Last week on Gossip Girl, when Chuck said that he was going to destroy Blair and everything she loved, did you think he was kidding? He really didn’t seem like he was kidding. If he had been standing three feet from me and looking like one more piece of bad news would send him into nuclear meltdown (and that’s not a metaphor; he actually would have become radioactive), I would have believed him.
Blair, however, seemed to think he would never do anything to really hurt her, and this week, she found that trust to be a bit misplaced. The rest of our Upper East Siders were working on trust issues this week as well, but what are a few STD rumors among friends when compared to the mutually assured destruction about to ignite between Chuck and Blair?
Our episode started at Columbia…well, almost at Columbia. Sort of. Serena, in perhaps the most predictable unrevealed character detail yet, has a bit of a problem with punctuality, and somehow one of her professors isn’t particularly amused by her antics. This particular prof counts tardies as absences, which is definitely a thing that sometimes happens in real life (except perhaps not in a sophomore lit class with 400 people), and Serena is about to get herself in some sort of unspecified trouble if she doesn’t start showing up on time.
The problem, though, is that this rich-looking, probably-finance-employed dudebro keeps stealing her taxis in the morning in order to make sure his one-night stands get whisked away before he heads down to the Financial District or wherever. On this particular morning, he offered Serena the leftover shoes from his most recent conquest, which struck me as much more disgusting than it probably should have. Eww. Used shoes. Naturally, though, he’s just being a jackass to get her attention. He probably played lacrosse in college. That’s just how those guys work.
While Serena was hailing cabs on the Upper East Side, Rufus had ventured to Brooklyn to have an awkward conversation with Vanessa about her relationship with Dan. Can we address the super skeevy sexual tension between Rufus and Vanessa for a moment? It’s been going on since way back in the day when Rufus had a gallery and Vanessa worked there, and Rufus’s concern over Vanessa’s relationship, his odd distraction during the conversation and his apparent let-down when she said that all the problems had been resolved were not only out of place, but seemed to reek of foreshadowing. For now, though, Vanessa remained enamored of Dan.
She eventually remember to show a little leg and managed to hitchhike to Columbia in time to run into Blair and her minions, chattering on and on about some kind of Dr. Chamberlain who is going to teach some sort of class about being awesome, and Blair’s burning desire of the day is to become Dr. Chamberlain’s student assistant. I can’t imagine Blair assisting at anything, but that doesn’t even matter because it’s not like Chuck was going to let her get what she wanted anyway.
When Blair arrived at the registrar (pffft, Columbia would let her register online, maybe even via BlackBerry) to sign up for Dr. Chamberlain’s class, Chuck showed up and announced that he would be auditing classes at Columbia in preparation for a building he would donate to the university, and he had already been chosen as Dr. Chamberlain’s assistant. Still, Blair thought that she could win the position with pie, which also didn’t work. Chuck does not kid about these sorts of things.
Around that time, Gossip Girl sent out a public health warning about Serena Van Der Woodsen’s vagina – she’s got the clap! Or herpes. Or something. The mass text implied that Serena was passing around something nefarious, and that resulted in a panic among not only our characters, but also the male population of Manhattan in general and Vanessa in particular. Nevermind that Vanessa has actually slept with more of the male characters than Serena. No, no, this whole show doesn’t work if we realize that Serena is not actually skankier than anyone else in the cast.
Anyway, Vanessa is still obsessing over the fact that Dan may or may not have slept with Serena at the end of last season, and although we all know they didn’t have sex and Dan has assured her that nothing happened, Vanessa has massive Serena insecurity and didn’t buy it. Meanwhile, Juliet is also acting uncomfortable about the fact that Serena may have given Nate an STD, but it’s just an act – Juliet is the one who started the rumor, obviously.
Juliet encouraged Nate to get an STD test because she knew that someone would see him at the student clinic and submit it to Gossip Girl as proof of the rumor, and he actually managed to do a two-fer and hauled Dan in with him for moral support (and to wing-man for him. Hey, girls at the STD clinic totally put out, right?). Gossip Girl caught both of them and published the picture, which Vanessa saw as a tacit admission of having slept with Serena, which resulted in a wild-eyed Vanessa panic and a street confrontation where nothing of consequence was actually said.
A wild-eyed Vanessa panic wasn’t necessarily Juliet’s intention with that particular rumor, but hey, she’ll clearly take any opportunity to meddle that she can get. Now that Juliet might be falling in love with Nate for reasons that I don’t entirely understand (He has approximately as much personality as a turnip. A particularly boring turnip, at that. Oh, but those lustrous manbangs.), she’s under pressure from the dude (Boyfriend? Brother? I don’t know which one he is at this point.) in prison to get things done and not screw up the whole operation.
In Vanessa, of course, Juliet saw a sterling opportunity. She proposed stealing Serena’s phone at that night’s Columbia student-faculty mixer to see if Serena had confirmed or denied the rumor to anyone privately via text or email, and Vanessa, in a full-on panic about her precious Dan Humphrey, agreed with little resistance. They snatched Serena’s clutch from coat check, and after Vanessa got her proof that Serena didn’t bang Dan, Juliet surreptitiously emailed Serena’s professor to offer up sex in exchange for grades.
Unfortunately, Serena was approaching that same professor at that very moment to apologize for being late for his class and their previous meeting. Also unfortunate was the fact that the Dean of Students was standing there when it all went down, and even after Serena was later cleared of wrongdoing, she still more or less called her a whore. Rude.
Serena’s innocence was only discovered after Juliet did a little panicking of her own, however. Once Vanessa realized what had happened and that Juliet must have been behind the explicit email, she made a bee line to rat her out to Serena’s professor. Since Juliet knew that the truth would likely get her expelled from Columbia (not to mention screw up her plan to ruin Serena, and also drive Sir Manbangs, Knight of the Mousse Table away forever), she dumped Serena’s phone in Vanessa’s bag (somehow without her knowing it, although I call shenanigans on the idea that she could have pulled that off) and helpfully offered her own phone to Serena in order to call herself and find out if the phonesnatcher was still in the building.
And she was! The phonesnatcher was indeed still there, it just wasn’t the person who had the phone anymore. The phone rang in Vanessa’s bag, everyone was outraged, Dan basically broke up with her and now Serena and Juliet are friends and Vanessa has gathered up her patchwork handbags and chandelier earrings and been cast out of Brooklyn and into the wilds of Vermont for an undisclosed number of episodes. Unfortunately, we’re going to get Little Jenny Humphrey back in two weeks (no new episode next week!) to replace her.
Speaking of Little J, what have Chuck and Blair been doing all this time? Oh yeah, waging a war of attrition over the approval of some random professor. After being needled over her divorce and then mistakenly (or not-so-mistakenly, if you’re Chuck) set up with another woman at the Columbia mixer, she overheard Chuck and Blair arguing over what information they’d use against her next and decided to quit the whole teaching thing right then and there. Kids, man. They’re for the birds.
Blair continued to somehow not believe that Chuck meant what he said when he said he was going to destroy her, but it finally became clear when he threatened to tell the world about his little escapade with Little J. I’m not sure why that piece of information in particular gave Blair a near-fatal brain malfunction, but for some reason, she was sure it would destroy both of their lives if it got out. Maybe because Jenny’s a minor and Chuck is over 18? I don’t know, but at this point, Chuck is like a relationship suicide bomber – the perceived gains of sacrificing himself in the name of destruction are somehow larger than what would come from continuing to live life as he knows it. And when someone has nothing left to live for, there’s no telling what he’ll do.