly amidst her finding out about Dawson's L.A. girlfriend.
- Pacey and Jack move in with Emma Jones.
- Joey and Dawson break up for the last time on the series.