The episode's in my top 3 of season one episodes because it establishes characters in a way the previous four episodes hadn't--it's more effective than the pilot in world building. The characters are confined in one house with secrets and prejudices concealed within the hearts and minds of those characters. The hurricane storm isn't the only hurricane in Capeside, and the storm won't be as destructive as the metaphorical hurricane descending upon Leery manor.
Dawson bitches about his life and his mother. Joey uses the "mother card" and reminds Dawson that he's blessed to have his mother, and for one of the seven times in the entire series, Dawson's speechless. Joey doesn't have much of a story in the episode --she just drifts from storyline to storyline.
Pacey, Doug and Tamara spend the day in Tamara's luxurious house on the coast (a high school English teacher makes THAT much?). Obviously, this is the first episode with Doug Witter.
"Hurricane" moves Mitch & Gail's storyline forward and even Bessie's with Bodhi and Grams.
At the end, Joey wishes that she could return to her childhood for one night to remove herself from the drama of everyday life..