Summer is gone and now the gang must get back to their lives in college. Each one of them had a very special summer, filled with emotions and experiences. Pacey and Audrey rocked Los Angeles and spent time with the Osbornes on their TV show; Jen spent the summer in New York and got ecstatic to learn her parents are separating; Dawson is working on a new movie, a horror film with the egotistical director Todd Carr; Jack got dumped by Eric, but got over it; and Joey spent her summer in Capeside, and not in Paris, doing a lot of reading, working and romancing. Right in their first week back, Jen is shocked to run into Grams in one of her classes. Turns out Mrs. Ryan has decided to go back to school. Joey decides to take an intermediate writing class tought by the liberal, but stern and critical Professor Greg Heston, whom does not pass up any opportunity to single out and ridicule Joey in front of his class for her lack of knowledge on the book subject. Pacey is scheduled for a big interview as a stockbroker which was set up by Audrey's father and meets his new boss, the ruthless, wheeling-and-dealing Rich Rinaldi whom makes it clear that he will not accept any trouble from his new employees. Meanwhile, Pacey and Jack move out of Grams' house while Pacey tries to get the perfect apartment, owned by feisty, British punk rocker, Emma Jones. Emma works as a waitress in the local bar, Hell's Kitchen, across the street. Joey keeps missing Dawson, to whom she hasn't spoken all summer, and who later is the only one to remember her birthday. As the two start talking in Joey's room, Dawson gives her a present. They hug which leads to something even more intimate.