Last night on Skins' stuffy older sister, everyone was having problems with relationships. Who to trust, who to turn to, whom to seek comfort in on dark, confusing nights. What fretful, lost little creatures these kids are.

You'll remember from the past couple of weeks that Blair and Dan, our two long-dueling splinterheads, are becoming fwwwwends. Or maybe more than fwends? May fwuckbuddies? Not yet! But maybe eventually. Maybe someday. But for now, unfortunately, impediments impede their path! Namely, they were thrown into a work situation together and forced to compete. Y'see, Blair is feeling shiftless and driftful for the first time in her life. She doesn't know what to do with herself, career-wise, so she's just flouncing along. This week she decided to flounce over to W magazine, the little personal publication that former President Bush makes on the computer at the ranch in Crawford and excitedly reads aloud to Laura, because he gets too impatient when she tries to read it herself. It's just little news of the day things, headlines like "Bat Incident Scares Residents of Crawford Home" and "Study: One Out of Two Crawford Ranch Residents Would Like More Pancakes for Breakfast." Just something to keep him busy.

No! Pshaw. I'm just joshing. W magazine is a magazine for fashions and it is weirdly sized and I'm not sure what kind of people read it, but it seems as though people do, because they're still in business. Anyway, Blarvman got an intunzship there and she was super excited, because if anyone likes fashion, it's her and lots of other people. MEANWHILE, in a badger den across town, Dan was super excited because his step-mom, Lily of the Uncanny Valley, had gotten him a sweet innusship somewhere at Condé Nast, that big bad magazine publisher that, along with the cock-a-roaches, will be the only thing left after the nuclear floods. He figured that because he's a Serious Fellow and a Writer, that he'd be embedded at Parade or Hotel Chatter, two of Condé's most literary titles, so imagine his grunt-faced surprise when he found out it was Dubya and there in the intern holding pen was his newest boner donor, Blair. Yiiiiikes! This was a competitive internship, one in which only one would survive, and that girl Katniss over there looked handy with a bow and arrow, so Blarge and Dingle were super duper worried.

And basically they fought and schemed and Spy vs Spy'd each other (and the other interns — Blair made it seem like one girl served her boss perfume-tasting coffee, and the boss was like "This tastes like Chanel No. 5!!" and it had me wondering why this woman drinks so much perfume that she knows what certain brands taste like in coffee?) and eventually it came down to one big task. So of course because it's this show there was a big W party to announce their new blog (hahahahaha, right) and everyone was going to be there and the new blog was really exciting ("books, film, culture" — sounds lucrative guys! make sure you pad that out with some stories about witch politicians fooling around with dirtbags! just a pro tip) and they were going to have fabulous celebrity obsessive Lynn Hirschberg write the intro to the blog (another pro tip: blogs don't have intros, but they SHOULD have lots of pictures and videos) but then at the last minute Lynn pulled out! So Dan and Blizzard were like "Ohhh if we got cool authors to come to the party and offer to write the intro, we'd be soooo in with our boss Perfumia!!" So Dan figured he'd call up his old friend Jay McInerney and Blair, for some bizarre reason, had a line to Lorrie Moore. Lorrie Moore! I know they make lit references on this show all the time, and have maybe even made a Lorrie Moore reference before, but something about hearing the name of one of my most personally beloved authors tossed around on this show, and imagining younger viewers thinking that Lorrie Moore might show up to a W magazine blog party, it just made me feel sad and anxious. I'm sorry, Ms. Moore. I'm sorry for them.

WHATEVER. Basically what happened with this whole gumbo was that Dan assumed Blinkers was going to sabotage him so he in turn sabotaged her, calling up Lorrie Moore and saying "Yo lady, it's off." and I imagined Lorrie Moore being like "I wasn't going to leave Madison anyway, but... OK." So at the party Lorrie didn't show up and Binxy was upset and Dan was like "Well you shouldn't have sabo—" and then Jay Macs showed up and Dan was like "Gullllllp." So what happened next? Oh, you know, completely normal things like Blair smooshing Dan's face with her hand and then Dan trying to fight her off and then before you knew it they were writhing around on the ground fighting and shrieking and Perfumia walked up to them and with a great perfume belch was like "Yahhhhh fiyahhhhed!!!!!" and then she started shooting indiscriminately at the floor until Dan and Bonkers scrambled up and ran out of the building. Blair said she hated Dan again and Dan was sad and then Dan called Perfumia and was like "Yo, it was all me, give her her job back" and so Perfumia did and Blair was happy and maybe Dan and Blair's path to love has been made smooth once more. Maybe! Who knows. At least they got to writhe on the ground the once, feeling each other's warm android core heat, the brush of their slick skin like windbreakers rubbing together. Ah, romance.

OK. So also in this episode there was a whole lotta baloney about Chuck and Nate's dad. No, they were not bumpin' it. Chuck has a company called Bass Shoes, which sells sensible shoes at sensible prices, and Nate's dad's new boss wants to buy it, and Nate's dad's new boss's daughter is bumpin' it with Chuck, so as you can see it's all very complicated. As you can also see, absolutely nobody cares, so let's just move on.

SERENAAAAAAAAA. Girl you gotta get your mind right. She's still futzing around with ol' Jailbird Jimmy, trying to get his life in order. But it's been hard, very very hard. See, Lily keeps trying to give Jimmy money to keep him away and stuff and Serena keeps getting madder and madder at her mom and things are just unpleasant. Plus she totally has an enormous, Skins-sized boner for Jimmy and yet he's not really responding in kind. Which Serena is just not used to! No, usually when Serena has a huge boner sticking out of her harem pants, the boy of the moment comes a'running. But not this Jimmy, so sir. He lives in a creepy halfway house in somewhere called "Long Island City, Queens," a dangerous and Kosovoian place where scary middle-aged poors talk to Serena as if they're her equal. It's very sad for her. So she keeps trying to coax Jimmy to improve his station in life, but unfortunately Jimmy's idea of doing that is to run away to Ithaca ("I hear it's beautiful there" — Serena, on Ithaca. 1. Hahahaha 2. No, Serena, it's not beautiful. It's gorges, derrrr) to become a gardener. Serena does not like this, so she's plotting and scheming to get him to stay in New York. Just not in that horrible murderplace called Queens! Hardly fit for even a Countess, that wretched, royally named burrah. Simply ghastly.

I don't know. Eventually Jailbird's all "Sereenz, I know you have a total boner for me, I mean it's poking into me right now and I'm like two feet away from you, but I just don't feel for you that way. I'm sorry," and Serena was like "Hurrr????" and soooo upset and embarrassed. Of course Jimmy totally IS all wet for Serena, but he didn't realize that until the very end of the episode.

WHICH BRINGS US TO ERIK. Erik had some PLOTLINE this week. Someone's been reading the literally hundreds of emails I've sent to everyone with a credit on Gossip Girl!! Basically the story was this: Erik is sad. Erik is sad because he's mad at Lily and Serena's off adventuring with her Jailbird and Dan's been weird and sexually distant lately and his boyfriend Elliot (or something) broke up with him when they were in Gstaad over the wintruhtime. Poor lonely, bonely Erik. Who to turn to when you feel this particular kind of sad? Well, the kid from Air Bud, obviously. Yeah, Erik was palling around with Air Bud, the notorious drug dealer, and it was very mysterious and strange. Funny then that another person from the past came into Erik ...... 'S LIFE!!!! 'S LIFE. Came into Erik's life. God you people are dirty. But yeah, it was Jonathan! Remember him?? He was Erik's beloved boyfriend and now he's showing up again all dewy eyed and wanting to have another go-around. Erik wasn't sure about it, but he was willing to give it a try. (Maybe he'd like to sing a duet with him and see what happens?) SO.

So they went to the big party, but of course Erik totes ditched J-jers for Air Bud, because, as it turns out, Air B. was selling Erik sleeping pills for sadness and then Adderall for staying awake the next day or some business. Not good, Erik! Jonathan was all sad that Erik was ignoring him and Serena was all confused, because when she caught Erik doing something with Air Bud, Air Bud stroked Erik's cheek and was like "You want a drink, babe?" I think you could probably hear the shriek/guffaw/retch sound I made when that happened from space. It was so extremely strange and weirdly enjoyable and obviously repulsive. Basically my heart fell down a flight of stairs when I saw it and more of it needs to happen but also it needs to never happen again, ever. You feel me? So yeah, Erik was all "Umm.. yeah, we're a couple..." rather than admit to buying drugs. Only to, y'know, like five minutes later totally come clean to Rufus the Goofus about his terrible sleeping pill addiction. Ruf was all nervous and Erik was like "I'm cool..." and Air Bud skittered away into the night.

Too bad for him that Jailbird Jonny caught up with him and threw him against a wall and said "You stay away from Starleena! And her family! Including her bubble-butted baby brother! You stay away from 'em all!!" and Air Bud was like "Whoa whoa, my brother. Ease off. Ease off." Jailbird ran away, maybe to move into the loft because Rufus told him he could live there (weird), and Air Bud was like "This means war..." and called Erik on the phone and was said "Yo what's up?" and Erik was like "I'm done with pills." And Air Bud said "No, I mean, you wanna hang out, like as friends?" and Erik smiled and said yes. And I guess he headed out to see him. I guess that's what happened just after the screen went black and the credits came up.

Erik went to see Air Bud and god knows what will become of that. More cheek-stroking, maybe. More "babe," perhaps. And all the while poor Jonathan will wander lonely streets, probably mostly in Hell's Kitchen, that's where lots of those kinda folks go these days. It's funny, Jonathan will think, to reenter people's lives, to know that time isn't always a fixed and forward-pushing line. That it can be bent, renegotiated, looped around on, repaired, cured, burnt.

Those are the kinds of thoughts one has, I guess, when one is three vodka cranberries in at Vynl, and one is making eyes at the bartender, someone one saw in a show once, Altar Boyz maybe, his name is not Erik and that's all that matters tonight. And outside 9th Avenue is bleating and pounding away, and none of the lights in the restaurant are natural colors. And the bartender is looking back now one realizes, and is walking over, and all of a sudden one has trouble remembering where one has ever been before just now, just here on this stool, just leaning over a counter, just pressing one's lips, delicate but hungry, up against the wonderful future.