Gossip Girl shows this flipbook of old people from like the '80s who maybe went to Constance/St. Jude's, including JFK, Jr., and talks about how "like everything on the Upper East Side, high school graduation is done a little differently," like for example maybe you're on the cover of the New York Post with a misspelled headline ("DIAMONDS ARENT A GIRLS WORST FRIEND" or some shit) because your mom had you arrested so there wouldn't be a scandal, or something. Also, Eric saw the news of Serena's arrest -- first scooped by Gossip Girl, of course -- as far afield as the pages of Pravda. Because Eric van der Woodsen reads the society pages in a Russian newspaper, of course, and of course they would care about that stupid storyline. As you can see, by the Rouge Tomate-goers staring at Serena's face, then the front page, then her face, then the front page, face, page, face, page, do you get it, and they're gaping horribly.
Blair's awesomely into it, though, like, of course Serena has discovered an entirely new kind of fame based on being arrested. Blair's wrong, though. The Perfectly Serena part of this is that when her crimes finally hit the newsstands it was for something retarded like Aggravated Not Stealing A Bracelet rather than Second Degree Sex Tape Threesome Lack Of Murder. That's the Serena part: that only for her dumbest-ass crimes would she be famous, to the point where nobody can really even figure out why she was in jail.
I hate this episode in a myriad of ways, but one of the bestest is how it finally made the jump to a place at least adjacent to the "heightened reality" we've been promised for the last two years, where S is constantly inspiring perfumes and couture lines and like the purchase of toucans... But the script is so uniformly bad that you think maybe the bright but rural nine-year-old girl who wrote it doesn't actually understand that it's unrealistic; there's a very Danielle Steele aspect to the glamour this week. Oh, I get it actually, because this is the problem I have with this particular writer every time: the Entourage offense to causality, wherein most things that happen make no sense and only exist to set up either A) a joke that's not even that funny, B) an Awesome Situation that's not that awesome, or C) next season. It's the laziest possible way to write, and that's offensive. Also, so is Nelly Yuki's shitty acting.
Blair points out that GG has always "plagued" Serena more than anybody, starting in ninth grade, when the whole thing started, and points out that since GG doesn't do college, this is Serena's last day under that French-tipped thumb. Serena tells B to get her mind off the whole mugshot thing, and Blair starts asking about how exactly Chuck talked about his great love for her. Her eyes are bright. "B, I don't know why you're acting like this is new information. You know how Chuck feels about you!" Blair explains that he has yet to tell her officially, and thus she can't trust him not to pull some kind of fast one on her. Then Blair decides it's time to go, so they go out of the restaurant and Blair poses for the paparazzi adorably before jumping into the car.
At the graduation ceremony for a school which she does not attend, Vanessa obsessively film-documents William Granderbilt, who discusses nothing with Nate for awhile before doing everything he can to ignore Vanessa's morbidly deranged grin as he goes past. "It's like getting a smile from the President," she tells Nate, who laughs nervously because he's never quite sure, and has no way of knowing that this time, that statement actually doesn't mean anything whatsoever. It's like what now? And this was indicated onscreen in what way? So their mouths open and close and sounds come out for awhile, and he tells Vanessa that they broke up -- "turns out we just had to go through something to be sure" is the fucking effortlessly beautiful prose that he lays down at this time, an awkwardly written sentence made even more difficult by the uncertain way Crawford approaches the line -- and then he apologizes to Vanessa for getting irritated that time she tried to ruin his relationship with his recently estranged family and shame him out of creating any semblance of a future for himself.
Vanessa thanks Nate for shaming her into taking the SATs, for they have made a difference in her path and she will now be attending NYU. If you don't remember, Vanessa was too good for college until Nate told her to take the SATs, so she put down her videocamera just long enough to apparently get a good enough score that they were willing to overlook how she: doesn't attend and will never graduate high school, has no visible means of support beyond an endangered job selling coffee at a Williamsburg art gallery where nobody ever goes, dresses like a crunk dancer without the clown makeup, and effectively seems to live without a permanent residence of any kind. If I were the admissions dean for NYU, she would have to get at least two million SATs, and I would also make her sign a thing about not cat burglaring the other students in the dorm, or stealing their valuables.
So she's like, "That's cool how one time you made me forget to suck just long enough to take the SATs and so now I guess I'll just take this education they're handing me," and then gets this pathetic face and she's like, "Of course, it's the summer so before NYU, I have to go backpacking all alone through Europe" and staring at his face, I guess hoping he'll still bankroll that shit now that Blair dumped him. And of course Nate has no idea what she's talking about, or what a Europe is, so he just invites her to a party after the ceremony, which causes Dan to appear like rubbing a lamp going, "Party? What party?" with these desperate beaver teeth.
Dude, if you have to ask, first of all, and also, that's dumb because Dan doesn't like parties, doesn't like these particular people, and is in fact going to have a conversation about that very thing with his guitar-strumming douchenozzle of a father in about ten minutes. What, did he think Nate was going to have a graduation party with... people from another school? Poor people? I just can't... It keeps echoing in my head. Party? What party? Nate's like fine, you're invited. He caresses Dan's arm briefly, and peaces. Then V randomly goes, "Today's the first day of the rest of your life!" and they read the program and something there, also stupid, makes them laugh.
Jenny, looking good but particularly insane, is once again giving Eric some speech about how since the seniors are graduating, the "dictatorship" is going to be over and that next year there will be "peace in the kingdom." Penelope of course appears and asks if she's interested in running for Queen next year. Jenny assures them that with Blair gone the monarchy will come to an end, and they scoff because she hasn't been this dumb in a long time. "What would high school be without hierarchy?" Nelly Yuki asks, and Jenny doesn't even blink: "Bearable? A nice place to spend time?"
The Plastics aren't feeling up to having this basic conversation with Jenny for the millionth pointless time, but then Blair appears and issues some lame coordinated-headbands proclamation, and yells at Penelope about her scarf, and tells them she chooses the next Queen, not them. She shoves past everybody, and Eric hilariously bows as she goes by, and then because the halls of Constance are a curious random nexus of all times and places, Nelly Yuki mentions this girl that just transferred in, Emma, who then appears. You may remember gross little Emma from when Blair had to babysit her that time and talk her out of losing her virginity. I didn't recognize her at first, beyond a vague sense that her Oh God face and whiskey voice were excruciatingly familiar.
Nelly Yuki and Isabel explain that the "coronation" will be happening at midnight at Nate's party, and the prize will go to whoever produces the "biggest