Dan and Serena take a turn around the rooftop garden; Dan's loving how Blair actually calls Marcus "The Lord," and Serena is all about breaking their rules again because she's so happy to see him, but then spots Chuck Bass over Dan's shoulder and shudders. Aaaand he's there as Duchess Catherine's plus-one. Blair runs up to them with a shiny bright knife in her hand to stab Chuck with, and Serena's having that nightmare where you try to run and your feet don't move, so she can't save Blair from the shit she's about to pull, nor can she tell Dan exactly why this is the worst thing that could happen, because she knows Catherine and her history. Chuck grins and says he thought B would like to meet his friend, which B finds revolting: "Why? So she can warn me about the effects of too much Botox?" Catherine smiles toothily and confirms that she's talking to Blair Waldorf, who smiles tiredly as though to say, "I am already having a day here, bitch," and Catherine -- apparently having misplaced her own copy of DeBrett's -- informs her that she is "Duchess Beaton." Serena OMGs and Blair puts an awesome face on it, despite nearly barfing around the foot she's got lodged in her mouth: "...Nice to meet you!" Catherine smiles, because she remains the reigning champion of women with an unhealthy interest in her stepson, and B just stepped in shit a mile deep.
When Rufus returns to the coffee shop, Vanessa -- because like a vampire, you cannot invite her in without her constantly showing up and doing demonic shit -- is putting out sunflowers on all the tables. (I wish that he would be like, "Sunflowers! I gave Lily sunflowers when she miscarried our baby from the '90s!" and then punch Vanessa in the box. "No! Sunflowers! EVER!") He tells Vanessa she's doing such a great job, and admits that he was just meeting with the Thinking Person's Lisa Loeb, Tanya Donnelly. I had the horrifying experience last spring of learning that my friend Liz, whom I think of as being the same age as me because we're all the same age now, say that she'd never heard of Belly or Tanya Donnelly. Just like that, like, "What's this oxygen you're talking about? People used to breathe it? Was this before there was the internet?" And you would have to say, like, "No! We totally had... Netscape..."
I don't know who I would be if I hadn't been/weren't still obsessed with those two bands, but it's like, you can't really go back in time to then. Like, if I made you a Belly mixtape today, you would think I was super sweet but it probably wouldn't make sense to listen to musically. It would be like making a Belinda Carlisle mixtape, or like Ani DiFranco: perfectly fine, but weirdly anachronistic. You'd have to go into all this random stuff for context, and it would just be ... boring and stupid. But then Rufus still lives there, so it makes total sense, like your little brother thinking he discovered Nirvana even though the Foo Fighters are standing right over there.