Charles finishes up his arrangements for whatever deranged debauchery he's planning for the Skull & Bones babes, and calls out to the briskly walking Serena, fresh from her latest provocation. "I know you're not a Geography whiz, but ... You are aware that Providence is in Rhode Island?" Serena's like, No time for you. I don't mind the repeated meme this week of Serena's horrible grades and general disinterest in scholastics, because she knows that -- as we all eventually find out, and frankly Rufus/Jenny is telling this same, pretty subversive truth that teenagers must never know -- that given the option, Serena's skills and abilities are much more important and useful than any amount of Blair insanity and intellectual superiority, because once you graduate high school -- as the Dean will demonstrate numerous times, in line with your own experiences post-high school -- none of that shit matters. Being cool, navigating the sharks, charisma, who you know, what you actually do with your elemental building blocks: all of these things matter so much more than the capital of Rhode Island that it's pretty disgusting, but those who learn it early (or, even better, manage to absorb and synthesize both kinds of information) start out miles ahead of the people who honestly thought GPA matters.
But Serena's gotta not only change but also come up, apparently, with an answer to "the Dean's question" which she, as yours truly, knows can only be YES. But no, the Dean's question, in this particular case, is a bit more specific than that: "What person, real or imagined, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with?" Duh, Eric Harris. Not that I could defend that at a classy luncheon or reception, but there it is, all coughed up on the table. Serena blergs about how she really should have given her spot to Blair, who is not only capable of giving a fuck but actually insistent on it, but Chuck's too into the gradual destruction of Blair's entire life to worry about that -- and too delighted by the drama that might result. "You got invited and she didn't? You're lucky to be alive!"