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Gossip Girl Recap: He’s an Adult and He Treats Me Like One

GOSSIP GIRl-- "Monstrous Ball" --  (L-R): Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks and Sofia Black-D'Elia as Sage

"In some countries, older people are considered attractive," Minion Jessica observed on last night's episode of Gossip Girl. "Not this one," Blair responded, exchanging her 21-year-old model for a younger one. In this youth-obsessed society, in which body hair, wrinkles, and extra pudge are eradicated the second they appear, how can anyone tell who the adults are? This is one of the questions archeologists researching the Upper East Side millennials will one day ask themselves. They need only watch one episode of Gossip Girl to find the answer: No one is an adult. Not Lilly, who laconically undermines her children and sleeps with their boyfriends. Not Rufus, the former moral center of the show, who cannot succeed without the financial support of CeCe Rhodes. And certainly not Steven. If Serena was looking for another disappointing Man Child of a father figure, as her mother suggested last week, she sure got one. With their Dynasty clothes and disposable incomes, our characters may think they're adults, but they are children, and Upper East Side is their Neverland, their lives one long fancy dance in which they partners, back and forth, forever and ever, Or at least for the next five episodes.

And now, onto our weekly Reality Index!

More Real Than A Guy Who's Cooked His Books Saying, "Everyone Uses Funky Accounting Now And Again."

  • "I lost weight without even trying," Sage chirps to Serena, because teenagers really know exactly what buttons to push to annoy their elders. Plus 3
  • Plus 5 for the bookish everyman Sage smacked with her cotillion dress and didn't apologize to, in a subtle but powerful statement about class warfare in New York City. One day may he rise up!
  • I'll give Steven a Plus 4 for acting like a dick to Serena because he is thinking about proposing to her, even though it is completely counterintuitive, because sometimes when men have Feelings it does come out jerky; like they don't have another setting for strong emotions.
  • Well, no, Serena "never really thought about" marrying Steven, "but once I saw that ring I got butterflies!" Plus 10
  • Plus 1 for Dorota's face when Dan says Blair was bored by the missionary position.
  • "Could the weirdness be that Steven hooked up with your mom in a dungeon when you were in grade school?" Nate asks Serena in a tone that could be perfectly sincere, then accidentally offers advice: "Most of my exes would just steal my phone and go through all my emails." Plus 5
  • Plus 3 for the disgusted up-and-down Chuck gives ChIvy.
  • "You don't have boyfriends," Lilly tells Serena. "You have life rafts." Plus 1 because its true, Plus another 1 because it's a great line, and Plus another one because of course Serena is too flummoxed to point at hovering Bart and shout, "Says the woman wrapped up in a big orange life preserver."
  • But kudos to her for managing to get it together for, "You're just jealous that some man that doesn't remember sleeping with you is in love with me." Plus 5
  • "I bet she still uses it to get off," Georgina says of the Dan/Serena sex tape. "I know I do." Plus 2 for Georgina continuing to be creepy.
  • Serena mistakes another guy with thinning hair for Steven. Plus 1. Must've gotten a little blinded by that ROCK.
  • Sages throws her jacket on the ground like a spoiled child. Plus 3
  • "Putting a silver spoon in your mouth or raising you as a single parent, which one do you want to punish me for?" Bart asks Chuck. ZING. Plus 5
  • Plus 3 for the sloooowllly dawning expression on Nate's face as he finally realizes what everyone else did months ago, which is that the girl he has been dating is not only in high school, she's also a bitch.
  • Plus 2 for the way Sage yelled "Wait! We WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A DANCE!" at Nate as though she was on the verge of a giant temper tantrum complete with hyperventilating that would not subside until hours later after her father brings her a hot milk to calm down.
  • And here Rufus thought ChIvy didn’t even have the shirt off her back. AAHAHAHA no points but I slay myself.
  • "The Sage Sex Dress," kind of sounds like something that would be offered on ShopBop but looks like something from Promgirl.com's Skanky Hos section. No wonder the orders are flying out the door! Plus 2
  • Serena stress-eats a burger, fries, a milkshake, and at least three kinds of pie. About time. Plus 1
  • Dan has four-year-old plaid boxers that are his favorite. Plus 7

Total: 64

More Dubious Than Dan Humphrey's Affections

  • Seriously. He starts out the episode pining over Blair, and ends exchanging meaningful eye contact with Serena? Minus only 1, because the sex tape.
  • "Now fill a glass with scotch," Chuck tells ChIvey. "Now drink it. I wouldn't leave a drop." Wait, how did a clip from Ed Westwick's audition tape for Fifty Shades of Grey get in here? No points.
  • Why in the Christ are all of these older people without age-appropriate children doing at cotillion? Minus 5
  • Wait, so Steven went from forgetting to invite Serena to the dance, to planning on proposing to her there? Minus 2
  • Bart Bass raised a valid point when he notes it’s his money that made Chuck rich. Why doesn't he just limit the funds Chuck is employing to "destroy" him? Are we to believe Operation Kick Bass is funded entirely by that trip to Monaco over the summer? Minus 3
  • Blair is wrong that the new generation of teenagers is more devious — people have been doing the old "putting someone's sex tape on a huge screen at a party" trick for years. Minus 2
  • Serena appears to be wearing two giant minerals from Hank Schrader's collection on her ears. No points, just noting.
  • So, Sage somehow hooked Georgina's phone up to the cotillion laptop, or something? Not buying it. The most sophisticated technology we see that old red-haired lady using is a projector. Or slides. Minus 2
  • Honestly, where is Sage's mother? Minus 2
  • This week in sneak-ups! 1) ChIvy gets out of a taxi behind Chuck and Lily, and unseen by Lilly, hears their conversation. Minus 2. 2) Sage walks in on Serena trembling like a big blond cocker spaniel over the ring that Steven has "hidden" in the most obvious of places. Minus 1. 3) Bart walks in on ChIvy in his own home, because Chuck is so bad at scheming when it comes to his father that he can't even manage to find a fifteen-minute window when a powerful businessman is out of the house. Minus 2. 4) Sage overhears Dan and Georgina talking about something from across a noisy crowded hall and senses it will be helpful to her cause of overthrowing Serena. Minus 6.
  • Sage manages to steal Georgina's phone?!! Georgina would never allow it. Minus 1
  • ChIvy! Woolly knee socks are not pants! Minus 2
  • Wait, ChIvy won't cash the million-dollar check from Lilly but will take "enough to buy all of Manhattan," from Lola? Minus 2
  • Rufus and ChIvy are in like a Relationship. I don't even know what's going on. Minus only 2, because at least they didn’t have some cockamamie reason for showing up at Cotillion.
  • Meanwhile, Chuck and Blair aren't, because … why? If we were friends with Blair, we'd say that all signs point to he's just not that into you. But that can't be the case, right? Minus 10.
  • Grown-ass man Steven is upset not only that Serena has a sex tape, but that she made it, "to get even with her best friend."  Minus 5

Total: 50

Realistic details like Dan's grotty boxers, Serena's diamond fever, and the perennial success of teenagers in slutwear pushed this episode just into the real. In the next five episodes: Will credibility and earlobes continue to be strained? We're betting yes but will be watching any way.

Photo: Giovanni Rufino/CW