First and foremost, let’s all give a round of applause to Clemence Poesy/Eva/Frenchie for managing to say “Old Chuck, bad Chuck, new Chuck, good Chuck” in her non-native language and without struggling, stammering or making a face. I had a hard enough time just typing it (for some reason, the phrase came out with every word capitalized the first time), and I dare not attempt to say it out loud. What we saw may have been her 50th take, for all we know, but I’m not even sure I could do it with that many tries.
Anyway. Monday night’s episode of Gossip Girl was all about our fragile little hearts and why we all insist on playing such a vicious game of badminton with them, and everyone turned out a loser. Except for Humphrey and Dumpty, as Blair so aptly named them. Why do they get to win when all of the likable characters lose?
Things started with a Chuck-Eva lovefest, but as we all know, that didn’t make everyone so happy. Blair had been stalking the updates on Gossip Girl, natch, and found that Chuck had given Frenchie a Cartier Baignoire watch that probably cost a zillion dollars (and surely did, if it had as much sparkly as Dorota said). Since its price eclipsed that of anything Chuck had ever given her, Blair was pissed. But when the times get tough, Blair gets going. Going straight to the Cartier store to check prices, that is.
Unfortunately, Blair wasn’t the only one with guy problems. Serena was still wallowing in self-pity over Dan (and Nate), but they both agreed to ignore their exes and do girly things like watching Amelie later that night. Neither of them managed the promise for more than, say, 15 minutes, but I’m sure they each totally meant it when they said it. Actually, never mind – it was totally one of those things you promise your friend to get her off your back, knowing full well the entire time that as soon as she turns her back, you’re going right back to what you’re not supposed to be doing. Blair and Serena did it to each other simultaneously, which pretty accurately depicts every single female friendship I ever had in college. You talk smack about a guy with your friends and then Facebook stalk him anyway. That’s how being 20 years old works.
In Brooklyn, Dan was having self-pity problems of his own over his long-lost not-quite-son Milo. Georgina had absconded with him, and since Dan isn’t technically his father, the only thing he could do to make himself feel better was get his hair cut like Duckie from Pretty in Pink. Vanessa, being her annoying self, was making him pancakes, calling his parents and telling him to change his clothes. Doesn’t she know that the Humphreys are strictly waffle men? In fact, I could barely believe we got through that entire scene without a waffle joke.
At this point in the show, the only person without relationship troubles was Chuck. Frenchie is an angel, as we all know, and it has turned out to be quite remunerative for her. And when I say “remunerative,” I mean it literally – she cashed in her goodwill, in the form of a Cartier watch, for a stack of cold, hard $100 bills. Luckily, Blair was there to catch it all on Blackberry video for Chuck’s eventual edification. And when she showed it to Chuck, it didn’t matter – Frenchie was right there to explain that she had given the money to Chuck’s valet for his sick mother or something, and she was once again back in the business of picking charities for Chuck’s $5 million donation, to be presented at a gala later that evening.
Oh, and Nate. Let’s not forget about Sir Manbangs, even if the writers seem to go out of their ways to make him forgettable. That Juliet girl is still around and “dating” him, but the costumers have also gone out of their ways, this time to make her as bland and neutral as possible. With a wardrobe so full of grey and beige, I half expect Juliet to try and pass herself off as part of the draperies in any given scene.
Perhaps she’s saving that trick for next week, because she seems to be getting caught in more and more lies – she snuck off and got caught by Gossip Girl, she claimed her phone was killed by an errant latte and then used it. Luckily for her, it’s not hard to fool Sir Manbangs. If Juliet’s chest were as big as Serena’s, she’d probably be able to dupe him for years. He sort of broke up with her at the end of the episode, but we all know that won’t last long. Juliet has things to accomplish, after all, and she’s not going to let the silly whims of a fool like Nate get in her way.
Anyway, because Vanessa and Lily and Rufus ran Dan out of his loft in DUMBO by trying to talk about his feelings, he decided to “take a walk” to see Serena. I’m pretty sure that it’d take a couple of hours to walk from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side, but whatever, these kids can teleport. That’s what Lily’s billions have bought them: teleportation. Luckily for Blair, that meant that Dan was there to help Serena work the computer machine and use the Google while she was out bonding with/doing reconnaissance on Frenchie. She and Blair were scoping out charities together, and while they played with puppies, Blair found out that Frenchie had gone to Prague to look for work, settled in Prague’s red light district and had supported herself “waiting tables” until she found a wounded billionaire on her sidewalk and fixed his gunshot wound with vodka.
As soon as Frenchie mentioned that she had moved to Prague to look for work, I knew she was a prostitute. If you’ve ever watched any of those horrifying human trafficking mini-docs that come on cable from time to time, you know that many large Eastern European cities have a thriving sex-work underbelly, and that’s the type of work that many young women who move there are looking to do. But really, it makes sense – that’s why Chuck and Eva get along so well! He’s always had good relationships with prostitutes in the past. Sure, she might be less Florence Nightingale and more Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but what’s the difference when you’re yanking a bullet out of a stranger?
When Blair dropped the prosty bomb on Chuck, he already knew because Dan told Nate and Nate told him, even though Dan had been sworn to secrecy. When confronted with the information, Eva copped to her seedy past and Chuck came to terms with it rather quickly and they all got to go to the charity gala after all! At the event, Chuck signed his $5 million donation over to Frenchie to start her own foundation, which nearly gave Blair an aneurism. In a final, desperate bid to undermine Eva, she stole Chuck’s passport out of his newly delivered personal effects from his shooting, planted it in Eva’s suitcase, and then “found” it. Supposedly, this was meant to indicate that Eva had knew about him and his billions all along, and it actually worked for about 15 minutes.
While all of these things were happening, other people’s worlds continued to spin on like Chuck and Blair weren’t about to collide and end the planet. Serena had decided she wanted Dan back after witnessing his sexy Google skills, but then there was that issue of Dan’s live in girlfriend. You may remember her, her name is Vanessa. Well, Vanessa just wouldn’t pack it in and call it a day, and she chased him all over Manhattan and finally to Chuck’s charity gala. At that point, she knew Dan had been with Serena all day, and she gave him an impassioned little speech about how she never hesitated and didn’t need to choose, she had always only wanted him.
Since Dan is an insecure, ego-driven artist type (never date a writer who takes himself seriously, kids), that’s all he needed to hear. Even Serena’s weird cutout dress at the gala couldn’t pull him back onto her side. She picked a fine time to put her boobs away. If ever there were a time that the girls were needed, this was it. Dan went back to his DUMBO loft and renewed his hipster love with Vanessa, which will probably last all of two episodes. Serena, once again, was left high and dry and without a boyfriend. Somehow, I think she’ll get over it.
Eva, on the other hand, isn’t going to get over anything. Chuck confronted her with Blair’s gold-digging allegations and she promptly packed her things and went home. Even after Chuck realized that Blair had set him up and begged her to stay, she wasn’t willing to put the accusations aside. Seeing whereas she had hid her prostitute history from him and he had given her a $5 million check a couple of hours later, I would think that the benefit of the doubt would have been in order on her part, but you know the French…
Naturally, Eva’s departure sent Chuck careening over the edge and he intended to take Blair down with him. He confronted her at her house, and although she denied still loving him when he asked if that was her motivation, she probably would have answered differently if she had known what was coming: all-out war. Chuck had no trace of emotion in his voice, no trepidation, no panic. He was cold, efficient, and will certainly be very effective. Chuck and Blair are back, y’all, and it is so on.