Oh, you'll never guess what I didn't read on Gossip Girl this week! Guess who's back in town? Vanessa Abrams! Who? The more pertinent question would be: Who cares? Well, we do: Vanessa Abrams is the female version of Dan. We're still looking for the male version of Dan. In the books, she's an irritating shaven-headed photographer/artiste, but here she seems to hail from that post-national future world that has past brought us such irritating beauties as Vin Diesel and Kristin Kreuk. A genetic mash-up worthy of the Gorillaz. And even better: not an asshole. I mean, I admit that Dan is wonderful, no matter what particular teen-boy issues he may have, and God knows I hated him in the books, so I'll reserve judgment for now. The second she starts taking artsy pictures of pigeons pecking condoms in the street, though, I am throwing down.
"Spotted: S and Lonelyboy mackin' in the Meatpacking. Opposites do attract, but for how long? And who am I?" You know the drill, XOXO and et cetera. The GG.net website itself makes an appearance here, and again later, and it's pretty much your usual bloggy-blog: Perez- or Socialite Life-style pictures and text, with a billion things happening in the first and third columns. Jenny's in a store obviously doing Blair's grunt-work as GG fills us in on the awkward Regency parallel for the week: "Long ago, when European royals grew bored with palace balls, they took a page from the peons and added some pageantry. Couture and canapés are just another Saturday night until you add a mask, but preparing for a ball is an event in itself... Which is why queens invented handmaidens." The distractingly hot guy helping Jenny get all of Team Blair's dresses and bling together assumes she's going to the Masquerade; Jenny's hopeful but basically knows better. "Here's hoping," he says, and drapes this ridiculously beautiful bracelet, dripping with diamonds, across her wrist: "We'll put it on Blair's tab." She protests, but he calls it a loaner and just tells her to bring it by after the ball. This makes Jenny feel like a classy red-carpet girl, and she almost passes out from the glamour.
B and S lounge around on Blair's bed, looking luxe. As usual, Blair is ten times more noticeably garbed than Serena: a lovely purple velvet dress with a bow. And Serena is wearing...van der Woodsen manqué, flowy and sweet and grownup. Serena's aghast at the intensity of this year's costumery -- "something about a custom-made corset, and I hear there are wigs involved?" -- but Blair explains that she's going all-out because of a secret plan having to do with oblivious Nate. "It's a game. It's a scavenger hunt. Nate starts the night with a clue, which leads him to a lady-in-waiting, who gives him a clue to the next lady..." S is like, "You have 'ladies' now?" Yes. Of course she does, S. Welcome to, like, life. "If he finds me before midnight when the masks come off, he can claim his prize." Serena takes a moment to figure out what that prize is, and Blair gives some awesome hubba-hubba eyebrows, and then S feels totally creepy and weird about lying in bed talking about how B is finally going to sleep with her boyfriend, with whom S already knocked boots. And to be fair, S is right: that's awkward. "I just figured that after everything that's happened, or...hasn't happened, I should find some way to make it special." S tries really hard to get on board with this entire freaky convo, because obviously B has done whatever necessary internal logic puzzles that make this discussion okay. Which: good for Blair. Nothing says emotional health like actually dropping your bullshit when you're claiming to have dropped your bullshit. On the other hand, nothing says emotional wreck like pretending to have dropped your bullshit.