"Oh, Jennycake," Eric says hilariously, as they remember the hell of last year's party, and Rufus admits that he is no expert party planner, and so has handed it over to giggly Serena and desperately trying Lily. Jenny laughs nervously and Dan points out helpfully that she's not at all feeling this plan. She stutters a bit before trying to explain: "Okay look, last year I would have killed for a party like this..." (Lily and S both give the exact same hilarious The Fuck You Say look, like mother like daughter) "...But this year, I don't know. Things just... Things just seem different. Like... Like, okay, I was just kind of hoping that it would be us. And Vanessa and Jonathan, and then I don't even..." She says some weird thing about maybe inviting some girls from Chemistry that didn't set her hair on fire, and Lily shoots a confused look at S, who just shakes her head like they shouldn't even bother, and Jenny throws an ankle-dip on there for old times' sake: "I'm sorry. Is that okay?"
Serena and Lily react with varying levels of acceptance: Serena tells her to try the cake first -- because she's sold on the idea of being Jenny's wiser big sister -- and Lily overrules her, saying it's Jenny's day -- because she's sold on the idea of being this Earth Mother type, with five adoring kids she can give everything to -- so Serena adjusts her course quickly and says she'll cancel everything. Blake Lively is absolutely amazing in this episode, and I'm not just talking about her still-great crazy hair: there's a lot she has to play in every scene to get through the episode without looking like a total bitch, and if you keep your eyes on her face the whole time she totally pulls it off.
Awkward smiles all around, and then the Humphreys "help" by suggesting, like, homemade chili and boardgames. Lily's no more impressed than anybody reasonable would be, and Jenny thanks them again. Serena's so disappointed she absconds with the pastries, and shit gets really weird, so they run off. Alone, Rufus opens the Yale stuff and learns that Dan has been denied financial aid, which is possibly the most boring thing that ever happened on this show, and pulls out his phone.
At Constance, Serena's whining at Eric about how "every culture in the world has some version of a Sweet Sixteen party" because it's "like a universal rite of passage," which is so perfectly the opposite of what she's trying to say that it means the same thing. Eric's hair is now completely dark, without even a little bit of highlights, but it's hard not to think of him as the other blonde van der Woodsen nonetheless. He points out that Jenny has no friends because she's weird, and posits that maybe she was nervous about throwing a huge delicious party that nobody would come to, and then the Plastics show up to demonstrate that he is totally correct.