Jack meets Lily at the top of the stairs, full of vim and hate. "Lily, didn't know you'd be here. Who's your lucky escort this evening? Someone you picked up at the funeral?" Basically. "You remember Pauletta Cho? She's head of publicity for my company," Jack says, and Lily corrects him: "Our company. Yes, hi. It's nice to see you, Pauletta. But your choice of companion? Not so nice." She agrees, explaining she's just there to keep an eye on him. Jack mutters more hooded-eyeball threats and wanders away, and Pauletta wishes them much enjoyment of tonight's opera, which is Tristan & Isolde, which totally rocks Rufus's world, because he thought it was The Magic Flute, if you'll recall. So Lily's like, "That opera ended weeks ago? And is for kids?" Rufus says kids are so great, especially when they do awesome things like teach you about things that you thought you cared about but really don't. There's so little room in Rufus's head for anything of value that I can see where he's coming from.
At this point a random lawyer literally walks up to Lily at the opera and goes, "Sorry your husband died. What should I do with those documents?" Which, this is all about the lightbulb going off over Lily's head and it's enjoyable how she figures this out, but it does seem kind of like a cheat to have this dude appear in a puff of smoke and go, "Remember those documents?" So she runs over to Chuck and she's like, "I figured it out!" He tells her to eat a dick, but she promises him he's going to love the solution, and just give her fifteen minutes to find a fax machine. Because this plan can't even wait the amount of time necessary to watch an opera, no.
Nate stares longingly at his family box and makes snotty comments asking Vanessa for binoculars, or "those cool little spy glasses," or a telescope. And -- much like Serena's line from the beginning of the episode where she told Dan "forget you" -- it's not that it's blatantly out of character, which it is, so much as the fact that parts of this episode seems to be written with a snideness, or a smallness of spirit, that we don't usually run into with this show. Like, you could say, "What's with Nate being a condescending fuck in this scene?" and half the people watching it would just say, "It was a funny line, don't overthink it." Proving you don't know me either, but ... Everybody just seems a bit cartoony. The closing scene, it works, because it's a cartoony moment, but some of this just seems sitcommy and like ... It would be easy to turn this into an episode of almost any show, with a few character changes and moving some scenes around. The jokes are all-purpose and not that organic. This whole episode is just sort of boring. And it's the first of this set of three, as GG will explain for about thirty minutes at the end of the episode, so I get that part, but generally there's a bit more sparkle and a bit more grounding of the characters. Which is essential, given the unicorny rules of this show's universe, because otherwise it all so easily turns into Rich People Saying Money Words & Raping Each Other On Cocaine, into the cliché of what people who have never seen this show think this show is, which this episode in some ways ... is.