That it the scene when I first got a little choked up. I hate this show; after all, I have my reputation of crusty cynicism to protect!
As most series with several sub-plots weaved together and a large cast of characters, it is uneven, but I found it satisfying on the whole. The good outweighs the bad. The old characters still work well, despite cast changes and the problems with chronology. Mary-Ann is still a bundle of earnest contradictions; it was amusing if a bit heavy-handed to have her lug her carry-on around as she did in the very first episode of the first series. I think she may have lost a wheel that time also. Mouse, Anna, DeeDee, Brian also still carry their own contradictions, which helps flesh them out as characters.
I am glad they at least mentioned Mona and what happened to her; useful for people like me who stopped reading the series before that event transpired.
The newer people are hit and miss for me. The twins are probably mostly meant as a satire of Web influencers and the people who follow these generally shallow creatures, but it makes them caricatures, not true characters. Of the young couple, the trans male is the most interesting, while the girl is rather bland; I can't understand what DeeDee sees in her. The doc director is thoroughly off-putting, while Samuel is intriguing and probably a red herring (I am up to the first half of episode 5). As for Shawna, I agree she is mostly the typical sullen affectless youngster, Ellen Page's specialty. At least she does laundry at one point which partly redeems her, especially if she threw in her smelly old cap.
I just watched it again and Ben is indeed the first one to bring up the notion of privilege. That was one of my favourite scenes so far. It nicely presented the issue and the divide, as well as the ironic fact that this notion of privilege, on top of being a quick and easy way to shut down the other person's right to speak, is usually wielded by people who are unaware of their own privilege, that of superior self-righteousness coupled with an arrogant conviction of their innate infallibility. Ben was a perfect incarnation of that very prevalent attitude.
That scene was also a call-back to a similar dinner party in the first series, during which a discussion over terminology also took place, regarding the word "twink". It was also cast with openly gay actors (like Ian McKellen and Paul Bartel) just as this new one was.
Why does everyone keep saying that AM is "selling Barbary Lane"? Does she own the whole street now? There are other houses on the lane; we got a glimpse into a few other courtyards as Mary-Ann first made her way towards the house when she responds to Anna's classified after first arriving in SF. On the real lane which inspired Maupin there are indeed several other doorways and it exits at both ends (although not with that particular staircase as I recall and the building itself does not exist I believe). Script-writing laziness or a dialogue shortcut to help put across how dramatic this plot point is supposed to be? They could easily have said that she is selling "the house" or "the building".