Gossip Girl

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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What New York Used To Be

At least, I think that's what he's trying to say, but her points are valid enough that she backs him into a corner and he ends up saying that their high school relationships essentially mean nothing, and he'll never talk to her again. It's either brilliant or really stupid writing, I can't decide. Because you can see the battle of the logic that gets him there, but I mean, I'm always surprised when Dan does stuff this stupid. It's not like Serena van der Woodsen is terribly complex.

The core four sit on the stairs and have a long conversation trying to narrow down exactly who GG is: she basically only talks about Constance/St. Jude's, she probably knows them personally, she started in ninth grade so is probably their contemporary, et cetera. Nate is particularly amazing in this scene, because he keeps repeating everything everybody says like he just thought of it. Chuck's like, "I assume she's our age," and this giant lightbulb goes off over Nate's head and he literally says, "So you're saying Gossip Girl's a senior, like us?" Thanks, Nate. So Serena points out that their entire graduating class is there at the grad party -- even Uninvited Dan -- so fuck it. Chuck goes through Facebook on his phone, and they discount them one by one. Blair pshaws "Rebecca Sherman" because she doesn't pay attention; that crazy-face girl that did the Prom ballot and skulks around Queller all the time is apparently named Fiona, and she's out too.

They look at Nelly Yuki, who's eating like a crazy person, and name all the reasons she might be the one. And since Jenny's not there to explain it -- because Jenny knows how cringing she actually is -- they actually stick with Nelly Yuki for awhile, before Serena reveals that apparently she hangs out with Nelly Yuki like constantly, and has seen her get and be mindblown by GG blasts plenty of times. Which, um, we all have.

Serena gets that resolved mouth again and sends GG a tip, and she's like, "Chuck, get the room quiet." He says, "I'm way ahead of you," even though he's ... not, and then starts some fake speech just long enough for the culprit's phone to ring. And it is Jonathan! No! The music has fifteen dark orgasms and Chuck and Serena cross in front of each other in a phenomenal way that gives the appearance of lots of movement, and everybody stares at everybody else for a million years, but there's the proof: "Now I know who you are," right there on the phone. It's unbelievably dramatic, but also: A) GG will never be unmasked because that's stupid, and B) the episode is half over. So the music and the drama and the way everybody shits their pants for like the third time this week, it's sort of insulting.

Guess what? Jonathan isn't Gossip Girl. I know, I am just as shocked as you. So he explains that he "hacked into her server over Spring Break," because he was bored, and Eric notes that they now have access to every tipster email. Jenny flips through the tips with abandon, and Eric blushes when she points out that he obviously dyes his hair, which is cute enough -- as is watching Serena, Jenny and Jonathan giggling about it -- that the fact that he's never tried to hide it and has actually mentioned it before and has gone from blonde to brunette multiple times and thus is not ashamed of it, we'll let that slide. Serena takes Jonathan off for more of her Byzantine plotting that never goes anywhere, and Jenny and Eric have a very literal conversation in which Jenny uncovers something truly scandalous that would make her Queen if she used it, but will she, because would that destroy her soul, but would it be worth it, because she could then abolish the monarchy forever. The whole royalty Queen B motif, I like it at around a six, seven if they're wearing costumes, but man, Jenny is taking that shit to eleven.

Look, Rufus Humphrey morosely strumming his guitar. Look, Dan Humphrey wearing that one vest.

There's a short conversation wherein Rufus explains to Dan that he needs to go to the graduation party because he actually does have friends and they are all there, and he's being his usual vapidly insulting self by trying to retroactively define himself as no friend to them, there's the embarrassing employment of an Obi-Wan metaphor to describe their relationship -- when really it's been more like Jar-Jar Binks in a leather choker and wrist cuff trying to give Anakin dating advice but ending up instead accidentally giving his vote to create an army of clones and thus adding just the heat to the Trade Wars necessary to put a plan into action that will destroy all the Jedi for twenty years and launch us into a time of galactic darkness not even Yoda could have foreseen.

Dan leaves to go slaughter some baby Jedi, and Rufus thinks about Lily and manfully whips out his little girl phone but Lily magically appears right then with that beer Vanessa likes, that will get two grown adults smashed with only three beers each. Oh, and some pot she stole from Chuck. Rufus is like, "Bet it's good!" They are sort of awesome sometimes.

Blair is dressing in the most astoundingly hot outfit when Eleanor comes in. You know that normally I don't like visible lace, but she looks amazing. It's like something Serena would wear to Christmas, but with a classy Blair touch. "Are you dressing for someone?" Eleanor asks, setting up the intensely literal and visual counterpoint to the whole burlesque thing that started last year, and Blair is amazing. "Yes. Someone I hope is finally ready to love me the way Cyrus loves you."

I really like the self-conscious way the Cyrus/Eleanor relationship has been quietly becoming the gold standard, ever since Blair's Yale-related Nate bender. Seder and Graduation, both times they provided a counterpoint to Lily/Rufus running around like kids, and then with the whole "we are not socialites" speech a while back it really brought Eleanor's wisdom into sharp relief. She's the only woman in the Upper East Side that's ever married for love, and she did it twice. I can't let that go, I think it's remarkable that they've pointed to it so many times in this last act of the season.

Blair was so convinced earlier that there was some kind of trick or gimmick to it, that it was a mystery that needed figuring out, and the whole time it was there in front of us all: Eleanor digs Cyrus, Cyrus digs Blair, Blair digs Cyrus. They have fun, they nourish each other, they laugh and they work shit out. I was worried that he'd heal Blair too quickly, because I'm still waiting every week for Blair's nuclear explosion, but I wonder, because I think more than just loving Blair as much as she needs to be loved, he might have actually helped more by demonstrating, with Eleanor, how easy love can actually be once you're honest about it. It's not sexy, it's adorable but it's not aspirational in any way but the real. Blair wanted Cary Grant for a stepfather, but that wasn't about Eleanor, and watching Eleanor and Cyrus together teaches us -- Blair, you and me, Lily and Rufus too -- what wonders are possible when you let go of the fantasy. It doesn't really matter if you make a Good Couple, if you are a good couple. (And if you look at it that way, marrying Bart was just Lily's Perfect Prom, Bart was her Nate. She didn't not love him, but it was too far in the clouds to do anything but contribute to the next phase.)

Eleanor tears up at this honesty, and Blair suddenly goes still, feeling wild and afraid. "Cyrus told me," Eleanor says, her voice a hush in her daughter's ear, strong hands on her shoulders. "You told Chuck how you felt and... He ran away. You seeing him tonight?" She wraps her arms around her daughter, and looks into her eyes through the mirror, and holds her tighter than anything. "Don't let him get away with it." Blair laughs, her eyes dance, and they are more mother and daughter than ever before. I'm bummed about the lack of Dorota in this episode, at this moment in Blair's life, but I don't begrudge it, because this is a much more important narrative that Blair needs to let go. Consider the image, knowing what we kno

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Gossip Girl

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