Oh how I adore Halloween. I’d gladly trade Thanksgiving every year for Halloween Part Two, but since I’m not the person that gets to decide such things, I merely try to enjoy it as much as I can while it’s here.
And that’s what Gossip Girl did last night – or tried to do, anyway. I was a little disappointed that the writers didn’t make more out of the metaphorical idea of wearing masks and the need to be appear something other than what we actually are – they’re usually all over that kind of stuff like white on rice. They did give a small nod to the idea that Jenny wears her high school crown uneasily, and behold, the actor that plays Eric not only isn’t dead in a ditch somewhere, but he still has the ability to recite lines. Could have fooled me.
But mostly, Halloween on the Upper East Side just meant we got sparkly dresses and a reason to have a party. And I’m never opposed to a party. Or a sparkly dress, for that matter.
When we left off last week, everyone had been betrayed. Blair sold out Chuck, Nate sold out Serena and she sold him out right back, Vanessa sold out Olivia and Dan and utterly failed at it, because she’s Vanessa. Everyone was still pissed at everyone else, except we don’t know how anyone felt about Vanessa since she apparently crawled into a shame hole somewhere and stayed there for the whole episode. Let’s hope she stays for the season.
Blair and Chuck have nominally made up, but Chuck is doing the teenage girl thing where he accepts Blair’s apology to her face and then continues to seethe and undermine her privately, on his own time. Which, you know, he’s a busy man. He’s got a new hotel that’s at woefully low occupancy heading up to the holidays, and he’s got to do something about that, lest he become failure (but even if he did become a failure, he’d still be a billionaire, so he’d still be doing better than basically everyone else on the planet).
So he’s going to open a club, but he’s going to do it without Blair, because he’s still silently punishing her for making him kiss that dude. I kind of don’t blame him. And he’s going to enlist Serena for help, because he needs controversy and famous people in order to make the club, and by association, the hotel, super popular and those things happen to be Serena’s specialty (really, it’s perfect that she’s a publicist now). But Serena and Blair are besties (until the end of the episode at least), so Blair finds out about the whole thing in a half-baked speakerphone plot that Chuck would have seen right through, were these real people that weren’t reading from scripts.
But before we get too far into that, let’s deal with the Jenny issue. She’s still nominally the Queen Bee, but she claims to be playing the part only so that a less benevolent dictator doesn’t move in to the potential power vacuum. But Eric’s little twink boyfriend, Jonathan or Jeremy or whatever his unimportant name is, thinks that that’s just bananas, and that he’s going to go sit higher than Jenny on the Met steps, thereby forcing her into some sort of step power struggle in order to preserve her position of dominance in front of her minions. As Eric so aptly pointed out, it’s hard to lead if no one thinks they have to follow, and the whole thing somehow ends with Eric getting a parfait dumped on his head. Parfait always reminds me of Shrek. Maybe I’m the only one.
When that incident comes to light, Jenny’s new mommy Lily sits her down and explains some hard truths about being a queen and sympathizes a little too much for a mom that just had her recently suicidal, newly out of the closet son assaulted with a girly dairy product. The only punishment that she manages to meter out to Jenny is that she’s required to take her new stepbrother with her to Chuck’s boozy, star-studded club opening. Not exactly punishment, since he was her best gay up until earlier that day.
So yeah, about that party. Chuck decides he’s going to open the club like a day before he plans to have this swanky, 20s-themed debut Halloween party, and the only problem is the liquor license. Those things take forever to get – months. But Chuck is powerful, so he believes that he can rush the application, and sure enough he gets it in the nick of time. Or so he thinks. Actually, Blair has found out about the whole thing and plans to show her love for him by contacting Uncle Jack Bass to move things along. I’m not sure why we’re supposed to believe that Jack can get the license any more quickly than Chuck can, since you’d think that Chuck would be at least as well-connected, but he supposedly comes through for Blair and gets the license. She can’t tell Chuck, though, because she’s still not supposed to know that the club is opening.
Meanwhile, Serena has some machinations of her own at hand. Olivia and Dan are considering the possibility of doing the nasty for the first time (shenanigans – if they were real people, they already would have. Long ago), and Olivia gets photographed by the paparazzi while picking up some freebie condoms at the NYU health center. You’d think she’d know better, but I guess her lust for Dan’s newly muscled body has her all flustered.
But Dan’s distracted by something different – Olivia’s Twilight-esque film work with her ex-boyfriend is making him highly uncomfortable. She claims it was a fake relationship, but it wasn’t, and her publicist/Serena’s boss wants them to continue to appear together in public in order to keep the dude’s career afloat.
As you can guess, this all ties together at Chuck’s club opening. He had already found out that Blair had gone to Jack for help and barred her from coming to the party as a result (he also managed to get Serena on his side). But that liquor license that she procured? Well, it’s a fake because Jack and Chuck still hate each other and he wouldn’t honestly help out with the club opening, and Jack sent her flowers right before the club opening that included a message to that effect. As a result, she has to show up and spill the beans to Chuck about the impending bust that Jack was undoubtedly planning. And Chuck puts on the angry face with Blair for a moment, but then they realize that they have a great opportunity to join forces and grab some publicity by calling the cops themselves to bust the party. Which is a beautiful resolution to all of this, really – their compatibility always has been based on their mutual underhandedness.
But before the bust can happen, some other drama has to go down. Jenny has to take Eric to the party, and Eric’s boyfriend (who started all this trouble in the first place by trying to upset the high school power structure) comes too and he gets egged by the minions outside. I’m having a problem feeling particularly sorry for him, however, and I think that Eric needs to break up with him and explore his options. He’s a young, rich gay man in the city! The possibilities are endless! And the whole incident just makes him madder at Jenny (she did, after all plan it), meanwhile making her more sure that she needs to be more queenly. That’ll go well, I’m sure.
And then there’s the little matter of Dan and Olivia – Serena lies to her boss about why she was keeping the party a secret and has her fly in Olivia’s ex to have them reunite in front of the paparazzi. Dan shows up anyway and things get a little weird and awkward in the way that only old boyfriend/new boyfriend scenarios can be, but Serena saves the day with one of her strongest skills – making out with Olivia’s old boyfriend in front of photographers in order to create new buzz for both Olivia and her ex. Plus, she did it in an inappropriately short, tight, shiny dress! She’s really gifted at the whole publicity thing.
But as we all knew they would, the cops show and kick everyone out into the street in their Roaring 20s finery, creating a paparazzi feeding frenzy and giving all of these people exactly what they want – more attention. Chuck and Blair are back and his club is front-page news, Dan and Olivia are now publicly a couple (and now they’re boning!), and Serena gets to keep her publicity job as long as she keeps publicly kissing that dude.
Oh, but there is one issue – in a bit of a blast from the past, Blair and Serena are now feuding over Serena’s refusal to take Blair’s side in the Jack Bass fiasco and her disinterest in quitting her job to become the club’s publicist. It seems to somehow result in Blair’s face in a cake next week, which I absolutely cannot wait to see.