With every strand of hair marcelled in place, Dawson strides purposefully down the hall at Capeside High and runs into an oddly neckless Jen "and Applesauce" Lindley, who manages to stammer, "How're you doing?" Trying his best to look busy and vital, he says he's doing great, quickly asks how she is, and tries to hurry on his way without any further intercourse. She stops him and says that sometimes, after a break-up, there's that awkward period where the conversation dwindles into small talk. Throughout all this, Dawson looks like he's just done about a pound of crystal meth, because his eyes are flicking back and forth as if independent of the rest of his face. Dawson asks what she's saying. Predictably enough, she wants to know if there's any way they can still be friends. Dawson and his lantern jaw sputter inarticulately.
In some kind of science classroom, Dawson seeks the counsel of Pacey "Marc Anthony...No, Not That One" Witter, telling him that he told Jen he had to think about it. Pacey tells Dawson that they both know Dawson doesn't want to be friends with Jen, but that she can't know that, so Dawson has to pretend that he's no longer romantically interested in her, if he wants to get Jen back. Dawson asks, "How do I do that?" Some random brunette hears her cue and materializes in front of Pacey's and Dawson's desk, saying hi to Dawson (who greets her as "Mary Beth") and remarking that they get their midterms back today. Dawson dismissively mutters, "Can't wait," and she takes off. Pacey beams at her, doing the slow "awww yeah" nod. Dawson chews his lips while Pacey continues his dissertation on Dawson's need to feign a lack of interest in Jen, and says that this is only the first of a "two-pronged attack" to getting Jen to be Dawson's girlfriend again. Dawson asks what the second prong is, but just in time class starts. The teacher hands back the tests and says that most of the students did "quite well," with the exception of Pacey, whom he names. What the hell is with the teachers in this school? If they're not screwing poor Pacey, they're screwing him over. Pacey looks dismayed. Dawson smirks, because he's a jerk.
After class, Pacey regards the 32\% he got on his midterm while the teacher tells him that he knows Pacey is bright. He even checked out Pacey's most recent "standardized test" score (wouldn't a real teacher identify what that test was?), which revealed that Pacey has an aptitude for science, so that if he isn't doing well in class, it's his own fault. Blah blah blah instead of the midterm exam blah blah complete an extra credit project blah blah since the class is marine biology, it's appropriate to conclude on this note: fishcakes. Pacey is delighted to be offered this alternative. Dr. Rand (for that is the teacher's name) tells Pacey to wait for a student from another one of his classes. Pacey says, "Another rocket scientist like me, I presume?" But no, it's Joey. D'oh! Pacey and Joey express mutual disappointment.