Ladies and gentleman, our beloved Gossip Girl has become nothing more than a fetid, simpering parody of its former self. I’m not mad, though. Furthest thing from it. This is what we always knew that our dear little show could be – self-referential, silly, and with a dubious connection to objective reality. If I wanted to feel feelings, I’d watch Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t, so this is my favorite show. It doesn’t require me to feel anything except smarter than Serena. And also, Nate.
Without further delay, let’s talk about what happened in the first new episode since approximately the Clinton administration. Monday night’s episode was all about the people that we turn to when our normal sources of satisfaction are turning elsewhere. Somewhat surprisingly, no one turned to drugs – they all found other people. But that doesn’t mean drugs weren’t involved! Oh no, they were. They just weren’t taken by any of our Upper Easter Siders. Rather, they were stuffed into the embellishment of a particularly ugly jacket and willingly worn around by three different women that claim to care about fashion. See what I was saying about that dubious connection to reality?
Before we get into what happened, let’s review what went down before the show’s interminable break – Nate finally confessed his love to Serena and she somewhat accepted after a car wreck, Dan confessed his love to Vanessa and it totally did not go well, Chuck found a shadowy lady with an engraved locket at his father’s grave in the middle of the night, Jenny was well on her way to becoming an international drug mule, and Blair was still the only person that could talk any sense into any of these people. Oh, and Rufus is mad at Lily because he was given the letter that detailed her rendezvous with her ex-husband and baby daddy. I almost forgot about that. I don’t really care about the old people on this show.
The episode opened, of course, with Serena anticipating Nate’s return from the holidays at his grandfather’s estate and Blair encouraging her to stop being such a skank and sending him dirty text messages. Serena agrees and tells Nate that she wants to take it slow approximately seven minutes later, which is immediately followed by them having sex on the floor of Eleanor Waldorf’s apartment. Which, I guess, might be slow for Serena. She gave him a hug and had a bit of a conversation with him before she started removing his clothes, plus she also confirmed that they were, indeed, going to go on a date. We’ve all seen her do sluttier things.
Facilitating that date was another one of those silly events that requires the attendance of the majority of the cast so that they can all have their hijinks together. This time, it was a dinner for the French ambassador where we did not see a single person sit down and eat, or a table at which they might be supposed to do those things. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we have to figure out how the writers managed to get everyone there at the same time.
One person that did not show up was Dan. He was playing Mrs. Lonelyhearts in Brooklyn for most of the episode because of his spectacular failure to lure Vanessa, pausing briefly to tell Nate that constantly screwing Serena will screw up their relationship and inform Lily that his dad has not yet returned from whatever place he was supposed to be but really wasn’t. There was blessedly little Dan and no Vanessa in this episode, and it confirmed my suspicion that this whole show would be so much better without them. Can we send them on a trip to make a hipster documentary, from which they never return? Please?
Improbably, Nate decides that Dan must be right about his relationship advice and tells Serena that they can’t go to the ambassador’s dinner together, setting off the sort of skank rage that only someone as beautiful and rich as Serena can properly harness. And boy, does she – within minutes, she has made a date to the dance with the Belgian ambassador’s son, effectively neutralizing Nate and unwittingly screwing over her stepsister in the process.
You remember the Belgian ambassador’s son, right? He was the incognito drug dealer that Chuck introduced to Jenny to have her show him around the city, and as it turns out, he used to go to boarding school with S. She runs into him on the street on her way to get rejected by Nate, which is also immediately after he finished hatching a plan with Jenny to sneak a bunch of pills into a tightly-controlled state dinner in order to deliver them to the French ambassador’s daughter. Their brilliant idea was to fill a bunch of hollow paillettes on a jacket with the pills in powder form, which is not all that brilliant when you consider that it probably would have been easier and faster to sew pill packets into the coat’s lining. Security was tight, sure, but there weren’t drug-sniffing dogs. Just the requisite handbag peek.
But Jenny is just a schemer, not a genius, so we’ll cut her some slack, I suppose. Her little jacket does, however, manage to get the pills into the party. The catch is that they’re not on her back – she gets dumped at the snap of Serena’s slutty fingers. Damian passes the fugly little coat off as a gift to Serena to get her to wear it, but then she gets all flummoxed when she sees that Nate and Jenny have shown up together and refuses to check the horrid thing, making a handoff impossible. Damian later tries to get the coat off of her in a way that often works with Serena – trying to have sex with her – but visions of Nate dancing in her head surprisingly stop her from falling for that.
Don’t think that Serena doesn’t like a good schtupping in the corner at a party, however – I mean, that’s our girl. She has evolved however, and now she wants it to be with the right guy. Nate takes some advice from Jenny, seizes his woman and whisks her straight off to the…coat-check room. Which has a couch in it? It’s best not to ask questions. When there, it doesn’t take much convincing at all to remove Serena from whatever clothing she might be wearing (which, as usual, isn’t all that much). All is right from the world.
Then something brilliant happened, and it made me think that the show’s writers love us after all. Serena’s slutty, slutty behavior actually saves the whole plot! See, they weren’t just making her act that way for their own amusement, they actually made it an important plot turning-point. Genius. While Serena and Nate are making the beast with two backs in coat-check, Damian is getting ready to slither out of the party and back to Europe, tail between his legs, because he screwed up the transfer of drugs and owes lots of money. Jenny, trying to stop him, saves the day by seeing Serena’s jacket discarded on the floor and browbeating the coat-check girl into making sure that the coat is carefully delivered to the ambassador’s daughter.
Jenny is coming along quite nicely, but she’s not on Blair levels quite yet. In fact, where was Blair during all of this? Oh yeah, she was scheming to get an introduction to some French guy as part of a third-rate B-plot about her starting a secret society that I can’t really convince myself to care about. What is far more interesting, of course, is the plot surrounding Chuck’s search for a woman that might be his mother, and Blair is front-and-center to support him through it, even if it means that she doesn’t get to play her Anna Karenina sex games.
Chuck is finally able to talk to the woman that left the locket on his father’s grave face-to-face, and she’s so completely Botox’d that her forehead never moves for the entire scene. Also, she’s lying, and Blair knows it – she’s an expert in that arena, and it seems at times as though the mystery woman known as Elizabeth is doing her best Blair impression. Chuck buys it because he has to, but Blair knows better and confronts her privately, setting up the episode’s final scene where the mystery woman gazes wistfully at the missing half of the locket, which holds a picture of her with a newborn baby. It’s Chuck.
That’s where the episode ends, in a storm of supposedly dead mothers and broken jewelry, but that’s not where the story stops – the previews at the end of the episode indicate that Chuck finds out about her in the near future. The also indicate that Serena and Nate keep banging, but we all could have guessed that.