Gossip Girl

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Perfect From Now On
hich is entirely about that, written to address that: he talks -- among the trippiest prophetic poetry this side of Revelation -- about how the exile came about through their disobedience, and will be reversed once they came back to God. That age-old fundie question of how you stay in the world but not of it, essentially: how to act like Babylonians without worshiping the gods of Babylon. How to gain the trust of the fallen, fit in with UES society, without falling. How to walk this close to the edge, destroy a girl to apologize for destroying a girl, and keep yourself intact: Perfect from now on.

I mean, I know it's just here because it sounds crazy and Blair Waldorfy, and funny in that Pulp Fiction way, a nice gloss on the admittedly Blair Waldorf nature of the Old Testament God vs. the tender New Georgina nature of the New Testament one. But: God vs. Society; Purity vs. the Real World. Maybe the most fundamental religious question there is, and something we talked a lot about with Battlestar, and a few weeks ago at Passover too. It's easy to stay faithful when nobody's bugging you, keep praying when the cell phones aren't ringing. But what about when you leave OMJC Camp and have to hang out with Blair Waldorf? How much do you really love God, how far can you be pushed, before it's easier to fall in line with the UES rules? Trading literal Babylon for a figurative one, trying to fit the bill anyway and make them love you again.

This isn't about Bible trivia 101, it's about Georgina, who always fascinates me. Because this game is just as dangerous, just as razor's edge, as the games she played last time. This really is a fight for her soul, Gossip Girl wasn't kidding. With New Serena, we've seen how fuzzy the edges get; think about the extremes Georgina embodies, where things really are black and white. And just like last year, I think it's more instructive to step back a little bit from the hilarity and cartoonish OTT and symbolic necessity of Georgina, and look at her for a second like she's just a girl. Just like last year, it's more instructive and more painful to acknowledge that Georgina never lies. She honestly thought she'd solved the problem, just like Serena did. It's so sad!

This is exactly why extremes don't work, and why Georgina deserves her reputation for being the scariest thing in the universe: We're not designed that way. How much of the straight and narrow was just you staying in a circumstance that didn't test you? Which is really the question: how faithful were you really, back at OMJC Camp? Did you even change at all? Was Chuck right? Was it all a lie? How far away is Old Georgina, or Old Serena, and how many compromises do you have to make to come back from the Chuck brink, if you're Blair Waldorf? If you can't adjust to the fact that we live in a bendy world, full of change and growth, and that your adult responsibility is to live in that world and watch yourself all the time, that you can't ever just commit to one thing and hope to ride it the rest of your life, then you're asking for it: Plink! God's gotta knock you down just to keep you from rotting.

Serena's none too happy calling Blair to tell her the plan's off, but her bummed-out resentment is nothing to the aghast horror that greets her. "What? No. Do you know how much work this exorcism was? It's going to take days for Dorota to reorganize my closet!" Serena says they're letting Lily take the reins, and leaving Poppy out of it, but B's got a good point: "Poppy is it? She's so evil she makes the Old Georgina look like the New Georgina!" Lily summons Serena offscreen, and Blair puts up just enough of a fight that you know she's going to acquiesce... And keep working on the plan just in case.

And in the living room, OMG there's Poppy. Drinking tea with Lily: "Poppy came by to see how we were doing after all the terrible drama this morning!" Poppy pushes her mean girl advantage: "I mean, the money part was bad, but I just felt like such an idiot. I thought he loved me... Obviously you understand that." Enjoying it. Serena gets stronger, even as Lily arches an eyebrow and meaningfully relates that Poppy's off to Miami tonight, to feel like a fool while getting a tan. Serena alerts her to nonexistent aperitif in her teeth, and sits down with her mother.

"What are you doing having tea and smiling at her? We should lock the doors and call the police!" Lily's about 99% right that they should just let her go, but S comes up with the 1% that wins: "She's not disappearing, she's going to Miami. Where she's going to do the exact same thing to new people." Lily hopes vaguely that the people in Miami will be smarter than Poppy's trickery, and Serena is horrified. Because that's horrifying. Meanwhile, Dan gets a call from I guess Bruce about Rufus's incoming dividends -- from the investment he never actually made -- rolling in in about six weeks. The ding! you're hearing is not Dan figuring out what's going on: it's just Serena getting off yet another elevator.

"Fuck this, let's destroy Poppy Lifton," she explains to Blair, who is delighted. Georgina appears from behind a sliding door wearing purple -- including a patented Blair headband, which I didn't notice until it was too late was purple snakeskin -- and gives a seriously creepy, seriously awesome speech. "Hello," she says, friendly and nervous as a Canadian socialite. "Sherilyn Phillips. My daddy's got a piece of the oil sands up in Alberta. A piece the size of Florida. I'm so excited to meet my first New York friend for tomorrow. Maybe you know her? Poppy Lifton?" Serena is impressed by this new iteration of Georgina -- the fifth, by my count, officially outnumbering all the Chucks and Charleses and Charlies, lonelier even than him -- and shakes her hand.

But -- briefly -- consider this. When Georgina came back to eat Serena, she changed her name to Sarah, which is pretty much "Serena." But when Serena and Georgina wanted to be Georgina and Serena, they were Savannah and Svetlana, which are both pretty much still "Serena." Sherilyn, in this context, is linguistically way closer to "Blair" than Serena, much less "Georgina," linguistically. Anyway, Georgina's still in Please Everybody mode, and beams yet more; Serena nods at Blair... And Blair is in love with evil.

Chuck stares at Sherilyn appraisingly; he sniffs her and she focuses on him intently, wondering how she's doing. We've seen him do this trick before; he's also the only person with as many names as she's had. He has a nose for compartmentalization. "I sense ... aspiration, yearning, striving to be accepted." Georgina nods desperately, striving to be accepted but also wanting approval for this, her dirty deed that will keep her clean. "But then there's this appealing counternote of sincerity and optimism." He could be talking about Svetlana, Sarah, OMGeorgina, all of them: "This is the story of a young girl who is enjoying her first taste of the spoils of dirty oil."

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Gossip Girl




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