Our Upper East Siders rebounded nicely from the previous episode’s mess on last night’s Gossip Girl – a few plots found a resolution, leaving the writers to focus on the things that really matter, and by that, I mean Blake Lively’s wardrobe. Oh, and the small issue of the crazy stalker/conwoman that is attempting to infiltrate the group.
Before we can find out about her intentions, though, we have to learn about Baby Milo’s real father, a Columbia secret society for girls and “Juliet’s” (IF THAT’S EVEN HER REAL NAME!) prison-bound boyfriend, who appears to be playing puppeteer from behind bars.
Honestly, I have no idea how things started out for our Upper East Siders. It stormed in Atlanta last night, and the first three minutes of dialog were overdubbed with a severe weather message warning everyone in town that we shouldn’t try to ford any rising streams (duh, I learned that in elementary school playing Oregon Trail. Those poor, drowned oxen…). All I could tell was that Eric isn’t dead (welcome to season four, babe) and Chuck and Frenchie had some sort of tryst on the balcony overlooking the city.
When my sound snapped back in, Serena and Blair were wandering around the Columbia campus, speculating about the school year to come and Hamilton House, a secret society into which Blair sincerely hoped to gain entrance that didn’t actually seem a whole lot more secret or exclusive than an upper-tier sorority (although my perception may be skewed – I went to college at a large state school in the South, our sororities were intense). When they arrived at the society’s headquarters, only Blair got a key, which indicated acceptance. Serena was left keyless.
No surprises there – Juliet, she of the Serena-dotted bulletin board and the Nate-duping schemes (which is not that hard, admittedly), was apparently running the place. If this chick is such fancy-schmancy Columbia girl that gets picked for things by prestigious alumni committees and plays gatekeeper to an exclusive society, why does no one know who she is? Why hasn’t Gossip Girl picked up that she doesn’t have a background story? Why do none of our characters ask themselves these questions?
Anyway, Blair was in and Serena was out. Everything would have been fine if Blair hadn’t lied to Serena to skip out on dinner plans and spend time with her secret society sisters (drinking champagne on the sidewalk in the middle of Morningside is the new ish, apparently). When Serena confronted Blair about ditching her, Blair accused her of that friend-fight standby: jealousy.
Serena never seemed all that convincingly jealous to me, and I think that perhaps Blair was more irritated that she didn’t care – Serena should have cared, in Blair’s mind, because Blair knew that she would have been livid if the tables had been turned. After Blair stormed off in a self-righteous huff, a mid-sidewalk revelation clued Serena in to the fact that people were still being admitted to the society long after Juliet had said that space was full. That lead her to a confrontation with the stalker herself, who claimed that Blair had blocked Serena’s entrance.
While all of this quasi-sorority drama was going on, Dan and Vanessa were in Brooklyn dealing with a real issue – an abandoned baby. A paternity test had been done and Dan had been cleared of paternity, but there were still the small matters of Georgina’s disappearance and the unknown identity of the baby’s real father. Dan decided that he would care for the baby if Georgina never returned, and he somehow enlisted Vanessa to co-parent, which seems like the plot of that new Katherine Heigl movie that’s about to come out.
Georgina didn’t stay away for long, though, and she eventually made her sudden return to reclaim the baby and explain that the father is an Eastern European billionaire who she met on a flight to Minsk, and unless the guy’s wife believed that her husband wasn’t the baby’s father, she was going to have Georgina killed by Russian henchmen. I didn’t even make any of that up. And I’m also not making up this: Dan didn’t understand how Georgina could do something like that. Really, Dan? You’ve met Georgina before, right?
Dan vowed that he wouldn’t let Georgina have custody of the baby, although I’m not sure exactly how he plans to make good on that vow. He’s not the baby’s biological father and he hasn’t been designated a legal guardian, so it seems to this layperson like his rights are pretty much nonexistent. Lawyers in the audience: does the fact that Georgina let him sign the birth certificate give him any legal leverage? My bet is that it doesn’t and Dan and the writers will forget about this storyline over the next few weeks. Poor little Milo. He’s going to be a serial killer when he grows up. Hopefully he’s a serial killer with a heart of gold like Dexter.
Speaking of potential violent crime, Blair met Frenchie. Chuck had apparently sent her out on a shopping spree to distract her from the fact that they don’t actually know each other very well and she just moved to a new country with a veritable stranger. It would have worked just fine, except that of all the couture joints in all the world, Blair had to walk into that one. She set about destroying Frenchie’s self esteem in the most direct and efficient way possible, and before she had even left the store, Frenchie already didn’t want to meet Lily or go to Fashion’s Night Out or anything. She folded like…well, insert your favorite joke about the French army here. Cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the lot of them.
Simultaneously, Eric was spilling the beans to Rufus about how Chuck had tried to rape Jenny all the way back in the first season (the first episode?), and Rufus was vowing to never let Chuck near his family again. What is it with the Humphrey men and vowing to do things they can’t actually do? Neither of them ever make good on anything, mostly because literally everyone else on this show has more power than they do. Including Dorota.
Ah, Dorota! We haven’t even mentioned Dorota yet. She made her season four debut in this episode, and she did so in splendid fashion. Back in the world of Blair and Serena, the girls had obviously compared notes on Juliet’s allegations that Blair had blocked Serena’s entrance to their sorority or whatever, and the plan to get back at Juliet had been hatched. Poor Little J (we’re going to call Juliet “Little J” until Jenny gets back, which is hopefully never) – she should have never tried to out-scheme Blair and Serena, they have so many more years of experience, even if she is some sort of professional con woman. You can hustle a hustler.
Serena and Blair teamed up to tape a fake-fight, and Gossip Girl agreed to run it as though it was happening in real-time in one of the dressing rooms at the Diane Von Furstenberg store during Fashion’s Night out, and Juliet played right into their hands by broadcasting it at the DVF party to try and show everyone that Serena was a jealous, conniving, classless party girl (albeit one in a truly awesome dress). We’ll suspend disbelief about the dubious technological odds of the whole streaming video-phone-mini USB-to-HD setup even working (I worked at Best Buy in college, and this just doesn’t pass the truth sniff test to me), let alone Juliet knowing how to use it, and skip straight to the awesome part: unlike most plans on this show, this one worked perfectly!
When Juliet pushed back the curtain on the dressing room where the alleged catfight was taking place, Blair and Serena were sitting there on a couch, sipping champagne. Dorota was standing behind them smiling, and Blair threw a chunk of weave at Juliet, which was probably a bad idea since she’ll just make a voodoo doll out of it. And then, just when we thought the awesomeness had concluded, Lily stepped up to remind Juliet that, just like everything else in Manhattan, money rules the secret society and she was actually the Head Bitch in Charge of the whole organization. Serena got her key, but ultimately, Juliet still ended up with Nate. A modest victory, all in all, but it was better than an outright loss, and Juliet did get a modicum of public humiliation.
Blair didn’t fair much better with Chuck and his new girl, who will probably stay through anything if she’s willing to put up with Chuck’s past as an aspiring rapist and frequenter of prostitutes, but I think Blair will make a speedy comeback. She and Serena are roommates now, and hopefully they’re over the frenemy BS from seasons past and can unite to fight crime and save the city or whatever. What would their Bat Signal be, a giant Louboutin projected into the sky?
Lastly, we got another little clue about Juliet, just as we have at the ends of the last two episodes, and this one didn’t have anything to do with her creepily elaborate cork board. No, no – this time, we saw her in jail. Well, in the visiting room of a jail, talking to the low-level criminal boyfriend with whom she is apparently in cahoots to…do something to Serena. Or maybe it really is Nate she’s after? I’m not sure, but whatever her boyfriend did, it was probably a white collar offense since he’s in minimum security prison. Fraud? Money laundering? Extortion? The possibilities are endless when you’re talking about someone that rich that is so easy to fool. That goes for both Nate and Serena.