Gossip Girl: Keith Van der Woodsen is Dead
|Written by April Yorke|
|Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:31|
Last night's episode of Gossip Girl, "Dr. Estrangeloved," spent a lot of time building toward what could possibly be an explosive finale (don't ask me why, but this show biffs season finales), so not that much actually happened. Dr. VDdubs is back in down, Jenny's still chasing Nate's tail, Chuck's still chasing Blair's. It's a fairly middle of the road episode, except for one thing: I think Dan might be right about something.
Is Dan Right?
Now, it would take Vanessa to somehow make Dan look like the better person. Dan gets his Tisch transfer rejection letter. The school could only take one (an idea that this show takes very seriously), so it went with Vanessa. Dan is disappointed but rallies enough to congratulate her in his very special Humphrey way ("If it couldn't be me, I'm happy it's you"). Dan mentions in passing to Willa Weinstein that knowing Vanessa based her script on his story is like a double whammy of rejection. Willa then reminds Dan that Vanessa should be disqualified for failing to submit an original work and offers to call her dad, who's on the board, because Dan and Vanessa were the final two anyway. Dan, however, refuses her kind offer. When he finds out 1) Vanessa did, in the end, submit an original work and 2) Willa went behind his back and called her dad anyway, he spends the rest of the episode trying to track Willa down and get her to undo what she did. Eventually, after getting rebuffed by Dan for a kiss, Willa tells Vanessa the entire thing, so Dan and Vanessa have a confrontation. Vanessa pissed and thinks Dan wants her to give up her spot for him, but Dan doesn't. What's more, Dan makes a point that a) makes sense and b) isn't rooted in sexism or class warfare. He points out that he had every reason to believe that she did submit a work based on his New Yorker short story, he didn't ask Willa to do anything and specifically told her not to, and how did Vanessa expect him to react when she deliberately concealed the fact that she applied from him and essentially stole his spot (not really, because we know Dan's writing is crap and we have no reason to believe Willa, but still). Vanessa, for her part, admits that that was some pretty shitty behaviour on her part, but it's not enough to stop her from taking off from the Party Everyone Ends Up At and not answering/returning Dan's phone calls. TBH, I'm not particularly emotionally invested in their relationship, but I am completely baffled by any situation where Dan could turn out to be in the right. He didn't even have to pull Humphrey tricks to get there!
Keith Van der Woodsen is Dead
In the sense that William Baldwin's character is now William Van der Woodsen. Were they worried the actor couldn't remember the character's name, were we supposed to forget about his introduction in "Valley Girls," or are they brothers? Who knows? William's got that Baldwin purr working for him, so it's all good. He spends the entire episode making sympathetic noises about Lily's cancer (it was gone, now it's back) and how he wants to win over Serena, Eric, and Rufus, but who are we kidding? They did not bring on William Baldwin to be a nice guy. Sure enough, he blackmails someone over the phone at the end of the episode to get Lily another prescription. Is William not even a doctor? Since they refused a second opinion, does Lily not even have cancer? I can't wait!
Jenny Gives Up (Finally) (Maybe)
Seems that in Serena's absence, Jenny's been pouring poison in Nate's ear about Serena's crappy ways and how he deserves better, even wandering around the penthouse in Serena's blue dress shirt + knee socks look. Naturally, she doesn't quite work it the way Serena does. Nate's obviously downgraded her to kid sister, though, ruffling her hair and taking off to find Serena when he gets a text that she's back in town. Chuck staggers home with a woman on each arm, smarming about Jenny finally nailing Nate only to realize that she's completely whiffed yet again. She's about to give up now that Serena's returned, but Chuck recognizes that for the opportunity it is. He instructs her that jealousy makes Serena loosen her grip, not hold on tighter, so Jenny will be able to move in for the kill. Jenny uses the blue shirt, which is enough to cause a fight and send Nate running into his boyfriend Chuck's arms, even if he is still a little miffed about the whole Chuck-prostituted-Blair thing (as a former prostitute himself, you can imagine he's sensitive about these things). Chuck proposes an evening of debauchery, and Nate's on board, as is Jenny, who just showed up . . . looking like she always looks. I don't know. Chuck told her that she should look like someone who doesn't even have a father (as opposed to someone who needs her father's permission to stay out all night) and later says of Jenny, "Does she look like a kid to you?", but I didn't see a difference. Anyway, Serena reaches out to Nate, but they have a fight when she realizes that he's out with Jenny. Nate and Jenny take their drinking party home, but he rebuffs her advances. Serena and Jenny get into a whole thing about the phone message from last time, and Nate sides with Serena. Jenny leaves with a snide, "You two deserve each other," which . . . they do? They're loving and loyal and supportive and always take everyone back no matter what stunts they pull. Despite the low combined brain power, I'm pretty sure they can cure cancer with, like, rainbows and unicorns. ANYway, Serena tells Nate about her mom's cancer (break out the rainbows?).
Chuck Gives Up (Maybe)
Blair organizes a bachelor brunch to launch herself back into UES dating, but no one comes. Chuck put out a dating fatwa, and Blair is determined to break it. So much so that she borrows Vanessa's clothes (ew, pleather leggings) and attends the Party That Everyone Ends Up At in Brooklyn. Chuck shows up there, too, because he is having her followed like Bart Bass would, so Blair zones in on a suitably handsome Columbia student to make Chuck jealous. Columbia is aware of Blair's plan and interested enough to follow through, but Blair opts not to in the end. Chuck thinks this is due to the success of his fatwa reaching the outer boroughs, but it's not: Blair realized that she needs time to mourn their relationship, which is a sign that it is officially over between them. There's a lot of unfortunate close up work to back this up, wherein Chuck looks 12 and like he applied too much blush (Chuck Bass would never!) and Blair's head keeps changing shapes and sizes. What's more, Ed Westwick's exquisitely expressive face briefly lets me down, at first failing to register anything at all, but he moves on to sneer with only one eye and finally gives way to shock and dismay. It appears that he finally got the message. For her part, Blair pulls out the dress she wore that night at Victrola (you know that night) and cries.
In other news:
Next time: Eric's back and pissed about his dad's return, Serena seems to side with William over Rufus where Lily's concerned, and Blair visits Columbia.