And hey, speaking of what would appear to be a van der Woodsen trait that skipped a generation: Chuck immediately calls Eric to confirm the Princeton thing, which is wonderful on many levels, because Eric and Chuck are their own vastly more wonderful television show I'll remind you we still have yet to see for any substantial amount of time, because once Chuck sees you as a resource he'll love you forever, because Eric couldn't love Chuck more if he were actually made of Webkinz, and best of all, because Chuck refers to James as "Blair's consort." Nate shakes his head and rolls his eyes because finally he has some drama of his own, and everybody's bogarting, but also because he naturally knows that drama is inherently stupid, and because he knows what happens when you fuck with Blair Waldorf. "Do some [British-inflected] research, Junior," says Chuck. "I'm in the mood to be right."
DUMBO. And for once I am not talking about the Brooklyn experiment in quantum gentrification. Listen to this horseshit: "I can't believe that I get a job working for my literary idol, and he... And he cans me, you know?" DAN, YOU IGNORANT SLUT. I can't believe you got a job working for your literary idol and proved to him that you don't have what it takes, while taking a dump on his goodwill, and yet missed this most salient point, where you could be the most talented person in the universe and nobody will ever know, because your lightning never touches the ground. Of all the shit, both Humphrey and Dan-specific, that Dan has pulled, in some ways I find this the most insanely gross.
And I'm not even going to get into a whole "what is a real writer" thing, because like I know anything, but it's like Chuck later, where he can't manage to say aloud that he loves Blair: the only people who do that are guilty of asshead disease and terminal drama. Writing is opening up a crack just wide enough to let some light into you, and some you onto the page, so that the next person feels less alone. And if this is the thing that frightens you -- like Chuck and like Blair, under her garments -- then you have chosen precisely the wrong job, because that's the entire requirement: being honest, for a living, for the rest of your life.
Now, I too would be horrified by a glimpse into the dreary stupid soul of Dan Humphrey, so on this level I cannot blame him. However, playing the victim card will not win you a pony in this instance. Unless you are the worst parent in history, in which case you will get a clap on the motherfucking back. "I did everything he asked --" Except the only thing he actually asked for from you "-- from picking up his dry cleaning to keeping him sober before noon. Which was, believe me, the hardest thing I've ever done." Oh bitter, bitter. "Harder than finishing that story?" Word. And lest you think that Rufus is headed the right direction here, remember who we're dealing with.