Nate's wearing an awesome dark blue hoodie and spreading yet more discontent while lots of Empire guys run around stocking the bar, including Horace from the Brooklyn Inn storyline ten thousand years ago -- the only black guy ever on this show, so you probably remember him, but he was the Vanessa Project that led to them hooking up for five seconds -- and playing straight man for Chuck's dialogue about how no flimflam or dibbity-doo, he's honestly going to make an honest run at having an honest business this time. Horace gives his eighteen-year-old bar owner-boss a "Moonshine Martini" in the middle of the day, and they repeat verbatim Chuck's conversation with Serena about how speakeasies are both timeless and timely. "
A place to escape the modern world and violate its rules... Legally, of course." I'm glad that makes sense to Chuck, because that sounds like nonsense to me in every single way. Nate's like, "I don't even know what you're talking about, but why isn't Blair here? Does she hate you? Is she being a total bitch? Shouldn't you just dump her and die alone?" Chuck says that he's not fighting with B -- "a fight implies time and energy" -- but has learned once again to go for detached distrust, because she can't be trusted. Nate loves this almost as much as watching Ren Faire vampires doing it.
...Well, it's pretty much the same thing. So Blair has been yelling for probably ten minutes at Serena's place of business about this, about Chuck "choosing" Serena over Blair, which is a tossed-off line in the scene but is actually really important, because that's how it looks to her -- and that Serena and Chuck are in Grownup Club and she's useless -- but because that triangle keeps iterating for the whole episode. Serena shushes her in vain, reminding her that this club opening has to be a secret from KC for the nonce: "The only way I can prove myself to KC is if she doesn't find out about this party until after I make it amazing." Not to mention she'll steal it -- or as Serena more wisely says, "take it away" -- because it's a huge fucking deal.
"It's not like Chuck hasn't kissed a guy before! He said so himself!" (Oh, Season Five Previouslies, how I will adore you.) Serena, finally annoyed and flaring a little nostril, sharply advises Blair to get over herself. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe it's not about the kiss? Your game is based on trust, and you broke his." Blair gives a nutty protest that Chuck "pretending he's not mad" at her -- which is actually less nutty, since he just admitted that's exactly what he's doing -- is way more untrustworthy. "I'm going to demand he let me help him..."