Outside, Kolya and Alyosha get to know each other. At first Kolya tries to impress Alyosha with his knowledge – disparaging religion and championing socialism, among other things. Frustrated, he asks Alyosha if he despises him, a question that surprises Alyosha. Alyosha quickly reassures Kolya.
Kolya is won over by his frankness and lack of condescension. He opens up to Alyosha and confesses that he knows he suffers from vanity. Alyosha tells Kolya that he shouldn't be so worried about appearing ridiculous, and they both declare their friendship.
Their conversation is cut short when the famous doctor emerges from the room.