Can one ever really know another person? On Gossip Girl and in life, we have learned that one cannot. People lie. They cheat. They have secret families, trysts with prostitutes, tweet pictures of their penises to strangers. Still, love makes you blind. It can make you overlook things like the fact that your beloved once pretended to be your ex-wife’s niece for months, or that the man you think is your one true love portrayed you as a dumb slut in a novel and just last week promised the nonfiction version would be similarly devastating, or fathered a child with his wife’s sister. No, one can never tell what lies in the heart of the one lying next to you. But if you happen to be standing up, you can hug them in front of a mirror and see if they make weird faces behind your back. That’s one way to tell if they are up to something, although no one on Gossip Girl has figured it out yet.
On to the reality index!
More Real Than Chuck’s High-Pitched Oedipal Rage
- Serena sashays into Blair’s atelier wearing a completely see-through top. Plus 1, because nothing says “Let’s make amends!” like tits.
- “And what are you good at, Blair?” Nelly Yuki sneers at her high school nemesis. “What makes you think the Katniss Everdeen generation is going to care about Blair Waldorf’s pleated skirts? The world already has Stella and Phoebe and the the Mulleavy sisters. Blair Waldorf is somewhere in between. And what could be less cool than being a tween?” Plus 4, because isn’t it true that the picked on always becomes the picker-on-er. (Or something?)
- “What could possibly be so important?” Chuck taunts his father after Bart trashes his apartment looking for the Microfilm. “Your Viagra?” Plus 3 and Plus another 1 for Bart countering with the lame, “What, does Blair need you to come over to kill a spider?” later on. The old man may be a better schemer, but don’t mess with Generation Gilmore Girls in the verbal sparring department.
- Monkey sits idly by while Bart trashes Chuck’s hotel room, then leaves in shame when his owner comes home. Plus 2
- “I respect your passion,” Nate’s banker tells him as a way of letting him down. Plus 2, because that is exactly the kind of bullshit thing a guy like that would say.
- When Blair meets with the heads of the Five Families, she is surprised to find that in a short time her successors have traded monarchy for Mafia references, headbands for jaunty felt chapeaux, and sex with age-inappropriate partners for poking each other on Facebook or something. Plus 3 for their orderly Godfather-based hierarchy and the confused, startled expression on Blair’s face as she comes to terms with the passage of time.
- Fortunately one thing has remained constant throughout the years: Serena’s CLEAVAGE RHOMBUS, though over the years it has morphed into a Euclidean space that would confound even John Nash. Plus 5
- “Pack your bags and get out,” Rufus tells Ivy. Could this be foreshadowing? When the series ends and speeds up time à la Six Feet Under, will we catch a glimpse of Rufus as the next The Bachelor? We hope so. Plus 1
- “They like me, they really like me,” Blair says, making a Sally Field reference no one in the Katniss Everdeen Generation would get. Plus 3
- Following Gossip Girl’s complex and intertwined relationships over the years has so addled my mind that when Chivy kissed William van der Woodsen my first instinct was to scream EW WHAT THE FUCK ISN’T THAT HER DAD and it was a few minutes into the commercial break before I realize that wait, no, William is just Lola and Serena and the Missing Eric’s dad. So, GROSS. But not that gross. Also, there is something creepily realistic about their relationship, at least on Ivy’s pathetic, lovestruck side. “I have so much to be thankful to Lola for,” she gushes at one point. “If she hadn’t asked you to transfer the money, I would never have gotten to know the real you.” Sad, especially when we see William van der Woodson’s “Of course you will, you little tramp,” smirk when Ivy says she’ll “do anything” for him and his reaction to Lily and Bart still being together, which clearly was not part of his plan. Plus 10. Never trust a man who takes you to lunch in an out-of-the-way place, ladies, not to mention one who promises you can be together forever — after you destroy his ex-wife’s life, in part by sleeping with her ex-husband for months on end.
- Plus another 1 for: “If I eat another waffle, I’ll puke.”
- When Chuck bursts into the hotel room, Ivy actually jumps and looks surprised. This is a thing people do when someone unexpected bursts into a room in real life, but it has never before happened on this show. Plus 2
- Moral Rufus is back! Plus 3. But Moral Dan is not …
Faker Than 21st Century Plots Involving Microfilm
- What is with all these grown-ass men scheming like high-school girls? Bart, William van der Woodsen. Minus 5. Eleanor Waldorf needs to set these guys straight.
- The only guy who shows any lack of tolerance for it are the Feds, and that’s only after Chuck coerces them into showing up at a pop-up event at Barney’s for teenage girl clothes. “This isn’t a game Mr. Bass,” a man who is presumably an agent “Don’t waste our time again.” But wait, also: How about doing an investigation of your own, dude? Minus 4
- Also, why doesn’t Bart just have ChIvy killed? I mean, is he an immoral billionaire or a total pussy? Minus 2
- Bart looks for the microfilm by overturning furniture in Chuck’s apartment. Minus 4
- Nelly Yuki suddenly appears in Blair’s office, just to taunt her, because she just felt like she had something to say, I guess? Minus 4
- We’re not buying that destroying Lily is all Lola’s plan. Why would she be upset with Lily? It was her mom that slept with Lily’s husband, a woman Lola knows to be a crazy bitch. Also, Lola was the only decent person ever to have appeared on this show; we find it hard to believe she’s now ordering terrorist acts against people she barely knows from an undisclosed location? Minus only 3, because this has William van der Woodsen written all over it.
- The rules of Gossip Girl dictate that you can never conduct any secret business without the exact person you are trying to keep it from accidentally walking by and seeing it. Especially kissing on the street. So: Why would ChIvy and William ever think it’s okay to leave the house? Minus 5
- How is Sage in the group of Five Families? Her dad sells vitamins. Minus 2
- “They say nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge,” Gossip Girl says. No, no one says that. Minus 2
- Maybe that old backdating the photo and putting it on Gossip Girl would have worked back in the day, but not now, in the age of the double-triple scheme. Serena and Blair may be of a different generation, but having dealt with Sage before, they should have known better. Minus 6
- “The only parent who ever loved me, the mother who chose me as a son, abandoned me,” Chuck whines to Blair at the bar. (Flash-forward to Chuck in his sterile basement lair, wearing the skin of a thin blonde Upper East Side lady in order to feel closer to mommy.) But for now, Chuck’s failure to usurp his father means, “We can’t be together,” he thunders at Blair. Oh, for God’s sake. Minus 8
This week’s episode fell on the side of unrealistic, pushed to the edge, as it were, by Chuck and Blair’s nonsense reasons for not being together. Why not just toss a die and settle it once and for all, guys? Next week: Who will get their heart broken? Serena, or ChIvy, or both?