Last night's episode of Little Golden Books: The House of Mirth involved the biggest drug deal yet in show history, and yet people didn't seem all that concerned. Didn't seem all that worried that they could get caught with $100,000 worth of cocaine and be sent to Sing Sing for the rest of their pretty lives. No, they seemed more concerned about the future of Fart Bass Industries than they did about their own futures. Odd.

Can we just talk about this for a second? Indulge me. Has anyone, ever, in the history of the entire world, from the ancient Phoenicians to the future Chinomerican Continental Dwellers, ever cared about a Bass Industries plotline? I really don't think anyone has. Why would we? Is your typical Gossip Gimps audience member really that concerned about real estate holding companies and the various wheelings and/or dealings that happen within them? No! I understand that you have to have Chuckles do something other than catfish his way into ladies' pants (I mean, I guess I sort of understand), but why not then make him do something interesting, instead of running a boring old hotel? Have him produce a movie! That's fun! And you could introduce diva director and actor characters and Serena could get a part unexpectedly and it could be a whole season's worth of stuff. Chuck Perry Presents: Chuck Perry's Why Did We Buy This Hotel Too?. I would watch that. But, the dude from Spin City talking about acquisition deals with dumpy grownups? I'm sorry, I just fell asleep writing that sentence. Is it tomorrow? Did I write the rest of the recap? How'd it go?

So that's my opinion on that. Nobody cares, right? Or it just me, the cheese, standing alone? If you guys want to hear about all the inner-workings of Fishcut Enterprises, I suppose I could try. Or, y'know what, I'm sure BusinessWeek does recaps of at least that part of the show. Just go read those. Anyway. Moving on. What else happened? Ah, yes, the drugs! Remember at the end of last week's episode when poor little Erik was all excited because he thought Jonathan had shown up to surprise him at his work but then his boner died (but also kinda came back to life again, if he was honest) when he saw it was actually Air Bud waiting for him, with a threat? Well, yeah, Air Bud was all "I'm going to tell the police about when your mom faked a private school affidavit to get Ben in jail and they will send her to jail, unless you become my sensual captive do me drugs favors." So Erik was really in a pickle. Obviously he doesn't want to help Air Bud with his drug schemes, but also he doesn't want his mom, in the doghouse as she may be, thrown into the real doghouse. How did Erik decide to handle it? Fake sick.

Good thinking, buddy boy! That always works when you have a test you're not ready for or a field trip you don't want to go on or a $100,000 cocaine shipment to collect and hand over to a disgraced ambassador's son. Just play sick and have mom bring you soup and touch your forehead with her cool hands. Ostensibly Erik was faking sick so his 18th birthday party (yes, Nate, he legal now) would be canceled and, I dunno, he could go deal with drugs? But really I think he just wanted to lie on the couch and have everyone fuss over him. Rufus came downstairs and was like "How's the patient doing?" which was a good bit of writing because that's what dads say whenever their kids are sick, everywhere. It's just what dads do. But yeah, Erik was on a fake sick bed, desperately trying to figure out what to do about drugs.

Meanwhile Serena and Ben were all kissyface, bothering Dan in his own damn loftpartment with their cutesiness and general blonde pointiness. It was like watching two hairy lion skeletons rub up against each other and he was not happy with it. But he knew Ben had had a hard go of it in life, so he let it continue. Sigh. I don't know. Serena and Ben got up to some nonsense but eventually their story tangled with Erik's. Basically they went over to Lily's Glasstower Palace and he was waiting for them in the lobby. "Enrique!" Serena shrieked. "Shouldn't you be abed, laid up with fevers??" But Erik said "No, no, I'm not really sick. You're gonna laugh when you hear this... Basically I have to orchestrate a $100k shipment of cocaine or mom goes to jail. I mean, Wednesdays, amirite?" Serena and Ben's eyes did strange ribbon dances in their skulls and finally they were like "Ummmmmm OK. Clearly you can't become Pablo Erikbar." (I mean, they didn't say that, but they almost could have?) Serena said she would do the drugs and Ben was like "No!! You can't. Maybe... maybe you do nothing. Maybe this is what Lily gets." Serena and Enrique were appalled by this. Lily is their mother, frosty owl-woman as she may be, she is all they have in this world, other than their millions of dollars and whatnot, so they will protect her. Serena tells Erik she will handle it and says "Go upstairs and tell them the party's on." So Erik gets to have a bday party after all! Pin the tail on the Nate!!

This is where things get confusing. (Mostly because I stopped paying full attention. Blame the slideshows in the Times Real Estate section.) Serena and Ben needed help hatching a scheme so they went to the great scheme hatchress herself, Blizzard. Poor Blarney was super swamped at W magazine, mostly because all of her interns quit because she is so awful to them. So she's trying to do everything at once, crying out like Roy Cohn "I wish I was an octopus!" But an octopus she is not, just one human(ish) girl, so she's in trouble. Luckily Dan, her forever frenemy who is now slowly turning into something of a fuckemy, shows up and says "How can I help?" Of course she is resistant at first, but eventually she caves. But not before Serena and Ben come in and the three create a plot that involves someone picking up the drugs in tulip boxes or something and I don't know. Basically what happens is that Blair decides to have one of her assistants pick up the drugs because, ha ha...? It would be the sweetest revenge to have a girl you don't like get sent to prison for thirty years? I don't get it. But it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that the message gets scrambled and dumb doof Dan ends up going to get the flowers himself (just one of many ways that Dan is like Mrs. Dalloway) and so now everyone's screwed.

Screwed at first because they think Dan has brought 100 tulips to Erik's bday party that are full of cocaines. (I laughed a little thinking about how Dan saw nothing weird about an 18-year-old boy wanting 100 tulips delivered to his house for his birthday party. Oh, Erik.) Yikessssss, they all think to themselves. But then they open the tulips and they're not actual cocaine tulips, they're just regular tulips? Meaning the cocaine tulips are missing and unaccounted for, meaning they now owe Air Bud $100,000? I'm not really sure how that works but who cares. Dan is like "Who?" and they pat his head and he goes home. Serena and Erik (Serena is sort of mad at Ben for wanting her mom to go to prison, so he's off somewhere) are like "What the fuck are we gonna do?" and then they decide to do what everyone would do, they write him a check. Yeah, Serena is all "Oh you're 18 today so your trust fund checkbook should be in one of the wrapped presents, so we'll just find that, write a check, and we're done, no muss, no fuss." Nope. No fuss. Just a $100,000 trust fund withdrawal to explain. But that's it. That's how we'd all handle it, I think.

They go to sort through the presents ("Dildo, dildo, tulip vase, tulip vase, tulip-shaped dildo... Jesus! Who do people think I am?") and find the checkbook, just in time for Air Bud to show up and be like "Gimme gimme." So they're handing him the check just as Lily walks in and is like "What the crystal fuck is happening in my crystalmansion?" Air Bud runs away with the check and Erik and Serena are like "Well, see there was this $100,000 shipment of cocaine..." and Lily laughs and says "Oh is that it? No worries, we'll be fine. Just tell me next time! Awww, happy bday 'riques."

So that was that? Well, it was sort of that. Later on we saw Ben talking to Air Bud and Air Bud gave him the check, meaning Ben had set the whole thing up all along and he is sort of evil. He threatened to have Air Bud killed. Oh, and you know what? Someone overheard him. That someone was... Vanessa. Yes, growl, our terrible cavewoman has come lumbering out of her northern cave and down to New York City to woodenly plead Dan for forgiveness. Ugh. I guess she'll be factoring into upcoming episodes. Dan, meanwhile, is going further and further down Blair's rabbit hole. She was all frazzled so he A) took care of cocaine tulips and B) wrote a blog post for her work blog about the importance of friends. Aww, how sweet. And, really, just what the W reader wants. "Hey did you read that great blog about friends on W?" "Oh, yeah, totally, that was so cool, what they said about friends. I'm also really enjoying this Vogue article about how it's nice to have pets." I don't think W magazine is what these people think W magazine is. But oh well.

All of this meant that Blair owed Dan a debt of gratitude so she went over to his loftarium and they ordered fancy pizza and watched another old movie and she fell asleep on his shoulder, and he liked feeling the delicate, hollow, birdlike weight on his body, liked the smell of her headbands. There's something gross about the whole thing, but something sweet to it too. Like carnies falling in love, or hobos mating. Your eyes well up with gross-out tears, but also you say "Awww."

Speaking of, Nate was busy flirting it up with Raina, Chuck's former girlfriend, the very tan girl. I mean, she's really tan for Gossip Girl, isn't she? Someone tell her to get out of the sun! I mean, we thought Vanessa was about as tan as this show got, but nope. Guess not. Anyway, Nate's plan was to spend the day with Raina being fun and charming (well as "charming" as a silicone and acrylic TwinkDream™ Fantasy Doll can be) and that would convince her to... get back with Chuck? Look, Nate's trying here. He really wanted to have a scheme of his own, and this was the best he could do. Just... just cut him some slack, OK? He has a harder time than the normal kids. But yeah, the day involved going ice skating in Central Park, smoking a joint, and playing video games, including some sort of Dance Dance Revolution type game that had Nate doing this awkward jelly-roll arm shake thing that was miserably wonderful and embarrassing. We should watch Nate dance every episode. We really really should. Raina now likes Nate and so that'll be a plot on this show.

As will Air Bud going to Spin City and being all "Gimme money and I'll tell you Lily secrets." As will Vanessa going to Dan and saying "Gimme danmeat and I'll tell you Ben secrets." Things like that. But for now, it's just a small birthday party. After all the tulip drama ended and the party guests had cleared out, the family, just Chuck and Roof the Goof and Serena and Lils and the birthday boy himself Ricky Bean-eyes all sat on the floor and ate birthday cake and it was nice, and humble, and easy. Eventually everyone stumbled off to bed, except for Erik. He'd had a decent birthday, he guessed. Could have been worse. But could have been better. Was, actually, about to get better.

'Round midnight there was a knock on the front door, rousing Erik from his champagne blur. He walked over, pulled it open, and there was Nate, leaning in the doorway, lazily holding a bottle of something brown. He looked at his watch. "11:59. You're still the birthday boy. Tell me, what would you like your present to be?"

Erik smiled, pulled Nate inside by the sleeve, shut the door behind him. The lights were low, Erik's head felt fuzzy and bright, full of fireflies. "Well," he said, slowly taking the bottle from Nate's hand. "You can start by showing me that dance."