Nate's dad is in rehab, finally, so he has time to just be Nate without the weight of the world on his shapely shoulders, and without all the distractions of being bought and sold like a debutante every single day, he can finally focus on Blair and her awesomeness again. He doesn't commit to any particular feelings about his erstwhile arranged-marriage partner, but he thinks it's possible somehow that he misses her. Like that's what he actually says: "I don't know, man. I think I might miss her!" Chuck totally scoffs and starts coming up with contingency plans inside contingency plans, because he just went from master puppeteer to the only person with anything to lose here. Which makes me sad, but he kind of did it to himself. I mean, the one possibility I don't think any of us ever considered was the idea that Nate actually gave a damn about Blair. Can't blame Chuck for getting hit between the eyes on that one.
Serena assures B that her mom doesn't really care about the fact that she's thumbs-down on the ball, because her whole life just kind of exploded into truthiness when they all found out about Lily sleeping with Dan's father long ago. Both Serena and Blair are grossed out thinking about it. Some more. They talk about how Blair, just like everybody else, assumed Serena was down to debut, and if Blair's confused about it, that tells you this has the stink of Dan on it.
Dance practice. Kati and Iz are wearing ridiculous Flashdance costumes with headbands, and Blair is wearing the brightest of bright-red tights and a cute black dress. It's verging on Chuckness, this outfit. Everybody looks ridiculous and awesome. Blair manages to punch both Nate and Chuck in their little faces with only a look, working her way back through the dance to good old Prince Theodore. Dan and Jenny enter, feeling weird because the whole dance practice thing is weird, 90 percent of that the weird clothes everybody's wearing. Serena runs over to them, talking up her grandmother, who you know is going to be a hell-ride. Lily comes in, fast-talking the real truth about Grandma into her cell and carrying a fringy wrap or something that's remarkably similar to something Alison was wearing last week. "Well, if you don't listen to me, you're gonna hear it from her, and I promise you don't want that to happen. The brands I listed are key to her happiness. And that includes Tanqueray." Oh, I cannot wait!
Lily greets Dan and Jenny warmly, and Serena asks Jenny what she's even doing there. "Oh, she loves these things, apparently," says Dan, and it's like, read the room: everybody here loves these things, apparently, which is why they're here. Lily grins and says she wishes Serena were down with it, because it would make things easier for her. Anything that makes life easier for Lily, I am down with. Especially if it effs with the effer of Dan's obsession with class warfare. "My grandma was the chairwoman for this event for fifteen years," explains Serena, "and now the committee's asked my mom to join." And after ten years of obsessing about it, Serena has suddenly dropped the whole concept. Little J stares past them, for all appearances in the throes of a petit mal seizure, and Lily's like, "Jenny? Jenny. Jenny!" She finally pulls her eyes away from the luxurious beauty of neon leg warmers and navy sport coats long enough for Lily to suggest that she volunteer. "Well, Blair's lead deb, and we're sort of on the outs. You know, I'm sure if she wanted my help, she would've asked." Lily asks in her stead, a risky proposition, but Lily's just so sweet, and Jenny's smile is so gigantic. She giggles and runs off to talk to the parents about it, but her smile falls when Lily corrects her: the ball isn't Saturday, it's Sunday. Which from Jenny's face is plainly a conflict, but it's Jenny: you know she's going to do whatever is half-assed and social-climby so she can get some kind of Humphrey talking-to about personal integrity and puppies and the farmer's market.