Gossip Girl Wipes the Slate Clean
|Written by April Yorke|
|Tuesday, 28 September 2010 20:01|
The Paris episodes, like the Hamptons episodes so long ago, feel a bit unreal. It's like Serena described them: home isn’t real until we get there. Last night’s episode, “The Undergraduates,” puts us squarely back in Manhattan, which is exactly where we should be. The episode keeps the momentum from the return Gossip Girl’s most important repeated line last week and adds plenty of new ridiculousness to marvel over: new living situations, new alliances, and one old minion. Plenty of secrets get spilled in the process. Oh, Gossip Girl. So good to have you back.
Sisterhood is Alive and Well on the Upper East Side
On their first day at Columbia, Gossip Girl’s site is under construction. Blair worries that her start is meaningless without GG to cover it, while Eric, de retour and clairvoyant, warns Serena that this most likely means GG is working on something massive (and massively cruel).
Soon enough, Blair and Serena are wandering all over an empty campus because Columbia continues to exist only as a possibility and not as a real place with classes, profs, and other students. To wit: Blair tells Serena about an exclusive club, Hamilton House, where you just have to guess you got in by wandering up and demanding a key. Based on that criterion, you would think Blair invented the place, but it is real. They wander up and demand their keys, but evil Juliet Sharpe is the key master. She claims there is only a key for Blair. Those weird new minions from last season plus Penelope (the Constance minion who looks like the Athena love child of Chuck and Blair) are already in. Serena leaves, but let me tell you that she does not sulk off. She catwalks that motherfucker, which she will continue to do all episode. It’s amazing. Important lesson here: do not piss Serena off or she will be forced to use her CATWALK again you. Outside, she asks Nate to walk her to her next “class,” for she is lost on this place called “campus,” but a pissy Nate tells her he’s too busy and goes into Hamilton House, ‘cause apparently he’s got a key, too.
Later, Blair and Juliet are out shopping like the nouvelle girlfriends they are, while Juliet pours the poison in about how Serena is jus’ jealous. Oh, girl. Blair is not Vanessa. You cannot just point her in the general direction and expect the missile to land. Later still, Juliet convinces Blair to blow off dinner with Serena in favour of martinis, which are extremely bizarrely taking place at an intersection (secret club, my eye), while the entire thing is live streamed on GG’s site. Perhaps this is the construction she was working on?
The next day when Serena confronts Blair, Blair blames Juliet. Serena says, literally, “This is all Juliet’s fault,” and Blair, again extremely bizarrely, goes, “All? All? You are jus’ jealous!” and stalks off. Juliet chooses that exact moment to walk by, and Serena awesomely just calls her out on her meddling. “You there! Quit meddling in my affairs!” Juliet lies right to Serena’s face that Serena was supposed to get in, but Blair placed a call to the anonymous board of alumni that makes the Hamilton House decisions to tell them all about Pete Fairman and that one sex tape. Despite the fact that shit like this totally turned Yale on, it doesn’t cut it for Hamilton House. Serena – seriously, I love her so much this episode – makes a total “this is such bullshit” face and doesn’t change it the entire time.
Cut to Fashion’s Night Out, which is apparently a special thing now and not just every night (wouldn’t you love to see Fashion’s Night In? Fashion’s jammies and slippers and gold and diamond encrusted spoons for Fashion’s Ben and Jerry’s). Serena catwalks into wherever looking for Blair and catwalks right back out to wherever Penelope told her to go (erm, from one fashion house to the next. Irrelevant). Penelope gathers the little minions around to tell them all about how delicious a Serena-Blair catfight can be, so they stalk off to watch. Sure enough, Gossip Girl is miraculously live streaming a fight that is occurring behind a curtain where only Blair and Serena are. Honestly, Juliet is not cut out for this shit. Anyway, anger, yelling, and hair pulling ensue. Juliet takes a moment to hook one of the girl’s devices up to the entire video system for the whole wide world to see (or at least within the vicinity of those three TVs since Eleanor doesn’t turn up with knives), then insists that the rest of the Hamilton House girls jump in to save Blair. Classy? Curtain’s drawn to find Serena and Blair sipping champagne, having filmed and submitted the vid to Gossip Girl earlier that day. GG doesn’t care for other fools messing with her girls. They call Juliet out on setting them up, which Juliet denies just long enough for Lily to show up in a Nefertiti necklace that I so want. Half of Bass Industries’ board is made up of members of Hamilton House’s anonymous alumni board, and they all assured Lily that Serena was always meant to get a key. Poor Juliet is forced to remove the key from around her own neck and hand it over. Ha!
At a sleepover that night, Blair reveals a bedroom on the other side of her bathroom, done up for Serena to move in. Serena quickly calculates hours spent together in close proximity divided by the number of attempts on her life and decides that either being Blair’s roommate is worth the risk or she'll be dead by Christmas.
Next day, Juliet visits some guy we’ve never seen before in minimum security prison to tell him that getting the guys away from Serena was easy, but getting the girl is going to be much harder. Since invoking Pete Fairman is like saying Blood Mary, I assume these two are tied into that. Remember when his never seen parents were totally okay with that time he died in front of Serena? Maybe not everyone feels the same way? I still hope Carter Baizen’s pouty mouth is on the horizon, though.
Chuck Will Never Live the Pilot Down
Eva and Chuck are happy, happy, happy, so Nate shows up to rain on their parade: he doubts Eva would be down with the plurality of Chuck’s selves if she knew how bad Chuck Bass really is. Chuck demurs for the time being, sending Eva off to the spa (not the forever kind like Georgina’s) and heading out to visit Lily. Sadly, they don’t quite have the same level of warmth and spark like they used to. Chuck apologizes for using Jenny to feed his own nihilism when he could have tried to help her, and I’ll give him that one. Lily softens and tells Chuck to bring Eva to Fashion’s Night Out to meet the family in the public place where they are less likely to cause a scene. Lily, that’s so naïve. A public place is an invitation to cause an ever bigger spectacle! Chuck forgets that, too, for the moment, and agrees.
In the meantime, Eric is just wandering around the UES and sees that Chuck Bass has returned to Prada Mafia via [insert name of whatever program. Foursquare or something similarly creepy and useless], so he texts Rufus with the info. Back home, Rufus confronts Lily about the visit, and she pretends that Chuck just happened to stop by, so she could not have told him about it in the advance. She goes to bat for darling Charles, how regretful he is over the Jenny thing, and Rufus blows his one rational thought too early in the episode: he decides to take Jenny at her word that everything is not Chuck’s fault and therefore give him a second chance.
Unfortunately, Eric has no such interest. Bonding over bowties but admitting that Chuck is still the Bowtie King of All Time, Eric completely loses me. Really, as a friend. He hears that Rufus has offered Chuck a second chance, and he decides to tell Rufus about that time that Chuck tried to rape Jenny on the roof back in the pilot. Oh, that. Not to be dismissive of what was surely a traumatic episode, but the show is so all over the map when it comes to how we should characterize the Chuck of the pilot versus the Chuck of the rest of the show thus far. How far would he have escalated things had Dan and his fists of fury not arrived? Chuck doesn't seem to have that level of violence in him. Serena got out of a similar situation with him all on her own, and it seems to have absolutely no bearing on their relationship now. I don’t know how to fit it into his character. Eric does, though. His erstwhile brother is no longer deserving of second chances.
Wait, I’m not done with this. When did Eric find out about this? Before or after Jenny slept with Chuck? And from whom? Man alive, this is confusing. Okay, now I’m done. For now.
Meanwhile, Chuck is buying Eva fancy dresses for said party and taking off for business while leaving his credit card when Blair happens upon her and unleashes hell. She attacks her from a variety of angles, finally calling Eva “off the rack” and therefore doomed to be “returned.”
Back at the Penthouse, Eva and her nightie nearly bail on the party as a direct result, but Chuck tells her that, essentially, being a catty bitch is all Blair does. He’s so matter of fact about how Blair chooses her insults to inflict maximum damage that I practically faint off the couch. They are so perfect for each other. At any rate, Eva bucks up. Also, Chuck must have gone to see a real doctor, as his cane is gone and he is swinging his hips around like he used to. Attaboy.
At Fashion’s Night Out, Chuck sends Eva off for some drinks while he attempts to soften Rufus and Eric up. They are having none of it. In fact, Rufus is so pissed that he’s willing to try his hand at parenting. He declares his intention, “as the father of a daughter,” to ward Chuck’s new girlfriend off by telling her what a rapist Chuck really is. Eva walks up, drinks in hand, and Chuck dismisses her as some social climber to scare her away. Rufus must think that social climbers are spored from furniture or he completely forgot the point he was so keyed up to make, as he doesn’t even bother opening his mouth to this young lady. Even though he said nothing, I still feel inclined to add, “Shut up, Goofus.”
Looking dejected at a table, Lily sits down with Charles. He apologizes again, some more, for the events of the pilot, and reassures her that he has tried and is trying so hard to change. Lily says the very best thing she could, “I love you, Charles.” Ed Westwick’s exquisitely expressive face looks down and smiles, then consciously catches himself before the grin turns into a childlike laugh of joy. Their relationship is possibly my favourite on the show. Anyway, Lily tells him that she already knew about the attack from Jenny (are you for real? Jenny confided in Lily? WHEN?), which means she also knew that Chuck apologize, Jenny forgave him, and that what happened between them in the spring was not that. She tells him the best thing to do now is come clean with Eva. Chuck chases her down, as she's spent hours asking every driver if he's Chuck Bass's driver because she's too salt of the earth to tell the many limos and town cars apart and too stuck up to remember what the driver looked like/his name. Anyway, Eva's all, "Wot's all this about being a rapist?," and Chuck comes clean.
Fashion's Night Out must be a week long because Chuck still has time after that to semi-harass Blair for semi-harassing Eva (Blair: I said to come back. I never said it would be easy). Maybe Chuck only told Eva the high level stuff: tried to rape my step-sisters before we were one big happy family, slept with my boyfriend's girl, am totally gay and totally straight all the time, prostituted my gf to my uncle for real estate. Anyway, Chuck's all, she'll never forgive me, which is when Eva walks in and opts to reconcile all his selves in one go. Chuck Bass/Charles/Charlie Trout/Henry Prince: at least one of those is a good guy, so let's grow from there. Chuck is so relieved that we can rest assured this will end in disaster.
From One Bedbug to Another
Rufus apparently delayed for . . . I don't know, time on the UES is a slippery thing. At least overnight. Rufus waited until overnight to tell Dan that Milo isn't his son, and he does it off-screen, so we don't see Penn try to act that one out. At the same time, GG's minions spot Georgina in St. Bart's. Dan tries to abandon Milo times two, this time with Child Protective Services, but realizes the system is broken. He decides he's just going to have to get a job and raise Milo on his own, which is when crazypants Vanessa offers to move in and raise Milo with him. Dan takes her up on this offer, which is all well and good, until Georgie comes back. Some Russian guy knocked her up and his wife hired some dudes to take her out, but now that Russian lady thinks Milo is Dan's, it's all good. Seriously, that is her story. Plus, she sure missed that Milo kid. Dan spends half a minute thinking about fighting Georgina for Milo, remembers he likes having limbs, and gives the kid up to his mom. They're off to play happy families with the Sparks. Dan, however, thinks that Vanessa should still move in with him, and Vanessa, too pathetic to realize how on the rebound Dan is, agrees.
In other news:
Next time: Eva's got a secret. Diamond smuggler? Somehow, it involves Chuck with a giant novelty cheque and tuxedo.