It is at this point that maybe you would realize that Damien is being super creepy and you still have no reason to believe Ben is anything other than what Serena keeps saying he is, but that's why it was smart to set up Eric being so incredibly dependent on Damien: Of course he's going to go along with it. He loves the guy, he has no Chuck in his life, he's had this whole storyline happening we only just found out about, and no other friends of any kind. The only men in his life are Humphreys! It changes you!
So we need Epperly because the giftbags never made it to the new location, and turns out Epperly is missing -- although with Nate or a dark horse candidate, who is to say? -- so Blair starts getting the crazy eyes.
And where was Chuck's hiding place? Same as Raina's -- of course, that's the whole point of this exercise is to actually give them romantic cred instead of the constant fucking, through the mechanism of the burlesque of lies that are true -- in the kitchen corner, under a shelf, where they could see everybody but nobody could see you.
(Chuck's like, "That was fun. Now show me your favorite place for raping people. Spoiler alert: You're standing on mine! My hiding place is my raping place! I am broken inside!")
"I know how much The Palace means to you. It's your home. I think I can keep you from losing it," says Raina, which moment of triumph allows Chuck to briefly consider and take stock and notice that he actually is sort of falling for her. But before he can come clean, her dad appears (Whence? How come?) in the kitchen and goes, "You missed the big vote!" Which is fine, because she doesn't even want the Palace anymore, except also: "My corporate weasel just told me that Chuck knew about the vote and has been dicking you about!" Ouch.
Ben needs out of here before he takes Damien down, but first Serena needs to introduce him to all these famous folks and then ask him not to leave, and just as she's getting real annoying her brothers show up, a black-eyed Damien in tow. "He threatened me earlier, and then he followed me to the bathroom, and then he jumped me! In that order!"