all about eve

We all knew it couldn’t last for long.

When we left our Upper East Siders on Monday prior, truth was the word of the day. Secrets had been revealed, acceptance and forgiveness had been doled out in appropriate amounts, and everyone heaved a collective sigh of relief. But these people love drama more than middle school girls do, and the quickest route to drama is through deception.

In short, everyone started lying again, and lying beget the necessity for our newly minted college students to sell each other out. Even Vanessa tried her hand at it, which she really shouldn’t, because she’s not dastardly. And Nate failed too, because he is an imbecile. But it was Blair’s failure that might cost her the most of all.

My expectations were low when the whole shindig started with Nate and Serena hatching a plan. I don’t trust that those two have the combined intellectual power to make sure that they remember their potty training, let alone to pull off a brilliant caper. Blair and Chuck, they’re not. Good thing that the caper wasn’t particularly brilliant.

In fact, the entire thing was suitably convoluted. Carter, cad extraordinaire, has been whisked off to a Texas oil rig by the Buckley family goons to perform what is basically an epic version of washing the dishes when you can’t afford the check for dinner. They’re going to force him into indentured servitude until he pays back half a million dollars in gambling debts that they had made disappear following his engagement to Bree’s sister, and somehow the best way to solve this problem is to play poker.

Yep, poker. Bree’s brother plays clandestine, illegal poker in some kind of industrial facility (why not in a swanky hotel suite? He’s rich. Take a page from Chuck Bass’s playbook, dude) and the buy in is $25,000, and Nate thinks it’s a brilliant idea to set Serena up to play and then raise the stakes high enough to win back Carter’s freedom. Nate tells Serena that it’ll all be okay since Bree got tipsy one night and told him all of her brother’s “tells,” which makes no sense, why would they talk about that? Nate also told Serena that she had to play because Bree’s brother hated him and would never let him play, and then proceeded to sit right behind her the entire time and help her. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

When Serena is predictably terrible at poker (since she is pretty and breast-y and long-legged but, ultimately, an idiot) and loses all of the money that they were playing with, Nate offers up a little bit of political blackmail in order to raise the stakes. See, his cousin Tripp is now running for Congress, and the Buckleys are scheming to make sure he doesn’t get elected. Nate has a photo on his phone of his cousin taking what looks like a bong hit at his bachelor party, and Nate offers to bet it against Carter’s freedom. Which is silly, since Carter isn’t in jail, if he’s really being imprisoned then he should just call the police.

Serena had no idea that Nate was going to do any of this, and she’s super nervous and then, naturally, loses the picture and Carter’s freedom. Because she doesn’t know how to play poker, and Nate doesn’t actually know any of the guy’s tells after all. You see, it was all a nefarious scheme. Set Serena up to lose the picture in the name of winning back her boyfriend, the Buckleys release the picture to the media, and then the Vanderbilts release the REAL version of the photo (which only shows Tripp holding a beer) to make the Buckleys look like lying, deceitful political opportunists that doctored a photo in order to steal an election. Ta-da.

Is it just me, or is that whole process probably too complicated for Nate to understand in writing, let alone carry out in reality? And he isn’t successful at it because Serena overhears him spill the beans on the phone, and she tips off the Buckleys and allows them to save political face in exchange for Carter’s freedom. But he doesn’t want her gosh-darn charity, he wants to work off his douchebaggery on an oil rig, so he’s mad at her. Well, he’s not really mad at her. He’s projecting his own self-loathing ON to her, and there’s a distinction there.

So Nate’s mad at Serena, Serena’s mad at Nate, and Carter is mad at Serena (and presumably also Nate, but who knows/cares?). Moving on to the real plot.

It’s Freshman Parents’ Weekend Banquet Dinner Highland Fling Whatever at NYU which means, you guessed it, another reason to get a big portion of the cast together and for hijinks to ensue. I call shenanigans on the entire concept of getting all of the freshman class and their parents together at one time in the first place, and also on the idea that it’s an event that anyone that goes to NYU would actually clear an evening to attend.

And not only did they do just that, but Blair and Vanessa fought bitterly over who would be making the toast to kick off the evening. An evening which, in reality, only the kids that were already filling out grad school applications and hoping to impress faculty would deign to attend. And for some reason, NYU has decided to worship at the altar of Vanessa (which would never really happen – quasi-charitable, self-righteous, neo-hippie douchebags are a dime a dozen at a school like that) and offer her the opportunity to give the toast. Blair volunteers herself for the job, but no one at NYU likes Blair, including the faculty and staff, so they don’t take her up on it.

But then Fake Hannah Montana throws a wrench into the works. She’s back from Japan and slobbering all over Dan again, and he insists that she come to the Freshman Barn Dance and Yodeling Contest or whatever and meet his parents. Since she’s famous and all, she was offered the toast-making honors before Vanessa was contacted, and now that she’s attending the dinner she reconsiders and accepts the gig, unwittingly ousting Vanessa.

What happened after that is almost too convoluted to retell, but I’ll give it a shot: Blair makes another grab for the toast, she gets denied, she tells Vanessa that Olivia has yanked it out from under her. Vanessa tells Olivia that Dan doesn’t really want her to meet his parents and she shouldn’t go to the dinner, Vanessa tells Dan that Olivia doesn’t want to meet his parents and he should have alone time with her instead. Blair cons Chuck into kissing the Freshman Toasting Liason or whatever, who is a dude, in order to secure her spot as the toast-maker. So, Blair wins. For now.

But, hark, what is this! Vanessa commandeers a microphone before the shindig starts and is able to broadcast Blair saying a bunch of nasty, Blair-ish things about NYU people to everyone at the banquet, but that doesn’t mean Vanessa wins. She still loses. First, because she’s Vanessa, and second, because her pretentious a-hole of a mom hears her talking smack about how she wishes Rufus and Lily were her parents, and third, because Dan and Olivia both figure out her scheme and get mad at her for almost ruining their relationship. One can only hope that Vanessa will be so distraught by all of these happenings that she’ll flee the city forever, never to return.

But she’s not the only one reeling from the experience. Chuck was at the dinner, surprise surprise, and heard what Blair said about duping him into being part of her scheme under the guise of a sex game. And he’s mad, understandably, because homosexual makeouts in public are probably not his main form of casual entertainment, and if he’s going to do it, then he better have all the facts!

So by the end of the episode, everyone hates Blair, everyone hates Vanessa, and the former rivals find themselves sitting sadly together at a table in that coffee shop that everyone just happens to go to, staring at their croissants and feeling sorry for themselves. Fret not, little ladies – everything will change next week. It always does.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Rae

    SUPERLOLS! Wow, better than actually watching the show…

  • Seejayluvsbags

    I love reading your recap even though I never miss an episode! I love Blair & am really over S.

  • Lissa

    I always look forward to your GG recaps. :)

  • An4

    Amanda, I LOVE your writing!
    will you publish something or just stay in the virtual reality?
    btw – I never hate Blair, I think she’s a great and interesting character, I see her as an antiheroine.

    • Thank you! I really love web writing but would be happy to branch out as well. If you know anyone in publishing, lemme know :-P

  • Alex Brown

    Yay Thank you! I live in New Zealand And We ve only just Finished the Second Season!

  • Merve

    Amanda i think you should write yr own version of gossip girl with less Vanessas and more Blairs.

  • gee


    What was Blair’s bag in the last scene?

  • Marissa Cooper

    It’s this time of the week again for the recaps! Yay!

    During Blair’s “Mr.Elliot x Chuck Bass” scheme, was she carrying a Gold Chanel Reissue bag? They didn’t show the front, but it’s quilted with chains (at 21:06). And she used it to hit Mr.Elliot too!

    • It was a Chanel Reissue, but it appeared to be silk instead of leather. HTH!

      • Marissa Cooper

        Thanks Amanda! I hope the bag is still in good health after that beating! LOL

  • tadpolenyc

    i love your recaps, but serena’s not that dumb and blair’s not that smart. none of her schemes ever succeed. trying to out serena during the ivy brunch when it was eric who was in rehab? revealing that serena killed a guy, but not really during the dean’s private yale party, which resulting in making her look like an ass? inviting miss carr to the opera then ditching her, which ultimately ends in yale revoking her acceptance? trying to be queen at college??? there’s more, but i’ll be here all day.

    • I think she has proportionally more failures because she has far more schemes than anyone else, and her schemes are higher stakes. High risk/high reward scenarios with that girl. And all the stuff revolving around Yale had to happen because she had to be forced to stay in the city, or we wouldn’t have a show. It’s a plot device, so I’m not prepared to blame it on her lack of intelligence.

      And I really wanted to believe that Serena is smart, but there just seems to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For instance, whenever she tries to lie about anything to anyone. Also, thinking that college is somewhere you go only AFTER you find yourself.

      • tadpolenyc

        i don’t think being a terrible liar means you’re unintelligent anymore than lacking poker prowess means you’re an idiot. you’re trying to compare serena’s level of intelligence to blair’s when they’re two completely different people who operate on two different planes of existence. blair relies on machinations to get her way; everything has to be more complicated than it really is and where honesty is the last card played when all else fails. serena tends to let things fall where they may, and bless her, everything usually works out in her favor. she’s guileless. i don’t believe that necessarily makes her stupid. it just makes blair frustrating (to me, at the very least).

        blair may be academically inclined, but is she intelligent in a way where she has the good sense to abandon her immature schemes considering she’s had two whole years to act like a petulant child in pursuit of superficial causes and meaningless titles? i’m going to have to say a big fat no to that one, and this monday’s episode only further proves my point. it’s the writers’ fault, but blair is regressing overall as a character especially this season. she had the season two story arc where she’d hit rock bottom and chuck tried to save her. this after chuck fell, and she was there to pick him up. so why is it that chuck has grown up (after becoming an orphan for goodness sake!) while blair steadfastly refuses to do so? at this point, i don’t even think they’re a good match for one another anymore. one could argue that she may find herself later in the season, but right now, blair doesn’t deserve chuck, and she is fast becoming dumber than what anyone could accuse serena of. dare i say, even dumber than vanessa who’s the resident gg village idiot…and that’s sad.

  • @Tadpolenyc – I guess it’s not so much that Serena isn’t a good liar as that she willfully gets herself into situations where she’s going to need to lie and then doesn’t have the presence of mind to think up a good one before she commences. Example: the whole “Carter is stalking me!!!” thing. She tells her family she’s on an ashram and then parties it up in front of the paparazzi all summer, setting herself up to get caught. And maybe it’s Serena’s overwhelming passivity that gets to me – as you said, she lets things fall where they may. She strikes me as very much just ‘along for the ride,’ which I’ve always read as a bit of dimness on her part.

    Blair, on the other hand, at least has the vision to accomplish things and go after what it is that she wants. She may do it in childish way – I’m not going to deny that – but she’s a newly minted college freshman that’s having a hard time adjusting. I think that the way this show is written makes us all forget that, but some growing pains are normal as a teenager, as are stubbornness and petty drama. I think she’s a smart girl under it all that’s struggling to grow up. We haven’t seen them recently, but she has an extremely undermining mother and a father that suddenly decided he was gay while she was in high school – I think that’s enough to make any smart girl struggle. She just seems to me to have a fire and will that Serena completely lacks.

    But can we all agree that Nate is a few cards short of a deck? :-)

    • An4

      the only problem here is – this is a show and the show must go on as long as it can, because that means money. I haven’t read the books, I won’t do it until the show is done, but I’m sure characters are more elaborate there. characters in the show are sacrificed at the altar of showbusiness, at the moments they are types, but they do have the potential to grow. will they depends entirely on the screenwriters and producers. I see Serena as dumb, and that’s from a viewer’s standpoint (being one I’m perfectly qualified to judge, because without the viewers – there’s no show). She’s annoying, predictable, boring and not too bright. Blare is more intriguing as a character, and although still hasn’t gone beyond the type (rich, spoiled, mean with a pinch of goodness for those she cares about), to a viewer she’s much more interesting.

      Amanda, IF I meet someone in publishing, I’ll give them the links :)

      • An4

        oh, yes – ITA about Nat! He’s there to fill the gaps and be cute (I like chuck better in every way though ;) )

  • denim53

    OK. I’m exhausted. Too much fun, as usual.

  • Ana

    Serena IS an idiot, no questions there. I love Blair and her schemes, but I just feel like the writers are overdoing it, and she just keeps failing and being hated, and its just not fun anymore. What the writers need to do now is and EPIC WIN for Blair and loss for V. Not taking into consideration that V already loses, for being Vanessa.

  • Ana

    But I do agree with tadpolenyc that Blair is regressing as a character. She’s my fave, but has been really frustrating, for a while now.