Blair's big story this week, besides her bushy orange eyebrows, is a minion-off to determine her bridesmaids, although nothing much really happens there. Mostly it's a way to bring up the fact that Blair is or was once a schemer, while Louis is not... So that he can then ironically turn heel. But since it's Louis, he does it in a half-assed way that ends up mostly screwing over Louis and Louis alone.
Having found the paternity test, Louis tries to get that therapist lady to turn Chuck back into a monster so that Blair won't go back to him. But Chuck's dedication to his own personal development is such that she ends up reneging on her deal with Louis -- and sinking her own practice in the doing. In the end, Chuck visits Blair to apologize for every single thing he's ever done wrong -- it's pretty neat, actually -- while Louis has made himself look pretty awful, so I guess both dudes are back in play. Which sucks, because Blair's still pregnant and running out of options, stuck between the two guys who most hate for her to have options.
Much more interesting is, get this, the Serena/Dan plot. Serena runs interference between her boss and Dan, eventually getting him to step down as the screenwriter for Jane's adaptation. When she learns that Jane plans on hiring Sorkin to make the story a Zuckerbergian attack on Dan himself, Serena selects the nuclear option, using Jane's history with Diana Payne to get the film cancelled altogether. Dan drops off the bestseller list after a single week, and Serena agrees to blog for Diana herself, as a sort of antidote to Gossip Girl and the general surveillance and celebrity that have always hounded her. We'll see how well that goes, I guess. Meanwhile, nice scrunchie.
So right on track, Nate's feeling that feeling he feels after six or seven episodes with every cougar, and suddenly starts wanting to be recognized for being her secret boyfriend. Payne negotiates around him fairly well, but when Ivy suddenly finds herself in the running for Blair's bridesmaid, Nate finds out just how well Payne's been keeping him in the dark, and goes nuts. By the end, she's gone public with their relationship as an alpha move against Ivy, whom has apparently developed sudden feelings for him.
All in all, a very "moving the pieces around" kind of episode, setting up Chuck's ongoing redemption and continuing the Chuck/Louis shell game that will no doubt lead directly to Dan when you least expect it; giving Serena power over her own image for the first time in the show's history; turning Nate into the Serena and giving Blair something to do besides flout royal convention and ping-pong back and forth with Louis every episode.
Next week: Sleep No More gives us this season's masked-ball episode -- always a favorite -- and Blair maybe loses a little bit more of her mind, while Serena gets her blog on and Dan decides what to do next with the wreckage that was his five-minute literary career while Rufus wets the carpet in sheer pleasure at his failure.
This morning: Waldorf is holding bridesmaids tryouts among her minions, Payne's adding herself to Nate's "to-do list" if you know what she means, Chuck is in therapy and Dan has debuted at No. 9 on the NYT bestseller list.
Dan: "What did, uh, Lincoln Hawk's first single debut at?"
Rufus: "Eight. Ah, but don't pay too much attention to that stuff. That was the '90s!"
Dan: "It's all I can think about."
Rufus: "It is also all I can think about."
Nate & Payne: "[Innuendos about doing it.]"
Nate: "Can I be your date to the big party at the end of the episode?"
Nate: "You know how on this show there's always a..."
Diana: "No, I mean what? You're a teenager. I would be a laughingstock. I know you think cougars are hot so you don't understand the pressure we're under, but there's a reason Elizabeth Hurley is so rich and it's not because makeup companies like making women feel great about their looks. Me dating you is like Eric van der Woodsen dating a Republican congressman."
Nate: "Look, I just follow the script. And for me, that means that in the sixth episode of a relationship, I start whining about being more than a pretty face. Then you surprise me that you're fucking your stepson, or you sell me to a..."
Diana: "Nate, I don't have time for it. You talk too slow."
Nate: "Can I at least tell my friends?"
Diana: "First, take a bunch of iPads around as invitation gifts. I have funny ideas about running a business. Under no circumstances should you and Ivy switch lists about who delivers which iPads."
Nate & Ivy: "That sounds like a ridiculous plot device that exists only to cause drama in the fourth act."
Diana: "That is actually my middle name. Diana Human Plot Device Payne. I am part iPad, part ocelot."
Ivy: "I knew I shouldn't have worn heels today. To my job."
Chuck: "The dream starts the same every time."
Barnes: "They have a habit of doing that."
Problem No. 1 with writing therapy scenes: They are goddamn boring.
Problem No. 2: If you don't have like a passing acquaintance with psychology or analytic techniques, people say random meaningless shit like that. Do they, bitch? Do dreams "have a habit" of starting the same every time? No, they don't. And if they did, it wouldn't work like this. And if it did, it wouldn't end like this. Stop relying on tropes that were never true, and start thinking about your actual head and how it works, what it is like to be alive. You would think that a writer, being a person, could convincingly write about people. Not always the case. Not always. When you do this, you are taking bad writing and multiplying it by itself. You are Once Upon A Time-ing yourself when you do this.