"Bart and I are husband and wife..." Serena points out that he's not their father, and Lily's gaze falls. Serena pushes onward: "Come on, Mom. Things were so good last year. We were almost like a real family. Why change that?" Lily sips her coffee and tells a totally equal and obvious truth: "You're making this much more complicated than it really is." Which is true in context, but what neither of them has figured out is that this fight is having them, because Serena has a point. It's just not a point about what they're fighting about, and until one of them -- or Eric, probably -- figures that out, nothing will change. "If I thought this was actually you talking, I might listen."
This is all hitting a little too close to home, as I said, but Lily's not feeling her culpability here, which has to do with the fact that Serena has spent seventeen years making up her own rules, and Lily has spent seventeen years letting that happen. Which means what she's doing now is violent. The thing about parenting is that you have to understand on a fundamental level that every second your child is alive, from birth, their job is defining the actual universe -- from the screaming insanity and weird sounds and shapes that greet us, all the way to actual adulthood -- and that parenting is really just explaining how the universe works, which is the same way all the time, which means consistency. So if you ask your kid to take out the garbage on Monday, and then Tuesday, and then Wednesday, but only start hollering and force the issue on Thursday, what you're doing is an act of war on the universe you helped them build for the better part of the week, and it's painful for them and for you, but you deserve it more because you have been lazy and inconsistent, and your children deserve better.
"If this is how you're acting now, I should have insisted on more structure years ago." Serena is the second most angry she's ever been, with good reason: "You mean like three husbands ago?" There's a long blank stare, and for a second you could swear Blair takes over Serena's body. "...That was unkind," Lily says -- also true -- and Serena runs off, promising not to attend "tonight's little soiree." Lily is quite sad, and you have to feel bad for her because it's a lot easier to blame your kids for everything right up until they can talk, at which point they start telling you how they feel about things, and then it's all going to hell.
Dan heads over to Nate's house and knocks on the door, then notices a big NYC Seizure notice on the ground nearby. He looks very worried, and goes around to the gate to the basement floor like a good little Abrams. He slides the lock open, under its camouflage of chain, and heads inside: somebody wants it to look locked. The electricity is off. Just as Dan's mind is being blown, his phone rings: It's Nate, who's waiting at the park. He stares down at Nate's sad little pallet on the floor, and GG goes crazy awesome: "Whoever said you can't have it all must have known the Archibalds. Looks like poor little Nate is... Yuck. Poor!"