This week on Gossip Girl
, the Serena and Dan 10-second sex tape is finally released to reign muppet-haired terror during Cotillion. This group of people have ruined so many Cotillions, you would think their names would be at the top of some kind of society black list. Why are people continually inviting them to events they only subsequently ruin?
Throughout season 6, Serena and Dan's ill-timed sex tape from last season's finale has been hanging over all our heads, waiting to explode in dramatic glory. It was Chekhov's sex tape, if you will, which is a saying you can really only employ on Gossip Girl
Like the tree in the proverbial woods, if a sex tape is recorded and not broadcast to a room full of teenagers at a formal event, did it even really happen? We knew it would eventual drop and, like the well-timed gossip bombs of old, destroy newly healing relationships in the process.
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In "Monstrous Ball," those destroyed relationships turn out to be Blair's friendships with both Serena and Dan. While Dan is hankering to rekindle his romance with Blair, even slicking down that mop he calls hair, Serena's just starting to admit to herself that she missed her best friend. But approximately 10 to 15 seconds of bliss ruin all that.
Seriously, is it just me or is that the shortest sex tape of all time? I'm not saying this completely explains why Blair chose Chuck but ... I'm just saying.
This episode also apparently works as a swan song for both Steven and Sage, whose future as a stripper seems all but assured after this. Goodbye, Steven and Sage, we barely knew ye! I would tell them not to let the door hit them on their way off the show, but everyone knows there are no such things as doors on the Upper East Side.
Ivy once again proves that this week by merely waltzing into Bart and Lily's place without a care. Why even have a doorman if you let everyone up? What does Vanya do, except impregnate Dorota?
With Steven and Sage exiting stage sex tape, I have to wonder what the point of their characters were in the first place. Sure, we got to see Serena mature, but it does seem like that could have been possible without a love interest.
Contrary to popular opinion, I thought Sage was a fun throwback to the high school days of yore. She was a neat way to remind us of how old all the characters (and by extension all of us who have been watching for the last six years) truly are. But in a 10 episode season, there was really no need to waste time with either of these characters we all knew wouldn't be sticking around for the long haul.
Still, this episode is a marked improvement over last week's more uneven outing. Thanks to the Cotillion setting, there's a pinch of nostalgia with more than a dash of needed plot momentum. Most important, Serena and Blair's relationship comes back into the spotlight. With Blair and Chuck more or less engaged, it's the fate of the friendship between Serena and Blair that should really drive this final season of Upper East Side madness. Bart the Bloodhound
In the "Chuck's magical quest to resolve his daddy issues" section, he's still trying to get evidence to link Bart to the Sudanese oil scheme. Unfortunately, he's not paying off Rocky with a giant duffel bag of money or taking part in a My Little Pony
mystery this week, so it's somewhat less interesting.
Instead, he goes straight to Lily to convince her to join forces with him against his father. Lily is all like, "While you are my favorite child and the only one I routinely remember to make sure is still alive, I can't." Chuck tells her that Bart is a bad guy, but Lily isn't listening.
Out of nowhere pops Ivy, who has been taking lessons at the "Bass School of Barely Stealthy Stalking." She really aces "Popping Your Head Right Out of the Window and Looking Directly at the Person You're Stalking 101," which, according to last week's episode
, Bart teaches.
Ivy tells Chuck the cliff notes version of her vendetta against Lily and then offers to help Chuck drive a wedge in the Bart/Lily marriage. Chuck goes along with this plan, even though I wouldn't trust a person who got dressed in the morning but forgot the back of her shirt.
This brilliant plan involves having Ivy break into the penthouse and then spray Chuck's cologne and drink his favorite scotch while leaving out Bart's will. Bart catches her in the act and then sniffs like a bloodhound. "Chuck!" he says. Are we absolutely sure Bart isn't one of the undead?
At Cotillion, Chuck tells Blair he has to go speak to Lily. However, it sounds suspiciously like he says he had to go sleep with Lily. I know the Batman whisper voice makes understanding Ed Westwick sometimes impossible, but considering Chuck and Lily's chemistry, I'm going to call that a Freudian slip.
Of course, Ivy is a terrible actress and therefore Lily immediately pokes holes through her story of being the maid's four-year-old daughter. Chuck plants some doubts in Lily's head, and when she asks Bart about his potentially illegal dealings, he comes clean about the Sudanese oil. Lily just sort of shrugs like, "At least you do something other than make waffles and force me to listen to your work-in-progress songs about alphabetizing my accessories." Chekhov's Sex Tape
Much like Chekhov's gun -- the theory that any weapon introduced in the first act will need to go off in the third -- we've been waiting for Dan and Serena's sex tape to drop. And drop it does in a spectacular fashion, but not before some of the old wounds from last season have just begun to heal.
Dan is of course staying with Blair, watching her wrap debutantes in old grandma lace and shower curtains like an insane person. This is a Cotillion Blair, not Grey Gardens
. That teenager looked like Mrs.
Havisham years after being jilted at the altar, which I'm pretty sure is not on trend this season.
Dan mentions this and then makes some weird sex allusions, and the teenager is like "Ew" while imagining what Dan's sex hair would look like. Even Dorota, who has conversed for years with Chuck's sexual innuendo, is appropriate in every situation. Bass is put off.
Georgina and the publisher want Dan's scathing chapter on Blair, but now that Dan is holed up in her house like a homeless person, he thinks this is the moment to win her back. Dan's judgement of what is and is not appropriate human behavior this season is very off.
When he sees that Blair has been wearing her engagement ring around her neck, he decides he has a real fighting chance and sends in a nice chapter on Chuck and his battle with his father. This is a brilliant plan! Remember how the guy that gave you a huge Harry Winston diamond is also an unsung hero, fighting the corruption of his evil father? That's pretty hot, right? If you have 10 seconds, some alcohol and an alleyway, we can totally recapture the magic of when we dated last year! Somehow, shockingly, this plan does not go off without a hitch.
I have to say, I expect more from Dan's douche spiral this season. As far as an evil scheme, this is more or less on par with a plan Nate would dream up. Nate's schemes, in case you forgot, are usually: take off shirt, sex up cougar, (unknown third step), profit! As an actual smart person, I expected more from Dan's dastardly plan.
When the sex tape is revealed, Blair slaps Dan, making it the third Dan-slap of the season. Of course, because his hair is controlled by what I can only imagine is an entire bottle of extra strength Don Draper pomade, we're spared the indignity of watching it flop around from the force of the blow.
Dan tells her Chuck will never commit to her because of his daddy issues. There will always be another Bart My Little Pony
evil scheme around the corner for him to postpone their being together.
Blair tells Dan that he's a hypocrite and that the worst part is that he pretended to be a better person. Then she says she would rather be alone than with him. Ouch! Later, Dan agrees to give Georgina the Blair chapter she has been angling for all night. The Most Painful Breakup
It's breakfast time, which means that Serena has showed up to the family breakfast in a miniskirt and a shirt with strategically-placed cutouts. And yet Steven is later shocked to learn she has a sex tape? Dude, the warning signs were all there.
When she realizes no one told her about Sage's Cotillion, she gets upset and goes to see the best person to give you reasonable and well-considered advice: Nate. Nate is like, "Dating is hard! Most of my ladies end up double-crossing me in ways I still haven't managed to understand. Seriously, can you explain my love life to me? Because I often forget what guest star I'm dating. But in all seriousness, don't snoop in his stuff. Just don't. Don't do it."
Serena nods and is like, "What I'm hearing from you is that I should totally look through his stuff. Got you loud and clear. You are so wise, like a very pretty Yoda dating a tiny teenage girl." Then they basically do a bro chest bump or something. Their relationship this season is so hilarious, I could watch a whole hour of them just trading bad advice back and forth.
While going through Steven's things, she discovers an engagement ring and does a rather adorable and completely dorky dance. Unfortunately, Sage and her hats can sense joy that needs to be stomped out under a wave of teenage brattiness.
Sage offers to wear Blair's dress and make it into a big, bold statement if Blair can get the engagement called off at least temporarily. Blair agrees and calls up Lily to tell her, reminding Lily that "Serena's enthusiasm is like the Bat signal for bad ideas."
When Serena is uninvited to Cotillion and sees a Gossip Girl blast about Steven taking a ring back to Harry Winston, she fears that Steven's changed his mind. She finds Lily and yells about how Lily has been married six times and therefore unfit to judge healthy relationships. Lily tells Serena she doesn't have boyfriends, she has life rafts. You mean Serena often makes a series of bad relationship decisions? I can't imagine where she would have learned that from.
Stomping all over Cotillion like a beautiful blonde amazon, she bumps into Blair in a stunning sequined dress complete with signature headband. Blair explains that despite everything, she was only putting the proposal off, not ruining it, because she still loves Serena. Serena admits that when she saw the ring, the first person she wanted to tell was Blair. The two share a sweet hug, which is the exact moment you know everything is about to go terribly wrong.
Sage pops off her weird silk muumuu top, showing an even worse white cut-out dress underneath. That looks like something Serena would think is appropriate to wear to breakfast or Thanksgiving, not something Blair would design.
After Sage steals the tape from Georgina and airs all 10 seconds of it to the Cotillion, Steven breaks up with Serena, and Nate realizes he's dating an actual teenage person and breaks up with Sage.
But the most painful breakup is between Blair and Serena. Serena comes to apologize, but Blair is having none of it. Blair explains that she's tired of Serena sleeping with every one of her boyfriends at the Campbell Apartments. Seriously, Serena, find another place to deflower Blair's menfolk at the very least! Serena tries to explain that someone spilled a drink on her and therefore she had to have sex with Dan, which seems like bulletproof logic to me. She also mentions that she actually loved Dan, while Blair was just using him to avoid her feelings for Chuck.
But now it's Blair's turn to be done with Serena. She says sadly that she thought this was just another one of their normal fights -- those yearly tiffs they get into where they hate each other and push each other into cakes and fountains and then are friends as soon as someone locks them in an elevator with macaroons. But this isn't one of those fights and Blair is officially done with Serena.Couples Coming Together
As the episode ends, Blair goes to see Chuck for another round of sexual Russian roulette. They get very close and almost kiss and it is very sexy. Then Blair's phone rings and she leaves to go talk to Dorota, while Chuck leaves to go take a cold shower. Turns out Eleanor saw Sage's weird VMA Award presenter dress and is coming back to question Blair's taste level like a mean Tim Gunn.
Meanwhile, poor Serena sits all alone at the Cotillion, having gone from a near-engagement to alienating everyone in her life. Dan can understand the feeling, as his hair alienates everyone who is forced to look at it.
So the two go out for burgers, fries and many, many milkshakes to eat the troubles away. You know times are dire for Serena if she's eating more than a single berry. Serena laughs about the fact that Dan is a New York Times
best-selling author who is homeless and owns only one pair of underpants, while Dan laughs that Serena is obviously going to get stuck with the bill.
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, Rufus discovers that Ivy is a millionaire and realizes he can once more live the dream of an idle househusband. Later that night, he goes online to pick out the Cadillac of waffle makers.
What did you think of tonight's episode? How long will it take Blair and Chuck to finally get together? What about Blair and Serena -- when will they finally make up? Sound off in the comments!Want to keep up with all the gossip? Then add Gossip Girl to your very own watch-list to know all the dirty secrets of the Upper East Side. Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone. You know you want to, XOXO.(Image courtesy of The CW)