(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!"
Serena's like, "This is just like when there were three of me doing awful things and nobody believed that it wasn't me, but with Ben instead of me. This is bullshit. Explain your sorcery." But everybody just stares instead, including Ben, because of what a town without pity can do, and even after the break -- as Florence starts singing a harp-heavy, drums-light "Cosmic Love," the finest song of all time -- she's still like, "What, and also his PO just happened to be here? I was born on a Sunday but it wasn't yesterday, jerks. Stop talking! This is... Criminy, this is pernicious! Logic, help a sister out!"
Chuck chases Raina up some stairs somewhere and admits that he was fucking his way to her heart so that he could keep his Empire and his Palace but that it became something more. End result: Raina does not believe him, he cannot be trusted, Thorpes exeunt (threunt).
Which is all awesome, because it's the exact opposite of a classic Valmont speech where the guy lies and says he has no feelings, when he does, because the Marquise is making him do it to prove something about herself. Whereas in this case, it was the Marquise that started up all the feelings in the first place, because she loves him without wanting him. Which is why I keep bringing them up at all: It's a very classic twist on a story these two have already played out, only now instead of just switching roles around, they've flipped the entire script upside down and backwards like some kind of Hofstadter crab canon: The seducer's heart is in jeopardy and nobody believes him, innocent Nate the sex victim is off somewhere thinking about musical theatre, the seductress is in no danger of being shamed, and her prey is making a reconnection to a long-ago lover. Kindly Intentions. Safety-First Liaisons.