Lily's walking through a shoe department with Little J, kind of suspicious and unsure that Alison would all of a sudden let her daughter go to a cotillion with Lily. Jenny's like, "Hey, whatever! She thinks it's great!" Jenny is, I may have mentioned, kind of a dipshit. Lily's like, "Okay, putting that huge lie aside for the moment, your dad also thinks this is a good idea?" Before Jenny can spin any more of her web of deceit that a bright terrier could see through, we see that Alison is coincidentally in the same store, coincidentally buying those same shoes as before, only retail. Which is a sad little moment that the director of this episode really didn't understand or give its proper weight, but you can see the ingredients. Alison realizes that she's fighting for her daughter against the assembled forces of social climbing and richesse, which means her whole sad life is repeating itself on her, because she's had to fight those van der Woodsens for everything, just in order to believe in herself, and she whooped it, but now it's back. I mean, you never feel poor until somebody calls you poor, you know? These are the shoes that she is buying for Jenny to wear to her art opening, so that she can say, "I am an artist, and I have a family, and I am a mother, and you too can have it all." That she has finally been forgiven; that this is her debut into the art scene, just like cotillion really: she's a woman who has been redeemed and can now make her way back into society, and all she's asking is for Jenny to wear these shoes, and she couldn't even do that right. So I like the sad little bribe of the shoes, and it's too bad it didn't come off.
Jenny tries desperately to save her own ass, asking to have a private talk with Alison, but Alison's already put it together, and Jenny's ass is grass, so Alison's awesome: "Uh, no, sweetie. We'll have plenty of time to talk later." Twisting the knife, Lily floridly thanks Alison for letting Jenny come to cotillion, especially given that they're so instructive and teach the graces and whatever. "Well, then I'm sure she'll learn a lot," Alison says, agreeing with me for once that Jenny is a brain-damaged heathen. She heads out and Jenny offers to go with, but Alison assures her that that is not necessary. It's scary, and Alison is getting awesomer, and Jenny looks over at the abandoned shoes and feels even crappier. And I am so sure that Alison had to sell her teeth or something to get the money to buy the shoes, and now she has no teeth, or whatever, and it's so sad because Rufus sold all his hair to buy her a toothbrush.