"We're going to need to set another place at the table. Laurel brought one of the models I'm working with." He asked her name, if he'd met the girl before, but it was a man, named Roman, that Laurel was bringing. "Ah," he hummed. "Roman." She shook her head: "Not this one, Harold. We have to work together." They grinned at each other and he squeezed her arm; they made it work until it didn't work anymore. Blair looked at the food she wasn't going to eat, and Serena eyed the next drink, and Eleanor smiled at her husband, and everybody covered for everybody else, and they made it work. Nate entered, so much happier and more energetic a year ago. Harold cheered him and Eleanor kissed him hello, and the Waldorfs sent Nate upstairs with Serena, to get her sobered up in a warm bath before her mother could see how far she'd gone. Serena put a rose in her teeth and danced out of the room on his arm, tossing a napkin at Blair as she was going, and Blair turned back to help her daddy, laughing and happy and well.
Blair is bemused by the caterers; Eleanor is bemused by her daughter's adorable choice of outfit. Somebody's missing, and it's Harold. "I thought you knew! Your father isn't coming. He didn't tell you? Ugh. He decided to stay in Paris. He's got either too much work, or Roman is too much work, or...who knows?" There's a trick to Eleanor, I'm not making this up, where you can just tell she's pulling something. She's behind the scenes somehow, like when her daughter was a bookcase. Maybe the reason Blair's so addicted to her dad, in addition to him being awesome, is because they're too much alike: she's way too much like her mom, and the downside there is that she never sees it coming; why wouldn't he call and tell her himself? Why don't Blair's men call her when they have something to say? (And why do they keep making out with dudes?) "Darling, you should know by now that your father is not a fan of the difficult conversation. Now why don't you run along and change into something a little more...enchanting!" That sneaky, loopy smile into space, and Blair's gone, and Eleanor goes dark again.
Dorota stares bleakly at Eleanor, and if you could speak Silly Made-Up European, this is what she's thinking: "We've always agreed that Grey's Anatomy is the ne plus ultra of the family drama concept, with Meredith drawing every single person into her hideous family drama, turning her boyfriend into a cheating husband like Webber, turning herself into the retreating ice queen like her mother and Finn into Thatcher, forcing everybody into those roles even when they don't really fit; closing her eyes and screaming when they behave outside them. But man, this show. You got Blair eternally waiting for her dad and disinterested Nate to call her, and Serena and Dan replaying their parents' whole history, and Jenny trying to combine Serena and Blair into the perfect Alison substitute, and no matter how they recombine and change it up, those echoes are always going to be pulling at them, one way or the other. Seems to me that kind of layered, brilliant meaning would indicate that two and a half percent of the gross for new-media sales and distribution is not a lot to ask when the AMPTP is suggesting, um, zero, much less eight cents on every DVD sale when the current four-cent rate is based on the originally criminal VHS formula, which was bullshit when it was signed in the first place, considering that people will be watching this show in particular on DVD for the rest of time, because it is so awesome, which wasn't even really a sales outlet back in the day of VHS and is now the way most people watch serial television." Or...something like that, I'm paraphrasing here.