But then again, this single-minded -- that word "grim" again -- the grim realism with which she's approaching this task, using what she's got, every asset from her tits to her family, determined to flush him out, that's very Serena. This show is about surveillance, and particularly Serena's relationship with surveillance. When they took her photo, she kept saying, it takes away a little bit of her soul. Until she realized, the day she bought that pregnancy test for Blair -- no, before, when Blair was a bookcase -- and explained this part of the world to her, that yourself is the one thing you never run out of. That, to quote Eliza again, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.
And you know, that's really when she started using the culture for herself. She's used GG and the tabs against Bart, she's used it against Rufus and Lily, she's even used it against Blair; she's been victimized by it more than any of them, but that stopped a long time ago. She kissed Aaron Rose in Times Square, ten stories tall, jumping from muse to goddess and not for the first time. And then Graduation, when she called GG's bluff sixteen times in an episode, bringing the world crashing down around her. So maybe it's just the wording, coincidentally: Maybe this is the strongest, smartest choice Serena could have made, and the lies are just about protecting Dan and Lily from how far she's willing to go. Maybe the cameras are her hounds now.
"Sometimes our independence comes at the cost of something else," GG notes, while Dan drinks alone in the loft and thinks about his identity and Brooklyn things, and Rufus hands over his proudly unspent Kept Man Emergency Fund to the coalition of paparazzi: "And that cost can be high." Jenny assures him that this will keep Serena out of the press, although the guy says there's one photographer they haven't found... With whom Serena is meeting at a bar, urging him to run the pictures on every continent.
"Because more often than not, in order to gain our independence we have to fight."
The girl on the horse is lovely in motion, cinematic and luxurious. Her body leans forward into the future, sharp eyes scanning the horizon. Her gaze lies far beyond the lens, desperate for something; her mouth gapes, without a smile. She will ride forever.
"Never give up. Never surrender."