Love sprung, if not eternal, certainly something on last night's Valentine's Day episode of America's whiniest Peyton Place remake. Chuck loves to scheme. Blair also loves to scheme. Serena loves Ben. Ben loves catering events. Dan loves staring at people as they do interesting things. And Erik loves being disappointed. Wait, no he doesn't!
We'll get to Erik's disappointment anon, but first let's dispense with the other stuff, shall we? Starting with... Blair! Remember how Blair works at Letters Quarterly, this quarter's letter being W? Well, she does. She recently got a bigtime promotion after her old boss, Epilepsy, put on a beret and swallowed a handful of pills and went on a mind vacation to Paris or something. So she's wearing gold lamé shoulder pads and walking around fast these days. One of her big, big, big responsibilities is managing the W blog's socialite interviews section. Mmhm! This was the big story that everyone was concerned about on last night's episode: a blog entry about a socialite for the W magazine website. Yikes!! I can't believe Blair has to do this! What, was Carl Bernstein busy? Basically this is one of the most important things published this year, this W blog entry about a socialite's Valemtime's Day, so Blair can't, in the immortal words of RuPaul, fuck it up. The harpies at the magazine('s blog) want Blair to do the story on Serena, because of course, but Blair thinks that's old hat. She decides she wants to do it on Raina, the girl what Chuck done been getting into of late. This is all fueled, of course, by jealousy and whatnot, she wants to see how Chuck and Raina are spending the big V day, but the harpies don't know that, and one of them is like "Very interesting. Good idea, Blair. It's that kind of thinking that could make this job permanent." Hahahaha. Yup. Hope you're taking notes, Columbia School of Journalism students. The way to secure a job at a magazine these days is to think outside the box when it comes to blog entries about socialites. W magazine makes, the world takes.
Inevitably Blair's business coincided with Chuck's business. Chuck and Raina are together and she is trying to make her father's purchase of Catfish Enterprises as smooth as possible for Chuck. It is not very possible for it to be smooth at all, but these star-blinded young lovers don't know that yet. For now they're just bumping pretties and throwing lust/caution to the wind. Which brings us, snooooooooze, to the business wheelings and dealings. Man oh man how much do you not care at all about the fate of Bass Industries? You know what was really funny last night? That there was a whole subplot about Nate's dad's job. !!! "Will Nate's dad keep his job???? Find out on the next Gossip Girl." Everyone was so worried about Nate's dad's job!! But yeah, there was all this nonsense business stuff about the guy from Spin City doing stuff to the Chuckles Corporation and it was very much like zzzzzZZzzzzzzzz. But what's important to note out of all that rot and buggery is that Chuck was like "Let me throw a cool party to prove that you should keep the Bassdustries name once you buy it." And the guy was like "OK." So Chuck started planning a party, thinking all was well.
All was not well! NATE'S DAD came in and said "Chuck!!! I've been snooping around Blackman Tech and it seems that the whole letting you think you can save Super Fish Co. LTD by throwing a party thing is all a canard." Yup. Spin City is going to dismantle Bass no matter what. Thank you, NATE'S DAD! Good intel. So just what is going on here? Well, Chuck did some digging and it turns out that Spin City's issue with Bass & Sons is way personal. See, Lily dumped Spin City years ago for Bart, so he's mad at Lily. Chuck confronts him with this and he says "If you get rid of Lily, we have a dilly." (Mmhm.) So Chuck has to kill Lily. Or get her fired! One or the other. Chuck sets about doing that and it's all very snooooooooore.
Meanwhile Serena has heard through the vast W magazine blog grapevine that Blair is planning on producing a piece about Raina, and Serena thinks that is a terrible idea. See, Blair thinks that Chuck is doing Raina simply for business purposes. But what she doesn't know, but Serena does, is that Chuck and Raina are really in it for all the gushy romance stuff. So Serena is worried that if Blair finds this out, on Valemtime's Day of all days, it will smoosh Blair's heart like it was in a Death Star trash compactor. (Which would make Dan the mysterious one-eyed monster that lives in the trash water, I guess.) Serena thus intercepts Raina and tells her that she shouldn't do the big W blog profile and Raina's like "Ohhhh OK" and cancels. Blair is like "Zommmgimples, whattumIgunnadoo???" and for some reason Dan is there with a story he wrote about being in love with Serena (good, relevant story for W magazine, blog or otherwise) and he's like "Can you reeead this and pass it along?" and Blair is like "We're not friends, remember?? Plus I have to solve this huuuuge socialite blog profile fiasco!!" She runs away to Serena's house (or somewhere, her house maybe) and Serena is there and she says "So sorry Raina canceled on you. Oh look, I just got this box with a dress in it, from... someone." Serena goes to put the mystery dress on but forgets the card that came with the dress and Blair reads the card and it says "Serena, here's the dress. Thanks for the advice. The profile would have been a mistake. Blair can suck it long and suck it hard. Love, Raina. P.S. Blair stinks. P.P.S. Really, really stinks." Blair is furrrrrious! She has to get revenge on Serena for sabotaging her. (She thinks it's because Serena is jealous of Blair's big shoulder pad job at Letters Quarterly, but of course we know Serena was only doing it to protect Blair's handbag heart.)
This brings us, of course, to the bigtime party. It's somewhere upstate or something? Is that where it was? Who knows. Wherever it was, it was darkly lit and sparsely attended, but Spin City walked up to Chuck and was like "Now that you've gotten Lily fired and your party is so fun, I will totally be keeping the valuable Fish Bucket Unlimited name. Congratulations." Chuck was so happy! And all he had to do to achieve happiness was get his adopted stepmom fired from the board, thus alienating her forever. That's all. Elated beyond measure, Chuck found Raina and led her into a secret room at the chateau that contained a waiter with a little dinner table set for two and, hilariously, an enormous bed right behind it. Aha. Subtle, Chuck. Verrry subtle.
Meanwhile Serena was about to get the shock of her life. See, Ben had been having a hard time getting a job, on account of having to check the "I was falsely convicted of sexing a student" box on all his jorb applications. He felt like a big old dump of poop about that, especially with a pretty blonde money sack like Serena on his arm. Dan decided to set him up with his old catering gig (but only after spreading his legs suggestively and saying "You know, Ben, there are lots of ways to make money..." and then Ben cried and Dan was like "Um, like, uh, right, uh, like catering.") and somehow this got back to Blair and she was like "Oh, I'll fix Serena's little red wagon..." so she got Ben assigned to cater Chuck's party. Ben was happy to get the catering gig, but not proud of it. Serena called and Ben was like "I got a job, yeah yeah yeah!!" and Serena was so happy and she said "Ohhh where? Tutoring? Doing research for a professor?? Dan's fluffer???" Ben wished he had those jobs (except for the last one, maybe), he wished so hard, but he didn't, he was catering, quel embarrassment. So he told Serena that he was tutoring and she was happy for him and he put on his catering bowtie and headed up to Chuck's big party, completely unawares that Starleena would be there too.
Once everyone was at the party, Blair cornered Serena to do the big W interview, big big deal, and started peppering her with various questions. Eventually she got to the subject of Ben and Serena was like "Yes, I have a Valemtime, but it's personal, and I don't talk about my personal life." And Blair said "Oh, I know where your Valemtime is. He's right there!!!" and then the cameras (there were cameras there for the big W blog interview, naturally) turned where Blair was pointing and there was Ben done up in his catering outfit, handing out champagne!!! Serena was so fucking embarrassed. Or something. I forget how she reacted. Alls I know is that Ben was like "Um, I can't talk to you for the rest of the evening" and Serena was like "Oh nooo..." and she was sad. Then she was mad! Why had Blair set her up like that? They got into a fight in which Blair accused Serena of jealousy and then Serena was like "Nooooo, it's because Chuck and Raina are in love!!" but Blair didn't believe it. She stomped off to go have a good cry. And where did she stomp off too? Chuck's sex and dinner palace, of course. She stood alone in there crying or something and then Dan came in to nag her about his sharticle and Blair was like "Hush up, sugar pup, I already sent it along." And Dan was like "You did? You read it?" And Blair was like "Magotes." And Dan knew that her whole "I can't be bothered with you" attitude had just been a front. He was about to say as much but then Chuck and Raina burst in and Dan and Blair were forced to hide, Polonius-style, behind a curtain. Unfortunately for everyone no one got stabbed in this scene. Well, Blair did, in a manner. In the heart. See, she heard Chuck and Raina mumble sweet nothings to each other and she knew then that their love was real. She sat down on a settee and felt sad and Dan sat next to her and eventually took her hand to comfort her. Blair recoiled from that, out of propriety, but her hand was still burning hot where he had touched it.
Chuck escorted Raina to the seriously enormous bed and was about to begin his mounting procedure when Lily kicked in the door with a wild, primal scream. "Chuckkkk!!!!!!!!!" she bellowed. "How could you do this to me?? How could you get me fired???" Chuck was like "Chill, Lil. Don't be such a pill." But Lily wasn't having it. She called him a nasty little brat and a riverbed-sucking catfish monster and Chuck was like "At least I'm not a frosty old drunk like you" and the studio audience was like "OoooooOOooOooooo" and Lily spat in Chuck's face and punched him in the balls and as he doubled over in pain she leaned in and whispered in his ear "You pissed off the wrong frosty old drunk. Next time I rip them off" and stormed out. Then Raina walked up to Chuck and was like "The fuck? You jeep your own family like that? Nope. I'm done. You're cut." And Chuck went "But.. but ... b-but..." Then Spin City walked in, basically doing the sarcastic clap thing, and said "Well played, Chuck. Now you've gotten your big board member fired and my daughter is through with you and now I'm going to rip Bass Shoes to pieces. Piece by piece. And you're gonna have to love it." Chuck fell to his knees and issued a Darth Vader "Noooooooo!!!!!" and it was very sad for exactly no one, because who cares about Chuck's business? Nobody. Oh, and in the course of all this, NATE'S DAD lost his job. Sad. Maybe he'll get his own spin-off show? A sitcom about a middle-aged dad starting life over? Start at the Middle, with Sam Robards as Dad. Oh, and he also gave Chuck the security card to Spin City Capital and was like "Go commit felonies, kiddo." And Nate was there and was like "So cool!" Nate did nothing else in this episode. Poor, poor Nate. I think he was probably off screwing Rufus. (That was a great '90s grunge-pop band. Screwing Rufus.)
Serena got a text from Ben or sent him a text that was like "Where u at?" and he said "An old bar. Let's meet for a drink" so they met for a drink and then they made out in the bar and it was kind of gross because Ben looks a little like Julian Assange? Maybe just a little? But anyway, yeah, they're totally lovers now. Ick.
YOU KNOW WHO ELSE ARE TOTALLY LOVERS??? Dan and Blair! Dan and Blair! Mmhm. Blair was feeling sad about it being Valemtime's Day and her being alone but then Dan called for some reason and asked what she was doing. She said she was watching Rosemary's Baby and Dan said "What part are you at, I'll watch it with you." So they watched it on their laptops in separate apartments, a modern-day Harry and Sally, and it was actually sorta cute. And I like them together! I know I am not supposed to, but it pleases me to watch them, in a Kelly and Brandon sort of way. They should just end the show when they get together, because what else is there to do, really? Not much. Not a whole lotta much.
Finally, of course, we turn to Erik. Awwww Erik. He was doing service work on Valemtime's Day to stave off the loneliness. Sweet lad. It worked for a little while, but at the end of the day he was still sad. Still feeling a bit blue in the trousers. Still feeling the cold tickle of solitude feathering in his insides. So it was a great excitement when, unloading the charity van after their shift, a co-volunteer was like "Ohh... there's someone waiting for you! Cute boy with brown hair??" and Erik just about squeal-plotzed. Jonathon!!! Come to see him!! On dear St. Valemtime's Deigh. What a treat. So he pranced over to where the lady said the man was waiting, ready to wrap him in a spindly hug and kiss his pretty mouth and never let him go, and he turned the corner and there was... Air Bud. :( :( :( :( :(
Air Bud! Not Jonathon at all, but an angry Air Bud. He grabbed Erik by the neck (which was mostly scary, but if Erik is honest, it was also kind of a turn-on) and was like "Heyyyyy baby, 'member me? You're in trouble. I'm going to expose Lily for putting Ben in jail illegally unless you help me get back in my dad's good graces." Erik gulped and trembled (and came in his pants) and it was not the Valemtime's Day he had been hoping for.
I mean, it wasn't really for anyone, I guess. But that doesn't mean it was bad. Just different. Serena making out with a skeleton in an old bar. Chuck making dastardly plots with NATE'S DAD. Raina and her father riding in their black swan-drawn chariot through the night sky. Lily downing a handle of Rubnioff and cry-hiccuping to Rufus for a few hours while he pats her head and says halfhearted there-theres. Strange holidays all! Unideal evenings, perhaps! But also just fine. Also perfectly good. Perfectly grand to just be on a friend's couch, watching Gossip Girl, which you've somehow hoodwinked her into watching, after you convinced her to watch Degrassi, which was a special Valemtime's treat. Just fine indeed to be curled up in bed with a computer and, no, not looking at Facebook photos of Erik, the best ones being when he and Nate are in the same picture, but actually talking on the phone to Blair. Weirdly, Dan wouldn't have wanted to spend Valengines any other way.
And of course Erik, in the firm warm grip of Air Bud. Not quite a hug but something close enough. Not quite love, but certainly something. Something that at least told him "Here you are." Young and alive and wrapped in the bitter wind of February, but seeing the first cool glimmers of spring. Seeing too a softening in Air Bud's eyes, feeling his hand relax and then tighten again, but this time with a different urgency, one that made Erik think "Go. Press on, Air Bud." Squeeze. And squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until there is nothing left of me but the bright red light of my love, shining strong and true and piercing all the dark that surrounds us.