Nate folds his arms and starts his mad web of deceit talking about how the Buckleys are flying Carter out to their oil rigs off the Galveston shore to work off his debt. S grins because she knows that this is insane, because roughnecks -- "roughnecks," note, not "rednecks"; I'm not sure if the distinction means anything outside of The T.X. -- don't earn bank. (This is untrue, but I'm just proud of them both knowing where oil comes from.) Nate -- Chace Crawford is from The D.F.W., which makes this storyline hilarious to me for some reason -- explains that it's less about earning dollars and more about getting the shit kicked out of him before they dunk him in the Gulf. (Which, I don't know if you've been to the Gulf, but that's like drinking the Toxic Avenger's pee.) But don't worry -- and if there's a sentence more terrifying than this one, coming out of Nate's mouth -- Nate's got an idea. And that's so great, because "have an idea" was totally on his bucket list.
"Achin' To Be," by the Replacements, tells us that we're going to be dealing with Lily/Rufus nonsense. (Their best song is called "Androgynous," you should listen to it. It's like if the early '90s tasted like Guinness.) The operative lyrics here -- for Vanessa and Serena particularly, but more generally in terms of the operating thesis to come -- "She's kind of like a movie everyone rushes to see/ And no one understands it, sitting in their seats.../ She opens her mouth to speak and what comes out's a mystery/ Thought about -- not understood -- she's aching to be..."
What's going on is that Rufus is finally packing up his sad bacheloriffic trash to take to PRADA for Lily to deal with. If it were possible to emasculate Rufus Humphrey, I would at this point present you with the comedic image of Lily stopping Rufus at the elevator every time and making him turn out his pockets -- frogs, a dead bee, "neat" rocks, sand from the playground, Pogz -- but it's not, so I won't. He is, of course, going through his records, which is the exact sort of hyperdetailed, useless task men do when they don't actually want to help with the heavy lifting.
Rufus finally, after much ruminating, decides that Lily will appreciate his Jefferson Airplane vinyl, and Vanessa sort of shrieks, "So Rufus, how is married life?" Which normally would be a cue to start talking about Rufus and Vanessa fucking, but his answer -- "Well, at the risk of sounding like a man deeply in love, each day gets better than the one before" -- made me barf too hard. Dan brings up those stupid goddamn Welcome Back, Kotter mugs, and plants the seeds for what will actually be Rufus's plot this episode: "They'll look great next to Lily's china." Rufus demurs, nodding, and says they can keep them back, because the message is clear: He needs to lose the Sweathogs. But the thing is, he totally does and only kept them because he couldn't have Lily. It's not a class thing, it's a grownup thing.