It is a truth universally acknowledged that the second the person who broke your heart appears in front of you looking sorry and pathetic is the second you realize you’re completely over them. So it was for Blair in last night’s episode of The Greatest Show of Our Time. She’d been mooning over Chuck all summer long — “I hurt all over,” she was sobbing just last week — but from the moment she laid eyes on him in Paris she no longer gave a rat’s Bass about him. ” I won’t be pulled back into the darkness,” she insists, when Serena tells her that she’s the only thing that will keep him from changing his name to Jason Bourne and fleeing to Kerala. “I’ve been waiting all summer to feel sparkly again!” Fortunately, she realized there’s no better way to get said sparkle back than by saying “I don’t love you anymore” while looking fabulous in full-length Oscar de la Renta and dripping with Harry Winston while a chiseled Parisian royal waits curbside. God bless her, and the writers, for it. Not least because this was one less episode of this show to end in a ball.
And now, Allons à l’Reality Index!
Realer Than Spending a Whole Flight Watching Romantic Comedies and Then Making a Pros and Cons List About Your Love Choices:
• Blair refers to Serena’s “Sophie’s Choice” between Brooklyn and the Upper East Side. “If you go back with an uncertain heart, there will be drama and disaster for all.” Blair is correct in this, but plus only 1 because you could have cut off everything before the word “there” in that sentence and it would still definitely be true.
• Serena: “It’s like choosing between éclairs and Napoleans. They’re both delicious!” Blair: “Except Humphrey’s a doughnut.” Oh, we bet Dan would have appreciated that. Plus only 1, though, because everybody knows he’s a waffle.
• Is that Corey Feldman over Serena’s left shoulder in the café where she sits with Blair? Plus 10 for the possibility that he, like Chuck, might secretly be alive and living in Paris.
• Of course, Nate is not at all suspicious about why this crazy pretty lady has decided to enter, study, and take charge of his life. Plus 3.
• Serena looks at the outside of a snakeskin wallet, a closed passport, and a generic BlackBerry, and says, “That’s his!” God. Plus 2 because it’s so her, but minus 2 for the police being so ridiculously stupid.
• Dan sings “This Loft is Your Loft” off-key to his baby. Plus 3 (and an additional plus 1 for the fact that he doesn’t know the words for any of the clothing items Jenny wears, except for “leggings”).
• Vanessa is good with babies because she lived on a commune. Plus 2, because we were absolutely unprepared to believe it was her natural warmth that made babies love her.
• Gossip Girl has a poll about whether Serena should choose Nate or Dan? Plus 1. Man, wouldn’t it be great if we could crowd-source all of our tough decisions? At least then Intel Chris would have somebody to blame for his 2004 “blond bangs” period.
• Serena: “I went to the morgue today.”
Blair: “What is that, a sex club?”
Serena: “A place where they store dead bodies.” Plus 2. Must’ve felt good shutting B up for once.
• Chuck has to work at a touristy bistro called “Rotisserie Beaujolais” where he must wear an actual costume and pump wine from barrels. Plus only 2, because they should have made him wear a beret.
• Blair and Chuck run into each other in Paris. This actually strikes us as completely realistic, in that odd, the universe-is-really-freakishly-small way. Plus 5.
• Blair, through some sort of psychic mind-meld, knows that Chuck pissed off the wrong pickpocket. Plus 1. And yet she still mistakenly thinks Chuck being in Paris is all about her. Plus 1.
• “Sarkozy is saluting Jerry Lewis tomorrow night.” Plus 5. Cheap, but we liked it.
• Is there really a need to go to multiple health-food stores in New York? Actually, for Vanessa, probably. Plus 2.
• “I could care less about his Bassets and probably he’s filtering his assets through some foreign government so I won’t know.” See, this is why we loved Chuck and Blair. This is the kind of level they’d have to operate on if they were trying to be secretive with one another. Plus 4
• Rufus is apparently the only person on the show who remembers last season, and what happened with William van der Woodsen, so he guesses that Georgina has skipped town, and that the doctor she hired for the paternity test is actually a “sex phone” worker. Plus 5. Also, ha. Rufus said “sex phone.” Plus 2.
• Fleur (Is that her name? Did we make that up?) lights right up when Chuck mentions money. At last, saving that dude and not taking him to the hospital is going to pay off! Plus 10.
• Of course Dan wouldn’t be able to go with the flow when Vanessa tells him that Nate encouraged her to hook up with him. Instead he has to go all bug-eyed and panicky, and be saved by his own baby. Plus 2.
• Aw, the French detective is called Inspector Chevalier, after Inspector Chevalier Dupin of The Murders at the Rue Morgue. Plus 1.
• The way Blair pulls herself together just long enough to say, “Just because you’re dressed poorly doesn’t mean you’re not Chuck Bass” is perfect. Plus 5. This isn’t something we normally say, but they both look gorgeous in that scene in the train station.
• Plus 20 for this line: “I don’t love you anymore,” Blair tells Chuck, and it looks like she’s hit him. “But it takes more than even you to destroy Blair Waldorf.” They should have just ended the scene with that line. Or the episode. Or maybe even the whole series.
• “Dan: Good shoulder to cry on. Nate: Good shoulders.” Plus 1, even though they both seem like they have good shoulders.
• Even Blair has money on the “Dan or Nate” question. Plus 1.
• Lily is dressed to match the wild animals in the nursery. Nice. Plus 2.
• Rufus had a Lincoln Hawk song licensed for Chicago Hope. Plus 4.
• “We don’t need tickets. I’m Chuck Bass.” Okay, fine, this was the right line to end the episode. Best “I’m Chuck Bass” ever. Plus 5.
Faker Than a New Girl Who Still Looks Good After 36 Hours With No Sleep, Hanging Out With and Manipulating People She’s Never Met:
• Okay, first of all, there are several emotions that would likely register upon one’s face should one receive a call informing one their stepbrother may have been found dead in a canal: Shock, horror, despair, accompanied by gasping, screaming, crying. Not vague concern for the ex-girlfriend of the likely bloated dead corpse. Minus 2.
• And secondly, Serena is strong enough to go identify a dead body? That might be her stepbrother’s?? If there’s anything we’ve learned on this show, it is that Serena is not strong enough to do anything. Except defy gravity by standing up straight. Minus 2.
• Juliet’s hair still looks that good after staying up all night in a coffee shop? No. Minus 4.
• Chuck Bass is unquestionably a money-clip man, not a snakeskin-wallet man. Minus 5.
• Dan and Nate’s phones look absurdly old-school. What’s the point of sponsoring a TV show if you’re just going to show off how uncool-looking your product is? Minus 2.
• Juliet and Nate separate so that they can each “go home and change,” presumably into something more casual, before going to Brooklyn, but then Juliet shows up in a different business suit. Incidentally, we were finally compelled to look up Kate Cassidy on IMDb, and she’s only 24, which is actually younger than Chace Crawford. Why are they trying to make her look like one of the Designing Women? Minus only 1, because we guess it’s possible that there is some plot point this is related to, like she has burns in a blazer-shaped pattern all over her body.
• Nate, after seeing the “1 New Text Message” notification on Dan’s phone, and then seeing that the text was from Serena, says, “He said he hadn’t heard from her!” Yes, Nate, that was a new text message. Minus 3, because even Nate knows how phones work.
• Juliet says, “The life of Serena van der Woodsen is like the most complicated Jane Austen novel.” Writers, you insult us. It’s like a Judith Krantz novel, or maybe a Danielle Steele. Assume we’ve read something other than Great Literature, for once. Minus 2.
• Okay, so Chuck’s work outfit was explained. But that doesn’t explain why he spends the time he’s off-duty looking like an extra from West Side Story. Minus 2.
• “He who sows the wind reaps the storm”? Gossip Girl (mis)quotes a minor Hebrew prophet? No. Minus 1.
• Has nobody actually asked Juliet what she does for a living? Minus 4.
• That Chuck has a man who can create him a fake identity in Paris in an afternoon is a little bit of a stretch. Reinventing yourself is a little more complicated than just having a passport made. Minus 2.
• So Chuck was robbed, left his Prague hotel and never went back to check out, and is on the lam — but he still had the deeds to the Empire Hotel??? Minus only 15, because we know, we know, he’s Chuck Bass. (For a second we thought he had deeded everything to SERENA, which really had us going.)
• Wait, why does Serena care so much about stopping Chuck? Nobody ever really liked him except for Nate and Blair. Minus 10, because not two hours ago, she barely even cared that he was dead.
• Hold on. The loft has roof access? How have we never seen that before? Minus 2, because if Dan really had a roof in Dumbo (or, as it appears from the view, Long Island City) he would have been a lot cooler at NYU.
• Why does Vanessa keep coming back? She’s the only person on this show who pretends to have self-respect. Minus 1.
• Can we talk about how absurdly long a day everyone had, especially Serena? We normally suspend disbelief about how much action goes down in such a short time on this and every other show, and we probably only noticed because Serena was wearing that insane Studio 54–meets-Pamplona outfit the whole time, but let’s recap:
-Serena and Blair are in a café. They are drinking wine, as is everyone, so it’s at least like 11 a.m., because even French people aren’t that crazy.
-Blair goes off to buy “gently worn” items to wear on her date. Serena goes to the morgue.
-Chuck wakes up and goes to work. He is also pouring wine, so clearly this is not the 7 a.m. shift.
-Blair and Serena have tea at Eleanor and Cyrus’s. Blair is wearing a totally different outfit and has bags indicating shopping has happened.
-Chuck leaves work and goes to the flower market with what’s-her-face.
-Then presumably he goes to the bank or wherever to get the money he spreads out on the mattress.
-Serena shows up.
-Chuck leaves the apartment, presumably to get the deed to the hotel, etc.
-Blair goes on a date with Louis. They eat kebabs.
-Blair goes to back to Eleanor and Cyrus’s and tries on dresses.
-Serena comes back to Eleanor and Cyrus’s and receives the documents.
-Serena goes back to Chuck’s apartment, which has already been cleaned out completely.
-Serena and inspector Chevalier arrive at Harry Winston, where Blair is.
-They proceed to the train station.
Okay, so that’s eight locations for Serena, six for Blair, and at least five or six for Chuck. That’s a lot of running around in a single day, and a lot of drama before it even gets dark, even if the sun does set later in the summer. More than that, Serena’s feet must be killing her from walking on the cobblestones in those shoes. Minus 20, but we’ll overlook the fact that the time difference between New York and Paris seems to have gone unobserved.
All in all, this was kind of a wonderful episode, even if it was barely realistic. It felt like a season-ender, but everything’s just beginning! Does this mean they haven’t given up in the fourth season? We can only hope so! As usual, put your own reality points in the comments, and we’ll wrap them up at the end of the week.
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