Serena quietly asks at B's elbow WTF these weirdos are doing there, and gives a subtly funny OMG LOL at B's non-explanation that Dorota invited them. Dan enters and S tries to insert herself into the coked-up welcome brigade B perpetrates on his unsuspecting ass, but gets caught in the middle of servant traffic so she can't save him. Marcus tries to introduce Dan to S and they get all sexy and starry-eyed about how they've -- ahem -- met. B interrupts to explain to Marcus that Dan's a total Chelsea fan. Serena's new (and awesome) carefree nature once again thrusts itself to the forefront, all, "Me too! I just love the Balenciaga store LOL." Blair makes a tiny ouch face at the overarching awkwardness of this entire phase of her life and drinks her drink to the drinky-drunk dregs. Marcus offers to refresh her drink and she smacks her lips at the chaos.
So if the whole first season, as explicated and explored by the S/Lonelyboy relationship, was about Brooklyn v. Manhattan, no money v. old money v. new money, then this season has to raise the bar by introducing aristocracy, which is the only thing every single person on this show is beneath. Even poor royalty, which BFF Jeremy is convinced they somehow secretly are, is still above Waldorf and Bass, the same way that Bart Bass has more money but less old-money cachet than the Waldorf millions. And you know how much I love the whole theory about the show as a regular drama with the bottom 85% of Maszlow's Pyramid chopped off and tossed in the trash -- mo' money mo' problems, etc. -- so I think it's incredibly canny not only in terms of the show's scope but in the ongoing project that is Blair Waldorf to introduce Lord Marcus and his attendant class warfare bullshit at just this second. Because if we're going to have Blair rising from the flames constantly, which is after all the best thing about the show, you have to put her in the flames occasionally, and last year wore out her stigma card pretty much. So: introduce a higher social class than even the previous ridiculous social class the show was about, and watch her dog-paddle her way to victory. Which I love, of course, but I think what I love the most is the ridiculous dialogue that results: whenever Marcus or the Duchess comes up, everybody starts talking like Cassidine fan fiction written by a bright fourteen-year-old girl in 1982, all "common American/lowly Waldorf" this and "love me for my title" that. It's simultaneously the lamest and most awesome thing about this season.