Anyone else not have a freakin’ clue what happened on Gossip Girl Monday night? I watched it once, I watched it twice, and yet I still don’t believe that Nate could locate Staten Island on a map, let alone travel there of his own accord. Did he take the ferry? There’s no bridge between Staten Island and Manhattan. Somehow, it sounds just as likely that he swam.
And that only delves into the surface level of this episode’s C plot. A and B were equally baffling, but whatever all of that meant, I’m pretty sure none of it was good for anyone. Well, except maybe for Chuck and Blair. Their war of attrition lasted all of two weeks, mostly because Blair and Chuck are too self-absorbed to focus on the actions of others for any meaningful period of time. Also, they still love each other. Maybe not this week, but somewhere in there, I know it has it be true. With the way these writers cycle through narrative arcs, they’ll probably both figure it out next week.
The show opened with Blair having a fitful dream about being attacked by a shadowy stranger with long, polyester, suspiciously Jennyesque extensions who was not actually Jenny. In that scene at least, Jenny was just a metaphor, but in the next one, she was decidedly real. Unfortunately. She had come back to the island to have an interview with Tim Gunn in hopes of being admitted to Parsons, except that Tim Gunn hasn’t worked at Parsons in years and likely never did interviews while he did. Reality is not important in the Gossip Girl universe, so I’m not even sure why I bother to have these thoughts anymore.
Speaking of things that don’t happen in objective reality, Sir Manbangs was all sadfaced because Juliet didn’t stick around to have breakfast after sleeping with him, so he called Dan to whine about it while walking the streets of Staten Island. Really, that happened on this show, and none of the characters seemed to acknowledge that the entire thing was so ridiculous, from Nate’s messy morning-after feelings to his Staten Island location, that the writers might as well have had him floating through the streets on a magic carpet, petting a mini-unicorn.
While on his way in to the jail to visit his dad, who had just been transfered there from upstate, Nate ran into Juliet. Since even Sir Manbangs is smart enough to figure out that Columbia doesn’t offer classes at the Staten Island Correctional Facility, he got his widdle-bitty feelings hurt. Juliet had claimed to be headed to class when she leapt out of his bed earlier in the morning, and that was clearly a lie. And when something is clear to Nate, it has to be true.
On a picturesque bench somewhere that was apparently still supposed to be Staten Island (I don’t believe it for a second), the couple sat down to have a heart-to-heart about their various and sundry lies and secrets. Nate immediately copped to being at the jail to visit his jailbird father, but Juliet lied and said that she was volunteering for the prison literacy program instead of visiting her jailbird brother. Nate seemed a little dubious of her confession, but they both headed back to Manhattan anyway, because who wants to stay in Staten Island any longer than they have to?
Juliet’s big brother got a little testy about Juliet skipping out on their visit that morning, naturally, and he was even more angry when he found out that she skipped him because of Nate. Juliet’s relationship with her brother still seems slightly incestuous to me, even though I don’t think that the writers necessarily intend for it to come off that way, but he still demanded that she stop dating Nate. You can’t be emotionally involved with a bit player in your sabotage plan! Big brother had a point, come to think of it, and Juliet made the rookie mistake of telling him that Nate’s dad is one of his fellow inmates, which naturally earns Captain Archibald a prison beatdown, probably to indirectly warn Juliet that her involvement with Sir Manbangs will get his dad shanked. Effective, big brother. Effective.
On a completely different island, Serena had indeed spent the night with that finance dudebro cab stealer with whom she was drinking at the end of the last episode, but she insisted that she hadn’t slept with him when Blair called her out on her morning-after hair. I’m not sure how Blair can tell the difference between that and Serena’s normal hair, but that’s why they’re best friends – mine can tell when I’ve plucked my eyebrows, so who am I to judge?
As it turns out, Serena’s good decision-making the night before wouldn’t get her very far. She managed to arrive to Columbia on time for her business psychology course for the first time ever, but as it turns out, finance dudebro cab stealer is actually Colin, The Lusty Professor. He’s a Fortune 500 CEO who had been asked to take the place of the teacher who Blair and Chuck ran off two weeks ago, and Serena was his now his student. Because in the Gossip Girl universe, a professor can never be just a professor.
He talked to Serena after class and convinced her to consider dropping his class and going with him to a New York Observer party at which he would accept some sort of Most Eligible Bachelor award, and Serena agreed to go with him. She had apparently forgotten almost getting kicked out of school two weeks ago because she was suspected of having sent a sexy email to a professor, and also apparently failed to consider that such a party would clearly have an arrivals line and she would be photographed on his arm by the media. I think Serena’s hair extensions are in too tight.
Anyway, like I mentioned before, Jenny’s back. La-dee-freaking-da. Blair’s the one who discovered her return, of course, because that’s just how things work in Blair’s life. Plus, she had that dream and everything, and that had to mean something, right? After assuring Blair that she was only back for one day to have a meeting at Parsons, Blair agreed to allow Jenny a day pass to be on her island, so long as she left immediately following The Gunn Summit. I’m not sure why anyone lets Blair make extradition rules for the entire island of Manhattan, even the parts that she never goes to, but everyone seemed to buy in to her power.
Part of Jenny’s agreement was that she wasn’t to go anywhere but to her interview, but of course, problems arose. Chuck dropped by to “pick up some blueprints” at Chateau Van Der Woodsen and “mistakenly” made off with Jenny’s sketchbook. He called her and told her she could pick it up at the Empire before her interview, but naturally, Blair’s minions saw her head into Chuck’s hotel and her fate was sealed.
Blair somehow managed to have WHORE written across Little J’s dresses like those people who get together in groups and paint messages on their chests at football games, and when Tim Gunn saw it, he dismissed her immediately. Sure, it looked silly, but is it that weird to see that sort of “conceptual” fashion at art school tryouts? I would think that in the age of Lady Gaga, whore dresses would barely elicit a raised eyebrow from someone who does fashion school admissions. Compared to a meat hat, it seems positively subtle. Tim Gunn, however, was not impressed.
Naturally, Chuck stepped in to help by getting Little J, Dan and the rest of the Van Der Woodsen-Humphreys into the Best New Yorkers Gala or whatever silly party that was going on that night at the Boom Boom Room (which is a real place) so that they might “accidentally” run in to Tim Gunn and and Little J could plead her case. Unfortunately, that was the same party to which The Lusty Professor was going to take Serena.
I say that it was unfortunate because Lily had just gotten done telling Serena that she was so proud of her for reading a book (a business book!) and taking a quasi-serious college class and actually considering her future for more than a half second, instead of just chasing after random boys all over Manhattan. She reiterated those sentiments at the Boom Boom Room party, at which point The Lusty Professor came up to Serena, said some very stupid things about being her future and how she should tell her mom that she would be dropping out of his class and it would all be fine. Apparently it never occurred to him that the middle-aged blonde woman standing with Serena might have been her mother. (Or maybe it did? More on that later.)
Lily gave the whole situation a quick reverse-psychology kick by telling Serena that a pretty girl like her doesn’t really need an education to land a man and lead a very comfortable life of shopping and cocktailing. Lily happened to be right in a variety of different ways, including on a literal level – Serena’s a billionaire heiress with four-mile-long legs and some of the best plastic surgery I’ve ever seen, so an education is a bit of a formality. But Lily was also right on psychological level – hearing that stuff and knowing just how true it was cut straight through Serena’s overpriced-champagne buzz and lit her straight out of the Boom Boom Room. Again, I assure you, that’s a real place.
The reverse psychology also worked beautifully on The Lusty Professor. He’s rich and hot (in an obvious sort of way), so it’s probably rare that a girl turns him down. When Serena did, it threw off his whole perception of reality and caused him to agree to wait it out for Serena until the end of the course. Of course, if I were a dude faced with the possibility of sleeping with Serena in less than two months’ times, I might manage to wait it out as well, if only to get a better shot at figuring out if her boobs are real or fake. That sort of thing fascinates me, I won’t even lie.
Of course, we’ve gotten off on a tangent and managed to forget the only people who actually matter in this show: Chuck and Blair. They too met up at Boom Boom Room, and Blair finally realized that Jenny’s return to Manhattan, her interview with Tim Gunn and her stop at the Empire had been Chuck’s doing all along. Naturally, Chuck knew that Little Jenny Humphrey gets under her skin in a way that almost no one else ever could, and he would have been a fool not to use that weapon early and often. When Jenny realized that Blair had arrived, she brought down the hammer on what Blair seemed to consider the ultimate shame – she had Gossip Girl send out a blast explaining her last-season dalliance with one Mr. Chuck Bass. And then Jenny left. She left! Hopefully forever! But not forever, because I’m never that lucky.
I’m still not clear on the details of why sleeping with Jenny is the end of both Chuck and Blair as we know it. Chuck has been known for quite a while as a frequenter of prostitutes and an inveterate womanizer, so why would anyone care that he banged some chick from Brooklyn? Jenny certainly isn’t of any lower social standing than the various and sundry hookers and hangers-on with whom Chuck has had previous “relations.” Sure, it’s embarrassing to Blair that Chuck cheated on her with Jenny, but it’s not like we’re talking about a Tiger Woods or Jesse James situation here. Blair isn’t Sandra Bullock. No one thinks she’s innocent, and no one thinks he’s a good, upstanding member of society. So what does it matter?
It very clearly matters to Chuck and Blair, though, and that’s really all that matters to me. At the end of the episode, they had another one of their touching scenes where they both stare into each others’ eyes and caress each others’ souls and make all of us singletons out here in the world wish, for one moment, that we could find someone capable of hating us as much as Chuck hates Blair. But there’s a thin line between love and hate, as that old movie title goes, and they’re going to try to stand on it for at least a week. They’ve called a truce, but they’re not yet back together. What’s the over-under on their return to coupledom? Two episodes?
And then, the real end of the episode came about. I live for these twisty little final scenes every week, when the Gossip Girl zookeepers see fit to throw another chunk of truth over the wall over which the Internet can (and will) rip itself to shreds for the next week. This time, the chunk was particularly bloody: Juliet is employed by The Lusty Professor, who is a player in this particular game of Ruin Serena’s Life. Just when I thought Juliet’s big brother was surely running the show, we get a twist. So does big brother work for The Lusty Professor as well? And why would he bother running this whole game through someone in prison? Is big brother actually in charge? And if he is, why does he have an actual Fortune 500 CEO doing his bidding? So many question. Gossip Girl gives me a headache, but in the best possible way.