Vanessa explains "awesome"-ly to Jenny that "Handmaiden is Jane Austen for slave," because the last thing Vanessa would ever understand is trading your precious unique snowflake wonderfulness in order to actually exist in the world, because God forbid Jenny make decisions for herself that don't fit inside the box of Vanessa's self-imposed, entirely sour-grapes response to socialization cues. "Non-conform, damn it!" Jenny points out rationally that A) she's not invited to the ball, B) Blair was open and honest about that at every possible point, C) there's no dress, D) there's no invite, and E) Blair told her not to come, so it's kind of bitchy for her to go. Vanessa is like, "None of that matters, you should go to this dance because it's totally nonconformist somehow, and nobody should ever stand in our way as women, and have you ever heard of a little thing called the Roller Derby," and it's just appalling, and like a Bastard Fairy Godmother from stupid Vermont, Vanessa gets Jenny into that party. Jenny's like, "Thanks, Vanessa! Hope this doesn't go horribly wrong and we all learn something about each other!"
Dancing, masks, craziness, Chuck is scary, Blair is gorgeous, Nate puts on a mask and has some emotions, Serena puts on a mask that would not fool a blind person: this show is totally awesome. "On the Upper East Side, appearances are often deceiving. From friends to hair color, there's always more than meets the eye." Thanks, GG. The only thing that would make this show better is if there were group dancing. It's kind of like a promise that they made with the Fergie thing, and then never went there again. Like, wouldn't you realize you were seeing something special if the entire cast suddenly pulled a Chenowith and started some insane Jane Austen-y dance routine? Like, fifty people or a hundred people on that dance floor, whirling. I don't think anybody would be upset by that. "Heightened reality! Right here in front of you!" we could say. Or even just a regular She's All That kind of dance routine, with those masks and gowns? Wouldn't that make this the best show, like, ever? Why this missing awesomeness?
Dan snags a mask from some very friendly drunk dude who's coming out of the party, and then takes on his identity and heads inside. Round the back, Vanessa and Jenny have a whole additional conversation about how Vanessa is better than all of this. I guess it's "pretentious," Vanessa. I guess you've got it all figured out. Bless your heart. She trades Jenny's (admittedly ugly) purse for an elegant fan, and disappears back into her Fairy Godbottle, or to drink ironic beers under bridges with the homeless, or whatever it is that pointless scenesters are doing these days, injecting absinthe into her eyeballs and measuring how skinny her boyfriend's jeans are. Jenny, meanwhile, is radiant. She just geeks on in there and tries desperately to be sultry. The music is awesome -- it's like a heist. She even turns around on her heel, like, so in love is she with the rich pageantry. B's there, wearing all black, with a handheld domino, sending her ladies off to do her bidding while N watches sadly from across the room and Serena dances with Edward Abbott. Jenny wanders at random, I guess trying to get caught, and Dan immediately spots Serena, obviously, because her mask is like this idea that a mask had one time but then didn't follow through. Edward Abbott is wearing this pirate costume and a giant goofy grin, so you know he's a tool, but Serena's having fun, because it's Serena: girl likes to have fun. "What was it we said about appearances? Yes, they can be deceiving." Less is more, GG. "But most of the time, what you see is what you get." I'm "seeing" a lot of big talk and no dancing, Gossip Girl. What I'm getting is a party, and let's see, that's the...sixth party we've seen, and they all look just like this. That's what I'm getting.