Brookshaven. Footage of Mr. Brooks runs on Dawson's laptop; cut to Mr. Brooks watching distractedly. Pain flickers across his face. Dawson, standing behind him and off to one side, doesn't see it, commenting that he thinks "that section's pretty much done." Mr. Brooks says that the whole thing's done. Dawson wants to tweak it, but Mr. Brooks, breathing through the pain, tells him to lock it up and put the credits on so that he can "run it for an audience." Dawson asks again about editing here and there, but Mr. Brooks waves it off: "Could be better, could be worse, could be just…different. The thing to do now is, uh…let it go." He looks sad. Again, Dawson is oblivious, saying, "Right -- at least for tonight, anyway," and he wheels Mr. Brooks into the living room "for some of that music you love to blare." Heh. That struck me as funny for some reason.
Chit-chat about Gretchen. "Don't take it too easy -- you're not my age, you hear me?" Mr. Brooks wheezes. Dawson turns on an antique radio, and the black monolith crashes through my kitchen window and scares the cats as "What A Wonderful World" begins to play on the soundtrack. Mr. Brooks tells Dawson that he's still young enough to fall in and out of love a few more times before he gets it right. Dawson sits beside Mr. Brooks, remarking that that doesn't sound like much fun. Mr. Brooks says that "it isn't, and it is…and it isn't," but it's worth it "every damn time." Okay, writers? We've passed this intersection at least three times; get out and ask for directions, already. Dawson teases him about waxing "prophetic," and Mr. Brooks says that "pancreatic cancer'll make a prophet outta anybody." Ouch. Well, at least the writers chose a disease that fits with Mr. Brooks's symptoms as we've seen them so far. Dawson's face falls; after an awkward moment, he says that he guesses he'll go, unless Mr. Brooks needs anything else. Reluctant to say goodnight, Mr. Brooks asks Dawson to help him over to the couch; Dawson does so, and Mr. Brooks slings an arm over Dawson's shoulders and leans on Dawson, and they shuffle slow-dance-style towards the couch.
When they've almost reached it, Mr. Brooks suddenly slings his other arm up and hugs Dawson. Dawson hugs him back a bit stiffly, his eyes scared. Mr. Brooks's face over Dawson's shoulder struggles not to cry. Then Mr. Brooks abruptly lets go and eases himself down onto the couch. Dawson regards him for a moment, and he can't seem to decide what to say, settling on a halting, "Well. There you go." Mr. Brooks composes himself and tells Dawson, "Picture's not half-bad," and he's not just saying so because it's about him. Tears shine in Dawson's eyes: "We should make another one sometime." Mr. Brooks beams, "Any time, kid. Any time." They twinkle at one another. Dawson quickly says goodnight and heads for the door before he loses it, and we fade out on Mr. Brooks's face working. Aww. You know, we've had some debate on the forums about Van Der Beek's acting in that scene, but I think he did a fine job. In fact, even when the Dawson character is written as a buttnut, the acting in his scenes with Harve Presnell is as good as any he's done. Anyway, on to the commercials.