Kerr Smith stars , in Dawson's Creek, as Jack McPhee a complex teenager whose mysterious family life unfolded in 1997. After wooing and finally winning Joey's heart following her first break-up with Dawson, Jack in turn disappoints her when a series of events leads him to question his sexuality. Unfortunately, his father is not accepting of Jack's situation, causing further strife in his already shattered family. It's after writing a poem about a guy, rumours strat spreading saying that Jack is gay. Joey doesn't want to believe it, but Jack can't confirm or disconfirm the rumours. He is also very confused himself, and doesn't know what to believe. In the end he tells Joey that he is gay. Jack's father comes to Capeside to take his family with him. Jack, however, refuses to leave, even though the rest of his family most probably will leave. At the same time, Jen is kicked out of her house. Jack therefor invites her to come live with him, as his roommate. At the beginning of Season 3, we see Jack and Jen's living arrangements are going extremely well and they have become the best of friends. Things start to get sorted out when Dawson's dad talks to Jack about joining the football team, after witnessing his excellent catches on the field. Jack also becomes friends with Henry, the freshman football quarterback, and advices him to stay away from Jen, telling him he'll just get his heart broken. After Jack decides to join the team, he seems to find it easier to fit in with the rest of the school. He is finally accepted, and for the first time in a long time his life seems to be going right. He welcomes home his sister, Andie, in "Homecoming" and he's more than happy to see her.

At the end of the school year, while cleaning out his locker, Jen tells Jack that she doesn't want to talk with Henry because of an arguement they had and aks Jack to talk for her. Jack thinks Jen and Henry are both being ridiculous as they shun each other in the high school halls. He thinks Jen is being too harsh on Henry, but she's unmovable on the issue. Later, as he, Jen, Pacey and Andie glumly bemoan their fates, Grams tells a story that makes them all think twice about their life's worth of regrets. After Grams takes Jen, Jack, and Andie to chase after Henry for Jen, Jen insists they take a detour to Boston for Jack to track down Ethan. They arrive, and Jack finds him on campus. Bravely Jack approaches, and impulsively, kisses Ethan. But Ethan breaks away, and introduces him to "Brad." "Your ex-boyfriend, Brad?" Jack asks with trepidation. Brad answers for him, "No, his boyfriend, Brad." He leaves the two to talk things over, but there isn't much else left to say. Back in Capeside, Jack's father reaches out to Jack, but Jack rebuffs him, sure his father doesn't want to hear what he's upset about. Finally he admits what happened with Ethan, and challenges his father to admit that he's disgusted by the fact that Jack kissed another guy. Mr. McPhee tells Jack he's wrong. Jack opens up, allowing his emotions to come out admitting he thinks the whole year, the whole relationship, his whole life is a wash. His father is sympathetic. Jack complains bitterly about how much energy he had to put into a kiss, that it isn't like that for other people. "I didn't ask for this," he cries. Mr. McPhee says, "No more than I asked for a gay son, but I'm sure glad I got one." Jack and his father share a long overdue hug as Jack allows himself to cry. Later, he joins Jen and Andie, bringing some videos over to Dawson's house in an effort to come together as friends to cheer him up.

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