And now we got Dan, who's telling us the same story he's always telling us, but has somehow become, along with Vanessa and maybe Lily, one of the only characters still trying to bring his narrative -- gifted romantic artist -- to bear on the outside world. Because you will not be surprised to hear that A) He has been denied entry to the dramatic writing program at the Tisch School of the Arts, because B) There's only one spot for NYU transfer students, and that C) Vanessa got that spot. I mean, that last thing he's plenty confused and upset to hear about, because it's sort of obnoxious that she did this without telling him.
"I honestly didn't think I had a shot. It was only after I wrote that short that I started thinking how great would it be if we both got in," she sorta explains, and to his credit Dan pulls a full-on Rhodes Woman and immediately congratulates her, trying not to be prickly or Rufussy when he does so. He even makes a cute joke: "If it wasn't gonna be me, um, I'm glad it was you... And they also 'Wish me success in my future endeavors,' so it's not a total loss." I think that might be the cutest thing he's ever done. So immediately he invites her to an "art party" of which he is aware, and which promises to be "Tisch student central." Can you even imagine? He bounces with a pithy-yet-breezy "Ain't no party like a Bushwick party!" And even though he's being adorable, Vanessa can feel the shivers of a coming storm. Of bullshit.
Rufus cries and rends his garments and tries in every passive-aggressive way he can to make Lily feel guilty about protecting him from her Illness. Finally she admits that the major problem, besides her magical Illness, was the horrible idea of seeing his puppy-dog face when she told him, because it would make it "real." Which honestly, it would have been better if we'd stuck with that and left the Illness thing out of it, because yes: The worst part of this would have been watching her tell him. He would have crumbled. But instead, now he gets to feel this perverse entitled moral high ground because she didn't trust him. Which is elegantly Rufus.
Blair stomps around Chez Waldorf yelling at Dorota all kinds of crazy shit, but you can tell just in the acting alone that this storyline is less onerous for our heroine than the unending Jack/Elizabeth/Empire nightmare. Her lightness, her playful evil, her fickle weirdness, are all suddenly back in spades. She asks a waiter if he'd date her, and when he asserts that she is "totally hot," her posture on the chaise longue shifts from petulant to overjoyed in a split-second, like a pampered longhair cat who's just heard the clink of silver against Waterford crystal.