Even in a season of more hits than misses, that was overwhelmingly awesome. Everybody spent the entire episode being fantastic, there were more twists and turns and double-crosses and schemes than you can shake a stick at, Dan and Vanessa finally admitted they are worthless assholes, and even that part was adorable. Lushly directed, powerfully written, beautiful acted... Rachel Zoë got fondued! The troubling "powerful women" theme got lampshaded and debunked! Even Dorota was great!
Serena's war of attrition against the Code of Student Conduct continues, with some seriously hot Colin flirtation and some even hotter self-control. Turns out Colin is Ben and Juliet's cousin, but it's more interesting than that: Colin has no idea about Operation Smile, and in fact Colin and Ben hate each other. So now, it's not only about Juliet's loyalty to Nate, but her duty to jailbird Ben, and her benefactor Colin, as well. Big J's like the most conflicted person, considering we still don't even know her deal.
Serena and Nate get a court stenographer to come in and draw up a formal peace treaty between Chuck and Blair, which is fantastic, but the only person who sees the two parties' secret provisions is sneaky Dan, because he is slime. He tries to convince Eric to help him fuck everything up for Blair -- thereby restarting the war, gaining Chuck's allegiance, and getting asylum for Jenny -- but when Eric finally remembers he's not awful, he drops the fight. Then he gets all his little outfits even more intensely tailored, because his new power is wearing clothes better than Chuck and Nate put together.
Blair's twentieth birthday party is also Lily and Rufus's first anniversary party, which is why everybody is there except Vanessa, because she's sucking in DUMBO and taking up space in Dan's house. Also because she hates fun. In order to keep her shit together and not run off to fuck Colin at the first sign of a lull, Serena brings both Juliet and her ex, Nate, as her dates. This causes some good drama, but not the kind that goes anywhere. Eventually Juliet gets some spycam (!) of Serena kissing Colin. Things don't go further, and it's awesome, but you see that once again Serena is going to get screwed by not having sex, which is why you should always have the sex.
Dan gets a big ol' case of the hypocrites and invites Swedish pop star Robyn, who in addition to looking like a wizened space elf also has an adorably damning video of Blair drunkenly singing "Stand By Your Man" to Chuck last year. Blair flips, and even though everything turns out fine -- including a very sweet, very necessary conversation with Eleanor -- she kills the treaty, so of course she and Chuck end the episode with the best hate fuck ever perpetrated on top of a baby grand.
Next week: Chuck and Blair have more sex in more locations, Operation Smile gets twistier and thornier, and Nate teaches Dan to play naked Australian-rules football.
Well, it's Blair's birthday and you know that means three things: Macarons, Eleanor, and somebody's going to die. Hopefully a Humphrey. Blair's licking all her envelopes and sending them to people like Joe Zee and Rachel Zoë and Jonathan Franzen. You know, people of that social class. The one that includes all of those people at the same time.
Like if you were a stylist -- which is a person with an imaginary job which is to choose outfits -- who was on a very boring show about a very beautiful gay man who never stops crying, or Joe Zee -- who is a person that is imaginary -- from a scripted reality show about a stick insect attacking a blow-up doll, you could say, "I run in the same social circles as Pulitzer-winning author Jonathan Franzen. We go to all the hottest birthday parties for all the coolest teenagers together. We are very serious people."
Meanwhile, Serena is over at that visiting professor's luxurious office, drinking coffee and flipping her hair and not having any self-control and then suddenly suffering what can only be described as a sexy brain hemorrhage. The whole world goes melty and all you can see is jumpcutty migraine-looking closer and closer pictures of mouths and throbbing sexual organs and then closer still and then you can see molecules and then atoms and then it's a crayon factory and then Spider-Man breaks out a funky dance.
Serena picks herself up off the floor and tries to remember what their boring conversation was about before the global sex breakdown, but she can't. Any conversation that starts with, "So you're from Maine?" is a conversation best forgotten. You can hardly hear the rest of it because of Serena's yodeling vagina, but Colin does mention that his family is "still adrift, in more ways than one." She asks if he has a mystery family or a family mystery or maybe if his cousins are mounting a conspiracy to destroy her, and he's like, "That doesn't ring a bell, no," and then she tells him she's going to teach him to read.
...No, sorry, that she's going to make him read. A book -- probably something by James or Fitzgerald, given who we're dealing with -- because remember how she learned to do that last week, with Colin's own book, and so now she just wants to spread the word. I'm glad that her mother trying to slut-shame the literacy out of her didn't stick, I was worried about that.
Dorota and Eleanor have a really long backflippy kind of conversation trying to justify the events to come, and as usual it's answering a question nobody asked and just making it seem even more complicated and senseless than it really is. Blair licked and sent her invitations at Eleanor's request, a week earlier than the actual birthday, because Eleanor wants to throw the party herself and on the actual birthday she and Cyrus have tickets to the Palais Garnier. Caring and neglectful at the same time, classic Eleanor Waldorf and the reason Blair is so freakin' all about bloodbaths all the time.