Rufus approaches Serena and once again floats the idea that Ben is a creepster who sent his unstable sister to destroy everybody, and Serena once again is like, "Yeah, yeah. You're nobody until somebody kills you, don't worry about it," and then twists the knife so fucking expertly she could have literally anything she wanted from him in this moment: "He just gave Eric some really fatherly advice, helped convince him to stay away from Damien Dalgaard." Rufus can't believe Damien is fucking yet one more of his kids, but S just kind of leaves him to deal with that so she can chase Ben all around town some more.
Dan calls Epperly to apologize for being a dickwad and tells her that Blair was completely in the dark about his evil deeds and that he even tricked her into the embarrassing public fight.
Rufus goes to Eric and asks if he's doing or smuggling drugs, or making clothes out of drugs, and they have the most realistic drug conversation of any TV show ever: "I bought sleeping pills, and then I needed Adderall to wake back up, but that was it, and it was stupid, and I'm done with it." Which is what you want to hear, which means you can't ever believe it when you hear it, even from a kid like Eric, so Rufus (is awesome in this episode, credit where it's due) is like, "Seriously, no problem? But if you've got something going on, I love you very much and we will fix whatever it is."
What? You mean sometimes people use drugs a little bit and then stop once they're done experimenting? It doesn't automatically wreck their lives and make them monsters? What would Nancy Reagan say? Eric's grateful, because Rufus is being fantastic tonight -- note the lack of Lily, hmm -- and is very honest at this juncture: "I don't care about the drugs. Damien was just there when no one else would listen." And that is acceptable, with a little acceptable on top because it's Eric saying this. Eric has been through the fire and he knows what is too much and what is just enough, and the fact that circumstances were careening pretty close to what put him in the hospital in the first place, and he took steps to get support, is enough of an answer. It even makes up for/helps explain the few times he's been shitty this year.
Serena chases Ben all over the damn place screaming at him about they are FRIENDS and she wants to be his FRIEND and he's like, "I just want to forget you and the circumstances of my incarceration, what part of that is confusing? When I look at you I see a bunch of shit that was not my fault and a lot of things I'm not proud of. It is not healthy." Serena's like, "But look: It would make me feel a lot better." Plus, you know, he was just "amazing" with Eric or whatever and talked him into a minor breakdown, so clearly he hasn't changed that much. Ben assures her that he has changed, and also that she's not imagining that he is avoiding her, because he is avoiding her, because she keeps doing that head-trauma sex face at him, and then he cuts the crap: "I don't want to be with you. I didn't reciprocate back then, and I don't now." Serena literally jerks at this, having never heard shit remotely like that in her entire life, and smoke comes out of her works, and she suddenly has a feeling: