Ten times better than the pilot, which I thought was already awesome. Among the numerous f-bombs getting dropped (yes!), Chuck's dad throws a Sunday brunch at the Palace in order to help him transition out of the constant raping. Serena drags Dan, so everybody's there except Rufus and Jenny, who spend the whole day at the Farmer's Market, decrying blogs and sewing their own clothes. Well, first Jenny visits Blair for no reason and ends up worshipping her, even as she knows she's being tainted by the evil. She looks way good in evil, though.
Serena's trying to figure out why Blair's mad at her again, and Nate admits he told about the hookup. Blair discovers their clandestine mid-brunch summit to discuss their tumultuous friendship when she tries, once again, to get that whole virgin issue out of the way. S finally steps up hardcore, and she and B call each other whores for awhile. It's not like they're wrong, but that's kind of beside the point. Bad Girl Serena rears her head once again, showing not only how we got here but also that she can give B a run for her money any day of the week. And it is now barely NOON! I love these people!
After Rufus talks D up, and D promises to keep her affair with Chuck's dad a secret, Lily decides maybe Dan's not so bad. Chuck gets a second black eye from good old Dan, who takes off and won't talk to Serena, due to her whole class and lifestyle being absurd and corrupt. By sundown Sunday, here's how it settles out: Dan is out because he was never in; Chuck is still in because he's rich and kind of harmless; Blair and Nate will continue their mercenary, affectionately loveless relationship; and Serena is completely all alone, deleting pictures of her former life from her phone and eventually tossing the whole thing in the trash.
Gossip Girl -- who rocks the mic in this episode, start to finish -- leaves us with an interesting question. Now that B's doing her usual MO to induct Little Jenny into the Team Blair Army, is J going to pack it in and be a good little soldier, or stay loyal to her brother and their first love, Serena? Girl, I feel you: I can't decide either.
I don't know if they're going to do this every week, but this episode's super-long, neato previouslies are set up and narrated by Gossip Girl herself, like a multimedia entry off GG.net, which is just brilliant. Of course, if you actually need the recap, you won't know why that's cool, but still: neat. I kind of lost track for awhile and started thinking about how you should probably luxuriate in the previouslies when you're just starting out, especially if you can't even hold onto the Top Model audience -- people who were, like, grown in labs to adore this show -- and especially when you're up against Addison Montgomery, possibly the most appealing person in the television universe, and then I came back to reality and I was like OMG but seriously, because is this the same ten-minute recap of the pilot that they had online? Because I'm tired now, and the show hasn't even started. "So," Gossip Girl bottom-lines, "Now that S is back, will the Upper East Side ever be the same? We're all just dying to see what she does next!" Then there's...that weird, creepy, echoey Lost-ish whispery "I'll never tell" promo sequence, and still no credits. Unless those were the credits, in which case I am sad, because 80 percent of any given show, for me, is the credits.
Some sweet kind of song that reminds me of dancing penguins plays over a long montage of cooks and chefs and whatnot preparing a brunch feast. I had no idea that you ate food at brunch; I was always given to understand that brunch was some kind of French term for "we're drinking in the morning." This is fascinating. I do enjoy a nice egg dish with my alcoholism. Gossip Girl presumes that we care why she's up so very early on a Sunday, but in fact you'd be wrong to wonder: she's a girl who gets up early every single day. After all, she asks, why waste precious time "dreaming" when you could be getting your shit together for, par exemple, drinking in the morning? I guess so. Apparently, breakfast on a Sunday is that strange ritual called "brunch: champagne, a dress code, and a hundred of our closest friends and enemies." Gossip Girl is just a tad nouveau riche sometimes, telling us what rich people are up to all the time like this. "Well, as a rich person, I can tell you that rich people -- such as myself -- do this thing at this time." Like how if ever you say the word "classy," Serena and Blair, little hobgoblins come in the night and make you trashy. Anyway, she's up this particularly brunchy morning because Chuck's dad Bart Bass is hosting an annual brunch for his "foundation." And everybody's invited, but when we say everybody, we mean rich people. Such as Gossip Girl.
When we say everybody, we do not mean the Humphreys. In fact, the only people on this show we do not mean, when we say everybody, is the Humphreys. Which is fine by me. Don't they have a Farmer's Market or protest to attend? Perhaps they should go buy some fabric and sew some clothes, instead of brunch. Brunch should be beautiful, elegant, and simple. Meanwhile, off in Williamsburg (or Park Slope, or the West Side, or wherever the hell they live this week), Dan is physically pulling up the garage door that serves to divide his room from Jenny's, in the palatial loft with which their poverty has somehow gifted them. I mean, it's kind of sad to be separated from your big brother's bedroom by a fake wall on a block and tackle, but on the other hand, their apartment is totally bad-ass. Anyway, Jenny tells him to stop asking her if she's okay about almost getting raped in a leisurely fashion on the roof last night, because she's pragmatic and has done with it. Not to mention, she's still got kind of a thing for Chuck. Which is yucky but I guess understandable. She admits that she's a huge dipshit for going anywhere with Chuck unarmed, and demonstrates this by snarking on Dan for showing affection and care in asking if she's okay. He tells her it's nice that she trusts people, but they agree that this doesn't include Chuck, because Chuck is not "people," because Chuck is not human. Jenny turns the convo from her PTSD to something way more interesting and important: the awkward ending of Dan's date with Serena, heretofore called The Wave. You know how sometimes you're watching a sitcom and the people get really intense and won't stop talking about something, some little catchphrase or something, and you're wondering why you're not laughing, and then you realize the premise is really flimsy and forced, and that's why? Catch The Wave.