On the way to Blair's tea party for Cece, Serena thanks Dan for being so understanding about how now she's going to cotillion, and he points out that he's got Alison's art opening, so they are both -- for once -- being selfless and doing things for their families. The novelty strikes them both as rather piquant. Dan is wearing an adorable striped sweater. Serena lies to herself via Dan that she's doing cotillion her way, and being herself "in every possible way." And I can't imagine Lily having that conversation with a straight face, because what you just described is...not cotillion. Dan asks that she not be auctioned off for less than a million dollars, and they giggle and kiss, and...yep, cotillion's still both gross and awesome.
Cece introduces Serena and Dan to the chosen escort ... who is Carter Baizen! The Sexy Hobbit! Serena and Carter sniff around the fact that they might, possibly, kind of, mostly, barely know each other. Meaning, of course, that they did it all over Europe on a drunken spree. Cece's like, "Gotcha," and of course Dan has no idea what's going on. Serena corrects her grandmother's introduction of Dan as her "friend," and Carter's friendly enough. He wonders why Dan's not escorting her, then, and Dan stutters for a sec before Cece jumps in with the obvious familial obligation. It's not really that awkward, but it's still nice when Blair shows up and gets them all to sit down for tea.
Later, there's another bad loop of Cece rattling her ice around: "I don't like my ice to get lonely, dear!" and a servant helping her out. Cece is all over Carter's jock about how great it is to have him back from being a trust fund hippie, all, "True gentlemen are a rare breed!" Kati and Iz fill in the blanks about how Carter disowned his parents and took off around the world, and how Gossip Girl even had a special "Spotted" map all about him. Dan's amazed. Carter admits that he did go "a little out of bounds," cracking Cece up, and demonstrates gratitude that his parents are giving him a second chance. Cece rocks out some more: "Carter saw the error of his wayward ways, and he rose like a phoenix from the ashes, Serena!" HA! Love that. Even Serena's like, "Awesome, I can see that." Fat old Carter Baizen winks at Serena about how they weren't all errors, and Lily brings up a "scrape" that Mrs. Baizen told her about in Dubai. Carter, you jerk. Why would you go to Dubai, much less get into scrapes there? Blair, of course, loves Dubai. Think about it. She's all like, "Did you stay at the Burj Al Arab? The tallest, ugliest hotel in the universe?" He says no. Serena thinks Dubai is overrated; instead of taking the hint, Carter drops a bunch of names in a row and acts disgusting. Dan gives him this great "smell you!" look, like, "I would rather eff with an effer than go pheasant-hunting with a sheik."