When Jenny Humphrey ran away last week it was very exciting. Unlike throwing your sweet sixteen-and-a-half at 1Oak or stealing all of Bart Bass’s Ferragamo loafers as a goof, teenagers running away from home can have very dire consequences. Maybe Jenny would get hit by a bus, or fall onto the subway tracks and get hit by a train, or get hit by a truck, or a taxi. She could get hit by anything! So it is disappointing to learn in the opening scene of this week’s show that she’s just sleeping on Agnes’s couch, and that
Agnes’s mom calls them every day to make sure they’re all right. Dan can tell that Rufus is playing it cool so that Jenny will come back home on her own, rather than feeling like she’s being forced to. Gabe can tell that Rufus is the worst father and his 15 year old daughter has dropped out of school and run away from home and maybe the time for playing it cool has passed you negligent dumbass.
Agnes and Jenny are going around to buyers trying to sell Jenny’s clothing line, but they’re having creative differences. The main issue seems to be that Jenny came up with all the designs, while Agnes feels that she should get the credit for not being 15 YEARS OLD. The fights get worse and worse, because Jenny Humphrey must instantaneously poison all of her relationships with the bitterest self-centered disgust. She’s like Serena if Serena was mean instead of retarded. Jenny goes behind Agnes’s back and gets in touch with a buyer, who we will simply call Insane Adult Manipulator #1, because there are so many adults on this show who use high school children as high stakes pawns in their self-serving adult games.
Anyway, Insane Adult Manipulator #1 tells Jenny that he would be happy to instantly incorporate her business without her business partner no questions asked let’s sign the papers right away you don’t even need a lawyer to look over them trust me I have nothing but your best interests and future success in mind. All she needs is a parent’s signature. UH OH.
When Agnes finds out that Jenny went behind her back with J. Humphrey Designs instead of whatever Agnes wanted the company to be called, Designgerous Liasons or something, she kicks Jenny out of her house and also puts all of her dresses in a garbage can and sets them on fire. Eventually.
Oh no! If only there had been a full forty-five seconds of arguing before the fire was set during which Jenny could have grabbed her dresses out of the garbage can and run away. It’s too bad there was absolutely no way that Jenny could have just grabbed the dresses instead of pleading with Agnes to stop. If only there was some way that Jenny could have…wait, were there firecrackers hidden in those clothes? Because when the matches hit the clothes it really seemed like there were some firecrackers in the pockets.
Jenny goes home to demand that Rufus sign the incorporation papers, but he won’t, because if there’s one thing that he knows about parenting it’s that you should never start taking a vested interest in helping and protecting your kids, ever. The day you start doing that is the day you can kiss being the subject of the cover story of Negligent Parent Magazine goodbye. Not that it doesn’t kind of make sense. If Dan and Jenny were my kids I would neglect them too. “You assholes are on your own,” I’d say, as I threw them out the window. Jenny gives Rufus the dirtiest gas face.
OK, Gollum. The one dress of power has corrupted her mind. Later, just when Rufus seems on the verge of deciding that it’s important to him to be a fucking father, Jenny is back in Insane Adult Manipulator #1’s office, where she asks him if there’s any way to move ahead with the business despite the fact that her parents won’t sign the paperwork. Of course, the man says. You should just emancipate yourself. Business is so cuththroat. To get ahead in this world you have to constantly convince children to take legal action against their parents. Did you know that the founders of Google were both emancipated from their parents at the age of 9 for the tax break? It’s called success.
Meanwhile, Dan Humphrey has decided that if his sister is going to be rash and self-destructive due to lack of any parental guidance or boundary setting, then he should also start behaving like a total shithead (CORRECTION: behaving like a MORE TOTAL shithead.) He’s dusted off his old exploitative short story, Charlie Trout Is Sad About The Way His Father, Tart Trout, Treats Him, and the Paris Review loves it because apparently no one who watches this show has ever heard of the Paris Review or would ever question its editorial standards. The editor of the Paris Review has not only written Dan a letter of recommendation for Yale (always with the Yale this show, ugh, get ready for Gossip Undergrad next season), he also introduces him to a Senior Editor from New York Magazine.
We can refer to the editor of the Paris Review as Insane Manipulative Adult #2, and his friend from New York Magazine as Insane Manipulative Adult #3, because they both put pressure on Dan to turn his short story into a journalistic expose that threatens to bring down the entire Bass enterprise, and also family. Right. Magazines are always encouraging high school students to infiltrate multi-million dollar businesses and invade the privacy of their classmates. It’s all about selling papers, guys. Insane Manipulative Adult #2 actually says “you just grew a pair, Humphrey, don’t lose them now,” because Insane Manipulative Adult #2 is a horrible asshole. He’s basically Dan Humphrey in a thousand years.
Long story short, Dan “I Love Trouble” Humphrey manages to get Bart Bass to admit to a scandalous crime that goes deeper than anyone realized (“I’ve had that man’s death on my conscience for 20 years”), because the one weakness of any ruthless CEO is an intrepid high schooler. Chuck begs Dan not to go public with the story, and at first Dan is being his normal self-righteous in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong reasons self, but finally he decides not only to kill the New York Magazine story, but to messenger a copy of his Charlie Trout short story to Bart Bass, who has a revelation about his son’s emotions, and this results in a dramatic reunion between father and son, which is actually the best reason I’ve seen so far, besides the historical precedent of CALEB NICHOL, for Bart Bass being the person who dies this season. Classic. Just when they were starting to get to know each other. Rosebud.
Even more meanwhile, it’s Blair’s 18th birthday party and the war she wages on her mother’s new boyfriend, Wallace Shawn. Poor Wallace Shawn. He is such a good actor, but puts up with so much abuse. Woody Allen calls him a homunculus in
Annie HallManhattan, and he’s basically revisiting that role here, as a creepy dwarf that all the teenage viewers will think is so gross. Yuck! Blair starts a war with him because of how his face looks, but then he wins with…Cindy Lauper? And they have a truce, but then he moves in, maybe the truce is over. Blair is old enough to vote. She probably voted for McCain.
The other plotline involves Serena and that stupid artist. This is just miserable. I thought her and Dan’s relationship was insufferable, but Aaron Rose has taught me the true meaning of the word. He takes video of Serena and turns it into a diaphanous horrorscape. Seriously, stuff of nightmares.
Then he fucks a bunch of other girls and Serena is like “humph,” and then he is like “sorry about fucking all those girls,” and Serena is like “I’m going to go to Central Park with you wearing nothing but the kind of negligee normally seen on 45 year old women trying to rekindle their marriage.”
The worst. I hope she accidentally falls into Bart Bass’s grave at the funeral. Everyone would be like “Well, the dirt’s already here. We might as well just start shoveling.”
And, of course: