Night. The city is quiet but for the drizzling rain. The sky: inky-black shot through with soundstage purple. Two men and a spunky, wire-haired terrier meet on the East River Promenade. Then flashbacks! Echoes! Fancy camerawork! Revelations (of all sorts)! And by the end of last night’s midseason premiere, the show that was once the nightmare of the Parents Television Council becomes its likely all-time favorite. As Gossip Girl might say, were she around: WTF?
More Real Than Cupcake Wars Being the Most Addictive Show on TV
- “She’s having an affair with your ex,” Chuck says to Serena. “I’m referring to Dan, not the myriad of men since.” Plus 2 for Chuck’s ability to be mildly humorous in these dark times; too bad it’s the last amusing line he has in the episode.
- “Find Dorota and have her dry you off,” Chuck instructs Monkey. Even the dog treats Dorota like a servant. Plus 1
- Serena asks Dan for help coming up with the “biggest transformation” entry for her end-of-2011 blog post. So her blog is basically like a high-school yearbook? That sounds about right. Plus 1
- “I understand,” Rufus tells Jenny over the phone. “Alexa Chung is a better invite than your dad.” Yeah. Especially if your dad is Rufus, washed up rock star and house-husband. Remember how he used to run a gallery? That he expanded into a coffee shop? What’s happened to his spirit, his moxie? He never even leaves the apartment anymore! He’s like one of those people on E!’s Curse of the Lottery. Someday they’ll just find him in that apartment, fat with foie gras and fused to the couch. Plus 1, also, for acknowledging the whereabouts of Jenny and Eric, although WHERE IS SCOTT, the forgotten baby of Boston?!?!?!
- “Will you hate me if I sing 'Miss World' again?” Okay, Lily, coming of age in the nineties is about as likely as Daphne Zuniga being old enough to be Sophia Bush’s mom, but Plus 1 for the reference anyway.
- Fresh off her appearance on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Vera Wang continues her streak as the harbinger of doomed weddings. Plus 3. Stay away from Justin and Jessica, Vera!
- “My blog is about my own experience, not using information to hurt people.” Oh, Christ, Serena is such a jerk. Plus 4
- Okay, Louis adding a slide onto the slideshow is ridiculous, but the way he delves back into his shameful gossip habits, recklessly, with an almost sexual glee, and the wording of “Most secret affair,” are hilarious, so wash.
- Shout-outs to the sloppy duck sandwich at the Dutch! Plus 3
- This has got to be the worst and most joyless New Year’s party of all time. Everybody’s either working, in a corner gossiping and plotting, or in the bathroom crying. Actually, that’s pretty much what New Year’s Eve in New York is like. Plus 3
- After Blair confesses to Serena that she’s planning on ruining her life by marrying Louis instead of Chuck because of religious delusions brought on by some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder and refuses to budge from her insane position, Serena does not call the men with the white coats to take away her best friend, but ingeniously uses the information to finagle herself a New Year’s kiss with Dan. Plus 3 for S thinking of herself first, as always.
- Blair announces to Louis that she is converting to Catholicism. Oh, it’s that God. Well, this explains the extreme guilt and fear. Plus 2
- “It says that the car that crashed was the one ordered for me,” Nate tells his assistant, who immediately runs away. Kinda rude to just hightail it away from your boss in the middle of that kind of conversation, but we can’t exactly blame her: Have you seen Final Destination movies? You’d never want to be around someone who cheated death, either. Plus 1
Faker Than a New Year’s Eve Party in the Office
- Louis, the prince of Monaco, is just wandering around alone at night, in the rain. Minus 2
- When he happens to run into Chuck. Minus 2
- Oh, is it raining? “I hadn’t noticthed,” Louis lisps to Chuck, then coughs plaintively. “I’ll be fineth.” Minus 2 in advance, in case that cough foreshadows a split where he conveniently dies of consumption.
- If Vera Wang designed Blair’s dress before the miscarriage, why isn’t it sack-shaped like everything else she wore in the first half of the season?
- All of Blair’s accessories are mustard-colored, and she’s wearing a beret shaped like the top of an acorn. Can’t someone see this woman needs help!?!??! Minus 2
- In the very beginning of the episode, we had an inkling of an idea: Is this going to turn out that Blair has made a deal with God, we thought, that she’ll leave Chuck alone and marry Louis, if he spares him? Please God, no, we said to ourselves, then subtracted 10 points for even considering the possibility.
- Chuck is standing like ten feet away from Dan when he’s talking to him on the phone, but Dan can’t hear him. Must be those great Verizon phones! No just kidding: Minus 2
- When Chuck shows up at Dan’s house to quiz him, Dan puts on his best Dumb Face, which is not very good. “I mean, I live in Brooklyn,” says the author of a gossipy little book called Inside. “Without Gossip Girl, I know nothing.” Minus 2 for Dan’s crap excuse. If Gossip Girl were here, she would have called him “The Boy Who Cried Brooklyn.” Then she would have quoted some nonsense lyrics from a Led Zeppelin song, done a couple of Whip-Its, and eaten the entire contents of her refrigerator.
- “I thought you were a journalist with integrity,” says the text to Nate. Ha, no one thinks that. Minus 2
- Why is Nate’s assistant doing research for him on New Year’s Eve? Minus 3
- When it turned out that the ultimate deus ex machina had been brought in to keep Chuck and Blair apart — the Deus himself, GOD — we instinctively closed our eyes in silent prayer, even though we knew that this was useless: Clearly God does not exist, or else He would never have created this episode of Gossip Girl, thereby making a mockery of the thousands of hours we have spent dissecting this show over the past four years. Minus 50
- Blair thinks that if she doesn’t stick to her pledge, Chuck will die, and sees Chuck nearly getting hit by a cab as confirmation of this theory. What does she think, that God gets his ideas from the writers of the Final Destination movies? Minus 10
- Pop quiz! (Q) Who uttered the following lines, thereby distinguishing themselves as an arbiter of common sense on this episode?
1. “Just because Dan and Blair were hanging out doesn’t mean they’re sleeping together.”
2. “That wasn’t a miracle. That was modern medicine.”
3. “God doesn’t punish people for being in love. He wouldn’t want you to marry someone you’re not in love with.”
(A) Serena! How weird! While it’s nice to see someone making sense on this show, Minus 3 for character inconsistency!
- Wait, so until now, no one bothered to interview the driver of the car in an accident that nearly killed a billionaire and soon-to-be princess? Was there no police report on this accident? Why in the past few months did he not think it would be a good idea to volunteer that information? To be like, ‘Hey, other dude, maybe someone is trying to kill you?’ And WHY DOESN’T HE HAVE NEW YEAR’S EVE PLANS? Minus 10.
- Serena tells Louis and Chuck that the reason Blair and Dan have been hanging out and hugging and going into a secret building together is because she and Dan have been having a secret relationship. Because that makes sense. Minus 3
- The real Charlotte Rhodes is alive and well and living in New York, it turns out. So... she’s never noticed that another blond called Charlotte Rhodes has been in the society papers lately, including in family pictures with her own mother? Also, how has she never run into Carol the few times she’s been in New York? Doesn’t that always happen in this city? Minus 3
This episode had a very limp showing on the real side, for obvious reasons. Dear God, if you ARE real, please restore the fun to this show and make next week’s episode better? XOXO