Eleanor's sitting in the living room when Blair comes off the elevator. Even across the house, she can see something's off about her daughter. She's weak. She's near tears: "I'd be a lot better if I could spend a semester going to school in France." In the silence, Blair nods sadly at her mother: it's really that bad. It just got that bad. Mom stutters: "Well, I -- I already talked to Harold about a visit, and he was -- he was thrilled..." Blair nearly begs to go immediately, and Eleanor's taken aback: "Now?" Blair throws herself down, at her mother's knee, supplicant. Sometimes, in hell, it takes your mother to save you. And she won't ask too many questions. "Blair, I am very concerned..." she murmurs, and Blair looks up, her eyes on fire: "So book a flight." Asked and answered. Without pausing, Eleanor nods, serious as the situation demands: "We'll get you out tomorrow." She caresses her daughter's face, down in the hell she helped construct, and Blair collapses into her arms. "Thank you." Saved from free-fall once again; still a Waldorf. If you can't fix the world, and you can't fix yourself, and you're not ready to be the new Serena, a hasty retreat is called for.
The new Army, headed by Hazel, plans their night's entertainment; Kati or Iz made out with the bartender at Decibel last time and he thinks she's in love with him, but they'll figure out somewhere else to go. Hazel invites Little J along, but once again, she has to cart massive amounts of books to the library for some reason. "Elise will take them for you. Won't you, E?" The new Jenny. She looks so terribly young, fidgeting with her silly wool hat, the puffballs hanging down, her cheeks turning red from the attention. "Yeah, sure!" Jenny protests -- even looking at Elise is making her sick, like a mirror, that naked desire to be included, that willingness to submit, that complete lack of backbone; it hurts her like Dan hurts me -- and Hazel redefines the world again: "The question isn't if you can do it, Jenny. It's if you should have to." There's a three-way stare-down as Elise, tiny little innocent Elise, promises she's going there anyway. The eyes of bitches are everywhere, because this is a defining moment for Little J. She finally nods, in front of them all, and Elise begs her to let her know if she needs anything else. Jenny nods queasily, and the Army moves out. Jenny hesitates for a second, but quickly joins Hazel. "Props to Blair," Hazel says smugly. "She trained you well." Credit where it's due. Who knows when Blair would have relented; I'm guessing soon, but we'll never know. Jenny smiles, and she and Elise wave goodbye across the quad, and Jenny's grin at the last second is the scariest part of all. Elise collects the books one by one; Jenny leaves a girl behind, in the courtyard.
In the gallery, Bex isn't hearing it: "Don't act so surprised to see me. How could I not stop by after all those pitiful messages you left?" Rufus apologizes, and tries once again to explain. He does a pretty good job: "Look, Bex. I was married for almost twenty years. And before that, I was a somewhat successful musician, and I wouldn't really call what I was doing dating." It was? "A succession of women -- groupies, mostly -- whose chose me. I really don't have any experience with real honest-to-goodness dating." I like that, the whole thing about eating whatever's on your plate instead of deciding what you want, and going after it. That's so true, and it's so Rufus, and I'm proud he figured that one out. "Despite your worst efforts, I am completely charmed by you, Rufus Humphrey." She speaks for us all! "Okay. Here's where we are. Dating 101, Lesson One: In two days, you're gonna call me, and thank me for forgiving you your dating faux pas. You'll ask me out to dinner. Someplace elegant, but intimate. And we are going to have a fabulous time. You got all that?" She delivers this with charm over and above the already pretty-charming lines. I like this one, I hope she sticks around. She takes off, promising they'll talk in two days, but of course she only makes it two steps toward the door before her phone rings, and she starts to laugh. Oh, Rufus.