Holding the huge pink bloody claw in the hallway, Vanessa once again accepts the toast; luckily, Sophie is right there in front of her with Blair's coffee. "Tell Machiavelli I hope she enjoys my toast," V gloats, and Sophie runs inside. "Vanessa's giving the toast again. And she's got some big pink claw thing?" Blair's response is perfect, and would be perfect even if she knew what Sophie was talking about: "Well, I don't know about that. However, phase one is complete." There's some exposition and abuse centered on Amalia before Blair acts shitty to her and throws yet another book in her lap, heading to the window to call Chuck. "My love, I was thinking... Remember our game from the summer? Well, I have the perfect target already picked out..."
"That cynicism you refer to, I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys."
"So what's a sweet girl like you doing with a guy like Carter Baizen?" PJ deals. "You heard what happened to my sister, right? Dealing: Heartbroken, 30 pounds fatter..." This last seemingly the worst part; Serena's not distracted: "Bet." PJ bets 20k, and she looks back at Nate, who nods. "All in," she says, shoving her pile of chips forward; Nate drops the phone on top. "You sure you want to play this hand for Carter?" She stares him down Blondly -- Yeah, motherfucker, we'll play -- and he calls. She flips her hand, coming up with two kings; there's a beat before he produces his two aces. "See Through You" by The Meeting Places plays, and Nate acts nervous as PJ coops up his winnings, and sends the photo to himself. There's a beautiful slow-motion phase of Serena staring horrified at Nate as they leave the warehouse, PJ happy and self-satisfied, and GG grinning to herself: "Uh-oh, looks like Carter's going down to Texas... And Tripp's career is going up in smoke!"
Vanessa arrives at PRADA with her mother -- the absolutely wonderful Gina Torres, from Alias and my favorite character on Firefly -- in tow. She immediately pulls six bullshit moves, of course. She tells Rufus to lay off the caffeine because it's giving him wrinkles, and then explains Arlo("ARLO!")'s absence -- "He had to finish installing the solar panels on the chicken coop at the co-op. We have been so busy organizing the Local 72. The, uh, the union for the Burlington Cheesemakers?" -- and finally interrupting her introduction to Lily by casting a judgmental eye around the place: " Oh, Rufus... We're not in Brooklyn anymore!" Rufus is just so fucking impressed by all of this bullshit that he immediately retracts his very existence -- "I'm still moving in, it's Lily's place" -- in a way that makes Lily the villain for his bourgeois tendencies. Nice! Very Serena/Dan S1.