Ordinarily, the characters on Gossip Girl thrive on deception. Plotting, secrets, and withheld tidbits of information are what keeps their hair full, their skin luminous, and their tits buoyant. (What, did you think it was the waffles?) But on last night's episode, it was as if everyone had been plumped up with truth serum instead. People were coming clean about their darkest secrets all over the place: Blair admitted to Nate that she had been lying about going to Columbia. Chuck admitted to Lily that he was frightened of losing her. Vanessa told Dan, "You were right." Serena nervously confessed to her father that she was actually a party girl instead of straight-edge student (as if he couldn't tell from the fact that she was wearing a sequined Ace bandage), and after several months, Jenny decided that she couldn't even wait another hour to tell Rufus about her drug-dealing past, even if it meant crashing a Doctors Without Borders gala to do it. Once there, however, she was stopped short by a girl with a confession of her own: "That wasn't oxy you sold me, it was antibiotics," she hissed. "I didn't get high, I got a yeast infection!"
(For the record, we love that actress for delivering that line, and hope she gets a Monistat commercial out of this.) Thankfully, by the end of the episode, things had reverted to normal, and new webs of deceit were being woven and draped across the Upper East Side.
More Real Than Serena Sleeping With a Teacher After Less Than One Semester:
• Chuck found time to get a haircut! Plus 3, because it’s not all cocaine and whores, so there’s hope!
• Dan says he and Vanessa are “two artists in a relationship,” which is so Dan, and decides to make a list of rules so they won’t fight, which is a concept so even more Dan it might as well be wearing sideburns. Plus 3. Once they’ve ruled out artistic conversations, Dan says that leaves “politics, Jersey Shore, and where we want to eat.” Plus only 1 for them thinking there could be nothing less on earth to talk about but their own art, but no more than that because no way do Dan and Vanessa ever talk about Jersey Shore.
• Eric and his pseudo-boyfriend are sexting before the first date. Plus 5.
• Of course Dad van der Woodsen’s “examination” would occur in the living room and involve just gently touching Lily’s neck and looking at her. Plus 2, but God, do the rest of those people have poo for brains.
• Blair is whining that her friends (she has friends!) want her to live “in a post-war building on a street that’s not even numbered — it’s lettered. And its big selling point is that it’s above a falafel stand.” We’ll swallow the dis about Alphabet City, though we should warn Blair that the prewar apartments on “lettered” streets are the ones to watch out for, and give a plus 3 for the falafel reference.
• Blair: “Can I ask you something? What do you think about falafel?”
Blue Columbia pre-minion: “Ew. Isn’t that the kind of food paralegals eat?” Plus 3.
• The writers clearly want Third-Personing to be the new Three-Way Attack. And we will so buy into that. Plus 3.
• William van der Woodsen: “I had a buddy that went to Exeter, and the stories he told would make Keith Richards blush.” As 50 percent Exeter grads ourselves, we were about to deduct points for this, but then we remembered the Amen sex tape, what used to happen by the railroad tracks, and that voice mail from a freshman girl to a senior boy that everyone in school heard, and nobody ever forgot. Plus 2.
• Rufus: “I’m confident that there’s no depravity that brand-new Léron sheets can’t erase.” Plus 3, for Rufus having become a total label whore, even when it comes to bed linens. (That's really why he gets so pouty about sleeping at the loft.)
• Jenny is being an asshole, but like all petulant younger sisters, she has a point: Serena is basing her relationship with her dad on lies, out of fear he won’t accept her. Of course, this doesn’t have anything to do with Jenny’s problems, really, and Serena’s dad did see her in all those topless magazine shots, so this only gets a plus 1.
• Serena wants her dad to respect her and she wears a skintight, flesh-colored minidress that shows what she ate for lunch to the benefit in his honor? Eh, plus 2.
• Jenny burns popcorn. Plus 1.
• For Blair, going to NYU when she wants to go to Columbia is “like getting locked out of Lanvin the day they get fall in,” which gets a plus 1 for fashion reference, but does take the stakes down a little. But then there’s a plus 10 for the faces Blair makes for the entire two minutes after she finds out she got in.
• We like this Rufus-Eric team-up. No points, but we anticipate great things. Especially if Chuck and Jenny get involved.
• Rufus isn’t quite man enough to take a deep swig of Scotch, even when he’s pissed. Plus 1.
• Even though Jenny’s dress at the ball was pretty rad, her hair was so stringy you could actually see where the extensions were glued in. Plus 1.
• Of course Dan gets Vanessa stationery so they can correspond via handwritten letters. And of course Vanessa says “maybe if we both become famous writers they can publish them after we die.” Plus 3.
• The slutty singleton is named “Holland”? Plus 1.
• Another plus 2 for Blair’s face after she puts her two proto-minions in their place. Thank GOD she’s back.
• After William's speech, Gossip Girl says, "Looks like this Doctor Without Borders could use some boundaries." No points, we're just pointing out that that's her best line in a while.
• Jenny constantly refers to her "boyfriend" Damian, even though they barely dated and he left her because she wouldn't do him. Plus 2.
• Jenny's adolescent brush with pills has left her with a professional-level awareness of the powers and side effects of various pharmaceuticals. Plus 2.
• Antibiotics = yeast infections. Real. Plus 10.
Faker Than Every Single Thing About William van der Woodsen
• The way Nate, Serena, Dan, and Vanessa handle breakfast is just so non-collegiate. Where is the sleeping in way late after you’ve stayed up all night doing your work? Who wakes up early to peruse their textbooks? Who frolics around looking perfect and sharing a cup of homemade coffee before class? Nobody.Minus 7.
• Chuck says “I find the cause is the best cure” to a hangover while waving around a bag of cocaine. First of all, we’ve heard, if you’ve done that much blow the cure is absolutely not more of it. It’s Xanax or Valium or something else that will make you feel less terrible about yourself. If you’re hung-over from drinking, that’s another thing entirely. Minus 5, because Chuck of all people would know this.
• Wait, this whole time when Nate has been barely present at Columbia he’s been on a varsity sports team? No. Minus 5 because even Columbia recruits athletes, and we’d have known about this during the application process (when it would have explained a lot).
• Let's get into William van der Woodsen for a moment. How can anyone believe this guy spent a day in Africa, unless he was being fanned by palm fronds poolside in Marrakech? Played by Billy Baldwin in a casually unbuttoned black shirt that shows off a pouf of chest hair, he is drenched in a sleazy, sweaty sheen so alcoholic we can practically smell the fumes coming off of him from our living rooms. Eric would have been way more suspicious of him, and even Serena would have noticed he was staring at her boobs. Minus 10.
• After her freshman year, Vanessa is up for a CNN internship that would take her to Haiti for three months? Nope. Minus 3.
• Even Lily’s slip is appalled at her shoulder zipper and is trying to escape her mauve dress. Minus 1.
• In one moment Lily says that she “told William to stay away if he couldn’t make good on his promises to the children” (why on earth would she think she had evidence that he would do that?) and in the next she says, “if William wants to move in to be closer to the kids, I’m not going to stand in his way.” Come on, Lily. Minus 2.
• Blair wouldn’t lie about transferring to Columbia without first trying to transfer to Columbia, or at least having Dorota break into the registrar's office and add her name to the list. Minus 4. She’s learned a lot of lessons lately, and one of them was not to try and claim something you can’t back up when push comes to ripping-off-your–Matthew Williamson–dress.
• Is it us, or is the New York City backdrop in the scene where Lily and Rufus talk about William extremely fake-looking? It’s a painting, it seems. Minus 2.
• Why must everyone on this show call their sinister associates the second the other person walks out of the room? What if someone forgot their keys?? Er, painkillers? Minus 3.
• While we like the Columbia girl subplot, would semi-adult snobs really admit to being obsessed with someone else their age? Minus 1.
• Nate would never figure out that Blair was pretending to be a Columbia student that quickly. Minus 2.
• It’s a nice touch that Chuck is snorting cocaine using a hundred-dollar bill, but what was that B-level Champagne bottle? Minus 1. It was not Dom ’95. And Minus 5 because Dom ’96 was actually Blair’s favorite, thank you.
• How many bras does this “Nadine” have? Minus 1.
• Wait, how did Elliot get into the apartment? Even if he was invited, there's still a door. Well, doorman. Minus 2.
• How did the blonde proto-minion hear Nate talking from 30 feet away when he was facing the other direction? Minus 5.
• Why does anyone in New York know who William is, anyway? Minus 2.
• Wait, hugs melt Chuck? Why did nobody try that before?? Minus only 1, because we do think we saw him tongue Lily's shoulder on the way down.
• Why do people on this show insist on only having confrontations at fancy dress-up parties? Can’t things wait? Minus 1, because Jenny would know that the real way to tell Rufus she used to be a drug dealer would be over waffles, or at the very least burnt popcorn.
• We get that neighbor lady Holland felt slighted by Rufus when he arrived at the gala — but was that a good enough reason to tell his teenage stepdaughter about his antics? Minus 1.
• Gossip Girl on Serena: “Apparently her upstairs neighbor has been cumming downstairs.” Minus 1 because come ON, kids read this blog!
• Jenny Binged "cancer"? Did that really happen? Minus 20. It would have been more if they hadn't looped in her drug dealing quite nicely. Good save, writers! But not enough to save this week's episode from ending up on the unreal side of our weekly tally, at a Total of 84 points. Better luck in next week's season finale!