“I think you’re just kinda Humphreying out, here,” Nate said to Dan last night when the latter expressed concern that his girlfriend, Blair, was lying to him. Dan was on the wrong track, but he was right to be concerned. Given what has happened on this show the past five seasons, it would be beneficial to all of the characters on Gossip Girl if they began looking at their world from a Humphrological perspective: that is, assuming that everyone they spoke to was being dishonest, all of the time. It would prevent so many misunderstandings! Rufus: Did Lily just acquiesce too easily to your plan to part her from her favorite thing, money? Assume she will not follow through! Serena: Did your stompy-wah-wah-I-hate-the–Upper East Side cousin just agree to be made over into an “It” girl? She probably has ulterior motives! Blair: Did Gossip Girl just post something only your best friend could know about? It’s possible the post had something to do with your best friend! Everyone is always lying or concealing something, even if it’s just that they paid off a sizable debt to ensure the happiness of someone they love or their princess fantasy.
On Gossip Girl, it’s usually when people assume others are being straightforward that things really get confusing. And now, onto our reality Index!
More Real Than People Who Can Afford Anything Getting Free Clothes
• Chuck’s. Red. Tracksuit. Plus 5
• When Chuck tangled with players from the Australian women’s softball team, he “ended up with a fractured rib and tattoo of a kangaroo I didn’t know I had for a month.” Plus 1
• Serena arrives in Blair’s room wearing six necklaces and no pants. Plus 2
• Blair points out that Serena became Gossip Girl’s prime target when she was photographed in a wet, white, entirely see-through dress. Plus 10. But wait, then wouldn’t the solution to Serena’s problem with being written about constantly by Gossip Girl then be, “Put on some clothes”?
• Serena decides the way to make Lola an “It” girl is having her run down the street in lingerie. Plus 1
• “I mentioned that woman and he just took off,” Lola says. Plus 5 for female intuition.
• No points, but the way Elizabeth Hurley says “The Down to Your Skivvies Party at Kiki de Montparnasse,” is amazing.
• We will give points for a magazine editor throwing a party on her own.
• Blair: “The Monegasque work really short hours.” Plus 2
• “Vanya and I love karaoke,” says Dorota. We would not be mad if this were expanded upon in a future episode. Plus 2
• Rufus! We knew he would come through with a reasonable, fair, dadlike solution to the Ivy mess! Plus 2
• Plus 3 for Lily wearing full Upper East Side regalia and reminiscing about Daniel and Barneys while stranded in Rufus’s Brooklyn loft like Lovey Howell on Gilligan’s Island.
• At first we were really annoyed with Blair for being so pointlessly mean to Chuck when he clearly committed a totally selfless act on her behalf. But then we realized it’s because she looooooves him. Plus 7. Suck it, Dair fans.
• Damn it if that Dan and Blair scene on the steps of the Met didn’t tug at our heartstrings a little. Plus only 3. Let’s not get carried away.
•“This isn’t what a marriage is,” Rufus tells Lily when she admits she lied to him about the check. “We need to be honest with each other.” “But it was an extreme situation,” Lily protests. Yeah, Rufus! You know! Like the time she hid the child you had together from him (Scott! Remember him? He is probably currently somewhere scrawling angry poetry about the parents who busted up his life, only to promptly forget his existence!) or the time she lied about going to see her mom when she was being treated by her ex-husband for fake cancer! But Rufus doesn’t remember, or doesn’t want to: He seems legitimately surprised. In a weird way, this conversation between them was actually the most realistic of the show: Lily had zero remorse or patience for Rufus’s anger; she expected to be able to trample him because he’s let her to do it over and over again, and he’s incredulous even though the rest of us are like, “Duh,” because he’s actually believed her every time she said she wouldn’t do it again. We almost feel bad for him. Plus 10
• “I am ready to move on with my life,” declares Serena, who obviously heard that in a Lifetime movie. Plus 1
• Elizabeth Hurley shows Nate she doesn’t have feelings for him by acting out in the most tragically cougar-y obvious way of all time. Plus 5
• Blair admits that she has been pouty not because she is upset about the end of her marriage or her miscarried pregnancy or even her ex-boyfriend paying off her husband behind her back, but because she’s really bummed that she never really got to be a princess. Plus 3
• Even though we have reservations about where this is headed (more on that below), the last scene in which Serena, painted up like Norma Desmond, sits across from fresh-faced Lola and tells her, “These things usually come and go pretty quickly so I wouldn’t get too used to it,” is priceless. Plus 3
• The strangely unemotional woman we met several seasons ago is not Chuck’s real mom but some flake who has been “living in a monastary in Tibet.” That sounds about right. Plus 2
Faker Than Liz Hurley’s Apology to Nate
• So let’s get into this Serena as Gossip Girl thing: Her poker face when she’s pretending to be surprised at something on the site is the worst, which is actually realistic, in that it forecasts that Serena’s inability to keep up with this role. For now, she can distract people from her insincere expression with statement jewelry, but at some point, someone’s going to question, at the least, what she’s doing on the computer all the time, and we doubt she’s going to be quick enough to come up with, “Now that I’ve left Columbia and been fired by two jobs, I’ve enrolled in a hospitality management course at the University of Phoenix.” It’s only a matter of time before she faces the wrath of Georgina or the real Gossip Girl, who could very easily start her own blog or a Twitter account or just leak, “Serena van Der Woodsen hacked into Gossip Girl in order to write flattering posts about herself and slag off her friends and family,” to “Page Six” (though the actual denouement when it comes, which it will, most likely will occur at a party, ideally with costumes but at least with a theme).
That Serena would be dumb enough to get herself into an embarrassing, inextricable situation, we won’t argue with. She has certainly experienced lapses of morality in the past, and it’s believable enough that an “It” girl relegated to the shadows would miss the warmth of her spotlight. But all that said, it feels really out of character. The Serena we know isn’t particularly vindictive: She hasn’t exhibited a nasty streak since season one, and she spent the entire last season denouncing Gossip Girl for her lack of concern for people’s feelings. Such a quick turnaround is hard to believe, even on a show where drastic personality changes are the norm. But Minus only 5: Maybe being ditched by Dan (and betrayed by Blair), fired twice — the second by a half-wit ex-boyfriend — and screwed over by con artists from Juliet to Ivy have all finally caused her to have a psychotic break. In which case, Serena could actually become interesting.
• We hate to say this because Liz Hurley is fantastic-looking, but she passed teenage-boy-yelping, “Wow, she’s HOT” territory well before Aidan had chin hairs. Minus 1
• “Seriously, Diana was the only investor you could find?” Dan asks Nate. Score another point for Humphrology, but Minus 2 for the idea that other than Chuck, Diana was the only monied person Nate Archibald could turn to.
• If everyone ran out of a building every time a fire alarm went off in New York, there would never be anyone in any of the buildings. Minus 1
• We know that complaining about an unannounced pop-in on this show is like pointing out that in real life dozens of consequential events don’t actually happen in under 45 minutes, but really, does the door have to open at such an opportune moment to reveal Chuck IN THE ELEVATOR? Minus 2
• But hey, while we’re at it: Why did Blair have to come to the party to look for Chuck? Couldn’t she have called him? Minus 1
• Lily doesn’t have the power to freeze or unfreeze anything. Minus 3
• Aidan just walked in, how did he know the bar was open from so far away?
• So wait, Lola and Nate’s plan was: “If we act like we’re in a fight, Diana will want to have sex with someone else in a public place, and we can film it?” Minus only 2, because the outcome of Diana having sex with someone in a public place does seem like one that can be achieved in a variety of ways.
• Okay, we’ve let this go on long enough: A “dowry” is something you pay before a marriage. Money that you contractually agree to pay after the marriage is usually referred to as part of a prenuptial agreement. Minus 10
• We’re not hematologists, but couldn’t Chuck have gotten blood from someone who wasn’t a blood relative? Minus 2
• We’re also not lawyers, but we’re pretty sure that filming someone making out with a clothed minor in order to embarrass them at the office does not constitute making “child pornography.” Minus 2
• Minus 4 on Nate’s behalf for anyone even introducing the idea that Chuck’s mom is Elizabeth Hurley.
• How is Lola such hot shit? You’d think people would be a inured to the appearance of new Rhodes cousins by now. Minus 3
• Minus 6 for not showing us what happened at the freaking Kiki de Montparnasse show. Did Serena tear off the garment whose name had been rudely taken away from her? Did Lola bravely pick up the shreds and say, “It’s okay, I’ll wear it”? Did Chuck Bass offer to walk down the aisle nude but for several strategically placed hundos? Minus only 2 because see, this is what happens when an idiot like Serena runs Gossip Girl, you just don’t get an objective view on the story.
• How is Ivy Dickens’s story not plastered on the front page of every tabloid? How is she not an American hero for undoing this materialistic, self-involved clan? How has she not been offered book deals and reality shows and D.J. gigs? Minus 10, unless the Gossip Girl “world” actually exists outside of America and not in the scandal-appreciative New York we know.
This episode was close. Next week: Will psycho Serena rise up against the Upper East Side that has been pushing her down? Or will she meekly give up the controls to Gossip Girl?