Eric and Serena blurt simultaneously, "Bart Bass?" This part is awesome. Serena abjures her mother that under no circumstances may Lily even date Bart Bass, and Lily points out that one second ago, Serena said she didn't care who it was. Eric is adorably outraged, like an expensive puppy: "He only has one facial expression! He scares me!" Serena chimes in, for the crowd favorite line this week: "And he raised Chuck. That scares me." Word. Word word word. They've planted Bart as somehow not the problem with Chuck -- all he ever says to his son "Charles" is "Stop being gross and Stop fucking up," which are the things Chuck does wrong, but so very well -- and yet, this show pays so much attention to family and history and stuff that I have no doubt we'll see the ugly side of Bart soon enough. I think Bart and Chuck's Mom are the problem there, because Chuck's problem is one word long and it's spelled W-O-M-E-N, which in a family situation like Chuck's means usually that the divorce was hideous and Chuck was on the losing, which is to say his mom's, side -- and has since jumped the fence in the attempt to get his father's favor. We'll see, but I bet I'm right. Lily accuses Serena of being, "as usual," overly dramatic. I can't think of one case that we've seen where that's the case. In other news, she's hardly "marrying Bart," because after all, this isn't her first rodeo. She knows that prior to snagging the rich old douche, you have to pay lip service to how it's so very "casual," and anyway, she's not asking Serena's permission. If it were up to Serena, we'd all marry poor people. She leaves all sassy and champagned deliciously to the hilt, and Eric and Serena look at each other. Which would give me pause, because I imagine, as their parent, I would be thinking something along the lines of: "Well, last time I tried to kill myself and you went slutty and abandoned ship. I don't...really know where to go from here. Maybe we are overly dramatic."
Little J and Lonelyboy hustle a Christmas tree down the boulevard, giving mad Humphreiana about how they stole the tree for Serena, or didn't steal it, or something something, he left a donation so in theory they didn't steal it, like this is the post-Apocalypse looting and whatever. A whole lot of words for not a lot of stuff. Then some cadgy Humphriana to get us back to the topic, which is Rufus and Alison. They talk at length about how Jenny's plan to get Alison back to DUMBO was stupid and made more unhappiness for everybody, blah blah, and how if she had not done this, she and Rufus could have been happy for years in their fantasy that they were a family. For once, Dan says more with a look than he does with the endless talking, and they agree that truth is better than lies, even when the truth is awful. I can't recap it because of Jenny's deplorable acting in this scene, so I'll just say that I love Dan Humphrey, and don't let anybody tell you different. It's not his goodness or his earnestness that I despise. It's just that...Dan is like looking at an x-ray or MRI, stuff inside that should stay inside, and I -- and the rest of the cast -- have developed a lot of bullshit layers and lies so that the Dan part doesn't get out. That's like the definition of culture: don't let your Dan talk, ever, or else you're heading for some seriously messy shit that somebody is going to have to clean up. The Dan part of a person is the best part of any person, but it's also the part that rules and etiquette and the entire Blair persona have been developed in order to hide, and when Dan drives me nuts it's because I'd rather not, but secretly he's always there, trying to bust out of us all. And within the story, I daresay that's why the people in Serena's world hate Dan too: he's like this giant Visible Man that comes stomping through things saying true stuff that everybody already knows, showing you viscera and the colons large and small, and this is stuff that everybody has spent years covering up, and it's just too awful to look at. He's like the Dwight But that doesn't make the opposite true, which is why this scene -- terrible embarrassing acting aside -- is actually pretty neat. Dan is my favorite for the exact same reason that I hate Dan the most, and either way, Little J is sad and half-smiles and nods, and gets one step closer to being the total bitch that you have to be.