"War tactics, they make me sick... I pay for what's called eccentricity, and my will to evolve... Taint my mind but not my soul... So if you know another way/ You can't look the other way/ If you know another way/ Tell them so right to their face..."
Dan enters the shared courtyard, once again looking for Serena. Looking to apologize, to reconsider, to prolong the sickened magic of the two of them together. To convince himself that while he was momentarily the good guy, forgiveness for one sin is forgiveness for them all. He asks one group of girls and they desert their table as one. A table of boys follows, into St. Jude's. The whole quad empties around him, as he begins to realize what's going on. He's like, "For real?" Yeah. For real. Fucking for real. The camera whirls around him; this could be the end of the episode -- Ground control to Major Douche, message received, can you hear me Major Douche, over and out -- but it's not.
" We think you're a joke, shove your hope where it don't shine/ We think you're a joke, shove your hope where it don't shine/ We think you're a joke, shove your hope where it don't shine..."
The seasons change around her, as Serena enters the courtyard; summer to fall, flanked by Plastics. Completely hot. Clearly evil. Even, like, her hair and walk are scary. He takes her in; he wants to speak, but he can't. It's like a dream, now, temperature dropping. Her hips, her eyes. The languid power in her back and hands: she doesn't care at all, any more. She doesn't have to. She's burning. Her clothes send out sparks of flame. Her eyes are full of sparks.
Serena comes close, and looks Dan in the eye with something like sympathy, or sadness: this could have been easier. You could have made her feel better. She shakes her head, the tiniest little bit. There's no going back now. And you're the one who did this. He knows. She nods to the Plastics, a curt and tiny movement, like a bird, like a flame. They follow behind. She pushes past him like the weather. She's not falling, she's dancing. And she's only begun to rise.
"Sorry, Lonelyboy! But don't say we didn't try to warn you... But, if Queen S will do this to D, are any of us safe? Bow down ... or bow out."
Or, as the original Gossip Girl might put it: "Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward."