This week on Gossip Girl
everyone reverts to their scheming ways, despite their best intentions.
Blair is trying to choose which of her minions will make a good bridesmaid by putting them through insane, potentially life-threatening obstacle courses. Chuck reacts to finding out his therapist is taking bribes the way he reacts to everything: by being a huge drama queen. Nate spends the entire episode either being whored out by Diana or Ivy, even though he thinks he's the one trying to make Diana jealous. And Serena is accidentally ruining Dan's life while trying to help, the way she always does.
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The more things change, the more things stay the same on Gossip Girl. With the meta fun of Dan's book plotline appearing to wind to a close, this episode felt a bit hodge-podge. Charlie/Ivy continues to look like she wants to make a skin suit out of various members of the cast but her plotline is only inching forward. Elizabeth Hurley continues to play every scene with her sexy cougar face dialed up to 11. A return of the merciless, minion-bashing Blair of old and a rather fantastic Chair scene to close might have redeemed the episode.
Not every episode is going to be a winner, but the show desperately needs to corral the characters together. The show works best when our favorite Upper East Siders are playing off each other, not when they're sequestered in separate, glacially moving storylines. But next week seems like a step in the right, weird, sexy direction.
A Whore Once More
Nate's biggest concern of the episode is having sex with Diana on desks and being Charlie's date to the party-of-the-week. So basically it's a pretty normal day for Nate. You know Nate is going to learn and grow in an episode that has him shirtless within five seconds of the opening shot.
Nate and Ivy are given tasks by their boss/sugar momma and Ivy blows it right away by switching off with Nate to attend Blair's minion academy. This allows Nate to find out that Elizabeth Hurley has been seeing some big media mogul on the side. You know this other relationship is super official because Vulture has made it the pull image on their website. (The amount that this show panders to the love that New York Magazine has for it is frankly sort of adorable.)
So Nate decides to make Diana jealous by taking Charlie to the party. Except he doesn't so much decide as Ivy puts the idea in his brain, Inception-style. Could you imagine if Inception was set in Nate's brain? That movie would have been over in 15 minutes.
After Diana sees Nate and Ivy kissing, and looking like they were very much enjoying themselves, she comes by to drape her desperate cougar self all over Nate. She outs that Ivy was using Nate to win Blair's bridesmaid position and Nate gets hurt because he thought for once that he was calling the shots instead of being whored out.
Dearest Nate, you are always being whored out every moment of your life. You should be used to this by now. This leads Nate to give Diana an ultimatum about going public with their relationship, which she does by putting the news up on the Spectator webpage and warning Charlie off. I can totally see a "The Boy is Mine" sing-off situation in their future.
Meanwhile, Serena and Dan are super excited that Inside is going to be turned into a movie. That is until Serena's boss Jane starts talking about adding Glee-style musical numbers. For some reason Dan is offended that the book might get turned into Newsies, which explains on a fundamental level why I will never get Dan. Newsies is great! Plus, considering Chuck's Christian Bale voice the show is at least half way to being Newsies already. Half the cast already has albums out, let's do this!
So Serena talks Dan into giving up screenwriting duties to one of Jane's Oscar-winning writer friends. Jane has already gotten Aaron Sorkin all lined up to 'Zuckerberg' Dan. Of course Aaron Sorkin is adapting Inside. He loves rich white douchebags and poor female portrayals.
Serena, for some reason unbeknownst to me, decides to defend Dan's fictional honor. Because he did such a great job portraying her I guess? She tries to explain to Jane that Dan is actually a really great, not at all judgmental person but Jane thinks The Social Network treatment is a way better story.
In a moment of desperation, Serena confines in Diana about her woes. Diana claims to have something on Jane that will kill the movie because Diana has something on everyone. Is Diana actually Bart Bass? Or a Bass relative? No one is this interested in other people's business without some variety of Bass DNA. And Chuck did seem to recognize her. Things to ponder.
While Dan is upset with Serena for killing the movie, despite her good intentions, he's even more upset that Inside has already fallen off the best seller list. That's what happens when you write a gossipy tell-all book in the age of the internet Dan. It only takes one person to actually read the book and tell everyone else what's in it and suddenly it's not so interesting anymore.
Meanwhile, Diana uses her crazy cougar voodoo magic to convince Serena to write a blog for The NY Spectator. It's sort of amazing how she does this. She just basically throws a whole bunch of 'control your image' and 'tell your own story' motivational sayings at Serena.
"Aren't you tired of swimming in Gossip Girl's fishbowl?" Diana asks Serena. One good suggestion at taking down Gossip Girl and Serena is basically putty in your hands. Besides, now that she's fired from the job that she was hinging her whole self-worth on only last week, she's got some time.
The episode ends with Serena beginning her blog like a more modern day Carrie Bradshaw, minus the Apple products and a comb. Seriously, Serena, your hair will not brush itself.
Once a Schemer, Always a Schemer
Blair, meanwhile, needs to ask permission from Louis to put a minion humiliation plan into effect. If that isn't the saddest non-Chuck sentence I've typed this season, I don't know what is. Blair Waldorf should not have to ask permission to scheme. While most people live on oxygen and food, Blair lives on scheming and class hierarchy.
Blair has set up a control center in her house, complete with a board of all her past minions. On the board is Nelly Yuki and I've never been so happy to see a tertiary character in my life. But alas, Gossip Girl is only being cruel and tempting us with the siren lure of Nelly Yuki because Nelly is still in Yale, that college Blair never managed to get into. Instead she's got some Columbia minions and the fabulous Penelope, who still has about one million attractive, odd-look facial features. Stumbling upon the bridesmaids tryouts, Charlie throws her own hat into the ring at such crucial tournaments as fetching champagne and hiding the baby bump.
Speaking of hats, the unfortunate one on Blair's head makes her look like the man in yellow from Curious George. It's not a very regal look, not even in a Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding kind of way.
The final test for her bridesmaids is to avoid being caught with the help and instead snag at kiss from none other than Nate Archibald. Considering the constant string of love interests Nate has, getting a kiss from him doesn't seem to be the challenge Blair thinks it is. When Charlie wins she becomes Blair's bridesmaid but it turns out Blair has some bigger fish to fry. Like a certain Bass.
For all his lectures on the downfalls of scheming, Louis is doing quite a bit of it this episode. Sadly, his mumbling accent and lack of changing facial expressions means that even while scheming he is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Beige paint.
Louis has bribed Chuck's therapist to turn him back into the same terrible person that drove Blair into Louis' lifeless arms in the first place. So Dr. Barnes tries this unsuccessfully by bringing up Blair and advising Chuck to let out his rage and frustration. When Chuck gets upset his voice gets all raspy like a sexy, rapey Batman.
Instead of going postal, however, Chuck just gives Dr. Barnes the beautiful Harry Winston diamond he bought for Blair. This gesture of growth makes Dr. Barnes back out of the deal with Louis. But this is Gossip Girl and so Chuck sees this exchange take place while taking Monkey for a walk with no context and assumes the worst. At the party he outs Dr. Barnes and Louis' weird connection, which upsets Blair.
At the party Blair looks amazing in red with her hair pulled back and no Curious George hats in sight. She confronts Louis and he admits he saw the paternity test. He thinks Blair had to make a choice between him and Chuck. So I guess those paternity results really did say the baby was Louis', which is pretty disappointing.
Playing over the end of the episode is Lana Del Ray's beautiful and fitting "Videogames." Because isn't everyone really playing at some game on this show? Certainly Blair has been playing princess all season, with pretty terrible results to her character. Chuck finally mans up and apologizes for everything he's ever done to her. If you're wondering, it is indeed a fairly long list.
"You're always there for the people you love, even when they don't deserve it," Chuck observes of Blair. "You know that'll never change," she replies. It's nice that even when they're saying goodbyes Blair admits she'll always be there for him. Their friendship, even removed from their actual love story, has always been one of my favorite things about the show. "Starting tonight I'm going to take charge of myself," Chuck vows. I guess this means no more drama queen theatrics on roofs, which is frankly a bit of a disappointment.
But of course that doesn't mean that Chuck is done being dramatic. If Blair survives on scheming then Chuck subsists on dramatics and scotch. He goes all the way to Harry Winston and drops off Blair's ring, symbolically saying goodbye. Some homeless person just hit the jackpot tonight.
Next week, Chuck proves how much he's changed by throwing an Eyes Wide Shut style orgy, like only the truly evolved do. And maybe Chuck and Blair take a second shot at Bar Mitzvah bliss?
Who is Diana really? Is the baby really Louis'? Will Chuck ever change and will it be in time for Blair? And is that Chair reuniting in the sexy previews for next week? Sound off in the comments!