Last night’s Gossip Girl was equal parts moving and infuriating. We were touched by Cyrus’s bighearted love of Blair, and by Dan and Serena’s endless, adolescent struggles with How They Feel. And, of course, we were especially moved by the ever-evolving relationship between Chuck and Blair. Readers, we’ll confess to you and only you: When Chuck at last succumbed to Blair’s cuddle, tears streaking down his odd funny-shaped face, we were so moved that before we knew it we were misting up a little, and there was snot, and we had to get off the treadmill and hobble out of the gym to watch the rest of the show in the privacy of our own homes. Not that it helped much. Everyone at the gym knew what we were sobbing about; they were watching it on their little screens, too.
But after we got home, we entered the angry stage, because everything seemed to be falling apart. Chuck spurned Blair — again. Serena and Dan parted ways — again. And Rufus and Lily appeared headed for the skids — again, but not before Rufus dropped his giant WTF in the middle of Grand Central Station.
“Just tell me one thing. Was it a boy or girl?”
This is one of the most cliché cliffhangers in the history of EVER, but it is testament to the show’s power over us that even that doesn’t stop us from wondering if what happened in “the hospital in France” was:
(a) Eric (Too simple, also, where would Serena have been?)
(b) Serena (Awesome, but then Lily would have willfully allowed her child to commit incest, which is too weird for network TV)
(c) Lily had her penis removed (Too complicated)
(d) A whole other character that has been living with a French family or some shit and will soon be coming to live with the Van der Woodsen–Basses.
All we know for sure is that if this is about a stupid shmushmortion, we are going to be PISSED.
Because it would make that “is” totally misleading (And it was an IS, not a WAS, we rewound)* (And who asks the gender of their fetus before doing away with it, anyway?) But we don’t know. All we can do, until next time, is tally the reality points.
*Right, so Jessica insisted heatedly this morning that Rufus said “Is it a boy or a girl?” but she just watched it again and, actually, she was totally wrong. But she still believes he said it in a way that subtly indicated it was alive.
Truer Than “No One Is Comforted by a Tuna Tower”
• The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and even the Observerwould never have a headline as melodramatic as the proclaimed, “City Rocked by Death of Bartholomew Bass,” about the death of a real-estate developer; The New York Journal, with its other punny headline about the “Love Gene,” totally would. Plus 2 for effort.
• Eric: “We know that’s gin in your coffee cup.”
Cece: “Exactly. Life must go on, as it always has.” Plus 3, mostly just because we can’t wait to be Waspy old grandmas!
• It’s pretty great how everybody knows that Chuck sleeps with the twins in room service at the Palace. Plus 1 because when people say it, it’s always kind of admiringly.
• Rufus says, “I’m waiting for you this time. Six months, six years. I’ll be here.” Plus only 1 because he prefaces it by calling her “Lil.” Lil is something you call your sister.
• Grandma Rhodes gets younger and younger every time we see her. Plus 2.
• “What a nice photo,” Lily says. “Remind me to send a thank-you note to the photo editor.” “That’s a good picture,” Eleanor says in the next scene. “Lily should send a thank-you note to the photo editor.” Because, of course, they think photo editors are making decisions with the vanity of women like them in mind. Plus 1.
• Serena is wearing a slinky one-shoulder dress to the funeral. Plus 1, because, seriously, they’re just fucking with us now. And we kind of like it.
• Aaron’s possessive “come here” move to Serena at the funeral, and her kind of fake hug, wherein she dipped her face to his jacket and did a fake little smile before ducking away, is one of two hugs that girls give to guys they are not actually that into. The other involves back-patting. Plus 5, with an additional Plus 1 for the gratuitous finger-squeeze she throws into her hug with Dan.
• Ed Westwick’s performance of an angry, drunk, broken Chuck is a tour de force. Plus 3, for the way he manages to keep one eye closed the entire episode and even, at the end, turn entirely yellow.
• While trying to sober Chuck up, Blair inadvertently reveals how good she is at the art of purging. Even Nate notices. Plus 2.
• Serena gets between Dan and Chuck, and Dan totally lets her, because that’s what kind of man he is. Plus 1.
• Dan comes home, and Rufus is quietly playing his band’s one and only hit single. Plus 5.
• “I’m not maternal, I’ve just been spending too much time with Cyrus and I’m turning Jewish,” Blair says. “Come on, I see kugel.” Plus 3.
• Also, everyone at Bart Bass’s funeral is white. Plus 4.
• Plus 2 for Blair’s tasteful DVF pocked dress at the funeral, even if it kind of looks like her headband bow wasn’t dyed to match.
• Dan announces to Jenny that Serena is “going to Buenos Aires, with Aaron” in what tries to maybe be an Argentine accent, but it comes out kind of Irish instead. Plus 1, because he would only know how to do one accent. Unless maybe he was making fun of Aaron’s bizarre RISD accent, which is also awesome.
• Lily agrees to let Serena go to Buenos Aires selfishly, because she wants to run away with Rufus. Never mind that Chuck is completely AWOL and poor, tragic, single Eric will be left alone. No wonder the kid tried to kill himself. Plus 3.
• Dan has gotten a lot twitchier lately, a little more awkward. The whole apricot-muffin situation was kind of over-the-top. Jenny notices, too: “You still have feelings for her, right?” she says, adding slowly: “Do you think you could put them into words and say them out loud?” Plus 3.
• Blair: “Whatever you’re going through, I wanna be there for you.”
Chuck: “We’ve talked about this. You are not my girlfriend.”
Blair: “But I am me. And you are you. We’re Chuck and Blair. Blair and Chuck. The worst thing you’ve ever done, the darkest thought you’ve ever had, I will stand by you through anything.”
Chuck: “And why would you do that.”
Blair: “Because I love you.”
Chuck: “Well, that’s too bad.”
Us: “Plus 100.”
• “I carried the garment bag.” Aw. It’s the new, “I carried a watermelon.” Plus 1.
• HOLY EFFING SHIT DOROTA IS A BRIDESMAID! Plus 30.
• Although he had just promised to start being a human, Bart Bass’s last act on this earth was to leave a threatening voice mail for Lily. Plus 1, for nicely reminding us that we don’t mind he died.
• Cyrus says, “Yippee!” when Eleanor agrees to marry him. Plus 1.
• When Aaron asks Serena to go with him to Argentina at her stepfather’s funeral, she says, “I don’t know if I can go away right now. My family is a disaster. My brother is lonely, my mother is losing it, and Chuck has publicly disowned our family.” And Aaron goes, “Are you sure there’s not something else?” Um, other than all those totally solid reasons she just stated? “That’s why he’s a douche,” Jessica’s husband said, sagely. Plus 5.
• “Only a masochist could ever love such a narcissist,” says Blair, who then asks for hugs. Plus 3.
• Serena, regarding the Waldorf’s wedding chuppah, “It’s beautiful,” she says. “And so are you,” says Aaron Rose. He is such a douche. Plus 1.
• Near the end of the episode, they do an “I’m so sad and lonely” montage. In it, Blair looks so pretty crying, Dan looks pretty walking through the city, and Chuck looks pretty playing with fire. Plus 2.
• How awesome is it that the worst things happen when Cece tries to “help”? Plus 3.
Faker Than the Amount of Cute, Well-Tailored Coats That Dan the Poor Thrift-Shopper Owns
• “In times of great uncertainty, we all need our daily rituals.” “The closing of this chapter leads to the opening of the next one.” Why does Cece talk like this? She’s like one of the fauns from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Minus 2.
• Blair may be post-bulimic, but she would never eat a whole bagel heaped with cream cheese, especially without carving out the insides first — new Jewish instincts be damned. Minus 3, because after editing, it actually looked like she ate three bagel halves.
• Serena tells Dan, “Thank you for being a rock.” What high schooler would say that? Also, what does Serena need a rock for? She barely knew Bart and didn’t like him. Minus only 1, because we may be thirtysomethings, but obviously we know what rock she wants.
•l What kind of cheesy, Hypnotiq-grade club liquor did Chuck steal from the bar before the funeral? Surely he would have gone for a nice aged Scotch. Minus 2.
• After the high-school experiences we are led to believe they’ve had (and just having been friends with the infamous Old Serena), Blair and Nate would be better at controlling drunk people. Everyone knows Step One is “piggyback rides.” Minus 2.
• So, timing in this episode is all messed up. Lily and Rufus make plans to go away to a B&B together the night after the funeral? If Bart Bass’s death is big enough to “rock the city,” then “Page Six” would be all over that, and Lily — even the new, openly Rufus-obsessed Lily — is way too image-conscious to allow that. Also, Aaron’s invitation to take Serena to Argentina is effective immediately? That was super convenient of Bart, to die over Christmas vacation like that. Minus 3.
• We’re confused. We’re told Bart Bass died in a car accident on the way to meet Lily, but when last we saw him, he was in the car on the way to meet Lily, with private detective Andrew Tyler. Did he switch cars? How did Andrew Tyler get away without a scratch? Minus 20, because we should have some exposition other than “there was an accident.”
• “I was thinking something in a jacket, very YSL,” Eleanor suggests for her wedding outfit. “Mick and Bianca, 1971, great reference,” Jenny comes up and says in the most patronizing way possible, especially since Bianca Jagger’s wedding blazer showed enormous, unsupported cleavage and Eleanor clearly wants to wear one because she’s old and saggy and doesn’t want to show her shoulders. Minus 4 because Eleanor would have remembered all too well how Jenny screwed her by running off with her marquee dress. And also Minus 4 because Jenny, ugh, put some bottoms on, you’re at a funeral reception.
• “If you’re looking for Bart’s will, you don’t have to worry,” Lilly says. What does that mean, exactly? Don’t leave us hanging when there are monetary figures starting with “B” involved! Minus 1.
• “The only reason he got in that car is because you called him,” Lily says to Chuck. Minus 3, because even the worst parent would know that is the one thing you don’t get to say.
• • Would the sketchy P.I. really have walked away from Chuck without payment? Minus 3.
• Eleanor’s blazer that Jenny made is heinous. Surely she’d have a lovely Chanel somewhere in her closet as backup. Minus 1.
• Dan comes home and Rufus is sitting quietly in the dark. Minus 1, because nobody does that in real life.
• Why are Lily and Rufus taking a train upstate anyway? Like Lily would ever choose that over a car. Minus 2.
So this episode fell clearly into the more realistic, awesome category than the reverse. We are still troubled by many details, but it was really the conversations about love (“I want you to tell me how I should feel about you!”) that made it pass muster. XOXO.