Last night’s episode of Gossip Girl stirred things up in a major way, and thank god that it did. On the Louboutin-clad heels of last week’s Chuck and Blair implosion, the writers saw fit to destroy two more major relationships on the show, perhaps just for the fun of it. Since I don’t root for any of these characters in particular (I prefer to root for chaos – it keeps things interesting), I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The episode was still a bit boring from time to time, but the reintroduction of Carter Baizen, Little Jenny Humphrey’s machinations to break up Serena and Nate, Rufus’s somewhat belated realization that Lily isn’t at Canyon Ranch and Blair’s insistence on the finality of her breakup with Chuck kept things interesting and set up potential plots for weeks to come. Plus, Dorota got married! And Wallace Shawn made another cameo! And Eric has a bisexual maybe-hookup! The amount of ridiculousness in this episode was near first-season levels, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This episode picks up where the last one left off – Chuck and Blair have parted ways over a bit of Indecent Proposal-style girlfriend bartering on Chuck’s part, and both of them are having film noir bad dreams to mourn their lost lovers. Serena and Nate pay a visit to Chuck to keep him out of the liquor cabinet (he has a hidden flask, natch) and also encourage him to make a gesture and approach Blair before too much time has passed and she thinks he doesn’t care (a good bit of advice on Serena’s part – I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you.) Chuck seems to be receptive to their advice because, hey, what else does he have to lose? I mean, besides his hotel. He just got that back, he wouldn’t want to misplace it again.
Counting that as a job well-done, Serena dispatches Nate to talk some sense in to Blair while she “has breakfast with the Humphreys” (we’ll talk about why that’s in Quotes of Dubiousness in a moment), and Blair finally spills the details of why she broke up with Chuck to Nate – apparently no one else had been told. I found it kind of terribly believable that Blair would be too embarrassed by the whole thing to tell anyone, not only because Chuck set her up, but because she fell for it and was willing to sleep with someone she hates to close a business deal. Blair might be dastardly, but she’s still has her pride, and Chuck took that away.
She briefly reconsiders her thoughts on Chuck when he shows up to throw Dorota a last-minute wedding to Vanya in advance of her family’s arrival. They don’t know that she’s pregnant and they’ll disown her if they find out while she’s not married, so she has to get hitched and quick. She can’t do it at the courthouse because she thinks that will curse the marriage, and Chuck walks in at just the right time to donate a wedding – Blair loves a wedding, after all. The entire episode has us wondering if maybe…possibly…those two crazy kids might work it out.
While all of this was going on, Serena wasn’t eating waffles with the Humphreys like she said she was (please, like she’d eat the waffles anyway. She’s be having fruit salad and wheat toast.) In fact, she was meeting up with Carter Baizen, who left town several episodes back for reasons that I can’t remember and about which I don’t care. He’s still apparently the only person on earth that’s equipped with a daddy-finding GPS, and despite the fact that Serena left her father a passive-aggressive message about how he wasn’t looking for her anymore, she’s still looking for him.
Except she can’t tell Nate, because she also told Nate that she wasn’t looking for him, and she feels a little silly and embarrassed. He suspects that something is up when he sees Serena eat a croissant after she had supposedly been at breakfast, which seemed utterly ridiculous to me. Nate is not details-oriented. In fact, he’s not reality-oriented. He would have never been paying enough attention to realize that Serena shouldn’t have been hungry. He would have been too busy thinking about his flower arrangements (seriously, how long until he and Eric hook up?)
Speaking of Eric hooking up with dubiously straight men, remember that guy named Elliot from last week? Well, he has a girlfriend that he brings to Dorota’s wedding. But he is also maybe interesting in dudes. Eric, in particular. I wonder how his girlfriend would feel about that? Is she going to find out and try to kill Eric in a future episode? Only time will tell.
But anyway, now we have to talk about how the wedding events went. The night before, Rufus threw a traditional Polish (Russian? I’m starting to conflate the two cultures in my head) game night at Lily’s pad, which gave Blair and Chuck the opportunity to skulk around and make their wounded faces (in the case of Chuck, his wounded catfish face.) Dorota had asked them to escort her and Vanya down the aisle, which is apparently an Eastern European good luck tradition, and Blair was trying to work up the nerve to go through with it. She even went as far as asking Dan what he thought about her and Chuck, and when Blair Waldorf is seeking the council of someone that lives in Brooklyn, we know that the earth has started to come loose from its axis.
After speaking with Dan, Blair decides that she and Chuck really are meant for each other, but only because they’re both sick, twisted, terrible individuals that should be glad that someone will even have them. That might be true (and probably is), but it was likely a mistake for Blair to actually, you know, say that to Chuck. He got a little offended, of course, and it looked like things were back on the rocks. For what it’s worth, I didn’t entirely understand Blair’s assertion that she has become a worse person during her relationship with Chuck – she seemed just as bad, if not much more terrible, before. Since getting together with him, her plots and schemes seem to have become downright tame.
On the other side of the party, Jenny was oh-so-helpfully encouraging Nate to go through Serena’s purse and suspect terrible things of her. You see, Chuck got all mad at Nate (and insulted his hair! That’s like the worst thing you could ever say to Nate!) for judging him over the Blair/hotel swap and told him that his spies (I love that Chuck has spies) saw Carter Baizen at the St. Regis. Nate went there to…find him? I don’t know what he was doing…and Carter was smarmy and gave him an envelope to give to Serena. He gave it to her, she put it in her clutch (VBH!), and then Jenny went through her clutch with him and found it, and he got mad that she had a key to Carter’s hotel room. How dare she!
Does that not seem a bit…circular? Nate gave her the envelope. The envelop had the key in it. As such, her possession of the key doesn’t necessarily indicate that she had used it in any particular way, and he already knew why she had it. Still, Nate has the memory of a goldfish (seven seconds!) and immediately assumed the worst.
Soon after, Serena got a phone call from Carter and actually left the party to go with him to find her father, which did not help Nate’s suspicions one bit. Also not helping: Jenny, of course, who Serena called to pass on the message to Nate that she was going to find her father. As we all know, Jenny is trying to get Nate to investigate her ladyparts, so she just told him that Serena had left with Carter. Jenny wouldn’t be winning if Serena wasn’t making it so thoroughly simple to beat her. Also not winning: Lily, who Serena manages to find before Rufus does. In her father’s hotel room. Awkward.
But back to Chuck and Blair, since they’re the real story here. Chuck is still more than willing to play the part of the happy couple escort at Dorota’s wedding, but upon hearing Vanya speak so sensitively about his love for Dorota, Blair couldn’t pretend anymore and broke down in tears, ran off and ruined the whole thing. Which, you know, kind of makes sense – no matter what this show wants us to believe, no one really cares that much about the help anyway. Or if they do, like Blair seems to, she’s at least not particularly used to having to consider their feelings.
Dorota ran off after her to tell her that she wanted Blair to fall in love some day, the same kind of love that she has with Vanya. And that if that wasn’t what she had right now, then that was ok, that she’d have it some day. Blair’s nasty old mom had to interrupt the unimaginably sweet moment because her new husband had just uncomfortably pointed out to her that she was something of an absentee mother, and it seemed like the perfect time to start parenting her child. Since, you know, Blair is 19 and all.
The show closed out with Chuck and Blair’s final fight (although should we really call it ‘final?’ Is anything ever final in this show?), wherein Chuck told Blair that he thought they would be together until the end, and Blair told him that she it was the end, and I maybe felt that unfamiliar lump in my throat that we all get when something makes us a little emotional. I’m not too proud to admit it.
Leighton and Ed are easily the best actors on this show (in fact, they’re the only ones that don’t make the sometimes-awful dialogue seem completely stilted and unreasonable), and it’d be a shame if we never get to see them do scenes like that again. When compared to Nate and Serena’s collection of three facial expressions (between them, total), Chuck and Blair are the class of the series and I hope that they continue to appear together in scenes for as long as Gossip Girl shall live. But what would be better – the two of them together as a couple, or plotting against each other as enemies? The possibilities are almost too alarming to consider.
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