She rolls her eyes at his dramatic protestation that he is completely lost at this point as to what he does and doesn't owe her: "I mean, we haven't actually defined what we are to each other." Lily points out that every minute is an opportunity, and this particular one is a perfect one, because everybody's freaking out anyway, and Alison's on her hypocritical stroll. Rufus tries and fails to say how much he's been enjoying their secret friendship affair, grossing her out, but he tries to split the difference in a very Dan way: "Look, for better, for worse, you're one of my oldest friends..." Which is just so Humphrey, like, why should there be jealousy or territory or even rational thought when we can all just be friends and kick rocks, because one thing Humphrey men are is unequal to the task of surviving the social jungle that is the UES, Brooklyn, the state of New York, or humanity at large. I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to come up with a realistic scenario in which Blair Waldorf is obliged to compete with Rufus on that field of play. That is so delicious to think about. "Hmm. Oldest friends. That's certainly not how it felt when you kissed me at Eleanor's party." Which is Alison's cue to have overheard all of this, and start stomping her skinny ass around the place some more, because all she did was have a real affair, actual intercourse, with somebody who has the balls to be named "Alexander Bancroft," so how dare Rufus be friends with somebody he's known for twenty years?
Nate comes back home, having figured out that none of his girlfriends is the person to talk to, and that in fact he needs to talk some sense into the Captain. How lifelike and appealing is Nate this week, by the way? Love it. Anne starts in on Nate the second he comes home about leaving in the middle of dinner, and Nate -- ignoring her altogether -- finally gets to his dad's study. Where his dad is lying very still, having just attempted suicide after losing the respect of his son and being hounded to it by the unceasing bitching of his wife. OMG with these people on the Upper East Side, I swear.
Serena smelled much better, after her bath with her two best friends, but had to be reminded that constantly asking people if she smelled less like a brewery was less than subtle and kind of blew the whole jig. Lily was coming, and it was Lily they were all afraid of, because Lily would put a stop to it. Nobody told S not to call Dorota "Dorito," but, you know, baby steps. Harold complimented Serena and Nate on the shirts they'd both changed into; the shirts were his. The whole tableau was frankly adorable, with Harold complimenting his taste via complimenting their dinner attire. Serena was still wobbling, grabbing at a tray of champagne as it sailed past; Nate and B, and her dad, laughed hysterically as they blocked her from snatching one. Everybody laughed and Blair headed off to help Harold with the potatoes. Everybody thought this was normal, and everybody waited for Lily to arrive and overlook her daughter's obvious drinking problem, because there was a time when Serena was the fucked-up one, and Blair never did anything wrong. And now Blair's sleeping with gay rapists and backsliding into a disease she thought she'd clocked, but once upon a time, every fucked-up thing Serena did was another reason Blair didn't have to indulge, because being stronger and wiser and more mature than Serena was as much proof as she needed. Covering for Serena meant they all could relax for a second from covering for themselves, and being their scapegoat meant never having to think or stop or do anything at all, because they'd be there to catch her, and in this way she helped their families go on. But now she's back, and she's not fucked up anymore, and everything she touches goes to hell because she's not there to be fucked up for them anymore. I love Blair the most, but it's not Blair I want to be when I grow up.