I am trying to figure out why I love this show so much. I certainly cannot relate in the slightest to the high school experience of these characters. I personally am not friends with anyone remotely like these people. It’s probably a safe bet that less than one percent of the population of the United States really lives in the rarified air that these self-absorbed spoiled brats inhabit. And yet . . .
So to recap; last week Chuck and Blair had a sexy love scene straight out of a lurid romance novel in which B whispered, “Take me now.” Ever the contrarian, Chuck said, “Why?” to which B countered in her existential way, “to prove nothing matters.” Chuck spurned her then, saying, “That’s not the Blair I want.” All of which sent B straight into the sleazy arms of Carter Baizen, who kind of makes Chuck Bass look like an illustration from a turn-of-the-century children’s book.
Also last week Serena was photographed outside a club with her buddy, Supermodel Poppy Lifton. And Rufus had a strange encounter with the couple who claimed their adopted son (the biological offspring of Rufus and Lily) drowned. Vanessa urged Nate to go back and reunite with his family (the Vanderbilts, don’t ya know) and then was kicked to the curb as Nate took a summer internship to further his career instead of going backpacking with her around Europe. Oh yeah, and Blair and Nate kind of had a roll in the hay and Chuck found this out by eavesdropping in the hallway.
Our cheery narrator informs us that “mornings are simply more fun on the Upper East Side” as the show opens this week. Dan enters the loft’s living room with a fan letter he received due to his New Yorker story, after which Rufus announces they’re all having breakfast at Lily’s that morning. Little J is excited because they’ve got tons of different flavors of jam at Lily’s house. I love how the Humphrey family continually play the poverty card like this, even though they’ve got this amazingly huge loft in Brooklyn right next to the bridge – that would be DUMBO, a very expensive area, in case you didn’t know.
So Vanessa shows up with what my mother would call a puss on her, because she hasn’t heard from Nate in over a week since the big Vanderbilt party where he was welcomed back as the prodigal grandson, and then Nate sends her an email telling her to meet him at his place and off she goes. Meanwhile Serena, who had run out to buy some overpriced pastries for the breakfast with Rufus’ family, runs into Poppy on the street, who has jetted in from Spain with her new boyfriend and they’re in town for a few days before heading back.
This show is always totally overripe with great dialogue and terrific scenes, but once in a while they even top themselves. As everyone gathers around the food on the table at Lily’s place – standing, not sitting, for breakfast – Chuck enters the room, but says he isn’t staying because he has an appointment.
Dan quips, “What does Chuck Bass do at 8am? It’s not like you work out.”
Chuck: “I do my cardio in the evenings. The morning is for business for which I am late. So if you’ll excuse me – “
Eric: “Does this feel like a sitcom to anybody else?”
Dan: “It feels like a reality show.”
Chuck: “Good. So I can vote you off.”
Dan: “Good.” After Chuck exits, he then adds: “It would almost be scary if it wasn’t wearing plaid.”
But I digress . . . So Serena announces that she wants to throw Little J a big Sweet Sixteen, Serena-Style, tomorrow night at Lily’s place (and though Rufus’ loft is big, it could fit into this place about three times. On each floor.). But Jenny’s not into it. She prefers a small gathering, board games, chili, a few friends. So that’s that. Only it’s not.
Meanwhile, Vanessa has rushed off to meet Nate per his email. Instead she ends up catching Blair leaving his place and giving him a goodbye kiss. (BTW, is it me or is Nate too beautiful to be a real person? Just curious.) Anyway, then Chuck pulls up in his smoked-window limousine and reveals that he sent V the text pretending to be Nate. “I see you got the email I sent from Nate’s account. His password has been soccer since the 5th grade.” He infers to her that they can do something about the B & N situation when she’s ready.
There’s another fabtastic scene where Chuck accosts Blair at school, as she’s wearing one of her French maid outfits. I don’t get it, is he still in school or is he running his father’s company? Well anyway, she tells him that she and Nate are just friends. He comments, “There’s no spark between you and there never was. You’re like a green twig and a soggy match, a rusty hammer and an icy nail.” Seriously – who writes this stuff? It’s right out of Bram Stoker!
Long story short, Dan is turned down by Yale’s financial aid department and Rufus considers selling the loft and moving in with Lily. Blair opines to Nate that Jennifer Aniston probably doesn’t even think about Brad anymore, he knew his fate was with Angelina so he moved on after having the tough conversation. To which Nate responds, “Is this your way of saying I should break up with Vanessa?” He tells her that he is having dinner that night with V to break it off. Blair wants to know why he can’t just text her instead. God, I love Blair!
Serena has decided to resurrect the Sweet Sixteen plan and ignore Jenny’s wishes on the matter mostly because Poppy has reminded her that she’s really in a rut. In this case, the rut is that she’s going through life more like a normal high school girl than a supermodel. “A girl like you should be on the arm of a costume designer one day and yachting around the Maldives the next, not making up and breaking up with the same high school boy and feuding with your frenemy,” advises Poppy sagely.
After Nate breaks up with Vanessa, she strides furiously into Chuck’s lair - and it is a lair. He’s lounging on the couch with the fireplace blazing behind him, attired in a smoking jacket and slippers, drinking a cocktail. God, I love Chuck! He sneers, “The just friends speech, I got it too, they’re making fools of us.”
Jenny and Dan get ready to go to Serena-ville with their crock pot of chili and stack of board games. B tells S that V and N broke up and B has realized C was a childhood fling and N is really her destiny.
The Eastern European doorman at Serena’s building is reading a copy of Guilty by Ann Coulter that was given to him by Blair’s maid Dorota. Yeah, like a doorman – especially in a white glove building – has time to read a book. Meanwhile, the party starts to take off Serena-style. As Jenny and Dan enter, they run into the Mean Girls (my favorite characters on the show besides B and C; they’re like the Shakespearean Chorus). They’ve eschewed their other boring party to come here instead because the great Poppy Lifton is here. “I’ve already been hit on by two Bronfmans and a gay designer,” says the meanest of the Mean Girls, barely disguising her excitement.
Little J is jacked that S ignored her wishes and redid the Sweet Sixteen party S-style. Horrors! There’s even pink cocktail napkins with Jenny’s name and birthday on them! Jenny decides she’s going to blow the whole thing wide open and sends a text to Gossip Girl that there’s a wild party and the world is now invited. Which is kind of like the countdown to a bomb blasting off.
To sum up; Vanessa and Chuck scope B & N snuggling at the party so V grabs Chuck and locks lips with him. B & N stare like they’re watching a car accident. Poppy’s all who are these plebes – “I know Jenny’s young but this is embarrassing” – so she and her serious girl posse stalk out to find a more conducive environment to their fabulousness. Kids are caught having sex in Serena’s bed; other kids prance around in the clothes they’ve stolen from Lily’s closet. The doorman is under siege as a rabid crowd tries to get into the building after seeing the Gossip Girl party text. At which point Rufus and Lily walk in.
By this time, the apartment looks like a remake of Satyricon was filmed there. Serena refuses to take the blame and leaves to go meet Poppy at a bar; Jenny admits she posted the party on GG and does a big old speech about how she chooses not to be a Park Avenue Princess on her birthday or any other day. Poppy invites S to go with her in the morning on the private jet to Spain. First S says she’s grounded, then she realizes she’s on Gossip Girl, not Beverly Hills 90210. She stays at Poppy’s place and before getting on the plane, sends Lily a text that she’s gone to Spain for a week.
Dan calls Scott, the writer of his fan letter, and also, unbeknownst to him, his half-brother. Scott’s dad answers the phone and deflects the call. Nate and Blair share a romantic kiss in Central Park as it snows. Vanessa and Chuck, big surprise, have spent the night together. And the screen goes dark. We’ve got a fortnight to wait until the next chapter of this gothic novel reimagined for rich, snotty, upper east side high school characters. Be there or be square. XOXO.