Mostly Gossip Girl tends to stay afloat on the strength of lies, lies and even more delicious lies, but all that lying gets boring (and complicated!) after a while, and they have to clear the air in order for new lies to begin later. As a result, every once in a while, we get a Truth Episode, and that was what we had on Monday night.
Suddenly, none of our Upper East Siders could keep anything a secret any longer, and the facades started to crack on all kinds of made-up stories and omissions of truth. Blair was lying about transfering to Columbia, Jenny was a drug dealer, Serena didn’t actually win any hot chocolate-drinking contests, and Dan’s a less talented and accomplished writer than his girlfriend. This is stuff that all of us already knew, but the writers finally decided to let the rest of the cast in on the fun.
The episode started with another Serena-Nate sexytime scene for no apparent reason, except to give us a stark contrast to Dan and Vanessa decidedly unsexy relationship problems, and also, to Chuck’s preferred post-Blair sexytime choices. Which involve coke. And either hookers or girls that merely dress like hookers. Duh.
When the canoodling is done, Nate mentions to Serena that maybe she would want to move back in to her mom’s house while Lily is having cancer treatment. Serena scoffs at the idea of having to see Jenny everyday, which seems like kind of a shallow response in the face of her mother’s possibly impending death (well, we know she’s not going to die, but Serena doesn’t!) All that changes, however, when she arrives at the penthouse for breakfast and tries to have a conversation with dear ol’ Billy Baldwin about her boarding school days, and Jenny jumps in to tell an embarrassing story about her somewhat questionable (read: skanky) high school behavior.
Serena silently flips out over the possibility that Billy Baldwin could find out that she hasn’t always been a perfect angel, and announces that she’s going to move back in to the penthouse, purely to oust Jenny from her old room and piss her off. Billy Baldwin takes the opportunity to announce that he’s moving in, too, except not in to the apartment, just the building!
Rufus nearly has a rage blackout at the idea that Serena and Billy are going to replace him and his daughter in the family, and something must be done. First, he relegates Serena to Chuck’s old room, but Serena gets in the final burn with perhaps the smartest thing she’s ever said on this show: “How many problems does Jenny have to cause before you realize that SHE is the problem?” Burn, Serena. Burn, indeed. For his second act, Rufus tries to use the manipulation skills that he has learned since moving to the Upper East Side and manages to get Billy Baldwin blocked from the building, but he’s still not great at that kind of stuff quite yet and he totally cops to it when Lily and Serena mention it later in the episode. You’re supposed to lie, Rufus!
Eric doesn’t think that it’s such an awesome idea that Billy Baldwin moves in either, however, and that totally rings true to me – the sensitive, troubled gay ones would always be able to read a slimy guy like Billy Baldwin like a book. Big, dumb, daddy-craving Serena wouldn’t have a clue. And she doesn’t.
In other Humphrey strife news, Dan is in Brooklyn creating more rules for his relationship (remember when he tried to make a map that would indicate where he and Vanessa could act like more than friends?), this time about what he and Vanessa can talk about. Everything that could make him feel insecure is verboten because her Tisch acceptance hurt his widdle-bitty ego – writing, internships, awards, and jobs are all off-limits.
Except he doesn’t inform anyone else that he wants to pretend that Vanessa isn’t more talented than he is, so Rufus mentions that she got a CNN internship in Haiti and he freaks out about her not telling him. Except he told her not to. Typical college boy. They go back and forth about breaking up and whether or not she’ll go, and I’m sure all of that is supposed to be dramatic and entertaining, except that I don’t care at all about either of them. Finally, she decides to take the job, which is PERFECT, because MAYBE SHE’LL DIE IN A TRAGIC HAITI ACCIDENT OR SOMETHING! Was this filmed before the earthquake? I’m not sure. Maybe they’ll kill her in the earthquake? This is exactly what we’ve all been waiting for, kids.
Let’s move on to Blair, because her problems are so much prettier and more high-end. On her way to Nate’s lacrosse game (I thought he played soccer in high school?), she runs in to the minions that she would have had, had she gone to Columbia, and they ask her if she’s transferring. She gets a little insecure about how NYU affects her social status and decides to claim to be a brand new Columbia girl in order to feel a little better about herself, regardless of the fact that it will eventually become clear that she doesn’t go to Columbia. On a side note: My best friend and I are pretty sure that her roommate does not actually go to UGA, as she claims to, because she got her schedule screwed up and moved out before finals week, and also and we’ve never seen her with any books or on her way to any classes. So, people actually do this sort of stuff in real life, but only really sad people who have perhaps had their brain chemistry altered by fake-tan and hair dye.
Anyway, back to Blair. Her undermining future-minions not only get her to lie about going to Columbia, but they also intimate that perhaps she’s lost her edge at NYU, so she sends a scoop about Jenny dealing drugs to Gossip Girl in order to get her mojo back. I so prefer the Blair that sells Jenny out for fun. Welcome back, lady. Except now she’s gone from fighting over entire hotels to involving herself in squabbles over high school bedrooms, so, uh, downgrade.
Because this is Gossip Girl, of course, everything has to come to a head at a fancy party that is far more heavily attended by 19-year-olds than it would be in real life. This one’s at Columbia to honor Billy Baldwin’s work with Doctor’s Without Borders, and the location manages to explain why Blair runs into a Columbia admissions guy that tells her that her transfer application was accepted. Except…she didn’t send one? Chuck did! So she’s a Columbia girl now, for realsies, and perhaps this is the first step in those two crazy kids getting back together. We all know it’s coming, after all, I just hope that we get Blair The Mean Girl for a few more episodes before it does.
Rufus also shows up, despite being disinvited for his attempt to block Billy Baldwin from their building, and it’s a good thing that he’s there, too. Not only does his wife’s ex-husband make an extremely thinly veiled declaration of love during his speech, but it also enables him to witness Jenny being brow-beaten by one of her ex-customers over selling her antibiotics instead of Oxy. So not only did someone just publicly put the moves on his wife, but he has even further proof that is precious little daughter is a scumbag that’s hiding drugs in her weave, and somehow neither of those things is the worst thing that happened to him at the party.
No, the worst thing that happened was when the downstairs neighbor that he had been schtupping approached Serena in the coat check room. I have no idea why she was at the Columbia party and no one ever explained it, but upon witnessing Billy Baldwin’s declaration of love, she decides that it’s her job to confess her affair to Lily so that she can be with a man that truly loves her. Except she can’t find Lily, so she goes ahead and tells Serena, who decides that this is the perfect opportunity to reinstall Billy Baldwin as her father-figure. Rufus and Lily appear to not have found out about the un-secreting of this secret yet, but we’ve got two more episodes left in the season, and I’m sure this will all blow up in his face very soon.
Rufus’s only hope is that Chuck figures out what Billy Baldwin is up to and gets to Lily first. After seeing Lily at the party, he decides that she simply looks too healthy to be in the middle of a fierce battle with cancer, and he’s totally right. Chuck is a hustler, and you can’t out-hustle a hustler, so Billy Baldwin’s goose is cooked. Chuck leaves the party early, presumably to hire private investigators and various and sundry other Chuck-like things. Don’t worry, y’all. Chuck’s got this.
Unbeknownst to him, he may have an investigatory ally in Jenny. When her disgruntled customer told her what the real contents of her drugs were, we’re apparently meant to realize that the drugs that this particular girl received were from the Oxy prescription that Jenny found in Lily’s closet. Which means that Lily’s pills weren’t really Oxy and…oh. I see what they did there. But would Little Jenny Humphrey really be quick-witted enough to figure all of that out? Her choice in hair extensions says no, but the final scene of the episode says yes.