This week on Gossip Girl
Dan's book finally drops and it goes down like a lead balloon with its Upper East Side inspirations.
Nate is mad he's as useless in the book as he often is on the actual show, Blair's relationship is almost destroyed, Rufus goes off to drown his sorrows at having raised such a terrible child in waffles and Serena is back to proving she's a real person like it's season one again. Only Chuck is mostly unaffected by his portrayal, until his loneliness finally sinks in.
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This was easily the best episode of the season thus far. It managed to be completely meta while stopping just short of the point where the snake starts to eat its own tail. How often have viewers laughed at Rufus' desperate house-husband ways or Serena's string of questionable relationships with professors, senators and ex-cons?
But it also highlighted the journeys of several characters. Chuck is realizing he doesn't want to live life alone and die of (probable) auto-erotic asphyxiation. Serena wants to be taken seriously, Blair wants to live life truthfully, Rufus wants to make music in addition to waffles and Nate would just one time like an actual storyline that is interesting. And Dan aka Dylan Hunter? He's learning the lesson Jenny once did, that climbing to the top of the Upper East Side means stepping on a lot of people along the way.
Nate starts the episode working hard with Elizabeth Hurley. And by working hard I mean they're both looking at naughty cell phone pictures while Diana strokes Nate's head like a pet schnauzer. Diana knows him so well already.
They're trying to crack the mystery of Ivy's cell phone and Nate immediately notices Serena's cell phone number as a missed call. I, in turn, immediately call malarkey on this plot point. Who in the age of cell phones has anyone's number memorized anymore?
You could ask me to dial the cell number of my best friend and I could probably not do that. Why do you think people start Facebook groups when their phones die? Nate of all people would not have randomly memorized Serena's number. I'm not sure Nate even knows his own number.
Ivy of course is freaking out; desperately afraid her Charlie ruse is finally coming to an end. In the guise of helping Nate, she steals her phone back and then stupidly answers when Diana calls. Diana, who is creepy and weird but not a moron, immediately figures out what is happening. And if she didn't know the full story, Ivy then conveniently tells her everything she might want to know. How many more episodes until Ivy's busted? Because girlfriend is not a criminal mastermind.
Diana agrees to keep Ivy's secret, but at the price that Ivy is now working for her.
Serena is throwing herself headfirst into work at the production office much the way she throws herself initially into a lot of things; as if her life depended on it. Remember when she was all about Columbia? Because Serena certainly doesn't.
We can tell how serious she is about being professional because she's tucked her ladies away in a skin-tight, high-necked dress that looks amazing on her. She's paired that with a slouchy white cardigan as if saying "Look how relaxed and normal my outfit is! Just another day at the office!" when clearly that dress is something a Hollywood starlet or high-class call girl might wear.
She's doing great at her job though, bringing teas and sending Daniel Day Lewis flowers. She is like super production intern! She's so pleased with herself because she's working hard instead of just stumbling drunkenly into success and this is a new feeling. She's so busy she doesn't even have time to talk to Blair or read Dan's book, which she thinks will be a.) adorable and b.) very complimentary to herself.
And boy, is she mistaken! Her fellow officemate reads it and becomes increasingly snarky. After Daniel Day Lewis agrees to speak with them about the project he snipes, "Dylan Hunter said everything comes easy for you." But she continues thinking that once he gets to the end of the book, he'll see how grown and mature Serena has become. Except that never happens and Daniel Day Lewis's manager calls and cancels their meeting while accidentally calling her "Sabrina" like her book character.
At Dan's book party she tears him a new one about how he portrayed her as a vapid, shallow party-girl more interested in drunkenly spinning in traffic with pies and hooking up with teachers than spending time with her family. She explains how important their relationship had been to her at one time, how Dan was the first person to believe she was more than what was on the surface.
But Dan seems to miss the point entirely. She stops him as he tries to rush past her to find Blair, saying they're not done. Dan tells her that if she thinks her situation and Blair's troubles with Louis are the same, maybe his book wasn't so off about her after all.
As the episode ends poor Serena once again has to throw herself on the altar of Dan Humphrey to prove she's worth something as a real person as opposed to a page-six dream girl. Her boss needs her to secure the movie rights to Dan's book.
Unlike everyone else, Blair isn't worried at all about Dan's book. "I know just how little imagination he really has. It's a memoir masquerading as fiction," Blair tells Louis. Man, Blair really does get Dan.
This comes back to bite her when Louis reads the book and gets to the part where Dylan and Claire have sex. In one of the hilarious overly-colorized "book" scenes, we get a repeat of the Dan and Blair kiss from last year, complete with the same music. Only this time the kiss is full of passion, not awkward, and the two seal the deal. This makes Louis believe that Dan and Blair really did have sex and he's furious with her. Blair in turn is furious with Dan.
In fact, Louis is furious with Blair for a grand total of 95% of this episode. When he's not jumping to conclusions based on badly written Gossip Girl fanficition he is totally ignoring her while she talks about how much bigger her boobs are getting. I do not get their relationship.
But at least Blair and Serena finally get to have their heart-to-heart about her pregnancy. Serena points out that no matter what, they always have each other. It's a sweet scene, made even the more poignant because of how separated the girls have been lately. But if there's one heart of this show it's that no matter how much these two fight, or push each other in fountains, or steal boyfriends, they're always there.
But Blair doesn't need Serena to help her raise baby Bass my-two-moms style just yet. After a pep talk from none other than a nearly-suicidal Chuck Bass, Louis comes back around and the two hug. But all clearly isn't well in royal paradise.
Famous and Alone
With the publication of his book finally upon him, Dan can't put off letting all his friends and family read his masterpiece of barely changed names and non-fictional events. So he mass texts everyone into the Van der Woodsen penthouse to hand out books.
As Serena walks off the elevator to see the entire cast of the show gathered together she fires off one of her best lines ever: "Ok I'm pretty sure this is how every murder mystery begins." If she only knew how close she hit the target with that line.
Nate immediately finds out he's gay in Dan's book, thanks to a rather hilarious soap-opera book scene. Nate isn't mad, especially after ascertaining that gay Nate has game. Nate is so easy and lovable. He just wants to matter occasionally. That's it. He just wants to have sex with cougars in public and matter. Not even all the time. Just occasionally. But when he learns from Chuck that his character is actually a composite of himself and Eric (and actually more Eric) he gets really pissed at Dan. Looks like their bromance is on rocky ground.
Also pissed? Rufus, who is lovely and supportive all episode until he can't take how giant Dan's head is getting with all his positive reviews. If Dan's ego gets bigger, will that inflate his hair as well? Because I can't take much more of his Muppet hair. Seems Dan portrayed his father as a waffle-making has-been househusband who married for money. Rufus stomps away from Dan, sorely disappointed, probably to make some comfort waffles.
The episode starts with the end...of Dan's book. At the end of "Inside" Dylan Hunter is all alone at his book party, having been so big a tool that he alienated everyone he cared about. And in a little bit of life imitating fiction, that is exactly how the episode ends. Sure, his book may be number four on amazon, but he has no family or friends going to his book reading because they all hate him.
Trapped in the Closet of Emotion
Chuck, meanwhile, finds the whole book situation immensely amusing. He spends about 90% of the episode as that Michael Jackson popcorn gif from Thriller you see everywhere on the internet. He's just lounging around, watching everything explode and laughing.
He's not at all bothered about the tragic end of Charlie Trout: hanging by a belt in the closet with no one to find him. Chuck knows that he has staff to find him. And besides, we all know that if he was going out he would use his signature scarf to do the deed.
But when Alexandra, the pushy publishing girl points out how sad this all is the wheels start turning in his head. He finally breaks down about how sad and alone he is while visiting Lily. He wasn't even in the picture of everyone smiling while secretly hating each other that ran in the paper. Chuck is tired of feeling on the outside of things. He's already lost the most important thing he ever had: Blair.
It's refreshing to have Chuck not only get real with himself and his emotions after being disconnected at the beginning of the season, but it's also lovely to get a scene with Chuck and Lily. They have such a sweet, understanding relationship that it's always a joy to get to see them talk.
Of course, we finally get our second Chuck/Blair scene of the season while the two head to Dan's book reveal. And they're walking with Monkey too! It's a short scene but an adorable one, especially when Monkey pulls the two together. Is Monkey secretly a Chair shipper?
Will Ivy unveil Blair's pregnancy secret next week? Will Dan be forever alone now that he's pissed everyone off? Will poor Nate ever get an interesting storyline? And what about Chuck and Blair? Sound off in the comments!
Best Quotes from This Episode
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(Image courtesy of The CW)