Many women may indulge in princess fantasies, but for the ladies of Gossip Girl, they sometimes turn real. In last night’s episode, Lily was liberated from the house arrest spell by Prince Rufus, who magically whisked off her ankle bracelet in time for her to go to the Big Ball. As for her niece, Fake Charlie Rhodes, a.k.a. Ivy, Lily is right about one thing: The girl has some serious mental issues. It’s like every time she sees a sequined dress or a pair of Louboutins, she goes into some kind of fugue state, and when she snaps back to reality she finds she’s dug herself deeper into a situation that will get her arrested if not institutionalized. “Everything is all sparkly here,” she explains helplessly, to the woman she is blackmailing in order to assume a false identity. Don’t go into the sparkles, Ivy! Ah, too late. In the meantime, Blair pursues her Grace Kelly fantasy at all costs by telling Louis the baby she’s carrying is his — although the final scene suggests she’s going to have some explaining to do when the kid pops out wearing an Ascot and drinking its own celebratory Scotch.
More Real Than André Leon Talley Getting Everyone Into a Panic
• The Upper East Side: "A mecca for psychotic freaks," where a “breakdown is practically a rite of passage, like a bar mitzvah.” The Upper West Side: Zabar’s Zombies. Stereotypes are based on truths, people. Plus 5
• I already forget why the task of taking care for Chuck has fallen to Dan — is he doing it for school credits? Is that why he never has to go to class? — but it’s cute how their relationship is coming to resemble the one between Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in Awakenings, with Dan showing Chuck Field of Dreams and bringing him puppies to coax him back to life, while Chuck responds in the most affectionate way he knows how: “I have some knee pads in the bedroom if you need them.” Plus 10
• Of course, Cece has agreed to help engineer a plot to lie to her daughter about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. Plus 3
• “You should have seen the place I found Charlie living in,” says Serena, who once woke up drugged out in a ratty motel in Queens. “Squalor is too nice a word.” Plus 3, because this is definitely how rich people talk about normal people’s apartments behind their backs.
• “The best part of pregnancy is knowing who father is.” &8212;Dorota. Plus 3
• Nate’s indignant little speech to the character we can only refer to as Elizabeth Hurley about how he feels used makes me want to audition for Tisch so I can deliver it as a monologue. “I would love to celebrate with you. I would love to celebrate with you multiple times a day. I’m starting to wonder if that’s all you hired me for.” Plus 4
• Blair: “That would be civilized. Unlike your hair, Humphrey. You look like a Muppet.” Poor Penn Badgley and his Jeff Buckley hair. But someone had to say it. Plus 3
• Okay, so Elizabeth’s Hurley buys up an old newspaper, shit-cans the entire staff of career journalists on a whim, replaces them with an unpaid twentysomething with no knowledge of reporting, no respect for journalistic ethics, and extremely loose morals, all because she wants to compete with some schmuckette on the Internet? Okay, that’s realistic. Plus 20
• The note Serena left for Charlie on her dress says, “Live your dreams.” Plus 3. Be the change you want to see in the world, Serena.
• Nate’s idea of being taken seriously is being allowed to ask people about their vacations in Mykonos and other insipid lifestyle questions. Plus 20
• When Lily walks into the fashion show, the whispering people in the crowd sounded almost exactly like the black smoke from Lost. Is that what that was? The collective sound of murmurs straining to get out of plastic-surgery-enhanced faces? Guess we'll never know. Thanks for continuing to annoy us from the beyond, Lost.
• Jamie Johnson is the first person to be nice to Lily, which feels right, somehow. Plus 2
• Oh look, it is Chris Benz. Plus 1
• The Jenny Packham dresses were really lovely, and Blair especially looked great. She even had plausible Pregnancy Cleavage! Look out, Serena. Plus 4
• “If you have any real Rockefellers, Charlie will take them,” Blair tells the event organizers. “I’d be fine with a model or a witty gay.” Aw, she really is growing up. Plus 2
• “Are you sure you didn’t work for News Corp.?” Elizabeth Hurley says, when Nate suggests stealing everyone’s cell phones. Obvious, but still, Plus 2
• We can’t believe we’re saying this, but the weird gnome professor stealing Dan’s novel was kind of a better Gossip Girl plotline than it was a Woody Allen movie! Plus 1
• Wow, other than the agent who looks like an actress, those publishing people at Club A Steakhouse really look like publishing people. Oh, that’s because they are! There’s Jonathan Karp again and uh ... two people called Elise and Mark from Simon & Schuster whom we do not know. [Help, book people?] Plus 5 anyway
• “People trust their phones way too much,” says Elizabeth Hurley, scrolling through naked photos of some girl. Hahaha, yes they do. Plus 9
• “Meet my dog, Monkey.” At the beginning of the episode, we had brief and debilitating realization: If Chuck’s unfeeling streak was going be broken by the news that Blair’s baby was his, we knew with certainty that we were going to have to stop watching this show immediately and forever. Please don’t let it be that, we said to ourselves, but began mentally composing an apologetic blog post about how this Gossip Girl had
Faker Than a Doctor’s Office Calling Anyone Four Times for Anything Other Than an Overdue Bill
• “The contents of this envelope could alter the course of my life,” says Blair. “You want me to do this in front of pigeons and street vendors?” Minus 5. This is New York, at least 90 percent of emotional moments occur in front of pigeons and street vendors.
• Lily is reading Crime and Punishment. Minus 1
• “Your job is to make me scream,” Elizabeth Hurley tells Nate with such force and terrible, over-the-top, “I’m a COUGAR!” effort that we screamed. This character is scarier than those Paranormal Activity 3 ads. Minus 4
• Also, wasn’t she supposed to be plotting something? Surely she was targeting him for something more serious than making him her sex intern? Minus 2
• Dan receives a hard cover copy of his book approximately two months after Vanessa cold-submitted it to a publisher. Um, no. Minus 10
• “I need to look like Grace Kelly not Grace Coddington!” Minus 20. Everyone wants to look like Grace Coddington!
• In other fashion faux pas: Dan just walks up to the runway and grabs Blair off the aisle, which is Minus 1 in itself. But the utter waste of the hilarious and adorable Simon Doonan in a barely walk-on part? Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Minus 50
• Wait, where did Blair get Chuck’s DNA sample for the paternity test? Did Dan agree to perform unspeakable acts under the guise of making Chuck feel again? Minus 2. We feel cheated out of that scene.
• Rufus got the lawyer who advises some band to do what Lily’s high-paid legal team of experts could not. Minus 2
• “You did that for me?” Blair says, when Louis informs her he told Hello! he wasn’t ready for a family for a long time so they wouldn’t put her on bump watch. Yes, Blair. Louis told an inconsequential quasi-lie to a tabloid. All for you. That’s how much he loves you. Minus 2
• Would the attendants at the party really leave the area with everyone’s cell phones entirely unmanned, for a good ten minutes? Minus only 2, because we were a coat check girl once and it wasn't always pretty.
• Over the years, it's become increasingly clear that the Gossip Girl narrator is not a teenage girl at all but an obsessive shut-in like Nikki Finke or a wild-eyed dude with messy lipstick a little dog called Precious. Who else but a crazy person would devote this amount of time and effort to decoding the activities of the same pack of teenagers? Wait, don't answer that. Over time we've developed the ability to sort of zone out Gossip Girl's actual narration, the same way we do when a mariachi band gets on the subway. But we can't help but notice that the things she says have gotten steadily weirder — this week may have been her weirdest and creepiest yet: He who runs from the fear risks falling into the pit? Either this is an attempt from the writers to sneak in some religion and appease the family values groups, or the show's finale is going to end in a warped bloodbath from Veronica Mars. No points, but don't say we didn't warn you.
Even an egregious misuse of Simon Doonan and a cougar so cartoonish she practically has stripes couldn't trump the sight of Chuck and that puppy. Real Feelings That's what this show is all about. Next week: Everyone reads Dan's book — even Serena!
Interested in compiling our recap of the recap? E-mail alice.urmey[at]nymag.com, subject line: Tights Are Not Pants.