Recapping “Gossip Girl”: The Grandfather
At this point, I love “Gossip Girl” the way I once loved a certain young lad back in my high school days. It’s almost like reliving that entire romance, in fact. Though I loved the show once with a passion beyond compare, it no longer satisfies me. I talk trash about it behind its back. But at the same time, I just can’t let go, because the good parts (the soundtrack, Ed Westwick’s face) are still so good. On some level, I’m still in love.
With that in mind, let’s enter the spectacular zone of white privilege and excess that is this thrice-baked trifle of a guilty pleasure… So Nate runs into his cousin, Tripp, whose mother, Bristol, lives in Alaska and just broke up with her boyfriend, Levi. Tripp sports a hideous yellow sweater and seems relatively harmless. Surprisingly, he doesn’t ask Vanessa to fetch him his riding gloves or inquire if she’s polished the silver as she was repeatedly told to do. In fact, he’s even friendly. He invites Nateling and the others to come hang out at Grandfather’s Fortress of Solitude in Greenwich or Rye or wherever, and Nate’s not into it. But then Dan and Vanessa inexplicably urge him to see his mother’s side of the family (the VANDERBILTS!) because there’s nothing the Brooklyn Twins love more than the white Eurocentric capitalist patriarchy. And there’s nothing the “Gossip Girl” writing staff hates more than consistency.
Lily is hanging out with her professional art buyer lady (because Lily can’t be bothered to pick out fugly crap herself) in hilarious chunky white frame glasses with giant teardrop earrings that look like they were snatched from a crystal chandelier in the Estelle Getty Ballroom at the Holiday Inn Boca Raton. The art hottie announces that she once dated Rufus, and Lily is all, “Ewwww, what, he totally didn’t tell me?” but then she pretends he did and it’s super awkward. This leads to some randomness in which Lily shows up at Rufarino’s factory-outlet picture shop and is all, “Let’s make lists of who we dated” and Rufus is all, “What? That’s a bad idea” but then they decide to do it anyway, because.
Then it’s on to the Vanderbilt family compound, where Chuck is wearing a weird plaid shirt sans tie, which means he’s in a very low-key, earthy mood, thinking about maybe listening to some “Prairie Home Companion.” He knows Blair is into Garrison Keillor, so he goes looking for her at her house. Where the F-stop is Eleanor Waldorf, BTW? And where’s Cyrus Rose? Blair is falling apart and needs her mommy and daddy, damn it!
Anyway, Chuck finds Blair at home in a harlequin harlot whore costume, because she is being a tramp with Carter Bazien. He and Leighton Meester allegedly make the sexytimes in real life, which adds a further layer of non-intrigue to this totally boring scene. Blair is humping him because Yale won’t have her. Chuck is all grossed out, but what can he do? He’s wearing plaid. He leaves, while Carter and Blair make out.
Back at the tsar’s Winter Palace, we learn many bits of interesting family history from Granderbilt. We also note that Dan, like Chuck in the previous scene, is wearing plaid. Dan’s plaid, however, is different from Chuck’s plaid. Dan’s plaid says, “Rufus used to wear this back on the bus while getting serviced by groupies.” At a key moment, Cousin Tripp reappears and challenges everyone to a game of touch football, because that is something that rich white people do in movies and on television and maybe even in real life. The best part about this scene is that Cousin Tripp’s yellow sweater is revealed in all its canary glory, and it has elbow patches! This is awesome.
Blair and Serena are shopping, and Blair shoplifts sunglasses, because she is wild. Serena is concerned, so she calls Chuck and tells him to lure Carter to the Van der Bass apartment, where she will unleash some unsettling bit of news that will surely send him packing to a far-off land. Also, she has messy hair. Serena admonishes her mother for writing the silly list of guys she’s dated, pointing out that Rufus surely shall not like it. We are reminded again that Lily dated Trent Reznor, and guess who else? SLASH!
Back in NYC, Carter meets Chuck at his blended-family apartment. Chuck offers him a drink, which Carter accepts, sneering that the beverage “goes down almost as easy as you did.” This confirms my belief that all the male characters on this program are headed for a giant homosexual orgy. To further drive the point home, Serena hints at a nasty event that may or may not have occurred in the land where orgies were invented! Apparently something terrible happened with “that Greek guy, Spiros,” and while she gives no specifics it is apparent that Spiro Gyro and Carter had a bunch of passionate sex atop a giant pile of dolmades and spanakopita. Serena hands Carter plane tickets to Dubai, and he agrees to go, because of the gay sex he doesn’t want us to know about (even though we already do).
Chuck tries to bribe Dorota into telling him where Blair is. Dorota flips out and yells at him in Polish. Dorota also gets sassy with Serena, who takes it in stride. Out of concern for Blair, Dorota reveals the secret location of Blair’s special secret cave of secrets. Blair goes to a mysterious townhouse. Is it a slut townhouse of lies? No. She is begging the dean of Sarah Lawrence to let her matriculate there and become a temporary lesbian. The dean is not having it, and Serena and Chuck crash the meeting just in time to see Blairikins get rejected.
Because this episode will never end, Lily and Rufus have dinner served by a cater-waiter for no apparent reason. She chickens out and only shows him half her list. I really like Kelly Rutherford, but this subplot is heinous.
Time for some product placement! Jenny is sitting at home looking at that website Bluefly.com. I’m not opposed to this, actually. I like her much better as a good-natured, creepily tall chick who only hangs around once in awhile to fetch things for the other characters, like ice packs and secret sex notes from high school teachers. Taylor Momsen is really shaping up to be a beautiful young lady. Did you know she’s in a band in real life? Good for her.
Alright, whatever, this is getting painful. There’s a big Vanderbilt party to which everyone is invited, and Blair goes around being drunk and telling people off, and she tries to seduce Chuck but he loves her too much to do her while she’s wasted and crazy. She says “Take me now,” which is a terrible thing for modern television writers to make anyone say, let alone an excellent actress like Meester. Meester deserves better. Blair and Nate share a tender little moment which foreshadows the fact that they are most likely going to boink at the end of this episode or the beginning of the next one. Vanessa gets mad that Nate has chosen to intern under Mayor Bloomberg instead of going to desolate post-Communist countries with her next summer.
Then Serena slaps Dan in the face for humping their teacher back when they were—already broken up? Why is this even an issue? I don’t know, but it’s really fun to see Lively smack her real-life boyfriend in the face.
And at the end of the episode, back at la casa de Waldorf, Blair is trying to seduce Nate. Chuck sees Nate’s monogrammed jacket downstairs and totally knows he’s upstairs, about to penetrate the borders of the Nation of Blairistan. Chuck looks horrified. HORRIFIED, I tell you!
Oh yeah, and Rufus and Lily fought at some point, but then they made up.
Next week: apparently, real-life lovahz Westwick and Jessica Szohr share an onscreen smooch. Also, probably, more sex happens. Hooray!