Raina Thorpe is all about family values, and at the end of last night's episode, she thought that Chuck Bass had exactly none. But that's just because she's from Chicago and doesn't quite understand that on the Upper East Side, people show love to those close to them in a different way. For instance, yes, Chuck will have Lily, who adopted him after his father died, kicked off the board of his company while spitting insults about her slutty past in front of his new girlfriend, but he does so knowing they'll get past it. Even Lily is kind of blasé about the whole thing. As she should be. After all, this is a woman who in recent years concealed from her husband the fact that she gave birth to his child, hid that she was flying to Florida to be treated for cancer by her ex-husband, and falsely put a man in prison, and yet he still gets indignant when the board accuses her of "ethics violations." ("Stand up for yourself!" Rufus slurs at his wife, possibly through a haze of Valium-soaked waffles. "Don't let them get away with that!")
And yes, Chuck might have sold Blair to his uncle for a one-night stand that one time, and ok-aaay, possibly he would do the same to Raina if she did something he didn't like, but in time she'd love him again! Look at Blair! Who, by the way, has no problem selling out her best friend for an online web video in order to make a point — a few chocolates, some hugs, and they'll be right as rain. Raina's startling incomprehension of all of this is just further evidence these out-of-towners won't be be able to hack the big city, if you ask us. We'll see what happens to them next week. Until then, let's take a gander at the other New York realities (and unrealities) in last night's episode.
Realer Than Lily Having Sun Tzu "Right Beside Emily Post" on Her Bookshelf:
• Finally, there are no leaves on the trees. Plus only 1 because there's still no snow! (Okay, there's barely any snow in NYC now. Where did it all go, anyway?!?)
• Serena is wearing Ben's shirt as she complains Blair is never around. Plus 2. Blair, meanwhile, is wearing a blazer for her day as a professional. A blazer made of gold. Plus 2.
• Serena knows Blair's perfect day involves "manis, macarons, massages." If she'd added "machinations," Blair would have stripped off her blazer right then and there. Plus 3.
• Dan wrote a freelance article about being single while living with the guy who's sleeping with your ex. Something funny, something sexy, something awkward, something slightly homoerotic? Hello, Details. Plus 5.
• Wait, Gossip Girl spotted Raina and Chuck IN the Bass apartment? So she is Eric! Plus only 1, because this could as easily be a minus. (Or it could as easily be Vanya, really.)
• Blair's fist bump was brief, perfect. Plus 1.
• Russell Thorpe has tasted Lily's "Spanish Tortilla" before. Yuck. Plus 2.
• Look at poor Rufus, during the power breakfast sitting there in his Angora sweater, like a pet Angora rabbit. Plus 3.
• No points, but Raina's red dress is fierce, and so is Lily's necklace at brunch.
• Dan: “Waldorf. Where’s the new Epperly?”
Blair: “You’re looking at her.”
Dan: “Oh God, what’d you do to her?”
Blair: “She’s in a better place.” They’re really beginning to speak one another's languages! Plus 2. Also, Plus 2 for "Isn't there a bat mitzvah girl somewhere out there that's waiting for a Shirley Temple?" (Little-known fact: Intel Chris's boyfriend's favorite beverage is the Shirley Temple. When Intel Chris has one, he prefers to call it a "Darth Vader.")
• Dan takes Ben up on his suggestion that he physically deliver the article he has written, in paper, to the W office. Plus 2, because to be fair, Dan's used to The New Yorker, where they still employ 80-year-olds who retype manuscripts telegraphed from Tangier.
• Eric apologizes to Dan for lying to him and causing him to have someone falsely arrested by buying him a schnitzel. Plus 2. From the Schnitzel & Things Truck, no less. (We're just ignoring that the truck is in Long Island City at the moment, near a Check Cashing place.)
• When did Eric start speaking in this neurotic, Woody Allen–meets–Rain Man cadence? It must be either he's so excited to finally have some lines that he can't get them out fast enough, or it's time for another visit to the Ostroff Center. No points, just saying.
• The neck on Dan's sweater. Plus 3.
• Serena: “Thank you for saving me from a Valentine’s Day even more depressing than the movie I was going to watch about it.” Plus 4 because hey, wait, the cast of this show are the only actors in Hollywood who weren’t in that godforsaken film.
• Chuck: “I know how to tap a vein.” Of course he does. We remember that lost weekend in Thailand. Plus 3.
• Without reading it (or maybe after reading it, it’s unclear in the end), Blair correctly analyzes that Dan’s article is about "a boy from Brooklyn and an untouchable Upper East Side blonde," and also that supporting it "would be like showing up at an accessories shoot in Crocs." Plus 10.
• At first it seemed like Chuck’s gift to Raina was a scary goth boudoir draped in velvet and hazardous candelabra, which is sort of a sucky gift considering that’s his daily life. But her favorite food from Harry’s Bar in Venice — not bad! Plus 2.
• Serena has definitely worn the Louboutin Bianca in the show before, so Plus 5 for that.
• “It’s okay to date below the line,” Blair tells Serena. “Madonna and Julia Roberts paved the way for girls like you.” Plus 2.
• Wait, Dan and Blair hide together behind the arras? That’s so Shakespearean. So them! Plus 3. (Although, wait, there’s a whole room back there? Eh.)
• Aw, and then Blair’s sad face is so sad! Plus 4. Not sure what to think about the hand-holding moment. Seems right that Dan would reach out to her, and it also seems right that she’d jerk her hand away. So, plus 5?
• In the same two minutes, it is revealed that Serena prefers Rochard chocolates, and Ben wants to meet at the Old Town Bar. Perfect. Plus 4.
• Recent parolee the Captain prefaces his suggestion that his son and friend commit breaking and entering with the key he stole by saying, “I still got game.” Plus 1.
• “Wall Street didn’t need a sequel,” the Captain says, “in theaters, or in my life.” Seriously. Also, we’re kind of warming to this guy’s goofy, grown-up kid shtick. What will he do next? Convert the Archibald mansion into a fraternity house for Old Dudes? Plus 3.
• Plus 2 for Damian knowing that lurking in a dark alley wearing leather gloves is enough to scare Eric into thinking he actually has something on him.
— Speaking of lurking, plus 10 for Dan's schlumping sad-eyed around the party, watching couples disappear into corners like the ghost of Valentine’s past. With his pompadour and puppy dog eyes, all he needs is a guitar on which to strum sad songs about the futility of love and money.
Faker Than a Billionaire Having One of Those Snappy Perpetual Motion Machine Ball Thingies on His Desk:
• Blair thinks that Serena would know about the classical associations between goats and Bacchanals. Minus 3.
• Serena and Ben are sitting out Valentine's Day because it's "too much pressure." After (a) her mother had him falsely imprisoned for three three years, a decision that estranged her from Serena and (b) he waged a campaign from behind bars to ruin her life, which rather upset his relationship with his sister. And Valentine’s Day is too much pressure? Eh, Minus only 2.
• Dan, after all he claimed he did to destroy the W party, pitched Epperly a story? Minus 4. (It’d be more, but that does seem a little bit Dan.)
• Serena would not be wearing all those flaps of shearling. It’s like she’s covered her curves with the material from an entire yurt — something she’d never do, even in the darkest Mongolian winter. Minus 5.
• Chuck offers to prove the cache of the Bass name in one night? Come on. He’s a trickster, but he’s not a moron. And neither is Lily. (The only person who proves their non-moronity in agreeing to this plan is Russell, natch.) Minus 10.
• Also: Why exactly did Serena leave the Bass apartment, where she was with Raina, and end up at the Ralph Lauren mansion on Madison with Raina, and not travel there with her? Minus 4, and don’t say it’s because she needed to use the phone to talk to Ben, because we know that’s not how anybody communicates on this show.
• Raina wants a dress that will take Chuck's "breath away," so she went to ... Ralph Lauren? Mmm, not sure about that. Minus 2.
• As funny as it would be to go to a Martha Stewart Valentine’s Day Party, it strikes us that poison-filled éclairs are probably not that appealing to other people. Minus 4 for the idea of it. Martha celebrates V-Day alone, we just know it.
• Blair, who is simultaneously a Columbia student and the executive assistant to the editor of a fashion magazine, took the afternoon off to watch Boardwalk Empire? No. Minus 10.
• Wait, hold on. Why after risking Blair’s wrath to keep her away from Raina and Chuck on Valentine’s Day did Serena allow her to Chuck’s party? Shouldn’t she have attempted some weird complicated ruse to keep Blair from ever seeing the couple together, lest she spot their Real Love shimmering above their heads like heat above a charcoal grill, thereby introducing another complicated subplot? Damn, these writers are getting soft. Minus 2.
• As we’ve said, you can’t just “assemble” boards of multi-billion-dollar companies at the drop of a hat. They are important people. Who are busy. Also, Lily is chairman of the board, is she not? They can’t assemble behind her back. Minus 20.
• There’s no “Goodman and Son” catering. Couldn’t they have had some sort of product placement here? Like Model Bartenders? It’s not like they were fussy about selling that moment to Bing. Minus 5.
• Who is writing on a notepad with a quill pen at the party? Minus 1.
• Okay, rich New Yorkers will pay $2,500 a head to fill an event. But not on one day’s notice, not on Valentine’s Day, and not when it’s not for charity. That’s just gauche. Minus 30.
• Ed Burns we can see at a Chuck Bass event. Every Chuck Bass event, in fact. But Amanda Lepore? Minus 2.
• “One lonely Bass adrift at sea?” Really, Gossip Girl? We can’t even get a metaphor that makes sense, like, “One Bass belly up in a poisoned sea”?
• First of all, W is only ever nice to its fashionable socialites, so the idea that they’d try to trap Serena into something nasty is ridiculous. Minus 5. And second, the idea that video of Blair nastily narrating some awkward encounter would be at all useful for their website is absurd. Minus another 5. New York Magazine, on the other hand, would love such a video, if anybody has it.
• Rufus and Lily’s V-Day plans involved Jacques Torres fondue and Love Actually. Everyone knows that’s a Christmas movie, but Minus only 1 because that’s clearly the influence of the perpetually sweater-clad Rufus. If Lily were in charge, Oompa Loompas would be making them chocolate.
• “Roses are red, hydrangeas are blue. Chuck’s given his heart away But guess what, Blair? Not to you.” Gossip Girl, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Minus 10.
• Blair submits Dan’s article to Vanity Fair instead of Details? Maybe this is another devious plan for him to fail, but it doesn’t seem like it, so Minus 3. Vanity Fair would only publish such an article if the events in question happened 70 years ago.
• Also — they watch a movie together over the phone? Even though it’s Rosemary’s Baby, we just don’t buy it. No points, because we get what they’re doing. But still — we’ve got our eye on this, writers.
— The passwords at Thorpe would change every ten seconds, not every week. Come on, guys. Minus 10. We’re not even going to deduct points for the obvious fact that they’d just deactivate the Captain’s key card, and that Thorpe would never collect it personally.
• God’s Love We Deliver is still delivering food at midnight? Minus 10.
• Guess what: Lily didn’t commit perjury. It was Serena’s written testimony. And there’s no way to prove that Lily forged Serena’s signature — added to the fact that it was largely Damien’s testimony that put Ben away, Eric should have seen through this. Minus 10.
• Wouldn’t Serena would have changed out of her ball gown before going to the Old Town bar? Eh, wash.
Acknowledgment of the Schnitzel Truck, the Old Town Bar, and the gayness of Details weren't enough to place this episode on the side of realistic. Maybe next week, when Damian emerges from the shadows and Serena's cleavage emerges from its hiding place, will fare better.