It’s the nature of a Gossip Girl character to be self-destructive. To make poor decisions that compromise one’s morality and often, one’s virtue. But on last night’s episode, a few Upper East Siders stood up and said: Enough. Serena decided that she would rather lose a job she did not need at all than deceive her BrotherLover Dan by helping to make a movie she knew would displease him. Chuck made a decision to move on from his prolonged period of mourning over Blair. Nate told Diana he didn’t want to be the boy toy she secretly used for sex, but the boy toy everyone knew she used for sex. And Diana, in turn, fulfilled her promise to show New York City who she really is, which is a dangerously scary cougar.
More Real Than the Fleeting Look of Terror on Keith Gessen’s Face When He Has to Look Directly at Liz Hurley
• Aw, a look back at Minions Through the Ages, pasted on posterboard by ever-faithful Dorota! Nelly Yuki of course “hates” Blair for trying to undermine her at Yale and Isabelle is inexplicably missing, but it’s always nice to when Kati Farkus takes a break from medical school to don thigh-highs and act a fool. Plus 1
• In Chuck’s recurring nightmare, he has to walk one extra block in $2,000 shoes. Plus 5
• “I’m going to get a tart cherry juice and call David O Russell.” Plus 5. The new, “I’m going to go home and sleep with my wife.”
• Shout-outs to the fake movie posters on Jane’s wall for Kahlua, Lula’s Love, and Plot 19. Plus 2
• For much of the episode, Serena was wearing an unrevealing crocheted top, a droopy cardigan, and an elastic waist skirt. She almost looked like ... a person who works in an office! Plus 1. Thank God the next episode will have her back to daytime sequins!
• “Even Pippa knew when to pipe down!” Plus 1
• “I LOVED your book,” says Jane’s assistant Natalie. “You should just transfer the novel straight to Final Draft. Cut, paste, done.” Then they tell him to change everything. Plus 3, because it’s always fun when Hollywood writers hint at their own bitter experiences.
• “We’re going to Zuckerberg him.” Plus 10, mostly for the crazed relish with which she delivers the line. We’re going to miss this crazy bitch.
• We’ve already addressed our issues with the cameos of both Vulture and N+1 editor Keith Gessen and will do more so later, but we need to give a full Plus 10 to the assistant Nate came up against, particularly for his snotty delivery of the ridiculous line, “I thought you were in media.”
• We’re highly skeptical of the “relationship” between Liz Hurley and Nate — more on that below — but we were touched when she uttered a line showing she knows how his mind works. Or doesn’t. “Keith’s just business, really,” she told him soothingly, when he called to complain about finding out she was dating n+1 editor Keith Gessen from the literary magazine’s very offices. “I know you don’t understand, but you need to trust me.” Plus 2
• “Hello, Nate doesn’t have a type. He’s like Derek Jeter.” Plus 2
• “If everyone can read about you straight from the source, that would make Gossip Girl irrelevant,” Liz Hurley tells Serena. “You can stop the lies and finally control your own image. Aren’t you tired of swimming in Gossip Girl’s fishbowl?” Oh, this old chestnut. We imagine a similar speech was once given to Lydia Hearst. Plus 4
• When Dan brags to Rufus that his book debuted at No. 9 on the Times best-seller list, Rufus points out that Lincoln Hawk started at eight. Plus 1
• Liz Hurley refers to Charlie as having Clark Rockefellered the Upper East Side. Plus 2
• At first, Serena was hesitant about the idea of penning a column on her thoughts and feelings for the Spectator. But Diana had done a favor for her, and she was so nice. She seemed so genuinely interested in what Serena was really like. And truth be told, Serena had always wanted to write. Why had she ceded all of her literary ambitions to Dan? Just because he was from Brooklyn, and quoted Nathanial Hawthorne? Unlike him, she wouldn’t put on any literary pretenses. She would tell it like it really was, without any bells or whistles. So that night, after the party Serena picked up her laptop and began to type. “People in New York love to gossip,” she wrote. “But most people don’t even know what they’re talking about.” God, that’s good, she thought. So simple, so concise. Like Hemingway. She kept typing, a smile spreading across her face. She finally had a purpose. This is going to work out great. Plus 9
Faker Than Chuck’s “I Think I’m in Trouble” Voice
• “I wish Keith had a bitchy assistant, or that n+1 had such fancy real 'offices,'” says Emily Gould, the real girlfriend of Keith Gessen. “I mean, they do have an office, and it's a lot nicer now that they have a full-time managing editor, but it is really just a room with a couch and two computers in it and a lot of boxes of n+1s.” Minus 5 for this, and all the other stuff we already mentioned.
• The outfit Blair wears to the Bridesmaid Olympics makes her look like a giant zucchini, complete with squishy head-blossom. Minus 2
• After being bribed by Louis, the Interrupting Shrink of Indeterminate Ethnic Origins shows up at Chuck’s house for an impromptu session because, “I was hoping that being in your environment might help.” Come on, lady. Weren’t you listening at all this morning? All of New York is his environment. He’s Chuck Bass. Minus 4, especially since she follows it up with, “I read the papers.”
• Wouldn’t Blair have immediately disqualified Penelope for making that sassy comment about how she didn’t get into Yale? Minus 2
• No, Serena does not know who Akiva Goldman is. Minus 3
• Just a few episodes ago, Dan tried to make Serena and everyone else feel better about her portrayal in Inside by insisting the whole thing was fiction, and he wrote the character based on him to come off worst of all. So why’s he’s all “Inside is my life,” now? Minus 4
• “Findth histh fusth, and light it,” whispthers suddenly Machiavellian Louis. Minus 5.
• “It pleases me to know that if a bomb went off right this second, all of New York media would be over,” Liz Hurley, a.k.a. Diana, tells the crowd assembled at the “American Spectator,” office. Only if “all of New York media” was comprised of Keith Gessen, Carson Griffith from the Daily News, and some chick from Quest ... Oh yeah, we went there. Minus 10
• Nate looks indignantly at Charlie after Liz Hurley tells him she she only kissed him to win the role of Blair’s bridesmaid, but Charlie shuts him down immediately with a disgusted look: “The girl you are seeing is our boss?” she hisses, and walks away like she can longer stand to be around such a sick sex pervert. Which let’s face it, Nate kind of is. The Nate–Diana Payne “relationship” as he insists on calling it, makes less and less sense every episode it continues. We get that she’s a voracious sex fiend, but even so, Elizabeth Hurley is twenty years older than Chace Crawford in real life and 26 years older than his character. Is this some kind of American Horror Story–type thing where he sees a completely different version of Diana Payne? Minus 7
• Elizabeth Hurley is the only actual British actor we can think of whose British accent sounds fake. Minus 2
• Serena, Pebbles Flinstone called. She wants her earrings back. Minus 2
• “I’m going to close down my practice,” says The Interrupting Shrink of Indeterminate Ethnic Origins, after her billionaire client volunteers in front of a crowd of journalists at a party that she’s been paid to make him do “unspeakable acts,” prompting a tabloid editor to shout, “I can print that!” Minus 5. Yeah, that might be a good idea, since you most likely will no longer have a license.
• So, Louis reveals that he checked the paternity test. We felt only mild disappointment at this news, since we still believe that there is no way this baby and/or marriage are actually going to happen, although as The Fetusth, as it shall henceforth be known, gets further along, the possibilities of how they are going to get rid of it grow unpleasantly darker. No points.
• Frankly, we’re more upset about not getting to find out what dirt Liz Hurley has on Jane that caused her to cancel an entire movie with Aaron Sorkin and leave the party looking pale and shaken. Minus 9
• Chuck is so determined to not spend another second pining over Blair that he can’t even wait until Harry Winston opens, he just leaves the diamond he bought her on the doorstep. Minus 10, although it could be worse: It could be that’s what Blair ends up doing with the baby.
Next week: This week came out on the side of irreality, mostly because Louis started making ludicrous decisions and Chuck temporarily doesn't know how to deal with diamonds. Expect even more fakery next week when Chuck decides to throw a fund-raiser/masked ball. Because those always work out so well on Gossip Girl. We’ll be here, drinking every time someone overhears something they shouldn’t, walks off in a huff, hangs up without saying good-bye, and, of course, kisses someone they thought was someone else (because they’re wearing a mask) — and, as always, faithfully tallying reality points.
Interested in compiling our recap of the recap? E-mail alice.urmey[at]nymag.com, subject line: Sound the Trumpet, Strumpets.