Which is why as much as I think this scene is dumb, and kind of manipulative, and Serena's saying this in a dumb Dan-like way that doesn't really get there, and the seams kind of show on thrusting another obstacle between Lily and Rufus: that's how TV works, and that's how this family works. It's not even like Serena's holding her mom hostage or anything, just stating how it's going to go down. Lily and Rufus break up, they cry and act like the jerks they already are acting like, but you can't promise your fucked-up kids a family that you know will not ever last, when there's actually something at stake. This is the difference between love and romance: romance gives you space to breathe, and love is what you do with the breath in your body. Romance is what you are, when you're filled with it, but love is about what you do. That's all she's asking. So I find myself, very weirdly, totally on Serena's side. And somewhat less weirdly, as Serena takes her leave and heads off to prove how much she just realized she loves Dan: so does her mother.
Vanessa drops by Chez Waldorf with the tape and some patented Vanessa stuff about "this might come as a shock," but "not everyone operates from an agenda," and in fact, "some people do things simply because it's the decent thing to do," so she's so fucking real and not into "things." Um, first of all, no good unsnotty sentence ever started with "this might come as a shock," and second of all, I can't say with authority that nobody operates with an agenda, but I'll be damned if Vanessa is one of those agenda-less people. Um, sneaking and stealing and surveillance and stalking and being a jerk are on the agenda. Of jerks! She is just the worst! Next time I see her eating yogurt on the steps of the Met, I am throwing bows! Whatever. Anyway, she tells B that the obviously blank tape she gave Chuck was obviously blank, and then congratulates Blair on surviving even a single day in the shark tank she calls a life. "Nate seems like one of the good guys, and you seem to really care about him," she calls back over her shoulder, sticking her lovely nose into one more situation that did not require it. "Yeah, you should get in a room and be balls-out honest about it, or something."