So next morning Rufus informs everybody that he and Serena spent the wee hours talking about various things having to do with her trip and social status. I'm sure she was very patient with him, and I'm sure he only said maybe six or seven really offensive things while giving her unasked-for and irrelevant advice, and of all the things I don't like about this episode, the one thing that I don't like most is that we didn't even get a taste of that bloodbath. Although it sets up a nice undercurrent that I hope continues, where you get to see how much he just honestly likes the kid after all this time, and generally shows her more respect than anybody else in the family, and I assume becomes the father that she's always wanted. We already played it the other way with Bart Bass, and I can't see Rufus enforcing anything, ever, and who better to play opposite her James Spader-like father than his Ducky-like equal? When you pretend that Rufus is just grown-up Ducky, it hurts less.
So Rufus is all about this envelope of money that Lily gave them for "emergencies," and he's proud -- way too proud -- to note that he hasn't "used a penny of it all summer." Um, because they were hanging out at somebody else's house and eating their food, Jenny points out, and Rufus quickly changes the subject to the huge breakfast Lily has had delivered to the house to welcome them back home. Additionally, she has gotten them a table at the Vanderbilt annual charity polo match in Greenwich, which makes nobody happy. Shit, why? Polo is the best because all you can think about is:
"My aunt died of influenza, or so they said. But it's my belief they done the old woman in. Why should she die of influenza, when she come through diphtheria right enough the year before? Fairly blue with it she was, they all thought she was dead. But my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat. Then she come to so sudden she bit the bowl right off the spoon. Now what call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza? And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it. And what I say is: them as pinched it done her in."p>Anyway, Serena does some lying about some things, which relieves Rufus and absolves him of all responsibility, so she runs off to go buy a polo hat -- which she never ends up buying, and I was kind of excited about -- but Dan follows her with a little storm cloud over his head. The children worry, but about what? Magazines, I suppose. This is one of those Serena secrets that you don't ever actually figure out what the secret specifically is, because there actually isn't one, but she feels so strongly about it that she warps the whole world around it until all they care about is the secret, and the reason for that is the plot, which hinges in the last ten seconds on the secret being something entirely different from this non-secret everybody's talking about: "I did body shots in St. Tropez" is the new "I killed someone," because the real secret is "My Daddy Issues are going global."