Gossip Girl's Family is All About Money and Power
|Written by April Yorke|
|Tuesday, 15 February 2011 23:28|
Last night’s Gossip Girl, “It-Girl Happened One Night,” sadly does not feature anyone hiking up her skirt in order to hitch a ride. It does, however, feature a Valentine’s vendetta, a really ugly side of Chuck, and further Damien menace. Also Blair and Dan, if you care about that sort of thing.
Blair doesn’t care about your photo-cles
Serena apparently wanders around in a men’s dress shirt and knee socks regardless of where she wakes up. Aw, she buys her own men’s dress shirts! So Blair’s been très busy at W, and it’s either the day before Valentine’s Day or the day before that or even the day itself (we all know how time works on the UES), but the point is that she’s working a lot, so Serena never sees her. Still, they sit down in Blair’s bed and love on each other for a while. Serena gets a plot for the episode by revealing that she and Ben decided not to spend VD together because their relationship is new and doesn’t need the pressure. And while I agree that they don’t, I don’t see why it didn’t occur to them to do something small and simple, nor why Blair didn’t suggest it. Perhaps because she’s too busy reminiscing about the “own private bacchanal,” sans goats, that she and Chuck has last year. Also -- and this is a big continuity problem if you ask me -- Blair still thinks that Chuck’s relationship with Raina is a fake and that they will find their way back to each other eventually. While I agree with the latter, poor Blair to think the former. Also, it sounded a bit like she was talking about Serena and Dan, which grossed me out for even thinking it.
At W, Blair gets a new assignment: for their ever-happening blog, they want to follow one socialite’s night out a month (a month!), starting with Valentine’s Day, starting with Serena. Knowing that Serena plans to hang out with Blair if she has time and getting her old jealousies up as usual, Blair suggests the generally publicity-adverse Raina Thorpe. If she’s successful in this get, her probation period will be over.
Back at Ex-Con Estates, Ben and Dan are . . . watching porn together? What, why are two dudes sitting around on their laptops together? Oh, right, job searching. Well, at least that answers my question from last week. So neither job search is going very well, though Dan has been using his free time to write an article about what it’s like to live with your ex’s new beau. Sadly, it does not feature Charlie Trout and is therefore doomed to suck. Dan tried to send it to Epperly who apparently offered to pass it along to someone she knows at Details. Okay, I don’t believe that, but okay. Dan decides to Facebook-stalk Epperly, but Ben suggests something from his halcyon era: going to the office to impress the new Epperly in person. So touched is he by this good advice he literally could not think up on his own, Dan offers to contact the catering company that he worked at that one time because apparently that gave him an in, and felons run the joint.
Prada Mafia. Raina and Russell are on the way up for brunch. Russell issues a GG-worthy “quip” about olive branches and olive bread that is best forgotten. Worth remembering, however, is this little insight: “the Lily I remember didn't have a maternal bone in her body. Family was all about money and power.” As far as I am concerned, everything in fiction is about those two things, so Russell’s speaking my language.
Serena’s checking in on Ben, and he tells her that he got himself a job. Serena starts guessing as to what that could be, tutor and research assistant among the options, and Ben lies that it’s tutoring. I get that he's just embarrassed, but they're off to a grand start.
Dan and Eric enjoy coffee in the street like paupers because it makes them feel good about themselves. Eric has been sentenced to community service and can’t really complain about the meals on wheels duty given that, you know, he’s bringing food to people who can’t get it themselves. Dan explains his new Ben-approved plan of attacking strangers in their offices and suggests that somehow Eric use his community service to also make a big play for Jonathan. I have no idea how that is supposed to work. It doesn't come to fruition anyway.
Dan rolls up to W because they let just anyone in and is surprised to learn that Blair is indeed the new Epperly. She refuses his “photo-cle” (I died), and he insistently shoves it in her inbox (dirty!), while explaining, for no real reason, that he got Ben a cater-waiter job. Party down, Ben. Pour one out.
Blair then calls Serena up for an inside line to Raina (huh?), for Raina is still at Lily’s. Serena, at first, refuses to even go (No way! We're still at war) but softens because, hey, it’s Blair. Better to just let the crazy wash over you.
Prada Mafia. Chuck makes a proposal that Russell keep Bass Industries together after the sale as the name still has cachet. To prove his point, he will throw a wild sex party in the woods, and everyone will be there. Russell agrees to look at Chuck’s business proposal if he pulls this off. I can't decide what to make of Chuck's new hair. He's split the difference between his business hair and his total sex hair from the beginning of the season. Serena rolls in, ignores her mom, and hands her phone off to Raina for Blair to do a little grovelling. Serena then learns from her dear brother that his feelings for Raina are very, very real and decides to try her hand at scheming.
The Captain and Nate are talking? And telling the truth? No way! The Cap’s realized that Nate and Chuck may have had a point about him not working for Russell, so he had himself removed from all Bass Industries-related affairs. Not well enough not to know that Russell totally just lied to Chuck’s face AND that BI is worth more together than broken up, meaning that his vendetta must be personal.
Somehow this whole profile thing means that Serena is taking Raina shopping. Even more confusingly, Raina, who always looks fabulous, doesn’t know that “these kinds of stores” keep all the good stuff in the back and to call ahead. Fortunately Serena does, so she helps Raina find a dress whose colour is flattering but whose cut is not. Oh, man, Raina is so sweet and innocent here, talking about her burgeoning relationship with Chuck. That's going to end poorly. Serena takes a deep breath and tries the truth on for size: she warns Raina that Blair will be crushed when she realizes how serious Chuck and Raina have become. Raina immediately calls Blair and cancels the profile. Love the way Blair just sighed and hung up. Meanwhile, Chuck rings up and asks if Russell had a personal, rather than professional, vendetta against Bart. Probably, since Lily left Russell for Bart. What? Lily left Russell for Bart? That makes no sense. They lived in Chicago. Was she commuting? Maybe she got distracted by Eric trying to kill himself, wtf.
Chuck shows up at Russell’s office and tells him Lily’s out if that means they can do business. Russell thinks actions speak louder than words because he apparently thinks business-speak = platitudes, so Chuck sets up a board meeting to discuss Lily’s conflict of interest re: BI and Thorpe. As opposed to the one of Chuck dating Raina? Also, holy shit, Chuck would throw Lily under the bus like this?
Serena is surprised to see Blair at home. Blair left work early, distressed by her failure. Serena’s received a box from Ralph Lauren. Okay, wait, is this a thing or just a TV thing? Who the hell gets designer clothes as a gift? Does the store deliver? Do they use a courier? It’s so confusing! ANYway, Serena’s received the very dress she was admiring as a gift and lies that it’s from her mom as a thank you for speaking to her today. She conveniently drops the card, which Blair reads. Raina thoughtfully spelled out exactly why she was thanking Serena, so Blair decides to drop it on Serena. She convinces her to go to the wild sex party in the woods, wolves a-howlin’, then calls the caterer and gets Ben transferred there.
Party that Everyone Ends Up At, Wilderness Sex Edition
Lily comes downstairs wearing fab accessories that do not go with her dress, and Rufus is standing at the bottom of the stairwell holding a tray that features flowers and champagne flutes, among other things. He was planning some sort of special night in for VD, but Lily just got booted off the board (without even getting to defend herself? This is the dumbest, most capricious board in history), so she’s going to her son’s VD party to set some things straight. Rufus just accepts her cheek kiss goodbye. The extent to which Rufus is a house husband is killing me dead.
Chuck is doing that crazy sex walk of his down the stairs. Everyone is doomed.
Dan’s stalked Blair to the party to ask after his photo-cle’s chances. Blair dismisses it out of turn, claiming to publish it in any periodical of any repute “would be like going to an accessories shoot in Crocs.” Awesome. And now she’s off to enact that Valentine’s vendetta, only it turns out it’s against Serena for ruining her profile instead of Chuck for caring about Raina for real.
The Captain approaches Nate to tell him that he’s going to quit. Great. Wait, did Nate and the Captain just snort at each other? They make no sense.
Turns out that Venice is to Raina as Paris is to Blair, so Chuck created a very special Venice suite for her. “When I care about someone, I'm not afraid to show it.” Is Dan just watching them make out? Geez, Dan.
So Blair’s got Serena to go along with a semi-sorta profile of her at the party as long as they keep it short, and it sounds pretty standard until Blair brings up Ben, who is incidentally right behind Serena. She also calls it “dating below the line,” which is the kind of thing that makes Blair sound like the crazy one. Serena’s like, “So, you’re a big liar?” And Ben totally goes, “I think enough’s been said tonight,” and walks off. Ben is such a weirdo. He better turn out to be up to something. Serena turns on Blair for setting Ben up, and Blair yells a bunch of shit that she should really let go of about how Serena will never be happy for Blair's success.
Russell needles Lily some, and Lily ignores him in favour of finding her “son.” Aw! Lily busts in on the PG Venice suite action because she can, and Chuck is heinous to her. I’m trying to think of a time he’s spoken to anyone the way he’s talking to her right now. Well, anyone other than Blair that time he called her rode hard and put away wet or that time he asked if she was going to tell him she loved him again. But that was years ago! Point is, it’s nasty. He essentially calls her a whore and claims that she only adopted him for business reasons. What’s more, she’s a socialite who ran the company into the ground. Wow. I can’t even believe what’s coming out of his mouth. How can he even think that way, much less say it? Raina is equally appalled and bails. Chuck growls a threat along the lines of “if you cost me my company and Raina,” but Lily is done. She knows that a man’s character is his destiny and informs him of his own thusly: “Whatever the consequences of your actions, that’s on you.”
Chuck runs up to Russell looking for a pat on the head and maybe a scratch behind the ears, but, of course, Russell is evil. He never intended to keep BI together and encouraged Chuck to throw Lily to the wolves to further weaken the company. Chuck tries to use the only weapon he has left in his arsenal -- Raina -- but that’s not going to work either. Raina values family far too much to side with Chuck over her father. Right, the guy who taught her to value family so highly. This dude sucks.
Blair’s busy informing Dan that Raina and Chuck’s love is faux, and poor Dan is like, “Except for the part where it is real, as evidenced by the Venice suite.” So Blair and Dan hide in an antechamber and witness the break-up of Raina and Chuck. Ew, this song doesn't work. Raina cannot believe that Chuck spoke to his (step)mom that way because the only thing Raina cares about more than honesty is family. Chuck, fairly reasonably, argues that his family is full of deceivers and backstabbers and arch enemies, so, you know, he’s got a different take on the institution. On the plus side, Raina’s not family. Too bad that Raina’s figured out Chuck’s archetype: “Until I do something you don't like, and then you turn on me, too.” Chuck’s devastated as Raina takes off for good. Dan, his mind still all twisted up from the Charlie Trout of it all, thinks Chuck’s a much better actor than he realized (he IS but in a Logan Echolls way that Dan cannot begin to fathom), and it’s only when Blair hisses, “Shut UP, Humphrey,” that he catches the snap. Blair retreats to a conveniently located settee to tear up. After a beat, Dan sits down next to her and reaches over to take her hand. Ha, I love how Blair's real person-ness is always exploding all over Dan. It blows his tiny mind every single time. Also, GG says some stupid shit about Venice sinking, but it really just makes me burst into a commercials-long version of "And if Venice is sinking."
Corporate espionage is the best VD prezzie ever.
Back home, Serena is not in the mood to talk to Blair. Blair admits that she thought Serena was trying to sabotage her, but Serena so sweetly tells Blair that she was more concerned about protecting Blair’s heart than her job. Blair’s job, as it turns out, is secure. Serena made a great It-Girl, and Blair’s blackmailed the crew into editing out any Ben footage. It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again: theirs is the show’s central relationship. I love it so. Still, Serena’s kind of upset, but less so when she gets a text from Ben asking her to come meet him. She doesn’t want to leave Blair alone, but Blair claims that she needs to start learning to be okay with being alone. I don’t even know what that means. GG says some stupid shit about “a secret valentine.” EW!
HA! Nate, the Captain, and Chuck drinking Scotch is a tremendous sight. Seems that when they asked the Cap to turn in his key card, he handed over his Empire gym card instead. He’s got his Thorpe card and all Russell’s passwords, which will be good for the next 48 hours, for Chuck. Aw, Nate looks so proud!
Serena, still in her finery, meets Ben at some tavern. More soapy shit ensues. They kiss. The longer this goes on, the more worrisome I find Ben.
Dan texts Blair to let her know he’s just finished a new draft, and she calls him back to tell him that she already submitted his piece. When? This afternoon. She just likes watching Dan squirm. She also sent it to a junior editor at Vanity Fair, not Details, for she felt it was “sharply observed.” Both hop into their beds to watch Rosemary’s Baby over the phone together. Blair’s take away from this movie, btw, is never eat strange desserts. She further cautions Dan that it pays to be paranoid. A split screen? When Harry Met Sally? Gfy, show. I do not believe in Dan and Blair. You can’t make me.
And because we didn’t get anything to cry about tonight, Eric’s observing the following to a fellow meals on wheels volunteer: “I got more hugs tonight from strangers than my grandmother's doled out my entire life.” That’s our Cece! And that’s when we find Damien in a dark alley. Damien decides that Eric is going to help him out of his problem with the Ambassador (ooo, can we meet him first?) by blackmailing our favourite little one. Remember all that stuff about Lily committing various felonies to get Ben in jail? Well, so does Damien. Oh, fuckety.
In other news:
Next time: Blair is very busy, and it’s Eric’s 18th birthday. Really?! Our little boy, all grown up!