Chuck joins Blair at the bar, talking about how Poppy's arrived; B's stressing and Chuck tells her she needs a drink. "You're too late!" she says in this adorable chirpy/mordant fashion I can't really describe, and earns a laugh. "Wow... That's the first true laugh I've gotten out of you in a while," she says, plans in her eyes. He sits, and she asks to speak first, because they both know this is one of the real ones. Just like that the burlesque ends, the clothes come off, and they agree to act like grownups. It's completely smooth and practiced, natural, but still monumental. I can't explain it, but there's a sudden very true feeling that shit's going down.
It might sound like a conversation they've had before, and it's most certainly a conversation they'll have again, but there's something in their eyes. It's in the highwire tension of Blair's hesitantly defiant smile. It's most painfully in Chuck's smirk, his loving, dismissive, hungry, amused, angry, aching grin: trying to be so ironic and above it and been there that he can somehow contain it all, all the enormity that will follow. Just in the curve of his smile. We were talking two nights ago about Roseanne, how it's a different show when you go back as an adult, because you realize Becky and Jackie are the most annoying characters because they're the most honest actors: it's hard to catch an actor really informing and living their characters because the point specifically of acting is making you not notice.
It's a manipulative, repetitive relationship, this Chair: sure. And shippers want this simultaneous change and not-change I will never understand, because it's logically impossible that you get what you want -- resolution of conflict and simultaneous continuation of conflict -- which is what shipping is all about. So I can understand getting bitter or bored. What gets me personally every single time is the performances: it's not possible for them to get bored in a scene any more than it is for me to disengage from it, because they're both determinedly, even recklessly, in that moment. (You have to be reckless to play Chuck Bass, he's more dramatic just sitting there than even my drama queen ass manages to be in the middle of a crisis.) It's in the blood, or at least the scarf: there's so much hilarious wonderful bullshit in this show, it's such a farce and spectacle, that it's impossible for me to imagine trying to be honest in these performances, and they keep doing it, and watching people do it is breathtaking, both in the scene and outside of it. What it feels like is what it looks like, which is what it is: You're looking at a highwire act, over a circus, in the middle of a crowded city street.