Last night's installment of Edith Wharton's Kidz Korner was all about lies and betrayals, mistrust and secrecy. It was also about a new haircut and a red dress that were worse than all that other stuff.
I was watching the show last night with a friend who has read some of the books (my friend is just some of my own clothes stuffed with straw with a wig thrown over it) but has never seen the show, and about halfway in I was like "It's really bad huh? It's basically written by monkeys." But then we decided that just monkeys weren't enough. Eventually we settled on the idea that Gossip Girl is written by drunk chimpanzees wearing old-timey green accountant visors, smoking Marlboro Ultra Light 100s and blowing each other while they write. That must be it, right? That's the only answer at this point. That is how I will now picture the Gossip Girl writers room. Chimps in visors, smoking their cigarettes, blowing each other, forever.
So what did those crazy chimps come up with for us this week? Well, first off, I was absent from class last week, so I didna watch-a the Gossip Girl. I don't know what happened! So I'll have to do a bit of guesswork. It seems that Georgina sold Dan's not-baby to gypsies, so he is very sad about that. Luckily he has his cavewoman bride Vanessa to keep him company. She's all a man needs to ease his troubles. Or is she?? No! No she is not! Sometimes a man — and in this case, a man with a fashionable new side-do that all the ladies of the Continent are wearing this season — needs more than a grunting, featureless cavewoman to sate his sexuo-emotiono desires. Sometimes he needs Serena.
Yeah that old bucket of a storyline is still being kicked around, as Dan and Serena stare at each other blandly and make bland jokes and flirt about god only knows what. Serena is not supposed to be playing the flirting game, though. She and Blair made a promise to each other: Serena will not go after Nate or Dan, and Blair will not scheme and conspire against Chuck's new French bride, Fleur. They promised each other! But seeing as they have no other character traits to go off of, these are the only things they know, they of course broke their promises. Serena and Dan went strolling in the park and Blair started stalking the French girl to see what she's really up to. She hid behind bushes and wore a long trench coat and made little violin-plucking sounds when she tiptoed by in the background. From what she could see, though, Fleur seemed on the up-and-up. Just a nice French girl who does nice French things and — Whoa wait a minute! She's selling a bamillion dollar Cartier watch that Chuck gave her as a Bastille Day gift????? Blair must report this to Chuck immediately! So she rode Dorota over to Chuck's raven-circled penthouse and broke the bad news. Chuck turned to Fleur and said "Well?" Fleur spluttered and blinked and finally said "Zee money was for your valet, Gaybriel. 'E 'as been so nice-a to me since I move to your country, and he needs money for 'is family to stay here in America." That is why she was selling the watch. Because Chuck's illegally imported Laotian valet/massage slave needed green card money or something. Awww. And awww to you, Blair. Ya got egg all over ya face.
Speaking of things all over people's faces, Nate is just covered. In sadness and worry! See he's been dating America's most compelling actress, Katie Cassidy, but he suspects something is up. She's always darting off in the middle of dates and canceling plans to "study" and whatnot. Of course we know that she's up to no good. She's been keeping tabs on ey'body, especially Serena, and is working in cahoots with a mysterious someone. (Did we find out who that someone is last week? Don't know, don't care.) Nate thinks she's probably dating someone else, and this makes him sad. Katie Cassidy is just so interesting! So he needs to find out what's up. Naturally to find out what's up, he went a'readin' the Gossip Girl blog site. And he saw pictures of her darting out of subway cars way up in Morningside Heights when she should have been studying. This means she is cheating. This means Nate is sad. And when Nate is sad, he always calls his best, best, best darling friend, Daniel.
Well, OK, something happened right before he called Dan. See, Dan wanted to hang out with Serena so they could giggle-bone and just be palzies, no more, nothin' fancy. Of course that never really works out, but they were srsly gonna try this time. So Dan told Vanessa, knowing she would fly into a club-swinging cavewoman rage if she knew the truth, that he was hanging out with Nate. Now typically Vanessa wouldn't interrupt any Dan/Nate special time, lest she be forced once again to witness what a totes hetero game of Pull The Pistons looks like, but for some reason, on this particular day, she decided to. So she burst in on Nate and Katie Cassidy — "I'm just tired, that's all" Nate was saying plaintively to Katie. "It's not you. I'm just really stressed. It'll happen sometime soon, I promise..." — and said "Hi! I'm here for Dan! Not looking at anything! Just put them away and zip up and he can come with me, I mean, he can leave the apartment with me!" Nate was confused. He and Dan didn't have plans. He knew he had to lie to cover for his best bud. "Uh... hey V, Dan is... Dan's.... in the... space... truck... with... Suzanne... Jinglefarb... who is his... dentist... friend... he met... at... church... some years ago... in... Greece... because... in... every man's life... comes a time... when... Suzanne Jinglefarb... becomes... your friend." V nodded, not buying it. "Uh huh." So she stalked off and Nate grabbed the phone, feeling sad about Katie possibly cheating, feeling scared about the Vanessa encounter.
"Hey baby, I mean bro, you know I'm not a good liar..." Oh, Nate! Don't be so hard on yourself! You did a great job. I totally believed the whole "he's in the space truck with Suzanne Jinglefarb, his dentist friend" lie. You did fine. On the other end Dan tossed his beautiful new curl of hair and said "OK, shit. Ah, crap waffles. I gotta tell her about Serena." Meanwhile Serena was on the couch next to him, flicking her forked tongue in his ear, saying "Do me do me do me" over and over again. It was just too much for Dan! But, he was having so much fun. See, after Blair was embarrassed about the whole Laotian sex-peasant debacle, she figured she needed a new thing to get the wicked Fleur — who was making Chuck donate all this money to charity 'n' junk — off of Chuck's arm. So she enlisted Dan and Serena's help. She took Fleur down to the docks in Brooklyn to
put two bullets in the back of her head and kick her into the river act all friendly and get the girl's life story. Then she would send the details via text back to Dets. Humphrey and van der Wall, and they would confirm them on Dan's big cherry red laptop.
So, Fleur told us all her deets: She was raised on a chateau farm in the Loire Valley, where her family raised chateaus to be sold to the bourgeoisie of Paris looking for summer homes. Once the great chateau bubble burst, her family switched to goats, and Fleur would spend countless hours milking and milking the goats until her father would burst in and say "Sacre merde! Zose are zee male goats!!" At the age of sixteen her parents were killed in a terrible goating accident, the grim pseudo-sexual details of which aren't worth getting into on this family website, and Fleur was all alone. So she decide to move with her best BFF in the world, Johan Paulik, to Prague. Johan quickly found... a certain kind of work there, but Fleur was left to just wait tables. So wait tables she did, milking male goats in her spare time to amuse herself, until the day she heard a gunshot ring out and there was Chuck's twitching and withered corpse lying in an alleyway. She nursed him back to life with her patented salty goat serum and the rest, as they say, is voila.
This did not please Blair. She wanted more information. She wanted damning information. Luckily, Dan typed the name of the Prague neighborhood where Fleur lived into his SexSearch toolbar menu (he uses it, for, uh, research for his New Yorker stories) and presto, bango! Blair had her material. It seems that Miz Fleur was, for a time, a Czech sex prostitute. (She and Johan had more in common than we thought!) Dan found her profile on a hookers website and, after Serena explained a few things to him ("But... Nate said the boy part can only go in the but—" "Stop talking, Dan! Just.. stop talking."), they told Blair. O ho ho, this was good. This was so good that when Nate called Daniel to tell him about Vanessa's cave-stomping cavewoman rage, Dan blurted it to Nate, and Nate, unable not to blurt when Dan blurts, blurted it to Chuck, who pretended he knew, but secretly didn't know, and he was upset about his perfect lady.
Also upset was Vanessa, who was comforted by Katie Cassidy in a very interesting, nuanced way, and they all decided to hash it all out at — YES, BLOWJOB CHIMPS! YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN! — a big fancy party. This week's big fancy party was a gala for Chuck to announce a $5m donation to an as-yet-unnamed charity. What would it be? Oxfam? UNICEF? Unkie Nate's Home for Wayward Twinks? No one knew, but everyone was curious. And everyone had scores to settle.
Vanessa grunted and swung wildly at Dan, who eventually calmed her down and said that, in light of Serena's wishywashyness about him vs. Nate, he had decided to go with Vanessa. He said he loved her and that was that. We threw up, he tossed his beautiful Egon Spengler twist of hair. They made love, while Dan closed his eyes and thought only of Nate.
Serena, who was wearing a dress that made her, skinny gorgeous her, look like she had two chicken cutlets trying to escape the front of her gown, was upset about the Dan thing and then saw that Nate was doin' it to America's Most Intriguing Person, Katie Cassidy, so she threw herself off the top of the Empire Hotel and, hey, it was OK, she landed in a movie career that broke her fall.
Blair confronted Chuck and he was all "I know Fleur was an around-the-way girl, and I don't mind. So buzz off, lady." But no. Blair would not buzz off. She ran into Lily, who was carrying a manila envelope full of Chuck's personal effects that had been recovered after the shooting — various ebony canes, snuff boxes, a shrunken head from the deepest Amazon rainforest though to be Percy Fawcett's, his passport — and this gave Blair an idea. See, Chuck believed he was truly in love because he was confident that Fleur didn't know who he was before he told her. I.E., she wasn't after his money. So Blair slipped Chuck's passport (she stabbed Lily and yanked the passport out of her cold dead hands) into Fleur's bag and then went and made a big stink about it to Chuck. Poor, innocent, cookie dough-eyed Chuckles believed the evil rusery (it was evil even for Blair, was it not?) and he told Fleur to go blow a goat. ("Gladly," she said. "I was going to anyway.") Blair felt... vindicated? Strangely sad? Hungry for goat meat? A combination of all three, likely. But at least Fleur was out of the picture.
BUT THEN. Oh god, but then. If I've told her once, I've told her a thousand times: If you're going to stab someone with the intention of murder, make sure to hit a major artery! Otherwise they usually sputter and groan back to life and expose your horrible scheming, as happened with Lily van der Bart last night. Yes, she came to and told Chuck that she wanted to give him his passport and he did a Triples triple take and knew that Blair had royally fucked him over. Ohhh had she. He went to apologize to Fleur, but she wouldn't have it. Au revoir it was for her. Au revoir, back to the goats. Chuck could do nothing to stop her. So he went to Blair's house and slapped her hard across the face (oh don't you wish that had actually happened?) and as she stood, bleeding from the nose and eyes, Chuck growled to her "This means war." Uh oh! A Chuck and Blair war! That will likely be resolved in a few episodes! Watch out, world!
Natalie, meanwhile, was having stranger danger with Katie Cassidy. He doesn't really know her, he's realizing. To prove the point, she got a sext from some dude named Ben and it said "I need you." And Nate was all "Oh. My. God. Who is Ben? You had better tell me, girlfriend, I mean you are my girlfriend, who this Ben fool is or I am seriously going to rip up your Robbie Williams ticket and go the concert by myself." Katie said "No you don't understand... Ben is my troubled brother... Who sexts me..." Nate sprung to attention. "You have... a brother? Does he look like you? Just with wider shoulders maybe and sad brown eyes and a little scruffle on his face and tight cowboy jeans and..." He was lost in thought. But he did believe Katie Cassidy, though she is totally lying about everything, obviously. Who is she in cahoots with? I believe there was a hint last night that it was maybe someone? But now I can't remember? Tell me in the comments.
Anyway, the best part of the episode last night was when Erik walked out in a flowing red evening gown, the one Serena should have worn, walked up to an old square 1940s radio microphone, and sang a beautiful, slow version of "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance." Everyone stopped their fighting and bickering and watched him, in ruby red lipstick, as he washed them with those lovely, sad words. And then the lights brightened, Erik threw off his fur stole and said "Hit, it boys!!", and the band struck up "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". Erik lit into the song with great fizzy fervor. Everyone forgot all their troubles for a moment and took to dancing, a perky twinkle of stars hanging above them like lilies of the valley.
And far away, with the gypsies, Dan's not-baby stirred slightly in its sleep. And though it was not with Dan any longer, though it would never know that Gossip Girl world, it was OK. It was safe and protected. Somehow, by some gypsy miracle, it was going to make its way through this weary, worn-out old world just fine.