SO GOOD! This is such quality television! Okay, so the big big news you've already heard is that the threesome was the odds-on favorite: Dan, Olivia and Vanessa. All those "freshman experimentation" anvils were not dropped in vain. But what you might not be expecting is how realistic and pretty great the whole thing was when it went down. I mean, the setup is lame -- a "15 Things You Have To Do In College" list, a drunken gigglefest -- but exactly and perfectly college lame. Remember Purity Tests? Like that.
So that happens, after Olivia is notified that Endless Knights IV is a go, and she can't back out of it. Dan and Vanessa decide she needs to cram a whole year's worth of stupid shit into one night, which they do, and then home to what could have been weave-sweating nasty but ends up being sort of delicate and sweet and scary and daring. I am so glad they pulled it off, and can't wait for the fallout next week, after we learn that the movie's not happening after all. Plus, hottie nerd is back, so bonus.
In other news, Jenny's preferred date for Cotillion -- a salty morsel named Graham -- is, she's convinced, key to locking herself in not only as the Constance Queen, but as the Queen of all the UES. Eric decides this is his last chance to save her soul, and gets all kinds of Humphrey about sabotaging her -- even collaborating with Blair in order to get a usurper into position and blackmailing Graham about their Camp Suisse hookups many moons ago -- but she eventually gets Nate Archibald by her side for an even bigger debut, upstaging not only the other Queens but Blair herself. B is, of course, quite proud of her. Eric not so much, who loses Jonathan in the bargain and ends up allying himself with the new girl to take Jenny down for good.
Blair and Serena's "war" ends, as usual, immediately: Chuck and Nate literally lock them in an actual elevator with some booze until they work it out. Eventually Serena comes clean about all the reasons she's been going nuts, and once Blair knows about the big search for Carmen Sandiego -- and Tripp's newfound crush on S -- she jumps right back into caretaker mode. It's touching, and the last act, in which B tells S to see Tripp under no circumstances, then follows her to the HQ to make sure she's not going to accidentally fuck the married Congressman, ends with B looking crazy and S looking like she's going to accidentally fuck the married Congressman. And back at PRADA? A letter finally arrives from Carmen Sandiego himself, although whether Lily will intercept it before S finally gets her closure is still up in the air.
Next week: Threesome disaster, more Tripp/Serena and Jenny/Eric drama, Blair writes a play (!), and Lady G. Best show ever for the fifth week running. XOXO.
"Bitch" by the Plastiscines plays over Queen J and her handmaidens, looking every bit as awesome as a forgotten Warriors clique as they stomp to Cedar Lane for Cotillion practice. GG reminds us of yesteryear -- when the steps were stairs, when the girls had plans beyond getting their knives out; when the dresses were white -- and what Cotillion means: "Couture, quadrilles and cutthroat competition."
The title of the episode -- beyond being a tattoo I may one day get, because it is my fondest wish -- is from a 1970 Jane Fonda drama, from a 1935 book that sets a dance marathon against the yucky world of Hollywood politics. The lady of the story is bankrupt in every way, just completely... She has thrown her sewing machine away, to use the Humphrey parlance. And the MC of the story is the most interesting thing, because he's like a cross between the Curtain Puller and the MC of Cabaret. He's real, but not real; he's completely terrifying in a way only God can be terrifying, in those kind of stories where God pulls the wings off flies. The Gossip Girl, in other words.
I had this very Gilmore Girls idea about dance marathons before I saw that movie. Like how desperation can be sort of funny, and the Dust Bowl is like this but it's okay because of Laura Ingalls Wilder. People whining about their feet in the same way they whine about their periods: The blood, the cramping, the endless cuddling. But that movie is like watching people in wartime, aging in front of your eyes; it's like Fight Club meets Melrose Place. Through that lens, looking for ways to justify your existence is a dance that never ends until you -- or someone you love -- finally kills you. The context for this episode is: So is Cotillion.
So Jenny's being a perfect jerk to her ladies, who have assembled folios and camera photos of probable candidates for her escort. One's too short, one's too tall, none are just right. One particularly hot one goes to York, which Jenny nearly spits on the ground when she names: "That's practically public school!" She spends a lot of time slamming things into her ladies' chests, just like Blair with the books a few weeks ago. I forgot about that, in all the Mean Girl memories: The shoving. The one that Jenny wants is Graham Collins, whom we'll see is -- for once -- believable as "the hottest guy on the Upper East Side."