Fingers Crossed the Returning Triumph of Gossip Girl is no Flash in the Pan

So after taking a pass at reviewing last week’s Gossip Girl on account of the fact that it would’ve pretty much consisted of nothing but different phrasings of “Georgina’s back” and lots of exclamation points (which is something I realize perhaps nobody else but me wants) I can attest that this week’s deserves at least a few words because–if nothing else–Eric has returned for 3 seconds!  And he’s not schilling for Neutrogena as I’d speculated!  Oh, and Georgina’s back, for realsies!  YESSS!!!!


Though speaking of schills, poor Vanessa seems to officially be CW’s face of Dove products, which let’s not forget is the company that markets itself around ideas of natural beauty, aka the sort of beauty Gossip Girl has precisely no interest in acknowledging.  I for one find Jessica Szohr to be really pretty, so color me shocked that the creators have dropper her but keep bringing out Rat-Nest-Raccoon-Face for the most random things (giving Rufus pep talks and distracting Lily so Rufus finish preparing his proposal dinner was yet another unsubtle nail in the we-haven’t-a-clue-what-to-do-with-you coffin).  

And speaking of Lil’ J, couldn’t they’ve at least found a way to briefly reunite the hag with her fag?  That could’ve been the moment where someone finally bitch-slap some style sense into her, but alas.  Apparently Jenny’s fug, like the city in which she calls home, never sleeps.

Anyways, I’m digressing. Given how ridiculous last night’s episode was, it looks like everybody apparently took their crazy pills in the intermittent time between shows. 

Serena van der Woodsen can’t stop thinking with her love-box because she’s concerned that Gabriel might have lied to her about his feelings as well as, you know, his investment scam.  Her best solution to this disaster?  Convince him to meet her by faking a pregnancy scare and then demand the money back.  Oh, but be sure to leave the police out of it because you want to know what was really real between you and your con-artist ex because you still have feelings for him.  Such as denial.  And teenage horniness.  

Gabriel falls for Serena’s plot, greases himself up with bad self-tanner, and heads out to fall into her trap.  Turns out that Gabriel does care for Serena (yay!) but obviously cares more for her money (boo!) and Poppy Lifton unfortunately has all the money (roh-no!).

In the mean time, Dan has spilled the beans to Lily that the investment was a scam and now he’s lost all his college money.  You’re a Humphrey, Dan!  Get over it!  Fortunately for all of the victims of Gabriel’s scam (Rufus included), idiot runs in the van der Woodsen family, and Lily decides to intervene by paying everybody back and paying Rufus a monthly dividend–and not calling the police–because that’s the adult thing to do (huh?)  and contacting the police would only implicate Serena in this scandalous, high-society crime (really???).  The last time I checked, those duped by Bernie Madoff weren’t suddenly the lepers of New York’s social elite, but sure, Gossip Girl writers.  I’ll give it to you, and you wanna know why?

Because Lily is totally insaaaane this episode.  Maybe it’s all those hormones coming from her obvious pregnancy that she and everyone around her refuses to acknowledge it, but whether she’s behaving like a self-absorbed monster (on Poppy’s future victims in Miami, she observes,”Let’s just hope they’re smarter in Miami than we were.”), being positively the worst at hiding things (once again hiding something is practically plain sight for Rufus to find; get a safe, woman!), or ARRESTING HER OWN DAUGHTER TO TEACH HER A “LESSON,” she’s like this alien from planet Deus Ex Machina that’s disguised itself in a Lily van der Woodsen suit.  Pretty spectacular, I must say.

And let’s not forget the ending.  That penultimate tracking shot outside the police station was flat-out bizarre, a strange stylistic experimentation I wish the show would embrace more often.  This felt like a noirish Jazz-rift on the standard Gossip Girl formula, and the shot of Serena getting her mug shot taken was some sort of quasi-noir brilliance.  

Most importantly, though, let’s not forget Georgina, y’all, ‘cos she’s the best.  Michelle Trachtenberg was running circles around the rest of the cast.  Every look and intonation absolutely nailed the whole born-again Christian vibe, and you (or at least I) actually felt bad for her watching Blair jump to conclusions and tear her a new one.  Also, watching her tear through the line “Tell Jesus the bitch is back”?  That is why I watch this show.  Trash, people, pure and glorious trash!

Hot damn, y’all, Gossip Girl really is back.  I hope.

I’m just going to close my eyes and ignore the fact that next week will be the dreaded “Valley Girls” episode of Gossip Girl, which the CW hopes to spin-off into a separate show about Lily’s back story in 1980s L.A.  Things are pretty great right now, and I’m hoping they’ve captured this lightning in the bottle.  I guess we shall see.

PS: I refuse to recap what happened between Blair and Nate and Chuck with any depth because it’s the same old hat.  If you must know, though, Chuck told Blair it’s all a game, and Blair and Nate decided they shouldn’t move in together.  See, wasn’t that as much fun as running in narrative circles ’til you puke?  Thought so.  

Now go brush your teeth, so your breath won’t smell like barf.

One Response

  1. I love you and your recaps, Ben. But I have to disagree with you on Georgina. Blair is the queen, the bitch with depth, complexity and a heart, and the only one that the show needs. I actually think Little J. looks OK–she’s supposed to be some kind of hipster, right? But the shifts in her character do reveal that the writers don’t know what to do with her. I liked her bad myself.

    When I saw Eric, I thought it was some bizarrely unmotivated flashback of Rufus with Dan. Then I realized those bad highlights had finally grown out. Eric and J. both need someone to give them plotlines, along with Vanessa. The writers shouldn’t be adding characters (like Georgina) until they work out what to do with the ones they already have.

    Of course, one of this episode’s functions was to do television’s work and find another way to keep its soulmates apart (Rufus/Lily; Chuck/Blair and, I guess, Dan/Serena although that one had been temporarily dispensed with before this subplot). Of course, we know TV and we know that they’ll be together again soon.

    I don’t understand the casting of Gabriel and Poppy. Both telegraph slime, both seem way too old, and there is no way such an oily daytime soap opera businessman type would appeal to bohemian Serena.

    And then there is the obviously pregnant Lily only being photographed from the mid-chest up or from behind and still looking very pregnant.

    These are, of course, all reasons why I love this show–Georgina excepted, of course.


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