"Nathaniel," Williams says excitedly, "Let's show your friends the Presidential Medals of Freedom!" Dan fairly hoots with excitement, to Vanessa's delight, and we find these four a few minutes later in a lovely forest-green office on the ground floor. William asks after Nathaniel's plans for the next year, after their graduation from secondary school, and his grandson is forced to admit that, due to his father's continual and debased interruptions, his college applications and essays were not given their due attentions. "Another unfortunate byproduct of that regrettable situation," William nods. "Which, I might add, you handled admirably." Nathaniel is pleasantly surprised -- and characteristically confused, of course -- by this patrician approval. "Admirably? I thought you were ashamed of me," he says quietly, unable to look into his grandfather's eyes. "On the contrary, I've never been more proud. You stood by your mother, you got your father to do what was right." Provoking a smile and curt giggle from his grandson, he continues: "I used to worry that you got her looks and his brains, but you proved me wrong on that. You're a part of this legacy too, Nathaniel." Summoned by these words as though by a bell, Trip enters, inviting them all to a game of touch football on the manor green.
Blair and Serena peruse the handbags and accessories on offer at VBH, as Blair attempts to communicate to her dearest friend the sea change engendered by these latest defeats. "Do you know how exhausting it's been, being Blair Waldorf for the past eighteen years?" Too much for any one person to bear, for certain. "All the work, the planning?" Serena smiles, correcting her: "You mean plotting?" Blair nods: Exactly. All of that manipulation, born of desperation and frustration, until she saw her dearest companions as nothing more than tools, or prey. "I'm glad it all blew up in my face. It was a wake-up call! I was such an overachiever I was headed for a quarter-life crisis at eighteen!" True, but one would think endemic, essential to her character. Serena's jeweled blouse is lovely and catches the eye, while Blair's raucously patterned jacket makes her point -- that she has been driven to the very brink -- more eloquently even than her words.