"Oh, B. you've had a couple of setbacks, but there must still be a way to get into a great college. And if anyone can do it, it's you!" Serena smiles at Blair, expecting the ice to melt as it has perennially, in every other crises, but Blair's voice is hard as steel. "No, S. I've learned the hard way. I can't control everything, plan everything... Now, with Carter's help, I'm trying something different." She thinks, a distasteful plan forming in her hazy, turbid mind. "In fact, if I'm somewhere and I can say Blair Waldorf would never do that, guess what? I'll do it," she says, revolutionarily placing a pair of sunglasses on her face and picking up her purse. Serena reminds her of course that she must pay for her purchase, and Blair smiles wildly. "So call security!"
Serena immediately dials her brother. "Hey. We have a problem." Chuck nods smoothly, assuming the worst, and blames Carter Baizen. "He's encouraging the worst in her," Serena worries, and Chuck laments his private investigator's current lack of extortable materials. Serena immediately offers her own questionable history, although she is loathe to explain this before the game has begun: "Tell him you want to see him." And when he asks what she has to offer, she rings off with a repeated exhortation for Chuck to follow her instruction.
Returning home, she finds her mother Lily at the dinner table, making lists. Did you and Blair find anything you like at VBH?" One presumes, of course, that she means items for purchase, over and above Bruce Hoeksema's hot ass. "Well, Blair certainly did," Serena says, referring to the purloined sunglasses, and asks her mother about the lists. Lily is embarrassed, not for her romantic history -- of which her children are of course painfully aware -- but for yet another childish pursuit born of Rufus's dramatic emotionality and her own pride and stubbornness. "Just reminiscing," she says, and Serena notes a few names ("Why is Bart's name next to Trent Reznor and the C/Klauses?") before dropping the thing soundly to the table below.
" ...Oh my God, Mom, what is that?" As Lily attempts to circumvent her child's horror, Serena begs her not to answer. "It's... a long story. Between me and Rufus." Serena immediately ascertains that her mother, against all reason and decorum, plans on giving Rufus Humphrey this information. With a refreshing lack of judgment, they both worry blondly at Rufus's probable response to the length of the list itself, far and away more startling than its contents for the most part. Lily embarrassedly explains that she's been hounded by the conversation into an implacable position and cannot now back down. And though it must be admitted that her explanation does make a certain sort of sense, one considers it more important to consider the benefit, to us both as children and as a nation, when such sterling examples of romantic maturity are set so publicly in plain sight. The forces at work in Serena's relationships are brought ever more starkly into relief whenever Lily allows Rufus to interrupt her logical mind this way, for one example.