"A careful reading of this book will have led the student to realize that the unsolved problems of botany are more numerous and quite as interesting as those we have solved. The essence of science is the endeavor to ascertain by the best method that which is most worth knowing." -- Fundamentals Of Botany, by Charles Stuart Gager (1916)
"Looks like I was right," Blair smirks, "And you were wrong." She points at Carter, kissing Serena in her gorgeous blue-black gown, her hair swept back. Chuck watches them, and without moving shifts his eyes to Bree, as she pulls out her phone and dials.
"In many cases the organs of plants are disguised, appearing to be what, in reality, they are not; stems may masquerade as leaves, and leaves as stems."
Serena asks Carter if he's all right, and he answers honestly that he is not. And neither will she be, in a moment. He takes her for a walk. "A few months before we left to search for your dad, I uh, I ran up some gambling debt. I owed a lot of money to some scary people. And then I met this woman, Beth. She was shy, kind, and well, she... Fell in love with me, and I saw an opportunity." Serena nods, angrily: "She have money?" Yes. Her family did. Serena nods again. "And I knew they'd take care of my debts if... It looked like I was about to be one of them." Her eyes beg him to continue, plead with him to stop. "I proposed. The wedding was all planned, and she had her dress, flowers. And I nearly went through with it, but I... Didn't love her." So he just vanished. Just disappeared, slipped the leash, like Waldo. Like Carmen Sandiego.
"It's the worst thing I've ever done." Serena's lip curls, disgusted. "You buy this girl a ring, you tell her you love her... What, did you make her breakfast in the morning, too?"
Over breakfast, when she reminded him they were orphans, cut off from the family funds, and he told her to make it right. "Talk to her," he said. "Talk to her. For me."
He swears it's not the same, but she can't take it in. "Carter, I have to go. My mother's getting married right now." Serena rushes away to join Dan, Jenny and Eric when Georgina arrives with a giant crazy smile. "What a... What a great surprise!" Dan fake-smiles: "I thought our date was tomorrow?" Oh, it is, she says. She just stopped by to give Lily and Rufus their wedding present. She proceeds past them, and Serena immediately grabs at Dan, scared, asking what that's about.
On a bridge, just out of sight, Rufus chases Lily, begging her to stop and come get married. "Can we just talk for a second?" she asks, and then doesn't speak. He reads it in her eyes, and his shoulders drop. "I don't get it. Everything came together for today." She can't write her vows, she explains: "I mean, how could I when we don't agree on how to raise our children, or how to get married, or anything?" He's already defeated, you can see it in his face: "What happened to taking a leap?" Not when the stakes are this high. Not in a Bass world.