Yacht Club. "Our" Mr. Brooks eats a solitary meal. Enter Dawson, who clomps right up to Mr. Brooks's table and takes a seat without so much as a by-your-leave. "So," he says, "have you seen any good movies lately?" Shut up, Dawson. Mr. Brooks stares at him for a moment, then grunts that he saw Star Wars "a while back," but he "didn't get it." Dawson points out mildly that "Star Wars came out in 1977." "Like I said, it was a while back." Hee! Dawson announces that he saw a good movie recently. "Bully for you," grumps Mr. Brooks, but Dawson blunders ahead, calling the movie an "incredible fusion of, uh, film noir [which Dawson pronounces 'nooo-ahr' -- shut. Up. Dawson.], black comedy, and a love story." Then Dawson tells him the title. Mr. Brooks rolls his eyes, remarking that Dawson must think he's pretty clever. Duh, Mr. Brooks. He's a wunderkind; don't you read the papers? Dawson eagerly asks how he's supposed to "deal with the fact" that the "grumpy old man" (shut up, Dawson) who forced him into "indentured servitude" (SHUT UP, Dawson) is actually "a cross between Sam Fuller and Cameron Crowe?" Oh, my God, shut up, Dawson! Mr. Brooks has never heard of Cameron Crowe, but comments that Sam Fuller made some "good pictures." "And so did you, Mr. Brooks," Dawson smarms, and adds that he's seen every movie of Mr. Brooks's that he could find, Mr. Brooks "is like this true American primitive," he has so much respect for what Mr. Brooks has done, blah bling blah -- all in a tone that suggest Mr. Brooks ought to find the acclaim all the more lofty since it comes from Dawson. Shut. Up. Dawson. Mr. Brooks grumps that "they're not 'fiiiiilms,' they're pictures," pictures that he himself considers "hackwork," and "this newfound respect" Dawson has for him makes him uncomfortable. Dawson, confident that he can win Mr. Brooks over, smugs, "You can play the curmudgeon all you want, A.I. Brooks, but you can't fool me." "Well, that's a load off," Mr. Brooks snorts. Snerk. Dawson prates that Mr. Brooks obviously cares about things like love and honor and morality and blah blah blah blah BLAH, and Mr. Brooks retorts that he "cares" about eating his meal in peace, so Dawson makes to leave, but first he has to tell Mr. Brooks that his "pictures" really had an impact on Dawson, and Dawson thought he might like to hear that. Because, you know, Dawson knows film, so a compliment from Dawson is like money in the bank. FUCKING SHUT UP, DAWSON! Dawson won't shut up, though; after Mr. Brooks grits out a grudging "thank you for the kind words," Dawson bounces all eagerly in his seat and wants to know about the chemistry between the two leads in Turn Away, My Sweet, but Mr. Brooks has hit saturation level, and he hisses at Dawson to "kindly remove [him]self from" the general vicinity. Dawson finally, FINALLY leaves, a Smirky Balboa look on his face. Mr. Brooks sighs heavily and picks up his fork.
Cut to a dress shop, where poor Joey Potter, who supposedly can barely afford college, is modeling a strappy silk dress in the mirror. It would look a lot better if Joey stood up straight for once, but Gretchen supplies the obligatory flattery of the so-called tomboy: "The girl can't help it. She's beautiful." Blah blah "too much?" blah blah "only if Pacey wears his camouflage pants" blah blah Joey feels kind of bad dragging him to "this thing" blah blah Joey needs his support, Pacey "gets that" blah blah doesn't want Pacey to feel out of place blah blah Pacey's "nuts about" her, planning on making "a career" out of staying close to Joey blah blah relax blah blah don't let Pacey "do that nervous joke-telling thing that he does" blah blah blah blah blaaaaaah. Gretchen expositions for Joey that she's revived the traditional Leery holiday party. Joey says that she loves those, and they always put her in the right mood for the holidays -- which she finds strange in retrospect, since she and Dawson usually spent them hiding in his room. "Which has its own distinct charms," Gretchen smiles. Ew. Not. Joey gives Gretchen the furry eyeball as Gretchen says that Dawson can make a movie rental and popcorn "seem like an event." Well, by that definition, projectile vomiting -- nah, forget it. Too easy. Joey says wistfully that she knows what Gretchen means. "You're gonna do great, Joey," Gretchen tells her. Joey, her mind elsewhere: "Huh?" "Saturday night. You're gonna do great." After a long pause, Joey smiles shyly, then looks down. Abrupt cut to commercial.