Dan and Eric, in the absence of any evidence beyond the fact that Eric watched the entirety of Oz -- furtively and furiously, one would imagine (but don't, until next week) -- have decided that three years in the clink, especially for something you didn't do, more than likely changes a man. All horsed up -- Oz, Eric getting older all the time, Ben achingly just on the other side of the garage door dreaming his beastly dangerous dreams, that shoeless night pent up with the white-hot heat of Charlie Trout, James Franco never far from fancy -- Dan's understandably a little bit dazed by the time a flock of night-black ravens coalesces into the form of Damien Dalgaard, right in front of his eyes.
"Damien is your friend? Eric, the guy's a drug dealer!" Eric points out that Damien swung into action the second Dan and Blair notified him that Serena was jeopardy, leading them all over Connecticut and solving the case -- good point, although it was GG sent them to Damien in the first place, for reasons only she will ever understand -- and so whatever, Ben is dangerous and evil and firm, like a leather couch. He must be contained! Jail is like right underneath Brooklyn on the scale of Things!
But even so, Dan will absolutely not conspire nor will he collude with the likes of Damien Dalgaard. Non-taker of virginities, non-sodomizer of brothers (don't say that!), haver of diplomatic immunity, tiny boat aficionado. A Humphrey Man's gotta have standards, or else what is he? Just another strawberry on the jitney to perdition, that's what.
Thorpes saying business words, teasing each other, a veritable Rothbart and Odile, and to whom shall they come? Only Charles Bass, cutting short their discussion: They must needs have a unanimous vote among the Thoard this very night, lest the Bass board (Sboard?) sense their Chicago weakness of knee. And so Chuck offers them a truce for the paps, a personal tour, the Thorpes and Bass together shaking hands and showing solidarity, and before you know it, Russell has begged off, leaving only his lieutenant to be shepherded by the enemy. What began as formality becomes... A date!
"Don't apologize," says Mr. Donovan, flailing toward the beautiful bookcase. "Just return it." Serena's already called the delivery guys -- nailing down at least a few hours she can stay here in DUMBO making moon-eyes at him, note -- but, since you said it so very sternly, must I also return this gift? This token? This first edition (always with the first editions, our Serena; probably from the same shoppe every time) of The Count Of Monte Cristo?*