Dan never intended to publish a novel that cruelly satirized his friends and family. Charlie was practically forced to assume the identity of an Upper East Side trust-funder. Serena didn’t know that her high school reputation as a Champagne-swilling Lolita would haunt her into adulthood. The cast members of Gossip Girl may not make their own beds, but they nonetheless must lie in them, and in last night’s episode, everyone was lying in bed alone.
As always, while the majority of our favorite Upper East Siders problems are unimaginable to the 99 percent, some things ring true. We parse them below in our patented reality index.
More Real Than the Blueprint Cleanse Making Another Appearance in a New York Office
• The Gossip Girl item announcing “Lonely Boy’s Literary Luck” has a picture of Dan facing the table at last week’s dinner with the publishing biggies at at Club A Steakhouse. Which means ... Gossip Girl is Jonathan Karp. Solved! Plus 5. We knew someone that bitchy and incisive had to be in media.
• Dan: “How big can my head get before it explodes?” We don’t know, but he’s sure testing the limits with that hairstyle. Hahahahahaha urgh sorry no points.
• Blair to Louis: “I don’t want your family to think of me as the star of some reality show like Unmarried and Pregnant Princesses or Royally Screwed.” Andy Cohen, once again, this show is doing your job for you. Plus 4
• “Every girl needs to get knocked off her pedestal a little,” Serena says to Blair, whom she assumes Dan has made the villain of his novel, proving the teen-genre maxim that if a blonde gloats in the first act, she’s going to go off in the third. Plus 4
• “Make it go away,” says Serena’s boss, when she offers her a script described as “American Psycho in Prep School.” Ouch, that is cold. No points, just saying.
• Various hints throughout the episode indicate Chuck’s character dies alone of autoerotic asphyxiation. (He’s hanging in a closet, it was an accident, etc.) But although his tragic death leads him, in the end, to reconsider his life, he still has one very important quibble with the details: “I’d never use a belt,” he tells Dan. “I’d use a shahtoosh scarf. It’s much softer.” Plus 10
• “What’s conflated?” says Nate, the Columbia student and media company employee, when Chuck informs him that his character and Eric’s have been combined to create “Derek.” Plus 2 for that, and Plus 10 for the hilarious hissy fit he throws on the phone with Dan. “Derek? Really?” he yelps. “I can’t believe I’m not important enough to merit my own character! I’m one of your best friends, Dan.” Dan asks him to hold because Blair and Serena have arrived angry in his office. “Yeah, because they’re more important and they got their own characters,” Nate sniffs. He later tells Elizabeth Hurley that they’re not even friends anymore. Seriously. He might even take him off Facebook.
• “Remind me never to start a juice fast the day you speak to Daniel Day-Lewis.” The Gossip Girl version of, “I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.” Plus 5
• By the time Blair has awoken from her two-hour nap, Louis, a non-native English speaker, has already completed Inside. Plus 2
• “Do you even remember the girl you fell in love with?” Serena asks Dan. “Or just that she got so drunk on Thanksgiving that she got grazed by a cab, or that she got married in Barcelona, or slept with not one but two of her professors?” Don’t forget the Ostroff Center, the affair with a married congressman, and the whole “killed a man” thing. Or did Dan cut those out because they were a little too-muchy? If so, he may have a better sense of pacing than the show’s creators. Plus 6
• Lily is of course not at all upset about her daughter’s portrayal, it’s what she’s been saying for years. Plus 6
• Rufus, on the other hand: “Has-been-turned trophy husband who married for money.” Nothing hurts like the truth. Plus 4
• “Just the right amount of pathos,” really is such a Times-ian phrase.
• Blair is waking up. Lily is drinking coffee. Serena is wearing a sequined miniskirt. Plus 2
Faker Than Anyone Ever Saying the Words “The Literary World Is Saying Yes to You”
• Good thing no one does anything during the day and therefore are all available to respond immediately to a text message asking them to assemble at the Humphrey’s apartment at a moment’s notice. Minus 2
• Hey, look, it’s authoress Sloane Crosley being introduced to Lily and Rufus. But wait, where is she going, after her line? Doesn’t she at least want to shake hands with the author’s parents before heading to check out the snacks? What, uh, okay, see you ... Apparently too many book parties take a toll on a girl’s manners. Minus 5. Rufus seemed especially disappointed.
• Alessandra the Agent’s social skills are also questionable. “God, your character’s story is so tragic, even before he dies,” tells Chuck. “And the way he dies. All I can think is: How long were you hanging there, before anyone found you?” Minus only 4, because she could be some kind of plant hired to bum Chuck out so hard he actually kills himself. You never really know, with this show.
• Daniel Day-Lewis responds to a request written by Serena. Minus 5
• Daniel Day-Lewis cancels a meeting with a producer about a movie based on rumors about the characterization of her assistant in a novel written by said assistant’s 20-year-old boyfriend. Minus 5
• At this point, Louis is like the Candyman. Blair can’t even invoke his name without him stepping suddenly out of the shadows behind her. It was absurd when he stepped into the room just as Dan was denying sleeping with Blair, and took it as an admission of guilt, but we laughed out loud when Blair, talking to Serena, said, “I just wish Louis felt the same about me,” and we heard his disembodied, “I do.” If Louis really wants to have a more trusting relationship with Blair, his first act might be to stop sneaking up on her. Minus 8
• Wait, why did Elizabeth Hurley hire Charlie? Wouldn’t she be much more useful to her as an undercover spy? Minus 5
• Dan’s agent has to call to tell him the Amazon rankings. As if he wouldn’t be checking obsessively on his own. Minus 3
• Also, “his reading at Union Square Barnes & Noble is filling up”? Is Barnes & Noble now taking reservations? Or does she just mean that cat ladies and people on disability have already staked out the prime seating? Minus 5
Next week: It’s Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Chuck is once again on the path of redemption, Blair is once again on the path of destruction, and hurray, Wallace Shawn is back to make everything better!
Interested in compiling our recap of the recap? E-mail alice.urmey[at]nymag.com, subject line: Sound the Trumpet, Strumpets.