Nate and Serena are absolutely amazing together. You really get the sense that they have known each other for one million years and that they are really close friends. Generally this is true, but for some reason in this episode they are just stellar. Loved it. So he's distracting her from Colin, not doing great but he's doing it, and they are so sweet and she's just innocently laughing while he natters at her about teachers and people's clothes and she's like, "Gay best friends really do rock. Now I see what Jenny was talking about. This is way better than having an adult relationship with an available man."
Dan shows up and Eric's like, "Well, great. And I bet you brought out whatever secret weapon too. And now our parents are here, so they're going to see it too, and even without Vanessa being around you still manage to be the most embarrassing fucking person." Dan's like, "Nice plaid bowtie, let me adjust that for you." Speaking of dates awry, Juliet attacks! How dare S take her oldest friend to the party she's not invited to and not welcome at? S is like, "Yeah, I didn't tell you because you guys dated one time and I didn't want you to know that." Juliet tries to figure out who the professor is that Serena is "not" sleeping with, and S is like, "Nunya." Then Eleanor descends and whisks Juliet away to serve appetizers, like she used to pull with Dan all the time between the second and third occasions that Jenny worked for her.
"Why are you talking to that horrible Juliet, and what are you doing here with Nate?" Blair asks Serena, nails biting into her arm, and then refuses to hear the explanation, and acts generally like a cokehead and specifically like this guy who used to date my friend, and but finally goes, "Serena, do you have amnesia? Juliet isn't your friend." Serena's like, "Um, insensitive much? I totally do have amnesia. Wait, what's the one where things are backwards? Like words and clocks? You know. Where you can't be places? I have that one. I need pills." Serena reminds B that Juliet saved her from "Vanessa's takedown," which is just pathetic trebled if you think about it, and B full goes, "Oh please, if I want to hear fiction I'll go talk to Jonathan Franzen" and then in fact does just that.
Rufus and Daniel, in the absence of anything to complain about, complain about how they didn't know the other was coming to the party. They bicker about that nothingness for awhile, and then Dan tells them to get the fuck home, because first anniversary is paper. "Everything here is on china and crystal! You gotta go home and celebrate on paper plates, as planned!" Rude, fussy and classless. The Dan Humphrey Hat Trick. Even Lily is amazed: "I never knew you were so superstitious! Or so... gay!" So Loofus, they're all, "Let's face it. Our plan to stay at home was pretty depressing" and then head off for some cookies in the shape of Blair's shoes. Eric begs Dan to say he didn't pull the trigger on whatever sad thing, and to fix it. Dan does neither of these things, because Dan is an inhuman monster who dines on the awkwardness of innocents.