In the courtyard of the Palace, the fucking Humphreys are making asses of themselves with their stupid disallowed tree, huffing and puffing and polyblending in front of everybody in their stupid Polar Fleece and reversible nonsense. Note please that this is not the last time a stupid ass Humphrey will show up in this spot dressed inappropriately, or carrying undue baggage. They drop the tree and and discuss how they're going to get it past the "humorless concierge," which character the show is so half-assedly interested in making real. I wish his ass was all over the place, like on Samantha Who?. They talk about sneaking it in various ways and how very heavy it is, and then Lily appears to make everything wonderful as usual. This is ... this is the Chrismukkah moment. And I'm happy for it, but this is like the fifth week where this same scenario has been the Chrismukkah moment, so it's kind of understated. Instead of like ten angels blowing horns as she appears, it's more like three or two. "Hey, Mrs. van der Woods...er...Lily, hi." Lily's heart melts, as did mine, when he says this. "Dan. Jenny. Tree," she hellos. Dan explains about the no-tree policy, "which is why Dan's about to ask you for a favor," mumbles Jenny adorably. "Ah. Does it involve distracting Dexter and sneaking into the elevator?" asks Lily, positively radiant and adorable. Dan's like, "Yeah." She tells them it won't work: "Never. He has the eyes of a hawk, and he takes his job very seriously." Which we've all noticed. "But Bobby at the service entrance... I think he could be bought." They smile. "Come." It's been over ten years, but every Christmas, I just want to hang out with Kelly Rutherford. Even more, this year. She is an actual mathematical constant in my life. Lord.
Pretty sure we're in Rufus's gallery in Williamsburg, where Serena and Vanessa's secret Christmas plan is almost fully created. Serena tells her that Dan's just texted that he's on his way, and she squeals her Vanessa-ward thanks. "It's really no problem. And since there are no problems, I should go." You know, Vanessa is great this week. She's still Vanessa and it's not cheap, but you really see the awesome side of Vanessa and how strapped to the wheel she actually is. Vanessa, all you have to do is not break into people's houses and I will love you. I support your love of Dan and your mostly sweet ambiguity about Serena, I really do. Just stop creeping about and we'll have a triangle I'm not biased about. She's fucking gorgeous, smart, quick, and funny. Serena begs her to stay, and Vanessa's like, "A) No way, gross. And B) All you have to do is plug it in, so what am I for?" And again, like every week, who knows how much Serena knows, begging her to stay and "see Dan's face." Does she know, is this a power play even above the usual Blair games? Or is she just honestly being sweet and knowing they both love Dan? To keep it interesting, I want to say that Serena is at least fractionally fucking with Vanessa, but that's not how we're playing it so I'll shut up. We've seen Blake Lively play hella complex so it's not that she can't do it, so this is a choice, so let's go with it: part of Serena's New Paradigm is that if she's not a dick, then neither is Vanessa. "I'll tell him how much you did," she promises, and Vanessa -- understandably -- begs her not to: "It's your present. Just enjoy your night." Which frankly is where Vanessa becomes the good guy in that exchange. Poor old Vanessa watches from just beyond the door -- baby steps -- as Serena twirls and dies of joy, in the room that they've made, and finally leaves. And what they've done is awesome: fake snow blown around with fans, a simple pallet on the floor, cutout snowflakes on the walls, and a projection on three walls of a snowy forest. That is so totally tight, and given they already have all the supplies from that installation a while back, really good use of their resources. I give Vanessa an A- for the week, because craftiness does come in handy, and she really is martyring herself in a way not even I can complain about this week.