Only once or twice a season do we get to see our team united in the face of an enemy. Usually the cornered foe is hardly a force to be reckoned with: a slutty teacher, a skanky duchess, or a closeted bully. But in the case of Juliet, our gang is dealing with something they’ve never fought before: a character who has lasted more than four episodes. Even if her inept efforts to take down Serena have failed over and over, her very staying power is remarkable. She just keeps showing up for class. In the end, we see her clattering away from Lincoln Center, banished from their sight and exiled from Columbia. But will that be enough? Has the team finally encountered something they truly don’t know how to fight: poverty?
Eh — they’ve been stomping on Vanessa for four seasons now. They can handle Juliet. On to the reality index!
Realer Than Sex in a Telephone Booth at the Ballet:
• Matt Lauer interviewed Colin about “who was cuter?” That sounds about right. At least as far as Vanessa’s Daddy Complex goes. Plus 2.
• Let’s see if we can decipher Dan’s stated reasoning for reading Colin’s book: “Serena has boobs.” Yeah, okay, we get it. Plus 2.
• Vanessa tries to remind Dan how crazy Juliet is, and he says, “Oh, let’s just try to put this behind us.” Plus 4, because if you are a brain-dead hipster hunk, why wouldn’t you want to focus on only the pretty girls you haven’t yet slept with?
• Juliet: “I saw the way you were looking at Serena van der Woodsen at Blair Waldorf’s party the other night.” The way she refers to each character on this show by their Christian name at least deserves a Plus 1.
• Dan follows Colin’s written advice before he follows Rufus’s spoken advice. Plus 2.
• Chuck: “The New York Marathon was this weekend. Those women run 26.2 miles in under three hours, so their warm-up is the key.” Plus 4, even though that statement makes no sense at all.
• Chuck: “Closure: the unattainable goal. In my personal experience the closest I’ve come to getting it is through massive amounts of hate sex. But that’s just me.” Presumably, it’s not just Chuck, it’s Chuck and Katia, and Candi, and Krystal … Plus 10.
• Nate: “I’ll stick to giving Juliet her shampoo and copy of The Help back.” Plus 2. Subtle.
• Blair: “What if someone sees?”
Chuck: “You don’t like that anymore?”
Blair: “No, you idiot. What if someone we know sees?” Plus 3.
• Blair: “This ends here!”
Chuck: “What about over there?”
Blair: “Okay, hurry.” Plus 4.
• Blair: “Okay, it’s just sex, and a one-time thing at that! Or, maybe a five-time thing. Or, let’s be honest, I’ve lost count how many times.” Plus 3.
• “Blair: “It’s just your ordinary, run of the mill ex sex, fueled by the most common of aphrodisiacs: mutual loathing and disdain.”
Serena: “May I remind you that those are both feelings?” Oh! How adorable: Plus 1, because she clearly just wanted to prove she knew the definition of those words.
• Blair to Serena: “Do you forget what happens to you on vacation? There’s a reason you never get a tan line.” Plus 2. This would have only been better had Blair been able to verbally describe the shape of the tan line Serena does actually get while on vacation.
• Vanessa: “Let me see, writing a paper on Hannah Arendt? Or a secret mission that might help me clear my name. Let me grab my bag.” Plus 3.
• Serena to Dan: “Why do you have mad face?” Plus 1, because his expression was so ridiculous he might as well have said out loud, “I AM WEARING MY MAD FACE.” (Which, by the way, is the same as his smug face.)
• Nate is wearing his saddest sad face when he says to Juliet, “Just because you broke up with me doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.” Plus 1.
• When Blair enters the apartment, Dorota is dusting a random spot on the wall, clearly just waiting for someone to arrive and entertain her. Plus 1.
• “Bassectomy.” Plus 1. We wonder if they have a contest in the writer’s room to see who can incorporate the weirdest “Bass” pun.
• Colin to Serena: “Uh oh, I can tell you are thinking again.” Plus 10.
• Blair: It’s harder to “chuck Chuck” than I thought? “What if I need to go through sex rehab like Jesse James”? Plus 1 for those lines, because they are beneath Blair, but she is losing her mind, so she’s allowed a few misfires.
• Lordy lordy, Chuck in Blair’s velvet robe! Plus 1.
• Dorota: “KGB can’t get me to talk, Chuck Bass has no chance.” We’re going to choose to ignore the logical and factual stretches involved in this statement and give it a Plus 1.
• Blair: “We’re going to go find Serena so you two unfairly genetically blessed people can be together.” Plus 2.
• Vanessa hunted down Juliet’s apartment after seeing that she checked in to Ollie’s. Of course Foursquare would be the weak spot in Juliet’s fake life scheme. Plus 1.
• Okay, Plus 4 for how gorgeous everyone looks at the ballet opening, with a nod to the fact that of course everyone is in black tie except for Dan. (And the fact that Serena’s dress is missing its bottom half.) Another Plus 2 for the cameo by Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel (who we will always love from Center Stage).
• Intel Chris asked Intel Chris’s boyfriend if he was allowed to give points just for the fake mention of “Exeter,” his alma mater. Intel Chris’s boyfriend said no.
• Plus 20 for when the dean turns to Vanessa and says what we’ve been dying to say for years now: “I’m sorry, who are you?”
• We were hoping the Juliet plotline would end with a confrontation in which the whole gang gets together to run her out of town, but even we couldn’t have expected them to actually flank her in formation. And have planned out dialogue where each person gets to say part of a sentence. Plus 10.
• Wait, after leading him on for months and forcing him to give up his professorship, Serena leaves Colin with blue balls? Plus 10.
• Nate “walking around to clear his head” and ending up in front of Serena’s building is the kind of accidental run-in we actually believe. Plus 1.
• Blair to Chuck, on their renewed friendship: “Who knew it would take tons of hate sex and a public takedown to finally get here?” Plus only 1, because, um, we knew.
• Yay, another episode that ends with Chair sex! Plus 2, especially for the moment when they stop hugging and you can literally see them smell one another.
• Aw, of course Vanessa and Juliet think they could tackle the crew with just Jenny’s help. Plus 3, because soon they’ll realize that to resolve this it’s going to take at least a Georgina.
Faker Than Sex in an Upper West Side “Vestibule”:
• Okay, so the instinct is to give some points for the fact that Blair has an entire conversation with Serena while Chuck is under the duvet servicing her. He is wee, after all, and the comforter is very thick. But the “head” and “helmet” gags? Just too much. Minus 10, because also, Serena actually sits in the bed with the two of them, and while we might have believed that her brain was too dull to detect his presence, we know full well that her loins are always on red alert.
• Vanessa says no to breakfast at Rufus and Lily’s, but accepts the offer of some swiped Santa Maria Novella Soap. Minus 2. Are we to believe she has made an entire lifestyle change and is now valuing cleanliness over waffles?
• Vanessa checks out of a conversation the minute Serena is mentioned. Whereas, in reality, she would have checked in, for the first time, upon hearing the “S-word.” Minus 3.
• Juliet has no money, rents her clothes, and depends upon her uncle for tuition costs. And yet she has the cash to buy a miniature remote video device? Minus only 1, because let’s be honest, they probably sell those at Ricky’s.
• Colin says to Juliet: “You promised you weren’t in contact with Ben.” Juliet responds: “It’s not that easy for him!” “Prison shouldn’t be easy,” Colin says. “Especially when you deserve to be there.” Minus 3, because at this point we feel like WE deserve to be there. Even on this show people don’t normally speak in such blatant plot expositions. “Why else would his lawyer have had him plead guilty?” Sheesh.
• Colin and Juliet appear to be exactly the same age. And yet Colin is a spectacularly wealthy CEO and Juliet is a student? Minus 3.
• Not to be nitpicky (ha!), but also, there’s no way a busy CEO would set up a family member on the payroll by handing her a check every couple of weeks. This is why the Lord invented trusts, so you don’t even have to deal with your icky relatives in person! Minus 2.
• Literally everyone on this show is reading Colin’s book. Minus 2, because not only do we not believe these people read, but we especially do not believe they read books that don’t have pictures on the cover.
• Rufus has Dan over for waffles, while Eric and Lily are off touring Wesleyan, and yet Rufus has prepared a gigantic, inedible meal. Minus 1, because what happened to the man who used to conserve? (And why did Dan leave without eating any of it? We know it’s carbs, but honestly — not even pretending to chew? That’s some Blair shit right there.)
• When Blair approaches, Chuck tries to ditch Nate by saying he’s left his BlackBerry in the limo. Nate, we are to believe, notices that the BlackBerry in question is in fact in Chuck’s hand. Minus 3.
• Let’s work through some New York logistics here: When Colin and Serena finally share a hand-holding cab ride together, it is through the lower East corner of Central Park, which they would never, ever be forced to travel through. Minus 2. Also, why is Colin always hailing cabs during rush hour anyway? Wouldn’t he have a driver to avoid this exact struggle? Minus 2. Also, Chuck and Blair wouldn’t have had sex in whatever subway station/parking garage entrance/”brownstone vestibule” we are to believe they had sex in because that is revolting (Minus 2), and Dan, wearing his Theory Spy Coat, would have also never been on the necessary street corner on the UWS to have witnessed Serena witness Chuck and Blair. (Minus 4, because Nate was also just on that same corner. Have you ever run into every single member of your social cohort on the same corner of Manhattan in rapid succession? Unless you are a prostitute, the answer to that should be no.)
• Serena refers to Chuck as “the Bass that ate the canary.” Minus 1, because even though that makes no sense, it’s still a logical stretch for Serena.
• What hallway in Columbia is wallpapered like a silver bordello, exactly? Minus 1.
• Dan says to Serena: “You’re worth more than a guest lecture fee, everyone knows that.” Even Dan is aware that we haven’t set Serena’s bottom price, so this statement is just emotional blackmail. Minus 4.
• Chuck asks for liquor and an abundance of condoms for “a long day of emersion therapy” to quit Blair. It’s fun that they think we would believe the bit about safe sex. Minus 4.
• Colin always books his hotel rooms under “Buffett.” The point of booking under a fake name when you are a famous billionaire is to choose a name that suggests you are not a famous billionaire. Minus 3.
• Colin and Serena’s breakup conversation ends because the hallway ends. Not because they resolved anything. Minus 2.
• Is it ever explained why Juliet doesn’t, oh, we don’t know, have a job? She keeps moaning on about how poor she is, yet we see no evidence of her doing any sort of work/study program, or getting a loan. Instead she spends all her free time renting dresses, blow-drying her hair, and having sex in other people’s apartments. Minus 5, because while we believe that Nate would find this lifestyle somehow noble and not sociopathic, it just doesn’t make any sense.
• Wait, how did Vanessa get into Juliet’s apartment? Eh, no deducted points. Squatters have skills.
• We realize it’s close by, but no Brooklyn hipster snob would have cold Grimaldi’s lying around when they could have Di Fara or Lucali. Minus 2.
• Does Vanessa really hate Serena that much? No points, but it seems like the one level-headed character on this show has really gone off the deep end.
• Wait, Dan turns on his heels to leave the ballet and ends up inside the building? Upstairs? Minus 3.
• Also, how did poor Vanessa manage to turn up at the ballet, too? Minus 4, because while we believe she could easily break into a studio on 126th Street, we don’t believe she could sneak her way into a black-tie social event at Lincoln Center.
• Blair and Chucks’s defense of Serena is patently absurd, but only gets a Minus 3, because it did succeed in making the whole thing laughable, rather than punishable.
• Blair to Juliet: “Just because you have no money and delusions of grandeur does not make it okay for you to be a single white trash female.” No. Too much. Minus 1.
Any episode in which the gang triumphs deserves to end up on the real side. As always, put your tallies in the comments, and we’ll recap them on Friday.