Serena spends the episode freaking out on Lily for, as she sees it, bowing down to her husband's every wish and trying to sell their mythical family unity as a PR stunt. She engages in some of her more immature, less attractive snottiness to date, as though this were suddenly a show about actual high school students. After she gives a truly disgusting display at a housewarming party, in front of InStyle, always-level Eric informs Lily about how, in fact, she has been a terrible parent all along, leaving her children to raise themselves. Bart is once again the good guy -- for now -- and Lily apologizes to Serena for turning her into a sociopath. Serena's like, "Whatever, it's cool."
Oh, and Eric has an adorable new boyfriend and haircut. Dan's got his hands busy with his new BF(F) Nate, who he learns is roughing it at the now-abandoned Archibald building. Scared sick, he pulls a total Humphrey about it and tries to ambush Nate into playing Ricky to his Angela Chase, which causes Nate to run screaming into the night. Rufus, of course, is all, "You know what Vanessa would say. We must stalk them, and break into their houses, and capture them, and in this way we honor them." But for once, the Brooklyn bullshit and lack of boundaries plays out positively, which is weird but nice: After a run-in and pretty awesome make-up talk with Serena, Dan finds Nate and brings him home, like a lost gay puppy.
So Vanessa has a hair up her ass about saving some tenement speakeasy in Brooklyn, and decides to blackmail Blair (with pictures of the Duchess and the Lord in flagrante) to help her get signatures. Blair, icked out by being beholden to anyone so gross -- and not-so-subconsciously yearning for the touch of evil -- makes a liaison dangereuse with Chuck: seduce and destroy Vanessa, hurting both her and Chuck's ongoing nemesis Dan Humphrey, wagering some Waldorf strange. Once the game spirals out of her control, however, Blair does everything she can to stop, lose or otherwise finish the bet, so she can get the Chuck love she's actually been scheming for. Awesomely, he pulls a "three little words" game on her, and declares at the last second that it's time for her to chase him for awhile. It is unbearably wonderful.
Next week: Mini Cooper! Jenny's Mullet! Eve Harrington Maneuvers! Backstage Squabbles! The Jenny Apocalypse Begins!
Come back on Monday for our full recap, until then see which GG character made our list of TV's biggest sociopaths.
"There's nothing quite like autumn in New York, but it's not only the leaves that change." Like sometimes you get fucked by Richard Gere right there on his high horse, only to die of cancer. "Something in the air brings out the true colors in everyone." And that's why I love you, The Thing In The Air. Serena is wearing: a totally sweet shiny cardigan, her school tie, and a sourpuss look. Bart's back, is the reason for that last. Chuck tosses out the usual bitchy comment about Bart never being around, because of how he killed his mother or whatever, and Bart assures them he's home for the long haul. "And just in time for our housewarming party tomorrow night!" Lily burbles, and Eric asks -- with just enough hesitation in his voice that you can tell he's got his first starter boy -- if they can bring friends to the party. Serena shoots the world a snarky look, as if to say: you have one friend, and she is a shoplifting Brooklyn high school dropout.
Lily sweetly gives her consent and asks Serena if she found "the little suit" she laid out for her, for the party. "That was for me? I thought the housekeepers got new uniforms." Damn, Serena. Bart smiles and Lily chuckles that it's conservative, but classic. What it is is freaking hot and I don't know what S's problem is today. "Bart brought it from Paris. It had its own seat on his plane." Bart gets uncomfy as Serena spits and hisses a bit; Eric shows her his new watch and Chuck leans back: "Cash. Direct deposit into one of my offshore accounts." Serena is not sure about any of that, because she lives in a cash economy where everything comes with a price, especially love.
The song is "Snowflakes," by White Apple Tree, and it's about Lily: "A song that guides me down this road.../ As I wake up from a distant sleep/ I stand up dazed as I look around.../ What is this place that I have found?" Bart brings up the breakfast topic of discussion, which is how the party marks their official debut as a family, even though their first big party as a family was pretty memorable, involving as it did teenage girls bouncing around in Victoria's Secret slut regalia. "We've been talking about what that actually means," Bart says, and Chuck suggests that what it means is less money for Chuck when Bart finally dies. Lily giggles, because Lily loves Chuck like a viewer of this show and not a fictional person on it, and thus thinks rape and bells tolling are hilarious.
"We were thinking more along the lines of some guidelines." Serena shoots fireworks out of her face at the word because no way. The particular guidelines he's talking about, Lily clarifies, are "For life, together... Now that we're all here, having some rules would be nice." Serena reaches down and caresses the pistol strapped to her left thigh. "Like every Friday, we dine as a family..." Eric, now that he's on the non-closeted boyfriend train, and because he watched every episode of Gilmore Girls, knows that Friday dinner is both deadly for family and nonconductive to fun times; he suggests Monday instead. Bart continues with a weekend curfew of one AM. "Is that Eastern or Pacific?" asks Chuck, meaning that he's with Serena but too good at this game to say so.