Picking up where we left off last week, the children are all in the Hamptons, but summer is winding down and it’s time to return to the big city. Dan and Serena wake up on a beach after fucking all night and Serena is like “we need to take some time,” and Dan is like “but we were just fucking all night on this crazy beach” and Serena is like “Sideways smile! Sideways smile!” Meanwhile, Blair is still riding bikes around the Hamptons with THE LORD. Sure. Blair rides bikes. Sure. Whoops, I mean no. Blair does not ride bikes. Last week they didn’t show her riding a bike, they just showed her pushing a bike through a park, and I thought that made sense. I can see Blair showing people that she has a bike. The finest bike. But I don’t think she rides that bike unless the bike is a limousine and there’s champagne in the backseat of the bike. Nate tells his mom he’s heading back into the city and Nate’s mom tells him not to because the FBI is freezing all of their assets after Nate’s dad fled the country last season. Dramatic! Fall from grace! Shoes on other feet! The best part of this is right before admitting to Nate that the family is in terrible financial straits, she tries to convince him not to go home by reminding him “there’s still a few days left of vacation.” Totally. It’s pretty common when the FBI is freezing your assets to be able to turn that ship around in four days as long as there are enough mimosas.
Dan and Serena were going to take their space but they end up riding the Hamptons Gitney together, which for those of you who do not live in the New York area, or for those of you who live in the New York area but are not unbearable, the Hamptons Gitney is a bus between Manhattan and the Hamptons. You know, a bus. Like the thing no one really likes riding that much, except that for some reason rich people like this bus. Rich people think this is the best bus. Anyway, it’s so hard for Dan and Serena to keep their hands off each other! Look, I was a child once. I understand the painful delights of TOUCHING PEOPLE or the even more wonderful NOT TOUCHING PEOPLE, but this whole sequence was just unbearable. Not only are Dan and Serena the worst, but you are not going to convince me that Serna is irresistible by showing her eating oversized chocolate covered strawberries. That is a ridiculous thing that no one does, and it leaves her hands looking like they’re covered in shit.
Accordingly, Dan and Serena duck into the bathroom to make out, and I don’t care how much money these people have, a bus bathroom is a bus bathroom is a bus bathroom and that’s disgusting. I Purell my hands of this whole relationship.
Blair won’t shut up about wanting to meet THE LORD’s family, particularly his stepmom THE DUCHESS, but instead of saying “OH FUCK YEAH, BLAIR, LET’S MEET THEM!” he just says “OK, well let’s see,” which seems like a totally reasonable reaction to have after their three day relationship or whatever, but instead it freaks Blair out. She calls Serena and is like “I’m freaking out!” In order to impress THE LORD, Blair organizes a last minute “end of summer” party with a harpist and a bunch of people she doesn’t know.
But meanwhile Chuck has been scheming to ruin Blair’s relationship with the lord and win her back, so he befriends the lord and they go play squash wearing thick sweaters, because that is how the rich play sports. The motto of the wealthy is “E Pluribus Sweaters” which is latin for “Always with the Sweaters.”
Through his schemes, Chuck gets the lord’s home phone number and he invites the duchess to Blair’s party, and the whole thing goes terribly badly for Blair until it also turns out that the duchess is the cougar Nate was making love to all summer, and Blair catches them about to be making love in a library (this show is very Clue) and now the duchess has to welcome her to the family because that’s what happens when you fuck little boys. You get caught and you have to be nice to your step-children’s girlfriends. It’s classic family stuff.
Can we talk about that for a second, though? Like, why does the Duchess come to a party at the invitation of HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR Chuck Bass? And why does she cross swords with a 17-year-old girl? And later the Duchess offers to help Nate solve his family’s financial troubles. Really? This woman is supposed to be an adult, but she allows herself to be drawn into the silly games of emotionally stunted children? Earlier in the show it’s revealed that Nate’s mom, who’s supposedly the scion of an old money family, ACCEPTED A LOAN FROM HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR CHUCK BASS to try and save the family’s financial future. Yes. A mother went to her son’s best friend for help. Sure. The kind of thing adults do all the time. His mom probably gave Chuck a hand job BECAUSE APPARENTLY THAT’S WHAT PARENTS DO NOW.
The whole thing reminded me of the moment early on in the first season when Blair invites a MEDICAL DOCTOR from a TREATMENT SYSTEM to a party for COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ADMINISTRATORS and then presents him as the person who helped Serena Van Der Woodsen deal with her non-existent drug problem, and during this speech the doctor says nothing? Really doctor? Didn’t feel like cutting in on that one and saying “oh, by the way, as a medical professional I can’t really allow you to disclose the treatment history of anyone, much less someone who I didn’t treat, because that is insane.” Then again, I’m not a doctor. What do I know?
Speaking of adults having ridiculously inappropriate relationships with children, Rufus is back from his Lisa Loebapalooza after an entire summer of parental neglect, but he’s already considering going back on the road. We know this because he opens up on the subject to Vanessa, another child. The same man who carelessly and selfishly attempted to date his son’s girlfriend’s mom during the first season at the expense of just about everyone else’s feelings or well being, has now completely abandoned his family for the nostalgic dream of being in a third-rate bar band. Oh, but good news, at the last minute he decides not to go on the road because he realizes that family is more important and that he needs to be a father to his children. Does he realize this because he looks in the mirror and sees that he’s 40 years old and that he needs to put away the forgotten dreams of his youth and accept the responsibilities that he seemed to have accepted for the past 17 years? No. He realizes this because supposedly Dan and Jenny made a collage on the dining room wall of photos of the two of them without their father enjoying the summer.
WHO TOOK THESE PHOTOS? WHO MAKES A COLLAGE LIKE THIS? This collage makes me so angry. The Humphrey family is a bunch of bullshit.
Oh, also Vanessa spent the summer turning the Bedford Art Gallery (which judging by the b-roll footage is located on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens) into a coffee shop, NATCH, so we can look forward to a whole bunch of surprise run-ins between unlikely characters in the near future.
And Nate stood Vanessa up, but we don’t have to talk about that because I know no one cares about Vanessa.