So, Serena/Aaron's pretty much a non-starter this week, since they just go round and around having the same fight as last week -- Aaron is a giant whore -- and the same resolution as every week of this show ever -- this is somehow Serena's fault. On the other hand, we got to hear the best song of all time, "Sex On Fire" by the Kings of Leon, twice. Several months later than this usually en-point show gives us the new tunes, not that I'm not grateful for the chance to listen to it one more time, and more importantly: wasn't Cyndi Lauper on that soap opera hawking this same song on that one soap opera with the awesome gay dudes, like, six years ago? How of the moment, GG. Anyway, lots of pretty pictures of Serena, no interesting dialogue, some manufactured sexiness, running through Central Park in your underwear, lots of awesome music and crane shots... I take it back, that's exactly what dating Serena van der Woodsen would be like.
Jenny and Agnes wait a whole seventeen seconds before turning on each other like coke-fueled rabid kittens, and while it's adorable -- and we get to see both of them go completely effing nuts, together and separately, like four deliriously awesome times each -- Jenny's constant attempts to go roguely adult don't really scratch Agnes's itch. She ends up setting all Jenny's designs on fire, Jenny gets minorly suicidal, tries to go into business for herself and is brutally rebuffed, and spends the night crying like a lunatic in an alley before pulling it together and getting herself emancipated. Good girl.
I'm torn as two which of the other stories I adored more. I usually tell you in order, but this time, I just don't know. Blair's interactions with Eleanor's boyfriend (Aaron's dad!) are twisty-delicious, but on the other hand, Dan Humphrey made me cry. You know what, that's embarrassing enough that we're going there. Dan is put by Noah Shapiro into the position of doing a Bart Bass exposé for recapper-beloved New York magazine, and dutifully tries to get some dirt. When he happens onto bigger dirt than he was expecting, he has several moral meltdowns in a row before pulling possibly the greatest move in the history of the show: in apology for digging up shit (including, for real, Bart's real estate-related manslaughter-arson from the '80s), he gives up all his notes to Bart, and includes the Charlie Trout short story! He's the only person on Earth with means and opportunity to heal Chuck's relationship with his father, so he totally just... fucking does it! Brooklyn, I ♥ you tonight. It feels weird.
Blair is all excited about meeting Eleanor's new man, because "Cyrus Rose" evokes images of Cary Grant, but what she gets is Wallace Shawn. This causes her to go berserk, so while she's busily shitting all over Serena's relationship as usual, she has to also break up Cyrus and Eleanor. She takes him to dinner to dig for dirt, falls kind of totally in love with his weird little ass, but then gets pushed by her bitch mother yet again into ignoring the angels of her better nature, and she uses the story to break them up. All of this takes place with this amazing ceiling-camera setup that makes him look like an actual hobbit craning his neck up to talk to everybody. Of course, Cyndi Lauper shows up at Blair's 18th birthday party to remind Blair how much she actually adores him... And then he locks it down by admitting that he manipulated Blair into giving up all her ammo on the first go. We call that "forced perspective." This outgaming by the dwarf is, of course, catnip for Blair, and she agrees to an uneasy truce that, translated from Blair language, means they are BFF. Of course, her many quick-changes of heart are rewarded the next morning when Eleanor announces he's moving in -- that very day.
Happy Birthday, Blair-Bear! You get a weird little Sicilian dad and Aaron-Bobby for a brother! XOXO! Next week: Nate, and who cares what else.
Daniel Humphrey, I love that messenger bag! Where on Earth did you get it? What on Earth does it contain? Dry, idiotically written reportage masquerading as fiction, one presumes. As long as you are investigating fathers, let me ask you this. Why is your father always in the kitchen? The improvised actions -- what we in the business call "the business" -- that keeps him in there is getting ridiculous. How many times can one wash a single Fiestaware plate before realizing one has finally succumbed to the lesser angels of one's own psychology? How many lonely nights whipping up dinners and sauces for a family that has rightfully abandoned one? Is Rufus becoming a shut-in? Can he no longer go out into the wild world of Brooklyn due to his slow realization of the epic fail that is he? Will next week find him hiding beneath the kitchen sink, inside a cupboard? Strumming a guitar and humming tunelessly to himself, perchance?
Daniel Humphrey, I love your little face. I never knew ferrets, even the most chiseled, could be so hot. But it is what's behind the face -- inside that pointy little noggin -- that interests me tonight. And it is what's in front of the face -- the endless stream of words administrating everyone else's experiences and emotions -- that I'm hearing now. Specifically, how it is that Rufus is pretending to be "cool" with the fact that his fifteen-year-old daughter Jennifer has moved in with a similarly tweenish supermodel who isn't even trying to hide the fact that she is balls-out crazy, which is all a ruse because in fact Rufus is not "cool" with this at all, because Rufus is not cool with anything, because Rufus is deeply, tragically, permanently, adorably, annoyingly uncool.
The ruse is intended to lull Jenny into a false sense of trust and respect for her father, in order to deceive her into thinking that her opinions or choices are in fact hers, and thus she will come home, subject to even more of Rufus's awful parenting. This is the most Rufussy plan Rufus has ever come up with,- like, why not stash some popsicles under a box, propped on a stick, tied with a string, leading to your finger, and then play some, I don't know, like... Miley Cyrus? And then let her siren's song lead your daughter to the box, which you will then cause to drop on her with a simple flick of the wrist, trapping her, and then all you have to do, if trepanation's not your scene, is electroshock her brain until she's drooling. And then you win. Which is, after all, the point of parenting: to remember always that your children are the enemy, and must be destroyed at all costs, lest they outstrip you.