Gossip Girl
Reversals Of Fortune

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A Rider Like My Father

"Too bad he's at that polo match with his family," Vanessa grins, and Scott's Lincoln Hawklike demeanor seizes on this info. His whole family, yes, and Nate's family. "And I'm sure Blair and Chuck will be there, if the murder-suicide I predicted hasn't happened yet." HA! Good one, Abrams. Scott tells Vanessa to do what she would obviously do, which is call Rufus and invite herself to the polo match, and bring him along. She laughs as though that's not her entire MO: "You think I should invite myself to a charity polo match?" Really she's laughing because Scott is an amateur, but he's learning.

Model wannabe #1: "Needs a sandwich." Chuck thinks she looks just right, but Blair's not having it. #2: "Adam's apple!" #3: "Catalog! Chuck, none of these girls are even worth humiliating. Looking in the mirror will do that for them." He takes her hands and stares lovingly into her face, begging her to admit she hates this in the most solicitous good-boyfriend way, and she fakes it for a second before admitting that she's sort of over the game. He watches her realize/admit this with just boundless love in his eyes, but still can't let it go without the tiniest little nudge: "Okay. If that's what you want." She asks if that's what he wants, and he says he just wants her to be happy, and I believe him. The next girl is another Serenalike, and there's a flash of attraction between them, and a toothy smile with giant boobs, and Blair grabs him to take him home. At first I thought the Serenalike stuff was either a coincidence or a Chuck-is-weird thing, but it's not, it's a Blair-is-weird thing: Serena's still the only thing that can give and take Blair's happiness away, and she sees her shades and shadows everywhere.

Jenny finds herself ridiculous for being disappointed by the DUMBO loft, when she and Eric go over there to get some stuff. It looks a lot smaller, they agree. Jenny packs with some wonderful body language while they discuss Lily's absence and CeCe's dwindling health, and talk about Rufus's parental performance. Eric points out that his plans for the summer were shot entirely by the CeCe issue, and has had to take charge of "two kids that you didn't raise in a house that you don't own," which is how Rufus always acts, but it's a good point. Jenny calls their life a reality show premise, and Eric says this is compounded by the Serena stuff, which is both a reality show and a Gossip Girl spectacular: "The last time she went off the deep end, it got really messed up." They wonder blondly what really happened over the summer, which means they've let go of the secrets-which-are-not and have moved to the actual Serena/Carter puzzle at the center of it all, of which everybody has just like one piece.

Serena comes into the PRADA living room with Rufus and D-Hump staring her down, and Rufus shows her the magazines, and Dan makes shitty inappropriate jokes as is his wont, and Serena immediately shifts into game face, giving Rufus her most Serena smile: "Rufus, I know I shouldn't have lied, but I was in Europe and I had just graduated, and I got a little carried away. And what happens in summer stays in summer. Right?" He's not sold, but basically because he thinks he's supposed to be acting stern and fatherly until she hangs herself.

"Look, the only reason I didn't tell you is because I thought if I did, you'd think I'd gone off the rails again." Rufus asks honestly if she did, and that care and respect that he has for her really comes through again. It's such an honestly nice note, you guys. It occurs to me that he's always pretty much thought she was great, actually. Even when he treated her like a bad influence it was usually about Lily and not Dan at all. Also: Serena never actually goes off the rails, so it's kind of a given, but she thinks before answering. "No. No, everything I said to you last night was true. I... I'm done." He nods and agrees to forget about it, and then smiles grudgingly. "And in what is perhaps an ironic twist... Due to your current social status, the Polo Society has asked if you will throw in the first ball at the match tomorrow." She agrees, and he runs off to notify them, saying that Lily will be proud.

When Rufus is gone she turns one of her patented Goddammit Humphrey looks on Dan, and he melts immediately, because way to replay the worst part of yesterday, but after shrugging it off Dan goes back to the usual: "There was one guy who was in a lot of those pictures with you who...Who was that?" She admits it was Carter Baizen, and says it got weird, and she took off. Realizing that she has said too much already, she takes that last little bit and twists it into an amazing lie, which is that Carter has become a stalker and is a dangerous person. This is amazing because it is balls-out, but also because Dan bears the scars and blowjob shame of Serena's last stalker, so he's the only person likely to believe it. It's grandiose. She begs Dan to keep Carter away from her at all costs and runs off, and Dan immediately calls Blair so they can join forces and fuck everything up like they always do. Meanwhile, Scott is fingering his birth certificate in a sinister manner at that same fucking coffee shop and talking to his mother about nothing whatsoever.

Lots of hats at the polo, where Jenny is noting that in the last season premiere she went to the VITAMIN WATER WHITE PARTY as Eric's date in a dress she made herself, but now her life is awesome and she has a place card with her name engraved on it. Rufus sweetly offers to protect Serena from the ubiquitous paparazzi, but -- in a lovely summery saffron-orange toga dress, note -- she promises she won't do anything worth publishing, and runs off to find Blair.

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