Ben Donovan is also the name of Chandler Bing's new character on the new Chandler Bing show with Allison Janney. What are the odds? Anyway, even though he is destitute and just got out of prison a week ago and is living in a halfway house so desperate that even Serena will notice the existence of poor people, he still demands to pick up the check for their coffee date.
Ben lies about how he's staying with friends, and then lies about how he has been invited to Ithaca to organically farm with other friends. His lies are both elaborate and see-through, but of course Serena makes it easy, I think because she has confused Ithaca with Ibiza: "It's supposed to be beautiful," she mumbles, and he just shakes his head about her once again. "Being outside all day, working with my hands after being cooped up for so long, it's kind of ideal." Serena's like, "I don't see how that's possible, but ok lol."
As long as they can go on many, many dates together before he leaves, in that sunny period of time somewhere between now and forever in which things happen, as far as Serena's concerned. "I'm leaving tomorrow," he says, and Serena just looks confused. "I don't know when that is, precisely, but I bet they have Skype there. As long as I can totally keep tabs on the horrible life in which my family has left you stranded."
Ben runs off to fake more of his new life, thinks about getting a coffee job and giving up farming forever, and meanwhile Serena thinks hard about what she can do to bring Ibiza to the Upper East Side. Whom does she know that would think organic farming is fun? Who is that awful? Vanessa's off with the circus, and Dan just dumped her for the eleventh time... Got it. "Rufus. You used to have a plot in a community garden, right?" He doesn't even know she's being mean.
Blair wins the first dialogic hat trick of the evening by A) Being in a movie fight with Dan Humphrey at all, B) calling Scorpio Rising "dreck," a word she learned from Cyrus Rose, and best of all C) "It puts the ick in esoteric." Nice, girl. Dan offers instead the Merchant Ivory retrospective, managing not to mention Greenaway like a true indie tool: "You can ensure that your delicate sensibilities aren't disturbed, and I can catch up on my sleep!" Dan + Blair = Dan Rules. Blair says just because they go to movies constantly doesn't mean they are friends, and as usual Dan loves it when she says that.
We get into a whole Men Are From Mars convo about how only boys like Joseph Beuys (true) and only girls like Degas (also true) and he's all, "I'm gonna take a pass on the ballerinas. Frilly dresses and tutus are not my idea of art." And not that this transition makes a tremendous amount of sense, but since they're both going to be working at a fashion magazine in a second, now's the time for the good old Cerulean Blue: