In the grand tradition of Gossip Girl, the show’s writers managed to follow up last week’s vaguely sense-making episode with a jumbled mess last night. There are more story lines in this show than there are characters, which means none of the plots are getting as much attention or detail as they deserves.
Obviously, though, none of that matters. Not when we were faced with a giant, ruffled dress, lots of diamonds, on-location Paris scenery and a dozen pretty people with problems. At this point, I don’t really even care if this show makes sense, so long as they give me something beautiful upon which to gaze. Luckily for us, the writers have that part down to a science.
Well, let’s see. Where were we…oh, right. Paris. We were in Paris, and by “we,” I mean Blair and Serena. They were drinking champagne and wearing sparkly things and talking about second dates with princes (not sure how Blair pulled that one off), but reality set in when Lily called to tell Serena that Chuck had washed up on the banks of the Seine like a confused fish or something. Well, except he was dead. So, like a confused, dead fish. Lily swore her to secrecy and then sent her to the morgue to identify the body. Luckily, Blair was off shopping and making date preparations, so Serena could have flown back to the States and started wearing Ugg boots, for all she cared.
Back in Manhattan, Sir Manbangs was strolling with The Stalker and discussing Serena, a subject on which I’m sure Juliet (apparently that’s the stalker’s name) has done her reading. Nate is feeling conflicted about his feelings for Serena, but Juliet helpfully offers to be his “life coach” in order to assure that he doesn’t end up tangled in Serena’s web and/or extensions once again. How convenient for her that Nate isn’t particularly quick on the uptake.
Nate and Juliet eventually ended up in Brooklyn, cooing over Dan’s baby and, once again, discussing Serena. When Dan left the room momentarily, Nate grabbed his phone like an insecure girlfriend to check and see if Serena had contacted him, and naturally she had just sent him a text message saying that they needed to talk. Unawares that the need to talk was about Chuck’s maybe-corpse, Nate and Julia decided than Dan was a dirty, rotten liar who was denying his contact with Serena because he was trying to get back together with her. Juliet seemed to have overplayed her hand about how much he knows about the group during this scene, but like I said, Nate isn’t so quick on the uptake. Lucky for her.
In Paris, Serena and her spangly jacket had arrived at the morgue to view Chuck’s body, which we all knew wasn’t Chuck’s body because at that very moment, he was rolling around in bed with that mumbling French girl and getting ready to go to work at his new job, which apparently requires him to dress like a French peasant from the 1950s. An interesting look for The Paisley’d One.
While Chuck was limping to work (WITH A CANE AND A VEST AND EVERYTHING, for reals y’all), we got shades of Sex and the City when Blair, in the back of a taxi, nearly ran over him. They locked eyes through the open window, and although she knew it was him, she seemed remarkably unruffled by the chance encounter. Personally, I’m just shocked that she didn’t shrug it off as a doppleganger. How could she have recognized him, he wasn’t wearing a suit or any purple or his pinkie ring. Is Chuck really Chuck if he doesn’t have his pinkie ring? I think not.
For Chuck’s part, he knew it was Blair immediately and went straight to his mumbling French girlfriend to propose that they move to India. She said something that was largely incomprehensible about being able to afford things, and he let it slip that he might have a way to finance stuff. That’s all I got from that conversation. At all. If you got anything else out of it, let me know.
In Brooklyn, the stalker was meddling, as stalkers are wont to do when their moronic targets have befriended them. She approached Vanessa to tell her that Nate confessed his lingering feelings for her, and also to encourage her to pursue him. She said all of this in front of Dan, so surely she has some sort of scheme brewing. And with Blair abroad, someone had to pick up the slack. Might as well be Juliet. Nate, for his part, told Vanessa that Dan is no longer in love with Serena. So, wait, Nate is in on part of the scheme? Exactly how much of a scheme can be be trusted to execute correctly? I’m guessing not much, since Dan very quickly figured out what Nate had told Vanessa, at which point everything blew up in their faces.
Chuck was also doing a little scheming of his own, this time to ensure that his Henry disguise didn’t come unglued. Serena has managed to track him down after she learned about Blair’s sighting, and when she went to his apartment, he pretended that he had never seen Serena before because Frenchie was present. He also really seemed intent on the whole moving-to-India thing, and having seen Anthony Bourdain’s recent show on Kerala, I’m not sure I could blame him. The food looked delicious.
While all of this was happening, Blair and her prince were wandering Paris, pretending that Blair likes to eat meat from food trucks and listen to street musicians. Thankfully for her sanity, the prince ixnayed those plans so that they could go to a ball with his parents, which is much more up Blair’s alley. She also gave up on the kebab charade, which didn’t seem to bother the prince. I bet he doesn’t really like street food either. (I, on the other hand, really like street food. But I’m also not rich and/or royalty.)
Unfortunately while Blair was getting ready for her princess moment, Serena was still trying to run down Chuck and get to the bottom of things. He seemed alarmingly set on making his Henry character his new identity, to the point where he told her that he was getting a new passport made and he later had the deeds to all of his properties messengered to her. Apparently he’d rather be nothing than be Chuck Bass after losing the only thing that mattered. He probably should have thought up that before he banged a teenager.
Speaking of Blair, she had finally settled on a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown to wear to the ball, and it would have made Cinderella jealous. Not only that, but her next stop was Harry Winston. You can’t go to a ball without some bling, of course. At the jewelry store, Blair ran in to Serena, who was there with a private investigator to pick up Chuck’s ring that the thieves had tried to sell back to the store. This show is nothing without it’s highly improbable chance meetings.
Serena used the opportunity to tell Blair that Chuck had been shot trying to protect her ring from thieves and that he was getting ready to shed his identity and skip the country, and at the conclusion of that conversation, the prince’s limo conveniently pulled up to give Blair a personal crisis. I probably would have thrown up from the pressure, but that’s why Oscar de la Renta doesn’t loan gowns to me.
Ultimately, though, Blair made the only decision that she could have made. She went straight to Chuck, de la Renta gown and giant diamonds intact, and they had another one of their heart-rending scenes where both of them prove for the zillionth time that they’re far better actors than this show probably deserves. I teared up a little bit as Blair told Chuck that it wouldn’t be her world without him in it, and the whole thing was so beautifully lit and everyone was so beautifully coiffed that they could have done the rest of the show, including the New York scenes, from that very spot and I wouldn’t have minded in the least.
In a far less serious conundrum, Nate and Dan were on the roof in Brooklyn, drinking beer and talking about their feelings. For two 19-year-old boys, they were remarkably mature about the fact that they both had feelings for Serena, but I’m fairly sure that won’t continue to happen. It can’t, this is Gossip Girl and this story recycles itself approximately every 15 minutes. As it was, though, they both miraculously got over Serena at the same time and decided that the people who they actually want to be with were under their noses all along. Convenient for all involved, except for Serena, who was bummed out to be single when she got home. Somehow, I don’t think she’ll be bummed for long.
The only problem with Nate’s decision about Serena, of course, is that Juliet is a stalker who is only using Nate as a means to an end. That’s right – he’s not the real mark, Serena is. We don’t know why, of course, but we do know that she took everyone else off the bulletin board in her crappy apartment and she told someone that she missed him or her on the phone, and I’m guessing it’s not a her. Poor Nate – too stupid to see the red flags, even after he realized that she managed to take over his life in three days.
Obviously at this point in the show, there are a few loose ends which need addressing before we’re allowed to end this episode and move on to the next. First, the baby’s paternity – Rufus found Milo’s hospital bracelet, which listed the baby’s blood type as O-negative. Rufus seems to think that type is particularly rare and it would make it almost impossible for Dan to be the father, but from what I’ve found after far too much Googling about blood types, O-negative isn’t all that uncommon – one in 15 people have that blood type, while Dan’s blood type (AB-positive) is far more rare with a rate of one in 29.
Rufus does seem to be correct that it virtually eliminates the possibility that Dan is the father, however. Feel free to skip this genetics lesson if you’d like: blood type is inherited from our parents, and both O types are recessive, meaning that both parents have to provide a type O allele for their child to have type O blood. If Dan had been A or B, which are both dominant alleles, it would still be possible for him to pass on a recessive O to his child.
Since Dan’s an AB type, however, that means (based on what I’ve read) that he wouldn’t have had an O allele to provide. The baby would have received either an A or B from him, depending on which allele he passed. A and B are codominant alleles and a parent with both can only pass one or the other to a child, so Dan wouldn’t have had an O allele to provide. So Dan – you are NOT the father! (Imagine that last sentence in a Maury Povich voice.) Color me shocked that Gossip Girl managed to get the science right. And yes, I spent like half an hour reading about blood types last night, why do you ask?
The other loose end, of course, is Chuck’s mumbling French girlfriend. Since Blair told him that she was no longer in love with him, he would have been going back to New York City single if he chose to return to his former life. Naturally, that’s what he chose to do, and he asked Frenchie to go with him. He also dropped the rich-bomb on her while waiting for her to make a decision about an intercontinental move on a Paris street corner, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that she probably makes the trip. I guess we’ll find out her decision next week.