It's awesome because this is the whole dynamic: Blair instinctively knows, correctly, that she deserves to be loved, which makes it so confusing that Serena's "it" makes everybody give her stuff instead. We came into this at a weird time, but it's their whole relationship: trying to hold onto each other in the constant onslaught of this narrative unfairness. A friend emailed me, before this episode, like, "Why do you care about this show? Why do you care if Serena and Blair work it out?" And I was like, "Because Serena will always get the thing, and Blair will always lose the thing, and they will try to love each other anyway, and it's riveting. Blair is going to want a thing this week, I promise, and whatever it is, she will almost get it, and then Serena will get it instead, and they will both want to die as a result. And if you've never been on one side of that relationship at one time, and on the other side of that relationship at another time, what have you been doing instead of having friends, because you always feel one way or the other, and you have to recognize how gross it makes you feel to be on either side of that, because it's nobody's fault, it's just how it happens. There's a totem pole, and you're on it, and there's always somebody above you and somebody underneath you, and you have to be kind to them both or else you're in an uncomfortable position, and learning this is how we get ourselves under control." It occurs to me that this dynamic also perfectly describes the show's relationship to wealth, our country's frighteningly widening class gap, the Ski Trip Conundrum, even the whole Hobbit/Chuck thing this week, but lest you think I'm going off on a thesis, I will tell you that really, it's because I like watching very beautiful, moneyed people doing very naughty things, to be quite honest.
Blair storms off and Serena chokes and heads upstairs, and Gossip Girl gloats as Blair spits in Dan's direction: "Spotted: Lonelyboy's rude awakening. Upper East Side queens aren't born at the top, they climb their way up in heels. No matter who they have to tread on to do it." Which I'm glad she said, because it's not like Serena's innocent in this either, because if she was, that would be stupid. I would estimate that she spent about 40 percent of the morning, and 60 percent of that fight, playing dumb. And that's on her, but it took Blair's nineteenth nervous breakdown to get her to realize it. So she heads upstairs to get mad at Eleanor about it. All the assistants and people throw themselves into her path, but in those shoes they do not stand a chance. She quits, and Eleanor's like, "Because of Blair. I know that she will support my decision, once I explain it to her. You know you love the spotlight, you always have! It's part of your charm. There is nothing wrong with that..." But Serena's gone, somehow leaving Humphrey in her wake: "Who are you? What are you doing here?" He stares at her, delicious and vacant and somehow put out: "I have no idea, actually. I..." Good! Take your broke ass home!
S changes out of her "clothes" behind a screen; Dan peeks a bit, heh, and then knocks lightly: "Hey, I kinda overheard you guys in the stairwell there." Her silhouette is awesomely overwhelmed and cute: "Dan, look, I really can't go there right now." Valid, he nods, and then offers to stand there "mute," and blinking. Not talking, I get it. I like Dan better when he's not talking, and I don't mean that in secret creepy dating code: I mean as in actually literally not speaking words. She asks for her jeans, and he stammers a bit after handing them over. "It's just, uh, I thought you wanted to be on the sidelines here. I thought you wanted to be here for your friend Blair." He brings up the craft service, and how she keeps promising him her "full attention." She steps out, still looking radiant: "Say it." He postures that he doesn't really think he has to, like "you know what you did," and she nods, but explains her side really well: "Look, Dan, Blair's mom basically tricked me into coming here, because she didn't want Blair. How do you tell your best friend something like that?" For the fourth week running, Dan is shocked to find that Serena is walking a very fine line, and doing an awesome job. Admirable, in fact. She tosses him out of there so she can change and get out.