Empty symbolism and loaded symbolism are opposites, of course, and one's able to learn more about the characters through this opposition. Andie's opinion is a way to make these themes overt throughout the episode, just like Andie's ideas about the psychic made the themes of "Psychic Friends" overt and important for the rest of the characters even if they were unaware of the theme, because they're not supposed to be 'in' on the theme; that's not how life works.
Mr. Potter's back in Capeside. Immediately, Bessie tells Joey about a plan to turn a significant profit for the Ice House. For Bessie, her father is a symbol of stability and productivity, despite the time he spent in prison. The idea to cater weddings represents a new dawn for the Ice House, a way to emerge from crippling debt, and a way to reform the family in a way it hasn't been together since the death of Bessie and Joey's mother. Joey wonders if her father's full of empty sentiments and ideas as well as this symbol of stability. Joey needs to work through the issues she has with her father. The wedding stresses her out because the Ice House depends on its success, and the Ice House never catered before. Capeside is still a small town, insular, populated by people with their own prejudices, and Mr. Potter's return from prison is met with low opinions by the townspeople, which stresses Joey out more. Jack calms her down while Dawson watches enviously until Jack tells him that Joey needs her soul mate to help her through the mess.
Dawson spent much of the episode with women who either were afraid to love or eager to love again. The women included the bride-to-be and Gail, his mother. Dawson screened Creek Daze for his mother, which she complimented, and the experience somehow committed her to winning Mitch back. The wedding seemed a perfect place for Gail to win Mitch back because a wedding symbolizes the most holy of commitments; however, Mitch has his own symbol of independence in his date with Ms. Kennedy. Mitch's date symbolizes his own process of moving on and away from Gail, in Gail's view; of course, Dawson perceives the matter differently, as a symbol of Mitch wanting his wife to become jealous, as a sort of game he's playing to hurt his wife the way she hurt him by sleeping with her co-anchor. Dawson is unable to help his mom and the bride-to-be. He stands and watches Jack save a marriage, and he stands and watches his mom sit alone while Mitch romances the evil substitute teacher who ripped Dawson's film.
Dawson doesn't fail Joey, though, which is meant to solidify their fate as soul mates. Joey's overheard by her father worrying about the town's opinion of the return of the man who cheated on his sick wife and who dealt drugs, leaving two daughters in the lurch in prison. Dawson doubts Joey wants his help after he learns about her dad's return from Jack. Joey's emotions are complex and difficult to express. Dawson catches her in a vulnerable moment, not long after she'd been crying, and he verbalizes the emotions she's had trouble verbalizing, because he gets her. Joey fears being hurt by her father again, but Dawson assures her she needn't be afraid because her dad is back and a better man than before, that she possesses incredible strength, that she's allowed to be afraid and find comfort in her family, because her family is back. And, he adds, she'll always have him. Their talk is heartfelt and sweet, one of the last genuinely felt scenes between the characters in the series. The courage she finds from Dawson's words compels her to communicate honestly with her father. Father and daughter reconcile, and she wants to show him off to Capeside, but he's afraid of public opinion. Near the wedding's end, she sees her father walk into the dance room in a splendid tux. They dance. You see, he just wasn't ready to be seen (though I'm sure that wasn't the intent but considering what comes after then maybe one should take all of Mike Potter's scenes literally).
Dawson and Joey slow dance after their dances with their respective parents. The overanalyzation goes away once they're in each other's arms. Joey simply tells her soul mate how she feels about him because of how he's treated her for sixteen years. "I love you, Dawson," Joey says. Dawson responds with an "I love you." They kiss. They're back together again. Dawson may not understand anything about the world, but we're to understand his understanding of Joey Potter. In rare moments, their connection works. Rare is the key word. Symbolism disappears in the final act once the characters communicate. Once they do, good things happen.
But there are only four episodes left, so moments of happiness seem to be just moments, temporary, bound to change.
-Andie confesses to secretly loving weddings. She and Pacey are mostly occupied with fixing the top part of a wedding cake. Pacey keeps his pay. Absolutely no drama happens between them, which was nice.
-Abby Morgan dies after falling several feet into the bay. Jen witnesses the fall and recovers the body. Jen randomly wants to hang out with Abby because no one invited her to cater the wedding, and the writers needed Jen to become unstable again. Abby's last lines are about how she'll always be unhappy. I'll write much more about Abby and Jen next week.
-Mike White wrote the episode. Greg Prange directed it.
UP NEXT: "Rest in Peace, Abby Morgan"--Abby's death shocks Capeside; Jen denounces God in front of Grams; Andie's asked to give the eulogy because Mrs. Morgan gave her a ride home one time. Watch it on Netflix, Streampix, or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYJAnDEvUtA
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK