Meanwhile, in Pretend Nate and Serena World, the parallel is, "Sorry for tricking you on your birthday!" Nate's super happy about everything, though, so it's bygones. S handcuffs him and drags him upstairs for birthday sex, and Eric lets her watch them giggle and golden retriever themselves upstairs just long enough to make her feel like an idiot before asking if she's ready to go. "Yeah, I'm done. I mean, yeah, I'm ready to go." You are neither, but how cute. Can't she see what a great couple they are?
Over at NYU, Vanessa's got a giant purse happening and Willa shows up in some cute weird clothes to hand over her secret Tisch writing application, with some classic undermining bitchiness: "It's really competitive. I mean, there are only a few spots for NYU transfers... I hope you get in!" So awesome. I'm happy that Vanessa is actively looking to step on Dan's dreams, but even happier that Willa was there to fuck with her about it.
Culkin Face, his name is Elliot, and he has taken Eric's picture to every floor in the entire building before ending up at the penthouse, PRADA, and it's amazing. He is really just very attractive, this one. Over Chez Waldorf, Blair can't get that nasty dress off herself fast enough, and she cries and feels gross. Which is the chapter right before she marshals her anger, which is when she is best.
And over at the Empire, Chuck has Jack forcibly ejected from the building, and he leaves with a smarmy giggle at Chuck's retardo belief that his relationship can like possibly survive this bullshit. "Blair's seen the real you now. It's over. She could never love that. No one could." Which is the key to Chuck in the exact same way as all his other speeches were the secret poison of Blair. "Hope the Empire's everything you wanted, because now that's all you got." He takes off and Chuck stares into space and GG wonders whether love, or people, can survive in a world of yadda-yadda-yadda, and it's sort of depressing but the show has stacked the deck so impressively against him this time that it's actually a fair question.
All in all, I would say that the buildup to this breakup was super weird, but the through-line -- of Blair's staunch choice to become singleminded/near-mindless in supportive of Chuck, as the tragedies compounded -- was really well done, because it was this sort of obvious repetitive thing for so long that we just kind of forgot how obsessive Blair can get, or what the inevitable downfall would be. So as dumb as the Elizabeth stuff was, it was brilliant as a distraction from the sword that's always hung over them, you know? A year ago you could probably have said, "Chuck is going to do something irreparable," but the storylines this year have been so manic and otherwise-focused that when the rumors about that started coming up, I thought they were bogus. Which means the show did its job, getting us to this point, and now we can go into the last act of the season with things actually broken. Which is when this show -- like Blair, like you and me -- is at its best. XOXO.