'Gossip Girl' Recap: Royal Pains
'Gossip Girl' Recap: Royal Pains
This week on Gossip Girl: Yom Kippur, Dan's book, Diana's site launch and Blair's pregnancy result in a barrage of scheming, sadness and stealing.

It's ironic that Yom Kippur throws everyone into a tizzy considering that no one ever seems to eat on this show. Unless you count Dan's hair, which is steadily eating all the scenery surrounding him. That thing is assuredly on a constant diet of Miracle Grow.

Serena burns and then rebuilds bridges with Dan and Blair. Rufus pretends anyone on this show cares what he thinks and Lily finds it adorable, like a puppy walking on its hind legs. Nate gives out grade-A advice on the two topics he knows best: cougars and doing nothing. Ivy, Diana and Princess Beatrice scheme and steal. Chuck restarts his limo stalking service and then gets psych-slapped by a therapist. And Louis is maybe more interesting than we ever knew...or at least more devious.

Overall, it's a fair follow-up to last week's amazing mirror-within-mirror funhouse episode. It deals with some of the issues brought up last week while moving the season arcs forward, but it really shines in the small moments when the cast is allowed to loosen up and have fun while interacting. The relationships between these crazy people has always been this show's strong suit and this episode touched on the bonds Serena has with both Blair and Dan in interesting, real ways.

Just Like JFK Jr.

Nate has decided that the way to be taken seriously is to throw himself whole-hog into this whole 'magazine journalist' gambit for no reason entirely. He'll be just like JFK Jr! He was the one that smoked a lot of pot and had office sex with cougars right? I know the episode is saying that Serena and Dan have a deep, overriding connection and I don't necessarily disagree. But there is something hilarious about watching Nate throw his whole self-worth into a new job that matters not one bit the same way Serena is at the moment. Part of me wants to see them end up together at the end, leaving a trail of unfinished business ventures in their wakes. God I love them both, but they tend to have the attention span of a guppy.

Diana wants to launch her new magazine but Gossip Girl handily scopes her cell phone stealing. So it's back to the drawing board. After she threatens Ivy (she doesn't have to say anything to Nate because he's going crazy all by himself) she starts eying the Bart Bass vault of secrets. Thankfully, Ivy has Lily there to conveniently explain that the family has a badly secured throve of all their scandals. So she calls Nate for help and Nate outsources to Chuck so basically Nate's help is just that he has the ability to text.

Nate calls Ivy out on how weirdly cold she is about exposing all her family's secrets and she promises to put the folders back. Then Nate leaves the room before she actually does because Nate is simple and trusting. "Thanks for helping me do nothing," Ivy says later. Nate is an expert on that. Nothing is all he does!

But turns out Ivy did hand over the documents and Diana takes something out of Bart's folder. (Wait, Bart had a folder on himself? Why? Just in case he forgot his own scandals? Dude was thorough.) It's a picture of her that she burns. Interesting....

Sitting or Lying?

Meanwhile Chuck has trained his dog somehow to sniff out all the dogs of attractive ladies and then try to mount them. Like owner, like puppy I guess. The current victim is a Dr. Eliza Barnes, a therapist. Chuck thinks this is great, since he's needed some therapy. But when he goes in for his session it seems the therapy he's looking for is the sexual kind and he's handily thrown out.

So he calls the person he knows best suited to advise him on how to woo older ladies: Nate. Somehow Chuck completely misinterprets Nate's advice. What Nate says is be interested in what she's interested in. What Chuck hears is apparently "stalk! Stalk like the wind!" so Chuck jumps into his stalk-mobile (aka his limo) like a Batman you'd get a restraining order from.

Dr. Barnes is unimpressed with Chuck's stalking and bribes and she drops some psych-bombs that explode all over his horniness and replace it was sadness. At episode's end he's calling her again, finally ready to get serious in addressing his issues. Unfortunately he's not the only one calling Dr. Barnes, so is Louis. The question is why?

Royal Throw down

Louis' mother is excited about the thought of an heir while Eleanor practically swoons off the sofa and Cyrus somehow stops himself squeezing the baby right out of Blair with the power of his hug. Man, is it good to see Wallace Shawn or what? Frankly, there wasn't enough Cyrus this episode for my liking. He should have been in every storyline. We can tell Blair is preparing to become a mother because she is wearing some truly terrible high-waisted pants that are literally the EXACT pair of pants her mother is wearing. She is turning into her mother literally in front of our eyes. Later she changes into a beautiful cream dress that inexplicably has weird hip wings because every pregnant woman wants to look like their midsection could flap its wings and fly away. Maybe it's a commentary on her new jet setting life as royalty? Whatever it is, it's odd.

Soon Louis' sister Beatrice is crawling all up in the baby drama. Where will the baby be born? What boarding school will essentially raise the child? When it seems like the tide is turning away from New York and to Monaco, Blair runs to get advice from Serena. She shows up at Serena's office at the worst time, while Serena is in crisis. Blair is undeterred and uninterested in Serena's career of the moment, which causes Serena to effectively blow her off. Hurt by her best friend's abandonment she agrees to go with Louis to Monaco.

Not too fast though, because she also has to sign a contract about raising the baby. And it's a crazy one. Basically, Blair wouldn't be able to take the baby anywhere or go to New York or think without someone's permission or she'd lose custody. And Blair Waldorf doesn't ask permission, she gives permission.

Turns out this part of the contract was cleverly inserted by Beatrice with the somehow help of Diana. Instead of assuming this means her daughter is psychotic, Mama agrees with the new clause. This causes Louis to put his foot down to his mother, explaining that a.) he is in charge and b.) he trusts Blair. For half a second, Louis was briefly interesting. If only I could understand more than 20% of what he says.

After a truly touching scene between the Waldorf women that gets Rufus to call Dan, Blair finds Louis upstairs. It looks like Louis might not be so trusting after all. He has Blair's paternity letter and he's putting in a call to Dr. Barnes, Chuck's therapist. What is he planning exactly? And will this make him more interesting or will he do all his scheming with that one blank facial expression? Only time will tell.

Serena on Deadline

Serena spends all episode burning with the white hot rage of a million suns. Which could explain her outfit, because nothing else I can think of does. On top she is wearing a pretty turquoise shirt and on bottom I know not what. M y notes say "Are those shorts? Is it a skirt? It looks like an apron. My God, is Serena running around town in an apron? God, why are there pockets?!" It takes a lot of look to outshine Blair's old lady pants in the horrible-outfit-of-the-episode category, but that apron skirt does it.

She is sucking up all her rage and anger and hurt feelings and putting them in a little angry box deep, down inside so she can chat with Dan about how she's over the book thing. She's so happy for him! She just wants to know all about what he's going to do with the movie rights. Dan is so self-involved he doesn't notice that Serena looks like she wants to stab him with her butter knife and is excited by the movie prospects.

When he leaves breakfast (or lunch? We all know time and space don't exist on the Upper East Side) however he gets a call from his agent. She says Harvey Weinstein is interested and convinces him to name drop in his NY 1 interview. Serena leaves the restaurant assured she's got the movie rights and then probably kills a hobo to work off her anger.

It's a short lived victory because when she sees Dan stab her in the back yet again on NY 1 (which could lead to Charlie Rose! Dan's book will be the talk of the town for the over 90 set!) she goes crazy again. Jane says that "F. Scott Fitz-Jackass" might have been right about Serena not trying hard enough. F. Scott Fitz-Jackass is maybe one of the best digs this show has ever done. Bravo writers.

So Serena leaks a story to Deadline Hollywood that Dan is already committed to her production team. Dan and Jane are both mad at her but Serena and Dan finally have their heart-to-heart. Serena explains she's still mad about the book but more than that, she's hurt by it. Dan tries to explain that her character is a bit of her (aka all her life details) mixed with a bit of every flaky, self-involved literary character he could crib from. Just digging yourself in deeper, Dan.

"You were the love of my life Dan. I guess I just thought I was yours too," Serena explains sadly. It's a really sweetly affecting scene. With all the cross-couplings on this show, it's easy to forget how much Dan meant to Serena back in the first season. She touched on it last week but Dan was the one who believed in her when no one else took her seriously. So it must have doubly hurt to not be portrayed as the heroine of his story. Dan calls her later and gives her the movie rights. He says it's too early to pin down the love of their lives yet, their story isn't even over.

Meanwhile, in one of the sweetest scenes of the episode Serena and Blair finally really talk. Blair apologizes for barging into Serena's office, not caring at all about her work crisis and telling her to quit. Serena apologizes for being absent and snippy. She explains that part of it was jealousy, not for Blair's royalty but for her starring role in Dan's book. Oh Serena, honey. You can do so much better.

Blair and Serena hug it out bestie-style and I hope that we get more scenes of the two of them in the upcoming episodes. The friendship between Serena and Blair is really the heart of this show and they've shared scant screen time together so far this season. Clearly, we'd all also love to see another twosome share some screen time in the near future.

When can we expect our next Chuck/Blair scene? What is Diana hiding and what does it have to do with Bart? What's Louis got up his sleeve? Will Rufus make more waffles? And whose baby is it really? We'll have to wait until November 7 to find out. Until then, leave your theories in the comments!

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Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of The CW)