'Gossip Girl' Recap: Growing Up is Hard To Do
'Gossip Girl' Recap: Growing Up is Hard To Do
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
This week on Gossip Girl, everyone decided it was time to grow up and be an adult. Of course, being an adult means vastly different things for our favorite Upper East Siders.

For Dan, it means publishing a bunch of mean stories about his friends masquerading as fiction and never cutting his hair. For Chuck it means whining some more about his dad, because there's nothing more adult than being fixated permanently on your parents.

To Blair, being a grown-up means doing the same things she used to in high school only at fancier parties. Serena, the most invested in becoming an adult, gets a good opportunity when it turns out her new boyfriend is actually a father. And Nate decides being an adult means dating a high school student in a surprising reverse-cougar turn.

Adulthood: it's not easy. As the show moves towards its inevitable conclusion, on the one hand we're starting to see the characters grow and mature. While on the other hand we're seeing the characters repeat their same fatal flaws over and over again. Will they finally grow up by the time the curtain closes on the Upper East Side? Or will they be forever wanting what they can't have, just like Nelly Yuki predicted? Only time will tell.

For now, we should just be happy we have more time with our favorite New York elite. As all the characters learned tonight, high school doesn't last forever. Eventually we all have to grow up, adopt a stupid step-child who wears fedoras, and boss around some Project Runway rejects.

Serena Takes Manhattan

Steven is totally head over heels in love with Serena, and as such wants her to be a real adult society lady. That's why he's gotten Serena on the board of the Central Park Conservancy, where she will be hosting her first charity auction.

The old Serena would have realized she was literally turning into her mother and gone on a bender that lead to someone's accidental death. The new Serena, however, is totally psyched to have all this adult responsibility. I mean she has to show up at a party and hand someone a check! How will she do it?

Steven makes a joke about Serena taking Manhattan. We all know 'Serena Takes Manhattan' is exactly what they're going to call her sex tape when it finally leaks.

Serena chats with Nate about how they are big, responsible people with big responsible lives. They are adorable and charming, like two tiny puppies who are really proud of themselves for finally figuring out the screen door is not in fact always open. "We're adulting, bro! Up top!"

That is, until they see Steven and Sage getting cozy at lunch together. Nate's reaction to this sight is awesome and instantaneous. He calls Sage up and is like "Nope, not going to get sucked into a useless relationship with a plot device again! I'm out!"

Nate and Serena commiserate about their terrible relationships while Nate gives Serena some tough love he learned from the Millionaire Matchmaker. I imagine most of what Nate knows, he learned from reality television.  

Instead of taking Nate's reasonable advice about being an adult and confronting Steven, she hides behind a van and talks to him on the phone in plain sight. Later she asks Lily how she's supposed to smile at the charity event when she knows Steven is cheating on her.

Lily, an expert in artifice, tells her it's super easy. Just think about all the expensive necklaces you can get and it's a snap to pretend that vacant orange expression is loving and not terrifying!

What is it about this show and implied incest?

At the charity event, Serena is mingling like a pro when she sees Sage and freaks out. She tells Nate to take care of his business, which he does in a very mature fashion by attempting to run away from Sage. But she corners him and dangles all the great sex they've been having as a lure to trap him into a relationship. "I feel like I'm being manipulated again! I'm an adult! Stop talking about sexy things," Nate is pretty terrible at resisting anyone, so Sage has found a pretty easy mark.

That is, until Steven runs over and punches Nate. Serena is mad, in true adult van der Woodsen-style, because Steven is making a scene. "Prostitution whore!" Serena practically yells and flips a table, showing she too learns all important life lessons from reality television. Steven then informs everyone that the 'slut' in question is actually his 17-year-old daughter. Whoops! Awkward!

Serena wonders why Steven didn't mention he had a daughter or, you know, hadn't seen her for four months. "Didn't your mother misplace you for four months too? Obviously I'm an Upper East Side parent, Serena. Our children can't get in the way of our love lives."

This comforts Serena and the next day they walk Sage to school. Serena wears what she imagines parents wear, which is some kind of weird slutty Little House on the Prairie outfit like she is one of Steven's sister wives.

Sage snottily tells Steven and Serena that no one young pays any attention to Gossip Girl anymore, which makes sense if you look at this show's ratings. Then she tells her friends she's planning on destroying Serena. Her friends in their matching stupid fedoras nod in awe.

Meanwhile Serena stands with Steven and laughs about how fun being a parent is. "I'm a real adult now," she nods wisely to herself. "After all, I just convinced my boyfriend to let his daughter date a guy I used to sleep with and who has slept with half of the over-30 women on the Upper East Side. Nothing more responsible and adult than that!"

Print My Book, Please!

While Serena is adopting children and putting on charity galas, Dan and Georgina are desperately trying to find a home for Dan's new book. 'Why doesn't anyone want to publish this book that is almost exactly the same as the book I previously published, only with a greater chance of expensive libel suits?," Dan wonders mournfully. His pompadour, pulled down by the sheer weight of his self-righteousness this episode, has even given up.

But Georgina is a woman determined. She's determined to use the proceeds to get herself straight outta Brooklyn. She's also determined to watch Dan sleep, which is so creepy and hilarious. I never thought I'd say this, but Dan and Georgina are an incredible dream team.

They shop the book around to magazines to publish as excerpts, leading to some great sight gags for Gossip Girl super fans. In particular it was great to see Jessica Pressler of New York Magazine and Chris Rovzar of Vanity Fair, who used to obsessively write about and recap the show on NYMag.com. Since this is the final season, the Gossip Girl writers have seemingly decided to make half of each episode a series of in-jokes and call-backs for the Gossip faithful.

Finally when no one else will publish, Dan gives his typed manuscript over to Nate. Nate wonders if he really wants to burn these bridges and Dan says yes. Dan says everyone on the show is horrible and that he is retroactively mad about everything that has ever happened, including Jenny. I don't remember Dan caring overmuch about Jenny's banishment when he was dating the actual person who banished her last year. But who am I to quibble with Dan's superior morality?

Nate just sort of shrugs and agrees to print the book because he doesn't have much else going on at the Spectator other than dating 17-year-olds. Then he stares at the paper, wondering how he's going to get it in the computer.

Society Goes Sartorial

While Chuck is skulking around with Amira trying to embarrass his dad into giving up some secrets, Blair is busy trying to run Waldorf Designs without actual designers. Who needs the people who actually conceptualize and execute the clothing? Blair has a few minions and an interview with Women's Wear Daily, which will help her get Waldorf back on the map.

In a surprise bit of awesome, her interviewer is actually none other than the one, the only: Nelly Yuki. Nelly Yuki! It's not only great to see her because Nelly Yuki was one of the best minor characters on the show, but also because everyone continues to refer to her by her full name like she is James Bond. And she might as well be, because Nelly Yuki is now exactly what Blair has always wanted to be: a powerful woman. She graduated from Yale early, she's over high school antics, and she holds Blair's future in her hands.

How does Blair react to this? If you guessed 'in an adult fashion', than you are sadly incorrect. Of course Blair freaks out and begins to spiral in only the way that Blair can. She starts spiraling worse when she realizes the other collection being presented alongside her own is Poppy Lifton's. Having abandoned her life of crime, Poppy Lifton is now a zen fashion designer which... seems just about right.

Unfortunately, she's also a fashion designer with the exact same taste as Blair. So Blair goes into hyper-drive trying to destroy and divert what she thinks is a well planned offensive on herself.

Blair sneaks into the Central Park Conservancy party in order to butter up Nelly. Chuck shows up and realizes quickly that Blair didn't actually ask for his help. "The sooner you go, the sooner you can come back, in the grand sense," Blair says sweetly. They give each other the googly eyes and then both run off to be even worse adults than Serena and Nate, if that is at all possible.

It turns out Poppy Lifton and Nelly weren't working together. Poppy just really liked the print and Nelly figured that given the chance, Blair would implode as usual. Just as the night couldn't seem to get worse, a guard arrives to escort Blair out. See Serena guessed, fairly accurately, that Blair would be bringing drama along with her to the party. Considering Serena's own drama track record, it seemed a bit much to throw her out.

It's sad to see the Serena and Blair rift continue, but it's nice to see so much storyline real estate devoted to their relationship after they barely spoke last season. On the walls of Blair's new atelier are the modeling pictures Blair and Serena took together in the first season. It seems like a promise that the show realizes the relationship between the two girls is the heart of the narrative.

More important than when that Harry Winston ends up on Blair's finger is when Serena and Blair will find their way back to each other. After all, like Blair said, BFF means forever. Part of becoming an adult means realizing who the important people in your life truly are. It's only a matter of time before Serena and Blair realize they're better together than they ever were apart.

Next week, Blair makes her entire collection in ten days out of organic produce and coffee filters, only to realize Tim Gunn isn't guest starring again. Chuck tracks down the mystery man in the photo and finds out Bart's secret is that he was a member of a Dubai boyband called 'One Expression'. And Georgina crawls into Dan's window at night and finally cuts his hair.

What did you think of this week's episode of Gossip Girl? Are you loving Serena's new adult attitude or missing the old S? How much longer until Chuck and Blair finally make it official? And what did you think of the Sage reveal? Share in the comments!

(Image courtesy of The CW)


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