"All the other girls are variations on a theme, and that theme? Slightly lesser versions of me. But Dan is a writer, he makes delicious coffee... Never mind the fact that he's not a completely horrible-looking straight [~] guy working at a fashion magazine, he's got the whole office buzzing!" Lorrie Moore will make Jay McInerney look "like a monkey with a typewriter, or maybe an invisible monkey with a typewriter." This last with a breathy sort of fantasy sound to her voice, like there's a pony in there as well. Serena begs Blair not to scheme Dan and just act normal, a possibility both as far and close as Ithaca, New York.
"Why not? I'm not going to treat him any better than all my other enemies just because you sporadically love him!" Serena assures B that they are not enemies, and tells her -- awesomely -- to earn the spotlight on her own merits: "You'll feel better." They ring off, B demanding that S "let Ben go" and S demanding in turn that B "let Dan be." I love these weeks where Serena is like fully cogent. I realize that the majority of her storylines involve the intermittent brain zaps that render her a prowling confused kitty-cat, but even when she's being dumb I know on the inside she's still got it together.
Aw, Dan brings Blair lunch from WichCraft because he knows her class issues do not permit her to venture into the commissary, and it's so great. She gets a sad feeling in her face and is like, "I don't know what to do if not destroying," and then changes her mind about whatever she was going to do, sadly. Watching Blair drop an evil plan is like watching Agnes burn Jenny's dresses all over again.
Ben Donovan is having trouble with his coffee shop application because he has to say yes about the felony and there isn't enough scratch space to explain the whole rape thing, not even if you drew an arrow to the back and kept writing, so what's a boy to do? Luckily, Damien Dalgaard appears from nowhere -- maybe getting more coffee to feed the youngster -- to be mean to him about "remember that time I got you jailed for no reason because I was a jealous nerd and you wore tailored vests?" Ben's not having it, so Damien offers him some drugs instead, because the list of things Damien is capable of talking about is small, because inside of himself he is both all-nerd and all-psycho, but either way Damien Dalgaard is a costume he is wearing. Just like everybody else.