Now, coming from an unorthodox background that is more like Jenny's than anybody else's, I am less interested in the freewheeling freakout cautionary tale that is obviously coming down the pike, because I think there are an infinite number of ways to become an adult and that generally the only person with any kind of authority over those choices -- the young person herself -- is also the only person lacking the common sense to make a good decision, and that's hilarious because it's universal, and it's how each and every one of us has arrived at the points at which we find ourselves today. We've all done the teenage hustling in one way or another, and I don't think it's worth pointing fingers or comparing scars on that note when you realize that you can't change one damn thing about your history except how much you love and respect it. I mean, I'm not going to tell you my shit, but it hits home in such a fundamental way that I don't really find much of interest talking about it now, because frankly at thirty I'm still hoeing rows I planted at her age, and happy to do so, not least because part of that is these little conversations we get to have, you and I.
So the interesting part of this story, to me, is actually how once you link up Serena's sudden outshining of Lily to Jenny's explicit superiority over Rufus -- and in both cases it's because of innate qualities, Serena's It-ness and Jenny's storied artistic talent -- you see a much stronger thematic consistency between the A and B stories here. Lily is drowning in her daughter just as Rufus is drowning in his, and then there's Blair, who's just drowning because she's a classic introspective, and her existence is always going to be contingent. And the whole point of literary moves like that is that you can cross-apply, and put Rufus's words in Blair's mouth, etc., giving yourself a much rounder perspective on each relationship and plot point, and that is brilliant.
The boys have a whole other gay thing happening, but as far as the main stories, you have to dig a little to see the parallels, but I am so glad they had Jenny declare herself more talented than Rufus outright and early on, because it makes his parental unease with all of this both creepier and easier to understand, and because I'm guessing Lily and Rufus are both going to put the kibosh on their kids in a future episode when they've both spiraled completely out of control, but this Running With Scissors question will remain in the air, which is where jealousy comes from and how hard it is to be both a parent and a fallible human being at the same time, especially in this science-fiction narrative universe where chumps like Dan get published in the New Yorker and Marc Jacobs names his purses after high school students. Because let's face it: don't all children operate at times on the worrisome suspicion that they're smarter or more talented than their parents? And don't parents secretly pick at that scab on occasion?