Eric explains that in "our world," people say one thing but they expect something else, and if Rufus can work it out tonight, he'll be better off and so will Lily. That's the first instance of a horrible motif in this episode where people constantly talk about their "world" and what "world" they are from and whether they should brush their hair with their salad forks and whether it's feminist to stop being a mermaid just because all the salad forks are on land. Rufus says everybody can geh zum teufel, because he just likes Lily, and they get back to studying. In his lap is literally a copy of Opera For Dummies. Which is fitting on every level.
Penelope lies on one side of the bed, pretending to be the devil on B's shoulder, while Iz lies on the other side taking the angel position, and B's on her tummy in the middle, loving the attention and looking back and forth the whole time. "The devil would say, you're already in Yale. You have security. Now more than ever, you can do what you want." But, Isabel points out, "An angel would say, all the more reason not to. You have what you want..." Penelope points out the smudge on B's transcript, but Isabel replies that she doesn't need a perfect transcript anymore, because she's in, and then gives up because being the angel is too hard. Which makes up B's mind, and she decides to go after Miss Carr just for the hell of it: she calls and invites her to dinner at the Central Park Boathouse for dinner with the family, and then the opera. Then she and the devil and angel lie on the bed and laugh hysterically. It's both bizarre and fake and humorless, but sort of exactly right too.
Rufus in his tux and Dan in his douchemeister "I AM AN INDIVIDUAL" tux-with-necktie, and Lily and Serena in their respective boob dresses, talk about the whole college thing, how it means they get to take romantic trips all over the eastern seaboard and get milkshakes and have it be their honeymoon and they can even take Eric and Jenny, and right on cue the son who went missing shows up and glares at Lily. Everybody feels sort of ashamed of themselves for being so excited about their nasty little inappropriate family, and Dan spots Nate and nearly does a backflip. Everybody else just stands around feeling weird.
Dan climbs all over Nate and Vanessa for skin-crawling ages, babbling about how this evening went "from Family Ties to Faulkner in one cocktail flat," and then almost blows Nate's spot about the family box, but with a single glance from Nate takes in the entire situation and helps cover for him so that Vanessa won't feel weird about her shitty seats in the third tier. Awesome, not that it works, but still. I love that Dan Humphrey, who can't ever read a room, got the entire picture from one single arch of Nate's expressive butterfly eyebrows; I love more so that making Vanessa feel less weird about their economic inequalities is something he would only do for Nate. Meanwhile, every time Serena uses her credit card God kills a kitten and drops it off at Dan's house so he can hold its tiny broken body in the air over his head and be like, "Why!"