What is Gossip Girl? Is it shadow? Is it light? Is it some dusky energy in between, full of whispers and haunts and newborn ghosts? Maybe. But it's also just a silly TV show. OK:
This episode was all about Jewish people—the ones that live in storm drains, the ones that dwell, cackling, under bridges, the ones that ride ferryboats across rivers of their own gold so they can come and eat your good Christian babies. On Gossip Girl, Wallace Shawn plays a Jew who is a mix between a bridge-dweller and a ferryboater. It's a Jewy time of year, so he decided to have a Seder and everyone was invited. Or at least everyone just showed up and ruined his Jew party. But we'll get back to that.
First: Blair. Poor Blair was having another one of her Audrey Hepburn fantasies. This one was My Fair Lady. She showed up in her little crumpled hat with her sad basket of flowers and was cockney-hawking them in a real fancy-type establishment. Leighton Meester actually does a pretty good cockney accent, in a stage-y sorta way, but her posh British voice wasn't nearly as credible. And Chace Crawford, who also featured in the dream? Well, heh, the writers were smart and didn't ask him to do a British accent or to speak at all. Because he's just there to look floppy and sweet, sad trombones playing inside his ribcage.
Blair's dream was about Yale, because she's not going, she's not even going to Sarah Lawrence. So what is she to do? Mostly mope and act petulant and weak, which isn't exactly the Blair we were forced to fall in love with last season, but what the hell!, the writers always seem to say, tossing any character development out the window every few episodes or so. So Blair was helpless and useless, and decided that she was going to join some Junior Ladies' Museum League or something, but it wasn't for definite that she was going to get in. Her stepdad Wallace Shawn said he could place a call at NYU, but Blair made a disgusted face and mentioned Beloved (and you say there's no color on Gossip Girl!) and LUGism and isn't making fun of NYU cute.
Meanwhile across town, or just a few blocks away, or fuck it I don't know, Serena van der Blixen had just returned from Spain. She was all tousled of mane and wild-eyed, like she'd just killed a man with drugs and had sex with a shark. And in some ways, she had. Chuckles was sipping tea in his kimono when she came home and he eyed her suspiciously and said "Girlfriend, you got laid. Didn't you, honey chile?" And Serena laughed and batted his arm and said "Oh Chuckles, you so crazy girl." And then Chuckles snapped his fingers and said "Mmhm. And I look fab-oh-luss too, OK?" So that was nice for them. A fun little conversation that they had. But Serena still looked wild and worried. And you know why? Because something happened while she was in Spain. Something wicked. She needed to call a Jewish gnome, as they are the only creatures in all of New Yorkia who have the proper spells to undo Spanish love hexes. So she called Wallace Shawn. Because that's just what you do.
It wasn't the trashcan fire or the family of possums living in the cupboard that bothered poor destitute Rufus, it was that no one was buying art. We're over in Brooklyn now, where old crones wander the streets, rattling cans and little satchels of bones, where cats eat dogs and dogs eat people, where spiders live in everyone's eyes and when their babies hatch it's called having Spiderweep and it happens every spring. Rufus's Staffordshire terrier Dan wants so desperately to go to Yale, but the only money the Humphrey family has is a gold ducat left by a passing wise man who told riddles and stole the soft, chalky teeth of toddlers. So terrier Dan has decided that he needs to get a job. But there's nothing on Craigslist except for sex jobs and drug dealings! Jenny suggests a catering company, and Dan frowned and said "I was kind of hoping for something else," and I think what he meant was that he wanted a white person job. Hellooooo Jenny. Earth to space cadet. Dan could be like a roving cub New York Daily Press Times Observer reporter. "Hey mister, what's the big scoop on this brouhaha going down at the button factory? Coolidge and his boys are calling a strike! Will there be any scabbers?" That kind of thing. But no. Catering is all there is. So catering it will be.
Blair meanwhile was at church because Natalie's cousin Fancyfeast was getting married to his lovely bride and Natalie was the maid of honor. So Blair sat in the pews and suddenly she smelled the strong odor of pipe tobacco and the tears of Laotian children who have been chained up in a root cellar too long. "Grampa Vanderslacks," she beamed. "Hello Blair," croaked Vanderslacks, because he is a hundred years old and very, very tired. "Won't you convince darling Natalie to go to Yale?" Oh see what had happened: N got in to Y, so B was all F, but Evs. Then N was all, no I'm going to Columbia, and B was all Evs. But then B didn't get her museum J and so she was sad and Gramps said B I'll get you the MJ if you tell N to go to Y not C. And Blair said Evs. But she said it enthusiastically! She's gonna do it.
Meanwhile Wallace Shawn was busy not preparing his Jew party. His beautiful wife Margaret Colin was planning it instead. Dorota was off on vacation, probably sunning herself on some fabulous isle while drinking fruity drinks and gawping at surfer boys, so MC decided to hire a catering company. Did you see that miraculous twist coming, dear reader? Catering. Think about it. Who just took a job as a cater waiter because there were no other jobs out there? No, not you. On the show. Oh you're on the show? Well still not you. Dan! Remember? When Jenny told Dan about the cater waiter job? Is it possible that I just like typing 'cater waiter'? Yes. Yes it is. But yeah. It was like the fucking Westing Game up in GG last night... Dan... who is a big character on the show!... ended up catering... at Blair's house! ... and she's another big character on the show. Oh, screwball coincidence!
So the Jew party was basically ruined. Rufus and his big fat whale wife Lily showed up and she had a huge cruller sticking out her mouth and was farting mustard gas and everyone said "Oh good lord when are you due, woman?" and she just shrugged and said "Happy Passover!" Serena also showed up because she needed to seek the counsel of Wallace Shawn. She spoke with him in the most private of places, the g.d. hallway. It turns out? Sereenz done got hitched in Spain. By accident! Nevermind that it takes a whole lotta rigmarole to get married in a foreign country and have in recognized domestically, but whatever. She was scared and frightened and had maybe peed her pants a little bit, so why not join the Seder. Rufus didn't know that Dan was basically blowing sailors behind an IHOP for nickels so he could pay for college, so Dan pretended that he was just a guest at the partay, dressed like a cater waiter because that's what the kids are into.
So most of the pieces were in place: Confused Rufus, Peeing Serena, Gas Farting Lily, Drunk Margaret Colin, Jewish Gnome Wallace Shawn, and Confused Other Cater Waiter Girl Who Wishes She'd Stayed In Providence. Only one piece of the puzzle was missing: Serena's new Spanish husband, Gideon! Gideon with his flaxen waxen hair and his proud, buttery chin. He looked like a pineapple that had been sanded down by a loving Geppetto. And he showed up at the house because... oh I don't know how he found her there. But he did! And he wanted to talk turkey, or rather brisket, about the wedding and how they were so in love and how she'd changed so much in these last thirty-six hours and wait a second who's this terrier chump cater waiter sidling up to you? Serena, desperate and scared and now really just flat-out pissing herself, clutched Dan close to her and said "We're dating!" Gideon was confused and hurt. But he wouldn't leave.
At Fancyfeast's big wedding reception, Blair realized there was nothing she could do to convince N to go to Y instead of C. So she just stood there glumly and Natalie sauntered up to the microphone to give his maid of honor toast and... what's this? He's lashing out at Grampa Vanderslacks. It seems the old codger was the one who called the feds on Natalie's dad, Professor Stealsalot. I mean, they should have known just by his name! But no, they were tipped off by 'slacks and Natalie knew somehow and he would never forgive his grandfather. Until his grandfather explained himself perfectly reasonably two minutes later and Natalie was all "Oh, OK." They hugged and kissed and held each other for a while and then Grampa said "Hey, I should tell you. Your ladyfriend was trying to get you to go to Yale for her own nefarious gains." Chace Crawford furrowed his brow and looked like a guinea pig contemplating arithmetic and I sorta felt bad for the old lady.
Back in Judaica: Rufus and Lily were upset because it looked like Dan and Serena were dating. Margaret Colin was upset because Dan was being a terrible cater waiter. Gideon was upset because Serena was a terrible host and didn't introduce him around so now it was going to be awkward all evening. Everyone was upset. Would it be too reductive to say that shit happened and then everything was figured out? Dan got jealous that Serena got married. Um. Serena changed her pants at one point. Gideon fell over a few times and then got lost in a hallway closet while looking for the restroom. Wallace Shawn ran crying off to synagogue. Margaret Colin hooked an IV of vodka up to her veins. And the other cater waiter threw herself out a window, because how was she ever going to pay off this RISD debt anyway?
Turns out Serena isn't really married, just pretend drunken beach married. And turns out that there was an old dude at the Jew party who likes art so he bought art from Rufus and the economy was solved and somewhere in Brooklyn a hobo magically turned into a mailbox, just like on The Simpsons. Everyone clapped and took their bows and it was the best production of Noises Off the Binghamton Community Players had ever done.
Meanwhile ol' Boyless and Depressida, Natalie and Blair, were having a fight on the street because how dare Blair sell him out and how dare Natalie be all what he is when he's being how he's being. They ended up just rumple-fucking and being sad miserable pieces of shit and Blair ran to Wallace Shawn and cried "Save me Jew Gnome, save me!" And so he did. He waved his knobbly little wand and somewhere at NYU a phone rang and Blair had an interview. Maybe she would read Beloved and maybe she would affix her bathing cap and bravely, like Gabrielle Anwar in Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, dive in. Only in this case it wouldn't be into water while on a horse. It'd be into muff while on an extra-long dorm bed. Speaking of beds, Natalie had gone to talk to his old friend Chuckles, and the two gazed at each other, liquored and longing, and there was a planet of desire and regret between them.
So everything was wrapped up nicely.
Except! Wait! Remember first season when Chuck tried to rape Jenny? Yeah, well. They finally decided to talk about it. Good for them. Jenny was inexplicably playing Parcheesi at van der Blix Manor and Chuck was there with some sort of ballerina. Jenny was accompanied by a pile of oily rags that someone had crudely drawn a face on. This character wasn't so much introduced as just sorta put into the frame and told to say things. He was a math tutor or something.
Anyway. Jenny and Chuck got in a fight because Chuck was being a jerk and Jenny said "remember when you tried to rape me?" and Chuck was all "Oh yeah, sorry about that. I'll stay out of your way," and I thought they were going to make out, which would have been hilarious and despicable all at once, just as this show should always be but never is.
Incidentally, I watched last night's episode with my recapping arch-nemeses, Jessica Pressler and Chris Rovzar of the Daily Intel, at Miss Rovzar's East Village chateau. It was an interesting experience, because they are far more diligent in their detailing than I am. They like rewind and shit. Which is good! I don't near often enough give credit to this show for the little bon mots it drops. Some of them are very clever. But, sadly, many of them are used to distract from the gaping plot holes that the writers are too lazy to spackle over. Still. Detailing is important. So I commend Pressler and Rovzar's noble efforts and urge you to read their recaps for a more thorough and enlightening experience. (They're still my sworn enemies, though.)
Anyway. At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Gideon—who Serena likes again now that they're not married!—is in secret cahoots with the wicked Poppy Bobcut. What their horrid plans for Serena are remains to be seen. My guess? They're from an ancient and secret order that has long striven to exact their power upon the world. Their sacred mission? To make Serena pee her pants as much as possible.
So far, they're doing remarkably.