Is it just me, or was last night’s episode of Gossip Girl even more convoluted and unnecessarily complicated than usual? And when we’re talking about Gossip Girl, isn’t that really saying something? I didn’t recap last week because I was sick, so maybe I didn’t pay as much attention when I was watching that episode and completely screwed myself over for this one, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t just me.

Consider, for instance, that last night’s show involved a huge shipment of cocaine, six-figure bribery, death threats, lots of completely fake interactions and the return of Vanessa the Weave Monster. Which is to say nothing of the entire plot involving how Chuck gained access to Russell’s computer. I don’t even want to go there.

Everything started at the DUMBO loft, with Dan looked irritated and running off to midtown for coffee and a “lunch meeting” and Serena leaving her ex-con lover to make peace with her mother and help plan Eric’s birthday party. As it turns out, though, Eric’s party was momentarily cancelled because he was “sick,” which proves that the universe hates him in every way imaginable, so Serena instead chose to spend her time seeking Blair’s counsel on the issue of Ben. Blair’s negative response was predictable to everyone but Serena, who did exactly what she always does when someone says something she doesn’t want to hear: She stormed out.

After Serena left, Blair gathered her minions via webcam to give them instructions on their duties for Eric’s birthday festivities, apparently unaware that Eric was merely playing sick in order to throw Lily and Rufus off of…something. It wasn’t immediately clear what. Also being unclear were Lily and Chuck, who staged a fight in some sort of rich-looking, wood-paneled bar in order to make Russell Thorpe think that there was conflict within the family. But! Ha! There wasn’t! Those tricky Van Der Basses.

And then it became clear why Eric was faking sick – he had a new job as a drug mule, and he couldn’t miss it for some piddly birthday. If you’ll remember, Damian threatened to expose Lily last week, and now Eric has to pick up a giant cocaine shipment in order to prevent his mother’s unfortunate incarceration. Serena offered to throw herself on the cocaine grenade in order to save Eric the potential prison sentence, but Ben insisted that they should let Lily unintentionally intercept the laced flowers instead. Since Serena is pretty invested in keeping her mother out of jail, a lover’s quarrel ensued and Serena turned to the only person who she could count on to cook up a scheme on the fly: Blair.

The only problem was that Blair had about 47 too many things to do already. When Serena and Eric arrived at W, she was pitching front-of-book concepts, taking a test over the phone and trying to make a blog post happen by sheer force of will, and it was all so overwhelming that she actually had to stoop to a level heretofore unknown in Waldorf history- she appointed Dan to be her intern when he had merely shown up to have lunch with her in order to escape the lovebirds at the loft. See, all of her real interns had asked for transfers because Blair is the Pol Pot of the magazine industry, which left her with all of her new duties, plus her interns’ duties, plus her Columbia courses. This plot is almost too asinine and insultingly stupid to even merit a mention, and if the writers see fit to mention it in future episodes, I may omit it entirely on the grounds that I find it offensive to my intelligence.

While Blair and Dan were working their fingers to the bone in midtown, Lily and Russel were having giant glasses of red wine on the Upper East Side and Nate and Raina were getting stoned at the Empire after going ice skating because Raina couldn’t find her driver. (Just go with it, don’t ask too many questions, the whole thing collapses if you poke it too hard.) While both Thorpes were purposefully distracted, Chuck was using the opportunity to sneak into Russell’s apparently security-challenged office and find out who else had an interest in Bass Industries. Again, don’t think about it too much.

Over at Eric’s apartment for the party, Dan showed up with a bunch of tulips that were actually tulips instead of a giant shipment of European cocaine (This is neither here nor there, but I don’t think America’s cocaine supply comes from Europe.), and back at W, one of Blair’s minions showed up without the tulips she was apparently supposed to have. Was she supposed to have the non-cocaine tulips that were at the party? And if so, where were the cocaine tulips? Or was she supposed to have the coke?

No one knew, and that was the problem. Apparently we were supposed to come to the conclusion that Blair had intended to send Penelope to pick up the drugs so that if someone went to jail, it would just be a minion. But Dan went instead because Blair was too harried and frazzled to gesture at the right post-it note, and then the wrong tulips came because Blair wrote down the wrong color. Never mind that you don’t pick up a floral order by correctly identifying the color of the flowers you want; details like that have no place on this show. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Damian had pre-sold all of the coke (can you pre-sell coke?), so if the gang couldn’t locate the proper tulips, he intended to blackmail Eric for $100,000. Luckily it was Eric’s birthday which meant he got access to his trust fund. Convenient!

As he and Serena tore through his gifts trying to find the trust fund checkbook, Lily and Rufus were outside putting on a little performance for that Thorpe dude until the investor from Atlanta that Chuck had identified had an opportunity to get to the party. Russell and Chuck had a little shit fit in front of him, but he chose to stay and hear Chuck’s point of view about the company, and…yeah. Something like that. I think I used to care about this plot at some point, but I can’t remember when. It’s like a hazy memory of a dream I once had, but not one of those really good ones that you write down as soon as you wake up.

What wasn’t a dream, though, was that Lily walked in on Eric looking for his checkbook, heard the entire story, and decided that paying off Damian was the correct thing to do because all she knows how to do is solve problems by hurling money at them. After they sent Damian on his way with a large check, Ben accosted him in an alley and took the check back, threatening to have him killed if he ever tried to use the forged affidavit against Lily. Unfortunately for him (and I’m sure that it will be unfortunate), Vanessa had just shown up and gotten herself kicked out of Eric’s party (well, maybe not technically kicked out, but no one wanted her there and Dan refused to make her feel welcome) and she happened to be down on the street hailing a cab at that very moment and heard the entire thing, death threats and all. The Weave Monster strikes again.

Speaking of improbable things (aren’t we always speaking of improbable things when we talk about this show?), after finding out that Dan had written her blog for her and deciding to quit her job at W, Blair marched her two mismatched shoes straight to Brooklyn to commiserate with Dan, order takeout and fall asleep on his shoulder. Of all the things I didn’t expect to like (not to mention all the terrible plot twists in this episode), Dair is totally growing on me. Not only have the writers managed to pace their courtship in a reasonable and authentic way, but Leighton and Penn are two of the better actors on the show and they seem to have actual chemistry. When you compare their moments together to Serena’s dead-eyed stare at Ben or Nate’s awkward ice cream party with Raina, the difference is vast. And in the interest of positivity, let’s end the recap right there.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • RLM

    Based on how twisted the story lines have been, you really should have watched last weeks episode before blogging about this one. It would have helped.

    • I did watch last week’s episode, like I said, I just didn’t write about it.

      I’m actually thinking of dropping the GG recaps altogether, I’m not sure there’s enough interest to warrant it. Particularly considering how bad the show has gotten and how difficult it is to follow.

      • nicole

        I hope you reconsider this. I love your recaps! I tend to read them over watching the show now.

      • Paulina

        I hope you keep writing the GG recaps! They’re more entertaining than the show.

      • Cbjen

        Oh I hope you don’t end the decals! Especially since I just discovered them! I find your analysis sharp and witty, but I can understand wanting to stop if it isn’t fun anymore. Hope you’re feeling better!

      • Camille

        Please don’t stop the recaps! I love these; they are so hilarious and make the GG experience complete. I really do look forward to reading them and would be really disappointed if you stopped writing.

      • JBB

        Please do not drop the recap! I found the show more watchable because of your recap. I basically keep watching because I want to hear what you’ll have to say about it in the post!!!

  • deejah

    GG has gotten beyond the “PLEASE CANCEL US” point.

    Will you be doing recaps of RHOMiami?

    • I certainly will! First one will be up tomorrow.

  • Fallonlatrece

    Hey Amanda so glad your back, and feeling better. I hope you don’t drop the GG recaps, I too love reading them after watching the show. While I’m not a fan of Dair it does seem to be taking an interesting turn. I’m tired of the Thorpe plotline, but I guess without this there is nothing really else going on but Serena and Ben (which is unbelievable as well).

    At this point I’m wondering how they got so many books out the series.

    btw I’m @moderndiva on twitter.

  • Stephanie

    Please keep doing the recaps. They make the show worth watching….

  • AshleyG

    I missed you Amanda :(. It was hard not to hear your take on the foolery that was the ATL Housewives reunion! GG pretty much sucks now but I hope you don’t quit it because your recaps are the best part of the show!

    • I’m back now! I’ll be writing about the Miami housewives tonight. I’m not quitting Gossip Girl for sure, it’s just a possibility I’ve discussed with Megs. If the season picks up and ends well, I’ll be back for next season. I really want this show to be good and worth the time (recaps take about 4-5 hours of time investment), it just isn’t at the moment. I hope that it will be again soon.

  • Sohini

    Amanda, I love reading your recaps. I checked in everyday last week looking for it. With that being said, I thnk you have gotten kind of negative about Gossip Girl. We all know the show is full of plot holes and unrealistic storylines, but yesterdays episode was more entertaining then most this season. I think you might need to watch first season again and try to remember why you fell in love with the show in the first place.

    • I totally agree, I’ve gotten negative about the show, but mostly because I feel like I write the same recap about it every week. The show’s writers are in a narrative rut where very little happens that hasn’t happened in some way, shape or form before, and none of the characters learn or grow or show any kind of dynamic quality. The Blair-Dan relationship is the only remotely new thing going right now.

      I feel like I’ve cracked every joke I can about Lily’s checkbook parenting and Serena’s doe-eyed romantic endeavors with inappropriate men. Blake Lively and Chace Crawford don’t have three facial expressions between them, and somehow the writers have managed to make Chuck Bass a total bore. I was optimistic about the Thorpes, but their characters are flat too.

      Josh Schwartz had the exact same problem with his last series. He comes up with two guilty pleasure seasons full of campy greatness, and then his ideas run out, he loses viewers while spinning through story lines in a total panic and the show gets cancelled. Gossip Girl is going the way of The OC, it just hasn’t gotten itself cancelled yet.

      (This rant isn’t directed at you or anyone in particular, by the way. It’s just some stuff I’ve been thinking about because I’ve come to dread writing about Gossip Girl.)

  • Sohini

    For what its worth, your comments about Chase Crawford and his empty headed stares are always appreciated by me. I laugh out loud EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    • I will give him credit – his 1.5 facial expressions are a lot more hilarious than Blake’s.

  • Earmuffs

    I believe Chuck had access to Thorpe’s office because in the last episode, after being fired from working for Thorpe, Nate’s father stole the key card to the office and gave it to Chuck.

    Like what most of the girls here have said, I really enjoy reading your recaps. I always look forward to reading them after watching the show because your sarcasm and comments pointing out the “realism” in GG is way too funny.

    Glad you feel better!

  • bb

    Amanda…..hello…. if you became a writer for them it would be a much better show……just a thought! Let’s face it… your recaps are much better than their hard to follow story lines. I mean, how many other shows can you miss one week and totally get lost about what is going on! Keep up the great recaps and I can’t wait for the Miami recap!!!

  • Allison

    I’ll miss your recaps. I still love GG…it is my guilty pleasure, not to mention the best source of fashion eye candy. Richard at Gawker’s recaps are absolutely fun and hilarious btw!

    • I’m not necessarily going to stop! It’s just a thought, based on how the season has gone thus far. We’ll see how things end up before any decisions are made.

      And Richard Lawson is totally hilarious. If I stop doing GG, I’d definitely recommend everyone check him out. NYMag does a good GG roundup too.

  • Camille

    Last night’s episode was hilarious; I mean, I know this show is full of plot holes and zero character development but to be honest that’s what I watch it for. And as much as I hate to agree, the Dan/Blair storyline is surprisingly sweet. They are really just easing into it and it’s, well, nice. I really don’t want them to be ‘together’ thought – that would kill it.

    But excellent recap as always! I really enjoyed it and I hope you continue with the series!

  • Allison

    Also I think these types of shows run into trouble because the audience gets attached to that core group of characters. I can imagine that the writers struggle to find a balance between keeping the plotlines fresh and maintaining continuity so that the audience is happy. Look how appalled that people were at first that Blair would even be friendly with Dan. And we all know what happens when the writers get too drastic with an individual character’s storyline…hello, Marissa Cooper.

  • riley

    Dair = When Harry Met Sally

    does anyone else see this comparison?

  • S

    I don’t know that Leighton M is so much of a better actress than Blake Lively. I think Leighton has the wittier lines and her character has a spunk that the easy breezy Serena character lacks. If Leighton played Serena, I think she’d come across as sort of blah.

    • 11

      The Serena character has so much potential–abandonment issues, father issues, which all lead to her men issues, not to mention Serena is supposed to be the most charming of the show. All Blake does now is flashing her silicon c-cups and extensions. She doesn’t even try.

      • An4

        I agree, I’ve seen Blake in Sisterhood of TP and the Town and I wasn’t at all impressed. she acts cause her family acts, that’s all, she’s not talented, just tall.

  • JennXOXO

    Thanks again for the hilarious recap, Allison! I agree with previous poster, “if you became a writer for them it would be a much better show”.

  • Sohini

    I think Amanda should come up with a story line and submit it to GG!!!

  • Lauren

    Another excellent recap! I do hope you continue to write them, it really helps to clarify what happens in each episode!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for the GG recaps as you are hilarious and your recaps are really great for a show that is going downhill. I also think the show has gotten worse since its beginning, yet I always seem to want it to get better so I watch every week! As far as Dair goes I would actually like to see them together (please don’t attack me!ha!) as they are the two people on the show who I feel are really just looking for love from someone who will love them for who they really are.

  • Bex

    Can anyone ID the bag Lily was using during lunch? (black one). Thanks!!