Onstage, Mrs. Windjammer is saying that Pacey has changed his program, and instead of a magic act, will perform a dramatic interpretation. Pacey comes onstage wearing only his vest -- no shirt -- and with blue make-up covering most of his face, and, in a pretty crap Scots accent, says, "Well, I'm not William Wallace, but I am Pacey Witter." He pauses, and from the wings, Dawson yells, "Pacey Witter's seven feet tall!" "So, they say...so they say," Pacey says, and goes on, "And they say that this Pacey Witter is a dangerous man who slaughters Capeside residents by the dozens with jokes and buffoonery. And that if he were here, he would destroy those who would judge him, with sparks from his eyes and wit from his ass. Well, I am Pacey Witter. But who of you are in the position to judge me?" He indicates a man at the judges' table and asks, "Is it you, sir? And what sort of human being tolerates being judged? Well, judgment stops today, because that which scorns me deems to own me, and I am willing to trade the trappings of my dysfunctional life for one chance -- just one chance -- to stand in front of my fellow countrymen and tell them that you may take my life, but you will never take my freedom! Thank you and goodnight." He starts to walk offstage. Dawson, standing backstage with a constipated expression, starts applauding tentatively. The judges look mildly amused. Bucking expectations, Pacey fails to run back onstage and fart at the crowd.
Backstage, Joey walks into the dressing room and overhears Hannah saying, "You know, if she does win, it's only for the sympathy vote, because she is a total charity case." The blonde crony apparently zipping up Hannah's dress as Hannah pets her own face asks, "What do you mean?" Hannah evidently takes a great deal of pleasure in telling Crony all about Joey: blah blah "trailer" blah "sister" blah blah "illegitimate baby with her black boyfriend" blah blah blah bitchcakes. Dawson comes in as Joey stands near the doorway eavesdropping. Crony asks where Joey's parents are, and Hannah tells her about DeadMom and Mr. Pothead, concluding, "But you can ask her yourself; she'll tell anyone who listens to her pathetic sob story." I have to say, there isn't a part of this that isn't true -- particularly the bit about Joey's non-reticence in sharing the story with others. Dawson has the grace to look wounded on Joey's behalf. Hannah delivers the closer: "I'm sure she's already told the judges." At this, Joey starts to flee. Dawson tries to stop her, but she tells him not to try to make her go back out there, and curses herself for "setting [her]self up like this." Dawson tells her she was phenomenal, and that if she lets "these inbred idiots" defeat her, she'll never forgive herself. Joey says she can't believe she's sunk so low for money, and that she "might as well have sold [her]self on a street corner." She makes for the door again, but Dawson pushes her back and tells her that she could win the contest, and that the reason those bitches are slamming her is that they know she can beat them. Joey considers this, and then says, "I don't want their money, Dawson. I don't want anything from these people -- it makes me sick!" Dawson says he doesn't think it's about the money anymore. This pulls Joey up short. He says he knows they're not speaking at the moment, but that if they were, "I would tell my best friend -- who was always too afraid to get up in class for show and tell -- how incredibly proud I am of her, and how I think she has got more guts and talent and strength of character than all the Hannah von Wennings of the world put together." Joey smiles. Dawson gets a nosebleed from the effort it took him to deliver two selfless compliments in a single evening.