Nick shows up at a rustic French villa to find his mother (a.k.a. CeCe van der Woodsen), who recognizes him immediately (he must look just like Dutch, or like he did when he was six, or maybe she showed up and spied on him when he tried to meet her after high school), and is shocked to see him. He claims to just want to talk about the case, but she says she has nothing to say. She lies that she last spoke to Dutch "a lifetime ago," and hasn't been part of the Darlings' world in decades, any more than she's been part of Nick's. She won't explain why she's accepted $11 million from Letitia over the past 33 years. He says he's not leaving until he gets some answers, but her husband comes up just then, stopping the honesty. Thankfully, he invites Nick to dinner, though, which he gladly accepts.
At dinner, Nick's stepfather says he and Clare were not meant to have children, so he has no one to leave his many, many boats to. This leads him to ask if Nick has kids, and he says he has one 10-year-old daughter. Clare's face falls, and don't think Nick doesn't notice that. She won't look at him, but he offers the picture of Kiki to her anyway. It's really sad. And then his stepfather asks him about his father (dead) and his mother. Peter Krause plays this so naturally, breathing a deep sigh while he thinks about what to say, and then choosing to be honest without ratting out Clare, saying his mother left him a long time ago. When his stepfather asks if that's been difficult for him, he says he wouldn't know because it's all he's known. Clare is trying hard to not burst into tears, so she says she'll clear the dishes. But her husband says she should stay and talk business; he'll take care of it. She starts sobbing as soon as he leaves, and Nick asks if she's ready to talk now.
Patrick's at a debate versus incumbent Danielle Root (poor man's Ellen Burstyn), hosted by Dan Rather (who, since he retired, is also poor man's Dan Rather). Rather's first question, addressed to Patrick, is about his character, particularly related to honesty. Man, how does Rather do it?! He knows exactly what to ask for what Patrick wants to say. He is a good debate moderator! Patrick says he'd like to set the record straight about something, and brings up Ellen's death. He's really going to go through with it... but just then, Tripp walks into the back of the room with Carmelita. Patrick's visceral emotional reaction gave me chills both times I watched this scene. It would have been so easy to make this relationship completely trashy and stupid, but this show has never lowered itself to that, which is awesome and unprecedented. Patrick clearly knows this is a bribe on Tripp's part (does this mean Tripp's the one who had Carmelita sent away? Or that he helped Ellen do so?), so Patrick pretends the straightening of the record he wanted to take care of was that the story about Ellen being a heavy smoker was wrong. After that build-up, no one will buy that, Patrick. You should have said you were confessing she had been a smoker, so that it would at least seem like you confessed something. Tripp nods approvingly, though, and Rather appreciates the clarification.