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Episode 603 - The Importance Of Not Being Too Earnest

In this episode: In an attempt to gain closure with Dawson, Joey stays up all night writing him a emotional e-mail and, in her exhaustion, accidentally sends it out to the entire campus. Meanwhile, Pacey struggles to succeed in the business world without selling his soul; and Jack worries that a very married Professor Freeman is aware of his crush.

Original Airdate: October 9, 2002

[Scene: Joey's Dorm room. Joey is sitting in front of her laptop computer, trying to type an email to Dawson, and all she has managed to type so far is “Dear Dawson” and the title of the email “The Incident”. And from there she does not even know how to continue. She spends a long time trying to figure out how to start the email, but just can't figure out how to start. Audrey is just getting back to the room.]

Joey: [Sighs]

[Door opens]

Audrey: Oh, my god! You're still there, like a vegetable.

Joey: Writing a good e-mail is hard.

Audrey: Yes, especially when it is a huge mistake.

Joey: Shut up.

Audrey: Joey, I am serious. E-mail expression is the scourge of the modern age. The internet has made it way too easy to express oneself. Ok, you have some fleeting thought. You send it. It lands with a thud in some unsuspecting person's mailbox. Said person then reads it, gets irked because you've recapped a conversation that you presumably already had. They fail to respond. You feel slighted. But if you must be one of these pathetic passive/aggressive e-mail types, far be it from me to stop you. What do you have so far?

Joey: Well... I had "Dear Dawson," and then I erased it.

Audrey: Why? I think that's a nice start.

Joey: I seemed cold.

Audrey: True. I mean, you did just nude-up with the guy. Oh, I'm sorry, or did you guys do it through a hole in a sheet because that's very Dawson and Joey to me.

Joey: Again, shut up.

Audrey: Sorry. Ok, so what do you want to say?

Joey: I don't know. I mean, I don't like the way things ended, and I want him to know that I care, but I also want to hold on to my righteous indignation.

Audrey: Obviously. Well, why don't you just pick up the phone and call him?

Joey: I'm afraid we'll just fall right back into our old patterns. Trust me. E-mail is a far safer alternative at the moment.

Audrey: Ok, if you must do this, then I say that you go for it. You know, be gooey and be embarrassing, but most of all, just be real, Joey. Say all of the things that you can't say to his face, the whole nine.

Joey: You're right. I better get to work. But...thank you, Audrey.

Audrey: No problem, sister Christian.

[Joey goes back to the email and her words finally start flowing from her. She spends long hours typing out the email, as Audrey watches for a while, and finally goes to bed. Joey finishes it very late in the night, and clicks the address book and goes to Dawson's email address, and yawns as she clicks, but accidentally selects, which was right above his name, and sends the email out to the entire campus.]

[Scene: Emma's Apartment. Jack has just woken up and comes downstairs to the kitchen when Emma is sitting at the counter, drinking a rather weird shake like drink, which is grayish in color. Jack half asleep walks by her noticing her drink and continues to the refrigerator.]

Emma: That's gross.

Emma: That's gross. Yeah. I thought you'd be more—

Jack: sensitive? Well-groomed? Up by 6:00 drinking a zone shake?

Emma: To begin with.

Jack: And I thought you'd be little more—

Emma: Snaggletoothed? Sucking down the tea? Choking on bangers and mash?

Jack: [Chuckles] Yeah. Well, it's a service we provide to those less educated of our cultures-- you and I... we keep them guessing.

[Pacey comes downstairs all dressed up in suit and tie for work.]

Jack: [Snickering]

Pacey: Ok, ok. Yuck it up, kiddies, 'cause this is how I will appear every morning in all my formal glory. Some of us actually have to work for a living.

Jack: Oh, poor Pacey Witter has a job that million would want that he's vastly under qualified for.

Pacey: Oh, come on.

Jack: What's up with that hair, man? Why is it... the way it is?

Pacey: It's too much product?

Emma: Now, are you sure that blonde of yours isn't a ruse, Pacey?

Pacey: Emma, you know, if you can't deal with the man love, [Slap] I don't think this thing's gonna work out.

Emma: Don't remind me. And I know you've got this brilliant job and all, but you're still going to have to put the dishes in the wash before you go.

Pacey: Which is exactly why I came down here.

Emma: And you, jack, left the door unlocked last night after the hard sell you two boys gave me about free security.

Jack: That wasn't me. That was him. [Pacey points at Jack from behind his back] I'm totally nonconfrontational. All right, ok. All right, duly noted. Man, between the suit and nagging it's like a good old-fashioned American family around here.

[Scene: Joey's Dorm Room. It is now morning and Joey is just waking up. She walks over to her computer to see if she has gotten a response from Dawson, and when she opens her mailbox, she finds hundreds of responses to her email, and goes to the Sent email box, and notices that she sent the email to the entire school. She begins to freak.]

Joey: Audrey!

Audrey: What?

Joey: Audrey, wake up.

Audrey: What?

Joey: The e-mail.

Audrey: What about it?

Joey: I sent it to everyone, not like "the gang" everyone-- countless strangers, "campus wide" everyone.

Audrey: Well, honey, why would you do that?

Joey: It was a mistake. I was tired. I clicked on the wrong address.

Audrey: See? I told you that wasn't a good idea.

Joey: That's all you have to say?

Audrey: I don't know. Sucks to be you?

[Audrey goes back to sleep]

[Scene: Pacey's Work. Pacey is just arriving to work to notice that the place is bustling with activity. HE seems to be a little confused, and notices Rich over by one of the desks and heads over towards him.]

Rich: Witter!

Pacey: Rinaldi.

Rich: That's "sir" until you buy me flowers, Witter. Where have you been?

Pacey: I'm really sorry. I was just under the impression that I wasn't supposed to be here until 9:00.

Rich: Ahh, "supposed to." Well, that's cute. Are you supposed to dress yourself, or does your mommy actually want you to look like a pansy? Look around. You see these guys? Apparently, these gentlemen are free thinkers. Since you've yet to grow a pair, you get stuck with these.

[Hands him a stack of folders]

Pacey: And what's all this?

Rich: That is a collection of about 30 cold days in hell: Rich guys sittin' on piles of money so high that their daughters eloped and sold their own babies on the black market just to put ramen on the table. We have never been able to sell them stock, and they will certainly never buy it from the tardy likes of you. You better get on the phone. We work on commission here. And the guys on your list don't know how dreamy you are, so I would work that blue collar charm full-throttle. Stop battin' your eyes at me.

Pacey: Is this some sort of punishment?

Rich: I'm just tryin' to get you to leave. I don't have enough desks.

Guy: [Chuckles]

[Scene: Pop Culture Class. Jen is about to walks into an aisle of seats when Jack stops her so that he can go in first]

Jack: No, Jen. Jen, can I sit on the inside? I want to sit on the inside.

Jen: Sorry.

Jack: What?

Jen: Ahh... sorry. Are we done playing musical chairs yet?

Jack: I just want to be able to see the board.

Jen: Don't insult me with your scholarly guise. You just want to get a good look at freeman.

[They come up to a seat next to Audrey]

Audrey: And why not? Mother, may I?

Jen: Audrey, not that we don't enjoy having you here, because we do, but don't you have your own classes to go to?

Audrey: Worthington's charms are lost on me.

Jen: Miss one more week, and maybe they'll just kick you out.

Audrey: Awesome.

Jack: Guys, shh!

Jen: Ok, I forgot to tell you. This is studious jack, not to be confused with fun-time jack. He doesn't like to miss a word of freeman's lecture, so you should just try to keep it down.

Audrey: So tell me something. Between m and grams, how do nap during class?


Freeman: Ok, everyone...

Jen: You Don't…

Jack: Shh! Shh! Guys, guys, guys.

Freeman: Before we get started, I just wanted to inform those among you who are truly enamored with our twisted culture. That there's a little extra credit assignment today. Now, my heart be broken if nobody shows up. I will, however, silently judge you for the rest of the semester. There's a theater downtown that's showin' a double-feature which exemplifies our culture's obsession with the beautiful girl who plays ugly. The plain Janes who go on to grace the covers of Cosmo the same month their makeover movies come out.

Jen: Oh, no. Scholarly jack is gonna make me watch miss congeniality again.

Audrey: I love that movie.

Jen: Eh-heh!

Freeman: So, see me after class for details.

[Scene: Heston's English Class. There is a lot of commotion in the class and you can see everyone going over printed copies of Joey's email, and giggling to one another. Joey arrives to class late again, and everyone stops and looks up at her, including Heston who is handing out some copies of something. Joey walks across the room and sits in an empty seat.]

Heston: Ok, kiddies, knock back your ritalin and settle down. You may recall, we were wrapping up a rather depraved discussion of Portnoy's complaint last week. Sadly, we won't be dabbling in Roth's stream-of-consciousness sexual rivers much longer, but fate assigned us some additional reading last night via e-mail. I think you all got a copy, so why not? Let's discuss something you actually might've read. "Dear Dawson, I don't know where to begin."

Joey: Uh, professor Heston—

Heston: nobody likes a show-off, potter. You don't reach a point for several paragraphs, so I'll skip ahead. "In the moment when we touched, maybe we went somewhere else that rose above all this, but then we landed, and I think maybe we crashed."

Class: [Laughter]

Heston: Why, when broaching the topic of sex, do so many writers try to write themselves out of it? Sexuality and all its dysfunctions are intrinsic to the human experience, maybe the one thing we can all relate to at the end of the day-- well, neurosis and the god thing aside. And the reason that Roth seduced us and miss morning after here didn't is that while Roth isn't afraid to get his hands quite literally dirty with rapid-fire sensual description, our e-mail author here distances herself from the act with vague metaphors. Can't be stream of consciousness if you're observing from the shores... right?

[Heston heads over towards Joey and she does her best to ignore everyone. Just trying to ignore that this has happened at all]

Heston: Right.

[She looks around and notices everyone laughing at her]

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Pacey's place of work. Pacey is trying to sell someone over the phone.]

Pacey: I mean, I certainly understand that logic, Mr..."Engel." But m telling you, if you invest in this stock right now, your value, I mean, it's-- it'll double...eventually. The stock? Well, the stock-- the stock is strong. I mean, if you-- percentage wise? Well, yeah. You're probably looking at a good 15--hello?

[The person hangs up]

Rich: Smooth, Witter.

Pacey: Ah, the guy just caught me off-guard.

Rich: Listen, you gotta stop making excuses. I've heard you on the phone this morning. You think people are gonna relate to a plucky, blue-collar kid from southie?

Pacey: Capeside.

Rich: Whatever. It still reeks of the white picket and the black lab. You're talking to these people like you're trying to get a date for Friday night. "I'm Pacey. I'm sensitive. I care about your needs." That's the angle of the guy that's trying to sell the herald. Don't make him feel like the prettiest girl in the room. Make them feel like morons for doubting your financial prowess.

Pacey: So you actually want these people to hang up on me?

Rich: No. I want them to believe you, which is never going to happen unless you put some heart into it, Witter.

Pacey: Ok, fine. How am I supposed to sell them the stock? I don't even know what the damned thing is.

Rich: Find your in with these guys. Become them. Become who they want to be. Think with those judgmental, ageist, racist, sexist, stereotyping parts of your brain that you've worked so hard to conquer. Believe me, you're never gonna land a guy like topper playin' the nice guy.

Pacey: And who exactly is Topper?

Rich: Mr. Eli Topper is the next guy in your pile, fantastically hard sell. He lives in a little apartment on the outskirts of Boston, doesn't want to pay the city tax. He made his money in the eighties, and now he's just sittin' on it.

Pacey: Why do you bother going to all the trouble of gettin' that money if you're not gonna use it to better your life?

Rich: Guys like topper believe it can buy them an upgrade in heaven. Since you and I know we're never going there, grab your keys. We're goin' off campus.

[Scene: Hell's Kitchen. Joey has shown up for her first day of work, and Emma is showing her the ropes.]

Emma: Ok, so remember, you can't technically pour the alcohol, at least not while I'm on with you. No need to bring in the visa beasts.

Joey: No offense, Emma, but you do know I've worked in a restaurant before. I've seen them built. I've seen them burn down, not that I had anything to do with that.

Emma: Fascinating, but you've never worked in this dive, now, have you? Come on, then. Have a go at table 3.


Girl 1: All I know is that I would think long and hard before sending an e-mail like that to a guy I just slept with.

Girl 2: I know, right? I mean, unless you just never wanted to hear from him again.

Joey: Do you guys know what you want?

Guy: Come on. Not all guys are like that.

Girl 1: Oh, whatever, mike.

Girl 2: You're gay.

Girl 1: Can I have a quesadilla and a pale ale?

Guy: Well, maybe the guy is gay, too, and that's why he screwed her over.

Girl 1: Ok, look, she is obviously starving for attention, broadcasting it like that? I mean, really, what's the point? Unless you're on the real world or whatever.

Joey: You know, maybe-- and this is just a shot in the dark-- she didn't mean to send it to the gossips at large. Maybe she's just trying to get some private closure, never dreamed she'd be subjected to the Oprah psychobabble of her life-lacking peers. Now, do you guys want something to eat, or should I just bring over a nice tray of bon-bons so you guys can hunker down and watch your stories?

Girl 2: Eh-hee! Maybe later.

[Scene: Boston Bay Campus. Jack, Jen, and Audrey are heading to the theater to watch the extra credit movie. When they get there the notice Professor Freeman standing outside]

Jen: [Laughter] Boston bay is not a party school, Audrey.

Audrey: Spare me your lies, Jen. I am not going back to my evil den of higher learning. This is clearly where it's at.

Jack: Hey, the midday keggers get a little old after a few semesters, trust me. [He notices Freeman by the door to the theater] I tell you what, I'm gonna meet you guys in there. I'm gonna go talk to professor freeman.

Jen: Don't you think that's a tad Tracey flick? He doesn't know who you are.

Jack: Sure he does. I've raised my hand and talked in class a lotta times. He's noticed. He has.

Jen: All right... swim fan. Somebody has got to talk to that boy about his love of the straights.

Audrey: Whatever. It's totally hot.

[Jack leaves them and heads over to Freeman]

Jack: Hey. Not a very big turn out, huh?

Freeman: No, um, apparently not.

Jack: I guess not everybody is as enthusiastic about the girl who cried ugly as we are.

Freeman: Right. I'm sorry. Do I know you?

Jack: Uh, no. Sorry. Jack McPhee. I'm in your pop culture class?

Freeman: Oh, I'm sorry, jack. That class is massive, hard to keep people straight.

Jack: Heh heh! I'll bet. Ahem. I'll--I'll see you in there.

Freeman: Ok.

[Scene: Hell's Kitchen. Joey is working behind the bar with Emma.]

Emma: You're sure I haven't made a fantastic mistake, then, living with those 2?

Joey: Nope. I'm sure you won't be bored.

Emma: Now, that's a cold comfort.

[She looks up and sees Heston walk into the bar.]

Joey: You've gotta be kidding me.

Emma: Him? Yeah, he comes in here all the time.

Joey: Oh, of course he does. He's obviously been assigned to ruin my life, and he seems determined to do it in record time.

Emma: Listen, I'm not going to run for cover every time a dark cloud forms over your head. So I suggest you nip this in the bud. It's all yours.

[She leave Joey to him]

Heston: I can see why this joint would be much more alluring that the confines of the English department: All that silence, all those books.

Joey: And then, of course, your constant positive reinforcement.

Heston: Yeah. Right. That would get really annoying after a while. Are you waiting for me to order, or did you have somethin' to say? 'Cause it kinda looks like you've got your bone-to-pick face on.

Joey: And how would you know what that looks like?

Heston: Word gets around. I'll just have a tuna melt and a beer.

Joey: Sure. [she turns to get his order but stops and turns back to him.] Professor Heston—

Heston: oh, there you go.

Joey: Yeah, here I go. Look, I'm sure your hard-as-nails thing really works for you. I'm sure it earns you respect, and I'm sure that I will learn a lot in your class. But after today, I really wish you would've turned me away when you had the chance.

Heston: I thought you'd be flattered to be in the spotlight. I don't single people out that often.

Joey: Contrary to what you apparently believe, I'm not an idiot, professor Heston, and I'm fairly certain in the 20 minutes you spent mocking formative was a major off ramp from modern comp lit. And I'd just like to know, does today's total evisceration exonerate me, say, through November, or does this sort of public ridicule delight you indefinitely?

Heston: Why, I don't know. I mean, we're about to get into the poignant ramblings of Joyce and Woolf, and your work provides such a marked contrast. Hey, Joey... you do fancy yourself a writer, correct?

Joey: Yeah, you could call it a hobby.

Heston: So I'm sure that you've gathered at this point that on top of being neurotic and plagued with self-doubt, writers have to endure public humiliation every once in a while. You were the one that walked into my office promising me fearless academic ego, but I have yet to see it. If you can't handle my class-- and countless have died trying-- why don't you just quit?

Joey: I'm not a quitter.

Heston: People love saying that. It's like they saw it in some movie once and they liked the way it sounded.

Joey: I'm not just saying it, ok? I wanted to take your class because I wanted to learn something, and I wanted to work hard, but I didn't want to be personally ridiculed in the process.

Heston: Your heartfelt rant to what's his name proved good fodder for the topic at hand. It's hard to write that sex stuff, which you aptly proved. And if, by chance, one day you manage to get your writing circulated beyond the campus in box, there will always be an irritable writer type claiming to do better. Maybe you didn't mean for this one to go out into the world. Whatever. Bygones. Declare victory and move on.

Joey: Where's the victory in this little scenario?

Heston: One down, only a lifetime of proving yourself left to go. And if you're staying in my class, start proving that it's worth it... to one of us, at least.

[Scene: Pacey's Car. Pacey and Rich are driving down the road, and Rich is having some trouble with the state of Pacey's messy car. He flings a few items from the dashboard into the back seat.]

Rich: Man, you don't actually sleep in this car, do you?

Pacey: Not recently. I just moved into a new place.

Rich: Good 'cause I don't want to start feeling sorry for you or anything. You don't, uh, see these around much anymore.

Pacey: Oh, come on, man. This is a great car. I mean, sure, it's a lot of work, but she's worth it, you know?

Rich: Yeah. Turn into that dealership right over there.

Pacey: What? Are we goin' for a test drive?

Rich: Eh heh heh! That's one bonding experience that's passed us by. No. This one is signed and paid for. Just pickin' it up.

[They pull up to dealership and see a very expensive car in the window.]

Pacey: You've gotta be kidding. You cannot possibly be getting a Z8.

Rich: Nice, huh?

Pacey: Nice? How could you possible afford a car like that? You're not that much older than me.

Rich: Yes, but I'm so much wiser. Don't sweat it. Maybe if you snag Topper, all this'll be yours before you know it. Nice car. I'll take it from here.

Pacey: Hey, I happen to like my car, thank you very much.

Rich: Yeah. You've got a way to get around town, but it's all about what your car says about you.

Pacey: Ok, I'll bite. What does my car say about me?

Rich: That you're a sentimental fool of a man-child. You're too weak for a real car, so you tinker with your little medium-cool vintage one. You surround yourself with all things good, but not good enough. You don't want to grow up, so you don't go to school and you borrow your suits and you let your facial hair run amuck. That's fine, but then why bother getting in the ring at all if you're not even gonna throw a friggin' punch?

Pacey: What?

Rich: Are you gonna go in that office every day and watch guys collect their money so you can write a thoughtful piece about it in your memoirs?

Pacey: Well, maybe I don't care about any of that stuff. Maybe I'm just tryin' to pay my rent.

Rich: Come on, Pacey. I see somethin' goin' on in there. You're not subjecting yourself to me because you like my tie. You're hungry. So quit effin' around and go for it already.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Pacey's Work. Pacey is in the middle of a very successful Phone conversation with a client compared to his earlier attempts.]

Pacey: Hey, I hear you, Mr. Topper. When my father needed an open heart, I didn't even touch my savings. He got himself into that mess, he can get himself out. Right? But look, you and I are both very busy men, and if you don't want to hear about this stock today, that's fine by me. I'm just gonna call one of our more active buyers. Well, yes. The... the packet of information that my company sent you is certainly worth taking a look at... but it is nothing compared to what landed on my desk this morning. But, look, you and I... we both know-- you're not one of our more active buyers, so if you're not interested in this, that's fine by me. Just tell me right now, ok? Spare me the niceties, 'cause I am not your prom date. I'll just call my other guy. I mean, I made him 50 grand last week. I'm pretty sure he'll be happy to take my call. Right? Ok, so here's the story. The buyers in the market are playing it pretty close to the vest right now. But when they wake up in the morning, they're gonna be kickin' themselves, literally, because the buying price on this will have doubled. And if you get in right now, you're gonna be beatin' the guys who wake up in the morning, remember that they actually have a pair, and that greed is good, Eli. And the sucker down the street, he's never gonna know the joy that you know because by getting in early, you made 10 times the profit that he did, and that's somethin' you'll be able to rub in his face every time you pick up your paper. Ah. I knew you were a smart man the second you picked up the phone, Eli. [Chuckles] Um, let me just put you through to my assistant, and, uh, you can give her all your information. It has been a pleasure doin' business with you.

[Pacey goes to the meeting room, where Rich has just finished a meeting.]

Rich: Thanks, guys. Latham, get me that spreadsheet by 3:00. [ The rest of the people leave.] Don't you knock, Witter? I could've been havin' a nooner.

Pacey: Oh, I thought you were. Anyway, guess what. In fact, you know what? Don't guess. You'll ruin it for me. I...just closed topper.

Rich: You're kidding me.

Pacey: No, my friend, I'm not. I closed topper. I sold him some BS line from an eighties movie, and he bought it. It was like I was a profiler. I could smell the cheap beer on this guy's breath. He would rather buy stock today and ask questions tomorrow just so long as he's the richest guy on the block that week. It's amazing. I sell, he buys. It's that simple. Can you believe it?

Rich: You know what? I can't. Man. Witter, I knew you were a sneaky little twerp, but I never thought you'd pull this on me. Not today. Come here. Give me a hug.

Pacey: You serious?

Rich: No. But go to that refrigerator and get us some icy-cold beverages. I'm proud of you, son.

Pacey: Will do!

[Scene: The Theater. The movie has just let out, and Freeman is saying bye to a few students, and Jack, Jen and Audrey come out. Jack notices Freeman, and goes over to him.]

Freeman: [Sighs] So anyway, I'll see you Tuesday.

[The student leaves]

Jack: Hey, professor freeman.

Freeman: Hi. Jack, right?

Jack: Yeah.

Jen: Yeah. That's jack. I'm Jen. I'm in your class, too.

Freeman: That's right. I've seen you two sit together.

Jen: Mm-hmm. Hi.

Freeman: Am I losing my mind? Are you in my class, too?

Audrey: No! No, I'm just a really big fan of your work. You know? And the--and the work of...beautiful, ugly women everywhere, and I'm--I'm really just...interested in this pure culture of ours, and... yeah, so... do you guys want to go visit Joey at work and partake in some refreshments? Professor, you're more than welcome to join us if you're into the whole crossing the line kind of thing.

Jack: You know what? That sounds great. I'll tell you what. Why don't you guys get the car, and I'll meet you at the corner.

Freeman: You're gonna let me drive the Saab?

Jack: [Chuckles] Of course, Jennifer. Why wouldn't I? Uh, so why don't you two skedaddle, and I'll see you in a second?

[They go skipping off]

[Both men chuckle]

Freeman: Well, there you go. At least I know who's not in my class. Right?

Jack: Yeah.

Freeman: Did you forget something inside, jack?

Jack: Oh. No. Uh, no. Look, I don't expect you to know who I am. I just wanted to tell you that, uh, I really enjoy your class.

Freeman: Oh, w—

Jack: And I haven't really cared about school in a while. In fact, I haven't really cared about anything in a while. But, you know, seeing the work that you put into your lectures and seeing a teacher that's invested in being interesting and dynamic in class and not just tryin' to blow through another 50 minutes, it just, you know, really... means a lot to me. I didn't even really know what I was gonna declare as a major, but now it's, I don't know if it's the way that you word things or it's the subject matter, but... I walk away from class still thinking' about it, and--and, you know, I just look forward to the next time, and, uh... I was just wonderin' how I could become more... involved. You know.

Freeman: [Chuckles uncomfortably] Are we talkin' about the class, Jack, or are we talkin' about me?

Jack: W-wha--no. No. Oh., that's not what I meant. It's just, you know-- I--I mean, I'm not-- well, I am, but—

Freeman: Don't sweat it. Um... look, I'm glad you like the class. And, uh...and I think it'll show in your work this semester. I-I'm walkin' this way. Are you?

Jack: Yeah. Yeah.

[Scene: Pacey's Work. Pacey is trying to work on the next client, but is not having much success with this one.]

Pacey: But, Mr. Ickee, I'm telling you, it's a one-time-- hello? Cheap bastard.

Rich: Any luck?

Pacey: Uh, no, not on that one.

Rich: Yeah, knew you were a one-hit wonder.

Pacey: You wish, man.

Rich: Here, sport. Buy yourself some lunch.

[He hands him some quarters]

Pacey: Are you kidding?

Rich: No, you gotta work your way up here come on, do it fast. No one else is getting lunch today. They'll think I've gone soft. 5 minutes.

[Pacey goes to the lunch room where there are several other guys in there talking]

Man: Did anyone hear it?

Man 2: No, man, but Johnson said it was killer.

Man: Yeah?

Man 2: Yeah. Said it was like he smelled the blood and didn't stop until he tasted it.

Man: [All laugh] He is so frickin' awesome. Mmm.

Pacey: What's going on?

Man: Oh, you didn't hear?

Pacey: That's why I'm asking.

Man: Rinaldi, man. He closed topper.

[All laugh]

Pacey: What?

Man: They said it couldn't be done.

Man 2: The guy is, like, my personal god.

Man 3: [All laugh] Hey, ease up, Henderson. You're lookin' a little light in the loafers.

Man 2: Hey, you think he'll get a partner for that?

Man: Oh, he'll get something.

[several leave and one of them is in line after him by the machine]

Man: You gonna pick something or not?

Pacey: Uh, no, man. Uh... look, in fact, this one's on me. Enjoy yourself, all right?

[He hands him the quarters then leaves]

[Scene: Hell's Kitchen. Joey is walking towards the bar, when Eddie has just arrived for work. Eddie is heading behind the bar, putting on an apron, when Joey walks up to the bar.]

Eddie: Hey. You start today?

Joey: So it would appear. Uh, I need 2 beers and a vodka tonic. Um, Emma's in the back.

Eddie: Oh, yeah, right, you can't pour your own drinks. Well, this should be fun, baby-sitting you on top of everything else.

Joey: And what's that supposed to mean?

Eddie: Oh, don't get all fired up, ok? You know, I'm just not in the mood to take on your rage against the world tonight. I'm sure you'll be just as oversensitive tomorrow.

Joey: Oh, I get it. You wanna see me crack, huh? The endless horrors of the day are a waste unless they result in my nervous breakdown?

Eddie: Oh, what, did you have a bad day or something?

Joey: Oh, like you don't know. Too bad you didn't show up for class today and hear Heston's brilliant critique of my e-mail. That was the high point, I think, although I also loved walking into rooms to hear people whispering and laughing at me, and then there's nothing better than reaching for the last jell-o and getting unsolicited sexual advice from a stranger.

Eddie: Sounds fascinating. Sorry I missed it.

Joey: You know, contrary to popular belief, I didn't send that e-mail to get feedback from you and everyone else, and I was kind of thinking that since I've been mocked for the better part of the day, maybe you could spare me and concentrate on your own deep unhappiness for a while.

Eddie: You know, strangely, before you got all... crazy confessional on me, that's exactly what I was doing. I hadn't been planning how to best torture you. You see, we don't just walk off into a void when we leave your line of vision. Some of us even have our own lives and don't even talk about you at all. Now, I'm sorry that some brutal ivy league kids made fun of your e-mail today. To tell you the truth, I'm not much of an internet kind of guy, so, sadly, I have missed yet another aspect of your riveting, charmed life. But if you can't pour the drinks, can you at least serve them?

[He hands her, her drinks]

Eddie: Thanks.

[Scene: Pacey's work. It is the end of the day, and Pacey is watching everyone leave as he stands there waiting for Rich. Rich grabs his coat and notices Pacey standing there waiting.]

Rich: Ahh... Witter. Thought you'd gone home.

Pacey: Yeah, I figured you were waiting so you could sneak out the back door. But I just had a question I had to ask you, and--and, please, do me a favor and just spare me the dime store speech on what a sucker I am until I've left, okay?

Rich: I can't promise you anything.

Pacey: Yeah, I'm gettin' that. I just--I wanted to ask you why you bother with the act, with the whole, you know-- the "tough love, let me show you the ropes" act? 'Cause you don't actually want me to succeed, do you? In fact, you're praying for me to fail. That way you have one less sheep in the herd, right? And if I do succeed, then you're gonna be my friend? No, then you're gonna keep on taking my money that I earned and counting it as your own.

Rich: Do you need me here for this, or...

Pacey: Well, I just wanna know why you bother! Why would you take the time out of a busy day to build someone up and make them feel like they were worth something if you're just gonna steal all their glory at the end anyway?

Rich: This is a business. I didn't wake up this morning looking for some plucky kid to take under my wing. I came here to do my job, just like every day. Running you hard? Yeah, that's my job. Singing your praises isn't. Landing Topper, that was a fluke. A genius fluke, but a fluke nonetheless. We don't hand those deals over to the little guys. You haven't even taken your series 7. That bodes well for the future, but today? It means nothing.

Pacey: So, what, I'm just supposed to turn the other way on this? I'm supposed to slap you on the back, congratulate you on a job well done like the rest of your minions? No, man! That is not why I came here.

Rich: You can do what you wanna do. Maybe you'd rather continue floating numbly in the status quo. Maybe you wanna be me, and that's so scary you can't think straight. So walk away, Witter. It's what you do. And this is what I do, and I'm freakin' good at it. You wish you were this good, and that's why you bother trying. You think someone didn't do the exact same thing to me? [Laughs]

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Hell's Kitchen. Jen, Audrey and Jack are sitting at a table when Joey comes up to them carrying a tray. She puts a pitcher of pop on the table, and gives them each a glass.]

Jack: Done like a true professional.

Joey: More like a permanent bar wench.

Jen: Sorry it was such a bad day, Jo.

Joey: Serves me right. We don't take kindly to closure in these parts.

Audrey: You know, if it makes you feel any better, I hardly heard about the e-mail all day long.

Joey: Audrey, you weren't on campus all day.

Audrey: Details, Joey!

Jen: Does Dawson even know about it?

Joey: No, that's the thing. I mean, it wasn't even addressed to him. My intimate aftermath was discussed in English class, but Dawson will never know.

Jen: Well, maybe that's not such a bad thing, because this way there's a little more space between you guys, and, uh, technically, you still have a clean slate.

Jack: Yeah, seriously, I mean, personal humiliation could've been a lot worse than the public kind.

Jen: Yeah.

Audrey: What dream world are you two living in? [She realizes that they were trying to comfort Joey] Oh... right. Sorry. Ok, so, I have an idea, I'll be, like, your sponsor, and then the next time you're Jonesing to express yourself, you can just call me.

[Pacey comes in to join them]

Joey: Hey.

Audrey: Pacey!

Pacey: Ohh! Oh, dear, lord.

Audrey: Aah! Today was terrible! Don't ever go back to work, never, never, never, never, never!

Pacey: Don't tempt me.

Audrey: Ohh, you know I will!

Pacey: Hey, guys.

Jen: Hello, Mr. Witter. We're not drinking, we swear.

Jack: Rough day.

Pacey: Oh, you don't know the half of it. Can you save a seat for me? I'm gonna go freshen up.

Audrey: Yeah.

[Pacey leaves to go back to the bathroom]

Joey: Is he ok?

Audrey: I don't know, but it's not my fault, I swear.

[Jen notices Eddie at the bar.]

Jen: Joey, who is that?

Joey: Eddie.

Jen: He is a ruggedly dreamy sort.

Joey: He's got a major chip on his shoulder, the size of which rivals only the one on my shoulder. He's ok.

Jack: Is Emma still here?

Joey: Uh, no, she left about an hour ago. I think she was heading home.

Audrey: How is it living with her? Does she run around in her underwear and ask you guys to zip things up for her?

Jack: That's funny. Actually, the three of us took a bath together this morning.

Jen: And I thought you only took baths with grams.

[Pacey returns and turns to Audrey]

Pacey: Hey, can we go get a breath of fresh air for a sec?

Audrey: Of course, honey.

[Scene: Outside Hell's Kitchen. Audrey and Pacey are leaning on his car talking about his rough day at work.]

Audrey: Pacey, that is bull! You can't let this guy get away with it. He's just gonna keep doing it!

Pacey: I have no doubt that he will, but I don't think tattling on him is gonna do any good. This is the way that they do business. I didn't know that getting in, but I know it now. The only question that remains is how do I get through the days?

Audrey: Well, that doesn't sound like the greatest way to live. Pacey, you're 20 years old and you're already waiting for time to pass. Honey, why don't you quit?

Pacey: Ohh, because it's not that easy.

Audrey: Yes, it is! Pacey, these are supposed to be, like, the easiest days of our lives. I mean, we're supposed to be in there with our friends, you know, coming up with ridiculous drinking games and making each other laugh. I think we've all kind of figured out that the real world is a pretty crappy place, so what's the rush in getting there?

Pacey: Because sooner or later you run out of places to hide. Audrey, you seem to be operating under the assumption that you can do whatever you like, and you just can't! I made the grave mistake of peeking behind the curtain, and now I can't pretend that I think the fantasy is the same as the reality. Plus, I've been killing time for too long. I wanna make something for myself, whether it's easy or not.

Audrey: Well, I'm sorry that you feel like I've been a colossal waste of your time.

Pacey: That's not what I mean, and you know it. You and I come from very different worlds, you know that, right? I mean, I don't even think I realized how different until I went out to L.A. With you this summer.

Audrey: My dad is a heartless old fool just like your dad. He just wears more expensive suits, that's all.

Pacey: Yes, he does. I'm not expressing this very well, am I? I'm trying to say that... I need respect.

Audrey: I respect you!

Pacey: I know you respect me, and I love you for it, but that's not what I'm talkin' about. I need respect out there. And maybe I gotta take a different path than I thought I was going to, but c'est la vie. The only thing I know for sure right now... is I need sleep!

Audrey: Mmm.

Pacey: Mmmm-hmmm So if you and I go home right now, we will sleep, right?

Audrey: We can do whatever you want. Is it always gonna be like this?

Pacey: I don't know. I can't tell. Come on.

Audrey: Now, we're not talkin' immediate sleep he, are we, baby?

Pacey: No.

Audrey: Good!

[Both laugh]

[Scene: Inside Hell's Kitchen. IT is late, and Jen and Jack are getting ready to go Joey is just cleaning up some of the tables near by.]

Jack: Uhh! Jo. Thanks. We're outta here.

Jen: Good night.

Joey: Bye, guys.

[They leave, and Joey finishes cleaning the table, and walks towards Eddie, who is counting out some money.]

Eddie: That's your share.

Joey: Thanks. Look, Eddie, about earlier—

Eddie: Hey, don't sweat it. Hey, I didn't miss anything big in class today, did I? I mean, aside from the, uh, no.

[The song from the Season opener that reminds Joey of Dawson begins playing on the jukebox. Eddie can tell that it disturbs Joey.]

Eddie: Man, I--I hate this song.

Joey: Yeah, me, too.

[Eddie walks over to the Jukebox and kicks it, and the song skips]

Joey: [Chuckles]

[Eddie kicks it a second time and the song stops and goes onto another one.]

Joey: Thank you.

[They continue cleaning up the rest of the bar together]

[Scene: Emma's Apartment. Emma is again at the counter drinking her very strange shake like drink. Jack comes downstairs half out of it again.]

Emma: Uh, thanks for doing the dishes.

Jack: Oh, I think that was Pacey. I heard him get up somewhere around the crack of dawn.

Emma: Well, he cleans and he leaves before I wake up. That's more than I can say for my last boyfriend.

Jack: [Chuckles] Man, do I not wanna go to classes today.

Emma: Why? I mean, aside from typical sloth?

Jack: Yeah. Ah, it's-- it's my professor. He just... [Sighs] Never mind.

Emma: No, what?

Jack: Well... I don't know. I mean, we-- we had this really weird moment yesterday where it seemed like I was into him.

Emma: Well, did it seem like you're into him or do you really fancy him?

Jack: Yeah, I really fancy him, ok, but I don't want him to know that.

Emma: [Laughs] Well, maybe he was flattered.

Jack: Uh, or maybe he was... married?

Emma: Well, he should be flattered.

Jack: Yeah, you know what? Give me--give me some of that stuff.

Emma: Yeah... ok...

[HE takes a sip of it, and instantly spits it out into the sink.]

Jack: Ohh! God!

Emma: [Giggling]

Jack: This stuff is horrible!

Emma: [Laughing] Yes, I know!

Jack: How do you drink this crap?

Emma: Well... [She snaps at him with a twisted up towel] come on...

Jack: yeah, come—

[He begins chasing her, and catches her and picks her up.]

Emma: Aah!


[Scene: Pacey's Work. It is bright and early, and Pacey is the only one there. Pacey goes over and grabs a book from one of the desks and begins thumbing through it, when he notices Rich walk in. Rich is actually surprised to see him there, and Pacey smiles at the discomfort on Rich's face.]

Pacey: Good morning.

Rich: Good morning.

[Scene: The school Campus. Joey is late, yet again to Heston's class, and is running to make it to the class. Bumping into people along the way]

Joey: Oh, sorry!

[She arrives at the class, and makes her way into an open seat.]

Heston: Oh, it's so nice to see you, potter. Hope our pesky class didn't interfere with your all-important e-mail schedule. Whip out another diatribe last night?

[Class laughs]

Joey: Actually, I did. I was hoping this was it. Did you guys not get it?

Heston: Oh, this is actually a copy of the article that I assigned to follow up the reading. I know your mini-drama probably prevented you from even looking at the syllabus.

Joey: Well, most of yesterday consisted of eviscerating my personal life, and every other lesson is a rant composed of your dated theories. I'm sorry I'm late, professor Heston, but the first half of class is usually when you reveal how bitter you are, how moronic we are, and how literature is dead. Were you thinking of moving on to something slightly more stimulating today?

[Heston actually smiles at Joey's response to him and continues on with the class.]

Heston: Well, I-- I think we've been spending too much time together, potter, if that's your attitude. I mean, I was thinking of teaching today, but I don't know if I've got a lot to offer, what with the tenure and the published articles and all. But if you all insist on being stimulated, why don't we discuss James Joyce's description of the girl on the beach. I mean, I'm too hackneyed to illuminate the subject, but maybe you can shed some light. Wilson... what do you think?

[She looks over at Eddie who just smiles and winks his approval to her]

[Scene: The movie set. Dawson is sitting in a office at his laptop trying to type an email to Joey. He is in the same predicament that Joey was in, not knowing what to say. He starts typing when he is interrupted by Todd's voice from the other room.]

Todd: Leery! Come on, break's over!

[Dawson closes the email without sending it, and joins Todd in the other room]

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