Gossip Girl

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What New York Used To Be

One week later, Lily's wearing a serious engagement ring and not that piece of crap from before -- I assume we can thank Eric for that -- and they make out while Eric unwraps the Humphrey's like only possession: the wafflemaker. "I've dreamed about this for so long," he says, which is sort of gay but not really what he means. Waffles are to Rufus Humphrey what bagels are to Sandy Cohen, and while Lily has one thousand kinds of jam, until today the house of PRADA had no waffles at all. Not the kind you make, anyway. Eric lusts after the wafflemaker precisely the same way Jenny lusts after Lily's pots of jam: you need both. Eric needs a dad who makes waffles, messy and funny and full of love. And Jenny needs a mom who buys jam, who has navigated these waters and swum with the sharks, been rich and poor and seen what they both do, and can teach her how to live in the world. Eric and Jenny are the new Serena and Blair: raising each other, desperately craving what the other one has. Of all the things I'm excited about for next year, the idea of this household is the most exciting. Eric wants waffles immediately, but Jenny's got a meeting -- at Rouge Tomate, where this episode started -- with the Queen.

Blair giggles and helps Serena pack for her summer tour and they talk about the last week, in which GG's spotted Chuck in France, Germany, Italy... Blair is able to laugh about it, and wish STDs on him, and Serena's impressed and encouraging with every grin and chuckle. "Open your present!" Blair says, handing over a framed print of Serena's gorgeous mugshot. They laugh, and Serena is delighted. "It's to remind you of who you are," Blair says, and they grab at each other, trying to memorize as much as possible for when they're apart. Serena asks her to come, but Blair says she's content to sit in the wreckage of her dreams all summer and get her shit together. "I need to just stop moving, and contemplate the failure of my life," in case you thought I was exaggerating. And of course Serena says the best possible thing: "Well. When you're ready to start moving again, you know I'll be here."

At some NYU coffeeshop, Dan's fugued out on Vanessa, and admits it's because he misses St. Jude's after all. "I miss Blair Waldorf and her daily ego demolitions. Nelly Yuki stealing my lunch. Even Chuck Bass, who would get ... so close to talk." His voice is equal parts wonderment and stark terror, but it's so nice to hear him say the words. "I think it's safe to say that the nostalgia's officially begun." Nate walks up, and while Vanessa feels awkward and sad about not dating him, he tells them about how the Mayoral internship put him squarely back into Cougartown, and even though the Deputy Mayor is hot, he has made a personal vow to stop being a rentboy. So, he wonders, can he come with Vanessa on that fucking backpacking trip?

Her heart leaps, but she can't actually do anything legit so she lies and says she's going with somebody else. Who? A guy that walks up. This is the dumbest fucking scene. So the guy's like, "I'm going with her." And then for no reason that makes rational sense, he exposes his own lies by saying, "Yeah, we're gonna have a great time, Melissa and I." NOPE. I call foul. Because there's an infinite number of names for a girl to be called, and you don't know the name, you're not going to make up a name, because you have infinite minus one chances of getting it right. So this whole stupid conversation is bullshit, and we're not doing it.

Nate begs to go with her, once the random guy is exposed as a random guy, and then to add stupidity to this scene, goes, "We'll just go as friends, don't worry. It won't be anything romantic. Unless, you know, we drink a little too much in Vienna one night." Which nobody, not even Nate, would ever say. So whatever, he flutters his eyelids and she talks shit about his necktie, and it's all just nonsense and dumbness. They leave so that Dan can talk to the random guy about how Welcome To Not Being Nate Archibald, who always wins, and that part is kind of cute, and they talk about how they're both going to NYU in the fall, and of course this random guy is Scott, aka Pilot Inspektor, aka Dan and Serena's brother.

Penelope hands a diamond headband over to Emma, but B snatches it out of their hands and gives it to Jenny just as a well-timed GG blast comes out containing all of those secrets Nelly Yuki told Jenny during the Pinkberry War, when Nelly Yuki pretended to go along with Jenny's anarchist post-Agnes ways, while secretly trying to get herself installed as the second-in-command in her regime. (Remember?) In effect it's basically a mini-version of the graduation blast, an erasing and leveling of the Plastics' secrets that didn't rate the original apocalypse, but it does result in Blair retaining the crown and handing it over to Jenny. The music goes crazy when she puts it on; also, Isabel is wearing a giant Minnie Mouse bow around her neck and looks mentally ill.

Penelope goes predictably nuts -- "How can you do this? Letting some girl from Brooklyn carry on our legacy?" -- but Blair explains to them that this is in the tradition of the foreign queen, and then makes the very salient point that, once Rufus marries Lily, Jenny will be the richest person in school. Um, yeah, next season is going to fucking rock. That's so thrilling. So Blair makes them shove over for Jenny -- "not enough!" -- and Blair takes off while Nelly Yuki curries favor and Jenny begins to explain, "Okay, so starting next year, no more headbands. Except for this one..."

While Scott pores over his portfolio of creepy Lily Bass and Rufus Humphrey memorabilia and generally acts like something from Middle Earth, Dan gets a call from the other main problem that is going to happen next season, which is Georgina's crazy ass. She tells him Poppy's never going to be a problem again, which is chilling -- except what the fuck, like we wouldn't rather see what went down there? -- and that she'll see him next year at NYU. He almost faints from fear and she hangs up on him without explaining herself, and then we see her with the NYU bursar totally requesting Blair Waldorf as her roommate. So now we know what the first three episodes of S3 are going to be about, and I couldn't be more excited. This really is the best possible advertisement for next year, this last little act.

Off Georgina's bizarre expression we fade to Serena, who for some reason is standing near a towncar staring into space while the camera slowly turns around her in slow motion. I submit to you that whenever we're not with her, this is how Serena spends her time. Carter Baizen appears out of nowhere, having come back home after Serena forced him out of the country, bearing news of a mysterious Thing that he torturously does not name for a ridiculously long time: "I have something you might want to know before you go," he says, and she says she hopes he's not coming after B again. "No, it has to do with you. It's about Santorini, What You Were Looking For there. While I was on the trip you so graciously gave me, I found It again. Only It's not in Santorini anymore, It's in Fiji. At least, He was last week." WHO TALKS LIKE THIS? Only people trying hamfistedly to give some weight to Serena's reply: "You found my father?" The Shiny Toy Guns song starts again, and she jumps into the car, bringing him along with her on this new adventure.

Chuck's standing on the sidewalk in a suit, holding a painfully unnatural chest-thrusting pose like a scary mannequin, holding lots of crap, when Blair walks up -- for the fifth scene running, out of nowhere -- wearing green and gold. She doesn't see him at first, but then she does. He explains, delicately and tenderly, that he tried to run from her, but everywhere he went, she was there: In Paris, but only to get her favorite macaroons; and Germany for her favorite stockings -- "You know how I adore them" -- and he figured out she and GG were right. He was a coward, but she kept catching

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Gossip Girl

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