I happened to watch the season 1 finale last night. I admit, I watch season 3 of this show nearly once a year (usually the 4th of July I watch the run of episodes leading to "Joey's Independence Day") but I rarely watch any other episodes with the exception of the series finale, so it's been a LONG time since I've watched the season 1 finale.
I couldn't get over how poorly Jen was treated! First off, Michelle Williams was so underrated back then! Katie Holmes certainly had a spark around her, but MW was just so effortless in her emotional performance. The scene that really stood out to me though, was when she went to Dawson for comfort right after her grandfather died. I have a new appreciation for James van der Beek in recent years, but he was SO bad in these scenes. Jen's pouring her heart out to him, and he plays it like he's grossed out and uncomfortable, like how dare she look for sympathy from me, we broke up and I'm totally into Joey now, so NOT my problem. It's a very bad acting choice.
The season finale also reminds me of the premise in season 3, that because Dawson asked Pacey to look after Joey, Pacey fell in love with her, as if there weren't multiple occasions in season 1, where Pacey -- without any influence from Dawson, was a good friend to Joey and related to her in a way that Dawson never could. I don't think Kevin Williamson ever intended for this, in fact he went into the series finale set on Dawson and Joey, but the foundation to what made Pacey and Joey a great pairing started the moment Joey sat down next to Pacey after his affair with Tamara was revealed and was like "this town, amirite?" Josh and Katie's chemistry was stellar, and impossible to ignore, but I don't think they realized how great they laid the groundwork for the pairing early on either.