"Look, Blair invited her to lunch, not me." Dan points out that she was there, and Serena's like, "Yeah, until I told Blair to knock it off and left to come find you just now." And oh, the condescension: "So you were part of it, and then you had second thoughts?" YES. I realized I was doing a shitty, junior-high thing, and cut it out, and tried to make amends. I wonder if anybody else here is also doing shitty junior-high crap they could be knocking off right about fucking now? ...Nope. "Really? Because it sounds like you're just trying to rationalize." She sighs and makes the sad face at him, but he's too gross to be overpowered that easily anymore. "Look, it's just ... We knew that this would be awkward. You know? And I just assumed that it would be more of a sad awkward, not this ... competitive awkward." Which it was, until your ass got competitive.
"I didn't think you'd enlist backup," he says, which is ... a fair point, really. I mean, it's not S enlisting the backup, but she does have this rabid pitbull that nobody can knock loose who automatically applies. But the yucky thing, which is to say the thing that Serena balks at, is not the Blair part, but the part where Serena needs "backup." That's just rude. The idea that Dan was just blamelessly walking through life while horrible girls threw themselves at his feet (or he knocked them there, with his stupid ass), as usual, and Serena like can't handle it, and went running to her bitch friends to alienate the girl and keep the two of them apart. Blair yes. Serena? Never. She throws parties, Blair throws knives. She's the Queen by existing, Blair's the Queen by rocking it hardcore. (And by the end of this episode, B's going to need to change her name to Trouble if she's going to stay alive at all, so look for movement on that front as well.) There's nothing shameful in the way that Blair accumulates and retains power -- it is way awesome in fact -- but it's just not how Serena rolls, and if she ever did it that way she'd look ridiculous, and feel ridiculous. Her power comes from magnetic awesomeness, not from scheming and fixing and destroying and planning. That's too much like asking.
"Well, you tell me. If I have lunch with someone else tomorrow, are Blair's minions gonna break her fingers?" Yes, but only because they don't know any straight guys to knock your head in, basically. Serena is disgusted, finally -- finally -- and the flames start licking along her face, a little bit. "Just so you know," she says, brushing past him, "If this were a competition? I wouldn't need Blair and her posse to win." GET SCARED. NOW. I know that fake smile; it's like a dog showing teeth. Remember when we talked about the neckties, the wolves in the neckties? It's part of that. My mouth smile says, "Okay, we're playing this by the rules," but my eye lack-of-smile says, "You are on thin fucking ice." Amanda, hair whipping about in the hot backdraft vacuum of Serena's exit, informs Dan that she's not into being intimidated by bullies, and asks him out. He thinks a beat and decides he's not afraid of bullies either. Which is fine, but they're both retarded because this isn't about "bullies," it's something else entirely. Something better and scarier and infinitely more powerful, pointed right at your dumb little heads.