GEORGINA SPARKS JUST WANDERS ON IN THERE
Serena: "Well, fuck it. Just fuck it."
Georgina: "Hey, Dominick Dummy. What's with these two different Serena Chapters?"
Dan: "I guess you'll never know. For a few more minutes."
Georgina: "Come on. We all know your bullshit. One of them is a Charlie Trout blowjob like you for her write every single season, and the other one is how much of a slut she is, like you also write every single season. You are not a complicated fellow."
Dan: "I have a mysterious plan!"
Georgina: "No, your eye's just off the ball. Do you wanna win, or do you wanna win Serena?"
Dan: "There is no winning without Serena."
So, both. He is regular Jean Grey and Dark Phoenix at the same time. He will never be able to trust her until she respects him, and she'll never respect him until she sees him as one of them, an Upper East Sider, instead of this bastion of truth and integrity she's always managed to see him as. He's not wrong. He's just missing the other half of the story, which is -- just like Vanessa, just like Jenny -- the only person who can make you feel inferior is yourself. He tells her this story, so that's the story they tell.
The thing about Nice Guys is that they put their shit on you, and then get bothered when they notice you're covered in shit. Of all the callbacks and full-circling this season is trying to do, this is actually the subtlest and the smartest one: She's always mostly existed in the snow globe of his stupid fluffy head, since the pilot. She loved it, because it gave her something solid to stand on: She wanted to be so good, and he was the definition of good. She wanted to repent, to improve, and he was the definition of critique. She wanted to be better, so she was better. For him.
I mean, maybe he's right. Maybe she has to do some demolition on her idea of Dan before her wish -- her first wish, the one that took her away before the show began, to become a real person -- can come true. We always talk about how Chair is this folie à deux where the people use each other to construct their identities, something to push against. And I've been writing about Serena and Dan doing that for six years now. It just never occurred to me that Serena didn't know she was doing it, or that Dan did. So yeah, maybe this is how he wins her: By shoving himself off the pedestal. Because if that's the plan, then Dan is a good man. It's maybe the only way we all get out alive, actually.