The show opens with a joke about how Blair refuses to use the dirty, dirty subway. Oh please. I am willing to accept so much from this show, from the weekly cocktail parties to the casual ways in which adults manipulate children in multi-billion dollar corporate takeovers, but this is just shooting Blairs in a barrel. Especially since 10 minutes later they show Chuck and Nate playing basketball down on Forsythe in the Lower East Side. I’m not trying to get all Professor Manhattan Geography over here, but this show is so ridiculously all over the map (literally!) in terms of its location scouting that they should just ignore the magical means of transportation that can somehow get a lazy 17-year-old from the Upper East Side to Williamsburg and back before school even starts. Anyway, how are Nate and Blair going to keep their makeshift end-of-season relationship together once they’re in college? Who Cares University. I’m sorry, girls, I’m just not feeling the Nate and Blair are back together thing. It’s less OMG and more G2G.
But Nate solves the problem by renting an apartment in Murray Hill. “Even your mother’s too hip for this zip code,” Chuck says. MURRAY HILL ZING. Hipness aside, though, seriously, Murray Hill? That’s just inconvenient for everyone. But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is PISSING CONTEST.
He’s Chuck Bass!
You have to hand it to this show, though, they really pay attention to detail. Like in this scene, Nate can’t afford better green screen because his dad is in jail.
So, the pissing contest stems from Chuck and Blair spending a lot of time together spying on Serena’s new boyfriend, Gabriel, who keeps ducking out of their double dates with Lily and Rufus (huh?) to go “work.” Well it turns out that work is eating Poppy Lifton’s cake, which is a euphemism for eating her vagina. DON’T HATE THE RECAP, HATE THE SHOW. It all comes to a head at Lily’s co-op cocktail party, of course, because that is where things always all come to a head. Serena is getting sick of Blair’s distrust of Gabriel, and does not recognize it for the friendly concern that it is. When Chuck and Blair organize a surprise rendezvous between Poppy and Gabriel and Serena it blows up in their faces because now everyone is so mad and Poppy is like choose me, Gabriel, or I will tell of the investors I secured for your weird-sounding company that you are ruined. OH NO! There is nothing worse in business then having someone tell all of your investors that you are ruined. Who told my investors I was ruined my cheese!
Chuck says “no one’s getting killed, it’s a co-op cocktail party.” Two classic Chuck Bassisms in one night!
So now Serena loves Gabriel more than ever even though Chuck and Blair know that something is still up, because he claims that he met her the night that she murdered but didn’t actually murder at all that guy last year at Butter, but Butter was closed that night, and Serena is like “Seriously, you guys, Butter?” and later Gabriel is like “what’s Butter?” In your face, exclusive East Village nightspot that means something to probably less than one percent of Gossip Girl’s audience. YA BURNT. So Nate is like “Blair you need to either move in with me to Murray Hill right this second,” and she is like “trust,” and then she goes with Chuck Bass to a Christian colony in Connecticut to find Georgina Sparks and get to the bottom of this.
Meanwhile, Serena is like “Gabriel, I am sorry about your investors, let’s just get you all of the money from my mom’s friends,” and everyone at the party is like “that’s a great idea, let me write you a check for all of my money right now,” because that is how business works. This show is basically a crash course in business. HAS NO ONE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE EVER SEEN GRIFTERS? Obviously, Gabriel is The Hipster Grifter but for secretly homosexual tobacco scion WASPS. He and Poppy are actually still together and running major grifts throughout the elite co-op cocktail party community.
And who else wants in on the ground floor of this obvious grift?
“I know that I haven’t always been there for you kids, which is why I have invested what little money we have left in what is obviously a grift.” Best dad. He spends the whole episode basically just being the best dad ever. First, he takes his kids to a shop that is literally filled with garbage to buy them things for college. Huh? “Would you like this overpriced steamer trunk from the 1930s, or this broken pedal-driven Singer sewing machine from the turn of the century? Your dorm room is going to be the lion’s ears!” Then he eyes what is literally a piece of garbage costume jewelry that someone found inside of Big Edie Beale’s butt and he’s eying that as an engagement ring for Lily, because he is literally a 14-year-old idiot.
But all of his excitement comes crashing down when the art gallery’s real estate agent tells him that it might take months to sell the gallery. WHOA. Ripped from the headlines. You know the economy is in serious trouble when it becomes a plot point on Gossip Girl. (Just kidding. Cupcakes can be a plot point on this show.) So now Dan isn’t going to go to college again. His dad was only able to pay for two children to go to an elite private school on the Upper East Side, a giant loft in Dumbo, and an art gallery. He can’t possibly figure out how to pay off the interest on an easily accessible student loan from any of the million banks that happily give those out.
Instead, Rufus is thinking about selling the rights to his ridiculous band’s library of make believe songs. “You’re going to sell your life’s work?” Vanessa asks. Right. Alligator tears. But Rufus does her one better and says “the reason I stopped touring was to spend time with my kids, but it turns out it might have been the worst thing I could have ever done for them.” What he means, of course, is that the only reason he stopped fulfilling an adolescent dream of returning to a world without consequences or responsibility was to be able to spend more time actively pursuing the dissolution of his son’s girlfriend’s mom’s marriage and then fucking her days after her husband died.
We’re gonna need a bigger mug!