Last night's episode was all about people reaching out for one another. Unrequited lovers reaching for a warm body. Mothers reaching for sons. Daughters for fathers. Jenny for a sack of pills.

Our story began this week with Jenny, a rebellious little pixie who will not follow the sacred rules of the faerie kingdom, even though mean old Queen Mab is angry at her. All Jenny wants to do is hang out with the kid from Air Bud. If you had the opportunity to hang out with the kid from Air Bud, I'm pretty sure that's all you'd want to do too. And deal drugs. You'd want to sell pills as well. So that's what Jenny is doing by way of revolt. She never goes to school anymore, nobody goes to school anymore on this show. Maybe they will later, when it is convenient, but for now Jenny is stuck in the house, frowning brattily at her Rufus and his Lily, and frowning sexily at her kid from Air Bud.

Rufus doesn't want Josh Framm seeing young Jennifrica anymore, because he suspects they might be creating sex together, which is something he is not comfortable with. (You know what I am not comfortable with? The fact that Matthew Settle was so good and creepy and, like, doing something real on Band of Brothers and is now stuck doing this. Acting is so depressing.) Lily also doesn't want Framm to framm his way into Jennji's undergarments, because she's trying to be a good parent to Rufus' daughter so he will forgive her for kissing her ex-husband over summer break. What tangled webs we weave! For now, though, no one is forgiving anyone. A whole hullabaloo happened with Framm and his drugz. Basically Rufus was all "Young lady you are far too young to be framming, so you are moving to Brooklyn with me, and I don't care if Dan is upset because he's been living there alone and framming himself into a giddy stupor in peace for months now. It's back across the river!" and Jenny was all "Noooo" and for some reason decided a good way to not get gulag'd to Bklyn was to... show her dad her big sack of pills. I didn't exactly get that reasoning, did you? I don't really get any of Jenny's motivations right now. Alls I know is that I increasingly despise Taylor Momsen and all her trying-to-act ways. Framm her!

In the end, Jenny sneaked out of the house and met up with Framm and they mouth-frammed right there on the sidewalk and next week it looks like they really will produce boning together, which is a milestone for all of us — when our least-favorite fictional sixteen year olds finally do boffing, it is a landmark occasion in life. For their part, Rufus and Lily are screwed. Lily kinda found out that Rufus has frammed that lady from downstairs, and now who knows. She could be getting divorce number six.

Meanwhile Lily's real daughter was doing a lot of framming herself. Serena and Nate are still in mush-mouthed love together, and mostly all they do is bump uglies while Serena sings "A ring ding dong, a ring a ding ding ding dong..." loudly and joyously. It's pretty gross! This week there was a delicately choreographed foodsex montage, brought to you by episode director Andrew "Cobweb Mouth" McCarthy himself. (Who, remember, got cast on that planned GG spinoff that never happened. Maybe this was his consolation prize?) It was a really beautiful scene of lovemaking. First Serena got the strawberries, blessedly smaller ones than last time. Then there was whipped cream, then caramel. Then Nate got out the mandoline and shaved some thin radish slices over Serena's body. She laughed and moaned "Oooooo sookie sookie now." She then opened the fridge and got out the hummus and smeared it across his chest. "Allahu akbar," Nate purred. In turn he rubbed some leftover lasagna onto her quivering body. She got out the combination mustard/relish condiment tube and squirted it all over his face. He rubbed red bliss potatoes between various crevices. She covered him in a thin veneer of goose liver pate. He massaged her with a gloopy handful of seafood salad. She cracked an egg with her butt cheeks. He made scrapple on her stomach. She playfully stuffed his mouth full of tête de veau, bits dribbling down his chin. Finally they finished, in a great and heaving sloppy heap of mayonnaise and marmalade. "That was fun," Serena burbled, Gogurt sluicing out of her mouth. "It was," agreed Nate, his beautiful face covered in clam chowder.

So that was a gross scene, and I don't know who Gossip Girl thought that was going to be sexy for. Is food sexy for anyone? Eugh. When they were done they heard Blair making fake sex noises and there was a whole weird joke about that but mostly it was a setup scene so we could find out that Chuck is still hiding something from Blair. Mostly he is hiding that he is still tracking down Mother Bass. Ohhhh big plotline! Teenaged boy sits glowering in suits while a prim lady does various things in hotel lobbies. That woman is always doing things in hotel lobbies. Whenever Chuck spots her, she's always just there, doing things. In hotel lobbies. Anyway, with Serena's nosy help (nosy or freighted with meaning?) Chuck and Mother finally sat down to speak, but he rebuked her advances and gave her money so she would go the hell away. And she listened, sort of. Later on Serena went to talk to her. This woman only does two things. She does stuff in hotel lobbies, and she talks to teenagers. Most of the time she's actually talking to teenagers inhotel lobbies, which I guess seems slightly less weird than talking to teenagers in your hotel room. It's still weird though.

See, Serena wanted Chuck to reunite with Mother Bass because of her own bad dad, an abandoner who abaondoned her many moons ago. The strangely-accented Mother Bass represented that abandonment to Serena. If Ma Catfish could explain why she left Chuck, maybe someday Serena would understand her dad's reasoning. It's perfectly sound logic, except that they are two entirely different people with completely different stories, but never mind. So there it was, after all that build-up. We were going to find out why this lady left Baby Bass with his cruel, cruel daddy. What was the nefarious reason? Oh, she was young and couldn't handle a kid. That was it. Not that she's a fugitive spy or exotic animal smuggler or actually a man or anything. She was just 19 and like couldn't deal. Sigh. Gossip Girl, why do you always set us up just to knock us down?

Anyway, after talking to this complete stranger of a blonde teenager, M. Bass decided to stay and wait for Chuck to come to her and of course he did and they got to chatting and she's gonna stick around. It was nice to see Chuck smile again and please please please, dear writers, please tell us that this is that last we'll see of Sad Chuck for a long time. I am so sick of sad moody Chuck, and I'm sure Ed Westlywickens is too. Give us happy, scheming Chuck! Drunken, clowning Chuck! Terrified, ski jumping Chuck! Any kind of Chuck but Sad, Moping Chuck. He is no fun. Also no fun is Serena, who was back at one of the dimly-lit places where these people live, having a heart to heart with the Nate robot. It stroked her head stiffly and said "What is your emotional malfunction, earth child?" Serena whimpered and told him about her dad. The robot said "There there. There there. Would you like me to put some egg salad in your cu—" and then Serena jumped up and said "That's it!" She grabbed the phone and called her father. She left a message saying that she was done looking for him. That was it. No more, no more. Or is there? In case you don't live under this rock where people who watch Gossip Girl live, Billy Baldwin is popping by for a few episodes this season to play Serena's dad. So, expect more boring things with that!

Speaking of boring things, Dan & Vanessa. Oh god, Dan & Vanessa. They've been doing the San Francisco Sidestep around each other for weeks now, and finally things came to a head (and, likely, head) last night. There was some sort of party, of course. Vanessa's floor or dorm or group of pretend friends or something were having a South Beach, Miami party that involved, because these things are so totally South Beach, leis and Hawaiian-print skirts and shirts. (Was it just painfully accurate art direction of what a poorly-themed college student's party would look like? Perhaps, but probably not.) Vanessa pretended that she was going with her gay theater boyfriend, and Dan found a random girl named Melissa to come with him. How he pulled that one off I will never know. "Hello, my name is Dan Humphrey and I am a walking, talking pile of chins. Would you escort me to this year's annual Florida-Hawaii Ball?" "Suuuuuuure. I'm Melissa." "Oh, I know. Oh I know." "You have the cutest maniacal laugh."

At the party everyone was doing the traditional South Beach hula dance and eating poi, and things between Vanessa and Dan were awkward, mostly because he was wearing a chest hair-baring black wife beater and she was dressed up like Grok, the Cavewoman of Oahu. They "drank mojitos" and got "drunk," though they acted exactly the same as they had before drinking mojitos, because they are both terrible actors who were, I suppose, terribly directed. Shame on you, Blaine! Eventually they got stuck behind one of those cut-out face picture taking things and some other thing and, as anyone does when caught between one of those carnival cut-out things and some other thing, they furiously smashed their faces together and Dan's ukulele turned into a guitar and everything was just so awkward. Eventually Theatergay and Melissa figured out what was going on and were like "Ohhh noooo you didn't. Aloha, South Beach. Aloha." Dan and V. had about sixteen more conversations about whether or not they should get together, all of which made absolutely no sense, but it doesn't matter because now they are together. Yes, they frammed each other long and hard, and then made jokes about "elbow incidents" and other gross things that shouldn't exist. There was some grim foreshadowing as Dan lustily eyed the refrigerator and Vanessa stared at some margarine sitting in a tub on the counter. The Lion King ahhhh seee whenn yaaaaa mamadeetseeabah (is that how you spell mamadeetseeabah?) music began and the camera blessedly turned off.

So everyone was together and in love, except for poor Erik. At the very end of the episode, we saw lonely Erik walking through Central Park holding a little red balloon. He was thinking of other places, other climes, other lives entirely. He wanted to go somewhere warm and blue, somewhere with crystal seas and spiky palms. He wanted to go to the islands of South Beach, but he wasn't sure if he could stand such a long flight. He ended up at Vanessa's dorm instead, standing amidst the party feeling kind of miserable, until a young man with dark tanned skin sauntered up to him and said, "Aloha. Surf's up?" Erik grinned his shy little grin. "Sure is, he said. Sure is."

So that's that! A happy ending for Erik. Now Brian, why don't you tell us where everyone stands, Power Rankings-wise, after this episode.

Thank you, Richard. Here is this week's tally:

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Dorota:
Power Play: Even though she was off on important espionage business, she still makes her boyfriend Vanya tell Lily that Rufus is dogging around on her: +3
Total: 3
Season to Date: 51
Power Position: Even

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Blair:
Fashion Points: Louis Vuitton metallic booties? We likey!: +1, Gorgeous chunky yellow necklace: +1
Sexual Intrigue: Is only pretending to have sex with Chuch: -2, Finally, Chuck is back in her bed: +1
Social Schemes: Gets totally outplayed by stupid Serena in the "should Chuck talk to his mom" debate: -1, Gets proven wrong by Serena when Chuck starts enjoying talking to his mother: -1
WTF: Smart enough to have Chuck's couch scotch guarded now that Serena is dating his roommate: +1
Total: -1
Season to Date: 34
Power Position: Down

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Chuck:
Fashion Points: Wore suits to kindergarten: +1, His black Chinese pajamas make him look like the world's sexiest mandarin: +1
Personality Flaw: Knows Blair only apologizes to get something she wants: +1, Is the only one who thinks he doesn't need a mommy: -1
Sexual Intrigue: He has Blair so whipped it's not even funny: +1
Social Schemes: Breaks into his mother's room and steals her locket: +2, Gets tricked by Serena into talking to his mom: -2, Blows it big time by offering her a check: -1, Finally relents and talks to mommy: +1, And he's glad that he did: +2
Total: 4
Season to Date: 31
Power Position: Up

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Rufus:
Power Play: Finally steps up as the father to the most unruly teenager on Earth: +2, Tells Lily that she didn't raise Serena right. Oh, snap!: +1, He's so right: +1, Falls for Damien's sad little rich drug dealer fable: -2, Still stands firm with Jenny: +1
Sexual Intrigue: Running away from his problems with Lily, his meal ticket: -1, Lily knows he was hanging with the sexy downstairs neighbor: -1, She is informed by the help: -1
WTF: Seriously, how long is it going to take this man to figure out he just needs to buy his daughter a leash: -1
Total: -7
Season to Date: 0
Power Position: Down

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Nate:
Personality Flaw: Sorry, Nate. Waffles are Rufus' department: -1
Sexual Intrigue: He is now dating Serena, which is like letting a homeless man into an all-you-can-eat buffet. In this case, literally: +2, Serena broke his dresser: -1, Oh...She did it during sex: +2
Social Schemes: Is a horrible liar: -2, Is basically Chuck's errand boy: -1, If you have to be someone's errand boy...: +1
WTF: Even when he has a storyline he has absolutely nothing to do: -1
Total: -1
Season to Date: -1
Power Position: Up

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Jenny:
Power Play: Is sent back to Brooklyn: -1, Still totally at the whims of her evil stepmother and her negligent father: -1
Sexual Intrigue: Suddenly her drug dealer is her boyfriend: -1, Doesn't know what statutory rape means: -2, Gets caught by Lily: -1, Taller than her man: no points, just an observation, She is lucky that man is smart and devious: +2
Social Schemes: Jenny, you stupid fucking bitch. You threw the pills on the floor. You threw the pills on the floor in front of your father and step mother. Did you think something good was going to come out of this? This is the most idiotic thing you have ever done: -5, Doesn't think that getting caught with enough pills to kill a room full of hipsters is that big of a deal: -2, She runs away: -1, For the second time! Has she already forgotten the last time when she was sleeping under a bridge hugging her sewing machine for warmth?: -2
Total: -14
Season to Date: -6
Power Position: Down

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Vanessa:
Fashion Points: Of course the first thing we see her in is some Mama Cass caftan that looks like it has vomit on it: -1, The lady dreads aren't that bad:+2, Her "costume" for the beach party is something that she would wear on the street on a Tuesday: -1
Power Play: She would be smart to latch onto Dan. He is the best she's ever going to do: +2, Says she wants to take it slow. God, what is wrong with this girl?: -2
Sexual Intrigue: Turns down Dan: +1, She met her boyfriend at a cabaret and he is wearing a neon neckerchief. Does she not have any gaydar at all?: -1, The gay dumps her: -1, Finally lands her Dan: +1, When they're doing it wishes Olivia was there, because she's not enough: -1, On the other hand, we like kinky: +3
WTF: She has now had sex with every male character on this show other than the dad and the gay kid. And we thought Serena was a skank: -2 Just for being back: -1
Total: -1
Season to Date: -11
Power Position: Up

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Dan:
Fashion Points: Manguns!: +2
Power Play: Has to lie to Vanessa about having a girlfriend: -1
Sexual Intrigue: Turns down a hot bimbo: -1, Vanessa is dissing him for an obvious gay: -1, Wants to do it with Vanessa: -1, Gets dumped by a skank: -2, Has to work really hard to get laid. With Vanessa!: -2, At least he's getting some: +1, Get's an A- in the sack: +1, His girlfriend wants more threeways: +2
Total: -2
Season to Date: -23
Power Position: Up

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Lily:
Personality Flaw: Has absolutely no defense when Rufus calls her a bad mother: -2, Speaking of which, why is she so concerned about her slutty stepdaughter when she has a sad, lonely, suicidal gay kid of her own?: -2, And has she forgotten about her own slutty daughter completely?: -2, OK, now she has resolved herself to be a good mother: +1
Power Play: Knows Jenny is a teenage slut because, well, we saw the flashback episode: +2, Has very loyal servants: +1
Sexual Intrigue: Ooooh, she knows that Rufus is getting some on the side: +2
WTF: If she had known about that giant bag of pills in her house, she would have eaten them all: -1, Jenny steals her prescription: -1
Total: -2
Season to Date: -29
Power Position: Up

Gossip Girl: The Food of Love

Serena:
Fashion Points: Even makes a man's shirt slutty: -1, The low-cut grey top and blue leggings. Nip slip and camel toe all in one: -1
Personality Flaw: Hasn't eaten bread since middle school: +1 (for dedication), Major daddy issues: -2
Power Play: Actually gives Chuck some sound advice about talking to his mother: +2, Calls up her daddy and tells him she's over him: +3, We know daddy is going to come and fuck with her head: -1
Sexual Intrigue: She can not be awake for five minutes without fucking something: -2
Social Schemes: Arranges lunch so that Chuck can meet his mother: +2, Chuck is mad at her and he is not an enemy you want: -1, She can't leave Chuck's mom alone: -1, It turns out that she gives Chuck's mom some great advice: +2, Chuck and his mom get together and all is well, just like she said: +2
Total: 3
Season to Date: -32
Power Position: Up