"Diamond Hipster Boy" by Washington Social Club plays at the Humphreys' West Side apartment. You can tell they're totally poor by how their house is nicer than an award-winning castle from the pages of Castle Architecture Digest. This would be Dan and Jenny, last spotted being in love with Serena at Grand Central, and their dad Rufus, last spotted being hot all up in your grill. He turns the Sandy Cohen up a notch: "Guess whose dad is cool?" Not actually a trick question: he produces a copy of Rolling Stone in which his '90s band, Lincoln Hawk, was featured. That would be the first time I laughed out loud, like really loud out loud. There were some giggles, but you say "Lincoln Hawk" to me, I might laugh until I pee a little. That's so awesome. Sylvester Stallone has never done a better job than as the traveling trucker-slash-competitive arm wrestler that he played in that one movie. So anyway, Lincoln Hawk is number nine of the Top Ten Forgotten Bands of the '90s. "Hey, way to be forgotten!" chuckles a game Dan, and Rufus gets all literary about Serena's plight: "But that's how you get remembered."
Jenny chuckles over her arts and crafts, all, "Maybe you'd care if Dad's band was on Gossip Girl," and Dan totally scoffs: "What? I don't read Gossip Girl! That's for chicks!" Instead of going with the time-tested little sister response of "...And?" Jenny opts for factual evidence: "So that wasn't your laptop open to it last night? Reading all about Serena van der Woodsen?" Dan suddenly gets super interested in the Rolling Stone, a magazine I was unaware was still being published. So forgotten is Dan's basic equilibrium that he squeaks out a nearly unforgivable "très cool!" So embarrassing is this exclamation for everybody in the room that Rufus must train his gaze on his daughter Jenny, who is working industriously on some project or another. "It's called the Kiss On The Lips party. Everyone's going." Dan's surprised that she was invited, but explains that it's only because he's never been invited. Turns out the naïve Jenny wasn't so much really invited either: "One of the girls in my art class saw my calligraphy, and she said that if I addressed all the invitations, I could have one." Aww, that's so...pathetic. I kind of love little Jenny Humphrey for that: "Though my body is riddled with polio, Cherry Valance said that I could take her to Prom, if I just did all her Calculus homework for the next term!" Not to mention that a "Kiss On The Lips" party, whatever that means, sounds really gross and creepy, and I would not be able to stay away either.
"Sounds very fair," Rufus Sandys. "The sweatshops could learn a thing or two." His progeny first inform him that this is not a platform for his anti-capitalist rants -- no effect -- and then take the route of pointing out how hypocritical said rants actually are, given that they both attend private school. They explain the Ski Trip Conundrum to him (why don't parents ever understand this?), which basically goes: if I have to rub shoulders with people who have way more money than I do, I'm at a disadvantage socially, because I can't do the actual things, logistically, that they can do. It's the same reason you only talk to five people you knew in college: some went up, some went down, everybody is vacationing in different spots and drinking wine from different years, and when you can't get around that -- and honestly sometimes you just can't -- it's painfully weird, and weirdly painful. Rufus still isn't convinced, because he lives in a misty socialist twilight and doesn't understand class distinctions -- and why should he? He's a gallery owner who lives on the Upper West Side -- until Jenny floats the "fact" that their mom thinks it's a good idea. Sold. It literally takes just that. He snarks on Mom, Dan gives him a look, and he caves. Which means his marriage is really over, because parents don't step to that manipulative shit this easy when they're merely separated.