Serena smiles sweetly at Dan, keeping her switchblade concealed: "So, you brought Vanessa as your date to Blair's party?" Dan stutters and explains "his" plan that all three of them should hang out together. "Yeah! Because it was so fun and not remotely awkward at breakfast this morning!" Dan agrees and bumbles, realizing that he has been played once again. "You're right. I actually thought this would be a very bad opportunity for us to hang out, but I kind of suggested to Vanessa that she wasn't making an effort to get to know you, so, uh, she decided to start tonight. But if it's weird, I can go talk to her." Serena's WASPy etiquette protocol having been activated by the word "weird," Serena's like, "No, absolutely not. I am a gracious and poised hostess at all times. Tell me something Vanessa likes, besides your creepy ass, and I will make an effort to bond. I will bond the shit out of that girl. She'll be begging not to know me by the end of the night, or we will make out on the dance floor. Solemn vow, one or the other." Dan's like, "How gracious and poised of you." Serena and Vanessa play Guitar Hero, and Vanessa unsurprisingly pwns her (Isabel: "You went down like Britney at the VMAs!"), so Serena decides to bust out.
Which is kind of weird. I have made a vocation of watching boys play Guitar Hero, because everybody's a little bit van der Woodsen from time to time, and I too am gracious and poised. I have never played this game, but I could watch people do it, on a competitive level. So firstly, watching Serena play the game in ways that match up to the screen in no way is painful. It's just painfully not authentic, which is weird, but not because I'm a nerd; it's because I feel like Blake Lively can do literally anything, including rock out on "Free Bird." And secondly, because that's totally Serena's sandalwood-scented theme song, Lively makes some performance choices that are -- for some people, I stress, not myself -- really kind of hard to watch. Like she swoons, and rocks out, and shakes her hair around, and on the long notes she whirls around with abandon. I think either one of these things or the others would turn you off. Maybe both. All I know is, I like watching Serena rock out, so the second thing didn't bug me, but the first thing was distracting.
Vanessa, not to be outdone, turns into a substandard Gossip Girl: "Not bad, but Skynyrd is meat and potatoes, and I'm bringing dessert, so what do you say to a slice of 'Cherry Pie'?" Which would actually be fun to watch. Serena pretends to barf and Dan takes her side, begging Vanessa not to play the song. Vanessa, guitar strapped on, is like, "There's nothing like a little '80s hair metal to put a smile on your face. After the day you've had?" All of this paragraph is wildly contrived, by the way. So Serena's like, "What kind of day have you had?" And Vanessa gets up in there all, "You didn't tell her?" And Dan, for Pete's sake, has hardly had time to do so, because Serena's been with B all day, and their only time together has been marked by continual territorial pissings, so it's not like he's keeping secrets. He tells Serena about Jenny bringing his mom home, and Serena bounces, because she's upset that he told Vanessa something huge like that and not her. Dan follows her, and Vanessa is left standing there feeling foolish, even though she did that.