Gossip Girl

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Pictures From an Institution, Or: The Bulls of Bendy Law
weird/stayed weird, so she never really talked to him again.

Doctor Lady pretty much rules: "This must have been very disappointing to the 16-year-old adventuress that you were at the time, but when you tell this story now, what does it make you think?" That Ben Donovan was a pretty great guy, Serena admits, loving Doctor Lady for the first time, and finds a new way to feel weird about it. Little does she know that at this very moment, Damien is remembering that same night, Nate is worrying over real estate in the next town over, Juliet is coming straight to murder her for it, Ben is thinking of little else, Dan and Blair are guiltily blaming Serena's incessant whoredom for the whole thing, and Mama Sharp is drinking the last of the summer wine, alone, wishing this year could have a Christmas at the end.

Sitting in her car outside the Ostroff Center, Jules finally consents to answer Ben's call. He's just calling to say hi, I guess, but Juliet figures since she's got him on the phone she might as well tell him about how Dan, Damien and Blair showed up in Cornwall looking to take her down. She explains about how Damien was the drug dealer of her overdose plan, and how probably they already got an eyeful of Mama Sharp's weird Poor Person behavior, and they are putting together the whole blessed mess. So if you'll excuse her, she is going to get out of the car and go kill Serena with her bare hands, and if Ben has a problem with that he can go shank himself, because he's in jail and Juliet is fancy free. She can kill anybody she wants. Maybe this is just the first in a spree.

You know how sometimes Ben can call eighty people or send them innumerable texts, and then other times he has to wait in line? Today is the end of the line on that shit. He is cut off. No more phone calls for you, Ben Donovan. And so (as a band named after an Edith Wharton novel about rich girls seeking oblivion starts to play) Ben starts screaming. Just one more call! He must warn Serena van der Woodsen! He screams at Nate, who is there for his sixth jail visit of the day, like this: "Hey, Archibald! I'm Ben. I'm Juliet's brother, all right? You need to find Serena and make sure she's okay!"

They shove poor old Ben back from the bars and tell him to stop harassing the pretty visitors but Nate, good old Nate, he does what you tell him. So he calls up Dan and they have a quick little meeting about how Ben is scared to death for Serena, for some reason he did not specify, and then but none of them can do anything. Nate's in Staten Island and everybody else is in Connecticut. So they all agree to run straight for PRADA and make a plan, hoping that the Ostroff Center's whizbang security will keep Juliet from murdering her. But you and I and Gossip Girl know that's not happening, so as Serena comes back from her therapy session looking proud and ready to face the world, Juliet's sitting in her room, in the dark, and flicks on the light once Serena's inside. Sooooo good. So good!

Blair enjoyed the episode's opening recap of recent events so much that she'd like to do it some more. "Serena had an affair with her teacher because, let's face it, it's Serena, and what else is there to do in Connecticut. Then she came to her senses and discarded him like last season's Chanel booties. Then he became a crazy stalker, and Serena pressed charges. That should be a warning to you, Humphrey. Never-to-be-realized literary aspirations: Check. Townie? You're from Brooklyn, so: Check. And giving up everything to become Serena van der Woodsen's stalker: Check. Face it, Humphrey. You are one knitted tie away from Mr. Donovan territory." Dan argues, it does not matter because he's wrong and Blair is right -- and even gets in a little dig about how he's stopped writing entirely in the grip of this latest bout of the Serenas -- but then, if people ever remembered that Blair is always right, each episode would be ten minutes long and have a much higher body count.

Apparently Juliet's been running down a list for Serena of all the horrible things she's done to her this season, and we're coming in on the tail end: The coke pictures and the overdose. Serena goes, "And then you just left me for dead in a motel room. Why? Because of Nate? Or Colin?" Juliet then utters maybe the most classic line of the season, or possibly the series, leaning forward with a Serena migraine: "No, you stupid bitch!" It's all in the delivery. Like she is just at the end of her rope. "Because you destroyed my brother's life!" Serena shrugs and she's like, "Who's your brother?" But when she finds out, she's as confused as ever. As far as she knows, he refused to fuck her and then disappeared from her entire radar. Juliet just shakes her head like she's about to yell at Serena again, and then it's another flashback.

The official charges were statutory rape, and transporting a minor across state lines. Ben protested, but the lawyer produced an affidavit, signed by Serena, stating otherwise. Ben can't believe it -- I love how this whole story is predicated on them still feeling warmly toward each other (up to the point where he's been in jail for three years and sends his sister to destroy her) -- but they can't even really go to trial on a he said/she said because Damien saw them at the Millbrook Inn. He is such a furtive subway masturbator of a person, I love it. Just the epic casting coup of getting somebody who looks exactly like that to play somebody exactly like that. It's beautiful.

"You left campus with an underage student and drove across state lines," even if it was just to the sexless Vassar library. The lawyer explains how Lily works, quite succinctly: "The girl's family doesn't want the story to get out either, so they pressured the DA into offering a plea bargain." Upside, Ben's name stays off the sex offender list; downside, he didn't actually even get to sleep with Serena van der Woodsen and still has to do five years at a Staten Island facility with iffy 3G coverage. Juliet's like, "It's so hard to be poor! If only we had a billionaire cousin who could get us a better lawyer." In the present, Serena is hornswoggled and fogfuddled by all of this. "He was nothing but good to me!" she swears, but whence the affidavit? Who could have signed Serena's name to a legal document just to make a problem go away? I can't quite, it's on the tip of my, if you'll just give me a...

"Lily!" somebody yells. "The party's lovely!" Lily runs around lying to everybody about everything that ever happened in the world. "Serena? I have no daughter named Serena!" she tells one old person. "Serena? She's working for Medicines Sans Frontiers, you know, with her father. Fixing cleft palates and things. Stealing boats and horses just wasn't fulfilling her anymore." "Serena? Driving the jitney for Diddy's White Party again this year. I tell you, that girl's dedication to charity and Vitamin Water knows no bounds." "Serena? My daughter Serena? Well, as it turns out she died in a waterskiing accident, just like our son Pilot Inspektor." "Serena? Why, it was the strangest thing. Smack in the middle of Madison -- which I will admit, she was crossing against the light -- a giant eagle or something swoops down and carries her off. Apparently it is a roc trained by a wizard. He has property in Millbrook."

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Gossip Girl

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