"...Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."
From that delicate, brilliant scene to Bree Buckley wearing a summer dress Lily wouldn't have worn in the ugliest months of 1996, honking into the phone at her parents about schmooby-wooby rashy-washy, and then Nate comes out into the room -- fully clothed, thank God, and how weird is that to say even this one time -- and whatever, their parents and they accept each other and blah-blah remember last week, it's like that. But with the memory of a rash. And then she stores him in her cheeks for the winter.
"...They talked about the mediocrity of provincial life, so suffocating, so fatal to all noble dreams."
"There's a reason we never went downtown: It's awful!" Heh. Blair and Serena, back for a little sojourn on the Met steps, outside the new American wing. Nice. "The minute you cross 14th Street, people forget there's a class system!" Also nice. Serena assures Blair she'll find her place, and Blair shrugs: "No, I found my place, and it's at the bottom. It's a point of pride now that I see who's on top." She points out that it's for the best; if she'd been less distracted she would have forced Serena into school. Serena giggles and says it really wouldn't have gone down like that. She's rooted. Blair admits that S seems "a lot better" than she has in a while, now that she's let Brown go.
("Self-confidence depends on surroundings: the same person talks quite differently in the drawing room and in the garret, and a rich woman's virtue is protected by her banknotes quite effectively as by any cuirass worn under a corset.")
"It was so much easier when it was just about where we sat on the Met steps!" Serena agrees, pointing out how they've been here/done this, and B laughs: "But I was so good at it!" Serena stands up -- and about six steps down, so they can look each other in the eye -- and tells her it's time for a new challenge. Which frankly is how they should have sold this shit to her in the first place, because it's Blair. She likes two things, achieving and destroying. They hug and giggle and kiss and touch each other's faces and finally Serena peels away and goes off, and then it's just Blair, worried about Serena, and then Blair worried about Blair, all alone on the steps.
Scott creepily hands Vanessa this intense block-paragraph page of helpful notes and hints about like every teacher at NYU -- "And look, I even gave them grades!" -- and apologizes for how he acted clearly psycho last night, and is continuing to act totally psycho while explaining it. Vanessa's like, "No prob." Scott's like, "Yeah, a lot going on last night. Like Dan, he was so amazing. His skin looked really... wearable last night. Is he always so commanding and masculine?" Uh, no. Vanessa finally sneaks a look at her boyfriend to see if the gay he's always getting about Dan is literal or figurative, and finally she's like, "Um, do you want me to call him? (So you can have sex with him?)" Scott tells her yes, but knows enough -- or can see through the haze of his developing crazy -- to say that first he would like to spend some time with his little woman.