Pip receives a letter from Biddy telling him that Joe would like to come visit him in London. Biddy tells Pip that his sister is still sick, but that they talk about Pip every night and wonder what he is doing and what he is saying. Awww. Biddy adds a PS saying that Joe insists on sending a very particular message: "what larks." Joe is so intent on getting this message across that he makes Biddy write it twice in her letter. Biddy hopes that Pip, now a high fallutin' gentleman, won’t mind seeing Joe, a poor blacksmith.
Pip is not excited to see Joe. Oh, Pip. Pip is suddenly embarrassed of Joe, and he is glad that his brother-in-law is not visiting him at the Pocket’s house where Bentley Drummle might see him.
Pip has redecorated his London apartment a little bit, and he has hired a young boy to be his servant. After clothing the boy in really nice digs, he realizes that he doesn’t have anything for the boy to do. He calls the boy the Avenged Phantom (the Avenger for short), because he always hangs around like a ghost, and because he doesn’t really have a purpose. However, it’s the gentlemanly thing to do to have a servant, so Pip follows suit.
Joe arrives the next day and is thrilled to see Pip, though he's really uncomfortable in Pip’s apartment amid all of the finery.
Joe won’t shake Herbert’s hand because he is too much of a gentleman. Instead he bows a little bit to Herbert in deference to him. Joe notices the Avenger, but doesn’t quite now what to make of him.
Joe doesn’t know what to do with his hat, so he hangs it on the side of a fireplace. But his hat keeps falling down. Joe feels really awkward, but Pip isn’t really making him feel at home.
Pip is totally embarrassed by Joe’s table manners, and is relieved when Herbert has to leave.
Joe tells Pip that Mr. Wopsle has left the church to become an actor in London. He and Mr. Wopsle went to go check out a blacking factory the day before, and Joe didn’t think it was as cool as the pictures made it look.
Pip is unresponsive and cool, and he can’t understand why Joe keeps calling him, "sir."
Joe tells Pip that Mr. Pumblechook is taking credit all over town for Pip’s fortune and is telling everyone that he and Pip were and are the best of friends. Pip thinks that’s poppycock, and Joe agrees.
Finally, Joe tells Pip the reason for his visit. Miss Havisham asked Joe to come visit her, because Estella wants to see Pip.
Pip is suddenly feels much, much better, and he wishes he had known that this was the reason for Joe’s visit all along. If he had, he would have treated Joe much, much better.
Joe gets ready to leave in the middle of breakfast. Pip is confused and asks Joe to stay.
Joe tells him that life has taken them in two different directions, and that is just the way it goes. He tells Pip that he has to return to the forge where he feels most at home and most comfortable. Pip is really, really sad and depressed when Joe leaves.